Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our little guy's names!

We have finally settled on names for our little guys!
(yes, finally......)

We know their names are a little long, but we decided for their middle name we wanted to name them after Daddy and keep their names that they have been going by.

We talked w/ the China dept in our agency which is knowledgeable about "all things China" to confirm that it would not change the meaning of their Chinese names if we removed the space from their names that they are currently going by. They gave us the A-ok! So their middle names are now 2 part instead of 3 parts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our LOA came!!!

We can't believe it!!!!
Our "Letters Seeking Confirmation of Adopter" have arrived from China!
This is huge! This means they have reviewed our files, and we are good to go!
We have to sign these, send them back to our agency, and they send them back to China.
China needs these back so that they can issue our Travel Approval.
Once we have Travel Approval our agency can work on getting us our Consulate Appointment in China.

When we know the date of that our agency can determine the exact timing of everything that has to occur in China, and we can then book our tickets!!!


The expectation till travel is now.........5 to 8 weeks!!!!!!!!
Our little guys are 14mnths right now... that means they will be 15-16mnths when we finally get to meet them.
We really can't believe how quickly this occurred, we thought we would be travelling in June or July. Now it can be the end of April- some time in May!
We have a lot to do!!!!

Oh... and to make this day even more special, they came on my Grammy Br.'s 85th Birthday!
Happy Birthday Grammy!!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where they are...

Just wanted to share a little bit about where our boys are.

Our boys are in Zhengzhou China. Zhengzhou is the capital city in the province of Henan. Provinces are how China is broken up....comparable to states here.

Their province, Henan, is the most populous in all of China and is the home to more than a 100 million people. Their city Zhengzhou is home to more than 7 million.

Their weather seems pretty comparable to GA for as long as I have been looking. They also have been having the cold weather, warm weather, cold weather days just like we have.
Right now as I type this it is 10:53 am here. It is 10:53pm there. On Thursday March 19th
they are expected to have temp's with a low of 47 and a high of 65. On Thursday March 19th we are expected to have a low of 41 and a high of 72 .

There are 18 orphanages in their province.

There are more than 2000 children in the orphanages in this province.

Prior to 2007 fewer than 100 children per year were adopted from this province.

The agency we work with, CCAI, actually spearheaded an effort to educate the orphanage director's and workers on how to get the children ready for adoption. They were given permission to do this training and "Project Henan" began in June 2008.

If you are interested in more information about this project:

(Then scroll down about 5 sections and you'll see the details.)

[I was able to find this by googling so I know it is ok to post. Normally our agency asks not to share private information that is available to families only. But since I came across it again while googling Henan China I figured it is available to all anyway!]

We can't wait to go!

Care Package made it!

Yeah! By a fluke we found out that a care package that we sent the boys actually arrived.

We sent a small box of items to the little guys and were crossing our fingers that it would actually make it to them. (Lots of people send packages and find out later that they never arrived.)

We were told by our agency to keep the box "smaller than a shoe box." This is for two reasons. 1) to help it not get stuck in customs 2) to be able to be brought on the back of a bicycle to the orphanage as this is the normal delivery method in China. We were also told not to use expedited delivery as this would require someone to sign for the package and usually this requires someone to go to the post office which, the orphanages tend not to do. We also were told to make sure to declare the value as $0. That way, the orphanage would not have to pay any customs fees, again that they are not likely to do.

So we followed those instructions and crammed as much as we could into a very small box.

We included some cute little clothes; two "lovey blankets" given by grammy and grampy C; a baby photo album (meant to be handled by babies) that had pictures of Mommy and Daddy, Chloe (our dog), and our house (we didn't have their room put together or would have included picture of that as well); some chocolates for the nannies; and some candy for the older kids in the orphanage; and one of those cards that you can record into. We had Chloe bark for the card and taped her picture very securely to the card. We don't want them to be scared of her bark and are hoping the nannies will play with them, opening the card and letting them hear their doggy's bark while seeing her picture. We also included a disposable camera in the hopes that they will take pictures of them and their little friends and hopefully we will get it back at the time we go to adopt them.

[ Chloe doesn't bark alot, but when she does it is LOUD! It is usually if she wants to play and she has dropped her toy to close to herself and she thinks we should walk over to her to get it.
It is actually pretty funny. We say, "no you get it" to her and she'll bark a few more times while really getting her rear end working into a good wag and then she'll bring us whatever it is she wants us to play with. The only other time she really barks is if someone comes to the door. Nice LOUD bark! I love it! Makes the person on the other side wonder. I had someone who came to the door the other day say, looking nervously, "What kind of dog is that?" To which I answered, "A BIG ONE!" That's all I said! ]

So we sent that off while Grammy and Grampy C were here for a visit, knowing that we wouldn't know if they ever received it. Unless on the day we finally get to meet them we were one of the lucky families who did get the camera back full of pictures.

Yesterday we got an email from our agency that there had been a small mistake. They must have given us the wrong address as our package ended up at the old orphanage instead of the new one. But not to worry the staff from the older orphanage brought it to the new one!
(and our agency gave us the new address)
I'm not exactly sure when the new orphanage was opened, but from the research I've done online about their province I found out that they moved the babies and younger children over to the new orphanage soon after it opened.

This little mistake made my day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

We are "Nesting"

I told Scott that we are officially "nesting."

We are working to get our kids room ready for our little guys.

The cribs are put together -and yes they are convertible so if we get home and discover immediately that they are able to climb out we can change them into toddler beds right away.

We spent the last couple days hanging room shelves, putting in more closest shelves, hanging up the tons of clothes grammy and grampy C couldn't resist (THANK YOU!!!!). The room is starting to come together! When G&G C were here for a visit Grammy made curtains for the room for us! I had been trying to find something that went with our "castle/medieval" theme and hadn't been able to do so. I finally figured I'd have to make something....but my sewing skills are....well let's just say I'm learning. I know I could do it, it would just have taken me a lot longer to get it done!!!!

All in all I think it is beginning to look good! Scott even has got into it! He was in Ikea... which he normally hates... and he found a couple things for the room too!

We'll have a "grand reveal" when we get it where we like it! Then you can "rate our space!"

(have I been watching too much HGTV or what?)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

USCIS Approval!


It's Here!

We can't believe it came so fast! We were told to expect 3-5 months on our renewal.

We were worried that we would have China all squared away and be waiting on the US.
We are so relieved now, one less thing to worry about! This truly is amazing. Last time it took 3 months to get that magic piece of paper commonly refered to as the "Golden Ticket."

This time we received the paper 5 DAYS LATER!!!!!!! And it was dated only one day after our fingerprints were done!

I'll say it again: WooooooooHoooooooo!

Thank you USCIS!!!!!!!