Sunday, May 18, 2014

Moving Right On!!

It came!!! We have the final piece of the puzzle we need to send off for authentication by the Secretary of State & Chinese Embassy!

We sent it off on Friday to an amazing friend in D.C. who is taking the time to walk it through the State Dept & Chinese Embassy for us!! :)

Once we receive all of our documents back from their various authentications throughout the country, our dossier will be ready to upload in the CCCWA's online system and sent to China.

We are hoping to be DTC (dossier to China) before June 1st! :)

We'll be coming for you SOON Laila!!!

We want to thank everyone who has been supporting us! Whether you've prayed for our girl, bought a shirt (or 7 like one sweet friend;), or sent out a donation for her- we are SO grateful for each and every one of you!!

So what's next?  Well, we hope that once our dossier gets to China we will see a fast turn-around with a Letter Seeking Confirmation from China in less than 30 days from the time our dossier is logged in by the office in China.

We're so excited at the thought that we could possibly have Laila in our arms before the kids school starts this August!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, & Chengbin 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

To the Broken-Hearted Mama on the Other Side of the World

To the broken hearted Mama on the other side of the world, let me say THANK YOU.

THANK YOU for loving him with all your heart.
THANK YOU for giving him kisses and hugs, for taking such amazing care of your only child, for showing him firsthand the love of a mother for the first 2 1/2 years of his life.

You hold so much of his history... You know what that first smile looked like.  The first laugh.  The first time he bravely stood up and put one foot in front of the other to walk.  Did he walk to you China Mama?  Was China Baba standing there watching him too?  You know his name.  You know his birthday.  In some ways I am glad you have those sweet secrets... I hope you are able to look back on them fondly.

Our son has been through a lot.  More than any child should have to.  I know how hard you tried to take care of him.  He was your son, your one and only son wasn't he??  I can't imagine what it was like to walk him into the hospital time and time again and listen to him cry as they tried to find a vein they could get into for a transfusion.  I'm sure all the while you were doing all you could to soothe him, to help him feel better.  And I know that you spent every yuan you had trying to help him for as long as you could...

Even harder still had to be that day.  The day you realized that your love was not going to be enough for him...  My heart is so broken for you.  For what you had to do that day.  For loving your sweet baby boy SO MUCH that you had to say goodbye in that park.  I know you didn't want to, but you knew it was the only way for him to live... 

And I wish you could know that three years and one day later, with our sweet boy in my arms, I took him back to that park in Longcheng Square.  We walked back into it and I wished so desperately that there was some way we could find you.  That you could see that your sacrifice was not in vain.  That you could see that he was still alive.  That you could see that he is beautiful and happy and silly and that he knows how to LOVE.

It's all because of you China Mama...

I pray for you.  I think of you all the time.  Every time I take him for a transfusion, the transfusion that you sacrificed your motherhood for, I pray for you.  I pray that God will give you peace.  I pray that someone will introduce you to him.  To God, the one true God, and his son who came to save us all!!  I pray that he heals your heart.  I pray that he gives you a peace that only he can give to let you know that your baby boy is okay.

We love him with all of our hearts China Mama.  And he loves us.  I know this, most of all, is because of you.  You are the woman who taught him how to love.  And your love is what saved his life.

I promise I will always tell him about you Mama.  His first mama.  His China mama.  The woman who grew him in your belly and loved him with all your heart...  I promise I will always talk to him about you.

And I promise I will take care of him.  I will continue to be the best mama I can possibly be to our son because he deserves nothing less...  I will continue to fight for his health and his happiness fiercely.  He is a beautiful, wonderful, incredibly funny and charming little guy who is loved more than you could even imagine!

My prayers continue for you China Mama.  Today and always...

Happy Mother's Day to you.

All my love,
The Broken-Hearted Mama on this side of the world

Friday, May 9, 2014

Traveling Back in Time: Back to China DAY 10- Part One

Well, its time to continue our story...

It continues at Day 10, our first Sunday with Chengbin.  This was another touring day before Monday's appointments.  We had seen SO many pictures of the Guangzhou Safari Park and we couldn't wait to go ourselves!!  Katelynn & I had been downright giddy about this before we left for China!!!  It was going to be our first chance to see white tigers and Pandas!!

Since Chengbin was starting to do better, we were hopeful that the trip to the Safari would go well...

 We made it through the streets of the city...

Past the smoggy parts...  (Keep in mind, Guangzhou has more than twice the population of NYC even though you'd probably never heard of it...)
We got to a point where I could look to the side and back behind us and actually SEE the smog... Kinda like when you drive toward LA and you can see it in the distance.

 I think this is as we were crossing the Pearl River and there were just expensive high rises everywhere.

 People really do use these rickshaws to get around...

Finally, after a nice long drive we made it to the Safari Park.  It was BUSY!!  Not only is there a safari, but there's also a waterpark and amusement park right there, so its quite the vacation spot when you hit it during the summer like we did.  It was also around 100degrees with 100% humidity.  As we stood in line waiting to go on the actual safari ride, I couldn't even breathe... It was just a level of heat and humidity that we've never, ever experienced.  At that moment both Matt and I wanted nothing more than to go back to the hotel, but we powered through since that wasn't exactly an option.

The actual safari on wheels was our first stop.  After waiting in a very long, very crowded line we hopped onboard and started our adventure!

 Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the lens I bought before we went to China???  How beautiful is she sleeping???

They had so many white tigers!!

The giraffes and zebras were Chengbin's favorite part!!

After the safari we moved on over to check something off on Katie & I's bucket list.  It was time to actually feed a white tiger cub!!!

 Look at my girl!  SO happy to be that close to such a beautiful little tiger!!
Chengbin was extremely curious, but also extremely cautious.  This is as close as he was willing to get!

This safari park was just incredible and filled with lots of amazing things to see and do.  We baked ourselves for a while as we watched the elephant show!


We fed giraffes!!!

As you can see, both Chengbin and Katie were brave enough for this one!! ;)

And finally we saw two animals I just LOVE and haven't seen in person before!!!

 SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!! I could have stood there for hours staring at these beautiful creatures.  They are just so amazing!!!  BUT, Chengbin was back to being an absolute BUTT by this time, so the three of us stood there in amazement and now he tells me everyday that he wants to see a Panda!! 

Ugghhh, you did Buddy, you just weren't YOU yet!! ;)

 They had giant fans to keep the koalas cooled... My other favorite.  They weren't even moving and I just wanted to stand there and stare at them!!

After this there was plenty more animals, but because of the heat everyone in our group was just done.  We passed on the opportunity to feed the elephants some bananas even though Kate & I were still up for it...

We headed home for a shower and some rest, then grabbed some Starbucks to power up for our evening planned with a fellow thalassemia mama who had arrived in Guangzhou to get her daughter!

Thanks for stopping by to reminisce!
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & Chengbin


This week we received pictures of Laila and her special friend Anna enjoying the birthday cake we sent her!!  I've been staring at them all week, but figured it was about time I shared them with all our amazing friends and family! :)

This precious little girl enjoying cake with Laila will be living RIGHT DOWN THE STREET FROM US!!!  Her family is in China right now and will be celebrating "Gotcha Day" on Monday in Nanning.  How amazing that two little girls living in the same orphanage on the other side of the world will be able to be together in the same town here in America????!!!!!

Just look at our sweet girl trying some birthday cake!!!  Let me tell you, thanks to the support of Love Without Boundaries, our sweet girl is looking healthier!!

Isn't she beautiful????  Oh, I have been staring at this picture all week!!!!
Oh how I love Ann from for making her birthday celebration a success!!!
And the other happy news is that we have Supplement 3 approval!!!
We should receive the hard copy in the mail on Tuesday or Wednesday and then we will forward it to friends in DC to act as couriers for us!! :)
Hoping to be DTC by Memorial Day weekend!!
Oh I can't WAIT to get our baby girl home!!!!!!
Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Laila Jean!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Update on the Laila adoption front:

We fingerprinted in Birmingham on Wednesday!!! We expect Supplement 3 approval Monday or Tuesday so we are making some progress!! Wahoo!!!!

If all goes well, we will be dossier to China by May 20th at the latest!!

And if the trend we are seeing on thal expedites continues, we could end up traveling as soon as July!!!  That's only 2 1/2 months away!!!  That's exciting and overwhelming all at the same time!!  That means in only 2 1/2 months we will need to raise her orphanage donation of $5800 and hopefully find grants to cover the additional $5000 we will be short.

SO, I thought I'd see if anyone is interested in our fundraiser that will run the next 1 1/2 months-

This idea is a simple one that anyone can do- designate a jar in your house for your loose change & fill it over the next month and a half to help change Laila's world forever!!  No matter where you live you can participate in this, and for those that live in Oklahoma, we will gratefully pick it up in late June when we come home for a visit and some scheduled photography sessions.

I even have adorable Chinese takeout containers I will mail to anyone who wants to get in the China spirit!!  And don't worry, no food was in them. ;)


Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Laila Jean