Friday, May 27, 2011

How do you know this is your child?

The number one question we are asked, and by far the biggest thing I worried about while we were trying to 'decide!' was how will I know this is my child.  In retrospect I decided to post how it happened to us TWO different ways, with hopes that it may help someone in the future!

Our journey to adoption started with us KNOWING we wanted to adopt another child with dwarfism. We have met someone from almost every field possible including firefighter, congressional member, business, engineer and parents with dwarfism. But we also learned that in some countries they are a bad omen, and do not have much potential for work as they grow older etc. SOOO we signed up for  BTW you can search dwarfism and they will just pop right up. Me, I searched the lists for months LOL!! That's ok, I added many children to our prayer list in the meantime.

Anyhow, we came across a darling little girl who I thought could be jsut right. We toyed with the idea, we tried to justify the time in country to get her, the trips and by the time we asked for her file she already had a family. I was so sad, but guess what - we found her adopting parents and she is a perfect fit for them!!

Then we found and signed up to see their waiting children and also included a profile. I started receiving emails. Some fit our request and others didn't. Most importantly, we weren't looking at children in countries we were to old for. Then one day our sweet angel arrived in my email. One look at her and I about fell over. She looked jsut like my daughter in the summer! I immediately emailed the agency who listed her on Rainbow Kids and the rest is history. Mind you, we were looking for a calm, quiet little boy. What we received was - - well a little girl who is as charming and charismatic as our other children. I still look through files but everytime I look at her picture and see her big eyes I know she is ours!

Our little girl Felicity who is 3 (4 when school starts)

People also say you will receive a sign in the pictures. I thought yeah right! Guess what, my daughter had those same red shoes when she was little! Every picture she is wearing those red shoes! It's a God wink and I know she is our daughter.

Choosing #2 - if you got this far then this is the story to read!
We were adament that we were only adding 1 more child to our home PERIOD!! Our social worker knew this and still approved us for 2. When my husband READ the entire homestudy including the TWO children under age 6 part, never said a word. Really . . . not a word, and I was waiting for the bomb to hit when he got to that page. Anyhow, still only adopting one. I filled out the I800-A and started to put 1 and then called our agency. Just put 2 just encase they said. Ok whatever.

In the meantime, I kept checking the photolistings. I asked about a few but no one really struck me like little Felicity did. Then Good Friday service about killed me, and I thought just look again. I asked for a boy in the same province and received 3 possibilities. I knew my limits and what I could and couldn't do, 5 kids, 2 dwarfs with potential mobility issues there were a lot I couldn't do. These 3 were darling but only one potentially fit. Note the calm quiet shy child we originally were looking for, but now I was worried that our clan would scare him to death. I told DH to pray about him and what he thought. His answer after three days "not him but another.' REALLY!! I was expecting NO!! Since our search didn't pan out for the same province I though OK, 1 family 3 dwarfs it'll all be fine. Then I looked at our homestudy. Missed the 0-6 part LOL!! One little guy was the perfect age but with a broken heart I had to turn away from him because he really had significant mobility issues. Probably one of the hardest parts of this process. I was done. We are back to jsut bringing home Felicity and I was ok with that. We decided we would donate to the amazing agencies we have come across instead.

Did I mention my fleece to God was that this child too would come in my email - -really bad fleece LOL!! The day after I decided no more, that we were done, I received a note from an agency who had a little guy on  I had all but given up hearing from them, but God's timing is perfect. They were kind enough to send his file although he was no longer exclusive to their agency. I opened it up and just wept. Yep he was from the SAME PROVINCE as our daughter!!

Our baby Cavanagh who jsut turned 3

As for his God wink in his pictures, his shirt says OK. Is his diagnosis scary - - yep. I will have a rough year when they get home as far as his medical, but he met my criteria of having a physical need that can be fixed.

So there is the kids story. We sent the LOI for him on his 3rd birthday and we jsut can't wait to hold them in our arms.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

2nd PA received!!

I can not tell you how excited I am - we received our pre-approval today for our little guy! We are officially working on bringing two little angels home to our crazy house. I had a bit of a melt down last night as I felt like everything was working against me this week as well as the stress of little man's dental journeys. Little Man woke up singing this morning and I knew it jsut had to be a great day - and I was right!! So here is a pic of our little Cavanagh. Doesn't he have the best kissing lips! Prayers please for a speedy process so we can get both of them home but especially Cav so he can get the care he needs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Little man's day at the dentist

As we impatiently wait for any of our paperwork to come through, life still continues at home. My little man had his tough super day at the dentist. He has terrible teeth, and we can't figure it out. Neither of the older kids have a single cavity, neither do I. Little man had a mouth full. We finally HAD to get him in for work as he woke up crying last week in pain. Today he had 3 rotten teeth pulled (including the front 2), 1 crown and 4 fillings. He did great but I was so worried petrified because of my previous experience with kids and a dentist.

Our daughter fell when she wasn't quite two years old, hitting her front tooth. Within 24 hours she started showing an abscess. We didn't have a dentist, and because she wasn't quite two we only had one choice. He informed us we needed to immediately do a root canal. I think we did that the next day, what he didn't tell me was that they weren't going to use any anesthesia, & use a papoose board. I could hear her behind 3 closed doors. I tried to go back, I tried to get them to stop, but in my heart I will always feel terrible for even putting her in that position. It truly affected her personality and I believe her trust in me.

This time was 100 times better. I knew what questions to ask. I am older and know that this is my child. Sorry if my presence is inconvenient but I will leave when I know everything is ok. They did a fantastic job and he is now home with push up pops and movies.

THe future will be very interesting as we now have a little man who is the size of a 2 1/2 year old, speaks like a 6-7 year old and now is missing his two front teeth!! Atleast this time I got some pics of him with all of his baby teeth in place.

Monday, May 23, 2011

LOI sent to China

Whew, our Letter of Intent was sent to China on Friday. Now the wait for our preapproval starts. Hopefully it will be closer to 1 week rather than 2 weeks. In the mean time we are waiting for our USCIS approval to come through. I am guessing it will be a wait, wait, wait and then everything will come on the same day! Anyhow, prayers for sooner than later as I just can't wait to get my arms around my little angels!

If you pray just pray for our packets to come through quickly.

And a smiley today from our little guy. I absolutely LOVE when our little ones learn to draw.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why are we adopting two?

This adoption thing is a totally foreign process for us. It is a new adventure and like a pregnancy we are already looking forward to holding our children in our arms. The one thing that has surprised me about this process is the reaction from people both close to us and acquaintances. Here are some of the things we have heard along the way . . . You have the perfect life, why would you ruin that? Life will be so much easier if you don't do this. Can't you atleast find a child with an 'easy' problem. What are you doing to your children? And the number one - what does your husband think about all this.

I think you will find the answers in this video. This is God's journey, these are our children and I know He will provide and we will prosper. I don't know why he chose us, we aren't the perfect parents but perhaps we are a path and it is our children he is using. I hope someday to know that answer but in the meantime, we, as a family, anxiously await the arrival of our two blessings.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunshine Kids Radian carseat and low weight kids

Ok, our little guy is 27 lbs and almost 5 years old, needless to say he is low weight!!  As I said we just purchased the Sunshine Kids Radian carseats to try out.  WE LOVE THEM!!  THe most important part is that there is an energy absorbing attachment that they recommend all forward facing children under 40 lbs. This attachment has some give and in the case of an accident I think it keeps our little ones from slamming against the hard straps resulting in internal damage etc.  Anyhow, here is the picture from the manual that shows the attachment as well as the information.  I have no idea why they don't advertise this better, as it would defiantely be a plus for our children who have low weight children especially those with dwarfism who will be low weight for years.

In addition, this is the first carseat (including the Britax) that our little guy can fall asleep in and not double over and hang.  He stayed completely upright during our long drive to Denver.

Fingerprint Appointment today!

Yeah, our appointment day is here.  We are traveling up to Denver for the last (we hope) set of fingerprints for our I-800A.  Luckily, our appointment was set for today when many around the country got appointments for the end of May.  Encase anyone is reading from Colorado, we were told that you can NOT do a walk in for earlier fingerprints in Denver (Grand Junction yes, Denver No).  It will be a nice day to spend with our little guy, while the older two are in school.  Might even leave a little early to do a little shopping - although I spent the weekend cleaning out little mans room since he will now be sharing it (we hope!)

We also sent out all of our paperwork and of course money : 0 ) for the second adoption on Saturday.  So that should arrive today also.  THe slow moving train seems to have finally picked up just a little movement!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday little guy!

Our sweet little boys birthday was yesterday (blogger was down for posts).  Anyhow, we celebrate the day with our little guy in our heart.  I also was able to get in contact with a fabulous agency who can send a care package for us.  We will be sending a late birthday present for our little guy and something for our daughter.

We also had a meeting with our Pastor in the morning, to share our journey and for guidance.  You know the commercials about not having to be the perfect parents to adopt.  That's us, I am know to over commit and volunteer, my house is more often a wreck than not, I haven't used my oven in 3 weeks (ok we are getting the kitchen remodeled but I haven't even missed it!)  I could go on and on.  We also have gotten quite a bit of negative reactions when people find out about adopting two.  I am surprised how it already hurts to have my children rejected.

Anyhow, we have such a fabulous Pastor who is genuine.  He helped us to see that this is God's journey and that he has a plan for us (all of us.)  That I don't have to have everything figured out, it will all work out perfectly in time.  This is very hard for me, I like love to be in control.   I am thinking that five kids with 3 aged 3 & 4 may help cure me from this obsession of mine!  Anyhow, Happy Birthday little one, hopefully this will be the last one you will have to celebrate without your family! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

LOI sent!! and carseats!

I am pretty excited, we received the requested updates from our little guys orphanage yesterday and it included a video and updated pictures and new growth and development.  Oh does he have some kissing lips!!  He 'walks' on his knees and loves playing with the balls.  Our big girl said - 'will he bring those balls home with him?'  Umm NO, I think that is all the orphanage has since his 16 month pictures were taken with the same balls.  LOL I would be thrilled to find the same balls a week after the kids played with them!  Best of all my DH read through everything, watched the video and looked at the pictures.  Heehee, he has elf ears just like the rest of our kids!!  They even sent a darling picture of him standing next to pansies - My FAVORITE flowers!!  Isn't it funny how kids, regardless where they are in the world, have the same reaction to cameras at this age.  We only have one picture of him looking at the camera, but it is a soul piercing reach into your heart look.  Once we receive PA I will post his pictures.  Pray that all goes well over the next couple of weeks.

Also I think we will be sending for an update on our little FeiFei soon.  I was looking at carseats last night. After trying to find a booster for our little man I came across a heartbreaking video on youtube.  I will be returning the booster we bought and have already bought new carseats (his buckle wasn't working the best.)  Found these awesome seats that fit 3 to a back row.  I think our backseat on the Sequoia is bigger than the odyssey we had.  Anyhow had a 20% off coupon for first time buyers so I bought two of the Sunshine Kids carseat.  I still have no idea how I am going to configure everyone in the car so that people can get to the back but now I am thinking either 3 little ones in the back and the two in the middle row, or 2 in the back and one carseat in the middle.  We will HAVE to have a seat in the middle row that can fold forward so we have access to the back row.

Anyhow, I think I am focusing so much on carseats and strollers since I really can't do much else with this process right now.

So the
Sunshine Kids Radian XT SL Convertible Car Seat - Shadow
is what we got for little man.  I am thinking the memory foam will help with the pain in his hips on long drives.  Here is what they say about this carseat.

RadianXTsl is a convertible car seat for rear-facing children 5 - 45 lbs and forward-facing children 20-80 lbs in a 5-point harness. Its steel alloy frame is NCaP crash tested making it the strongest car seat in the world. Our  SuperLATCH system ensures the easiest installation possible using the vehicle’s lower anchors up to 80 lbs – no seat belt required. a height adjustable, aluminum-reinforced head support and protective ePS foam surround the child's head and body to provide the most complete side impact protection of any car seat, and the SafeStop energy absorbing harness system. Radian's low profile offers easy child boarding and its unique design provides more shoulder
room yet still fits 3-across in a car. Memory foam padding and infant support pillows provide additional comfort. all this and RadianXTsl can fold flat for convenient travel and storage.
NEW SL seats have these SuperLATCH benefits:
  • Easiest installation available
  • Never have to use a seat belt again*
  • Just click, tighten and you're done
*Only for use on vehicles equipped with lower latch anchors
  • Rear-facing 5 lbs to 45 lbs
  • Forward-facing 20-80 lbs and up to 53" in a 5-point harness
We got the next step down for Feifei as we weren't sure about the head support on this one and her big old noggin LOL!  This way we can have little man try out both and make a decision if it would be worthwhile to buy a third or use one of the ones we already have!

Friday, May 6, 2011

YEAH we have his file!!

Ok our agency has found and received our littlest angels file.  I am so excited I could have just screamed from the mountain tops .  .  . but just worked out and a hike was out of the question LOL!!  Anyhow,  our LOI will wait upon whether or not anyone else can possibly get ahold of his file.  If they can we will submit the LOI on Monday.  If not then we will wait for the update we requested.  Our file was done when he was 16 mos old and he will be 3 this month.  Just like when we were pregnant we decided against the risk of an amniocentesis simply because it would never have made a difference whether we carried the pregnancy to term.

And our picture for the post -

Our sweet little FeiFei - she is such a darling little thing and watch out world cuz Felicity is on the way to being the queen!  Don't you love her red shoes!! Her referral picture also showed her wearing the same shoes and the first thing our big girl noticed.  He smile, her demeanor is so fabulous.  She is part of the Half the Sky program which helps us as we patiently go through the process until we can bring her home!

Prayers Please! & a diagnosis

I think we found him - and he was right under our nose the whole time!  Unfortunately we can't find his file.  He was listed with an agency in January, so his file should have been returned to CCCWA within the past two weeks.  His isn't on the latest shared list.  Thankfully our agency is willing to contact CCCWA and see if they can get his file.  Please pray that we find him so we can send in the LOI.  Also it took over a year to get his file to the shared list so it's pretty old for a 3 year old (almost).  Our wonderful agency sent a request for updated information.  They were a little concerned about some developmental delays.  Again please pray that we get them quickly and he is developing fairly normally.

And what's a blog without pictures!

This is one of the many great play things at Denver Children's hospital.  Why am I adding that today, because a year from now I can just see three of them all making heat handprints on this during a grouped visit.  (remind me of this vision, when all three are running around the hospital like wild children!)  However, after sending photos to 6 different organizations thorughout the US THEY were the ones that came back to us with a possible diagnosis for this little guy,  A name, a word so I could search, I could have just cried.  In addition, the treatment isn't nearly as bad as we had thought!! YEAH!!  I know to expect the worst, and I have but I had no idea that the best could be as good as they predicted!!  In addition, it instilled a confidence in his treatment.  We were looking at Shriners for his care but no one really is an expert in this diagnosis, and this would mean juggling kids and plane trips.  The chance of this birth defect is 1 in a million.  So once we are home we are going to Denver Children's first!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Searching, searching, searching

So funny, our little girl came in the email.  We did go through tons of the available child sites like Reeces Rainbow and Rainbowkids searching for a special needs child.  We actually were looking at several other children and each time they already had a family pursuing them.  Then our little girl came in my email!  She is so perfect for our family, spunky, outgoing and well her own girl.

We (as in I again) have been searching for a little guy.  We thought an estimated million kiddos up for adoption in China, how many provinces are there, and everyone is looking for girls.   I was sure that we would easily be able to find a little guy from Qingdao or atleast Shandong province.  Then we thought ok, maybe it's God's will for us to bring another child with dwarfism home.  So we searched, we went through the entire CCAA waiting child list.  We found that many of these little people are not always classified under dwarfism.  I found 10 possible little people.

THen I decided I better email or SW and find out exactly what our homestudy is approved for - good thing, it's only ages 0-6 years.  That cuts out a lot.  In addition, I will have a 5 and 4 year old with dwarfism in our home.  Can I really do this.  I am a normal person, I have come across some super people, and I know I am not one of them.  So, we are still searching.  If God really means for us to come home with two he will make it happen.  Have I mentioned that patience is NOT my best quality.

On the other hand, my husband came home from the weekend retreat and said his answer was 'not this one but another.'  It is so hard to turn down files, but I know I really need to make sure I am not putting a square peg into a round hole either.  So we continue to search!