Friday, June 25, 2010

We got our TA...but not the CA...yet-plus an update

We got our TA today...finally!! The only thing is now we have to get our consulate and other appointments set up. We are still waiting on our immigration paperwork to get back (it should have been here already) but we did get word that it was in fact sent and that we should get it by Monday or Tuesday. So, we're just waiting on that, our appointments, and then we will know when we can leave.

Our agency said the earliest would be July 16, and the latest probably the end of July or so, dependent on the consulate appointment. We are excited!!! Another step closer to our girl!!

We received our Immigration paperwork yesterday and sent it to our agency. They were to put in for our CA yesterday and it takes 24-48 hours to hear back from them with our date. So we are waiting on that. We sent out our paperwork to get our visas today. We are getting there! One small step at a time...

We should know by tomorrow hopefully, and definitely by Friday when our consulate appointment is and then we will know when we are leaving to get Avery!!

We are both so anxious right now. I can't sleep at night, and I have been signing up dancers for Summer 3 day camps left and right, trying to get as many in as possible before we leave for China.

Feeling a lot lately like everyone wants my time, and is pulling in 600 directions. I think I'm just a little overwhelmed with everything at once. Oh well, I really am used to it.

But really the only direction we want to go in right now is China!!

Soon...but not soon enough...hopefully will have another update tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A little discouraged right now...

Gary and I are really discouraged right now. No word yet on the TA. It's been 4 weeks, and yes, I know they said it could be 4-6 weeks, but we kinda thought that by now we would have a good idea  about when we would be leaving.

One of the other families that was in our travel meeting is leaving this Saturday to go get their son. We are so very happy for them. We remember meeting them 3 years ago and how discouraged they were, and how worn down they looked at the agency get together. So we are very happy for them, that they finally are going to get their son, he is their 1st child so congrats to the Rockwells!! The other family in our group hasn't received their TA yet either, but I think they will get theirs before us. The family that is traveling with the Rockwells waited 8-10 weeks for their TA-so discouraging!! The Rockwells got theirs relatively fast...

I guess it depends on what province you are dealing with and how fast they process things. So, this has been a week where we are very very discouraged. A lot of time we are good and upbeat but this week... no so much.

I am trying to figure out Summer Camps, but with everything so up in the air, that's hard to do. But I will have to do something because I can't continue to wait.

I have cleaned every cupboard and organized every cupboard downstairs. Taken things to the Salvation Army, and thrown things out that we haven't used in forever. Made a changing area in the downstairs bathroom, and now when you open drawers and cupboards in the kitchen they are full of bottles, and sippy cups, plastic plates, and bibs-a cool change!!

There are all sorts of toys in the livingroom in bins, and both cars have the car seats in them. I made room for the big stroller, and umbrella stroller in the breezeway closet. You can see the transformation of our house into a house ready for a little one.

It's actually fun to do her laundry right now, all pink for the most part. We are so ready for her, we talk to her pictures all the time. We have dinner at our kitchen table, and her 8x10 picture is there and we talk about her. "I wonder what she sounds like", " I wonder what she likes to eat", "I wonder if she'll like s'mores","I can't wait to eat a meal as a family","I can't wait to squeeze her little cheeks", "I can't wait to see her smile", "I can't wait to see her in her highchair", and we can't wait to hear the pitter patter of her feet around the house.

There are a lot of, "I can't waits and I wonders"...around here lately.

We did call our agency and ask for another update since it's been a month since the last one. Hopefully we'll get new measurements and new pictures. This wait is hard...

I know there are other things going on in the world that are much harder, much more important, and much bigger than this, and that this doesn't seem to be so big and dramatic in the great realm of things. But in our little piece of this world, this is everything to us, this is a HUGE deal, Avery is everything to us. We need to get to her and bring her home and this waiting is harder than we could ever describe...

We know it will happen in the time it was meant to, but that is not a comfort to us right now unfortunately.

Please keep the prayers coming, and positive thoughts...we need them!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Gary...the Baba!!

Today was Gary's first official Father's Day!! He kept saying all day, "I can't get used to that, and It doesn't feel real yet". I can understand that, but still he's a Dad and I love him, and couldn't let the day pass without some special gifts...

His gifts were a bamboo plant to put on his desk at work. Two picture frames that say, Daddy's Girl, and Daddy & Me-love these!!

Plus, a book called, "The Daddy Book", really sweet. The first page says, "Some Daddies take your picture"-just perfect, and later it says, "Some Daddies have a lot of hair, and some Daddies have a little hair"-again perfect!! The picture here is of the cover of the book.

We had breakfast at our house with my Dad and Mom, and my brother Johnny. Belgium waffles, chocolate chip muffins and sausage-yummy!!

Then we had dinner with Gary's Dad, and Mom, and brother and sister in law, and their 3 boys, and Grandpa and Grandma Newton. Lots to eat, chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, salads, and brownies-again yummy!!

All in all a really nice day spent with family!!

We are hoping and praying that the TA comes this week!!

Hope you had a nice Father's Day too!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What a weekend, and week!!

So glad, I am done with the studio for awhile. I love teaching, and I love my dancers, and all of the parents are great but last week was the week from he!!.

We got the Recital done, but had to change the date to a day earlier, because of NYS not being able to decide whether or not they were going to pass the budget. Our Recital was scheduled for Tuesday June 15th, but the budget vote was for Monday June 14th, and the outlook of them passing it on the Friday before was grim. So we got phone calls from the building where we hold the Recital (a State building), and they said to make other arrangements. If they didn't pass the budget they were going to shut down all State buildings at 12:01 on Tuesday the 15th. That would mean no Recital, and there are no other dates available at this venue until the middle of July-not an option! We set our date as it is a year in advance, I already have next year's dates...

I kept saying to myself, life isn't supposed to be this hard. We work hard all year, and do everything for everyone, why are we tested constantly, especially in the last 3-4 months. I know it's to make us stronger, but sometimes, enough is enough!!

I have over 100 students at my dance studio, that means over 100 sets of parents to call and change the date, and see what other conflicts there were etcetera, etcetera. Needless to say I was on the phone, and on the computer, and texting, and on my cell phone for 4 straight hours on Friday, changing the date.

Everyone was really good about it, and we had the Recital on Monday. But I didn't sleep for 3 days. I had myself so worked up that I was so sick to my stomach the day of the Show- it wasn't pretty!! But my nerves calmed down once the first Act started, good thing because I wasn't able to leave the curtain in the first act for 17 dances.

The dancers did awesome though!! They absolutely shined on that stage- very impressive!! I am a very very very proud dance teacher!! Our extended family is our dance family, and they are fantastic!! They are supportive, and caring, and just wonderful!! It was the biggest crowd we've seen at one of our Recitals, the place was packed!! Thank you to all my dancers, and assistants, and their parents, you all ROCK!!

I've added some pics of some of my dancers. They are some special people!!

Avery will have a ton of older sisters, and she'll grow up in the studio surrounded by a ton of people that can't wait to meet her, they are all as excited as we are!!

I'm sure she'll be doing arabesques, and chass├ęs, and tendus before she can do anything else- can't wait!!

So now my schedule is clear... just waiting for the TA. I hope it comes soon, we really need to go get our girl.

I am cleaning out cupboards, and drawers, and doing her laundry, and putting things away, and baby proofing the house this week. Getting rid of things we don't need, and really getting the house ready for her arrival. I must say it is a lot of fun!!

We got the other car seat last night, and some tub toys, and her first pair of bib overalls- so cute!! And everyone MUST have a Ni Hao Kai Lan sprinkler for their back yard... right?!  :) We had a lot of fun last night picking up some things for our little one.

You can see the change in the house, there are girlie toys in the house, and Avery's things are everywhere- such a neat transformation, and one we've been waiting for for a long, long time!! I've had the most fun putting her things away in her room. I put on her lullaby songs from her iPod, and  before I know it I've been in her room for 3 hours- fun, fun, fun!!

We were looking through the toy section last night, and I was so excited about the little kitchen sets, and grocery carts, and grocery sets, and the Ni Hao Kai Lan car that's available. Gary told me, "You won't want to go back to work!" He's probably right!! That's why I'm hoping we travel really soon, so I get a lot of time off with our little Avery. We'll do whatever we need for her- no question!!

We're just really excited!!
Enjoy the pics!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby Shower Brunch...

We had a baby shower brunch this morning at our church. It was so nice, and Avery received so many hand made gifts. Many crocheted sweaters, booties, and dresses. A lot of great books, and even a song was sung by one of the church members. It was very special,  thank you to Grandma Judy and Judy Franklin for putting it on, and thank you to the church members for all of their prayers, special gifts, and support!! Isn't the cake cute!! Gary's Mom, Grandma Judy made it, it was delicious, as always!!       Here are some pictures!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our busy week...

This is our busy busy week. Along with finishing up classes at the studio this week, and making sure everyone is all set for their Recital, we've had to make up Dress Rehearsal times sheets, and hand them out, make up Act One and Act Two number sheets for the parents and hand them out. Make up the complimentary tickets and sort and package them up and hand them out. Get the program show order together and make sure all the dancers who are in multiple dances have time in between to change, and then print out choreography sheets for me in my curtain.

Also, Gary had to do the music cd's, and get the video ready, and also process pictures as those orders come in, and do last minute t-shirts for people who have put orders in this week also. He's also doing the sound and lights for the Pops concert at our local highschool tonight. He's super busy right now. He's Superman right now!!  He also has a full time job during the day!!

I am trying to get all the extra costume accessories together and extra shoes and tights together and first aid kit, and extra costumes together in case someone forgets something. I have to organize my older students and assistants so that the backstage of the Recital goes smoothly so the Recital can run smoothly and stay on a nice pace and get done in a timely matter. I am getting all the assistant gifts and dancers medals ready to go. We have to print the programs and all the signs, and the backstage orders and signs. Get the front of the house foyer things ready. It's just busy busy busy right now.

Plus we are waiting impatiently for the TA to arrive!! But all of the other stuff going on does take our minds off it a bit.

We have the 3rd baby shower on Saturday and then Dress Rehearsal on Sunday from 12:30-7:00. Dress Rehearsal again on Monday from 4:00-7:00. The Recital is on Tuesday at 6:00. 

After that I am done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to get into Avery's room and put things away, and do laundry, and start packing, and baby proof the house, and organize cabinets, and put things out of reach and really enjoy preparing the house for the little lady bug to arrive!!

I hope we get to go soon after the Recital!! We are so ready and really just need to get through next Tuesday, and then we will be busy in the way we have longed for for the last 7 seven years!!

It will be nice to be busy in a new way!!  Chasing around the ladybug!!  :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What a fun day-An extra Girlie Shower for the Ladybug!!

We had our 2nd baby shower today for Miss Avery, thrown by Aunt Beth and Great Aunt Nancy. It was so nice, and all the gifts were accessorized and embellished with girlie things like, hair accessories, sunglasses, and necklaces and bracelets, and rings, etc. How fun!! It was so cute and we need to add on a wing to our house for all of Avery's new things...

Thank you to Aunt Beth & Great Aunt Nancy, it was so sweet
and so much fun!! 
You are the best!! Thank you for making our ladybug princess for the day!!

June 6th!!!

Today is June 6th...June 6th!! A day we will be forever grateful to someone we will never know, a person in Hengyang China, that saw a basket with a baby in it on the side of a riverbank, and took that precious child to the hospital. A year ago today June 6, 2009, our Avery was found in China. We are so grateful to the person that found her, and to God for keeping her safe in that basket until she was found. We are grateful to the hospital doctors and nurses that responded so quickly to her arm, and to all her nannies that have taken care of her for the past year until she is in our safe arms. There is a lot to be thankful for today...June 6th. As we wait for our travel arrangements to be made there are many thoughts that go through my mind. There is so much waiting and planning, so mjuch heartache, and so much unknown. But I know that we have fallen in love with our little girl more everyday. The more we look at her picture, the questions we ask eachother over dinner while staring at her picture, "I wonder what she sounds
like?", "I wonder how tiny she actually is?", "I wonder if she'll like chocolate like we do?", all these questions that we daily ask eachother until we can get to her and become and find out all these things as a family. Avery is our daughter the daughter we were meant to have to complete us as a family. She is our light at the end of this journey, the light we've been waiting for for so long. She is so special to us, and in more ways than we could ever count. She is our daughter the other half of our hearts, someone we have waited for and longed for forever. We celebrate this day, the day she was found and set on her journey to us, and will remember to always be thankful and grateful to those people that helped our daughter to recover, and who gave her the help she needed-a huge thank you!!

**3 months ago**

Through this process we've had many ups and downs, and more hardship than we have ever experienced so far in our lives. As you switch into the special needs program in this adoption journey there are many factors to consider. One that you don't really take into consideration is when things will go wrong in the process. There is a process once you've chosen a child for you called "locking" in a child. It's when your agency has to enter all your information into a form on the computer and in that child's folder that says you want to be considered to become that child's parents. You only have a certain amount of time to do so, and if it's not entered in that timeframe, you "lose" that child. NO WORRIES AVERY IS OURS I"M TALKING ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO-WE ARE FINE AND WILL BE GETTING AVERY ASAP, AS SOON AS THE TA ARRIVES-NO WORRIES!!

But this did happen to us 3 months ago, it wasn't our agency's fault per se, the time frame of the lock in was was recently changed by the CCAA in China and the child was "unlocked" early by mistake, and another family "locked" her in after she was unlocked by mistake. We had our agency lawyer involved, and and it was a mess and we were a mess. For 1 week, 3 months ago we went from one spectrum of the emotional scale to the other, and then back up again. I'm only writing about this because people have been wondering about that week. Why I wasn't able to stay in my classes to teach for about 2 days, and why Gary was so upset at work. We feel we don't have anything to hide in this situation, and we have our daughter now, the daughter that was meant for us. It was over Easter weekend, and we ended up finding, and locking, our daughter-Avery Lin, the child we were meant to have, on Good Friday. We are sure we had to go through that some reason but we aren't sure why...

Now, I've never been pregnant, and never "carried" a baby in my belly, but I equate this situation to losing a child in some respect.  It has forever changed us, and made us stronger in some respects, and more cautious in other respects. There are a lot of details I'm leaving out. How the child was unlocked, and the significance of the date of June 6th, and where that literally ties in. I don't want to take away from Avery and the significance of this day to her and us as well. I'm sorry for being vague, but if you email me I can tell you more.

There so many ties between Hunan province, and June 6th, and other places and dates, and it's too much to write here about. But know that June 6th will forever be stamped in our minds. It's the day our daughter was found, in more days than one, and a day we will be forever grateful to many people.

**On a happier note**

We have our 2nd baby shower today at 2:00. It's really special that it is on the same day exactly a year ago that our little ladybug was found, and set on her journey, for all of us to be connected and become a family.

God works in mysterious ways, and we are forever grateful to Him for bringing our Avery to us!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's the 3rd again...

35 months (never posted anything about the 3rd last month), but now we are waiting for the TA to arrive!! A lot different than the other times I have posted on the 3rd of a month!!-YAY!!

Found out this week that Avery's Chinese name Niu Xuan when translated together means, "Little girl who is dear to the Mom".  That is so special!!

Thanks Kelly for that info.!!

Everyone enjoy your day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Aren't these the cutest sneakers you've ever seen!!

Aren't these Chuck Taylors sweet?! We have been talking about getting her a pair for awhile. We had a Kohl's gift card left from the first shower so we splurged and got our little ladybug some of the sweetest shoes. They are pink, they will go with most of her wardrobe. But we also need a red pair, for anyone reading and needing a fun shower gift idea-hint hint!!  We have the cutest red, white, and blue dress for her to wear, and a headband and would love for her to have a red pair of Chuck Taylors also...

We went China shopping yesterday,and actually got a lot done... I was really surprised. We found quite a few things we were looking for, and priced some of the other things, that we will buy in a few weeks. I also had to get some things for the Recital, and my assistants, and we got Avery some stacking cups, and some Ni Hao Kai Lan bubbles!!

Mommy got a new hairdo today!! I've been growing my hair out for a couple of years now, and decided to cut it above my shoulders today. But it feels so much lighter and will be so much easier to take care of!!

We sent out a care package to Avery over the weekend and she should get it on Thursday!! We sent about 10 pictures of us, and her room, and KoKo (one of our cats)!! It's so exciting that she will see our faces this week!! We hope this will help in the transition!!

We are just waiting for the TA to arrive!!  We also have a very busy next 2 weeks. We have another baby shower this Sunday on the 6th, and then a baby shower brunch on the 12th. Dress Rehearsals on the 13th and 14th, and the Recital on the 15th. I'm hoping we will get to leave on the 18th- fingers crossed. That would be about 4 weeks, but it probably won't be until a little later than that or the 1st of July... the sooner the better!! It would be very neat to be there getting her on Father's Day!!

We are so excited!! Can ya tell? We are just loving the newest pictures of her, she has changed so  much!!

She is absolutely perfect!! And so very beautiful!!