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Hannah, Aunt EJ, & Susan are off to Guangzhou, China this week. ETA Sat. November 19th. Hailee we are finally coming to bring you home!
Happy 7th Birthday Xiao Yi!

October 29th: Even though we are unable to share your special day with you, we were able to send you a cake and some goodies for you to enjoy with your foster family. As soon as we get you, we will personally celebrate your Birthday with you in China.

Tuesday May 31st, We got our LID!!!
Our dossier was officially logged in by the CCCWA, so now we wait for the next milestone in the process, our LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation) which will come from China sometime in the next few months or if we are lucky sooner.

Memorial Day Weekend

We really packed as much into this past weekend as we possibly could. Hannah stayed home on Friday with the sniffles, while Mom made calls for work & also tried to reorganize my office. (Richard likes to measure my cleaning successes by how much stuff I get rid of). We also ripped into Hannah's room, to try and organize it and ready it for the addition of her sister. It took us longer to sort through all of Hannah's little "cubbies" of things, then it did to rearrange all the furniture. She tends to throw together, rather then putting away. You can usually find a multitude of everything from hair accessories to underwear, shoes, doll clothes, pencils, just about anything in every small recepticle in her room, it took us hours to sort through all of it, but we did. She used to hoard things when we first came home from China, but now it's more a case of the quickest route to making it "appear" like she actually cleaned her room & put everything away.

Hailee's new dresser was delivered this morning, and their room looks beautiful. I put the little "Mei Mei"  (little sister) T-shirt we got for her into her drawer, it's her first piece of clothing. Hannah has one that says Big Sister in Chinese, & Harrison one that says big Brother. Some more little things to do, but now there is a place for Hailee's things as well. It is making our adoption real, instead of just a plan.It's really going to happen, soon we will have a family of three.

For Memorial Day dinner, I marinated some ribs, & Rich did the grilling. I made some cucumber salad, sliced beefsteak tomatoes with balsamic drizzle, baked sweet potato strips, & fresh strawberries for dessert. We sat outside under the paddle fans & ate after the kids finished swimming (again). It was Yummy. 

I was also able to get some gardening done in between the cleaning, with my loyal helper Hannah, while Harrison played in the pool a few yards away. She loves digging in the dirt almost as much as I do. It wound up being a really nice & really productive weekend. Now I could use a day off to just chill, yeah, right. It is good to have dreams you know, even if they are really more like little fantasies. We had a good weekend together, and we are very thankful for it.

Friday May 20, 2011

DTC Today!

We recieved word today that our Dossier has been officially signed, sealed, and sent to China "DTC" or Documents to China is what this phase is called. Next we await the "LID" or Log In Date from China's Center for Children's Welfare & Adoption to officially notify us that our paperwork has been logged in with them. This can take days to weeks. May seem silly, but that's just the way it is. Regardless we are one step closer to bringing home our Daughter, and we are very grateful for that.  

Thursday May 19, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Harrison!!!

It's so hard to believe that our little guys is almost grown up. Honestly I think that he has been growing by half inches weekly by the sight of him. I asked hime what he would like to do special for his Birthday when he gets home from school, and he told me he wants to go to a Pizza Reataurant with Mommy, Daddy, & Hannah. We will celebrate his Birthday quietly this year, hopefully with his best friend Brandon coming over for some pool time & grilling out. (He knows that he does NOT get a party every year, and he is really good about that). I will post more this evening after I get a few pictures.

Thursday, May 18, 2011

We recieved our PA's today!

Happy Dance Time, today we recieved our PA's from China! We were told that our Dossier is going over on Friday, it's all signed and sealed and ready to go. So now we are that much closer to getting our daughter Hailee Diane Xiao. What a great "over the hump" day this has turned into! We also recieved updated Medical information on Xiao, and her hearing is normal. Adorable new pictures of her as well, which I am printing them at this moment for her scrapbook. As soon as we are able to share more of her information (including photos), we will do so. Now we have to await our "LSC" ("Letter Seeking Confirmation") from the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare & Adoption), which basically locks our child in for us. We will also await our "LID" ("Log in date") which is the date they assign to our Dossier packet when it is received in China. These are the next phases in the adoption process from China.

Harrison Turns 14 tomorrow, May 19

Harrison is so wound up and excited about his Birthday tomorrow. He keeps making lists of what he would like to get, like it is Christmas or something. As long as he gets pizza with his friends, he really won't care what the gift is. Amazing how much he has progressed.

Our Dossier is delivered to our Agency 5-11-2011

Today we received confirmation that our Dossier was delivered to our Adoption agency. After months of preparation, including gathering of documents, paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, physicals, notaries, Immigration, Chinese Consulate, & authentications, our Dossier was completed and sent to Texas where our agency has their corporate offices. Now we wait for our PA (Pre-Approval for adopting our daughter from the CCCWA). We must receive the PA before our Agency can send our Dossier to China. This applies to Waiting Children only. Thos adopting a Healthy child, have a different sequence in the order of their documents . Our agency said the PA  usually takes 2-4 weeks from the time our translated LOI (Letter of Intent naming the specific child we want to adopt) has been sent to the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption). Using this timeline, we should receive our PA somewhere between May 24 & June 7.

Today, May 10th, our Hannah Turns 9 Years Old!

Hannah celebrated her 9th Birthday today, and she told us it was "My best Birthday ever!" Her big present was to get her ears pierced. After school & homework, I took her over to our local Piercing Pagoda so she could pick out her earrings and get it done. She was so excited. She sat there nice and still, only a slight cringe when the hole was put in. After all of her bouts with needles and tests, this was nothing.  She can't wait to go to school and show all her friends. She wanted noodles for dinner, stir fry, and brocoli (with cheese, strange mix, but that's what she wanted), w/ chocolate cupcakes for desert. She is too cute. We had a wonderful evening.

LOI has been translated and sent to China 5-10-2011

Today is a big day, our Daughter Hannah is celebrating her 9th Birthday, and we just received notification that our official LOI has been translated to Chinese and sent to the CCCWA. Next step is to receive a Pre-approval (PA) back from China for our little girl.

Adoption Documents make the rounds today, 5-9-2011

Our Adoption Documents for completion of our Dossier have been hand carried to the US CIS in DC, then on to the China Consulate for Authentication purposes. Then they will be returned to our Dossier Specialist Pam, so she can get our Dossier completed and sent on to our agency.

I-797C is Received today from US CIS for our Adoption, Friday, 4-29-2011!

Today we received the important I-797-C from Immigration which gives us the permission to adopt a girl age 4-7 from China. We also made the decision to adopt the little girl who's file we have been reveiwing with our Doctore & Specialists. She is from Shenzhen, China, and she is 6 years old.  When we have been locked in for her, and are able to share some more information we will do so. Right now we must keep those details to ourselves for her protection.

Fingerprint Appointment at the US CIS,  Friday, 4-1-2011

Today we have our fingerprint appointment at Immigration. Both Richard's & my hands are a bit torn up from years of cleaning, gardening etc. so they had a tough time getting good prints. They did a back up the old fashioned way and inked our fingers for real prints on paper. Just in case the computerized versions don't pass muster.

Timeline for the Adoption of Hailee Diane

(Note: We will share photos of Xiao our Hailee once we recieve our official LSC from China)



 2-9-2011  Homestudy Approved
 2-15-2011  I-800A application sent
 4-1-2011  Fingerprint Appt. @ UCIS
 4-18-2011  I-797 recd.
 4-29-2011  Referral Approval sent to GWCA
 5-10-2011  LOI sent to China
 5-18-2011  PA Recieved
 5-20-2011  DTC Dossier sent to China
 5-31-2011  LID Log In Date for our Dossier at CCCWA

The Meaning of your Name: Hailee Diane Xiao 

Hailee: Scandinavian meaning "Heroine"

Diane: You are named for my sister Diane. The word is from the French meaning "Divine or Heavenly" which couldn't be more appropriate

Xiao: Chinese meaning
“Dawn or Morning”, “Little”, “Respectful or reverent”

Meet Hattie

We have a new member of our family. Harrison's Behavioral therapies have gone so well, he decided he wanted a dog. Everytime he went to a pet store, he picked out the same thing, a brown and white Shih Tzu. We found a breeder in Wintergarden, & he picked out a nother brown & white for his own. He named her "Victoria Hattie", so of course we call her "Hattie". Hannah was attached from the start, but Harrison needed to be eased into this. Now he will actually play tug with her. What an amazing transformation

Richard's 60th Birthday

Richard's Birthday usually falls somewhere in the week of Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New year) festivities, so we have celebrated them both since bringing Hannah home. This year was the biggest yet, since Richard also celebrated the milestone of reaching his 60th Birthday. Pretty good looking guy "for his age"... He got lots of gag gifts, and good wishes from our friends and family. We had a blast eating Chinese foods, catching up, tying ribbons and making wishes on our own wishing tree, and helping the kids make their special CNY crafts. It was a lot of fun, and Rich said he had a great time.  

Dancing Fun

Hannah started taking ballet & jazz lessons this year on Wednesdays, and Chinese language & Chinese Folk dance on Saturdays. She is really enjoying herself, and I think the dance classes have helped her self confidence, balance, coordination, and flexibility.  She will have her first recital in June, special outfits and all. They have been practicing like crazy to get ready. Here she is with her best dancing buddies at Dancer's Pointe.

20th Wedding Anniversary

On April 6th, Richard & I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. It doesn't seem possible that it has been that long. Since my Nephew Ryan was born while we were on our Honeymoon, it also meant that he turned 20 as well. (Happy Birthday Ryan) We went out to dinner, just the two of us, to Houston's. We just relaxed, which does not happen very often for us. We actually watched the sunset over the lake while we ate dinner. Very pretty and romantic, it was a perfect date with my guy.

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