Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We had so much fun at the pumpkin patch yesterday.  Jeff and I must be getting old because we were both completely worn out afterwards.  The kids?  Not so much.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Itinerary and Travel Journal Link

Here's our itinerary.  We meet HuiLan on Sunday the 9th.  It's Sunday in China right now so that means I am only ONE WEEK away from finally having her in my arms..  Well, I say 'finally' (and anyone who has read the blog knows my struggle with adoption impatience) but honestly, looking back now this process has been somewhat of a whirlwind.  It just seems like forever when you don't know when you are going to meet your child and you have no control over choices being made for them and you aren't there to comfort them. I think the reality of not traveling to China has hit Jeff a little.  It's very bittersweet to meet our daughter without him being there.  I know it was the best choice; though of course not perfect.  I have started a travel journal at You Belong.  It's youbelong.net/loosclan  I've been having technical difficulties with my journal, so I may just use the blog to update.

Here's our itinerary:

Thursday, October 6th: Leave for China!

Saturday, Oct.8: Fly from Seoul to Xi’an

Sunday, Oct.9: Meet child at Civil Affairs Bureau.

Monday, Oct.10: Conduct adoption registration paperwork and notarization formalities.

Tuesday, Oct.11: Apply for Child's passport.

Wednesday, Oct.12: Free time.

Thursday, Oct.13: Sightseeing in Xi’an.

Friday, Oct.14: Fly to Guangzhou.

Saturday, Oct.15: Have child’s visa photos taken and go through the physical examination in the morning.

Sunday, Oct.16: Sightseeing in Guangzhou: Safari park.

Monday, Oct.17: Check TB test result.

Tuesday, Oct.18: At 10:00am, family goes to US Consulate to submit orphan visa petition documents and do oath-taking ceremony.

Wednesday, Oct.19: Family goes to US Consulate to pick up visa in the afternoon.

Thursday,Oct.20: Leave for home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our family is growing again!

On Saturday, Cameron and his girlfriend Charity went to Fall Creek Falls where he proposed.  She said YES!  We are so thrilled for them both.  Charity is an amazing girl and we could not have asked for a better person for Cameron to spend the rest of his life with.  God is good!

The Room

We are finally getting HuiLan's room together.  EXCITING!  Now I have a place to go and touch her things and dream about having her here with us.  Weird, huh?  It's just something I do.  I remember going into Allie's room when we were waiting for her and pulling her little outfits out of the closet and rearranging them.  It just made me feel close to her.

This was the room last Monday morning...
This is Monday afternoon.  Whoa, a little brighter on the wall than I expected. 

On Monday night and Tuesday, I worked on the crib and on Tuesday night Jeff deep cleaned the carpet.

On Thursday, I put together the bookshelf and then I opened the dresser box to find that there were no instructions.  After four very long calls to Target.com, we were nowhere.  They don't carry the dresser anymore and don't have any manuals to send.  I just bought the dresser last month!  Thankfully, God blessed me with a mechanically minded son (who is newly engaged!  WOOT!)  that was able to figure out how the 8 million pieces of the dresser fit together.  So here is the room this morning.  We still have work to do but I am not sure much more will be done before we leave.  I want to get a wall decal for behind the crib but I am not sure what I want it to say.  I've seen a few things that I would like to try and make for the other walls, so you can expect them to be done about the time she starts Kindergarten high school.  

I even packed a little this morning.  Ten days until Cameron and I leave and I am starting to get EXCITED!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beyond Blessed

We sent some questions about HuiLan to the orphanage.  Here are their answers...

What's the meaning of her name and why was it chosen for her?
There's no special meaning to her name; we all call her HuiLan

Is she close to anyone?  Does she have a best friend?
We have shifts here due to the nature of our work, so HuiLan is close to her nannies.  She plays well with other kids, no special best friends.

What's her personality like?
Her personality is quite vivacious.  (UH OH)  She loves to play and loves to laugh.

Does she have a favorite food?
Nothing special.  She's not picky.  (Hallelujah!)

What's her favorite activity?
She likes her aunties playing toys with her and holding her hands walking around.

How does she like to be comforted?
She likes to be held and hugged. (AWWWW!)

and the best part of all.................

Is she crawling?  Is she able to stand unassisted?  If so, has she taken any steps?
She can crawl, can stand and can walk. (God is so good!)

I am so ready to go get her!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flights are booked!

I guess we are going to China!!!  Cameron and I leave on Thursday, October 6.  That's 24 days if you are keeping count.  We'll get to Xi'an a day early (early am on Saturday 10/8), but that's the best situation the travel agent could work out.  We don't have our in country itinerary from ASIA yet, but from what they've told us, we should meet Cecilia on Monday, October 9th.  Four weeks from today!  On one hand, it seems so close and on the other, it seems so far away!  I.can't.wait.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Patience & Faith

I need to read this EVERY DAY until I go to China to get Cecilia.  Every.  Day.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Coralie Day!

note: I was with Brady at the hospital on the official anniversary of Coralie Day so this post is a few days late.

I can't believe it's been a year.  This first year with Coralie has gone by so quickly.  I can't explain to those who don't know Coralie what a special child she is and to those who know her, I don't have to.  If I had been able to tell God exactly what we wanted in our next child, we could have never come close to the actual child we were given.  She is amazing.  We are so blessed.  Once again.

On the day we met Coralie, we were one of the first families to get to the Civil Affairs office.  We were the very last to meet our child.  they brought Coralie in amidst the chaos and joy of other families being formed.  She was whisked into another room.  

Our first glimpse..

then they brought her out, but not really TO us...

She was NOT impressed with her new family. AT ALL.  She walked around the room trying to get as far away from me as she could.  I had to bribe her with a yogurt drink to get her to come near me.

She was quite devastated by the entire experience.  My heart broke for her.  It also fell hard for her.  I was madly and deeply in love from the moment we met.

The first few days were really hard.  She rocked constantly and beat her head against the wall.  She screamed something in Cantonese that mean she didn't like what was going on.  She grieved her life at the orphanage.  It was all she had ever known.

Our little shell shocked baby girl.  I thought she might never be happy again.  I felt guilt for taking her away from the life she'd known.  I questioned whether we were doing the right thing.  
Then we visited her orphanage.  We saw a glimpse of her true self chattering away with her friends.  She was like a little rock star when we were there.  The kids were so happy to have her back.

We met her little friend Pei and I realized that Coralie could be heartbroken because she left or she could be heartbroken because she was left behind.  

After the orphanage visit, we saw a change in Coralie.  
Maybe we weren't THAT bad.

and then it happened...

and we've been stuck like glue ever since.

We love you Coco!

Little Man has Surgery...again!


My little trouper had a fistula repair on Tuesday.  We were told to get to the hospital at 9:00am but they didn't get him into surgery until after 4:00pm.  Poor little guy was starving!  Whenever he has surgery, I bring along a bag of fun stuff for him.  This time I threw in a new game for his DSi.  It was our saving grace.  Without it, he would have been climbing the walls after lying in that bed all those hours.  He was so good.  His surgery lasted about an hour and a half.  The doctor was pleased with the result.  I may be crazy, but it really seems that his speech is more clear and less nasally already.  We came home early on Wednesday and Brady was back to 100% almost immediately.  He can't go back to school until next Tuesday and he is bored to death all day while Allie and AnnaClaire are at school.  He asks constantly when Ryan and the girls will be home.  We go back to the doctor in October to see how the repair is healing and see where we go from here.  Hopefully, he'll get a break from surgeries for a while.  Two in four months is a lot for a little guy...unless you score a DSi game each time.  :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Do you know what this is?

This is a big brother leaving for college.  This is how much his sisters (especially) and brother (a little!) will miss him.  This is LOVE.

I've read and heard many times of people who are interested in adoption but worry about how it will affect their biological children.  This is a picture of how it will affect them.  They will be loved and adored and they will love and adore in return.  I've seen no greater love in my life than the love my bigs & littles have for each other.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do it Anyway

I love this!

      People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to School

The middles (and Ryan) started back to school on Monday.  Here are the obligatory 1st day of school pictures.

Allie's first day of 3rd grade:

 AnnaClaire's first day of 1st grade:
Brady's first day of 1st grade:

and Coralie's 'you got the camera out so you must want a picture of me' picture:

I almost didn't post them because...well, they stink.  I usually take first day of school pictures on the front porch, but the sprinklers were running and I literally had 2 seconds before we had to leave to drive to school, park a mile away and hike to their classrooms before the bell.  So the steps were a quick option 2.  Not a really good option now that I see the ginormous shadows, but I guess that's more operator error than the location.  I just wasn't blessed with the photography gene-either getting a good shot or actually remembering to take pictures of important events.  We were at the beach last week.  I took 2 cameras and about 14 pictures.  None of which were on the beach.  Actually, I think all 14 pictures were taken in the room.  Seriously.  I need help!