Friday, June 26, 2009

We Have Travel Dates!!!

Our agency emailed this morning with confirmed travel dates. We REALLY wish that we were going sooner. Our kids start school on August 6th so Taylor and Audrey will miss their first days of HS and Jr. High along with all of the associated registrations and orientations. We'll also miss Xander's first day of kindergarten which breaks my heart but Papa Jim Jim and Grandma Judy will be here to see him off. We'll do what we have to do to get our girl HOME! Our travel schedule looks something like this:

7/23 - Depart U.S.
7/24 - Arrive in Beijing
7/25 - Beijing Tour
7/26 - Fly to Jiangxi-Meili's Province
7/28 – MEILI DAY!!!
7/31 - Fly to Guangzhou in the morning
8/4 - Consulate appointment
8/5 - Go to consulate to pick up passport with visa and take oath in the afternoon
8/7 – Earliest you can depart from China

It's later than we hoped but at least we know when we are leaving! :)

You Know You Are a SERIOUS Michael Jackson Fan When...

  • As a child, you would cue a cassette tape to record any MJ song that might come in over the radio and owned enough buttons, posters and MJ paraphernilia to fill a small museum.
  • As a sophomore in hs, you cried until your 9 months pregnant mother drove you into South Central Los Angeles to see MJ at a school dedication ceremony. You went, saw him from behind a chain-link fence and had callouses on your hands for months from the death grip you held on the fence while you screamed his name. Thanks, Mom. :)
  • Your family went to the Bad Tour in 1988 and you're pretty sure that was the family vacation that year.
  • As an adult, a friend once brought dinner and phoned in your regrets to a church obligation so that you could stay home and watch the 2 hour MJ/Martin Bashir interview.
  • Your kids know every word to most MJ songs, but still ask every once in a while if he is a boy or a girl.
  • You once showed up to hip hop dance class and the teacher turned the class over to you to teach the Thriller routine...and you did it...and not as a teen-this was about 18 months ago.
  • There is a pair of Michael Jackson LA Gears in the closet that you can't seem to part with.
  • You have a dog named Jackson.
  • When he passes away, your phone starts ringing off the hook with calls-including one from your brother checking to make sure you haven't committed suicide over the news.
  • And your friends show up at your doorstep wearing black , carrying candles and a makeshift shrine...

Unfortunately, I wasn't home when they arrived. (I had put on my Bad Tour concert T and headed out to a candlelight vigil-wish I was joking.) Taylor took this pic and showed it to me when we got home. Seriously, ladies-I laughed so hard I almost peed. Good friends. :)

Michael Jackson-The King of Pop 1958-2009

Thanks, Michael for the music and the memories.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WE HAVE TA!!!

Halle-FREAKING-leujia!!! Our agency was apparently caught off guard with a 'surprise package' that contained our travel approval this afternoon! They are currently requesting a consulate appointment and checking guide availability. They hope to have travel dates for us early next week. In the meantime, everybody chant with me, "CHEAP AIR FARE, CHEAP AIR FARE, CHEAP AIR FARE!"

There are so many other aspects of our life that are on hold right now until we know those dates so it is exciting to almost have that piece of the puzzle in place. Plus, we are one step closer to meeting our baby girl!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Call!

video

My Adoption Website Giveaway!

So, here's the scoop! I have a certificate for a My Adoption Website, Package A ($150 value!) Matt and I won this eons ago at a China adoption conference. We fully intended to use it but I have become quite attached to our little spot here in the blogosphere and it is meeting our needs. I don't have the time or the energy to set up another website right now. The good news is that the certificate says that it never expires and can be transferred to another family.

If you are interested, here's what you need to do: Leave a comment on this post and include your first name, Log In Date and email address so I can hunt you down easily if you are the winner. Next Monday, the 22nd, I'll number the blog comments from first to last. I'll have one of my children pick a number at random or from a hat. If the drawn number corresponds to your post on the blog, then you are the winner! My adoption website donates 10% of the fee for each website to Half the Sky. Since Meili is benefitting from their services right now, may I suggest that if you win, you donate 10% of the fee ($15) to that organization. Thanks and good luck!

ps-I realize that most of my blog friends are already home with their kiddos. Feel free to pass the word along to anyone that you know that may be able to use this adoption website service!

Audrey Seeing Meili's Pic for the First Time

We showed up at school on the last day with a surprise for Audrey (aka 'Drama Queen') as well:

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Noah Sees Meili's Pic for the First Time

We are about to crawl out of our skin waiting for Travel Approval over here!

In the meantime, we have been reliving referral day by watching some of the video that was taken. Here's what happened when we surprised Noah in his classroom on the last day of school with Meili's referral pic-I just love his classmates' reaction to seeing her photo!:

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Taylor and Audrey are Going to China!

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We have always wanted to take our oldest two children to China with us. However, we had not made them any promises. We thought we could wait until we saw what airfare looked like once we had travel dates to decide but found ourselves looking at a visa application last week and realized that a decision had to be made that day.

Matt and I came home from a weekend getaway last September with a scorpion sucker for Taylor. We told him that we didn't know if we could take him to China with us since he is such a picky eater and we were concerned that he might starve to death. We showed him the sucker and told him that if he could eat the whole thing, then he could go to China. The sucker has stayed on a shelf in a cupboard for the last 9 months. So, last Monday we told him that this was it-eat the sucker and go to China or don't. It was of course a joke but it was fun to see just how far he was willing to go to meet his sister in China. Enjoy the video!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Updated Pics of Meili!

I can't think of a better way to start a Monday morning than THIS! These are pics of our girl taken just YESTERDAY!!! She looks great-big, healthy and sitting up on her own!. I am fascinated by her porcelain skin. What I find really comforting is the Half the Sky logo on the nanny's shirt. If she has been in an orphanage for all of this time, at least she has likely received a little extra tlc and some attention to her development as a part of their program.

Check out the size of that CAKE! I hope they shared with all of her little friends!

I can't say it enough. Ann is amazing!










Sunday, June 07, 2009

Meili's Birthday on This Side of the World...

We celebrated Meili's birthday this evening by wrapping a few gifts, eating Chinese food, and having a ladybug cake.


Sunday is one of the only times of the week that all 6 of us are showered and dressed in clothes that match all at the same time so we took the opportunity to snap these photos for Meili's care package photo album right when we got home from church.





We can hardly take our eyes off of her pictures. Can't wait to celebrate Meili's birthday next year with the real deal!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Today, our baby girl turns one year old in an orphanage on the other side of the world. It's hard to wrap my brain around that but it is what it is.

We have sent a birthday care package to Meili via Ann at www.redthreadchina.com She has been truly amazing to work with-prompt in returning emails and was able to quickly verify that Meili is indeed in the orphanage (as opposed to foster care.) She also sent us updated measurements (looks like Meili will be 20 pounds by Gotcha Day!) If we are lucky, we might receive some updated pics soon. Those would do this momma's heart some good so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Tonight, we'll be having a birthday celebration complete with Chinese food, presents and a ladybug cake. The only thing missing will be the guest of honor. In the letter we sent along with her birthday cake, we asked her caretaker to give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek from us. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer until we can do it ourselves!

Happy First Birthday, Meili! We are so ready to bring you home!