Angel was chowing down on an apple today and then suddenly complained that her tooth hurt. I was pretty sure I knew what that meant and DH confirmed it! Angel's first loose tooth! I should be really excited for her but I have kind of mixed feelings for the obvious reason that it's one more cue that my baby girl is growing up. It's not something I can change though, so I'm just gonna go with it! Most of the other little ones in Angel's Kindergarten class have loose teeth (or have already lost teeth) and she's been *waiting* for her time. She was ecstatic to find out that her tooth was loose - I think she may have even jumped up and down :-) I'm so proud of the little woman she is growing into!
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Hello everyone, I would like to introduce you to my new Nespresso - DH's early birthday present to me. I had no idea that such a machine existed ... one that makes piping hot cappuccinos at your every whim ... available 24/7 at your beck and call. It's like living in a dream! Sorry Starbucks, but you have just been replaced. I knew I had a Starbucks obsession issue but now I have THIS beautiful machine. I have no need for Starbucks anymore - I will take a freshly-made homemade cappuccino any day (or in most cases, *multiple* times a day).
Posted by Nicole Renée at 8:25 PM
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I've had this package *almost* ready to go forever but I was waiting on one toy that I had specially made for Sunshine. I finally got that toy and ultimately decided not to even include it in the care package. I'll save it for when I know she'll get it - when we can give it to her as her parents :-) So this tiny package of 7lbs cost $58 to mail. LOL. Wow. I knew it would be expensive, but sheesh!
I hope she gets this package. But even if she doesn't get it, we'll have plenty of goodies for her when we hold her for the first time! Ohhhh if I knew how far away our trip was, I would count down the days! For now, I count down the days to our next approval :-)
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wow, it's finally here. This is the document we have been waiting 2 months for - 59 days to be exact :-) This is our LOA - China's formal acceptance of us to adopt our daughter - Fu Jing Gui - I can finally share her Chinese name! This finally is feeling more "real." (Although, total sidebar - her name was translated incorrectly on this document - it is actually Fu Jing GUI, not Fu Jing Jia. I only had a minor heart attack when I saw that!)
So for my non-adoption readers ... what the heck does all of this mean? It means that we are a TON closer to bringing our daughter home ... a ton closer to holding her in our arms, feeling her, kissing her, smelling her and loving on her ... a ton closer to her being more than just a referral picture ... so close to her being ours. So very close to her being real. I know God knows her, but I long for the day when we know her too!
There are still several more steps, but this was a big one and we can almost taste our upcoming trip! I submitted our I-800 today - that's the next step - the "Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as Immediate Relative" ... I had to wait until we had the LOA to submit it because a copy of that has to go with it. It's a form needed for the US Immigration side of things. After that is approved, we will wait on several more approvals before we can travel ... my best guess is that we'll be leaving for China in mid-late May! It's later than we had hoped but it will be right around Sunshine's first birthday!
Please keep praying that things move along smoothly and that Sunshine continues to stay healthy! The last update we have from her was from 7 months and she turns 9 months on Sunday! Where in the world has the time gone?!?!?!?!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Angel loves to make sugar cookies so I bought some of those (gasp) pre-made ones that you just throw in the oven. My dad was over on Friday to hang out with the kids and Angel couldn't *wait* to make the cookies with him! I think it's more of the process that's important on these ... LOL. They just don't taste the same as homemade, so they are still sitting in the pantry. That's ok though - it was a good bonding experience :-)
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Yes, adoption has indeed touched my heart ... more than I thought it would in such a short time. Cannot wait to bring home our baby girl ... this is a true lesson from God in patience! We are on day 53 of waiting on our LOA. Ugh.
In the meantime, want a car decal? You can get one HERE at this fundraising mama's blog :-)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I got my haircut this morning by the amazing Julie :-) Lovebug and I had some time to kill in between dropping Angel off at school and my appointment, so we headed to Chic-Fil-A for a very relaxed breakfast. He's a pretty awesome date.
I'm sort of impressed with my iphone's camera capabilities ... although it's extremely noisy even at ISO100, this still isn't a bad picture at all!
Monday, February 14, 2011
The kids were beyond excited to get outside on their bikes! It was just warm enough although a bit windy. They had a blast ... at least until Lovebug took a face dive into the asphalt.
I felt just terrible! And of course, I couldn't tell where he was bleeding from, so I scooped him up, grabbed his bike and the camera and ran inside. Angel did pretty well quickly maneuvering her bike up the driveway. She was also a great assistant with grabbing what I needed. Once inside, I saw (thank goodness), it was just his lip that was bleeding ... but sheesh, there was a LOT of blood. LOL.
I guess it was still good that we got outside?
Friday, February 11, 2011
Friday night at our house. This is a fun game that *everyone* can join in on - Pictureka. It's kind of like a giant "I Spy" game. We simplify it a bit. We love playing games and love them even more when all 4 of us can play together! Awesome Friday night.
PS - A self-timer rocks. It's quite an underutilized tool for me.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Nothing like waiting until the last minute for a school project! Actually I guess it's not exactly "last minute" but close enough. LOL. Angel has to do an "About Me" bulletin board on Monday - each child in the class is getting a turn and the board stays up for one week. One of the things she needs to have is pictures of pets (I just love how disgusted Taylor looks to be doing this - LOL).
I am *SO* glad this was part of the project because I really never include our dogs in any pictures and Angel just adores them. Well actually, she really just adores Raven. LOL. You can see Taylor (on the left) isn't thrilled with posing for pictures anyway, so we took a few with just Angel and Raven. She seriously is in love with this dog.
This next one is my absolute favorite - can you see Raven's tongue? I love that she was trying to give her a kiss. True love right there folks :-)
Very sadly, our doggies are getting pretty old. Taylor turns 11 this year and Raven turns 10. I've had Taylor since college and Raven was DH's dog when they lived with his brother. We kind of stole Raven when DH and I got married because Taylor acted so much more normal with her around. LOL. She was (and still is) a little crazy & quirky but I love her tons.
So the bottom line is that I'm really happy that we did these pictures for Angel's "About Me" project :-) Angel will be so thankful to have these years down the road, and I know I will too.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
It was a typical, nothing-in-particular kind of day in May. We were at home playing. It was a Thursday, a day that Angel didn't go to preschool (LOVED those days). We had the whole day to do nothing and just play. The kids drew on the kitchen doors with window crayons - they just love doing that!
Unfortunately I can't recall much else about that day ... maybe we went to the grocery store ... maybe we went outside to play ... maybe we had macaroni & cheese for lunch (actually there's a pretty good chance we had mac & cheese for lunch - LOL!). It makes me sad that we didn't know she was being born, I wrestle with this birthday thing a lot.
I DO know that I received our family storyboard in the mail that day - I created it from our dossier pictures. So in a way, I guess that's how I can identify with Sunshine's birthday ... knowing that I received something special that was made because of her. I remember feeling like it was Christmas Day because I was so excited to open up the box!
And, just 2 days prior to Sunshine's birthday, while her birth mom was preparing for her birth and a very difficult decision, our kitchen looked like THIS - filled with paperwork to bring our baby girl home. We were also working on our passport photos HERE. It's comforting to know that we were preparing for her arrival just like her birth mom was, but there will always be so many unanswered questions. So for now, this is what I know of Sunshine's birthday - I hope one day we are able to fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces for our daughter.
Here are the finished "artwork" displays from my kiddos on that day - aren't they the cutest? LOL. Lovebug still draws lots and lots of scribbles and Angel's drawing skills have just blossomed while in Kindergarten (I mean seriously blossomed - leaps and bounds blossomed!!).
I am thankful for these images - they aren't anything special but it's nice to know what we were doing on Sunshine's birthday. I didn't even know I had these - I had to go digging because I didn't even blog them last year. That kind of has me wondering though - what else didn't I blog?
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I was THRILLED to be able to celebrate Chinese New Year with our adoption agency. Actually, "thrilled" is kind of an understatement - I was counting down the days all week until Saturday! It was a bit of a drive for us, but so unbelievably worth it! I'm not sure how much CNY celebrating we did - it seemed more like a reunion of sorts, but I guess that's celebration enough! I have been waiting and waiting to meet a few amazing ladies and I finally had the chance on Saturday :-)
This first picture is unfortunately the best group shot that we got - but hey, what can you expect after 2 hours? The kids were SPENT. LOL. I was also forced to use my flash (which I loathe) because it was just too dark for the ambient light. But whatever - at least this super-fun event is documented! This awesome family, the W.'s, will be traveling with us when we go to China to get Sunshine. And not only are they traveling with us, their daughter is also at the same orphanage and was born the DAY AFTER Sunshine. And oh yeah, she also has CL/CP, just like our Sunshine. Ummm, coincidence? I think not - God definitely had a hand in this one :-)
Angie and I have shared *many* emails over the last month since we were matched and we already feel as if we know each other. She's pretty much the coolest and I feel so blessed to be on this adoption journey with her family! I just know that our girls are going to grow up like sisters and I cannot wait for many, many years of wonderful memories with them.
This last picture is of Angie, me and my amazing friend Kelly, who I met at the CNY celebration on Saturday. Well, actually we have "known" each other for almost a year but we didn't technically meet until Saturday. LOL. Kelly was one of the first adoptive mommas I started talking to in this crazy journey - she is the person who pointed me in the direction of my adoption agency. I started emailing with her right before she left for China to adopt her baby girl, L. I had the privilege of "watching" her entire adoption trip through her blog, and I cried right along with her as she received her daughter :-)
I am so grateful for her friendship - she has been such a blessing over this past (almost) year. She has always been willing to answer my silly questions and has been such a support through our journey. She spent lots of time emailing me, praying and talking me through the process when we received Sunshine's referral. She helped give me perspective and was happy to rejoice and praise God with us when we accepted our referral. She has been *such* a blessing - I hope that one day I am able to support another adoptive family the way she has supported us :-)
I know this is just the beginning of many family get-togethers in the future. It was such a pleasure to finally meet both of these awesome families!