Tying up some loose ends

Pam and Jerry should be home tomorrow with Katelyn. They’ve called a couple of times from China (difficult with the 12 hour time difference), mostly to tell us that there’s too much to tell us in a phone call. We’re hoping to pin them down this weekend and get a few more specifics. In the meantime, we did get permission to show everybody a picture of Katelyn:

The official translation of Alex’s medical records came in. We waited six weeks to find out the answer to the question, “What is her favorite toy?” The original paperwork did not have the translation of the answer. We waited eagerly to discover what the orphanage staff and medical professionals determined was the object our daughter chose to play with over all other toys.

“Colorful toy.”

Thanks, guys, think you could be any more specific?

Our preparations for Alex’s arrival are continuing. We went to the toy store to scout out available “colorful toys.” Lauri gravitates toward the toys that make the greatest amount of noise. I personally prefer the quiet ones. Oh, and anybody who’s contemplating providing Alex with any “Barney” merchandise may do so, provided it’s accompanied by “Baby’s First Taser (TM)”

The remainder of her furniture arrived at the warehouse, and we’re waiting to set up the delivery date. Considering that there are two large bureaus that will have to be hauled up one of two steep, narrow staircases (or The North Face and The East Face as we call them), I’m hoping Tenzing Norgay opened a furniture-hauling business.

And then there were 10

Eleven families (including us) received referrals from Guangxi, and would have been travelling together in October. We knew at referral time that one of the children had a significant medical issue–not life-threatening, but requiring attention as soon as she arrived in the US.

The wait to travel has extended beyond the customary time, and her doctors have decided that additional waiting is not a good idea. They want to begin treatment as quickly as possible, and not wait until November.

The adoption agency requested that special permission be given to this family to travel early, and the Chinese government agreed. They left on Saturday, traveling with the group going to Hunan province. They’ll split off once they reach Hong Kong, and travel separately to Guangxi. They’ll rejoin the group in Guangzhou.

Their child is in the same orphanage as Alex, and they offered to deliver a package to the orphanage staff for us. We’ve already arranged for a care package to be sent to Alex (more on this later), but we did ask them to take a picture or two if they’re allowed to travel to the orphanage.

Lauri and I had been looking forward to travelling with Sarah’s family, but we’re happy they’ll be bringing her home early. I hope you’ll keep them in your thoughts.

UPDATE: Sarah was waiting at the hotel for her family when they arrived in Nanning.

Katelyn has arrived!

Pam called at 8:30 p.m. on 9/12, 8:30 a.m. on 9/13 China time. They had just spent their first night as a family, and I am happy to report that all three seem to be adjusting well. Katelyn was napping in her daddy’s arms while I talked to her mommy. According to Pam, Katelyn is even cuter than her pictures and to quote Pam, “She is amazing!” The first couple of hours were a little bit tough, but once Katelyn was dry and her belly was full, she started playing peek-a-boo and smiling, much to her mom and dad’s delight! Jay and I are anxiously waiting to welcome Katelyn and our new friends home.

We will post photos as soon as we receive them.

The Fun Has Begun!

The excitement has begun! During the whole adoption process, Jay and I have met so many people and have made a number of new friends. Pam and Jerry are two of those new friends. I just got off the phone with Pam- she and Jerry are so excited. They are leaving for China tomorrow to bring their daughter Katelyn home.

The past week has been very busy and exciting, especially for Pam and Jerry. There have been many e-mails and telephone calls going back and forth- do you have enough diapers? Did you get formula for when you come home? Is your packing done? etc. Sunday we went out for brunch to celebrate. We had a wonderful time telling stories of the crazy things that we have done while waiting to bring our daughters home. Pam says we should write a book, but it’s far more fun to sit around the table with good friends and good food and take a trip down memory lane.

Pam and Jerry will be touring Hong Kong on their 11th anniversary. The day after their anniversary they will finally get to hug Katelyn for the very first time! I’m going to miss the nightly chats Pam and I have had for many weeks now, but I’m sure she and Jerry will have many wonderful stories to tell when arrive home with Katelyn.

Jay and I are deep in the throes of preparing for our trip. This past weekend we started trying to decide what outfits to bring to China for Alex. It seems so surreal, picking out the outfits that we will pack for our daughter! I would pick up one outfit and think, “It’s so tiny, I should probably pack something a little bit bigger” and then I would read the tag and discover that it would fit a baby up to 23 pounds. Then I would think, “Wow, she is going to swim in that. Last we knew, she was only 15.5 pounds.” Finally, we decided to bring some 6-9 month clothes, some 9 months, and some 12 months. Anything that is too small will be donated to the orphanage. Hopefully some of the outfits we bring will fit her. Worst case scenario- -we would have to go shopping in China. Now that would be terrible!

We got a call last night, the first of Alex’s two bureaus has arrived. Hopefully the second one will follow soon. Grandma and Aunt Sherri have made sure that Alex has plenty of clothes to fill both bureaus- and the closet!

Everyone is getting so excited. We talked to Alex’s cousin, Jeremy, the other night. He was all excited about a school project. They have to write to an international pen pal- and Jeremy is going to write to someone in China. He thought (and we agree) that it is so cool that he will be learning about the country where his cousin was born. I’m sure Alex will be eager to hear stories about her homeland some day.

Well, it’s getting late and I just thought of several more things to add to the to- do list. I want to update the list while it’s still fresh in my mind.

Good night all.

At last, some news

We got a call from the agency tonight. We’ll be leaving for China sometime between October 18th and October 24th.

The bad news is that’s smack in the middle of the Guangzhou trade exposition, exactly when we didn’t want to travel.

The good news is that we get to spend our 10th wedding anniversary in China.