Wednesday, August 29, 2007

11 Days and Counting!!

OK, we feel like we just pushed a snowball off the top of a giant hill and it just keeps getting bigger! The past 5 hours have been *CRAZY*!

At 9:00 this morning we got an email with the date of our consulate appointment - 9/27. It also had a rough draft of an itinerary. We then started some other errands like putting the mail and newspaper on hold and setting up an appointment with the pediatrician upon our return.

Around noon-thirty, we had an email from the travel agency with all of our flight information. We had till 4pm to confirm and pay.

So without further ado:

We leave on Sunday, 7/9 at 3:45pm and finally arrive in Beijing on 9/11 at 12:45pm. 21 hours total. It looks like a two day flight but they are 12 hour ahead of us due to the international date line.

Josh will be with us either on 9/16 or 9/17

We arrive home on Sunday 9/30 at 9:08am (very tired)

Now we're just going to sit here and digest this for a while!

Matt and Jenny

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Big Thank You

August 26, 2006 - Jenny's Work Shower
Matt and I can't express enough gratitude for all the gifts for Josh. We were totally blown away by everything and, most of all. we are greatful for having such wonderful friends. We had a great time at the Spagetti Factory and it seemed like the gifts just kept coming.

Don't we all look good in "normal clothes?"

Can you believe all those clothes? He's gonna be the best dressed kid on the block. Plus he's going to learn to read in no time with all those books and what kid can live without his Pampers underwear? I also can't wait to go shopping with the gift cards, who knows what I'll buy.

Again, we can't find words to say Thank You enough to all my co-workers for their thoughtfulness. I'm sure that Josh will be thankful too when he gets here.

Travel Approvals are here!

Today we received confirmation that Travel Approvals arrived
at Great Wall this morning. Yah !!!

What does that mean? Well, Great Wall will contact the American Consulate in Guangzhou to request our consulate appointment for the week of September 24th. It will take anywhere from two to five days to receive those appointment times. The only problem here is that all the other adoption agencies are also trying to get everyone there before October.

Once we receive notice that we do indeed have a consulate appointment we will then make our travel arrangements. We still believe that we will be traveling in two weeks from yesterday. (Crossing our fingers).

Matt and Jenny

Friday, August 24, 2007

Still Waiting

Matt and I hoped that Travel Approvals (TA's) would arrive today, but they have not. Great Wall sent an e-mail that they were notified by their China office that TA's were sent on 8/23/2007 and should reach their Austin office on Monday. Great Wall has said that as longs as TA's arrived before 8/31/2007 we should still be able to travel in September, lets hope that this holds true. If the TA's do arrive on Monday that will almost be two weeks to the day before we leave for China. Wow this has all happened so fast.

One more milestone happened this week. Our Melonhead turned 9 months old on Tuesday. We sure hope that he is enjoying the elephant we sent and chewing on our pictures.

Please keep praying that the Travel Approvals arrive Monday,
Matt and Jenny

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A wild two weeks!

Well, it's been two weeks to the day that our referral came. Wow has it been busy! At this point we are collecting all the documents that we need to take to China with us and trying to cut more weight from our luggage. Also, we are going to stop by the bank and order all the money we need to take with us. The Chinese government likes new, crisp bills and it will take the bank a week or so to get that in.

The care package we sent was delivered to China on Tuesday. I hope that the nannies give Melonhead the stuff we sent and take lots of pictures since we can not visit the orphanage. Matt and I can't wait to get the camera back and develop it.

Lastly, Great Wall hopes that our Travel Approval's arrive by the end of next week. If they don't arrive by then we may have to wait until November to travel. Say it isn't so! Come on Chinese Government, hurry up with those Travel Approval's.

Matt and Jenny

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Care Package

Well, after our mishap of forgetting to check the box that accepts our referral, our case worker e-mailed us back and said "not a problem, you'd be surprised how often that happens." We've just laughed and said "it's so us to do something like that."

We sent a care package to Josh today. We sent him a little elephant (who we named "Ollie") that rattles and a chewable photo album with pictures of us, his room, and the grandparents. We also sent a disposable camera. The nannies at the orphanages will often take pictures with these cameras and return them to the parents. We put some other things in the box for the orphanage in general like some burping cloths, colored markers, and a couple bags of Hershey's Kisses. It should be delivered on 8/20 so we told Ollie to look after him till we get there.

The people at the UPS store were quite chatty about the whole thing again. He said he's handled paperwork for about 50 adoptions from China and this was the first boy he's seen. We're still entertained by everyone's reaction when they find out were getting a boy.

Things may slow down for a couple weeks again. Our referral acceptance documents were sent to China today and it will be about 3 weeks until we get all of our travel arrangements sent back to us.

talk to you again soon,
Matt and Jenny

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hopefully the final, final touches to his room

Today, Matt and I sent our referral acceptance back to Great Wall via UPS Next Day. It should be there by 10:30 am tomorrow. Of course, we forgot to check the box that we accept the referral on one of the papers! OOOPS!! Everything was signed and filled out except that one minor detail despite triple checking everything. We sent an e-mail to Great Wall pointing that out and to just go ahead and, uh, check that!

When we shipped the paperwork, the UPS guy packaging it congratulated us and ask when we go get HER. We said it was actually a "him" and he said "What?? That's gotta be the first one we've ever had."

Also, we finished the final, final touches to Melonhead's room today. Notice the name change. We still are not recovered from the "It's a Boy" statement. Maybe we will, someday. :)

Matt and Jenny

Monday, August 06, 2007

We got the FedEx Package!

It was torturous to wait until I met Matt for lunch to open the FedEx package. Inside were several documents we need to sign and return to Great Wall by Wednesday. There were also a bunch of papers that have Chinese characters we can't read. Here's a picture of the most important of the documents, the paper that states we accept our little boy.

He is some more information on our Melonhead: (from 5/24/2007)

weight 14.5 lbs length 26 inches
Motor Development: Hold head up while lying on stomach; grasps toys near head; pinches thumb and index finger together
Adaptability: Locates the direction of sound; visually follows moving toys; looks for dropped toys; reaches and grasps for toys
Language: Follows you while moving head from one side to the other; laughs aloud; distinguishes between acquaintance and strangers; sounds directed at someone or something; knows name and turns when called; responds to facial expressions of adults
Personality: Active; restless; fond of listening to music; fond of playing with toys; having a ready smile; fond of playing games; obstinate sometimes and impatient sometimes (These are the two qualities Matt and I are most worried about.)

The next step is tomorrow morning when Matt gets home we'll finish signing all the papers and send them next day delivery to Great Wall. Then we'll have to wait for our Travel Approval which will come sometime in the next 2-3 weeks. That will give us the exact date we will leave for China.

Matt and Jenny

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Deciding a name....AGAIN

OK, we decided on a name. After HOURS of research we came up with three names so we had a vote by secret ballot with the grandparents and Jenny's sister. The winner was Joshua Li. So, there you go. We're still going to call him Spartacus, though! The name "Maya" painted on the nursery wall has now been painted over and "Josh" will be put on sometime this week. We're fortunate the whole room wasn't pink or girly. Some garage sales were hit this weekend so now we have some boy clothes and he won't have to be naked. What a crazy turn of events! We know God is having a good chuckle right now!!

We will get his paperwork tomorrow which has medical information and some papers we need to sign and send back to the agency. Then we'll wait a few weeks for our agency, the Chinese government, and the American consulate to make all of our appointments and travel arrangements. When all is said and done, we will probably leave mid-September. Keep in mind, we're taking our laptop with us to send back pictures and stories while we are there.

till next time,
Matt and Jenny

Friday, August 03, 2007

It's Finally Here!!!

On August 2, 2007 after 21 months of waiting our referral finally came. Did you notice that the name of our blog has changed?

That's because It's a Boy !!! We're shocked too. Somehow we knew that God's irony would do this, but we're still thankful. Well, here is Yang, Fu Guan and was born on 11-21-2006. He is in the Chongqing Province at the Yunyang Chengxiang Social Institute.

Now what happens? Well, we have to wait to receive our paperwork from Great Wall on Monday and we'll travel sometime in September. Of course, between now and then we have to pick a name, repaint the name on the wall in the nursery, buy boy clothes, pack, and do anything else that comes along.

Now that our referral is here we will be posting on the blog with updates regularly,

Matt and Jenny