Operation Smile: Esther Joy Xiao Tian
Follow my dad and I as we embark on our journey to adopt our daughter and sister, 3-year-old Esther from the city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province of China. We will be heading to China on March 8th, meeting her on the 12th and leaving the 18th to bring her home to her new mommy, sisters and brother! Join us on our "Operation Smile," as we bring many new smiles to Esther's face. =) Our Timeline: LOI- 3/11/05, PA & FSW- 6/14/05, DTC- 11/14/05, LID- 12/6/05, TA- 2/24/06
Monday, October 31, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
We survived Wilma!!
Yep.. we made it through. It all started around 5:30 am when Ian climbed into my bed because he was scared. The wind was really starting to pick up and reminded me a lot of Hurricane Jeanne. For the next 3 hours, Ian layed in my bed.. wide awake. I was trying to sleep.. but he was making a lot of noises and kept opening my shutters to look out the window. I finally got out of bed around 10:30 and the winds had started to die down, so the wind wasn't too terrible anymore. We didn't get a ton of rain, but a lot of wind. What Wilma brought was some COLD weather!!!!! Geez.. it's October.. we didn't expect this kinda weather 'til around December, but it has been a nice break from the warm weather.
But we came out alright.. a few downed tree's around here, but not much damage compared to the other hurricanes. We went and checked out the new house and everything is alright there, except for a tree fell on the dock. Dad and I tried to move it, but it was too heavy-although we don't think it damaged the dock.
Aunt Irma and Amy came down on Friday to visit for a few days. Amy went back home on Sunday night and Aunt Irma was going to Miami for a conference, but it was cancelled, so she left today. We had a fun time with them this weekend.
We dodged the bullet here, but our prayer's are with our friends in South Florida who didn't fair so well.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Emma was in the bathroom when I saw Ian walk past her. The next thing I heard was, "IAN!! GET OUT!! GET OUT!!" Hehehe! Emma's language has really blossomed in the past few weeks. In the last two months she has added the famous-never-ending questions: "Where Ya Going? Whatcha Doing?" Where's Mommy, Daddy, Sera etc." These questions are always asked everyday.. and even after you answer the question.. she still asks again! (It can get pretty annoying after awhile!) But don't try to ask her the same question several times. I asked her what she was doing and replied, she was eating. I asked her again, and again.. probably 4 times. The 4th time, she glared at me and yelled, "I'M EATING!!" LOL. Ahh.. she is a funny little one.
On Sunday we went to a friends house after church. Somehow Emma got away and the next thing we knew she was screaming and mom brought her in with blood dripping all over her face. She has a nice big scab on her tiny nose now! Everyone asks what happened to her, and she says, "I fall." That's all we could get out of her, so we don't know exactley how she fell.
Emma takes great pride in bossing Ian around. I called him twice to come empty the garbage and I finally told Emma to tell Ian. She runs into the living room yelling, "Ian..trash!!!!" Ian isn't too crazy about her bossing him around!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Proud Sister Moment...
Ian raised $581 selling popcorn for his cub scouts! He was the top seller out of his whole pack! We were really surprised he raised so much, since he only sold popcorn at Lowe's a few times and at church. His goal was to get a pocket knife as a prize, but because he sold so much, he got to choose from the BIG prizes and will now own a pair of walkie talkies. Fun stuff! I'm so proud of him =) Besides, I wasn't too comftorable with the idea of him having a pocket knife.. that's just a little scary.. Ian + pocket knife??? =O
And..despite having a terrible headache and finishing an algebra 2 test, this day ended great with a new picture of Esther!! Our friend Ewa who volunteers in Essie's orphanage took several of the children to a local amusement park. The kids got to ride on the rides and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and orange juice. Ewa said the kids liked the train the best =) Look how big she has gotten! Essie is really starting to look like herself, because for awhile she was identical to Emmie..now she is really starting to look like Esther. She looks really tiny, much smaller than Emma! And just look at her sweet face!! Her lip looks really good, and her hair is starting to grow. Hopefully we'll be able to stick some cute barette's and bow's in that hair soon! =) I'm s excited and can't wait to kiss that sweet face!
Essie's dossier documents have all been re-notarized and we are hiring a courier to take the paperwork to the Secretary of State. Definately worth the extra money so we hopefully don't have to go through this again!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
CAN I SCREAM NOW????
ohh Lord I thought we would be out of this stage, but apparently we're not!!!
This morning, we got all of our documents back from the Secretary of State, unsealed with a letter explaining that they were done incorrectly!! How can they be done incorrectly???? They sent a paper detailing what it should look like, and ours look exactley like that! UGH! It looks like most of the documents they said are incorrect were notarized by a friend from church, so I guess we'll call her and ask what we should do. The other is from the doctor's office, which could take awhile to get re-done, or whatever we need to do.
I was really thinking we would be DTC within the next 2 weeks.. but again it doesn't look like that! Maybe we'll make November, if we're lucky!!!!!!
Of course my mother is going insane.. and I am too.. but someone has to keep the cool around here!!
I apologize.. but boy this makes me mad! All I want is to get my sister home!!! And all of these delay's are preventing us from travelling!!!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Not much to update on...
..but I guess that's a good thing, right? We don't expect to have our documents back from the Secretary of State until the end of the week, or maybe Monday. I'm hoping for Saturday, so that way I can get all of the copies made and send everything off to the Houston Consulate. We're almost DTC! HOORAY!!
Friday, October 07, 2005
She can be quite a devil...
So today I was playing with Emma and went to to hide on the couch. I put a pillow over my head, so she could see me, but I was pretending I couldn't see her. Well that little stinker came over and bit me!!! I know she's bitten people before but she's never bitten me! I was kinda shocked! So.. I bit her back.. and of course she started whining... just like I was because she bit me. So it was kinda funny.. mom's on the phone and she's got both her older daughter and youngest daughter whining because they bit eachother.
Oh is Emma funny. Sometimes I can't believe how adorable she is. I can't wait til we have two of them talking constantley, running around, keeping us busy.. etc.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
It's out of our hands now...
This morning we got everything together and sent off two piles of our dossier for authentication. One pile went to Carol Fredericks at Dependable Adoption Courier Service (www.dependable-acs.com) for authentication by the Chinese Consulate in D.C., and the other to the Secretary of State. So now it's all out of our hands! We can only pray that everything get's certified and we have no more hitches in our dossier! I will be so glad when we can finally turn it into Lifeline!
Here's Emma, quite happy that our dossier is almost finished for her "I, I" as she calls Esther...
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
WE GOT THEM!!
My goodness.. finally! After what seemed like forever (about a month!) we finally received Mom & Dad's criminal background check's in the mail today! HOORAY!! They were the LAST two documents we needed for our dossier. So after we got home from church, I got everything organized and copied everything.. so now our dossier is ready to go to the Secretary of State for certification. I faxed the CBC's to Karla at Lifeline.. so once we get the ok from her, we'll send everything off. Oh we are so close now! We could be DTC in 2 weeks!! I am just so happy at this point and all I want to do is get this dossier to China so Esther doesn't have to wait any longer!
I created a post last week.. but for some reason it never showed up, so hopefully this one will!
Here is the reason why we're going through all of this.. to give this little girl a life in a country where she can be anything she wants to be and enjoy all of the freedoms and liberties associated.. and be loved like crazy by a family!