Monday, August 31, 2009

We've Been Showered

This weekend was a fun and I got some much needed rest and relaxation.
One of the highlights of the weekend was setting up Rebecca's room. Mike and I put the bookcase and the desk together, and we are so pleased with the how the room came out. It's not completely done, but it's well on its way.

we also have a newer quilt and knobs somewhere for the dresser?

the bookcase; you can't see the desk, but it's next to it under the window


Xiao Hu loves the room

We were also able to finish up the guest room, the future grandma room, and we already had one house guest! Thanks to Shannon, my Army buddy, for traveling over 2 hours each way to visit me, and her daughter Abby, for entertaining and test-riding my kitty cat. Apparently my kitty's normally naughty behavior is due to lack of attention!

In addition to setting up Rebecca's and the guest room, we had two showers.

My neighbor, Michele, invited all the neighbors and many friends to her home. She was an angel and easily handled over a half dozen kids! I told all the children that Rebecca was coming and showed them her picture and taught them how to say "Hello" in Chinese - "Ni Hao!"
Pictures to come of that...

On Sunday, my co-workers were abundantly generous with gifts and I was overwhelmed with their generousity. Thanks go to Paula and Melton for offering their beautiful home, and Jackie and Judy for hostessing.



the aftermath of presents for Rebecca Xiu!

Thank you, everyone, for your support and well wishes! We are truly are blessed to have such good friends!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Today is Carpet Day

After many weeks of waiting for carpet to be manufactured, today is installation day. So I know we will be really busy today because we have spent a couple of days packing and moving. To add to the fun, my kitty cat went missing yesterday during removal of the bonus room carpet. Mike was worried sick because he didn't know where she was (escaped outside?) and looked for her for over two hours until he had to go to work.

We found her last night at about 10:00 p.m. My VERY BAD KITTY was not lost outside the house, she was lost INSIDE the house. She had gotten from our bonus room, to our attic, and then travelled down one of our eaves. I finally heard her crying when I was outside on the front yard. I could hear crying coming from inside the house. I thought she was under the bushes in the front yard, but I was actually hearing her from the venting in the eaves.

She was very happy to be found and she had house arrest last night in the bathroom.

SHE WILL BE UNDER HOUSE ARREST AGAIN WHEN THE CARPET INSTALLERS ARE HERE!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plane Tickets!

We have plane tickets to China!
In celebration, here's our new theme song, compliments to my sister, Sandy, for finding it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finding Ad

Today, I purchased Rebecca Xiu's "Finding Ad." There was a turnaround time of only a couple of days. This is the ad that contains information about where and when Xiu was found in the attempt that someone would claim her. I'm hoping the person who does the research will email me the picture of the newspaper today! Read more about the service that finds your child's Finding Ad.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tentative Travel Dates

We are going to China to pick up our little girl. Here are our tentative travel plans:

Sept 10 - leave USA
Sept 14 - Meet Xiu Xiu
Sept 23 - US Consulate visit
Sept 25 - Go Home

I can't believe it's really happening. I have been filled with so much doubt and obstacles that I'm just going through the motions right now. My little girl is waiting for me in China. If I really think about it, the emotions consume me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Credit

My husband says that he is not given enough "credit" on this blog. For example, I did not say thank you for moving all the stuff out of the rooms in preparation for the carpet. So officially:
Thank you dear for ALL that you do. I love you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

TA! TA! TA!

WE HAVE TRAVEL APPROVAL FROM CHINA!!!!

This means that I will be able to travel in September before all the holiday closings in October!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

VISA Application

I mailed our VISA Application to our agency today (they bring it to the Embassy through a courier service). Of course, the question would be, "What is the expected date of travel?" -- they told me to just leave that field blank. So I still don't know.

The funny part of the VISA application is that you have to put down the reason for travel, and our agency instructions say to check "tourism."

Wouldn't it be great if it just worked that way?:
me: "Honey, let's take a vacation to China"
husband: "Ok, great, and let's pick up a kid when we get there."
me: "Wonderful idea, that would be a perfect souvenir!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Furniture

Thank you to Grandma Joan (Nai Nai) for buying us the furniture on our wish list from Target. It came in very heavy boxes, and now I just need to enlist a friend to help put it together. This is what it will look like when we put it together:




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stress and Money Belts

Now in an attempt to keep my blog a HAPPY blog, although deep down inside I am really anxious and stressed, I have not mentioned any of my recent paperwork woes. Oh, let's just hope that the third time is a charm on my home study update. Yes, I'm not kidding, 2 months to figure out how to get a correct home study to USCIS. Anyway, let's leave the depressing stuff behind and talk about more exciting stuff - money!

Adoptive parents are, of course, made of money and should be required to bring thousands of dollars (in cash) on their trip. Ok, so the first part is not true, but we do have to bring our life savings with us. Now my husband thinks this is ridiculous, but I have to gently remind him that YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES. So I have lovingly purchased his and her money belts for us, that came today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Uniforms

Thank you to Aunt Rena - the rest of her presents came. Rebecca now has her first official pack of undies, a school cardigan, a school uniform shirt, and size 5 jeans (allowed for school on Fridays). Aunt Rena is a practical person like me - yeah!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

American Girl Doll

Thank you to Calista, Rebecca's cousin, for lots of stuff that she sent! Some of it she made herself! Now I just have to get a picture of her box. I am a little behind on the picture-taking.

Now one of the special items she picked out was the new American Girl named Rebecca. It is the mini-version and very cute. The American Girl Rebecca represents a Russian-Jewish immigrant to the US. Rebecca will share her name with my great-grandmother who has this history. Actually, the Rebecca doll kind of looks like me!

Hmmm...looks like the mini American Girl Ivy is next?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fruits and Vegetables

A mystery friend or relative sent me a HUGE sturdy poster of fruits and vegetables in English/Chinese. Who could this be? Since it was sent from San Diego, my hunch is that this is from my college roommate, Kristin. Am I right?



Pineapple is Mike's favorite fruit -- hope Rebecca's favorite is on here, too!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"The Belt"

I am not a belt-wearer. But, in our public school, if your pants have loops, you must wear a belt. It's mandatory! So my Aunt Rena was great and took the responsibility of getting the required element. And she said more things are on their way (Target likes to ship separately) -- Yeah! This one is good because there are no buckles, just velcro to close.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Painting the Room

I'm so grateful to have a friend, Jackie, volunteer to help paint the room today. I'm so glad how the color came out. We can do a quickie touchup/second coat later. The headboard is the same one from when Mike was little, so it is over 35 years old. It is a really good quality wood, and I probably need to do one more coat of white on the furniture, too.


Monday, August 10, 2009

From a Big Girl to a Little Girl

Today I got a present from my friend, Katy. Now what's particularly special about this box is everything was hand-selected by her from her own room! There was so much in the box, that this is just a sampling. And the quilt matches the room color exactly!



No, the kitty was not included in the box, but she loves sitting in the box!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Starting to get the Room Ready

This weekend involved painting all the furniture white and ordering the new carpet. It was extremely hot on Saturday, and I stripped the furniture in the garage and Mike helped me sand outside. It was almost 100 degrees today, so we decided to paint inside. Good thing it was no odor paint. We can air out later.
I won't have pictures of the room for a couple of weeks because the carpet won't be available until after August 18th. I have to move everything out of the room for the carpet installers. So this week I plan to caulk the baseboards and crown moulding, paint the walls, box up all the stuff, and spray paint the TV stand white.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Presents!

What's better than a box at your doorstep when you come home? Two boxes at your doorstep! I was really excited to open them.

My sister Mindy did her research and got the most must-have adoption books - and I didn't have them yet! And she must be reading my blog, because she knows Rebecca's favorite toys are dolls.


My sister-in-law Rosa got me great clothes, two bunnies and some really expensive software for helping to learn English. Yeah! The red dress with the American flags is perfect for her first day as a US citizen.



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Open House

Last night was Open House at the elementary school. Wow, the classrooms are so small and cluttered! The teachers seemed nice, but...

I was so excited that Rebecca Xiu would be going to kindergarten with Julia's son. But they kept saying that because of her age and how accelerated schools are in China, she probably will be ready for 1st grade. She is growing up too fast and I don't even have her home with me yet!

I already bought the kindergarten sleep mat and was getting excited for me, I mean Rebecca, to use it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Pictures!!! I Could Cry!





It's amazing! She is the most beautiful girl! To all the Zhongshan parents, don't you recognize the indoor playground!!!

And we have updated measurements too!!!

height :110cm = 43.3 in
weight :19kg = 42 pounds
head :50cm
chest :53cm
feet :17.5cm

I love Ann from Red Thread China! Thank you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Care Package!

We are so excited to send Rebecca Xiu a care package through Ann at Red Thread China. We are using the packaging forward option, so this means we get to make our own package and she will make sure that it gets to the orphanage. This service also includes one free letter translation, and sometimes she is able to get updates on your child. Great Deal!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Yang Xiu will be Rebecca Xiu

Our little girl's first name is Xiu and Yang is actually her last name.
So, we plan on naming her Rebecca as her first name and switching Xiu to her middle name. This is her name in Chinese characters:

丽贝卡 秀
And in pinyin:
Lì Bèi Kǎ Xiù
And the meaning of these characters in order:
beautiful - shell(valuables) - to check - elegant

In other words, I should check my beautiful and elegant valuables! Want to see your name in Chinese characters? Click here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009