Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Family Pictures

Wow, the last month and a half have been so busy. One of these days I'll actually catch up with posts. For now, I wanted to share some pictures of my kiddos. We took our family picture for Christmas a couple of weeks ago. It just gets easier the more kids you have - NOT. Jack refused to have his picture taken. He also insisted on sitting on a stool like mom and dad. Can we say bribe, bribe, bribe? Liam didn't want to sit still. Maggie - she's still young and did a great job.
All of our eyes are open!
My big four-year-old.
A rare picture of Liam sitting still. He looks like such a little big man.
My precious princess.
Her eyes and smiles will melt your heart.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tired Of Us Already

We are taking the boys to daycare while Maggie adjusts to life at home. Yesterday morning as I was getting the boys ready, Jack asked if he was going to stay with Dixie, his daycare provider like the boys had while we were in China. My voice oozing with comfort, I told him that no, we were going to pick him up that evening. After all, we are done with our China adventures. "No!" he cried. "You need to go to China and adopt another brother and sister!"

Well, I really don't think that's going to happen but it was cute and a little sad that he insisted we needed to leave the country when I thought he was concerned that we wouldn't pick him up that evening.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

China Adoption Travel Tips

Lion at Victoria's Peak, Hong Kong

It's an exciting time for the remaining families in my Yahoo China Adoption group. Several are scheduled to leave for China this week! Last week, the others received matches for their beautiful children. I'm so excited for them. These are some tips I'd like to share with those who may still be planning their trip.

1. If you can afford to, bring extra money. With the US economy being in the tank, we owed more money for the orphanage fee. Also, our guides wanted us to tip bus drivers and even the hotel staff in Guangzhou, including housekeeping. Originally, we were told that tipping wasn't necessary. Also, tours are extra (of course), so that will factor into what you spend.

2. If your entry port isn't Beijing, leave a few days earlier (if you can afford it.) I wish we had done this. The sights we saw in Hong Kong, excluding Victoria's Peak, were not that exciting, definitely not the beginning I had imagined for our trip. I can't believe we flew all the way to China and didn't see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City.  

3. If you're single or the only person of a couple traveling, please bring a support person. You're going to need it. There was a person in our group who came by herself and I know it was a struggle for her to manage her child and everything else that was going on - luggage, etc. Sometimes it really does take a village. Mike and I were blessed to have three people on our team. My mom was an amazing help.

4. If you have two rooms and you "think" you have late-day check-outs for both rooms, double check. In Guangzhou, mom received a call in the early afternoon "reminding" her that she needed to check out of the room or be charged an extra day. That information was never shared with us prior to the trip. All of a sudden, we were scrambling to more everything from mom's room into our room. That was some extra craziness we didn't need on the day we left for Hong Kong.

5. Bring a small packet or two of formula with you on Gotcha Day. We had some Enfamil packs but they were at the hotel because we thought we would be given formula that morning. We discovered that the last time Maggie had been fed that day was at 6:30 in the morning. We received her between 10:30 and 11. Although I thought promotional material for our agency said they provided the baby with their first can of formula, this was not the case. Right after our Gotcha moment, we took a trip to a local super market to buy formula. However, Maggie was heavily crying before we reached the hotel because she was so hungry.

6. Our agency promised that staff provides water at each stop, so at each city. We received this at two of our stops, the first in Hong Kong after I commented how thirsty we were. If I hadn't said something, we probably would not have been offered this. In Changsha, our guide said she had never heard of this policy. So, I e-mailed our agency. In Guangzhou, water was waiting for us on the bus when we arrived. If the guides don't have water when you meet them, ask about it. If they act confused, e-mail the agency. I get upset when agencies/companies promise things and don't deliver. Hopefully, the next family who stays in Hunan will get everything that is promised to them.  

7. If you are in a taxi and get hit by a vehicle, don't be upset if the taxi drivers orders you out of the cab and away from the scene right away. This happened to Mike and one of our adoptive parent friends. Mike learned from a friend who is from China that if the two had been at the scene when the police arrived, they may have had to stay in the country longer for the investigation, legal process. What had been considered rude bheavior was really a time saver.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na

It's Batman and his sidekick, Tiger.
The Tiger outfit Liam's birth family bought fits him perfectly. He just needs a tail. :)
Batman Jackie, the fierce defender.
His loyal buddy.
And little Boo who may be a ladybug if the oufit grandma bought fits for Halloween. Otherwise, she'll just have to be a precious baby girl.

So The Story Goes...

Liam loves technology and just about everything else he shouldn't have his hands on. He especially loves phones. Tonight, Liam got a hold of our phone. We grabbed it from him before he dialed the White House or 911. It was a time to bring up the important 911 subject with Jack.

Me: "Jack, you call 911 when you need to get a hold of a police officer, ambulance or fire truck."
Jack patiently listening.
Me: "So, if mommy falls, is sick..."
Jack: "Or is dead."

Uh, what?

Me: "Why would mommy be dead?"
Jack: "Because you spank my butt too much."

Okay, so I do spank him sometimes although I prefer to use that as a last ditch effort. For example, when I've entered his and Liam's room three times during nap time to tell him to stop hitting the wall with his feet so he and his brother can go to sleep. Usually, tone of voice or timeout is the preferred choice of discipline. We did a lot of timeout yesterday.

So, here begs the question, where do we go for therapy now that the Oprah show is gone? :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pictures from Gotcha Day

Look at my baby girl - so tiny!
A wee bit emotional - I'd been waiting for this moment for a long time.
Yep - we're in love.
Checking us out.

A Welcome Home Gift

When we returned to our house on Thursday, we had to sift through tons of mail (lots of junk) that we had put on delivery hold while we were gone. But there was also a package from Fisher Price. Hmm...Mike said he knew what it was but I wasn't convinced. Perhaps I had ordered something before we left and somehow forgotten about it?

Before we left for China, I wrote Mattel and asked if there was a way I could purchase the "Going Home" Barbie. This Barbie features a Caucasian mommy with Asian baby. Adoptive parents used to received this set when they stayed at the White Swan hotel in Guangzhou. However, the hotel is being renovated so we did not get to stay there during our trip. I was very sad when I learned this. The White Swan and "Going Home" Barbie are a regular part of the China adoption process. I wanted Maggie to have a doll set that resembled our relationship.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up the box and found this. Thank you Mattel/Fisher Price!

Hanging in there

Saturday night/Sunday morning was the first time since the trip that I woke up and realized right off the bat that I was not waking up in a hotel. Now if I could just get Maggie to sleep through the night. She has been up 3, 4? times already. I'm so tired, I lose count. She always manages to take a doo doo around midnight. She wanted to sleep through it tonight but I knew it would be massive so I got her up and changed her diaper.

Wow - my blog has become all about sleep and poopy diapers. Nice.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jet Lagged

Wow - this jet lag and missing out on sleep over a 24 hour period is rough. Plus, Maggie has her days and nights confused. After all, she took naps on the plane, but we didn't get that much rest. I still wake up sometimes and wonder which hotel we're in, then it slowly dawns on me that we are in our own comfortable (and soft!) beds.

Watching and listening to Mike wake up can be quite comical. I guess he's a deeper sleeper than me. Last night, he asked where the light was. Tonight, after I asked him to make a bottle, he said, "I was going to go to the bathroom. I guess I'll go downstairs." (We only have one level.) Then I had to direct him towards the bedroom door so he could find the kitchen. He still managed to stumble into the door. Once he saw our hallway, it dawned on him where he was. I waited until he left the room before I burst out laughing.

I still can't believe we're home. Jack was pretty excited when we picked up the boys. Liam was a bit confused. It was heart breaking. There was no way I could fully prepare a 14 month old for our long trip. I hear even Jack had his moments. Once we arrived home, I think it started clicking for Liam who we were and where we were. He started checking out all their toys. We kept both boys home from daycare today so we could spend it as a family. Liam came more out of his shell. Mike said he even saw Liam give Maggie a hug. Of course, Liam also lightly hit Maggie's face one time. Mostly though, he pats her head and feels her face like a blind person feels an object for the first time.

If I keep waking up at 3 in the morning, I will eventually start posting pictures of our trip!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Back Home!

Praise be to God we made it back safely last night. I was so grateful when we touched down in St. Louis. We are all a little exhausted and could probably sleep for the next 24 hours but that's not going to happen. Eventually, we'll catch up. Hopefully, I'll have time to post more about our experiences in China during my time off from work.

We are picking up our boys later. I miss them so much. Once I get them in my arms they may need to work real hard to get themselves back out.

We are grateful for your prayers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Changsha Update

I keep meaning to update my blog at night but tend to fall asleep when Maggie does at 8:30 p.m. I have her crib next to my bed and try to hold her hand through it. A half hour later I wake up and realize that I'm too drained to attempt to make sense on the blog.

Some updates...

On Wednesday evening we went to one of my dad's favorite restaurants - Pizza Hut! And it was much better than back in the states - less sauce, more cheese. Dad, I told you to join us. :)

On Thursday we headed to Martyr's Park a place dedicated to the revolutionists. We saw demonstrations of tai chi, women singing, koi fish and beautiful bridges. Afterwards, we went to the Hunan Embroidery Research Institute China Hunan Embroidery Museum. Embroidery goes back 2000 years in China. They do amazing work at the museum. They can embroider two different images (front and back) on one piece of silk. We bought a small embroidery piece with koi fish for Maggie. Her province is famous for its embroidery work and I wanted to make sure we took something home for her. Of course, the boys will love to see the koi fish too.

In the afternoon, we received Maggie's birth certificate and an official sheet with her finding spot information. Last night, Mike and another dad from our group ventured out to buy food at an authentic Chinese restaurant. We had received order information in Chinese from our guide. They showed this to the staff and they laughed. Then they were directed to a lower scale Chinese restaurant that Mike compared to a Burger King. They also laughed but ended up with some food - some beef that didn't look like beef that we didn't eat. Mom ended up eating plain rice while I ate the rice and spicy broccoli. The boys also picked up a delicious cranberry cake.

Today, we will meet with a calligraphy expert who will create a document with Maggie's Chinese name at the hotel. Later we will receive Maggie's passport and head to the airport for our flight to Guangzhou. In a week we will be back in St. Louis. I can't wait to see my boys again and for them to meet their baby sister!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


We made it to Changsha after a gate mix-up and extra hour wait tonight. We flew China Air and the service was better than we experienced on our long United flight from the U.S. Our CCAI guide Amy met us at the airport.

We are at The Dolton Hotel. We learned that Maggie Rose is in Changsha already! The Daoxian orphanage staff brought her to the city a day early because the SWI is approximately six hours away and we are meeting her at 10:30 tomorrow morning! I doubt if she is in this hotel because it's a bit ritsy but it's amazing to think that my little girl is almost here.

I am not sure if I will be able to post pictures. I am so disappointed. We need to go through our connection at home and I shut that down last night (unknowingly) when I shut Mike's laptop down because the power was low.
We have already witnessed some crazy Chinese driving tonight. I am not too worried since we are being transported in a nice van. Sadly, it's almost entertaining to see how people get around here. However, the honking outside right now from my 30th floor window is not so entertaining.
We have a crib in our room and a Hello Kitty baby tub in our bathroom. We are ready for Miss Maggie!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In Hong Kong!

We landed in Hong Kong yesterday afternoon after flying more than 15 hours from Chicago. Boy, that was a brutal flight, especially towards the end when it seemed to slow down even more as I stared at the computer screen counting down the last hour.

When I got off the plane, I said, "We're in Hong Kong" as if to remind myself of reality. So much of this is still a bit surreal. Our guide Matthew was waiting for us at the airport. Today, we took a tour with Paul, Shelley and their son from our agency travel group and everal people from Holland. We visited an over priced jewelry store and enjoyed the view from Victoria's Peak. Mike took a sampan boat tour. Mom and I passed on the boat ride. We don't do very well on choppy water so we stayed in the air conditioned bus. I think there is probably enough pollution in the water. I don't need to be adding to it.

We are staying at the Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin and it is a beautiful hotel. We will fly to Hunan, Maggie's province tomorrow afternoon. We get our girls sometime on Monday.

Hong Kong is beautiful but the curvy roads got to me afer a while. We are a bit disappointed that because of our small group size we were not taken to a dim sum meal. Sorry, no pictures right now. We hope to post some tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One More Day!

The bags are packed and we are almost ready to go. Leaving the boys this morning at their daycare provider was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was tearing up as I left. I know they'll be in good hands while we're gone, but I didn't want to quit loving on them.

While we were there, Jack said, "Mommy and daddy got to fly over the dolphin to the red place." We have a toy globe and every country has a color. The US is yellow and China is red. In-between the two countries is a button for a dolphin that makes a cute sound. Jack has an understanding of where we will be and why but it breaks my heart that Liam will wonder where mommy is. I hope I can make it up to him when I return.

We leave tomorrow morning and hope and pray for very friendly skies. Thanks for all the wonderful prayers and well wishes!

One More Day!

The bags are packed and we are almost ready to go. Leaving the boys this morning at their daycare provider was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was tearing up as I left. I know they'll be in good hands while we're gone, but I didn't want to quit loving on them.

While we were there, Jack said, "Mommy and daddy got to fly over the dolphin to the red place." We have a toy globe and every country has a color. The US is yellow and China is red. In-between the two countries is a button for a dolphin that makes a cute sound. Jack has an understanding of where we will be and why but it breaks my heart that Liam will wonder where mommy is. I hope I can make it up to him when I return.

We leave tomorrow morning and hope and pray for very friendly skies. Thanks for all the wonderful prayers and well wishes!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Countdown to China

We are so blessed that Jack's and Liam's daycare provider is going to take care of our boys while we are in China. She is a very sweet woman who loves our little stinkers. To help Jack get a better idea of how long we'll be gone, I created a chain for each day that we're away. Each chain either says where we are or what we're doing that day or contains an interesting fact about the places we visit.

For example, did you know that Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbour for the amount of incense that came through the area? I gave the boys' daycare provider an incense stick that they can see and smell. Do you know which animal you are in the Chinese zodiac? Jack's and Liam's friends will soon discover their zodiac animal.

We are leaving Thursday and will arrive in Hong Kong on Friday. We will leave for Maggie Rose's province on Sunday and receive her on Monday. I am very excited but I have to admit I'm still in a bit of denial. It's hard to shake that off after five years.
We are blessed to have the loving support of family and friends while we are gone. Please continue to pray for us - for safe travels and for Maggie to be able to adjust to her new family and eventually bond with us.

Scenes from a Hospital

If they don't do good in restaurants, you probably shouldn't take them to a hospital.
Next image blurred to protect juvenile's identity.  (:

Welcome Alexander!

My brother Doug and his wife are proud parents of a baby boy. They delivered their precious bundle of joy last week. Congratulations Doug and JeNae!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coming soon...more travel information!

We received an e-mail from our agency today. We will receive our final travel packet tomorrow or Thursday and take part in a travel conference call on Friday. I can't wait to see the information about our in-China travel and find out when we'll receive Maggie. A friend who recently brought home her daughter told me that while she was in China, people who received referrals from the Hunan province received their daughters on Sunday. That would be September 18!

It's been an exciting day for us and for some of our Yahoo friends. Lots of referral calls were made today. Lots of beautiful babies. One friend even received a referral for twins! Tomorrow they will receive additional pictures of their daughters. Oh happy day!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jack's First Driving Lesson

Grandpa took the ol' jalopy out for a cruise on the gravel road this afternoon. When we cruised into the hay field, he let Jack take over the wheel. My little man was so excited. He always wants to drive my car. Jack took his first driving lesson pretty seriously. I wish I had brought the camera with us.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flights Booked!

After being on the phone waiting for a customer service representative from Expedia twice today - an hour each time, I finally said, forget it, and booked our flights directly through United Airlines. So, our flights are booked for China! We are leaving September 15!! Please pray for safe travels. After all these years, it's hard to believe that we will meet Miss Maggie next month. I'll probably wake up from this surreal state when she starts screaming at me on Forever Family Day. Yes, I'm imagining the worst, praying for the best.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TAs & Visas!!

Our agency, CCAI, received our travel approval today! With the Mid-Autumn Festival taking place September 12, it looks like we will leave between September 14 - 16. I joked on Facebook that we are now accepting Frequent Flyer miles, but seriously, now is the time for that long-lost distant (and rich) relative to step forward. :)

Hopefully, we will learn of our definite departure and return dates in the next few days so we can book our flights. That's the next biggie on our list.

We also received our Passports and Visas today. We are slowly checking off our to-do things and getting closer to Maggie.

With TA's sent, there is hope that referrals are around the corner for the next group of people who are logged into China. Fingers crossed that it's a big batch!! I love referral time!!

Thanks Ruby!

For shedding light on what the "WWGFD" bumper sticker may mean. I had no idea it could reference a video game. I was assuming it was a religious reference based on "WWJD." I hope you are right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Sweet Boy

I'm usually the one who shuttles the kids to and from daycare, but sometimes Mike picks up the boys and when he does he often has candy like Starbursts. It's a fun "let's-go-ahead-and-spoil-your-dinner" treat that Jack and now Liam love. The other night, Mike was teasing Jack that it was more fun to come home in his car as opposed to mine. But Jack said he liked going in his momma's car and you want to know why - "because she gives me love." That's exactly what he said. Melt my heart. That was the sweetest thing I've ever heard him say.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where Is Maggie Rose From?

Mike works with a man who is from China. When this co-worker saw our daughter's pictures today, he said she looked Cantonese, meaning she doesn't look like she comes from the Hunan province as stated in her paperwork. Did her birth parent(s) travel from a nearby province with Maggie so that no one they knew would discover what they were doing? Or, are Maggie's birth parent(s) Cantonese but moved to the Hunan province? Or, is there another reason? It's likely we will never know the answer but it gives us a tiny clue into her background.  
The Hunan province is located close to the Guangdong province. Cantonese is believed to have originated in Canton or Guangzhou, Guangdong.


Saw this on a bumper sticker tonight. I think you can interpret what it's supposed to imply. Sad, just sad.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Amazing Race (In Our Living Room)

The boys were hyper tonight racing each other across the living room. Jack is still faster than Liam but you ought to see my thirteen-month-old fly.
Too fast to be captured on film.
Tonight, Liam gave me a kiss when I asked for one before he went to bed. Oh, how I love his little open mouthed kisses. So cute!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Noodle Head

Liam was all about putting food on his head tonight. Can you spot the noodle?

Ridiculously Cute!

Miss Maggie's swimsuit arrived in the mail today. I took a picture of it with a lotion bottle so you could see how tiny it is. The tag says it will fit a baby who weighs 12.5 to 16.5 pounds. Mike bets the suit won't fit her. My friend Shelley found us a 6 to 9 month suit at a very good price so I think we'll be in good shape in China.
Cute bow on the back! Love the ruffles!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little Girl Found

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to discover an abandoned baby in China? What would you do? Rumor Queen recently posted a link to this article describing one woman's experience. Like the author, I would have trouble letting go. My heart aches for the homeless children.  

The Waiting Game

When are we going to travel? Right now, I imagine it will be the first or second week in September. The good news is that our Visa applications along with our Passports are safely at the US Consulate. Hopefully, we will receive our Visas in a week or so. If anyone is looking for a courier, I highly recommend Denise Hope at There's Always Hope. She has been great to us.

Meanwhile, we're building a monster pile for our suitcases. All kinds of goodies for Maggie - clothes, prunes (hee, hee), diapers (etc) and then some snacks for us. We'll be taking plenty of granola bars and peanut butter for treats to tie us over.

Our agency released its monthly newsletter today. Last month, the agency received referrals for just three families - we are one of those blessed families. I had the great fortune of being contacted by one of the two families in our group. We have been communicating since then helping each other with the Visa applications and figuring out what to pack. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's nothing like being a member of the adoption community. I have experienced the warmth of friendship and kindness so many times from members of this caring community.

I ordered a 3 to 6 month swimsuit for Maggie Rose since we will be in three toasty locations during our stay in China. I hope to receive the suit soon and post a picture of it. My CCAI friend found us a 6 to 9 month swimsuit in case the one I ordered is too small.

Our Yahoo friends received their baby girls today. One friend posted about the day on her blog. Wow - it's incredible to see her precious pictures, knowing that we will have our own special day next month.

Now, we sit back and play the waiting game for a little while longer. We hope to receive our travel approval this week which will allow our agency to ask for a date with the US Consulate in China which will help them figure out our travel dates!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Men on Campus

The boys decided to play with their backbacks the other day. They had a lot of fun carrying them around. Liam loves it when he has exactly what Jack has. Well, okay, Liam had the Spongebob backpack while Jack carried around Buzz Lightyear, but still, Liam thinks he's pretty cool.
Serious backback and serious Scooby Doo watching.
"Look, mom. No pants." What a little hippie!

Care Package, Visa Apps, Oh My!

Since we received Maggie Rose's referral, time has flown.

First, we had 24 to 48 hours to send back our acceptance letter. Last week, I put together Maggie's care package consisting of a light blanket, rattle, Hello Kitty toy (thinking about you, Amy), photo book, camera, treats for Maggie and her friends and candy for her care givers. Fingers crossed that her ophanage will actually take pictures. We hear that families from her province often do not receive their cameras back. I also would love for Maggie to be able to keep her toys. I marked everything I could. The rattle was the only that I couldn't mark.  

Yesterday, I mailed our Visa applications. With some help, the four page application wasn't so bad, just time consuming. Today, I mailed our travel paperwork to our agency.

Now, I can sit back and wait for our Passports and Visas to be mailed to us. We still do not know with certainty when we will travel. However, we may receive our Travel Approvals in a couple of weeks.  

There are a few families in our Yahoo group that are leaving for China this week! They will meet their daughters next week. I am so excited for them. I can't imagine how excited I will be when we actually travel.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Maggie Rose!

Check out these adorable pictures that came in our referral packet.
She looks so tiny!
Lady, give me my mom and dad, stat.
Look at that hair! Now, do you think they shaved the front and side of Maggie's head or does she just have super producing follicles towards the back?

Yes, Yes, Yes!

I FedExed a letter stating that we accept Maggie's referral this morning. Our agency's Child Match department should receive our acceptance letter on Monday and then will send it to China. China will then in turn give us approval to travel there to pick up Maggie. After our U.S. Consulate appointment is set in China, we will know our travel dates. I'm in a bit of a daze. After all these years, things are finally!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Stork Has Arrived!

Our FedEx guy arrived a few minutes ago. Of course, I made him take the traditional stork picture. At first when I asked to take his picture, he was taken aback but when I explained why he was very nice about it. He has friends who have adopted from other countries.
That package he's holding contained more pictures of Maggie Rose! I don't have a scanner so I won't be able to post her pictures for a while. You know, I thought that dark stuff on top of Maggie's head in her referral photo was the background, but it looks like that's her real hair! OMG!! Her other pictures show this big tuft of hair near the back of her head. Oh, I hope they don't shave Maggie's head before we pick her up. I want to put a bow in her lovely hair so badly!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Brothers!

We are so thrilled. We hope to receive more pictures of Miss Maggie tomorrow. Needless to say, it's been a pretty non productive day. Tomorrow I'll be on stork lookout as FedEx brings our little girl's referral packet.

Introducing Maggie Rose

Name: Yong Xiao Qing 
Translation: Dawn Beautiful
DOB: 2/14/2011
Province: Hunan

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Maggie Rose

Dear Maggie Rose,

We are finally going to see your precious face tomorrow. Your mother, father and two brothers, Jack and Liam, are so excited! You will have two wonderful playmates when you arrive home. They are awnry sometimes but also very loving. Once you get to know them, you'll probably think they're some of the funniest boys you've ever met.

I have wanted you in my life for a very long time. When I was a little girl I wanted a little sister so badly. My mom finally told me, "You'll just have to have your own little girl someday." It's been many years since then, and more than five years since we began our China adoption journey. And now, it's time baby, time to get to know you through a picture and a few descriptions. Your daddy and I are so blessed. I hope you will one day love us as much as we already love you.

Love with lots of hugs and kisses,
Your Mommy

Here Comes Maggie - Tomorrow!!

Matches Arrived!!!
We just received a group of matches for our families who are logged in July 7, 2006. We did not receive any matches for our families who are expedited due to Chinese Descent. We do not know the official cut off date at this time as the CCCWA has not updated their intranet site. Congratulations to our matched families! We will be making match calls tomorrow. We will update this website when more information becomes available.

We will get the call tomorrow and finally hear about our precious girl! If my head could spin, it would right now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

China Update

This update was posted on our agency's website this afternoon:

Preparing to work on Matches

The CCCWA is preparing paperwork to begin to work on matches. We do not know the log in dates for the next group of matches at this time nor do we have any further information.

We will update this website when more information becomes available.

So, if referrals are finished this week/early next week, we may just see Maggie Rose's face for the first time next week. I'm in a state of disbelief about China right now and about the amazing moment I may be experiencing soon. Maybe it's time I start waking up.

90 Miles in 90 Days

A few months ago, the city put a small gym in the building where I work. The equipment is leftover from the city's recreation facility so the machines are loud and some features don't work, but for me, they're just perfect. I can jog on an old treadmill during my lunch hour (for free) and tone some of my flabby areas.

A few months ago, the city began its 90 Miles in 90 Days program for employees. Employees were encouraged to complete 90 miles of walking, running, biking, etc. in 90 days. Those who completed this challenge were entered into a drawing. Well, I finished my 90 miles a few weeks ago. And I found out today that I won a bike!! I am so excited. Actually, a city employee called me to congratulate me and ending up informing me of my win because I had been in an edit suite and hadn't seen my notification e-mail. I meet my bike for the first time on Friday. Wee!

Now, I haven't rode a bike in ages. Not even sure my butt will stay on the seat. Don't even want to think what the back "bumper" will look like.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekend in Review

Last weekend, we attended a family reunion. When I was a kid I dreaded these get-togethers, bu when you get to a "certain" age, it seems like reunions are the only times big families get together besides funerals. My grandmother Mary, my father's mother, passed away many years ago but two of her brothers and one sister are still alive. Since I never knew Grandma Mary, I have talked to Aunt Janet about her in the past. I wish I'd had the time to talk to her brothers at the reunion but I was a little busy watching monkeys run around with their second cousins and one little monkey wanted to keep going where he shouldn't go.
Could it be this little monkey? He can't sit still, although he has been more cuddly lately. Those darn one year vaccinations and teething - not a good combination for a baby. Liam's hair looks really light in this picture. And his eyes - red. :)
Too bad the boys aren't old enough to help Grandpa with some heavy farm work. It would help if this was a real gator too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Big Shoes to Fill

Someone had a little fun with my shoes tonight. I remember slipping on my dad's shoes when I was a kid. I thought dad had the biggest feet! Sadly, I think Jack has better looking legs than me. :(

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Liam turned a year old today. And to think - a year ago, we didn't know about our special guy. He was still a dream. Meeting his birth mother and grandmother was an incredible moment. And then we were able to visit with Liam. He was sleeping. Our lovely social worker said that he looked happy in my arms. He slept through most of our visit so who knows if that is really true but it was a comfort at the time. Liam also peed on me when I changed his diaper. It felt like an initiation of some sort, like, if you can handle this woman, wait till you see what else I can do.

Liam is an active little boy who never wants to slow down. He's always on the go but he's also shown tender moments like his cute open mouth kisses or his head butts which he thinks are terms of affection. I can't wait to discover more about my little man whom I still call my baby and probably always will even if it embarrasses him. I love you baby!
Mike loving on his boy.
Ready to be a big brother!
Ready to go home.