Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Camden in Action

I thought this picture was so cute of Cam. He is so focused on beating his obstacle course competitor. Too funny!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

China Travel Alert: H1N1 Quarantines

Our agency fowarded this travel warning to us this morning. Please pray that we will not be affected. Specifically that we will not exhibit any fever or flu-like symptoms or that anyone on our many flights to and within China will test positive for the swine flu. Camden is going with us to China and the thought of being seperated from him at any time really scares me.

June 19, 2009- The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to China. This Travel Alert expires on September 30, 2009.

Current quarantine measures in China include placing arriving passengers who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms into seven-day quarantine. Although the proportion of arriving Americans being quarantined remains low, the random nature of the selection process increases the uncertainty surrounding travel to China. The selection process focuses on those sitting in close proximity to another traveler exhibiting fever or flu-like symptoms or on those displaying an elevated temperature if arriving from an area where outbreaks of 2009-H1N1 have occurred. We have reports of passengers arriving from areas where outbreaks have occurred (including the U.S. and Mexico) being placed in precautionary quarantine simply because they registered slightly elevated temperatures.

In some instances, children have been separated from their parents because either the parent or the child tested positive for 2009-H1N1 and was placed in quarantine for treatment. This situation presents the possibility of Chinese medical personnel administering medications to minors without first having consulted their parents.

The Department of State has received reports about unsuitable quarantine conditions, including the unavailability of suitable drinking water and food, unsanitary conditions, and the inability to communicate with others.

Travelers to China are reminded that all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, are obliged to follow local procedures regarding quarantines and any other public health-related measures. The U.S. Embassy will be unable to influence the duration of stay in quarantine for affected travelers. The Chinese government will not compensate people for lost travel expenses. Travelers to China are urged to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect against losses in the event they are quarantined.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day 2009

Happy Father's Day to a wonderful Husband & Father!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to Order Chinese Food in China

Someone posted to one of the many adoption boards that I lurk on about a site that helps westerners order food while in China. Although I like to consider myself to be open to new foods especially when traveling as I truly believe that is a big part of the experience and of course fun. But the possibility of having delicacies such as dog or snake make my stomach turn. We traveled to Thailand a few years ago. The food was absolutely good and cheap! However, they have some delicacies of there own that we tried to steer clear such as roaches and scorpions.

Here are some Chinese snack foods that I am not sure whether or not we will try...

Anyway, I plan to do some serious studying of this site (if time permits). I may even download the pdf and take it with us when we go to China. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We booked our flights today! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Yippee - We booked our international flights today! We leave on Monday, July 6th, which is Avery's first birthday. We take off at 6:39 am (any brave and loving souls want to bring us to the aiport at the horrific hour of 4:30 am???). We change planes in San Francisco before heading to Beijing and arriving at 2:40 pm on Tuesday. We return on Wednesday, July 22nd. We leave Hong Kong at 11:45 am and change planes in San Francisco and Denver before arriving home at 4:52 pm. Another step closer...
Now we just need to finalize our inter-country flights, hotels etc. which thankfully our agency is taking care of. We are not completely sure but it looks like we will meet Avery on Monday, July 13th which is the day after my Mother-in-law's birthday and the day before my Mother's birthday.

Now, I am just wondering when it will all feel real?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Travel Approval

We received a call from our agency this morning letting us know they received our Travel Approval from China. We were thrilled and surprised to receive this so quickly...exactly three weeks since our referral. Woohoo! Another step closer to Avery! Now our agency can request a provincial appointment in Chongquing and our consulate appointment in Guangzhou. Once they get those dates, we can book our flights. We probably won't know anything till next week and it could all change but at this point they are estimating that our travel group will leave July 9th and return July 22nd. We have decided to go earlier than our travel group and spend a few extra days in Beijing getting acclimated to the time change and enjoying the historical sights which means that we could be heading to China on July 5th or 6th. Leaving for China on July 6th would be wonderful as that is Avery's 1st birthday! Wow - I can't believe it....that is only three weeks from this Monday. Yikes...I have a lot to do! Oh well....sadly...this family works better on a deadline!

On another note...I am sure most of you have heard that the World Health Organization raised the swine flu alert to a level 6 pandemic. Please pray that this will not effect our travel plans to or in China.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Sister finally has a Name

After more than four years since we decided to adopt, nearly three weeks since we received a picture of our beautiful daughter and calling her "Little Sister" this whole time...we have finally decided on a name. Those of you who know us well will just laugh. The name we decided on is one that has been at the top of the list all these years. It was on the girl list when I was pregnant with Camden eight years ago. But for some reason names are difficult for us. We had a hard time deciding on Camden. In fact, he didn't even have a name officially when we left the hospital. Although we had decided right before we left, the birth certificate lady had gone home for the day. Anyway, like we approach just about everything (well, at least Doug that is), we spent a lot of time researching and looking at websites, baby name books, street names of towns we love etc.. but we always kept coming back to this name. In the end, it came down to this name and Morgan. So without further ado, here is the new name of our daughter:

Avery Louise Xiuqing Tarico

Avery has no special meaning (sadly). We just love it. In fact, it has a meaning that make me chuckle. The sites we have found says it mean "elf counsel". Can we shorten it to mean "counsel"? :)

Louise was my Mom's middle name and it brings me great joy to remember my beloved Mother in this way. In fact, in the hours before my Mom saw Jesus over six years ago, when she could no longer speak but I knew that she could still hear me, I told her that if God blessed Doug & I with a daughter, we would name her after her. What a blessing to be able to do that!

Xiuqing is her first and middle name that the orphanage gave her, put together. We have been told it either means "beautiful celebration" or "beauty and dignity". We won't know for sure until we are in China but the name that the orphanage gave her may be the only thing she will ever have from her days in China.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Is there a resemblance?

The pictures that we received of our daughter were taken back in March when she was around 8 months of age. When we first received her photos, I remember thinking that her sweet little face reminded me of a photo that we had of Camden around the same age and lo and behold I found the picture! I know...she's Chinese...what resemblance could there be? Well, what do you there any resemblance?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Wonderful Reminder

Our friends, The Rodens have been going through very difficult health issues with their sweet boy, Timmy for the last several years. My heart just aches for them as they have been through so much. But I have also been in awe seeing what God has been doing through them. God has been glorified through it all. They are currently at the Cleveland Clinic working with the doctors there. This morning she shared today's devotional from a book a friend had given her called Jesus Calling written by Sarah Young. This is what it says...

"Welcome Challenging Times as opportunities to trust me. You have me beside you and My spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against the challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me you wouldn't make it through the first hurdle!The way to walk through demanding days is to grip my hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day's problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace if you stay close to me."

Wow - God is so good! This was a great reminder for our friends and it was certainly a great reminder for me today! Even though these last two weeks have been wonderful for us. How can it not be as after all these years we finally have a daughter. But it's also left me very emotional and at times filled with anxiety. We have had many decisions to make, wonderful decisions but not easy ones. We have also received additional information about the early days of daughter's life...things that are difficult to hear. So I think that's why this hit home for me this morning...don't measure your own strength against challenging times. If you do you will be filled with anxiety. (Yep - I have totally been doing that!) . Instead welcome them as an opportunity to trust and draw close to God. What a blessing! Thank you Stacy for sharing this!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Care Package is off to China

For the last several days I have busy compiling items to put in a care package for our baby girl. I am amazed how long it took me to actually pull it all together. I should have started the research long ago! But it's now done and on the way to the other side of the world. It only cost us $41 and should be there in 6-10 days. Here's what we put in it:
We included a Book that has a list of questions that we would love to know about our daughter. We are hoping and praying that the orphanage will answer at least some of the questions so we can learn a little about her early days in China and in the orphanage. In addition, we know this will be a wonderful keepsake that I am sure she will treasure later on. We actually purchased the book back in April from another China adoption Mom and we just found out recently that she adopted her daughter from the very same orphanage back in December 2005 and that they were open to answering questions. How cool is that? I sure hope that is still the case. In addition, she told me that she thought they really loved the girls in the orphanage and took care of them the best they could.

We also included a photo album that has pictures of our family, her room and our cat. We included 2 disposable cameras that we are hoping they use to take pictures of her and her nannies etc., We also included a stuffed lovey/animal, blanket, a few small toys, some nail polish and candy for the nannies as well as some saf-t-pops for the older children in the orphanage.

Lastly, we included a letter that we wrote to the orphanage director and staff. A kind soul that Doug has worked with in the past, kindly translated it for us.

We are praying that this is received in the spirit in which it was sent...with love and appreciation for this very special child.