Sunday, September 25, 2011

We have Visas!

Oh this is truly fun, seeing the Chinese Visa in your passport!  I know sounds silly but it's one step closer to our Shelby.  After months of filing and waiting for more paperwork to be submitted , now it's down to purchasing our tickets and hotel reservations.

Also on my long shopping list of items to bring are various activities to entertain our Kira girl.   She has been very interested in writing and drawing lately and absolutely loves mazes and tracing.  Her art is so stinkin cute I'm going to have to frame some of it!  Meanwhile Kira herself proudly displays her artwork via tape all over the house.
For the trip, I bought her activity books, crayons, and updated my phone with all sorts of fun inter-active games.  In addition I told her she needs to pack her favorite toys to take with in her backpack.  I guess size doesn't matter to a pre-schooler, because she has her blankie, sweatshirt and favorite stuffed animal(s) and princess tee shirts all ready to go.

So now it's onto the checklist of items we must bring, sort of must bring and would like to bring if we don't go over the weight limit of the luggage.  It's hard because of the amount of clothing we need for two different climates (the colder weather in the North and her Provincial City and then the warmer climate of Guangzhou).  I am trying to keep the clothing list down to one weeks worth of items that we can launder.  We've certainly learned a lot from the first time and brought so much we didn't use or couldn't use.  So now it's about necessity (for Momma: earplugs, ipod, valium, granola bars, dried mangoes, sweatpants and chapstick in no particular order).

I so want to bring my camera but the lens and camera body are pretty heavy and there is no such thing as an inexpensive Nikkor lens.  I haven't checked out other compatable lenses but if there's time to do so, it may be worth it.  We may just bring a small point and shoot, hey my iphone has more photos on it than my D700 these days, so perhaps that's all that's needed.

We also have our full Travel Itinerery and I'm so glad we are working with Lotus Travel again.  They are fabulous having answered most of our questions already.

So for those who want to follow our blog here's the itinerary.
- Depart JFK International to Bejing on October 26th
- Arrive Beijing October 27th
- Check into big Hotel (forgot the name)
- Tour the Great Wall October 28th
- Holt Orientation October 29th and more fun tours of Bejing
- Depart Bejing for Gansu October 30th and receive our precious Shelby on arrival to Lanzhou
- Depart Gansu for Guangzhou (five days later also forgot those dates)
- Arrive Guangzhou for US Consulate Appointment
- Depart November 10th for USA!


So now we wait for our I-800A and LOA till we know approximately when we'll be going to Gansu.  We will have the surgeon write us a letter detailing the urgency for Baby Wu's surgery and hopefully USCIS will expedite our immigration paperwork.

For now some days I just sit and wonder how am I going to deal with one child in a hospital hours away and Kira home wondering what is going on???  I'd be a fool to not worry, but it's truly not good for me.  I have to laugh because I have to have at least two bottles of Pepto Bismol on each floor because my stomach just hurts all the time.  Hey the pink stuff works too.  Then trying foolishly to get in shape I tore three ligaments in my left foot a month ago.  So just to keep me company my dog broke his paw last week and now he's sporting a red cast like bandage.  Yes, we may be injury prone around here, but thankfully nothing too serious.  I think the worrying and ulcer issue may need some attention here soon.  I try so hard to not think, perhaps that's the answer, don't think!

My biggest worry is financial now.  While the adoption costs are covered, there's incidentals that will not be.  I've never worried about finances before, but there are all the unknowns, such as where will we stay, how much will it cost and if we can't stay then I'll have to leave her in the hospital and drive back and forth daily.  That's probably what I will do and though I know it's exhausting I can be with the baby and come home to be with Kira too.  Well for now I'm going to take it day by day.   I asked for some updated photos and we have to send our photos to her foster family.

Thankfully I have met some other parents with children who have gone through the surgery and are doing just fine now.  I know that's the re-assurance I need right now.  Everything else, including the money worries seem insignificant when I think of the lengthy surgery such a tiny child will have to endure.  But again knowing she will be with the best team of professionals in the world in itself is soothing.

So for now.  We wait for more documents and then our much anticipated letter for Travel Approval.

Hang in there sweet baby!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hunan Spice is about to be Twice as Nice!

We are done with the paperwork!  This little girl is coming home, next month!  Yippee:))

Last week we received our Travel Approval after a few months of waiting for the final paperwork to be completed.  Now we have our dates and travel itinerary and we're waiting for our Visas.  I was holding my emotions in check for almost 8 months now and when I look at this sweet face I can't believe she is going to be my daughter and I will soon be a Momma to two beautiful children.   We are all so very excited, it's truly another blessing to be able to adopt another child and welcome her with open arms into our family.

Though I have not blogged for months I still wanted to blog about our journey to this very special little girl.

Because of the seriousness of her condition this blog will remain private.  Quite honestly I wasn't going to blog at all but realize how much I miss documenting the milestones and it's a nice way to keep myself organized and occupied during nap time.

So where to start?  How about her name!  We decided after much thought that her Amercian name will be Miss Shelby Emmalin.  Shelby is a name I chose as I wanted her named for my beloved Mother.  Then we found and fell in love with her middle name Emmalin.  I even think she looks like a Shelby!

These are the latest photos we received back in July after we sent her photos of us.  She is finally smiling as she looks as her soon to be new big dog.

She is quite petite from the last update, standing 31 inches tall and weighing in at only 17 pounds.  I know I did this before but totally forgot sizing for onesies, diapers and clothes.  Well at least I'll bring warm clothes this time.  

I have asked our agency if we can get another update on her feeding schedule too as she may still be using bottled milk.  Already put away a few different pacifiers since from the looks of many photos she's quite attached to it and a little green ball given to her when she was in a hospital in Bejing.  

My nerves are starting to get the best of me when I think of what the transition for her will be like.  She is said to be very shy and close to her foster mother, so I am sure it will be very difficult for her.  I think this is always the hardest part of the adoption process.  While we can't wait to hug and love her, it may take her weeks or months to accept us.  I remember how hard Kira cried after the orphanage directors handed her over to me.  Oh my goodness it was heartbreaking and so I am preparing myself that this babe will be do the same.  I guess you do what you can to console them, but ultimately it takes time and so much patience, love and understanding.  Kira undoubtedly is excited and keeps asking when "are we getting my sister"?  I tell her soon, very soon and she just smiles.  Thank goodness Kira is such a sweet and affectionate little girl whom I know will play a major role in helping her sister  make a smooth transition to her new home.

Now there is a checklist of things to bring with us, and I can't forget teething biscuits.  Those were essential when we were in Hunan and I never thought of bringing them.  I think it will be interesting to see how much I can fit in two suitcases!  

So for now I am reminded of one of my favorite poems, which says so much in just a few paragraphs.

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women who never knew each other,
One - you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours,
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up - that's all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
Heredity or environment - which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling - neither - just two different kinds of love. 

Author Unknown

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