Monday, July 20, 2009

Leaving Wednesday!

We are leaving Wednesday on the trip of a lifetime. We are almost ready! We still have some packing to do. :)

I just started a travel journal and we hope to be able to post to it in China. Blogger is generally blocked so I can't use this site.

Please keep us in your prayers for safety, health and an easy transition for the new one. And probably pray for the bigger kids too, their lives will be a bit mixed up for a bit in transition.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sick Kids & Finalized Travel Plans

Well, the kids came down with fevers yesterday. And it's been downhill ever since. I was up most of the night doing laundry. And that's a good thing because we had a house showing. Goodness! The timing of things in my life are just insane. Ideally we would love the house to sell ASAP, but having it for sale while we are gone is better than when we are home. I won't have to constantly clean it. :)

We got our inside China travel plans yesterday. So here's our tentative schedule:
July 21st - We will stay at a hotel in St. Louis because our flight is at 6:30 am, the airport is an hour away and we have to leave the house perfectly clean. And we can park for free. :)
July 22 - The longest trip I have ever been on begins at 6:30am.
July 23 - We arrive in Bejing at 2:50. We will stay in the Kuntai Royal Hotel.
July 24 & 25 - Tour Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and watch an acrobat show.
July 26 - Lama Temple, Beihei Park & Hutong (I have no idea what these places are)
July 27th - Travel to Taiyuan, only an hour flight and check into the Shanxi Grand Hotel.
July 28th - We meet Xia Yan!
July 29th - Complete adoption finalization and notarization processes at the Civil Affairs offices.
July 30th - Tours to be scheduled and picking up notarized paperwork and Xia Yan's passport.
July 31st - Travel to Guangzhou a 2.5 hour flight. Most likely Xia Yan's first flight ever. Check into the White Swan hotel.
Aug 1 - Xia Yan's Visa Picture and Medical Exam
Aug 2 - Optional touring
Aug 3 - Optional Touring and pick up Xia Yan's Medical Exam Report
Aug 4 - Our Agency Coordinator will work on Xia Yan's Visa. Maybe do some shopping. :)
Aug 5 - Our oath at the Consulate and receive Xia Yan's Visa.
Aug 6 - Leave Guangzhou at 9am for Beijing and following flights

So we really need the kids to get better ASAP. And nobody else can get sick. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update with an Update

Goodness what a wild ride!

So, I don't know how to explain this as it is unexplainable. I kept emailing USCIS about this issue, finally the lady wrote that we don't need DCFS approval. She said they had Xia Yan's information and all they needed was the homestudy. She requested it be sent to her attention and she would take care of it right away. So that's what happened and we got Xia Yan's Visa cabled today.

Nobody knows how DCFS has Xia Yan's info. It wasn't in the homestudy and that was the issue, more specifically the approval for a special needs child. And nobody knows how USCIS knows that DCFS knows. Our Social Worker said it was completely unexplainable. Another God Thing in our adoption journey.

I spent most of yesterday working with the travel agent and in the same batch of emails with the Visa approval information we got our eTickets. So we will work on our in-Country travel next including hotel reservations. We looked at all our travel options and going out of Newark was the best for our family and the best price. Dave's best friend Clint is coming with us and he is in Seattle, so he has to travel the day before, stay in a hotel in Newark, and do the same on the way home. What a sport! Better than the 6 hour layover he would have had (midnight to 6am) in Houston. :)

So we are good to go on our trip. It is just such an amazing experience.

I also got some updated information on Xia Yan. I hired ladybugsNlove to make a call and ask her foster parents 10 questions. Here are a few snippets:
  1. How does she fall asleep at night, and where does she sleep?
  2. What time does she go to bed at night and when does she wake up? Does she take a nap during the day? When?

She sleeps with her foster parents. She goes to bed around 10:00pm and gets up around 7:00-8:00am. Summer time, it’s hot, so they go to bed late and get up later than winter time. She take a bottle before going to bed. She takes a nap at 1:00pm until 3:00pm or 4:00pm.

  1. Does she have a nickname?

They call her Xiao Yan Zi (little swallow bird). Her foster sister’s name is also Yan. So they call her Little Yan.

  1. Tell me about her likes/dislikes/sensitivities?

She likes to go play with other children. There are many children where they live.

  1. What is her personality like? What makes her happy?

She is outgoing. When she firt came to the foster family, for half a month she never smiled. She won’t talk, won’t play, won’t smile. She’s been with them for over 5 months now. She is fairly extroverted now.

  1. What makes her upset? How do you soothe her?

She seldom gets upset. She gets upset when she doesn’ t see her foster mom. She is easy to soothe, just pick her up and she will be fine.

  1. Does she use the toilet or is she wearing diapers?

She goes potty in the yard daytime (split pants), and wears diaper at night. Daytime she will go herself.

So making a bottle of formula will be new for me. And not quite sure where I will take the split pants - pottying in the yard bit.