"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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We're going to China, we're going to China!!!

We got the good news today that our consulate appointment is now set for September 27th which means...we're going to China in 16 days!!!!  We are leaving on September 14th and getting Liana on September 17th.  Oh my gosh...this is really happening!  Our sweet girl will be in our arms in 19 days!  I cannot believe that we are finally going to get her!  I don't even know what to say.  I'm in shock.  We've been dreaming of this for so long and it's finally happening!  We began this journey to Liana October 1st of last year and we will be bringing her home just short of a year.  It sounds pretty quick, and it is, but it has felt so long, especially since we saw her beautiful face.  I mean, look at this face!  Can you imagine knowing this little girl is waiting for you in an orphanage all the way on the other side of the world?

We're coming baby girl!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


We got it, we got it, we got out travel approval!!!  WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!!!!  We had to request our consulate appointment, which is what the whole trip revolves around, so we won't know for sure that we're going in September until we hear that we got a consulate appointment in September so I'll be a little anxious (a little...hahaha!) until we have that set.  But seriously...we're done?  We can go and get our girl?!?!  Well, okay, not yet but soon! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ethan is a-coming a China too, Li-li!

I've written on here about Ella in this whole adoption process quite a bit but I haven't written much about Ethan's perspective, perhaps because I have no clue what his perspective on this whole thing is.  However, every once in a while, I get a glimpse into Ethan's understanding on this.  Tonight, after reading him a bedtime story, Ethan got chatty.  Our kids get especially talkative at bedtime because they know it's a great way to keep us in their rooms longer, thus delaying bedtime just a teeny bit more.  Ella has been this way forever but this is a more recent development for Ethan.  Ah, the skills of a manipulative toddler.  He can hold a conversation at bedtime in ways that make you wonder what goes on the rest of the day when everything you say goes in one ear and out the other.  Tonight, he got to chatting and we talked about our day a little and then he said something about Li-li (think Leelee) which is his name for Liana.  He said it the very first time we told him her name, so she has been Li-li ever since.  He mentioned Li-li and then he said, "A-going a-China?"  I never really thought that he understood that we were going to China to get Li-li soon so I was pleasantly surprised to have him start this conversation.  So I told him, "Yes, we're going to China to get Li-li soon."  Then he asked if "Lella a-coming?"  "Yes," I said, "Ella is coming."  Then, "Pillow a-coming?  Ni-night (his blankie) a-coming?"  I assured him that he could bring his favorite little pillow and his ni-night.  Then, he asked me if the letter H from his name on the wall was coming and I had to put my foot down on that one.  We have talked about going to China quite a bit but this was one of the first times that I felt like he might actually "get" it.  Sweet boy, yeah, you're going a-China. 

So, we did find out that our Article 5 was picked up last Wednesday so we're 7 days into our TA wait.  Keep those prayers a-coming, please!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let the TA wait begin! (hopefully a few days ago...?)

Well, we are officially waiting for TA (Travel Approval)!  Our Article 5 was picked up sometime this week but no one seems to want to tell us when.  Erik badgered them enough to get them to agree to find out and let us know on Monday.  Anyhoo, that begins our TA wait.  This is THE LAST STEP!!!!  What happens is our Article 5 gets sent to the part of the government in China that handles adoptions and well...okay, I really don't know what they do with it.  I heard somewhere that they contact the orphanage to make sure everything is ready on that end...?  So, Liana, I hope you're ready because we sure are!  Once our TA is issued, our agency contacts the U.S. Consulate for a Consulate Appointment (or CA, if you just love all of these adoption acronyms ;-) and then we plan our trip!  The TA wait is, on average, about 14 days but it can be anywhere from 6 days to 3 weeks.  This is why we want to know exactly when our Article 5 was picked up.  We want to know how long we are into our TA wait.  We are (of course) hoping for a super short wait.  After long waits for so many things, we deserve a short TA wait, right?  RIGHT?!  The thing is, if we were to get our TA next week, travel in September would be no problem but if we go over 2 weeks for our wait, September is probably out.  We will either be traveling September 13th or October 4th because the first week of October, the government is shut down for a national holiday.  So, please, please, please pray for a quick TA!!!  I've seen a lot of them lately in 7 or 8 days so I just hope that we get lucky.  We want to bring Liana home and adding another 3 weeks to our wait would just feel like forever.  We have waited long enough and so has Liana! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

A little love in a box

Last weekend, I finally finished a care package to send to Liana with a photo album, a lullabye cd, some stickers, a letter from us and a picture that Ella drew.  We would have loved to send something cuddly but our agency only lets us send the items that I listed.  I started working on our photo album months ago but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it until we were able to include a picture of her room.  It was important to me to include that because I think it could really help her when we bring her home if it's somewhat familiar to her from pictures.  It ended up taking longer than I expected to get around to getting her room ready because, well, we had to kick Ethan out of the crib.  We finally did that last weekend and he is officially in a Lightning McQueen big boy bed.  And he's doing great in it!  So now, our littlest girl has a room of her own.  It's not completely done but mostly.  So, after working on Liana's room all weekend, I worked my bum off finishing her photo album on Sunday night and included some pictures of her room and toys.  Our agency is sending our care package to China today and said that she should have it in 7 to 10 days.  I wish I could know exactly what day she will get it and finally see pictures of her family.  It makes me nervous and excited to think of her looking at the photo album.  She's not quite 2 but what will she think?  Will she like the pictures?  Will she understand even a little that the people (and dogs) in the pictures are her family?  Will she get the chance to see them very much before we come to get her?  I hope the nannies will show her the pictures often and read her letter to her and try to explain what will be happening soon.  A couple of mamas that I know that are adopting children from Liana's orphanage are over there right now with their kiddos!  Ella and I watched a video of "the moment" that one of my friends got her child that she had posted on her blog.  Ella watched quietly, absorbing it and just looked kind of sad.  She told me that she wanted to go and get Liana now.  I know how she feels.  I felt the exact same way watching the video.  Such a special moment and I am so happy for my friend but I'm ready for our turn.  I want our girl.  I was touched seeing Ella's reaction.  My sweet girl wants her sister home now and she's tired of waiting.  It's hard to explain to a 5 year old that we'll be getting her sister "soon" when we don't even know what "soon" means yet.  It's hard to explain it to myself too.  But it will be soon and in the mean time, we will finish up her room and hope that those nannies are preparing our girl for her family coming because we are coming!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

4 little visas

Yesterday was kind of exciting for me.  It's really not a big deal but we got our passports back from the consulate in Houston with our visas!  We are free to travel to China!  We are really going to China!!  Well, duh, I know, but every little step just makes me so excited at this point because we're getting so close!  It's starting to feel so real now that we're running out of steps!  And this is kind of pitiful but I've never needed a passport before this trip.  I have left the country before but only to Mexico and that was before you needed a passport to go there.  So, I will be getting my first stamp in my first passport at the same time that my kids do!  The same time as my 2 year old!  Lucky kids!  Well, they might not feel so lucky when we're dragging them around to adoption appointment after adoption appointment but they're going to China and getting a sister!  How will they do?  How will I do?  I've never really dealt with jet lag myself!  Oh boy, at least Erik has done a lot of traveling.  Who would have ever imagined that the first trip that I go this far away, I will be bringing home a daughter?!  Lucky me!