Apparently it was too high.

Adventures in family-building

August 30, 2006

Updated pictures

No time for a long post, but wanted to share these new pictures of our gorgeous daughter. They were taken August 1, the day we first saw her picture. We are so in love with this little treasure!

August 28, 2006

Time Warp Baby! T minus 6 days

by Not the Momma
Wow, two posts on a work day... Secret. Sick child.
We have an insane amount of things to do before we go and then Trevor goes and gets sick.

I knew the last week would be crazy and it is. At this rate I will be clinically exhausted by the time I get on the plane.

We did a lot this weekend. Rest was not on the agenda. My work has been preparing me for Camille. I was called 5 times on Friday night between 12:30AM and 6:15AM. As Andrea mentioned, we packed our bags which are gia-normus. I also borrowed a video camera from my friends here is a test clip.

The Trip

As of this writing, we are leaving for China in 6 days. We have our bags 85% packed. We have the cat sitter scheduled. We have alerted my work, Paul's work, and Trevor's school. Camille's room is 95% complete. We are almost there.

We intend to post on this blog as often as possible while in China. I have heard that some people have trouble posting on Blogger (Blogspot) in China. If we have trouble, we will post somewhere else, and try to put a link here as to where else we are posting. If, a few days after we leave, you don't see any updates here, and you don't get an e-mail telling you where else to go, and you want to see our trip as it progresses, please e-mail us. The link to our e-mail address is in our profile, up at the top of this page. We can receive e-mail and will read it regularly, and we will direct you where else to go for our updates.

Here is the itinerary for our trip:

Sunday 9/3: Leave Sunday evening for Beijing.

Tuesday 9/5: Arrive at the crack of dawn in Beijing (We lose a day in travel). Free day in Beijing, adjust to time difference. Stay at the Beijing Peace Hotel.

Wednesday 9/6: Tour the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs.

Thursday 9/7: Tour Tianamen Square, the Forbidden City.

Friday 9/8: Leave Beijing and fly to Hong Kong. Meet up with our adoption travel group (13 families). This is the official start of our adoption trip. Stay at the Regal Kowloon.

Saturday 9/9: Tour Hong Kong.

Sunday 9/10: Leave Hong Kong for Nanchang, the capitol of the province of Jiangxi, where our daughter is. Stay at the Galactic Peace International Hotel. Oh yeah also WE GET CAMILLE TODAY. Little side note there.

Monday 9/11: Still in Nanchang. Adoption finalization is today. Apply for Camille's Chinese passport.

Tuesday 9/12: Waiting for passport. Enjoy Nanchang.

Wednesday 9/13: Still waiting for passport. Tour Nanchang and surrounding area.

Thursday 9/14: Still waiting for passport. Receive adoption finalization paperwork. Tour Nanchang and surrounding area.

Friday 9/15: Receive Camille's Chinese passport in the afternoon. Receive more adoption finalization paperwork. Keep trying to enjoy Nanchang.

Saturday 9/16: Leave Nanchang for Guangzhou. Guangzhou is where the U.S. Consulate is that all Americans adopting from China must go through. Stay at the White Swan Hotel.

Sunday 9/17: Shop, rest, tour.

Monday 9/18: Have Camille's U.S. required physical. Have her visa photo taken (visa to enter the U.S., not her first credit card).

Tuesday 9/19: Appointment at the U.S. Consulate.

Wednesday 9/20: Take oath at the U.S. Consulate to take care of Camille, etc. Not sure why the "consulate appointment" takes 2 days. That's government for ya.

Thursday 9/21: Leave Guangzhou for Hong Kong. Leave Hong Kong for Los Angeles. Leave Los Angeles for home. Arrive at home airport same day, 7:50 p.m., international date line and all that. Collapse in own bed. Wake up 45 minutes later to crying baby and wide-awake 6 year old with reversed internal clocks. Cry pathetically that "I can't do this!" Receive comforting and reassuring words from husband, who then rolls over and goes back to sleep.

August 25, 2006


Don't have but a minute, maybe we'll have a better update this weekend, but wanted to let all of our 12 readers know that we have travel dates:

September 3 - September 21

Yes, that is NINE days from now. Yikes. Will post more details on our itinerary later.

August 20, 2006

What We've Been Doing the Last 2 1/2 weeks

We've been busy. Very. Busy.

We sent a care package to Camille's orphanage. Sometimes these care packages make it, sometimes they don't (due to customs). Sometimes the parents get the items back, sometimes they don't (due to I-don't-know-what). But we sent one just in case. It included:
  1. A duck transformer (Trevor's words, see pictures below. It's a rattle.)
  2. A stuffed bunny ("Made in China" tags removed)
  3. 2 disposable cameras for the caretakers to take pictures of Camille's environment
  4. Some new Mary Kay make-up as a gift for the caretakers (thanks Margaret!)
  5. Some chocolates as gifts for the caretakers
  6. A blanket my mom made for baby Trevor 7 years ago, washed, and Camille's Chinese name written on it with laundry marker in English and in Chinese (see pictures below; I'm rather impressed with myself, although I could have written "Bacon SkyDive Swollen" for all I know.)
  7. A soft baby photo album with close-up pictures of us (see some of the pictures below).

Duck Transformer
I bought this precious rattle. You stuff the duck inside the frog and the frog stands up. You stuff the frog inside the duck and the duck stands up. A little sick, perhaps, but cute. Trevor's first words up seeing it was, "It's a duck transformer!" Boys.

Stuffed bunny and rattle with frog showing

Stuffed bunny and rattle with duck showing

The Blanket
Camille's Chinese name in English, then in Chinese

The Photo Album
We wanted Camille to have close-ups of our faces. We hope we look a little familiar to her when she sees us.

Our beautiful son

The rents

Two of the three cats. The third would not cooperate. Honestly, these two did not cooperate either. We didn't send any cat pictures.

Extreme close-up of Daddy

Extreme close-up of Mommy

August 19, 2006

To-Do List Revisited

by Not-The-Momma
Reviewing our list from before....
1. Pick out name for baby DONE
2. Pick out alternative boy name in case baby is a boy DID NOT NEED
3. Remove postage-stamp sized pieces of wallpaper backing off theoretical baby's room DONE
4. Pick out paint color or theme for decoration of baby's room DONE
5. Purchase any clothing item for baby DONE
6. Purchase any hygiene item for baby DONE
7. Purchase any feeding item for baby DONE
8. Purchase any transportation item for baby DONE (Handmade Sling)
9. Babyproof house NOT DONE
10. Babyproof cats SEE POST TITLED "What are you going to name the baby2"
11. Purchase suitcase to take to China DONE
12. Purchase any special items for trip (besides above-mentioned fabulous dresses) DONE
13. Get vaccinations for China Momma is in trouble
14. Learn Chinese NOT DONE
15. Wash the 250+ 500+ hand-me-downs given to us for baby DONE

Just today I re-built the crib. What I expected to be a two beer project was a half a beer project. Six years of homeownership and using my own assembly instructions from the first time made it much easier the second time. For one thing I built it in the nursery. Last time I built it in the living room and had disassemble it to get it through the door into the baby room.

Mall vs Internet: I have been gathering the laundry list of stuff we need. Luggage, luggage locks, plug adapters, travel mice, computer backpack, travel surge protector. Yes we are going high tech, sort of, I am taking an older 8lb laptop and camera (still no camcorder). We will be updating the blog from the hotels with high speed internet. I got the gia-normus 29" suitcases at the mall. For the rest of the stuff, I either got it on the internet or wish I had. I scoffed at paying $7 shipping for the $14 Tripp-Lite travel surge protector (TRAVELER100BT) so I drove around for hours fruitlessly then came back and ordered it off the internet.

No progress so far on the camcorder. Not only would it be nice to capture our first moments with our daughter on real video and not the low-res 'movie mode' seen here but it could be backup for our picture camera. Our camera suffers from a repeating Sony lense error that has so far responded to the recommended repeated hard slamming on a table. I am serious. The wonder that is the internet showed me how to fix my $400 camera in this unconvential way.

August 16, 2006

No Posts is Good Posts

By Not-the-momma
I was checking the blog the other day and realized that there has not been an update for almost two weeks. So, much for using this to keep people in minute to minute contact...
So, what has been happening in the last two-ish weeks? We have been pulling our hair out. OK, mostly Andrea is pulling her hair out while I am a work. Camille's room looks better (I'll let Momma show you). We accepted Camille as our daughter. The name is final (had to put it on other documents). Camille has a care package on the way. Andrea learned to write Camille's Chinese name. Ask about the duck transformer. We get packages from Fedex and UPS daily right now. We have new pictures, new clothes, new luggage, new electronics. Can you recommend a good camcorder? We notorize documents. We meet for dinner to exchange notorized documents. We scramble to find $2500 in new $100s. My bank, could not "Show me the money" when it came time. We price out traveling options. We stay up late working the plan.

August 3, 2006


We received 2 more pictures in the mail yesterday of our beloved daughter, Camille. That's right - we've chosen her name! And decided not to torture my sister by not telling her until we came home from China. Her name will be Camille Ruth.

About these pictures - don't be shocked at the amount of clothing she is wearing. I have looked at dozens of Chinese adoption referral pictures over the last year and a half, and nearly all of them are dressed like this.

Sitting on a car seat outside (she will blend right in with my East Texas kin)

Hanging in a Tweety Bird seat thinking about smiling

August 2, 2006

Our beautiful daughter

Here she is, in all her rosy chubby cheeked glory!

We received "the call" yesterday, Tuesday August 1. This is the only picture we have of her at the moment. We will get two more in the mail today. I will upload them to the blog soon.

Here's what we know about our little BabyGogo:

Chinese name: Zhang Cai Miao
"Cai Miao" means "colorful seedling". Zhang is her last name, which is the last name given to all of the babies at her orphange. Cai is pronounced "Ki", like the first part of the word kite. Miao kind of sounds like what a cats says.

American name: We have finalized her name! We are not ready to tell you yet.

Birthday: November 23, 2005. She's 4 months old in this picture. She's 8 months old now.

Health: Her health report showed everything normal. She was 13.2 lbs. at 4 months of age.

Location: She's in the Jiangxi province of China, in the city of Zhangshu. She has been in foster care some of the time since she was born.

Personality: She's described as a deep sleeper (oh yeah!), and active, restless, and sometimes impatient. She's said to like music, rattles, and the sound of adult voices.

We are head over heels. We think she's the most beautiful baby girl in all of China! How did we get so lucky? I can't wait to smother those kissable cheeks with kisses!

We will travel to China in approximately 5 to 7 weeks.

That's all for now. What a DAY yesterday was!

August 1, 2006

What are you going to name the baby 2?

By Not-the-Momma
We had not settled on our baby's name before we got the match. So, in the past week we were throwing around names. One random thought was to simply name her "Baby GoGo". (See the other "What are you going to name the baby? post) Now that would be cute. However, this immediately conjured up the memory of me naming my precious little fur ball to the left. I called her "Munchkin" since she was so small that she fit into the palm of my hand. She used to sleep IN my couch in the space behind the seat cushions and below the back cushions. She would nap in this little hide-away area until I came home. When I came in the room her head would pop out from between the cushions and she would struggle to get out of the fist sized opening to greet me with a lot of purring. It was sooo cute. Munchkin was a great name for this bundle of cuteness.

That was then and this is now.
Munchkin never really got over her early days as an only child. She is now 10 years old and almost 18 pounds. "Plays well with others" is not how she would be described. However she does still disappear and then re-appear when I come into the house.
The point is Munchkin seemed like a good name at the time, but not now. Now she is more often called "Big Pud".

This is the thought that popped into may head when I thought, for all of 5 seconds, of naming my daughter "Baby GoGo". So, we have added Baby GoGo to names considered, then discarded.

I do hope our daughter likes cats. Munchkin liked Trevor so much, she says she can't wait for another fur grabbing, tail pulling toddler in the house....NOT!
See how happy Munchkin was when I told her the good news...
(click on the video)