Sunday, January 17, 2010

Picture Catching Up!

Here is some happy news to add to the blog. One of the girls from ChenJie's CWI was adopted a couple of months ago. Her mother posted several pictures of many of the children from a camera given to her by the nannies at the orphanage. ChenJie is in almost every picture! I received these pictures in the evening, on a day where I had cried all day, wondering if we were going to be able to go through with the adoption. I considered these pictures a great gift! Right when I needed one.

Elyse is the girl in the orange top, and ChenJie is the one in blue. What is particularly special, is that in these two pictures, we see ChenJie's smile for the first time. I have a number of pictures of her, but none with smiles, not even on her birthday. But apparently on this day, the children were allowed to be outside on their playground equipment. All the kids look happy.

I hope you like these pics. I also hope the nannies at the CWI prepare the other children, when one of them goes away due to adoption. I am only showing you two pictures here, but in the batch that Elyse's mother sent, ChenJie was in 20 pictures! Almost all of them, sitting right next to Elyse.

I am hoping (as a mother worries) that they prepared ChenJie when her good friend had to go away.
It is moments like this, that keep us going in this emotional, and uncertain process which is called international adoption.

Trying to Catch Up!

I actually typed up a big post yesterday, and somehow lost the whole thing before posting it to the site. Bummer..

Here I am trying again. In October, we were able to get an extension until February 16th. Due to issues with both our agency and homestudy provider (mostly the homestudy provider), we will not be done by 2/16. There is no guarantee that we can get a second extension. I know that some agencies are able to get a second extension because of the relationships they have with CCAA (the Chinese govt officials who handle adoptions). I don't know where our agency falls in that category.

One of the bad things that happened with our agency in October, was the Chinese gentleman who was in charge of the China program left the agency. He was very good at his job and very competent. I cannot say that about the woman who has taken over his position. We received our PA (pre-approval) in August, the first time she ever called me to "check on things" was December 29th! I won't even go into the stories about how she doesn't reply to e-mails.

Then there is our homestudy provider. I am so upset with this woman, I can't even go into it. If you live in Florida and are considering adoption, contact me privately and I will tell you who NOT to hire as your homestudy provider. I don't know if she is going through some personal issues in her private life, or she is just so incredibly unorganized, unprofessional and incompetent. But if China does not grant us a second extension in February, and we lose the whole adoption, most of the blame will rest on her shoulders.

Let's hope God has it all in hand and just wants it on His schedule. Not only would it be heart breaking for us, but a little girls life is at stake, and there is no guarantee that she would go on a different list for adoption, or if another family would step up to adopt her. The older the child the harder it is to find a family.

So... that is a brief synopsis of the negativity we have been going through these last few months. Of course there are many more details, which I really don't want to go into.... believe it or not, I am trying to stay as positive as I can. But for the sake of posterity, I thought I would catch people up on what's going on. An international adoption is not without its emotional ups-and-downs. That has certainly been our case.

Our I-800 went to USCIS on January 14th. First it has to go to a payment processing center in TX, and then they send it to Lee's Summit, MO. (We live in Florida, but our agency is in Colorado, thus the more-Western offices being used).
We need your prayers and positive thoughts.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chen Jie's Birthday

Prior to the Christmas music video that I just posted, I had not made a post since October 25th. Chen Jie's birthday is October 27th and as seen in an earlier post we arranged for a birthday cake and presents to be sent to her and the other children at her CWI (orphanage). The nannies at the CWI were kind enough to send pictures of the event.

My first emotional "breakdown" over this adoption process was when I saw a picture of ChenJie with icing all over her face and eating with her hands, as if she was unable to feed herself properly (at the age of 5). I would later find out this is a Chinese tradition to do to the "birthday child," to smoosh icing all over. You can see by the look on Chen Jie's face that she is NOT thrilled by this tradition. Me either, kid, me either!

You can also see in the middle picture, there are 6 candles lit instead of 5. China has been known to get children's age's wrong, and I felt this was another issue that may have come up. Once I researched it, I was told by a Chinese woman living in China, that the Chinese add birthday's up differently than we do. She said in the US, Chen Jie was turing 5, but in China, they count the time that the baby is in the womb, so once a baby is born, they are already a year old. Did you know that? That was a new one for me, too.

Enjoy the pictures. Can the Chinese make an elaborate birthday cake or what?!

Missing You at Christmas

I know I haven't published a post in awhile. Much is going on, but not very good, which is why I haven't written anything.
But I have vowed to catch up. Even if everything all falls through, I should have the story documented for anyone who can learn from our experiences.
Until then, here is a video I found that is appropriate for our feelings during this time of year.

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