Saturday, October 31, 2009

McSocks? What's Up With That?

Breakfast was super yummy!! It's included with our room at both hotels and there is lots to choose from for each of us. The fruit is so fresh and there are lots of choices on the buffet. You'll notice that the only thing about Dad's breakfast this morning was that he started to eat it with chopsticks. They didn't last long but made for a good pic.


After breakfast we headed out on our Amazing Race adventure! We're back and had a ton of fun together!! Our adventure began at the bank. When you go in, a security guard prints a ticket for you and then you sit and wait your turn. The wait was about half an hour and during that time we were both entertained and we did some entertaining too! Norma and I are still giddy (probably to a total of about 7 hours sleep each in the past two nights) so when the computer kept calling out 'Twinkle Bunny' it had us in hysterics! It was a long stream of Chinese words and then would end with 'Twinkle Bunny.' It probably happened about 6 times in the time we were waiting and every single time we cracked up! Heh....doesn't take much to entertain us!


We entertained a young girl who was sitting there as Robert had out his Chinese phrase book and was trying to count. We could tell she was listening as she'd grin at some of his pronunciations. We started talking with her and enjoyed getting to know her a little and trying out our very limited Chinese! It was fun and helped to pass the time.

After leaving the bank our guide Sarah hailed a couple of taxis for us and we were headed to the subway station. Unfortunately there is more than one entrance to the station and Robert and Bonnie's taxi left them at another entrance and we didn't end up seeing them again for a few hours. Lesson learned....Squish into one taxi or be more specific about final drop off destination!


The subway was fun and we were pleased that we navigated it so easily. Most things were similar but one difference was that our belongings all had to be x-rayed before we could enter the platform. Not such a bad idea! We did really well in the subway until we hit a crowded transfer station and about 30 people crowded in to an already full car! We were pushed and shoved but held our ground and then just laughed when we crawled our way out of the crowd at the next station. Won't be taking Hannah on the subway, that's for sure!!


When we got to the silk market, the fun began! First, we had to cross about 10 lanes of traffic. You need to know that here a pedestrian has the very least rights when it comes to the roadways. We made it across in little bits and found ourselves laughing again when we'd be in the middle of 10 lanes of traffic with 5 going each direction at a good clip and us standing there wondering when we might be able to venture the rest of the way across. We made it and had stories to tell.
video

Our first stop was at a McDonald's to use the facilities and that's where the title of this post comes from. Going back to early in the morning, Dad realized that he'd forgotten to bring any white socks so that was his goal item to purchase today. Fast forward to noon when we're in MCDONALD's and the ladies have gone off to use the restroom. As per normal, the ladies are lined up out the door....unless you wanted that squatty potty and that one was free for the taking. Given a choice, each of us decided to wait. We eventually made it in and upon exiting we all started to laugh!! There was dad, sitting at a table in McDonald's....buying SOCKS!!! A lady had approached him and said, 'For you sir....very good price! Only for you sir! Here...SOCKS!' LOL....yes, she had a bag of socks and was trying to sell him Nike socks. Genuine Nike I'm sure! ;o) She started out at about 60 yuan ($10 CDN) for 3 pairs of socks. Nope...he wasn't paying that. She said, 'OK sir...60 yuan for these' and added another pair!! He still didn't budge. By this time we'd joined him and were enjoying the fun. You can imagine our surprise when here's dad, sitting in McDonald's, bartering for socks!! In the end she sold him about a dozen pairs of socks for 60 yuan and he's set for the rest of our trip and then some. Want to make us laugh today? Just mention dad's McSocks and we all burst in to laughter!!


We went to the silk market after that and each had our turn at bartering. Fun!!! Mom, Norma and I each purchased some souvenirs. Shopping in the market is an experience unlike any other!! Each and every stall has gals standing on the outside doing their best to get you to come check out what they have to offer. They call to you, show you things, put things in your hands and should you show the least amount of interest they call after you, pull your arm to get you to come back and can put on the saddest faces if you don't look at their wares.


The normal way to barter is by calculator. They punch in the number and the first one we're supposed to punch in back is 10% of their price! Wow!! They look at you with shock, tell you you're crazy and then they punch in another number lower than their original one. It goes back and forth, back and forth. If you can eventually reach a price you both agree on you've made a deal and all is well. If you can't reach an agreeable price you begin to walk away and they will normally follow you, call out to you and often grab your arm attempting to pull you back to their stall. It's fun but a lot of work too! I bartered with one gal for a silk dress for Hannah for almost 20 mins. I didn't 'need' it so walked away a few times but she kept pulling me back and coming down in price. The first price she quoted me for 1 little dress was 925 yuan ($154 CDN!!!) and in the end I paid 65 yuan or about $10. Not sure what I 'should' be willing to pay for a 100% silk Chinese dress. Anybody know? Also, can you buy them for less money that are not 100% silk? Want to get good deals but also don't want to rip people off. 2 different ladies today told me I was a tough bargainer. Heh...guess that's because I'm willing to walk away if we can't reach a price I'm willing to pay. Bartering is a hoot but may require a nap afterwards after all the work of agreeing on prices!

We decided to grab a snack at McDonald's before tackling the subway home. As we were approaching the restaurant we were all asking Dad if this was a lunch visit, or was it time to buy more McSocks? :o)


When we got back to the hotel Norma and I decided it was time for some pampering. I won't have much time for this come Monday so we quite enjoyed ourselves. She had an amazing massage and I opted for a Milk Foot Bath and Foot Massage. Ahhhhh!! What a treat for my feet and legs after sitting so much yesterday!

We're in the process of repacking our suitcases right now as the ones staying in Beijing need to be downstairs at 8:30 tonight to go into storage. After repacking it will be supper time. Going to venture out to a restaurant down the street. We're told there are pictures and English words on the menu so hopefully all will be well and we'll order what we can eat.

Thanks for reading this far. I know it's a lot but I want to document as many of the details of this trip as possible. This is our China Travel Journal so I want to capture the details for later.

Less than 48 hours to Hannah!!! Tomorrow's schedule is breakfast, leave for airport at 8:30am, fly to Changsha and check in to the Dolton Hotel. This time tomorrow night I'll be in Hannah's province!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So very, very close!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our Own Version of "Amazing Race"

Not sure if it's jet lag speaking or our sense of silliness but we're off! Armed with a few instructions written on a napkin from the breakfast buffet, a "help" card for the hotel to give to a taxi driver to get us back here, a few yuan in our pockets and a sense of adventure, the 4 of us and another couple are heading out to face the city on our own!! We're going to walk to the bank to change a bit of money into yuan and then taking a taxi to the subway and boarding it to places unknown. Destination goal: The Silk Market! We've heard that our adventure includes crossing at least one street so that in itself should prove interesting!

Will share more of our adventure when we get back! We're off!!!

Baby Update!!

One of the first questions I had for our guide Sarah when we met was to ask if she knew what time we were meeting the babies on Monday and she did!!!

3:00pm on Monday local time (which will be 2am Monday for my family and friends in Ontario) will be HANNAH TIME!!!

When she told me this Norma laughed as I gasped when I heard that there was a time, an actual time, that I could prepare my heart for!!! As I type this the countdown is on and in less that 57 hours, Hannah will be placed in my arms!!!

I cannot begin to tell you what this feels like....excitement, giddiness, a little *gulp* fear, but more than anything...peace! A peace that only God can provide as He prepares me for the final hours of 'Waiting for Hannah' and moves us into the next amazing phase of our lives...'Home with Hannah!!' Safe together, a family that God ordained long ago! His perfect timing to bring us together is right around the corner...and I must admit to peeking around the corner in great anticipation of what is to come!!!

I also have a Praise and answer to prayer to share with you!! Many of you have been praying for my health and Hannah's care package. I'm back to 100% after a rough week and guess what.....Hannah's care package arrived in China yesterday and will be delivered to her today!! Just days before we will meet she will see pictures of her Mommy, Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie and also receive the little blanket that should still smell a little like Mommy so that when we meet I will not be a total stranger to her! The package took 7 weeks to arrive in China but it's here and will be with Hannah before I am! Cool!!

Thank you friends for all your notes, comments, emails and mostly for the prayers you are offering on behalf of Hannah and I! God is good and He is bringing each part of our story together one piece at a time!

Now, it's 6:30am Saturday and time to begin getting ready for our day. Not sure what today's plans are....just know I can't wait to see what ends up happening!!

(Posted by M3, Catherine still can't get on Blogger, but she does see all of your comments by email)

We're in Beijing!!!

(M3's note: Catherine wrote this and emailed it over for posting because Blogger is blocked in Beijing right now. She sent it at 7am Pacific time on Friday, which was 10pm on Friday in China. I think...?? That's pre-coffee morning math...)

Mom and Dad arrived at my place bright and early at 4:45am Thursday morning. After some last minute packing...putting my clothes in an extra suitcase they had brought for me since I didn't have room for anything but some clean underwear and a nightgown in Hannah's suitcase, we were off!! It was surreal to be driving out of the driveway and realize that the next time I entered my home it would be with Hannah in my arms!!!



Norma's hubby had dropped her off at the airport and she was waiting for us when we arrived. (Yes, this was our luggage and didn't include Norma's as she had already checked hers while waiting for us to arrive. Oops!) We checked in and then decided to grab one last cup of Tim's before taking to the skies. Our first flight was about 5 hours long and took us to Vancouver where we had a 3 hour layover before boarding our 10 hour flight to Beijing!!! Cool....we're going to China!!





One of the treats on our 2nd flight was flying over Alaska and seeing these beautiful mountains. They were breathtaking!!



We enjoyed having the individual screens to watch TV and movies and I we were all thankful they were there as it helped to pass the time. Got fidgety a few times but not bad. Caught 2 good naps of over an hour each which is a big help when just sitting there but excited to be reaching our destination!

We arrived in Beijing shortly after 4pm local time on Friday. Wow! We're in China!!! All went well with customs and the temperature checks. We were all glad to get the stamp of approval and be on our way! One of our guides for this trip is Sarah and she met us outside baggage claim. Georgia and Mike (who are adopting Tessa were there too so Sarah took a group pic for us. Not too bad considering we've been travelling for more than 24 hours by this point!





The drive to the hotel took us longer than normal as we hit Friday evening rush hour but it did give us an opportunity to see some of Beijing's beautiful buildings lit up. While we were travelling today we also came across these:

A guy waiting for his wife/girlfriend. Check out that bouquet!! Never have I seen such a bouquet. It was gorgeous!!

Yes, we're in Beijing and squatty potties abound. Norma took a pic of the first one she found. :o) Thankfully we had the option to choose a western style one so that was our preference given the choice!!



OK - MUST go to bed. Only got about an hour and a half sleep last night so my body says it needs sleep! Signing off for today and will post again either tomorrow or Sunday.

Greetings from Beijing!!! Only 3 more sleeps to Hannah!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And she's off!!!

M3 here, acting as calm, objective backup blogger during Catherine's insanely exciting trip. (Oh who am I kidding, there will be no calmness, and objectivity's probably not in the cards either.)

The big news is that as of right this minute, Catherine is IN THE AIR! That's right, she is flying to China to meet Hannah, this very second.

A little funny, while we're waiting for a report of safe travels: I talked to Catherine at midnight last night (um, that was five hours before she was supposed to be picked up for the airport) and there was not one single thing in her suitcase as yet. Crazy girl!!



After five hours of frenetic activity (judging by the timestamp on these images she sent and asked me to post), this was the sight just minutes before that airport pickup. Wahoo!


Go, Catherine, go! Folks all around the world are cheering for you and we all can't wait to hear more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flight Information!

Here is our flight information for the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Toronto to Vancouver
Air Canada flight 029
Departs: 9:00am Arrives 10:55am

Vancouver to Beijing
Air Canada flight 029
Departs: 1:40pm Arrives: 3:40pm (Fri, Oct 30th)

Sunday, November 1st
Beijing to Changsha
China Airline flight 1349
Departs: 11:25am Arrives: 1:35pm

Saturday, November 7th
Changsha to Beijing
China Airline flight 1344
Departs: 11:45am Arrives: 2:00pm

Saturday, November 14th
Beijing to Toronto
Air Canada flight 032
Departs: 6:50pm Arrives 6:40pm SAME DAY


If you would like to meet us at the airport you're more than welcome!! It will be a wonderful treat to introduce you to Hannah!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Open Letter to Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

As I prepare for the arrival of Hannah, I have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of my baby. In her short life (8 months today!), my daughter will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for her. While she may not consciously remember the events, she will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. Currently she is very attached to her nanny and next week that precious woman will place her in my arms and Hannah will deeply feel the loss of her in her life. She's already experienced the loss of her birthmother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She will struggle with feeling safe and secure and she may lack the ability to trust that I will meet her needs.

I am prepared to meet her emotional needs so that she learns that I will always take care of her and I will always keep her safe. I covet your prayers for Hannah and I as she learns to trust me and pray that her little heart opens up to love me as her Mom.

I also need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment I will allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with me despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that I am spoiling her, I have been advised that it is best that I meet every need quickly and consistently. Until she has learned that I am her parent, I will need to be her primary caretaker at all times. It is essential that I always hold Hannah, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. I will follow her lead and trust my instincts as her parent rather than worry about what society expects.

We have all been waiting anxiously for Hannah to arrive but she has not been waiting for us. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways and I am prepared to help her through it and prove that she and I are a forever family and this truly is her last stop. I trust that as my family and friends you will help me to do what is best for my daughter, and I thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

Love, Catherine

(For more attachment information I recommend going to: A4everFamily.org)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Everything But the Kitchen Sink!!

Wow!!! These are the meds and 'stuff' that I'll be taking to China for Hannah and I! It's hard to believe but when I look at much of what's here I don't want to be without it when there, and then again once home. If we don't need some of them I'll be returning them to the store when we get home but much will become our home pharmacy. Having been quite sick this past week I've been reminded how important it is to have the proper things on hand.

Some will say that I can purchase much of this in China and you're right but, if I or my baby are sick I don't want to be trying to find a pharmacy and even more importantly, I don't read a speck of Chinese so I don't want to be guessing what something is or how much I might need!

You may wonder how I decided what to purchase and that's a funny story! For the past almost 4 years I've carried this picture in my purse that I had snagged from some one's blog. More than 2 years after I put the picture in my purse I was at my friend Karen's place and she was showing me her daughter's photo album. Suddenly I jumped up, ran and got my purse and said, 'Look!' Here was a copy of the pic she's put on her blog back in January of 2007, long before we'd ever met let alone become the great friends that we are now! How cool!!

Off to work on packing. My pharmacy is together. Paperwork to be copied tomorrow is put together....almost. But clothes for Hannah and I? Oye!!! The weather is so much warmer than I'd prepared for it to be (33oC this coming Friday in Changsha!) so I'm having to rethink my packing a bit.

Wheeee!!! I'm packing for CHINA!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hannah's Nursery!!!

The finishing touches are all in place and I am finally ready to share Hannah's nursery with you!

Her actual nursery has a toddler bed in it which she will use later. In the beginning I'm going to start with having her in my room. She will never have slept on her own so it would be quite difficult on her to be placed in a room on her own and I'm also hoping that her being able to wake up and see me there will help with the attachment and bonding we'll be building together. When she's ready I'll move her in here and if she's still in her crib the toddler bed will be moved to the basement for a while.

A sneak in a tiny pic of the 'before' so you'll see where it's come from with a lot of help from Mark, Michelle, Joy and my Dad. Can you tell I prefer to work with others rather than alone?




Without further adieu I give you Hannah's nursery!

A little train made by Auntie Doris.

Wall Words that didn't quite end up like I'd expected so I'm calling them Wall Whispers. They say, 'Such a big miracle in such a little girl' Love that!! (Open the picture and squint real hard and you may see her wall words :o)




Thanks for your help everyone! Together we have created a beautiful, peaceful room for Hannah!

There's A Crib In My Room!!!

Wow! Mark and Michelle were over a few weeks ago and they helped me prepare for Hannah to come home. One of the exciting moments of the day was when we put Hannah's crib together in my room!!

Reading the instructions
When Mark brought this piece up from the basement and placed it against the wall I began to cry. He's like, 'What's wrong? No crying! Miiicccchhhhheelle!!' LOL! Just seeing the crib begin to take shape after having been in the basement in a box for over 3 years, was a little overwhelming. Heh...sorry Mark.
Work in progress
The finished crib
Hannah's name on the wall

Wow....this is the crib where my daughter will sleep!
Thanks for all your help Mark and Michelle!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Gift From the Heart!!

This beautiful gift of a baby pram for Hannah is truly a gift from the heart!! More than 10 years ago Grandma Dale found these prams and purchased one for her great granddaughter Victoria, one for a special friend's granddaughter and, one for herself. This beautiful pram has been one of Grandma's secret treasures and something she has enjoyed for many years.

Last month she chose to give this very special pram to Hannah!! When it was brought into the room I cried for SO many reasons! To see Grandpa pushing the pram, when he had had such a rough year and there were times that we didn't know what God had planned, was AMAZING!! God has done so much in Grandpa's life and at the end of the post you'll see just how big a miracle HE has performed!!

Grandma wrote in their card that people tease her about 'Grandma's Version' of the Bible and her verse (slightly altered :o) for that day was, 'Hope deferred maketh the heart sick - but when the desire cometh we all rejoice and praise the Lord with Cathy!' I like that translation!

Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much for this beautiful pram! It will be such fun to watch Hannah play with it with her dollies and also take it for walks outside. For now, it holds a place of honour in her nursery and is a wonderful addition to her room.

Now, I promised to share with you God's answer to many, many prayers!! After almost 8 months of being hospitalized due to medical mistakes made; Lord willing, Grandpa is coming HOME for good this week!!! Sharon has been bringing him home for weekends since early in the summer but this week, Grandpa should be coming home for good!!! Truly, this is a miracle!! God is so good and we PRAISE HIM for answered prayers!!

I love you so much Grandma and Grandpa! It's homecoming time! First Grandpa and then soon after that your Great Granddaughter, our precious Hannah!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grab a Tissue...

...and hop on over to see the sweet, beautiful, adorable Daphne!!

Could not be happier for you D & D!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Please Pray...

After our church service on Sunday my friend Deb looked me in the eye and asked, 'How can we pray specifically for you and Hannah right now?'

What a blessing it was to hear those words and I shared a couple of things with her. Since then a number of other people have asked me the same question and wow, it's an amazing, humbling feeling to know that so many of you are praying for Hannah and I right now and asking for specific prayer requests.



Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


Philippians 4:6


I have a few requests right now and will update these as the days between today and our meeting grow closer and closer together.

1. This may sound silly but one of my first requests is that the care package that I mailed to China 5 1/2 weeks ago would arrive so that Ann could forward it to Hannah. This is the package that contains the blanket I have slept with and also 2 photo albums with pictures of myself, my parents and Norma in them. I'm guessing that Hannah has never seen anyone with blond hair and I don't want to cause her any more grief or frighten her the day we meet. She will already be going through a lot of heart challenges as she is removed from all those who she knows and loves. Seeing pictures of us ahead of time will help her little heart make the transition a little bit easier. Also, the blanket will help her in that it will mean when we meet she'll have another piece of her puzzle in place as it will be a scent that she has smelled already. Thank you for all the prayers that you are offering for my sweet baby girl. God is hearing every single one of them. I'm so thankful that God is in the details and cares about all our requests...even a care package that is somewhere between Canada and China!

2. Please pray for Hannah's nanny, Jiang Xin Chang. As I am counting down the days until I meet my precious daughter, I believe she is counting too. The DaoXian SWI has one nanny for 4 babies so Xin Chang has most likely been caring for Hannah since she entered the orphanage almost 8 months ago. This parting will be challenging for her too.

3. This evening I am fighting a cold. Throughout the day I had little nigglings that something might be up so I began drinking Airborne but tonight it's pretty much confirmed as in the past hour or so my throat is quite sore. A cold is a cold and I will survive. It's just with the trip to China coming up next week I don't want anything to cause extra stress if I can possibly help it. Thankful it's this week though and not next week.

Thank you for praying!! As I have more prayers and/or updates I will post them here too.

Single Digits!!!

Wow!! Only 9 more sleeps until we leave for China!!!

Wow, wow....WOW!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Known Picture of Hannah!!

Wow!!! Here is one of the earliest pictures of my precious baby girl and quite likely the youngest picture of her that I will ever see!!!

2 days after I received Hannah's referral (yes, if your remember the timing it was 6 days before I saw her official referral pictures!) I was blessed to locate Hannah's Finding Ad* and see her beautiful little face!!! I fell in love instantly! She was less than 1 month old when this picture was taken!!

One of the ladies in the DaoXian SWI Yahoo Group had done some research and located finding ads for babies located there and posted links to the group. It took my breath away to look at this little picture and know that I was gazing at my DAUGHTER!!!

A *Finding Ad is placed in the newspaper by an orphanage, normally within the first couple of months of a baby being found. In Hannah's case it was placed just shy of a month after Hannah was born. The Finding Ad shared information about where my beautiful baby girl was found, what she was wearing and the date that she was found. The orphanage places this information in the newspaper allowing the birth family to come and reclaim the child should they choose to do so. I hold tight to this little piece of information and I can't help but wonder if a dear woman on the other side of the world also has this ad tucked away, knowing it may be the only picture of her beautiful daughter that she will ever have? I pray for Hannah's birth mother and birth father and ask God to comfort them. As I am anticipating Hannah's 'firsts', is this dear woman aching over all of the 'firsts' that she is missing? I truly believe with all of my heart that she is and I ask God to comfort her when the tears for her daughter freely flow. I will forever be grateful to her and the precious gift she has given me in Hannah Catherine XiaoFen.

The finding ad information is personal to us and in time I will share these precious details with Hannah and should she choose to share them with people it will be her choice. This is her story to tell, not mine and I am keeping this information for her alone.

Soon this beautiful little girl will be placed in my arms!! Two weeks from today Hannah and I will become mother and daughter, forever!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oh! So This Is Nesting!!

When I was talking with my friend Carol tonight she finally helped me pin down what my current state of mind is....I'm nesting! :o) I've heard it happens to pregnant women late in their pregnancy and I'm now realizing that it happens to adoptive moms too...and it's happened to me!! Suddenly, when I should be packing like a mad woman and making sure everything for my trip is ready before leaving for China (in just 12 days!!!), I'm cleaning cupboards, drawers and closets like there's no tomorrow! In about 75% of the house, every closet, cupboard and corner has been emptied, tidied and cleaned. Last Saturday I even tackled the garage which had only been done once in the 12 years I've lived here.

What's the problem you ask? Well, it's that much of the 'stuff' that has been removed from it's normal place of habitation has been moved into the hallways upstairs and down. (Oh, and packing for Hannah and I for our trip is started but is nowhere near finished!! You'd think I'd be focused on that...nope. Not yet, but SOON!)

In the past I was able to freely walk from the main floor to my bedroom in the dark, knowing the exact path by heart and not really having to think about it. Now, not so much!! There are bins of clothing, a vacuum, toys and more filling my well-known path and walking it in the dark threatens bruised shins and purple stubbed toes! I know I should be packing but oh, cleaning the house is giving such a sense of accomplishment too! This is the home Hannah will come home to and when she's here I'm going to want to be with her, not cleaning out closets. (I have left my room partially because it's too much to handle right now and partially because it will be a good room to work on while Hannah is napping as I plan to stay close while she sleeps.)

So, it's a wonderful, fun time of nesting. I sometimes question my timing when I wake up in the morning and plan my 'To Do' list but at the same time, it feels amazing to open a cupboard without the fear of things falling onto my feet. Yes - it was sometimes that bad!

So, for now I nest, clean, pack, dream, giggle, gaze at pictures of Hannah and pray. Yes, my plate is full but I wouldn't want it any other way! I'M PREPARING TO BRING MY BABY HOME!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of other notes:
1. I know you're excited to see Hannah's nursery and it's almost done....like 99% done so I hope to post pics early this coming week. Thank you for your patience and encouragement to share in the fun. I love her room and often stand in the doorway and just gaze into it...and dream!

2. I am terribly behind in blog reading and am sorry that I'm not commenting more. I'm trying to read but not commenting often. Thanks for understanding friends.

Now...gotta fly! There is more nesting to be done! LOL!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blog Makeover!!

Thanks Danielle for the beautiful new blog makeover!!! It’s a wonderful change and it makes my heart sing to see Hannah’s beautiful face each time I see the new header!!!

If you’re considering a blog makeover I highly recommend Danielle – the design girl! She’s great to work with; fast; listens to what you want and is happy to accommodate your requests!

Also, if you mention that you’re visiting after being here at Catherine’s Chatter she’ll give you a $10.00 discount! When you place the Deposit for your order, click the ‘Custom Payment’ button at the bottom of the order and enter $25.00 rather than the normal $35.00 deposit and say you’re visiting from Catherine’s Chatter. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks again Danielle! I lurve it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Child's Backpack Giveaway!!

Catherine’s Chatter is hosting a great giveaway! Check out All Children's Furniture.com for your favorite brands like Roadmaster, KidKraft, little Tikes and more! Giveaway ends October 21st at 11:59PM!

I've checked out one of these great backpacks and it's wonderful! Fun, bright, well made, lots of little pockets to store little girl treasures in and strong straps to carry those tresures around.

If you'd like an opportunity to win this backpack for a special little girl in your life, please leave a comment.

And the winner is......
Ilene, I will be emailing you to ask for your address to provide to the giveaway organizers who will be shipping the adorable backpack for Lauren!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Congratulations D&D!!!

Today was D&D's day!!! They received a referral for their precious Baby D!

Could not be happier for you friends!!! What fun it was to change your title in my sidebar from your LID to 'Preparing to Travel!!!'

CONGRATULATIONS FRIENDS!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WOW!!! An Absolutely AMAZING Adoption Story!!!

I was just visiting a new blog today and came across this video that she had posted. Once I started watching it I couldn't stop and hated for it to end. It's am amazing, beautiful story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Tips and Tricks: China Bound - Edition 2

Here are some of the great tips and tricks that were shared with me in the comments of the last 'Tips & Tricks: China Bound' post. Thanks to all who have shared from their experiences.

Small Scissors A couple of pairs of small scissors, packed in checked baggage will be useful for cutting larger holes in nipples and misc. tasks while away. Our babies are often used to rice cereal being mixed in their formula so the texture is much thicker. If this is the case with Hannah I will slowly remove the cereal over time but in the beginning I want to make the transition as easy as possible for her which might mean thicker bottles for now which will mean larger holes cut in nipples. Thanks for the tip Kim!

Mailing Tube Take a mailing tube from home (packed with little things like baby socks, toiletries, etc on the way to China) can be a great way to transport art, scrolls and other special purchases home without them getting bent, ripped or creased. Thanks for the great tip Jodi!



Prunes... yummo! It is not unusual for the babies to struggle with constipation when we get them and since prunes can be a challenge to find in China you may want to take some with you.(It's funny. When I read Stace's reminder about taking prunes I had just returned from the grocery store and buying Hannah's first jars of baby food...including prunes!) I know she might not be eating baby food but I'd rather be prepared when we get home by having some in the house rather than running to the store in our jet-lagged state.

As I mentioned last time, I'm hoping these tips will be helpful to others. If you do not agree with them or feel that they're unnecessary, that's just fine but please do not use the comments area to criticize what I and some others feel to be helpful information. Thanks!
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