Saturday, February 24, 2007

No News....

We didn't get travel approval last week...bummer. My travel group of five families still want to travel early March if we get travel approval this week, but that will depend on whether we can get consulate appointments or not. So, it's another wait and see kind of week. I promise to post when we get travel approval.

We had a little schnazoo with our visas. The courier in DC who takes our passports to the Chinese consulate to get our Chinese visas, called on Tuesday and left a message on a voice mail system that we never check. If someone calls while we're on the phone this messaging system kicks in. Well, I didn't get the message until Thursday morning (he didn't bother to try the other two numbers we gave him or to call back to see why we hadn't responded to his message). He called to say that he needed a copy of Miyah's Chinese passport picture page to process our visas. I immediately faxed that to him, but since he was already out working that day and it takes four days to process the visas, I was worried we'd just set us back a few days that we didn't have to spare if we're leaving March 6th. Well, apparently all is well with the visas. THANK GOD!!

We had beautiful weather last week. It was 75 degrees on Tuesday so we got out and played as much as we could. It wasn't a good week for trying to get things done for our trip.

I'm sure you noticed the photos of Miyah with her new friend, Grace. Grace and her mom came over for lunch after playgroup on Thursday and the girls jumped on the trampoline. You have to love the hair!! They were like little conductors of electricity.

And the photos below are from a Valentine's bowling party Megan and Miyah went to with our homeschool group and a roller skating outing with Megan and her friends a couple of weeks ago (I'm a little behind). Miyah and I tagged along and Miyah had her first try at roller skating. She did amazingly well on roller skates. She quickly insisted on skating without holding my hand, but there were only scant moments of bravery when she wanted to leave the carpet for the rink. Poor thing would wipe out the moment she set foot on that wood floor, but she tried several times.

Ah, I have fond memories of my childhood and early adolescence at the Roller Dome and that strobe light just takes you back...

Cool Slideshows

(Click the right page to flip the pages forward or the left page to go back)

Oh, and I finally added Chinese New Year photos in my previous post.

Have a great week!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Xin Nian Kuai Le!! It's the Year of the Pig!

That's "Happy (Chinese) New Year!" in Mandarin. Today is officially the new year in the Chinese lunar calendar.

I've been a little confused because the children's books we've read all say "Gung Hay Fat Choy!", but Miyah's also learned "Xin Nian Kuai Le" in Chinese school. Well I figured out that they mean two different hings and I guess one is Cantonese (spoken in southern China) and one is Mandarin.

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (may prosperity be with you)

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)

We had a lot of fun this year as Miyah actually understands and can participate in the traditions a bit more!

Pat's mom was anxious to see the grandkids so she came down for a long weekend. We always enjoy her visits, but we missed "Bumpa" (grandpa) this time. It was a cold weekend and hanging around the house playing games seemed just right.

Saturday afternoon we were out shopping, so we decided to make our Chinese New Year dinner tonight. What a production! I think it would have helped if I knew what I was doing. When you only make these dishes once a year (maybe three times total now), it's hard to remember how to do everything. We made dumplings, spring rolls, and long noodles. I think it took us well over three hours to make our little dinner. But it was fun and pretty good, if I do say so myself! We may opt for Chinese take out next year though just to save on the prep and clean up time...phew! We also ate fortune cookies, ice cream (hey, the Chinese invented it), the kids got their red envelopes, and we had a mini fireworks display. I'll post some photos later tonight or tomorrow.

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Okay, now for some possibly good China travel news! Our agency sent us our travel packet last week with a letter stating that we MAY POSSIBLY travel by March 8th (March 6th for us since we'll be taking a few extra days in Beijing)!! Woohooo!!! The possibilty is so exciting. I literally cried when I read that. We would have to get travel approval in the next couple of days to be able to travel so soon.
That' little more than two weeks away!!!!

It's more probable that we won't travel until the end of March. Either way it really is good news that we should travel before April.

We'll keep you posted.

We've applied for our visas and should be ready to go whenever we get approval. I have almost everything we need to pack except our clothes which will have to be packed just days beforehand anyway. My kids and husband laugh at me because I've been buying things for the trip for over a month now. It's a good thing, because packing/collecting takes time...especially for 6 people for 2 1/2 weeks in China.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Mei Lin (Pan Jun Xia)
Now almost 13 mos (4 mos in photos)
Kunming, Yunnan, China
LID 3/07/06
LOI 11/30/06
SCL 2/08/07
(sorry, the acronyms are for adoptive families following dates)


At 11:15 this morning Amanda from CHI called to say we got our confirmation letter from China!! I was in the library talking to friends while our children were playing games on the computer. When I saw it was CHI I stepped away from everyone because I was kind of loud (and excited!). Poor Miyah later noticed me "missing" and began crying.
In all the excitement I forgot to tell her I would be around the corner.

Travel approval has been taking about 2 weeks from confirmation, but the CCAA will be closed the week of the 19th for Chinese New Year, so that may hold up our travel approval a bit. From there, we're not sure what our travel dates might be. We're guessing late March/early April, but we're praying we travel over the kids' spring break around March 20! That would be perfect. It would be even more perfect if we got our travel dates and could make travel arrangements by Feb 28 so we could use some travel money (from Pat's employer) before it expires!
God's amazing and we'll be happy to go in HIS perfect timing!

This means we can officially post her pictures! We think she is just beautiful. She's about 4 months old in the photos and her poor little head had been shaved recently for what appears to have been an IV (we can see a little red mark on the top of her head). Miyah's head looked like this when we got her following a stay in the hospital for pneumonia. The nice little row of hair behind the shaved area looks hopeful! She may have some hair when we get long as they haven't continued to shave it, which is likely.

We're so relieved and excited! Thank you, God, for this little blessing!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Snowy Day

We woke up to a beautiful snowy day last week, Friday. Schools were closed and we didn't have Bible study or any other activities for the day. We had been expecting snow almost all week, so I took out The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It's one of my favorite books and Miyah loves it, too. We must have read it a hundred times that week.

When she woke that morning, she was ecstatic to see snow! She looked out the window and said, "It covers everything as far as I can see!" (a line from the book).

She couldn't get out in it fast enough. And just like Peter, the character from the book, we made snow angels, and crunch, crunched through the snow, making tracks with our toes pointing out and our toes pointing in.

Then she stared at all the trees and said, "Look at the trees we decorated." I reminded her that God did all the decorating.

It really was beautiful. And I love children's fascination with this cold, wet, white stuff.

That night when Pat came home she ran out to meet him and daddy helped her make a snowball to put in her pocket ("for tomorrow"). We all know how that turns out.