Friday, March 20, 2009

New Pics In Only One Day!!!

Thank you to Ann at Red Thread, and to the fast acting Luohe orphanage!!!! We have new pics of Ke Xin and her foster brother Qi Meng!!!!! Isn't he a cutie? The funny thing is that Qi is 9 months younger, but they look the same size. She is going to be a petite little thing. They look to be best buddies. :) What a nice treat! She has chubby little cheeks now, so I think she's being fed much better. Whew! She almost looks "tough" in the solo picures. Ha! We're really happy to see the smile in the pic with Qi - usually she looks sooo serious. Counting the days.......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Care Package

We officially ordered a care package for Brooke yesterday. I had put two together before and shipped them, but only one made it to the orphanage. So, no more free gifts to some postal worker somewhere between here and there. Who would steal a gift for a child in an orphanage anyway? How low can you go? This time we are using a woman who is already IN China. She assembles care pkgs and gets them to the orphanage with no problem. We have also ordered a cake. We missed Brooke's 2nd birthday, but celebrated it by sending China our official Letter of Intent to adopt her. So, she will soon get a cake, a letter from us, a toy, a book, a set of spring clothes and butterfly squeaky shoes, candy for her foster parents, a camera, and a book for her little foster brother. And - hopefully - we'll get an update and a new picture or two. (please, please, please...) It depends on the orphanage. We have our fingers crossed. Brooke's little foster brother has a birthday in May and his soon-to-be mom, Allison, will send a cake then.

Oh, yeah! We have been LID for 34 days!!!!!!!! Tick...Tock... The wait could be as short as 75 days or as long as 125. I've GOT to make more progress painting!!! We've gotten some more paperwork from the adoption agency (CCAI) concerning the actual trip to China and I get the feeling that the paperchase for the dossier was the easy part...

Putting together the new Sit 'n Stand stroller for Brooke and Olivia:

It went together fairly easily.
Thank heavens.

Olivia loves to be driven around the house. She really likes to ride in the front, but there's a jump seat on the back for her, or she can stand on the back and face forward.

Jinx - fat cat extraordinaire.

If all the other animals would disappear, she would be very happy and not the least bit curious where they went.

Mark likes his new job. But this is a good picture of how he feels when he gets home. Getting up at 4:30am does that to a person.

But he still loves to cook. At least Olivia will know how when she grows up. The SHE can cook for mommy!! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ready to Go!

When Olivia woke up this morning, she immediately set to packing. She filled her 3 bags and declared she was all packed for China! Oh, I wish we could go now. What a kid!

Here's some more of the "princess" or maybe doctor?

and Grandma Sally

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Wait Increases

Well, the wait will probably increase at least a few weeks. I don't expect us to travel until July. I even signed Olivia up for swim lessons in June. (Hey - maybe that will actually make us travel sooner?) We have no idea when LOA will come, since people's waits are anywhere between 70-125 days. And now there's MORE paperwork to do before we can send the LOA back to China, which includes US Immigration and the US Consulate in Guanzhou. Right now it seems to be adding another MONTH to the wait from LOA to TA (travel approval). On top of that, we found out that Ke Xin/Brooke will have to be up to date on ALL her shots before we can bring her back to the US. So, this poor little girl will think that we kidnapped her and then used her for a pin cushion. And the shots will most likely make her sick and grumpy. The problem I have with the immunizations is that 1.) they will be Chinese meds 2.) she'll be getting too many at once and 3.) there is no point to it because most immunizations are given in a series of 1-3 shots. And they take time to become effective. What is the point in giving a single shot of each thing? Yes, I know she'll survive, but it is another extra step someone thought up that has no point and it is an extra expense that we'll have to pay (depending on how many shots, it could be another $200). If we could get them at her pediatrician's office, our insurance would pay. Gripe, gripe, gripe. Time will pass, I know. I'm STILL painting the house...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rest of Our Family

We actually have several other family members who have not been introduced yet. They all have 4 legs. We have 3 dogs - all Boston terriers, and 4 cats.
We've decided someone buried a "cat magnet" in our yard. Currently we have (in order of age): Oprah (donated by my step-sister Deb who moved to Ohio, 17 yrs old), Jinx (found in the parking lot at Marks' work, 6 yrs old), Oswald (nicknamed "The Assassin" for his hunting skills & historical significance, he showed up on the front porch one winter day, 4 yrs old) and the latest addition, Lola (who showed up on the back deck one spring day, 1 yr old). No one messes with Oprah. Oswald loves to torture Jinx, and Lola loves to torture Oswald. Lola is still quite the kitten and thinks she is one of the Bostons. We refer to her as "the 4th Boston" at times.
(The picture above shows L to R: Smoochy, Jingle and Lucy.) Our first and oldest Boston is Lucy, a rescue dog. She is about 6 now and has 2 new knees which cost us a pretty penny. But, she is worth it. She is the tiniest of the 3 dogs and the most shy and nervous because of what she lived through for 4 years. Next came Jingle, who is 3, and then Smoochy, who is 2 and has a big bull-head like a catfish. They all love to chase and wrestle with each other and tear all over the house. It's fun to watch them play. They are all intimidated by the cats (and Olivia). We got all of the Bostons from the same lady, Sylvia. She saved Lucy's life. After we adopted Lucy we kept in contact and let her know we wanted a companion for Lucy (who just sat around like a sack of potatos). She gave us Jingle and later Smoochy. All 3 dogs had know each other before and were very happy to be together again. They are great little dogs - even tho their flatulence can bring tears to our eyes. Literally! Ha! The breed is know for that. I guess it could be worse.... (Cough, choke...)