Tuesday, June 24, 2008
While we wait...
I figured it was about time for a true update. First make sure to read the post below (about the quilt.) We definitely need quilt squares if you would like to help us out! :) I do thank everyone who has already sent emails about sending a square/wish. Anyway...
Life is pretty crazy here. We are all enjoying summer and it is hard to believe it is the end of June. There's not really anything special to note... just having fun with everyone home, taking AnnaClaire to the pool, summer league swim meets, hanging out with friends, spending time with my sweet girl, bike rides, etc. It hasn't been deathly hot, as it was the first week of summer! That's nice! I have to say that the wait for TA is much more bearable when we already have our first girl home to keep us busy. It's hard to believe its been almost 2 weeks since we got the call!! However, we are very anxious to travel and are really hoping and praying for September. The shorter that Kate has to be in the orphanage without her family, the better. We are soooo ready to bring her home!
But for now... we wait. AnnaClaire is definitely a summer girl. She loves having everyone home, having big kids in and our of her house, etc. She absolutely loves going to the pool. Her whole face lights up when I tell her that we are going. EVERYONE at the pool loves her. Random people come up to me (yes, it's a rare occasion that she goes to the pool with someone other than me!) and tell me how cute she is. The lifeguards give her free (junk) food. Everyone wants her to jump into their arms, to play with her... She is quite loved, that is for sure! We have a park by our pool, and we've gone their a few times. AnnaClaire likes it a lot. Sometimes we even go there during adult swims! She loves parks, although she's not much of a player. Mom and I took her to one of our nice parks the other day, and she preferred balancing on the wood plank things over sliding. The slides are "too hot." However, if she finds a friend to play with (most of the time!), she loves to play!!
We made a trip to Babies R Us last week and got a few things for Kate. We also found a pink booster for AnnaClaire! She loves sitting at the table with us and loves her new pink booster! And of course matching sister dresses. The hard thing is that AnnaClaire has soooooooo many adorable hand me downs that will fit Kate. So while they won't match all the time, they will definitely have lots of cute sister dresses!!
AnnaClaire is starting to get more used to the idea of having a baby sister. One day, we were praying before lunch. She folded her hands and squeezed her eyes shut and did her usual prayer, "Dear God, thank you for my food. Amen." Then she goes, "And dear God, thank you for Kate!" It was so cute. Tonight, she told us how she was going to ride in the wagon with Kate and that there are two seats in the wagon... once for each!
Most people are shocked when I say she is 2.5. She talks SO much. I love it when she says something that starts with f. She always says it with an s. Fish is "sish" and then there's "sun", "sork", "sore", "sive", etc. It's so cute though. Especially when after I take her to the pool, she says, "I had so much sun (fun) at the pool!" She is also SO big. And of course, she is potty trained. My mei mei is growing up wayyyyyyy too fast!
While I'm thinking about it~ I know I posted a ton of pictures. Keep in mind these are from the past 2 weeks. Most of them were taken with the new SLR, but a few are with my camera. We are definitely having fun with the new camera!! It probably helps that we have such a cute model :)
AC is about the most mannerly person I know. She is so good about using her manners. We have been working on instead of, "I want that!" to say, "Can I please have that?" She is doing so well. She of course always says thank you, your welcome, etc. Whenever she uses good manners, she makes sure to let us know by saying, "Anna GOOD manners!"
She knows numbers 1-20, our phone number, and can point out the letter A. Whenever she sees an "A", she says, "That's an A for AnnaClaire!" The phone number thing cracks me up. Mom was calling Melissa right after we got our referral and AnnaClaire just starts saying our phone number. It's not like we even say it that much. She amazes me. Whenever she plays with her phone, she says, "Hello this is Pam H..." and then babbles away our phone number. She is so funny.
As I mentioned, last week we met a family with a little girl, Mia, who just so happened to also be from Chenzhou. Well today after storytime today, Mom and AC went with Mia and Mia's mom to Chickfila! I wish I had been there (I was doing a VBS). Unfortunately, there was no camera. However, we are already planning another playdate so there will be pictures, trust me!! I hear they had a very fun time! (God really amazes me, as another time last week, we met up with a lady who has a daughter from Kate's same city, who lives very nearby!)
So that's pretty much what's up with Miss AnnaClaire Chenhui. I know there are people wondering what's going on with Kate... so now for that!
We are waiting for PA which comes from between 1-3 weeks, normally. It could take longer. However, we are expecting it anytime. This pretty much means nothing except that we are approved and that the CCAA is looking at our stuff. Then we start the wait for LOA which is an unpredictable wait. I've seen it as fast as 7 days (already through the review room) and over 200 days (someone in another country.) Melissa did tell us that it might not take as long, as we were logged in as a SN only dossier, so the CCAA won't have to worry about moving our file from NSN to SN. So we are thinking (or more like hoping) for 1-2 months. TA is about a month (or less) after that. Then we will be free to travel! Like I said, we are soo praying that we will be able to travel in September. Our whole family will go to China!! Will (sr.) and I (sophomore) will have to miss 2 weeks of school, which will be difficult, but we wouldn't miss this trip for anything. Drew will actually be in China, as he is doing a semester abroad. We will probably meet up with him in Beijing and then he will fly to Nanchang with us for gotcha day!
As for the room situation. We are planning on walling in our living room (which is never even used anyway). We will make that Drew's room/guest room. It's a nice sized, first floor room which will be nice to have. Then we will move AnnaClaire into Drew's room, first painting it and girly-ing it up! Kate will then go into the nursery. You know what that means- we are going to have to start transitioning AnnaClaire to a big girl bed. We had lots of different options and we finally decided on this. Hopefully AnnaClaire will be okay sleeping in a big girl bed. We are getting a beautiful yet not too expensive, wrought iron daybed!
We already have Kate's carseat (same as AnnaClaire's... Britax Marathon) We got it awhile back, knowing that Kate would use it once she came home. However, all this time, we have had one carseat in each car, which has been very nice. Right before we leave, we'll have to move one of the carseats so we will have TWO pink carseats in the car!! AnnaClaire's in the booster now, so Kate can take over the highchair. As I mentioned, we will get a stroller at some point. We have one picked out. I can't remember the brand, but it's a sit-n-stand one. We are definitely good in the toy department! So, there's not too many things we have to get...
We have pictures printed everywhere, frames all around the house with her pictures, and of course pictures in my purse and swim bag! As I mentioned, we have bought a few things for her. Only one dress (the Easter dress I talked about a few posts back.) I think we are waiting until we get her to know her exact size until we get her too much. For now she can just wear all the hand me downs we have. We love AnnaClaire's clothes and there is no point letting them go to waste when we have another girl who will fit right into them! Plus, all the clothes out now are summer and we don't really need summer clothes for her.
We are still over the moon and SOOO excited. I love this little girl so much already. I cannot wait to meet her and just smother her with kisses! God is so good! :)
As for me, I am doing very well. This week I am leading a Vacation Bible School with some friends. A woman from our Church runs it at another Church every year and lots of the high schoolers lead it. The Church we do it at is located in a poor area and gives assistance and love to those who need it. They run VBSs all summer. Most of the kids do it every week in the summer. One little girl in our group told us that it was either doing VBSs all summer or going to a summer camp all summer in the mountains. Different churches come each week to lead it and love on the kids. The kids are all precious. They are between 6-10. They all love all of the leaders and beg for attention, for us to play with them and hold them. While we are there from 8:30-1, the kids stay all day... I guess until their parents pick them up after work. There are lots of fun crafts, games, stories, etc. But most of all, the kids just like doing anything that involves being with a big person. It's going to be hard to say bye to them all on Friday... they are all so sweet and I just love all of them. I will definitely have to post some pictures later this week.
I leave next week for Romania. AHHH NEXT WEEK. I am really excited but also a little nervous. It's been a long time since I was gone by myself for that long. I have traveled all over, but I have never been alone (as in without my family) in another country. But I know it is going to be an amazing time and I pray that we are able to impact these kids and help them see the Truth and love Jesus.
I am sure there is more I'm forgetting, but this post is long enough for now. Enjoy all the pictures! :)
I'll try to update again this week and I'll definitely post some pictures from VBS!
Posted by Emily at 8:10 PM