Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three Musketeers

This evening Matt, Lexie, and I had dinner together...Lexie's favorite spaghetti. We then went to the Library,picked out some new books & then came home and to watch 'Ni Hao Kai lan goes to China'.   I then put Lexie to bed while Matt went out with a few friends for a drink.  After he left I realized that tonight was our last Thursday evening spent as a family of 3. :-( We leave next Thursday afternoon and will not spend another Thursday night together until we have Emma.

It's bizarre -- our little family of 3 has been together for so long, I am having a hard time imagining it any other way. I  hope Lexie remembers some of the time she got to spend with us 1:1.   I know that sounds stupid...2nd, 3rd and 4th kiddos never get that 1:1 time and they do just fine. But still...I hope she remembers.  If not, I just made a photo album with 2011 pictures to remind her of all the fun things she got to do with us :-).  I plan to use it when she is a teenager and she is telling me how unfair her life is, ha!

This evening when I put Lexie to bed she asked me to lie down with her (of course I obliged, much easier then fighting, lol). While I was laying down with Lexie, she put her hands on my face, gave my forehead a kiss (this is a Matt move btw) and said 'you are my favorite'.  I did the same back to her and said 'Lexie, you are my favorite'. She then gave me a bear hug and said 'you are the best mommy'.  She then grabbed my hand and closed her eyes.  I sat there, lying next to my daughter, holding her hand and just thanked God for everything we have.

Here she is blowing me kisses good night...

I couldn't have asked for a better evening.

UPDATE: 10 mins later...Well, I now hear her screaming my name (perhaps a glass of water, or a potty break) so I guess my blissful evening is over.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Lexie has been telling us for weeks that Emma wants a horse and that she wants "red sparkly" ice skates for Christmas.  She is just in the adorable age when every gift seems magical, it's super cute..

Here we are putting the Reindeer food out on Christmas eve after church and after 'elfing' a few of our neighbors. :-)

Anyway, red sparkly ice skates are not sold at Target, Walmart, or my go to, Amazon.  So I was forced to go down the do it yourself path.  I am pretty much do it yourself outed at this point in the year so Matt was roped into figuring this one out.  Anyway, the skates involved a double bladed pair of skates ordered online,  a product called 'mod podge', a lot of glitter, and a spray sealant.  Ta da!!

Emma's 'horse' & Lexie's red sparkly ice skates

Suffice it to say , I believe we may have red sparkles over our house for years to come. I am also not sure how often the skates will be used but..I think it will all be worth it when we see her face tomorrow morning. :-)

Ok - so on to Emma's gift from Santa.  Do you notice anything weird about the rocking horse? First of all - it is not a horse, it is a moose. Matt pointed that out after I purchased it from Ikea.  Whatever I told him, Lexie will buy this is a horse from Santa for Emma.  Second problem - the moose came with two left legs.  Third, and potentially the largest issue,  we didn't start putting said moose together until 10 pm tonight. I am married to an amazing man though who figured it out and I think we are now good to go....but I should probably get Ikea to fix said horse moose before Emma sits on it though!

Speaking of Emma -- we meet her in 16 days, 'gotcha day'!!  Her orphanage often takes the child from their foster family about two weeks before gotcha day. The idea behind this is that they want the child to grieve the loss of their foster family before the adoptive parents come to pick the child up.  I believe Emma's orphanage is one of the only orphanages that does this but we don't really know for sure.  Anyway, at church this evening it broke my heart to think of Emma being taken from her foster parents on Christmas day.  I want to be there for her.

We will be spending Christmas day with Lexie, the red sparkly ice skates, and a two left legged moose.  We wish we were spending it with Emma but we know God is with her.  God is with her, her foster family, and her birth mother or father this Christmas eve.

Emma: female name coming from Emmanuel, meaning, 'God is with us'.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby Emma

We were finally able to locate Emma's 'finding ad' this week.   I will not be sharing the entire ad with you but I did want to share her photo!! Given up until today we only had 2 photos of her, I figured you all would like to see the third photo we now have of Emma. It will most likely be the youngest photo we have of her. Isn't she absolutely adorable?!!!

How did we come across this photo you ask?! Well, a friend on a chat board suggested a Google search! We actually used the Chinese version of Google (Baidu) to do an 'image search' of her Chinese name (I can't believe I waited this long to try this technique!).  The result was a series of baby pictures that were all published along with Emma's in the same newspaper that week.  I narrowed it down to two babies that I thought could be Emma.   I wasn't for certain that this was her until I got an email this morning from a professional  - Brian Stuy - who included the entire finding ad, confirming photo #2 was Emma.

I did have a hunch it was initially her though.  A few reasons:

1) You can tell this is Emma because of her Mohawk hair here -- like her referral photo.  I just love it that she had a Mohawk as a baby (I say 'had' because she is now 15 mos and I am assuming has a full head of hair!!).

2)  Lexie had this same hair when she was born.  In fact, when Lexie was born she looked really similar to Emma.  I actually remember asking (in a post c section daze) if that was really my baby b/c she had such dark hair. I had expected a blond haired little girl. Anyway, here are the two sisters side by side.

3) When Matt saw the photo on Google he said - 'God that looks like me when I was a baby!'  His mom has shared pictures that confirm that as a baby he had this crazy dark hair too.

21 days from now I will be posting a picture (well, probably multiple pictures) of Matt and I holding a now 15 mos old Emma!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


We got TA today!! We are trying to get a consulate appointment of January 16th, leaving shortly after the new year - Jan 4th or 5th. We will know tomorrow for sure the details.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2 pm at our house...

Right now we are waiting for our Travel Approval from the Chinese Gov't.  Our agency estimates it will come sometime over the next 3 weeks.   Once we get this approval, we can book our flights (2-3 weeks out).

These approvals come physically to our agency via DHL.  DHL is usually delivered to our agency around 2 pm east coast time.

So..everyday from today until we get our TA, at 2 pm, I will frantically be checking my email.  I also will be checking the blogs to see if other adoptive parents waiting for their travel approval have gotten their TA. i.e. yesterday someone that was 4 days ahead of us got their TA. I almost wet myself I was so excited for them.  

The invention of the smart phone gives me an edge here. I can be shopping, working, working out, or at matter what, I have my phone and my email at my touch.  

On the plus side, Lexie is still napping so I am able to spend this time waiting for the call without her screaming in the background.

So if you want to get a hold of me...just email or call around 2 pm. I will answer. :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Article 5 Pick up!! Chinese New Year Feedback?

We *think* we had article 5 pickup today in Guangzhou today!

We got an email in the middle of the night from the consulate (amazing services!) indicating it was ready. Our agency said their contact usually picks it up when it was ready and since it was scheduled for 12/6, she assumes it happened.  We are going with a 'yes' with that feedback. :-)

So we now start our official wait for Travel Approval!  Our hope is to get it by 12/22 (our agency is closed the 23 and the 26th so the 22nd is the last chance before Christmas).

On travel dates -- my good friend Torye opened my eyes this weekend and we are know thinking that we may try to stay in China during the Chinese New Year (as opposed to avoiding it ).

We have heard that if you are there during the new year it is truly a once in a lifetime trip.  The consulate is open the Thursday of the new year week so if we can get the rest of the items (medical review specifically) done before the CNY, it just may work!!

Anyone been to China during the NY? Or know anyone who has?