Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Our 797 approval FINALLY came back from the Chinese Consulate authenticated yesterday, the 29th. I sent it off immediately to our coodinator. She received our document today and is sending out dossier to China tomorrow 12/31/09. We made it by the end of the year. Can't believe it!!!!! Now we wait for out LID "log in date" which is when China actually puts it in the process, then our LOA "letter of approval," which is approving us again. And some more approvals after that. But the big one is the LOA. It usually takes the longest of all the A's.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3rd Care Package

We sent out Penny's Christmas care package on the 7th. I had her doll, barbie 'both with brown hair because someone told me you can't find brown haired dolls in China," a few wintery outfits, Sami's last years Christmas dress "which I was really sad sending away but I knew it was going to a good place," a puffer jacket, her bday plates and stuff for her bday party/tinkerbell themed " her bday is in Jan and I will be sending a cake through a 3rd party service," planet earth horses, pocket puppies, stuffed animal squirrel thing, fuzzy crocs, socks and some gifts for the nannies. I think that's it. Oh, and cany canes and granola bars. He, he!! Oh and a few DVD's. She should be covered until her bday.

We are waiting for our final document to come back from Autentication at the Consulate. They received it yesterday the 14th. I am hoping to get it by Thurs so I can overnight it to my agency and they can send off our dossier finally to China.

UPDATES: Bao'An received Penn'ys package on the 16th. Said they were so thankful for all the things we sent. Hope Penny's likes her toys and dollie.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How do you know??

We in the adoption community often get asked the question, "how did you know it was your child?," or "did you know right away, it was your child?" This of course is referring to when you get a referral "child's file." It's hard to answer. For many, they fell that they knew the second they saw the picture, for other, it took some time and for some, even not until they actually met. It is OK no matter how it goes. I think it's more your gutt. If your doing a Special Needs program, it should be about the medical conditions and if your able to care for the child. But I guess that sometimes goes out the window as did with our son Felix. His conditions were not on our acceptance list. When we saw his face, we knew. I was nervous and did think for a minute after we accepted if I'd be able to deal with his conditions. We know now, thank goodness we accepted. He is a pefect fit into our family. As for our daughter that we know await, I knew the second I saw her face. I can't even remember who told me about her. I belong to so many yahoo groups that I can't keep track. Someone told me about a little girl 18 months with a cleft lip/palate. I called the agency and that was it. Done deal. Someone on a site that I go to for information said she actually turned down our daughters referral but fell in love with her. She said that they were looking for cleft lip only and were placed with their daughter 3 weeks later. I asked her if she was the one that referred me to my agency but she never responded back. I truley felt it was an angel guiding me to our little girl. I write about all this today because I was staring at our latest updated picture of our daughter and feel like I've know it was her forever. I stare deeply into those dark puppy like eyes and know it's her we've been waiting for. Having said that, I think it's ok to not know it is your child right away. Sometimes you feel it in different ways then just looking at a picture or the sign comes from somewhere else. It's up to you to recognize it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

800A approval!!!!!!!!

We were notified today that our 800A approval was sent out yesterday. I can't believe it. It took 2 1/2 months to get our approval with the finger prints not going through and other docs we needed because of it. Ugggggg. Now onto the next wait. Almost

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Penny Updates

Just what I needed to get me through this long week. We are still waiting on our immigration 800A approval. I just got word today that our application is still being reviewed even though I've submitted all the additional required docs. I thought I'd have it sent out for certification/authentication by Wed, but that will not happen now. BUT just as I was feeling down, I got updated info about our little girl from our agency. She's looking cuter then ever and not that far off on the size that a 22 month old should be. I need to compare her size to August updates:

As of now she's
30 inches
21.3 lbs
4.9 inch Feet
17.3 inch chest
18.8 head

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dossier sent

Ok, well not really. I got the OK to send in my dossier, payments and all other materials to my agency today. Of course it is less our 800A approval. I'm glad it's going out of my hands though and to my agency. I wanted them to review everything while we sit and wait for the 800A approval, then to send it out to get certified, then authenticated. We could be looking at another 3 weeks here before it gets to our agency. They said ok, send it in, we'll review it. So I march down to get my cashiers check, oh, bank closed, post office closed, Veteran's Day. So it goes out tomorrow. Yippy. First thing. My coordinator will have it in her hands Friday AM.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Penny's package received!!

Yay. We found out today that Penny's care package was received yesterday. Yippy!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finger Prints Done!!!

Today we had our fingerprint appt. Hopefully they both went through ok as sometimes the scan system doesn't take them clear enough.

So much for that. I found out 4 days later that my prints need to be redone. This happens sometimes for some reason. I received my appt notice to get them done again. Only it wasn't until 12/1. I went into our immigration office the next day, 11/10 and they took me. I was in and out in 20 min and it was not busy at all. The security guard thought it redicules they gave me such a far out date. I have been in contact with my USCIS officer and he will fax me the approval when he gets it.

OK, yet another hiccup. I got message today 11/13 that my fingerprints came back unclassified yet AGAIN. I'm so glad I didn't wait for the 12/1 date to do my prints to find out 3 weeks from now, they didn't go through. I am asked to now get police clearance reports from every city I've lived in for the past 5 years. Thankfully, it's only 2. Of course I have my current one as it's needed for our process. I'm driving to the other city on Monday to get the report. Sheshhh. What's next? Nothing. It's all going to be perfectly smooth sailing from here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Penny's Care Package

We sent our first personal care package to Penny on 10/20. It's suppose to get there in 5-10 business days. We'll see. I put the phone number to the orphanage in there, the address that we have in hopes it gets to where it should. I will have Ann from check in 2 weeks to see if they received it. I promised Ann I would order another package or 2 from her in the upcoming months.

As we were putting the package together, I noticed 2 pairs of Tinkerbell undies missing and a teddy snugglie. Hmmmmm. I've been collecting these items for about 4 weeks now and Sami has ben in and out of the bags. I'm sure the undies ended up in Samis draw as she loves Tinkerbell. As for the snugglie, we found him in the dirty laundry basket in the garage. It was fine because I wanted to wash it anyway. I rubbed some of the essential oils that the kids use after baths on the tessy so Penny can be familiar with her new smells. It smells SO good.

My moms cyber friend from her knitting group Anne, translated a letter for me in Chinese. So that went in the box too along with a pack of Lolli's and camera. All under 4 lbs costing me 28.00 to ship a tiny box. Not so bad. Totally worth it.

Documents in hand

IT CAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Docs at the Consulate in Los Angeles

My agency coordinator suggested we fax the Consulate regarding our documents being as though you can't speak with a person. I did so yesrterday. They called me back in a hour and told me they sent them back to me that afternoon. Ok Great. I still haven't got them and the return envelope I gave to them was express. It better get here tomorrow or I think somethings going on. I can't believe it took over 2 weeks to get our document authenticated. I hope being as though our final document to get authenticated is only one document, it will be faster. And now we know the other 2 pieces of documents they need personally. Shesh. Almost there. Finger print appt is 10/29/09. Finally, next week. Feels like forever since I got the notice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Authentication of Docs

11 of our documents were sent to the Consulate on 10/05/09. We received a call that they needed a letter from our agency that I was a client of theirs and a copy of the photo page of my passport on 10/08/09. Thought that was a good turn around. They received both of those on Thurs 10/08. We are still waiting for our docs to return to us as of today 10/17. Not so good turn around. Hopefully Monday they come. My one document from NY, my BC came back in 3 days. What gives CA???

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thoughts about our travel

When ever one of my friends from my many adoption groups goes to get their child, I can't help but feel along with them what they are feeling. It's something you can only know if you've experienced it. Because we all go through the same exact thing, you know whats going on with them and how they are feeling through it. Even though the children come from all over China, we all pretty much do the same things and everyone has to end up in Guangzhou as the Consulate is there. Any time I see a post titles, what to bring, what not to bring, where to eat, what to do in ---, I can't help but respond EVERY time. I know going this time will be easier in some ways but more difficult with 3 toddlers. When we returned from China in Feb, I posted somewhere on my blog what I'd do differently or something IF I even go back. Hmmm, must have seen someting coming.

I try not to think about Penny being so far away from us. It's tough but in the end, we will only have waited about 8 months for her. Technically, not counting the last 4 years of waiting for her originally. 8 months, less then a pregnancy term and a lot more paper work. I think when we left the hospital with Sami, I sign one release form and filled an additional 20 adoption docs from our agency/social worker. Well worth it in the end.

I'm just putting together a care package for Penny. I just did a cute photo album of her new family and 5 pets. I hope she likes them. There are about 6 outfits, a snugglie, camera, undies and some lollipops. I have to keep it light. It will cost about 35.00 to send the items. Can't wait to see pictures of her in our outfits!!

Finger Prints

Because this blog is mainly for waiting families from China, I post all updates and timelines so we can all compare. It will be interesting to see these results in 10 years from now and compare it to the families at that time. That is IF the China program is still open to USA.

Sent in our 800A 9/17, USCIS received it 9/18. They issued our receipt on 9/21/09, received finger print appt on 9/5 for 9/29. Quite a long time to wait for your appt. In the past, our last 3 appts were that same week we received the notice. I'm just hoping this gives them ample time to review our home study and give us our I797 C approval. When we get that approval, I send it in to get certified, then authenticated, THEN I can send everything to our agency for translation. When it's translated, it goes to China then we are really waiting to travel.

My hope was that we'd be DTC "date to China" in Oct. That obviously is not going to happen. I hope everything is ready to go and we can be DTC mid Nov. If that happens, I can still hope for a Feb. CNY "Chinese New Year" travel date. Felix has grown out of his CNY oufit so I need to be back during/before CNY to get him a new one. Sami of course got several so she's good.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family Pictures for Dossier

It's took me some time to dig up 6 family photos of all 4 of us from Feb for our dossier. I was trying to remember where we were when we got any family pictures taken. I came up with 7, 2 of which were taken in the past week as I knew I needed more. I got them printed out along with some photos that I will be sending to Sami's birth mother.

On Sat. I went over to Staples to print out copies of the 12 out of 13 documents for our dossier. Only you need to make copies of the doc, the notary page, certification page and "yet to come," the authentication page. I also needed 3 batches done. One for us, agency and the authentication process as they require you to send in your docs to be authenticated and copies of the docs, notary pg, certification pg. Something like 120 copies and 1 hour and 15 mins it took. It's annoying because the notary pg and the certification pages are stapled in different places so you have to be careful not to damage any of it.

BTW, for the record it took 4 days to get my docs back from Sacramento for certification, by mail. Hopefully Authentication is as fast. Will be sending docs in to get Authenticated at the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles tomorrow.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moon Pies and Festival Facts

The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) falls on October 3rd in the year 2009. What is the Moon festival? Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival.Other Moon Festival LegendsAccording to another legend, on this day the "Man in the Moon" was spotted at an inn, carrying a writing tablet. When questioned, he said he was recording the names of all the happy couples who were fated to marry and live happily forever after. Accordingly, just as June is the traditional month for exchanging nuptials in the west, many Chinese weddings are held during the eighth lunar month, with the fifteenth day being the most popular.Of course, the most famous legend surrounding the Moon festival concerns its possible role in Chinese history. Overrun by the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the Chinese threw off their oppressors in 1368 AD. It is said that mooncakes - which the Mongols did not eat - were the perfect vehicle for hiding and passing along plans for the rebellion. Families were instructed not to eat the mooncakes until the day of the moon festival, which is when the rebellion took place. (In another version plans were passed along in mooncakes over several years of Mid-Autumn festivals, but the basic idea is the same).How to Celebrate the Moon FestivalToday, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Not to mention mooncakes. While baked goods are a common feature at most Chinese celebrations, mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival. One type of traditional mooncake is filled with lotus seed paste (see side photo). Roughly the size of a human palm, these mooncakes are quite filling, meant to be cut diagonally in quarters and passed around. This explains their rather steep price (around $5.00 in Canada). A word of caution: the salty yolk in the middle, representing the full moon, is an acquired taste.More elaborate versions of mooncakes contain four egg yolks (representing the four phases of the moon). Besides lotus seed paste, other traditional fillings include red bean paste and black bean paste. Unfortunately for dieters, mooncakes are rather high in calories.While in the past mooncakes took up to four weeks to make, automation has speeded up the process considerably. Today, mooncakes may be filled with everything from dates, nuts, and fruit to Chinese sausages. More exotic creations include green tea mooncakes, and ping pei or snowskin mooncakes, a Southeast Asian variation made with cooked glutinous rice flour. Haagen-Daz has even gotten into the act by introducing a line of ice cream mooncakes in Asian markets.

Moon Festival Celebration

Today we celebrated The Mid-Autumn, Moon Festival with some moon pies. Well, actually Whoopee Pie's from Trader Joe's. The chinese tradition is to eat Mooncakes and watch the full moon. Being as though mooncakes are not that good and difficult to find, we settles for moon
pies, but I couldn't bring myself to buy moon pie's, we got the whoopee pie's. Better ingredients!

The kids ran around after their whoopee pie's and I drank my coffee from Peets. We'll watch the full moon tonight and hope that Penny is watching along with us and we can feel like we're with her.

The Moon Festival is on Oct. 3rd in China but on the 2nd here in the USA. Tomorrow we're going to the Chinese Museum Down Town for some festivities.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Starfish Poem

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking
on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking along
the shore.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human
figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think
of someone who would
dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster
to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw
that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently throwing it
into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."
"I guess I should have asked,
why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"
"The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize that
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said-
"It made a difference for that one."

Paperwork coming to an end, Almost

After putting together our first dossier back in 2005, I swore I'd probably never do this again. Three + years of updating immigration stuff, home studies, social worker visits. Then came the process for Sami, which was not even close to what it took to get our China dossier prepared. But not any less difficult as I though I might be doing it for no reason. Can you fault me for thinking it might not happen? Then I was compelled to pick up and search for our Penny. I went into the process much different this time, very positive but a little guarded. I thought I'd be able to conquer this dossier much faster and with less stress. Well faster yes, not as fast as I thought due to hold up here and there, less stress, no. As many of you know, we go through so many ups and downs throughout the adoption process. Once your done with your dossier, you wait for either your child to be referred to you, or your waiting for your next of many more approvals. I think for many of us that go through the adoption process more then once, especially with special needs, we love the feeling of making a difference. When you get home with your child and realize how perfect they fit into the family, you think about "what if you never did this, your child might still be in an orphanage cold, hungry, sad." I came across the Starfish poem today as I thought about our waiting Penny and how we're going to give her such a wonderful life. I'm so happy and proud to be able to go to China and adopt our children. I am always grateful to Sami's birth mother. Again, I couldn't imagine our Sami living a life not as it is now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

800A sent!!!

So we sent out our 800A finally on Thurs 9/17. We had a hold up on our home study as NY State took forever to issue my abuse clearance report. We received the home study and sent it right off to the USCIS. They had it in their hands on Friday, the next day. I hope.
Apparently the USCIS is processing quicker at this time due to decrease in foreign adoptions.
It tyically takes any where from 30-90 days. Some people are getting their approvals in 30 days or less now. As we wait, I'm sending all our documents to get certified. When those return to me, I will send them out to get authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles. When we get our 800A approval, I will have to send that out to get certified/authenticated as well. I will expedite that one though. Then when all docs are authenticated together, I can send them in as our dossier to our agency. gets translated to Chinese, then..........they send it off to get logged in. This is the LID. Log in date. Remember, Penny's original date was 3/21/06, which ended up being Felix's. Funny enough, we ended up finding Penny the same time that her original LID 3/21/06 was referred. Which was in July 09. I'm hoping that we can get logged in sometime in November and travel in Feb 2010.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great Week

We had a great week. Sami and Felix started art class and PreK. I go to both classes with them.
They learned a lot in both. They really liked Pre K as there is so much to do and there are more kids in the class. Sami sat in the front row answering all the questions and participating. Felix was a little shy in participating but really liked playing with all the boys. He liked the music part of school, gym and snack time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Please visit us:

Please visit us at Baby Loves Earth.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pardon our appearance

Pardon my blogs appearance. I'm in the process of renovating my blog and figuring some things out. It's a mess right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Felix CA Readopt Day!!!!

Yay, 4 years of waiting and paperwork renewals, social worker visits, home study updates, fingerprints, immigration processes.......All worth it. We finally had Felix readopt today at the court. He's officially ours!!!! Can't wait to get that birth certificate in my hands. Always a big relief. I told th judge I'd see him next year. He laughted. I guess he though I was kidding. We celebrated after with a big mexican lunch and ice cream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Some may not know that ladybugs have a special meaning to those of us in the Chinese adoption community. The Chinese adoption myth is that ladybugs are a sign of good luck and it is said if you see a ladybug your referral will be coming very soon. Some just believe they bring good luck.

Today I was driving and a ladybug landed on my rear view mirror. It stayed on the mirror the whole time to my destination. It moved back into the the mirror and just hung out there. Penny was to receive our care package today and I was thinking, maybe that was when she was opening it. I will post a picture of the ladybug in my mirror. It's hard to see but I'll try.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Care Package to Penny

I received a picture of our first care package for Penny. It's the package put together by redthread in China. In case you were wondering:

The China adoption community has adopted this Chinese proverb as a sort of motto. The proverb is this:
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,regardless of time, place, or circumstances.The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break."

I can't wait for Penny to lay her head on her new family pillow. Along with the pillow is a camera, that we will get when we go to get her, a bag to put all her goodies in as she gets them from us to take with her, translated letter asking a few questions and telling them to take good care of our little girl until we get there and candies. Our next package we will attempt to send personally or use Ann at redthread to forward it with another package from her. It's best to use 3rd parties as it is your sure way of it getting to your child.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't forget to visit Baby Loves Earth.

http://www.babylovesearth.comThanks to all that support my business. Please visit us and spead the word for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So there is this company called and they are based in Guangzhou, China and will deliver care packages to your child. They will also translate a letter for you and they will find out information/pictures for you about your child. There are a few companies like this, but I always liked Redthread as the owner is awesome and truely loves what she does and Americans. LOL And she got this info/pictures in 24 hours for us. So we have these updated photos of Penny. Look at her pig tails!!! I love those high thin China pig tails!!!! So cute. John and I were just staring at her in silence. We love her so much already, it's strange. How is it possible? Ughhhh, so close but yet so far!!!!!
19 Mths old: 30 inches small, foot 4.7 inch, chest 17.32 inches. I figure we'll send her 18 month clothes the whole time until we get her.
Good Night

Monday, August 10, 2009

Referral and PA

I hope your not reading this before I get to call you.......We just received our first approval PA from China last night. I checked before I went to bed as I knew it was Monday AM in China and to my surprise!!!!! And here she is, our long awaited Penny Ray!!!!!!! DOB Jan, 11 2008 Bao xin qin from Bao'An, Shenzhen Province the Center of Social Welfare, Guangdong Welfare Institute of Guangdong province. So we got matched with her technically before we even signed on with the agency we decided to go with this time. It was kind of strange that she was not adopted yet as she is one of the most accepted and minor special needs of cleft lip and cleft palate. Not even that but she's post operative clefts. Her file said she was only post op lip but as I read throughout it seemed as though they had her scheduled for her palate. The coordinator said it was just lip and I had asked to see a picture of her palate so I could give it to our Dr's that here that reviewed her file for us. A few days past and our coordinator found out she did in fact also have her palate repaired. So she will need to go through some touch up corrective ops in the future, but she's healthy aside from all that. Because we have just started our paperwork, we do not plan to be home with her earlier then 9 months from now. And that is us moving seriously fast on everything. Our goal is to have our dossier sent to China in Nov09. Then it's all in the hands of China to process everything else. Also, she's in Guangzhou so we ONLY NEED TO TRAVEL TO ONE PLACE!!!!!!! If you remenber, it was the last leg of our trip. The stop we finally felt relief!!! So we're so happy about that. The Consulate is there so no matter where your child is from, you always end up there. More to come. Welcome to another Cibulski adoption ride.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


August 02, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I hope you know

Each day I wonder where you are
If you are at peace, with whom you are.
I hope you know, you've made the right decision
The one you made, when you had our child.
I hope you know that we were the ones
The ones you chose, oh how grateful we are.
Each day I look at my child so dear,
I thank god for you, for you I am indebted.
No words can convey, no act can show
I hope you know, we love you so.
-April Cibulski


I wish I was less stubburn sometimes!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Original LID

So as you may know, when we started the China adoption program back 9/05, our original Log In Date "LID" was 03/21/06. Reminder, it's the order of dates in which your dossier was logged in "in line." Originally is was for a baby girl, 6-12 months old named "Penny." Well, that was our name for this baby. But of course we were blessed with Felix when in Oct 2009, when we changed our status to the special needs group and either gender switch. Well, the CCAA just finished placement through 3/14/06. We would have probably been in the next month batch, or the following. I've wondered how I'd feel when our LID was referred. I feel so happy for ALL those waiting parents that made it through this long wait, but I also can't help but feel a little sad too. It's finally over, it's sad but somewhat of a relief. We are so thankful for Felix and we know he was supposed to be with us, but I can't help to think about our little Penny. I know I've said in the past that we consider Penny as more of a driving force that allowed us to find our 2 precious children. So congrats to all you 3/14 people.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What I would do different next time

So I think about how much easier the next trip to China will be. There is so much I know now and so many things I would do differently. This also depends on what province and time of year:
If I am to go to Beijing-ZZ and GZ again:
-I would skip Beijing and just go staight to the Province my child is in. They have to stay in your port city to get adjusted. It is also JAM packed with tours that tires you out for the rest of your trip. Seriously. It was the hardest part of the trip. Not to mention we will have Sami and Felix to drag from plane to plane this time and one less airport would be great.
-Would bring less snacks and more real food. More packaged soups, would make them and put in thermos, regardless of weather. Peanut Butter and jelly-you can buy bread there. You can buy snacks and stuff everywhere. They have 7Elevens there. Would bring some boxed milk because Sami gets loopy on nonorganic milk. Trust me it is so. I would bring a few packs of juice boxes too.
-LESS gifts. First of all, I brought way to many gifts. I think I only needed 6 or 7 and took about 14. They tell you you can buy gifts when your in your port city and throughout the trip.
-I would bring better clothes. That's right, better. There were times I wanted to feel better and I think a cute outfit would have helped.
-Less clothes for summer. In GZ there were launders EVERY where. Don't miss a laundry trip if your somewhere they don't speak english and have to go with your guide. Like in ZZ. Do bring little detergent as you can do socks and undies in hotel-showers have laundry lines for drying.
-Bring less meds. We used NightQ for John the last 2 days as he had a cold. And used Motrin for Sami on planes mostly.
Break-will return
-Oh, last time I brought rain boots and snow boots for the kids. I WON'T do that next time. We had no snow, it was 1st-2nd week Feb and no rain either. I think think leather sneakers are fine adn Walmart has great shoe option too there. We bought so many shoes/sandels in GZ.
-Less summer kids clothes. There are so many great places to buy kids cute clothes in GZ for super cheap. Also mens T-shirts. John says he's not going to bring any t-shirts next time. I got them down to 30 yuan some 25yuan. That's like 3-5 dollars.
-I would buy more Jade for myself. I only got one peice for me at the govt store
-I would shop at Jenny's Place mostly again. She give you best price and usually you can even talk her down a bit more if you buy a lot in one trip. She knows you'll be back and gives you gifts too. She will have her baby next time we go. Oh that's in GZ by the way. Go out back door of WS Hotel, walk across St and down that bock-not to the right just opposite of hotel, Starbucks is on the block to the right, Jenny's is to the left. Don't forget to shop at the Orphan store next to her.
-Oh, I would eat at UBC cafe across the street from the Crowne Plaza in ZZ or maybe it was across from the Holiday Inn.
-Eat when you have the chance because on tour days and paperwork/adoption stuff days, you may not eat but in the AM and then dinner.
What else
-Oooooh, the spa. We went to this spa in GZ. I think....go past Jenny's Place, you'll see an alley, go through it, make a left and it's right there. We got the foot treatment which was an 1 1/2 awesome experience. Full back massage, arms, glutes and of course feet. All while your feet soak in this scolding herbal detox bath. It wa 65 yuan. We gave them 120y I think. It was unbelievable. Te place was really clean and they spoke english. Just like everyone in GZ does.
-I would try to rest more. Instead of facebooking, emailing skyping while kids napped. I would try to nap too.
-would go to Starbucks more. I think I went twice. Once to get the kids a sando which they loved and coffee a couple of times. I forgot I could get iced tea w/ ice there. I'm an ice tea addict so when I realized I could get ice tea with ice at SB I got it-the day before we left.
-I would complain less
-I would have worried less before we traveled
-China is such a cool, safe place. They have everything you'll need of some sort. The people are so nice and love Americans.
-We would have given the local guy whos house we got to hang out in when touring through ZZ, more money. That guy was so nice and humble and kind. He deserved more then what we gave him.
-I would have brought a lot less diapers. You have many chances to get them.
-I'd say the most item that were over packed were:
-Do buy DVD's there. The right kind. I forget which kind but they play just fine and they are about 3$.
-DO bring you portable DVD player. If you don't have on, buy one.
-Do weigh your bags before you leave the US and before you leave to the next city. We were never over weight.

Health Updates

Felix is finally rid of those terrible parasites after 3 treatments. Poor guy. It's obvious he's feeling much different. He's had it for years the Dr. said so he probably didn't even know what feeling health feels like. He's put on 2 lbs in the past 2 weeks. He should start to grow at a more normal pace now that the Giardia is goneZoe. We are looking at scheduling some fun activities for the kids this summer. There are reading camps at our library that are supposed to be really fun. Of course we'll do Lego Land and the Zoo and stuff like that too but.......
Sami's getting so big, she's still taller then Felix. She just got a fever last night and was very clingy, tired and weak. She hasn't had a fever since she's been 6 months old. She is rearely sick so to see her like that is scary. We called the Dr. because of the stinking Swine Flu and she doesn't hae any of the syptoms so she nust just has a ladybug. I gave her a bath because she was shivering, after 20 min of a camomile bath, playing in the tub she felt much better and her fever dropped. She woke this AM early crying "which she never does," her fever was back. She asked for her milkie and fever went away by the time she was done with her milkie. She's eating ok, playing but still she's off a bit. We will probably take her to the Dr any way. I'll see how she is after nappy. I know how my parents must have felt when we were sick. You feel so bad for them. You just want to take their discomfort away, suck it all into you. She's doing so many things on her own now. She picks out her outfits and puts them on, usually over her PJ's and includes a tutu. Her underwear is usually over the outfit. Shoes seems to usually be on the correct feet so.....
She's been pooping in her potty the past few days and always wants to pee, all day long in it. She's been peepeeing in potty for about 4 months now but not as consistent as recently. My little baby got so big so fast. I don't believe it will be 2 years in June. Where did the time go? Oh, it went away waiting for Felix. LOL

It's May

It's May and my Bday is fast approaching!!! All I want is another dossier waiting to be matched. LOL. Call me crazy. I see little faces on waiting child sites and I want them all. Ok, one little face on my agencies site that I really want. She has CP and from her file, it just affects her legs a bit. Other then that, she's a bright, healthy, 5 yr old. We've been researching her condition for 4 weeks now and I'm trying to find out more info like we did about Felix. Through a number of yahoo groups in hopes that someone knows of her. We're learning how this condition affects the whole family. In speaking with other families that have children with her type of CP say it can vary from mild to extreme. So we continue the research. I spread the words about her with one of my friends help from my past travel group. Knowing how private my agency is, I was very careful what info I relayed. My agency got word about me advocating and slaped my on the hand for it with a warning. Oh well. They said we were still fine with them. But it did spike a lot of interest in this little girl. One couple of which I'm emailing with now is very interested. Maybe my connection with her is to find her a home not neccessarily our home. It seems that all the husbands are in the same boat, not ready to take on a 5 yr old or her condition as they immediatly think, mental disabilities. That's so not the case with this very mild and common CP. John doesn't know if he'd be ready in a year which is how long the process would take. But, he did say we could get in line in the Waiting Child program, which also would take about a year, which leads me to believe, he's just not ready for a child with CP. He is afraid her condition will be way worse then what's in her file.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day to day

We're doing really well as a family. Felix is getting so much healthier. He had 3 different parasites in his body, which are now gone. Another surprise but not really was he had rickets, due to the lack of calcium and sunlight and overall lack of nutrients for 3 years. The level they measure the rickets has dramatically decreased, getting back to the level he should be at. we can just see the difference in his daily play. He's so much stronger, faster and doesn't take as long to recover from falls and stuff. We will be consistently battling his Hepatitis B though. His level is high, which in normal in a child that has been born into it. We cannot treat him yet as his body doesn't even recognize he has it. There are a number of ways to treat it but they are pretty harsh. I told my gym daycare today about his condition. I have finally gotten him to the point that he lets me go workout for 45 min or so as long as Sami doesn't complain, then he gets a little worked up too. They seemed very understanding and willing to deal with it, I might get told I can't bring him anymore one day soon though. We'll see. I've heard about that kind of thing happening. By law you do not need to release that info to daycares or schools. We thought it was our personal responsibility to tell them. As for his intestinal post surgery issues, there seems to be none. As long as he's growing and feeling well, his surgery was done well in Beijing. Sami loves her big brother "most of the time." She asks for him when she wakes. Him and daddy went to get bagels the other AM before she got up. She was all worked up because he wasn't here. It's the first time since 2/2/09 she didn't see him when she got up. Then when he got home, oh she was so excited AND w/ bagels!!!!! Our days are fun filled. We have the annual pass to legoland and our zoos so we frequent there. He loves to eat any where at any time, so just going out to a meal he's all smiles. It's so easy taking them anywhere. Sami is still the only one I have to really worry about. She's all over the place and Felix just listens to everything I say. They fight constently over toys "normal," but for the most part, they have a blast together. Can't wait to go back and do it all over again. No, really I know!!!! Until next time

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can't believe

I can't believe I didn't write any emails from the time we got Felix to the time we got to Guangzhou. I guess it shows how tough things got. I miss my friends from our travel group so much. You don't realize how you get so use to seeing them every day. Boucing ideas, comments, questions and concerns off of each other. Having hallway play time. You bond with each other in a way you won't with anyone else. We're all in the same boat, I mean bus, plane.....oh what ever. My friends respond with any thing I say " Oh, that's normal for a toddler boy that age." No, it not. It's very difficult to know the difference from being in an institution to regular toddler behavior. These kids have experience trama that my friends kids couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't go through. Does your child eat like it's his last meal because maybe sometimes it was for a long time? Doesn't want to sleep because they've never had a mama/dada there in the AM? Yes, these are some what normal toddler behaviors, but why they do them is totally different and have to be treated differently. Any way, I'll update more and with photos soon.
Thanks for reading


John asked me to some up China in one word the other day. It took me all of one second to think, Chaotic. I think I made have said that in an earlier post. I guess part of it is just the way of life here. You talk fast, move fast " I mean your guide/rep does it for you" and think fast. Our reps always seem like they are arguing about something to the locals but we've decided that's just the way they communicate. BTW, there's someting wrong w/ my H key and I'm tired of going back to fix the missed H's. Anyway, another part of the chaos is that we have 12 other families in our group. So if one person is missing we wait, if one family is late we wait. We were ALL so happy to leave today and go down South to Guangzhou, Shaiman Island. One reason, it's WARM, another is we're that much closer to coming home. OK. So this AM we're all ready to go, everyones there, we load onto the bus. 20 min into te trip to the airport, dead stop on the road. People just get out of their cars here and walk around when this happen apparently. Hot, annoyed americans on a bus wanting to get on a plane, not good. Our rep is calling people to see what going on. She decided that there is a VIP here and they close down the roads both ways wen tis happens. She said president fromr other country maybe. Any who, she called the airport and told them to hold the plane for us, apparently you can do that here. So chaos in the airport of course, she has us all cut the line of people going through the check point all as she's yelling at everyone in the airport. It's pretty cool actually to get such treatment. We got pull here. We had a great plane ride Felix and Sami slept the whole 2 hours. Shaiman Island is beautiful and warm. We ate a ton at lunch bacause we hadn't eaten yet and it was 2pm, that happens often that you miss meals and have to just eat your snacks that your sick of. Lonae and I went shopping after lunch, had a tea ritual and the kids are sleeping. I love every family we're with, everyone is so great. Yesterday after we went to get our kids passports, the moms went over to a tea shop. I asked te guy how to do this block of tea and then he sits us down for a tea offering. it was such a cool experience. They put so much into serving a cup of tea. Any way, tomorrow we have a city tour, not anything to intense like in Beijing, the hard parts are over now. We'll be going to temples and church and shopping and then a group dinner. Here's a tid bit about Shaiman Island. BTW, as tough as it's been doing all the things we've had to do, I'd do it again in a heart beat. Don't be surprised if we're back in a couple of years!!! We are at the famous White Swan Hotel. Shamian Island, formerly known as Shameen Island, from its Cantonese pronunciation (Chinese: 沙面岛, pinyin: Shāmiàn dǎo) is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, China. The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese.The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs. Since the early 2000s, Shamian Island has become well known for the many Western couples who reside there while seeking to adopt Chinese babies and young children, most of whom are orphaned and female. The White Swan Hotel is perhaps the best-known hotel in Guangzhou, having been in operation for many years, and is usually the hotel of choice for these couples. One reason for this popularity is that the hotel is adjacent to the United States consulate, making it convenient to file paperwork and handle bureaucratic matters. The consular section has since moved to the other side of the city (the whole consulate will move in 2012 as well), but the hotel is still the most popular destination for adopting couples. Beginning in 2007, the Chinese government slowed the rate of adoptions, and as a result the percentage of tourists to Shamian Island who are Westerners has decreased as well

side note

I just realized the dates might be off because I'm cut/pasting them from emails and it shows up as PST

02/01/09-Gotcha Day

We finally got Felix after a 3 1/2 year wait and it was so worth it. The day was hectic. We walked to the office, 5 families from our orphanage. We were the first family. He cried for a long time. The only way we could stop him was to feed him. After about an hour, with a rush to the passsport photo shop, he stopped. He's eaten a TON so far, won't stop. Sami was a little scared because all the kids were crying. She did really good right away, feeding him, giving him lollipop and toys. She's very concered. Now she won't leave him alone. She is all up in his face, she loves him already. This AM she was saying "sister, sister, little sister. Any way gotta go for now

Fri 1/30/09

I wish I could put into words right now what my day was like. I'll start off with-Amazing. We woke at 2am because we all went to bed when we got to the hotel @ 18:00. Went down to bfast at 6am. Met all the other families from our agencies adopting as well before our tour at 9am. I can tear up at how amazing these people are. They are giving, humorous, strong, down to earth, selfless, I could go on. Some families are here to adopt there 3-7th child. From minor special needs to missing parts of ear/hearing, clubed hands, albinism, heart conditions. We went to Tianamen square, Forbbiden City, "we walked this btw-2hrs, then went to chinese lunch "so good," then to the silk factory "John has a new found respect for silk making," then took a rickshaw through "common folk" town and home. Yes, we went into a chinese home. Sami was a trooper with no nap except for the hour she took before we went out in the AM. She fell asleep in John's arms on the rickshaw. So this house we went into, the man of the house was so cool. He was so greatful that we came, wanted us to ask questions...but it was not anything like you might imagine. He had crickets in his bed room. No, not to eat...they like to feel like they live in the country still. It's like a sound sleeper for babies. LOL. He had pet turtles, not to eat. Then finally back to the hotel at 17:00. Oh I forgot, we know what it's like to have a daughter as a celebrity. Sami was a big time hit. We had crowds of 20-30 people at a time taking pictures with her, of her, holding her. She would stop crowds and people would yell-oh, baby hi baby, pretty baby. Apparently it's good luck to have blonde hair and even good luck rubs off ih you touch a blonde and take a picture with them. Being the new year, everything that signifies good luck is 10 times more luck. I guess. Speaking of which. The fire works here go off all night until about 2am and the are like bombs. They aren't the wimpy M80's we have in the states, they are serious. It actually hasn't bothered Sami at all. She's sleeping right here and they are soooooo loud. And she had to have soy milk instead of reg milk. I couldn't find New Zealand or Austrailian milk in the market by the hotel. Then again, nothing is written in english soo..... I'll post pics tomorrow. So tired. Can't believe I wrote this much. Oh and my mom in law is such a trooper too. It was a lot of walking, stairs, crying Sami......I might have doubled this email to some of you on facebook, sorry to overload you.nite

Thu 1/29/09

Ni hao,
So we made it . We're in Beijing. The flights was fast. Didn't seem like 12 1/2 hrs from San Fran. We were able to upgrade to Business class which was great because Sami had a lot of room to run around for 11 hours. Yup, that's right. She slept a total of about 1.5 hours. Needless to say, that's probably why it went so fast. So unfortunately we really had no use for those wonderful reclining chairs in Business Class. We got to our hotel yesterday te 29th at 4:30 and all went to bed at 6pm. Sami was crying the way to the hotel "bath, milk, bed." Over and over again. She knows the order. Now it's 3am and we are up and ready to go. We have to find out where our phones are. They were supposed to be delivered to the hotel. But there not.Mom/Terry-I just tried to skype you. You no home. XOXO

China updates

I was to tired to post in China so I am posting the emails and facebook entries I sent out. Sorry!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Goin' to China to get Felix Fu Xi

So we got our tickets. I can't say what the date is because, my mother doesn't want to worry. She just wants to know when we're there, when we get back, when it happens. All I can say is, we're going the last week of Jan sometime. We will be there for 2 weeks. We signed the application to get our child on 9/05. Wow, what a wait. It could be worse. It's going to be freezing in Henan Province. We fly into Beijing and back home out of Guangzhou-Hong Kong-home. We'll hit the warmer weather down South.

Been working on how to get more exposure to my site
I'm torn because I don't want to start traffic, then go to China for 2 weeks and have potential customers think their sale has been lost and never come back to shop us. Maybe I can work on it while on the plane and kill 14 hours. Haha. I'm hoping I'll be asleep for most of it.
Any who- please visit our site if have some non toxic, organic children/baby product needs. We have some really cute clothing lines by Happy Green Bee, organic cotton w/ bold colors and Kicky Pants, A bamboo clothing line. The body care we carry is by Erbaviva. Ohhhh, the essential oil sents are so beautiful and soothing. Sami has very sensitve skin and it was the only line that worked for her......that's why we sell it. Oh and the fun toys by Holgate. They have always been a sustainable wood toy company from the start.