Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China


This is where our little boy lives right now.

Here's a little background from the site:
This is an excellent site for anyone adopting from Shaanxi Province.

History of Baoji

Baoji, the ancient Chengcang, Situated in West Guanzhong in Shaanxi Province, is one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation. According to historical records as well as archaeological discoveries, about 5,000 years ago, the YanDi tribe labored ,lived and multipliedon this land which is now eulogized as the home of Yan Di. About 5,000 years ago in the remote ages, BaoJi, the home of Yan Di Saw the Jiang Tribe breathed in the Jiang River Valley. And YanDi was the head of the tribe. Even before the Tang Dynasty, here existed grand-scale Shen Nong Temples and Yan Di Ancestral Halls which could still be traced today. On July 7 every lunar year,a Sacred memorial ceremony would be held here with crescendos of music burning incense and people in an endless stream coming here to Pay homage to Yan Di This Kingof ceremony has lasted from the immemorial past up till now. Yan Di mausoleum consists of three sections, the front mausoleum the part for People to hold ceremonies and the cemetery They are imposing, sacred solemn and quiet It is a holy Place for the descedants of the Chinese people to Pay homage to their ancestor.

Cares and cars

Just an addition on Kevin's post below. What made this video touch us so much was the emotion of the parents who gave up their children. Because we watched this around Jake's 20-month birthday, we couldn't help but wonder about what his birth parents think every time it rolls around to the 26th of the month.
At the same time we were remembering our son's 20-month mark and wishing he was in our arms, were they?
Sometimes this world is so heartbreaking. On one hand you want them to miss him, and on the other hand you hope they can move on.

On a lighter note, we changed the ticker for Jake. His recent update says his favorite toy is the toy car, so we made a ticker to reflect that and the countryside where he will live when he comes home (except ours has a lot more weeds. LOL)


Friday, June 27, 2008


We watched the DVD of "Long Wait for Home" recently and it got me to wondering again a lot of things about Jacob and what happened to him after he was born.

For those of you who might not know about the DVD, we bought it from It's by Dr. Changfu Chang and it considers such questions as (reprinting what is on the back cover): "Who are the birth parents and under what circumstances do they decide to give away their beautiful babies? How do children end up in orphanages and what kinds of lives do they live there? Moreover, with so many 'foreigners' going to China to pick up these Chinese babies, what do the average Chinese people feel and think about Americans and international adoption?"

I don't want to give away too much, in case you might want to see it yourselves.

In the video, Dr. Chang actually interviewed a pair of couples who gave up children for adoption. That was pretty eye-opening to me. That's a perspective I haven't heard before. Their reasons were the same we've all heard — couldn't afford the child, couldn't have a second child — but it was heart-wrenching to hear how they spoke of the kids they had to give up. Even now, years later, they still get so emotional and tear up when talking about them. They hope the girls are prospering in America with loving families. One family left a note with the child saying they would go to a certain bridge on a certain date each year, hoping they could meet up again. They still go there, even though their daughter now lives in the U.S.

The footage from the orphanage was about what I expected it to be. Same with the reactions from the average Chinese about international adoption, I think. Most were favorable, saying they hoped the "foreigners" took care of the children and loved them. Then, there was the guy who said he thought people were adopting the children to be used for medical experiments. Hmmmm. The cynic in me wonders if what the people were saying is what they really thought and were they just saying what they thought Dr. Chang wanted to hear.

All of this got me to wondering, though, what Jacob's birth parents thought when he was born. Why did they give him up? Was it because they were poor? Was his birth mother a single mom? Were they disappointed he had a cleft lip and palate? Were they horrified he had a special need?

I may never know — more than likely it's a guarantee I won't know — any of those answers. But, I do know this. Whoever his birth parents are, they loved him enough that they left him where he could be found and taken somewhere so he could be cared for and treated. For that, I am going to be forever thankful.

I also don't think it was all by chance. I think there has been a guiding hand every step of the way bringing him and us together.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

20 months old!

Happy 20 month birthday today to Jacob.

He's only been in our lives and our hearts for just over 2 months, but he's already won us over completely — and we haven't even met him yet! All we have are a few photos and a few pages of information.

Hopefully, that will change soon. We're really hoping to have him home by his 2nd birthday (Oct. 26). Not a moment goes by that we don't think of him. Of course, we have his photo on our computer desktops at work (and at home) so he's always there looking at us.

Happy birthday son! We love you.

Mom and Dad

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

OMG! Getting closer

We received word today from our agency that our dossier has been approved by CCAA and "CCAA will be sending you a LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation - also known as an LOA, or Letter of Acceptance) soon."

What does soon mean? How soon is soon? As with just about everything else on this wild, wacky journey there is no concrete answer. But, OMG, it's getting closer. After LSC (or LOA) comes TA, or Travel Approval. Then comes travel and Jacob!!

Can you say nervous? Can you say excited?


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Do you need to say more?

No man is so tall as when he stoops to help a child.
- Abraham Lincoln

My favorite president.

Monday, June 9, 2008


We had contracted with a woman in China to call Jacob's orphanage and try to get an update and new photos.
Sunday morning, as we were getting ready for church, I decided to check our e-mail and what was there — our update!!
Jacob seems to be progressing well. He's 29.8 inches tall and weighs 24.2 pounds. He's still a little on the short side, but he is up on the growth curve now, as opposed to slightly below it.

He has 6 teeth and the orphanage said they are teaching him to speak. He can say mama and baba.

He's walking on his own and he can run (they say 2-3 meters) and he can climb and go down stairs. They say he is "active, outgoing and full of energy" and likes outdoor activities. His favorite toy is toy cars.

We also received 2 new photos!!. He's so cute. (Sorry we haven't posted any photos, but our agency requested we not post any photos until we are LOA, and we are going to honor that request. Hopefully, we will get our LOA soon!!).

It was great to get an update. Getting with this woman who does the orphanage calls was the best thing we did and the best money we spent. There apparently had been some e-mail issues we found out, because she originally had sent the information on May 27, but we never received it. After wondering why we hadn't heard anything, we e-mailed her business partner in the U.S. and asked. (There is no guarantee the orphanage would give her any information when she calls, so we figured that is what happened.). After we found out we didn't get the info, we asked if she could e-mail the info to her partner here and have her forward it to us. That's what happened and there it was!

It's kind of funny. Our agency can't contact the orphanage directly. It's against the rules. But we can basically hire someone to call on our behalf and the orphanage officials will tell them everything. This sure is a wild ride.