Archive for June, 2010

The sweetest gifts

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The second thing I got in my inbox today was…six adorable little drawings!!  They were so cute!  So after I showed the new photos to the kids, I surprised them again with the drawings!  We admired them and talked about them and about how she’d written her name on them all (in Chinese).  We were all impressed by that since we can’t write ANYTHING in Chinese!  Someone had added captions to all the pictures, but of course, we don’t read Chinese either.  So, I waited impatiently all morning for daddy to check his email and tell us what all the little captions were on the drawings.  We were perfectly overjoyed just to see that she drew pictures.   So… imagine how full our hearts were when daddy sent us the translations  and we found out they were “gifts” for each of us!  So sweet!!!   (Btw, not sure if there’s a little confusion with the brothers??  She might think she has 2 older brothers, or maybe someone misheard what she told them to write??  Minor detail that we’ll clear up in our next letter.)  Here are her little works of art with translated captions!

Honestly, it felt like OUR birthday today!  Oh, it was so fun to see the kids faces light up as I read these to them!  I printed each of their pictures out.  They were beaming as I handed each of them their drawing.  Good stuff.

Happy Birthday to us!!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I LOVE  our little girl!!  We all do.  We’re completely smitten. 🙂  I received two great surprises in my email this morning.  First, birthday pictures!

To say we LOVED the new pictures would be a gross understatement!  There was a little mishap with the birthday cake. 🙁  Let me explain.  Jiao Jiao’s birthday was 2 weeks ago today.  A week after her birthday I emailed Angela at LNL to ask if she’d received birthday pictures yet.  She called the orphanage and they said they couldn’t find the money for the cake.  (!?!)  I was incredibly sad for our little girl, worried she might be wondering why she was the only child whose family didn’t send a birthday cake.  🙁 So Angela sent the money again last week, and they had the party on the 25th.  So…this is why I was so relieved and elated to get pictures of a smiling little girl!   I printed them all out and surprised the kids with them this morning.  Seeing their reactions–surprise, wonder, and excitement– of new pics of sister is a moment that will stay with me for a while.  I am still in awe at how much love you can feel for someone you’ve never met, or even spoken to.  To see that my four crazies (even my rough-and-tumble boys!) share that same, special kind of love is a very moving thing for me.

And now, as much as we loved the new pictures, I think my favorite part of today was the second thing we received.  Because I love surprises and like to assume everyone else does too, see next post. 🙂

Care Package #6 – Happy Birthday Jiao Jiao!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Jiao Jiao’s birthday is on Monday! I woke up to an email from Angela (at Ladybugs N’ Love). She will ship this package today so it will arrive on Saturday or Sunday–just in time for her birthday. I am so excited!!! I said in a previous post that I would “go all out.” Yes, I’m a woman of my word. 🙂 I did go all out! I had to!! I just want our sweet girl to know how much she is loved and wanted and thought of, and right now the only way to show her is to send her things. So that’s what I’m doing.

The birthday package!

Here are the contents of the birthday package:

  • Dora doll
  • Dress (see other dress pictured below)
  • Birthday cake (not pictured–we’ll receive pics later)
  • 3 family photos
  • A letter from us
  • A SASE (addressed to Angela) so Jiao Jiao can send a letter or drawing!
  • Candy and nuts to share with her friends and nannies
  • Camera to take pictures of the cake. 🙂
  • The dress! Hope it fits!

    The dark pink dress was purchased first, but she was afraid it may be too small so she returned it and purchased this one. It still looks tiny to me, so I hope it fits!! Angela did call the orphanage to make sure they would buy a cake. I also asked if she could find out if she likes dresses and dolls–they say she does!

    I really hope the orphanage is giving her the things we send. I have heard lots of stories through my online adoption “friends.” Sometimes the children never get anything, even though the packages arrive. Sometimes they give them the pictures and nothing else. But there are also some orphanages (and foster families) that really try to prepare the children, give them the packages, talk about being adopted, read the letters to them from the families. I really hope the Puyang SWI is one of those. I guess only time will tell. I have included things for the nannies and other children in almost every package, hoping that will gain us some favor with the orphanage! It will be interesting to talk to Jiao Jiao about it all when we meet her. I can worry about that later, but for now, Happy Birthday Jiao Jiao!

    L O A ! ! !

    Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

    IT CAME!!! Only a 38 day wait! I can totally handle that. 🙂 We got the email at 12:30 on Monday. Our agency overnighted the letter, we signed it today and overnighted it straight back (along with lots of other I-800 paperwork). Folks, I believe our thumb-twiddling time has come to an end. It will be lots of hurried paperwork from here on out. Yea! At least that makes time fly by!

    The elusive LOA! And a VERY happy me.

    So…my estimate for travel is…the same. 🙂 I think we’ll leave September 29th. We could get TA anytime between mid-August and early September (if we are timely with our paperwork). The three-week spread doesn’t affect our time because Todd has commitments in September. If we don’t leave by August 18th, we have to wait until the 29th. So, that’s my prediction! We’ll see if it holds water or not in a few months, won’t we? 🙂

    On another note, Jiao Jiao’s birthday is on Monday!! Only 6 more days! I ordered a package through Ladybugs N’ Love. They’ll send a picture of the package when it’s ready, and I’ll be sure to post it here for all to see. I used a service this month so that I could send a birthday cake–her first one. 🙂 Ordering a birthday cake also means there’s a very good chance we’ll get pictures of our birthday girl. 🙂 Can’t wait!! Tune in next time!