Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bail money???


Anyone got bail money for this little girl?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Update on my girls

Cassie is 17 months old today. And mama thinks she's the smartest girl ever. Here's a sample of how smart my girl is:

1. She can pant like a puppy.
2. She can quack like a duck. And not just 'quack-quack' like her mama can, she does it like Donald Duck does and how dada does it. Of course I think that's the best ever.
3. She hasn't watched the Baby Signing Times dvd in about a month. Then one day last week while eating she made the sign for "more". Really. I had given up on using the signs with her so she remembered that from a month ago. Smart cookie. Now she uses the "more" sign every day.
4. She is the best refrigerator door shutter ever.
5. She learned how to climb in and out of her toddler bed this week. Until a few weeks ago, she had been taking her naps in the living room. We decided a few weeks ago that we'd try naps in her crib in her bedroom. After lowering the mattress to the lowest setting we realized that she was simply too tall for the crib. We didn't plan on having such a tall girl. So we just made the crib into its toddler bed configuration -- for future use. We moved her pack-and-play into her room for naps until then. I took a picture today of Cassie climbing in and out of her toddler bed. Right now it's just some place to play. (pictures below)

I could go on and on about how smart my baby is but I don't want to make everyone jealous. :) So I'll stop there.


As for Chloe, we are working on getting our dossier completed. Everything is done except for two things. We are still waiting on our agency to review our new home study. From what I'm told they now take about 3 weeks to be reviewed. Yes, I was shocked too. Deep breaths. They have had it since the 12th. Not that I'm counting the days or anything like that. :) The other thing that needs to be done is for the rest of our dossier documents to be authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. I shipped them off on Wednesday and they should be back in my hands in the next 7-10 days. Once the home study is complete, I'll have to mail it to Chicago for authentication, but we'll hire a courier for that -- it's quicker that way. Once that is complete, it's off to China with the dossier. The goal for now is to mail our completed dossier to China by September 18. (Our agency sends packages to China every Friday). I was really hoping for the 4th but I don't see that happening right now. I'll keep everyone posted.


Check out the posts below. There are pictures and video of Cassie.

Climbing into bed -- to play

















A girl and her priorities

Elmo trumps Dada -- this time at least.

It was almost time for Dada to be home for work when this was going on. And no -- she doesn't run around all day naked -- her diaper leaked after her nap and she won't sit still long enough to get dressed, I was lucky enough to get a new diaper on. (this is about a month old)


video

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Words that matter

We got an email from our adoption agency today -- they have our PA -- our Pre-Approval to adopt Chloe. It's actually dated the 10th. Our LOI got submitted to China on Friday night and sometime Monday they approved us. Pretty darn quick turn around.

We officially have three months -- until November 10th -- to get our dossier to China. I have a pretty good feeling it will be in way before then.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sisters

When we started down the path to adopt a child, the plan was always to have two and we knew we wanted two girls. (actually -- I wanted 4 and Sonny agreed to 2 -- I still have some time to keep working on him for at least 3) So back to the story. We also requested twins when we filed our original paperwork. And for some crazy reason I was sure we were getting twins. As the story goes we changed course in November 2008 and decided to apply for a waiting child. We got called about Cassie on January 22, 2009 and that part of the adoption journey is now history. We have an amazing, wonderful, giggly, shoulder scrunching little wonder.


Because of the plan to have two daughters and because the agony of waiting 3.5 years to bring Cassie home was fresh in our minds, we decided to apply for another waiting child right away. So we filled out the waiting child application the day after we got home from China with Cassie. We of course were ready to get a call at anytime. After all, we we prepared for twins. But, in reality we figured it would take at least 9 - 12 months to get a call, and maybe longer. I was secretly hoping for it to take 6 months. But, I also secretly wish to lose 30 lbs while I sleep and that never happens. So I kept my secret wish to myself. After all, it seemed as likely as the overnight weight loss I was hoping for.


Just to keep me busy -- because getting an instant toddler who doesn't sleep at night isn't enough -- we decided to start our new dossier on July 20th. I wanted to have it ready -- for when we got 'the call'. I did this even though we knew if we didn't get 'the call' that we couldn't send our dossier to China to get logged in until after we were home with Cassie for 12 months. But still -- I had hope, and even a few dreams about bringing our 2nd daughter home.


So here is the part of the story that dreams are made of. We got a call from Stephanie from our adoption agency at 11:56pm Wednesday night. Not expecting a call from anyone that late and not thinking Stephanie might be calling with 'the call' for months we were unprepared. Meaning I couldn't find the phone in the bedroom. Once I found the phone -- it had stopped ringing -- thank goodness for caller id -- I saw the area code and wondered if this could be 'the call'. Then I thought maybe she was working late and had a question on our paperwork. She would never call at midnight on a paperwork question, but at midnight I don't think very clearly. I hit redial and of course Stephanie answered on the first or second ring. And yes, this was 'the call'. We have a new daughter -- and Cassie has a sister. Wow -- we were shocked, amazed, overjoyed and mostly just shocked. Oh, and in love all over again. It's amazing how you can just feel your heart growing with the love inside of it. We knew as soon as we saw this baby's cute little fat cheeks that she was our daughter. I stayed up until 3am emailing an international adoption doctor to review the files, emailing our social worker and writing a letter to the China on why we wanted this child to be our daughter. Then I was back up at 5:30am talking about everything with Sonny while he dressed for work. He thought I was crazy to even send her file to a doctor to be reviewed --he knew she was our daughter and wanted to sign on the dotted line with just seeing her pictures. When we decided to go with the waiting child/special needs program we were 100% sure about it and knew God would only give us what we could handle. Plus, we also trusted Stephanie using God's guidance to find us the child He had picked out for us. So there really weren't any questions in our mind that she was our daughter. However, it was nice to hear from the doctor that her medical records looked great -- considering her special need -- and that there were no surprises. But we already knew she was perfect. Both our daughters are.


Our LOI (Letter Of Intent, which is our official request to adopt this child) was submitted to China on Friday. We still are working on our dossier. Until our dossier is completed and submitted we really won't move too quickly through the system to bring our new daughter home. Sonny thinks we'll be traveling in December; I think we'll be traveling in February. So we'll see who's closer.


So yes, we now have two beautiful daughters. Our new daughter will be named Chloe Jewel. As for more info about her we can't share that until we get further along in the process. Of course as soon as we can share that info, we will.


I can tell you this. Chloe is only a few months younger than Cassie. So I got my 'twins' after all. Whether we travel in December or February to pick up Chloe, it will be cold and possibly snowy in her hometown in China --just like here. Sonny also has a work connection in the city where we will be going. Chloe has the same special need as Cassie plus another correctable one. But one we know we can handle. Because God only gives you what you can handle.


We are so overjoyed that we have our little family complete...for now...at least until Cassie, Chloe and I can convince daddy for a little sister or maybe even a little brother. Daddy is proofreading, and wants to include this note: "When donkeys fly." :) This has been an amazing, crazy, and wonderful year. One where all our dreams have come true.


Thanks to everyone for patiently tagging along.


Meanwhile, maintain your patience until I have more news or more pictures of Chloe. Cassie will do her part by hamming it up in front of the camera for everyone. Watch this space...



Sherry

Thursday, August 06, 2009