Two weeks

In two weeks we will be on our way to China.  I posted some dates in the last post and since we got the word we have been busy sending off for our Visa's, buying airline tickets and getting all our final supplies together for the trip.  We have also been exchanging lots of messages with our travel group, as well as other folks who have been to China before, who are providing us with great information about what to bring and what to expect.  We should be getting a more detailed itinerary in a couple of days from Uncle Zhou (our China Coordinator and guide) with our schedule, hotel information, etc.   We are on top of the world right now, just crazy - out of our minds - with excitement!  

I spoke with Chris at our agency today and they said we will meet the babies on Monday, June 16th at 11:00 am.  They were trying for June 15th, but since there are 6 different orphanages involved, it was impossible to coordinate everyone for Sunday.  It will still be Father's Day here however - 11:00 pm, but Father's Day nonetheless!! Chris also told me that we will have plenty of time when we meet the babies to ask questions about them, their schedules and their likes and dislikes.  Not only that, but if questions or issues come up once we leave, we will still be in the province for several days, so we can have our guide contact the orphanage/foster mom.  This is a great relief to me, as I want to know as much as I can to make the transition as easy as possible for LilyKate and Eleanor.  I can't believe we will be with them in a little over two weeks...we still look at each other in disbelief and amazement all the time.  We can't wait!


We're going to China!

We just heard the news from our China Coordinator that we have our travel dates.  We are leaving for Beijing on June 12th, then on to Nanchang on June 15th (when we meet our daughters!!), and finally to Guangzhou on June 20th. We will be coming home via Hong Kong departing on June 25th.  I have to go call the travel agency now, but wanted to share the good news with you all right away...this is it everybody - we are going to China to bring our babies home!!


Travel approval!

We found out this afternoon that we have Travel Approval (TA)!  Now our agency can request our Consulate Appointment (CA) at the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China.  Once our CA is confirmed, travel arrangements will be finalized and airline tickets purchased.  We were told this should happen by Wednesday of next week.  They have us tentatively leaving on June 12th, receiving the babies on June 15th (Father's Day) and then going to the Consulate on June 23rd.  It is possible we could leave a week earlier, or later, than June 12th, but this is the tentative itinerary. We will definitely post the official dates here as soon as we have them.  This is starting to feel real now and we can hardly wait to travel to China and meet LilyKate and Eleanor.  The journey we have been dreaming about for so long is about to happen and we are so excited!!  In just a few short weeks we will be meeting all the families in our travel group, touring Beijing, climbing the Great Wall, and then flying to Nanchang to meet our daughters and become a family -  of four!!


Baby Shower

My dear friend, Melanie, hosted a lovely baby shower for me, several weeks ago. She is an amazing hostess and always does everything with great style and taste and this was definitely no exception. The menu was delicious and the decor just beautiful. The umbrella's suspended from the ceiling were the perfect touch! I will be enlisting her help for future birthday parties - be warned Aunt Melanie! In the photos you will see her gift, placed on the dessert table- an adorable Wheely Bug. This is so unbelievably cute and I told everyone there that I had a hard time deciding between the Bee and the Bug, but what I didn't know that day was that I would soon have a very good excuse to go out and get the Bug as well. I appreciate everyone being there and received some wonderful gifts. It was a new experience being the honoree, but I enjoyed every second!

Here are a few shots from the day:


Quick update on the earthquake

Many of you have called or emailed me this week about the devastating earthquake that occurred in China.  Our girls are living in the Jiangxi province, which is 700+ miles from the epicenter in the Sichuan province.  We have heard from our China Coordinator and everything is fine - the girls are safe.   Unfortunately, this is not the case for tens of thousands of people.  Please keep all those affected in your prayers over the coming weeks and months, as they begin the process of dealing with this tragedy and rebuilding their lives and homes.  Here is a link to a great map that shows the areas and orphanages that have been affected.  If you want more information, or are looking to help, check out one of these two great organizations, Love Without Boundaries and Half the Sky, who both have people on the ground in China working hard to help people cope with this disaster.  


Updates on our girls!

We just received some updated info and pictures of LilyKate and Eleanor and man, are they cute! As you can see in the photos, they are both growing and look very healthy. LilyKate is in yellow and Eleanor is wearing pink. The report says that LilyKate weighs 20.46 lbs and Eleanor is 21.12 lbs. They are both 25.6 inches tall.  They each have two teeth on the bottom and a bit more hair on their heads. They are developing well and love to play with each other. Wow, they are so much bigger and more adorable than their referral pictures, if that's even possible!  We have a call scheduled with our agency on Wednesday evening and will know our itinerary soon.  We should be leaving the second or third week in June. I didn't think it was possible to be more in love with these two girls, but I was wrong!


Answered Prayer

The past few days have been wonderful, incredible and emotional!  We got the call on Friday and had just a couple of hours to call and email our friends and family, then it was off to the rehearsal dinner for our niece Erica and fiance Robb.  We were reeling from the news that we were FINALLY parents, and to TWO babies!  I really don't think there are any words that can adequately describe what that moment was like when they told us there were two.  We saw their faces and we loved and recognized them INSTANTLY.  We are still trying to get our minds around it and we look at each other every know and then and just say "Twins!"  The blessing of these two precious girls is more than we hoped for and definitely more than we expected.  As usual, God has greater and more amazing plans for our lives than we could possibly imagine! Many of you have emailed or left comments asking if we knew we were getting twins, or if we requested them. We did request twins.  It was on our home study and we talked with our wonderful agency about it, but I don't think we ever really expected it to happen!

We had family obligations all weekend, including the beautiful wedding and reception for our niece.  We attended church on Sunday, where we got to share the news and celebrate our joy with more family and friends who have been praying for us for these past 2 1/2 years.  We know it is in large part their love and prayers that have caused us to be so richly blessed!

We received more good news yesterday that our girls are in foster care and have been since they were a month old.  This is wonderful since we know they have been getting individual attention and lots of affection from their foster mom. This will help tremendously with attachment and bonding.  The report said they have very different personalities. Xin Ling (LilyKate) is more quiet and Xin Long (Eleanor) is more active.  They like to watch TV and love music!  They love being outside and are not shy with strangers. They like to be held and teased.  With every word we just fell more in love and can't wait to meet them. We sent our acceptance letters back and should hear later this week regarding travel dates.  We think we will travel around the second week of June - it can't come soon enough for us!  



More details on the lovely LilyKate:
  • Her name is Shang Guan Xin Ling
  • She is in foster care in the Jiangxi Province with her sister Eleanor
  • She is described as quiet and a deep sleeper
  • She is fond of music and playing games
  • She is quick in reaction and has a ready smile
  • On 10/8/07 she weighed 4.7 kg and was 53 cm long


Some more information on our sweet Eleanor:
  • Her name is Shang Guan Xin Long
  • She is in foster care in the Jiangxi Province with her sister LilyKate
  • She is described as active, restless and fond of imitating
  • She is fond of music and has a ready smile
  • She laughs aloud and imitates sounds
  • As of 10/8/07 she weighed 4.9 kg and was 54 cm long



With overwhelming joy and gratitude, we proudly announce the referral of beautiful twin girls - Eleanor and LilyKate.  
They were born on July 1, 2007 in the Jiangxi Province - 10 months old!!

We are thrilled beyond words and can't wait to travel and hold them in our arms!

Today is the day!!!

We have been contacted by our agency that referrals are in the office and are currently being copied and translated - we will be getting a call any minute!  We are beside ourselves right now!  We will post info and pictures as soon as we can.  


In the air?

There are rumblings that something is in the air...could it be the stork?  We are unsure of when it will land, but right now a couple of agencies are saying Monday.  If the CCAA mailed off the referral packages before they left for the May 1st holiday, they might even arrive tomorrow!  

Prayers please and/or fingers crossed - whatever works for you, just do it now!