Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Pretty in Purple!
Lana is 7 and Lily is 4 1/2.
Lana Got Pierced Ears for Christmas!
Notice Lana's 1st grade smile -
she also got her two front teeth for Christmas!
Lana loves school and is reading like a pro!

Lily's New Violin!
Lily has been asking for a violin for months and finally got one for Christmas.
She can hardly wait for lessons to begin.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Girl!

Lana has been home for 10 months now! Time really has flown by when I stop to think about all of the things that have happened in these past months. Lana's surgery in November, kindergarten, dance classes, swimming lessons, trip to the coast, visits with family, family camp, riding horses, summer school, bike riding (without training wheels!), Chinese school and so much more! We can hardly remember our family without Lana. She was meant to be our daughter.

Physically she is doing great, no restrictions (as you could probably tell from the list of activities above!) Lana has grown 4 inches and gained 7 pounds since October! She is beautiful! Lana had her cardiology check up last week and they are a little concerned that her left pulmonary artery is still too narrow. They were able to widen it in November during surgery, but it may need further widening. She is scheduled for another test next week to see how much blood is going to the right and left pulmonary arteries. Just an IV and pictures of her lungs to calculate the amount of blood going to each lung. If there is not enough blood going to the left lung, they will schedule a procedure to insert a stent to widen the artery. That should do the trick! Please keep Lana in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Update, finally!

Lana and Lily
Where has the time gone? Lana has been with us for almost 9 months! Lana is doing great! She is a happy, healthy kindergartner. Her teacher says Lana is one of the most determined little girls she has ever met. Lana's latest accomplishment, the monkey bars! DaDa has taken the training wheels off her bike and Lana rides like a pro. We go back to Children's for a cardiology check up in July, and will probably only need annual check ups after that. Amazing.

Lily is excited for pre-kindergarten in the fall! She has been learning to read along with Lana. they love to pick out words they know when we are reading at bedtime. Lily also wants to take a gymnastics class as well as swimming and ballet! We are going to start with swimming and go from there.

We celebrated Lily's Adoption day in May. She has been home for 3 years! We also met up with our travel group and got to see Ava and Alice. They are all doing great! Beautiful and healthy girls.

Ava, Lana, Lily and Alice

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Remarkable Recovery!

We saw Lana's cardiologist today and he said that her recovery is remarkable! One of the best surgical outcomes he has ever seen! We feel absolutely blessed and grateful that Lana is doing so well. Thank you all for your prayers, we believe that God has answered our prayers beyond expectation.

Although Lana cannot fully communicate her joy, she really seems to be happier than before surgery. Her laughter is more frequent, heartier, and she seems more free to laugh. Da Da put up some Christmas lights this week and I explained to Lana that she would see Christmas lights on our house when she got home from school. When we came around the corner and she saw the lights for the first time, she just giggled! Lana just seems to glow!

Friday, November 23, 2007

"I Got Beautiful House"

At dinner tonight Lana was trying very hard to tell me a story. Her English is coming along very well, but she was struggling to get her message out. Lana was obviously trying to communicate something more complicated than " I want apple juice". She repeated one phrase about 3 times "I got beautiful house". I think she was trying to tell me that she is happy here! Even after all the doctor's appointments, procedures, and open heart surgery, I think she is happy!

This is such a huge relief to me! I worried so much that doing surgery so soon after adoption would interfere with our new relationship. I thought she would resent us for putting her through surgery. But Lana clearly feels that this is her home and that she belongs!

"I got beautiful house!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Surgery One Week Ago Today!

One week ago today Lana had heart surgery and she is doing great! Lana is happy and giggling and we are having a hard time making her take it easy. She wants to run and climb and we keep saying, "slow down, watch out for your owie!" Lana has virtually no pain, except if she gets bumped or sometimes rolling over in bed she will say "ow". She had a really bad allergic reaction to the surgery scrub and has a rash on her chest, and that was her chief complaint, itching! The itching is finally calming down now. Lana will start back to kindergarten next week!

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers, this experience has been miraculously smooth!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Butterfly Has Landed!

We are home! The echo and EKG were good, and all the docs were happy with Lana's recovery, so they sent us home. They actually said we could have gone home yesterday! Open heart surgery and only 3 nights in the hospital, I can't get over it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 3

We had great day! Lana was moved out of ICU, she is eating well, we went to the play room, she had a shower, and all of her "tubes" are out! She may actually get to go home tomorrow! Open heart surgery and only three nights in the hospital, a miracle for sure!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lana, 28 hours after surgery

Our Brave Lana!

The Best Mei Mei ever!

Lily has been the best little sister, ever! Lily was very patient and cooperative yesterday as Lana was getting ready for surgery. They played volley ball with a blown up blue hospital glove while we waited! When Lana was out of surgery Lily insisted on seeing her big sister. We were not planning on Lily seeing Lana on the ventilator with all sorts of tubes, but Lily was so upset at not seeing Lana, that we decided to go into ICU and have Lily wave to Lana through the window. Well, that was not close enough for Lily, so we moved a little closer and eventually took Lily to the bedside. When Lily was satisfied that Lana was o.k. she proceeded to ask the nurse a thousand questions about the monitors and machines!

Upadte on Lana

Lana is doing great! She is breathing on her own and her heart is beating normally (no pacemaker), she ate strawberry ice cream today and even got up and walked a few steps and sat in the chair with DaDa for about an hour! Lana will probably be moved out of ICU today, too. Amazing!
Yesterday the surgeon said that she had an unusual heart anatomy and a "gigantic hole" in her heart (I wonder how often a cardiac surgeon says gigantic when describing a VSD?). It sounds like the surgery was challenging and we are thankful that she had her surgery here. The surgeon assured us that she has the best patch possible. They were also able to patch her pulmonary artery to widen it, rather than replace it with an artificial tube. The artificial tube would not "grow" with her and it would have meant that she would most certainly need another surgery in the future. With the patched PA, the chance of needing another surgery are small, YEAH!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Lana's surgery was a great success!

Here is a time line of today's surgery:

6:15 Arrive and register. We met our translator, and he was awesome! He was very comfortable talking with Lana and was really humorous! Lana played shy and did not talk but he was able to get a few grins out of her. He helped us explain to her that she was going to have surgery to fix her heart and that lots of kids have surgery on their hearts. We explained that she would be able to ride her bike and not get tired and out of breath, and that her fingers and toes would not be purple any more and that they would not be so cold all the time.
7:45 The doctors took her back to prepare her for surgery. The anesthesiologists would need about 1 hour to prepare her medicines and put in her I.V.
9:00 Surgery began
10:15 Lana is put on the bypass machine
11:15 Lana is off bypass! (Only 1 hour on bypass!)
12:00 Surgery is over and the doctor came out to talk with us. He said that the surgery went well and that Lana's heart was beating normally, no pacemaker!
1:30 We got to see Lana and she is PINK and WARM!!! She is doing great!
5:00 Lana is "out breathing" the ventilator, which means that they will probably take her off the ventilator soon.
6:45 Lana is waking up and asking for water. They took her off the ventilator and she is breathing on her own! She is in and out but did wake up long enough to blow bubbles with Lily.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf! It is an answer to prayer that Lana is doing this well so fast.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lana the Brave

Lana's kindergarten teacher calls her "Lana the Brave"! Her teacher is amazed at how quickly Lana has transitioned and she is so eager to learn. Lana can write her name and loves to show off her work when she comes home from school. She even rides the school bus home! I cannot imagine riding a Chinese bus by myself and here is this little pip squeak of a 6 year old girl, riding the school bus by herself!

Since coming home, we have made four trips to Children's Hospital for Lana's medical appointments that included a cardiac catheterization and a 45 minute MRI, not to mention a doctor appointment with our local pediatrician, and two dentist appointments including the removal of two teeth! (They were wiggly baby teeth that would probably have come out with a good sneeze, but the doctor wanted them out before Lana's surgery) Lana has indeed been brave!

Lana's heart surgery is scheduled for November 13th, next week! We will go to the hospital on the 12th for the pre-operation appointments and Lana will probably be in the hospital for about a week and then there will be some activity restrictions for a few weeks. But the doctors say it should be a one time surgery and she will have a "normal" life afterwards.

Pray for the surgeons, and nurses for a successful surgery and a rapid recovery

Pray for good communication with Lana. That we will be able to explain the surgery to Lana and also help her during recovery. Her English is really coming along great, but it will be difficult in a hospital setting and complicated by pain. We have arranged for a translator to be at the hospital, pray that it will be someone who will be compassionate and patient with Lana and us.

Pray for Lily. How do we help Lily through this ordeal? Lily will not understand why she cannot see her sister or what all the medical equipment is for, and that Lana will not be able to play as usual for a while. Lily has been great going to all the appointments with us and there are lots of activities for siblings at the hospital, but waiting at the hospital is not going to be easy for a 3 year old.

And for us, it is hard to wrap our brains around what it will be like to see our daughter in the hospital, on a ventilator, with lots of tubes and wires, and a large incision on her chest. Pray we will be able to do and say what is needed for both of our girls.

Lily and Lana playing with the medical supplies sent from Children's hospital to help familiarize them with the things they may see in the hospital.

Our precious butterflies!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One Month with Lana!

Lily and Lana
(AKA The Giggle Sisters)

We have been home just over 2 weeks and things are going pretty well! Lana (6) and Lily (3) are now known as the "giggle sisters"! They play really well and Lily is learning to share her toys and share MaMa
and BaBa. Lana warmed up to BaBa first and still seems to prefer BaBa over MaMa, most of the time. That has actually worked our to Lily's advantage, since she prefers MaMa most of the time!

Lana is settling in and is showing a stubborn side! If she does not want to move, you have no choice but to pick up her solid 40 pound frame and move her yourself! I guess the honeymoon is over!

Lana can
count to 10 (in English), knows the ABCs and is learning some of the songs we like to sing! She likes to practice writing ABCs and asks "what's that?" about 100 times a day! For example, at dinner time she will ask "what's that?" about each item on the table, and we will name the things she points at, and then she will repeat the words we say. She is very eager to learn and we will start her in kindergarten soon.

Lana's Heart

When we first looked at Lana's file back in December 2006, we were informed that she had a heart condition. This did not change our minds about adopting her, we wanted her, heart defect or not. We had a cardiologist look at her file back in January and were told that her condition was correctable and that she would have a "normal" life, and a normal life span.

Lana's condition causes her to get out of breath and her nails and lips get a little blue. If she is playing hard, she knows when to sit down and catch her breath, and then she will join back in and play.

Lana had her first cardiologist appointment at
Seattle Children's Hospital last week. She did really well
through the EKG and Echo and then they scheduled her for a heart catheteritization. The cath was on Monday and they were able to get a clear picture of her heart (this is the procedure where they send a camera through an artery into the heart to take pictures). The next step is for the cardiology team at Children's to look at her case and plan her surgery. They would like to do the open heart surgery sooner than later, maybe even next month!

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work through Lana's surgery. We had hoped surgery could wait awhile until Lana learned more English and we could better communicate with her through the difficult recovery from open heart surgery. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for our Forever Family.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Squeezy Potty" Revisited

The whole gang! 6 CHI families
Lily and Lana are in Lavender

Thanks to Mrs. H,
Lily has mastered the squatty potty! We went on a Safari in Guangzhou with three other adoptive families and there were only squatty potties in the bathrooms. Mrs. H had taught most of the American kids in the group how to use the squatties, so, she showed Lily how and now Lily is an expert! Lana is a natural, of course! In case you were wondering, here is a picture of a "squeezy potty".


We made it home safely yesterday! It was an exhausting trip and we are trying to recover from jet lag. The girls slept 15 hours last night and woke up at noon! We just stayed home today and kept quiet. Our wonderful new neighbor stocked up our refrigerator so we did not even have to go out for groceries!

I will work on a recap of the last week in China soon. But in short, all went well. Our paperwork came together in time, we made all our flights together, and didn't lose any luggage!

Lana is doing really well adjusting to family life. She is learning English quickly. Her first word was "YEAH!" and at the airport in Beijing she put her first question together! She asked "Is this my juice?" Lana can count to 10 and says the A B C's in English. She is a smart little girl! She is eager to learn, loves to draw and practice writing Chinese characters. It has been really fun to see her excitement at seeing new things. When we arrived at the airport in Xi'An for her first flight, we pointed out an airplane on the tarmac and she gasped and squealed with awe when she saw it! We have heard this cute little gasp and squeal many times now, and we love it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.
It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.
Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.
~Maya Angelou

Mr. R's Wild Ride!

BaBa, Shoes, Pizza and a Rickshaw
(Written by BaBa) Our adventures in China have been filled with mixed emotions. From the joy of meeting Lana for the fist time to the frustration of waiting and waiting in government offices. It has been a great trip and exciting to see my daughters become sisters!
My personal adventure began when we realized that Lana's shoes were really too small and she needed to have new ones before we did any sightseeing. We had also decided to have pizza for dinner (thank the "O" family for this bright idea!). Well, Pizza Hut does not deliver in China, thus began my quest to feed and clothe my family. The hotel provided me with a card explaining in Chinese that I wanted to go shopping and also to the Pizza Hut near the Bell Tower and then they graciously called me a taxi. So, with a the girl's feet traced on a sheet of hotel stationery in my pocket, I climbed into a Chinese taxi. I made it to the store with no problems and was even able to find matching shoes for the girls.
Then I set out to get pizza. I could not find the Pizza Hut so I had to do the unmanly thing and ask for directions! I stopped at a corner stand and asked and as luck would have it, they did not know where the Pizza Hut was. Then I decided to approach a man driving a motorized rickshaw and ask if he knew. I showed him the card from the hotel and he nodded that yes, he knew where the Pizza Hut was. So, I got in. I showed him a 10 yuan bill (about $1.30), he took it and off we went at warp 10! After about a block he stopped and began yelling in Chinese and showed me his cell phone with the number 20 on it, so I gave him a 20 yuan bill, and he took off again. We flew through traffic, against traffic, dodging cars and trucks and pedestrians, with me bouncing around in the back holding on to my daughter's new shoes! We jumped a curb, honked at the people in the way and screeched to a stop in front of the Pizza Hut! The return trip was uneventful, I successfully purchased two pizzas and showed my card to a taxi driver and made it back to the hotel to deliver warm pizza to my family.
The best part of the story was seeing Lana's eyes light up as she opened the box of her first pair of new shoes!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Family of Four

Our first meeting!
Lily was so excited to see Lana, she gave her a huge hug! Lana was not too sure about us at first, there were a few tears when the nannies first left her with us. Lily was very attentive to Lana. Lily asked for a tissue and wiped Lana's tears and stroked her hair, it was very sweet to watch.
Just a couple hours later! A happy girl! We had room service in our beloved Sofitel 5 star hotel, a few choruses of Ring Around the Rosie (that brought huge giggles from Lana), read books, sang a few songs and crashed!
The obligatory photo of the first night's sleep.
Little girls need their Daddy's kisses!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

"Squeezy Potty"

Lily holding a silk worm cocoon in Suzhou
Lily has turned out to be a good little traveler! When we got on the first plane we were taxiing around the runways Lily said "Go Faster!" Lily was not afraid of the flight, and really enjoyed being able to sit in a seat without a carseat! Something she has been wanting to do for a long time.

We have had a great trip visiting Suzhou and learning about the silk worms and we spent the afternoon yesterday touring Shanghai before our flight to Xi'An.

When planning our trip we explained to Auntie Karen and Cousin Maddie that the Chinese toilets are "squatty potties" and that it takes a little balance and grace to use them without falling in! Well, we did not think about how Lily would use the "squatty potty". Lily did not want anything to do with the "squatty potty"! Lily could be heard crying "I don't want the "squeezy potty", I don't like "squeezy potties"! Luckily, we have been able to find a western toilet when the need was most dire! So, now we all call the Chinese toilets "squeezy potties"!

All silliness aside, in a little less than 6 hours, we will meet Lana for the first time! We are anxious and a little nervous, but very excited to bring Lana into our family.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

We're Here!

We are in China! We had a great flight, everyone did well! The Shanghai skyline is spectacular! Very colorful at night. We are getting our internal clocks adjusted and slept pretty well, although Lily woke up at 4 a.m.! So, I decided to post a quick message, Ken is watching baseball, and Lily is munching snacks, singing the Sesame Street theme song and going through the suitcases! The rest of our family is in the next room still sleeping. We will be touring Suzhou on Friday and then Shanghai on Saturday and fly to Xi'An on Saturday. We meet Lana on Sunday! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Leaving On a Jet Plane!

Leaving Wednesday September 5th! We will get Lana on the 9th, finalize the adoption on the 17th and fly home on the 21st! And just like that, we will be a family of 4! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf!

Monday, August 20, 2007


FINALLY! We received the "official" travel approval document today! 5 weeks to the day from our confirmation letter, a very long 5 weeks! So, now we wait (again) to find out when we get our consulate appointment, then we can actually book a flight! Looks like it will be September, so that means that the fares should be lower. Stay tuned!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More Pictures of Lana!!!

Do I see a hint of Lana's personality in this picture?!? She should fit in nicely! Her teeth look pretty good, too! Which surprises me since every other picture we have of her show her with a sucker in her mouth!
It has been so fun to see new pictures of Lana, we have been very fortunate to get so many updates. Won't be long and we will be the ones taking pictures for families still waiting to travel.
Still no TA...maybe next week...


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Pictures Taken August 9th!

Yep! New pictures of Lana taken TOMORROW! Our friends are in China bringing home their new son from Xi'An! Lana will have a friend from the her orphanage living only a couple miles away. How cool is that?

Can you help?

We are getting closer to Lana, but are still waiting for our Travel Approval (TA). It has been over 3 weeks since we got our confirmation letter and we expect TA any day now!

As we continue our wait, we could use your help with a few things. Most of all, please keep us in your prayers!

Pray for Lana, for her adjustment to joining our family and that we will bond well together. She will be leaving the only home she knows, living with people who do not speak Chinese, and dealing with transportation, foods and sooooo many new things. This is a lot for anyone to deal with.

Pray for Lily, she will also be going through a big change in her life, getting a big sister! While that currently sounds fun to Lily, I am sure the reality will be difficult at times.

Pray for safe travel and good health for all of us. Auntie Karen and cousin Maddie are traveling with us, too.

Pray for us as we prepare to become parents to two precious little girls! What an absolute blessing and honor it is to be given the privilege of parenting these little girls.

Pray for our leave from work. That we use the time well, to bond as a family and help Lana learn English and get ready for school. (By the way - Ma Ma is having a little trouble with her employer and may not be able to use her sick leave (some contract glitch), and this could really cut into how much time we can afford to take off work. We would really like for Ma Ma to take 3 months off to be home with the girls.)

This leads to our last request, pray for our finances. There is no question that adoption is costly. While we would prefer to not have to ask, we could really use some help financially. While we are trusting that God will meet our needs, we also believe that sharing burdens, makes the burdens lighter. If you feel led to assist us in bringing Lana home, you can make a donation directly to our adoption agency in our name. Here is the contact information:

Children’s House International
P.O.Box 1829
Ferndale, WA 98248

Phone: (360) 380-5370
We have also applied for an adoption grant but have yet to hear if we have been awarded a grant.

Thank you so much for sharing our journey!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Half a world away
Sometimes it seems we are so far apart
But half a world away
Is not too far for a journey of the heart

My little one
I'm waiting for you
My precious daughter
I know you are waiting too

Half a world away
A child waits for a family of her own
While half a world away
A family waits bring her home

My little one
I am whispering a prayer
My precious daughter
I hope to soon be there

I hope that we
Will no longer be
Half a world away

-adapted from a poem by Jill Work

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We Have Confirmation!

We signed our confirmation letter yesterday! This means that in 2-3 weeks we should have our travel approval and then in another 2 weeks we'll get our consulate appointment and then we'll actually get to book our flight! Pray for speedy paperwork, we want to be with Lana on her birthday September 8th.
An invisible red thread
Connects those who are destined to meet,
Regardless of time,
Place, or circumstance,
The thread may stretch or tangle,
But never break.
(Ancient Chinese Legend)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If we build it she will come... least we hope so! Yesterday we built Lana's bed and it is already filled with stuffed animals and dolls! The beds are a bunk bed set and we will stack them eventually to give the girls a little more floor space to play.

We are on day 77 in our wait for our confirmation letter from China. Please pray that it will come this week! We really want to be with Lana on her birthday, September 8th.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

100 Good Wishes Quilt for Lana

Would you like to contribute a square of fabric for Lana's 100 Good Wishes Quilt?

What is a 100 Good Wishes quilt? It is Chinese tradition to make a quilt to welcome and celebrate a new life. It is customary to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of fabric with a good wish for the baby. Most of the fabric will become part of the quilt and a swatch of the fabric will go into a memory book along with the good wish for the child from the giver of the piece of fabric. The completed quilt contains the good luck, prayers, and good wishes from all the family members and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The goal is to collect 100 pieces of fabric!

If you would like to contribute a piece of fabric for Lana's 100 Good Wishes quilt, please send me:
  • an 8 inch square piece of 100% cotton quilt fabric (fabric can be larger than 8 inches)
  • a good wish, verse or prayer on a 3x5 card
The background will be red (similar to the picture above). Fabric can be of any style or theme as long as it is 100% cotton quilt fabric. Some fabric ideas are gardens, flowers, bugs (especially ladybugs), pandas, puppies or anything really.

If you are unable to send a piece of fabric but would like to participate, please send me a good wish for Lana and I will match your wish with a piece of fabric and add it to the quilt for you!

Please email me if you need our address.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 61 and counting.....

AND new pictures of Lana taken June 21st!

Some of my friends have gotten their confirmation letters on day 70, and day 77, so......we are getting close, really close! I think the time will fly by now, time to get organized! After the confirmation letters are sent back we should then get our TA (travel approval) a couple weeks after that, and then travel about 2 weeks after that! So, we could travel early August!!! That would be great (except for the sweltering heat of China in August). We would be home for Lana's 6th birthday, something I have been praying for since the beginning!

From the look on the kid's faces, I may have to give in and take suckers for them on our visit to the orphanage! I will also take tooth brushes and toothpaste to make up for it though!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

New Pictures of Lana!

These pictures were taken by a family who are in Xi'An picking up their daughter! The family was able to deliver our package to Lana in person and get these pictures, taken TODAY! What an absolute blessing to see her holding the package we held only a few days ago! It won't be much longer until we get to hold her in our arms!
Isn't she just a sweetheart?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm a BIG helper!

Lily is helping Da Da make some new dressers.
One for Lily and one for Lana!

(Written by Da Da) As a home owner, home improvement projects are a way of life. I really enjoy getting out my tools to fix, assemble, build, or paint projects. These days I don't do any projects by myself, I have a helper! Whenever I am doing work around the house, Lily is right by my side. She is actually a very good helper and is a natural at putting things together! Lily can use a hammer, screwdriver, Allen wrenches and she can hardly wait to use power tools! Projects take a little longer, my tools are rarely where I need them, instructions are strewn all over the place, and there is a bigger mess to clean up, but when the project is done, it is all worth it when Lily smiles at her Ma Ma and says "I'm a BIG helper!".

Gotta love the "plumber pants"!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Adoption Day Tradition

Breakfast in bed!

Lily has been asking for breakfast in bed for some time, not sure where that came from, she has not seen it in our household! So, we decided that it would be a nice surprise to bring Lily breakfast in bed to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the day we became a family. Lily had the biggest grin on her face when Da Da brought in the tray of food! Breakfast began with a chocolate donut with "sprinklers" as Lily calls them, along with eggs, sausage, milk and juice. We plan to make this a regular tradition for both girls on their adoption days.

Happy Birthday to Lily!

Lily celebrated her 3rd birthday at Build-a-Bear! We had a great time with friends and family! Almost everyone made a bear! We planned on about 9 bears, but even the older kids and auntie wanted to make one, so we ended up making about 15 bears, and a few dogs, too!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Day 19

Today is day 19 in the count down to Lana! I think it would be a great present to get our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) or better yet, our TA (Travel Approval) on my birthday in July! How is that for being optimistic? Our real hope is to be with Lana on her birthday September 8th. Lana has spent too many birthdays without her forever family.

In case you wondered where Xi'An is, it is almost in the geographic center of China.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Have Passport...Will Travel!

Lily's passport came yesterday!!! Lily has been waiting and waiting and waiting for her passport to arrive! Every time we checked the mail, Lily would ask "Is my passport here, yet?". I am not sure she knows what a passport is but she does know that it means she gets to go to China to get her big sister! One more thing to check off the list!

This picture is Lily with our dog Cami. Cami is a Portuguese Water Dog in need of a hair cut! They get along pretty well for the most part, especially when peanut butter is involved! One day, Ken was home with Lily and Cami and Ken thought it was a little too quiet in the kitchen where they were. Upon checking on them he found Cami very patiently sitting next to Lily on the floor, waiting for Lily to dip her hand into the peanut butter jar. Each time Lily's hand came out of the peanut butter jar, Cami, of course, licked Lily's hand clean and patiently waited for Lily to dip her hand again! So, now before using any peanut butter, we have to ask "Is this the dog's peanut butter?"

Friday, May 4, 2007

I See the Moon...

I see the moon and the moon sees me,
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree.
Please let the light that shines on me,
Shine on the one I love.

Over the mountains, over the sea,
I have a love who is waiting for me.
Please let the light that shines on me,
Shine on the one I love.

Thinking about Lana, hoping she feels our love for her. Lily has been especially sweet talking about Lana lately. Lily frequently asks "Is my big sister waiting for us?, When can we go get my big sister?, Can we go get her today?".

Today is day 10 of our count down to Lana! Let's hope we will NOT join the century club and wait over 100 days!

A note about the painting, it is called "Watching a Lantern Show" by Wang Jinxi. I really enjoy the bright colors of the Jinshan Peasant Paintings. These paintings are created by Chinese peasants working in Jinshan County near Shanghai, China.

Friday, April 27, 2007

READY...GET SET...wait

We have our LID!!! Our Log in Date is 4-24-07!!! That means that China has received our dossier and now we can start the count down to Lana! If our wait follows the current trend, we should travel in August!

Lily has been talking about Lana almost daily. It has been very sweet to hear her ask "Can we go get my big sister Lana today?" And "Is Lana waiting for us?"

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Now, we wait!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Lana Adoption Update

We are getting closer to completing the paper chase for Lana! We received our PA (Pre-Approval) yesterday!

For those of you not familiar with the adoption process I thought I would take a few minutes tell you what we have been up to.

It all started when we found Lana on a waiting child list. We had been talking about adopting an older child (we are not getting any younger and not doing diapers appealed to both of us!) and we decided to look at the waiting children on the Children's House International web site. And after reading the profiles of the children and following the list for a couple months, we saw Lana on a new list. We inquired about her and asked the agency if we could adopt her. We explained to the agency that we thought we were meant to be her family, and the agency agreed!

Then the pains of paperwork began. We scheduled a homestudy with a social worker, which means that we have 4 interviews with the social worker, she visits our home, she reviews our health reports, financial information, background check, and we each write an autobiography. The social worker then writes a report making a favorable determination that we can adopt.

The rest of the paperwork includes birth certificates, marriage certificate, employment letters, and all must be notarized. Each notarized piece of paper (we have 13 documents in all) must then be sent to the secretary of state for certification (meaning that the state confirms that the notary is o.k.). Then, the whole dossier (all these documents together make up the dossier) goes to the U.S. secretary of state in D.C. for authentication and then to the Chinese consulate. Whew! If only we could get the air miles that the dossier logs! After that the dossier is ready to go to China!!!

We are currently flying paperwork across the country. So, if all goes well and FedEx keeps up the good work, by next week, we could be DTC!

In case you have been trying to follow the acronyms, here is a list of the most common used in the adoption process:

LOI-Letter of Intent (the letter we wrote to China asking to adopt Lana)

PA-Pre-Approval (a letter from China stating that we are approved to adopt Lana)

DTC-Dossier to China (paperwork is DONE!)

LID-Log in Date (the date the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) acknowledges our dossier and when we can start counting days to TA!)

LOA-Letter of Acceptance (final confirmation from China that all is good to go!)

TA-Travel Approval (time to pack and finalize travel plans!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Package to Lana

Kit the curly dog is on her way to Lana! We can hardly wait to see Lana holding her new doggie friend. We hope the pictures will help her get to know us or at least become familiar with our faces and help prepare her to join our family.

Lily had fun putting together the package for Lana that included a photo album with pictures of us (including pictures of Cami our Portuguese Water Dog), hair clips, and Kit the curly dog! Lily named Kit the curly dog after one of Cami's doggie friends.

A family traveling to Xi'An to adopt their daughter will deliver Lana's package. What did we ever do before YahooGroups? There is a YahooGroup for families that have adopted or are in the process of adopting children from Xi'An.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Meet the next addition to the Life of Razz...Lana!

We can hardly wait to put a smile on that face! We are in the process of adopting Lana! Lana's Chinese name is Qian Hao (Lily's Chinese name is Qian Ping...coincidence...?!?!) Born September 8,2001. So, Lily is getting a BIG sister! Lana is described as quiet, obedient, and likes to help the little kids at the orphanage with their coats and shoes. We are not sure when we will be traveling, but we hope, hope, hope to be home for her birthday in September.
Please pray for speedy paperwork!
Lana is in Xi'An, so we get to spend a week in Xi'An! We absolutely loved our visit to Xi'An when we traveled to China to adopt Lily. It is a beautiful city and is the location of the Terracotta Soldiers.



Someday, she’ll be a famous pianist,
or maybe she’ll be a high school science teacher.
Someday, she’ll marry, and have a couple kids.
Someday, she’ll help millions of people
all over the world.
Or maybe she’ll travel,
send letters from Africa
or phone us from Rome.
Someday, she’ll be a strong,
confident woman…
…but we’ll always remember
the first time
we held her in our arms.
Someday, she’ll have
her own hopes and dreams,
not knowing that once upon
a quiet time, we closed our eyes
and dreamed
to have her in our life.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lily...Then and Now

Lily...Then. This the first picture we saw of Lily! Those big, sad, weepy eyes instantly melted our hearts! Born April 20, 2004, adopted May 18, 2005. Her Chinese name is Ling Qian Ping. Ling is the last name given to all the children at the Shangrao orphanage, Qian is for the county where she is from and Ping is a water lily! We did not know the meaning of Ping when we named her Lily.

Lily...Now. Here she is now, quite a little lady with her "big girl" haircut, showing off her dimples! Lily will be 3 years old on April 20th!

Some of her favorite things are:
-Noodles (Our "noodle girl" from the beginning! We absolutely fell in love with her when we saw her slurp noodles in Nanchang)
-Musicals (Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang tops the list)
-Singing (We sing nightly before bed)
-Hot Wheels (Stashed everywhere! I have found them in my shoes, in my chair, in my purse!)
-Shoes (Playing "shoes" is a regular pastime, we need to get some larger squeaky shoes when we are in China)
-Books (Books, Books, and more Books!)
-Friends (Includes her little girl friends, and her dolls and stuffed animals, they are all referred to as "my friends")