Monday, February 28, 2011

Because You Don't Fit In Anymore

There is a reason that we call this an adoption journey. Its because it is a process and there is actually no end. Yes, the adoption is completed but its effects last a lifetime. Your mind is changed, your heart is changed, you are no longer the person you were when you began.

So, when you come home and you don't fit in, you are don't. No longer can you sit through pointless social gatherings and you become glassy eyed at the long spirited conversation your neighbors have about whose dog upset the trash can like it really matters. THINGS and the chasing, collecting and maintaining of those THINGS lose their glitter when you think of the sparkle that could be put on the face of a child for mere donated pennies or some of our time tying blankets.

You lose patience with those who cannot understand the urgency of the task before you....that children are crying. Children are dying. And the world keeps on shopping. Spending billions of dollars on things...that. ..don't.. ..matter. ....

When you look into the eyes of a child in the SWI you visit your eyes never see the world the same again. Most of the world "doesn't get it" and to those that do, we must stick together because otherwise its a
lonely place. For those of us who continually hear ion the back of our minds the crying of the children left behind, we cannot rest because we cannot forget. There is no silence. Our friends, families, spouses may not understand and we ourselves may not understand why we cannot make the crying stop or make the urgency end. So we do what we can do. We give what we can give. And often, we join in the crying.

The thread of hearing the orphan's cry makes me proud to be among you. While we cannot change the world at one time, we ARE changing the world. Each tiny step that seems insignificant is giant. Please believe in that.--written by Stefani, advocate for waiting children

Home from Hospital

Thank you for all the prayers as they obviously worked! As far as surgery goes, today could not have been any better. Here are the before and after pics from my iPhone today. Shelby was back to her normal self by 6pm today. Doing great and so glad we have this behind us before we travel. Hoping her hearing returns to normal immediately!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Surgery on Monday

My precious Shelby baby is scheduled for minor surgery on Monday at the hospital. She is having her 2nd set of ear tubes put in. We (me and both her speech therapists) started noticing about a month ago that she wasn't hearing "normal". She started asking huh? alot and it was apparent something wasn't right. Needless to say she is now going to have surgery to correct her hearing.

Now the trick is that Shelby HATES the hospital! Well duh considering her history of surgeries in her lifetime. She worries herself sick about having to go the hospital or even the doctor sometimes. So I have chosen not to tell her when the surgery is this time around. I told her that she would have an ear surgery, but that it wasn't "today" and that I would let her know on the "today" that it would happen. So please keep my Shelby baby in your thoughts and prayers on Monday for a successful procedure without complications so that we can have her home Monday night where she belongs...with her family.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Nanchang SWI

Here is some info and pics about Elise's orphanage.

Nanchang City Children’s Welfare Institute is located at the lower reach of the of Ganjiang river and the side of Peachblossom riverbank in the west of the old Fuhe Pathway. It covers an area of 8 acres, building area 270,000 square feet. There are 500 beds in the orphanage.

The orphanage is composed of the infants' upbringing center, children’s education center, recovery center, medical treatment center, reading room and amusement facility which create a security system of education, daily life and entertainment with complete function. The environment of orphanage is very beautiful with green grass, a mass of blossom and graceful kiosks that seems like a amazing park.

In accordance with the idea of “give a child one home”, Nanchang City Children’s Welfare Home has always been endeavoring to explore the best parenting way that is helpful for the development of children and develop fostering of urban family. Now, the number of family fostering has reached more than 65% of the total number of the orphanage’s children. And meanwhile, establishing “the family of love” for parenting the children by the way of family upbringing with parents. And through this way, the children will have their own parents and siblings like those formal children and grow up healthy in the environment full of love.

About the education of the children, the orphanage takes advantage of the management and educational idea of the West like “reggio emilia approach”, “montessori”, emphasizing the early attention to each child. Fully develop the mental ability and potential of the children, and create qualification for their integrating into the families and the society in the future.

The orphanage will continuously strengthen the exploration and practice of the children’s upbringing and create a comfortable environment which is appropriate to the development of children’s health, intelligence and character, and let them grow up with other children under the same sky in China.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holly has Her Home

Little Holly Lian finally has her mommy and daddy in China right now picking her up. So happy to see Shawn and Ragena with their girl since they have waited so long for her. Shawn came to me for help to find their daughter, after Lucy randomly met them in Disney World of all places. Lucy gave them my email, and well you know what happens after that...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun

BFFs hanging out enjoying our GA weather :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm a Big Girl Now

Look look look what I got last night from the best agency employee ever!! I have to admit I did break into to tears when I saw how big she is getting without us there to cheer her on. Although I feel sad that we are missing her, I am very relieved to see that she is obviously in a much better orphanage than Faith was in. She looks SO happy in all of her pics and I am SO thankful for that. Now get me on a plane!!!!

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Screening on March 5

Families With Children From China-Atlanta is proud to host a screening of two films by well-known director, Dr. Changfu Chang. The two new films by Dr. Chang, Sofia's Journey and Daughter's Return.

They document the gripping journeys of three teenagers as they search for their birth parents in China and will be shown on Saturday, March 5th at 2 pm at the Dodgen Middle School Theatre, 1725 Bill Murdock Road, Marietta, GA 30062.

Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. You do not have to be a FCCA member to attend. Cash and checks made out to "FCCA" will be accepted.

Dr. Chang will attend the screening and be available for a Q&A afterwards. Dubbed "the professor of adoption films," Dr. Chang has received rave reviews for his work. For more information about Dr. Chang's productions, please visit:

Hope you all can make it, sounds great!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reality Check

I was just blog hopping and got a good dose of reality from this recent Gotcha day video. I encourage you to hop on over there and check it out. This little one is exactly the same age as Elise will be when we get her- 20 months old. As you can see, not a whole lot of sunshine and butterflies are flying around on the day that your child's world is turned upside down :(

Mug Shots

No we aren't all criminals, but we are all going to China soon! Yes, we have decided to take the whole crew again this trip. We just couldn't imagine taking this once in a lifetime trip (or maybe 3 times in a lifetime) without the kids. Plus, all of the kids (well except Faith) are VERY excited to meet their new little sister.
Having the whole family there to witness the "birth" of the new baby is what we feel is the best for everyone.
So yes, it is expensive, a few more PB&Js are in our future for sure. However, it will be SO worth it to have another 2 and a half weeks dedicated to just family time. Unfortunately my sister isn't going this trip, so that will be one less adult this trip and one extra kiddo-oh my! We will be hoping for great behavior and no "surprises", so we are hoping for the best yet still preparing for the worse. Please keep us in your prayers as we are certainly going to need them :)
I mailed off our visa applications today to our fabulous courier who saves me a TON of money every adoption. Thanks Carol!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Missing Money

Major mistake discovered today that would have definitely knocked out my dream of going on March 30, IF my wonderful agency had not come to my rescue. It appears that my crappy bank Wells F@rgo, did not send my wire transfer to China correctly last month. Fortunately, my agency decided I was good for the $$$, and their rep in China covered the money to be able to drop off my Article 5 tomorrow anyway-YEAH.

So needless to say, I was not a happy camper especially since I spent over an hour in that stupid bank when I sent the wire! I had to go back in there today to now have a trace put on the wire that, "Sorry maam, this will take 3-5 business days to complete." What the heck?!?!? Anyhow, I started the trace, so I suppose we just have to wait and see what exactly they have done with my money. Oh my, the joys of paperwork paperwork paperwork.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cabled and NVC Letter

I just got the email with my official NVC approval letter that my paperwork has officially been "cabled" to the Embassy in Guangzhou, China. YAHOO!!!
Next step now is to wait on our Article 5, click here for details of that if you want. But the good part of all of this is that we are getting closer to actually being able to leave March 30 :) Now this is really just a 50/50 chance right now, but today at least put us in that 50/50 margin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Perfect Fortune

Here is the fortune out of my cookie from my Chinese Valentine dinner tonight. Perfect!! And oh SO true!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Twenty Months

I was just sitting here wondering what exactly "20 months" looks like in a child. You see, Miss Elise will be right about 20 months old when we finally get to meet her for the first time. So here are pics of my kiddos (whom I get to tuck in to bed every night) when they were 20 months old. Looks like even though I missed some precious time with Elise, I am still going to be bringing home a "baby". A "baby" that I can't wait to hold, snuggle, tickle, cuddle, giggle, love, and most of all just BABY :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

GUZ# Email

One more tiny step closer to our girl. Received our GUZ# this morning, so hoping to have our actual NVC letter on Monday or Tuesday. I am actually even getting exciting about using one of these again soon-LOL ;)

Dear Sir/Madam:

Your inquiry has been received at the NVC. The adoption petition you mentioned in your letter has recently been entered into our computer system and assigned the case number listed below.

You will be notified once this case is forwarded to the assigned US Embassy/Consulate General.

Case Number: GUZ2011
Beneficiary's Name: HONG,XIN FANG
Foreign State Chargeability: CHINA - MAINLAND

Once this case has been forwarded to the assigned US Embassy/Consulate General, the NVC will send a copy of the approval letter via email.

National Visa Center
Written Inquiry Unit
Serco Inc., Support Contractor

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Parker is Home

We had a good time playing with little Parker the other night. I truly enjoy getting to see these babies finally come home to their forever families. This little one will always hold a special place in my heart since he really and truly almost became a Straight. Seeing his picture the first time was when God placed the desire in my heart to adopt again.

Watching him with his parents let me know that he is truly where he was meant to be! God's plan is always the BEST plan, and I am thrilled to once again get to be on the front row to watch it unfold :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Living Apart in China

I was just forwarded the link to this article. It is long, but worth the read to understand more about some of the "issues" in China today.

So happy that my children will have their mommy at home with them every night to tuck them into bed. Wow what a different society we have just a half a world away.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Maybe Just Maybe

There is now a slim chance that we could actually be able to travel on March 30, instead of April 27. We have been climbing this mountain, LOI, PA, HS, I-800A, DTC, LID, LSC, and most recently we reached the I-800 mark. Only a couple more climbs and we will be off to China!

It would be SO nice to travel the first 2 weeks of April since that would be during the boys' spring break. This way they would only miss one week of school. Praying, hoping, and praying some more we get to travel next month!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year Celebration

Lucy organized another great CNY luncheon this year. We had a fantabulous time celebrating the new year across town with lots of friends and their beautiful children that were born in China. My friend Sharon was kind enough to share her pics of the day with me too :)

The best part of the day was just being there with FRIENDS. None of us would know each other if it wasn't for our children. It is so neat to get together with other people who actually "get it" and who know what it is like to be blessed by adoption. I have been very fortunate to actually get to be a small piece of some of these kiddos "story". I just love love love seeing those blessings live and in person, home with their forever families.
What a honor to get to see God's work from a front row seat!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Step Closer

Just received notice that our I-800 has been approved!!! YAHOO :) Here was the email from NBC:


Provisional approval for your I-800 petition has been granted. The notice will be mailed to you on Monday. An electronic copy has been emailed to your accredited agency. After supervisory review and within two business days, the child’s A(alien)file - a consolidation of the I-800A application, the I-800 petition and all accompanying correspondence - will be forwarded to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. You should receive a letter from the NVC within 7 business days of their receiving the file, telling you the petition has been forwarded to the visa issuing post where the adoption will take place. If you do not receive this letter you may contact the National Visa Center by phone at 603-334-0700, or by email at If you have questions regarding the adjudicative process, please call or email to my attention. Best wishes on your upcoming journey and may your daughter find peace and happiness with her new parents.

Best regards,
Hague Adoption Unit
Department of Homeland Security

So if you read through all that then you see now I am waiting on the "letter" from NVC as our next important step closer to our girl. Getting there one paper at a time!

For the Babies Post

My favorite website RumorQueen does a monthly babies post, so since we finally received our LOA on 1/18, we get to be included this month. So this is for my RQ friends...

Here is our newest addition! She is in the Nanchang SWI in Jiangxi Province. She was born in August 2009 and is currently 18 months old. She has a repaired heart condition and is missing her fingers on her left hand. She is absolutely ADORABLE and we can't wait to get her home!!