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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We booked our flight!!!

It's official!! We are going to China and are leaving 6 weeks from today, which is Tuesday, May 3rd. That also happens to be Avery's 5th birthday-happy birthday to her!! Jaime has been working with a travel agent who specializes in international adoption and they finally nailed down our itinerary so we booked our flights to and from Hong Kong today! We fly into Hong Kong because Anna Wei Wei is in south China and that is the closest airport to where we need to be. We leave early May 3rd and return Thursday evening, May 19th so we will be gone just over 2 weeks. One thing they include in this trip is a tour of Beijing for a day but we opted to skip that and instead take the girls to Disneyland Hong Kong for the day! We surprised them with that just a few nights ago and they are very excited!!

We are really hoping 'Gotcha Day' will be May 8th, as that is Mother's Day. Gotcha day is the actual day when we will get to not only see in person, but hold our precious daughter, Anna Wei Wei, for the first time and from that day on, we will be a Forever Family!! Our agency said it will either be the 8th or 9th and we will know for sure in a day or so. Our US consulate appointment is set for May 17th and we fly home the 18th, not getting back here until the 19th. Some have asked how long the flight is...well, it's a total of about 18 hours of flying time. From here we fly to California and that flight is about 4 hours, then we have a layover that lasts a few hours,then from California we fly straight to Hong Kong and that flight is 14 hours.  Then we do the same thing coming back, fly from Hong Kong to California (this time the flight is about 13 hours) and then another layover in California, and then from there to DFW in a 4 hour flight!!

I can't believe this is finally happening ,and soon we will be meeting our daughter! Thanks again to everyone who has been with us every step of this journey. We could not have done it without your prayers and support! We appreciate you all!!
Much love,
Melissa

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We're going to China!!!!!

Ok, there has been quite a lot that has happened recently but I'll start with the first bit of news that we received last week and that is Travel Approval! That is one of the last steps we were waiting on and now that we've gotten it all that is left is making our Consulate appointment and then booking our flights to China! Our agency is working on our consulate appointment and we hope to hear back from them THIS week and that should confirm that we will be going to China on May 5th! That is 7 weeks from tomorrow, March 17th!!! So, we have lots to do to get ready to bring our 3rd daughter HOME!! As soon as we hear when our consulate appointment is and book our flights we will let you all know!

This morning before Jaime left for the fire station he woke me up to show video footage Jenny had sent us of Anna Wei Wei (so needless to say I was not one bit upset he woke me up at 5 am during spring break ;-) She sent us 5 different videos of Anna at the place she is at and has been for the last year (all recent footage). I will post some of them on the blog so you can enjoy them too. They are just precious!!

And onto other BIG news and a HUGE praise is we heard back from Show Hope (the Steven Curtis Chapman organization for orphans) and they have awarded us a grant!! Thank you Lord!! We applied to two different organizations for grants and heard back from one a few weeks ago that we had been denied so we had been hoping and praying that this one would help us with our travel funds and they did! And really, how fitting is it that this one chose us to help?? I mean, considering it was Steven Curtis Chapman himself that planted the seed in our minds to even consider adopting from China 6 years ago at his concert! Just amazing how God works that way!!

Ok, now onto some videos of our precious Anna Wei Wei! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!

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~Melissa

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 3rd...a Big Day!

Thursday, March 3rd turned out to be a BIG day for us! First, when I woke up and checked email that morning I received an email from Jenny, (the lady in charge of the home/facility that Anna Wei Wei is at) saying she was admitted into the hospital and was going to be having her cleft palate surgery that weekend! Needless to say we were shocked! We were told months ago she was set to have this surgery in April but once our adoption process started to move quicker than expected and we were hoping to go to China in late March/early April we just assumed she had been taken off the list for the surgery, especially since we didn't hear anything else about it! Then back in February some papers we had expedited to China in late January didn't make it there until AFTER Chinese New Year (mid February) pushing back our travel dates. At the time we were so upset, but NOW we realize it was all part of God's perfect plan and His amazing timing! Had we gone to get her in March/April then chances are they would not have done the surgery, and we emailed Jenny telling her it looked like it would be May before we could get there, so that could have possibly been the reason for the surgery being in early March.

Yes, of course we would have LOVED to have been there for her and with her during this difficult surgery but after doing research on cleft palate surgery, it really is one that is 'the sooner the better'. Had we gotten her before this surgery, it would have been soo many changes for her such as a new family, new home, new country, new language and then on top of all that to be put through such a major surgery, it might have been too much! This way, she is being comforted by those that she is familiar with and understanding the language in which they are using to comfort her...hope all that makes sense??


Here are some pictures they sent us of her after her surgery this past weekend!



Later in the afternoon on the 3rd of March, we had another homestudy visit. We are suppose to have one before we travel so this was that one! We will have one more but that will be post adoption. Our last social worker, Tiffany, had a baby last year so is no longer doing home study visits so we met with a new one. Her name is Beverley and she was very nice and had LOTS of helpful information. She gave us lots of tips on the traveling and the transitioning phase of starting our new family with Anna, so that was nice! It was almost a bit overwhelming, but we know it's things we need to think about it so it was good for us. She also was very excited to hear about the place Anna Wei Wei is at because she has volunteered over in China with a home that is associated with Wei Wei's home and had many nice things to say about the place, so that was so reassuring to hear that!

We are still awaiting Travel Approval so as soon as we have that, we will let you all know. We are thinking it will be May when we travel to get her, but again that all depends on when we get our TA! Hopefully it will be soon...

Hope you all have a great Spring Break next week!
~Melissa

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shower and Article 5

I am blessed to be a part of an amazing ABF class at our church. (Adult Bible Fellowship class). They threw me a baby shower for our sweet Anna this past Saturday and it turned out wonderfully! Anna is definitely set for when she gets here!! She got clothes, pajamas, the necessities (changing pad, covers, crib sheets, hooded towels) and much much more!! We played games, ate delicious (and cute) cupcakes and had a great time! Now I've got to get a move on with putting her room together with all the wonderful gifts I received at the shower!

We heard yesterday that our Article 5 was picked up so the LAST thing that is standing between us and getting Anna is our TA (travel approval). As soon as we receive that we can make our US consulate appointment and book our trip and then we will be on our way to get our precious daughter! We can NOT wait!

Since it still may be another month or two before we go we plan on sending another care package this week so as soon as she gets it, hopefully they will take pictures like they have before, I'll post them!

Thanks again for your continued support and prayers!
Love ya'll!
~Melissa