Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adjusting to home

Everyone here is adjusting pretty well. Grace loves her new sister and is treating her like her live baby doll. Jonathan was not thrilled however. He said"my mommy. I don't want that" and then shoved Miriam. With a little extra mommy time I think he'll come around. Miriam is taking a bit of time to get used to violet our dog. The first few days she shrieked every time she saw her. Now violet can get next to her as long as she doesn't lick or touch her. Miriam loves playing outside, at the elmo kitchen, and at Jonathan's train table (although there's usually a battle over the train pieces). Miriam will let grandma hold her and pick her up. She still gets sad when daddy has to go to work.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Last night in Guangzhou

We fly to Hong kong tomorrow. Woohoo this journey is finally coming to a close. Big day today. We took the "oath" for Miriam at the US consulate so as soon as she hits American soil she will be a citizen. It is bittersweet as tomorrow morning we will have to say goodbye to some amazing friends.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

And we're back

Sorry we were off for a few days. I got some sort of flu (fever chills etc) and had some troubles getting Miriam's passport, which is still not in our possession so pray for that! So updates... We went to Miriam's orphanage. It seemed relatively nice (as nice as an orphanage in China can be). She was cared for in a section of the orphanage that was actually sponsored by our adoption agency. There were two rooms, one for babies under one and the other for one to two year olds. Some of the kids conditions looked quite grim and it was very sad. We were shown some of the other rooms and it appeared that most of the children had special needs. It was a huge lace though, over 700 kids. I wish the process was easier as we thought about sticking one of the little boys in our luggage. Miriam froze up when we got there. She did not want to look at the nannies and kept burying her face in the pack. I think now she has figured out we are not going to leave her though. Her eating has slowed down dramatically. She no longer eats everything in sight, in fact I would say she has become down right picky. She now only wants to eat cliff bars yogurt and Cheerios. She also has started showing us her true self. She giggles more but she also has shown us loads of attitude. I don't think she was ever told "no". Because when she doesn't get her way, this girl will roll on the floor and kick and scream. I'm sure to all the Chinese we are terrible parents. Even our guides ask of she is hungry or tired-- nope just a two year old attitude rearing it's ugly head. But face is a sweetie. She now knows I am mama and Keith is baba (Chinese for daddy) pretty sweet. We arrived in Guangzhou and it is so nice (maybe just in comparison but there are trees and mountains here and we had blue sky today not gray pollution haze).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

She is itty bitty

She is adjusting so well. Her eating has slowed down today. I think she has figured out that we are not going to let her go hungry. She is shying away from other Chinese adults and clinging to us which is so great! She is extremely tiny. All the clothes we brought her are huge and falling off. I had to go through the bag of donations for the orphanage to get a few pants and pjs. Im not sure if she is undernourished or just small. I can't wait to get her home and to the doctor so we can get her better ASAP!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What a sweet girl!

Miriam Yinjin is such a darling, sweet girl. She is doing amazingly with the transition. We were expecting screams and tantrums. She has gotten sad a few times the first day and had some tears the second morning when she woke up. But this morning she smiled and giggled. She only has gotten sad today when a Chinese woman tried to hold her hand and walk away from us. She eats and sleeps very well. Daddy and mommy have both gotten kisses and hugs. Her favorite things are her shoes which she brings to us to put on her even in footy pjs. She has read her butterfly book about a hundred times and is enjoying carrying around graces purse. She's already an accessory girl and is trying to walk around in momma shoes as we speak. Her transition is going more smoothly than we could have imagined and I know it is only because of our amazing Lord and your prayers.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

She's ours!!!

Miriam is ours! We went to the city center this morning. Her orphanage director dropped her off. I was so worried that she was going to scream and cry but she was amazing. She was scared at first but after about an hour she cuddled with both Keith and I. She's been such a gorgeous sweet girl. On the bus ride home we fiund her tickle spot; she has the sweetest giggle. We gave her a bath and changed her clothes when we got back. She was a little afraid of the water but when I held her hand she let me wash her. We had lunch in the hotel; she's a great eater. She loved the fruit and vegetable steamed buns. I'm pretty sure she would have eaten a whole watermelon. We took her up for her nap. She was a little sad but after I laid down on the bed near her crib and pretended to be asleep she closed her eyes and went right to sleep. She such a good sweet little girl. Hopefully she will bond to us quickly but I think she will! Thank you for all of the prayers. Miriam is such a blessing already!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great wall of china

Visited the great wall today. Tired legs from the climbing! Airport tomorrow and Miriam Monday. Sorry for short posts but Internet and censorship tricky.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Playing tourist in Beijing

Today we went to Tiananmen square and the Forbidden City. Spiders and snakes on the dinner menu. Waiting mostly to get our baby girl.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


1st night in Beijing. Our group is awesome and have already made friends with a lovely couple Jason and Angela who are adopting a little boy from Miriam's province. Off to bed. Let's hope the jet lag doesn't get the best of us tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

At the airport!

We are sitting at the airport waiting to board the plane. 14 long hours to Beijing. But we packed earplugs and ambien so hopefully we will get a little sleep. We are super excited but a little nervous. We are not sure if we will be able to access this in China due to their controls but we will do our best to keep this blog updated! Still trying to figure out how to upload pics from iPad onto blog. Use iCloud? If you know how give me a heads up!

Friday, June 8, 2012

J4M: Gotcha Day will be 25 June!!!! Prayer requests...

Only a little more than 2 weeks from now I will be holding my precious new daughter. (yes, she will most likely be crying or screaming bloody murder wondering why this yellow haired crazy woman has just taken her away from everything she has ever known).  But I'm excited.  Now I'm busily creating packing lists and getting the house ready.  The crib is up but I still haven't hauled out the giant bin of little lady clothes yet.

Email today gave us lots of info!  We are officially in travel group 1868.  We must be in Beijing by the 21st latest.  We will get our precious Miriam on 25 June (woohoo!)  Our consulate appointment is on July 5th; we will take the oath that afternoon.  On 26 June we will be able to pick up her visa and be on an airplane bringing her home on the 7th.

Prayer requests: Pray for Miriam (she's got a rough transition ahead).  Pray for our safe travels.  Pray for my parents' sanity and patience as they watch our other two kiddos.  Pray for G and J (especially grumpy J) that they manage 3 weeks away from mommy and daddy. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Journey for Miriam: Got our Travel Approval Today!

We received our travel approval today!  CCAI is going to request our Consulate appointment date which will secure our travel dates.  They think we will be going 20 Jun- 7 Jul.  WOOHOO!  Hold on Miriam, not too much longer!

Monday, June 4, 2012

All Boy- for IHeartFaces June Challenge

The June Photo Challenge on is "All Boy".  Although I am far from a professional (read- I am a momma with a camera who has read a few blogs on photography).  But I thought why not?  So the picture is big J sporting his Lightning McQueen shirt pointing to the sky at a jet.

Photo Challenge Submission

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Journey for Miriam: Passports back. Chinese visas inside!

Our passports with Chinese visas arrived in the mail from the courier. This means we are only waiting on one thing... Final travel approval. Then we're on that airplane to pick up our little girl!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Journey for Miriam- Received Article 5! Woohoo

Article 5- check!!! Yesterday we got an email saying the ACIVU (Adopted Children's Immigrant Visa Unit) had given our Article 5 to our in-country adoption agency reps to take to the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption).  This means the CCCWA can begin work on our Travel Approval.  The travel approval allows us to go to China to finalize our adoption.  Typically the CCCWA takes 2-4 weeks to issue the TA.  From then families are typically leaving for China 10-21 days later. Following that timeline we could receive our TA on 7 Jun, and be on the airplane on Father's Day! (although that's best case scenario).  So we need your prayers for QUICK PAPERWORK! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Journey for Miriam- Our Adoption Agency

When I was pregnant with Jonathan, I started chatting with a lovely blonde woman at our community pool.  Me, being the not-so-tactful person that I am, proceeded to ask about her daughter, who was Asian.  I found out they had adopted her from China; I knew this was what we were hoping to do so I got her contact information and basically hounded the poor woman for details.  She highly recommended Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI) based in Denver, CO.  We had gone to informational meetings at Bethany Christian, and looked online at several other adoption agencies.  So why did we choose ultimately go with CCAI?  1) recommended by someone we knew 2) focused ONLY on Chinese adoption, which in my mind made them masters of their trade 3) they have a team in country to assist with travel/problems in China 4) they were ranked #1 by CCCWA 5) although CCAI is not overtly a Christian Agency, the founder Josh Zhong is a pastor and you can read his testimony on their webpage 6) they seemed to be priced in the middle 7) they have camps and continuing education that Miriam could attend when she gets older to help maintain her heritage and meet other girls and boys with adoption stories like hers.
I would highly recommend CCAI to anyone considering adoption from China.  They always have knowledgable staff on hand to assist.  In addition, the staff genuinely seems to care about our family and our child.  They don't treat us like a number, even though they have placed 9500+ children into their forever families.   The dossier and adoption process was divided into managable task lists which make the whole thing seem way less daunting.  And after we were matched, they linked us with other families who have adopted from Henan Province and even sent us videos of their trip to give us a better idea of what was about to happen. I strongly encourage you to check them out!  And Josh and Lily (the founders) have an amazing story!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Journey for Miriam- her profile

On Feb 16 I received a phone call from our adoption agency.  "We have a profile of a little girl we think you might like to review.  However, she is a little older than you requested.  Would you still like to see it?"  Would we???? Of course!!! So yes, she and Jonathan will be close in age but hopefully they'll be closer friends too.  I'm not going to lie, the information we received was lacking.  Apparently this is pretty common with Chinese adoptions.  There were 4 photos, which was great, but they were all of her when she was about 11 months old (making them over 6 months old).  Much of the medical information was also over six months old, meaning we didn't have much to go on for developmental data.  We did get an update once we accepted her profile that showed she is talking, walking, and climbing stairs, so she appears to be developing on schedule.  She does have a medical condition which she has already had surgery for, however we don't really know to what extent she has recovered or what treatment she might still need.  The medical records were only half translated, some was illegible, and it was all brief.  So it's a leap of faith.  And like we would with Grace and Jonathan, we will deal with whatever comes and get her whatever treatment she needs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Journey for Miriam- intro

At the request of friends and family members, I have started a family blog.  Mostly you all just want to hear about Miriam.  FAIR ENOUGH! :)
So as many of you know, we have decided to adopt a beautiful little girl from China.  Zhou Yinjin (to be renamed Miriam Yinjin) was born Sep 14, 2010 in Henan Province.  That makes her 18 months old currently.  Yep, Jonathan is only 2 months older- therefore I have essentially given myself twins.
We started the adoption process about a year ago, completing our homestudy and compiling our dossier (adoption application for China).  You can check out our timeline posted to the right.  We're now waiting!  Hopefully we will travel mid to end of June!