"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Did I hear you say "special needs"?

So, I'm sure you're wondering...why was Liana on a "special needs" list?  When we were researching international adoption and learned about the special needs program with China, we just knew this was the right fit for us.  It's not as scary as it sounds.  Most of the needs are mild to moderate correctable needs.  Our adoption agency had us fill out a form of what special needs we would be okay with to help them match us with a child.  We felt pretty comfortable with a lot of the things on the list but we definitely didn't check them all.  One of Liana's "special needs" is a patent foramen ovale (PFO), which is a small hole in the heart that didn't close right after birth.  Our agency assured us that Liana's was mild and would most likely resolve itself.  We had checked this on our list of needs that we would be okay with.  Her other "special need" is something that we hadn't checked because it wasn't on the list.  She had a hernia on her esophagus, which was surgically repaired when she was 2 weeks old.  Our agency requested an update on that before they even called us with our referral and they told us that she would require another surgery.  Fine, we can definitely handle that.  After getting our referral, we sent everything we had on Liana to an international adoption doctor to look at.  This doctor has a reputation of being thorough and to the point, if not a little on the pessimistic side.  We knew that we would be adopting Liana, but we also needed to know as much as we could about her medical history.  The doctor told us that the PFO has already resolved itself, based on 2 echocardiograms that she's had since they first found the hole.  Amazing!  And as far as the hernia on her esophagus, she's not convinced that she'll need another surgery.  Maybe someday or maybe she'll need some other kind of intervention but the doctor was very encouraging about it and really, everything!

Erik did some research on Liana's Chinese name and he learned that the "Jing" part means crystal or perfect.  When I heard this, I thought that was so fitting because that's what I thought when I first saw her picture.  Perfect.  Special needs or not, our daughter is perfect!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Isn't she lovely...

We got our pre-approval from China to adopt our girl, as of March 22 but we just found out today.  So, here she is!  Our little Liana Jie Jing!!  Seriously, doesn't she just make you smile?!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A match made in heaven

I don't even know where to start so I'll just blurt it WE GOT A REFERRAL!!!  I'm still in shock but we got a call from Holt this morning saying that they found a little girl for us.  I was at Ella's dance class and Erik was at work so we both rushed home and waited for them to send us the email with all of her information and pictures!  I've heard different people's reactions to seeing their child for the first time but for us, it was a case of we just knew she was ours.  Well, to be honest, we knew before we got the email.  We had already been told enough information over the phone to feel like this was it and, sure enough, it was.  OUR DAUGHTER!!!  I don't think I can share pictures of her on here until we get our pre-approval to adopt from China but I will share some of the info that we have on her.  She's 18 months old (only 3 months younger than Ethan...yikes!) and she's gorgeous, apparently she smiles easily and is smiling adorably in both of the pictures that we have of her, she's clearly well taken care of and a good eater because she's got some good chub on her!  When we saw her chubby legs, Erik said, "She's already a Tuma!"  And yes, it sounds like she's a perfect fit for the Tuma clan...or I should say, a match made in heaven!  From what we know, she's active and has a ready smile.  If you know our kids, you'll know that's a perfect description of Ella and Ethan so she'll fit in nicely!  Apparently, she's a deep sleeper and I hope she stays that way!  One of my favorite parts of the description of her was, "She is lovely and clever girl, we all likes her."  I can tell, I likes her too! :-)  Another thing that was super important to us is that she sounds very attached to her caregiver.  I've been praying that this was the case every day because it means that she knows what it is to be attached to someone and, while she will grieve the loss of that caregiver when we bring her home, it will make it much easier to get her to attach to us if she knows what it is to trust and love someone.

I just can't believe how quickly everything happened in the end!  We just got our dossier off to China 4 days ago and our login date yesterday, which was a miracle in and of itself, but then we got our referral one day later!  And actually, they found her on the shared list last night.  I love our adoption agency!  While we were sleeping/trying to sleep, our daughter had already been found for us!  It's amazing how God can work miracles when He needs to.  Nevermind what seems impossible to us, it's not impossible to Him!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Yesterday, I said that we were too late for March's shared list but I guess we're not!  Before you can be considered to be matched from the shared list, you have to have a login date (LID) from China.  You usually get a login date pretty quickly after your dossier is sent to China but I guess it can take up to 3 weeks before Holt gets that information so I thought we were out for this month because the shared list is coming out this week buuuut Erik emailed someone at Holt to ask on Friday and they got back to him today saying that they were able to get an immediate LID for us!!!  So we're praying that our daughter is on the shared list this month and that we're matched with her ASAP!  I'm going to be more attached to my phone than usual this week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Well, we did it.  As of March 16th, we are DTC, dossier to China!  A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this dossier (well, not a lot of blood but I did get a nasty paper cut!) but it's done, finally done!  This means that we can accept a referral for our daughter any day!  China comes out with a shared list of children with "special needs" about once a month.  We just missed March's shared list so we're keeping our fingers crossed and praying that our daughter is on the April list! 

So if you're wondering what goes into the dossier, here it is:

Family Information Form
Application Letter
Birth Certificate-husband
Birth Certificate-wife
Marriage Certificate
Employment Letter-husband
Employment Letter-wife (yes, I really had to write a letter stating that I am a homemaker but could get a job if something happened to Erik!)
Certificate of Financial Status
Certificate of General Physical Examination-husband
Certificate of General Physical Examination-wife
Medical Letter (if necessary- necessary for me, not for Erik *grumble*)
Police Clearance-husband
Police Clearance-wife
Adoption Study (aka. home study)
3 Letters of Reference
Passport page-husband
Passport Page-wife
I-797 (I-800A approval)
Various photographs of our home and our family

And then you have to get almost all of those things notarized, certified at whatever state the document originated in and authenticated at the Chinese consulate that has jurisdiction over the state it was certified in.  Whew!  And here it is...well, our copy.  The official one was sent to Holt in a couple of different shipments so I never had it all together at once to take a picture.  It doesn't look like a big deal but it is!