Thursday, September 29, 2005

Temporary Quarters

13 more days! I should have put this on yesterday's blog...The medical update posted yesterday was from mid-late July. So, although it is an update for us, it is not a timely update. It is approximately 3 months behind, but is definitely more informative than our referral information.

Did some research last night to see where we are staying. I have added links below so that you can see where we will be staying -- not too shabby! :o)

Beijing: Temple of Heaven Holiday Inn
Nanchang: Gloria Plaza
Guangzhou: Yi He Hotel

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Medical Update

14 more days! This morning we received Rylee's medical update. She has gained 3 lbs. and is approximately 2 inches longer. She now has 5 teeth! I can not wait to meet her. She sounds so sweet!

Weight: 8 kg (17.6 lbs) Height: 68 cm (26 inches)

Physical Development

The baby can sit alone for a long time, and stand up by supporting the bedside. She can stand up by herself when she wakes up. She can crawl quickly. She cannot fall down if she picks up her favorite toys by stretching out her hands forwards or backwards.

Mental Development Condition

Her mental development is normal. She can tell the difference between her familiar people and strangers. She will shake and stretch out her hands with expectation when she sees an acquaintance. She will shake her head and her body upon hearing her favorite songs. She tries to imitate nursery governess’ movement. She knows the meaning of “No”.

Meal Schedule and Preference

She has 5 meals a day respectively at 6:30, 10:45, 14:45, 19:00 and 23:00. Her favorite foods are milk and biscuit. She likes holding the bottle by herself when the nursery governess feeds her.

Daily Life, Personality, Hobbies and etc

She is rather outgoing and risible. Sometimes she can laugh loudly. She likes playing with people who are close to her. She can play by herself for a long time. She likes listening to nursery governesses’ conversation. She sleeps for 14 to 15 hours a day.

Favorite Toys and Activities

She likes dolls best. Her favorite activity is playing with her companions. She likes outdoor activities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Itinerary Is In...

We received our detailed itinerary via email this morning. Below you will find our schedule of events. I will fill you in on all the highlights and will spare you all the small details such as which side of the door we are suppose to put our luggage upon check out, how to find our guides, phone numbers of the hotels, etc.

Here goes!

Friday, October 14th: Arrive in Beijing at 2:30 pm (2:30 am EST)

Saturday, October 15th: Visit jade factory, Great Wall of China, Tian An Men Square, and Forbidden City

Sunday, October 16th: Worship service at an international church. Visit pearl factory and Summer Palace

Monday, October 17th: Receive (lack of a better word) Rylee at the Office of Civil Affairs - approximately 11am (11 pm 10/16 EST). Yipppeee! Adoption registration.

Tuesday, October 18th: Shopping for baby supplies/needs. Group dinner.

Wednesday, October 19th: People's Park. Group dinner and visit Qiushui Fountain.

Thursday, October 20th: Tengwang Pavilion. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

Friday, October 21st: Pick up Rylee's passport. Flight to Guangzhou at 8 pm (8 am EST)

Saturday, October 22nd: Rylee's visa photo and medical exam.

Sunday, October 23rd: Worship service led by guide. Shamian Island.

Monday, October 24th: Paperwork to consulate. Evening river cruise (2hours)

Tuesday, October 25th: Oath taken at US Consulate. Group dinner.

Wednesday, October 26th: Flight to Hong Kong at 9:40 am. Flight from Hong Kong to Chicago at 12:45 pm (12:45 am EST).

There is a quite a bit of down time which will help Rylee become acquainted with us and vice versa. Will post more info. later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Reality Check

Well, the FedEx man paid me a visit this morning. He didn't stop by to say "Hi" - He had our tickets! It is official, we are going to China. My stomach did a few flip flops as I looked at the tickets and reality began to set in. Don't get me wrong, I have known we are going...It's just that it is becoming more and more of a reality.

Oh, yesterday Morgan's message for the ladybug was "I want to go to the jelly bean factory." I told you they were going to get interesting! For those that do not know, since we began the process of adopting and throwing out names, Morgan has wanted to call her Jelly Bean. He went to the Jelly Belly factory many years ago and I guess he figures that she needs to experience it as well. Not that he remembers anything about it...

Monday, September 19, 2005

The countdown has begun!

23 DAYS TO GO! On Friday, we put together a wreath to countdown the days until we leave. This grapevine wreath hangs in our kitchen and has many uses. At Thanksgiving, construction paper leaves adorn it with recognition of those things that we are thankful for written on each leaf. In February, hearts are plastered all over it with messages of affirmation for one another. Now, it is swarming with construction paper ladybugs. Each day, Morgan is taking off a ladybug and writing a sentence to Rylee. So far, he has written "I love you." & "I want to go to the park with you." Should be interesting to see what will be written in the days to come!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Today we confirmed our tickets so, I guess we are really going now. Reality is beginning to set in and we are so excited!

Here is our flight information:

10/13 UA6863 (6:36A/7:00A) L./Chicago

10/13 UA851 (12:00N/2:30P) Chicago/Beijing (arrive on 10/14)

10/26 UA896 (12:45P/2:25P) Hong Kong/Chicago

10/26 UA6840 (6:35P/8:58P) Chicago/L.

We should be receiving our itinerary very soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


We have our consulate date...OCTOBER 24th! While this is after Rylee's 1st birthday, it is not November as we were beginning to anticipate. All the travel arrangements are being made and we should have exact dates in the next day or two. We are tentatively scheduled to leave October 13th and will return around the 26th of October. We should have travel plans and itineraries very soon. Yeeee Hawww!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another Glitch

{Insert music from your favorite drama or soap opera here}

Okay, we are getting to the point that this is almost funny...Not quite there, but given a few more glitches we might just need to take us out in straight jackets. One of the women in our travel group was asked to pass along the following to us today:

Hi everyone. Our family coordinator asked me to send an email informing the group of what is going on and why we haven't heard from them.

1) AHH's server crashed over the weekend, and they have been unable to access any messages they may have recieved from China. B. was there until 1 a.m. last night trying to get into his email, and of course he has been unable to send us a message about what is going on. They have tried accessing their email reomotely, but have been unable to get in that way
either. They have their computer department working in the problem, but at this point have no idea how long it might take.

2) I pressed our family coordinator hard, and "she said that B. said" we will not be traveling this week.

3) B. is doing everything he can to get us an appointment in the tiny window between the holiday and the trade fair (the holiday is the week of October 3rd, and I believe the trade fair is Oct. 14-30). If we are unable to obtain an appointment during this time, it looks like we will not be able to leave until very late October/early November.

What WE can do is pray diligently that God will do a miracle and allow us appointments in the window.

Until tomorrow or until the server is fixed....

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Be Still

I have debated whether or not to share this on the blog, but do want to keep it as a record of our experience. Thus, I am posting my experience this morning. There is a song out that has the words "Be still and know I am God" in the lyrics that seems to be on the radio everytime we are experiencing a bump in our adoption journey. This has been over the course of a couple of years. Anyways, the lyrics came to me this morning while emptying the dishwasher. So, I figured I should go and get my Bible and see what I could find about being "still". Well, I look it up and there were two verses specifically that I looked up. The first one was Psalm 46:10 which is exactly the lyrics to the song. The other was Mark 4:39 which is when Jesus and the disciples are in the boat in the midst of a storm. Jesus says to the waves "Quiet. Be still!" I had to laugh as I can see God up there watching me run up and down the stairs, like a crashing wave, checking emails and do this and that with my anxious/nervous energy, thinking "WHAT A LUNATIC"! Like ocean waves, I can not control them...However, I can sit back, relax, and enjoy them and let God be God!!

We received the following email this afternoon:

"I thought I would forward to you the written response I received from China. The consulate had disconnected their number to the adoption unit (because so many people were calling) so I had to work my way through 10 transfers last night to talk with someone in the adoption bureau. Once there I was only told they had received my request…nothing more and nothing less. What is happening, as you will see below, is the perfect storm. They have 500+ families wanting to travel in October. There is limited time to travel (with reasonable costs) in October, therefore creating high demand and little opportunity. Please know we are doing our best to keep this moving for you and that we in the agency are equally frustrated by these unfolding events. Also, please take a minute to pray for these events and then take a moment to reflect that we are not in control of what happens here and we can only do our best to work within the scenarios presented to us. "

If we do not hear anything tomorrow morning, we will have to wait until next week. October and even possibly November travel dates are becoming more the reality now. While it is difficult knowing that families that received their referrals the same day we did are on their way to China today, we still firmly believe that God is in control and His timing is perfect.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Travel Update...

We received an email this afternoon saying that they were not able to get a consulate date for September. So, they are back to the drawing board trying to figure out when we can travel. They are trying to avoid the National Holiday and the trade shows that happen in October, but yet get us there as soon as possible to get our precious babies. This is getting more difficult by the day. Our travel coordinator will be working late into the night trying to get us our appointment - He is working with a 12 hour time difference. Say a few prayers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

From the newsroom...

We received an email this morning from the agency updating us on the latest information...

"I wanted to share with you something that was brought to my attention by my Chinese colleagues (and a couple of you). The Consulate will be closed Oct. 3-5 and the provincial governments will be closed that entire week for the Chinese National Holiday. I do apologize for this oversight. We are going to expedite this process…meaning that I am going to request a consulate date for late September, which means that you will potentially be leaving a week a head of my projection. Again, this is all based on whether or not we can get a consulate date. As I get information, I will let you know. In the mean time I have a serious amount of communicating with China to do and making sure all of your travel plans are ready to be booked once we get the confirmation….I will be in touch as I have confirmed information!"

Yikes! Breathe, breathe...The other side could be that they can't get an appointment until after October 5th and then we leave even later.... Hmmm... Hope to know more information in the next day or two.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Travel Approvals Arrived!

We have reached yet another milestone...Our "TA's" arrived this morning! We're going to China...We're going to China...We just don't know when...We just don't know when...

Yes, you read that correctly - We are not exactly sure when. We will wait another few more days to get our consulate appointment. Then, the agency will book our trip. Our coordinator does anticipate that our appointment will be around October 3 - 6th. If that is the case, we would leave for China any time between September 21 - 26th. Okay, this is becoming a little bit more real! We are hoping that Rylee will be home for her first birthday!

Check back as we should have travel dates soon!