Archive for April, 2010

DTC!!! And pictures!

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Sooo happy today! We received happy news from CCAI.  “Here’s the news you’ve long been waiting for—your dossier was sent to China today (4/23/2010)! :)”  Hallelujah!  And if that isn’t enough to celebrate, Todd has been sucked into the Chinese web searching frenzy. 🙂  And he found more pictures!  When you have a child you’ve never met, who is half way around the world, already 7 years old, and only 3 photos, you really treasure any tidbits you can get!  I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.  She’s in the darker pink dress, and the one holding the toy in front of her face in the last photo.  🙂

June 2009

June 2009

June 2009

March 6, 2010

Dossier is COMPLETE!!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Wow! HUGE milestone here. Back in August we were given a 45-page document by our agency, an instruction booklet, the “Adoption Dossier Guide.” I have read every single page many times over, triple- and quadruple-checked every box, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” in that thing. And…as of yesterday, IT IS FINISHED!!

We received our authenitcated I-797C from the Chinese Consulate yesterday–more than a week earlier than I anticipated! I quickly made the necessary copies and drove it straight to the post office where I overnighted that baby to CCAI. It should now be in their hot little hands! Yea!! That was the final document needed for our dossier.

I sent the rest of the dossier on March 25th and the critical review was completed on April 8th. Now CCAI will add this final document, do a summary translation to Chinese, bind it, and send it via international express mail to China! We’re almost DTC! (“Dossier to China.”) Once in China, the CCAA will “log it in.” That will be our LID, another huge milestone. At this point, there is still a slim possibility that we could travel in August! Not the most likely scenario, but not an impossibility either. At this point, it is mostly in the hands of the CCAA. We shall see!

“Obsessed” and…successful!

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Todd says I’m obsessed, I say a little “preoccupied.” I’m on a few yahoo groups and everyone is always talking about finding their children in other people’s pictures, people who have adopted from or been to their children’s orphanages. The problem is, there haven’t been very many adoptions from Puyang, only 3 from our very large agency. Well, I’ve done some searching and I think I found some pictures!

I was actually trying to research a little more about Jiao Jiao’s (Jasmine’s) orphanage. I tried Google-ing it when we first got her file, but came up empty-handed. Well, it just occurred to me that I could search in Chinese, so here is what I did:

1. Found the orphanage name in Chinese from her files, 濮阳市社会福利院. Just trust me. It says “Puyang City Social Welfare Institute.”
2. Paid a visit to my new friend, Baidu, the “Google” of China. (
3. I clicked “图 片” (“photos”).
4. Pasted “濮阳市社会福利院” and clicked the button that I assumed said “search”.
5. Ta da!!

Referral pictures

Two whole pages of photos from the Puyang SWI! Every picture we’ve seen of Min Jiao looks so different! They almost don’t look like the same little girl. Here are the 3 pictures we already had of her, from youngest to oldest:

And here are 3 I found online. They were taken by people from the city who visited the orphanage then blogged about it. The first two were taken 2/22/2009 and the third was taken in 2007 (possibly March?):

Pictures we found!

So, what do you think!? Is it her? I think it’s her. Todd is not convinced. 🙂

“Gift from God”

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

We finally decided on a name! We really wanted it to mean something. We wanted it to be something tangible. It’s fairly common in our culture to choose a name because “that sounds cute.” But the Chinese culture is very different. They give their children names based on meaning, very deep meanings reflecting their hopes and aspirations for their children–and of course it should sound nice too. 🙂 Anyway, we wanted Min Jiao’s name to have a lot of meaning, not just a nice ring to it. We also took into consideration the pronunciation–no Ls or Rs since those can be tricky. 🙂 We actually tried to use sounds from her Chinese name. So we finally chose one, and we told Min Jiao about it in our last letter to her. Here is what we wrote:

Many times when children are adopted they get a new name. We want you to keep your Chinese name and have a new English name… Since we first saw your picture and knew you would be our daughter, we have been thinking about a name for you. We have finally chosen a beautiful name, “Jasmine.” Jasmine is a small, beautiful flower and many people like it. You are a beautiful girl and many people love you. “Jasmine” also means “gift from God.” You are a beautiful gift from God to our family. Our family name is Giles, so your new English name will be Jasmine MinJiao Giles. Your Chinese name will be Jia Min Jiao.

(“Jia” is our Chinese surname, the one Todd used when he lived in Taiwan.) Anyway, the jasmine flower also has some significance in the Chinese culture, so it sounded very fitting for our girl. Since her middle name will be MinJiao, she can still go by “Jiao Jiao” if she wants. We really hope she likes it. 🙂

Care package #4

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Wow! I can’t believe we sent a 4th care package! We shipped it off last Wednesday, March 31st. It’s so much fun, and more importantly, a great opportunity to prepare Min Jiao for our family. We’ve sent a letter (in English, Chinese and pinyin) and pictures with each package. We’ve also sent something to share–stickers or candy. Here are the contents of the March package:
– letter
– pictures of rooms in the house, backyard, dogs, kids
– spa stuff: nail polish, lotion, bubble bath and fuzzy pink slippers
– spiral drawing thingy (what’s that called??)
– disposable camera
– pink stuffed lamb (for Easter)
– Easter candy to share
– stickers to share

For those who know me, I always have a million things to say! And it’s no exception with our new daughter. There is SO MUCH I want to tell her! But, I have to remind myself that she’s only 7, and I need to take it slowly. To assist me in this effort I made a list/chart. (Yeah, yeah, me and my charts and lists.) Anyway, I made a list/chart to keep track of what I want to tell her and when. I’m trying to spread everything out so I don’t overwhelm her. Anyway, in this month’s letter I told her a little about Easter, a little bit about our house (to coordinate with the pictures I sent), and about… her new name! We really hope she likes it. 🙂 (Oooh! A cliff hanger! See next post. 🙂 )


Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Yea!! Our I-797 (aka “USCIS approval” or “the long pole in the tent”) arrived on April 1st, no foolin’. 🙂 I KNEW it would arrive that day, but I also knew we were leaving town that morning for our family reunion. So…it waited patiently, idly, at our home until we got back Monday night. 🙁 Oh well. I notarized it first thing Tuesday morning, then drove it up to Santa Fe and back for certification. Sooo glad I didn’t stick it in the mail like I did the other documents! When I showed them the document they said the notarization done by the bank was WRONG and they couldn’t certify it. AHHH! Moment of panic!! Handily, they brought out their own notary and we got everything taken care of on the spot. Phew. Spencer and I drove “my precious” back down to Albuquerque and mailed it to the L.A. consulate. Hurry up, Consulate!! It took 3 weeks for them to authenicate my last batch of documents. I am praying (literally) that they’ll get this one done much faster since it’s only 1 document. We shall see!

P.S. I’m behind on posting. More to come very soon!