Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Airline tickets

We purchased our airline tickets to China. We leave Los Angeles on November 29 at 8:30 am and return to Los Angeles at about 9 am on December 13. We will have to stay overnight in LA on November 28 to catch the early morning flight and will not arrive back home until late (after 10:00) at night on December 13. It seems more real now with the airline tickets purchased. We should have them "in hand" in the next day or two. It was great to be able to buy a ticket with the name "Jiang Mei Gui" on it!!

We will be in China in just a little over 5 weeks!!!

New measurements for Nina

We got some updates on Nina's size:

Jiang Mei Gui Height: 85cm Weight: 11.5kg Head size: 46cm Chest size: 47cm teeth: 13 feet length: 14cm

This translates into about 25 pounds and 33 inches tall! She is right in the target range for a healthy 2 year old. It looks like she is being well cared for in her foster home.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Consulate Appointment Confirmed

We got word from our agency that our consulate appointment has been confirmed. So much for the "several days" that was predicted! We can now make our travel arrangements and get our airline tickets. The choices are enough to make our heads spin! We will have to try to pick the best times and prices. There are several options and it may include an overnight stay in Los Angeles. It will be a big relief to get them purchased and then just GO! Hopefully all our flights will be on time and smooth. If one is late it may throw us off for the whole trip. One thing is for sure. It will be a LOOOOOONG couple of days, coming and going, so we are trying to get the most direct flights possible!

Buying tickets makes it seem even more real, even though it is still almost six weeks away (Come On November!!).

Now that we are starting to have to pay for things like travel it makes us think it's REALLY going to happen (and it IS!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

TA has arrived

We got word from our agency that our TA arrived today!!! That was fast! Our LOA only arrived in China a little over a week ago. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise! It's nice to have something come BEFORE expected.

What does this mean now? We still can't buy our airline tickets, as we have to wait for a confirmation of a consulate appointment in Guangzhou. Our agency has requested a date of December 11. We may not hear back for a week or more as to whether or not this date is confirmed. As of right now, our tentative travel dates remain the same, despite the TA coming very early. With a large travel group, it was easier to keep the same tentative schedule. So, we are still hoping for a November 29 departure date. Of course we would LOVE to travel sooner, but it is probably better this way as there are still MANY MANY things to do before we can bring Nina home and Joanna needs to continue working her second job to get some more money so she can afford to take the full 3 months Family Leave from her first job!!! It will all happen just as it is supposed to.

We do know that, if everything holds true, we will be united with our Nina on December 3 ("Gotcha Day")!

Coutning the days............

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


These are the first pictures we saw of Mei Gui. She was about 16 months old at the time. She will be 2 year old next week, on October 15!


Welcome to our blog! This is our first time doing this, so please bear with us. First we want to thank you for your interest in our Journey to China to get our daughter, Mei Gui. Her English name will be Nina Mei. Also, a BIG thank you to all of you who have supported us along the way. It has meant so much to us and we would not be where we are today without you!

For those of you who don't know, here is a bit of our history:

We first became interested in adoption in February of 2005. We originally started with a local program that brought Russian children to the US for the summer with the hopes of finding them a family. That didn't work out and we then tried many other options: Khazakstan, US foster care, and US infants. In July of 2006 we decided to try China. It seemed to be a good match for us and we sent in our paperwork in early November. A few months later we received word that our LID (log-in-date) was 12-25-06. Our first Christmas miracle!

We waited in the LONG line of LIDs for China and learned in March 2007 that our agency, Children's Hope International (CHI), had a "Waiting Children" (WC) list, which is a list of children that are waiting for parents. These children are considered "special needs" by China, meaning they could have anything from Mongolian Spots or Cleft Lip/Palate to Hepatitis B or congential heart disease, or anything in between. We decided we would be interested in one of these babies, depending on the severity of "special need" and whether or not it was correctable with surgery.

The way CHI's WC list works is anyone who is part of the agency can look at the website and if interested in a child they can fill out a form and hope to get chosen to review the child's medical file. All forms are collected after about a week and a family is "randomly selected" to review the child's file. One family may look at a file at a time. They have one week to decide if they want to adopt the child and then they submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Adopt that child to China.

In March, we submitted forms on two different children, but were not selected.

The next WC list came out in June. There were 3 children that we were interested in and submitted a form for each of them. It was a tense weekend with many prayers being sent that we would be selected to view a file. Tim got a call on June 26 that we HAD been selected to view a file! It was for a 20 month old girl, Mei Gui, that Joanna had thought about all weekend long! We later learned that we were chosen out of 73 couples that had sent in forms! (miracle #2!)

A week later we sent in our LOI to China and it was received there 7-13-07. We now needed to wait for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China saying that they had reviewed our file and we were approved to adopt Mei Gui, whom we would call Nina Mei. This typically takes 70-90 days for those with similar dates as ours.

The last few days were tense as the waiting was beginning to take its toll, but we received a call from CHI that our letter had arrived from China on October 2, day 81. We received the letter, signed it and sent it off. Now we await our Travel Arrangements (TA) from China, which is when they say we can come. Those typically take 2-4 weeks. CHI has already given us a tentative travel date of November 29. We will be in China for about 14 days, and will be home for Christmas (Christmas miracle #3!)

We are so blessed to be on this journey to China to get our daughter. We know she is the child meant for us, without question. Thanks for taking the journey with us!