Thursday, December 31, 2009

NiHao!!


We made it to Beijing without any problems. Unless you count a 4 year who only wanted to sleep on Mommy the whole trip. We were glad she slept, but...... not too easy on Mama!!

I don't have any pictures to post yet, but we are going to Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City today. Hope to have some pics posted tonight. We are fighting the time change. Especially Syd, she slept the best on the plane and was up at 12am and Tim finally took her downstairs at 2am. I got up about 4am and Samie is STILL sleeping.

IT IS COLD HERE!!! 18 degrees when we got here last night. We are donning the long underwear, hats and gloves for today. Hope it keeps us warm

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In 12 hours....

We will be leaving the house for the airport!!!  YYIIPPEE!!  Finally, we are going to get our sweet Sierra!

Here is our Itinerary-


Dec 31: THURSDAY Wangfujin Grand Hotel
Beijing – Arrive Beijing at 4:25pm. Will be met at the airport
and check in Wangfujin Grand Hotel.

Jan 01: FRIDAY
Beijing - Tour of TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City,
Olympic Green Park. (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Jan 02: SATURDAY
Beijing - Tour of the Great Wall. (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Jan 03: SUNDAY Crowne Plaza Zhengzhou
Will be met by local guide at the airport. Check in
Crowne Plaza.

Jan 04: MONDAY
Zhengzhou – Receive your daughters at the CAB office in the morning.

Jan 05: TUESDAY
Zhengzhou - Interview with CAB have adoption registration done.
Interview with Justice Dept. have notary done.

Jan 06: WEDNESDAY
Zhengzhou – City tour.

Jan 07: THURSDAY
Zhengzhou – City tour and pick up the Notary Documents.

Jan 08: FRIDAY
Zhengzhou – Pick up baby’s passport
Fly to Guangzhou– Will be met by local guide at the airport.

Jan 09: SATURDAY White Swan Hotel
Guangzhou – Child’s medical check up, TB test, picture token and
fill out the forms.

Jan 10: SUNDAY
Guangzhou – City tour.

Jan 11: MONDAY
Guangzhou – Pick up the TB test.

Jan 12: TUESDAY
Guangzhou - Interview with U. S. Consulate at 9:00am.

Jan 13: WEDNESDAY
Guangzhou – Take the oath.

Jan 14: THURSDAY
Guangzhou – Pick up your daughter’s visa.

Jan15: FRIDAY
Fly HOME!!!!


I have decided to e-mail my posts to another adoptive Mom who volunteered to powt for me.  Thank you Donna!!

The next post will be from China, unless I can get some service in Chicago at the airport.  We will have a 4 hour lay over.


Please keep us in your prayers and also Sierra.  She will soon leave everything she knows and her life is about to change in such huge ways. Please pray for peace for her and that her heart will be opened to let us in.  Also, Sydney has been VERY clingy and whiney.  I don't know if it is this trip or not.  But please pray for peace for her also.

Thank you and

HERE WE COME SIERRA!!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing All Of You A



Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

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Christmas Poem

This post is from Samie....

Christmas

The three kings
They traveled far
In the distance
They saw a star
"What does this mean?"
They wondered aloud
They crept away
Without a sound

They were chosen to see a king
Far greater than they
This king that would soon rule the world
Was now nestled in buches of hay
The angel came and said to them
"Come! Your Savior is born"
The kings were frightened but went along
And soon they were no longer forlorn

 
Is this the reason of Christmas? Yes. Over the years, our world has developed many bonuses. Like Santa Claus, giving and receiving presents & much more. But my friends, please remember the reason for the season. Jesus was born to save us, just like He has and always will. Go in peace and serve the Lord. AMEN!



Merry Christmas!
Samie

Friday, December 18, 2009

Test Post

Updated-  It worked!!  It will not let me put pictures where I want, but I will still be able to post and to post pics.  I will clean it all up when we come home and I have recovered from Jet Lag!!  I guess I will need to increase the font size though!




















Trying a test post by e-mail for when we are in China.  China has blogger blocked, so I will have to e-mail my posts in.  Hope this works, here goes....

Where has my little girl gone?


Last night was the Holly Ball for Samie.  It is part of a Cotillion that she is doing this year.  She fussed and fumed when we signed her up for it, but now loves it!  Hhmmm... Mom and Dad are right about somethings!!

Well, here is my baby... all grown up!


She is with her best friend Miranda, they have been friends since pre-school.


And thank you Aunt Laura for making the beautiful necklace, bracelet and earrings!!  Samie loves them!

 
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Happy Birthday Mom/Mema!!



Happy Birthday to you..
Happy Birthday to you..
Happy Birthday dear Mom/Mema..
Happy Birthday to you!!

We love you more than tongue can tell!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's been a long wait, but......



ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


Finally, those two little letters that mean so much!!  We are trying to get a consulate appointment for Jan 12th.  That would have us leaving on the 30th!!  Just 2 weeks from today.  I will post more later, right now I am tired!  We have been celebrating my Mom's birthday.  Her birthday isn't actually until the 18th but Tim has to work that night so we celebrated tonight.

Sierra, we're coming baby!!!!



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"Why Wouldn't I?"



WHY WOULDN'T YOU??






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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just When I Find Something Good......

I just found out that Template Mama has closed up her shop.  I am so upset!  For those of you that are uneducated in the world of blogs- your template is your background paper, header and all the cute things on a blog.  I have found Template Mama's designs to be so easy to work with and she has had some of the cutest designs I have found.  And I REALLY need something that is easy to work with!!!! 

Now I am forced to find a new design master.  As of next month the designs Template Mama made will no longer work.  I am off to have a major pity party!
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

As promised........


 
This girl loves her some turkey neck!! 
(It was cooked for the gravy  and then was supposed to go to my brother's HUGE golden retriever, but little miss grabbed it and started gnawing away!)









Our silly girls!







We're going shopping at WHAT time for Black Friday??!








And this is what I get when I ask to take a picture of her...... "but I have to look pretty Mama"!!
(Boy are we in trouble!!)






I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I hate to say it, but I can't wait to get weekends over with so we can move on to possible news of our TA from China!



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Friday, December 4, 2009

Computer Crash!


My computer has crashed and I am on our little netbook.  So hard to type on this little thing, but it will give me practice for when we are in China.  Hopefully the computer Dr. can fix mine right up and I don't have to be thinking about replacing it now.

And speaking of China....... No, we don't have TA (travel approval) yet, but we are getting close!  We got our Article 5 on Nov. 30th.  That is the last U.S. hurdle we have to jump through and now all of our paperwork is in China waiting for them to issue our travel approval.  How long will that take??, you ask...
Hhmm, good question!  Hopefully it will be about 2 weeks from when we got Article 5.  The average has been anywhere from 1- 4 weeks.  Our agency is telling us that if we receive our TA by the 14th, we can travel the 30th.  Of course we would love to leave sooner, but it is out of our hands and we are trying to accept God's timing in all of this!  He is ever faithful and has blessed us so much already. 

We would greatly appreciate any prayers for our upcoming travel and for Sierra to be prepared for the huge changes she is about to experience.  Even though we have adopted twice before, this time will be so different.  Samie was 9 mos and Sydney was 14 mos when we brought them home.  Yes, there were so many changes for them, but they were still so young.  Sierra is 4 1/2 yrs old and I think the changes will be so much harder on her.  So please keep her in your prayers.

Sorry I can't put up any pics.  They are all on my other computer.  Praying that we will be able to get them off of there.  I hope to get some pics on here this weekend.  If nothing else, I will take some and get some practice on downloading them to this computer and post them.  OK Mom?? 
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

She did it!!!

I am so proud of our girl!!  Look what she did.....


Christmas 2009






This is where she was at in years gone by....


Christmas 2006





Christmas 2007
(NOPE!!  Not going to happen!)






And last year she stood beside Santa only if her sister would sit in Santa's lap!  For some reason I can not find the picture of this.  She has gotten a little braver each year and then this year proudly proclaimed that she was going to sit in Santa's lap.  I did not believe it until she actually sat there!  And doesn't our Santa look a little grumpy??  Big sister Samie thought she was too big to sit in his lap this year.  Let's hope for her sake that Santa wasn't offended and still comes to see her on Christmas Eve!

We have officially gotten our Christmas preparations under way.  Baking has begun, presents are being bought and the house is all decorated.  The girls will put the first candle in their Advent Wreaths today.  I was so happy when Sydney made one in Sunday School today, just like Samie had made years ago.  Now they don't have to fight over who gets to put in the candle! 

The other day my Mom and I were talking about traditions and are they that important to us.  Meaning, should we hang onto them even when they aren't really realistic anymore?  Or should we make new traditions?  We are hanging onto some of ours, but since Tim and I got married we have merged some of each of our families traditions and also made some of our own.  I think first and foremost, we need to remember the reason for this celebration.  The birth of Jesus.  After that, is it really that important if you have the same foods for Christmas dinner every year?

I am interested to hear what traditions you have.  Is there something that you just won't change? 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishing All of You a Happy Thanksgiving!

With very grateful hearts we are thanking God for the blessings
in our lives this year.


 



Take time to give thanks for the many blessings in your lives.  And to appreciate them!


Happy Thanksgiving! 
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank You For Visiting!

I wanted to thank those of you that have stopped by to visit.  We love getting comments!!  And to my followers, you ROCK!  It has been brought to my attention that some people may want to contact us privately and we have not put any way to do this on the blog.  I have now fixed this and if you would like to send us a message you can now do that at ofthesethreethings@yahoo.com

I have added this into the profile also.  So Kathy, if you stop by our blog again, please contact us through this e-mail.  I would love to see any pictures you may have of our sweet girl, Sierra!
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am working on a post about the first 2 Things, Samie and Sydney.  Until then I will leave you with a few random pictures.  Since that is what my family comes here for anyway!


Daddy was trying to get ready to go hunting!


                          





Samie and her best friend at Cotillion
(I do not have permission to post a picture of her friend, so I have covered her face)



Black Belt in Taekwondo
Seriously proud of this girl!




Have a great weekend!  We are extremely busy around here; Cotillion, party for grown-ups (YIIPPEE!) and starting to decorate for Christmas!  Yes, we are those people, the ones who have their decorations out before Thanksgiving!  And we LOVE IT!!
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

November Is National Adoption Month




Adoption has been such a blessing to us, it has changed our lives forever.  Please consider what you can do to touch the life of an orphan.
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!  Hope you had a fun filled and safe one.  We finally got around to carving our pumpkin this morning.



 So much fun!



Digging in





Pumpkin love




The final product


This year for Halloween Samie wanted to be Dorothy.  So my mom, Mema, made her costume for her.  She is an amazing seamstress and will do anything for her grandchildren!  The costume turned out so cute.  Then we have Sydney..... well for months we have asked Sydney what she wanted to be for Halloween.  Every time we would get a different answer, but we would say OK!  In the past she has wanted no part of dressing up.  Then a few weeks ago she started saying, "No, I no dress up, I just want to be Sydney."  No problem I thought, we will just put on one of her Chinese outfits and she will be Sydney!  When I told her this, she would tell me, "No, I not Chinese!  I Sydney!"  Too funny!  She did finally let us put her outfit on her tonight and she was off and running.  And yes, those are Cr*cs she is wearing!  Her favorite shoe.



Happy Halloween!


This is actually the first year Sydney has really enjoyed Halloween.  Samie has always loved it.  Are you kidding.... with all that candy?!  So once again they made a haul and the candy will just have to quietly disappear in the next few weeks.  I am sure Daddy will help with that! 
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Friday, October 30, 2009

The Long Bumpy Road

Our current journey started on New Year's Day of this year.  I have never been able to completely say we were done with kids and have been looking at all the available children since we brought Sydney home.  On New Year's Day I was looking on Rainbow Kids and there she was.  An adorable little 3 year old.  I told Tim about her and he said to contact the agency that had her file.  We never expected to hear from the agency until the Mon or Tues after the holiday.  But that same night we received an e-mail from the China Asst. Director of Faith International Adoptions.  She said the file was still available and she would send it to us that night.  We looked through it and said YES, this is our daughter!

We were able to start our dossier, the paperwork that is sent to China, right away.  Our preliminary approval came on Jan 19th.  Our dossier was logged in to the CCAA, China Center for Adoption Affairs, on May 27th.  Now the wait for approval had begun.  Normally the wait for LOC, letter of seeking confirmation, takes from 2-3 months.  This is where the road gets bumpy!

We waited 149 days for our LOC.  We found out from our agency about 3 weeks prior to that, that a problem had occured.  Apparently the CCAA's bank in China had rejected the check our agency had sent with our dossier.  Never telling our agency!!  We are still unsure why it was rejected.  They are speculating that there was a tear or mark on the check that the bank did not like.  But WHY would they not contact our agency??  We will never know.  Several families from different agencies had this same problem around the same time as us.

OK, now we know the problem and can get approval, right??  Wrong!!  The CCAA was going on holiday for the Autumn Moon Festival and then they had a staff retreat and then the person who signs the LOC was out of the office!!  Well, 3 weeks later we finally received LOC on Oct 23rd.  YYIIPPEE!!

So now we are in the wait for our TA, travel approval!  This is taking 6- 10 weeks.  The majority of this wait is on the US side.  USCIS has not made bringing home our children easier!  It is much more time consuming.  But we are keeping our eye on that treasure at the end of this long bumpy road!  Our Sierra! 
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Of These Three Things...

Thing 1-  Samantha, "Samie"
beautiful,smart,athletic
loving




Thing 2-  Sydney, "Syd"
beautiful, energetic, fearless
loving





Thing 3-  Sierra
soon to be discovered




Three things that fill our hearts!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to our journey to our next daughter.  We'd love for you to follow along as we walk this rather bumpy road together.  So far it has proven to be quite the ride!  I will fill in the blanks in the next few posts.  For now I am just so glad to finally have this up and running!
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About Me

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Hi I'm Sandy, a stay at home Mom to Samantha and Sydney and wife to an amazing man who is not afraid to live in a house full of estrogen...although he does work a lot! Welcome to our blog~

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