Monday, March 31, 2008

Thankful for My Buds!

Top left: Jeni and I. Bottom left, Rachel and Becca. (Gotta love the TV on in the back ground.)

Kimi and I.
Can't sleep, thinking about Sophie, so I thought I would work on getting caught up on my blogging!

Jeni, Rachel, Becca and Kimi!!! You ROCK!

I just wanted to say thank you to you four, for helping us out last week. Rick and I have had a lot to think about and had to ask for some help. Our friends helped us with research about club feet and developmental delays, finding information on early intervention programs, finding phone numbers and addresses for us of local medical and hospitals, charted medical statistics for us, listened and spent a lot of time helping us gather critical information! Thank you so much. We feel so blessed to have such great friends in our lives.

We could of not done it with out you girls!! Thanks for helping us with Sophie.

Love you very much!!

XXXX
OOOO
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

When God Mad You

When God Made You
By ?? ( I have to figure this out??)

It’s always been a mystery to me
how two hearts can come together
and love can last forever

Now that I have found you I believe
that a miracle has come when god sends a perfect one.

Now gone are all of my questions about why
and I have never been so sure of any thing in my life.


I wonder what god was thinking
when he created you.

I wonder if he knew every thing I would need
because it made all of my dreams come true.

When God made you
he must have been thinking about me.

I promise that where ever you may go,
where ever life may lead you
with all my heart I will be there to.

And From this moment on I want you to know
that I will let nothing come between us
and I will love the ones you love.

Now are gone all of my questions about why,
and I have never been so sure of any thing in my life.

I wonder what god was thinking
when he created you.

I wonder if he knew every thing I would need
because it made all of my dreams come true.

When God made you
he must have been thinking about me.

He made the sun
he made the moon
to harmonize in perfect tune
one can move with out the other
they just have to be together.

And that is what I know is true
you'll will hold me and I will hold you

My world cannot be right with out you in my life.

I wonder what god was thinking
when he created you.

I wonder if he knew every thing I would need
because it made all of my dreams come true.

He must of heard every prayer I have been praying
Yes he knew every thing I would need.

When god made you,
yes he did, yes he did.

When dreams come true,

When god made you
he must have been thinking about me.

**When I looked at Denise's blog today (you can click on her name and her family blog will load) she had this new song on there called When God Made You. As soon as I heard the song I opened my word document and started copying it. Later when I was reading her blog I saw that she had already written down the words, it gave me chills. I need to find out the artists of this song??? I also want to give credit to Denise for putting this on her blog and sharing this with all of us blogger friends!! Her faith is so strong and she shares so much with others. There is nothing better than learning from others experiences or who have already gone through some thing that we are going to be going through. She is meeting her little girl for the first time on Sunday. I have only known about her blog for about a week an a half now but I am so glad I found her. Truly inspiring!!

I just stopped when I heard this song...... It brought tears to my eyes because it sums up a lot about what I have been thinking about lately. I have struggled these last few years as we have gone through our wait for our adoptions, I have questioned God from time to time but during that struggle it has brought me closer to what is really important, my faith.

Thank you every one for your emails and comments on our blog. They mean a lot to us. I am excited to use this blog as a scrapbook for Sophie and I love the way the comments will show up during that.

Sophie we pray that we can bring you home soon!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Whats Left on The Time Line

This is what I learned from Elizabeth today about our time line. This process is much different than Simones.

We still have three of the final four steps yet to check off.

1. Letter of Intent and Pre-Approval Paper work officially translated and logged in at CCAA web site and March 25th. (We sent ours into the agency on March 20th.)

2. Pre-Approval. We will receive a pre approval letter from the CCAA around 1 month/give or take. (1 month from March 25th) On the US side we will receive the referral packet at this time. We can send Sophie a care package at this time through our agency and then another one on our own.

3. Letter Seeking Confirmation of Adoption (also known as Letter of Acceptance, China is changing this step to Letter Seeking Confirmation of Adoption.) Basically this is a confirmation letter. This will come in 2-3 months after the Pre-Approval step.

4. Travel Approval. This is approval from China to travel and comes 5-6 weeks after Letter Seeking Confirmation of Adoption.

Elizabeth told us that this is the projected time line. We also need to be ready to travel in 2 weeks or a month for an example. Since we have been logged in for almost 2 years now and are out of the review room we are hoping we will be on the shorter end, traveling by April 25th!!!!!

She told us that there is a new person working in the CCAA office that processes the paper work. They started around Feb. of 2008, about two months ago. She gave us two example time lines from families at our agency. The first family sent in their Letter of Intent on December 18th and got their Pre Approval a week later. Their Letter of Confirmation & TA came a week after that and then they were on their way to China that week. The second family from our agency had their Letter of Intent logged in on November 5th, received their Pre approval letter on November 21st, 3 weeks later. Then on December 31st received their Letter of Confirmation. Their travel approval came one month later and then they left 3 weeks after that. So they were two months later….

Elizabeth also informed us that sadly she will not longer be our case worker. She told us that she would not be able to handle our case if things move quickly as her responsibilities at the agency have grown. We understand but are very sad because she has been our case worker since we started Simone's adoption in 2004!! We are happy to be working with Linda now but will miss her!

We pray that we can have Sophie in our Arms by April 27th, 2008…..The first day we held Simone and became a family was on April 27th, 2005!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hello Michele,

Your Pre-Approval paperwork has been submitted to the CCAA website. Congratulations!

I'll ask Bixin about the pronunciation of Shi Wei. It seems like Wei Wei is her nickname. That would be a good question to ask them while you are there so that they can tell you what they usually call her.

You can get adoption or tourist visas for everyone - just submit the visa applications together.

I'll give you a call tomorrow to talk about some of the next steps!


***I wanted to save all of the emails that we get so we can remember how things went so I will be posting them in italics. This is the email that we received from our case worker today. (Elizabeth) GREAT NEWS!! My question is did we just do two steps together at the same time??? I thought the Letter of Intent and Pre-Approval were two different things. Well see when we talk tomorrow. SO I can update one of the columns on the right and start working on Sophies care package. We are going to send a little photo album, blanket, baby doll and candies for the AYI's!!!
"Hello Michele,

I think that we will be able to submit the letter and pre-approval form today. Bixin is working on the translations. Could you e-mail me your Parenting Resource Plan (Section C) so that we can get started on your home study update and have our social workers sign off on your match with Shi Wei? Thanks."

***This is the the first email that we recieved from our case worker.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Introducing My Little Sister Sophie

videoIntroducing My Little Sister Sophie!!

We Feel Like Dancing

videoWe feel like Dancing!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Needs for Sophies Orphanage in Chengdu (from Winter)

Chengdu, Sichuan – Chengdu, Sichuan – is experiencing the coldest winter in memory. They need a large room heater, diapers, shoes, socks and winter jackets. UPDATE: Chengdu repeats their request for a large heater and disposable diapers. They also request 80 warm quilts. FINAL NEEDS: 26,000 yuan.
This above is a request for what is needed at Sophie's Orphanage. This was put out this winter due to the storms they were having. I have requested an updated list and will post it when I have it. Rick and are are wanting to bring cash with us so we can purchase what is needed from Walmart, rent a van and then deliver it to the orphanage while we are over there since space is limited in our suite case.
Please go to Half the Sky Foundation to make a donation if you are interested. Click on the top right button that says, "Donate Now."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Emails from Friends and Family

Here are a few of the comments that people emailed us after we sent out an email “introducing Sophie”. Please feel free to leave your comment on this post as sad to say I did not save all of them because I started deleating them a couple of days ago before I had this idea….It is just that my email box is so full I have not gotten to deleate them all yet…..We now want to keep them for Sophie. I am saddened that I do not have them all, so once again if you want to leave a message again here, please do so. I have deleated such things as phone numbers, etc. Thanks, Michele

Hi Michele!!
Are you still on cloud 9? I wrote last week to offer my heartiest congratulations---I hope you got it! I check your blog probably daily for updates and details, and I am still so thrilled every time I peek at her sweet little face. You are going to have so much fun!!! I guess this means our meeting in Yellowstone this summer is off? Just kidding! We will gladly postpone it so we can get together later and meet Miss Sophie in person. I am still waiting for all the details!! Nadine

Hi Michele Are you still on cloud 9? I wrote last week to offer my heartiest congratulations---I hope you got it. I check your blog probably daily for updates and details, and I am still so thrilled every time I peek at her sweet little face. You are going to have so much fun. I guess this means our meeting in Yellowstone this summer is off. Just kidding. We will gladly postpone it so we can get together later and meet Miss Sophie in person. I am still waiting for all the details Nadine

Congratulations! I got chills when I read your email. She is gorgeous. Give me a call at home. I want details! Kendra

That is awesome. So now are you just waiting to hearwhen you are going to China to get her??? Rachel (S)

Michele, I love your new blog. Is it new? I am not too sure...it has a ton of info. We are soooo thrilled for you.
See you Friday! Paula

That was adorable! How absolutely exciting! Your Sophie is becoming a reality isn't she? That comment Simone made about waiting for God..wow! I would have cried too. I have some pics I am going to send you of the big snow storm here, my house and some honeymoon pics for you to see. It will come in a strange email address. I can't remember exactly. I'm going to go for a walk since its so beautiful right now. I'll write more later. Happy days for you! Yipee! Karen

I am so excited for you guys! What a special time! Brooke

Congratulations!!! Sophie is beautiful! We are sohappy for you! (Rasmussens)

Wow, this is such exciting news!!!! What is her name? When do you get to see her? Chengdu is an amazing city, you will love it. Mary

So great! I am so happy for your family…mostly Sophie! J She’s very lucky to have you! ~Jessica C.
Wow Michele-
That brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing journey you guys are on. Your patience and grace is amazing. Simone is so adorable and bright. She seems so much more mature and bright compared to other children her age. I cannot wait for Sophie. She is an absolute doll! Thank you so much for sharing the good news. I am so excited for you guys! Love Katie

Hi Michele!
I am sooooo excited for TEAM HOUSTON! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!
Okay... I'm having major technical issues right now. I have waited 1/2 hour for the video and I am only 8 seconds in. D-A-R-N this stupid machine. Anyway, I can't wait to hear all about Sophie. She is adorable, and I love her smile and twinkle in her eyes. Likewise, what a big grin her big Sissy has! I am so glad this dreadful wait is coming to an end for all of you. Here's to FAST travel and all that good stuff! Blessings, Carrie

HI MICHELE & RICK!! CONGRATULATIONS YOU GUYS!! WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOU A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WONDERING WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH SOPHIE! WE'RE SO HAPPY FOR YOU. WHAT TIME LINE ARE YOU LOOKING AT TO GO? WILL SIMONE GO WITH YOU ALSO? PLEASE KEEP US POSTED AND WE CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HER! CONGRATULATONS! JOHN, LISA, ALEXA AND SOPHI PS; What a cool blog! I forgot that you update it and that I could check there. I love the pictures of Simone with the red ribbon. You need to enter that into a contest somewhere Michele! We miss seeing you guys!!

That is great Michele! So happy for your family, can't imagine how excited you must be....
So now how long until you get her????? (Amy)

Congrats!! Can't wait to meet her. We are all going to have to go to another movie soon. (Deleated info. About her birthday, I thought she might not want everyone to know about it :O) ) Tia

I'M SOooooooooooooooooooo HAPPY FOR YOU! Sophie is beautiful and looks so sweet. I can't imagine how excited you must be. All we've been talking about is this time last year when we got our referral and so I know how happy you are right now. Congratulations. Is Simone going to travel with you? I just checked out your blog. Please let me know when you get your travel date so I can watch the blog even closer. Good luck with all the next steps. Oh JOY, Kim
she is adorable!!! congratulations!! when do you go to China to grab her?!?!!!!!!! love you – (Brynn)

WAHOO!!!!!! I can't tell you how excited I am for you! Sophie is absolutely beautiful!!!!!! OK---now I want details....is she with WACAP? How did you find her? When is her b-day? Do you have your PA now? Will Travel Approval come quicker since you are already DTC? What about your friends that you were planning to travel with? Are you going to take Simone with you? Can I tell you a little secret? I check the waiting child lists quite often, and I have thought to myself, "with the lon-n-n-n-ng wait, I wonder if Michele and Rick would consider a waiting child?" It really is about the only way to go for China right now. Some friends of ours just got home with their little girl in January. Her b-day was October so she is 2.5 now and so cute. oh my! I am so happy!! Doing the snoopy dance!!
Nadine

Hey there! Good news. I was looking into the birth certificate thing more, and Scott can get it tomorrow in person. So, by about 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, we should all have our passports in process! good luck tomorrow! (Becca)

She is so beautiful!! We are so happy for all of you. Congratulations!!!Patrick, Liz, Zack & Danny

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is amazing news and I'm certain if all goes well with the call tommorow she will be the perfect addition to your family. I do so believe these things are meant to be and if that is the case you will know tommorow. Let me know??? Thanks for thinking to include me. You must be on pins and needles. Prayers coming your way. Hugs, Kim

Iwish that I could see simone…tell her that I lover her…and I can’t wait to possibly see her when her 2nd cousin I think is born…maybe…if she comes down….and all my friends think that she is just the cutest thing. Hehe! Well I love you guys and I wil talk to you guys later (Ashley)

Michele, Rick, and Simone, We are so excited for your family and your new daughter Sophie. We can’t wait until she is home with you. We will pray for lots of guardian angels to watch over her as you wait to travel and bring her home. Congratulations! Sue and Matthew

Yeah Michele!!!! Our prayers have worked this past week! J I’m so happy for your family and can’t wait to meet her this summer. J Congratulations….it’s a GIRL! (Kris)

Unfortunately I just came up with this idea on 4/10/08 and I have deleted most of my emails that had comments from people about the email we sent out “introducing Sophie”. You will not find a lot of our families comments here because they are the ones I do not have any more…….But on the good side I did still have these in the inbox….So Sorry if you do not see your email here. You can always leave a comment on her blog. Love Us!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chengdu China

Sophie lives in the City called Chengdu which is located int he Sichuan Province (located just below the word China and is bording east of Tibet. Click on map to make it bigger.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The First Time We Saw Your Face




The First Time we saw your face......Wednesday March 12th, 2008!!
Our little Sophie
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Stay Tuned for BIG NEWS!!