Friday, January 26, 2007

Kunming or Bust!

Can't even begin to describe the past two days. Absolutely came out of nowhere and took the wind right out of a good kinda way. But we've got tickets and a schedule! Now the test is to see how much we can get done before Wednesday! Yes - we've got to leave for New Orleans on Wednesday night. Early flight out Thursday, February 1st. We will fly out of Chicago and go straight to Beijing (13 hours). I'll post our itenerary later.

Pray that Ethan's visa's get processed in time or we're out $1K. His passport is "supposed" to be here tomorrow and we'll turn it around and overnight it to VA to get the Chinese consolate to stamp it. I'm trying to prepare lesson plans and get my classes taken care of - Mike has the store to secure. And there's our Michaela. She's so excited and is being so brave about the whole thing. It's gonna be a long 14 + days without her. Thank you to all who are cheering us on. We feel your love and support.
Mia, here we come!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Just when you think you've got things figured out! I just knew I could wallow in this dreary January gloom feeling sorry for myself thinking we've got another month until we meet our Mia. Boom! The sun came out this morning. I was singing a happy tune all morning, then when I was walking back to my room from the school cafeteria, I saw Mike's truck parked in front of my building. Is someone hurt? What's wrong? Nothing - except our agency called to ask if we're ready to leave next THURSDAY! Can we do it? I don't know, but we're gonna sure try. My prayer warriors sure pack power. We should know tomorrow if we're in for sure. If not it'll be okay. All in His perfect time.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Translated Documents & Red Threads

We received a translation of Mia's growth record. It seems to have been done in October, 2006. That must have been the time her documents were submitted for International Adoption. How my mind ponders questions like who decides to pick her? Why did they select her? International Adoption makes up only a small fraction of all children available in China. We are blessed to have been given this child. She seems like a little bundle of joy and sounds like someone knew she'd fit in perfectly in the Welford's household.

During this entire process I have prayed for our "Red Thread" to be made known to us. The chinese have a saying that we are tied by a red thread to someone we are destined to be may tangle, stretch and knot but it will not break. The date we felt the pull of this red thread was on November 11, 2004 at a Stephen Curtis Chapman concert. Nine months later our little Mia was born. I have been praying that God would confirm this adoption to me and He has, over and over again. When I look into her smiling face and read the pages of her growth and personality, I know she is ours and was meant to be.

Her foster family obviously gave most of these details in her report. It is said that "
The child was found on June 20, 2006 by the local people who reported to the police. After the investigation by the authoritative police station, the child was confirmed to be an abandoned baby and was brought in to the orphanage the same day. They determined then that her birthday was around August of 2005 and gave her DOB as the 2oth. She would have been 10 months old. It doesn't say how long she stayed in the orphanage before going to a foster family. The file also describes Mia is "outgoing, clever, active, cute, smiley, sociable, like outdoors, likes to be held and accompanied. Wave hands and kicks when happy. Likes to play games with other children. Gets along well with other kids. Likes to play with toys she’s never seen. Positive response to the strangers and new stimulation." I'm just going nuts to hurry up and meet her!

We are waiting for travel approval and consolate appointments and figure the likely time to travel will be the last of February and first week of March.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What we're learning

Mia may have been here at one point but we know that she is in foster care now. From what I am learning, foster care is in village- type housing surrounding the orphanage. Her surname, Guan, is commonly given to children that are found in this inner-city area by the same name. We took some of her paper-work to our local chinese restaurant to have it translated. Even though our agency is translating most of it, we didn't want to wait the extra week to find out more about her. From what we understood, she is able to feed herself and likes to go outside. Her favorite toy is a rattle. I am anxious to see if what they said about her abandonment is true. The girl seems to think that she may have been left on June, 2006. If that's true, she would have been with her family for almost 10 months of her life. The girl at the restaurant may have misunderstood this so we will have to wait for official translation. My prayer is that she is able to bond as a result of the nurturing she's received as an infant.
Our agency says we will probably travel in March. I've been on pins & needles again because of a new law regarding our Citizenship and Immigration paper. Ours expires on the 21st of this month. We can't bring back an "alien" orphan into this country without it. The new law says that we can't even get consolate appointments without it being current. We've been waiting on this renewal since the last of October and haven't been able to speak with a real person until today. I was assured by the officer that she would get it in today's mail. I pray this is so.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Maybe Mia Grace YunZhu?

Yun (Cloud) Zhu (Pearl)

I think Mike wants to call her Mia Grace. Can she have 5 names?

Announcing our Mia!

We are in love!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

For unto us a Child is Given!

With this baby we are blessed!

Guan Yun Zhu
Born: August 20th, 2005
in Yunan Province - Kunming CWI- Foster Care

She weighed 22 lbs in October! (okay to all those who know their dentistry! :-) Our Family coordinator said she see's two teeth shining on the bottom - that's probably not all the teeth she has!) We will have pictures and more information to share tomorrow!

God is so good. We are overjoyed. Thank you for your prayers as you've journeys thus far with us. We covet your continued presence.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This time tomorrow

My last day at home before school starts and I've tried to stay busy. Finished packing away all the decorations and nicely tidied the house. Michaela and I dashed off for one last shopping jaunt just to pick up a few necessities and have her baby-doll "check-up" at the local mall. Anything to keep our minds occupied. While we were there I bumped into someone I've been wanting to meet for along time. We've spoken on the phone a few times. She's a veteran adoptive mom and waiting again for her third girl from China. If you believe in coincidences then it was no big deal, but for us finally to meet on the eve of referrals is a blessing to me. She was with her two daughters trying to pick up a few clothes for their waiting child. They've requested a girl around age 6-7.

I've found out from another agency that referrals had landed in Los Angeles this afternoon and people on the West Coast have started getting their calls. I expect our agency to open up tomorrow and I think DHL (the carrier) will deliver before noonish. I'll be on pins and needles by 3 p.m. I'll freak out if I've not heard anything by 5 p.m. Please pray that we won't be forgotten. I've seen alot of sad stories in the past 15 months. Families that have sat by the phone and it rings only to say the worst. It is rare, but it is possible.

But there's a God in heaven who watches out for us and I pray His love and care will provide.

Thank you to all who wait with us.

Referrals in Europe!

Are packages already at the Agency? Will someone go in and check? I return to school tomorrow.....will we get the call tomorrow?