Thursday, May 29, 2008


My favorite NWA fight attendant is in town!!

and...he wants me to put a "to do" list together for him to help me get ready for Miya Mei!

Love him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


My dad sent me an email this morning which said:

Your AARP card has arrived :-)

What the?????

I used to live at my Dad's house when before he retired, so I still get random mail.


I thought AARP was for oldies....chuckle.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Email from N

I received another email from N, a volunteer who works at Miya's orphanage. I had emailed her to tell her of my LOA and ask questions about nannies and the orphanage director. Here's what I found out, along with some new earthquake news.....
  • There are 40 nannies/caretakers on the HopeHaven side only (I think)- which leads me to believe her orphanage is very large.
  • The orphanage director is female, which helps me with the whole gift buying ordeal AND leads me to believe Miya hasn't been around men before.
  • They are still experiencing aftershocks from the earthquake and have been sleeping outside in tents for the past 3 days. This makes me sad as I can imagine it's probably pretty scary to sleep outside at 11 months old and pretty much alone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend happenings...

I'm working on the travel lists!! Shopping, organizing, cleaning, a few house projects, and more shopping! :-)

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

and more news....

I spoke to my agency today, my signed LOA should arrive in China on Sunday night our time (Monday morning in China). If all stays on in my travel approval is issued in 2-3 agency estimates that my consulate appointment will be scheduled on or around July 7th, which means I will probably meet Miya on....

JUNE 29TH OR 30TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

of course this is all tentative, but they did say to plan on traveling the last week of June or first week of July.


From NYC....

My brother has SUCCESSFULLY obtained his visa for China!!

Travel Meeting

Here is a picture of my mom and I at our travel meeting. I made a special notebook just for grammy!!

Signing the LOA!!


Care Package

I sent off Miss Miya's care package on Tuesday. It included:
  • Blanket for Miya
  • Bear for Miya
  • 2 disposable cameras
  • coloring books for the older kids
  • stickers for the older kids
  • crayons and pencils for the older kids
  • photo album for Miya
  • Burt's Bees Lip Balm for the nannies
  • Jelly Bellies for the nannies
  • Letter to the orphanage director
  • Dum Dum suckers for the other kids

My Dad helped me squeeze it all into a USPS express mail box and it cost $60.50 to send. It should arrive on Tuesday of next week....keep your fingers crossed it makes it!

Miss Miya

"who are you and why are you taking my picture??"


I dream about the trip to China every night. Sometimes they are good and sometimes I never can seem to get to Miya. The problem is (which probably has nothing to do with the dreams) I am now waking up between 4:45a.m. and 5:30a.m. and then I'm dead tired at night and go to bed at 8:30p.m. or 9:00p.m.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


I've been really busy with work and after work family gatherings the past two nights. I'm starting to get phone calls as to why I haven't updated the ol'!

I ended up taking Tuesday off of work to deal with the LOA paperwork. It arrived safely and is now safe in the hands of my agency where it will be sent to China today or tomorrow I think.

Remember this and this?? Yeah, we're flooding. Pictures to come later.

Next up in the holy shit (sorry mom) I am leaving for China in 5 weeks saga is applying for visas. My brother called me this morning...he is flying to NYC at this very moment and is going to try and get a visa for China. He is a flight attendant, so mailing his passport away for a couple of weeks is just not an option. I hope it all works out for him....I can't wait to hear his story!

I also started crying 3 times yesterday. Once to someone special (morning), once after freaking out on the phone with my brother (afternoon), and once to my mom later in the day (early evening).

I just feel overwhelmed....

Oh and it has become apparent that I am going to have to re-address attachment and bonding aka why can't anyone hold the baby for a month to several friends and family members. Joy.

Monday, May 19, 2008


My agency just called, my LOA is in the U.S. and will be delivered tomorrow via Fed-ex.

They anticipate that I will be IN CHINA in 5-6 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Just for more time...

What happens next?

I'm waiting for my LOA, a letter of acceptance China sends to my agency (not sure if it's electronic or hard copy). Once I receive my LOA, I sign it and my agency mails it back to China. The LOA can come at anytime, I am hoping TODAY or tomorrow!

Next, we wait for TA, travel approval. Travel approvals usually arrive 2-3 weeks after the LOA is sent back to China.

Then, once I receive my travel approval, my agency schedules my CA, consulate appointment. This is a very important in-China meeting, the entire trip is scheduled around this appointment.

Once my consulate appointment is scheduled I will go to China!!!!!


LOA - Letter of Acceptance
TA - Travel Approval
CA - Consulate Appointment is scheduled
TRAVEL TO CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!


Holy smokes. Someone on one of the boards is reporting that they have received their LOA today! Does my agency have mine??? Only time will tell.

I HOPE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! am I going to get any work done today??

Must concentrate.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another email this morning!!

She is FINE!! They are all fine!! Here is N's email to me this morning. :-)

Hi Sara!

Just wanted to let you know that everybody at HopeHaven is fine.
We felt the earthquake here quite strongly on Monday, but fortunately there were not big damages. We've heard that 21 people even died in this county, but mainly in the rural areas when walls were collapsing.
All the kids spent most of Monday outside and stayed in tents on Monday night, but now have gone back to normal routines.

Thanks for your concern!

I am so relieved, although my heart still hurts for those suffering in other areas. Keep all the people affected by the earthquake in your thoughts and prayers...


We will now return to our regular programming as in...

Where in the heck* is my darn LOA??????????????

**Anyone notice I've cleaned up my potty mouth since becoming a Mom?? lol!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


There have been a few days during this adoption process where I can do nothing except fall to my knees and thank the lord. Today was one of those days.

I received an email from a volunteer who works at Miya's orphanage.


double wow.

Let me back up, I recently discovered (thanks to joining her orphanage yahoo group) that her orphanage is sponsored by an international ministry group, Hope Haven International, which I believe is part of the Caring for China program. Another mom on the yahoo group is still in contact with one of the Hope Haven volunteers who works at Miya's orphanage. She sent me this gal's email address, I emailed the nice lady, and today I received a response!!!!!!!!!

Here is a summary of her email:

She knows who Miya is and they (I am assuming nannies and other volunteers) were excited to hear that Miya has a mother!!!

Unfortunately, she couldn't tell me much about Miya as they aren't allowed to discuss the children prior to the adoption being final (government rules), but she did say that the English speaking volunteers had given her an English name.

Guess what it is.........are you's Sarah!!!!!!

She assured me that Miya is fine and is well cared for by her nannies and the volunteers.


I responded and thanked her and thanked her again. I also asked her to confirm if all was well in the area after the earthquake, hopefully she will email me again.


I wonder if they will tell Miya her mommy is coming soon....

sleep tight little lady, I'm coming.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

conflicting reports - earthquake update

Finally. Two families have posted information about Miya's area on the orphanage yahoo group I belong to. The updates are conflicting, but at least it's something and BOTH are indicating that the children are OK.

One family was told by their agency/in-China facilitator that the children are fine and the orphanage didn't sustain any damage.

Another family was told by their agency that the orphanage was damaged and that the children and staff are not allowed to enter the building and are sleeping outside in tents...gulp.

Earthquake update**

I found a map on Google this morning and the best I can estimate is that Miya is/was approximately 400 miles NE from the epicenter of the earthquake. CNN is now reporting that her province has 57 casualties.

Please God, let her be ok.

**CAT is updating waiting families on the situation. Thanks to this website and google maps, I have found out that another orphanage approximately 100 miles SW (towards the epicenter of the quake) from Miya's city is OK. The children are safe and they are staying outside of the building due to aftershocks. The buildings are fine.

I can only hope that this is also the case for Miya's orphanage...what a terrible turn of events, my heart is breaking for all the people of China affected by this terrible tragedy...

Monday, May 12, 2008


  • My LOA didn’t come today. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Don't worry, I'm on the lookout and will post the moment I see the email come through from my agency.

  • I’m sure most of you have heard about the massive earthquake that occurred early this morning near Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Miya’s province is located right next to Sichuan Province, as of this posting I have not read of any casualties in her province and I can only pray that everyone is ok and that she is safe. I can only imagine that the reports will get worse in the next few days, so if you pray...please say a prayer for my little Miya and all who may have been affected by this terrible tragedy.

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, my mom and I attended my travel meeting this past Thursday. It was fun! I met 4 waiting families, but am not sure if I will travel with any of them as we are all waiting for LOA’s and who knows when they will arrive. We reviewed the travel chapter and were given the opportunity to ask questions. Let me shout it from the rooftops I WANT TO GO TO CHINA NOW! Feel free to send my LOA anytime people!! Things will REALLY start rocking and rolling when my LOA arrives. I can’t wait! Hurry LOA hurry!

  • I met my sister and nephew Thomas at Tarjay early Saturday morning. Guess what she helped me do?? That's right, I registered for baby stuff!! Once again, I almost started bawling because I couldn't believe I was actually registering for baby stuff!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms and waiting moms out there!! I hope you had a wonderful day! Mother’s Day on my end was fun! I went to church with my mom and Mike, had the family over for lunch, went over to someone special’s parents house for a BBQ, and then spent the evening mastering my beginner Guitar Hero skills.

  • So, let me talk about Guitar Hero for a moment. Someone special really wanted Guitar Hero for his birthday (May 21st). Being the on top of it I don’t wait until the last minute to purchase gifts girlfriend that I am, I bought it on sale at Target this weekend. We were chatting on Friday evening and he said “do you know what I want for my birthday?” I said “no”…long story short, I CAVED. I’m sure there were a million other things I could have been doing last night, but Guitar Hero won and now my fingers are hurt from playing it several hours straight. How sad, but sooooo fun!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

11 months!

My baby is 11 months old today!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Travel meeting

Travel meeting is scheduled for tonight! How exciting!

My nerves

I am starting to have moments of serious fear and anxiety. I'm getting nervous and scared…this is all happening soooo fast. Plus, I have been re-reading all the scary parts of the adoption books (worst case scenario attachment and bonding stuff, grieving, oral aversions, food issues, etc.). I mean seriously…who do I think I am traipsing across the world and adopting a baby who has not been waiting for me and whisking her away from all she has ever known?

So, in my family our anxiety and stress tends to show up in the form of shall we say stomach issues. We are all non-milk drinkers, enough said there right? In the past two weeks, every time I eat (anything, not just diary) my stomach hurts like HELL.


I know I know, it will all be OK…but it is what it is and a lot of it is scary. So, now I'm feeling nervous and scared….along with happy, elated, excited, and overjoyed!!!

Note to self: Add Maalox to grocery list.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I've been keeping track of timing stats from LOI (letter of intent) to LOA (letter of acceptance) on CAT.

In summary, the time frame from LOI to LOA can be as short as 14 days!

Check out my ticker.

It is no lie that I am stalking my email inbox.

Travel approval usually arrives approximately 2 weeks after LOA.

Holy moly. Bring it on CCAA! I'll be ready.

How do you pronounce Miya's name?

Miya is pronounced my uh - not mia
Mei is pronounced may

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Still here...

Things are still moving forward! I am really busy at work this week, but thankfully I am down to only two weeks left of teaching. I look forward to the semester ending as my mind is on shall we say on OTHER THINGS!!

This week's happenings..

  • I'm officially waiting for my LOA (Letter of Acceptance). Will it come this week? Maybe. Next week? Maybe. Who knows, but the earlier it comes the better because it means I am one more step closer to Miya!
  • My travel meeting is Thursday evening, I can't wait! My mom made it back and will attend with me.
  • I have a TON of email to respond to, blog comments too...I'm sorry I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm working on it! Thank you for commenting though! I love reading your comments, I promise I'll pop over to your blogs and say hello. :-)
  • I scheduled my next round of travel shots for next week. Typhoid is included and I've heard it makes your arm hurt. Can't wait.

  • I painted Miya's dresser, rocking chair, and wood name letters on Sunday, my Dad assisted :-) I do believe the painting is done! Now, I just have to get everything in her room and finish it up!

Picture - this past Sunday....painting the furniture, look at her cute rocking chair sitting on the workbench behind me. So cute!

That's all I've got for now! Come on LOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Terracotta Warriors

Over the past two years I've read countless China adoption blogs and really enjoy following the families when they are in China. I remember reading about the Terracotta Warriors a few times and thinking, wow! what a site to see...I wonder where it is??
Guess where it is? Guess who's going to take her little one to see the most amazing archaeological discovery in China?

Read more about the Terracotta Warriors here. Notice the emperor's sur name. :-)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Making progress...

As I mentioned before things have kicked into high gear around here and I am in total "get ready for the baby" mode.

Here's this week's happenings in no particular order:
  • My agency sent me the "travel chapter" to put in my big ol' China adoption notebook. It's 100+ pages. I am impressed with the easy to follow, well presented, step by step directions of what happens next. Which leads me to the paperwork involved...whoa. Kin*kos is going to be seeing a lot of my $ in the next few weeks as the amount of paperwork copies I need for everything while in China is staggering.

  • My travel meeting is scheduled for next Thursday evening. Holy crap! I can't believe I am going to a TRAVEL MEETING! So exciting! My mom plans to go with me if she makes it back from the midwest. Which leads me to....

  • My mom is in the midwest this week moving my Grandma into assisted living :-( She has been displaying the signs of dementia and is just no longer able to live alone. :-( I know this has been hard on my mom (and uncle and aunts), but so far it all seems to be going ok...I spoke to my Grandma on Monday night and told her that I am naming my little lady after her. My Grandma's name is Una Mae, Miya's middle name will be Mei. Both are pronounced May, just spelled differently. My Grandma was so excited! My mom said she walked around practicing saying her name all day yesterday and told one of the nurses "I have a new grand baby and she is going to be named after me!

  • There is a gal who works in our SUB who is fluent in Chinese and heard about the thing led to another and she has agreed to translate anything I need for Miya's care package. SWEET! Which leads me to...

  • I've started to put Miya's care package together. I'm waiting until after my travel meeting to send it (I actually need to ask when I can send it).

  • Since receiving my referral I have all but stopped watching T.V. Funny how it happens... there is just too much to do, read, prepare for, etc. I'll be cutting my cable package waaaaay back tomorrow. I know I will be waaaay too busy from here on out. Maybe I'll subscribe to HBO again when she goes to college.

  • I am prone to cold sores when I get really stressed or anxious. Guess what arrived on ye old lip this morning? grrrrrrrr.....

And here are pictures of her room in progress - -

Painting the closet...yeah, I look like crap....oh well.

I FINALLY PUT HER CRIB UP!!!!!!!!! So exciting!

While picking up paint supplies w/ my Dad, I came across this little organization gem. After assembling, I actually opened up her blocks and little people toys and put them away. :-)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Still on cloud 9...

I can't stop looking at her picture! I mean come on, she is beautiful! I love her little orange vest and fuzzy blue slippers. Even better, her looooong piano playing fingers. Cute little half smile and those cheeks, I just want to scoop her up and smooch her! I love it!

Her picture is everywhere, my office, my bathroom, my bedroom, my living room, my kitchen, my laptop. I'm tempted to hang one on the dashboard of my car, but I'm afraid I might get in a wreck!

I can't believe this is actually happening. A friend, who has also adopted from China, sent me an email this morning. In it she wrote enjoy every moment of these emotional days Sara---they will be among the very best of your life.