Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Winn

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

~ Oprah Winfrey

Today is the day we celebrate life and a day we have been waiting for since last March, when we decided to adopt from China. On April 23rd, Winn turned 30 years old, And we have met the last criteria set by the Chinese government. Below is part of a letter, written to Charlotte Lee about this momentous day.

Letter to Charlotte Lee:

Sweet baby Charlotte,
This past year has been one of the most amazing and surprising years of my life. I never knew how much love I could have for such a tiny person across the world. On April 23rd, I finally turned 30 years old and my heart grew 30 times bigger. From now on my birthday will fall second as now April 23rd is the day I finally can make our reunion possible. I was born to be your Mommy and you were born to be my daughter. Our Red Thread is slowly pulling us closer together. Now I will continue to wait as my heart knows we are destined to be together, one perfect day we will be together. Sweet baby hold on cause your Momma is coming ♥

Monday, April 16, 2012

CoupAide Adoption Fundraiser Giveaway

Since working with CoupAide dozens of adoptive families have realized fundraising with CoupAide is the best and most effective option in fundraising. We are so thankful of our our support and especially in Matt & Firas in believing in our cause, as we were the first adoptive family to fundraise with CoupAide.  We are overjoyed seeing all the families who have joined CoupAide  and who are able to fundraise for their adoptions.

We Need A Way to KICKSTART our Adoption Fundraising Efforts and CoupAide has designed a new project and it is so simple.

Ok so this is what we need you to do to help us win the contest and bring Lottie Lee home, yes the winner receives donation money to help pay for costs we need to file our dossier.

Simply go to For each support please leave who “LIKES” CoupAide’s Facebook page AND leaves a comment about your family adoption fundraiser-"We support & love the Castagnos- Lottie Lee", we’ll receive one entry to the giveaway. So please get involved! It just takes on second to become a part of Lottie Lee's Red Thread-Thank you to all who has touched our lives with your love and support.

Contest Rules: The top THREE families who have the most Likes AND Comments on CoupAide’s Facebook page will win one out of THREE awesome prize packages. This contest runs from April 16th, 2012 thru May 31st, 2012 at 11:59pm. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Well another holiday is here can't believe its Easter Sunday. Lottie Lee is constantly on our minds and in our hearts but during holidays it seems even more so. We find ourselves talking about our family traditions, and which ones we will pass on to Lottie Lee and new ones we will begin. Sweet baby we love you so very much and think of you every day

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter spent with the ones you love.

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. ~S.D. Gordon

Monday, April 2, 2012

State Certify

What does state certify mean? In the adoption process all documents drawn up for our adoption, which include documents like our birth certificates, marriage license, home study, financial documents, employment letters, medical reports, police reports, and our petition letter for adoption must all be first notarized (again thanks to our favorite notary Kim Chamness), then each notarization must be certified by the state.  This process means each document must be sent to each state's secretary office that it was notarized in to be certified in order to make it official.  This is a requirement made by many international countries and one of China’s requirements during the paper chase phase.  We are quite unique in that we have documents from all over the country.  Winn was born in Georgia, Scott born in Connecticut, married in New Mexico, and living in Texas--means we have a lot of individual state certification requests to send out.

Confusing at first, we made it simple by creating a spreadsheet and going to the dollar store and buying tons of envelopes.  To make it fun, each state's process varies a little bit and may require different forms to complete for the request of the certification.  Then you send the original, notarized document with payments that varied from $2.00 to 20.00 with a return self-stamped envelope to the Secretary of State office.  Our first documents were sent to Georgia and Connecticut for the certification of our birth certificates (the state certifies the county clerk's or registrar's signature instead of a notary), and we had no idea how long it would take, but were so thrilled when we received the state certified documents a week later.  Each state staples a nice certification page to the document that contains its unique state seal.  We are proud owners of state seals from TX, GA, CT, and NM (our favorite is Georgia's Great Seal....very official looking and they use two staples).   And for Adoptive families to be--DON’T remove the staples, all documents must remain in the original order to be accepted by the Chinese Consulate--makes photocopying kind of interesting. But hey it’s all worth it!