Monday, December 31, 2007

The countdown begins...

It is now exactly one week until we meet Lillian. Our appointment is in the Jiangsu Province ministry of civil affairs in Nanjing.

Kari had a root canal this morning but is back at work tying up loose ends on the last day before her leave begins. Brent is doing the same thing (tying up loose ends, not having a root canal, thankfully!).

Along with Beijing, Luoyang and Xi'an, Nanjing (in the past spelled as Nanking or Nanching by westerners) was long considered one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Four other cities have since been added to the list, after archeological finds. Nanjing was in the news this month when the Chinese government published the names of thousands of people killed by Japanese troops in the Nanking Massacre. In December 1937, the Japanese army had invaded and occupied the city, then the capital of the Republic of China.

Nanjing is known for happier things too. It has a long cultural tradition and is home to more than 8 million people. While we will meet Lillian in Nanjing, she actually lives in another city in the province, Changzhou. Changzhou has about 3.5 million people and is located 80 miles or so east of Nanjing south of the Yangtze River.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More family

Cousin Lauren winks her approval of the Crown Center gingerbread village....

Lillian will have one first cousin, with another one on the way, and lots of second cousins to meet when she comes home. (That's in addition to Grandpa and Grandma, aunts and uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles, one Great-Grammie, and bunches of friends and soon-to-be admirers!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Travel Dates

We just got word about our travel dates. After orientation in Beijing, we will go to Nanjing and meet Lillian in January. We'll then head to Guangzhou for our appointment with the U.S. Consulate before beginning our return trip.
It's happening -- it's really, finally happening! We owe many people so much thanks for their help and their prayers. It's been a blessed process ever since we first saw the photo of Lillian.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just a Test

This is another test, just to see if I can post via email from a computer hooked up to our camera. The photos should be of Kari, her brother, Adam, and their Dad at the KU-MU football game at Arrowhead last weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Travel Approval -- China for Christmas?

We got the call today -- we have official approval to travel to China. The next step is that our adoption agency, Holt International, will request a U.S. Consulate appointment. We will need to be in China two weeks prior to the consulate appointment in Guangzhou.

So, for example, if we receive a consulate appointment for Jan. 3, we would need to be in Beijing for orientation on about Dec. 20. (That date is plucked out of the air; we won't know for sure until next week at the earliest.)

Before we heard the news today, we'd already had our re-fingerprinting appointment at the Kansas City field office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. We can't keep a consulate appointment without current fingerprint clearance, and it is also required to get an extension for our paperwork preauthorizing us to bring Lillian home. (The original paperwork will expire -- get this -- Jan. 3!)

So feel free to pray for fast clearance for our fingerprints and prompt extension of our paperwork. The extension has been in the works for several weeks now, but the USCIS official here has been very helpful once we figured out how to contact her directly.

If everything goes right, we could be in China on Christmas Day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lillian!

Today (Nov. 18) is Lillian's birthday.
Here's hoping it's not long before we can join her in a belated celebration.
Our love, thoughts and prayers have been with her today!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Trying an email post

We plan to post photos to this blog during our travels. This post is just to test the email posting functionality.
We are now officially waiting for travel approval. We bought decent luggage over the weekend, and I've started to practice packing. China has very strict baggage size and weight restrictions on domestic flights. We're trying the "one step above camping" approach to packing, but that is complicated by the variation in temperatures in the three places we will be.
We also bought a crib/toddler conversion bed this weekend, as well as a carseat and a few items of clothing. Not knowing her size at the moment (the latest measurements we have for her are from July) imposes a limit on us, but that's OK, as we will be able to buy things for her that fit after we meet her.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


We are thrilled to announce that we have been matched with a little girl in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. She was given the name Chang Wei He, and when we adopt her she will be known as Lillian Weihe Bruffett (we'll call her Lily).

We like the story behind the name Weihe. "Wei" means "mighty" -- an aspirational name for a small girl (she likely was born prematurely). The name symbolizes the hope of her caregivers at the Changzhou City Children's Welfare Institute that she would grow stronger. "He" is a common name for girls and means "lotus" -- a water lily.

Her birthday is November 18, 2005, so she is nearly 2. The letter we received from her caregivers in China concluded with this, and we couldn't agree more: "She is as good as pie."

We just found out this week that we may be allowed to travel as early as mid-December, or possibly as late as late January. We will be in China for approximately two weeks -- possibly over Christmas.

We are excited and bursting with anticipation.