Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ready, Set, Moving on Out!

The bags are packed and we are ready to go! Next stop Orlando and then onto China tomorrow. Thank you everyone for all of your good wishes and support. We'll see you on the other side of the world.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I saw this and liked it!

We Are So Blessed

We have the opportunity to pray and wait and plan and hope and dream and work for our child. Circumstances don't allow us to take our child for granted - ever. We do all these things for so long and at such great emotional cost, that when our child is finally in our arms, we truly cherish every minute. Every second...

We are blessed to be in our child's life. We are blessed that God planned for us to be a family, and that we were given the opportunities that brought us together. We get to see all the best parts of mankind in our wonderful children. All the goodness and potential and innocence and ambition and confidence and love. And what a beautiful sight that is...

We are blessed to have run this race. It is long and, very often, it is practically impossible to complete. But we run anyway, and believe in ourselves and our child enough to do the impossible. We run, knowing that at the end of this great race, a child is waiting for a chance at a wonderful life. And we get to be the ones to give her that life.

We are blessed that when our child laughs, we are the ones to hear it. And when our child cries, we are the ones she looks for. When our child feels pain or joy or accomplishment or excitement, she shares it with us.

We are so blessed to have had the chance to see life from a different angle. To see that things don't always go as you planned them out in the 5th grade- but that better things are in store. To be part of the few who feel constantly misunderstood. To be one who always has to be on guard against the rude and ignorant comment. To feel the frustration of not having the perfect comeback to that comment until three hours later. Our kids can use those experiences and lessons we have learned. We are deeper, stronger, more compassionate people because of this journey. And the world our children live in is better because we have grown in these ways.

Our child is blessed. She is patted and hugged and nestled and rocked and kissed and squeezed and taught and tickled and corrected and praised. She is told of her value in God's eyes. She is certain of her value in our eyes. And she never wonders if she will be cared for tomorrow or the next day...she sleeps comfortably each night, safe in our care.

We should tell our children we are proud. We have saved and scrimped, prayed and begged, planned and schemed, worked and worried, and hoped endlessly for them. We have dedicated years of our lives to finding them and bringing them home to their forever family. And we have given our whole hearts to them even before we ever saw that precious face.

Now that is love. And parents who adopt know all about that...

Author unknown

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In-China Itinerary

3/22 Leave the U.S. for Hong Kong.

3/23 Arrive in Hong Kong. Staying at Regal Kowloon Hotel.

3/24 Pre-paid tour of Hong Kong.

3/25 Leave Hong Kong for Changsha on China Southern flight CZ3038 (13:10-14:30). Go to Dolton Hotel.

3/26 Meeting for all families in the hotel conference room at 8:00am to fill out adoption forms. Receive your child at the Registration Office at 11:00am. The children will be delivered by the Orphanage Directors and their staff. Dr. Su, CCAI’s contracted medical consultant, will be available this afternoon for your child’s medical needs.

3/27 Depart at 8:30am to complete Adoption Registration and Notarization paperwork at the Registration office. Important: This is a somewhat formal event. It is appropriate to wear business casual for your adoption appointments. Rest in the afternoon.

3/28 Optional shopping trip to the local department store in the morning. Rest in afternoon. Pay as you go. Waiting for your child’s paperwork to be completed.

3/29 Optional half-day city tour to the Embroidery Factory in the morning. Please ask Daphne for details. Pay as you go. Rest in the afternoon. Waiting for your child’s paperwork to be completed.

3/30 Families receive their notary paperwork, registration certificates and child’s passports in the afternoon today.

3/31 Please be checked out of the hotel & be ready to leave for the airport by the designated time. Leave Changsha for Guangzhou on China Southern flight CZ3379 (14:15-15:15). Go to the White Swan Hotel.

4/1 Free time. Rest, shop, tour. Pay as you go.

4/2 Your child’s visa physical exam and visa photo are today. You will be walking to the clinic. Bring baby/child supplies (bottle, diaper, water, snack, etc.). Be ready to go! Group meeting today (only 1 parent per family please) to prepare paperwork for the Consulate appointment: Please bring all of your documents and passports to this meeting. Your CCAI rep will have the required forms for you to fill out.

4/3 Today is your Consulate appointment.

4/4 Go to the U.S. Consulate to take the oath in the afternoon. Please bring as few items with you to the Consulate as possible. Receive your child’s visa packet at the conclusion of the oath ceremony.

4/5 Leave Guangzhou for Hong Kong on China Southern flight CZ301 (08:25-9:15).

Flight Itinerary Orlando To Hong Kong To Orlando

Flights: UNITED AIRLINES, UA 1563 Operated by /UNITED FOR TED
From: ORLANDO INTL, FL (MCO) Departs: 7:31am Thu March 22, 2007
To: CHICAGO OHARE, IL (ORD) Arrives: 9:25am Thu March 22, 2007

From: CHICAGO OHARE, IL (ORD) Departs: 10:33am Thu, Mar 22
To: HONG KONG S A R (HKG) Arrives: 3:10pm Fri, Mar 23
Duration: 15 hour(s) and 37 minute(s)
Aircraft: BOEING 747 JET Mileage: 7791

From: HONG KONG S A R (HKG) Departs: 12:45pm Thu, April 5
To: CHICAGO OHARE, IL (ORD) Arrives: 2:20pm Thu, April 5
Duration: 14 hour(s) and 35 minute(s)
BOEING 747 JET Mileage: 7791

Flights: UNITED AIRLINES, UA 1536 Operated by /UNITED FOR TED
From: CHICAGO OHARE, IL (ORD) Departs: 7:10pm Thu, April 5th
To: ORLANDO INTL, FL (MCO) Arrives: 10:45pm Thu, April 5th

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ainsley's Room

Ainsley's Room is ready for her use! We sure hope she is a big Pooh Bear fan like her mommy :)

Counting down the days, have to remember to breathe in and then out. We'll be doing lamaze breathing before we know it. Hee!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane......

But we will return.

We got our consulate appointment today and things have been moving FAST! We have already booked our airline tickets. We are leaving from Orlando on MARCH 22nd and arriving in Hong Kong on March 23rd. We tour HK on the 24th and head for Changsha, Hunan on the 25th which is THE DAY (gotcha, metcha, whatever terminology you'd like to use to say we are a family of 3). After a 24 hour "harmonious" period we start meeting government officials to start the steps to finalize the adoption. Eventually, we end up in Guangzhou and head back to the States on April 5th (what will be the LONGEST day in our lives), just in time for the Easter Bunny to find us. Hee! We'll get more details about the middle part this coming week. We are ready

Monday, March 5, 2007

Travel Authorizations Have Arrived!!

This is especially exciting since it means we are near the end. We have already gotten our VISA's to clear Chinese Immigration. We needed the travel authorization to be able to get a consulate appointment with the US office in Guangzhou. That request has already been made, we are just waiting on a response. Once our date is set, we'll get our itinerary! Then we are on our way. Almost done. YAYYYYY.

In other news, Michael bought me the most BEAUTIFUL necklace that is made up of Chinese characters that say Mother and Daughter Joined By Heart. It's awesome that such a great husband is about to become a terrific DAD!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

It's all coming together


Very Orderly...Give you 2 guesses about who did it!

Yep, Baba is very good at organizing space!

Ainsley's take over of our closet

Ainsley's closet

Still there is still room left for a little princess

We are finding homes for all of the Ainsley's new things which basically means Ainsley's things taking over our area but that's one of the upsides to being the Ruler of our Universe! We spent all of the gift certificates and managed to buy BABY FOOD! We were so excited I think we bought 2 of each kind on the shelf. We also bought 4 different kinds of formula until we figure out which one Ainsley likes best and both brands of diapers (Pampers and Huggies). If anyone knows which one is better, feel free to let us know.

Sopping Wet!

We have been busy working on paperwork (oh how we've not really missed it) so that we'll be ready to go when our waiting comes to an end. In the mean time, we did have 2 really fabulous showers! I have to remember not to read cards when other people are around. Oh the tears! Thank you everyone for coming and especially to Emah who was a fabulous helper!

Gotcha Day Video


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