Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Only Days Away

We are now 7 days away from leaving for China!  I can't believe it; one week away from leaving, and only 11 days from holding our baby in our arms!!!

I put together this slideshow to express what we've been feeling along this journey to our daughter.  For those of you who are waiting for you child, or have been there before, I know you will identify with it.  I hope it will touch everyone's heart with the understanding of how much we love our little girl, though she is so many miles away.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Traveling in TWO WEEKS!

We are now two weeks from our travel date!!!  I can't believe how fast this month has gone.  We found out our travel date on April 1st, and the time has just flown by!

We are well on our way to having things packed.  One area of our living room is covered with suitcases.  I'm doing lots of laundry lately, and packing clothes as I go.  We've went on a couple of shopping trips to get supplies for the trip, so those are all packed.  We still have a few miscellaneous things to get and we're done!  I so wanted to be packed and ready early, and it looks we will be!  It will be such a load off my shoulders to do it this way.  Hopefully, we'll be able to get up at 2 am on the 6th and not be too stressed with last-minute packing.

I wanted to post pictures of some more outfits I made for Hannah.  Below is the first one.  I sewed the dress, and crocheted the hat and purse.  Then I bought the flower hair clips and just clipped them on.  That way, I can change out the clips to coordinate with whatever outfit she's wearing.  I just love this outfit!

I'm perhaps the most proud about the following dress.  I had an Asian-style pattern that was crocheted on top and satin on bottom.  It only went up to 18 months, but I desperately wanted to see Hannah wearing it while we were in China, her sitting on the red couch at the White Swan.  So I did some calculations and enlarged the pattern.  I think it actually came out a little big, but I'll bring a needle and thread with me to China and make any adjustments needed.  I also reduced the pattern for her Bitty Baby doll, so she and her doll could match.  I can't wait to see Hannah in her dress holding her doll!

I'm almost finished with Hannah's blanket, and I'll post some pictures as soon as I'm done.  I have fabric for one more dress I wanted to make for her, but it may have to wait until some time after we get back.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our China Itinerary

We are now 16 days away from getting on the plane to China!  For those who are interested, Chip made a pdf of our itinerary, complete with maps!  To get the details on the plans for our trip, click here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Perfect Day

If it's possible to have a perfect day, Tuesday was the closest I've come.  First, a friend of mine watched Miles for me most of the day so I could get a lot done around the house.  It was soooo nice to just work in silence, with no interruptions.  Then, I opened the envelope my friend gave me as she picked up Miles, and discovered $300 for our expenses fund!  Later, I discovered that the lady I buy raw milk from had donated $20, and that she wanted to give us two gallons of milk and a dozen eggs when we got back from China.  I was already feeling so good after all this, when I checked my email and another friend said she wanted to bring us some dinners for those first few weeks when we get back.  I could feel the presence of God, showing me He would take care of us through those around us.  What a wonderful day I was having!

And it got EVEN BETTER!  When I got home from picking up Miles, I checked the mailbox, and there sitting on top of the mail pile was a letter from China!!!  I had included a postage-paid envelope in the last care package I sent to Hannah, asking her foster mother to please write to me about Hannah.  I wasn't sure if I'd actually hear back from her, but there was the letter!  I opened it, expecting that it would be in Chinese, and that I would have to wait and find someone to translate it.  It was in Chinese, but as I looked through the pages, there was also an English translation of it!  I can't express how happy I was at that moment!!! 

The letter Hannah's foster mother wrote was straight from the heart.  This woman loves this little girl dearly, as if she is her own daughter.  She told me about Shi Lin when she first got her, how her physical developement progressed and how she learned to talk.  She told me of little moments she remembers that will always be precious to her.  At the end, she said she hopes we will be very fond of her and wished us the best.

If you've been in my situation, or are in it right now, you understand how precious this letter is to me.  It tells me of a time with my daughter that I will never get to experience.  Every word is a gift to me.  It tells me that my little Shi Lin has been loved as a daughter, and that she knows the meaning of family.  I can never thank her foster mother enough.  That letter will be among my most precious treasures in this life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010, will be one of those days that stand out in the memories of my life.  Thank you to all of you who opened your hearts and made it such a special day!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Need a Little Help

Chip and I talked it over, and although we didn't want to ask anyone for money related to the adoption, we've decided we need to.  We've already saved (and gotten loans for) everything for the adoption itself, but now we just need funds for expenses while in China.  These expenses will include food, transportation (taxis), other miscellaneous expenses, and/or emergency or other unforseen expenses.  Also, Chip recently got a paycut, and that combined with saving for the adoption will leave us with very little left when we get back home.  Chip will get a paycheck about a week after we get back, so we'll need just enought to get us through that week.

We're unable to take out any more loans, so we have no other option than to ask for the money from our friends.

If you can give anything at all, please do.  Just click on the "ChipIn!" box, and it will take you to PayPal to make a donation.  It will all add up, and EVERY BIT will help.  Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Praise the Lord!!!

I never knew we could request more infomation on our daughter from our agency, but I decided to try recently.  I asked a few questions about her, but the most important one I wanted answered was about her hearing.  The only information on her hearing we have on her just says "poor."  So I didn't know what to expect.  So I asked how well she can hear.  To my delight and utter amazement, they said Shi Lin has no trouble with hearing!!!  I really already felt this in my heart, but I wanted to prepare myself for the possibility of hearing issues we would need to help her overcome.  So now, a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders!  I feel so blessed, and that Shi Lin is so blessed.

This news will  help everyone's transition be a little smoother, I think. We'll all be able to comunicate verbally as we try to speak what little Mandarin we know, and as she learns to speak words in English.  That's the other thing.  This means she should have no trouble with hearing our language and learning to speak it.  Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Photos and We Have Our Travel Date!!!

Yesterday I got an email from our travel advisor and she said we'd know our travel date the next day.  So I woke up this morning and thought, "Wouldn't it be so awesome if we got new pictures of Hannah on the same day we got our travel date."  I didn't think we really would, so I didn't check my email right away.  But when I did, there they were--the photos from Hannah's birthday party!

It looks like she had wonderful party, and now we get to see that she has a foster father too.  They both seem to really love her, and I can't blame them.  She's so adorable and seems so sweet!  I know now more than ever that it will be tough on all of them when she leaves them next month.

Speaking of next month, drum roll, please...our travel date is May 6th!!!  And Gotcha Day is May 10th!!!  We finally know when we will meet our little girl!

Now I'm really motivated to get the rest of my projects done for Hannah.  I have another dress, a blanket, a purse, and a doll dress to make.  I just hope I can get to them today.  I've spent all morning printing photos and calling people, and now I need to let everyone know on facebook!

We are now at 35 days and counting!