Friday, July 31, 2009

One step closer

Well, we are waiting for the UPS truck, or the Fed Ex truck, to pull up to our house and deliver the LOA, or "Letter of Acceptance" which was signed on Tuesday in China, and is en route to us. Once the LOA arrives, Matt and I will sign it, and next-day it to Maryland, who will then send it off to China again. At that point we wait for TA or Travel Approval, and then a CA, consulate appointment. (Are you confused yet?) Once we get the CA we can book our flights. The bottom line is that we are somewhere around 6 to 8 weeks from traveling. I know that sounds like a long time to most of you, but it sounds like minutes after waiting two years for Shane.
At this point, we can begin to put things in order for what we will need. We went to China in February last time, so our suitcases will be packed very differently traveling in September or so! No winter coats, gloves, sweatshirts! Truthfully, it was not all that cold in China when we were there, and I hate the heat...ugh. But, Matt and I are traveling with Sophie, and are planning on laying low with tours and traveling around the city where we go.
Because Shane is now in foster care, and has not been in the orphanage for more than a year, we are not planning a trip there this time. For Sophie, the orphanage visit was important and meaningful as she knew the people well who had cared for her. Shane will not remember the orphanage or the people there, and the trip is two hours from the province capital. As it is, two days before that he will have traveled two hours to come to us, so we don't need to put him through that.
We are expecting a more difficult time with Shane's transition than we had with Sophie. Because he has been with his foster family for a while, we will be taking him away from the only family he has known. (He was brought to the orphanage at 7 months) Added to the trauma, we will not be familiar to him at all, will not speak his language, etc. To help to buffer this for him, last week we sent him a tape player, lots of batteries, and a tape of songs and one of Matt and I talking to him, singing to him, and reading him stories. Our hope is that by hearing our voices, he will have some comfort that he has heard them before, and was told that we were his family and would love him and care for him. In addition, I wrote him a letter, which will be translated into Chinese by the agency liaison, and I Brailled the letter for him to have to 'see' the words we sent to him. I so hope this help. In any event, we are prepared for the grieving process that is so common for children who are adopted internationally. And then again, Sophie will be there, and she will be all over him with love and hugs and kisses!!! Hearing her laugh, it is very hard to stay sad!
Keep checking in. Once we get closer to traveling, I will route you to a new site to follow our journey as it is an easier site to download pictures and info in China. (You cannot use blogger in China...imagine that)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

" I want to say 'I Love You"

Yesterday when Sophie and I were talking about going back to China to get Shane, she asked to see her pictures from China. We pulled them up from the computer, and she looked at them one by one. She so enjoyed them, with an added bonus: She had her CI processor on, so for the first time, she heard her voice, and ours from the speakers. She laughed hysterically at her screaming, which was all she did back then. One of the videos (you can see them on was Matt playing around with her in the hotel room. At one point he said, "Say thank you, Baba' and Sophie just said something unintelligible. Watching the video, she laughed and said "I didn't know 'thank you'"
Then she saw the pictures of the orphanage visit, and she was very intrigued, and told me lots of things about the kids there..specific details (in sign) about the kids and their personalities.
Sophie had a very special nanny who loved her very much. The two of them clung to each other, and we all sobbed when we pulled Sophie out of this young girls' arms. When she saw her favorite nanny, she asked if she could go back to China. She signed "I want to say 'I Love You".
Something tells me she wants to tell Sophie the same thing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Where's Sophie?"

Yesterday, Sophie was asking me when we are going to get Shane. She does this airplane thing, where she makes one hand the airplane, and the other the people getting on. She signs "Mom" " Dad" "Sophie" then flies off, and signs: Shane. She signed, "go, get Shane". I told her we were waiting, just like we waited for her, that we were ready, but we were waiting for the people in China to get the papers ready. Lots and lots of papers. She looked at me very solemnly and signed "Shane waiting, crying, saying 'Where's Sophie?' Pretty sure the bonding has already begun.

She is doing exceptionally well with her CI. From across the room, without her looking, she attempts to repeat words we say. If the words are familiar, she can do it no problem. Unfamiliar words she will try. Therapy is going well, and she is very much up for the challenge. She loves games, hates losing, so her therapist, Amy, stages just enough wins to keep her happy, and just enough losses for her to be motivated to do better next time.

Just heard form the agency today that they are waiting for one more signature before we get our LOA, which is the next approval before finding out when we travel. Once we get the LOA, travel could be 4-6 weeks away. Our prayer is to get Shane before his birthday August 28th, and for him to be home before Mick goes to school...please join us in this prayer.

Deo Gratia. A picture of Shane from Feb 08...we were in China getting Sophie, another adoptive family met Shane and took this picture. Thought you'd enjoy it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Pictures!

Here they are! I was so thrilled when I got online yesterday and saw the new pictures of Shane! He looks so cute, getting big...and seems so happy. Waiting for an update on the status of our file. This agency was willing to look into how we are standing in line, as it were. Will post as soon as we hear anything.

Last night Sophie and I started making books for Shane. We did a numbers book, where we glued large buttons on each page, to represent the numbers one through ten. We did the numbers in puffy paint, and will add Braille today. She had a ball doing it! She is very excited about Shane, and is looking forward to going with Matt and I for the trip.

Have a good one.