Thursday, September 22, 2005

I can see the light at the end....

..of the journey to Esther, that is! Or at least the paperchase part! Today, we got in the mail our I-171h from INS which is our next to last document we need to be done. Also, we got my mom's birth certificate back from authentication at the U.S. Department of State in D.C. We got a kick out of seeing Condoleezza Rice's signature on the forms! Now, we are just waiting for my parent's background checks to come in. They had them done two months ago, but they needed to be signed by a police officer and be notarized, so they had to be redone. We were told they would expedite them.. so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we'll get them by next week at the latest!!!!

Since we got our new computers, I have been working on Emma's adoption video for the past few weeks. It's coming out pretty nice, there's just a few things I need to change/fix/add but for the most part it is complete. We have gosh, probably over 6 hours of video tape from China and I had such a hard time picking and choosing which clips I should us. Right now the video is almost 30 minutes long!! Certainly not how long I planned on it being.. but there was so much I couldn't leave out. Watching all of the video makes me so EAGER to get back to China for Esther!! I completed the Gotcha Moment part yesterday and let Emma see what she thought of it, since it is her movie! She was a little puzzled, but I pointed to her and aid "There's Na Na" (her orphanage nickname) and she pointed to herself. Then she saw how she was handed to Mommy, and of course kept pointing Mommy! I pointed to her nanny and said "ayi", but she called her Mommy too. It was so precious when she watched when she was handed to my mom, and she was crying so she asked me "why am I crying?" And I told her because she was scared, but that it was okay because Mommy, Daddy and Sera had come to get her and bring her home. I don't know if she understood it, but one day she will. She loved seeing the clips of her friends in the video. She kept pointing to them and smiling. :-) Hopefully the video will be done soon! This is my first attempt at any kind of it has taken a bit longer than I thought, but so far I really like how it has come out. Oh I can't wait to start working on Esther's movie!!!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Welcome to our journey to Esther!

Okay.. so those of you who us, know that it really is ME who updates our website all the time, even if I write it from my mom's point of view! We just got new computers, and our website doesn't run on them (Mac's) so I needed to find a new way to post our journey to China. Blog's seem to be the new hip thing, so I needed to get one!!

A little background info:

My name is Sera and I am the oldest child in my family, of six children, along with my parents, Nancy and Claudio. I'm almost 16, then we have my four sisters Elena-14, Kayla-10, Emma-2 1/2 and we're waiting for Esther who is also 2 1/2. I have ONE lonely little brother, Ian who is 7. If I could convince my parents.. we would go back to China for a brother for Ian!! So maybe we just might in a few years.. we'll see. First we need to get Esther home!

We adopted Emma Grace YunNa from Beijing, China on August 24, 2004, when she was 18 months old. I accompanied my parents to China and it changed my life forever. China was absolutely amazing!! Words cannot describe how awesome it was and how much it changed my life. I know my friends hear me talking about it all the time, but it was such an amazing experience for me. I cannot wait to go back and look forward to hopefully having a career there?? Who Knows!

Anyways, after we were home with Emma for a few months we knew we wanted to adopt again. To read our story about how we found Esther, you can go back to our website or to this link:
Esther just happened to fall into our laps when we first saw her. She was the right age we wanted, had the special need we could handle and was from Guangdong Province.. which means 2 weeks at the White Swan!! Yipee!!! We sent in our Letter of Intent on March 11, 2005. Because we have five children (which is more than China's requirement) we had to get a special waiver for her adoption. We received our Pre Approval and Family Size Waiver on June 14, 2005. Since then we have been paperchasing like crazy. Finally, we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our I-171h should be here this week (at least I am hoping-if not.. it could get ugly!) and my parent's criminal background checks, which had to be redone since they got the "wrong" kind of form. Hopefully that will be here this week too. My goal was to be DTC before the end of this month.. I am still optimistic, but we'll see. It looks like at least an October Log in Date and then we wait for Travel Approval (TA). TA's are taking about 2-3 months after your dossier is logged into the CCAA. Which would put us at maybe TA before Christmas and travel around January. I would REALLY like to have Esther home by Christmas, but having her by her 3rd birthday would be just as great. (Her birthday is January 6th) So that is where we are right now.

If you're interested, keep checking in. I'll try to update this at least once a week and I'll be using this blog in China, so you'll definitely want to follow us on that journey!!!!!

Thanks for looking at our *new* blog! I'll try to add more info soon!!

<3 sera