Friday, October 29, 2010

Nanchang Orphanage Visit

Look who was hanging out in Elise's orphanage just days before she was born...Tammy and Tony Nolan!  I have known the Nolan's since the very beginning of Shelby's adoption.  Tammy and I actually paperchased together, and I was able to watch them bring home their bundle of Joy last year.  Little did I know that while I was watching their journey unfold in China, my daughter was being born just miles away from them.

Yes, amazing that the orphanage the Nolan's were allowed to visit was where Elise would be brought to shortly after they left.  Here is a small video clip of Tony in the baby room where Elise probably spent her first year of life.  So incredible to have these little red thread connections all the way on the other side of the world.  Thank you Tammy for sharing!

You see Holt International currently sponsors Nanchang orphanage and helps provide the kids with better care and facilities through the donations that you give to their sponsorship programs.  Go here to read about Tony's visit to the orphanage.  I am SO thankful to everyone who gives money to help sponsor these children.  It appears that my little Elise is hopefully being cared for in the best way possible through the support of people who give montly and of course through the aid of Holt International

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Notice

Well I just sent off our first care package to Elise's orphanage today.  I used Lady Bugs N Love to send a translated letter and some pictures of us to her nannies, along with some candies of course.  I also paid to have a cake purchased for all the kids in the orphanage to share and celebrate with Elise.  I am really hoping we get some new pictures of our girl in the next week or so.  You see the deal with using an outside agency is that they send money directly to the orphanage asking them to spend the money on purchasing a cake.  Then they ask the nannies to "prove it" by sending pictures back of the child enjoying the cake.  So let's hope we get some good "proof" back soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

Right now we are just in a "waiting" period with the paperwork.  We are waiting on our govt agency the USCIS to issue us a fingerprinting appointment.  It typically takes about 2 weeks to get just the notice for the appointment, then the actual appointment is usually about 2-3 weeks after the notice is sent.  SO, this just means I did all the paperwork in a hurry, to now just sit a wait as I stare at my precious baby girl...

Oh and I seem to get the questions alot these days of, "Well isn't it alot easier since you have already done all the paperwork before?" Unfortunately ALL of our paperwork had to be started over again from the very beginning.  Every piece of paper for each adoption has to have been issued and printed within 6 months of the time you submit it to China.  So even though our birth certificates/marriage certificate and such have never changed, we had to order NEW copies for everything, so that they show a print date less than 6 months old.  Crazy I know, just the way it works unfortunately.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Parents Wanted

for even more new cuties like this one... click here to see if one belongs to you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Who Wait...

Go here to see just a few of the faces who are currently available for adoption from China.  Is one of them yours??!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Well little Miss Shelby decided that she needed a haircut and took it upon herself (under her daddy's watch of course) to do a "little bang trim".  Needless to say, I had to take her to the professionals to salvage what little bangs she had left, so we cut her hair shorter to kinda even it out.  Oh well, it was bound to happen with one of my kiddos.  I still think she is as adorable as ever though :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Block of Adorableness

A little more about our precious girl:
She was born on August 3, 2009
She is currently in Nanchang City SWI in Jiangxi Province
She currently weighs about 15 pounds
She had her open heart surgery when she was 2 months old for VSD and PFO
Description from her nannies:
When she hears soft and kind words she will open her small mouth and giggle aloud, putting her hands together in front of chest and clapping hands; facing favorite people she will express in her own way, for example: when you hold her she will touch your face with hands and smile at you happily. She is very lovely and all people like her very much.

She appears to be an angel and we can't wait to meet her :)

BIG Paperchase Process

Whew, finally received our agency's approval on our homestuday yesterday.  So I was able to drive out to our social worker's office and pick up our completed homestudy originals.  Then I waited for BAAS (our agency) Fedex to arrive with the final piece of paper that I needed to file the coveted I-800A application. 

I was then off to the Post Office to mail in our I-800A application, and I also sent off 10 docs to Houston for Authentication, and also I sent 1 doc up to Chicago Consulate.  SO needless to say we are well on our way to completing our dossier. 

Next step now is to wait on our I-800A to be processed, then we have to get fingerprinted (yes again), then we wait for final I-800A approval.  Once I have that last approval, my dossier will be complete!  Well of course after I notarize, county certify, state certify, and then have Houston authenticate it.

Yes, I know tiring just to write it, you should actually try DOING it all.  Okay I know enough whining.  Anyhow, I am excited to be clicking right along and getting closer to my baby each and every day :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Province for Us

Our little Elise is from Jiangxi Province.  Shelby is from Guangxi, and Faith is from Guangdong.  So we will be visiting a whole different part of China on this trip.  I am excited to get to see more of the country that has become so much a part of our lives :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


HA!  Just kiddin', but Faith INSIST that she is getting 2 babies :)  More pics of our beautiful daughter...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Introducing our Adorable Addition

We received our Pre-Approval from China last night.  So we are thrilled to finally introduce you to the adorable little girl that we have fallen in love with.  Here she is, drum roll please.......

Little Miss Elise Delores Xinfang Straight!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Heavenly Celebration

I was completely blessed a few weeks ago getting to watch my baby boy be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!!!  I thought my heart would burst with the JOY I felt knowing that my son has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  My Travis is one special child and I know the Lord has great things in store for him.  How blessed I am to get to be his mommy.

And to top off the celebration, CJ stepped into the baptism pool last minute as a BIG surprise to Travis.  CJ wanted to be able to be baptized with his son.  (CJ had only been only baptized as an infant)  Getting to witness them both publically professing their trust in Jesus Christ was one INCREDIBLE day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Exceptions To the Rules

I have "heard" that lately China is starting to make some exceptions to their strict requirements of adoptive parents.  I have even been told that one particular agency has even been able to get one of their clients a BMI waiver!!  China has already been giving out income waivers and some of the total asset waivers in the past, but this was the first time I have ever heard of a BMI waiver.  This is great news for all the waiting children.  So if you think you can't qualify to adopt from China, think again and drop me an email to find out about this great agency :)

Here are the standard requirements:

According to the Adoption Law of the People’s Republic of China (published 11/4/1998 ), current Chinese government policies and practices, and U.S. immigration laws, you must meet the following guidelines to qualify for a China adoption:

Applicants must be a legally married heterosexual couple. At least one applicant must be a U.S. citizen.

Couples with no previous marriages must be married for at least two years at the time the dossier is logged in at the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). If either spouse has been previously married, the current marriage must be at least five years old at the time the dossier is logged in at the CCAA. No applicant may have had more than two divorces.

Applicants must be at least 30 years old* and no older than 55 years old at the time their dossier is logged in at the CCAA.
*Applicants may submit an application to CCAI once both parents are at least 29.5 years old.

Families must document $10,000 of annual income per member in the household, including the to-be-adopted child. A minimum of $80,000 net worth is required.

Applicants must be in good physical and mental condition necessary to provide responsible care for an adopted child. If an applicant has a history of any cancer, please contact your agency before completing the Application for Adoption.

If any applicant is currently taking any medication for depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or schizophrenia, the applicant is not eligible to apply. If the medications were taken in the past, the applicant must have been off the medication for at least two years at the time the dossier is submitted to the CCAA.

Each applicant’s Body Mass Index (BMI) must be under 40. (BMI equals a person's weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. BMI=kg/m 2). Click here to calculate your BMI

Applicants must have a minimum of high school education or equivalent.

Applicants must have no criminal record or alcohol abuse within the past 10 years. Neither applicant may have committed any acts of domestic violence, sexual abuse or child abuse. Applicants must have no history of illegal drug use, including experimentation.

My Calling

The reason I just LOVE doing my "other job", of course I do enjoy all the special hugs I get when the babies finally come home too :)

God Created You to Help Others Posted by Rick Warren

Now you belong to him ... in order that you might be useful in the service of God. (Romans 7:4 TEV)

 "Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. "

Your call to salvation included your call to service. They are the same. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service. A "non-serving Christian" is a contradiction in terms.

 The Bible says, "He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose." (2 Timothy 1:9 TEV)  Peter adds, "You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you." (1 Peter 2:9 GW).

You are called to serve God. Growing up, you may have thought that being "called" by God was something only missionaries, pastors, nuns, and other "full-time" church workers experienced, but the Bible says every Christians is called to service. (Ephesians 4:4 -14; see also Romans 1:6-7; 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9, 26; 7:17; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:3)

Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. The Bible says, "Now you belong to him ... in order that you might be useful in the service of God." Romans 7:4 TEV)

How much of the time are you being useful in the service of God? In some churches in China, they welcome new believers by saying "Jesus now has a new pair of eyes to see with, new ears to listen with, new hands to help with, and a new heart to love others with."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another New Addition

HA!  Got you again ;)  This new addition is the one to the house.  We had to figure out how we could squeeze another member of the family into our small  3 bedroom house.  Solution was to of course just add on another bedroom to the tune of about $35K. 

Yeah well all that is well and good if we were rich, but we aren't (at least not in funds).  So we opted for enclosing the carport instead.  I think it turned out great!  The kids love it of course.  This will be used as a playroom/teenager room in the future.  For now all 3 girls will share a room until they get a little bigger.  The boys will stay in their bedroom, but we will now have another option for when everyone gets bigger.  Yes, I do realize that they all turn into teenagers!

New Addition Pics

Well what were you expecting?!?!?   CJ had to replace the Corvette :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baby Teaser

Unfortunately we don't expect to have PA (Pre-Approval) until maybe Friday or Monday next week considering that China is closed this week for their holidays.  Thinking about my baby girl tonight, so thought I would at least share a few interesting tidbits about our new baby girl...

She is now 14 months old...

She had a VSD and PFO in her little heart...

She now has a very mild scar where her heart has been healed...

She was born missing her fingers on her left hand...

She seems to do just fine without them, and looks perfect to us...

She is already pulling up and cruising along and will probaby walk soon...

She is cute as a button...

She has the most infectious smile you have ever seen...

She has 4 brothers and sisters who talk about her daily...

She has already stolen her mommy's heart!