Thursday, April 25, 2013

Updates on Our Girl

Great News!  We Begin our Homestudy this weekend and We just received some new updates this week!  Yeah!

The new updates state that she is talking more, eats well, is very smart and is being potty trained and just needs to be reminded to goto the bathroom.  I am not getting my hopes as I know that coming here will be a big change and could completely through the potty training thing Off.

Sweet Alivia Grace<<<<<<

This picture was taken Jan. 2013.

This picture was taken April 2013.  She is getting Big! :)
She is 2years 5 months,  28 pounds (I am not sure with or with out all of the bundles of clothes:) and 33 inches tall. Small/to not even registering on the US charts and Average build for the Asian Charts for her age. 
She is progressing well it seems and this is wonderful for this environment as typically children regress one month for every 3 months institutionalized. 
The prayers are working. :)
Please continue to pray for:
  • her health, safety and developmental progress
  • that she knows that she has a loving family coming to get her
  • for our patience as we wait out this process
  • that we will have the confindence that all will work out in God's timing
  • that God will keep us calm and cover us with his love as we wait
  • that our fundraising opportunities will go well to get our girl home
Thank you very very much in advance for covering us with your prayers through this time.  They truly are being felt and you do not know how much it means.
So, How am I really doing?  Very well - (most of the time).  I am learning to Wise Up and let God take control. 
Emotionally - I am holding together very well - well until the carpet guy delivered the wrong color of carpet for Alivia Grace's room.  Ug - it was Brown not what I had imagined for a little girls room.   I was not thinking very Godly at the time when i saw the carpet (should have been thinking Oh, well I will just put a cute pink or lavender rug down and it will look adorable) but know my rotten side came out and I wanted a certain look for this little girls room Ug.  I was very calm and stated that this was not exactly what I had planned and they were very understanding.  Light Beige carpet would look very nice with Pink and Purple!  Well they did let me return the brown carpet and brought back the light beige carpet - thank heavens.  Our landlord was super accomodating thank heavens.  Anyway after the carpet guys left I had my first good cry in a really long time.  Accumulation of stress and leave it to the wrong color of carpet to open the flood gates - ug!
xoxo Traci

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Anything Asian

In our attempts to be closer to our daughter somehow I believe we are inundating ourselves with Asian experiences.

First,  we visited the Asian Fusion Buffet.  We read the fortunes and tried to learn the Chinese inside each Fortune.  I even questioned the waitress about the correct pronunciation of various words.  One of the fortunes mentioned the pomelo fruit and I had not a clue as to what that was so the waitress gladly brought one to the table for us to see.  It has the exterior of a melon but is supposedly like a giant grapefruit.  None the less, we got our fill of food.  The boys fav of course was the chocolate fountain that they dipped strawberries into.

Next, since Carson has been studying Japanese culture at school he was very interested in taking a trip to the Morikami Japanese Museum and Park for his birthday outing.  Brian only has this Sunday off this month so this would be the time to celebrate his birthday as a family.  He will have a party early in May with his Cousins when they come to visit.

Anyway, back to the Japanese park and museum.  This was a wonderful experience.  First, we walked through the beautiful park and gardens.  We saw various Bonsi trees and Japanese gardens.  Next, the boys enjoyed the children's section where they could touch and feel everything, sit in the bullet train, pretend to be at the train station in Tokyo, sit in a Japanese classroom, experienc a Japanese Kitchen, Bath and Bedroom ..........They also enjoyed the very large fish in the pond.  Carson new a lot about the pottery, artwork, blossom trees and waterwheels.  He definately knew that carp was a main fish there as well.  Lastly, we celebrated with some traditional Japanese food.  I am so grateful that my boys love culture and a a variety of food.  I have to say they ate everything from Miso Soup to edamame, stir fry beef and veggies, sushi, pot stickers, egg rolls , fried tofu etc.,..  Brennan and I skipped a few things due to allergies but otherwise everything was very yummy and Carson ate it ALL!  Lol

Last night I decided that we probably had better attemp to try to learn some Manderian as Yin Yan (Alivia Grace) will be almost 3 by the time we get her.  For the first 3 years she will have only known Manderian so it would be in our best interest to learn some to be helpful initially in communicating with her.  I downloaded a few Free apps to my phone last night and the boys and I had a great time mimicking the phrases.  There favorite of course was "Where is the toilet??"  Of course, this phrase got repeated ALOT.  Lol.  I am sure we will have a great time learning this new language. 

Looks Like we are in the Train station in Tokyo!

Bullet Ride
Happy Birthday to Me at Morikami! I think that is the biggest drumstick I have ever seen! 

We have to gather lots of Couple and Family Picts for the adoption so fire away! 

What a fun day! 

Traci, Brian, Brennan and Carson - xoxoxo

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What's Next? and Care Package

What have we been up to?

Well, we have now finished our Police Clearances, Physicals, ordered passports and a few other forms that will be a part of our Dossier.  We are getting very close to collecting all of the paperwork for this Dossier which will then have to be certified and authenticated. Next, we will begin the Homestudy portion where we will be visited by a social worker twice.  To prepare for this we each has to write a 6-8 page bio about ourselves. 

The Homestudy and other Dossier docs will form a package of papers to be Certified and Authenticated and then we will have the Dossier to send to China.

During the mailing off of items to different Secretary of States and Chinese Embassy we will be working on our parent training classes and decorating the bedroom for Alivia Grace.  There is always something to be done!

Next big project after Dossier - will be the 1800 which will be formed and possibly take 2-3 months.  We should know more about travel around this time.
I know God is seeing us through this
I am enjoying every bit of this process and know that everything is done for a reason
I am confident that God hears our prayers and that he is keeping Alivia Grace safe

Continued Prayers please - we definately feel them!  They are keeping us strong and confident through this process.

The Fun Part!

Oh the joy of finding out that we can send our sweet girl a care package.  They (adoption agency) suggest we send a disposable camera, small items such as a small doll, clothes, photo album of our family with a variety of family picts and chocolates for the foster mother and grandmother.

First Care Package:

Lastly, our big debate Now - Yes, considering getting a second child at the same time.  We have the opportunity to get a second child at the same time on our same paperwork and fees with minimal additional fees (huge savings) - but we are not sure that we will be matched in time.  We would love for Alivia Grace to have sister from her same heritage and without the fees of traveling twice would be a blessing.  There is such a long waiting list and we were so lucky to be matched with Alivia Grace so quickly as she was on the Waiting child list - the likelyhood of that happening again is not Great - But we know God is good and if it is meant to be - it will!

Please pray that if it is in God's will for us - that we be matched with a second little girl. 

We thank you and appreciate you Greatly!

Much Love -  The Wallin's xoxox

Friday, April 5, 2013

Clips from Lost Girls of China

Adoption - Wake Up

Do We Even Comprehend this Problem?  I didn't!

When I first thought of people adopting in China - most recently I had heard it was a 5 or 6 year wait and that China was changing it's laws making it more difficult to adopt.  Hmmm - much to my suprise this was only for a small population (the very non special need children with no known medical concern at all not even a birth mark).  Of course, these babies are very hard to come by.  But there are hundreds (sorry thousands) of babies waiting to be loved with more minor special needs from Heart murmur to cleft lip etc... to more severe cases.

Anyway on to my story -

I do not know where to begin....  I never expected people to jump up and down when we mentioned we were adopting.  Of course, it is our choice and what we feel is the right thing to do as well along with this longing and passion.

I guess I just did not expect such lack of care and the "oh good for you and what a lucky girl".  When in the end WE will be blessed not only by her but by the entire experience.  And yes, there will be trials, tribulations and such that come along with  doing anything good and worth while.  Hence - the story of my life.

The joys of mothering are an honor as well as the tribulations (which means making a difference).

Anyway back to adoption- watch any of the "Lost Girls of China" (i posted some clips in a different post) videos and you might have more of an understanding of the problem.  Maybe then the eyes might Wake Up to the cold realities of this world and that their are children left alone without family to love and tuck them in.  We have turned in such self professing people and meeting our own goals that we can not see the pain of others. Most and more than most have offered kind comments and support and we are very grateful.

Anyway again back to adoption.  Ok so the orphanages have rooms of cribs each crib housing 2 babies.  They hold their own bottles or they are tied up for them.  This is not the way children were meant to live.  Many children will never be adopted - medical needs or aging out etc.  Once a child is 14 they are considered aged out they then need to find jobs to support themselves, many helping out at orphanages where they once lived.  This is a better senario - many others age out to the streets to no education and left to be products of human trafficking.  This will be the reality of many.  There are just far to many.

We are so lucky to wake up out of a cozy bed with food to eat, family to love and love us and lovely surroundings.  I know for years I have taken this all for granted.  I once was there getting my own needs met and Only worried about that and meeting my own goals.  I am so glad that I was AWakened through Bible study.  The desire to adopt has always been there and I always knew I would have all boys and I would be adopting for girl/girls - But I was not awake to what the Need was - I was only looking to fulfill my need not the other way around - which led me to considering adopting a special needs child.  :)

New Hope Foundation China Video:

What can we do:

We can adopt
We can support families who wish to adopt
We can sponsor a child
We can sponsor orphanages
I believe there are special programs for teens being established as well.

Every little bit helps make a difference!

Ok off my box - over and out! :)

Adopting Waiting Children from China:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Adoption Pregnancy Symptoms

Oh yes, I thought this would be easy - no pregnancy symptoms.  Wrong!  Adoption has its own set of pregnancy symptoms. 

First let me tell you, morning and all day sickness through early stages of paperwork. 

The day we were matched was like seeing positive results on the pregnancy test.

Tired all the time - sleepless nights - lots of paperwork will do that to you!

Emotional all the time.  I know I am caring a little girl in my heart most definately as I am emotional all the time at the thought of her little face.  I can cry just picturing her. 

All I can say is that this is a very deep/emotional pregnancy that I will birth from my Heart! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Resurrection - Silver and Gold

This morning I was reading a blog of a mom who has adopted from China.  She retold the created story that her adopted daughter told her on Easter.

The story of the daughter goes something like this:  "When I grow up I want to wear a gold dress and adopt one little girl from China and another little girl from Ethopia and I will dress them in silver dresses". The mother stated that there was more to the story about what her husband would where (gold bow tie) etc...

The mother found redemption in the child's words and how adoption mimics the salvation and the sacrifice it takes to bring an unwanted stranger into your home and love them forever.  This mimics the sacrifice of God.  The unloved find love.

And if that is not enough - the dirty and unwashed find themselves dressed in silver and Gold!

What a transformation of God's love and work!  Praise be to God!

Happy Easter!:)

Her name will be....

Alivia Grace Wallin  - How did we come up with the name?

Well, Olivia has always been one of my favorite girl names.  Girl names in general are just difficult for me after years and years of teaching dance and having so many little girls.  I had several other names on a list however Brian knew of someone.........  Anyway we have always agreed on Olivia however, on Brian's side of the family it is common to use the "AL" in the beginning of the name (i.e.  Alana, Alan, Aldin, etc.).  So there you have it Alivia it is!

In this process - I continue to say that by the Grace of God we will meet our little girl.....  I just love the word and meaning behind the word grace.


Simple elegance or refinement of movement.
Do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.
noun.  favour - favor - charm - elegance - mercy - gracefulness
verb.  adorn - decorate - ornament - embellish - deck - bedeck
The biblical meaning of grace is defined as divine blessing and unmerited favor from God.  This speaks th me at this time!

Other reasons I love Grace:  Grace Kelly of cource and I have a great aunt Grace!  I think you catch my drift.;)

So, if you have a child with the name grace or the middle name grace, I did not want to steal it - I just have a lot of attachment to the word. LOL.  Your daughter has been given the most beautiful name and/or middle name with great meaning.

Those of you that know me well know I did not want to give up my maiden name.  I have a name attachment issue to my name and I am not changing it lol.  My husband was a bit hurt by this initials but now we laugh about it together.  With this in mind I would like to add a second middle name to our Chinese daughter that might be a part of her given name or have Chinese meaning.  This will help her to carry a part of her history with her which I am sensitive to.  

So there you have it Alivia Grace Wallin!