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Friday, September 14, 2007

Past Entries to Catch Up to Today

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Too Much Excitement Last Week
Last week we received our TPII on Tuesday, went to ER in the morning on Wed, and then received norification that our LOA was at CCAI Wednesday afternoon. We received it Thursday and Fedex'd it back for Friday delivery. I also sent out our Visa Applications to JC Travel, they received them on Friday as well. We should receive our Visas by the end of this week, beginning of next week.
Last weekend I had off from Gymboree, so I have been cleaning. clearing out all the clutter, reorganizing, and making space for Lotus and all her stuff. It has been crazy! My mind will not stop, work, work, take care of house, organize, get new 100 Bills, apply for this, get medication, pack, repack, pack again! Whew! Once I get the house organized I can relax a bit. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind, lol.

So this Sunday is Lotus' First Birthday, it breaks my heart that we are not with her on her special day. We sent a cake, it will be delivered on the 17th and we hope she received her shirt and crown and that the nannies take photos! The have 4 cameras to take and bring with them to Gotcha Day! On Sunday, Kevin and I and some friends are going to PF Changs for Dinner, we can celebrate her birthday. Even though technically Saturday at 12 pm would be her bday since they are 12 hours ahead of us.

I hope our TA comes lickity split. I would like to travel Oct 14-26, that would be awesome but our TA needs to get here! I cannot wait for Gotcha Day.

Is it possible to miss someone so much that you have not even met yet? Is it possible to love someone so much which you only hold a picture too?

Lotus was truly Born in My Heart, I have a charm I have been wearing since we started the adoption process. It is the chinese characters for "Born in My Heart". Once we return home from China, I am going to place it in a safe place and when Lotus turns 21 it will become hers to cherish.

Lord please use your key and unlock that door for Lotus and us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 TPII Watch - Day 57- It's HERE!!!!
Today we received an email from the Travel Department, we received our TPII today. It was ready for download later tonight. It is a bunch of paperwork and checklists and notarizing! Another group member received her TPII and her daughter is in Wuchuan as well. When she talked to Pam at CCAI, she said to expect LATE October / Early November travel! I am soooooooo excited, we very well could be in China for Halloween. My prayers and wishes and kharma has been working! I have to get cracking on my TO DO LIST, more to buy and pack and do and .................. wow! Lotus Honey we are coming to bring you home!!!!

He found found the key and is ready to open the door for us!


Thursday, August 30, 2007 TPII WATCH - DAY 52 AND COUNTING
Still no news....still waiting.........this definitely has been a test in patience. Some days are good, some days are bad, I just want my little girl home, I feel I am missing out on so many firsts....her cake for her first birthday will be delivered on the 17th since her b-day is a Sunday this year. I hope she got the shirt and crown that her daddy picked out just for her b-day!And they take lot's of photos. We have sent her 4 cameras and it will be great if they are all full of photos of her during this wait! Say a prayer for a quick TA so we can be united with our daughter. I will leave you with this prayer below, someone had posted it to a group I belong to, I thought I would share with everyone.

Is there some problem in your life to solve, Some passage seeming full of mystery?God knows, who brings the hidden things to light.He keeps the key.Is there some door closed by the Father's handWhich widely opened you had hoped to see?Trust God and wait - for when He shuts the doorHe keeps the key.Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet, Or answered NOT as you had thought’t would be?God will make clear his purpose by-and-by.He keeps the key.Have patience with your God, your patient GodAll wise, all knowing, no long tarrier He.And of the door of all thy future lifeHe keeps the keyUnfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest.To know of EVERY door He keeps the key.That He at last when just HE sees 'tis best Will give it THEE.~Anonymous

Monday, August 20, 2007 TPII Watch Day 42
So now all we do is wait and wait and wait for the next step. I feel this will be the longest labor ever while waiting for the delivery of our little Lotus. She turned 11 months old the other day, almost a year old. How I wish we could be there before her birthday, but I know it is an impossible wish.

Kevin knows a wonderful woman (her son worked for Kevin until he went to school), Hong Chen, who has translated a letter to the orphanage about our next care package to Lotus for her birthday. She also gave us this beautiful silk art of the famous Ming Dynasty painting reprint. When I opened the box and unrolled the silk art, it was breath taking, it is very beautiful. I cannot wait to show Lotus. I will post a photo soon so everyone can see.

We are truly blessed to have met so many wonderful people along this journey, you all have touched our lvies in such a profound way. We have had such support and help from so many people, Kevin and I are very grateful. We cannot wait for Lotus to meet everyone who helped along the way to bring her home to us. I know it will be soon, everyone keep praying for our daughter, as we wait to travel.

Peace to All,


Wednesday, July 25, 2007 Baby Steps to Lotus
On July 19th we received our PA (Pre-Approval) from China we are suitable parents for Wu Chun Qiu and are moving our file to the special needs process. Also on July 20th we completed our Home Study Update/Addendum, everything went very well. Today we received 4 copies and are sending 2 copies to CCAI to send to China. Now we just wait for our TPII which will mean we are in the Match room soon to receive LOA (letter of acceptance). I hope and pray that some how we will be fast tracked, for some reason our dossier ends up on the top of the pile and we receive everything alot quicker. I doubt that will happen but I can wish!!!!! We have alot to do in general before she comes home. Alot of organizing and a few home projects we want out of the way. Things will change for sure! I feel blessed to be matched with our little girl!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Lotus is Now 10 months Old
On Monday, July 16th, Lotus turned 10 months old. We hope she has received the care package we sent to her last week. We sent her two outfits, a little floppy bunny, a baby photo book with pics of us, the boys, and the mom-mom's (labeled in Chinese characters so the nannies can tell her who we are), some socks, a bib, jelly bellies for the nannies, teething biscuits for the others in her nursery, and a disposable camera for the nannies to take photos of her and her little friends. It was tough fitting it all into a normal size shoe box, lol. Next care package will have a small photo cube with a recordable message (so she can hear our voices) and more goodies. Then right around her birthday we are sending a cake and camera, plus a little first b-day tshirt and soft first b-day crown. Hopefully the nannies will take photos of her in the outfit and having cake with her little friends, that would be so nice to have.
Pretty much after Friday and when CCAI receives our homestudy update/addendum, we just wait to download our Travel Packet II from our agency, which will mean LOA will be coming in the next few days and then Travel Approval will come 3-4 wks later. Once the travel approval comes, we will travel within approx. 2-4 weeks. Since we are already LID, they have to pull our dossier from NSN path to review it. As long as we are not already in the review room we are good. We shouldn't be in the review room already since they pretty much just finished May and the farthest they could be would be like July or latest Aug. We are LID 9/19/06. It would be really great if we could travel the middle of October, but they have their Trade Fair and prices are really high. The end of September will not happen because the first week is a holiday and everything is shut down for that week. I guess waiting 2 weeks till the beginning of Nov (when prices go way down) will be ok. As long as we are back by Christmas I will be very happy. To have our first Christmas together will be wonderful.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 LOI and Other Paperwork Received .........
and off to China. We should receive our PA (Pre-Approval) within 7-10 days (can take up to 2 months). On 7/20 we are completing our homestudy update/addendum (send that off right away!). For the visit we need to have a home inspection, medical physicals, Police Record checks, and Child Abuse Clearance Check. Again for the second time, these things expire after a year. Once we have the homsetudy update/addendum, that will be sent off to CCAI and then China. In the meantime, our Dossier is being moved from Non-Special Needs to Waiting Child. It will be reviewed once again by CCAA. After they receive the remainder of the paperwork, everything moves to the match room. This is where they will match our paperwork with Lian's paperwork. When we are in the match room we should receive our LOA (letter of acceptance). After this will be our Travel Notice or Travel Approval, then we travel 2-4 weeks after we receive TN or TA. Lian we are coming to get you!

Monday, July 9, 2007 It Has Been One Heck of a Week
We received the call last Monday (07/02/07), we have been matched with our daughter. Her name is Wu Chun Qiu,soon to be Lian Qiu (We will call her Lotus), her birthday is 09/16/2006. We are over the moon with joy! Check out the referral page on our website to check out her photos! We anticipate travel the beginning of November. So we should be home before the Christmas Holidays with our little girl! We also received an update on Friday and a couple of new pics. Stay tuned for more info and follow our progress as we prepare to travel to China to bring our little girl home.

Monday, May 14, 2007 Mother's Day and Other Tid Bits
Yesterday was Mother's Day, this time last year I thought for sure I would be a mom. That we would be home, however, wait times have extended and I am not a mom this year. I am a mom-to-be and will be probably for almost two years! The gestation of an elephant! I am being patient, for me this is patient, I want to scream I JUST WANT IT NOW! It is so hard knowing Lotus is out there somewhere, I do not know how she is doing, is she consoled she wakes up crying in the middle of the night, who wipes her tears away? Does she know we are waiting for her and love her so very much? Does she know she has a cousin Tara who cannot wait to meet her?

On a brighter note, everyone came over yesterday and we celebrated. It was nice, my mom is camera happy taking a billion photos. The mom's loved their presents. And I even got a few things for the mom-to-be and from my step sons. And we celebrated Alex's 7th birthday with an ice cream cake. Yummy.

On an even brighter note, last week, my mom threw Kevin and I a baby shower. There were so many people and so many things for Lotus. It was such a great day. Lotus will be spoiled by her grand moms or mom-mom's. Our living room is full of all the things everyone got for Lotus. I will be posting photos under the Baby Shower link for all to see. It really was a nice day, the room was decorated in chinese theme and the favors were take-out containers with fortune cookies inside.

We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed for a match on the next list. Which should be due out before July. If we are matched soon enough, there is a possibility of travel before the end of the year, if not, then at least by Jan 2008. Everyone say a prayer Lotus is home before the holidays!

Friday, April 13, 2007 April Showers Bring Referrals............maybe?
It has been almost 6 mos since we turned in our MCC for the waiting child program. Currently when the new list comes in, they were already matching July and August check lists, hopefully they will be able to get in Sept and Oct with this new list. If not then our referral most likely will not be till the July list comes out. Keeping fingers & toes crossed. Anything is possible. I wish I had more news to post, it has been very very quiet on the boards and with the agency. The other day we did get our travel training dvd, it was a little bit boring and alot we already knew from the yahoo groups. I have already started our packing check list to make sure we have everything we need. Lists are good! Keep us prepared and not rushing at the very end. Everything else is going well, just keeping up with everyday stuff. Nursery is almost finish, just little things need to be tidied up. Next weekend I am finishing the painting in the living room, one wall left and then hang the curtains, I am going to refinish our tub too! After that just some organization in the basement/attic/closets. Will be a very exhausting weekend, need to get it done before we travel (hopefullly by the end of the year). Plus this will keep me busy waiting for the CALL! I am sure after the call, I will be useless for at least a week, LOLOLOL! If anything new comes up, I will be sure to post here, so check back! Lady bug, lady bug fly away and bring back a referral just for us.....................

Saturday, March 3, 2007 So it is March, Almost SPRING!!!!!
Good News! Our agency is working on matches for June/July MCC checklists. Which means Oct MCC's are looking very good for Spring time match. Matches are happening between 6-8 mos from MCC submission. I spoke with Pam at our agency not too long ago, our checklist is good (many yes's and few maybe's), we are in the top 1/3 of the list of more than 200 people. August MCC's are at the top. So a match between April-June has very very good odds. After we are matched and send in our LOI (letter of intent) we should travel between 3-5 mos to bring Lotus home. Once we are matched there will be a million and one things to do to prepare for the trip. We have a Home Study addendum to complete, then notarize , certify, and authenticate before sending to our agency, then look at flights, look into the VISA for entry/departure in China, medications for Lotus and us, pack (make sure not more than 44 lbs, will have to pay surcharge), plan out how bills will be paid, who will watch the house, etc. SO for now we are trying to get the nursery together, prepare the house/organize, get things in order at work, get the pets use to baby noises........I could go on and on, lists on top of lists..............

Oh, I almost forgot, other news too......I found a new part time job. I will be a part time assistant at Gymboree, instead of NYCO. I will most likely start 3/15 since my last day at NYCO will be 3/14. I am looking forward to the change. I have been at NYCO for 3 years, ready for the change. And it is closer to my FT job so it will be easier to get there on time. Plus I will enjoy selling kids clothes more than grown up clothes. And a nice discount helps too. Lotus will have some nice clothes before she gets here. Yahoo! Anyone seen any lady bugs lately??????

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 Made it Past the Holidays - Whew!
The holidays were busy and crazy. I enjoyed seeing everyone and spending time, it was nice. I took photos of my brothers family for Lotus' lifebook. Next is Kevin's family. Kevin's mom gave Lotus a present this year for Christmas, it is a Brass Key porcelain doll, from the World Collection-China. It is very beautiful. This will definitely go on one of her shelves. Something she will treasure for years to come. It is the first Christmas present she received. Colleen gave us a book "Tell me about the night I was born" by Jamie Lee Curtis. A very cute book, which Lotus will enjoy.

Now that the holidays are over, we are going to start on the nursery. Cannot wait........we need to start soon. I spoke to our agency, it is safe to say we will have a referral between April-June of this year with the WC program. Especially with the special needs we have selected. After we receive a match we need to send in a Home Study adendum and we will receive a new LID. After which we could expect a TA in 2-3 mos. Typically you will travel 2-4 wks after TA. So best case scenario we could see: April a match, June-July a TA (hopefully), and July-August travel. That would be nice. To have our daughter home for the holidays for 2007. Keeping fingers and toes crossed. Looking for lady bugs too!

For the nursery we are going to start by taking up the carpet, cleaning the hard wood floor, then laying down the area rug (until we can get new carpet, we want to paint first). We do need to move the big dresser into our room in order to setup the crib. The next project will be painting, hanging the wall decor, hang the new curtains, and setup crib. I have a whole bunch of stuffed toys that I have had for years, one from when I was 16 yrs old. I washed them so they are nice and fresh for Lotus. I want to get a toy net to hang them up on the wall. I also have wooden letters to hang on her door, I will paint them pink and purple to match her room. Cannot wait to see the finished room and imagine our sweetheart in her crib, sleeping soundly (lol). We are getting closer...............

Oh I almost forgot---Let me tell you about the "preparing for baby" show. It was a sales pitch for cribs, oh well, it was nice doing something with Kevin for the baby. I did learn a few things.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 Some New Things to talk About
We registered at Babies R Us, the lady was very confused about our due date being 13 months away, even though I checked off adoption. Once we told her we were adopting she understood. Too Funny. I think I need to diet, she apparently thought I was pregnant. Of course I wanted to scan alot more than Kevin but he was being the pratical one, lol. It was fun, we picked out some nice things and things we really need.
About a week ago I talked to Sara in the WC department with CCAI, after we spoke about our MC, she stated we could see a referral in about 6-8 months. Sounds exciting, travel would be in 2-3 months (I have heard longer). Ideally, we could get a referral in April-June and then travel May-Sept. That would be really exciting.
The traditional program (NSN) is getting longer for referral times, they recently only referred up to 9/8 which is only a half of month. WAIT WAIT WAIT!
On another note, I received a post card for "Preparing fro Baby", it is in Bensalem this Sunday, we are going to go to it, we will get lots of information and a gift bag with stuff for Lotus. Hopefully it will not be boring.
Today I need to go to Babies R Us to get my secret pal from my DTC group. I have to mail it out tomorrow. This should be fun, receiving a surprise package every other month. That is it for now................Stayed tuned for more information.

Monday, November 13, 2006 Started the Nursery- Sort of
On Saturday night, I decided to put together the changing table/dresser we had order sometime ago with the crib and mattress. I must say, this is the first "put together yourself" furniture that is of a very good quality. I was very impressed. So anyway, I decided to put together the dresser so that I could put some of her things away and not have boxes every where. After I was done and filled the drawers, I could imagine Lotus there, it was nice, not sad like I thought I might be.

On Sunday, Kevin and I went to an adoption event hosted by FCC-DV. It was called "Once Upon a Family" and there was alot fo performances, vendors, adoption agencies, books etc. There was also a raffle and we won a basket with some goodies we can use and some we cannot. There was a cute little chinese dress for our daughter and one for a barbie doll, a mulan video tape in chinese, a nice frame and story book, some gift certificates (that we cannot use, so I will post on my yahoo groups if anyone can use them). The children were adorable and their performances were very cute. I think if we already were home with Lotus it would have been a bit different. I enjoyed it and spent time with Kevin, so it was worth it.

Soon we are going to register at Babies R Us, since we are part of a Secret Pal gift swap with our DTC yahoo group and my mom will be hosting a baby shower sometime in the future. This is her first grandchild, I think she will spoil her more than anyone can imagine. This is becoming more real everyday, heck we are almost LID for 2 mos, not so bad. Ask me in 10 months, lol.

Monday, November 6, 2006 Social Worker Visit on November 1, 2006
On November 1, 2006 we had a visit with our social worker for her approval to enter the Waiting Child Program with our agency. After talking to her for about 20 minutes we were given the approval and she signed the medical checklist for our agency. We were very prepared and researched everything, there was not much for us to discuss, she felt we had a handle on the special needs we selected on the checklist. I think she was also impressed we reached out to parents whom have BTDT and we did not just rely on medical research. Now we begin the wait for a referral from both programs. WAIT........that is all we can do now, the rest is in God's hands now (and CCAA).
The planner in me will probably begin to research everything for travel, the flight to China we are responsible for booking, all the intercountry transportation and hotels our agency works with a travel agency to help with the booking. I will begin my lists of lists; what to pack, what medicines to bring, shopping list (a must), house sitter, how to pay bills when gone, what is a MUST list to complete before we travel, visit with CHOP doctor in the International Adoption Department (so we are ready with referral), more shots (MMR, Polio, chicken pox, maybe even typhoid), baby need list. I think there is plenty to keep us busy while we wait.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 We are in the Waiting Child Program
We received an email from Deniece, manager of the Waiting Child Program. We are on file and are waiting to be matched with a child from the program. Match times vary, it could be as little as 6 mos or as long as the NSN wait times. It depends on if the child's files recevied at CCAI match the special needs we selected and the age range too. Also there are more than a 100 families ahead of us, which could have the same or different choices. So we could go ahead of a family or after a family depending on the families choices. Now we just wait...............Stay tuned...................

Thursday, October 19, 2006 One Month Later...........
One month ago today we were finally LID! If the speculations of LONG wait times are true we only have 17 more months to go for referral and another 2 months for travel.
The wait times are difficult and all the rumors are enough to drive anyone insane. I try and try not to read into everything, sometimes it is so hard. I try to take a break from the groups, and that is hard too because I want to be informed. So we wait; this will give us some time to get into order, organize the house, fix up the nursery, do couplely things, save some money, finish school, whew I am tired already!

On Nov 1, 2006 we have an appointment with our social worker to be approved for the waiting child program, which is for babies and children with special needs. After researching the program and various special needs, we realized there are some medical needs we can handle emotionally and financially. Once we are approved we will be placed on another waiting list while our dossier waits for NSN as well. Once we are given a referral from either program we will enlist the medical expertise of CHOP's international adoption department to review her medical records to understand her needs. In my heart, I feel we should follow both paths. Which one will lead us to our daughter? Only God knows for sure.

Friday, September 22, 2006 Paper Work Pregnant
We have exciting news to share! Over the past several months we have accomplished many great milestones in our adoption journey for Lotus, our daughter.

Today, actually September 19, 2006, marks a huge milestone in our journey. We received an email from our agency; our dossier has been logged in by the China Center of Adoption Affairs as of 9/19/2006. Which means our LID (Logged In Date) is 9/19/2006 and the wait for Lotus' referral begins.

The referral times are currently 13-15 months, however, there is speculation the times may decrease to 12 months. The thought is longer referral times will only deter families from entering China's International Adoption Program. Once we receive Lotus' referral we can expect to travel within 5-8 weeks to meet and bring her home. The wait time may seem awfully long, but just think what were you doing a year ago today? a month ago? a week ago?

Time to start the nursery.............
................bring on the paint.............................the girlie stuff ................. Lotus will be here before we know it.

As we hear more news, we will let you know.

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