Friday, June 24, 2011

Over the next hurdle, leaving in 3 weeks!

On Wednesday, we received official word that our Travel Approval, which is what China issues to let us know we can come get Marlo, had arrived! All we needed was an appointment with the American Consulate and travel arrangements could be made. It is set and I leave Thursday, July 14th to meet Marlo! My first few days will be spent in Beijing then I will travel to Nanchang to meet Marlo on Monday, July 18th. I cannot wait to see her precious face and hold her in my arms.

Flight arrangements and seat assignments are done. Visa is done. Paperwork to bring to China is all at home, but not organized. Our "formal living room" which is used somewhat infrequently for practicing piano and almost daily for basketball and knee hockey, has been transformed into a drop zone for anything China packing related. The piano is hard to get to and the basketball hoop (which is continually being brought back upstairs after I bring it downstairs) is behind a couple boxes of pampers, some wipes, bottles, lotion, spoons, baby toys and Ilei's clothes from the past six years. Uggh. I am calling in for big help next week for sorting, organizing and packing-my mom! (It doesn't really matter how old you get, it always seems like a quick phone call to mom makes every enormous task seem that much easier.) Hopefully soon, the kids can play knee hockey or basketball and even get to the piano again. And I will be able to see a glimmer of hope for being ready to go.

Baby steps in getting ready, along with baseball tournaments, soccer games and figure skating should make the next three weeks fly by. And hopefully I will get everything done. Including putting the crib up ...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The girl with curls!

We ordered a care package from a lady named Ann in China that will have it delivered to Marlo.  We sent Marlo a blanket, and also included a disposable camera that we will hopefully get pictures back of her orphanage, caretakers and everday life, a flash drive to place any documents, photos or any other digital information from the orphanage, cookies for her caretakers and also warm winter pants for the children still there.   I ordered this Tuesday afternoon our time.  By Tuesday night (our time, Wednesday morning in China) we heard back from Ann.  She was hoping to get shoes to the children instead of pants and also asked if I would like to write a letter to the orphanage staff that she would translate for me and include in the package. Wednesday morning I sent off the letter and by 10:30 (our time) last night, I received an email from Ann stating that she had updated photos of Marlo and she would get them to me as soon as she could go through her emails that had piled up.

This morning we received the cutest pictures of Marlo!  (Well, I think they are cute and pretty sure her dad does too - but we may be a little biased.)  And believe it or not, it looks like our little Marlo may have some curls in her hair!

I can't explain how much I loved getting these updated pictures and how excited I am to put some bows in that hair!  We didn't have any of these options when we were in the adoption process with Ilei.  Not sure if that is a good thing.  The more information and photos I get, the more I want!  The pictures were taken June 16, 2011 all around 8:45 a.m.  I love looking at this little face - it warms my heart and makes it ache all at the same time.  I cannot wait to bring her home!  

(This is Ilei's favorite because there is a cucumber by her foot!)

Hopefully, we will get our Travel Approval soon and can leave about 2 weeks after receiving that.  Mid-July cannot come fast enough!  

Now, only if there was a way to have them take some video of her . . . asking a little much??   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

As close to her beginning as we can get

Last night we received Marlo's finding ad.  Giving us a link to her very beginnings.  Probably the first picture ever taken of her.  We see how her hair has grown in, how her eyes seem to be focused on something.  We see the changes from this picture to her referral picture.  And now we wait for our updated pictures we have requested to see how she has yet changed in the recent months.  Looking at the baby in the photo makes me wish time would go faster, but only up until the time I hold her in my arms, when I will then wish for time to stop.  

I cannot wait to hold her, feed her, bathe her, snuggle and bring her to her new home.  It is not her first home, but it will be her forever home.  This loud, crazy, busy, loving home.  We are ready.  Not maybe ready with all things being set up and put in place, but ready in our hearts.  The rest of that will fall into place.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Marlo it is!

We received this today!

Our package from the agency arrived this morning and we also received her translated reports.

Our little Marlo has been described as being able to speak to herself, responds to adults speaking to her, is interested in colorful toys, she is quiet, and can play alone.  Oh, and is also known to be obstinate, sometimes impatient and likes to cry!!!  Gotta say, that makes me smile.  Knowing what you want and how to get it when you want it - she will need that here with 4 brothers and 1 sister ahead of her!

All our paperwork has been overnighted back to the agency today.  Hopefully, Friday afternoon, our acceptance letter will be on it's way back to China and we will be one step closer to that first moment of melt my heart.

There have been a lot of other June families that have so generously took time to give us further information about our little Marlo.  I know they have a lot on their plates, some just getting home, but they still made an effort late at night or early morning to get us as much information we can get our hands on.  There is something about the adoptive world.  Families start as just a family, but find you enter an entire community where you all just want to see everyone put their head on their pillow at night with a smile on your face.  It is a community where no one is left out and you feel a bond with those that travel this journey with you.  In fact, I spoke with a mom that walked this journey with us when we adopted Ilei.  Our girls were from YiYang SWI and came home in 2004.  She has an older daughter is from Jianxin SWI!  My oldest daughter and her youngest daughter are both from YiYang and her oldest and my youngest are from Jianxin!  Both our girls share their beginnings - so unreal that out of all the places and people in this world, my two baby girls and her two baby girls will always have that tie together.

How they match us and why, will stay a mystery, but they have a way to bring us together.  Here is Marlo's referral picture with a snapshot of Ilei taken the day I got her in China.  Although Ilei is a few months older in this picture, we think there is quite a similarity between the two.