Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dancing Stars Help with the Wait

I just finished watching the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, and toward the end, I realized something.  Before this season is over I'll be in China with my little girl, probably even be bringing her home!  Wow, that thought makes it REALLY seem close. 

Last week I heard from our travel advisor again, and she informed me that our Article 5's were taken from the American Consulate in China over to the CCAA. The Article 5's are the paperwork that approves us to adopt Hannah.  From this point, it should be 2-3 weeks until we get our travel date!  She also said that she estimates we'll travel the last week in April.

Even though I like the cast of Dancing with the Stars this season, it just somehow doesn't seem quite as exciting as usual.  It can't hope to compare to the excitement I have of meeting my daughter for the first time, but I'm hoping it will help the time go by faster during these last weeks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Care Package

Shi Lin's birthday was on February 26, and we sent a care package on the 16th, but since it took 3 weeks and one day to arrive in China, she still hasn't actually gotten it yet.  Ann at Red Thread China emailed to let me know she got it, and then she added the items we ordered from her to it and took a picture of it all.  She mailed it a couple of days ago, so Shi Lin should get it within the next couple of days.  She said in the email that she would get her birthday cake after she got the package. 

In her package, I included a couple of outfits, one 3T and one 4T, and in the note to Shi Lin's foster mom, I asked her to photograph her in the outfit that fits her best.  That way, I'll have a better idea of what size she wears, and what size clothes to bring when we go to China.  I also included two wrapped gifts for her to open; one is a little jeweled crown and the other is a little set from Fisher-Price called Precious Places, Willow the Woodland Princess.  It's a really cute set with a tiny little princess, a hat, a tea set and some chipmunks.  I chose Willow because she has black hair and brown eyes, just like my girl!

In the package, I also put another photo album, with more photos of extended family, and a framed family portrait of us.  The birthday package we ordered from Ann included a doll, candy, a camera and a birthday cake, and then I added a bag for her to put her belongings in when they bring her to us.

I can't wait for Shi Lin to get her presents, and wish I could be there to see her open them.  I also can't wait until sometime within the next week or so when we'll probably get new pictures of our little princess!  I put in the note to the foster mother to please take pictures of her enjoying her presents.  I also put a self-addressed, postage paid envelope in the package, and asked the foster mother to write me a letter telling me all about Shi Lin.  I really hope she does this!  I got the idea from a friend who did the same thing, not expecting to actually get a letter back, but did!  It may be hard for a lot of people to understand, but when your child is thousands of miles away from you, every little tidbit of information you can get about them means the world to you.  So that letter, if it comes, will be something I'll treasure forever.

I'm still hanging on, thinking that any day now we'll get a call or an email telling us our travel date.  I'm still sewing outfits for Hannah, and now I'm crocheting too.  Waiting for her has really reawakened my creative side, and that is such a blessing!  I used to be a more creative person, but had gotten so burnt out between college and then my portrait business, but now I feel revived!  My little China doll is already bringing so much good into my life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Estimated Travel Date and Creative Therapy

We found out recently that our estimated travel date is April 23! We were filling out our Visa applications, and were told to put this date down as the estimated date. It's later than we had hoped, but is still so close, I'm not complaining!

A blogger friend of mine has posted about retail therapy helping her through the wait for her daughter, and I so agree! That helps, and something else that works for me is, well, "creative therapy," I guess is what I'll call it. What I mean is I'm obsessed right now with making my own clothes for Hannah. I like styles that are a little different than what you can usually find in the stores, and even when I find them online, they are so expensive. And I like the fact that no one else will have the exact same outfit as Hannah. Below is the first outfit I did. I'm now working on a dress, and ordered two absolutely adorable patterns from Portabello Pixie. I'll be working on a dress from one of those patterns as soon as I finish the current dress. Portabello Pixie patterns are designed by Sandi Henderson, who also designs fabrics. If you haven't seen her work, stop by her website and blog. I fell in love with them immediately when I saw them! 

Here is the first outfit for Hannah I completed: 

A detail of one of the ruffled pockets:

  I also made a matching hair bow (I'm a little obsessed with hairbows right now too!

In addition to sewing, my sister got me interested in crocheting again, so I'm working on a practice hat right now.  Once I'm done with that, I'll go get some new yarn and do a hat that will coordinate with one of Hannah's new outfits.  I'll post some pictures of the finished projects soon. 

I just can't wait to get Hannah into all these adorable outfits!