Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lillian's 2009 Christmas photo blog

Lillian's 2009 Christmas photos include two of the many she took, plus one that she posed and instructed Mommy how to shoot. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We are approved for travel... we just wait for word from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou about our requested appointment date, so we will have our exact travel date very soon. The Consulate is closed for Christmas, so we'll hear next week.

Thanks to all for your prayers and encouragement. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waiting for Travel Approval

We are hoping to travel to China to meet Rachel Guanglan in January, which would be exactly 2 years after we met Lillian Weihe. The only thing we are waiting for is formal travel approval from China, which would then allow us to set up our appointments and make travel arrangements. We've been told if we don't initiate travel by late January, we'd have to wait until at least late February, as Chinese New Year is on Feb. 14 this year. Appointments are not made in the two weeks CNY is celebrated. Here's hoping for travel approval SOON!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We got our!

Hooray! Lillian's chances of meeting her new sister this year just got way better: Our adoption agency received the "Letter of Seeking Confirmation of Adopter (known as "LOA" in adoption parlance) today. We are on the home stretch now!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back from Colorado

With a trip to China for Mommy and Daddy coming up in the hopefully not-so-distant future, we wanted to take a family vacation that Lillian would enjoy and remember. She understands that she's going to get to spend time with Grammie and Grandpa while we are in China, but every once in a while she still says, "When are we going to China to get Rachel?"

So last week we drove to Colorado and spent four days doing things Lillian really loved (and Mommy and Daddy love Colorado, so it was no sacrifice). We went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, Georgetown, Casa Bonita, Beau Jo's Pizza in Idaho Springs, Estes Park, drove up and down Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake and back, and had a grand old time. Lillian got to see dinosaur fossils and climb on big rocks. What could be better?

The family photo is at about 12,000 feet, at the Alpine Visitors Center in Rocky Mountain National Park; Lillian took the photo of Mommy and Daddy with her own camera.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rachel Guanglan

Today is Rachel Guanglan's birthday. We sent her a card a few weeks ago and hope it made it to Xi'An in time for her 3rd birthday. The card and a brief letter were written in Chinese characters, with updated photos of the three of us, and Lillian drew a picture of herself and Rachel.

About the shortest wait I've seen documented recently between DTC and LOA (the next step in the process) was about two months. Some people are waiting more than 100 days. We are on day 43, if my math is right. We are hoping and praying for as short a wait as possible -- Lillian's sister has now turned 3, and she needs to come home soon!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Why is This Girl So Excited?

Is it because she's going to see The Wiggles tomorrow at Sprint Center?

Well, it's actually because she loves playing with her train set and posing for photos, but she is SUPER EXCITED, as Kai-lan would say, to see a concert this weekend. She's also going to meet some new friends -- daughters of family friends who are coming over for lunch tomorrow -- so this is going to be a full Saturday for Lillian.

Friday, July 24, 2009

DTC and other bites of alphabet soup

We were officially DTC on July 17 -- that is, "Dossier To China." Now we await LOA, which is basically when the China Center for Adoption Affairs sends us a letter requesting us to confirm our decision to adopt. Typically the wait between the DTC and LOA (when a child has already been referred) is at least 8 weeks, and for some families it's much longer. So far most things have gone faster than we might have expected, or at least no slower. We pray that keeps up!

In the meantime, this week we received our updated I-797C from USCIS. That form is basically a pre-approval from the US of the final paperwork we will need to bring Rachel Guanglan home with us.

After we receive our LOA, it will be another 6-8 weeks to travel approval, so we're likely looking at late fall or winter as the most likely travel time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

LOI for Rachel!

In adoption-speak, LOI stands for Letter of Intent. The Bruffett family filed one this week for a little sister for Lillian.

Pending approvals, we have been matched with a sweetheart from Xi'An in Shaanxi Province. We plan to name her Rachel Guanglan Bruffett. It will be several months before the point in the process where we get to travel and finally meet her. But we're excited to share the news. Lillian broke the news to her teachers and classmates this week too and is proud to be a big sister-to-be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day at the Zoo

We're on staycation this week, and yesterday we visited the Kansas City Zoo. Lillian took her camera and got some good shots (the first two of the gibbon and the tortoises are hers; she likes taking frames with preset borders). We're going to Worlds of Fun tomorrow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If You Like CNY, Who Says it Has to End?

On Saturday, the Bruffetts went to our adoption agency's annual family get-together honoring the Chinese New Year. It traditionally comes well after the Spring Festival is over, and this year's gathering was a little later than usual, but Lillian was very happy to get to wear her CNY outfit again. She participated in a kung fu demonstration and was in a modified dragon dance. A Kansas City, Mo., restaurant, Kin Lin, again provided the food, this time free of charge. The money raised at the event was therefore able to be contributed to Holt's special needs adoption fund.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lillian's Photoblog, 3rd Edition

Lillian has been taking photos every few days. One of these Mommy took (Lillian wanted to put it on the internet anyway), but the rest are hers.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year's Eve

We had a family Chinese New Year's Eve dinner tonight, celebrating with dumplings, steamed buns and tea leaf eggs. The dumplings and buns were store-bought, but Lillian helped prepare them by arranging them in the steamer. The tea leaf eggs were an experiment Kari tried that turned out pretty well. I used a variation of this recipe. One key is to use black soy sauce (laochau) as well as the more commonly available soy sauce you can find in typical grocery stores. The black soy sauce is generally only available at Asian grocers that have a large Chinese import section. The Korean grocer closest to us doesn't carry it, but one in Overland Park does.

Lillian wore a new dress -- one we'd actually bought in China last year but saved for CNY this year. She also received a traditional red envelope with money (in her case, coins for her piggy bank) and a small Chinese fan.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gotcha Day

Can't believe it's been one year since we met Lillian in person! Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we met; today is the anniversary of her adoption. What a year it's been!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lillian's "portraits"

Here are more of Lillian's photos from last week. She and Grandpa had fun photographing each other!