Friday, February 29, 2008

Travel Dates

We now have travel dates based on verbal approval of our consulate appointment. We have spoken to the travel agent and tentatively we leave on March 12th!!!! That's just 12 days from now! We will return on March 28th. I think I am gonna be sick........

UPDATE: We could not get flights on the 12th so we are now leaving on the 11th. Our returning date will still be the same. All of this will be confirmed from Holt on Monday.

WE GOT TA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been stalking my email for my TA. When I am out, I use my iPhone to check it. I have been going a little batty about it. I just kept remembering how long we waited for our LOA. We must have set a record. Anyway, we were out of the house from 8am-11pm yesterday. I checked my email all day. On Rumor Queen, tons of TAs arrived. All of them with my dates. When we got home I was kind of bummed. Wayne goes and checks his email for business stuff, and there it is! They have never sent anything to his address. Anyway, we got TA!!!!! We should get travel dates today or early next week! I hate to be pushy, but please God don't make me wait over the weekend!!!!

In other news, Ashlyn's basketball season is over. She played for first place in districts last night. The girls played so tough but were beat by Delta. We are such a young team. We have 8 players, 3 freshman and 5 juniors. Delta has 10 players, with 7 being seniors. On the up side, just wait until next year! We lose no players, and gain a year's worth of tough experience.

Sarah has started cheerleading. Her first game is Tuesday. She is doing pretty good with her costochondritis. She is only supposed to do the light stuff. She still has pain, but it is usually associated with her doing something she should not have done or missed meds. Yesterday, she wasn't able to do her part in her cheer at Ashlyn's pep rally. She said she could not do it because they didn't warm up, and during the first run-through, it hurt. When I asked what her part was, she said , "I do a handstand". (sigh) We will have to deal with that tonight.

Next up, travel dates..........

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Report from Orphanage

We received a report from the orphanage on Sydney's development.

February 14, 2007
Hua Zhou City Social Welfare Institute

Update on Ji Xiang Shi’s Development

Ji Xiang Shi, female, has been cared in the orphanage together with other children. Affected by the continuous cold and rainy weather for over a month, the number of activities that Xiang Shi participated has been reduced comparatively, and there is not much change in her physical abilities. However, she still likes to play. When the nanny with whom she is familiar is waiting by her side, she will show her happy smile, and hope to be hugged. With her development, we find that she is more sociable and outgoing, and knows how to make the nannies happy. As to her language and mental development, she can still babble. She gets well with the other children in the room, and is a kind and lovely little girl who is loved by all.

Here are her current measurements: height (67.5 centimeters), weight (7.26 kilograms), head circumference (44 centimeters), chest circumference (42 centimeters), length of food (11.5 centimeters). She has 2 upper teeth and 2 lower teeth.

This child is outgoing. She presents as a kind and friendly child. She is not used to a strange environment and tends to cry and make troubles. When she is in the playroom, she likes to play in the group. Since she is not able to walk on her own, she often crawls to get the toys and play with others. She can stand only by holding to the supporting objects, such as the bed or toys. She is attentive to colorful and familiar musical toys, and is very happy when playing with them. She has fair skin, but since she often sucks her own hands, her face is chapped and cracked. We are using skin lotion on her face. With the arrival of warm weather, we believe that the situation of her face will turn better very quickly.

Her daily routine is normal. Our nannies feed her with milk paste along with some nutrient porridge every meal to enhance her absorption of the nutrition and help her development. Although the weather here is very cold recently, we use the heating system to keep the bedroom warm day and night to make sure that she has a sweet and sound sleep. She is wearing diapers. Her bowel movement and urinations are normal.

On the 29th day of last month, the adoptive family entrusted Hua Zhou City Bao Wei Hotel
[1] to send a birthday cake for little Xiang Shi. We celebrated this happy day with the other children and the nannies in the orphanage. It seemed that little Shi Xiang knew that her Mom and Dad were welcoming her and looking forward to getting her; she played with the nannies all the time and smiled happily a lot. We wanted to send you the photos of her birthday celebration and of her daily life, but since we took these photos by using the disposable cameras, we will return the cameras at the adoption time. To meet the adoptive family’s needs, I am now enclosing 8 recent photos of little Xiang Shi in the playroom, hoping that these photos will bring happiness to the adoptive family.

Hua Zhou City Social Welfare Institute

[1] The cake company that uses has a network of companies to send cakes all over China. Hua Zhou City Bao Wei Hotel is in this network. – Note by Adele Hall

Oh how I want to go get her today! But I will wait until God's perfect time to snatch her up! Wayne and I laughed at the statement "She is not used to a strange environment and tends to cry and make troubles." We are bringing this child to the other side of the Earth! She might be making some troubles! So funny!

More later.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Pictures of Sydney!!

We received some more pictures of Sydney! We sent Sydney a Chinese New Year cake and care package. In the package are 2 disposable cameras. The company we used contacted the orphanage and asked for the cameras to be returned full of pictures. The orphanage said that they would take pictures of Sydney with those cameras and send them to us on adoption day! Oh I hope they do. Then they agreed to send 8 recent photos that they had of her. We had already received 4 of them, but these 4 are new to us. I am so glad to see her standing. That has been one of our concerns. In every photo we has received, she is sitting down. It could just be a coincidence, or not. I was so happy to see her standing up and holding on to things! I want to hold her so badly! These pics made me really miss her. I would fly out today if they would let me......

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beautiful Mess

The ice is beginning to melt now. I am glad to see it go, but I have to admit, it is just so beautiful...

Hard at Work

Just as the ice was starting to make us go crazy from boredom, Bryce came for a visit. He loves his Poppy so much and wants to be just like him. Wayne was trying to get some work done in the office, not an easy task when all the kids are home. Well, Bryce said he needed to get some work done too! Therefore he promptly went and got his Incredible Hulk coloring book, hopped up into Poppy's chair, grabbed a pen and Wayne's reading glasses, and got down to business. Of course, Grandma had to blog it. That boy is such a hoot!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by....

We are having some major techno problems! First our internet service went out completely. We called the repairman, and 2 weeks later, he actually showed up. Nice. Now my laptop has decided to go insane. I am afraid it is about to crash completely, so we are using it only occasionally. For now, I am sneeking into my husband's office when I can to use the main computer, which doesn't seem to be affected at all. So you will not see me alot until I can get my laptop to the shop. (sigh)

In the mean time, we have had so much happen. The biggest news is that we received our LOA!!! Oh yes, after 158 agonizing days of waiting, we finally received that precious piece of paper on Feb. 1! We immediately signed and returned it. Holt said that we would most likely receive LOA about a week after Chinese New Year (somewhere around Feb 20th) and travel the last week of March or first week of April. They received our LOA at their agency about 4 hours after this conversation took place. So now we are looking at mid to late March! EEEEEEEEK! Our reaction was a bit mixed. We have waited so long for this document (a wait that could have been avoided had our agency done things a bit differently) that when we got it, we kind of felt like, "WELL IT'S ABOUT TIME!!" It honestly took about a week for the sadness and frustration to fade and let the excitement return.

Then on Feb. 4, we received some updated pics of our sweet baby! She looks so much better in these photos than she did in the previous ones. Take a look:

We received updated measurements on Sydney two days after the photos. She is 26.6 inches tall and 16 pounds! Talk about tiny! This girl is a peanut. This new info has given me a chance to go thru all the clothes I have already bought and determine just what will still fit. I had charted her growth on a growth chart 4 months ago and used those estimated sizes to shop. I must have figured correctly because almost everything is about the right size, if not a little big! Some things are very winter-y, so we will have to see just what the season is when we get her. Also, we are going to be spending the biggest portion of our trip in Guangzhou, which is in the southern part and somewhat tropical. Right now the highs are in the upper 50's and lower 60's. So of course, Mommy will have to shop for some cute springtime outfits too! Somewhat better weather in Guangzhou than this long icy spell we are experiencing here in Missouri.

In other news, Ashlyn's basketball season is coming to a close in 2 weeks. It has been a long season, but a fun one too. I was thinking how nice it would be to not having a game or practice to go to for a while. Then Sarah's schedule for basketball/cheerleading came out. Oh yes, her season practices start this week. (sigh) She is not physically able to play basketball this year. That is a first for our family. She is still going to attempt to cheerlead. Right now as long as she stays on all her pain relievers, she can function pretty normally. I am looking forward to the day when she can get off all of the pain meds, but that day is not anywhere near yet.

In typical Missouri weather fashion, we have experienced a period of 50 & 60 degree days and now are in the middle of an ice storm. The girls have been off school the last two days and are off tomorrow as well. We have spent the last few days cleaning out closets and basically nesting. Oh and eating ourselves sick. Lots of baking takes place on snow days around here. This weather is not easy to resolve. It is about 3 inches of ice. Not snow, ice. It is beautiful, but dibilitating too. But it is also providing for a big slow down on activities which is nice.

So such is life at the Woods' house. I will post as often as I can, however I don't know how often that will be. Wayne is whining for his desk back as I type. Men just are not the best sharers, are they? hee hee

Saturday, February 2, 2008

LOA is here!!