Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We are busy getting ready for Christmas, Kristy's first, and enjoying all the activities. She doesn'treally know what is going on but I'm sure she will catch on soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fall in Lexington

Its been 4 months since Kristy joined the family. She is fitting in really well. She is extremely attached to her mother. She has had a lot of firsts since our last update. She enjoyed the Pumpkin Patch Festival at church. This is held every Halloween. Kristy was a fairy princess. Kourtney and a friend decorated the van for trunk or treat and took 3rd place. We all went to Judy's mothers church Fall Festival at Surfside. Kristy had a great time in the pumpkin patch. It was also Kristy's first time at the beach. She got to put her feet in the water and loved it. Kourtney had her 15th birthday on October 29th. She is ready to drive (legal in SC) but her parents are not ready for that just yet. We are headed to Hilton Head Island for Thanksgiving at Judy's older brothers house. Here are a few pictures from this month.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

3 Months Since Gotcha Day

On Tuesday October 16th we celebrated Kristy's 3rd month with the family. She is doing great and has fit into our family perfectly. Her English is becoming more and more clear. She is learning shapes, numbers, and letters. She loves to have books read to her and does not really care about TV. She loves to listen to music and will dance when she hears it. She also loves to go on walks with Mom and Dad around the neighborhood. She had a lot of firsts in the last month. Her firsts included a haircut, a trip to Riverbanks Zoo, orchestra concert (Kourtney's first high school orchestra concert). OK, she really didn't make it through the concert but we tried. She started daycare this week and seems to being doing good. She is glad to be picked up and wants constant attention when we get home. Today was her baptism at church. Her Uncle Neil assisted our ministers in the baptism. The entire Yongue family was able to make it so it was the first time all 7 cousins were together. Here are a few pictures from this past month.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kristy's First Bike

We don't have a long update this time. We just thought you would like to see Kristy on her first bike. We'll have a longer blog later.

Monday, September 10, 2007

September Update

Our updates seem to be less and less frequent. Thats what happens when you have two teenagers and a 2 year old in the house. Kourtney began her freshman year at Lexington High School and says she loves it. Her class load is challenging and the dance class load is adding to the demand. She is dancing in the Moving South Dance Company this year. Kelly began the 8th grade at Lexington Middle School this year. She is also dancing at Moving South as well. Kristy is in the flow of things or we are just in her flow. She is learning new things everyday and we are working with her constantly to get her up to speed with American two year olds as quickly as possible. Her English improves everyday. She went for a physical this month and everything looks great. The ENT doctor thought that her cleft surgery was fine. He was surprised that she didn't have tubes in her ears yet as this is commonly done with cleft affected children. He said the first signs of ear trouble and we should have the tubes put in. Kristy has met almost all of her family and of course she is the center of attention at each gathering.
We have found a daycare in Lexington for Kristy when Judy goes back to school. We dread that day but she will probably be better with it then her mom and dad.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Empress Has Taken Over

Kristy has been with us 1 month (and a few days) and has been at home 3 weeks now. She has adapted very well to our family and her new home. Shortly after getting home we celebrated Judy's birthday and the empress has learned that cake and ice cream is a good thing. In fact, we have found very little that she will not eat. The only exception appears to be raw vegetables. We think that the texture is what is most objectionable. Her language skills are improving everyday. The orphanage worker that brought her to Guangzhou said she did not speak very much but that has all changed. She is still behind what a normal 2 year old says but she is learning new English words everyday. She has become really attached to her mother and since daddy is away at work all day mama has become number one now. She loves her two sisters and they cater to her every whim. We have pretty much stayed at home with her in order to help her attach and bond. She has been to some parks and her favorite thing are the swings. Her current record is 30 minutes. She did go with her mother and sisters to Surfside Beach to visit her Grandmama. She did not go to the beach because Daddy was not there and did not want to miss her first trip to the beach. She has been to our family doctor and the ENT. Both gave us a good report. The ENT said that the first sign of any ear problems would mean that he would have to put tubes in her ears. This is a common procedure with cleft affected children and we have expected that someday she would need them. In case you don't know we have lost Brittany. She had been in failing health before we left for China and it got worse after we left. Ironically we had to give the go ahead to put her down on the day we got Kristy. After 17 years it is difficult sometimes not to see her in the house. I will leave some pictures of the empress in her castle.

Friday, June 29, 2007

We Have Our Itinerary

We have our trip itinerary. We leave July 13th and arrive in Beijing on July 14th. We will visit the Great Wall and Forbidden City on the 15th. July 16th is Gotcha Day. In adoption terms this is the day when we receive Kristy and she becomes part of our family. You can follow our trip from our travel blog. Just click the Trip to China to Bring Kristy Home link above. It has our full itinerary already posted.

We Have Travel Dates!!

The girls passports arrived yesterday after about 50 calls to the state department and a little help from our US House Representative's office (Joe Wilson). All of our passports are now in New York to get our Chinese visas. Our travel dates are as follows:

July 13 - Columbia to Chicago
July 13 - Chicago to Beijing (we arrive at 3 pm July 14th Beijing time, 3 am US time)
July 27 - Hong Kong to Chicago (Kristy will be a US citizen after going through customs)
July 28 - Chicago to Columbia

Our agency is working on getting the complete travel schedule and appointments completed. I will update the blog when those dates are firmed up.

Monday, June 25, 2007

We Have Our Travel Approval

We received our travel approval today. We don't have firm travel dates yet. Our case manager is trying to arrange it so that we can leave on July 14th but we will have to wait until we get our US consulate appointment in Guangzhou.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kristy Got Our Package!

We sent a care package to Kristy through USPS and she received it yesterday according to the tracking tool on USPS' website. It had a small purple care bear, two one use cameras, a package of fruit twizzlers to share with her friends, a photo album of us, and a letter (translated into Chinese by our good friend Lucia) telling the nannies about our family. The orphanage has a good reputation of preparing the children for their transition into their new families so the photo album will help. We are spending the weekend getting things ready in the house and preparing for our trip. We are still waiting for the girls passports. It has already been 14 weeks since we applied.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The China Stork Has Arrived!

Our Letter of Acceptance arrived from China today. Our case manager has overnighted it to us and we will receive it tomorrow. We have to sign it saying we are accepting Shan Le Jiao for adoption (duh). Our agency will send it to China and 2 to 3 weeks later we will receive travel approval. Once we receive travel approval our agency will arrange our travel for 4 weeks after receiving the travel approval. This will put us in China in late July or early August. The picture is of the UPS man delivering our Letter of Acceptance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Even More Photos

We received more photos from the family that just adopted Kristy's best friend (this is according to the orphanage). Here is one of them. I have uploaded the rest to Kristy's Photo Log.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day - New Photos

Today is day 70 of the wait for our Letter of Acceptance. We expect to receive it in late June or early July. The family that is now in China adopting Kristy's roommate sent us some pictures of Kristy. Here is one of them, the others I will be putting in Kristy's photo blog shortly.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Expectations

We learned yesterday that we should not necessarily expect a PA. This is actually good news as it appears we will be skipping over this step. Since we already have our dossier in China the CCAA will review our letter of intent and our supporting documents and issue our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). The LOA is a document that we must sign that indicates we are accepting the adoption. After we send the LOA back to China we will receive travel approval (TA). Now about timing. We will probably receive the LOA sometime in July and the TA 2 to 3 weeks after the LOA is returned. If this is the case we will be traveling to China in August which is their hottest time of the year.

Monday, May 14, 2007

8 Weeks and Still No PA!

Sorry for more disappointing news but we are still waiting for our PA. Kristy's friend Le Hua (now Anna) was picked up by her family today. We are hoping they will get to visit the orphanage and get a picture or video of Kristy. The orphanage is really far from Guangzhou so we are not certain they will be able to visit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Six Weeks and Still No PA!

Yesterday was day number 42 and we are still waiting on the PA. This week is a national holiday in China so we don't expect to hear any news.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Home Study Amendment Has Arrived

Our home study amendment has been returned from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. This is just a statement specifically saying that we wish to adopt Shan Le Jiao. Our agency will send this to China to be included with our dossier that has been there since July of last year. We are still waiting on our PA!

Monday, April 23, 2007

5 Weeks and Still No PA!

There's not much to report. Our PA has still not arrived. We are also still waiting for the home study amendment from the Chinese Embassy. All things will work out in God's time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fingerprint Appointment Error!

I (Chris) finally got my re-fingerprint appointment. Apparently my appointment notice did not print as it was suppose to be on April 11th with Judy's. My new appointment is now May 4th.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Still No PA!

Yesterday was four weeks since our Letter of Intent went out. We have not received our Pre-Approval. There is no concern that we won't get it we are just really anxious to get to this step. Meanwhile our home study amendment is being authenticated at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. Hopefully that will be returned to us by the end of the week so our agency can send it onto China. This will be needed before we receive a Letter of Acceptance or our Travel Approval.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

April 10th, 2007 is Shan Le Jiao's 2nd birthday. We were not able to send her anything since we don't have our PA (per-approval) yet. We hope to have our PA in 1 to 3 weeks. We will send her a birthday package after we receive the PA.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

New Photo Blog

The blog was getting crowded with photos. I have added a link above for a photo blog of all the pictures we have received.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New Pictures

We received new pictures of our little girl today. They are posted in the left side. One is a picture of her with her Ayi (we are assuming) from December of 2006. The one in the toy car is the most recent photo. The picture of her and another little girl is her friend who will be living in east Tenneessee.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kristy on LWB Blog

I found Kristy featured on a Love Without Boundaries blog. A member of their team visited the Shantou City SWI and saw Kristy. Here is the link.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

LOI Sent to CWA

We received our Letter of Intent (LOI) yesterday. The letter of intent is a form we fill out to inform the CCAA that we wish to adopt Shan Le Jiao. We have completed the form and sent it next day to Christian World Adoption. CWA will translate the form and send it to China. We will than wait for the CCAA to give us pre-approval (PA). This should take 4 to 6 weeks.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Introducing Kristy

On Thursday March 8th we received a call from our case manager Virginia about a little girl who was available for adoption. After much prayer and consideration we believe God has led us to this very special little girl. Shan Le Jiao is currently living in the Shantou City Social Welfare Institute in the Guangdong Province. She was found abandoned at the Jinyuan Restaurant on April 13, 2005 and after a search could not locate her parents she was admitted to the Shantou SWI. Her birthdate is estimated to be April 10, 2005. Her caretaker calls her Jiao Didi. I will add more details of the adoption as we progress but we expect to travel to China this summer.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Chinese New Years

Happy Chinese New Year to All! The Year of the Pig.

Monday, February 12, 2007

7 Months Since LID!!

Today it has been 7 months since we were LID. There are all kinds of estimates as to how much longer we will have to wait. You could drive yourself crazy trying to guess but in the end only God knows when it will be time.

Friday, February 2, 2007

CCAA Referral Progress Updated

I have updated the CCAA referral progress since they updated their web site last night. A big surprise is that they also updated the Review Room progress as well. It is now up to March 22nd, 2006. They completely ran through February and almost all of March! They have less than 4 months of dossiers to review before we know that we are clear from review and officially in the matching room.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Referrals Came Out Today!!

Sorry, not ours. The referrals covered families with LID's through October 13, 2005. Our agency received 10 referrals. The wait is now at about 16 months. If the wait time continues at this rate we would get our referral in December 2007. I will update the CCAA Progress when they update their web site.

Friday, January 12, 2007

6 Months Since LID

It has now been 6 months since we were LID. Estimates suggest that it could be between 10 and 18 months longer before we get our referral. It is all in God's timing and hands.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

New Web Site

We have switched to this web site because it will be much simpler to update, especially when we are in China. You can also add your comments. This web site is also private.