Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More News...

Updated picture today! I can't imagine her sleeping on that hard mat, but I am trying to remember that this is a different culture. I want to leave NOW!!!

Please pray for our friends, the Vairs. They just had word that their little Norah has been very sick. She hasn't gained any weight since her measurements were taken 4 months ago and they are obviously concerned. Apparently, she is better now, but they want to be there to take care of her. We all just want to get our babies and start loving on them and giving them what they need!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Updated Information on Eliana

We did receive an update today on Eliana that was taken July 13- almost 10 months. She was 10 months old on July 23. Her weight was 8 kg (17.6 pounds) and her height was about 27.5 inches. Her head circumference measured 16.9 inches and her feet measured 4.7 inches. Of course, we still dont know if she was weighed and measured fully dressed or not, but summer weather has hopefully stripped her of some of the extra bulk. The report says that she currently sleeps alone in a crib and that everything else is "normal." She is sitting, but not standing, walking, or talking and she has two teeth. No pictures were sent, but our agency said that the orphanage is working on it and will hopefully email us some soon.
Truthfully, I was more than a little saddened to find out that Eliana has been out of her foster home for about 4 months. She was there for about 5 months and it seems that she returned to the orphanage at about the time of her earlier medical report and pictures that we received on match day. I am all the more anxious to go get her and it breaks my heart to think that she has had to experience so much change and loss at such a young age. Hang on, sweetie, Mommy and Daddy are coming soon!!

Okay, not that kind of visa... The Fed Ex man just came and brought our passports with CORRECT visas as well as our tickets!! We have everything we need. No more hoops, no more approvals, no more waiting for this or that!! Now on to final preparations with packing and getting things ready for Nana and the boys!! Thank you God!


We have final travel dates as we purchased our tickets over the weekend. FYI- airlines get a little freaked out when children travel on one-way tickets. Anyway, all is well and we will leave early on August 16 returning on the evening of August 30. I ask for your continued prayers that our corrected visas will be here this week.
Big thanks to Nana Kolde who will be coming to stay here with the boys and our hobo-cute dog, Cooper. The boys are really looking forward to her coming and it is a relief to know that they will be in such good hands while we are missing them across the miles. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, July 27, 2007

We Have Dates!!

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I haven't been this excited about a date since 1990!! We have received our travel approval and our consulate appointment. So, we now have an official date to get Eliana! We will get her on August 19 in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. That means we will be leaving for Hong Kong from Denver either on August 15 or 16 in order to meet up there with our group on August 17. We will return home with Eliana on August 31 give or take a day due to the time change.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us!! We still waiting on our visas to be fixed and returned, but other than that, we have received all of the approval and made all appointments necessary to officially bring Eliana home. It is finally happening!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Almost there....

Well, we have our TA and the other group at our agency got their consulate appointments today. So, hopefully, ours will come tomorrow. They are traveling on the 17th and we were told to expect to be going right about the same time. So, all we need is for that lovely email to come through tomorrow morning and for the consulate to get our visas fixed asap. The countdown is on!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Excitement and Panic

Well, the exciting news is that we have received our travel approval... the document we have been praying for and now we request a consulate appt (takes 1-6 days), then we travel 7-14 days after that. The panic is as a result of the fact that our travel agency just contacted us and let us know that the visas that we received were processed incorrectly!! We rushed to Fed Ex to get our passports back to San Francisco tonight for overnight delivery. They will call us tomorrow to let us know if they can do expedited service for us since it wasn't our mistake. Pray that they will do it, and that we won't have to pay the extra fees for expediting them. The consulate made the mistake, but the travel service we used should have caught the mistake last week before returning them. I am trying to focus on the excitement of getting our TA, but I am more than a wee bit stessed about the visas.
So, we wait again. Waiting seems to be a theme in our lives- you'd think I would learn to mellow with age, but I'm still fighting it. Well, more news to come soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our Visas Arrived!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWell, still no travel dates or final travel approval from China for our trip, but our visas did arrive in the mail today!! This was a big relief as you have to step out on faith that the good old US postal service won't lose your precious passport in the mail on the way to or from the consulate in San Francisco. Now, we continue to do what we have gotten so good at... wait. Hopefully we will get our travel approval this week... pray that we do!! Then we will set final plans in motion for going to get our baby!!!!! I am getting really excited... this is actually going to happen! We will keep you posted on any updates. Am I overusing the exclamation point?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Showered Rotten...

Today, I was spoiled. Friends from church gave me a shower and they really went above and beyond to make it special. There were chinese lanterns for decorations, chinese music playing in the background, amazing chinese food- including fortune cookies, and a beautiful cake with a chinese blessing (written in Chinese symbols) on the cake. They prayed blessings of scripture for Eliana and placed them in a red envelope along with a coin. This idea was adapted from a Chinese tradition called Hang Bo (Not sure I am spelling that right). Even Mom participated from across the miles... that was really special. We played pass the ping pong ball with chop sticks and just generally had a lot of fun. I am truly blessed with amazing friends and family and I am so excited that Eliana will have so many wonderful women in her life who already love her. I was lucky enough to have a friend take pictures for me today...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Paperssss Pleeeesssse

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This morning was spent at the copy machine and the notary. We have been putting together our papers for our visa, as well as signing more "We won't sue you" kind of documents for our adoption agency, travel agency, modeling agency... Okay, maybe not the last one. It is amazing how much paperwork there still is. From what I hear, we have lots more to look forward to in China. Anyway, making copies hasn't been this much fun since that Saturday Night Live skit back in the early nineties. I will be sending everything off on Monday. It is a little scary to put your passport into the mail, but you do what ya' gotta' do to get a visa.

We did figure out a little bit more on Eliana's paperwork. It appears that she was found and processed into Xinyu SWI (the orphanage) at one week old- September 29, 2006. She was then placed in her foster home a week later on October 05, 2006. I am so grateful to her foster family for taking her in and caring for her all of this time. Please be praying for them as they prepare to give her to us- I imagine it is difficult to do even if it is understood from the beginning that the time will come. I am hopeful that we will have an opportunity to meet them and thank them in person, but I am very uncertain about that possibility. I also continue to pray for her birth parents whom we will never know. The fact that she remained with them for a full week before they determined they couldn't keep her tells me that it was a very difficult decision for them. Somehow, by God's grace, I pray that they will know that she is dearly loved and cared for across the miles.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A little detective work...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWe still have much to be translated, but I have read through Eliana's paperwork a few times and hopped around the web for some growth charts to try to gather what I can about her. With those cheeks, I have been trying to figure out what she is hiding under all those clothes!! From the reports that we have of Eliana's medical checkup in February (age approx. 4 1/2 months) she was somewhere around the 50th percentile in height (24.8 inches) and the 75th percentile in weight (14.74 lbs). The question is whether or not she was wearing all of that when she was weighed- I have heard that is often the case. So, maybe those cutie pie cheeks are a little deceiving. Her head circumference was right at the 75th percentile (16.14 in.) as well. There is very little translated yet as to her personality, but it does describe her as "quiet," "having a ready smile," and "quick in reaction." Sounds like a Norgauer to me... okay, okay... maybe not the quiet part. I do remember however, my parents telling me that I was so quiet as a child that the neighbors thought I was mute. Oh how things change. My poor husband Milan must long for those good ol' days.
We are really looking forward to finding out more about our little princess in the next few weeks as we get more information translated and as we receive updated information on her. I have included more pictures here of our match day. These were taken at our agency when we first got Eliana's file.

Match Day

Monday, July 9, 2007

Introducing Yu Cai Yin

Meet our new daughter Yu Cai Yin!! She was born September 23, 2006 in Jiangxi Province. In the referral pictures below she is 41/2 months old. She has been living with a foster family through the Xinyu City Social Welfare Institute in Jiangxi and will soon be coming home to Castle Rock, Colorado!! We couldn't be happier and are so thankful to God for bringing her into our lives. We look forward to bringing her home in August. Our agency estimates that we will leave for China in 5-7 weeks. Please continue to pray that everything runs smoothly with our travel approval from China so that we will be able to leave mid-August!! I just want to nibble on those cheeks!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Little Sunday Humor

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door, so he took out a business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door.
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When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10."
Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."

Remember "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Prov. 17:22)

Thanks for this one Dottie!

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick

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Friday, July 6, 2007

It's A Girl

Well, we haven't gotten any details yet, but our daughter's picture and information is now in the hands of our adoption agency. We are THRILLED to finally be able to say that it is here. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until Monday- not very often is one bummed out it's a weekend. Anyway, we spoke to our agency, Chinese Children Adoption International, today and they confirmed that ours is in hand. They would say that it was a girl and that we "will be VERY happy with our match" as long as everything checks out. They will make calls on Sunday I believe to China and then they will call us on Monday. They have a staff meeting in the morning to delegate families to different staff members and then will begin making calls. They estimated that we will be called around 10 A.M. After the call, we will drive up to the agency to get Eliana's picture and documents as well as to sign our acceptance to send back to China. Hopefully, we will travel to China in August. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us and encouraging us through this process. After 26 months of paper chasing and waiting, we are finally about to meet our daughter. We will post pictures and details as soon as we get back to a computer on Monday!!!

Camping, Anyone?

The CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) has updated their site. They don't update their site until everything has been mailed out to agencies. Sooooo, we are still hoping for the package today. That should allow for calls on Monday. I may just be camping out at our agency on Sunday night.
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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Slow Boat to Colorado

Well, no package to our agency today. They have started to arrive on the West Coast. Maybe we shouldn't have left California. That means no call tomorrow. We will have to wait over the weekend. I am having difficulty with perspective here. After two years, what are a few more days? Approximately 86 hours until our agency opens Monday morning. That is 5,160 minutes or 309,600 seconds. That is an eternity!!! So, here is my plan. Call agency on Friday to find out if package has arrived. If the package has arrived... let's just say I will be "busy" on Friday night. Where did I put my black spandex jumpsuit? Hmmmm?
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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

T- Minus Five and Counting!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket So, it is official. Referrals left China on Wednesday and they go through all of the families that logged into the system up to November 14, 2005. Good news as we are November 9. So, barring any weird and unforeseen happenings, we are in this month and the package will arrive at our agency somewhere between tomorrow and Saturday. Apparently they have shown up the next day a few times, but I doubt that will be the case due to the holiday today. I am still really hoping for some sort of miracle that will get them here by late tomorrow, allowing our agency to make confirmation calls to China on Friday before their weekend hits. I am not holding my breath, but I might be crossing a few fingers... I won't tell. Most likely, we will get the call sometime on Monday, Tuesday at the latest. I have never been known to be a patient person; this is truly putting me to the test. The countdown is on. If I go by Tuesday as a T-minus date, that would put us at T-minus Five. FIVE more days until we see our little girl's face!!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Helllooooo Juuullllyyyyyy!!!!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketDid anyone notice that it is July? That means that we are counting days now until we see our little Ella's face. I am creating (and hyper-focusing on) little benchmarks to get me through the week... right now counting down to the fourth. I love the fireworks and the kids have a blast. Then, Thursday, our new women's Bible Study begins and I embark on the adventure of homeschooling with the boys. Friday, I am going to paint something... not sure yet. Might be a bathroom, could be the front porch. It's a toss up. Saturday, friends from church are moving into our neighborhood- Yeah!! Sunday, of course, we have worship. That gets me to Monday. Hopefully we will have news by then. I have now revealed far too much about the inner-workings of my borderline OCD mind. Then again, this is nothing new to those of you who really know me. I blame global warming.