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Monday, February 23, 2009

And our Care Package is off!

Last week, I asked some families who had adopted from China if or how they were able to send care packages to their children's SWI (social welfare institute). Many of the families, who adopted from Beiliu City SWI, where Sylvie is living, shared with us that they used a service based in China. Everyone who emailed us about the service was very pleased. With that endorsement Cory and I checked out their website and ordered a package.

By using this service we could send up to a 600 word letter to the SWI to introduce ourselves. In this letter we also asked if they could take pictures of Sylvie's daily life in the SWI, and included a disposable camera, which will be sent back to the business. We chose to send a pink blanket and kitty stuffie for Sylvie. We included candy and nuts for the nannies taking care of her. The business taking care of this on our behalf is Ladybugs and Love from Above. It was created by two women, an adoptive mom (Kelly) and friend (Angela) in China. Yesterday, we received and email letting us know that that the items for our package had been shopped for and collected. They sent us a picture of the gifts and sent it to us.

As you can see, the kitty they found for us was "Hello Kitty", which I think is pretty purrfect since I have many items with her on them! Also included in the care package, but not in the photo, is a birthday cake that will be sent to the SWI. Since Sylvie's 1st birthday is just around the corner (March 7), we asked for them to take pictures of her with the cake and her caregivers and fellow children. Many families had recommended this to us as a way to gather updated pictures. Hopefully in the next few weeks we should receive some pictures of Sylvie, and get a better understanding of her surroundings and life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One more step checked off!

We received word today from our adoption agency that our Letter of Intent (LOI) has been officially approved by China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA). Our LOI was basically a letter explaining our intention to adopt Sylvia Guo Jiangxia, and an outline of a health and nurturing plan.

The next step is for our dossier to be reviewed and approved. Lately, it has been taking 3 months for this to be accomplished. Although we have Log in Date (LID) of March 11, 2008 when CCAA received our dossier, it has been waiting at their office to be reviewed. Due to the high number of applications for adoptions from China, they have to date only reviewed files up to a LID of early March 2007. We are very grateful that ours will be pulled out and reviewed now.

Why might you ask, should it take so long to review? Our dossier is about 2.5 cm thick. It includes things like our home study, provincial government approval letters, financial information, medical approval that we are fit to be parents, and criminal record checks.

We hope the next 90 days goes by fast, or even better, that our dossier is reviewed quicker than it has been taking. When our dossier is approved CCAA will send us a Letter of Confirmation (LOC). There are still a few more steps to be completed after we receive our LOC, so we are still hopeful that we will be travelling this summer.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A little about China, Guangxi, and Beiliu

Sylvie is living in a SWI (Social Welfare Institute) in Beiliu City in the Guangxi Autonomous Region of China. Guangxi is located in the South Eastern corner of China (shown in red). Vietnam borders Guangxi, along with the Gulf of Tonkin. The capital city is Nanning, and the official languages of the region are Mandarin and Zhuang.

Guangxi is a mountainous region with many rivers. Several cities are considered tourist destinations due to the jagged mountain peaks and rivers.

Guangxi has a subtropical climate. Summers are generally long and hot. Average annual temperature is 17 - 23⁰ Celsius, while average annual precipitation is 1250 to 1750 mm.

Guangxi is an Autonomous Region of China, rather than a province. Like Chinese provinces, an autonomous region has its own local government, but an autonomous region theoretically has more legislative rights. In practice, they only have the right to appoint the governor (from the local minority)

An Autonomous Region is a minority entity which has a higher population of a particular minority ethnic group. There are five autonomous regions in China: the Tibetan people in Tibet, the Zhuang in Guangxi (#5 shown below), the Uyghur in Xinjiang, the Mongols in Inner Mongolia, and the Hui in Ningxia.

Information about Beiliu City, where Sylvie is living:

  • The 2,457-square-kilometer Beiliu City has a population of 1.16 million, 87 percent of whom are engaged in agriculture.

  • Beiliu City is most notable for its reputation for fine ceramics, which goes back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). According to historic records, Beiliu ceramic wares have the sheen of jade, and when tapped, emit a bell-like ring.

  • Export of local ceramics began in the 1950s. Today, 95 percent of the output of local ceramic enterprises are exported to over 70 countries and regions in the world, accounting for over two thirds of Guangxi's total.

When we go to China, we are hoping to purchase some of these fine ceramics, specifically tea cups. Anyone who has been to my home has seen my tea cup collection from my two grandmothers. I made sure to pick a picture that included flowers to remind me of Grandma Fleming, I'm still looking for one with birds!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Books, books, and more books!

We have decided to wait on buying clothes for Sylvie until we have updated height and weight information. In the meantime however, we are having fun shopping for books and toys. Here is our library of children's books started, my favorite being the "Runaway Bunny". We also went shopping at Wal Mart on the weekend and bought a new crib mattress, which was on the list, but HAD to buy this cute blanket with the kitty stuffy attached!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new name for our daughter

We have chosen a name for daughter, Sylvia Guo Jiangxia. We plan on calling her Sylvie.

Friday, February 6, 2009

We have a daughter!

We have accepted a referral for a eleven month old girl from China. Her name is Guo Jiangxia. She was born in Guangxi province of China.

We are hoping to travel in four to six months after paperwork is completed. Keep your fingers crossed that we will be allowed to travel sooner, rather than later.

We have posted her photo, and will be adding more information over the next few days!