Monday, November 26, 2012


The wifi went out as I was trying to fix the end of the last post!  What I meant to say was that grace is still a daddy's girl!!  She can be screaming with me and he picks her up and she stops immediately!  It is super cute!  She gives him all the smiles he asks for...but I have to work for them :).

Ok...that is all for now...sorry about the end do my last post and all the errors in it.  I am typing on the iPad, which isn't easy to do, and David has auto correct on so sometimes to changes my words all together.  I am trying t type fast so that I can get it all done before the wifi goes out again.


Hi everyone!!  Right now it is 11:30 AM on Tuesday morning here in Guangzhou.  The Internet is working right now so I thought I would take a minute to post to everyone.  The Internet here in the hotel is awful and doesn't work most of the time.  It has been super hard not being able to Skype with Ian as much as we wanted, but we did get to Skype with him this morning and he seemed to be in great spirits!! He told me only 3 more days until we see each other and then he wasn't going to let me out of sight for a long time...I whole-heartily agree :).   I didn't know my heart could miss someone so much!!!  

Ok...back to our yesterday it is was cold and rainy here.  I had to dig back out of winter clothes that we weren't supposed to have to use again since it is supposed to be super warm here in GZ. At this point we are all wearing dirty clothes...but at least we will be home soon!!  Anyway, we went to our Visa appt at the US embassy.  It went great.  There were about 10 other families I there at the same time and we all took a vow saying that all of the paperwork we sent in was true.  Then they called us up 1 family at a time to go over the paperwork.  Once she looked over everythingn she told us congratulations and then we lft..that was it!!  I can tell you after our experience in Vietnam that is was a relief to have a dram-free adoption.  Praise the Lord!!  Graces visa will be ready at 3:00 today!  Woohoo!!

After our appt we met up with some of the other members of our group and went out to do some shopping.  We bought souvenirs and other fun things.  Then we met back up with the rest of our group and all went out to dinner at a place called Lucy's.  They serve western style food...I had fried chicken and French wasn't exactly the same but it was ok.  I think I will just stick to the subway right next door to our hotel.  I have had it every single day since we have been here and it is really good.  I am it very adventurous with food...ha!

Grace woke up not feeling too well again today.  The member of group who is a pediatric nurse said she thought her cough sound like only a chest cough and not an asthmatic cough so we have stopped the albuterol.  She said just to keep giving her tylenol and let her cough so that it doesn't settle inner kchest.  She said they probably wouldn't give her any medicine for it at home either since she kdidnt have a fever any,ore.  That made me feel better.  I have you today how much we love the people we are traveling with?  Everyone just helps each other and gets along so well!! Anyway, grace and I are in the hotel room right now while she is sleeping and David is at Starbucks reading a book.  We are going to go do a little more shopping today and then we are going to with our whole group and guide to have a Dim Dim dinner.  I am not sure what that is but you can rest assured I will be eating subway before we leave just I case I decide not to try anything :) 

Tomorrow another family in our group and David, grace and I take a train first thing in the morning to Hong Kong.  I think it's takes about 2 hours or so to get there from here.  Once others we are dropping our bags at our hotel and taking the subway back to an area of town called Kowloon to do some sightseeing. Then we are spending the night in Hong Kong and then fly out the next day (thursday) for home...woohoo!!  I think David said the f,ought was 14.5 hours, then we layover for 5 hours, then our final leg home is 2.5 hours!! Please pray for us on the way home!!  We did to buy grace a seat so we are praying that the seat between David and I will be open and grace will have her seat!!  

One more update on attachment...grace. And I are dng great together. She lets me comfort her, play with her, bathe her, and feed her.  However, she has not felt good since we got her so I just dint think we have seen the real grace yet.  She has been a bit demanding and it is hard to get her to laugh and play.  According to everyone who has come across Grace in the past, that is not at all the impression they have given me of her.  So, I am blaming it all on her feeling crummy and am praying she feels better soon.  I am ready to enjoy playing and getting to know my daughter.  She is still a !

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Feeling better

Well...this is our 2nd full day in Guangzhou.  Let me just tell you that I really like it here a lot.  Imagine a Chinese Charleston and that is GZ. It is very charming.  We are staying on Shamaen Island and it is super busy but very quaint. 

So, today Grace and I are hanging out in our hotel.  Little missy has been super sick this past 24 hours.  I don't know exactly how high her fever got but we gave her Luke warm baths off and on last night along with Tylenol and Motrin.  One of the people we are traveling with in our group happens to be a pediatric nurse, so she looked at Grace and deciphered that she was having trouble breathing so she happened to have some extra albuterol and an air chamber.  We gave her breathing treatments through the night and it seemed to help.  Our group we are traveling with has been a Godsend on this trip!!  Grace woke up this morning nice and coolbut still has a bad cough and isn't back to herself yet.  We were supposed to be with the rest of our group sight seeing but she and I stayed here in the hotel today.  David was going to stay back too but there was no sense in both of us missing I am using this time for extra attachment time :).  

She got a little room-sick, so I put her in the stroller the hotel let us borrow and she loved it!!  We strolled along the streets and down to the local park.  We got to hear some older Chinese people singing chineses songs, doing Tai Chi, and dancinge.  It is was pretty cool.  Everyone was so friendly when they saw us.  They all taked to grace and smiled at me.  You can totally tell they see Americans with Chinese babies all the time.  While we were out strolling, I saw lots of people selling those squeaky shoes that everyone told me to get, so once David gets back we will do a bit of shopping. We haven't rally bought any souvenirs yet, so I think this is the place to get them.  I also saw a umbrella stroller of under $20 here so I think we buy one to get us through the rest of our trip since she loves it so much!  

Tomorrow we have our Visa interview at the US Embassy at 8:30 AM. If all goes well we should be able to pick up Graces US visa on Tuesday morning...woohoo!!  Once we get that Visa in our hands then she is 100% ours!!  

Both David and I are falling more and more in love with Grace daily!!  I do think she is going to be a daddy's girl though...she has him wrapped around her finger already! I can't wait for Ian to meet her too. She is going to rock his world...but on a good way :). I do think we are going to have to remind him how much he wanted a sibling once she gets home and starts getting into his thing...ha!!  I can't wait to celebrate Christmas this year our new many girls things to get :)


We are in Guangzhou and we have wifi in our room!!!  Woohoo!!  So, Grace took her first plane ride yesterday and did very well!  We didn't leave for the airport yesterday until 3:30 so we spent the majority of our morning hanging out in our hotel room. Grace laid down for her nap but woke up a few hours later with a bad cough and a temperature.  So I broke out the Tylenol I brought from home and gave her a little.  I was fraud the plane ride was going to be super bad since she was not feeling herself but she did great! David and I laid her across our legs and gave her a bottle.  Grace uses her bottle like a a pacifier so she held it in her mouth the majority of the plane ride.  She fell right sleep and didn't make a peep.  A couple of people asked me how old my son was since they cut Grace's hair so short :(. This make me event more determined to get a bow in hair...ha!!!

Grace had her medical checkup first thing in the morning. It was a bit crazy! Imagine walking into a clinic with about 100 other families!  All were Americans adopting children. This medical checkup is something we have to do for the US gsvt in order to get her visa.  She was a very good girl and all the drs were smitten with her. She checked out great and the dr said her cough and fever could be treated with Tylenol.  

We stayed in the room the rest of the day in hopes kyhat she would start to feel better soon.  I have to go now....I will write more later.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today started off the same...Grace woke up while David was in the shower and she just laid in the bed, face down, is pitiful.  I tried to comfort her but she wouldn't let me touch her.  Once David got out if of the shower and she saw him she was fine. When we went downstairs to eat breakfast she was fine and let me feed her again.  Grace is a super good eater!!  In fact, I have yet to fill her up...I usually end up cutting her off after the 4 th or 5th trip back to the Buffett..ha! 
After breakfast we took a trip to see the terra cotta warriors with our guide.  We were able to see the few warriors that came to the exhibit at the high museum a few years back, but seeing the whole army was amazing!! David held Grace in the Ergo the whole time we were there and she was happy as a clam.  We arrived back at the hotel around 1:00.  Grace sleeping in David's arms, but once we brought her back to the room she woke up...that meant no good nap for 2 days :(.  Grace did pretty well though.  David left us alone again while he went to get us food for lunch.  Grace didn't cry when he left and she was perfectly content playing with me :).  She even let me put a bow in her hair...for just a little bit.  I was told she likes  bows...but so far she hasn't wanted one.  Really a bow is not at all important...I just wanted to try :).  Once David came back she let me feed her again.  Then we went to the hotel lobby to walk around..the room has a tendency to close in around us!!  She started getting a bit fussy so we headed back to the room.  For the rest of the evening she was loving playing with me!!  We had a visit from someone Grace used to know and was very fond of but she hadn't seen her in a while.  When Grace saw her she clung to me and wouldn't let me go.  When she would touch Grace, Grace would  put her head on my shoulder!!  I was thrilled with her reaction!!  I think I am learning who the real Grace is. She is slowly but surely coming out of her shell :). I have learned that she is super busy, has a mind of her own, and loves to hear her own voice :).  She should fit into our family quite well :). Ian better lock up his toys because she is going to be into everything..haha!!  

Tomorrow we are checking out of our hotel and going to Guangzhou in the evening.  It will be the first plane ride for Grace, it should be a good test for the plane ride back to the US.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Well...things are progressing a little. Last evening David told me he needed a break and was going to leave Grace with me while he walked to the local Pizza Hut to get us dinner.  I was super worried about him leaving Grace with me, but I know this has been hard on him too.  Grace cried for about 10 minutes but then I was able to distract her with some crayons and play dough. She started playing and then let me play too!!  She even gave me a bit of a smile. When David arrived with dinner, Grace sat in my lap and let me feed her...major progress!!  After dinner I was in the bathroom still trying to get everything organized and she decided to turn on the bath water...she was so proud of herself!  I decided it was the perfect time to try out a bath with her and she LOVED it!! She didn't want to get out once i was finished washing her.  

After that I thought we had turned a corner, but this morning when she woke up I told her good morning and she started crying.  She sat up and looked for David but he was in the shower.  She cried until he was finished. She didn't want me to dress her or have anything to do with getting her ready for breakfast.  Once we were at breakfast she did let me feed her. After breakfast we went to Walmart.  We were going to get a stroller but everything here is so expensive! An umbrella stroller is almost $60 in US currency! A friend let me borrow an Ergo, so I put grace in it and attached her to me...she wasn't happy but we did it. She only fussed for a few minutes and then went along for the ride. She did pretty well. Once back in the hotel we went to the room to play some more.  All in all it was a pretty good day.  David and I decided that Grace is only tolerating me at this point. She will play with me if I can entice her and will let me feed her, but that is all. She will only let David comfort her and will only come to me if no one else is around.  She usually stands around the corner from me and peeks around to stare at me but if I look at her she moves times! Hopefully each day will get better.

Thanks to everyone for you encouraging emails and posts..they really mean so much to me.  We were able to Skype with Ian and that has helped me a lot. Time seems to be ticking slowly here.  I have been down this road before with Ian's adoption, but the stares from all the locals are quite uncomfortable.  I am more than ready to get home! Tomorrow we go to visit the terra cotta warriors.. We are excited about seeing them...I hope 

Monday, November 19, 2012


We are here in Grace's province, Xian. We arrived here late Sunday night (China time). We checked into our hotel and went to sleep. The next day we were supposed to meet Grace at 2:30, so we had all morning to explore. The hotel didn't have any wifi and was being renovated so we asked to move hotels and now we are in a great hotel with wifi in the lobby area but not in the rooms.  It is making istanbul super tough to skype with Ian and we are missing him soooooo much!! 

Anyway, after we changed hotels it was time to go get Grace.  We ended up waiting over an hour and a half for her to arrive (traffic here is horrible). When she came in she was escorted by the director of Starfish and her nanny.  I was praying her nanny wouldn't bring her since Grace is so attached to her but I am aslso glad the nanny got to see us so she could feel better about letting Grace go.  Grace was not happy at all!!!!!!!  She eventually let David hold her but she doesn't like me at all!!!  Needless to say we didn't get any pictures of her at all!  After the exchange we headed to get Graces passport picture. Then once we got back to the hotel I left David with Grace and walked Pizza Hut to get our dinner. Grace fell asleep soon after and slept all night long.

Today we took Grace back to the civil affairs office to finalize the adoption.  David had to give her to me while he did paperwork and Grace was NOT happy about it at all. By the time I gave her back to David I was trying to hold back my tears!! It is not fun at all when your child recoils at your touch!!!  Poor David is having to do everything for Grace, if I try to touch her she moves my hand. She did let me feed her some watermelon this morning but that is all the interaction we have had. I know it will get better, but let me tell you, my heart is breaking a bit!! 

We are headed tonWalmart once Grace gets up from her nap...that should be fun.  With the Internet the way it is here in this hotel, I might not be able to post pics until we get to Guangzhou on friday night.  I will update when I can...please pray for Grace....I can only imagine how scared she still is.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I went back and read what I wrote last night when we got I and WOW was I tired!! Sorry for all the  incoherent things I wrote...haha!  So, basically we slept all night long -yahoo- and woke up well rested!! We ate a great, BIG breakfast at the hotel and met the other families for sightseeing.  We have an AMAZING guide named Yoshi. He took us too Tienamen square, the Forbidden City, an authentic Chinese lunch, Temple of Heaven, the pearl factory, and an amazing acrobatic show!!! As you can imagine, we are tired!!! I got to experience a "squatty potty" today wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! While sightseeing people kept coming up to our group asking us to take pictures with them. our guide explained that some of the Chinese people were here from other parts of China and that we may be the first white people they had ever seen. one of the guys in our group is over 6' tall and. He got plentyof looks and pictures taken of him...ha!!

The sightseeing was wonderful! I took a ton of pictures but I can't load them on here. :(. It seems that we are going to be unable to put any pictures on here until we are home!!! Our laptop and iPad don't have a port to plug in the adapter card for the pictures :(. When we get to our next hotel we will check out the business center there and see if they can help us!! I will still take manictures though!!

We are going to see the Great Wall tomorrow, then we are flying to Xian in the evening. The other families are all flying together to another province but we will meet them again once we go to Guangzhou. When we get to Xian our guide will tell us when we are getting Grace. It will either be tomorrow night once we get to Xian or Monday.  I am praying for more good nights sleep would be very helpful!!! Plus, I would like to have the chance to go to the store first and purchase supplies and toys before we meet her.

Ok...I am getting very tired as I write this...I don't want to get incoherent like last night so I will say goodnight for now :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

We are here

Hi everyone!! We just made it to the room!! We have been traveling since 7 AM this morning and it is now 6:00 AM USA time...7:10 PM here in China!  I slept 0% on the way here so I am exhausted!! We are about to turn in for the night! Everything went great on the flights! The longest flight had a myriad of shows and movies to watch and I was excited to see they had Downtown Abbey.  some of my friends watch that show and love it but I have never had the opportunity to sit and watch it.  They had 8 episodes to chose from from season 2 so watched them all... I can truly say I am hooked now!!!

Our guide was waiting for us at the baggage area...just as promised :). He told us that we were waiting for 2 more families and their flight was delayed an we checked out the starbucks in the airport and hung out for about 90 minutes.  The other families are soooo nice!!! We are going to have a great time together!!

We are sight-seeing tomorrow all day!! I hope we have the stamina to make it...we are soooo tired!!! Maybe tomorrow night I will have pictures to share!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

We are leaving for China in the morning!!! Wahooo!!!  I can't believe it is FINALLY here!!!  I can't wait to hold Grace!!!  I am super sad to be leaving Ian here but I know it is for the best.  David and I really need that time alone with Grace for bonding.  I know she will bond very fast to Ian.  I am told that she LOVES his picture the best in the family album I sent to her!

I started feeling pretty crummy last evening.  I went to bed super early but woke up in the middle of the night with the stomach bug Ian had last week :(  Needless to say the timing isn't the best!!  However, I am glad I have it now and NOT tomorrow on the plane!  I am just praying I can get everything done I need to get done today!!

Here's the schedule of our trip...
Thursday, Novmeber 15 - leave America for China
Friday, November 16 - Arrive in China in the afternoon (China time)
Saturday, November 17 - Sightsee throughout Beijing
Sunday, November 18 - more sightseeing then fly to the province of Xi'an (Grace's province) in the evening
Monday, November 19- Get Grace!!!!!
Tuesday, November 20 - finalize adoption in China
Wednesday, November 21 - 22 - hang out in Xi'an and wait for adoption paperwork
Friday, November 23 - fly to Guangzhou
Saturday, November 24 - medical appt. for Grace
Sunday, November 25 - sightsee throughout Guangzhou
Monday, November 26 - Drop off Grace's paperwork at the US Embassy office
Tuesday, November 27 - Pick up Grace's US Visa from US Embassy!!!
Wednesay, November 28 - take train to Hong Kong and sightsee throughout Hong Kong
Thursday, November 29 - COME HOME!!

WOW - that seems like alot!!  They keep us busy - which is great! Too much sitting around and I will focus on how much I miss Ian! Please pray for us while we are gone!  I will be updating the blog as much as possible while we are in China.  I just don't know how internet service will be - so please be patient with me - ha!

Grace's Room 2

Grace's Room 1

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


WE GOT IT!!!!!!  I was on the phone with my agency today telling them how frustrated I was that it was taking soooooo looooong to get our Travel Approval.  Laura, one of our facilitators, was telling me that she understood and that because China observed a holiday the week before last that it might take another week or 2 to get it in.  She said if it wasn't here by the end of October they would call about it.  My heart was sinking as she was talking to me...darn holidays!!!  Then I asked Laura what time the mail usually came in so that I wouldn't be waiting around all day on their call.  she said it normally came in around 3:00.  She said they use DHL so they are always looking for the yellow truck and yellow envelopes.  She assured me that they were as anxious to get them in as we were.  About that time she said "Oh my goodness, I see our assistant walking towards my office with 2 yellow envelopes in her hand.  I guess the mail came early today. Wait here on the phone with me and I will open these right now and see if one of them are yours...Isn't your husband's name David?"  I said "What???  Is that our TA you just opened???"  And sure enough it was!!!!!  How CRAZY is that!!!!  Laura said that for all the years she had been working there she has never had anything like that happen!!  Of course, she got to hear me yell and scream with joy - then Ian came in the room to see what was going on - so I told him and yelled and screamed with joy too!!!  Laura said our phone call made her day - she couldn't wait to tell everyone!!  God is so good!!

So...onto the details!!  We have requested our US Embassy appt on November 26.  We hope to hear back from the Embassy tomorrow.  Our agency is about 99% sure that we will get that appt since it is so far off.  That means that we will leave here on Thursday, November 15 and we should be able to leave China on November 28.  The agency said that we should be traveling with 2 more families from their agency!! This is GREAT news because we thought we might be traveling alone!  One of the families lives in GA not too far from us so I am super excited to meet them!  We will all be flying into China on the same date.  We will sight-see in Beijing together - then we will separate from the other families as we all fly out to our child's province.  Then we meet back up together again in Guangzhou for our US Embassy appt. 

OK - so now I am going into super-get-ready mode!!!!  Holy Cow - this is all feeling sooooooo real now!!!  We have a daughter!!! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Travel Approval Angst

Well...I am STILL waiting on our Travel Approval to come in from China.  I was told that China celebrated a holiday the week before last and all govt. offices were shut down.  So, I am guessing that is the hang-up.  I am PRAYING we get it this week!  I am sooooo ready to book our tickets!!!  Please pray that we get it this week!  I hope I post on here real soon with the news that we have TA!!
These are the most recent pics I have of Grace - I got them about 3 weeks ago.  I don't think I will get any more before we travel - but I pray I am wrong!  She looks HUGE in these pics - but I know these pics are decieving.  I am traveling with 12-18 month clothes but I am thinking she will be wearing 18-24 months during the winter and 2T in the summer.  I could be wrong but that is what I am thinking now.  Thanks for you prayers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Onto the last step...

Well...we heard from the US Embassy in Guangzhou that they completed Grace's US Visa!!!!  Woohoo!!  Our agency's facilitator picked up Grace's paperwork from the Embassy and it is now at it's final stop...the CCCWA in China.  They will issue us a travel approval in a few weeks!!! Woohoo!!  Once we get travel approval, our agency will contact us to set up Grace's Visa appt which will happen the final week we are in China.  Once we have that appt. set then we can book our tickets!!!  Woohoo!!!  We are almost there!!! 

We are painting her room this weekend...I can't wait to start getting everything together for her!  I finished her registry today - it is all feeling soooo real!!! woohoo!!

Here are some more pics from what I posted yesterday...these just make me laugh out loud!!  Poor Grace - sharing is such a hard concept to learn :o)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Pictures of Grace!!

We got some new pics of Grace last week!!!  She is changing so much!  I just can't wait to get my hands on her!!  She is so precious!! Enjoy the new pics!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The many faces of Grace

These are just a few of the many pics I have of our sweet Grace!  As you can tell by the pictures, she is getting so much love and attention in her foster home.  That is part of the reason we just couldn't change her name.  God's grace is surrounding Grace everyday by the love and care she is receiving from her nanny and the other volunteers at the Starfish Home. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

USCIS Clearance!!

Well - we found out today that Grace has been cleared through USCIS (immigration)!!  This means that the US has declared her to be a legal orphan and they have approved her to come into our country and will be a US citizen!!  We are so thrilled!  This is the completion of a HUGE step in this adoption!  Praise God!!  I have been so worried about this particular step but God really convicted me yesterday during our church service to just give it all to him...holding onto this fear of things not turning out right with this adoption was hurting my communion with Him.  Grace is first and foremost His daughter and He has her future under control.  I am taking on a worry that is not mine to have...God has her under His protection. Wouldn't you know that God's timing in perfect and we got word TODAY that she has been cleared...after I finally released my fear and gave it to Him.

What comes next???  Well, the next step in this adoption puzzle is for Grace's clearance to go to the NVC (National Visa Center) where she gets registered in the computer.  Once she is registered they send me a letter in the mail which usually takes a week to receive.  Then when we receive that letter we email it to our agency and they then email it to their facilitator in Guangzhou, China. Once she gets the emailed letter she takes it to the US Embassy in Guangzhou and they work on getting her Visa completed.  Once we have word that this step is done I will update again and inform everyone about the next step.  Oh they joy of adoption red tape!!  It will all be worth it once she is in our arms!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our little girl!

I have decided to start a blog for the remainder of our journey to get our daughter from China.  Let me introduce you to Grace Camille Gaffney.  She is 18 months old and is living in foster home in Xian, China named The Starfish Foster Home.  The Starfish Home named her Grace when she came to live there when she was 1 month old.  We decided to keep her name since it fits her perfectly, and it fits her situation and God's provision of her perfectly!   She is getting so much love and care in her foster home!  I am getting tons of information about her and many pictures of her!  I feel as though I already know her even though I am a world away!  We have been able to skype with her a few times and hope to continue to skpye with her until we travel.  We are very smitten with her!! 

We started this adoption journey at the end of October 2011.  It took us quite a while to complete the paperwork (in the adoption world we call this our dossier).   By March of 2012 we had finally completed our dossier and we were ready to send it to China.  On March 22, 2012 we had our Log-In-Date (LID) at the CCCWA (China's Center for Children and Women's Affairs).  Once we had our LID we were told by our agency that we were eligible to receive a referral.  We were told that it might take up to 6 months to receive our referral because we were asking for a young female with a minor special need.  However, 3 months later on Monday night June 25th, our phone rang with a referral of this precious girl!  We had 3 days to decide to accept this referral or pass on it and wait for another referral.  Grace has a minor heart condition.  We received very good information about her heart and sent her info to a pediatric cardiologist who gave us great news about fixing it.  We took the 3 days that were given to us and spent the majority of it in prayer to be sure this was truly the child God had chosen for us.  On the 3rd day, June 29th,  I called the agency and told them we wanted to continue with this referral.

At this point they told us that in about 8 - 10 weeks we would receive a formal Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) from China and that is when China basically approves us as Grace's soon-to-be parents.   However, on July 31st, I got a phone call from our agency saying that we had received our LOA from China and could move on to the next step in this adoption!!!  It is sooooo very rare that anything is done quickly in international adoption!!  So I was SHOCKED to have gotten our LOA so fast!  In fact, I thought we had so much time before we traveled to get Grace that we really hadn't started doing anything to prepare for a second child!

Now that we have received our LOA we should only have about 8-10 more weeks until we get permission to travel to China to get our daughter.  The next step in this adoption is to send Grace's paperwork to USCIS (immigration) so they can check it over to make sure she is a "legal orphan" according to Hague standards.  We should have that clearance in about 2-3 weeks.  Once her paperwork clears, then we wait to receive word that they are preparing her US Visa.  Then after that China will issue us permission to travel.  The final step before we buy plane tickets to China is to request a meeting at the US Embasssy in China to pick-up her US Visa.  Once we get the date of that meeting we can buy our tickets to China!! 

We are at the final stages of this adoption and we couldn't be more thrilled!!!  We are cautiously optimistic that all of her paperwork will go through without a hitch!  After what happened to us with our first adoption - we won't be 100% optimistic until we have her home!! 

I will update this blog everytime we get a new piece of news about our journey, and of course, I will be updating this blog when we are in China!