Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas!!

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas with their families and friends!! We opened gifts this morning, just Gary & myself, it was a good Christmas. Gary surprised me with the mobile for Avery's crib, totally unexpected...a tear jerker. He also got me some little Asian figurines of girls, hard to explain but they are very cute. We also got t-shirts that say, Dossier Survivor, accredited, authenticated and notarized. I thought those fit our lives these days. Gary got blu-ray movies and a game for the Wii. Avery got many gifts. We opened Sarah and Ethan's gifts today. They were the children's game, The Ladybug Game, and a chefs hat, apron, and oven mitts that are green with lady bugs on them, child's size, and a ladybug garden. Really nice and really thoughtful of them!!

We then proceeded to have breakfast with my parents and brother and sister in law and our 2 nieces that are up from Indiana. After breakfast we opened gifts and had a really nice time. Avery got a panda shirt, a Pet Shop ladybug stuffed animal, and a blue jacket and pant set from Grandma & Grandpa, and the "Grouchy Ladybug book". A cow bowling set from Aunt Liz and Uncle Tom and the girls, they also got her the shirt and ladybug.

Under our tree Avery got another Pet Shop stuffed ladybug, and a Panda. Another panda shirt, some fleece pants, and a very cute dalmation jacket, there's ears on the hood. A red velvet skirt with black polka dots(looks like a ladybug). A sweater to go with it, that's white and has little black scottie dogs on it. A ladybug bottle, and a couple of books. The pajama time book, Mommy kisses, and Daddy cuddles. A cute winter hat and mittens. Some other things too!!

We had lunch at my Mom and Dad's and are going to Ron and Judy's later this afternoon. We are so blessed that everyone thinks of Avery this time of year. One more Christmas to go and then we'll start having our own family Christmas's. Can't wait!!

Hope everyone got what they wanted and had a fun time with their families!!!

Merry Christmas!!
~Alli & Gary

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pretty neat...

Wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may your Christmas be filled with family and friends, and fun memories.

We received a package in the mail yesterday addressed to Avery Newton. That was pretty neat. We have instructions that we are not to open it until Christmas morning though, so it's under the tree. It's from Sarah and Ethan. I'm saving the mailing label to put in her life book. That was really neat to see her name. A nice Christmas gift in it's own right!!

Thanks Sarah & Ethan. Merry Christmas!!!

Love to our family and friends!!!

~Alli & Gary

"Sheng Dan Kuai Le!!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sheng ri kuai le Gary!!

Happy Birthday to Gary!!!
Sheng ri kuai le!!!

We're starting to know a couple phrases in Chinese!!!

Wo ai ni!!
I love you!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A letter to our daughter...

Dearest Avery Lin,

This is our second Christmas without you, and it's hard. We think about you all the time and in every dream, or day dream you are always there. We dream about filling stockings, and doing Christmas cookie baking with you. Listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, while decorating the tree with you. Sharing family traditions and making new traditions with you. We know you probably aren't born yet, but you are and have been born in our hearts for quite some time. We dream about and see a little girl with almond eyes, and little black pig tails, with a smile and a giggle that make us smile from ear to ear. We see a bubbly little girl who is loving and adored by all. We see you dancing around the house and holding poses so that you make sure to catch our eye to see if we are paying attention. We hear you say Mommy & Daddy, and say, "Wo ai ni", I love you in Chinese, as we say it back, and hugs, the hugs are what I look forward to, I long for those little hugs and kisses. We long to have you with us but understand that this process takes time, but we wish for a miracle... that time speeds up and brings you to us sooner.

You are our daughter, God has specially picked you for us. You grew in our hearts and we never knew our hearts could grow so big. So, this Christmas although hard for us, we will hold on to the thought of you, and our special memories to come. We will put your gifts under the tree and then in your room, where they will wait until your arrival. We know you'll love ladybugs and pandas, and be as curious as can be. We will thank the heavens for every moment spent with you. We will thank God every day that he has sent you to us, and us to you.

So Merry Christmas Avery Lin Newton wherever you may be. Right now you remain in our hearts, and our dreams will hold us tight, until the day we see you and proclaim you our daughter and us a family forever.

Merry Christmas - Sheng Dan Kuai Le

Love you forever, more than words can say, and can't wait to meet you and be with you,

Mommy and Daddy-MaMa & BaBa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We knew a week ago...

Our adoption agency just contacted us today about the orphanage donation increase, we knew about it a week ago via an online group I belong to of china adoption parents. We are able now to give the donation to the orphanage in their own currency. I don't know though if we're able to exchange it before we go, or wire it to China or what. I'm sure more details are to come.

They are up to February 2007 in the review room. That's when we started this whole process, but our LID isn't until July 2007. Looking forward to seeing the July 2007 group in the review room. It's about a year from that date, unless they speed up.

Pray that speed is on our side!!!

We're still a long ways away...same as before.

Have a great day!!!

My kids (our kids), at the studio always pull through for us. One of my students, Heather, got Gary and I id bracelets for Christmas. Mine says Mama Bear w/ a chinese symbol, and Gary's says Papa Bear w/ a chinese symbol. They always make us feel like their second Mom & Dad. We absolutely love the bracelets, my favorite!!! Needed that!!! Love ya Heather!!!

Love to all,

~Alli (NDC MamaBear)

Monday, December 15, 2008

An update...

So this is just an update on what's going on with us.

We are still waiting-17 months in, and about 12-15 more months to go hopefully. The time hasn't pushed out anymore, we're still at the same timeline as we were a month ago-so that's good!!-Whew!

We are now saving for the rest of the adoption costs. The travel expenses and the orphanage donation has increased a lot. Before they told us about $3000.00 per person to travel, and we're adding at least double that, and the orphanage donation was $3000.00 and that's increased to $5086.00 (US dollars or 35,000 rmb). So, in this economy it's not great that everything has increased but it's not shocking either.

We are getting ready for Christmas. We are pretty much done shopping, just a few things. But, all of our wrapping is done, for the gifts we already had, so that's good. Our show is over and the kids did great!!! We can breathe a little better now, not sleeping better, but less busy.

We have some things for Avery for Christmas in a bin under one of our trees. I really don't think people understand that, but I'm sick of defending it, and explaining it. We are expecting a daughter from China, she may be over a year away from us, but it doesn't mean we don't think about her all the time, and why not buy the gifts for her, it would seem weird to me to not get anything for her until the referral, but that's just me. I think it's important for her to know she was thought of so much before she got here. It's my therapy and it keeps me sane, and happy.

We got our Christmas cards done, and just waiting for them to come in. It's a really neat and unique card and suits us right now for the situation we're in. It's very appropriate!! Hope you think so too!!

Gary's birthday is this Friday, we're going out to dinner, and we both start our Christmas break that day-a full 2 weeks off for us!!! Looking very forward to that.

My brother and sister in law and our 2 nieces are coming into town on the 23rd. It's great to have them home for Christmas every year!! We'll have dinner this year at my Mom's house and go to Steve & Beth's later in the evening. We do the Newton Christmas with Ron, Judy, Steve, Beth, Noah, Owen, and Sammy the morning after Christmas. It's nice to split things up so we can all enjoy eachother and not feel rushed!!

I am feeling Christmasy but not. I think Gary and I are very stressed and frustrated with the adoption more than anyone would know. We are very snippy and grouchy sometimes. Gary says I'm very overly stressed and taking everything very personally and more than usual. That's probably true...but I think I'm just frustrated, and watching everyone else with their families just puts salt in the wound sometimes. It's not jealousy or resentment, it 's something you can't explain, and only we can understand it.
But I love Christmas, and shopping, and decorating the house, so smile it's Christmas!!

Hope everyone is getting their wrapping and shopping and decorating done. Hope your home is joyful and bright!! May your house be full of family and friends and memories to cherish for years to come.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wow, that's an increase!!

Just got word today that the CCAA has raised the orphanage donation from $3000.00 to $5086.00. That's the donation you have to take in cash to China with you. It used to be $3000.00, but now they've raised it for every family traveling after January 1, 2009. That includes us, of course. Makes you want to tell them, then hurry the hell up!!!

We figured it would be raised along with all travel expenses...nothing new!!!

"Tis is season to be Merry"

Love to all,
~Alli & Gary

Friday, December 5, 2008

So...some good news...

We did hear from our adoption agency yesterday. We used to get updates all the time about other waiting families getting their referrals and it would make us feel like there was progress being made, but we hadn't heard any news like that in a really long time. The reason why was because our agency didn't have any families during those months that were waiting for referrals. There was a big gap in the dossiers and log in dates. So now our agency and the CCAA has caught up with the log in dates of waiting families and we will start to hear about other families from our agency getting their referrals. There is still the long wait for us, there are 12 groups that will get their referrals before us. But our dossier should be in the review room within about 4 months. Then it's a year typically from that.

So the time hasn't pushed out anymore, we are still looking at the same time frame. That's good news!! It's long still, but shouldn't be any longer...hopefully than we are anticipating. so here's how I look at it.

17 months is close to 20, 20 is close to 24(2 years), and then we can actually see the light at the end of our journey. And, something in my gut tells me that we may see things speed up a little, just a little. So, some good news, the good news being that things are still progressing, and the time hasn't pushed out anymore. Plus, China has just opened up their adoptions to Italy and Australia, so there are plenty of children available.

Good news for us, and now that we will start getting the updates about other families, and should start to see the special needs lists coming in again, some progress, any sort of progress at this point helps so much!!!

Gary and I are going to sponsor a child in China and help her with her education through the foundation, "Love Without Boundaries". We need to do something and want to do something for other children from the same country our daughter will be from, any little thing and any way we can help!!!

Take care and keep us in your prayers, as we keep all of you in ours!!!

Much love,
~Alli & Gary

"Every child begins again"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

17 months and counting...and counting...

We are now 17 months in. We are so busy that our 17 months was yesterday and I didn't even think about it until today!! So, in a way I guess that really good. My next goal is 20 months. That means we're closer to 2 years, and then I'll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've been getting Avery little things for under the tree. I think I'm more emotional this year about Christmas than last year. We have her stocking hung, and our "China " tree is up. There are little Asian girl ornaments on our trees this year...very cute.

We have our show this week with the Companies and the kids are doing great. I'm hoping the snow holds so we can actually have a show. I told everyone we're having the show. I don't care if we need to use dog sleds, sleighs, snow shoes, or snowmobiles to get everyone there...we're having the show. Cross our fingers!!

I can't wait for the show to be over. I'll be able to sleep again, at least better than I am now. I'm up every morning at 2:00-2:30AM. It's annoying.

So HAppy 17 months to us.

Congratulations to Christa and Kara and their family for getting their referral for their little boy from Ethiopia. Gives us hope that referrals actually do come through. He's very cute!!!

Love to all,
Alli & Gary

Monday, December 1, 2008

Been meaning to do this...

Sorry, I've been so busy the past week I forgot to do this.

A big thank you to Sarah & Ethan for the Big Bird in China dvd. We love it, and it's so nice to have friends like you. Sarah is always sending or bringing something to the house for Avery. We love ya!!!

Have a good week!!!

Alli & Gary