Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Safe Trip Gilchrist Family

I am anxious to see Audrey Gilchrist and family! They are leaving China in a few hours and will be here on the 31st.
I have their baby car seat and have seen it every day and have wished them all the best of luck on their trip. Our families met in Beijing back in March 2004 when we were there with CHI adopting our first daughters.
They were in our group for the tourist stuff and they are in many of our videos. Little did we know that we'd end up being good friends and living in neighboring sub divisions. They went to Hunan to get Lilli and we went to Jiangxi to get Mei Li.
Our girls play together, and as mommies, we have learned to have 2 of everything if we go somewhere in the mommy wagons with the girls.
I remember the day we were driving somewhere (probably a 2nd hand store) and they were both crying about something and it ended up being that one of them thought the other wanted to pick her nose. I can't remember who said it but we cracked up when we heard "She can not pick my nose, I don't want her to pick my nose!"
Tyla and I did the paperchase for our 2nd daughters together. I could not have done it without her. Well, I'd have done it but it would have been wrong or delayed etc.
Their son Ben is about the same age as my husband's youngest son Anders so when Anders comes to visit, they go tubing on the lake and have a blast.
I can't wait for them to bring their beautiful Audrey home and Mei Li is constantly talking about Lilli.
I remember when we arrived home and all I wanted was pizza and normal food. I think I will get some Diet Coke for Tyla or a Starbucks' double Americano with room fow when she gets back. I am sure Harold does not want any more rice!
Wishing them the fastest and safest return home!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

How'd we get here?- A bit about Mei Li Quan

I started thinking about adoption back in 2002. I say "I" because my husband thought I was crazy when he called me one day as he was visiting his mother and 2 sons who live in Denmark and I announced "We are going to adopt a little girl from China". He said something like "OK dear." to pacify me. Little did he know that the journey had begun.
Once I get something in my head, there is little stopping me- once I feel something in my heart...well, then it is a done deal.
I only had to spend months researching adoption from China, pleading my case and waiting for my husband Jann to warm up to the idea.
Since we were about 39 and 48, we had spent most of our time working and going on vacations. We lived a comfortable life. Jann's sons were already 11 and 16 and living in Denmark. He traveled to Denmark every month for the weekend to visit them. That gave me plenty of time to research adoption. ;}
At the time the CCAA had imposed a Quota system on agencies and several were not taking any more that year. We moved to Texas, started new jobs and the paperchase began. We were Dossier to China May 2003. At that time the wait was @ 13 months due to various delays including SARS.
The process speeded up and after waiting 8 months for a referral, we finally got the call.
This is the first photo we ever saw of Mei Li.

Her Chinese name is Cen, Ye Quan (pronounced Sen, Yeh, Choo wen). She was born in Heng Feng, Jiangxi province, China on February 6th, 2003.
The information about height and weight was from a few months earlier; she was 14.3lbs and 26 inches tall, tiny in size but never went to the hospital. You can see by the size of the person's thumb in the photo, this photo was taken when she was quite young.
The next day we got the packet with some more photos of our daughter. I made about 1000 copies and framed them and put them everywhere.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Butterfly for my Sista in China

This is a picture Mei Li painted for her little sister who is waiting for us in China.

Mei Li and the pool

"you must begin by knowing you have already arrived"

I have always remembered those words that the great seagull Chiang said to Jonathan Livingston Seagull:
"To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is,"...."you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived."
Some things about the process of adopting our daughters from China have made me think back to that quote. It is a certainty that our first daughter Mei Li was meant to be our daughter, we just had to go get her and bring her home. As we wait to get the referral for our 2nd daughter from China, we are already there. Our hearts and minds are already there.
As I type this first blog, there are 4 months worth of people ahead of us waiting to get their referrals.
We have to re-apply with Immigration to allow us to bring a child into the US because our permission slip expires in January. We have to get re-fingerprinted- our fingerprints expire! That is kind of like thinking your DNA expires. In the meantime, we are building a pool- nothing like a big project to pass the time...at least we can see progress~~~