Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Sweet Lottie

We celebrated Halloween a little differently this year.  Crazy work schedules and graduate class presentations left little time to carve pumpkins and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids.  We arrived home late, ~9:00 pm, and there was little time for our family traditions...except one...we always dress up!  Every year Halloween is one of our favorite holidays and we love to dress up and I especially love to coordinate a themed costume! The past few years we included the dogs. 

This year trying to be careful with how we spend our money we decided we would not go overboard with costumes and decorations...for a while we thought we would be ghosts--simple enough just needed white sheets, then I saw four pirate kits at the dollar store--score! and then in the clearance rack at pet smart I found gnome costumes that could easily be transformed into pirates. We recycled an old red tee shirt to make belts and headbands.  At the last minute we thought instead of just holding Lottie, we decided to make her our treasure.  It was the perfect finishing touch to our Halloween photo shoot! 

We cannot wait to celebrate Lottie’s first Halloween next year and already have ideas for our family themed costumes! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What are we waiting for? LOA!

After our dossier has been sent to China DTC: 08.13.12 and China recognized our dossier Log in Date: LID 08.27.12 and since we accepted our referral for sweet Lottie Lee Referral: 09.20.12, we wrote our Letter of Intent: LOI 09.21.12. A week later wereceived Pre-Approval: PA 10.01.12 for our sweet baby! We now WAIT for our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC), or Letter of Acceptance (LOA). Most people call it the LOA.  This is the official recognition from China /CCAA is stating that our Lottie stated with her Chinese name is approved to be adopted by us! And we can proceed with our adoption!
Current wait times for LOA depend on a lot of things!!
  • It depends somewhat upon your agency, although no one has ever been able to prove this for sure.
  • It depends on whether you accepted your referral before or after you received your Log In Date (LID).
  • It Depends on the time of year (whether there are holidays during your wait, or other CCAA closures).
  • It depends on whether or not the CCAA requests more information from you after reviewing your dossier. Doesn't happen often, but once in awhile it does!

Currently, families are waiting anywhere from 30-70 days for LOA/PA, with 50-60 days being probably the average.

(information provided by: China Online)

Currently we are:
32 days from PA
67 days from LID

So we ask for this...please send your positive vibes, cross your fingers and toes, pray, pray and pray some more!  Lets get LOA and bring this sweet precious baby home!!!

So when you see us post something that looks like this or see the letters LOA you will know its time to CELEBRATE!!! But please know each step is a process and there are SEVERAL more steps after receiving LOA but it is one step closer, one hurdle past, moments closer to having Lottie join her forever family! We will continue to CELEBRATE each step no matter how difficult because we know in our hearts this child is worth the wait no matter how long!

Monday, October 29, 2012

CHI Families

So far we are thrilled with the agency we chose for our first adoption.  You can read more about how we found CHI: Children's Hope International.  We feel confident in our agency and appreciate their time and diligence in responding to our questions so quickly.  Although we have not met our social workers or the China Team in person, we feel very confident, and are happy to be apart of such a strong and child-focused agency

Shortly after receiving our referral, we discovered  that several other families were also adopting children from the very same orphanage as Lottie Lee.  This is not common although many families can and eventually do find other families by way of blogs, yahoo groups, or facebook adoption groups; it is rare to be connected with a family who is waiting to meet their child and he/she is together with yours, in the same orphanage.  We have been connected with 8 families whose children (all babies under 2 years old) have spent their first years together. It is absolutely nothing short of amazing in that 8 children will be living here in the US and remain connected for their lifetime.  We are excited to share this journey with our CHI family and cannot wait to see our children grow!

We are thinking of some of our CHI family as they are preparing to travel to China to meet their lovely children!  Some will be able to see and tour the orphanage, what an amazing gift!  More amazing they may see Lottie  Lee in the baby room, we hope, pray and cannot wait to hear all about their journey!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Garage Sale Success

Yesterday was our Garage Sale Fundraiser for Lottie Lee, and it was a great success. We didn't have high expectations, but since our neighborhood Teravista was holding the annual neighborhood-wide community garage/yard sale, we knew we wouldn't need to spend anytime advertising the sale. We figured we would hold a small sale and see what happens!

We received some wonderful donations from friends and co-workers, and after my nesting weekend, we also had many things we didn't even know we had to sell!  Our friend & Lottie's God-Momma Kim  spent the night and woke up bright and early to help set up.

It was a surprisingly cold morning in Austin and the first buyers arrived at 7:30 am, just as the sun came up!  It was a little crazy, but we made out and Scott was able to get us coffee and hot chocolate!   Kim and I kept the sale alive, and by 11:00 am all the goods were sold and we had $350.00 to add to our adoption fund!  We didn't anticipate this being a HUGE fundraiser, but with a little cleaning, I was able to find "stuff" we no longer needed and made some extra funds for our adoption! 

Another exciting moment came when our friend Brandi & Kevin called. They had stopped by Teravista to look around at the sales, and found a barely used pack-n-play and a bumbo seat!  Then one of my other dear friends Linda, brought over some of my favorite toys she found while shopping around! 

We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives! Thank you to all that donated, Brandi & Kevin, Kim, and Linda!  Now the house is clean and organized...time to start to playroom!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Showered with LOVE

My four Aunts, Mom, and Grandmother Charlotte came all the way from Baltimore, MD & Naples, FL to visit and see our new home.  We moved to TX 3 years ago, then purchased our first house, and after announcing our adoption, family thought they would wait to come once the baby arrived. Needless to say our adoption didn't follow the exact timeline we had hoped for, and in June, I was sad that this fall we would not be traveling to China nor coordinating a family visit.  After speaking with my Aunt Maureen, I briefly stated that I had no idea when we would receive a referral and would love for everyone to come see my home regardless of when the baby arrived.  This waiting Momma needed something to look forward to.  A day later everyone booked their flights and the trip was planned for late October.  I was ecstatic! 

Little did we know a referral would be coming in the fall and we were actually going to see our daughter's face prior to my special house guests' visit;  I was ecstatic. Now there is really something to celebrate. 

For anyone who knows me..they know A) I am a planner B) I am OCD and C) I LOVE to host a party/get together..  So with careful planning, I thought of some fun and touristy hot spots to take my family to see while visiting us in the Lone Star State.  I had an itinerary and mapped out every stop,  but one activity I was not expecting, was a surprise BABY shower!

On Friday night I left to pick up Scott from work and when we arrived home there were gifts EVERYWHERE! It was a PINK Christmas! I was beyond thrilled and it was too much fun to open all the wonderful and thoughtful gifts.  Charlotte received the cutest clothes and PJ's, book, dolls, and best of all a gift certificate to buy her car seat!  We were overjoyed and showered with love and support.  The visit was wonderful and will always be a special time to look back on as one of my last memories before Lottie Lee arrives!

Meet Molly Kate

Molly Kate & Lottie Lee

We have some exciting news!!!! We partnered with The Sassy Stitch as a new fundraiser to help bring BOTH Molly Kate & Lottie Lee home from China! With the holidays 64 days away this is the perfect time to give the gift that gives back , help unite these sweet babies with their forever families &  these handmade crocheted hats are made with LOVE & oh so cute.

Message from Sarah from Sassy Stitch
"We are expecting our fourth child, Molly Kate, later this year. Molly Kate is 2 and is waiting for us in Jiangxi province. We never in a million years would have believed we'd be completing two separate adoptions in what will be just over a year, but God had plans for us! The Sassy Stitch came about as a way for me to bring in some extra money for our adoption and then for our family once our adoption is complete. I am always wishing I could help people in their adoption fundraising as it is something that is near and dear to my heart, but our budget rarely, if ever, allows me to do so. I'm thrilled to be able to help in a new way - one that benefits others' adoptions and our own!"

Check out the Sassy The Sassy Stitch on Facebook
AND for more details please read our Blog Post

The Sassy Stitch Shop

The Sassy Stitch Shop 
 With the holidays around the corner why not give the gift that helps 2 beautiful girls unite with their forever families.  Please help Molly Kate & Lottie Lee by purchasing one of Sassy Stitches' beautiful crocheted hats and ALL the proceeds go to the two families to help with the adoption cost!  
 FB pricing is Owl & Tiger hats $20, Monsters $18, Girly Grannies, Shell Stitch, and plain beanies $15 and birdie beanie is $19 as shown (with 3 birds). All hats are customizable and several types of yarn and colors available. Prices are not including shipping.   Prices are high on Etsy due to paypal and other extra charges.  Please be sure to mention that your purchase is for Lottie Lee. And allow for 3-4 weeks for design & shipping.
Thank you so much for all your continued support and LOVE!
Check out the Sassy Click here: The Sassy Stitch on Facebook



Click here to Meet Molly Kate

Monday, October 22, 2012

Updates Coming...we promise!

We have been so busy here in TX and spend our free time staring at our little beauty-we don't seem to get much done around here lately!
Here's whats coming this week-
Referral Video
Details of how we found out we were matched!
Our Book NOOK
Fundraisers just time time for the Holiday Season
Fogarty Family Baby Shower
Whats next-step by step details until we travel to China
Cleft teams and LOTS of Questions
Thanks for all your LOVE & Support!!!!
 S & W
54 days from LID
21 days from PA

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Patch




Our tradition going 4 years strong is to visit Sweet Berry Farms for pumpkin patch fun.  Winn LOVES pumpkins, we enjoy the fresh air, corn on the cob, pumpkins everywhere, and of course the TX corn maze.  This year was a little different as we checked out other people's strollers and baby gear--we discussed how next year, our traditional trip to the Pumpkin Patch, we would have Lottie Lee in tow (oh so many photo opportunities and of course a sweet little pumpkin patch dress with matching bow) We just cannot wait!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy 4th Anniversary

We said I do on October 11th, 2008 and this is our last Anniversary just the two of us!  We feel so blessed to be able to follow our dreams of adopting and cannot believe everything we hoped for is coming true.  It has been a fabulous 4 years and we cannot wait to see whats next!  We Love you Charlotte Lee Wei we just cannot wait to meet you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The BEST things in life are worth waiting for...

Charlotte Lee Wei's Birth announcement finally arrived and yes this Mommy was so eager to send them out to family & friends!  Best part was our Post Master saved 5 sheets of Chinese New Year Dragon Stamps for the occasion-he truly is the nicest man!  I cannot believe that's my is SO sweet.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tiny Print~ Baby Board Book


We wanted to make Lottie Lee a very special book so she could see photos of  us, grandparents, and her home. After researching some books online I stumbled upon an awesome website that helps make a personalized baby board book with my own photos.  It was a little difficult navigating through the website, and there was not an option to save the project before purchasing, otherwise it was perfect.  The book arrived 4 days later and it is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!  Our Mandarin tutor will help translate our English words into Mandarin symbols, so that Lottie's Nanny's at her orphanage can read what we wrote her.  I cannot wait to send it to Lottie Lee once we receive LOA-Letter of acceptance for her adoption!

Find out more about Tiny Prints

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Delta Zeta Legacies & Lottie Lee's future boyfriends

Sarah & Sam are welcoming baby girl, Mid Febrary 2013
Danielle & Bryan are welcoming a baby girl in December 2012
Iris Elise our first DZ Legacy graced the world in June 2012

12 years ago I joined Delta Zeta Sorority & met my best friends for life.  We bonded, living under the same roof at 600 West Forrest.  We watched each other grow from 18 year-old Freshman at Eastern Michigan to wives and then mothers, and as much as we all loved PINK & GREEN (our sorority colors), the first 4 babies were all boys! 

This was all about to change, in 2012 our boy/girl ratio was ready to equalize. First we welcomed Iris Elise in June, and this fall, (days apart) we discovered the DZ legacy girls were going to match the four boys!  On September13th, we learned the Leblancs are going to welcome their second child a girl, then Saturday, September 15th the Gray's announced their first baby is a girl, and then on September 20th, Scott & I received our referral for Charlotte Lee!

Now, I cannot forget to mention and post some photos of our four boys! Liam, Lincoln, Lou, & Blake are handsome, cute, & loveable!  All these DZ legacies have many Boyfriends to choose from. I am looking forward to watching all of our babies grow and becoming close friends throughout the years.

Boyfriend Blake Born February 2012
Boyfriend Lou Born November 2010
Boyfriend Lincoln born August 2010
Boyfriend Liam Born November 2009

Friday, October 5, 2012

2011 Year of the Rabbit

So in the middle of the night I woke up and thought...what is Lottie Lee's Chinese Astrology Sign?  I knew 2012 is the year of the Dragon and remember 2013 is the year of the Snake, but what was the year of 2011? Wide awake at 3 am, I began googling Chinese Zodiacs, and to my surprise, I discovered 2011 was the year of the Rabbit. 
Since seeing my daughter's eyes for the first time I knew we were meant to be together and reading that  2011 was the year of the Rabbit just made me smile ear to ear.  I began designing Lottie's nursery 2 years ago and decided on the theme-- my favorite childhood story-- Alice in Wonderland.  And yes, you guessed it, White Rabbits are everywhere.  Couldn't be more fitting.   Read more about Lottie's Nursery: Lottie Lee in Wonderland
Characteristics of Rabbits:
"Occupying the 4th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Rabbit symbolizes such character traits as creativity, compassion, and sensitivity. Rabbits are friendly, outgoing and prefer the company of others. They also prefer to avoid conflict. In confrontational situations, Rabbits approach calmly and with consideration for the other party. Rabbits believe strongly in friends and family and lacking such bonds can lead to emotional issues.
Their serene nature keeps Rabbits from becoming visibly upset. Because they’re serene animals, Rabbits are easily taken advantage of. Their sensitive nature makes them shy away from aggressive or competitive situations. They’re overall conservative and not interested in taking risks.  Classy, sophisticated, expressive, well-mannered and stylish, those born under the Sign of the Rabbit enjoy leaning about cultural issues and learning about people from other countries. Rabbits are most comfortable being home, and their homes are always neat and organized."

 Learn more about Chinese Astrology-What's your sign?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A glimpse of all the joy

September 20th, at 5:25pm at La Quinta Inn Room 323 in Downtown Austin, TX, we laid eyes on the most beautiful baby girl we had ever seen.  We are slowly editing and creating some videos and a slideshow of this amazing moment, until then here is our sneak peak.


Monday, October 1, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words

For the past few weeks we have stared at Charlotte Lee's photo, not wanting to share it quite yet.  We are in awe of this tiny face, the captivating eyes, and her gorgeous lips.  We have her photo in every room, and Winn often carries a small album of the only three photos we have from room to room, always propping it up on her nightstand before turning off the lights.

As the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" goes, we look at Charlotte's first photo and so many words come into our hearts...strength, hope, love, sweetness, beauty, happiness, intelligence.  After researching when and where that saying originated, we learned of one popular belief:

"A belief by Barnard appears in the March 10, 1927 issue with the phrase "One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words," where it is labeled a Chinese proverb (一圖勝萬言). The Home Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Familiar Phrases quotes Barnard as saying he called it "a Chinese proverb, so that people would take it seriously." Soon after, the proverb would become popularly attributed to Confucius."

So without further adieu.... We introduce Charlotte Lee Wei

Pre-Approval today!

Today we received the news that we received Pre-Approval for our sweet baby girl Lottie Lee, this was a bit unexpected since Mid-Autumn Festival takes place September 30-October 7th and we were told the Government offices would be closed for a week.  Again we are pleasantly surprised and feeling so overwhelmed!  We are so blessed and feel closer and closer to our baby as each day passes.

Happy 1st Birthday Lottie Lee


Tonight we decided to celebrate our sweet baby's first birthday, she turned one in September, and we decided to wait until we received our Pre-Approval to make the celebration official.

We bought a little cake, and I was so excited to tell the bakery that we are celebrating our daughter's first birthday, it was surreal. OUR daughter! It was a small gathering just Momma & Babba, but special none the less.

Happy Birthday sweet Charlotte Lee Wei we love you so very much and although we cannot be there today on this birthday, we promise this will be your first and last birthday without us.