Friday, June 25, 2010


Blog detour:

Please go to my new blog for Penny updates. Thanks!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

If you don't know the whole story

Let me take a moment and remind you of how we came to adopt Penny, or where "fictitious" Penny came from rather.

Back in 2005, we decided to adopt a child. A, "one" child! After much research, we decided on China. We applied for a healthy baby girl, ages 6-12 months. We decided to name this child Penelope Ray, after my mom and dad. Mind you, this child is "fictitious," as your child might not have been born yet. People tend to think, that what the age of the child is when you get them, you've been waiting for that particular child, for that long. 3 years old, 3 year wait, not the case. Ok, back to the story. As the wait went on, it got longer and longer then what our agency anticipated. The year we chose to do this, is when the slow down started to happen. There was much speculation for why the process was at a stand still, and I'm talking like stand still, tumble weeds, the sound of the wind and hawks squawking in the background, zip, ziltch, nada, nothing. So we wait, and we wait, with no reasons or end in site.

We decided to again, to look into domestic adoption in May 2007. We found a great attorney agency, recommended by a friend.
We signed on with them immediately. It took about 2 weeks to get all our info switched over to domestic adoption, mind you, we still have China going. At this time we're estimated another 2 years for China. We got the call from our domestic agency, 2 weeks later, "we've been chosen by a birth mother." OMG. That week June 15th, Samantha Jackson was being born.

In Oct. 2008, we decided to switch over to the Waiting Child adoption program in China. After researching all the medical conditions on the check lists, we elected a bunch of conditions we were open to, switched to up to 4 yrs old and either gender. It was a tough decision, since 2005, I had a picture in my mind of my little Chinese baby. Letting go of that was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I really never got over it. OBVIOUSLY!!!! After about 3 weeks of the switch, we received Felix's file. We had the file, before a picture, which is better. The we got his pictures, what a cutie. We were in. We went to adopt Felix in Zhengzhou, China in Feb 2009, during the Chinese New Year. BTW, fireworks are non stop for 2 weeks of the celebration. And they are not the type that we are use to here, they are basically bombs. I think they stopped from about 3am-7am.

In the summer of 2009, I got the bug........I started on the boards again, realized I needed my Penny. You start talking with these crazy selfless people that adopt child after child w/ major medical conditions, it's insane, they are angels. We signed up AGAIN. This time we went right into the Waiting Child program. I have the best husband BTW. We were actually placed w/ Penny before we started the paperwork. While on the yahoo group to my agency, someone had recommended I view this little girls file, cleft lip/palete, 17 months old. I called my coordinator, she said "yah, this little girl is perfect, I can't believe she's still on the list." As soon as I saw her picture, I knew it was her, chills up the spine and everything. I could have cared less, if she had any other medical conditions then the clefts. Luck for us, that all we're dealing with. So here we are today, getting ready to go get our Penny.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Starfish Poem

I'm posting the Starfish Poem again, as I've been asked for it recently by a few of you. It was tucked back in 2009 posts, so here it is. I love this poem, I think we all forget sometimes, what a difference we can make.

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."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Itinerary in Guangzhou

Who how much more simple this itinerary is then last trip! There were several in China flight during last trip as Felix was in Zhengzhou. Yahoo!

The itinerary for family adopting Bao Xin Qin (2008/01/11)

June 20: Flying to Guangzhou by CZ328 at 06:20
Staying at the Garden Hotel
Having breakfast at the hotel
June 21: Meet the child
June 22: Registration and Notarization
June 23: Applying for passport
June 24: Local sightseeing at the Liu Hua Lake Park
June 25: Local sightseeing at the Family Chen’s Temple(or visiting ShenZhen SWI)
June 26: Photo for the child & Physical test for the child & TB test for the child
June 27: Local sightseeing at Yuntai Garden
June 28: Get medical result and passport
June 29: Visa application at 10:30am
June 30: Swearing in ceremony at the Consulate (the family will wait to be informed to go there)
July 1st: Local sightseeing at the Zoo and pick up visa
July 2nd: Fly home by CZ327 at 21:00. The family will have a late check-out to 18:00.


1. 花园饭店 The Garden Hotel
Address: No. 368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Telephone: 0086-20-83338989
Fax: 0086-20-83350467

Monday, June 7, 2010

Recent Pictures

I just got some recent pictures of Penny. We're at the finish line "kinda," and I couldn't wait any longer. Had to see her now, now, now. Next week they will probably be getting her prepped to go, any toys she'll be leaving with, clothes, etc. They've been showing her our photo album we made for her, therefore she'll be a little familiar with us. Although I'm sad to leave the kiddos behind, I'm looking forward to spending some alone "ish" time with Johnny. We haven't been on a plane solo in 3 years, certainly haven't gone away together either. We'll probably get Penny a couple days into the trip. Sometimes you get your child the day you get in, sometimes not for days. We should know soon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MAJOR updates

This week has been a whirlwind. We received our LONG awaited TA "travel approval" and our CA "consulate appt" the following day. Isn't it just the way it goes with this whole process? You're in limbo, waiting, having no idea when the next milestone will fall. Then it comes down to the final steps, it's go time. The chaos start now, "hold on to your seats, we have just lost cabin pressure." Ok, sorry, movie reference. We will get our itinerary Monday. Apparently, because if construction on Shaimen Island, we need to stay in Guangzhou. I guess it will be a nice change from last trip, although, it was great being able to just step out and grab something safe and easy to eat, or shop for. We'll figure it out. I got an email today from one of my cyber friends from BAAS for over a year now and probably for who knows how long on rumor queen, we're on the same flight!!! She from Houston, I from San Diego, her daughter from a different province then Penny, but we meet on the 18th in LAX. Amazing!!! We're also on the same flight back. In case you were not aware, everyone ends up in Guangzhou at some point, even if their child is from a different province as the Consulate is in GZ. The Consulate is where the adoption is finalize and the child is signed off to go to the US.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Article 5, SERIOUSLY!!!

Dear April:

Your Article 5 has been picked up and overnighted to CWTS and CWTS is
hand delivery it to CCAA today. You are now just wait for your TA which
will take about two weeks.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Most recent update

Our agency got us a development report and a few new photos of our girl. As for the report, everything seems on target. Not a fan of the late bed time 9:30. What??? Ok, well I am master of child sleep routine so I'm not too concerned. Felix was on track 2 weeks home. I love the picture playing music. Maybe she takes after her mama's natural musical abilities. She's healthy and that's all that matter. We are looking at travel in July now as Consulate appts for June seems to be filling up. July in Guangzhou will be hot and SO humid. Can't wait!! As for those of you following in the community, I will update the timeline. Take a look, we received our wire notice last week. I have to say, when I gave up checking my emails every second, things really started to move for us. I know it's hard, BTDT 3 times now.

Friday, March 26, 2010


We received our LOA today. We've waited 77 days from LID. We though it would have been more in the 40-50's but now that it's here, who cares. I'm obviously thrilled, but also numb as this wait just wears on you. Who knows when our TA will come. Any where from 5-8 weeks. I'm am an optimistic person by nature, but the adoption process has made me question my optimism.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Pictures of Penny

Today to my surprise I received new pictures of Penny. I was elated to say the least, as one of the pictures has her smiling. FINALLY. In all the handful of pictures we have, she looks so sad. I know that it's difficult to get them to smile as they are not use to a camera. I also got an update that she's doing well, healthy and received our Chinese New Year package. I can't be more thankful to the sources that get me this information as contact is prohibited. Of course that doesn't stop me from finding ways around this. I did it with Felix and I'm doing it again with Penny. Having technical difficulties with the pics, I'm aware of the double.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I haven't posted in a while as there really is nothing to talk about, so I thought. Any one who has gone through an adoption process international or domestic, would know that it's difficult to stay positive and/or think talk about anything other then the next phase.

I thought that the wait through the Chinese New Year was going to be much more difficult, knowing that the CCAA shuts down for 2 weeks. Well one week technically, but they are short staffed until the New Year is over. We're one week into CNY and I feel very much at peace with the wait. Can't tell you the cause for the sudden equanimity. Who knows.

I thought I'd mention a topic that I often get approach with. It's the fact that people tell me I'm a great roll model for others whom should consider adoption and/or special needs children adoption. I appreciate the fact that someone sees me as this, that being said, I would never talk someone into adoption. And who are these people that should consider adoption? Is it people whom are infertile, impregnating through IVF, older couples? I often advocate within the adoption community for children or agencies. Never outside of it. I will tell anyone who asks me, adopting a child IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! People are surprised of my response, assuming I will respond with much more avidity. As for adopting a child with a medical condition(s), you really need to soul search here. Here's the deal, you have to ask yourself if you are ready for:
Months, days, years of uncertainty? Disappointment? Highs and low? A medical condition your not prepared to handle after accepting the file? Significant developmental/physical delays? Paperwork, dossiers, appointments for medical check ups, police clearance reports, FBI finger prints, USCIS clearances, scrutiny of a social worker for days, months or years? Keeping in mind that depending how long you are to wait, you might need to renew all and more of the above. Finally, the cost? It's not for the faint of heart. You need to know going into the uncertainty, there will be a long road ahead. Whether your starting with paperwork and no referral "child," as we did with Felix and Sami, whom was originally Penny. Or starting with a referral, as with Penny now. Is still just a long road. I thought it would be easier knowing the child that exists at the end of this road, but it's not.

We in the adoption community write these posts for the people that come in to the yahoo groups to visit and inquire about adoption. So for some of the readers, this post will not apply. Sorry to have wasted your time. Good Night

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Penny Bday Pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Angela at LadybugnLove, we got a cake and some pictures of our girl. She looks SO much bigger then last pictures from November. No pig tails this time. Looks like she's gotten a hair cut since then. I can't see her little collapsed nostril. I guess as the surgery heals, it gets better. I really like that imperfection though. I got so use to it.
She looks confused by the cake. I'm sure she figured it out quickly. I'm assuming they bring it all out to the others after they take the pictures. They never put any other kids in the photos there.
Side note-someone just got their LOA in 34 days "record." I'm thinking it's a trend as we've seen some days in the 40's last batch. We could get ours soon!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


We got our LID "log in date" today for 1/08/2010. I knew it was coming today. AND it's Penny's 2nd birthday. Oh Happy Birthday. Now we are shifted to the next pile for LOA. Basically the BIG one. It can take anywhere from 30-100 days. We'll know when we'll be traveling to get her after LOA.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lastest Measurements of Penny

25 lbs.
31.9 inch. Tall
4.7 inch. Feet "shrunk, LOL"
18.1 inch. Chest
18.7 inch. Head