Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another Snag

Well, I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that we've hit another wall with Anastasia's adoption. Turns out the Russian govt wants our Homestudy to be approved by an agency licensed in Virginia (our state of residence and also the place where our Social Worker is licensed). I am currently trying to find someone willing to work with us and to sign the paperwork we need. Argh. This too shall pass, I know, but...well, argh!

We are still hoping to have her by Easter. Things are looking good with Rosie though. We are still planning to travel by the end of January. We are waiting for our TA (Travel Approval) from China and then we can make an appt with the consulate and then we will have our travel date. My mom just learned that she will be able to take leave while we go to China (thank you, thank you to all those who had to bend and sacrifice to give my mom leave...again!)

That means that Daniel and Alexander will come with us to China and my mom will stay here with Max and the dogs. When we go to Russia, Max will come with us and Daniel and Alexander and the dogs will stay here. We have a lot of travel in the next few months! We couldn't afford to take all the boys on both trips but Robert thinks he has it figured out that we can do it this way using award miles. What a blessing! I hate being away from any of the boys for so long, but this is the next best solution.

Thank you to everyone who prays for us and also to those who work so hard to help us. Where would we be without you all? Thank you mom for your continual sacrifice, who would I be without you? Would I even have my family?

My mom's "vacation"

Here is my mom making a carpet. On the side you can see dozens of skiens of yarn from the hats and scarves she's been knitting. It was so nice to have her here for the holidays. She just left yesterday and we miss her already. While she was here she taught herself how to make quilts and she promptly made one for each of the children. They are so awesome. She also taught the boys how to make knit hats and scarves with a little loom. We had a great time. We braved the cold one day and went ice skating and of course the boys were whizzing around in no time.

Needless to say, she didn't get much rest while she was here. Besides all the crafting, she often woke up early and took the dogs out letting Robert and I sleep in. Also, after clearing the table at night or after meals, I would go into the kitchen and it would magically be clean. How cool! I guess that is how it seems to Robert and the boys most of the time (or do they think about that). Anyway, we are once again indebted to her. We had a wonderful Christmas, full of so many blessings.

Anastasia's Quilt

My mom's first quilt. She looked at a book and cut the fabric, stitched it together and presto, a quilt. I love this bright cheery fabric. My mom only notices the tiny flaws but I think it is fabulous.

Alexander's Quilt

Alexander's quilt came out surprisingly well. We painstakingly picked each fabric and planned with my mom what he wanted where. With all the different blues and greens, I didn't think it would look good but we were all pleasantly surprised.

Max's Quilt

This quilt is too funny. You can't really tell, but some of the squares are civil war scenes and some of them are teddy bears playing tennis -- that is just so, so Max. He picked all the fabric himself. Fuzzy little animals and war games - his two favorite things.

Daniel's Quilt

This quilt is so, so cute! Daniel picked the theme print but my mom and I got to pick the rest of the fabric (hence the matching). It goes well in Dog World here!

Rosie's Quilt

This is the final quilt my mom made. She really perfected it and I love this quilt. I am going to attempt to make crib bumpers to match it - I wish I had my mom's patience and skill. I love this quilt - thanks to Judy KY and Terri F. for the inspiration on the fabric - I love it!

Friday, December 15, 2006

And Her Name Is..........

We were forced to decide because we needed to send the name into the Chinese Govt. So, after much, much, much debate, we have decided upon;

Rosemary Edith Baxter

Rosemary because we just like it and everyone of our very opinionated family members like it. Edith is in honor of my grandma and Robert's great grandma. We think it suits her very well and we are just itching to see her.

Scroll down if you haven't seen her yet. She is just beautiful!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Haikou Social Welfare Institution

We have a little bit of info on the place where our baby is living. She is in Haikou in the Hainan Province. It is a small island off the south-western coast of China. It is called the Chinese-Hawaii. We couldn't be luckier. The last group that went went to Mongolia and it was already freezing in November. From the information we've read, Haikou is between 60 and 70 degrees F during the winter and they have great beaches and beautiful water. Our boys will be thrilled.

It is apparently a big tourist destination so hopefully they will be used to foreigners and it won't be too hard to find vegetarian food (I've been a little worried about that). I've read that the big specialty is seafood so Robert will be in heaven.

The turnaround time for the travel approvals has been about 3 or 4 weeks and then after we get our TA it should be about 2 or 3 weeks before we get our consular appointment. So far we are still on schedule for end of January. Sigh. The waiting is still hard, I thought is would be easier once we got her picture.

We have pretty much decided on her name, but Robert is keeping it Top Secret. He says that every time we disclose we hear things that discourage us like, "yuk, I knew a snotty girl in High School with that name" or "that sounds like an old ladies name" or "oh, I hope she doesn't get teased too much" or "is that the full name or the nick name" etc. Anyway, we figure once we name her, no one will have the nerve to say anything negative!!

We are excited about the name though, it is a family name on both my side and Robert's side and it has special significance for us. I really can't wait to add this spirit to our family, I feel it she will add a completely new dimension to life for all of us.

God is so Good!

Friday, December 01, 2006

A little more info...

We just received a little more info from our agency. Here is the translation.....

Fu, Hong Xiang, Female, born on May 20, 2005, was admitted to our institution on July 20, 2005. Physical examination was performed at the time of admission: Weight: 2/5 kilos (that's 5.5 lbs at 2 months!). She has been healthy and regularly immunized. Her current weight is 7.5 kilos or 16.5 lbs.

Xiang is a smart and shy girl. Her personality is more introverted. Her physical development and intellectual development are normal. She is easily satisfied. She rarely cries. She likes to laugh, likes to listen to music, play with toys, and play games. She is energetic, active and quick to react. She can sit, crawl, and walk independently. She can easily pick up items with her thumbs and index fingers. She likes to take walks and she likes outdoor activities. She likes to play with children from her room or with older children. She can understand the meaning of language and command. She can respond accordingly. For example, "come back, bring this back, kiss, etc. She can stack two or three blocks. After she builds the blocks, she claps her hands. She can pick up the toys and return them to the basket with the encouragement of the nannies. She can play for a awhile by herself. She can put her hands together to simulate the meaning of "thank you". She can pint to her ears when asked. She can bring the nannies the toys or towels when asked. When she is happy, she would bring the toys to little boys. When others praise her, she claps and smiles. She can imitate to say, "Ba Ba" (daddy), "Ma Ma" (mommy), sometimes she calls the nannies "ma ma".

Xiang's attachment development is normal. She is attached to her nannies, likes adult's attention, likes to be close to people she is familiar with and is close to her nanny and her friends in the same classroom.

She has a daily routine. She eats and sleeps as scheduled. She sleeps well and has a good apetitie. She likes milk best and eats all kinds of poultry and fruit.

Wow! I can't wait to meet her! Will post more info as soon as I get it. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and well wishes. If you are reading this, thank you for caring about our little girl!

Our little miracle...

Oh joy! We are so overcome today. Last night around midnight, we received The Call. I hope I can explain exactly the magnitude of this miracle.

The CCAA (the Chinese Agency that reviews all adoption documents and also places the children) releases referrals around every 30 days. These referrals are completed in chronological order, determined by the date the prospective parent's dossiers are logged into the China database. This date is referred to as the LID or Log In Date. All of us in the China program are obsessed with our Log In Dates because that is how we know when we will receive our referral. Each month, towards the end of the month we all log onto the CCAA website and wait for them to announce which LID batches they finished. It has been a 14 month wait as our LID is 9/12/05. I was hoping and hoping that we would get our referral soon but was so disappointed to find that the CCAA had only finished through 9/8/05. It is just such an emotional roller coaster wondering when your date will come. I was feeling pretty distraught on Thursday night when our Agency called to tell us that they had our referral - her picture and everything. It is a total miracle because the CCAA never goes past the day they post on their website. No one can explain it but we know the truth - she is supposed to be our daughter and Heavenly Father made sure she came to the right home. How much more thrilled could a family be. The boys are so excited - they keep looking at her sweet face and wishing they had more friends here to share their good news with.

And here she is.............................

We still haven't come up with a name for her. We have several still on our "list" but it is so hard...we figure when we see her we will know.