Great Wall

Great Wall

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Readying Your Room

Dear Mila,

  We have been busy getting your room ready for when you get home. We hope you love it! We want it to be your pink Princess room. We hope that it will be a place where many happy memories are made. We hope you feel safe and happy here and it will be your safe haven from the outside world. 


Ma Ma and Ba Ba

Friday, December 20, 2013

Travel While in China

One of the questions we are most frequently asked is "Do you know when you will travel over to get Mila?" Unfortunately, the answer to that is "no we don't." Right now the best that we can give is an estimate. We've been told that from the time we got our letter of confirmation from the national Visa Center, that the time to travel is approximately 10 weeks. That puts us mid February which stinks because we really wanted to go in January but at least it is getting closer. Right now the US Consulate in Guangzhou is reviewing our paperwork for being able to bring Mila home and make her a citizen. This takes about 4 weeks. Once they approve the paperwork, they will issue an Article 5 to the CCCWA stating that we have met the Hague Convention requirements. We will get a copy of the Article 5 when it is issued. Then the CCCWA reviews the paperwork on their end. Another 3-4 weeks. Once they approve it, they will issue our travel approval (TA). This is the document from china that says we are cleared to enter the country for the purposes of adoption. Once that is issued, we will contact our travel agency (Lotus Travel) and they will start putting our trip together including all the places we will stay, setting up our appointments and helping us book our plane tickets. That is suppose to take 2-3 weeks and then we travel!  So that is where the 10 weeks comes from. And with the holidays we are wondering how much that will slow the process down. We hope not by much!  For now, all we know is that we will fly into Beijing, be there for 2 days, then we will travel to Wuhan City to where Mila lives! We'll be there for 5-6 days and then we will travel to Guangzhou which is where the US Consulate is. There we will complete Milas immigration paperwork and she will officially become a US citizen!  For now, here is a picture showing the drive times between where we will go. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Visa's Are Here!

Big deal today! We got our visas to enter China for the purpose of adoption. It's one of the last big things we had to do on our end to prep for travel. We have been told that from now until we are in China will be about 10 weeks. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Update on DiDi

We got an update on Didi last week!  Since we now have our LOA, that opens it up for us to find out more info about her and also to be able to send items like pictures albums, cds, and small items that they can use to explain to her what is getting ready to happen.  First we got some extra info on her...

2. Can we please have her current measurements including weight, height, and foot size?
Weight: 15kg, Height: 89cm, Head circum: 48cm, Chest circum: 54cm, Foot length: 14cm

3. Please explain her current developmental progress?
She could make conversation with others by language. She is able to walk, run and jump alone. She goes up and down stairs with holding onto the railings. She feeds herself with a spoon. She drinks with a cup or a bottle by herself. She dresses herself. She knows her neighbors and often greets them when they meet each other. All the neighbors love her and they often give her snacks and play with her.

4. What is her daily schedule? What is her daily diet? Does she have a favorite food?
7:00am She gets up.
7:30am She eats breakfast including congee, noodles, steamed stuffed buns and dumping etc.
12:00noon she has lunch including rice with dishes and soup.
1:30pm-3:30pm she takes a nap.
6:00pm She has diner including rice with vegetable, meat, fish and egg etc.
9:00pm she goes to bed.

5. Is she attached to a particular caregiver/foster parent? If so, who?
She is attached to her foster parents.

6. What is the makeup of her foster family? Does she have foster siblings? Does she get a long well with them? What her relationship is like with her foster parents as well as other children in the home.
There are her foster parents and their two daughters and her foster brother in her foster family. She gets along well with them. Her foster parents love her as their biological daughter. They often play with her and go out with her.

7. What are her sleeping arrangements? Does she sleep in a crib or with her foster parents?
She sleeps with her foster mother.

8. Does she have a favorite toy and activity?
Doll is her favorite toy.
She likes to go to children’s playground or the park.

9. Does she have a nickname?
She is called by Di Di.

10. Is she potty trained? Or does she wear diapers at night or during the day?
She is potty trained during the day but she wears diapers when she goes out.

Her foster mother reminds her for toilet at midnight in summer and because nights are long in winter she wears diapers for getting all night sleep.

After a long week of waiting, we also got some new pictures!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We Received Our LOA!

The last major hurdle of the process was getting our approval from China.  We have been on pins and needles since we got matched to Mila and informed China that we were interested in adopting her.  It was then all up to them to review our paperwork and make a decision on whether we were a good match for her.  We were expecting this part to take 3-4 months and since we uploaded our paperwork on Aug 28th, we were thinking we would hear something around Christmas time.  So, when Bobby got a call on his phone from Holt during the day on Halloween, he thought for sure they were calling with a problem or bad news.  But with a miracle of miracles, Kristen Henry, our case worker in charge of this portion of the adoption was calling to say that she had good news and that we got our approval from China!!! Needless to say, Bobby was beyond excited and could not wait to find out what steps were next and to get off the phone with Kristen so he could call Larkin and share the news.  Larkin was at work too and Bobby was nervous that he wouldn't be able to get a hold of her.  Luckily, she hadn't left work yet and he caught her at the returns desk.  After some shared tears of joy, and Larkin admitting that it was really hitting her that we are finally going to have a kid, we found out that the next steps involve signing and returning the Letter of Acceptance from China and finishing our I-800 immigration paperwork.  Here is the LOA.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Lidi Wu!!!

We sure are thinking about you on your birthday and wish we could be with you. Your future friend Olivia and her family sure were thoughtful and brought over a card, flowers, and a birthday cake to help us celebrate. Even though you aren't here yet, you're 1st on our minds. We love you!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Here is some info we got on LiDi

We wanted to post some of the info we got about LiDi.

Wu Lidi, female, was born on September 18th 2011, and was found in the Zhongshan Park, Jianghan Area, Wuhan City, on August 5th 2012. This baby was referred to our Welfare Institute by the local police officers.
Her name, Wu Lidi was given in this rule: Wu was from “Wu Han”, the name of the city; the “Li” was given for all the children who went into the welfare institute in that month; “di” was given because she was found in the Zhongshan Park.
When she was first discovered, there was a paper note with her. The results of health check on admission were as follows: height: 73cm, weight: 10.2kg, head circumference: 45cm, chest circumference: 45.5cm, body temperature 36.8 Celsius degrees, and teeth: 2.
In order for her better cares, we sent her into the fostering family with multiple experiences on August 8th 2012. Initially, she only drunk milk and her fostering mother cooked a lot of delicious food for her. Gradually, she began to eat other food besides milk. When she was one year old, the families drove the car and took her to the children’s fun park; she was so excited and kissed each of the family members. When she was one year and one month old, she could crawl and stand up steadily. She could also walk several steps on the bed. When she was one year and 4 months old, she could say “grandpa” and “grandma”. When she was 1 year and 5 months old, she liked playing in the community yard. In the spring festival, she had the celebrating dinner with her families. When other people asked her how old she was, she reached out two fingers to express she was 2 years old.
Now, she could say 3-5 words, and express something like “mommy, please hold me” and “I’m full”. She could speak clearly. She was hurry to run out for fun, but her fostering mother said to her “if you don’t eat all of the food, I will eat the left”, then she would be back and eat all of the left food in the bowl. When she was taking shower, she liked playing with the water. She would play with her sister before going to bed. In the daytime, her fostering mother took care of her and her brother. Her brother was poor at walking; therefore, she often shared her toys with her disabled brother. There are several children’s bikes at home, and she could ride each of them. She likes exploring something new.
Her daily food includes milk, rice powder, porridge, noodle, rice, steamed dumpling, soup and watermelon. She has 3 dinners and 4 adjuvant food every day. Her favorite foods are cake and porridge. She has good appetite. She does not like food with vinegar.
She is living a regular life. 5:30 wake up and then fall asleep after drinking some milk. 8:00, getting up. 8:30, breakfast, like porridge, dumpling, noodle and egg cake; 10:30 fruits; 12:50, lunch, soup, rice, egg; 13:30 to 15:30, napping; 15:50, snacks, like cakes, fruits; 18:30, dinner. 21:00 cake; 21:30 go to bed. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We Got a Match!

On Friday July 26 at night around 8:00 pm, Bobby got a phone call from Holt.  Since we are on the waiting list, we get immediate butterflies whenever we see that Holt is calling because it could be something.  Well, our case worker Marissa started explaining that they were getting ready to have a little girl released to them that they thought would be a perfect match for us!  Her name is Wu Lidi and she was born Sept 18, 2011 so in a little over a month, she will turn two.  Just as she was telling Bobby this wonderful news, Larkin walked into the room from a shower and Bobby mouther to her, "WE HAVE A MATCH!"  She was immediately at attention.  Once Bobby switched to speaker phone, Marissa went on to explain to us all the details they had on her...she was abandoned at 1 in a park, they gave her the last name "Wu" after Wuhan City where they found her, her first name "Li" they gave to all the children who were found that month, and "Di" which in Chinese means earth or park because they found her in a park, she is currently living with a foster family.  Needless to say, we are THRILLED!  She said that emails would soon follow with the written details, what we needed to do if we decided to accept the match, and PICTURES!!!  

Here is an excerpt from the first email:

   "Dear Bobby and Larkin

   Congratulations on your referral!

   Here is the child material for Wu Li Di! The photos of this lovely child are included in the PDF and attached. "

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We're on the list!

We received official word from our International agency that our dossier has been logged into China's system and now we are on the waiting list to be matched!  So what now?  Well, each month China releases a list to all adoption agencies of children that are ready to be matched for adoption.  This list usually comes out towards the end of the month.  Once our agency gets the list, they review it, and based off of what we specified on our application, they will begin trying to find a match for us.  We receive an email from our agency each month when they receive the list and then at any time after that we could receive a call saying that they have a match for us.  Once we receive the info they have of the child, we will review it with a pediatrician who specializes in international adoptions, and together we will decide if we accept the match.  If we do, then there is some paperwork that gets filled out and sent to china which locks in the match for us and then at that point we are committed.  Now, why would anyone not accept the match?  Well its basically because the child may have medical conditions that we feel we are not capable of handling.  But we know that the Lord has a special child in mind that is reserved just for us!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dossier Sent to China!

We just wanted to post this good email we got today.  From what we understand, our dossier is on its way to China where it will take 4-6 weeks to be translated and logged into the CCCWA.  Once it is logged in, we will then be on the waiting list to be matched.  Right now they are saying it takes 1-2 months to get matched.  Then it will be 6-8 months to travel to China to get our baby girl!  We also found a doctor at A.I. Dupont that specializes in international adoptions and she will help us to review the medical paper work once we get matched.  She will also conduct the post adoption exam when we bring her home from China.  We are at excitement level 11!

Dear Bobby and Larkin:


Your hard work is being rewarded.  Officials at the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in Beijing will soon begin the process of translating and reviewing your dossier paperwork.  Once your dossier has been reviewed AND you have been matched to a child, the officials at the CCCWA will process your Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter (LOA). Once your Travel Approval has been issued your U.S. Consulate appointment date can be scheduled and you will be able to travel to China to adopt your child. At the time of your assignment, you will be updated as to the timeframes for this process.


The China Team at Holt

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dossier Finished!

It's been awhile since we posted because we've been busy trying to get our dossier together. That's a huge binder that we compile with all sorts of info in it about us like our financial status, background check, passport info, reference letters, and photos. One of the biggest parts was obtaining our USCIS approval which is the immigration paper work we will need to bring our baby back into the country. All of our paperwork had to have 3 levels of approval, notarization, state certification, and authorization at the Chinese embassy. Luckily our agency handled all of this processing for us. Now that our dossier is complete, it will be translated into Chinese and sent over for approval. Once it's approved then we will be on the waiting list to be matched. Depending on how many children are available and what we are willing to accept for medical conditions will determine how long we are waiting to be matched.

In addition to our dossier, we've also been preparing financially and physically for a new baby to come. In Dec we decided to flip flop our two spare bedrooms making the back one the guest room and the front room the baby's room. Right now the guest room is finished but we are planning on starting in the nursery soon.