Friday, September 30, 2005

First Outfits...

Here I go breaking my own rules again, since I said I wouldn't by any clothes for Lauren until after we are DTC. We were shopping at Sam's Club this evening and some kind of magnetic force pulled me right over to the baby clothes display. None of these outfits were more than $8.00, so there was just nothing I could do to stop myself.

The two "Little Ones" outfits on the right come with the skort, shirt, and little matching socks.

I love the little shorts and strawberry jumper below.

I got three of the outfits in 6 mo. and one of them in 12 mo. We should be traveling for Lauren next year around this time and it will still be hot in China. I'm hoping that since Chinese babies are usually on the smaller side that the little 6 mo. outfits will fit her.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Red Thread...

An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.
- Chinese Proverb

Monday, September 26, 2005

Back from Vegas...

Well, we're back from Vegas and left lots of money behind for someone else to win. Even though we didn't win big, we still had a great time staying at the Bellagio. The rooms were very nice, including robes and automatic window drapes that open with a touch of a button so you don't even need to get out of bed to open and close the drapes. We ate very well while we were there, including two giant buffets that were wonderful!

We survived the maniac who drove his car onto the sidewalk on the strip and plowed through a bunch of pedestrians after having a bad day in court. He killed a man in his 50's and injured about 13 people. They had the street closed right in front of the Bellagio from 5:15pm until about 12mid. Traffic was a nightmare!

We did lots of outlet shopping while we were there and discovered a store we've never seen before....Williams Sonoma Marketplace. I was in heaven in that place since I LOVE kitchen and housewares and LOVE to shop. They carry merchanise from Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn Kids.

Now that we're back, it's time to get cracking again on the dossier paperwork. I went in to the doctor today for my 2nd Hepetitis B and 1st Hepetitis A shot (one in each arm). Now that's the way to start the week!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sin City here we come...

We are hitting the road for Vegas in the morning! We got in on a summer special, so we're splurging and staying at the Bellagio, which is our favorite place on the strip. We're looking forward to some time off work and a break from the dossier paperwork. We'll be back sometime on Thursday...have a great week everyone!

Passport Photos Done...

We went over to Walgreens this morning to have our Passport photos taken. I guess I was expecting something more sophisticated, but the women just whipped out a digital camera and took our photos against a white screen in less than a minute. I told the women that we are hoping to get some good photos since they were for our adoption and the Chinese matching room matches us to our child based on these photos. The women didn't flinch or even crack a smile...she was a bit grumpy. I was expecting at least an "oh, I'll do my best in that case" or "ok, let's try to get some good shots", but I got absolutely nothing out of her. Well, I guess we all can't be baby lovers. Here's what we ended up with...nothing glamorous, but I guess I would give a baby to these people...

Lauren's Room...

We are really excited about decorating a room for Lauren. We probably won't start the painting or picking out furniture until we are DTC (Dossier to China), but I started a new blog yesterday so you all can track our progress on her room. There are a couple of posts on there already that you can check out.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

About Ladybugs...

Ladybugs are the official mascot of chinese adoptive parents. They are considered a sign of good fortune. If an adoptive parents has a ladybug sighting, that means the next big step they have been waiting for is about to happen.

Knowing this, my friend Jennifer, went out in search of a ladybug gift. She went into Hallmark and headed over to the Nature's Sketchbook dislay (I love Marjolein Bastin) and found the cutest little alpabet initial magnets. Looking through them to find an "L" for Lauren, she discovered the "L" magnet had a ladybug on it! None of the other initials had a ladybug. Now, if this isn't a sign that we were meant to adopt Lauren, I don't know what is! Thank you, Jennifer, for this adorable little ladybug magnet!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lauren's first gift...

I received a present for Lauren today! It's the cutest and softest little bunny who has her little hands folded to say a prayer. If you press her tummy, she says a good-night prayer. On her left foot it says HOPE, which is an important part of the adoption process. Without hope, the waiting would be even more difficult. Thank you, Kim! I can't wait to place this little bunny in Lauren's hands in China.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

First Ultrasound...

I went in for my first ultrasound today, imagine the doctor's surprise when she saw this :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sweet Chinese Lullabye...

Similar to “Hush Little Baby” in the English-speaking world, this is a Chinese lullabye. It's a very sweet and soothing song, click here to listen.

Mama Hao (Mandarin)
Shi shang zhi you mama hao
You ma de hai zi xiang ge bao.
Tou jin mama de huai bao
Xin fu xiang bu liao.

Shi shang zhi you mama hao
Mei ma de hai zi xiang ge cao
Li kai mama de huai bao
Xin fu na li zhao.

English translation
Only Mama is the best in all the world
With a mama, you have the most valued treasure.
Jump into mama’s heart and
You have endless happiness.

Only Mama is the best in all the world
Without a mama you are like a piece of grass,
Away from mama's heart,
Where will you find happiness?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lauren's first books....

I told myself I wouldn't buy anything for Lauren until our dossier goes to China, but I just couldn't help myself. I was shopping at Borders Books on lunch today and found the cutest boxed book set called Baby's Box of Fun. It's a set of three "lift-the-flap" books for baby.

I like that the babies in the pictures have all different skin tones, including several babies that look Asian. Also, every page has a flap for baby to flip :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Mother's Dream...

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.
My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.
But now my dreams have been transformed.
New visions fill my head.
Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.
And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round.
Now in my dreams they're almond shaped and colored cocoa brown.
And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas.
They reach half-way around the world and hold you close to me.
As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together, you're also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.
And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye,
I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.
Our features may not look alike; we're different as can be.
But still I know the Father has created you for me.
And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands, and though we're half a world apart in very different lands, I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows.
But 'til He says the time is right I give to you this vow.
I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee.
For God to hold you in His arms, until you're here with me.

~Gayle Leubecker

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fun Times...

These are the fun times we are looking forward to having with Lauren some day. I think spending time with our nieces has really helped us come to the conclusion that we really do want to be parents and to pursue adoption. Here are some good times we've had.


Last night we had our last of four home study meetings. We were a bit nervous at the beginning of the home study process, especially for our initial home visit, but we really had nothing to be nervous about. Our social worker put us right at ease and the process has been very smooth.

We have one more set of paperwork due to our social worker, then the next step is for her to draft up our home study report. Once it's approved by our adoption agency, it's off to Supreme Court for approval. After they approve it, then it goes to the USCIS (United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services) office in Phoenix, which will trigger them to send us our fingerprint cards for the FBI check. Once our FBI check is cleared, then they send us the mother of all forms....the I-171H, which allows us to travel to China to meet Lauren Elizabeth!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meet our Furbabies...

We'd like you to meet our girls...

Addy aka "Sweetpea"
We adopted her about seven years ago from Arizona Adopt a Greyhound. Her racing name was "Aldago". Greyhounds are just about the sweetest dogs ever, although with great sadness, I have to say that Addy is terminally ill and won't be here when we get baby Lauren. She has a inoperable tumor in her upper jaw and nasal passages. On the bright side though, she is a tuff old girl and has hung in there longer than expected. Our hearts will have a big hole in them when it's time for her to go.

Lucy aka "Lulu"
We adopted Lucy four years ago from Arizona Rescue. She is a little stinker, but loves to cuddle and give you her paw as you can see here.

Here's our nieces (Emily & Katie) and nephew (Joshua) with Addy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Our progress so far...

For those of you who don't know about the adoption process, I'll sum it up in one word....LONG! There are multiple documents (birth certificates, marriage license, medical forms, financial forms, employment and insurance forms, etc. that all need to be notarized, certified and authenticated by the Chinese Consulate. Besides that, there is also the home study process in which your entire life (and home) is an open book for your social worker. Actually, the paperwork is all very easy, it's just the waiting while the government agencies do their thing that is the hard part.

We submitted our application to A Helping Hand Adoption Agency on August 8th. It's been a month since we applied and we already have most of our documents completed and we have our final home study visit this Saturday. We still need to apply for passports (yes, I'm actually getting on a plane to China) and once our home study is completed, it needs to be finalized through the courts.

If all goes well, we are hoping to be DTC (meaning our Dossier sent to China) by January 1st. After we are DTC, then our dossier is translated into Chinese and we are LID (logged into the database). At that point, it's about a 7 month wait until we receive our referral, then about 8 weeks or so until we make the long journey to get baby Lauren. It's going to be a long road ahead, but we have an amazing reward waiting for us in China!


Hi, we're Joe and Donna from Chandler, Arizona, and we started this journal so our family and friends can track our progress in adopting a baby girl from China.

Joe and I have always wanted to be parents, but having biological children just hasn't worked out for us and we have always been open to the idea of adoption. We both recently turned 41, so we thought the time was right to seriously talk about it. A friend of mine at work, who is also adopting from China, loaned me a National Geographic Explorer episode called China's Lost Girls, which covers China's population problem due to their one child policy and cultural preference for boys, and the availability of so many beautiful baby girls. It showed several families heading to China to adopt and at that moment it clicked for me and just felt right for us. I showed Joe the DVD and he whole heartedly agreed. After some research and chatting with people on-line who had wonderful experiences with China adoption we decided to take the plunge!

We would love to hear from you throughout our journey, so please post comments at anytime. If you don't have a login, please post as 'anonymous' and type your name at the end of your text instead.