Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wuwei link to photos

When I received information on Kylie stating what province she is from, I immediately joined the Wuwei family group on yahoo. This group has turned out to be an excellent resource. They share lots of info and are very proud of their Wuwei girls. Two of the families I met via the Wuwei group Brad and his wife Amy & Lori and her husband Marc, traveled to China this past May to pick up their Wuwei beauties. They had the opportunity to visit the orphanage which families have not been allowed to do in the past and they shared their wonderful photos with our group. Although, Kylie is currently with a foster family and not in the orphanage, it is really nice to see where she was found and spent the first few months of her life. Brad did such a great job describing their trip, that I felt like I had just experienced it with them.

I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I did. I was secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of Kylie in the photos but she is not there. There are lots of other children in the photos possibly waiting for their 'forever families'.

BTW - I wanted to mention that Lori helped me by sharing with me a letter she used translated into chinese characters so that I can send a note to the caregivers along with Kylie's care package. I ended up using another letter that was in the same group's database. This is just one of the many resources I have obtained from the yahoo group. I also found two other families who are using the same agency as we are and as it turns out they will be one of the families Sean and I will be traveling with. I am very grateful for the support and camaraderie I have found in this group. This is getting so stinkin' exciting, I just can't stand it:-)


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kylie's care package

Last Thursday I was giddy with excitement that I was finally going to be able to communicate or establish some sort of contact with Kylie somehow via this little care package. It was sent by Fedex and on Monday there was a little hiccup with customs but it was finally sorted out and it is expected to arrive at the orphanage tomorrow. The little photo album contains pictures of Sean and I. My hope is that the nanny will point to Kylie on each of the pictures and teach her mama and dada as I've heard others have done this in the past. The disposable cameras are for the nannies to take pictures of Kylie, her foster family and friends so that we can share with Kylie later in life. The ducky is a teething blanket and finally the adorable softer than soft teddy bear is one of Kylie's first Christmas gifts from grandma Rita and grandpa Ed.

Families do not always get the cameras back but lately it seems that the chances have been much higher than they once were. Let's hope that we do get them back and wouldn't it be a dream if she had some sort of slight recognition of us when they place her in our arms for the very first time?

Now for the updates:
I received a call from the agency yesterday that our travel meeting has been set for Tuesday, August 8th from 10am-1pm. This usually means that we will have travel approvals from China and hopefully a consulate appt. If we don't have all of the info by then, the agency is confident that we will have the info shortly thereafter. Also, families usually travel 2-3 wks after a travel mtg. Woohoo!! Everything looks like it is right on track towards a late Aug or early Sep travel. I believe we can expect travel approvals next week! The end of the month is when we anxiously awaited referrals, now we are anxiously awaiting those travel approvals.

We are expecting our travel packet to arrive in the mail this week which means we can apply for our visas now. These are major steps towards being able to bring Kylie home sooooooon!

I finally started "pre-packing" the items that I plan to take for Kylie. Aside from some of the obvious necesities, there are some things I can't seem to stop obsessing over....her outfits. I have a few outfits to choose from but I can't seem to figure out which is going to be her very first american outfit. You know what I mean, the caregivers dress her up in 4 layers of outfits. My understanding is that they do this even if it is 95 degrees out. So what should be the first, very first outfit we put her in? You know we are going to take hundreds of pictures in those first several hours when she is finally all ours. Is this what some new moms go thru when they are planning the outfit for their first newborn to come home in or is it just me? Before you answer and decide to poke fun at me, keep in mind that I have to take 2-3 different sizes because although she may be 12 months at the time, she may be too small or in rare cases too large for 12 month old clothes. Oh and everything needs to coordinate. Sean already gave me a hard time about this when he saw the bathing suit, matching hoodie, sun hat from Aunt Kimmie and swim shoes from Aunt Colleen that I had picked out to pack. This is so much fun!!
P.S. Yesterday Kylie turned 11 monts old

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wuwei Orphanage

This is a photo of Kylie's orphanage in Wuwei.

This is where Kylie was found. She was discovered at the West Gate by a civilian on 8/22/05. This is the entrance to the orphanage also known as the Social Welfare Institute or SWI of Wuwei.

She was wearing red padded coats, wrapped in a floral blanket and there was no note. She weighed 7.92 lbs and was 20.47 inches long. The police searched for birth parents and relatives without success and then the police produced documents to pronounce her to be abandoned. She entered the orphanage where they published a finding ad in the Gansu newspaper to search once again for birth parents and relatives without success. The Wuwei Civil Affairs Bureau approved her to be sent to the orphanage to raise. They named her Wu Hong Ya. Wu comes from the name of the place. Hong means magnitude and broadness, Ya is an endearing term.

We also received information on her developmental stages from 1 month all the way through 7 months old (March). I may post the info at a later date. She is described as being active and lively, likes dolls and colorful toys. She shows fear and anger and she likes to smile before going to sleep. She is restless, likes to imitate, likes music, playing with toys, picture books, and she is obstinate.

Kylie was at the orphanage for approx 3 months. Since then she has been living with a foster parent. We've heard wonderful things about the orphanages and foster parents in China and particularly in Wuwei. They love and care for each of the children they look after as if it were their own. They grieve each time a child is adopted as they get attached to the children and the children also get attached to their caregivers. Sean and I have been surprisingly calm as we wait to receive our travel approval in a few weeks. She looks healthy and there is not doubt in our minds that she is being well cared for and loved. We stare at her picture several times a day and we look forward to the day that will forever change our life.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kylie is in Wuwei, Gansu

A little history...Gansu has a multinational population. Now with more than 3 million people living in the city, the majority are Hui (Muslim), Kazak, Mongolian, Tibetan, Hui, Dongxiang, Tu and Manchu. They mutually influence each other in the fields of economics, politics and culture and hold close ties with the Han people. They have developed a unique cultural community.

Lanzhou is an ancient city in China, and is the capital of Gansu. It is the second largest city in northwest China, and also the political, economic and cultural center of the province. It is known as the city of fruits , producing some famous melon, apple, lily and rose. Lanzhou used to be called the Golden City, is an important stop along the Silk Road and has a history of over 2,000 years. It has been important for thousands of years because of the Hexi Corridor, or "Corridor West of the Yellow River" in which early Chinese civilization began.

Gansu is a rural province that is not well traveled by foreign tourists. We can expect an authentic experience. So how will I handle their cuisine....hmmm...let's just say I'll be packing as many granola bars as I can carry.

Now that we've done internet research on our daughter's province, I can focus on what we can expect from our trip. It is my understanding that we will arrive in Beijing where we will spend 2-3 days sightseeing and shopping. We will then be traveling to the Gansu Province and stay at the capital city of Lanzhou. There we will be united with our precious daughter on the day of our arrival. I dream about the day we can finally hold Kylie in our arms as we take in the long history, diverse cultures, vast and graceful natural scenery in the country where she has spent the first year of her life. I am really looking forward to the amazing experience that awaits us as we venture into the journey of a lifetime.