Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu

This notice was released by the CCAA this morning.

Adoption agencies:

Currently there are cases of human infection of the swine flu found in some countries and regions. With the high infectivity of this disease, children are susceptible to it for their low resistance. In order to avoid cross infection during the process of adoption registration and protect the health of children in orphanages as well as the adoptive parents, we hereby announce that:

Adoption agencies are required to counsel the adoptive parents who have received Notice of Coming to China for Adoption to postpone their trip to China for the registration procedure.

The validity period of Notice of Coming to China for Adoption issued between March 1 to April 30 this year is prolonged from three months to five months (There is no need to update the paper).

Adoptive families are advised to follow the arrangement of local registration authorities and cooperate during the entrustment of child for the harmony period and the adoption registration process.

If adoptive parents feel unwell during their stay in China for the registration procedure, they shall go to the hospital for medical checkup in time and report to CCAA about relevant situation.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This is somewhat confusing and there are many rumors floating around blogs and yahoo groups as to what this really means. I have talked to our agency and they can't give any answers right now as they are trying to get ahold of the CCAA (which is now on a long weekend break until Monday) for more definitive answers. It would seem the CCAA won't be issuing any referrals (which our agency says looks likely because last night was the last night to add to the waiting child list -- and nothing was added), any LSC or TA's. Those who have TA at this point can still travel, but it is highly discouraged and this could change at some point as well and become a complete closure. Tim and I are the only couple with their TA in our group. FOI said that we will still travel if allowed, but they won't know anything for sure until Monday or Tuesday. This is heartbreaking... I am trying to remain optimistic, but pardon me while I go and drown my sorrows in food!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where does the time go...

Today is Abby's 14th birthday! I don't know where the time has gone, but she is growing into an amazing young woman. She is smart, funny, beautiful, athletic and brings us a ton of joy! Every year with her gets better and better.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Birthday Package

Lilah's 2nd birthday is May 16th, six days before we leave. TCH will have a little birthday party for her with a cake, a special birthday hat and some gifts. Today I sent our birthday gift for her and we hope she likes it! I made a little storybook of pictures of her room, and more pictures of her soon to be family. I wanted to send new pictures for her to look at right before she was about to meet us. We also sent a dress and sandals, so that they can put her in something we sent and keep their clothes for the other children.

I do feel that everything is coming together and is under control for our trip, and yet I feel so stressed! Maybe not stress, just this never ending restlessness... This week in our house is crazy busy, with two birthdays, swimming and rugby starting, a PD day, a junior high drama and a family wedding! I feel like once next week is here, I can really focus on the trip, packing and washing clothes and pulling together those last minute things. Then it will only be 2 1/2 weeks until we go! We had our second set of travel notes sent to us this morning, along with a great big bill... that definitely makes it feel more real!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Measurements

We received new measurements today from FOI. Not much has changed since our last update on her...

19.8 lbs.
2'6" tall
6" long feet
16 teeth

There were no pictures included.

I also had an email from Jenny at TCH letting us know that we can tour TCH, tour the hospital and meet Dr. Li and also meet Lilah's foster parents on May 27th. Jenny let the foster parents know that we would like Lilah left on her bottle until we get her and she also asked that they let her hair grow out.

Less than a month to go!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sponsorship it is!

We have decided to stick with the sponsorship route. When I talked to CIC they told me I would have to pull our sponsorship application and then submit the citizenship application. We are not about to risk having neither when the time comes to go get Lilah! This wait is stressful enough without wondering if the new paperwork would be done in time as well... Everything happens for a reason and we are glad we don't have to stress about this.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Citizenship vs. Sponsorship

We would appreciate some prayer... FOI contacted us yesterday to let us know that we applied for sponsorship instead of citizenship for Lilah. I had done the paperwork 1 1/2 years ago and just assumed that we had applied for the right thing. Not so. So tomorrow I need to call the CIC (citizenship and immigration) to see if we can change this application now that the law has changed and what that entails. If we have to send in a different application, I need to get it certified, sent asap and hope that they process it quickly. It typically takes four weeks, we leave in four weeks!

This doesn't affect us going to get her. It just affects the amount of paperwork that we would have to deal with when we get home. If you sponsor an immigrant, you come back to Canada, do a legal name change, and apply for citizenship then (this can take five months). You can then get a Social Insurance Number and Canadian Passport. If you go the citizenship route, then our paperwork is done while we are in Beijing and she becomes a Canadian citizen with a Canadian name while we are there! Our family travels quite a bit and so to be able to come home and apply for a SIN and Canadian passport immediately would be so much easier!

This has totally stressed us out this weekend and we hope that everything can be worked out tomorrow and that everything will go smoothly and I will talk to a helpful government worker at CIC!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tim's Work God's Timing

Last month I notified my colleagues that sometime in May/June I would be going to China for about 2 weeks and I would likely need help to cover my on call duties and OR's...I checked and I am not scheduled to be on call at all for the two weeks we are gone (because there are only 2 burn surgeons I am often on call every other week for the week) and I only had 2 OR days during that time (a bit unusual as I normally would have had 4 or 5 during a 2 week period)

We were quite anxious about the delay in timing as all our papers were in order to have travelled for April but the coordinators were not traveling till May. The timing for me couldn't have be 'planned' better as the two days of OR have been covered for me already by two of my colleagues and I only have to reschedule some clinic patients. - tim

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lilah at six months old

This photo was sent to me today by Erica, who's daughter was also at TCH. Her daughter You You is on the left and Lilah is on the right. Every picture is so precious! Thanks Erica! You can check out You You's prayer blog by clicking on the picture below.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Travel Plans

Our travel plans are coming together! We leave on May 22nd and return June 5th. Tim and I are leaving one day earlier than most in our group and heading to Hong Kong first, to spend two nights there. (The rest of our travel group will be going to Beijing). This means that we will be on our own with no guide, but Hong Kong is apparently very easy to get around. On May 25th we will head to Guangzhou on an early train, head to our hotel and settle in quickly, before going to the adoption office where we will meet Lilah.

FOI will be planning out this trip this weekend for our group and I should have contact with their travel agent next week to start booking everything. I will feel like this trip is really going to happen when everything is booked and ready to go.

Although it is frustrating waiting until late May, I now have peace about our travel dates. I can start counting down the days and planning accordingly. I know that everything is in God's perfect timing!

Friday, April 3, 2009

En En

Last night we had a conversation with Jenny Smith at True Children's Home via Skype. It was great to talk to her and find out more information about how we will get Lilah and how we can arrange going to visit this home, the hospital and to meet the foster parents. Jenny and Katrina will bring Lilah to the office where we will receive her on May 25th. (This date is still not for sure -- but it is what FOI is saying most likely). A couple of days later, Tim, Lilah and I will take the 1 1/2 hour drive to visit TCH, meet the staff and children, meet Dr. Li at the hospital, have lunch with Jenny and one or both of us will go to meet the foster family, depending on how we feel Lilah is doing. She will not go with us, as it would be too confusing for her.

Lilah's surgery was done on December 15, 2007 and was funded by a couple living in the same area. Jenny is going to ask if I can contact them by email. She knows they will be excited to find out this little girl is being adopted.

It doesn't look like we will get to visit Lilah's finding spot as it is in Maoming City, which is a four hour drive away from TCH.

We will be missing Lilah's 2nd birthday by a week, but Jenny said that they will provide a cake and some gifts and have a special party for her and send us pictures once again! I will also send a small care package to her for this day. Lilah has been living with her foster family for eight months now in what they call "the village" (an area where all the foster families live, so that there is a sense of community among them), but Jenny was amazed at how open Lilah was to her visit and was willing to be held and talked to by Jenny. They rarely see Westerners in these areas.

Jenny kept saying what a precious girl this is and she became very emotional when talking about her leaving their care. They all love these children so deeply and are so excited that so many of them are being adopted, as that is their final goal with each child, but it is really hard for them to see them go.

Lilah is called En or En En.