Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's time...

Well, the time has come to say that we are leaving in less than 12 hours for the airport. I'm sure 4 am is going to come early (if I even get any sleep!) We are having a bit of a time meeting the weight limits... I think we'll be ok(atleast I'll try convincing the airlines that it will be) Now come on everyone, do you really think I wouldn't try to cram a lot of little girl clothing into them?

We take off from Pittsburgh at 8:35 to Newark. Then leave for Beijing about 2 hours later. Please, please pray for us. We had a small scare this morning because of this whole swine flu, and we thought we wouldn't be able to travel, but we are still going. We will arrive in Beijing at 1:58 p.m. China time, but will be 1:58 am our time here. We will stay at a hotel in Beijing for the night, then fly to Chloe's province, which is only a little over an hour plane ride on Sunday, where we will check into our hotel, and are scheduled to meet Chloe that night! I will be a mother of 4 in 3 days!

Thanks to everyone who emailed or called us this week...It means alot to us that you are thinking of us, and are praying for us.

Well, I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to post anymore until we land in Beijing.

China, here we come....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In less than 48 hours...

we will be on a plane halfway around the world, to meet a little girl who has been such a joy to us and who we love as if she were a biological child, but have not even met yet. I worry some about the sense of loss that she will be feeling, being pulled from the only family she's ever known. She will be leaving her birth country, her heritage, her culture... Please pray for her during this time, and for us also, to help us prepare in helping her grieve. I often wonder, from sending care packages and photos, if she will recognize us, even just a little bit. If she has any clue that we are coming for her...If she knows how much apart of our family she already is...That I think about her daily...

I sometimes wonder about her birth parents. The sacrifice they made in giving her a life that they wouldn't have been able to provide for her. Did they watch from afar to make sure she was spotted? Were they relieved when someone picked her up, but also grieved in the only way a mother and father could who will never see their child grow up...

The next month is going to be difficult, not only on her, but everyone in our family...Please keep us all in your prayers. Please pray for our travel, and that we will all stay healthy and safe.

We are coming for you Chloe...very soon...and we will never let you go....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

3 DAYS....

Wow, I can't believe we are leaving in 3 days... I thought I had a good headstart on having everything we needed to take along, and now am realizing I don't. I feel like I don't have enough time in the day... I am making lists of that's sad!!!

I got the email for our agency coordinator concerning the names and phone numbers of our guides. The first one is a woman, and the other two are men! I guess I was a little surprised when I saw men on the list, just because I have always thought they were women!

I'll admit I was a little freaked out yesterday about the whole "swine flu" scare, but we are armed with Tamiflu and masks, so we are prepared. Please promise me you won't laugh when and if you see us wearing these...just think of them as a fashion statement of the "swine flu" collection.

Well, off to go re-weigh our luggage-I'm afraid we are over now that I have everything packed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunshine, Carseat, and Checklists

Wow, it's been a while since my last post!
We enjoyed a beautiful summer like day here in Southwestern PA. It was 85 degrees, and although the kids wanted to get in the pool, (unfortunately it has an awful green tint to it) they settle for the sprinkler.

I wanted to get the car seat ready to be installed in the car, and we had to rethread the straps, since we haven't had to have a seat with buckles in for a while. Well, let me tell you the job that was, trying to remember back 2 or 3 years ago when we used it last.. It took me over an hour but, I got it right!

I am STILL packing! I had packed alot of my shorts, and since it got so warm this weekend, I had to rifle through everything, and well, it's just a mess! I have everything bought for my checklist. I have made more than my fair share of trips to Walmart this past week, although, there will still probably be one more before we leave Friday. We will probably leave around 4 a.m. for the airport, so we can miss that infamous Pittsburgh traffic going into the city. I can't believe we are leaving in 5 days, it still hasn't hit me yet! I don't think it will until we are boarding the plane to Beijing.
Please pray for us as we prepare to tie up a few loose ends with the kids, and such, and that they don't get too homesick for us(and us for them!). According to my mom, and the schedule they have going on, they won't have time to miss us!
One week from today, she will be in our arms!

Only 5 more sleeps...probably should just say 4, because I know I won't be sleeping much Thursday night!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Revised Itinerary

I found the most adorabe outfit last night for Chloe to wear at the oath ceremony! She'll be head to toe in her red, white and blue. I only need to find a hairbow now to match. And if it's warm enough when we land back in PA, she could wear it then too!

13 more days....I got home last evening to a revised itinerary from our agency. And holy cow, what a great Anniversary this will be! Not only will we be in China, BUT, we also found out we will be getting Chloe that same day!

5-2:Arrive in Beijing, check into Wang Fu Jing Grand Hotel
5-3:Fly to Taiyuan, check into Shanxi Grand Hotel,
5-4: Proceed with adoption and notary
5-5: Visit the provincial museum
5-6: Visit Jin Ci Temple
5-7: Visit Liu Ying Ze Park
5-8: Recieve Chloe's passport, fly from Taiyuan to Guangzhou, check into Victory Hotel
5-9: Physical exam and visa photo, visit the Walking Street
5-10: Visit Liu Rong Ci Temple and Liu Hua Hu Park
5-11: Apply for visa 10 am (CA), visit the zoo!
5-12: Pick up Chloe's visa,oath ceremony, leave Guangzhou to Hong Kong by train
5-13: FLY HOME! We are scheduled to arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport at 5:58 p.m.

So, there you have it. After almost 6 months of waiting, we are on our way to our daughter. I still can't get used to saying that! It seems like I still have so much stuff to do, and like I don't have enough time to get it all done. But, I know that things will be fine here when we're gone, and I just need to relax about it! I feel as if the next 13 days are gonna fly by, and before we know it, we'll be on a big plane halfway around the world! I have come to meet a few other fellow BAAS family members who will also be travelling when we are, and will meet up with them all in Guangzhou.
P.S. Be sure to skip on over to my friend's blog, ShelbyDaleanna, they just got some EXCITING news! I am so happy for them! You can find the link on the righthand side under the MY BLOG LIST label!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

15 days and counting.... Flower Text

Hey all! We have a confirmed Consulate Appointment of May 11! Our agency coordinator is a god-send! We knew of our confirmation less than 24 hours after her getting the TA at the agency!

Here's our itinerary:
May 1- Fly out of Pittsburgh to Beijing
May 2- Arrive in Beijing
May 3-Fly to Shanxi capital of Taiyuan Our 12 year Anniversary!
May 5- Adoption Paperwork
May 6-Sightsee
May 7-Sightsee
May 8- Receive Chloe passport and fly to Guangzhou
May 9- Medical Exam
May 10-Sightseeing
May 11- Consulate Appointment
May 12-Oath Ceremony and take train to Hong Kong;
Stay in Hong Kong hotel

So, as you can see, we have a busy schedule ahead of us!
That's all for now, gotta go keep on packing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CHINA, HERE WE COME!!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

It is with great excitement I am announcing we got our Travel Approval today! We should know hopefully by tomorrow when for sure we will be leaving, but it should be within 2 weeks or so!

Wow, I really can't believe I get to type this! Now, on to finding flights~!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The beauty of adoption... put into perspective

A child sat on Jesus’ lap in the splendor of heaven. The child asked, “Is it time?”Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,“No, not yet child.”The child asked, “When will it be time?”Jesus replied, “When lessons are learned,hardships endured, and loneliness lived,then it will be time.”Time passed. The child asked, “Is it time?” Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,“No, not yet child.”The child asked, “When will it be time?”Jesus replied, “When maturity is reached, self-worth affirmed and spirits strengthened, then it will be time.
”Time passed. The child asked, “Is it time?”Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,“Their love is strong and their hearts are open.Yes, now it is time-“Your family is ready.”
~Author unknown

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mini Vay-Cay, Travel Plans, and Packing...

What a few busy days it has been! We decided to surprise the boys by taking them on a mini vacation before we leave for China. We took them to an indoor waterpark in Erie called Splash Lagoon. I will post a few pics. I took my smaller camera into the waterpark, and left my good one in the room, and I am glad I did, because there were kids with squirt guns EVERYWHERE! So, like it or not, if you were there, you were wet. We all had a good time, and my thoughtful and loving husband took me to the Grove City outlets on the way home.

I got some really cute things at Gap Kids,and Childrens Place, and even found myself some things at Gap. All in all, it was a fun time!

On Saturday, since the weather was yucky, C-man decided to ride along with me to Toys R Us and exchange the duplicates I got from my shower, and get the things I registered for, but didn't get. I got some cute toys too!

We made a stop at TJ Maxx and picked up a rolling duffle for the trip. We then made "THE TRIP" to Walmart, armed with my 4 page packing list, and 2 hours later, yes I said 2 hours, we got alot accomplished. I included a picture of just a partial amount of the things we needed to get. The cashier started to give me the hairy eyeball when I started unloading all of these drugs, and I made sure quickly to explain what they were for...not sure if she believed me or not ;)

We got word that our agency believes we should get our TA (travel approval) this week sometime, and I have been playing around with dates for prices in airfare, and hotels, etc. We won't be able to make any definite plans until we get CA (consulate appointment), so, I hope we hear something very soon. I just need a definite date of when we are leaving, this whole up in the air thing is getting very old! I am going to start my packing tomorrow, so tell me how I'm going to fit all of that stuff in, our clothes, her clothes, orphanage donations,etc in a suitcase and not be over the 44 pound weight limit???? I did buy some of those space saver bags, so, we'll see how they work.

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shower Pictures Part 2

Here are some more pictures of things I got at my shower! Everyone was so generous and I had the most wonderful time opening up all of the PINK things! Read on below for my previous post about my shower...

These are 2 dresses from my Aunt Billie Jo- they are just adorable!

This is a beautiful dress from friends from my mom and dad's church- great Spring colors!

Look at the Ladybug dress! This was from my mom... And the little sister t-shirt was from my friend Terran

Look at all of the cute accessories she got! Purses, and hats, and sunglasses, oh my!
Some cute jewelry too!

Before I start getting emails about where to get this ADORABLE suit and hat-Gymboree!

This quilt is so beautiful! It was made by someone my mom work's with. It has Chinese letters in gold and is made with chinese patterns-breathtaking!

This is the outfit Aunt Kristi got her for Fall-isn't it cute?

We got some cute dolls and books-perfect to take to China!

Need I say more????

The boys wanted to see all of the gifts, so our living room looked like

a hurricane went through it-but look at all the PINK!

Enjoying the PINK!!

Shower for our Chloe...

I had a wonderful day with family and friends on a beautiful
Sunday afternoon. We are very blessed to have such a great
support group! I, of course, was tickled to death opening
all of the girl items! I had dreamed about this day for such
a long time. We had about 70 people helping us celebrate.
Great people, good food, what else do you need, right?

I want to especially thank Tammi,Kristi, and Jen for all
of their help! My Aunt Billie Jo and Aunt Joyce, for helping
to stick around for clean-up. Also, to Georgia for the adorable
cake and yummy meatballs and to my mom, for EVERYTHING she did
to make this day so special for me!

Gift from my other sis-in-law Kristi. She got her the cutest fall outfit from Gymboree!

My favors were Chinese Take outs filled with fortune cookies and candy. The other side had the Chinese symbol for love. Gotta love the Cricut!

My sis-in-law Jen got me the most adorable bow hanger, complete with extra bows. She also got Chloe the cutest ladybug dress and purse!

Pretty in Pink Afghan

My mother-in-law, Pat

My Ladybug Cake!! Cute isn't it?