Friday, May 29, 2009

Celebratory Chinese Dinner

Tonight we headed to a new Chinese restaurant for an overdue celebratory dinner. All along we had planned to go out for Chinese (of course!) on the night we received our referral. But as it goes sometimes...things did not go quite as planned that day. As you know, Doug and Camden weren't even in town and it's felt like a whirl wind ever since. But it worked out the way it was supposed to and instead we enjoyed a wonderful celebratory meal 8 days after receiving news of our sweet baby girl. The food was even really really good which was amazing if you know what city we live in. We are thrilled to have found a place that we love and can frequent! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We accept!!!

We signed our acceptance letters today and they are off to our agency. We don't have any concrete travel dates and most likely won't for several weeks. But our agency is estimating that we will travel to China early to mid July. Yippee!
Doug & Darth with our important papers!

Fed Ex Stork

This past Friday around 10:45 am the Fed Ex Stork arrived at our home with the long awaited package. Even though Doug was not able to be at home that morning and I promised I would not open the package until he was able to come home so we could open it together...I was still completely impatient for the Fed Ex to arrive. The Fed Ex guy was taken aback when I bolted out the front door as soon as he pulled in to our driveway and asked to take his picture. Initially I am sure he thought I was a freak..but when I explained to him what he had in his hands, he was very willing to comply and dare I say...enjoyed it. Come to find out he had been asked one other time for his picture (glad to hear there are other freaks like me out there) and that he grew up in McLean, Virginia where our adoption agency is (and the package was from).

Although it was really hard and I nearly caved several times, I am happy to report that I did not open the package until Doug arrived home. Since we missed receiving "the call" together, it was wonderful to enjoy this moment together. Inside the Fed Ex were pictures of our baby girl and her medical records (only some of which have been translated).

The mug shot...isn't she cute???

It is amazing to us how very little information there is in her medical report. From what they did check everything looks normal. Her measurements (at 8 months) were:
Height: 25.6 in
Weight: 14.3 lbs
Head Size: 16.3 in

She is in the 5th percentile on the American growth charts and in the 10-25th percentile on the Chinese growth charts. So she is petite.

We were also told she:
~Laughs aloud
~Has a ready smile
~Is fond of listening to music
~Is a deep sleeper
~Close to caregiver
~Quick in reaction
~Locates the direction of sound/voice
~Holds blocks in each hand at the same time
~Looks for the dropped toy.
~Reaches and grasps a toy beyond.
~Follows you with moving head from one side to the other.
~Distinguishes between acquaintance and strangers.
~Knows name, turns when called.
~Holds her head up while lying on her stomach
~Rolls from supine to prone position by herself.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!

Just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to post a comment on the blog, facebook, send emails and call! We have been overwhelmed with everyone's love and support! I am sorry that we haven't responded individually to everyone. It is has been a whirlwind since we received news of our daughter. Doug and Camden came home around 1:45 am on Friday from San Diego (that's right...they were not here for "the call" but I will blog more about that later) and then we headed to Phoenix that afternoon for my niece, Lauren's graduation. We had a wonderful time celebrating with her and also being able to get together with both sides of the family and share our news and pictures of our sweet daughter with them. We did come home earlier than anticipated from the weekend as we have much to do and process regarding the adoption. Thanks again for allowing us to share our immense joy with you and responding in kind. It means so much to us! We will post more pictures and details in a few days.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here she is!

What a huge surprise! Our agency just sent us a link to our referral announcement and it has a small picture of our sweet baby girl! I thought we were going to have to wait until tomorrow for pictures so I am thrilled! One tiny picture is better than nothing. She is beautiful and I am already in love!
Here's the link to the announcement:
The password is Tarico.

We have a Daughter!

After 4 long years since we decided to adopt, it seems almost unbelievable to be able to post this. We got "the call" today at 2:49 PM and we have a daughter.

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. I Samuel 1:2

We are overjoyed to introduce to you:

Chinese Name: Qian Xiu Qing (last name, first name, middle name)
To be known as: ???
Birthday: July 6, 2008 - She is 10 1/2 months old!
She is currently living in: Qianjiang Social Welfare Institute
Province: Chongqing (The province is light green in the lower middle of the map)
She was described to us as healthy with a little hair (not much), round face, big eyes, light complexion with kind of a half smile in her pictures.

That's all the info we have right now. We should receive pictures and more details about her on Friday.

Thank you God for this day!

Love it!

After seeing this on a few adoption blogs , I just had to post it! Thank you to whoever created it! Love it - Love it - Love it!

We have been matched with our child!

Here's the email we received from our agency this morning:

America World is excited to announce some new information that was obtained this morning from the CCAA. The CCAA has confirmed that they have completed the matching process of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with their office before March 14, 2006. Though referrals have not yet arrived at AWAA, it is likely that they will arrive at any time in the next few days. As stated in earlier emails, America World does not receive confirmation from the CCAA on when referrals will arrive.

This is one of those rare situations, where they have announced the matching prior to sending the referrals. We know you are very excited to receive your referral and we will contact you as soon as referrals arrive in our office.

Words cannot express how I am feeling right now. After all these years it all feels surreal.

Getting on the Referral Rumor Rollercoaster Again

After a few difficult looks like things might be looking up. I hate to get back on the referral rumor roller coaster AGAIN as we have been disappointed so many time before...but I really can't help myself as it looks like there is a very good possibility that we may receive news of our child this week and maybe even later today. There are several agencies saying the cutoff is March 14th, 2006 (and we are March 13th) which means we are in and their is even a report of a Danish agency already receiving referrals. This feels so wild after where we have been these past couple of weeks. We have heard so many different things...things are on hold till June due to the swine flu, things are on hold until September due to the swine Flu and nothing is on hold (even though referrals are 2 1/2 weeks late). It's hard to know what all to believe. But at this point, everything is pointing to seeing our child's face very soon and my pessimistic side is thinking...since Doug and Camden have gone out of state with out me for the first time ever and will be gone a mere 36 hours, this will be when we will receive "the call". Only time will tell...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last Day of First Grade

Today was Camden's very last day of First Grade. This year flew by in a flash and I can't believe that we now have a second grader. Crazy!
I picked up Camden a little early from his last day so that Doug and him could catch a flight to San Diego as Doug found a car there he wanted us to buy. The timing wasn't great but we thought that Camden would enjoy going with to pick up the car and then spending a day at Legoland (we still had time left in our 3 month passes) with Dad before heading back home. I was caught by surprise at Camden's response. He was SO sad and started to cry in the car on the way to the airport. He said he didn't want to leave school and that he was so sad that Mrs. Wolf would no longer be his teacher. It was really so sweet. It truly has been a great year and I too am sad that Mrs. Wolf will no longer be his teacher. She is a passionate, creative and loving teacher. You could tell that she not only cared about the academics but truly cared about the kids as individuals. What a blessing she is!
Camden and in his words...the very best teacher I have ever had. :)

I spoke with Doug later in the evening and he told me that when Camden and him were having dinner, Doug said...I miss Momma to which Camden replied...I miss Mrs. Wolf. Too funny! Don't worry...I don't take it personally. I am so thankful for the wonderful year he has had and I will miss her as well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will I get to use this soon?

My friend, Jenn gave me this nearly three years ago...I think. It's to record all the pertinent info when we finally get "the call". I greatly appreciate her putting this together as I am sure that when "the call" does finally come, I will probably be in such shock and disbelief we won't remember what to ask. Thanks so much Jenn!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Party at the Splash Park

Today we had Camden's class party at Brandi Fenton Splash Park. Unfortunately, I failed to check my camera battery prior to the event so sadly I was only able to capture a few pictures before it went dead. Needless to say the kids had a great time spending all day at the splash park playing in the water, having a sponge relay race, water balloon games and fights and eating all sorts of stuff. Although it was quite hot out there and we both came home completely exhausted, it was a great way to finish off his first grade year and a good time was had by all.

Camden and his buddies, Will, William & Brendan:
Camden doing his superhero gig.
Friends from Cam's class having some fun:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Sleeping Boy

Here's how I found Camden sleeping the other night. It's hard to tell from the picture but his face is buried in stuffed animals.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Fun Continues...

It is so frustrating...there continues to be lots of conflicting information being given to agencies. Here is a list of rumor and updates that Rumor Queen has posted on her site:

The provinces I’ve heard about that aren’t confirming appointments to some agencies are: *Guangdong* Jiangxi* Beijing* Shanxi* Guizhou* Liaoning* Shandong

Some agencies are confirming appointments in these provinces with no problems. So far, I can’t find a logical reason why some are allowed to set appointments and others are not.

Five agencies have now confirmed that the CCAA is holding paperwork (referrals and in some cases TA’s) due to the swine flu. Just as many agencies have been told by the CCAA that it is business as usual and the longer period between referrals has nothing to do with the flu. Personally, I believe the first and not the latter at this point.

Two agencies have been told paperwork will be held until June, when the CCAA will look at the situation again. One agency is saying nothing will be mailed until September. The other agencies do not give a date. I tend to think that the CCAA is probably watching the situation and will begin mailing things when they think it is safe to do so.

One agency is saying that the CCAA has stopped matching. I don’t really think that is the case, and I’m mostly basing that on what happened during SARS. During SARS the CCAA kept matching, they just didn’t mail anything. When the crisis was over they mailed them out as fast as the various consulates could keep up.

As for why the CCAA isn’t making an announcement, I can make a few guesses. The first being that if they formally announce it then the press will pick up on it. I’m guessing that the media could make a nice big sensational headline out of it, so they aren’t going to give it to them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Our agency sent us an email today, which I do appreciate. But truly it was four paragraphs long and as my Dad used to say..."Was a whole lot of nothing!" Basically they said that they are in contact daily with the CCAA and that they have not indicated that matching or sending referrals has been delayed due to the Swine flu. Huh??? Of course it's been delayed. Referrals have always been received either at the end of the month or the very beginning of the new month. And what's even more frustrating is that other agencies are telling their people different things. In addition, some agencies have received travel approval for clients who received their referrals last month and others have not. Some provinces are confirming appointments and others are not. I get that China is being cautious. They were hit hard during SARS in 2003 and they don't want that to happen again. But why is it so difficult for them to issue an official statement that is clear and concise, so we can all know what the heck is going on? Even just to say...we are currently putting everything on hold and will reevaluate the situation at the beginning of June. Then at least those of us waiting can stop living day to day and week to week wondering if we will get the "call". As a planner (and analyzer) this is starting to drive my nuts and I am feeling done!

Monday, May 11, 2009

100 Wishes Quilt

Our 100 Wishes Quilt is finally becoming a reality. After starting to collect quilt squares back in Spring 2007, I am excited that I finally brought all our fabric squares to Betty, a sweet little old lady who is going to put it together for us. My friend, Jen had her do her quilt as well and she did a wonderful job. I can't wait to see the final product. It will actually be a pretty big quilt as we ended up having 120 fabric squares and wishes. Thank you so much everyone!

A few days before I brought everything over to Betty, Doug, Camden & I spent an evening at a fabric store picking out our own squares to contribute to the quilt. It really was a lot of fun. It was especially neat to see Camden get a little excited about the process and want to choose more than just one fabric square. Sadly, Camden has grown a little negative about the adoption over this last year. Needless to say this has been very concerning to Doug and I and we have been praying a lot about it. Fortunately, we have had some good conversations and Camden has been very open and honest about his feeling. I so appreciate that about him...what you see (and hear) is what you get so to speak! Part of me can't blame him for how he feels. He's been the center of it all for 7 1/2 years. That's all he knows. Who wouldn't be nervous about how it will change EVERYTHING! Well, I am happy to say there is a glimmer of hope as his attitude has improved these last couple of weeks and he even said that he was a little excited about going to China and having a little sister.
Here's Dad with his fabric square. I love that he choose the fabric with owls. We both love owls and I know Doug will impart much wisdom to our daughter.

Here I am with my selection. What else could it be but hearts??? I have loved and longed for this sweet child for many, many years.

Here's Camden with his three, Sandy (from SpongeBob) and cats. Camden loves anything with fire on it and cats have long been his favorite animals. Just lately he said we should adopt all the kitties in the world that need a home. Too funny! I would be okay with that but for some reason I think Doug would object!

Anyone who knows us knows we had to include these fabrics as well to represent our family. I know...a little silly! But we don't care! :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Me & My Boy

Me & my boy...Mother's Day 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Our sweet kitty Uhura, sure loves the mess around here. Here favorite place to be these days is at the top of the pile of boxes (or on any other pile of something). What will she do once we finally get everything organized around here? Lucky for her it won't be anytime soon! :(

Friday, May 8, 2009

CARE Womens Bible Study

This week has brought to a close something that had been a huge blessing in my life for the last seven years. Just before Camden turned one back in 2002, I started to attend the Mom's Class which is a part of C.A.R.E. Women's Bible Study at First Evangelical Free Church. It is a Bible based parenting class that has been taught by Barb Tompkins for 28 years. The class was such a huge blessing as it helped me a better Mother and Wife. I went on to take it two more years before taking a break in the Fall of 2005. I returned to C.A.R.E in the Spring of 2006 as Treasurer and attended a class on Prayer. I returned to the Mom's Class in Fall of 2006 for the fourth time. Following that year, Barb asked me to come on as one of the six Titus' in the Mom's class. Basically it means you facilitate/support a small group while being mentored by Barb. The term Titus comes from a passage in Titus II that talks about the older women teaching the younger women. I was hesitant initially as I doubted that I had what it took to be a good Titus. But I am thrilled that God has continually drawn me to himself and compelled me to accept Barb's offer. It is hard to put it into words but these last two years have been life changing for me in just about every way. The relationships that are formed through this Titus tutelage are unique and until you have been apart of something like this do you realize how very special it is. I have continued to grow as a Mother, wife, small group leader and friend. But most importantly I have continued to grow in my relationship with Christ and have been overwhelming blessed with spiritual joy and truth. In God's grace He has shown this to be one huge blessing of our very long wait to adopt from China. I would not have been able to be a Titus had the adoption taken place as we expected 2 years ago. For this I am truly thankful!

Here is Barb & I at our last Titus Meeting:

Here are a few pictures of our Titus group over the last 2 years:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What does this say about me as a Mom?

After returning from a town hall meeting with our state representative, regarding public education, Camden proudly told me that he cleaned and organized the bath tub and all the bath toys (Doug mentioned that he was also organizing the drawers in the bathroom as well). Needless to say, I was really quite impressed. Camden went on to say that he wants us to organize the whole house as well. Hmm...I do consider myself to be fairly organized and truly I am the happiest when everything is in order. But after this very busy week...the house is definitely not in order. I really didn't think it was that bad though until Camden confirmed it. I wonder...what does it say about me as a Mom when my 7 year old wants to organize the whole house?? I guess I know what I am doing this weekend!
Here's the result of Camden's cleaning and organizing:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cam's note to his teacher

This week was teacher appreciation week at Cam's school. Each day the students did something different for the teacher. Today they were supposed to bring a picture or note to let the teacher know what they appreciate about them. I had to chuckle with what Camden came up with. He has had a great year and he truly loves his teacher.