Monday, March 19, 2012


So obviously one of the first things someone thinks about when thinking of China, is the Giant Panda. Some facts about the Giant Panda--the Giant Panda bear's diet is 99% vegetarian and consists of bamboo, are native to central-western and south-western China, and sadly the Giant Panda is an endangered species due to habitat loss and low birthrate both in the wild and in captivity.

Before deciding to adopt from China, I never really thought much about Pandas, but let me tell you  that now it seems to be all I look for.  I am not sure if it's me wanting to provide Lottie with a cultural background of her  native homeland, or because it is more comforting to me to find a Panda and feel closer to my sweet baby.  Regardless, Lottie sure has a lot of Pandas, I seem to scope them out no matter where I am: grocery shopping, at the airport, and of course Target.   

Recently we received a gift from a dear friend and the message inside just pulled at my heart and confirmed my need to buy Pandas..

"So my favorite thing from China, used to be a Panda, but that all changes with your arrival. I cannot wait to meet you and become your Auntie!!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012


What is a notary?

A notary is a person with legal training who is licensed by the state to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.

All our adoption documents for our dossier must be notarized by licensed Notaries, and lucky for us our dear friend and Lottie Lee’s fairy God-Momma Kim Chamness is a licensed notary in the great state of TX. 
She has been able to notarize most of our documents and her name will be a part of our dossier, which seems very appropriate as she will be such a special part of Lottie Lee’s life.  Kim has been there since day one when we announced our plans to adopt and has shed tears of joy with us as we move through the process.  She asked us to support CoupAIde when they first launched  in June, and was one of the reasons we found and met Firas and Matt, who have helped us raise our first phase of donations toward our adoption.  She is everything we would hope for Lottie to become strong, loving, and family oriented. She loves her friends like family and she has become a part of ours.  Kim, we are so blessed to have met you and to have you be part of our family, we love you so very much.
Now, again how special it is that her name and signature is part of our dossier, must have been written in the stars and part of God’s great plan. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adoption Classes

One of the many requirements for adoptive parents is parenting classes.  And since Scott and I are first timers, we were required to take a LOT of parenting classes.  China requires 12 hours of classes ( we completed 23.5hrs), and at least half must be face to face.  Our adoption agency Children's Hope International connected us with Adoption Learning Partners, and we took some of the required classes online.  Although at first we felt confident, we learned a ton from these classes.  Even though Winn has a lot of education about child development we were lacking information on development in orphanages and the best way to nurture and built attachment with Lottie Lee once we bring her home.  We highly recommend The Hague course package, which includes the following classes: Adopting the older Child, Becoming your Child's best Advocate, China her land her people, China: Language, Festivals and Traditions, Conspicitious Families, Finding the missing pieces, Helping adoptive children cope with grief and loss, Medical issues in international adoption, Journey of attachment, and We're home now what: for parents of newly adoptive toddlers/preschoolers.  All of these classes are online and available to retake them at any time--what a wonderful resource for adopting families.

In addition to the Adoption Learning Partners, we attended some face to face instruction and met a bunch of other adoptive families and discussed how to address adoption with your children, strangers and family members.  This class titled How to talk about adoption with young children, Talking about adoption issues with kids 7-17, and Helping kids move from their orphanage to your family.  Although the class was only 3 hours long, it was one of the best we had attended and we really enjoyed everything we gained from the class. The discussions were honest and heartfelt, and there was the support from other adopting parents to discuss concerns and personal struggles.

We also took infant CPR and SIDS classes, where we introduced ourselves as Scott and Winn waiting to bring our sweet Lottie Lee home from China--we learned so many others were touched by adoption including the instructor.  Our very last class was required by our agency, Children’s Hope International, for first time parents to take an infant care class.  We were the only non pregnant parents attending, and thought it was kind of  funny to announce we have been expecting for 12 months, most of the soon to be Mom’s didn’t take humor in the situation, but everyone was really intrigued about our adoption and of course wished the very best. We completed our last class on February 25, 2012.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Austin Kite Day

Today we celebrated 1 year waiting for Lottie Lee, and although our wait time has been longer due to the fact that China requires both parents to be 30 years old before submitting Dossier, this year has flown by and we are estatic that we are getting closer and closer to April 23rd, when we can finally submit our dossier to China.

We spent the special day in Zilker Park, watching Austinites fly their kites.  It was amazing and such a beautiful day!  Hard to believe next year we will have Lottie Lee with us and be pushing a stroller through the crowds.  We just cannot wait.