Monday, December 31, 2007

On the Wait List!!!

As of Dec 28, 2007 we are officially on the waiting list for program 2 for a healthy infant of either gender or twins of either/mixed gender. We have also decided to inquire about the possibility of siblings. Woo Hoo and Happy New Year everybody! We should have our family addition in 2008 if all goes well! (if not, early 2009?)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Snow Day!

Here's what we did today! Didn't get a whole lot done inside the house but boy was it fun outside! We had a great time out in the heavy wet snow that was perfect for snowmen, angels and snowball fights! Jeff has vacation until the 2nd so we are having a great time all together as a family.
Credits: raspberry road designs for a great snow kit!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

High Fashion Ladies

I couldn't resist throwing this one up here just for fun. Jen, Mom and I had a a great time at Noelle's 4th birthday party in 2007.

Thanks for the freebie frame from designsbynata!

Many Changes

Sorry for the silence. Many things have changed since my last posting. We have decided to fashion the adoption after a pregnancy from yesteryear, when mommies and daddies didn't find out until birth whether they were having a girl or a boy. We have decided to be open to either a boy or a girl or twins(!!) for this adoption. We know that God has already picked out our child and we are trusting in Him for this decision. He already did pretty good considering He gave us Noelle :)

Our Homestudy is done and the notarized copies are somewhere between here and Oregon/Washington. We unfortunately did not get to hear those magical words "You are officially on the waiting list" for our Christmas present (we were really hoping) but it will make for a lovely way to start the New Year.

Can't believe 2007 is already at an end.

On the job front, I am awaiting word from Concordia University (River Forest), UW Parkside (Kenosha, WI), and Aurora University (IL). Still heading to Bradley on Jan 16th. Students won't be in session so I will just meet a few of them for a Q&A.

I have begun digital scrapping and am really enjoying it. Not the most artsy kind of girl but there is a crafter down deep attempting to get out! If you click on the Christmas page (my first free form page) it will get bigger and you can see that I forgot to get rid of Noelle's red eyes. Oh well. Have a great Christmas eveyrone!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the freebies graphics and such!
Angela Niehaus and Nicole Kaltenecker NBK-proudly presents...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Job Interview Update

Bradley called. They would like for me to spend the day with them on January 16th. I am pretty happy that they are shooting for sooner rather than later since originally they had stated end of Jan - early Feb. We shall see what we shall see!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Job Interview!

Bradley University (Peoria) has invited me down for an on campus interview session! It will be sometime between mid January and early February. This would be a great placement for us, but even if the job doesn't happen, it will be great to go through the interview process. I will keep you all posted!


Homestudy and Croup

Our homestudy is finally under review by the home office. Once they approve it, the official notarized version will be signed, sealed, delivered and then we will be officially on the waiting list.

Noelle has croup and no one is really getting any sleep. I thought croup had been deemed extinct back in the 40s or 50s, but alas, it is the Malady of the Month according to our fabulous pediatrician. Who knew?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No news is not good news

So...haven't heard a peep from JOH lately so we are still waiting to find out if our homestudy is complete or not. Evidently, we are not on the waiting list until the notarized copy is received by JOH Washington office so at this point, no news is not good news. We are still plugging away at our service plan (things to do to help prepare us for transracial adoption and such), preparing our photo pages that will be sent to Taiwan, and other miscellaneous items.

More family photos will be available soon since it is Happy Thanksgiving time once again. We were so hoping to be on the waiting list before Thanksgiving. I guess we will shoot for Christmas now. We wanted to get on the list sooner so that we might possibly have Holly at home before next Christmas.

Haven't heard much from the job applications that are out there. Bradley (Peoria) has called references, but Concordia seems to be sitting on the applications. I will be sending out info to other places very soon as well.

The house is still a work in progress but the new furnace is so lovely :) We need to remove most of Noelle's toys and create a play room again in the back bedroom so that we can put up the crib and take photos of Holly and Noelle's room for the photo pages for Taiwan. We are going to take it back down again though since it will give Noelle the impression that her sister's arrival is in the near future, which it unfortunately is not. (remember near future to a 4 year old is, oh, tomorrow!)

That's all the news for now. Once again, thanks for hanging in there with us on this adventure of Holly's lifetime!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I-171H Arrived!

Great news! Our I-171H (favorable to adopt) came in the mail yesterday! This means that we have finally finished all of the governmental paperwork until the acutal adoption takes place. It is a great feeling! Now we are just waiting to be told when we are officially on the waiting list for our baby girl. Thanks for staying with us on the journey!

The Os

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Fest in Sycamore

It is pumpkin fest time again in Sycamore. We went trick or treating in downtown on Wednesday night and got a cauldron full of goodies. Noelle was a very good girl and was as polite and happy as could be! She looked adorable as a cheerleader too. GO CUBS! We will be heading out trick or treating in downtown DeKalb on Saturday. Just what we need - more candy.

Comments, anyone?!

This picture sure needs a caption but it is not coming to me! Any ideas? We would love to hear your comments and thoughts!

Family Pics!

Here are some pics of the fam from visiting in Rockford and the Apple Farm. Enjoy! How is the apple cider slushie Auntie Jen and Noelle?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Photo pages, USCIS and Jeanne's Job

Today we went to the Edwards apple farm in Rockford to attempt to get some of the action shot pictures needed for the photo pages portion of our dossier. I fed a llama. He was very soft. Then I ate a donut. Realized I had forgotten to wash my hands and was a little grossed out - but ate the rest of the donut anyway :) We took pictures of just Jeff and me doing stuff around the farm - feeding the llama, picking out pumpkins, picking apples etc. since some of the pictures need to be without Noelle. I am hoping to send off some of our photos to Tien, the JOH coordinator in WA who oversees the Taiwan program. She knows what the people making decisions want to see and what shouldn't (like bathing suits). Lots of people don't "pass" on their first try with the photo pages so we wanted to get an early start while there is still some greenery around here. It was 80 degrees today! Unbelieveable for this time of year in Northern Illinois.

We are still awaiting the I171H (favorable decision to adopt) from the USCIS. We have heard that this can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, so of course we are hoping for the two weeks so that we can get onto the waiting list for a referral.

No news on the job front for Jeanne. Still waiting for calls on the applications that are out there.

I will post more pictures the next time, including Noelle's halloween outfit.

Love to all!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Last Year's Halloween Costume

Last year was simple. Noelle was a pumpkin. This year, she wanted to be a giraffe so I made her a really cute costume. Of course, she has now changed her mind. Now, it's a cheerleader (Heaven help us!) so we found a fabulous Cubs cheerleader outfit. Unfortunately, the Cubs blew it in 3 games. Well it would have been the perfect outfit if they had actually won the world series! I will post her new costume in a little bit so you can all see how adorable she is (spoken like a true Mom) and how long her hair is growing. No Gramma, we aren't getting it cut even though it is hanging in her eyes. Trust me on this one! :)

Taiwan Babies are Fabulous!

Big changes since my last post. We have officially switched from China to Taiwan. the wait time for China has increased dramatically and we believe that our daughter needs to be with us sooner rather than later. That being the case, we have moved over to Taiwan. The wait time for referral after log in date is 6-9 months and then travel 4-6 months after due to court proceedings in Taiwan. The good news is that upon referral we will receive photos, developmental information, possibly medical info and updates throughout the process. Although we still will not likely meet the birthmom, her name and information would be on record if needed in the future. Most babies are not abandoned, rather the birthmom makes the loving decision to place the child for adoption.

We will be adopting from St. Lucy Center in Tainan, Taiwan. It is run by the Catholic Church. The website is for anyone interested in seeing pictures or reading about the center. They even offer prenatal care and post-adoption counselling for the birthmoms. Jeff and I feel so much better about the adoption given this new information and prospects from Taiwan. We definitely believe we have made the right decision.

I have changed the poll and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference in expected time frames for "Gotcha Day!"

I will be posting more often now that there is a shorter time frame and more news to share more often!

FYI - majority of folks living in Taiwan are of Chinese ancestry though there are also aboriginal ancestries as well. Mandarin Chinese and English are the two main language groups so we are still learning to speak Mandarin. It's Fun! We have requested a female between 0-12 months or twins of either gender. Oh Boy!!

Monday, September 3, 2007


Well, we thought we were further along in the process than we actually are at this time. Our homestudy, which we thought was already in the hands of USCIS, is actually back with the social worker for corrections requested by Journey's (our agency) home office. This means that it still needs to go to DCFS and then on to USCIS for final evaluation. Since it was not completed by Aug 1., the extra step of DCFS verification has to be met. While we feel like screaming, we realize that this 'delay' is simply a part of the process that will eventually lead us to the exact little girl that should and will be our daughter. God's timing is perfect and we are holding to it!

We are reading lots of books and have joined a support group for Families with Children from China. It has been great to be able to talk with folks who have either gone through the exact process that we have begun or are in similar stages of waiting like we soon will be.

Noelle has begun pointing things out that we should buy for her baby sister. This will be a long two years for her!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fabulous Shopping Day!

What a surprise to find outfits for Noelle and her Mei-Mei (little sister) at our local Salvation Army Thrift Store! We found three outfits for Noelle - modeled above, and three outfits for her sister. It is so awesome when God provides these extra-smiley kinds of days. It really helps the two year wait seem a bit shorter.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Beginning

Welcome to our blog! Thanks for stopping by to follow our adventure as we adopt a baby girl from China. This looks to be a long and exciting trip with the wait time currently 20 1/2 months from the time paperwork is logged in at Beijing (LID) to actual referral, but we know it will be worth it! We are still awaiting some paperwork from the US government before we can proceed with Chinese translations and then the official send off to China. Our time clock has not yet started although we are itching to get the process moving. Keep checking in as we begin this adventure to the daughter that God has chosen especially for us!