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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Update and Photos of Mary

We received two new pictures of Mary today! Her hair is getting a little longer, we might need to pack some head bands and barrettes!

I find her eyebrows are so you think so too?

We also received some new height and weight measurements. Now we will have a better idea what size clothes to pack for Mary to bring to China.
  • Height: 79 cm
  • Weight: 11 kg
  • Foot: 12 cm
  • Teeth: 6 upper teeth, 8 lower teeth 
Based on her height and weight measurements we are thinking right now that we will pack 18 month clothing for Mary. We will bring a couple pairs of shoes, but are planning on buying shoes in China for both of the girls. It also looks like Mary has almost all of her teeth now, just waiting on the last set of two year molars.

Only 37 more days until we leave for China. We can't wait to meet Mary! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Summer Camping - Sugar Lake Trip #1 and #2

Our next two camping trips in June took us to the North Okanagan just outside Cherryville. Sugar Lake is a recreational campground (ie. no garbage collection, out houses only, no running water) that sits in the beautiful Monashee mountains.

Sugar Lake, Monashee mountains in the background
Our first trip here in early June was a chilly, wet weekend. That however didn't stop us from having fun! We camped with our friends from Joyanne's work - the Tyssen's and the Drew's and all their little kiddos.

Sylvie loved playing with one of the older boys toys, and he generously shared with her. Sylvie loves wearing a helmet - not entirely sure why, but when she sees one, it has to go on her head.

 "Helmet on... helmet on!"
Checking out the big kid bikes, still wearing the helmet
 Future Badminton Olympian - still wearing the helmet?

 Shooting balls into the air with Daddy - she wore the helmet most of the day
Luckily the weather improved the next day allowing us to hang out down by the beach. Sugar lake is a shallow lake, but there were still people with boats catching small fish. Sylvie spent much of her time throwing pebbles in the lake.

 Hangin' with my Daddy

 The next weekend we ended up back at Sugar Lake for our friend Gord's 30th birthday party. This time the weather cooperated and we had a beautiful sunny weekend.

The birthday boy with his cake!
 Our group campsite...
  It was so hot we even needed to go swimming to cool off before dinner time. Even the pug needed to go for a swim.     
This was a big group we were camping with to celebrate Gord's birthday, including Sylvie's daycare provider and her family (we went to high school together). At first Sylvie didn't really understand what Yvonne was doing at the campground, especially with me there. It took Sylvie the first day to get used to having both Yvonne and Mama in the same place.

Playing with my friend M in the trailer
Yey! More friends to play with!
We will definitely be camping here again next summer!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Camping - Osoyoos Lake

I thought I would share some of our camping trip photos from over the summer. We spent almost every weekend camping at different places around the valley. Over the next few blog posts I'll show you the highlights of our trips.

Our first camping trip this summer was during the May long weekend in Osoyoos, at N'Kimp campground with our neighbors the Ross's and the Kasper's. Osoyoos is a little resort town in the south Okanagan. I grew up in the next town over, and have spent many summer days as a child swimming in this lake, which is also one of the warmest lakes in Canada.

Osoyoos Lake at sunset...

We have to be honest, we are not tent campers anymore. We have a fifth wheel trailer we bought a few years ago and it has been wonderful camping with hot water, a shower/bath tub, and a furnace (particularly in early May and late September camping). 

Sylvie loves our trailer, especially where Mama and Daddy sleep - she can reach the light switches with no problems, providing minutes of fun and giggling as she turns them on and off (luckily we also have a generator to charge the batteries). 

Happy Camper!
You can't get me!
The other benefit of having a trailer with small children is having a place to play when the weather outside is windy and chilly.

Having a tea party with Mr. Bear

Catching some rays while the weather cooperates...
One other draw for the south Okanagan are the wineries. Over the past two decades the wineries have blossomed and multiplied. Our favorite one to visit (not really the wine though) is Silver Sage Winery. They have this beautiful grassy area for kids to play in with a gazebo. My favorite winery in the Oliver/Osoyoos area hands down would be Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery.

Getting tossed around at Silve Sage 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Look Mom - No cavities!

Sylvie has been to the dentist two times since being home with us. Each time she has gone for what our dentist calls "Happy Visits". She gets to sit in the chair and go for a ride up and down, get her teeth counted by the assistant, and then the dentist comes to take a look with the little hand mirror. Of course these "Happy Visits" conclude with a trip past the treasure chest!
On her third visit Sylvie got to have her teeth "tickled" when the dentist cleaned them, followed by a "bubble bath" when the fluoride was painted on. Sylvie did absolutely wonderful while getting her teeth cleaned. She sat still, watched and listened intently to the dentist. The dentist was very impressed, especially since she has three young children herself, one the same age as Sylvie.

We were happy to learn that Sylvie has great teeth and so far - no cavities! I think we are also lucky that one of Sylvie's favorite things to do is have Daddy brush her teeth for her in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed.

"Look Mom - No Cavities"
When it was time to go and get off the chair Sylvie started to fuss - she didn't want to stop going up and down on the chair. Luckily a trip to the treasure chest distracted her!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

LSC signed and delievered!

Our Letter Seeking Confirmation from Adopters (LSC) arrived at our Provincial adoption agency on Friday afternoon - just before closing. So we had to wait patiently until this morning (because it's labor day weekend) for Cory to stop by and pick up the letter. We have now signed this letter and sent it back to the Chinese government. 

Basically the Letter Seeking Confirmation from Adopters is the formal offer from China to the adoptive parents to confirm their intentions to adopt the child. The Chinese government has reviewed our dossier (home study, letters of employment, health reports, criminal record checks, clearance from our Provincial Ministry of Families, copies of our birth certificates, passports, marriage license ect.) and has determined we have meet their criteria to adopt Mary Dang YunDan. 

We are now on the final step, waiting for our Notice of Coming to Travel to China for Adoption (NoC), where China formally issues an invitation for us to travel to China to adopt Mary. You will also see this referred to as our Travel Approval (or TA). Our agency expects this to arrive in the next month or so, where we will then make travel arrangement to go to China. At this point we it looks like we will be traveling in the beginning of November, we can't wait to meet Mary! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Care Package Received!

A few weeks ago we decided to send a care package to Mary in China. We used the same service located in China that we did for Sylvie's care package. The business is called Lady Bug's N'Love from Above. It is jointly run by two women, Angela who lives in China, and Kelly, an adoptive mom in the United States. 

In our first care package to Mary we selected a blanket, a kitty stuffy, candy & nuts for the nannies and children to share, and two disposable cameras for the nannies to take pictures of Mary's daily life at Datong City. Also included was 600 word letter translated for us by Angela to the SWI Director of Datong City. We used this first letter to formally introduce ourselves to the Director and to ask for help in preparing Mary for her transition to our family. We also added a short note to Mary and asked that it be read to her as well.

Here is a photo Angela sent to us after she completed her shopping on our behalf...
 We also included a cake in our care package, and the cake was ordered from a local bakery and delivered earlier this week. Today we received these pictures from the Director at Mary's SWI!
 It looks like Mary was surprised! Isn't she adorable?
 And it seems she liked the cake!

We have a few more pictures, but since they have other children from the SWI in them I'm not comfortable posting them online. They are nice to have for Mary to look at to remember her friends from Datong City SWI as she grows. 

We are still waiting for our "Letter Seeking Confirmation" (LSC). From my research it appears 50 days is the average length of time to receive this paperwork. We are on Day 40, so perhaps in the next week or two we will receive it and then begin waiting on our last step for our "Notice of Coming" (also known as travel approval) to be issued. We'll keep you posted!