Merry Christmas!

The following song by Third Day reflects our thoughts and prayers this Christmas. We never imagined another Christmas without you!

Here are the lyrics:

There’s a little girl trembling on a cold December morn,
Crying for Mama’s arms,
At an orphanage just outside a little China town,
With a forgotten heart,
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire,
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine.
It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home,
Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone,
So tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in His arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart,
I wish you Merry Christmas.
As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights,
I’m warmed by the fire’s glow,
And outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
And make angels in the snow.
But half a world away you try the best to fight your tears,
And hope that heaven’s angels come to carry you here.
Christmas is a time we celebrate the Holy Child,
And we celebrate his perfect gift of Love,
He came to us to give His life and prepare a place for us,
So we could have a home with Him.
It’s Christmas time again but now you’re home,
Your family is here and now you’ll never be alone,
So tonight before you go to sleep I’ll hold you in my arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart,
And I’ll tell you from my heart,
I wish you Merry Christmas.

You can view the group singing it at:


Referrals are arriving for families through December 14 or 15, 2005. Also, families from our agency had "Gotcha Day" yesterday. Check out their sites in November Babies and December Babies on the right.

Make the Wait Quilt Project

We just sent the following quilt squares and wishes to Robin who is making 100 Good Wishes baby quilts to raise money for the babies in China. We are proud to participate in this project as a family.

Ornament Exchange

Dave and I participated in our Make the Wait group's Ornament Exchange, and received this very special ornament with the message: Happy Holidays to your family from ours. We wish a speedy referral for you in the New Year. From, Kate and Dave

We love it and wish our baby was here to put it on the tree, this year!

Join us in making a 100 Good Wishes Quilt

As we wait for our referral we will be making a 100 Good Wishes Quilt:
The tradition behind the One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite 100 people to contribute a single square patch of cloth. The 100 patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.
We have found conflicting information about this tradition (just like the information on 2007 being the year of the Golden Pig). On another adoptive parent's blog she shared the following paragraph that she found while reading the book "Imperial Woman" by Pearl S. Buck. "The book is about the final Empress of the Qing dynasty. At this point in the book, she is a concubine in the Imperial household, but has birthed the only male child of the Emperor. She has to leave her baby alone for a while and is thinking of ways to protect him, as well as obligate the other powerful Manchu families to back her son's claim to the throne. The book reads:
'She must offer the child as an adopted son, by symbol, to other powerful families in her clan. Yet what friends had she? She thought and she pondered and she devised this plan. From the head of each of the highest one hundred families in the Empire, she required a bolt of the finest silk. From the silks she commanded the palace tailors to cut one hundred small pieces and from these make a robe for her child. Thus he belonged, by symbol, to one hundred strong and noble families, and under their shelter the gods would fear to harm him.'"
Parents adopting from China have taken on this tradition by creating One Hundred Good Wishes quilts for their children. With each fabric piece that is given to the new parents, a wish for the child is also sent, written on paper so that the child will always know the wishes made just for them.

We would love you to be a part of our One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt!

What size are the squares of fabric supposed to be?
Please cut the squares to be 10”. I will resize for the quilt and attach a sample to your wish.

Now what about the wish?
Write your wish on the a 4"x6" index card. You have a lot of freedom with how you create your wish. People find their inspiration in many different ways; you can use song lyrics, a quote, bible verse or even a word with its definition to create your wish from. You can make your wish as simple as you want (e.g. “I wish you joy in your life”) to a poem written especially for this occasion. How creative you want to get with the presentation is also your call.

I am almost finished making a book to that will included the 100 Good Wishes for our baby!

Kinda How We Feel

China moved 8 days..

Let's hope December 2005 dates go faster than October and November did.

Round 2...

... of paperwork that is. We have been busy getting together updated verifications of our employment, and another letter from the Doctor stating we are still in excellent health, for our Updated Homestudy. We received 3 copies of the Homestudy. One for Immigration, one to bring to China and one for our records. When I went to City Hall, I purchased 2 copies of birth and marriage certificates. I am so prepared. We had to refile with the U.S. Immigration Office(by November 4). We had to submit all the paperwork as if it was a new application. Even though this journey has taken much long than we can imagine, we can't imagine ourselves not on it. We truly know in our hearts that this is where the Lord has led us and what we are meant to do. We know in our hearts that we are already connected to a miracle in China and nothing, not even the duplicate paperwork can break that thread that holds us together. When our paperwork was logged in in China referrals of the child you were matched to was taking about 7 months. We were told to be prepared for an increase to 12 months. They lastest group of families had waited 22 months!


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof."
~Barbara Kingsolver
The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible is actually one of my most memorable reads so reading this on a fellow China Adoption blog actually helped refocus my energy. I need to live inside the hope I have, everyday. Even the days when I begin to think "am I only hoping or is this really going to happen."

Nonnie and Poppy's 2 New Miracles

We are so excited about another "miracle" that will be joining our family. Our sister and brother in law are expecting, too. I just had to put my sonogram picture up, too. The question remains: Who will be the baby in the family now? Sorry Alex.

Thank God there are only 30 days in November!

I forgot to post this the first week of October.

I read on a site today that they received 2,000 applications in October 2005 which were logged in between October and November. And in April 2007 (due to the new regulations taking effect May 1) they received 4,000.

Autumn Moon Festival

"The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. It is a celebration of family and referred to as “Family Reunion Day.” Falling on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is a Chinese celebration of abundance and togetherness. This year the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival was celebrated on September 25th, 2007. This is considered the ideal time when the moon’s orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, making the moon appear at its fullest and brightest. To the Chinese, this festival is similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday, celebrating a bountiful harvest. Compared to many Chinese festivals that are inundated with vibrant colors and sounds, the Mid-Autumn festival remains more subdued. It is traditionally celebrated outdoors under the moonlight where people eat moon cakes and gaze at the moon. Traditionally, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon. On this day people will look up at the full silver moon, drinking wine to celebrate their happy life or thinking of their relatives and friends far from home, and extending all of their best wishes to them. Family members throughout the world are united under one moon."

On this stormy evening we looked to the moon and prayed for our "Chinababy". Although we are half a world away from each other we are in some way under the same moon. We dream that next year we will be celebrating together under that moon with our child and giving thanks to their birthparents.

Chinese Lantern Festival

We spent the weekend of September 22-23 in Toronto. It was such a beautiful and relaxing weekend. Saturday night we visited the Chinese Lantern Festival at Ontario Place. The lanterns were amazing. Everything was beautiful about it. While at the festival it was like being on an emotional rollercoaster, being immersed in the culture and the sight of so many Northern American families with "their chinababies".


We're a "Survivor" family, and we're very excited to watch this season in CHINA! It was filmed in the Huangpu Mountains and on Ahelin Lake near Shanghai. It is truly a beautiful country.

Hoping for Better News

Matches have been made for families through November 25, 2005.

Life's a Beach

Life's a beach. That's what they say at least. We spent some time this past week in Long Beach, NY with really great friends. What brought us there was an airplane- and the task of meeting with our Social Worker to update our homestudy. This was necessary since our Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (approval to obtain a visa and bring our baby into the United States) expires on November 4, 2007. We have to submit an updated homestudy to recieve an extention, which will be good for another 15 months. To update the homestudy we had to meet with Robin, be fingerprinted yet again to run another criminal record check, and child abuse clearance. It was such a pleasure to visit with her, her husband and beautiful daughter (brought home from China in January 2007). She is a great friend to have on this journey.
We had a wonderful visit, great food, and crash courses: High School Musical 2, the latest teen fashion, literature and shows. And I can't forget the excitement around getting your class assignments.
We are believers that things happen for a reason. The plan was to depart NY at 8:50 p.m. and arriving home around 10:30. We arrived home at 2:40 a.m. The airline gave very limited information other than "it was foggy this morning" and "we're not sure when any flights are leaving". I can paint you a picture of what it was like in the airport. Add the time of night and families with children. We imagined this happening after flying 17 hours from China. Not a chance we are willing to take in that airport. So the reason it happened is to redirect our plans to use another more friendly International airport, like Atlanta (lowest percentage of delays in last 6 months). I believe I hear a few family cheers.

Another babystep

We're in the Matching Room!

While we were away on vacation we learned that the review of our paperwork had been completed and we were sent to the matching room. What does that mean? This is the final stage where families who have passed review are sent to the Matching Room. In this room are all the dossiers of children whose information has been sent by their SWIs (Orphanage) to find them a forever family. The job of the workers in this room is to make dreams come true. It is their task to match the right family to each child. No one knows exactly how families are chosen for each child - but many people think that the CCAA workers are pretty amazing in how good a job they do. This is also done in order by dates. They are currently matching families with the dates November 22, 2005-?. Our date (June 7, 2006) is now at the bottom of the pile. Which is better than not being in the pile at all.

After matching a child with their new parents, the CCAA will send a packet of information (called a REFERRAL) back to the U.S. with pictures and documents that tell about the child's life and development at the Orphanage.

CCAA update

Another Step Forward

We are moving forward. Remember we have warned you that China takes what seems like baby steps. We like to keep positive- Babies have been matched with their families this week. Those families were logged in between November 8-14, 2005. Yes, that is only a week but better than a couple of days. Now the better update for us is that we are in the Review Room. Although our dossier has been in China for 13 months, they are just now reviewing it. If they have any questions or concerns, they will contact us at this point. It only took them 14 days to change their post from April 2006 to May 2006 being completed. This is rapid speed for the China Center for Adoptive Affairs. After the Review Room we are sent to the Matching Room. Due to the extended wait, we are trying to schedule an appointment with the USCIS (Immigration & Naturalization) to update our fingerprints which expire on July 18th. Our dossier has been translated. The CCAA needs to make sure that all documents in a dossier sent are translated into Mandarin. The workers in the Translation Room make sure that all the parts of the parental dossier are translated into Mandarin. They need to be re-worded into Mandarin so that all the CCAA workers can read them. Dossiers have quite a bit of information in them and translating them can take some time. After the dossier is translated, it goes to the Review Room. The CCAA has a set of rules that adoptive parents must follow to be able to adopt a child from China. These rules are there to protect China's children and try to make sure that only the most qualified parents are allowed to adopt. In the Review Room, CCAA workers read through the documents and check to make sure that all the paperwork is in order. If there is a problem with a dossier - this is where it would be found. The CCAA would then ask for more information regarding that set of parents and sometimes decide that some prospective parents will not be allowed to adopt from China.

Baby steps

We have taken a few more baby steps...6, but who is keeping tracked of the days. That's right, we all are. Families logged in from November 1 through November 7, 2005 received their referrals today. If you are interested in following their journeys they have a link posted on China Adopt Talk ( a link to the left). We share in their excitment.

Year of the Pig...Maybe even a golden one

Will our baby be born in the Year of the Pig?
Many people are acting on a belief that 2007 is not only a Year of the Pig, which comes along once every 12 years, but a Golden Year of the Pig, which comes along once every 60 years and showers extra-powerful blessings on those born during its passage. But cultural researchers have said that belief was mistaken. This year is not golden, it is earthen. The last Golden Year of the Pig was 1971, and the next one should be 2031, with 60 years as the full cycle. (Washington Post)
The Pig type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. They are a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes. When others despair, they are often there to offer support. This type of person is reserved with those they do not know too well, but as time passes and they gain confidence, those around them may discover a lively and warm-hearted person behind that mask of aloofness. Despite those born in the year of pig having a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, they have few close friends who understand them and share their inner thoughts and feelings. It is easy to put trust in pig type; they won't let you down and will never even attempt to do so. Such people simply want to do everything right according to social norms. It is important to remember that these people are not vengeful creatures. If someone tries to take advantage of them, the pig type tend to withdraw to reflect on the problem and protect themselves. All they need in such situations is a little time to find a constructive way to respond. The people of the pig type are conservative creatures of habit. They dislike being made to travel too far from familiar surroundings, unless it is a trip to the countryside. They love nature and are never happier than when they are out somewhere, far from the city. There is a tolerant and peaceful side to their character. Such people are never afraid to allow others their freedom of expression; they do not want to cause arguments and if there is any way to avoid arguing, they will probably take this option. They are not weak, however, and if the situation forces them to fight these people will rise to the occasion, whether it is to defend themselves or those close to them. (
Thank you Nonnie and Poppie for the beautiful golden pig!

The Journey

In this journey each is a "baby" step in what feels like a marathon.

December 20, 2005: Application to adopt sent to Harrah's Adoption International Mission

January 3, 2006: Email received stating that our application had been accepted

January 14: Registered with Harrah's AIM, Adoption and Post Placement Agreements signed

***Gathering of documents begins, all which needed to be notarized and sent to our Dossier Consultant Teresa in Long Island to be reviewed, verified, and authenticated (with the County, State, and Consulate)

February 17: Medical Exams, covering every aspect of our beings

March 4-5 and 25-26: Our Social Worker Robin makes 4 visits for our Home Study (she rode all the way from Long Island to visit us)

***One month wait for NYS to process and give us child abuse and criminal clearance

April: Home Study completed and mailed (arrived at USCIS on April 20)

April 19: Applied to United States government for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition (I600A) and fingerprinted at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Buffalo

May 5: Notice of Favorable Determination (I-171H) granted
"YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR TWO CHILDREN " (need to be prepared if we get twins)
EXPIRATION DATES: Finger prints 7/18/07
I 600A 11/4/07

June 2: Dossier sent to China (Date To China, 6-2-06)

June 7: Dossier Logged In, Log In Date = LID, 6-7-06 our referral will be made by this date

January 12, 2007: Brown Envelope received. This contains verification that USCIS has sent notice of our approval and our child's Visa application

Faith Teaches Us

Since educating others is what presently one of us lives and breaths for, we have decided to share the knowledge we've gained on this journey.

What we thought:
* Our child is waiting in The People's Republic of China and we'd have (her) home within one year.

What we've learned:
* We will become a family maybe within two years.
* China moves at an unpredictable pace.
* No matter how fast you work there are elements beyond your control.
* More people are excited about our baby than we ever imagined.
* Patience.

What we know for sure:
* If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it.
* Our family will be "Made in China".
* Faith and love are believing in something bigger than yourself.
* What it means when they say we are all a small part of something bigger.

LID 6-7-06

We began what is known as "paper chasing" in January 2006. There was an amazing amount of paper work and processing of forms in this process. We were assigned two amazing individuals to assist us. We truly appreciate all of help we received from our social worker, Robin and our dossier consultant, Teresa. Long Island never before seemed that close. On June 5, our paperwork was finally on its way to China. And we were very lucky to be logged in on June 7. The date you are logged in becomes the official date and order used in the referral, or matching process. We are LID 6-7-06. (Log In Date)
Welcome to our blog...Chinababy Or Bust. We began our journey on December 20, 2005 when we applied to Harrah's Adoption International Mission. After much soul searching we knew that China is where our child is. We will use this blog to document our journey for our family and friends, as well as a keepsake for our Chinababy. Please save us on your favorites and follow along this amazing journey to bring our baby (or babies) home. Yes, we are hoping for twins- we didn't use all those fertility meds. for nothing. Please keep us in your prayers.