Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't You Have Children of Your Own?

Four Adoption Terms Defined
Natural child: any child who is not artificial.
Real parent: any parent who is not imaginary.
Your own child: any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted child: a natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
(Rita Laws)

Just found this online and I love it.
I have already encountered several (unintentional-I'm sure) comments that just don't sit right with me but I'm not sure how to respond. Because I have biological kids I get the "children of your own" comment. As in, "So you're adopting?" "Yes, we are" "You have children of your own though, right?". How exactly do you answer this? Yes, I do have other children? I know some of the things I think in my head can easily come off as rude. Most of the time the person is just ignorant about adoption and doesn't really deserve a rude answer. I have read tons of information on this subject but somehow when you are in the moment, every well thought out answer just flies out of your head. I guess I will continue to think about it and work on it as Makenna gets older.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Map of China

This map shows the provinces in China. When we travel we will go to Beijing, then on to Jiangxi (Makenna's province), then to Guangzhou to complete the adoption. The capital city of Jiangxi is Nanchang and that is likely where we will stay. I hope we are able to visit Fuzhou and the orphanage on our trip. I am sure I will take tons of photos but it will never be enough. I am so glad my Dad will be there to help me document every moment of the trip, especially when we meet Makenna. Sorry, there is no new news so I thought I would just show some pictures of where she lives now. Just click on the map and you can see it larger (and actually be able to read the words!).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Now we are waiting on USCIS

Our application for government approval is on it's way to Chicago (or possibly already there). This is the big hurdle that we have to get through before we travel to bring Makenna home. Processing times at the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) have been speeding up so I am hoping for a quick turnaround. After they process our application we will be contacted for a fingerprint appointment. At that time I can go ahead and apply for visas and start on the next round of paperwork for travel. After all this waiting, once that approval comes through things will move quickly. I still don't know when we will travel. I hope it is no later than May, but would be thrilled if it was April!

I have contacted several people who are travelling to Makenna's province ,(and who have children from her SWI )in the next few weeks and asked them to take pictures if they are able to visit the orphanage. I hope someone is able to bring us some new photos!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Updated Measurements

Ann at Red Thread did manage to get some updated size info on Makenna but sadly no new photos. I was sooooo looking forward to seeing more pictures of our baby girl! Anyway we found out how big she is now and that she has two top teeth and three bottom teeth. I know it is a little thing but any tiny piece of information keeps me going! I just thought I would share with those of you that are following along.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today Makenna is one year old. I will try not to be sad about the time we have missed with her. Instead I will look forward to all the things she will do when she is home. I can't wait to see her smile, hear her laugh, and kiss her little face. Although we think about her all the time, she has no idea her life is about to change. What I hope for her on her birthday is that someone is holding her, kissing her, and making her happy. I hope she is healthy, warm, and loved by someone until she can be home with us. Happy first birthday Makenna -We love you so much.

Care Package for Makenna

The care package is finally on it's way! Ann at Red Thread China has called the orphanage several times but the person in charge of adoption was not available. She is sending an average size for Makenna. Ann said she will call again after Monday to confirm that they received the package. It should arrive the day after her birthday. I hope they take lots of pictures of her and she likes the doll and blanket.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Everything is mailed off!

Or put another way, things are finally out of my hands. Even though the horrible weather held us up a few days I mailed all the documents to our homestudy agency with our I800a application on Friday! I also faxed copies to our social worker so she can complete our report. Then the completed homestudy will be sent to Chicago (USCIS) along with our application and fee. Hopefully that will be very soon so our countdown to approval can begin. A few weeks after the application is received Drew and I will get an appointment to be fingerprinted (again!). Things are moving along, it just feels too slow for me.
I did order a care package for Makenna from Ann at Red Thread China. It includes a pair of pajamas, a soft baby doll, a blanket, candies for her caretakers, a disposable camera, a family photo, and a letter from us (Ann translates it for you). I will post a picture of the care package when Ann sends the final photo to me. I can't wait for Makenna to get it and I am hoping Ann gets some updates for us as well. I think I have memorized every detail of the three photos we have of Makenna and I am so ready for the real thing!