Monday, September 27, 2010

We Wait

We are still here and we are still waiting. That is what the next couple of months are going to be .... lots and lots of waiting!

Today marks 40 days into our LOA wait! We were told that it could take 1-4 months. Right now the average wait seems to be about 60 days. We are hoping we are getting close to our LOA and that we are on the short end of the wait!

We do know that we are 40 days closer to having our little boy in our arms. Please continue to pray with us for our little boy waiting for us in China and that things will continue to move along with our paperwork!

Friday, September 24, 2010

One More Thing Checked Off The List

A couple weekends ago Eric and I headed to Omaha, NE to finish our Parents in Process class with our agency. Way back in December we did the majority of the classes but the final class comes after referral. We enjoyed meeting other couples who are in the adoption process, it was fun to hear their story and what led them to their journey of adoption. We also were able to again gain insight on this journey. The areas that were covered in our classes were:

Adoption Triad and life long issues of adoption
How to talk to your child about adoption
Attachment and Bonding
Effects of Institutionalization
Transracial/Transcultural adoption
Learning to be a multi-cultural family
Adoption Losses and Gains
Life Books
Seven Core Issues of Adoption
Stereotypes of Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Adoptees
Child Background and History
Child's Behavior and Adjustment to the Family
Family's Strengths, Resources and Limitations
Parents Skills and Adaption to Child

Eric and I were both a little under the weather but it was nice to get away for a night and spend Saturday at the class non the less. Our kids had a blast at friends houses and were not one bit sad to see us go. I think the best part of the weekend was just time for Eric and I to process, talk and focus on this journey were are on. It is so nice to have uninterrupted time away and a lot of time to talk!

It is official we have completed the classes! One more thing checked off the list!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Fun Surprise

On Friday I opened my e-mail to find an e-mail from our agency and an update on little Fu! I opened the first picture, then the 2nd and 3rd about did me in. Our little guy went from a baby into a little boy overnight. It was a very quick realization that he keeps growing while we wait. We are grateful for the good care he is getting and the obvious healthy growth but this mom is a little sad that he is getting so big already! Again, I poured over these pictures and studied every piece of them.

I love seeing him with his caretaker in this picture. The first thing I noticed was his healthy little head of hair. I also love how clean, bright and well taken care of the orphanage appears. It is fun to see 2 other little ones in the pictures with him. I checked out every little corner of the picture from floor to ceiling.

I loved it that we got a little side profile of him. I love his cute little ears and sweet little nose. It is fun to see his crazy hair. It reminds me of Shane's crazy hair! Looks like they will both be going in for frequent hair cuts. I chalk it up to another good sign that it is growing and looks healthy. He looks so alert and look at those cute little hands.

This is the picture that of course brought tears to my eyes. Those little chubby baby cheeks are now cute little one year old cheeks. He looks so happy, alert and yes it is good to see that he is growing. I love seeing his caretaker smiling at him and how cute she is with him. His little half smile is precious. Hold on little man don't grow up too fast!
We also found out in the update that his has grown in weight and height since the measurements we received at referral. He has 4 teeth. They said he has been healthy since his surgery other than the common cold. He loves to crawl fast on his belly and is walking with help. We are hoping there are more of these sweet updates in the months to come!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


After receiving our referral we spent time pouring over Fu Zhi da's file. Fu (foo) means "happy or rich" and Zhi da means "to be made great!" Stay tuned for his American name. We spend most of our time calling him little Fu!

We found out he was brought into care when he was approximately 4 days old. He was found by the Zhangian police and brought to Jinan SWI. They gave him an estimated birthdate of August 6, 2009. When he was 6 days old he became very sick and was taken to the hospital for some complications and had surgery. He was there for 16 days. As I read this in his file the tears flowed. The thought of my little boy, just days old, in a hospital by himself with no one to love on him was heartbreaking. Thankfully they will be days that he will not remember. After his release from the hospital he was taken back to Jinan SWI where he has been cared for ever since. He is a healthy little boy weighing 22 pounds and is is 30 inches long. Now of course we will not know how accurate these measurements are until he is in our arms. But his little chubby cheeks lead us to believe that he is a healthy little boy and is well cared for. The say he smiles easily and likes to be cuddled.

I can't tell you how many times I have looked over his file and the numerous times a day I find myself staring at his picture. I have tried to take in every little detail that I can. I wonder when we see him if he will have all that beautiful dark hair. They often cut it really short or shave it in the orphanage for easy care and in the summer when it is hot. I love his tiny little lips and those little fingers that are spread and raised off the mat on the picture of him laying on his tummy.

I am sure so many others have been in my shoes and have felt the same way ... I need more! When you see a picture of your child for the first time and they are miles away you just want more. I wanted to learn anything and everything about his province, city and orphanage. I e-mailed a dear friend who has walked this road twice and said, "HELP! Will I get anything done until I have him in my arms. All I want to do is stare at his pictures and find out more about him, where he lives and trying to analyze how long will it really be until we see him face to face. She replied with, "No you will not get anything done ... it is called bonding even though you are miles apart!" So when the house is a mess, we are grabbing take out again and there are not clean underwear you know what I have been doing .... BONDING!

Little Fu lives in the Shandong Province.

The Shandong Province is situated in the eastern part of China on the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It borders on the Bohai and Huanghai seas in the east, and overlooks the Korean Peninsula and the Japan Archipelago across a vast stretch of sea. The province has a total area of 156,000 square kilometers (about 60,235 square miles) and a total population of over 90 million.

Shandong, with a history of more than 5,000 years, is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. Shandong has also been the home of a large number of historical figures, whose important influences are still evident in contemporary China. Confucianism, founded by Confucius, the great thinker, educator and statesman in China is the pillar of traditional Chinese culture and has exerted great influence in the world.

The major historical sites in the Shandong Province are:

The inscriptions on clay pots unearthed at Dawenkou and Dinggongcun are believed to bear the earliest Chinese written language.

The ruins of ancient Longshan City which is considered the earliest city in China.

Portions of the Great Wall built during the Qi State period which is believed to be the most ancient great wall in the country.

Jinan, Shandong's provincial capital is one of China's most famous historical and cultural cities. It has numerous natural springs, hence its name 'Spring City'.

Shandong Province is also considered the birthplace of China's pottery, porcelain and silk. Throughout the province the tourist can find traditional items like the clocks and watches of Yantai, the porcelain of Zibo, the kites of Weifang, the shell-carving and beer of Qingdao.

(Taken from China Travel Guide)

He lives in the Capital of Shandong, Jinan.

Jinan, the 'City of Springs' is popular among tourists for its many springs.

Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, is located in the mid west of Shandong.

What kind of city is Jinan? We can see from its various unique characteristics.

Jinan is a historical city with a history of some 2000 years and is famed for its numerous relics. It is the cradle of the Longshan Relics Culture, the reputed prehistoric culture of China and is found in Longshan Town of Jinan, hence the name. In the area of Jinan, you will find far more than you would expect, the ancient Great Wall of the Qi State (a state of the Zhou Dynasty (770B.C. – 221B.C.)), the colored sculptures of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in the Lingyan Temple and so on.

Jinan is the home of Lu Cai (Shandong cuisine), a popular cuisine of China.

The unique tourist souvenirs available in Jinan include Ejiao, Black Pottery, Lu Embroidery and Wooden-Fish wares.

Jinan is the right place to see some very typical festivals including The Lantern Festival in the Baotu Spring Park, the Lotus Festival in the Daming Lake Park and the Double-Nine Festival on the Thousand-Buddha Mountain.

Jinan is a hospitable city and receives tourists from all over the world. Marco Polo once visited Jinan and left words of praise to this city. The Baotu Spring, Daming Lake and the Thousand Buddha Mountain decorate Jinan as a Garden City.

Compared with those capital cities, or other large and medium-size cities in China, Jinan has few advantages and lacks a metropolitan atmosphere, the highlight being its numerous springs. Some people say Jinan's glamour is not merely its enticing natural beauty, but more the warmth of the Jinan people. The beauty of nature is thin and weak, but the beauty that comes from people will last forever.
(Taken from China Travel Guide)

Little Fu is currently residing at the Jinan SWI (Social Welfare Institute), in Jinan City, China.

I have followed hundreds of people on their journey to China to adpot their little little ones over the years. I have web sites marked from 6 years ago of families that I have followed. I have taken in so much valuable information over the years which has been so helpful in our process. One thing I know is that you want your child to be in a Half the Sky Orphanage. I contacted the organization the day after we accepted our referral. I found out they are not part of his orphanage but they have provided training for the care takers at his orphange. I have also been in contact with a handful of families that have adopted little ones from the same orphanage. I was able to go back on their blogs and see pictures of the orphanage and staff as many of them were able to tour the orphanage. They had nothing but amazing things to say about the facility, staff and the amazing care these children are given. One gal said it was in the top 10% of "good" orphanages in China. I am not sure where that stat came from but I will take it as a good sign and it gives this mom a sense of peace that he is being cared for and loved until we have him home.

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