Posting at SHINE

After almost 3 years of posting to this blog I've decided I am going to simplify my life and put all posts (for all my children!) on my "photography blog": SHINE!
I hope to see you there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A new photo

The most amazing thing happened today . . . I saw a post on the orphanage group I joined on Wednesday, that a family who adopted from Zhouzhou's orphange in June had photos of some of the other kids. Anyone interested in seeing them should email the family. I emailed Lori and she emailed me the photos. I was so excited to see a photo of Zhouzhou! So this is a photo taken when she was 11 months old, 2 months newer than her referral photos. I really struggled with fear in accepting the referral because at 9 months it said she could pick up her head while laying on the ground, and she could track objects. Very scary to me that a 9 month old was not said to be sitting, rolling over or pulling to a stand. I prayed and honestly felt that we were meant to have her, whatever her destiny is. Matt and I both felt that we should proceed. Then to have a photo of her THE VERY NEXT DAY! where she is in the creeping position in her crib! I'm so amazed that God cared about this fear of mine enough to work out all these details and I have the photo that came all the way from a small orphanage in China, taken by a family in America and is right here on my computer here in Australia the very next day.

He who forms the hearts of all,

Tuesday August 14th, I read in my bible (I''m reading the 1 year bible - so it was that days reading) "he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do." Well it was that day we got the referral for Crystal Spring- but BEFORE we got it. I just knew God was saying He formed our little girls heart, so that she would be ours! When I got the email that we had a referral for a little girl with a congenital heart condition I KNEW she was meant to be ours. If she wasn't Special Needs this little girl would never have been matched to us. We have had several comments that she looks like our family - especially Isabella. Why is it so amazing that God is God? I guess there is so much hope in knowing he cares about the details of our lives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crystal Spring!

We are so thrilled to announce the referral of our baby girl! Yes! This is Crystal Spring - in our guessing contest she received 3 of the only 7 votes! She was born July 15, 2006. She has a heart condition called VSD and she was scheduled to have surgery in June (we don't know for sure if she has had the surgery) That is just about all we know at this time - Here are a couple photos of her! We think she is just the most beautiful little China Doll!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Todays Updates from Michele

I emailed Michele to find out if there was any information about our referral - this is our ongoing conversation . . .

I just heard that the medicals are not done. I will email Stefani and see what I can find out. Michele

and then . . .Stefani replied that she has the translation of the growth chart but not the medical but that it could come any time . Hang in there mate. Cheers.

A few hours later . . .Ellie, it is taking all my willpower to keep my mouth closed as I have been sworn to do. At least you know this is the week you will meet your daughter. Michele

Finally . . .Let’s see what happens tomorrow. And then we will talk. AND I opened your absolutely beautiful card tonight. How thoughtful. Thank you Ellie. I am not enjoying your wait either just so you know. Goodnight. Michele

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just a hint?

Michele sent this email on Sunday (Saturday in the US)

Ellie, I know you are VERY anxious but I think you are going to be ecstatic once you receive your referral. That is all I am allowed to say. Hopefully the translated medical will not have any significant surprises. Regards, Michele

I asked for a little "hint" about our little girl - her reply:

Ellie, until the translations are complete, we won’t know for sure if this is your little girl but I have seen her picture and she is adorable. I think you will be thrilled when you see her. I am sorry I cannot say more – I do know how hard this must be. Think of it like a child waiting for Christmas. The outcome will be all worth the wait. Regards, Michele

It does feel like waiting for Christmas! Hopefully it will only be 24 more hours!

Have a wonderful Day,


Saturday, August 11, 2007

From Stefani,

I emailed the Waiting Kids coordinator - she is the one responsible to match us with our daughter - this is her reply to me:

I can tell you that we indeed have a very special and beautiful little girl that we can't wait to introduce to you as soon as the translations are completed. We cannot introduce her to you until the translations are done but we are hoping that she will be a Witt. We can't wait either but we have yet to wait some more. I'll let you know just as soon as I do. Stefani

So . . . It will be at least Tuesday - Sydney time.

Friday, August 10, 2007


We have a bet going on our little girl.

Here are our guesses:

name - When we will receive referral, age at referral, weight, which girl (see post from August 7th - List #19 Names)

Matt - Tuesday, one year old, 14 pounds.
Ellie - (Saturday), Tuesday, 2 year old, 24 pounds - ELOISE
Jonah - Sunday, 1 year old, 18 pounds, CRYSTAL SPRING
Isabella - (Sunday), Tuesday, 1 year old, 16 pounds - CLOVER
Elijah - Monday, 1 year old, 10 pounds (oh my :) - CRYSTAL SPRING

Rebel - (Saturday), BRIGHTON
Ashlyn, Tuesday, CRYSTAL SPRING

Do you want in?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Days, Hours, Minutes . . .

I feel like it has been a lifetime since we found out the list of new referrals had arrived and is being translated . . . .When will CHI call us with our referral?? I make up scenarios all day long! I have been focusing on Saturday morning here - which is Friday afternoon in the US. Only 18 more hours (I hope!) Do you think I will be able to sleep tonight?
All moms remember how long that last week (of pregnancy or waiting to get referral/travel etc) was. UGH! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long! millions of minutes, trillions of seconds . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Email from Michele (our CHI rep)

It’s my last day in Philadelphia. I head back to CT on the train today. Hopefully I can get more sleep there. Are you sleeping at all or just sitting next to the computer? Heidi and I are so excited for you but trying not to drive Stefani crazy. We keep sending her messages but chances are she know exactly which child she will refer to you. Hopefully we will know soon. Regards, Michele

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

List #19 Names.

OK, There are a million things to do around here but since I am anxiously awaiting our referral I thought I would imagine which little girl she might be? Here are the names of all the kids on List #19. (names are towns in Utah)
Take a guess as to which one will be referred to us!
Clover -
Corinne (pronounced Ka Rin)
Crystal Spring
Eloise kept her Shunyi foster name so its not in Utah (I want this girl!)

Group #19!

This is a message posted by Stefani Ellison on the CHIWaitingKids site today!

Boy Howdy!! Its time to circle the wagons and get out our fiddles and dancing shoes! Group 19 is HERE and what a posse of perty little partners we have this time too! We had been told the group would be late in arriving due to the 3 week tour of the US by the Waiting Child Supervisor so we got a mighty fine surprise when it arrived. We didn't even get time to have our naming game. So, since the new group of children was compiled on Utah's Pioneer Day, and we had no names,we quickly named them for towns in Utah. Most of you wouldn't have a clue with those anyway.We are in the process of translating the files and that will take us to the end of the week. We have a large group of CHI families (this means that they have officially applied to CHI, not just sent out a pre-app, and submitted a request for a specific age, gender and need for Group 19) who will be assigned their children first. As soon as that is finished the list will be opened to our preview families.These families have sent in a pre-application and we have that on file. We will not be accepting any more pre-application families UNLESS they would like to adopt a boy. We still have room for more families wanting magnificent boys and let me tell you, this group of boys is darned cute! We have 27 new files. 16 girls and 11 boys. Only 1 child is under 12 months old but we have 13 one year olds with the bulk of them having their first birthday in the last month or two. We have 4 two year olds, 1 three year old, 3 four year olds, 1 six year old (boy) and 1 nine year old (girl). The children are from Guangdong, Henan, Shanxiand Zhejiang provinces. Two of our children are in the Shunyi Outreach Program for Hope Foster Home. We know they have been very well cared for and are excited to be part of their journeys home.We have needs that include cleft palate, cleft lip/palate, heart issues, visual impairment, spina meningocele, limb difference, burns, port wine stains, hypospadius, chronic skin rash, strabismus, and unilateral microtia.We will be working furiously to get these files ready and will be contacting first our CHI request families, then our preview families and then opening the children's files to the general public. We CAN'T WAIT for you to all meet them!!!We tremendously appreciate all your help with Group 18. We are getting ready to make our final announcement for the last child inGroup 18 very shortly! I'm having to go find my drum sticks for that one. We'll need a HUGE drum roll to get all your attention.--Stefani EllisonChina Program Coordinator Children's House International

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Parameters of Child requested

Michele asked us to clarify what age we would consider the perfect choice for our family - this is my answer:

Yes, please say 6 months to 3 years. As far as preference . . . . we would love a 2.5 year old that has a "spark" - and is beautiful! :) so, we would prefer that 2.5 year old with a spark. OR we would be happy to have the child meant to be ours whether 2.5 or 8 months. I am not sure this makes sense but hopefully it will help.

Good Luck with that :)

Average Timeline for CHI

As far as a timeline for our adoption . . . once we get our referral we send our LOI - Letter of Intent and then the timeline averages for our agency are as follows:

Average Days to Pre Approval from Letter of Intent: 37 days
Average Days to Logged in Date from Dossier to China: 6 days
Average Days to Letter of Acceptance from Logged in Date: 80 days
Average Days to Travel Approval from Logged in Date: 101 days
Average Days to Travel Approval from Letter of Acceptance: 22 days

Add all these up and we are looking at 143 plus a few days after we receive our referral, accept and send our Letter of Intent. So if we pretend to send it on August 20th (our 13th anniversary) we should be in China right around the end of January - but that would be if everything went perfectly. Most likely February or March. UGH. I better improve my waiting skills. You would think I would have that perfected after the past 4.5 years of waiting for Casiana.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The wind is whispering . . .

We are so ready for List #19 to come out.

Heidi says . . ."as for the list... the wind is whispering it is coming soon".
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11