A Shower of Blessings

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today our family was showered with the blessings and gifts from my school staff. The shower was held in the library and many of my friends came to celebrate sweet Ella Kate. It was hosted by my kindergarten grade level and Jennie Jones. What a wonderful group of friends!!!

We enjoyed an amazing table of food! The cake and punch was delicious!!! As each person came in, they were asked to write a special wish for Ella Kate and then wrap it around a candle. At each birthday, we will open the candles and read the wishes. What a precious gift to all of us!!! A couple of my friends, Beth and Marsha, read special poems for all to enjoy and weep about. I was very touched and blessed by them both.

Words could never express the immense love I have for everyone of you that made my day so special! I am so thankful for every card and gift. I will cherish the words written to me forever. I promise that everything given to us will be used faithfully to take care of our precious baby!!! I thank you and love all of you from the bottom of my heart!!!

An Update!!!

Usually about 3 weeks after the referral, families receive an updated version of the information received in the referral packet. We were sent an update in the mail today from CCAI. During the last 3 weeks, the translation dept. has completed translating the complete paper work from Ella Kate's orphanage.

Ella Kate (Qian Shuang Jiang) was found on April 11, 2005 at the entrance of the Qianjiang District Personnel Bureau of Chongqing City. After receiving the report, the policemen went to the scene and conducted a search, but couldn't find her biological parents. After approval was received from the Civil Affairs Bureau, she was sent to the Qianjiang District SWC to be cared for on the same day.

When she entered the orphanage, she was wearing an old outfit and there were no objects found with her. The medical staff gave her a physical exam and she was said to be in perfect health. She cried loudly and clearly. Based on her physical development and her umbilical cord, the medical staff estimated her birth date to be April 7, 2005.

We are so happy to have this new information. We are hoping to get the travel announcement this week and travel in the next few weeks! Thanks for you continued prayers!!!

What Are We Waiting On?

Monday, February 20, 2006

What's Next??
In the realm of Chinese adoptions, there are two very important parts: "paperwork" & "waiting"! We are currently back in the "Waiting" mode. It is probably the harder of the two. Right now we are waiting for the CCAA - the division of the Chinese Government responsible for adoptions, to provide our agency, CCAI, with a Travel Notice giving us permission to travel to China to get Tynley. Once they receive our Travel Notice, CCAI will contact the United States Consulate in Guangzhou to acquire a consulate appointment for us. At that appointment we receive Ella Kate's visa so that she can travel back to the United States with us. Hopefully, there will be plenty of appointments available once we have our travel notice. Once we have a consulate appointment our travel dates can be set and we will be frantically making travel arrangements! At that point----LOOK OUT CHINA... HERE WE COME!!!

A Sweet Poem

Saturday, February 11, 2006

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 you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.
One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.
One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.

© Author Unknown

I am often moved to pray for Ella Kate's first mother. I pray that she will have peace in her heart and know Ella is loved today and forever by her new family.

Packing Already

What do you do while waiting to travel? Start packing!!! We have heard through the maillist that we may be leaving anywhere between March 8-15. That being said, I started packing today. Scott is in Toronto so we are trying to stay busy. We already had three big suitcases, and needed two more. We went to Target and bought them today along with tags and locks. I have been buying things along the way - mainly medicine and things for Ella. We have to take everything you can think of for 6 people. We are not taking many clothes for her because everyone says clothes are very inexpensive in China so wait and buy them there. We will each take a week's worth of clothes and have them laundered to wear the second week. I took a picture of the my closet where the suitcases will sit until we are ready to go. I have been organizing everything in sight as well. I think I am nesting!!!

Care Package

Thursday, February 2, 2006

In the FedEx package on Saturday, we were given directions of how to send a care package to Ella Kate. We have been deciding forever of what we would send. On Tuesday night, we filled out the paper work and packed the box. We included a soft photo album with pictures of our family and home (words written in Chinese), a rattle (her favorite toy), an outfit with socks, a teddy bear that sings, a camera for the nannies to snap pictures

with, and two packs of Hershey kisses for the nannies that take care of her. Scott took the box to the post office yesterday and sent it to China. It cost about $30. I wish we could see her when they give her the things we sent. I also hope she will begin to bond to us by looking at our pictures and hearing the nannies say, "Mama, daddy, sister." We are still trying to believe this is really happening!!!

When Will We Go?

We just got word that some of the referrals from January 5 just got their consulate appointments. They will be leaving on February 18 or so. Their appointment is March 1st. I hope that means we will get to leave around the middle of March with our appointment being at the end of March. We are group 923 and all groups have appointments through group 921. We are next to get word!!!

Great news! Today we received Consulate appointment confirmations for G912 and G913! We will be emailing you shortly with more specific information about your Consulate appointment date and projected travel dates.
We are encouraged that the Consulate has begun working on our requests and confident that the outstanding Consulate appointment confirmations for G914 and G915 will arrive over the next few days.

It's Offical

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

On Saturday, we received the FedEx package with Ella Kate's referral documents. One of the documents was the Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter. We signed it and sent it FedEx on Monday. It has been forwarded to CCAA and they will begin the process of giving us a travel notice. We should know something in about 3 weeks. We still can't believe we have a baby waiting for us in China!!!