Counting the days until we bring you home...

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas...for a child with no family

Twas the night before Christmas.. for the parentless

I am 'borrowing' this from my friend.. Thank you friend.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
there are parentless children, with no toys in hand

No stockings to be hung by the chimney with care
no hopes for a family soon to be there

Their beds are not snug--but cold and quite bare
there are no goodnight kisses--no one to care

While we in our homes, laughing in delight
all settle down for a Merry Chistmas Eve night

When in someone's heart--there arises a clatter
there are children in need--who's lives really DO matter!

Away to the computer please go in a flash
to see the sweet face with whom YOU could be matched!

While a child you see--their beautiful face all aglow
could this be MY child--could I already know??

When in the dreams of the orphan--what always appears
is a family to love them, to care and hold dear

As you stare at that child--your heart beats real quick--
for you know in your heart that sweet face will stick

More dreams sweet children have--to call parents by name-
come mama! come daddy! come family to claim!

To the ends of the earth--your heart seems to call
now child--I'm coming--I wish for you ALL!

So on a plane to your child--over rooftops you flew
to hold this dear soul--a wish did come true

And then in a twinkling-I saw through the door
this child of my heart-that was waiting no more

As I got my camera and was turning around-
into my arms did she come with a bound!

She was dressed in many layers from her head to her foot
and into my heart her life was just put

there was no round face--no plump little belly
just sad little eyes, and legs shaking like jelly

In a swirl of a pen, and a stamp and a seal
my world became brighter--like I could suddenly feel!

We spoke not a word--they weren't needed at all
and I knew in this moment where I got this call

God layed his hands on my heart--and to the occasion I rose
and He could do it for you--this question He'll pose.....

It won't be a shout--no not even a whistle
it won't be real clear--but faint like a whisper

Can you make room in your heart--if you try with your might?
And make a difference for one--help them see the light?

I can see you exclaim as you hold your child tight--
Thank you Lord for this gift--you got it EXACTLY right!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Well on Friday I nearly quit breathing realizing that 59 days had passed in the blink of an eye and that we might really be close to hearing some news...well we missed the call, but today at 11:58 am our agency left a message that our LOA was received and it would be overnighted to us...MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US the best gift ever...and now I can't think at all. I have forms to fill out and don't even know my name...holy cow I need a secretary. Literally in 90 days...we will be in China adding to our family something that we really did not think was possible and we were chosen...HIS plan was bigger than we imagined and our girl is waiting for US! will I ever sleep!

I guess at this point I can introduce our beautiful daughter to be named Emma Lynn .....we are so grateful and are blessed beyond measure to be invited to bring you home.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 59...

Today is Day 59...I realized this morning that we are nearing day 60 since tummy flutters thinking we could hear something in getting LOA. I really need to get our I800 paperwork done asap as it is like 12 or more pages that has to be sent in upon recent of LOA...the clock is ticking and each day is closer to to our little "bug".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Half LOA

If we are one of the "lucky ones" then we might just be half way to heart quickens to think that in 19 days we might have our LOA in hand which begins the final preparations to Santa...what do I want for LOA.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY Jing Jing...

Today YOU will turn 2 years old and oh how I long to be there with you…to hold you for the first time, to look into your eyes, to hear you squeal. To see you eat cake and pinch it between your fingers oh I just can’t wait to know you and for you to know us…YOUR FAMILY!
We celebrated YOU on Saturday…we went to PFChangs and had Chinese and sang happy birthday to you. We met another family who had just come home with their 10 year old daughter Isabelle from Guangzhou…she was beautiful and said I spoke Mandarin well…I have been practicing just for you.

Your sister ate with chopsticks all by herself and I did too…Daddy tried a little too. We can’t wait for our first trip to eat Chinese together as a family…so many first to experience with YOU. It is starting to sink in that soon we will be on our way to you…there was a time when we thought we might not ever be a family and we waited what seemed to be an eternity for Ellie Lu and so many things changed during that time that we really thought there was no way for us to ever return to China to adopt again and add to our family.

Your Daddy just kept asking do you think it is possible that we might could go back…I didn’t have the heart to tell him no so one day I inquired and that started our journey to you…but really I think it started several years ago right before you were born….while we were waiting for Ellie Lu we were selected by a birth mother to adopt her baby boy…it was the middle of November 2007…it was crazy how in the world could we adopt a baby boy and then turn right around and travel to China…we didn’t question anything we just accepted what was before us and had faith…well it didn’t work out…the birth mother changed her mind and we didn’t adopt that baby boy….little did we know that you were born just a few days after that big disappointment in our life and that one day our lives would be brought together.

On the day you were born I traveled with friends to go shopping and my heart was broken for I didn’t know if we would ever be a family, but I had faith and I kept hoping and praying that one day soon we would receive news and we would travel to China and we would become a family….little did I know what a blessing was taking place you were being born and for reasons that I may never know your birth mother chose to put you in a very special place so that you could be found and taken care of and on that very day the journey began.

Just when we thought there was no way for us to be matched with another daughter our phone rang and we were presented with your information…how could it be…how could we be so lucky to be chosen to be your parents…we are so thankful that God’s plan for us was bigger than we could have imagined and that he prepared us and allowed us to hope and dream even when it seemed there was no way our dreams could come true….well on May 26th our dream came true…we were matched with you and we have so much to look forward to and so much to experience with you …hang tight little one your foster family will take care of you until we are given permission to travel to bring you home…until then we just count the days and continue to dream of all that is possible….with FAITH!

Once YOU are home we will celebrate YOU with friends and family and let them know of your very special journey to YOUR family.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What happens now…well we were officially logged in with the CCAA on October 20th, 2009 so it has now been 22 days since we were logged in and the “counter” began officially counting.

Here is how things normally work…anywhere between day 60 and 90 we could get what is called LOA this gets the ball rolling as far as travel goes, see what the acronyms mean here

So since we were logged in October 20, 2009 day 60 would be December 19th…so I suppose we could wish for LOA for Christmas…then on the upper end day 90 would be…February 17th which would be a belated Valentine’s gift.

Once the LOA is signed and returned it is usually 80 – 90 more days until you actually are united with your child in China…it used to be closer to 60 prior to the Hague process…so it is really important that we get our LOA…once we have it we will have a much better idea on when we could travel for example…if we got LOA on December 19th then travel would likely be around March 19th…but if LOA does not come until February 17th then we would not likely travel until mid May….we can’t wait to meet our little “peanut” so hopefully everything will move along quickly.

Now of course anything could come up to delay all of thisso continue to pray for our little one she turns 2 on November 17th and although she is in foster care….we want her to be with her forever family as soon as possible.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Little Ladybug is growing...

On October 18th I was sitting at a traffic light and looked at my email messages on my phone and I had an update...the sun was shining so beautifully and I felt so full knowing I would know just a bit more about soon as the email opened. I was thankful for a long red light and was able to read about our little "bug" and then I saw a new photo too...our little girl is growing up and is just precious. I believe this information is current so she would be 23 months old when these measurements were done.

Height :77.5cm =30 1/2 inches she has grown 3 inches since May
Weight :
9.5kg = 20.9 pounds she has grown 3 pounds since May and is over 20 pounds now
Head :
45cm = 17.7 inches
Chest :46cm = 18.1
Feet :12cm = 4.7 inches almost a size 5 foot
Teeth:16 she has 8 more teeth since May
  • She can run
  • She can use a spoon to eat food
  • She can count one
  • When she watches TV,she copies dance part a lot
  • She also can wave bye
  • She is not picky with her food, she loves to eat tomato,grapes ,but she does not like to eat apple
  • She also loves to play with balls
  • She knows how to go to the toilet by herself
  • When her foster mom does laundry,she will get a small chair and set on her side
  • She is a very sweet child .

She will soon be 2 years old and it breaks my heart to know what we are missing, but in the bigger picture we will have a lifetime of memories together and she is in a family environment and you can tell she is loved by them and we already love her. Counting the days until we are together....

Thursday, October 15, 2009


A vision that will take your breath away...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Gift...

We were able to send a special gift to our sweet little Ladybug II and this is what it looked like...

There were pajamas and a soft blanket for Ladybug II and a stuffed "hello kitty", then tea and candies and cookies for her foster family and a disposable camera and a letter with photos of us...her first time seeing us.

This view makes me think there might have been 2 cameras...I can't even imagine what it will be like if we get some new photos or updated information...she will be 2 in one month.

Friday, October 9, 2009


...This stuffed ladybug was laying on the sidewalk outside our court house one day in September when I went in to get some papers authenticated...I took it as a sign...and took a photo...

So after nearly 365 days...of paper chasing our documents are on their way to China...just in time for them to get back from the holiday and review it. This makes me excited and anxious...excited as in getting closer anxious in that...there is still much to do, funds to raise and hurdles to with that we will celebrate briefly and then put our noses back down for the next portion of this journey and what to expect...

DTC: October 9, 2009

LID: usually within 2 weeks to a month of DTC, this is when the clock officially begins counting.

LOA: --Letter of Acceptance, after your dossier is reviewed by the CCAA, if there is no question by the CCAA, they will then issue LOA to notify you that they final agree for the adoption. It will take about 3-4 months from DTC to receive LOA on average. I have seen families get this in 60 days...not often but recently.

I-800 approved: additional steps for I800 process

Cable: additional steps for I800 process

Article 5: additional steps for I800 process

TA: Travel Approval, after the CCAA receives signed LOA, they will issue TA. Once we have travel approval we will travel fairly quickly usually within a month.

CA: additional steps for I800 process

Travel Dates:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Does It Mean...the Acronyms...

CCAA: China Center of Adoption Affairs - organization responsible for all aspects of inter-country and domestic adoption in China

PAP: Prospective adoptive parent

AP: Adoptive parent

SW: Social worker

DTC: Date to China - date dossier was sent to CCAA in China

LID: Log in Date - date CCAA registered receipt of dossier

NSN: Non Special Needs - what the healthy child program is called

SN: Special Needs - “children with medical needs” program

WC: Waiting Child - new term used for older child or child with medical needs and Special Needs program

SWI: Social Welfare Institute - this is what the orphanage is called. There are often disabled and older adults living in SWI’s as well

CWI: Children’s Welfare Institute - this would be an orphanage strictly for children under the age of 16

LOI: Letter of Intent - letter issued by PAP to CCAA asking to adopt an identified WC, outlining understanding of need and care plan

PA: Pre-Approval - issued by CCAA to PAP approving LOI contingent upon approval of dossier

LOA/LSC: Letter of Acceptance/Letter Seeking Confirmation - formal approval of LOI signed by PAP’s confirming adoption of WC

TA: Travel Approval - sent to PAP when all immigration docs are ready and child is made ready by SWI

CA: Consulate Appointment - this is when the official adoption ceremony and appointments for visa & medical exam are confirmed. The travel itinerary is based on this date

Monday, October 5, 2009


In the adoption world when your paperwork is done you are "paperwork pregnant" and believe me with the stress of the paperwork and the weight that I believe I have gained due to the stress of the paperwork...I feel a little BIG! What feels even bigger is my is beginning to feel REAL! Last Thursday I picked up mine and Ellie Lu's passport photos and made copies and then after work took our dossier to the UPS store and mailed it to our agency...this was of course after having created 3 duplicates of it. One to send with and 2 for safe keeping here.

What a relief to have the paperwork done...NOW WHAT...
Our dossier will be reviewed and hopefully pass and then it will be mailed on to China...this is called DTC. Our file will then be reviewed in logged in and then we will be LID. These are both big miles stones as once we are LID then it could be 60-90 days until we receive our LOC...Letter of Confirmation which invites us to China.
Once we receive that there is another round of paperwork and VISA applications etc and waiting and then in another 60-90 days travel to China. Of course at any time anything can change, but this is generally how this will happen in the program we are now in. So say a little prayer that our paperwork is in good order and that it is processed expeditiously and that soon we will be on our way to bring "Ladybug II" home.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ladybug II...some details

Our little Ladybug II is from one the most scenic and beautiful places in China...Guilin. You can learn more about Guilin here.

  • She is in foster care since 9 months of age.

  • She was born on November 17, 2007 which was a she is 78 days younger than Ellie Lu.

  • Her Chinese name means "talent girl"

  • At birth she was 19.7 inches tall and weighed 7.4 pounds

  • At 1 year old she was 26.6 inches tall and weighed 16.5 pounds

  • "You Jingjing is a beautiful girl. She has bright and black pearl-liked eyes. She likes glance this way and that and is interested in everything."

  • At approximately 18 months old she was 27.6 inches tall and weighed 17.6 pounds and had 8 teeth and a tiny size 4 foot...she is a tiny little sprout.

Monday's child is fair of face.
You are good-looking, especially when you smile!
You are beautiful inside and out.

Tuesday's child is full of grace.
You have many talents, and are fun to be around.
You dance through life!

Wednesday's child is full of woe.
You are a serious person, and try to change things that seem unfair.
You make the world a better place!

Thursday's child has far to go.
You have many ideas, and you want to do them all.
You will go far in life!

Friday's child is loving and giving.
You are caring and sharing. You are kind,
you love people, and people love you!

Saturday's child works hard for a living.
You are ambitious, enjoy work, and like to accomplish things.
You know what you want!

But the child born on the Sabbath day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.
You are sunny, fun, and loving.
You bring much joy to other people!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting far as paperwork is concerned

We just received the majority of our dossier back from the Chinese Embassy...still waiting on document from Houston Chinese Consulate and Chicago Consulate and then we can submit our dossier...hopefully by weeks end. Ellie Lu talks about baby sister "Ladybug II" also known to Ellie Lu as "Jing Jing" nearly daily. Just when you think she might not remember she may say..."Jing Jing in China" or "Pray for Jing Jing" or "Ellie Lu has baby sister"...just warms my is starting to feel real almost like a "growing belly", but in our case a growing stack of papers. At times I let myself wonder what our little "bug" is doing and it nearly breaks my heart that she is in China and we are here...but there is not a thing we can do but get our paperwork processed and hope it is processed quickly...a little peak into our "mound of paperwork".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Is it Different?

So many people have asked..."Is it different this time...the waiting?" and it is different. When we waited for Ellie Lu we had waited what seemed an eternity, prior to waiting had lost 2 biological babies, undergone the intrusive process of fertility treatments and were overdue as far as wanting to be parents. We started a process that we were told was 6-9 months and completed a process that took 3 yes it was different...and did I mention our home was empty we had no seemed all we could do was at times barely live. Also during that wait we always wondered...would it even happen? Nothing compares to being childless and wanting a family.

That doesn't mean it is not hard is hard waiting. We have a picture of a child that will be our daughter...she is growing and changing every day...yet the photos show her at 12 months and 18 months...yet we wait. We know who she is...we know where she is...but we have to go thru the process which is lengthy and involved and involves the passage of time. I have always wondered how families who were part of this process where you get a picture first and then they coped and now I know...

Most families who receive that picture up front are not first time parents...most have a least one child at home and others may have many children. My point is they are very busy...they are parents...they aren't waiting to be parents. Either way it is still hard...this time I feel guilty that I don't have endless hours to document every minute doesn't mean that I anticipate this journey less...I just don't have endless time. We have photos of Ladybug II in our home, we talk about her at meals, we pray for her and yes we have shopped a bit for her too.

We also wonder...about her health, is she growing and developing...what have we missed? We can't dwell on the things we just can't control we can only anticipate what is to come...we anxiously wait for the day the FedEx man arrives with our LOA and we are invited to come to China to complete our family....we still have several months ahead of us...preparations to make, and much time to wonder and anticipate this new addition to our family and yes it is different...most things are the 2nd time around...not less special, not easier or harder...just different.
  • August 31, 2009 received our I797c...
  • Dossier almost ready for sending to China...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fingerprinting Appointment...

I had a hunch that we might get this very special piece/pieces of mail today...our invite to be fingerprinted. With our first adoption we were fingerprinted a total of 3 times twice in Nashville and once in Atlanta as they kept running out every 14 months...I am hopeful this will be a one time thing and hopefully they get good prints the first time...we are scheduled in Atlanta for the 3rd Thursday in August at 8 more thing will be completed and then we wait for approval and at that point we can get our dossier authenticated and sent to China. That is when we really can start counting the days until Ladybug II comes home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flooding in Southern China...

Currently there is flooding in Southern China in Guangxi province where little Ladybug II resides. I will put 2 links to information and it appears currently the area of Guilin where Ladybug II resides has not been least I find no reports of that area being affected. Please keep the people of China in your prayers as you will see in these reports, many had to be relocated and some have perished. You can read the reports here and here.


Well this adoption process has been very different than the one for Ellie Lu...first our lives are so busy I find myself up late a night trying to get the paperwork done. Next the process has changed since the Hague came into affect.

Finally yesterday I was able to send off our I-800a application all 9 pages of it with the fee and our supporting oh my... now we wait for a fingerprinting appointment then approval. Some wait months and others I have heard jump thru this hurdle pretty quickly...I hope we are one of those...cross your fingers and say a prayer. Meanwhile other paperwork is being sent off to Nashville and Texas, Michigan and Kentucky to get state authenticated and then once that is all done we need to get authenticated in DC....I hope so much we can be DTC in September and then it would be 6- 8 months until travel.

Everyday our little Ladybug II is growing and changing and we just can't wait to hold her in our arms and look into her eyes and tell her how much she is loved....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Answered Prayers...

Well it looks like our house will have 2 more little feet pitter patting around...still a few more hurdles...paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, but we received "Pre-liminary Approval" which is a very big hurdle...we still can't say much about her...but check out her cute little feet! Oh and we received updated information yesterday...she is walking and has 8 teeth...I know I am biased...but she is so darling and petite...and looks to be self assured, for now you will just have to trust me on will be at least 6 months...more than likely 8 months until continue to pray for our little "ladybug" and that everything falls into place....we have been blessed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Waiting To Hear...

We are waiting to hear if an approval will be given for us to be matched. We should know within 10-14 days...we would love this opportunity so please pray...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Will There Be a Ladybug II?

We can't say least for now, but we really got some amazing news today and for now all I will say is prayers do get answered...keep praying we have many hurdles ahead of us...but at least for now one is behind us....we have a picture....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Update...Will There Be a Ladybug II?

We went away for the holiday weekend and somehow missed a phone call...Saturday I was out and about during Ellie Lu's nap and decided to check voicemail....we had 17 messages...message number 15 at 12 noon on Friday, May 22nd (we were did I miss this call) was "B" from our agency and she said for us to call her as soon as possible...she looked forward to hearing from us and she had an "uplifting" sound to her voice.

Mind you I got the message on Saturday around 2:30 I was absolutely first I was thinking "referral"...I know crazy how can we get a referral if we "technically" are no longer then when I began to think logically I realized she likely will be telling us whether there is any flexibility for us to possibly still receive a referral.

I am thinking it may be good news as she did have an uplifting tone to her voice...but at the same time there is really no reason to believe any "flexibility" would be we wait...but maybe on Tuesday we will know something...and really it would be great to receive some good news...but at the same time....we are glad we pursued this opportunity...we always knew there were no guarantees...if we are meant to be more than a family of will happen...if not it won't...but life will still be very full and with or without another addition to the family...we wait....tick tock...tick tock...tick tock...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will there be a "Ladybug II"?.....

We celebrated Mel's birthday on Sunday with much joy, but I at the same time we both had something very pressing on our minds...why had we not heard anything since April 9th...were our dreams of adopting a brother or sister for Ellie Lu over and we had just not been notified...or was there still hope....

I had wanted to call our agency last week...but really didn't want to have whatever the status was "taint" Mel's first birthday with his I just hoped we would hear something...but we did not. Last Thursday I had a dream...we got the call and we were referred a 4 year old little girl with a repaired cleft lip and palate my dream I questioned our agency we had asked for a child younger than Ellie Lu...but they seemed to think this child was the perfect fit for our family.

Later in the weekend we had dinner with my Aunt Betsy who was in the area for a violet brother Colin and his family also came...we had not seen them since returning from China...Ellie Lu became fast friends with her cousin Cwen who is five....and was also adopted from China.

While we waited on Aunt Betsy all the kids romped around the grounds of the Chattanooga Choo Choo (Cooper, Charlie, Cwen and Ellie Lu) and I have to say she enjoyed the older children much more than she does children her own age or younger....was this another sign that we may in fact be referred an older child?

Well Monday came and with it the burden of finding out...I waited most of the day and then I sent this email...

In a message dated 5/18/2009 2:45:04 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, EDFKnox writes:
Dear "B",
We last spoke to you the first week of April when we had been informed by "M" that many of the children in the child of promise program had notations that "family dossier must already be in China". When I spoke to you I understood better what was taking place and you explained that you were trying to seek more information and possibly seeking an extension on those families that this may cause them to be ineligible.

Yesterday Mel turned 55 and of course we celebrated, but we also spoke about this milestone possibly being the end of a expand our family so that Ellie Lu might have a sibling. Please let us know where we stand with regard to the "child of promise option" and a match. Our hearts are ready to be matched and we are about to celebrate a year as parents and would be overjoyed to begin a new journey. We are making progress on our dossier and would like to know if we should continue as well. Thanks.

I received a response back this morning...I was very nervous opening the mail as I was not sure what it would say...

Dear Emily:

Thank you so much for checking in! We were not able to secure a child in this most recent group for you. But we have not forgotten. Please let me check with our overseas staff to see if there is flexibility in the regulations to allow you to be matched, now that Mel is 55. The issue may be the age of child, and I know you are hoping to bring in the next child younger than your little girl. I will keep you posted. Thanks,


Our vision... Finding Families for Children

So I say...pray...pray that the child that is meant to be in our family is revealed...maybe he or she is 5 or maybe they are much younger...just pray...we would so love for Ellie Lu to have a sibling...we will keep you posted....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Bend in the Road...PRAY!

Today at about 2:30 pm we received an email that at first glance indicated our journey to "Ladybug II" was OVER. I will post a bit of it here...

"I just wanted to touch base with you to see how your dossier documents are coming along. Probably you already know that under the CCAA's new regulation, the only option for you is to adopt a child through CCOP before Melvin turns 55. We have received the Child Medical Condition Check List but we are unable to match you at this point. Because the CCAA asking us to match a child to a family whose dossier is already in China if the child is with minor or correctable medical condition. If you could update me your dossier status that will be great. So we would know where you are at this point. If you need any help with the dossier process, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to assist you in completing your dossier as soon as possible. "

So you may say...what is the big deal...the big deal is our dossier is NOT in China and we had been told they could match us with "JUST" our home study...which would allow us additional time to get our dossier completed and then send the match and dossier to China together.

After receiving the email I called the gal who sent it and then she proceeded to explain the situation...NOT VERY WELL...she said that in February they began seeing children with a notation "family must already have dossier in China". She then began to try to find out if we would accept an older child or a child with more needs than we had indicated on our checklist. I had to stop her at that point...we have been moving forward in this process with encouragement and guidance and for some reaason some 2 months later we are informed of a change....basically I said I know there are children that meet our criteria and they are waiting for a family...I also know that if they and the CCAA want children to have a family they have to make it happen.

She suggested that I speak to "BS" the lady who we have spoken with all along who had encouraged us and guided us down this path. I left her a message and asked her to call...all the while feeling like the whole process was "derailed" and that, but for some papers or signatures or "red tape" a child would have a family sooner verses later.

The phone rang it was heart sunk as I had to tell him what was going on. He took it well, but all the while I knew his heart was breaking with the knowledge that the dream and hope of adding another child to our family a sister or brother for Ellie Lu likely would not happen. It was more than I could handle to tell him and for the first time since getting the email I just sobbed. My friend Jeannie was with me and she just hugged me and said "don't give up".

Something came over me and I thought NO we are not giving up. I know that it can happen, it is possible, someone somewhere can make this happen. WE just need to let them know.....we are ready to meet our daughter or find them. We later had our call returned by "BS" and she was very encouraging and said that they are working diligently to understand the meaning of this new "rule" and also to inform the CCAA of the families they have in process waiting for a match.

So where to do YOU come in...PRAY...PRAY LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE...PRAY that this dear child that is waiting for a family is presented to those who can make it happen. PRAY that our dossier is completed quickly and somehow...someway...."Ladybug II comes home".

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It Matters...

Up until this point it seems this adoption has been all about the paperwork and the checklist and the classes and JUST GETTING IT DONE to possibly have the chance, but today the doorbell rang it was UPS and I asked them to meet me at the garage...they had a large envelope package from the state of Tennessee and as I opened it while walking downstairs I saw the familiar blue cover on the authenticated documents and a tear streamed down my cheek...I would compare it to seeing the pregnancy stick turn blue or seeing your child's ultrasound for the first I viewed this document my emotions emerged and I allowed myself to want this ALL to work out...and to anticipate Ladybug II. I had to stop and record this moment because for the last few months I have wondered and have not allowed myself to even really be excited afraid of the disappointment that may follow...but today I was and regardless of the feels good to be excited and it matters...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Reality check...

Yesterday we had out first easter egg hunt and oh what fun we had. At one point we were all gathered around waiting in line to color eggs so we were singing to pass the time...Ellie Lu was with Daddy and a little girl named Kenli wanted me to hold I did...then Lia asked to be held so I had Kenli who is 2 1/2 and Lia who is on each hip...ALL AT ONCE A LIGHTBULB WENT OFF...this could be my reality and it felt pretty good...KEEP PRAYING.

A few minutes later I was holding Ellie Lu and Lia wanted to join us...they are 6 months apart in age, so I picked Lia up and oh my Ellie Lu did not want any part of her Momma holding anyone else. Eventually she warmed up to it and actually gave Lia a sweet.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Is it always different the 2nd time...the paperwork seems a little harder, but maybe that is because our life is so full. When we filled our paperwork out the first time...we didn't have much else to think about, but completing the paperwork. Is it different because there are so many "ifs", is it different because we really don't know if this will actually happen? Is it different because we have everything we could ever imagine needing for a child so there isn't any "pre-shopping" during the process.

I have thought about how it is different alot. We couldn't anticipate bringing a child home anymore than we do...but I think we are just guarding our hearts as it may not happen, but today I saw something a sweet little outfit at Gymboree and of course it had ladybugs on it and it was a "layette" type outfit...after we received Ellie Lu's referral I bought her a few similar things from Baby Gap...anyway I almost let myself buy these sweet little "threads" because the feeling I got imagining dressing "Ladybug II" was such a real and full feeling...but I had restraint and the clerk said they would likely have them until there is time. I wouldn't want to buy something special like that until we know who our ladybug is...anyway it felt good thinking beyond the paperwork to actually being in China and meeting our little "bug".

Was up very late last night sending off for certified birth, marriage and divorce documents. Then I worked on our application letter and started a binder. I can't believe I just started the binder...oh my you should see the filing system I put in place for Ellie Lu's adoption of course once we got her referral...everything went to pot I am still catching up...will the paper ever end.

I need to send off my employment letter to Texas and get it authenticated and I need to have all or doctors fill out a different form for our we used the home study form and we need to use the form required for our dossier...we just have a few things to get notarized locally and then I need to get them authenticated in Nashville and then off to Washington.

Well I guess there are now 51 days until Mel's birthday....we wait...we hope...we dream...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Medical Needs Checklist...

As part of the process to participate in the China Child of Promise Option we had to fill out a form with medical conditions that we were open to and that we could find treatment for. Nobody ever wants to "choose" but we must be informed and prepared for the issues our child would face with their condition. The conditions we are most comfortable with are ones in which we have friends or acquaintances that we have come to know who have children with these conditions.

Here are some places we went to get more information on Cleft Lip and Palate, Heart conditions, Club foot, Rickets and Strabismus. At this point our agency will search the shared lists when it is released and look for a child with a condition that we have indicated we are prepared for. They will then contact us and we will have a short period of time to accept this referral and meet with physicians to put a plan of therapy together to meet the medical needs of the child. That will be submitted to the CCAA and if it is accepted then our dossier will be forwarded for approval and then we would wait for travel approval...without any knowledge of how often the list is available or how often it is updated we really have no idea if we could be matched in the short period of time that is available...we hope.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Please pray...Ladybug II

Some of you know that we have always wanted a house full of children...well that has not happened...but we do have one very special girl that has just brightened our world in ways we never expected. We had not been home very long when Mel asked if I thought it was possible for us to return to China to adopt again and really I did not.

While we waited for Ellie Lu the adoption rules for the "standard process" changed and we are no longer eligible under those rules. In addition the process has lengthened so it could be years upon years even if we were eligible before we would be matched. While we were waiting for Ellie Lu we inquired several times on if we could be considered for children with mild special needs but there really wasn't a clear cut program at the time to allow this to happen.

The good there is...our agency is one of 12 agencies that participates in a special program where children with mild correctable special needs are matched with families. We have several friends who have expanded their family in this way and our hearts have been opened to this option for our family. However we still were very unsure whether we could participate due to our ages...but Mel kept asking every few weeks and finally the later part of October I came across a letter we had received in late July and apparently I had read it but in my "new Mommy" fog had not comprehended what it was encouraging us to adopt again. Was this a form letter that goes to everyone or did it apply to us and by God's grace could we return to China to be united with another child....on November 3rd I sent an email to our agency to inquire and braced myself for the disappointment I expected....

On November 4th I received a response and the email said to call immediately. I did and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we would be encouraged to begin the process right away...for one reason we thought we had to be home a year with Ellie Lu before starting a new process. We found out that we needed to start right away as we needed to be matched with a child prior to Mel turning 55 on May 17, 2009.

As you can see we still had a very short time to complete a process that is loaded with paperwork, somewhat different than before and during a time when we were finding our "legs" as new parents...but start we did. Forms, forms and more forms, meetings with our social worker, taking adoption training classes, educating ourselves about various medical conditions all the while living and preparing for the holidays and trying to enjoy life.

It is still uncertain whether our dream of expanding our family will actually happen, but we are now at a point where we feel we have done all we it is now in God's hands. We will be delighted beyond words if it all works out, but if it does not we know we have already been blessed beyond measure and we be content in knowing we tried.

Where are we now...we have sent the basic paperwork into our agency and hopefully next week they will have our homestudy and can then begin to look for a match. There is a limited amount of time for this to happen because Mel will turn 55 in 54 days. It is our understanding we need to have a match in hand and our letter of intent to adopt the child we are matched with in the hands of the CCAA prior to Mel's while we are waiting to see if a match is meant for us...we continue compiling our dossier...certified documents, USCIS approval and hope all are completed in a timely manner. As you can see we still have ALOT of uncertainty but soon we will know one way or the other.

If per chance all this works out...then we would likely travel to China prior to the end of the year...mid fall. I can't even think of that until so many other things are in place...know that we so appreciate all of you who have asked us how we are doing with our paperwork and who have encouraged us when we felt unsure. Even if everything works out there will be many hurdles ahead of us...financing an adoption so soon after returning home during such hard economic times. Finding the best medical care to meet the needs of our child and preparing Ellie Lu for a sister or maybe a please keep us in your prayers and keep Ladybug II in your prayers...we don't know who she/he is but we know there must be a child just waiting to join the Fannon least we still hope...
If you would like to know more about children with mild correctable needs you can view our agency web site and look for "child of promise" or you can check out this site for stories of families who have adopted children with various special needs.