Recipe for a Forever Family: Take One Mom (formerly from the Midwest), Add One Cutie Pie (formerly from China), then slowly Stir in Two Big Drooly Dogs.

3 Days to Maeve

Today was a busy day! We started early and joined our group for a tour of Tiananmen Square, then the Forbidden City and finally ended at the Great Wall. Of course we stopped off for a traditional Chinese meal for lunch and a little shopping at the Friendship store. :)

Overall the weather was really nice for the day, although the remnants of a dust storm on the Gobi desert really turned up the wind and dust this morning. Tiananmen Square was huge and very impressive. Here is a picture of Mom & Dad enjoying the sights of the square. Everyone was bundled up due to the wind!

Next we headed to the Forbidden City and explored the area for awhile. I have some great video, but Dad has most of the actual pictures there. I will have to add at a later date. After the Forbidden City we stopped off for lunch. As you can see, Dad made a couple of new friends. :)

Later at the Great Wall, we hiked up part of it together, then I continued all the way to the top! I was the only one in my group to make it and was greeted with aoound of applause when I boarded the bus by the group! I think that covers my workout for the next two weeks. :) Again, I took some excellent footage, but forgot to take some photos. Here is a picture of Mom & Dad hiking part of the Great Wall of China!

On the bus ride back to the hotel, our wonderful guide, Michael, gave us some more information about the adoption process in Chongqing. Michael is great! We have an early wake-up tomorrow to catch our flight out to Chongqing. So far the schedule stills says - Babies on April 3rd, but many of us our hoping it will be a day sooner. Cross your fingers!!!! 0 comments

We are in China!!

Sorry this post is late. When I logged onto Blogger in China it all came up in Chinese. Through memory I have been trying to hit the right buttons to publish the post and just now figured out how to switch the language back to English. :))

After a very long and uneventful flight, we have arrived safe and sound in China!!

We have met several other families that are adopting, including many from my adoption agency, GWCA. Everyone is excited about finally making it to China!! Personally, it is so nice to finally meet so many of the people that I have been talking to online for so long.

Today one of the guides, Kelly, picked us and several other families up at the airport and settled us into the hotel. She gave us a quick walking tour so we could get use to our surroundings and find the local grocery store. She was really nice and made sure we were completely settled in and answered all of our questions. During our walk we saw a Thai restaurant, so of course (you know Dad), we ate there for dinner. It was very good! Tomorrow is the tour of the Beijing including a walk on the Great Wall of China!

(I'm having trouble problems posting pictures, but will try again later.) 0 comments

Flying off on a jet plane!! (6 Days to Maeve!)

We leave today for China!! Maeve will be with me soon!! Here's wishing for a nice, speedy and uneventful flight for my family and all the other familes flying to adopt as well. I'll finally be able to meet in person some of the wonderful people I've been "talking" to for months!!

PS - My Dad reminded me the other day that the last international trip he had been on had been to visit me in Europe with my Mom & Grandma. Now, he told me he is taking another international trip with a Mom, Grandma and daughter. I hadn't even thought of it that way...leave it to my sweetie Dad to say the nicest thing! 0 comments

8 Days to Maeve (2 days to Travel)

Everything is ready to go! I drop off the dogs tomorrow to be royally spoiled for two weeks (they might not want to come back) and plan on running a couple of last minute errands and that is it. I can hardly believe that after all of this time Maeve will be in my arms in less than 8 days!

I spoke with my parents again today and we are all ready to go. Dad has been studying the user manual for my camcorder and has informed me that "he is one with the camcorder". :) So no worries there. Mom was a little stressed this weekend when she was doublechecking the flight information and thought she found a mistake. I had an urgent message waiting for me, informing me to call her right away because she "was freaking out over here". I have never heard my calm, collected Mom ever freak out before, but it turned out everything was fine. :)

So all mindmelds with the camcorders and minor freakouts (for Mom & I) aside, we are all set to go. We leave late Wednesday night and arrive in Beijing, Friday, late morning. We lose almost a day because of the time change and travel, but I've never been happier to lose a day in my life. :) Besides we gain it all back when we fly back home and that means we will have that many more hours to spend with Maeve. 1 comments

9 Days to Maeve (3 days to Travel)

For those of you who know my normal extreme last minute packing habits (what the plane is leaving in two hours, no problem), please read this post sitting down as you might faint. :)

Three days out and packed and ready to go. Because of luggage constraints on flights within China, I have to keep it down to 1 checked piece (no more than 44 lbs) and 1 carryon only. Currently, I'm right about 39lbs for my checked piece so I should be good to go on Wednesday! Coming home, I'll be allowed to bring back more, because I will have Maeve with me then. This is a good thing, because I plan on doing some SHOPPING!!

PS - Love those Packmates, they really save space in the suitcase. 0 comments

10 Days to Maeve (4 days until Travel)

This is Maeve's "Finding Ad" published in a local paper on May 10, 2006. This picture was most likely taken very shortly after she was abandoned on March 23, 2006. The ad states when and where she was found. It also says that she was found in a basket wrapped in small quilts.

A "finding ad" is placed in a local paper for all abandoned babies. It is the first step in the process for their eventual adoption.

Here is Maeve at about 4 months old. This picture was taken when she had been approved for adoption. Her smiling face looks like it is saying, "Mommy, you can come and get me now...and bring Grandma & Grandpa too!!" 1 comments

Happy Birthday Maeve!

Today my daughter, Maeve, is 1 year old. I wish I was there with her now, but I will just have to be patient a little while longer.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl. Mommy is coming soon to bring you home! 1 comments

12 days to Maeve (5 days until I leave for China)

My travel group received our intraChina itineraries yesterday. I thought I would have Maeve on Monday, April 2nd, but it turns out it will be the afternoon of the 3rd afterall. One more day to wait, still the end is in sight and she will be home with me soon!

Here is my itinerary for China.

3/28/07 - Leave for China
3/30/07 - Arrive in Beijing (after a stopover in Guangzhou)
3/31/07 - All Day Tour of Beijing
4/1/07 - Travel to Chongqing
4/2/07 - Tour in the morning, the rest free time
4/3/07 - Baby Day!! - Go to Civil Affairs Office at 2:30pm. Also stop at other govt offices as needed for paperwork, etc.
4/4/07 - Shopping for Babies!!
4/5/07 - Sightseeing tour
4/6/07 - Pick up Babies Passports and Travel to Guangzhou
4/7/07 - Medical Exam scheduled for Maeve for Visa
4/8/07 - Sightseeing tour (Easter)
4/9/07 - American Consulate Appointment!
4/10/07 - Pick up Visa and leave for home.
4/10/07 - Arrive home with Maeve 0 comments

14 Days to Maeve (Leave for China in 9 days)

The puppies, Smudge & Baby.

A typical day...


16 Days to Maeve

Here is Maeve Fu Dai's new room. I had so much fun putting this room together and it all pulled together so easily. Many of my baby shower gifts matched and fit in perfectly. The funnest part were the painted added touches, one smaller table that I had painted years ago matched everything perfectly. The rest I painted or added touches too during the last few weeks.

Please note the crib mobile is taken down as Maeve will be old enough to stand up in her crib and reach it (safety hazard). It all came as a matching set, so I put it up for the pictures.


17 Days to Maeve

The countdown continues...

Here are some pictures from my wonderful babyshower! Laura asked if she could throw me a shower and the next thing I knew, several more of my cousins (Mary Kay, Marty, Peggy, Karen & Deby) joined in and helped out. A big THANK YOU to all of them for helping make it such a special day! Martha even designed and crafted the invitations herself. Take a look.

I thought the little insert was so adorable and thoughtful...

Martha also designed these little "Words of Wisdom" cards for everyone to fill out with helpful advice. Here are Emily's, another one of my cousins, thoughts. Beautiful words for such a young girl.

Here everybody is playing a game trying to guess my weight. (Thanks alot cuz!) Luckily, I was allowed to pick the winner and determine my own weight. :))

Here is Laura's daughter, Megan, and my niece, Alyssa, helping out. Megan was a very take charge kind of gal and made sure we stayed on track with the gift opening. No lolly gagging around for her. :)

Kim was my "surprise" guest. Yeah!! One of my best friends from high school days when we all worked together at Wendy's. It was so much fun to see her again and catch up!!


18 Days to Maeve!!

It's official! I purchased my tickets to China today. We (my parents are travelling with me) are arriving in Beijing on Friday, March 30th. After a couple days we will go on to Chongqing and I should have Maeve in my arms on Monday, April 2nd.

The final countdown has begun!! 1 comments

Happy Days!

I'm so excited!! My new I171-H is here! I picked it up from the USCIS (immigration) office yesterday.

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about here is the scoop. In order to adopt internationally, the USCIS office (new name for the Immigration or INS department) must approve the adoptive parents application. Once they do this, they send the approval form, I171-H which allows the parent to complete the adoption. This is completed at the very start of the adoption process and my original form was completed in the summer of 2005. Unfortunately they expire after 18 months and sometimes the adoption process, like mine, can drag on. So right as I received my referral for Maeve, my permission from the US government to bring her to the States expired. I have been working closely with my Homestudy agency, the USCIS and everyone esle involved to get meet all requirements and obtain a new I171-H.

Now it's here and my adoption agency is in the process of requesting my CA (US Consulate Appointment) in Ghuangzhou where my adoption will be finalized. The tentative Travel date to China is March 29, 2007 and tentative Family Day (when I get Maeve) is April 2, 2007.

Less than three weeks!! 0 comments

My Referral Pictures

I just wanted to share my referral pictures with everyone. These pictures were taken when Fu Dai was approximately four months old.

Xiu Fu Dai was born on March 23, 2006. She is currently in the Xiushan SWI orphanage approximately 10 hours away from Chongqing. Her orphanage is in a very poor area, but it is very rich in love and attention that they shower on the children in their care. LWB (Love Without Boundaries) sponsors their nutritional program and supplies much of the orphanage's formula. This is very good news to me and reassuring that while I'm not there others are doing their best to take care of my little girl. 0 comments

Waiting for Travel Day!

Hi Everyone,

I've started this blog to keep everyone informed on my trip to China to adopt my little girl, Xiu Fu Dai (soon to be Maeve Fu Dai). To bring you up to speed, it has been a very long process, but my daughter is well worth the wait. I started the adoption in February of 2005 with GWCA (Great Wall of China Adoption). Completed and sent my paperwork to China in September 2005. It was officially logged in (my LID date) on October 11, 2005. Then I waited, and waited and waited and waited some more.

Finally on February 1st of 2007 the referrals arrived for my LID date and I saw my beautiful baby's face for the first time. She is absolutely gorgeous!! Now I'm waiting to travel to China to get my Maeve, along with the rest of the families in my group. The good news is our adoption agency has set a tentative travel date of March 29, 2007. That means I will have Maeve by April 2nd!

Laura 0 comments

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