Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Travel Approval Came!

We finally received our travel approval and will be leaving on January 15th to get Kassidy. Our final itinerary has not been finalized but all 5 of us will be leaving Columbia on January 15th and 6 of us will be returning January 29th. We should be getting Kassidy on January 18th but will know the exact date later.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We'll Be Home for Christmas

It's been a long time since we've updated so here it goes. Yes, the title of this update is accurate, we won't be going to China to pick up Kassidy over the holidays. Our final travel approval has not come back. The new regulations have made the process slower so our paperwork has been stuck at the US Immigration Service and the US Consulate in Guangzhou. It was cleared through all of that at the beginning of the month and still is in Beijing waiting for the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) to give the final approval. We feel certain we will get that before Christmas which means we will be traveling in January. We are disappointed since we will not have her home for Christmas and because we missed her 6th birthday on December 8th. We sent her a birthday package but it definitely is not the same as being there.
We have been busy with Christmas activities these last few weeks. Attached are some pictures of parades, concerts, musicals, and parties we have been attending or taking part in. The picture of all the little girls in the group picture was from the FCC (Families with Chinese Children) Christmas party. That picture was like trying to herd cats. I doubt there is one picture of all of them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Christmas in China?

We adopted pre-Hague in 2007 and now are adopting under Hague. We really did not see much difference until now, post LOA. The time and paperwork to get a TA is ridiculous. The time between our LOA in 2007 and TA was about 2 weeks. Now we have to send our I-800 and I-864 to USCIS before traveling. Well we send it to the Chicago lock box, then Mei sends a notice around saying that you now need to send it to a lock box in Lewisville, TX. Too late its on the way to Chicago. We thought that would be fine, it would be taken care of under some old process. We then find out that the process is to have someone at CIS take our paperwork and send it to the Hague office in Missouri. I was told that they do nothing to it at CIS, just send it to Missouri. Are you kidding me? Then I find out it takes 2 weeks to do that. It has been almost three weeks and I find out that it has not made it to Missouri. The call taker in Missouri said that they will send the paperwork from Chicago to Lewsville, TX and then send it to the Hague office in Missouri. She said it will take an extra week for that transfer. I believe they are still using pony express for shipping. After all of this gets completed Mei has to send the approved paperwork and our signed LOA to Guangzhou for the processing that usually got done while we were in Guangzhou. Mei says 2 to 3 weeks for that process. After that they send it to CCAA and they process our TA, then we travel. Looking at a calendar that puts us in China at….you guessed it…Christmas. Living in SC and knowing that our new daughter is in north China I guess we have a shot at a white Christmas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Difference Between Listening and Doing

While taking Kristy to pre-school Tuesday she just blurted out that she was going to listen to the teacher today. As a little background she did not do much of what her dance teacher asked her to do last Tuesday during dance class so we have been working on that all this week. So I repeated to her that she was going to listen to the dance teacher today. She said, "and in school too." I was curious to know if she knew the difference between listening and doing so I asked her if she is going to do what the dance teacher asked her. She came right back with, "I don't know about that."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


After only 61 days (Kristy's took 78 days) we received our LOA! There is a bunch of new procedures (meaning paperwork) that has to be down before we get travel approval. Our best estimate is late November or early December. We went in July in 2007 last time. I believe we will be dressing different for northern China this time around. We will get to see Christmas decorations this time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 60 of the LOA Wait

We are officially at day number 60 of our wait for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China. We waited 78 days for Kristy's so I expect we will have a similar wait. If we don't hear anything this week we will not hear anything until October 12th at the earliest. Next week is a week long national holiday in China which means all government offices will be closed.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Logged In One Month

Today we have been logged into the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) with our paperwork one month. The wait could be as long as 90 days so we could possibly be waiting another 2 months. We are sending Yang (Kassidy) a second care package with an outfit, candy, coloring book, markers, a couple of toys, artwork from Kristy, and more pictures of her new family.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Package Delivered

Your item was delivered in CHINA PEOPLES REP at 8:06 PM on August 17, 2009.

We sent a package of gifts to Kassidy at the beginning of August and it arrived this past Monday. We sent her an outfit some barretts (sp), crayons, a coloring book, some candy, and a photo album of her new family. This should start the process of getting her used to the idea of a new permanent family.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Are DTC!

That's Dossier to China for those outside the international adoption community. All of our paperwork is on its way to Beijing. We now wait for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance). For Kristy it took around 75 days. This could take longer but we won't know for sure when we will hear from China.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Day 2009

Two years ago our little empress joined the family. She has grown from this quiet little girl who did not understand our language or what it was to have a family into a talkative, funny, active pre-schooler. Here are a few then and now pictures. Her jie jie's have grown up tremendously in two years as well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Adoption Progress

I did not realize that it has been so long between blogs. Kelly is on her way to her second camp in two weeks and Kourtney leaves for her camp next Saturday. We are very close to completing our adoption paperwork. The documents are at the Chinese Consulate in Washington, DC. They have told us that they will be sending the documents back to us in the middle of this coming week. From that point our agency will send them to Beijing for final approval. We expect a 90 day wait for that approval. If that is the case we will likely travel in November. Walking the Great Wall will be different in November than July!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pre-Approval, Recital, Renovations, & Fingerprints

This week we had a few events.  The biggest one was that we received our PA (Pre-Approval) from CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) which means we can proceed with submitting our paperwork for Kassidy so they can make a final decision.  We estimate that we should be done with  our paperwork by the end of August.  We could be traveling anywhere from October to December of this year.  We cannot post any pictures or information on the web but if you ask us we'll show you the three pictures we have.  We also received our appointment to get our fingerprints taken at Immigration/Homeland Security.  We had them taken for Kristy's adoption as well but we have to do it again because, in case you don't know, they do change (eyes rolling).  

In case you haven't been in our house we have 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  Right now Kelly has her own room and Kourtney and Kristy have bunk beds in the other room.  Kourtney thought sharing a room with a 2 year old would be a good idea at the time.  Kelly had more fore thought.  So what do we do now that a fourth daughter will be moving in?  Two teenagers with bunks in a room and two little ones in bunk beds in the other room?  Well that's half right.  Kristy and Kassidy will share one room in the bunk beds.  The dining area we had with the two archway openings has been converted to a room now.  One archway leading into the living room has been completely closed up and the other archway has been partially closed for a doorway.  That will be Kourtney's room.  Kristy will be by herself until Kassidy comes home.

This weekend was Kourtney and Kelly's dance recital.  They did great!  Kourtney was in two ballets and Kelly was in one of them.  Kelly had a separate dance number (Eight Days a Week).  Next year will even be busier as we will have 4 of them in dance.  I know that was done for her father the Beatle fan!  Video to be posted later.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

After church we went to Firehouse Subs and then spent the afternoon at the zoo.  It was hot but a great day.  Yesterday we got adoption approval from SC DSS so the home study is with Immigration and Homeland Security.  We are waiting on pre-approval from China to adopt Kassidy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Daughter Number 4!

We have officially identified our new daughter.  Our LOI (Letter of Intent) will be sent to China tomorrow.  Unfortunately the international adoption laws have become much stricter than when we adopted Kristy so we cannot post pictures or any information about her until the adoption is official.  The adoption will be official when we go and get her.  We expect to travel in the Fall.  Our paper work is currently at US Immigration and Homeland Security.  The girls are excited and Kristy finally has a face to put with her American name, Kassidy.  I'll keep you posted on where we stand although it won't be too exciting without pictures.

Happy Birthday Kelly

Yesterday was Kelly's 15th birthday.  Saturday she spent the day with her buddy Marissa, shopping and going to the movies.  Sunday we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and home for presents and a cookie cake.  Here are some pictures from the day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kristy's First Church Musical

Kristy sang in her first church musical this morning.  The video is a little shaky because I was also running the sound board.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Years

We started the two week celebration of Chinese New Years Saturday at the Columbia Museum of Art as they had a little Chinese New Years festival.  There were several arts and crafts for the children, some chinese food, a lion dance, and a dragon dance.  A very nice Chinese national painted us a Happy New Years banner in Chinese characters.  Later in the afternoon we went to the Chinese New Years celebration with other members of the Midlands FCC (Families with Chinese Children).  We had arts and crafts for the children, a lot of chinese food, and had a lion dance for the kids with fire works.  The fireworks was actually bubble wrap that the kids jumped on.  They had a blast.  There were about 30 adopted Chinese children in attendance.  Here are some pictures of the days events.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kristy's First Snow

We had our a little snow in a long time and it was also Kristy's first ever.  The picture of Kristy and Judy is of them plotting against Dad.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Going Back to China!

The word is out enough to the families that I can now post it on our blog.  We are in the beginning stages of another China adoption!  Right now we are planning on adopting a little girl between the ages of 5 and 6.  We have to complete our paperwork before we can look at the waiting child list.  We are undecided about her American name.  It has to of course start with a "K."  Any suggestions?

The Maron Family Elves

We got so busy this Christmas that we did not send out a Christmas photo of the girls for the first time so here is a substitute.

No School?!?!

They are expecting maybe some dusting of snow on the grass tomorrow morning so what do the schools do?  At around 6:15 pm they close for the day tomorrow.  What a bunch of wimps!  When I was in school it would have to be as deep as our behind to close.  Yeah yeah I know there are no snow plows in Lexington, SC but come on.  SOFT!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Catching Up!

OK, OK, I have been a terrible blogger since Kristy's birthday.  Here is an attempt to catch everyone up on what has been going on.

Chris: I am still working at NCR and have survived a few RIF's.  NCR has announced that they are moving the center from West Columbia to Peachtree City, Georgia in the Atlanta area.  I will have to wait and see how it affects me.  I have been taking bagpipe lessons since March 2008 and am enjoying it.  You start learning the bagpipes with the practice chanter.  I expect to begin on the bagpipes this summer.  My instructor thinks it could be sooner but I doubt it.  I have also taken a beginning Mandarin class.  It is a very tough language and will take me a long time to be able to speak without embarrasing myself.

Judy:  Judy is in her first year of teaching Spanish at New Providence Elementary School in Lexington.  She really enjoys it. She is also involved with the Hispanic ministry at Mt. Horeb.

Kourtney:  Kourtney turned 16 in October and we had a sweet 16 party at the church.  I DJ'd the party and "rocked the house."  She has been given permission by her uptight over protective Dad to get her learners permit.  She is a 10th grader and is taking advanced classes, playing the violin, and dance classes.  She is considering a career in medicine at this time.

Kelly:  Kelly is a 9th grader and is also taking dance.  She is our social butterfly and keeps the house lively.  She has had to take some time off from dance because she broke her toe (pinky toe) in November.  Kelly is also a clothes bargain hunter.  She is thinking about youth ministry as a profession at this time.

Kristy:  Kristy is a very active 3 year old who constantly makes us laugh from the thoughts that she verbalizes.  She loves to color, dance (no classes yet), sing, and play her Dad and sisters in Wii.

We went to Pigeon Forge in August for a very nice vacation in August.  We stayed in a very nice cabin and spent time in Splash Country and Dollywood and had a blast.  We spent Thanksgiving in Hilton Head with family and Christmas in New Jersey where Kristy finally met some of her northern family members.

That's a quick summary of what has been happening in 2008.  I will try to keep up better in 2009.