Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Details about Maddie

Forgive me. I have been a bad blogger. The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity, and I just haven't been able to find the time to post.

First of all, we needed to finish our paperwork for the US government and get that submitted. Our forms arrived in Chicago on January 27, and they cashed our check on January 28, so we know that 1) everything arrived safely and was not lost (a special fear of ours since it happened with Isabel's adoption) and 2) somebody had to open the envelope even if it was just to remove the check. Recent processing times have been much quicker than 90 days, so we are very hopeful that trend will continue.

Secondly, we decided a few weeks ago that we were going to go ahead and move before we sold our house, so we have been doing major home hunting. In two weeks, we looked at 25 houses. We put offers in on three homes, and we came very, very close to purchasing one of fact, when the sellers countered our very lowball offer, we were only $9000 apart. It would have been a steal, but after deep contemplation...and reading more headlines about job layoffs and a sadly ailing economy...we ultimately decided though we are risk takers, we aren't willing to put our entire financial future in peril by being stuck with two homes for who knows how long. So I am done looking at houses until we have a solid offer on ours. In the meantime, we are going to have to do some remodeling in Isabel's room, so it will accommodate two kiddos instead of one. The work will be minor, and hopefully, we will be able to get it completed in the next month, so that all is ready for Madeleine's homecoming.

Speaking of Madeleine, I realized that I haven't yet shared many details about her, so at long last, here is some of the pertinent information about our newest family member. Madeleine turned two on November 22, 2008, so she and Isabel are almost exactly seven months apart. They will be in the same grade in school. In fact, just this morning, I registered for community ed classes for next fall, and both kiddos will be taking the Tuesday morning Movers and Shakers class for toddlers ages 24 to 36 months. Currently, Madeleine is residing in the Social Welfare Institute (SWI) of Huangyan District in Taizhou City of Zhejiang province. For those of you not up on your China geography, Taizhou City is a coastal city just south of Shanghai. Her Chinese name is Huang Qiqi. Huang means "yellow" and Qi means "angel." She is described by her caregivers as extroverted and clever. She loves to be outside and especially likes to play with toys that light up or make sound. She has a ready smile and is close to her caretakers and other children in the orphanage. Oh, and she loves books which will make her a good fit for our family! I'm sure Isabel will be happy to share all of her favorite books with Maddie once she gets home.

Just this week, we had a care package delivered to Maddie through an organization called Red Thread China. We sent a photo album that includes pictures of us, so Maddie can see our faces before she meets us this spring. We also included a ladybug sweater, a picture book, a stuffed animal, a disposable camera, candies for the nannies, and a letter to the orphanage director. Captions on the pictures and the letter were translated into Chinese by Ann, one of the women who runs Red Thread China. She lives there, so she handles package delivery. She is so sweet. She calls the orphanage to verify that the package is going to the right child. When she called Maddie's SWI, she was able to get updated measurements for us, so we know that she is now 34.65 inches tall and weighs 27.56 pounds. She has a couple of inches and just a few pounds on Isabel. This is incredibly helpful information since it will help me plan what size clothing to take for her when we go to get her.

A Guatemala vs. a China adoption are like night and day. With Isabel, we were so comforted because not only did we know she was in foster care, but we had met the foster family and knew how much they loved Isabel and how well they took care of her. We also had the opportunity to visit several times and get to know Isabel during her infancy. With Madeleine, we hope and pray that she is getting the best of care and that there is a special someone at the orphanage to whom she is close and who makes her feel safe and loved. Also, we met Ibby when she was two and a half months old. We will not meet Maddie until she is two and a half years old. We hope the nannies show her our pictures and prepare her as best they can for the huge transition she is about to undergo.

Recently, a new rule was instituted by the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) that travel approval will not be issued until a family has received USCIS (US Immigration) approval. As soon as that is in place, we should be able to move forward fairly quickly. I am still holding out for travel in April or May. Until then, we keep Maddie in our daily prayers and look forward with great excitement to the day we can finally meet her and bring her home.


Lynn said...

My vote is April. I think USCIS owes it to you. :) Love reading updates about Miss Maddie and can't wait to hold her.

Sherry said...

Thanks for the update. And I agree with Lynn you are going to China in April -- with me. I'll be saying prayers for the USCIS to get your paperwork completed and for the CCAA to complete mine. China in April -- together -- will be wonderful. And I'm sure that Maddie has a special someone looking after her. God will make sure all our kids are well taken care of until we get there. Know that Maddie is also in my prayers.

Love you,

Lesa said...

I love the posted update. It is nice to read more about Maddie.
I hope and pray that you and Sherry travel together in April for sure.