We got a whim....ok, I got a whim...and decided it was time to start revamping Abby's closet. Now, mind you, we won't even be matched with our daughter for AT LEAST 10 more months, but, who cares? This makes us feel one step closer to her.
Tony was SO selfless and not only gave up his closet, he also assembled the system after the inside was repainted. WOW is all I have to say. As we began hanging her little dresses, skirts, jeans, and sweaters, it seemed even more real that one day a little girl would be living here. As you could have guessed, I got all choked up. But honestly, even Tony seemed a little reflective. It is just such a surreal feeling. Afterwards, he stood back and said, "That's a lot of clothes." I grinned, and he added, "But half of it is still empty." The way I see it, he gave me (and you) the green light to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!
For those of you that live nearby, fully expect a tour of her closet on your next visit. For those who live afar, enjoy the pics. (I actually added a few more items after I had already snapped the pics. Man, this is FUN!--And I don't want ONE comment about the laundry we'll have to do with her!)
Also, we had a GREAT time getting to meet Morgan on Saturday, and getting to hear about Brian and Nancy's adventures in China. TALK ABOUT BEAUTIFUL! She is so cute!!! She is lucky to have such a wonderful family, and they're lucky to have such an adorable and spicy girl! (See previous posts about Morgan and the Williamson family)
Monday, October 23, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
A ladybug has been spotted! One of my students brought me the cutest and tiniest ladybug this morning. He found it in our classroom! I told him, "You know this is a sign of good luck, right?" He casually replied, "Yeah." It really made me smile. In the adoption community ladybug sightings are synonymous with incoming referrals. Lucky lucky mommies and daddies will be seeing their baby's face for the first time next week! (Typically, referrals come in toward the end of the month--around the 25th)
So here's to a little ladybug that brightened a teacher's day, a student's day, and foretold of great things to come!
(Thanks for the ladybug scissors Rachel! Abby will love them when she's old enough to use them!)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
WHOO HOO...today we celebrated our Four Month Log-In-Date Anniversary. That means four months ago on June 15 we were officially "logged in" to China's database of waiting families. We are just waiting for our turn to be matched with a child. However, we as Christians, know that God matched us with Abby long long ago. We're just waiting on the rest of her life events to be orchestrated so that she can come home to her forever family.
We celebrated by attending church, eating at my favorite restaurant-Chili's, and then venturing to the orchard. It was a fun day and reminded us that Abby will have many adventures when she comes home. We can't wait!!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Yesterday I (Tony) opened the mail box to find a large brown envelope. To my suprise, it was from "The Foreign Service of the United States of America - U.S. Consulate General, Guangzhou, Consular Section, Amcongen Guangzhou, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C." (Say that 3 times real fast). Rett told me when I brought this in the house that I had in my possession the "famous brown envelope". In this brown envelope, among other things, was our GUZ number. Our GUZ number is our case number when dealing with the American Consulate General. Basically the letter states that "the BCIS (INS) recently notified the American Consulate in Guangzhou that you have been approved to adopt an orphan oversees. This means we are authorized to process your child's case as soon as his or her adoption is finalized...We look forward to seeing you hear soon for your child's immigrant visa interview."
So with that said, this makes us feel good. It is nice to get some encouraging news during this looong wait. This has nothing to do with the wait, but it is information we must have. In addition to the GUZ number we received the following documents that we must take with us to China:
- I600A - Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
- Consulate General of the United States of America Medical Examination Instructions for Orphans Adopted by American Citizens
- U.S. Department of State Affidavit Concerning Exemption from Immigrant Vaccination Requirements for a Foreign Adopted Child
- U.S. Department of State Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
- Form written in Chinese - oh wait - it is the Requirements for Immigrant Visa Application Photos
- A letter stating "Welcome to the Adoptions Unit in Guangzho!"
- U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service Request for and Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation
- U.S. Consular Section Location and Surrounding Area Map (in China)
- U.S. Department of State Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Application
Wow - that is a lot of paperwork that we will eventually need to complete, but that is a good thing.
As of this coming weekend we will have waited four months. Time flies. We are still hearing the wait for referral is about 14 months. Per the FTIA's latest post on 9-25-06, "Families who are currently receiving referrals from the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) waited approximately 14 months after the dossier was officially logged in to the CCAA." Just keep praying it stays at 14 months or less.
So we have been keeping busy to keep our minds off of the wait. In fact, this weekend we stayed EXTREMELY busy. We declined some offers (to do manual labor) and decided to get out of town and we did a good job of it... We did the following:
- ROAD TRIP #1 - Saturday we went to Metamora for their big fall festival and fought the crowds. Nice day for a drive and looking at stuff...
- ROAD TRIP #2 - Saturday afternoon/evening we piled in a van with some friends that live up the street from us and went to Cincinnati. We ate and then went to some haunted houses. This first was not a haunted house. It was a haunted bus ride through the woods. It was sweet. We rode in school buses with the roofs cut off. People jumped out of the woods, hopped onto the bus with chainsaws and etc...but the best part was being rammed by a fire breathing (literally, we felt the heat) bulldozer and fire breathing semi (shooting flames about 8-10 feet out of the exhaust pipes - AWESOME). Both vehicles rammed the bus and pushed the bus honking their airhorns and etc..., again sweet! Now we know why they told us to keep all hands inside the vehicle. The second place was your classic haunted school with a tight maze leading you through the freaky place.
- We ended up returning home from our Saturday evening adventure around 3:00 am Sunday, 11 hours after we left. Thank goodness we all lived within three houses of each other. No additional traveling home was required. But it was a blast go get away and do something different with some new friends, pretending we were "back in the day" with no worries.
- ROAD TRIP #3 - We woke up Sunday morning (about 5 hours after returning home) and traveled to Indy. We went to the COLTS GAME!!!! We have not been football fans for long, but had a blast. It was a good game, great seats, and LOUD! We want to go to every game now. It was a good time.
We returned home and tried to unwind from a BUSY but fun weekend. Now we are back to the weekly grind. We have a busy week again and tonight is the only night with us both home. Oh well, the weekend is around the corner. I think we will take it easy and get some rest this weekend.
Well, I (Tony) do not post often. I think my last post had to do with our crazy cat and dog chasing squirrels up trees in our back yard. So I hope you enjoyed the update. Let me know if you prefer the squirrel updates better.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The Chinese Moon Festival is coming up THIS FRIDAY! Our agency posted some very interesting facts about this mid-autumn festival on our weekly update.
Celebrations, though still relatively new to the U.S., have been held throughout Asia for well over 1,000 years. This holiday is a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal moon Goddess; Chang E, who lives in the moon.
The Moon Festival is often compared to a sort of "Chinese Thanksgiving" because of its spirit of gratitude and its inclusion of abundant food — including the popular moon cakes. Moon cakes are flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries often filled with bean or lotus-seed paste and topped with a duck egg,echoing the shape of the full moon. Many millions of moon cakes are gifted around the time of the Moon Festival.
Here is a link to Chinasprout.com as they have a link to order these:
Here is a link for more information about the festival:
So Friday night, take a peek at the moon. When you do, send Abrielle a little hug and whisper her a wish. Hopefully, this time next year, we'll be holding her in our arms, staring at that same moon, and whispering a prayer of thankfulness to her China mommy.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Not everything in my life is emotional or a drama....wait, yeah, it is.. so I have another emotional moment to share with the world (and Abby too).
This weekend Tony and I were blessed to hang out with some neighbors of ours. Ben (7th grade) and Jordan (aka=Bologna) (4th grade) spent the night with us Friday night while their parents went out of town. WOW, we were nervous. (Ok, I was nervous, Tony was a rock) Regardless, we had a REALLY good time with them. They are fantastic boys with good heads on their shoulders. Did I mention how funny they are???? We laughed, we played, and we got whooped at Monopoly.
It gave us just a hint of what parenting will be like. I said a HINT. One example that I'm NOT so excited about is the fact that Tony (the dad) was able to sleep through the night peacefully. I'm sure this will continue once Abby is home. He's SUCH A MAN! I, however, worried about hearing the boys if they needed us, and slept VERY lightly. I fretted beyond belief. Is this a sign of what's to come?
Also, I did have a "my heart skipped a beat" moment. I was walking through the kitchen and saw the little guys shoes there. (ok, so they were not THAT little) Anyway, it was weird. I could see their shoes, and hear them laughing downstairs and it made my heart full. It was a little taste of what it will be like to be a family of three. Shoes will be everywhere and laughter will be in the air. It was quite the moment.
Anyway, it was a fun-filled weekend. We also got to spend time with one of my most favorite people in the world...my nephew Chris. He was in town from North Carolina and brought his girlfriend Elise. They make a sweet couple. He's SO grown up!!!
So, no Abby news to report. I'm still planning on posting pictures of the stroller. Remember, be happy with today and thankful to God for blessing you with it!!!