22 December, 2010

Merry Christmas from China


This picture is a holiday greeting sent to our agency from Mae's orphanage. Sadly, this is the largest picture they have, so we don't get to see very much... just a glimpse. Cody and I think Mae is the little one on the top right. Look at those cheeks and tell me what you think.

Mae sure does have some sweet cheeks. (:

20 December, 2010

LOA!!



We got our Letter of Approval from China!!! It was delivered to our home Saturday afternoon. The Letter is an ornately decorated page written with Chinese characters. It is such an overwhelming feeling seeing our baby girl's beautiful Chinese name written on the page that we get to sign and send back to China.

They want to make sure we still want her... they don't know how many exclamation points and underlining I wanted to do here. I have to use self control... but yes. WE WANT HER!



Can I just show you something I discovered... here are the dates on the papers that came (our Letter of Acceptance and our Letter of Intent) December 15th is Cody's birthday and September 15th is my birthday. I think that was pretty sweet of our Heavenly Father, don't you? "Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars." James 1:17 My mom said that God has made it very clear that this child is meant for us. I agree, there is not a doubt in my mind that this darling's path to us was chosen for her before she was even born. This time last year we had no idea what was in store for us... and really we still have no clue the blessings that are about to come with being her parents.

02 December, 2010

Panda Present





I saw this giant panda and couldn't resist him... So Mae has the first present under the tree and I'm betting the biggest too. He cracks me up because he's about three times bigger than Mae is, but I think she'll like his fuzzy, giant size. (:

01 December, 2010

Christmas + Mae


Cody and I decided we needed a special ornament on our tree to represent Mae. When Cody asked me where you find ornaments I said, "like Hallmark" and he said, "no, Anthropologie". He's my man for sure! (: So on Black Friday, we went ornament shopping and Anthropologie was the perfect place. We got these sweet mittens that I adore. My thought is this could hold a small note that we can write to her and each year she could pull it out and read it...

Everything I do holds such different meaning and Christmas this year will and already feels so differently. We wish we were waking up Christmas morning together with our baby girl but she is here in our hearts with each moment. I don't know how not to think of her. It is a crazy, anxious feeling but so wonderful too.

On another note, I've filled out the paperwork for our i800 so I'm ready the moment we receive our letter of approval. I'm so ready!

15 November, 2010

LID!!!

We found out that we got our Log In Date from China, 11-12-2010. So unbelievable to me! This happened so fast - our dossier was delivered 2 days before this as you can see from the previous posts. Each step of the way has been at rocket speed! Which is more than we could have hoped for... But been an answer to our prayer! I am overwhelmed today to know that this monumental step has already taken place. Now they say the clock starts ticking to get our girl! Next to come will be our "letter of acceptance" - or LOA.

13 November, 2010

Unbelieveable day of Mae!





We got to see new pictures of our dear Mae today and I am over the moon! Look at those baby teeth!! I can not wait to squeeze her! This momma is longing so badly to kiss on those cheeks! We were told (by the wonderful woman in the photo holding her) that she giggled and smiled the whole time they were there with her! She is a happy girl and my peace of mind is knowing that she is getting a LOT of great TLC in China. There are no words to describe the emotions we are feeling seeing her sweet smiling face this morning! I love her beyond reason and I don't even know her sweet laugh yet!

12 November, 2010

Delivered!!!

We just got the news that our dossier was delivered to the China Center of Adoption Affairs on November 10, 2010. We are waiting for our official LID (log in date) and continuing to pray for this process to be swift and seamless! Our little Mae, WE ARE COMING!! We dream of you every minute and can not wait to start our forever with you baby girl.

05 November, 2010

Dossier to China!!



Our dossier was mailed to China today!!! Our agency just sent the email letting us know! They are several days ahead and we are so overjoyed! Going out to dinner and a movie now (: WHAT A GREAT DAY!!

29 October, 2010

Celebrate!


Here's us just after we dropped off our dossier to our agency. We headed over to celebrate at Cafe Sunflower (one of our favorite restaurants) and dined with Mom and Meridith! We talked about our sweet baby and how anxious we are to hold her in our arms, make her laugh and kiss on those soft cheeks!

26 October, 2010

So... today is a big deal

We got all of our paperwork back from DC this morning, and so we took it all to our agency and turned in our official Dossier!! Now our job is through... for a little while at least. They will translate it and bind it with our photos and send it to China!! We can't wait to hear that we have our Log In Date (LID) -- that China has received it. (:

20 October, 2010

A Scare

I got a call last night from Carol (a wonderful carrier in Washington DC that helps adoptive families) that all of our paper work that we've sent to Washington DC was on a FedEx truck that wrecked and rolled over in Memphis, TN. She was even told it would be another 2-3 days before the packages would be sorted and sent. I was sick, sick to hear this and we didn't sleep last night... I worried that maybe all of our hard work over the past few months could be gone. BUT this morning we did find out that everything got there in one piece, somehow. We are reminded again, that we have no control in this world. Just another praise to God that our papers made it there. So crazy, huh?

19 October, 2010

Papers to Washington DC


On Friday, we went to the Secretary of State and got everything certified from Georgia... we have been waiting on our last piece from Oregon's Secretary of State and WE GOT IT on Monday!! So now we've packaged up and shipped them off to get authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC. We should have them all back a week from today, Tuesday October 25th and be able to take them to our agency. IN ONE WEEK OUR DOSSIER WILL BE COMPLETED! From there, our agency will review everything and make sure we crossed every T and dotted every I correctly, translate it into Mandarin and send it to CHINA!! Once it is in China our time starts ticking down to get our Travel Arrangements to fly to meet our darling baby Mae.

15 October, 2010

HiLo Chair




We got Maebelle's little highchair/booster seat. This is the coolest little invention because it is designed for 6 months to 6 years old... The highchair flips over and on the other side is a seat the perfect height to fit under our table. It is so GREAT to see her little highchair in the corner of our kitchen. Can't wait for our sweet girl to fill it!

13 October, 2010

God has BIG plans





Yesterday was a very hard day for Cody and me... we sold our beloved letterpress shop. Those of you that know us understand that we have poured so much love into our little business and know how upsetting yesterday was. We know that this decision was what we had to do... we can not keep operating our print shop, knowing that the time we spend there would be time away from Mae. I never thought my heart would change to understand this kind of love and sacrifice... but I am glad that it has.

We planned to have a date night last night, to distract us from the bad day and be together. Cody got home from moving the presses out at about 5:00 and jumped in the shower. I heard our mailman so I went to get the mail... (which was extremely late) and I tore up the stairs yelling for Cody. We GOT OUR I-797! We GOT OUR I-797! (This is referred to as the "Golden Ticket"... it is approval from the United States to adopt a child from China.) Let me be frank, this was not a coincidence. This was a gift from our Father... HE delivered this message that HE has this all in HIS hands. HE HAS A PLAN - AND WHAT A BIG ONE IT IS! Our I-797 is said to take up to 90 days and we received ours in 40 days... on this bad day, our Father wanted to show us HE cared. Our day doesn't seem so bad anymore. (: CELEBRATE!

29 September, 2010

Yep, we have more!





We have found the momma of the little girl on the right. She had our Mae in her photos! We are so tickled to have found each other and share these, our girls are in just about every photo together.

Just look at those toes! I can't wait to kiss that sweet baby!!


Look at that dumplin in the corner! Do you see this sweet baby crawling!? I LOVE the one of her looking up at the other kid. She is such a darling. These photos were taken just a couple of weeks ago, on September 10th.

video
Here's our girl again in the bottom corner, chewing on a toy... just a snippet but I'll take it! The little entertainer is named Zoie and she's going to meet her forever family in November! I am very excited to keep up with her momma as they go to China.

28 September, 2010

Video of Mae

video

We found the momma of one of Mae's friends today and she had a video of her daughter and Mae is in it! Mae is the little girl on the left side of the screen (on the nannie's lap). This little girl must share the same room as Mae because she is in our photos too. How amazing is that?!

Just a few seconds of Mae kicking her little leg and clapping with her nannie has me over the moon. I am stunned that we have this little snapshot of our daughter.

NEW photos of Mae

















We just got 17 new pictures of Mae... there are no words to express how exstatic we are to see our sweet little daughter. She is standing and so very beautiful! She sees our pictures... I am speechless. I love her more and more with each new day and today is priceless.

The nannies look like they take such great care with her and the room she is in looks amazing for an orphanage.


Mae celebrating another little girl's birthday, Mae is on the left here.

27 September, 2010

fingerprints!

We got our fingerprints taken today... this is great and we went in a week earlier than our appointment! We are hoping that means that we will get our I-797 sooner.

25 September, 2010

Our hearts are across the world.

Mae is in an orphanage in Zhengzhou, Henan Province in the People's Republic of China. She is 12 hours ahead of us... so as we are waking up, she is going to bed and when we eat our dinner here, she is starting her new day.

21 September, 2010

Care Package


You can see the care package we are sending for Mae above. We chose to send her the panda that is a little larger (she won't get both), stacking cups, disney princess blanket, camera, a soft photo album (we gave 10 photos for her, so she will get to know our faces, her grandparents, her auntie and uncle and even her brothers blaze and griffin) and candy's for the nannies that take care of her. Also, she will get a pretty little cake that will be shared with the other children in her room and the nannies. This is what we *hope* we will get pictures of... please pray that the nannies do decide to give us new photographs of her.

A wonderful woman in China purchased these things for us so that we could get these things to Mae much sooner. Angela has dedicated herself to helping adoptive families ( LadyBugs nLove.com) We can not thank her enough for her amazing help with this!

Just now we got more news!! We just received our appointment to get our finger prints taken, so that we will get the last piece of paperwork needed for China- this is GREAT news.

20 September, 2010

Little package from our agency






We just received a little package from our agency congratulating us on our daughter. Those words give me chill bumps~ there were all her documents, doctors notes (of course in Chinese) and original photographs that came in a little envelope with her name written on it. I am holding something that came from her orphanage. Unbelievable.
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