Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our Referral Video

This blog post was supposed to be about the week we got our referral of Vivian.  I wanted to post some details about that week, and how we shared the good news of her referral with our kids and our families.  As I was picking out which pictures to post, I realized I had great material for a little video.  I love to make videos. Love pairing pictures with music and having a story.  We received Vivian's referral on a Monday night.  We were already scheduled to take a visit with my two of my sisters and their kids to my parent's house for Easter.  We decided to keep her referral a secret all week (TORTURE) and surprise my parents with the news.  And because we didn't trust the kids to keep the secret, we told my parents first, and then surprised the kids.  It was awesome.  It was so fun to share that moment in person with them, and our kids were able to share it with their cousins.

As we told everyone, I asked my husband and my brother-in-law try and capture what they could in video and pictures.  They did a great job, and gave me great material for my video. I knew immediately what song I would use. Yes, it is cheesy,  but for months the song, "A Thousand Years" was kind of our adoption "theme song" (you may remember I blogged about it here).  Especially for Kate.  I have to admit I tear up everytime I hear, "all along I believed I would find you".

I always believed we would find our daughter, and now we have.

This video is for Vivian.  I can never tell my daughter the story of the day she was born.  I can't tell her what she looked like when she entered the world.  I can't tell her what her first days, weeks, months, or even years were like. I don't have the stories of her first tooth, her first steps, or her first words.

This breaks my heart.

Oh, how this breaks my heart.

BUT, what I CAN do is try, in every way possible, to let her know how badly she was wanted by Rob and I.   I can let her know how excited her brothers and sister were about her.  That has always been one purpose of this blog.  I do not have any pictures of Rob and I when we first saw her, but the moment is etched in my memory forever.  I CAN tell her what it was like when I saw her for the first time.  And with this video, I can show her how excited this family, her forever family, was to have found her.  It will not make up for all the unanswered questions, but I hope it will help.  I want to mention that this video does not represent Vivian's entire extended family.  We are missing some aunts and uncles, and we are missing Rob's parents.  I hate that, because their love will be one of the greatest gifts in her life.  I am sure more videos will be made and we will make sure to get pictures of everyone for those (and we will not be in  our PJs next time!).  Enjoy!  (You may have to view this on a computer)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Care package, LOA, and a name!

Well, things have been pretty crazy around here since my last post.  Lots of good news to pass along, so here goes:

First, after we received our Pre-Approval from China, we were allowed to send a care package to our girl.  It was a lot of fun putting it together.  We were instructed to keep it to the size of a small shoebox so that it would pass through customs. We couldn't fit a whole lot in it, but we did the best we could.  It  gave me my first opportunity to shop for my daughter!!  I bought her a dress and some PJs.  It was very surreal to be back in the baby girl clothing section.  Our girl is tiny.  Very tiny.  Heartbreakingly tiny.  At 2 1/2 she only weighs 18 pounds, which puts her in 6-12 month clothing.  As I picked out those tiny outfits I couldn't help but feel anxious to get her home and get some much needed good nutrition in her.  We also included a lovey, a photo album to introduce her to our family, and lollipops for her friends in the orphanage and the nannies.  We just hope and pray it makes it to her!

The next piece of good news is that last week we received our LOA (Letter Seeking Confirmation of Adopter) from China!! THIS IS HUGE, PEOPLE!! So huge and COMPLETELY unexpected.  All of my adoptive friends reading this understand how huge this is.  We were given a timeline of anywhere from 30-100+ days that we could possibly wait for this letter (and I know of several people who have waited over 100 days).  We received ours in 14 DAYS.  This is such a blessing.  Our LOA arrived in the mail Monday and we were thrilled to sign it and send it back to our agency.

When we accepted our referral, we were told to expect to travel in 4-7 months.  We figured we would be in China sometime in the fall.  Now, with our LOA arriving so quickly, we are being told to expect to travel in about 10-14 weeks.  This is great news, but it does have us in a bit of a panic!!!   Our summer plans may get completely messed up, but that is fine with us.  We just want to get our girl as soon as possible.  After sending back our LOA, we submitted some required paperwork to immigration.  Right now, we are waiting on our approval, which we expect in 2-4 weeks.

Our last piece of fun news is we have decided on a name for our daughter!  We actually have known what her first name would be for a while, the hold up has been her middle name.  We went back and forth about whether or not to keep any of her Chinese name given to her in the orphanage (which is VERY difficult to pronounce).  We ultimately decided we want to name her in the same way we have named all of our other children:  with a family name.  My children, in their first and/or middle names, carry the names of my father, Rob's father, Rob's mother, and my grandfather.  All people we love and admire.  One person is missing from that list, and that is my mother, whose name is Patricia.  So, our daughter's name will be....

Vivian Patricia 

Sorry, I just couldn't resist a chance to put her cute picture up again!  The kids are excited because Vivian was their first choice, and they want to call her "Vivi".  

Ok, that is all for now!! Stay tuned .. things are finally getting interesting!!