Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today is our 30th day waiting for LOA. The time frame for this wait can range anywhere from 30-over 150 days. It averages around 90 days, so we may still be in for a long wait. Right now we are concentrating on getting things ready for Max. We have what will be his room painted and we've started picking out some clothes and bedding for him. Once we receive LOA things should move pretty quickly, so we want to have as much as we can ready before then. We're also trying to focus on spending some extra time with Ellie. Don't get me wrong, we're so excited to become a family of four. But, we'll also never get to be this wonderful little family of three again, so we're trying to enjoy our time together as that family.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our care package has arrived

We got an email today from Ann at Red Thread China saying that Max had received our care package. Unfortunately that's the only news we got. Sometimes parents are able to get pictures with their care package updates, but we had known ahead of time that we probably wouldn't get any. It was still a disappointment though. I had harboured a secret hope that maybe we would get surprised. The last photos we have of him are almost a year old and I can't imagine how much he's changed. I'm desparately hoping he hasn't lost his baby chunky cheeks.
Also, as excited as I was to finally send this care package, now that it's arrived I'm suddenly filled with worry. Now we know that Max has seen our pictures and that he and his foster family know that he's going to be adopted. I wonder how they're handling that and I realize that it may not be the happy occaision for them that it is for me. I know that in the end, Max is going to benefit from being a part of our family. Hopefully, most of the time he'll be happy that he's with us, but I know that up front it will be a huge transition for him. And, even though he'll be gaining alot, there will be parts of him that he will be losing; his foster family, his culture, his language, and that makes me sad. Adoption is so bittersweet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where is Max?

Max is in Gansu province. Gansu province is located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River in northwest China and is one of the cradles of Chinese cultures. It is a unique cultural community made up of many ethnic minorities.
We will be traveling to Lanzhou, the capital city to meet him and bring him home. This is the second largest city in northwest China and is the province's cultural and economic hub.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What are we waiting on?

Max is the easy answer. The longer answer is that we have several steps that we have to go through before we're able to travel and bring him home. If you look at our time line to the left of the blog you'll see all of milestones that we've already passed. The biggest part of that being the wait to find out who our child was going to be. Once we found out who he was, we submitted a letter of intent to adopt him and received pre-approval from the China Center for Adoption Affairs to adopt him. Now we are waiting on our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). That is the official word that he's ours. The typical wait for people in our situation is about 90 days. Once we get our LOA, then we have to wait for Travel Approval (TA). The average for that is about 4 weeks. Once we have travel approval we can make our consulate appointment. Once we have our counsulate appointment we can set our travel dates. If we follow the averages, we are hoping that we will be traveling some time in August. In some cases, the wait can be a bit shorter or significantly longer. So when you hear me shout to the rooftops about all of these letters, now you'll understand why they're so important to me. They're bringing us closer to Max.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Maxwell Dean YunXiao

Deciding on a first name was tough for us. We felt like he had a personality already and his name should suit his personality, but we don't really know what his personality is like. We know a few tidbits. He likes to be outside. He likes to eat. But we don't really know who he is. All we have are a few pictures and phrases that we think represent him. None of the names that we liked seemed like HIS name. Then, it just came to us - Max. He was a Max. The rest of it was easy. Dean is my Dad's middle name. My dad is the most wonderful man that I know and he exemplifies the qualities that I want Max to have. Love and respect for others, generosity, intelligence, and a Godly spirit. YunXiao is a combination of Max's Chinese names. It means fortunate sunrise. That's what Max is to us. A wonderful new chapter to our lives that we are so lucky to be experiencing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Care package

This is a picture of the care package that we sent to Max using Ann from Red Thread China. You can see the photo album at the top which is filled with pictures of Jason, myself, and Ellie. There is also a picture of Ledoux (of course) and our house. I wanted to send pictuures of his new room, but it is nowhere near done. It is getting painted today, but as of now it is still Ellie's room. I also would love for him to see pictures of all of our wonderful family and friends who will be loving on him once he gets here, but I didn't want to overwhelm him. We also sent a letter with some questions about him to his foster family along with some tea to thank them for taking care of him and loving him (as if tea can even come close to expressing that). We sent a camera in hopes that they'll take some photos of his life now so that he'll have those to keep and remember. Finally, we sent some cute little balls for him to play with. Best of all, we were rewarded with some updated measurements from Ann. It looks like his growth is on target and we now have some idea of what size of clothes to get for him. Jason is not going to be excited about that since he knows how I've been so excited to buy some cute little boy clothes. Here are the measurements we got:
height :81cm
weight :11kg
head :49cm
chest :48cm
feet :11cm
teeth up 7 down 6


This post is a bit delayed, but I'm happy to announce that we finally received our LID (log in date). For those not in the know, this is the date that the China Center for Adoption Affairs officially puts our dossier in the system. I picture it in my head as sitting right next to Max's file waiting to be reviewed! That makes me happy. The other important thing that this means is that we get to send our first care package to Max - Yeah! I'm hoping that we'll get some updates back when we do this - more on that later.
OOPS - I almost forgot to tell you the date - March 30,2009. The day the official waiting begins.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

More pictures

I was lucky enough to get these awesome pictures of our chunky little guy from another adoptive mom who's daughter is in the same city as our little boy. I'm so appreciative for these little details that are all we know of his life before us.