Thursday, January 31, 2008

We've got a ticket to ride!

We booked our flights to China. We worked with Mandy Hu at Asia Travel. If you're looking for flights to China, you've got to talk to Mandy. She was able to beat other quotes by hundreds of dollars and give us a schedule we can live with.

We fly out of Atlanta on February 13 and arrive in Beijing 24 hours later. With the time change that gets us in late Valentines evening. We will stay in Beijing several days, adjusting to the time change and touring. We will go by bus to Tianjin where we will meet Micah!!!! We'll remain in Tianjin long enough to finalize the adoption and get Micah's passport. Then we'll fly to Guangzhou, home of the US Consulate where Micah's citizenship work will be done. We'll leave for home on March 1.

We will get our final travel documents yesterday and we'll post details!

We've got a ticket to ride, but we don't care!

Monday, January 28, 2008

We've got a Golden Ticket!

We got it! We got our 797 today and sent it to our agency! We're excited! (Are those enough exclamation points??!!)

Now we wait to hear when our consulate appointment will be scheduled, but we still hope to leave on February 13!

Now, to get packin'....

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Whatever could those numbers mean? It's our travel group number! Hopefully we'll be traveling with a group of a couple of families to Tianjin!

29 Jan: Update! We've been moved to a new travel group with two other families travling to Tianjin. We've identified one family already. We lool forward to meeting our travel partners.

Karen's New Business

I'm trying to bring in some extra cash to help with our adoption expenses as we bring our little boy home. I'm excited to announce that I have become a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. If you're interested, that's great and if not, that's fine too. I'm not a high pressure person.

If you're interested, call me or visit my personal website for free shipping:
NEW! Mary Kay® Creme Lipstick

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update on Micah

We received an update from China on Micah. He is now 30.8 pounds and 33 inches tall! Can any of you experienced mommies tell me what size that is? He is potty trained during the day, but still wears a diaper at night. He sleeps with the light on, but doesn't suck his thumb. He looks so grown up. I can't wait to get him home.

We are still waiting on that golden ticket, the 797c from immigration. We are crossing our fingers that it will be completed soon so we can travel right after Chinese New Year. Our agency has a large group of families adopting waiting children who they'd like to travel together. We hope we can travel with this group, many of whom have become dear friends through the Yahoo Group. It would be awesome to meet and travel with these families.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Doin' the Snoopy dance cuz we got our travel authorization (TA) from China.

Just one problem - we still don't have our immigration approval! And the travel department won't make our Consulate Appointment until we have it. Please pray that the approval comes quickly and we can still travel right after Chinese New Year. If everything lines up perfectly, we'll leave for China February 13 or 14. What a Valentine's Day that would be!

We feel much more prepared after a visit from Michael and Kim who gave us packing tips. Thanks for the help and for bringing Sheridan for some hands-on toddler time. It was neat to see Sheridan interacting with Libby.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sometimes life comes at you fast!

Yesterday was our inaugural Third Fridays - Southside! I can't speak for the others who were there, but it did my spirits good. We had at least nine families represented from those just seeking information on China adoption to those who've been home for a while. And everyone in between. Of course I forgot my camera so I have no pictures. But trust me - every child was adorable. And a first for a China adoption event (in my experience): boys outnumbered girls. It was neat to hear the stories of those who've traveled. Thanks to those who shared pointers for our upcoming trip. Sending some love to Amy who is so close to a referral and yet so far. Here's hoping for a huge batch of referrals before Chinese New Year!

But sometimes life comes at you fast! We came home to find inches of standing water in our garage. Our hot waterheater had broken and was pouring water onto the floor the whole time we were gone. After a late night session with the wet vac and a Saturday visit from the plumber, we once again have hot water and a dry garage.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So today's the day we go get fingerprinted for our 797 renewal. See this post: Yikes! for my rant on needing to be refingerprinted. Hopefully all will go well and we'll have our new 797 in hand shortly.

We have applied for our China visas and are still waiting on our Travel Authorization (TA) from China. We expect it in the next 2-3 weeks. Once we have our TA and a valid 797, we can make our appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou. That appointment will set the dates for our trip. Then we get to book tickets, hotels, transfers and tours. My best guess at this point is that we will be traveling near the end of February or early March.

I decided that it was time for a new "mommy haircut." My long hair was just taking too long to dry and style and it ended up in a pony tail most of the time. So, for the benefit of those too far away to see me, here'e the new cut!

Friday, January 11, 2008

聚*Third Fridays: China Adoption Journey begins Jan 18

*聚 ju4: to get together, to gather

OK, all you Southsiders! Ever wish there was a place on the South side of Atlanta where families thinking about adopting, are in the process of adopting or who already have adopted a child from China could go to connect with one another?

Well now there is. Third Fridays: China Adoption Journey provides families with a free, fun place to connect, find support,share frustrations and build relationships during the adoption process.

Come out for the initial meeting Friday Jan 18, 2008, 7:30 PM at Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, 101 Peachtree Pkwy N., Peachtree City, GA. We'll meet on the second floor in Fellowship Hall. Refreshments will be provided and children's activities will be provided. Since this will be our first meeting, please come prepared to offer your ideas on shaping future meetings and have some fun as we share this special journey with each other.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lighting a Candle for Brighton

Sending prayers and love to Tymm and Laura. Their sweet little boy is home with Jesus without ever meeting his daddy and mommy. Words can't convey the sadness. His sweet little face brightened the world for his short time on this earth.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Surprise! LOA!

We came home from our holiday trip late last Thursday to find a Fed Ex envelope from CCAI. I left it lay unopened on the table because I figured it was our original PA. Besides we were tired and just wanted to go to bed.

On Friday we were doing busy work. We took Libby to Puppy Tubs (boy did she need it). Then we worked around the house until after noon when I finally checked our email. First I answered and email from Jen who predicted that we'd get our LOA this week -- my answer: yeah, right!

I almost freaked out when I saw the next email telling us to download Travel Packet II from our agency and then the email telling us we got our LOA. I flew to the table and tore open the FedEx envelope. It was right there!

Now we're totally freaking out 'cuz we're not exactly ready. We have to renew our 797c and our fingerprints are scheduled for January 16th. I hope everything works out in time!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Beginnings

Well, 2008 is here already (finally). For some it means continued waiting while for others it marks a new adventure in the building of their family. As we continue to make final preparations for bringing home Micah, we wish all of you the excited joy that new beginnings bring.
We are excited because our pre-approval from China was received - on Christmas Day! What a grand present that little piece of paper represented. One step closer to our letter of acceptance and the realization of our dream to bring home our little boy.