Saturday, August 30, 2008

The gift!

This a picture of Lily's orphanage.
A few days after our referral I joined a yahoo group for people who have adopted from the Yugan County Orphanage, where Lily is. A women contacted me saying she had visited the orphanage in April and she may have pictures of Lily. You can imagine my excitement when after I sent her Lily's pictures she sent me pictures of a baby she thought was Lily! This is a treasured gift from Lily's past that we may never have had if it was not for the kindness of a women named Carrie. It gets better! Carrie had also videotaped while she was there and sent me a 45 minute video of her visit to the orphanage. Lily is in the video for a few minutes but I was able to really see the orphanage, the room Lily is in and her caregivers. Again, how do I ever thank Carrie for this price less gift! Well, it still gets better!! During the video when Carrie is in Lily's room I saw the most amazing picture, a picture of Jesus! In a communist country, in a government building, there is a picture of Jesus right above Lily's head! I have prayed that our baby was being taken care, that she had felt the grace of God but to actually see this was just amazing! I can only hope that one day I can repay the gift I was given to another waiting family. If we are allowed to visit the orphanage I plan on taking lots of pictures and video and hopefully one day share those pictures and video with another waiting family!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Next??

It's been over a week since Lily entered our lives and its been amazing. We still can't stop staring at her picture and just wondering what this little baby is like and think how blessed we are! We had her file reviewed by an International Adoption pediatrician and she confirmed what we thought, she looks like a very healthy baby! We signed our acceptance letter, filled out more paperwork and returned it all to our agency. Now we WAIT! Yes, I should be good at this by now but I want my baby home!! Our agency sends our acceptance letters back to China (first all 9 families from our travel group have to send theirs back to the agency) and then we wait for China to send us our TA (travel approval). Once our agency receives our TA's they make us our CA (consulate appointment). The CA happens at the end of the trip in Guangzhou and that is where the babies get their Visas to come home to the US. When we have our CA then the trip starts 2 weeks before that date and we know when we will travel and can start making travel arrangements. My best guess of when we will travel is sometime in October.

In the meantime I am having a fun end of the summer with the boys. They are excited about their baby sister and love making her pictures and showing off her photo. We sent a care package on Monday and hopefully it arrives safely in China. Once school starts I have to get serious about packing and other baby preparations. I have to say that for the first time in a long time I feel like myself again and that is a great feeling. I feel the JOY again!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lily Mei Chun

Introducing Lily Mei Chun!!!

DOB: February 5, 2008

Jiangxi Province
Yugan SWI

We can't stop looking at these pictures!! She is just so cute!
She fits in perfectly with our family with the round face and big cheeks. I can't wait to plant thousands of kisses on those cheeks. These pictures were taken when she was just about 4 months old. At that time she weighed 13 lbs and 23 inches long. She looks healthy to us!! We learned her most favorite activity is to be carried by caregivers to go to busy places! Well, looks like our busy schedule will be just fine for Lily! I think we will spend some time just enjoying these pictures!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Referral Day

Yesterday was probably one of the best days of our lives! It started early. I awoke at 5:00 and checked rumors - there was nothing. Back to bed until 7:00 and then the first rumor appeared; packages in Europe. Knowing packages were in Europe combined with another rumor made me about 95% sure referrals were coming! Pat cancelled a meeting and we hunkered down waiting for the call. The first part of the morning went well and we were able to keep ourselves busy but by 10:30 we were going crazy! I watched a little Olympics, I checked in with Kathy and Dave (2 other couples who will be traveling with us), I checked my e mail and RQ and Pat and I just stared at each other. The kitchen island was ready with every gadget: camera, laptop, voice recorder, "the call" sheet, pen, pencil, 2 phones, and 2 cell phones! Finally at 11:42 the phone rang and my social workers name appeared! OMG this is it! I answered the phone and Pat started the recording. I call the boys upstairs "This is the call!" and they ran up to share in this moment. Erin, my social worker, wanted to make sure I was ready, "Do you need a pen?", she asked. Are you kidding me! Of course I am ready! She tells us we have a baby girl and then she tells us her name; Yue Mei Chun. This was amazing and already I know this child was meant for us. When we started the process, 3+ years ago we called Lily "Mei Mei" meaning little sister. Mei Mei then turned into Lily Mei. I remember my g.mother calling her Lily Mei and I had to explain that was not her name! We would have her middle name be whatever her Chinese name was. Well 3+ years later we now have a Lily Mei Chun!! The social worker then gave us her DOB; 2/5/08. I really lost it here; OMG she is a baby at just 6 months old! I was prepared for a baby between 6 - 18 months but really thought she would be 10 months at referral. I was shocked again. She is a February baby just like her mom (2/10), her dad (2/27), her uncle (2/6), her cousin (2/15), her papa (2/25) and her nana (2/28). Another red thread! She was born just 10 days before her baby cousin Tommy! I have spent a lot of time with Tommy this summer and have watched him grow and change, I can't believe he is the same age as our little girl in China!! Finally, the social worker told us she was in the Jiangxi Province. This is the same province as 2 of the "99" (our close friends who came home in December) babies. The call ended and Pat and I both called our moms and then I spoke to Dave and Sandy. Wren was born 6 days before Lily and is in the same orphanage!! I spoke to Kathy and Emma is 18 months old and also in the same orphanage! This is truly a gift. The 6 of us have formed a nice friendship during this wait and it is so unbelievable our girls have spent their short lives together. They will be together forever!!

After the e - mails were sent and phone calls made we took the boys to Build a Bear. They both made bears for Lily. Shea made a Patriots cheerleader and Bryce made the Red Sox "green monster"! We can't "girly" up these boys!! I had to make a quick stop into Gymboree and buy a few small outfits. We headed home and by 4:15 the party began. Friends and family stopped by all evening and we enjoyed 3 visits from the Chinese food delivery man and 1 visit from the Pizza delivery! Lots of champagne was poured and drunk and a few beautiful toast were given. Patrick and I felt so blessed to be surrounded by our family and friends at such an exciting time for us.

We had taped "the call" on our I POD so we listened to that a few times during the day. I love hearing "the call", it brings the whole moment back and makes it feel all so real! By 10:00 I was exhausted, I can't believe how tiring the day was! It was an amazing emotional day and it couldn't have gone any better! I went to bed and just kept repeating her name "Lily Mei Chun". I couldn't wait to wake up this morning and start learning about her province and orphanage! I will save all that for another post!

I want you all to know that we have saved every message and comment that was left for us. They will be printed out and someday Lily will know how excited everybody was for her arrival. I have received some of the nicest comments from people I have never met, but then again the adoption community is made up of some of the most wonderful supportive people! For people still waiting, I can only say I hope you have the strength to continue with your journey. I pray for a speed up but I know that one day your pain from waiting will be replaced with pure joy and thankfulness!

I saved the BEST NEWS for last: We get Lily's picture tomorrow night at 5:00!! Check back and you will see Lily Mei Chun for the first time!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Have a BABY Girl!!

We are rejoicing and celebrating!! We received our call today at 11:42 AM. Our daughter is Yue Mei Chun, to be called Lily Mei Chun Devine. We have limited info. but here it is:

DOB: 2/5/08 (6 months old)

Province: Jiangxi

Orphanage: Yugan County SWI

We will get more info. and pictures in a few days. We are celebrating and feel so blessed!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Next Week

The original stork alert was wrong. We have more rumors from a few agencies that they were mailed from China on Thursday but not to expect them to next week. This week has been so long and full of disappointment. I have lost some of my excitement. I need to shake these feelings and start getting excited for next week. We are getting our referral and I am grateful for that. Nothing has been on my timeline so I should be used to it. I have to thank everybody who has been so supportive this week, from my family and friends to my friends in the adoption community. I would never have made it this far without all your kind words and support. I think I will have a little pity party but then I am off to celebrate the start of the Olympics with our good friends; the 99ers and their girls. I'll bounce back and be ready for next week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stork is in the Air!!!

There is a rumor out there that referrals left the CCAA on Monday. They are coming!!!!!!!!! I say either today or tomorrow but obviously really hoping for today!! Wow, we are down to hours and then we know who baby Lily is! Excitement is building around here!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Still Waiting.....

We have heard nothing, not a word. I can only hope that referrals have left the CCAA and are in route to our agency. The silence is killing me. I was calm until today. I am now a bundle of nerves and just want to know when my phone will ring with the caller ID saying Wide Horizons! I'll post as soon as I hear. I am praying for tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting Closer

Today it is looking like the cutoff this month will be January 27th and that just stinks for all my friends still waiting. Another 2 day month, when will the madness end?! Knowing the cutoff does bring us closer to our referral call. Usually this means the CCAA is done matching and I am hoping for a phone call this week, maybe Wednesday! I am starting to feel excited and it must mean something when Patrick is checking RQ and reading blogs looking for rumors!

Our last weekend before referral!!

Do you see the Rainbow? It must be good luck!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Next Week???

I am optimistic that referrals will arrive next week. All signs are pointing that way. I would love for the referral call to come on Monday but it is looking more like Tuesday or Wednesday. I can wait a few extra days. I will be ready either way. We will be home from the beach for 2 weeks so I can stalk RQ and all my yahoo groups looking for any signs pointing to packages arriving at the agency. I find myself just imagining what the moment will be like... will all go as planned? Will Pat be home for the call? Will the call come when I am not expecting it? Will I be able to fill out my call sheet? Will I be able to record the call? I also can't stop thinking about the important details. Who exactly is Lily? Where is she? How old is she? Is she healthy? Is lily with our friend's daughters, Wren and Emma? Soon all these questions will be answered, hopefully sooner rather than later!