Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Leaving Tomorrow Morning :-)

This is my last day to post here while we are away picking up Ashlyn. Our blog website will be continued at Please subscribe to this website by going to the JOURNAL tab and subscribing on the left to get our updates. Please post comments anytime you have a question or for anything. This blog is blocked in China, which is why we created the new one for our journey while in China. Please pray for our safe journey there and back and please pray for our family to have as smooth a transition as possible! We pray that everyone here stays healthy and safe while we're gone!

God Bless!!!

Not sure how long the youbelong website will be available, but I made a scrapbook about our trip to to Ashlyn that can be viewed:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 Days Left!

Only two more days...I can't believe it! I am not packed yet. Our washer broke this morning, so at lunch we had to go purchase a new washer so that we can do laundry tonight to start packing. Thank you Mikey for helping Jason unload the washer and dryer! I get to try out my new front load washer tonight :-) Looks like my phone's battery died also...I'll worry about that when I get back. Also, my sister went to the ER this morning in pain and it turns out that she has a kidney stone. Hopefully it will pass tonight and she'll be pain free tomorrow! What a long hectic day.

Hopefully we get some of the packing done tonight so that it's less stressful tomorrow. We will need to leave our house by 4:15am on Thursday to get to the airport 2.5 hours before take off. We're going to be so exhausted. Good thing we're doing the whole Beijing experience first so that we can somewhat catch up on sleep and adjust a little to the time change before we meet Ashlyn. Don't forget, tomorrow will be my last post to this blog and for the entire trip, I will post on the new website. On the new website, you can select the Journal tab and subscribe to my website. I think it will let you know when I update the website. Anyway...please pray for us that we don't get so stressed out over getting ready and the lack of sleep that we make ourselves sick ;-) I'm so excited about going, but nervous also. I pray that God will help Ashlyn, and Kaylyn, with this huge transition and adjustment and that she will be accepting of us as her family!

Monday, November 16, 2009

3 Days Until Lift Off!

3 days to go and we got our intra-China travel itinerary today...






4:25 pm

Pick up family with UA851 ,

and send to hotel.



Sightseeing Tour to the

Great Wall, Forbidden City

and Tian An Men Square



Send family fly to Guangzhou

with CA1351.







Pick up family with CA1351 ,

and send to hotel.



Family goes to Civil Affairs

to pick up child.



Family goes to the Civil Affairs

Bureau to do the adoption

registration, and then go the

Public Notary office to do the




Test the TB for child.


Shopping for child.



Sightseeing tour to Zhong

Shan Memorial Hall.



Sightseeing tour to Yuntai




Sightseeing tour to Six

Banyan Trees



Sightseeing tour to Chen

family Temple.



Gets child ’s passport .



Taking child’ visa picture

and doing medical examination

for the child and get the result

for TB.



Guide goes to American

Consulate to hand in family’s

documents, and hand in visa

fee in the afternoon.



Family goes to AC for oath-

taking ceremony.



Guide goes to AC to get visa.



Send family away with CZ3613,

and then they will arrive into

Pudong at 11:50am.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

4 Days Until Departure!

We just had a "baby" shower for us, thrown by my wonderful husband. It was very nice...even my best friend Sundi from Lakeland came all the way over to share this moment with us! There was a lot of family and friends and I just want to thank everyone for everything. You all mean the world to me and I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

I forgot to show the letter I wrote to Ashlyn from the last care package. She should have received the care package by now:

Our dearest Xiang Ling and foster family,
We are coming soon to meet you. The date we have been given to meet you is Monday November 23rd. We are so excited that we’ve already started packing and getting everything ready. We have enclosed a picture of your bedroom and also one of us (mommy, daddy, and your big sister Kaylyn). I hope you enjoy the pajamas, book, doll, and necklace we are sending you. Also enclosed is some candy for your foster family. Well, hopefully by the time you get this care package it won’t be much longer until we get to see you!

We love you and are very much looking forward to coming to China to meet you and make you a part of our family.


Mommy & Daddy

Friday, November 13, 2009

6 Days to Go!!!

We will not get our intra-China itinerary until Monday! But I have started our new blog site for those of you who would like to follow along with us in the journey to China:

I will still post to this blog until we actually depart. I will post the link to the other blog site again before we leave.

We are on our count down to leaving Thursday, so only 6 more days to go! I am starting to pack and get things ready today :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

US Consulate Appointment Confirmed!

Our US Consulate appointment was finally confirmed and we were able to book our tickets today for leaving on November 19th and coming back December 5th. Ann at Red Thread also emailed me and said that Ashlyn should get her last care package by tomorrow. Here are some pictures of her care package. When we hopefully get our finalized itinerary tomorrow, I will post it. I'm so excited that we are going and so stressed about packing this weekend and hoping we pack all the right things! If anyone has any ideas, please don't hesitate to let me know...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tentative Schedule

This is our tentative schedule...still need confirmation of US Consulate appointment, which we'll get on Monday or Tuesday. Then we have 24 hours to book our flights.

November 19th - Departure from Orlando to Beijing.

November 20th -Arrive in Beijing and meet the other families in our Group when we reach China.

November 21st - Beijing Cultural Tour: The Great Wall, Tian'an Men Square and the Forbidden City (full day touring).

November 22nd- Travel to Guangzhou.

November 23rd- Ashlyn will be delivered to us and we start bonding with her.

November 24th to 27th- Sightseeing and all official paperwork will be done this week (Receive Ashlyn’s passport).

November 28th- Have Ashlyn's brief medical exam.

December 1st- Consulate Appointment (Guide takes our paperwork to the Consulate for review).

December 2nd- Oath-taking ceremony.

December 3rd - Pick up Ashlyn’s exit visa in the afternoon.

December 4th– Morning departure from Guangzhou to the Orlando. The cool thing is, we'll leave the morning of December 4th from Guangzhou and we'll arrive in Orlando the evening of December 4th!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We Got It!

We got our TA today! The agency said they probably won't get us out on November 12th, but most likely the 19th. That's 2 weeks from today :-) We don't have official confirmation about the appointments, but we will know by tomorrow morning so we can start making travel arrangements and get our itenerary. If we leave the 19th, our Gotcha Day will be the 23rd and consulate appointment will either by the 30th or Dec. 1st and head back on the 3rd. This is so exciting! Now I have to start getting things ready for travel!!!

God is good!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No TA This Week!

Well, found out today that it was a mistake the agency was told that our TA and two others would arrive this week. They hadn't even been mailed yet. They said that it would be mailed soon. We just have to remember that it's all in God's timing (no matter how many times I have to repeat it to myself). Please keep us and Ashlyn in your prayers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Newest Update

Alright everyone...I really need prayers for this week. We were told that if we get our TA this week, we will be leaving on Thursday November 12th. We were told that there is a very good chance of getting our TA this week. This would put us at just under 3 weeks for departure! I still have things to buy for travel and just want a real confirmation before starting down that path.

If TA doesn't come this week, it will be difficult, but we'll know in our hearts that it will be whatever timing God has planned for us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kaylyn's Room Re-arranged

Kaylyn got a new bookshelf also. Here are pictures of her room now re-arranged. I would like to get her a corner desk also so that less wall space is taken up.

Ashlyn's New Room

Here some pictures of Ashlyn's new furniture and re-arranged room. We got the bookshelves this weekend and fun putting them together :-) All we need is a corner desk for her computer/homework and her room will be complete until she gets here. We'll figure out what to put on the walls when we figure out what she likes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TA to Departure Time Frame

I was told yesterday that typically the time frame between TA and departure is about 3 weeks. This means if we get our TA by early next week, we would probably leave out the week of November 16th. This would mean we would be in China for the Thanksgiving holidays if all of this is accurate. I'm hoping we get a 2 week time frame (or less) between TA and travel so that we can spend Thanksgiving with our family at my sister's new house! But if not, I know Kara will understand!

Just trying to keep everyone informed on what I'm hearing and am told to expect. Hope everyone is doing well. Please keep praying for us, for we can never have enough prayers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TA Almost Here!

Alright, we were told today that our TA will be sent soon so we'll hopefully get it by early next week. Not sure what kind of time frame there is right now between when you get your TA and when you travel. I think there is some kind of trade fair in Guangzhou during the end of October, so not sure what that means either. When we get our TA, they try to get us the next available consulate appointments and then we can make our travel arrangements. We're sitting on pins and needles just waiting to know when we our going to get our little girl.

On another happy note, we got Ashlyn's furniture delivered today, so now her bedroom is mostly complete. We just need to get both Kaylyn and Ashlyn their own bookshelves for their rooms, which we'll hopefully do this weekend. Ashlyn will also need a desk like Kaylyn for her own computer and homework place. We did fix all the patches from when we took everything down off the walls and touched up all the paint, so it looks like a brand new room. So exciting!

At least this gives me a little more to tell people this week instead of the same old "I don't know" shrug I've been giving everybody when they ask, "so, when are you going to pick up your daughter". Hopefully I'll have more good news by the beginning of next week, but until then...God Bless.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's Been Awhile

I know it has been awhile since I last posted. The reason has been that there is nothing to post. Still waiting for Travel Approval (TA) from China. The two week mark (if you take out the Festival time where the CCAA was closed) will be this Tuesday (10/20). The average time frame for TA is 2-4 weeks, so our best guess is that we'll hear something between 10/20 and 11/3. I have about 5 people per day asking if I'd heard anything yet and it's getting harder and harder for me to answer. I know they are just curious and trying to support me, but it also makes it harder on me emotionally to know that we're just still waiting. I really do love all the support we've gotten so far from everyone and I wouldn't trade it for the world. So to those who actually read my blog, thank you and I'll continue to need your support and prayers. Prayers that Ashlyn will be in our arms soon and that we can be patient enough to keep waiting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chinese Festivals

October 1st kicks off the beginning of China’s National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays in China.

This year, marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Festivities for these holidays which last from October 1st through October 8th will begin with a speech from President Hu Jintao followed by the National Day Parade.

The Mid-autumn festival is a very important occasion in the Chinese calendar. Every year, when the festival comes people go home from every corner of the world to meet their family and have dinner with them. The festival is a time for families to be together, so people far from home will gaze longingly at the moon and think about their families.

Because of this, the CCAA will be closed for one and a half weeks (opening back on October 9th). This means that our TA will be in the queue for an extra week making the 2-4 week wait to 3-5 weeks. Like I said before though, I will try to not be impatient with this and leave it up to God's timing no matter how difficult this is for me. Please pray for me to have patience :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Article 5 Approval Today

We received our Article 5 Approval today (which is the Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC) approval for Ashlyn by the US Consulate in China). Now the paperwork has to go to China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA). After they review the paperwork, they will issue us Travel Approval (TA). I was told that the average time from CCAA receiving Article 5 Approval until TA is issued is approximately 2-4 weeks. Hopefully it's only 2 weeks, but it will be what it is. I decided to consciously leave everything in God's hands last night and I believe that this is why we received Article 5 Approval this morning. God is good!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Alright, I'm getting frustrated. I have one person tell me that we will most likely be going to China around October 28th. Then later on, another person tells us of the possibility of going the first week in October. Now, I'm being told by yet another person maybe the end of November. This is about all I can say, because now I'm completely confused and longing to go get Ashlyn with no clear cut estimate of when we might do that.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Friday, September 11, 2009

National Visa Center

Got a letter today in the mail, dated September 09, 2009, that stated they received our approval Form I-800 and our petition has been sent to US Consulate in China. Not sure if that means it was sent on 9/9/09 or this letter was sent after the fact??? Hopefully the latter. Well, I think if we have any chance of going the first week in October, we'll need TA by next week. I think this is a long shot, but sometimes the Lord does work in mysterious ways. If we don't go the first week in October, then it's because it wasn't our time to go yet. I just pray for God to keep giving me patience.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We got our Visas in the mail today! I believe we are done with paperwork until we get to China. Talked with our agency today and there's a possibility of going over at the beginning of October. We just have to get our TA before then. They are doing this for the people who are adopting a child in Guangdong province because the trade fair doesn't start until the end of October and they think they can get us out before then. This is possibly good news, now just need some prayers answered for our TA to make this happen!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Care Package to Ashlyn

We sent another care package to Ashlyn to let her know it is getting closer to when we will be coming up to get her. We wrote her a letter and Ann at Red Threads will translate it and send it with her care package. We bought her a ladybug and pearl children's bracelet, a Chinese Passport doll, some candies, and a disposable camera. She should get it in 1-3 days. I will add the picture of the care package when Ann sends it to us. Here's the letter we wrote her!

Our dearest daughter Xiang Ling,

We are so excited about you joining our family. We can’t wait to meet you, get to know you, and become your Mommy & Daddy. We are expecting to be able to come to China to meet you in early November hopefully. We got the pictures of you in your yellow Hello Kitty dress and thought you looked so beautiful, especially with your wonderful smile. We had pictures printed of you in this dress and carry them with us everywhere. Kaylyn is so excited about getting a younger sister. She has been telling everyone about you and can’t wait for you to meet her. She will also be coming with us to meet you in China along with your new grandmother. We hope you are doing well and hope you are just as excited to meet us as we are to meet you. We hope you’ll enjoy this care package with a ladybug bracelet, passport doll, camera, and candies. Give your foster family and orphanage our love.

We love you and can’t wait to see you soon,

Mommy & Daddy