Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So close!

I refuse to go to the store one more time to pick something else up................that is now Trev's job.  We were planning on leaving to grandma & grandpa's late this afternoon, but the kids are so excited for this whole adventure to start that everything is in the car already at 8:45 am - they put it all in themselves.  Since we used a check list to pack our bag for Marcus, Grace decided to make a checklist for the other kids as well.  She did it on the computer in a table format and packed all 3 of their bags.  Pretty impressive for a 9 year old.

It is so crazy that after all this time of waiting, time presses on, and we are here.  So many different feelings from moment to moment: excitement, joy, worry about Jack,  constant "to do's", nervous anticipation, and then.... God's peace.

Only a couple more hours of craziness, and then time to just go with the flow!

Monday, June 25, 2012


We can't believe this is actually going to happen - NEXT WEEK!!  We received our itinerary:

July 5 - Arrive in Beijing
July 6 - visit Great Wall, Cloisonne Factory & Bird's Nest
July 7 - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Hutong Tour
July 8 - Fly to Guangzhou
July 9 - "Gotcha Day!!"  We receive Marcus!
July 10 - Adoption registration
July 11 - Apply for Marcus' passport
July 12 - Free
July 13 - White Cloud Park
July 14 - Medical Exam
July 15 - Guangzhou Folk Art Museum
July 16 - Visa Appointment
July 17 - Pick up Visa
July 18 - Fly Home!!  Grace, David, & Jack meet Marcus!

We are traveling with 7 other couples across the nation using the same agency.  It will be fun to meet all of them.  We will all be touring Beijing together, then splitting off to individual provinces to receive our kiddos and then meeting back up in Guangzhou. 

Time to start packing!

P.S.  It's Marcus Birthday today :)  Wish we were there to celebrate with him :(

Friday, June 8, 2012

TA (Travel Approval)!!

We have officially bought our plane tickets!!

Traveling on July 4 @ 12:05 PM from Chicago and arriving in Beijing at 2:40 PM July 5.  Sometimes we say, "Where did that day go?"  In looking at that schedule, we will wonder very literally, "Where did that day go?"

Leaving Shanghai @ 3:55 PM July 18 & arriving in Chicago @ 4:33 PM July 18.....that will be the longest 38 minutes ever!

We won't know all the blanks in between until a week before the trip.  Time to get excited!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Jack "Is that my green baby?"
Me "What?!?"
Jack "It's not my pink baby, it's my green baby?"
Me "You're right!  Marcus is wearing green instead of pink!"
When we first got his referral, Jack would refer to him as his "pink baby" because we made such a big deal out of our little boy being in "girl" clothes.  It's nice to see our baby boy in some "boy" clothes - and of course it takes a 3 year old to point it out :)

We're considering having Jack &Marcus share a room, rather than Jack & David.  The room is my first project once school's out....tomorrow!!!  Possibly a jungle theme...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pictures!!! 10 1/2 months

Pictures!!!!  Our baby is so beautiful!!  I received these Friday at lunch.  My 5th & 6th hour were the first to see them - sorry family.  I was so excited!
 My favorite first - So good to see him smiling!

 We thought getting rid of Jack's paci was difficult - this may be a harder habit to break :)
 This reminds me of one of the first pictures we received - his serious face.
 Happy boy!
Just so darn cute!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marcus Update

We received answers to some questions today.  It is nice to be informed, but makes us more anxious to pick him up soon.

Marcus has a heart condition called "Tetrology of Fallot".  He will need open heart surgery soon after arriving home.  Two months ago when we submitted questions, he was having no symptoms, but now it appears that he is becoming short of breath.  He is still not sitting up or crawling or talking.  A little tiny part of me is happy that we will get to see all of those firsts, but a bigger part of me looks at our friend's kids and nephews the same age who are doing all of these things already.  Part of this may be due to his heart condition, but a much larger part due to being institutionalized.  We need to get him home!

It appears that he received our care package - Yippee!  It also says he can have a temper - Oh boy!  He has a caretaker that he is attached to - this is a good thing - every child needs to feel loved.  His measurements are in a lower percentile, but still on the charts.

Supposedly, pictures coming soon.....we'll see.

We heard the other day that our agency will be sending a group off July 4 and if everything continues to go smoothly, we will be on the trip!!!!  It is so good to have a date on the calendar.

Please keep Marcus in your prayers.  Pray that he will remain healthy and we will be able to travel in July!

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making Progress

Slowly, but surely, things are moving forward.  On April 26, we received our I-800 (immigration approval) and quickly scanned it over to our agency.  One week later on May 5, we received our NVC Cable and Approval (National Visa Center in the U.S. approving paperwork).  We should receive our Article 5 on May 22 and our TA (Travel Approval) in early June.  So what is the bottom line?  Man, that would be nice to know so we can plan our summer!  We are hoping we will meet our son, Marcus, in June.  It would be so awesome to have him on his birthday - June 25, but we will see.  At this point we are happy things are moving along as they should.  By the way, if you are curious on all the China Adoption steps the following is a great site http://www.china-adoption-online.com/china-adoption-program.html .

We received our Visas to enter China today.  It is starting to feel more real!  Maybe we should start getting practical - set up the crib, locate a carseat, come up with a theme for his room, think about bottles and sippies....

We are having no luck with getting more pictures.  To think he is 10 1/2 months old and our only pictures are when he was only a couple months.  We hope will will recognize our son when we meet him!

That's all for now.  Have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Care Package

Grace and I picked out a Care Package for Marcus.  I had seen http://redthreadchina.com/ highly recommended on a few other blogs, so we thought we'd give it a try.  It will be pretty awesome if he actually gets it.  Ann (at redthread) translated a letter for us that we wrote to him, it includes a disposable camera with his name so hopefully we will get pictures!! a photo album with our family pics (she put our chinese characters next to our names), and other goodies.  One benefit of having almost every baby product that is sold in the U.S. say "Made in China", is that I am pretty sure I can find this blanket in a local store near us.  From experience, every child needs a back-up blankie! 

Cute conversation earlier this week, Jack (3): "I'm hungry".  Me: "Daddy's getting Chinese Food".  Jack: "Is he going to pick up Marcus?"  Too cute.

Still waiting on our I-800 (Immigration approval for Marcus)....

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Blog begins

The blog begins.  I have been obsessive about reading about other's adoption journeys, so it is finally time to record my own!  We are currently waiting for our I-800 for our little Marcus who is 9 months old.  We received our LOA (Letter from China confirming our match) Thursday, April 5 after 33 days....but who's counting?....the average wait is supposedly 52 days :).  The wait continues....

A little about our family.  We have 3 biological children and decided we wanted one more child to complete our family.  God laid it on our heart to pursue adoption and we are so glad that we have.  Our journey has been filled with ups and downs as many others.  In Sept., we were matched with a son, Samuel, who was one and a half years old.  We were so excited about his arrival, had received our LOA and sent him a care package.  In January, we received the worst news a waiting adopting family could receive - our son had died.  At the time, we had very little information of how or why.  We grieved him deeply and had a memorial service for him.  We learned later that he was hospitalized and had complications with bronchitis-pnemonia.  We have full confidence that he is waiting in heaven for us - that he is a part of our family.  The other day, my eldest daughter prayed in a "pinky prayer", "Thank you, God, for my four brothers."  She will always keep him alive in our hearts.  It strikes me how the initial motivation in adopting is to impact a child - to give him a family.  In Samuel's case, he never knew us here on Earth, we didn't have a chance to impact him here; yet he impacted our family in a huge way.   I can't wait to see the way that Marcus will impact us - it will be more that we could ever imagine.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13