Monday, September 1, 2014

His day!

Bryan Jinhua!!

(Bryan's birthday is just a guess. He was found at approximately 10 months old and was given this birthday by the orphanage - so this is the day we will celebrate our boy.)

We can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you next year!

Today makes us miss YOU all the more!!

NEXT month you will JOIN our family - we can't WAIT!!

When Darren joined our family I saw other families celebrate their soon-to-come-home kids birthdays. I didn't get it. We didn't find out about Darren until after his 3rd birthday and he was home before his 4th birthday. This time! Although today I feel a bit melancholy celebrating without Bryan - it also just feels right. We can't let his day go by without *his* family celebrating him! So we eat cupcakes and talk about all the excitement/changes ahead! 

Blessings, Sandy

Friday, August 29, 2014


Thank you ALL so VERY much!!!

Doesn't it look FABULOUS?! 

Our puzzle is FINISHED!!!

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking at ALL the names of our family, friends, and even a few strangers who are wrapping their arms around our family and SUPPORTING our journey to adopt Bryan!!!

Blessings, Sandy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I added an extra fish to the back of our van for Bryan!

I also set up his first pediatrician's appointment AND we have even received his first referral to a specialist!

It is starting to FEEL REAL!!

Soon I will be a MOM TO EIGHT!

I feel excited, scared, nervous, unworthy.....THANKFULLY we are not walking this alone!

During the difficult time of adoption transition - GOD WILL BE WITH US!!

Blessings, Sandy

Friday, August 22, 2014

To Honor Not Replace

We had a reallllllly hard time deciding on a name for Little Caboose!!
(Did I mention it was DIFFICULT?!)

We talked, we chatted, we researched, we talked with friends, family, the kids....

and we were still STUMPED!

I *love* the name GAVIN....6 out of 7 of the kids LOVE the name GAVIN

We EVEN picked out this FANCY license plate....

BUT - *my dad* gave us such GRIEF over the name and Erik all along wasn't a big fan of it.

Soooo back to the drawing board!

We talked about WHO we could name Little Caboose after (many of the kids have family middle names), or what biblical person we could name him after.....

AND THEN - we both felt that we wanted to

(a baby we parented for 29 days before he went back to his birth mom)

and name him Bryan!

We are NOT replacing Bryan....but HONORING Bryan! you might recall from the last post - we decided to TRY out the name "Bryan" for a week and see how it felt.

BUT a few days into our "little trial" I found myself at McDonald's filling out the DS260 form and NEEDED A NAME IMMEDIATELY!



Bryan Jinhua

along with a few new pictures from our update:

Blessings, Sandy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another step forward...

At 5:30am we received our PDF from NVC!!

Tomorrow we should have Article 5 drop off!!

It usually takes 10 business days until it is ready for pick up....but due to closure on 9/1 and 9/8 we are expecting pick up on 9/9!!

THEN it can take up to 3 weeks for Travel Approval

and THEN we will travel 2-3 weeks later based on availability of Consulate Appointments!

We are COMING Little Caboose!!!

Blessings, Sandy
(Still waiting on our official update!)

Monday, August 18, 2014

GUZ# and a name!

Today we headed out for a day trip....and before we EVEN left town I received an email!

It contained our GUZ# woo hoo!!

It usually takes 2-3 hours from that point until it is in the system and we can fill out our NEXT bit of paperwork....the DS260.

We made it almost all the way to our destination and stopped at a McDonald's to use their free WiFi

I frantically filled out that DS260 trying to mark every necessary box and answer ALL the many, many questions correctly.....

and then - the question came....

"Other Given Names Used: child’s new name (first and middle names)"

I called Erik on his cell phone - looked at him through the McDonald's window....smiled and told him the next question I was trying to answer.

(He was feeding the 7 kids the packed lunch we had brought along....)

We have really been STUMPED on names. 

He likes a few....I like a few....and neither the two shall meet! 

Should we name him after someone? Or a biblical name? Erik likes last names as first names. I like names without nicknames. Our last name is very crisp sounding - so we both like less crisp sounding names. We both don't want to repeat a letter we have already that cut out T, M, A, R, C, J, D, E (Erik), S (Sandy)....

We have had a few top running names and this week decided to "try" one out for a week. I guess kind of like a test run :)

Since it was currently our favorite and the test run seemed to be going pretty well...I answered that DS260 question.

WOW - what extra added pressure in naming a child huh?! I can't wait to share with Little Caboose that his name was chosen at McDonalds - hee hee!

Blessings, Sandy

oh....the name....I will share it soon :)

Now just waiting for the PDF version of our GUZ# and we will have article 5 drop off - hopefully Thursday!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Our i800 was "provisionally approved" on August 8. 

Our paperwork FINALLY (did I mention FINALLY!) showed up at the National Visa Center on August 15.

Apparently they usually approve it within a few hours....but not on Friday.

Apparently they work over the weekend (and may have processed it?) or they will get to it on Monday?

We need that GUZ# and then our approval emailed to us so we can get it to our agency. Our agency will email it over to China.

HOPEFULLY we will have Article 5 drop off this week!!

LITTLE CABOOSE - we are COMING....although at the moment it feels a bit like we are moving at a SNAILS pace!

We requested our last "official" update - can't wait to hear more about our boy and see pictures!

Blessings, Sandy