Monday, May 29, 2006

A Baby Shower for Olivia

My friend Jennifer hosted a baby shower for us on Saturday and it was sooooo great to see some of my old co-workers, fastball team mates and friends. Some I hadn't seen in almost 5 years and it was just like seeing my own family again. Most of them have kids, some up to 15 years old and I couldn't help but reflect on when each of them was born, never ever thinking that someday I'd be the one sitting in the chair wearing the silly hat made of bows. It was hard not to be overwhelmed by it all and I finally really lost it when Jen's 9 year daughter Courteney gave us a painting she did for Olivia's room (see the photo below). Ron and I are both so thankful, not only for the beautiful gifts that everyone brought for Olivia, but that each of them cared enough to share in this incredible experience with us. We love you all so much and can't wait to introduce Miss Olivia to you all in person. Thank you for your friendship, your fellowship, your generosity of spirit and your kind hearts.

Angela, Helen, yours truly, Heather and Sheila
The artwork of the talented Miss Courteney
Andrea, Moi, Daphne, Carol, Val M., and Florence
The gang and Emma

More Shower photos

Cool Cake!
Some of the ball team girls and Douglas

Nice Hat!!
Jennifer, Heather and Lauren
I'm losin' it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Travel plans are in place!

Wow - things are sure coming together fast now. Our flights are booked and we will be China bound in 4 weeks!! We will be traveling to Beijing on June 15th, spending 2 days there getting our body clocks adjusted, and on Monday the 19th we fly to Changsha in Hunan province, and we will be united with our sweet Olivia that same day! We'll spend about 4 or 5 days there and then return to Beijing to complete the rest of the paper work and return home on the 29th. It seems like it's taken forever to get to this point and now things are happening quite quickly. I have 2 very, very busy weeks of work left and hopefully will be able to get everything done in that time.
I feel like we've just begun another leg of "The Amazing Race - Paperwork Edition", but I know we'll win and the prize will be priceless.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A very Happy Mother's Day to all

Even though I won't be spending this Mother's Day in person with my mom or my baby girl, it's already one of the best ever - full of incredible memories and wonderful promise. Happy Mother's Day to everyone who's made a difference in a child's life - mothers comes in many different forms and each one is important and special.

Today is also a day (among many) that I can't help but think about Olivia's birth mother and the struggles she must have endured over the past 7 months. I keep her in my prayers and although it's unlikely that we will ever know each other, I hope that she knows how much her daughter is loved and how committed we are to raising her the best way we can. We hope that she is able to find peace in her heart over what must have been the most difficult decision she has ever had to make, and we thank her for choosing life for this beautiful little soul.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baby brain stikes...

I've heard of it, I've seen it in others, I've made fun of it, and I've accused people of having it, I've seen it turn perfectly reasonable people into babbling idiots, but I sure never thought I'd get it. It's baby brain. It's when you're so pre-occupied with the newness of a baby or child that you suddenly can't speak in complete sentences, you forget where you're going as soon as you get in the car, you have no idea how you got to where you're going once you get there, you forget what you were saying in the middle of a sentence, you lose your ability to remember anything important and you function like a 6 year old. AND SHE'S NOT EVEN HERE YET!!! I have sooo much work to do before she's home, both personal and professional, but needless to say, it's really tough to stay focused on other things. Someone should take her pictures away from me so I can stare at something else for a while. NOT! Big sigh......

So what's next? We have crossed the t's and dotted the i's and now we apply for a China travel visa and wait for our facilitator, Family Outreach International, to set up all the legal appointments for us in China. Once they are established, then we book our flights into China and they look after all the "In China" travel and accommodations, etc. It looks like we may be leaving around the middle of June and will stay for 2 weeks to complete everything. While we are there, we will also have a chance to do some touring between official appointments. Waiting 5 weeks seems like such a long time, but we've come this far and waited this long so I'm sure we can last just a little longer.

Monday, May 01, 2006

We have our baby's file!!!

We met with our agency today and got the translated information about our daughter and we are excited to share some of that with you. She is:

Zhi Meng - "Zhi" is the first word of the county where she was born and "Meng" means dream.
Born on October 8, 2005 - 6.5 months old
Weight: 6.5 kg or 14 lbs as of Feb.27/06
Currently residing in Zhijiang Social Welfare Institute, in Hunan Province
This is a small orphanage with many caregivers so the babies receive a lot of care and attention - YIPPEE!!!!!!
She is reported as quiet with a beautiful smile, likes to be carried, playing with her toys and enjoys sitting in her walker. Her eating and sleeping habits are very good. Her motor development is where it should be in most areas and advanced in others.

We are sooo excited and still a little overwhelmed that this dream is finally becoming a reality. Many thanks to all of you who have been so supportive while we waited for this day. We look forward to sharing the very exciting journey to having her in our arms.

*** Her referral photos below have been re-sized and re-posted.

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