Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas in Vermont

While we had a drifting of snow in Seattle a few weeks ago, nothin compares to a good ol' Northeastern storm. We took the redeye from Seattle on Thursday night into Vermont. Remind us not to do that again. The girls actually did great considering they only had about four hours of sleep that night. Lian was so excited to see snow from the plane window that she shouted to everyone, "We're in Vermont!" And she hasn't stopped talking about snow since we arrived.

My parents home is also a bed and breakfast. You couldn't ask for a more idealized version of a New England Christmas. For pictures you can check out www.villagevictorian.com. Tonight, as we walked the two blocks home on snow-packed streets from the one-person operation movie theatre in their little town of Morrisville, Dano said, "You really forget that places like this exist anymore." It's true and I wish everyone could have the chance to grow up in a town where everyone really does know your name, where historic homes remind you to be humble because so many people have gone before you, where the stillness and coldness of the air beckons you to sit in front of a warm fire and be still. It is truly a rest when we return home.


Living in the city, Lian wasn't quite sure what to do when I told her that she could actually play outside without me watching her. It is like Winter Wonderland here. Anna wasn't quite sure what to do with the snow. She tried to eat it. She sat in it. She slid in it. It wasn't until she accidentally got a snowball in her face that she realized snow was really cold and she wasn't sure if it was her thing. Lian braved the snow with gusto. She climbed the 6 foot mountain in my parent's driveway, sledded down its peak, and even braved jumping off of the top of the swingset (wish we had a picture) into a huge pile of snow. She especially liked burying mommy in the snow.

Both girls were also able to pay a special visit to their great-grandmother, Nanny. Nanny is my dad's mom and she is 92 and still as beautiful and elegant as ever. She was so thrilled to see the girls and to especially meet Anna for the first time.

It is hard to see my grandmother in a nursing home and requiring care. She is the matriarch of the family and she carries herself with such strength and grace. Every holiday was spent at her home. There were always at least 25-30 people gathered round the table for dinner. Nanny would give out orders in the kitchen and we would catch up with siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins as we chopped and diced to her specific instructions. I guess it was chaotic, but I find that I miss those gatherings at this time of the year. I guess that is what holidays do though - they remind us of many memories while allowing us to create new ones for the future.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy One Month Anniversary, Anna!

It has been one month since Anna's adoption. She continues to be a joyful presence in our lives. Anna in Hebrew means grace. An in Chinese means peace and Mei means beautiful. We would both agree that she brings much peace and grace to our family. While Lian is our more introverted, thoughtful, internal processor daughter. Anna seems to be the opposite. She is definitely extroverted, spontaneous, and lets you know what she thinks. Sounds a bit like a mix of their parents :)

Here's a video of Anna laughing, which will give you a brief taste of how joyful she is.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Recap in Video

Our friends, Phil and Becky Smith, gave us such a surprising and touching gift this evening. They had been following our blog while we were in China and were so moved by Anna and Lian that they wanted to put our pictures to video and song. You just have to watch it to know why we were so overwhelmed by their gift.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

We're Home

We realize we haven't written for almost a week and we apologize. Internet access was expensive in Guangzhou and we were exhausted, but now we are home and looking forward to updating you on our last few days in China.

This is a picture of our adoption group in Guangzhou, just two days before we left. It was a truly wonderful group to travel with.

After being personally sworn in at the U.S. Consulate on Friday by our friend, Mark Carlson, who works there, we drove to the airport for the first of our return flights home. Of course our flight was delayed by two hours, so we ended arriving into Beijing at 1 am. The group didn't arrive to the hotel until 2 am and I had the unfortunate luck to leave my diaper bag on the plane. I spent the hours of 1-2:30 am hanging out with a Chinese guard. She and I actually had a nice conversation, but I was pretty spent. Arrived to the hotel by 3:15 and then had to wake up at 6:30 am to leave for our flight to the U.S.

But....we made it home and our girls (I love saying "girls" - just seems so natural to say we have two daughters) were amazing on the flight. Lian slept 7 hours on our 11 hour flight from Beijing to San Francisco and Anna slept during her normal nap times and was happy as could be during the rest of the flight. Dano and I didn't sleep, but at least the girls were somewhat rested.

We were greeted in Seattle by several friends and family, who were such a joyous sight to see. We have been overwhelmed in the past 24 hours by the love of our friends. Susan Selby and Melinda Teeny thoroughly cleaned our home, stocked our fridge, and left us an amazing dinner for our first night home. Melinda also arranged meals by women in our church to feed us for the next two weeks. Julie Gray left us a beautiful basket with letters for Lian and Anna from her children. And then the entire leadership team at our church, who were at a retreat together, left a voicemail for our family welcoming us back. When I received the voicemail, I just started crying in thanksgiving for how supported we feel. Today we attended church and were so warmly welcomed. Our girls are surrounded by so many people who have prayed for them since before they were born, who have shown their love in practical ways, and who honor them with their Godly examples.

Now its readjustment time....its midnight and Lian, Dano and I still can't fall asleep. At least Anna is sleeping peacefully. ...whoops - I spoke too soon. She's crying. Better go. I promise I'll have more pictures up soon.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Becoming Sisters

We spend a lot of time in our hotel room waiting for the government to finish processing Anna Mei's passport, but it has been a good time for bonding. We've also realized how important it is for Lian to have one on one time with each of us, especially with Mommy. However, Daddy is the better game player...and to his credit, he is okay with me publishing the fact that his four year old beat him in chess yesterday. He didn't even see it coming until Lian said, "Checkmate!" Yes, a four year old beat a 36 year old....just a little humbling, but doesn't the winner look so pleased with herself?

Lian is very perceptive and insightful. Today Anna Mei was having a really hard time with her second nap. She just kept crying. Lian looked up at me and said, "She is confused, Mommy."

Me - "About what?"
Lian - "Her parents."
Me - "What should I do?"
Lian - "You should pick her up."

I started singing and then Lian said, again, very gently, "You should sing, "Don't be afraid" to her. So I did and Anna Mei fell asleep. Dano and I both went in and hugged Lian and thanked her for understanding her sister so well and for helping us.

I thought I would type out the words to this simple song so that you can understand the power behind them:

Don't be afraid
My Love is stronger
My love is stronger than your fears
Don't be afraid
My love is stronger
And I have promised
Promised to be always near

We had our first family swim in the lovely green pool of the hotel. Anna Mei just loved it. She didn't cry once. And Lian loved jumping off the wall so that she could "teach" Anna Mei. Anna even put her face in the water and tried to copy how Dano blew bubbles. It was too cute.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lian's Orphanage in Gaoyou

Its been a few days since we were in Gaoyou, but I thought I would reflect for a moment on our time at Lian's orphanage.

This is a picture of one of the Ai Yi's who was there when Lian was a baby. Her name is Wang Ping and Lian took an immediate liking to her. How do you thank someone adequately for taking care of your child for the first year of her life? And then you realize there are so many more children who will never be adopted. Less than a tenth of a percent of all the orphans worldwide are adopted.

I asked to hold one of the babies. Lian asked if she was her little sister. It was very difficult for me to say, "No, she is still waiting for her mommy and daddy." Today, in Nanchang, Lian was collecting leaves off of a bush. I asked her what they were for and she said, "These are for all the little girls and boys who don't have mommies and daddies." Somehow she knows in her heart that we cannot forget about them.

I've spent time in orphanages in Russia before, but to visit where my daughter was placed by her birth mother, played, slept , and waited for us was pretty emotional for me. While we continue to struggle with infertility, Dano and I left our visit even more thankful for the way in which our family has been formed. Adoption is truly a miracle of the heart.

Several of the women in our group treated ourselves to a $6/hour massage today. This was the first time we had all left our babies with the dads. One of the new moms said she couldn't believe how hard it was to leave this baby she had only had for three days. Her eyes welled up with tears as she said, "I just didn't realize how quickly I would attach to her." It truly is a miracle and a gift.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 19, 2007











This is my fifth attempt at blogging. I've lost the other four due to internet failure. Or so it seems I have. We can't view any blogs over here in China, so if you now have five of the same posts from me, I apologize.








So while I wrote a lot of nice things last time, I'm afraid I am too tired and will just need to summarize.Today was our official adoption day. Anna Mei is now a Jukanovich and we couldn't be more ecstatic. Uncle Jon has been so amazing and is loved so much by his two nieces.Jon has been our official videographer and seems to be better at posting pictures than I, so you can also check out his blog at http://www.jonathanwolff.blogspot.com.auntie/Auntie






Suzy is spoiling us with being at our beck and call. If you want to follow her blog it is http://www.suzannebaker.blogspot.com/.




The moment we officially welcomed Anna into our family. Lian was being a little silly.We were able to Skype my mom and dad so they could meet Anna Mei in person. The coolest thing is that Anna waved to them all on our her own accord. She hadn't done that for anyone else, so it was very special.

Happy Adoption Day

This is my fourth attempt at blogging. I've lost the other three due to internet failure. So while I wrote a lot of nice things last time, I'm afraid I am too tired and will just need to summarize.

Today was our official adoption day. Anna Mei is now a Jukanovich and we couldn't be more ecstatic.

Uncle Jon has been so amazing and is loved so much by his two nieces.
Jon has been our official videographer and seems to be better at posting pictures than I, so you can also check out his blog at www.jonathanwolff.blogspot.com.






Auntie Suzy is spoiling us with being at our beck and call. If you want to follow her blog it is www.suzannebaker.blogspot.com.

The moment we officially welcomed Anna into our family. Lian was being a little silly.









We were able to Skype my mom and dad so they could meet Anna Mei in person. The coolest thing is that Anna waved to them all on our her own accord. She hadn't done that for anyone else, so it was very special.
Posted by Picasa

Happy Adoption Day

Today was our official adoption day. We had to meet with several government officials and swear before them that we would never harm or abandon Anna Mei. We also had to declare our intentions to raise her. Anna Mei was so patient the entire day.

Uncle Jon has been amazing with both of our girls. He's also our official videographer, which has been such a gift. His shoulders have also gotten a workout giving Lian numerous shoulder rides. I can't believe we get to share this experience together.
Auntie Suzy has spoiled us. She thinks of everything we need before we even have time to think. And Lian has made her play several rounds of Memory, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish. Suzanne's patience is such a blessing.






Anna Mei is officially a Jukanovich!!!! She has the sweetest personality. And she loves watching her big sister. It is so fun to watch. Lian definitely needed some one on one time with mommy today, which was really good. She's done so well, but it's hitting her that she is not the baby of the family anymore.
We were able to call my mom and dad through Skype and Suzanne's webcam. Anna Mei was able to meet her Nanna and Poppa and the sweetest thing is that Anna waved to my mom without any prompting. She hasn't done that before, so it was very special for my mom.

We're all a little tired, but it feels so natural to have our two beautiful girls.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Adoption Day

Happy Birthday, Anna Mei!!! At 4 pm this afternoon, we welcomed Anna Mei Jukanovich into our lives and hearts. We feel so blessed and truly overcome with joy. It has been such a whirlwind of a day and we are quite exhausted, but we just settled the girls down to sleep. (For more pictures, click on the picture tab on the left side of our blog. It will take you to our picasa photo gallery.)

Lian is absolutely in love with her sister. She's been such an awesome helper this entire afternoon and evening - wanting to cut up bananas for her, brush her hair, bathe with her - its just been so incredible to see the two of them together. And Dano and I cannot believe we have two children!!!

We've been told that the orphanage had the foster moms bring the children back to the orphanage this past month so that they could transition to our care. Its hard to imagine what must be going on in all of the little girls' minds and hearts. Several times, Anna Mei would just start saying, "Momma" and look towards the door. It was heartbreaking to just think of what she is going through. But on the other hand, she just seems so at home. She has a beautiful smile, she is making lots of sounds and coos, she loves to watch everything that is happening around her, she loves listening to the sound of water, and she has really strong legs and can sit up with much more strength than Lian did. The difference between foster care and institutional care is evident.

Jonathan and Suzanne were such a gift today. So amazing to share this experience with my brother and my best friend. Truly amazing. They're definitely going to need a vacation after this, though :)

OK - need to get some sleep.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 17, 2007

We Meet our Daughter in 5 hours!!!

We landed in Nanchang this morning to discover that instead of meeting our baby girl tomorrow, we will meet her today at 4 pm!!! Needless to say we were shocked. I just started crying because it has been my prayer that I would meet my daughter by or before her first birthday. This happened with Lian and since today is our little girl's first birthday (september 18), it will happen with her as well. Can't believe it.

Its more difficult than I thought to blog here because you're not allowed to actually view your blog and the internet connection is slow. So I hope to have some photos up this afternoon from our time in Gaoyou.

We had such a wonderful time in our 36 hours in Gaoyou. I still cannot believe the miracle of Lian's teacher's friends hosting us. They treated us so well. Their van was very spacious. They even treated us to an authentic Gaoyou meal. We anticipated treating them to dinner, but they would have nothing of it. Such hospitality.

Our time at the orphanage was truly special, but way too short. We were met by the Vice-Mayor of Gaoyou, Ni Wencai, along with the orphanage director and two of the office workers. We asked if any of the Ai Yis (Nannies) from Lian's time were still there - one was. Her name was Wang Ping and it was so sweet to see her with Lian. The truly amazing thing is that they told us we could not use a video camera, but our host, Sun, is a professional videographer. He took our camera and just said, "Let me." And they never stopped him. So we have video footage of our entire visit - Lian's bedroom, the playroom, our time with the orphans, in their school room. Such a gift.

There are only 50 children in the orphanage now. There used to be 250. We were able to see some of the infants, but we saw more of the older children. Many had special needs. It is amazing to see the work Half the Sky Foundation has done there. At the end of the day, I asked Lian how she felt being at the orphanage. She said she was happy to see the Ai Yi, but nervous to go into the playroom. The playroom is where she spent a lot of time. My brother was great though and got her playing with stuff and she didn't want to leave.

We were then treated to a formal lunch with everyone and then the Vice-Mayor took us on a personal tour of several historic sites of Gaoyou. There's a lot more to write on this, but due to the fact that we need to get unpacked, shower, etc. before we meet our little girl, I will keep this short.

Will write more soon and will hopefully get more pictures up for everyone.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We Arrived to Shanghai!

Dano and I decided we have the world's best little traveler. Sure, she's four and she has her moments, but Lian did an outstanding job during this 18 hour travel day. We are so proud of her and she is so excited to be in China. Quotes from Lian today:

"China is so big that I can't even hold it in my arms."
"It smells here."
"Daddy no longer speaks English. He only speaks Chinese now. Me too. I learn hundreds of words at my school. I will teach you, Mommy." - she then proceeded to interweave actual Chinese words with what we are defining as Lianese

We made it to our hotel. No pictures to display yet. We're still waiting for Jonathan and Suzanne to arrive (by the way, they traveled to Beijing because we have already been there twice and did not want to visit again, but it seemed sad that they would make it all the way to China and not have a picture of the Great Wall).

We leave on the train for Nanjing at 9:15 tomorrow morning. Wish us well!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're Off in Two Days!!!

Jonathan and Suzanne left for Beijing this morning. We leave Friday morning, so there's a little bit of excitement in the air. Needless to say Lian is more than excited. Below is our finalized itinerary. We will have one adventurous portion of our trip in that we've decided to travel from Shanghai to Gaoyou without a guide. The cost was extremely expensive and Dano is convinced he can get us on the train from Shanghai to Nanjing and then get us a taxi from Nanjing to Gaoyou. Dano hasn't really spoken Chinese in three years, so we are hoping it will all come back to him :) (I think he's pretty excited about the challenge actually).

One unexpected thing is that we have to go to the Civil Affairs Bureau (CAB) in Nanjing to pay our fee to visit Lian's orphanage. This CAB is where we received Lian three and a half years ago, so I can already feel the tears welling up when I think about going back there. We will only be in Gaoyou for 36 hours before needing to return to Nanjing to catch our flight.

I probably won't write more until we get to China.

Itinerary
Sep 12: WEDNESDAY
UA821 SEASFO 720AM 928AM
UA889 SFOPEK 1107AM 225PM

Sep 13: THURSDAY
Beijing – Arrive Beijing at 2:25pm. Will be met by local guide and
stay at New World Courtyard Hotel.

Sep 14: FRIDAY
Beijing - Tour of the Great Wall. (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Sep 14: FRIDAY
UA729 SEASFO 930AM 1141AM
UA857 SFOPVG 150PM 525PM

Sep 15: SATURDAY
Beijing - Tour of TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City,
Summer Palace. (Breakfast and Lunch included)
Flight MU5156 (5:50 – 7:55pm) to Shanghai.
Shanghai – Jukanovich family will arrive at Pudong airport at 5:25. Check in
Zhongya hotel.
Mr. Wolff and Ms. Baker will arrive Hongqiao airport at 7:55pm.
Will be met by local guide at the airport and check in Zhongya hotel.

Sep 16: SUNDAY
Shanghai – Train D412 (9:15 – 11:38am) to Nanjing.
Drive to Gaoyou.

Sep 17: MONDAY
Gaoyou – Visit Goayou orphanage, lunch with the orphanage staffs.
Drive back to Nanjing. .
Nanjing – Stay at Mandarin Garden Hotel.
Sep 18: TUESDAY
Nanjing – Flight MU2755 (8:20 – 9:25am) to Nanchang.
Nanchang – Arrive Nanchang at 9:25am will be met by local guide
at the airport. Stay at the Gloria Hotel.

Sep 19: WEDNESDAY
Nanchang – Receive your daughter at the CAB office. Interview
with CAB have adoption registration done.
Interview with Justice Dept. Apply for baby’s passport.
Sep 20: THURSDAY
Nanchang – Adjustment time and shop for the need.

Sep 21: FRIDAY
Nanchang – Visit the suburban of Nanchang City.

Sep 22: SATURDAY
Nanchang – City tour.

Sep 23: SUNDAY
Nanchang – Rest and free time.

Sep 24: MONDAY
Nanchang – Pick up the Notary documents.

Sep 25: TUESDAY
Nanchang – Pick up your daughter’s passport.
Flight MU2149 (1:40 – 3:10pm) to Guangzhou.
Guangzhou – Be met by local guide at the airport. Check-in
White Swan Hotel.

Sep 26: WEDNESDAY
Guangzhou – Child’s medical check up, picture taken and fill out the forms.

Sep 27: THURSDAY
Guangzhou – Interview with U. S. Consulate at 11:00am.

Sep 28: FRIDAY
Guangzhou – Pick up baby’s visa. Flight CA1302 (7:55 – 10:55pm)
to Beijing. Stay at the New World Courtyard Hotel.

Sep 29: SATURDAY
UA888 PEKSFO 1200N 844AM
UA322 SFOSEA 1040AM 1245PM

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Run for One a Success!

I did it! It has been 22 years since my last half-marathon (I'm dating myself) and ten years since I ran without problems in my knees. After four months of training and fundraising, I was so psyched to cross the finish line of the Virginia Beach Rock 'n Roll Half-Marathon in 2:17:38. This was the first time Children's Hope Chest hosted a Run for One training team (www.runforone.org/jennifer). There were 25 runners and we raised $80k and the gifts aren't all in yet.

I ran on behalf of Yuri, a 16 year old boy I met on a trip to visit Children's Hope Chest's work in Russia in 2003. At mile 7, 9, and 11, I hit some mental walls, but I just kept thinking - this is nothing to what Yuri has gone through in his life. So I would lift him up in prayer. And then the mental walls would disappear. It was an awesome experience to cross that finish line. Every time I am with the team from Hope Chest, I leave more encouraged and motivated to make sure they succeed as an organization. I was able to meet with so many people from around the country who love these orphaned children (who will never be adopted) succeed as adults in their own country and I was continually humbled. Less than a tenth of a percent of the 143 million orphans in the world will be adopted. We have to find ways to provide the blessing of family for the other 99.9%.

Hope Chest's president, Tom Davis, just wrote a book that is receiving a lot of press - Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds. (http://www.cthomasdavis.com/). We can't all run half-marathons or travel half-way across the world to reach out to an orphan, but Tom has written very practically about the day to day things we can do. I encourage you to check out his campaign for the Five things we can all do - http://www.fivefor50.com/.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Flights are Booked!

It has been a whirlwind few days. I was speaking at a Korean Church Kids' camp this Monday-Wednesday when I got the call that we did not get the consulate date we requested. Fortunately, it is only a two day delay. Our trip is a bit complicated because my brother, Jonathan, and my friend, Suzanne, are going to travel to Beijing two days ahead of us so they can see the Great Wall, Tiannamen Square, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace. Then they will fly to Shanghai to meet us there and then we will all travel to Gaoyou to visit Lian's birth city. After many, many conversations on the phone with everyone, our flights have finally been booked. So our itinerary looks like:

Sep 11 - Jonathan and Suzanne arrive to Seattle
Sep 12 - Jonathan and Suzanne depart for Beijing
Sep 14 - The Jukanovich family departs for Shanghai
Sep 15 - Everyone meets in Shanghai
Sep 16 - Take the train to Nanjing / Meet tour guide to Gaoyou (It looks like the Vice-Mayor of Gaoyou, Mr. Ni Wencai, is going to host us for this portion of our trip)
Sep 18 - Return to Nanjing / Fly to Nanchang (capital of Jiangxi province)
Sep 19 - 29 (still waiting for final dates of when we will travel to Guangzhou, but our consulate date is Sep 27 and then we return to Seattle on Sep 29)

Tomorrow I leave for Virginia to run a half-marathon on behalf of Children's Hope Chest. While I am running for an orphan I met in 2003, I also feel that I am now running on behalf of my little girl. This race is one of endurance for me and this entire adoption process has been one of extreme endurance. We pray that our little girl will somehow know she is so wanted and loved already and that her family is just two weeks away from bringing her home. Please pray for our time in Gaoyou, especially for Lian as she meets her caregivers and sees where she lived the first year of her life. And then please pray for our new daughter, that amidst her mourning of her foster mother that she will feel very safe and loved with her forever family. Thank you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

China - Here we Come

We received our Travel Approval today - this was at least a week if not two weeks earlier than we anticipated. What this means is that we are waiting now for our Consulate Appointment to be scheduled, but our agency is planning for us to leave on Wednesday, September 12. Needless to say we are ecstatic, but also slightly stressed as I am speaking at a kids camp for three days next week (Lian will be joining me) in Westport, WA. I'm home for one day to throw our neighborhood BBQ and then I leave for VA Beach to run the Run for One half-marathon on behalf of Children's Hope Chest. I return on Sep 3 and we leave 9 days later. Feels crazy, but I'm sure we'll be fine. :)

Our current plan is that we will not do the pre-adoption trip to Beijing with the rest of our adoption group. Instead we will travel to the city of Gaoyou in Jiangsu province (www.aboutgaoyou.com), which is where Lian was born. We are working to schedule a visit to her orphanage and to meet her caregivers. Your prayers for this time would be appreciated. We want to do this before we travel to Jiangxi to bring home her baby sister.

My brother, Jonathan, and my close friend from college, Suzanne Baker, will be traveling with us. We will have quite the entourage. They really want to visit Gaoyou, but they also want to see Beijing, so they will be traveling three days prior to our trip. Everyone will meet in Seattle and then they will head off on Sunday or Monday and we will leave on Wednesday.

After waiting for so long, we are so thankful that this part is going by so quickly. We just want to bring our baby girl home. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Introducing Lian Mei's Baby Sister!!!



It is hard to describe our emotions right now. We just "met" our beautiful little girl, Feng Xiao Nu, this morning. We now long to meet her in person sometime in the next 5-8 weeks. In Lian's words, "I am so excited! I love my baby sister so much!" We couldn't say it any better.

The quick facts are that she is 10 months old (bday is 9/18/06), which is exactly how old Lian was at her referral. We are praying we will be able to celebrate her first birthday with her in China. She was born in Fengcheng in the province of Jiangxi (Lian was born in Jiangsu) and it looks like she has been in foster care through the Fencheng Social Welfare Institute. She is 24 inches and 14.9 pounds. We are still awaiting the translation of her personal and medical history, along with what they say about her personality. But so far they say she is active, fond of listening to music, playing with toys, has a ready smile, quick in reaction, impatient sometimes, and is closest to her caretaker. We still don't know what we are going to name her. Lian has some ideas and we're waiting to see if any characteristics jump out at us as we look at her picture. Until then, she is Feng Xiao Nu, which I'm still waiting for Dano to translate ;).

I knew we might receive the phone call today, but it was already noon and I hadn't heard anything. Ironically, I had just said to Shelley, my sister-in-law, that it seemed strange to not have anyone around with which to celebrate. When we received Lian's referral, i was in my office and everyone got to celebrate with me. Well, Lian's friend, Emma Balma, had a birthday party today at 11:30 am. In the midst of the party, my phone fell out of my pocket and I didn't realize it. So it was now 12:30 pm and I realized that my phone was gone. I found it on the ground, picked it up and had missed two phone calls from our adoption agency. When I called back, the intern answered because everyone had gone to lunch. He didn't know where our file was. I hung up so upset that I missed the call. Then I tried again and pleaded with him to just get me the basic information. He was able to this time and I started jumping around in total excitement. The cool thing is that so many of my friends were at this party, so I was able to celebrate with so many friends. I thought I would cry in this moment, but it was my friends who were teary. I was just so excited, I could barely think straight. Then off Lian and I drove to Tacoma to pick up the paperwork. Dano leaves for a three day work trip tonight, so we were so thankful that he was able to see her picture before he left.

We started this process in January 2005. Now we have to wait a little over a month to welcome this baby girl into our home. Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, tears and joy, as we've been on this journey. We are so blessed to have so many friends and family in our lives.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lian had her very first ballet recital with Momentum Dance Academy and did an outstanding job. Grandma gave her beautiful roses, which Lian kept next to her bed for several weeks after.

Mommy tried hard not to cry, as I watched my little girl get up on stage to perform her dance with her class in front of 1000 people. The funniest thing is that after the dance, Lian came to the front of the stage looking for us. It was precious.

Posted by Picasa