Friday, February 26, 2010

The Countdown Begins....

I confirmed with our agency today that our Article 5 was picked up yesterday and is being couriered to Beijing where it will be hand-delivered to the CCAA. We can now start counting in DAYS, rather than weeks or months, when we will get to travel. I hope to get our Travel Approval in 10 days or so (+/-) and then we can finally start packing and getting things in order to go!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


A few more pictures of Guest house and the new bedding I got for XJ's room.

Weekend Update

It is a beautiful sunny day here in Austin so we managed to get a few more house projects done this weekend. We really don't have much more to do besides wait for TA. I still plan on painting the cabinets in the guest house and painting/wallpapering the office, but other than that, we're good. We are going to Dallas this coming weekend for a better-late-than-never Valentine's Day dinner. Reservations are set at Craft/Dallas which is in the W Hotel and owned by Tom Collichio (sp) of Top Chef fame. As much as we love Austin, and there are great restaurants, we miss the truly fine dining we had access to in we go to Dallas. Never thought I'd be looking so forward to a trip to Dallas, but after all the stress of the past few months, I'll take what I can get. Plus, we're going to China in a few weeks and I really can't complain!

No more news yet on when we are leaving, but according to our agency we should have our A5 on the 25th...then TA! Then XJ! It's really getting close!

Here are some new pictures of the projects. Friends of ours went on a trip to Singapore/Japan/Bali last month and brought us back these calligraphy paintings of our names...I got them framed and they hang in our entry. The other pictures are of the guest house...those of you saw it when it was a rental, with the ugly yellow paint, might not recognize it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Picture and Description

This is the first picture we ever saw of XiaoJun. He is about 2 or so here. I think this picture will be very important someday, as it is really the only "baby picture" we will have of him. The rest of the photos are more recent. This is the description we saw that made us initiate the process to adopt him. Realistically, this is still all we know about him. I have many more pictures but I have created an entire little boy out this brief paragraph in my head. I simply can't wait to meet him and find out how my imagination compares to his true personality. Also, the term "he was very cute" was used MANY times in his file...I agree!

"This precious little boy is able to walk quite steadily and run for a short distance. He will fetch stools for others and take kids younger than him to play, help them up when they stumbled. Sometimes, he will also help caretakers handing out biscuits and fruits. He also puts away toys he has played with. He enjoys watching cartoons, such as “Tom and Jerry” and “Ottoman”, and imitates some lines sometimes. Update: His hand doesn't have negative impact on his self-care ability, and sometimes he helps the caregiver feed other younger children. He can sing some songs such as the number song, recite poems in Tang period and some other children’s songs. He is introverted, and when he feels unhappy, he stays alone and doesn’t want to say a word. The nannies always comfort him by giving him hug, toys, snacks or talking with him. He likes to play with other children and others want to invite him to play."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Article 5, Article 5..wherefore art thou Article 5?

Well, we wait. It seems as if there is some hold-up with our Article 5. We were under the impression that there was a 14 day turn around on issuing these. However, at the EXACT moment we were submitting this stuff the government added yet another form to the mix. This is called a NVC letter. I don't even have a clue what all this stuff means or is, I just know the order I am supposed to get the approvals. NVC letter then A5, then TA (Travel Approval). The agencies seem to be confused too and I don't know that anyone has received their A5 since the NVC letter was required. What this all boils down to is that instead of leaving in a couple of weeks, it will be closer to the middle of March. This has actually been a major disappointment as we are so close, yet so far away from XJ. We're pretty bummed, but know that in the grand scheme of things we are lucky to only get delayed a short while. Will send him another care package to let him know we are thinking about him...nonstop, pretty much.

We have had our guest house painted and it just awaits if you are reading this...come visit! I will post pictures this weekend after I have a chance to get in there and spruce it up. We have all the furniture we need, just need some decor. I might attempt to cut a hole in our fence that separates our house from the guest house and add a gate this weekend. Jason does not know this yet. Ssshhh. It would just make it easier instead of having to go out the front door and around back each time. Also, need to plant my's spring here in ATX!

Keeping busy this weekend...Friday and Monday off of work! Volunteering at the Marathon on Sunday for Blue Dog Rescue. Ran the race and raised money for them last year, but no running 26.2 for me this year. Too much stress and something had to give. Maybe next year?! Dinner with friends and a special Valentine's Day with Jason...looking forward to it! Last one without a kid!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catching Up!

I have been meaning to update my blog and finally have some time to get it done! It's been a busy month. Unfortunately, no news on our travel dates yet. We thought we'd be going at the end of February, but it looks more like the beginning of March now. Hang in there XJ! I think Chinese New Year is a MUCH bigger deal than I realize, and I believe the whole country stops working so we can't get our Consulate Appointments made etc. We got our visas for China and they spelled my name wrong! Of course, it's not the first time. And, to be quite honest, I don't even really know how my own name appears "officially" as my passport, social security card and birth certificate have 3 different versions. For those of you that don't know me...I have a hyphenated first name and a very unusual hard to spell Italian last name. I'm just glad XJ's last name will be my husbands, which is "Friday"...just like the best day of the week! Anyway, after many assurances from our agency and their liason with the correction needed on the visa. Hope they let me in China!
We also just had to do an 11th hour homestudy update because of Jason's new job. Our social worker rocks and she came today and we'll have it all processed ASAP. We were told this update wouldn't hold up our travel, let's hope this is the case.
Jason's new job is great news...he'd been working on a contract basis for a while and it is just much more of a relief for him to have something more stable. It's also 5 min from home which means he can home home at lunch and be home early in the evenings. AND, I can work out in the morning still while he and XJ have breakfast! Life is good :)

I was supposed to go to DC this weekend to visit my sister, but there is an epic snowstorm going on. I will most likely save the miles and take XJ to visit his Aunts and Uncles in DC in the fall. He'll like it there.