Friday, September 30, 2011

Signing Time....and a little update

Should I share the fun news first or the bad news first? I'll start with the fun news!
We have been working on the third Signing Time dvd and are loving it! The kids are doing great and I see them using their signs throughout the days. I try to use them too....just need to remind myself when I am about to say one of the words I can now sign to sign it instead. I am also trying to get the kids to sign for things instead of using their words to ask for them- I think it could help to decrease whining (just maybe), especially for Landyn and the word cheese. Let's sign it instead of whining it for what feels like forever! That kid could probably eat a pack of Kraft singles in a day if you let

We have probably learned somewhere between 50 and 100 signs by now. Some of the kids are picking them up and using them more than others, but that might be due to their age, their attention span, and interest level. Some of our new favorites are: you guessed it, "cheese," cookie, cracker, cereal, candy, ice cream, apple, banana, cold, hot, help, wet, dry, full, sad, happy, day, night, and help! I really want to go there? Not really, but I have to update you. Our social worker fought the good fight for us and tried everything from phone meetings to a list of 10 reasons why our family would be great for bringing home two girls together, but the boss lady won...she stood her ground and said no for the final least to bringing home two at once! We can't lie- we are heartbroken, frustrated, you name it- the list goes on. We can re-use our dossier (aka boatload of paperwork) within one year of Lena coming home and go back for another child who waits, which would save a little money and a lot of time with less paperwork, but in the end it is still very expensive and we won't be able to afford to go back- not any time soon. And frankly, after the drama we went through with our first adoption and now this, Rick is ready to say- no more adoptions period after this! It is sad that the bureaucracies are what makes adopting so difficult. It is sad that a child waiting for a family could have had a family, but someone that doesn't know us and someone who has a lot of power said NO!

Right now I am going to focus on my precious little girl who is waiting for me...we are coming little one- I'm just sorry it has to take so long!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The first care package is off!

Well, I debated on when to send a care package to our daughter. Part of me wanted to send one right when we got PA, but a part of me wanted to wait until we got DTC (our boatload of paperwork to China) or later so she didn't feel like she was waiting FOREVER for her family to come get her. I just couldn't wait THAT long. I did wait a little while, but as of today the care package is ready and Lena should be receiving it soon, which is also likely when she will hear that she has a family (I wish I could see that moment). Maybe they will take a picture of her getting it since we sent a disposable camera with the package. That would be a wonderful moment to have documented. We used Ann at Red Thread China-
She was amazingly quick and she did a great job! We are hoping to get some questions answered about our daughter....we'll see what comes back.

We sent a disposable camera for them to take pictures of her, a soft photo album with pictures of our family, our house, her bedroom, and pictures we made colored for her, and a cute PINK blanket. We will certainly send her more care packages during this wait to hopefully make it just a tiny bit easier for her and for us. Here is the first care package! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We got updated pictures and info!

YAY for updates! We got a brief update on measurements today thanks to Ann at Red Thread Kids- she sure is fast! We also got four updated photos of Lena. They have cut her hair even shorter and unfortunately, she doesn't look too happy in any of the pictures. I sure would like to squeeze her and see that beautiful smile! That's the hard thing about getting updated photos- it just makes your day to have them, but at the same time, it makes you just want to go over there and get them and that is not possible and there are so many more long waits ahead. We'll just pray that the waits are as short as possible and that we can get her home as soon as possible! If you are someone who prays, we would love prayers that Lena Grace Yujie is being cared for as well as possible and loved, along with the other children in her orphanage's care.

Enjoy the new pictures...I was excited to see one of her in a dress- can't wait to dress my first girl in cute clothes!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Things are Moving Along

We are way overdue for an update...that's for sure! Between the middle of August until now we have had our 4 visits with our home study social worker, including the in-home visit. We've been busy! We have also been learning more American Sign Language (ASL). The kids like to show us every now and then a few of their favorite words, including food, eat, water, mom, and dad. But their favorite (and this must be a boy thing) is poop.

We have just about turned in all of our paperwork that our home study agency requires- just waiting on a couple of little things and then we'll have our part done. We are hoping our home study will be completed by next week sometime so it can be sent on to our placing agency and approved by them so we can move on to the next step- immigration and fingerprinting!

We are also waiting to see if we will be approved to adopt two children or not. Our social worker is 100% on board and feels we are ready, capable, prepared, and have done our research on the special needs we are open to. Her boss is saying no though because the disruption rate increases significantly for those who adopt two children and the disruption rate for Chinese adoptions is on the rise (though I think there might be a bigger reason for this than because people are bringing home two at once, but I won't get into that). We have filled out a special form with our placing agency for families interested in adopting two children, which has been shared with our home study agency. We have had multiple discussions with our home study social worker and a conversation with our placing agency. Sadly, someone is trying to make a life decision for our family and for a child who is waiting for a family and she has never even met our family. Our social worker is trying to support us the best she can and we are doing what we can. There are a couple more things we are going to try and we'll see if this person will change her mind or not. Ultimately, we need our home study agency's approval to be able to bring two girls home. We have the approval of the social worker we have been meeting with and who has come to our home, just not that of her boss- the director of the agency. We'll see where things go this week! Praying for God's plan to be revealed.