Thursday, December 31, 2009

And not to be outdone..... the cuteness department -- here's my other little angel.

Plus, a bonus -- two fun facts about Cassie:
1. As of last Monday the 21st - the day before she turned 21 months old - Cassie has figured out how to escape out of her nap crib, which is a Pack n Play. Sounds scary, but I must say I actually have seen her do it and she's very careful and quite good at getting out safely. So now the baby gate in the hall is always up during nap time and the playroom door is shut. :) Knock on wood - she hasn't yet figured out how to scale the baby gate. 2. When we give Cassie something for dinner that she doesn't recognize, she now will smell it as if to verify that it isn't poison. Yep, I said smell it. It's so cute. She'll load up her spoon, carefully raise it to her nose and smell. If it meets her approval she'll smile before putting the spoon in her mouth. Otherwise it goes back onto her plate.

She's getting to be such a big girl now. And a daddy's girl because he's been off since the 23rd and they've had a lot of time together. She's going to be disappointed on Monday morning when she wakes up and dada isn't here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Chloe picture

Why....because she's just adorable. Isn't she?

There's a family in Nanjing right now with their new son and they visited the orphanage today -- Tuesday in China. It was nap time so they couldn't visit with Chloe but one of the nannies took the family's camera into the nap room to get a picture of Chloe for us. She looks like they woke her up. Poor baby. But, I still love the picture. Everyday we are one day closer to holding her.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The PERFECT end to our Christmas

We got another update on CHLOE!!!!!

I emailed Ann at Red Thread on Monday about mailing Chloe a package for Christmas and tonight I got two more pictures and measurements on Chloe. Chloe will have her package in a couple of days. It didn't make it there for Christmas but it will be there soon. We also mailed a small letter to Chloe's caregivers so they know a little bit about us. Plus, she'll be getting a photo book with 10 pictures of Sonny, Cassie, Tehya, Sage and me too.

Here are the new stats we got on Chloe:

head: 17.7 inches
chest: 18.1 inches
weight: 22 lbs -- with all her winter clothes on
height: 31.1 inches
feet: 3.8 inches
teeth: 4 on top and 3 on the bottom

Here's also a picture of the package we are sending Chloe. I'm so happy she'll be getting a small package from us and will get to see pictures of her new family. I only wish she understood what it all means. I wish I could explain to her why it will be another 6 - 8 weeks before we'll be there for her. But, then I remember that she's too little to understand it all and in all the pictures we have of Chloe she does seem like she's happy. That at least helps me sleep at night.

Merry Christmas to all --- especially our baby girl waiting for us in China.


And to baby Chloe -- we miss you, love you and will be there soon. We know Jesus will be watching over you this Christmas and everyday until we can be there with you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

More LSC info

I talked to our agency this afternoon and our LSC is actually dated December 16th. That was our 7-month anniversary of being home with Cassie!! Such a great day!!! :)

Our agency will overnight our LSC to us today. We'll get it tomorrow, sign it, check the box that 'YES' we want Chloe, then run to back to the FedEx office so it can be delivered back to our agency on Wednesday morning. Then they will mail it to China on Wednesday afternoon. I'm tired just thinking about all the traveling our LSC will be doing in less than a week.

If everything going according to the averages -- we'll be leaving for China the last week of January the first week of February. I'm so excited!!! I can't wait to see my girls together.

Tuesday update: I just realized that from the time we filled out our WC application until we got the call for Chloe was 80 days. And now from the day of our LID to the day our LSC was signed was 80 days. Doesn't mean a thing -- I know -- but still kind of neat. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I got all I wanted for Christmas.....................

OUR LSC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chloe Jewel is officially ours. The call came today at 5:39pm.
On day 82 of waiting.

Now on to the good stuff -- more stats on Chloe:

Chloe was born on June 20, 2008
(that makes her exactly 90 days younger than her sister)

Chloe is currently living in an orphanage in Nanjing, which is in the Jiangsu province.

Since November 2008 she has been in the Half the Sky little sisters program.

Chloe has a repaired cleft lip and a cleft palate that still needs to be repaired.

Chloe's cleft lip is on the right side -- Cassie's is on the left side -- God gave me a matching set of little angels to love. :)

On Sunday Chloe turns 18 months old, and on Tuesday Cassie turns 21 months old.

And -- for the first time ever -- Cassie called me 'mama' today without being coaxed. Such a wonderful day!!!

We have three different sets of pictures on Chloe -- in the three posts below.

Chloe's referral pictures -- she was 11 months old

Pictures from September -- 15 months old

We also got this update on Chloe:

Chloe is very active but shy before strangers. She can now speak some simple words, such as ‘a’, ‘ma’ and so on. She also gets along very well with other children in the orphanage, but can grab toys from others’ hands.
She is a good eater with an excellent appetite. Her physical status is fairly good. For her movement, she is now able to stand with assistance, and even can walk slowly with support.

Her height is 29.94inches
weight is 18.7lbs (same as it was at 11 months)
head size is 17.14inches
chest size is 19.7inches
foot length is 3.94inches
She has 5 teeth

Chloe at 17 months old -- Thanksgiving Day

These picture were taken by a family that was in Nanjing picking up their daughter. The first picture is of that mom holding my baby girl. I had asked her to give Chloe a hug from me and to tell her that mama would be there soon. What a great gift this was to receive on Thanksgiving morning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

7 months home...yesterday

As of yesterday we have been home 7 months with Cassie. Or Zhen-Zhen as we still call her.

On Monday she had 3 more vaccines -- she was not at all thrilled about it. But she is now up to date on all her vaccines -- including the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. She's up to about 23 lbs -- she refused to be weighed at the drs office so they had to weigh me holding her, then weight me alone. Nice. Not. So we didn't get an exact weight.

She knows about 25 words now. Can put two words together, and tries to say things like "I love you" and "strawberry" when coached.

Her stuffed animals are still her favorite toys. She actually sleeps with about 8 of them and both Sonny and I have to kiss them all goodnight each night. It's the new bedtime routine.

Zhen-Zhen and I go to play & learn classes 2 - 3 times a week. The classes have really helped Zhen-Zhen with her core muscle strength, her balance and her climbing skills. She's really started to open up at class and show everyone her true personality. Which is silly, giggly, and pretty fearless.

She's still on the bottle -- has no interest in a sippy cup. And I have found that if a sippy cup is thrown across the room the value comes loose and then it leaks. Because of that, we'll stick with the bottles for a while longer. At least until we get Chloe home from China.

Speaking of Chloe -- no new news. Yet. But the phone could ring at any time. I'm beginning to think that the all important phone call isn't going to happen until after the New Year. I'm trying to be patient. Really -- I am.

I did finally hear back from the USCIS office, by email. We actually don't need a new I-171H. We can travel with the one we have since it's up to date and is for 2 children. I wish it wouldn't have taken 12 weeks to learn this information. But at least we now know.

Otherwise things are good here. Getting ready for Christmas and finishing up and starting more projects around the house. More on those in another post. Still no snow here. The pictures here are more from our Santa/reindeer/petting farm visit on Sunday. Zhen-Zhen loves the animals there.

More soon on the many projects around the house. And of course another post as soon as we get our LSC.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Offically going nuts......

yes - it's true - I'm officially going nuts with the waiting.

Today is day 73 of waiting for our LSC. I'm praying it will be here before Christmas -- it would help me sleep at night knowing this step in the process was complete.

And Friday will be 12-weeks since we mailed USCIS our request to have our immigrations (I-171H) paperwork updated. I impatiently wait for mailman everyday -- maybe today I think. I have emailed our local USCIS office twice about our update and haven't heard anything back from them. Of course they don't have a phone number I can call. Soon I will have to take a more aggressive approach.

Tomorrow Thunder would have been 8 years old. I think that mixed in with the holidays have made the wait the past couple of weeks harder.

A family picking up their daughter at Chloe's orphanage were able to take pictures of Chloe for us. I woke up Thanksgiving morning to 28 new pictures of Chloe!!!! That was such a blessing and I was so thankful for them. She's growing up so fast. They are letting her hair grow and she's got the cutest little smile. I can't wait to bring her home. Soon....I pray.

Other than me totally losing it we are all doing well. We all have colds....again. And I promise to post more pictures of Cassie soon.