to the portion of our adoption that we call "The Wait"
We have completed "Our
Paperchase" and our dossier has been sent to China.
Now we wait for the Chinese government to go through their process.
It will probably be 6-8 months before we hear anything from them, so the
wait will seem like an eternity. But we fill our time with nursery decorating,
baby-proofing our house, planning, preparing for travel...and
05/13/2007 - It's Mother's Day and I received my first Mother's Day Card from Evangelina! (Her Daddy had a little something to do with it.) It took me by surprise when I received this precious e-card. I am one lucky gal! Click here if you'd like to see the card.
04/30/2007 - Today's Evangelina's 1st Birthday! Check out the Celebration!!
04/30/2007 - Today we sent a care package to Evangelina in China.
04/27/2007 - We had a
Great Discovery today!
Now for the great discovery! She also told JR in the email that she thought she had photos of our daughter from the cameras they sent to the XingYe SWI. She had just recently returned from China with her daughter, Lili who was at the same SWI where Evangelina lives. She asked JR for our email address and said if we wanted she would send us the photo. If we wanted? Yes, we wanted!
So JR immediately emailed her
our email address and asked her to send us any photos she may have of our
daughter. Jr was at work during this exchange and I was impatiently
waiting for him in the car. When he came down to the car he excitedly told
me the news. We could not wait to get home so we could check our email.
04/12/2007 - We completed
our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for Evangelina Li Hope and our China Travel
Visa application, and overnighted them via FedEx today. We are
04/09/2007 - Today is a day that we will never forget! We received the good news of the referral of our daughter.
We were both feeling a bit nervous at that point when I heard a click on the phone. JR was silent for a second and then he said "It's Bethany, I'm going to get it". I said "Get It" and hung up quickly.
The next few minutes seemed like an eternity to me. My heart was pounding and I wanted to know what was going on! Were we going to receive good news?!
Finally JR called back and for a minute I thought he was going to tease me with the information. I could hardly wait any longer when I heard him say "We have a daughter!" Her name is Ye Qiaomeng and she was born on April 30, 2006 in the Guangxi Province of China.
Words will never described the feeling we felt when we heard those words. After two years of dreaming, praying, and hoping that all things will work out we have finally heard the words "You have a daughter."
03/05/2007 - Our Paperwork has been delayed. We will keep you posted...
02/01/2007 - Once again it's the beginning of the month and we are anxiously anticipating the update to the China Center of Adoption Affairs Website. (China updates their Website at the beginning of each month to reflect the new referral dates.)
So, when I got home from work today, JR asked me "How many times have you checked the Website today?" I looked at him sheepishly ... because we both know how often we go to the site looking for the monthly update. We had to laugh because between the two of us we had checked it 30-40 times already today! I know it's a little extreme - so much for us learning patience! We are getting so excited because it is almost our turn to hear the Good News from a far land.
02/01/2007 - Additional Entry
02/04/2007 - Went shopping today for some of the things we will need to pack. The packing list is lengthy, so we want to get prepared as soon as possible because the last few weeks before travel will be so exciting and so stressful.
02/05/2007 - Received an email from Bethany..."Good news - you are hopefully guaranteed (not sure you can use hopefully with guaranteed !!) a referral in the next group - maybe in about 4 weeks!"
02/17/2007 - To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we attended a celebration put on by the Chinese Association of IA. We had a fun time watching some Chinese traditions, dances and tea rituals. My mom went with us, and she was able to get some Chinese writing to use on her invitation for our upcoming Referral Celebration.
02/19/2007 - J.R. hung the shelves in the nursery today. We are putting Panda bears on the shelves. See our updated nursery pictures by clicking here... Nursery Pictures.
01/03/2007 - China updated the Website today! China has reviewed applications submitted up-to September 27th, so they are within 30 days of our log-in-date! It's a milestone. We are elated to know that in the very near future we will see our daughter's picture for the very first time!
01/04/2007 - We completed our 2nd Homestudy today. We had to re-do the Homestudy in order to renew our expiring I171H form.
01/22/07 - Bethany mailed our updated I600A to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Department. Once they have reviewed our form, they will send us the I171H form to notify us that we have been approved to adopt a child internationally. We have already been approved for this in 2004, but the form expired after 18 months so we had to resubmit everything to renew.
01/30/07 - We received our renewed I171H form today. Bethany also sent us the 2007 China Travel Packet. After reading through it, we feel so excited and so overwhelmed. The thought of being in a foreign country with a new baby, without any experience and not knowing what to pack for our new little one...it's overwhelming! But Bethany has assured us that they will walk us through step-by-step. At least we will have a support group with us - probably up-to 20 families who will be sharing the adoption journey with us. What a thought!
12/07/2006 - J.R. had an appointment with Dr. Harvey today to re-do the physical for the expiring I-171H form.
12/09 & 12/10/2006 - JR is putting together a dollhouse bookshelf for the baby's room. It is adorable.
12/15/2006 - I completed my physical with Dr Harvey today.
11/2006 - We've been working this month on organizing the house to make more room for our little one and her things. JR is making the basement into a work-out room, so we are re-arranging things to make room for the treadmill & weight resistance equipment. We also bought a recumbent bike to go in the basement as well. By moving these things to the basement, we will have more room in the office area for JR's business stuff, as well as having more room for toys and play.
11/26/06 - We found the rocking chair we want for our nursery. Dad & Mabel gave us money to buy the rocking chair over a year ago. We have been looking and decided to go with a leather rocker/recliner instead of the traditional nursery glider. We find this chair to be far more relaxing & we will be able to use it in the years to come as well. We found a great deal and we now have a cozy place to spend quality time as we relax and wind-down after each day.
10/25/2006 - We went to the Federal Building today to have our fingerprints re-done.
09/22/2006 - We received an email from Bonnie today telling us that our fingerprints will expire on October 11, 2006. We must get them re-done on or after that date. The I-171H form that we applied for last August expires after 18 months, so we are going to have to re-do our homestudy, dr's visits, and provide new copies of several documents in order to renew the I-171H form.
08/28/2006 - The China website was updated today. It was a slow month for processing. JR wanted to share what he felt as he read the August update, so please read a "Letter to my Daughter".
07/01/2006 - We assembled the baby bed today! Papaw & Mamaw (Larry & Dean) have been visiting from Evansville, and we have not let them take a peak at the nursery because we wanted to get the bed together first. So, after assembling the bed we invite them in for their first look at the nursery. They help us determine which way is best as we try arranging the furniture in different ways. We could see the love and excitement in their eyes, and we know that all of our family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one.
05/26/2006 - We received an email from Bethany regarding the increased wait time. When we first started the process, the wait time was a mere 6 - 8 months from the time China received a dossier (application). The wait time is now 12 months, and we wouldn't be surprised if our wait is even longer than that. We entered the adoption program when the wait-time was at an all time low, and we knew up-front that it could increase at any moment. Please read the most recent update from Bethany regarding our adoption process by clicking here, and keep in mind that our log-in-date is October 2005: May 2006 Update
5/21/2006 - Pat and Lisa came to help us move the baby furniture upstairs into the nursery. I am so happy to finally get this furniture out of the middle of our computer room and into the baby's room. Check it out...
05/15/2006 - Rodney came over today to finish installing the ceiling fan in the nursery. He also helped change the electrical outlets, and hang the cordless blinds. See pictures...
05/04/2006 - Today we finished our final round of Hepatitis shots! Glad that's finally over.
04/24/2006 - The last month has gone by fairly quickly because we have been planning a big celebration in honor of Larry & Dean's Golden Wedding Anniversary. Their anniversary is not until July, but when we started planning the party we thought we might be traveling to China in July, so we planned the celebration for April. Well, the Anniversary Celebration was a great tribute to 50 years of marriage! Many of our friends and family joined in the celebration - and we could not have pulled it off without the help of so many.
While we were in visiting our family for the anniversary, they also threw a baby shower for us. We received a lot of nice gifts, as well as many gift cards. Kim and Lana did a great job with the decorations and the games. It was a very nice shower, and we really enjoyed it.
So, even though the wait is long, we are still having fun planning and preparing for our special arrival.
03/22/2006 - Not much going on this month. We received an email from Bonnie today - Bethany will not be receiving any referrals this month. The wait is now 10-11 months from Log-In Date. Our Log-In Date was October 2006, so as it stands now, we will receive our referral in August or September 2006. But who knows what further delays may arise.
Due to the increased wait time for referral, some fingerprints are expiring. Fingerprints are valid for 15 months. According to our I-171H our fingerprints expire on 11/08/05, so if we experience further delays, we will probably have to be re-fingerprinted before we leave.
02/05/2006 - Began painting the baby's room.
02/09/2006 - Finished painting, in spite of the fact that I spilled half of my paint on the carpet! I had to call Rodney and he brought over his wet- vac and cleaned it all up. Whew! I was panicking for a while.
While Rodney was here, he also installed a ceiling fan in the nursery - which we had previously arranged with him.
01/05/2006 - We went shopping today for baby furniture. We went to several stores - but narrowed it down to Babies R Us. We are going to think about it for a few days, and then go back and purchase something.
01/07/2006 - Well, the furniture is bought and paid for! We are excited about our choice, and now we'll focus on what color to paint the room!
01/09/2006 - Furniture was delivered!
01/29/2006 - Happy Chinese New Year!
We had a Chinese New Year celebration at work on Friday, put on by our Asian American Network. They decorated and served food traditionally served during the New Year Celebrations. There were displays set up with various items from Asian countries, and authentic music was playing.
They also brought in a local Chinese calligraphy artist to draw zodiac signs, or write names in calligraphy. So we stood in line for about 20 minutes to get our names done in calligraphy. Once we got up to the front of the line, we decided to have him write "Dad & Mom" on one sheet, and "Ellison" on the other. It sounds like a little thing, but we were so excited to get this done! The artwork turned out beautifully, and we are going to frame and display the pieces proudly. (To view a scanned image of the artwork, simply click on the "Dad & Mom" and "Ellison" hyperlinks above.)
In addition to our celebration at work, Mom (Jean) has a friend at work who just returned from a trip to China. She brought back some Chinese candy, and Mom brought us a baggie full to add to our celebration!
Every year, the Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year, just as we have our New Year celebrations. The Lunar New Year is the most significant festival celebrated in Asia. It is recognized by people in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and also Chinese-speaking communities from the Philippines. Each country celebrates the Lunar New Year with its own custom, tradition and on different dates. Some countries today celebrate with firecrackers, banging on gongs, and colorful decorations to bring in the new year. Despite the differences in celebration there is one common theme for all Asian New Year celebrations: family. This involves family reunions, gatherings, and reflections and reaffirming bonds. They also use this time to reconcile past grievances, pay debts and to start the new year on a good note.
We hope you are able to do something special to celebrate the Chinese New Year!
12/09/2005 - More disappointing news! We received another email with information about the slow-down of referrals from China. We're looking at another couple of months which puts our estimated time for referral around July or August 2006.
12/25/2005 - Christmas 2005! Having a good Christmas, but our hearts are far away - wondering if our baby is born, and if so, wondering how she is spending her first Christmas. We wish you were home with us, Little One. We bought you a Christmas present. It is a stuffed Christmas panda that can be signed. So, we are signing the panda with our 2005 Christmas wish for you. We hope your first Christmas is filled with much happiness. And as the song goes, you are home for Christmas - if only in our dreams.
11/01/2005 - Today we got our second Hepatitis B shot. In another 5 months we will get the final Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations. At that time we will also get any other vaccination recommended for travel to China.
11/08/2005 - We received some disappointing news today! Bethany sent us an email stating that the time from "log-in-date" to referral is now running around 8-9 months, instead of the 6-7 months we had been planning on. In addition, we received word that our official "log-in-date" is October 21. We thought our date was around the 1st of October, so that puts us even further out. It appears that we will probably be looking at receiving a referral around June or July 2006, with a travel date of July or August. But that could change at any moment. We know that nothing in this process is set in stone, and we are only looking at a couple months longer than planned. Even so, the news is disheartening. We just want to bring our baby home as soon as possible!
11/16/2005 - It's Thanksgiving day. No doubt what we are thankful for this year! Family, Friends, Health, and a baby on the way!
10/21/2005 - We received our official log-in-date!
10/22/2005 - We need to move the stuff out of the spare bedroom (soon to be nursery) into the basement. In order to do this, we started sorting through the "junk" we have stored in the basement. It is amazing how many many books, videos, audios, and miscellaneous keepsakes we have accumulated through the years. We anticipate the basement project to take us a few weekends to complete!
10/31/2005 - We're another month closer!
09/16/2005 - We have decided to decorate the baby's room with Panda Bears. We have been looking around for Panda Bedding, but have not found anything. However, we found some bedding at Babies "R" Us that we like. We will use stuffed Panda Bears as accessories in the room. Mom and Dad (Dean & Larry) surprised us and purchased the bedding for us today. We are so excited! The room is going to be so cute with the bedding and the rocking chair from Dad and Mabel we are on our way!
09/16/2005 - Mom (Jean) came over today and helped us set up a Web site domain. She showed me how to design a Web site several weeks ago, so I have been working on the design for awhile. I don't think I could have figured it out without her expertise and patience! Mom (Jean) is also revamping a computer for the Little One. It is equipped with all the pre-school games you can imagine!
09/26/2005 - We went to see Dr. Harvey today to start the round of immunization for our travel. We received a Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B shot. We will each have to get 1 more Hepatitis A and 2 more Hepatitis B shots over the next 6 months. In addition to receiving shots today, Larry has been fighting the flu for the past few days so the doctor gave him a prescription to clear that up.
09/29/2005 - We stopped by Babies"R"Us today and completed a gift registry. It took us a couple of hours to go through the store, and it didn't take us very long to realize that we have a lot to learn about baby products. Who would have thought that baby needs so many things! It was exciting, but we are exhausted!
Faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
For if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.