Monday, February 26, 2007

Princess Francesca!

Introducing....Princess Francesca!

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

Francesca just loves being introduced as "Princess Francesca"! Keith started this whole thing about a month ago when he found this 4 foot, tinsel Christmas tree still laying around my Mom's house and starting using it like a bull-horn. Now, every time we are there...she has to be announced. We all clap, whistle & hoot when she comes running in. Than she gives us all a wave and is too cute for words! The one above was taken this evening while at my Mom's with her Aunt Lisa doing the introducing (and little Scotty having a blast as well)!

Here is a video taken about a week ago at our house with Daddy doing the introducing!

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos


YES! We got our approval today! Francesca and I are jumping up & down...over joyed with excitement and happiness! I never thought this day would come....

Friday, February 23, 2007

Going on week #8...

Next week will be #8 for us since our home study was received at the USCIS office in Philadelphia & still no approval yet! I am going crazy here! (this wait is crazy...last time it took us only 4 weeks from home study sent until approval received for Francesca's adoption and that's including Christmas & New Year's holidays) I am planning on contacting our social worker next week to get the amendment made to our home study regarding Keith's educational status. I guess the reason why I haven't contacted them this past week was because I just knew there was no reason to have to rush things along...I have a strong feeling it is going to be another 2 weeks before we get that approval...OMG! Did I just say that out loud!?!?!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl!

The other night, Keith was playing around with Francesca's hair (she loves when he styles it). When he was finished, she was too adorable for words! Here are some photos that Keith had taken for you to enjoy. Isn't she beautiful (that's really not a question...I know she is)!!!

I love my hair Daddy!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Almost done with the photos, Daddy?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

(not paying attention to Daddy anymore...) I want to watch my show!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Now I got some wonderful news and not so wonderful news...the not so wonderful news first, we still haven't received our 171H/797C approval (it is now on week 7 since they received our home study) onto the wonderful news, Keith received his HS diploma yesterday! After completing some classes, passing a couple of tests and writing a few essays, it arrived yesterday! I am so proud of him! (now we need to get our butt in gear & update our home study)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gung-Hey-Fat-Choy! Happy New Year!

This weekend was a very important weekend for my daughter & our family. We had two wonderful family gatherings in honor of the Chinese New Year! Saturday's celebration was at our favorite restaurant, Twigs, and Sunday's celebration was at my Mom's house (in which she made a fantastic meal).

Our Beautiful Daughter!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Daddy and his little girl!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

(we are trying to get Francesca to smile...)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Aunt Lisa & Little Scotty
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

How Do I Look?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Francesca in her New Chinese Outfit!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

How many Red Envelopes do I have?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just had to add this one...Check out my nephew's little face! He sure loved his macaroni & gravy!
You're too cute Scotty!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We had such a wonderful time this past weekend celebrating with our daughter the start of a new Chinese year! Like I mention in the beginning of this post, we had a great lunch at our favorite restaurant, Twigs, yesterday with our very supportive family...Grandma, Auntie, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Scott and Scotty Jr. (G.G wasn't feeling well so she wasn't able to make it...)

Today's celebration was again another wonderful day with some amazing food! Grandma had a special meal made just for Francesca(thank you ma!)...home-made macaroni with gravy (that's what we call red sauce) and "to-die-for" chocolate cake with butter cream icing! Her house was decorated with so many Chinese decorations and everything was in the color red. Francesca even received a few red envelopes from other family members that came to join in on the celebration.

Francesca wore two different for each day. The first one that is shown in the photos above was purchased at Kmart (can you believe it) and the second outfit was purchased at Walmart when we were in Nanchang back in November 2005!

This weekend was truly a weekend that we will never forget! I can't thank my family & friends for being so supportive, caring and loving! You guys are the best!

PS...we finally received our mail yesterday & yes...there was no 171H/797C approval included...UGH

Friday, February 16, 2007

Where is our mail?

My poor Land Rover...check out all the snow we got...maybe that's why we haven't gotten any mail? That LR3 is amazing in the snow. It can go anywhere! I just love it!!!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Snow! Snow! and more Snow! (view from our front porch)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

(Sorry Francesca isn't in any of the photos. It is way too cold out there and she has some very dry skin and her poor lips are all poor baby.)

For the past two days, we have not received any mail & I am getting a little worried! If we weren't waiting on our 171H/797C approval, I wouldn't care if we ever got mail again...especially any bills...but since we are waiting on one very important letter...I had to call the USPS this morning and find out whats going on.

Well...because of the major snow storm, no mail was delivered the past two days, but they are out today & according to Jim at USPS office, it is going to take a little longer than usual to get our mail because each carrier's load is double and they have to watch with the snow that is still out there! I just hope we get ours soon. This wait is driving me crazy!

(and no mail on Monday...another holiday ugh....)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cabin Fever!

Well...we got slammed yesterday with the Valentine's Day Snow Storm! We got over 2 feet of snow! Francesca and I have been enjoying the indoors these past two days, seeing how the snow would be up to her shoulders. This morning she wanted to get dressed up for Halloween (funny since the day of Halloween she wanted nothing to do with getting dressed up), so she put on her pumpkin shirt, her JoJo hat and Wiggles slippers! She is too freak'n cute...I can't stand it!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting some of the photos Francesca is more interested in watching the of her favorite shows....Mickey Mouse ClubHouse on Disney!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Francesca is my funny Petunia-Belle!

Our little "just between you & me" fun!
Check out those lips! That's my Petunia-Belle!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Recently, Francesca has been mimicking me on everything I do (so now I really have to watch myself), but we started this thing that when I am helping her with getting out of the car seat...I make a funny face...and now she gives it right back to me! It is so cute that if we both weren't laughing so hard...I would be crying tears of joy (I have always dreamed of sharing moments like this with my daughter and now my dreams are coming true). It has become part of a routine for us...every time I am getting her out of the car seat...we do it...and it always cracks me up as well as her. We now make about 3 or 4 different funny faces and it could take up to 5 minutes of me standing out in minus degree weather, but it is so well worth it! Just to hear her laugh & see her everything!

Received a response back from USCIS!

Just wanted you to know that the USCIS has replied to my email that I sent last week regarding my 171H/797C approval! I must admit...I never expected them to respond. They mention that they have received my home study as of January 4th 2007 and it is taking 6 - 8 weeks to process clearances. I know the process is longer than I was hoping for, but I now know for sure that they did receive our home study and that it should be process least I hope?

Note to my darling Janie...

I know it seems like forever since I last "spoken" to you, but as you will soon in your future home is always nutty!!! There has been so much going on, especially with all the drama from the USCIS wait on approval, but I have been combating it by shopping & spending Daddy's money (which is always a good thing)! There other day I was able to purchase some great stuff for you & Francesca at the Disney Store...even got a few Mulan items and I also did some shopping at Penney's while I was at the mall (they too had some adorable stuff). Since your sister was much bigger than your Daddy and I both expected...and we only had 6-9 month size clothing...when we actually needed 12 month size clothing...I have been purchasing a ton of 9-12 month size clothing. My thought is that sooner or'll fit into them!

Well, that's about it my darling little one! The wait time is getting so feels like forever since we will be able to finally meet, but that day is forever holding a place in my heart and it is a day I am so looking froward to.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Daddy is on a mission!

As you may of heard, the CCAA (China Council of Adoption Affairs) are going to change the regulations for parents submitting their dossier for adoptions as of May 1, 2007 and because of these changes, Keith & I will no longer be eligible to adopt. With all the new regulations, there is only one that would affect us. That one is both parents need at least an HS educational degree. While I did graduate HS and college, Keith's story is so different. It was because of total hardship at a young age, that Keith had to leave his former education and help support his family. He has been blessed with a skill that has supported his family & himself for over the past 25 years...and we are so very grateful of that skill...but after much time & consideration, Keith has decided to go back to school & get his HS diploma. We are all very excited about this & according to him, it is something he has always wanted to do. I know part of it is because of the new regulations going into affect by the CCAA, but I also know it is something that he has wanted to do for some time now. I did contact CCAI and they told me that this would be a big help in our 2nd adoption quest. After doing some research, we found a great institution via the Internet and Keith has filled out the the necessary paper work and application this weekend. Now it is a matter of hearing back from them to see if Keith has been accepted and how fast it can be for him to get his diploma.

When talking to CCAI (and knowing that we already have our home study notarized, certified & authenticated) I was a little concerned about having to do that process all over again, but CCAI told me that all we would need is an amendment added to our home study, have that amendment notarized by the same person who notarized the first one, and include it in our dossier. I was totally relieved and ecstatic over the fact that now we don't have to worried about getting our paper work logged in by May 1st and that it is so easy to do. We are still really trying for a DTC in March or April, but because of the USCIS approval taking so long (we are hearing it can take up to 2 months) just never know.

I am so very proud of my husband! He has worked extremely hard his whole life and has provided for us beyond our means because of his skill, determination, and passion. I love him so very much and I am so very proud of him!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Girls' First Over Night Trip!

After returning home from two days of fun with Aunt Lisa, Uncle Scott and little Scotty, we are just trying to get back into the groove of things. Nothing much to report here but I am postings some photos of our time away! We are calling it "girls first over night trip"! It was the first time Francesca and I stayed in a hotel room all by ourselves! It was so much fun!

Francesca & little Scotty...trying to sit long enough for me to take there photo!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Our Little Safe Crackers..I hope this isn't what lies ahead for them in their future?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My little angel all ready for bed.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I had enough of you, Aunt Shell, always trying to take my picture!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
My darling little nephew, Scotty Jr.

Oh my darling Janie, I can't wait until you are home and you, me, and Francesca can be enjoying all these little pleasures that life has to offer. I thought about you so much while we were away and Francesca & I talked about you constantly. Our time is coming, I can feel it almost every second of the day that you'll soon be here with us right where you belong.....

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Contacted USCIS & Some Interesting Chinese New Year Beliefs!

It has been a few days since I posted anything to this I guess I am making up for it today posting more than one entry! I do have some news regarding our USCIS approval. I have been trying to call USCIS office in Philadelphia all afternoon with no getting through. I found another number to call & when I did...a woman answered! Now before you go & get excited over this...I called the Newark office in New Jersey & she wasn't able to help me, but did give me another number to call...which again, no one ever answered. So I finally decided to email them. I did receive a reply back that they have received my email, but it is not guaranteed that they will contact me back. It is a good thing I am going away tomorrow until Friday to Mt. Laurel New Jersey & meeting up with my sister Lisa and her family or I would be going crazy checking my emails constantly! According to USCIS, it could take up to 3 days to hear a response...if you do....

On a more joyous note...Kuo Cheng, a man that my mom works with, is Chinese and has taken such an interest in Francesca. Kuo is always willing to help us & is so very helpful when it comes to Chinese holidays/celebrations. Today, he gave Francesca a Red Envelope in honor of this Chinese New Year that is approaching & also gave us some wonderful information on what to do before & during the Chinese New Year's celebration & what not to here it goes...

*Make sure on the eve of the Chinese New Year that you have a family dinner (it doesn't have to be is only important that your whole family is there).

*Make sure you wear something new...brand new article of clothing...on the first day of the New Year's celebrations. It is so the evil spirits can not recognize you.

*Don't take out any trash on New Year's Day (it is believed that it symbolizes you are giving away all that you have).

*Can't buy anything on New Year's Day (belief is that you'll loose all your money).


*You can't take a bath! (the belief is that you'll wash away all your good health).

I do find these customs so interesting & it really helps us in keeping Francesca's Chinese culture alive and active within our own family. Kuo also told me that he & his family (his wife is American) practices these beliefs above every Chinese New Year.

Still no 171H/797C & I am going crazy!

As of today, we still have not received our 171H/797C approval yet, but I am hearing from other adopting families...who also are on the same time line as we are & dealing with the Philadelphia USCIS office...that they too are waiting on their approvals. Yes...I am still worrying about when I am going to get it, but I know it is out of my hands. I am going to try & call their office (after hearing others have) and see if I can get...any information!

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of our time at the Winkler's resident during this past Christmas season! Francesca & Katie had such a great time...and so did the parents (considering we sat around in our pj's most of the time talking non-stop!) We all can't wait to do it again...really soon!

Happy New Year 2007...Check out those glasses!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Together...FOREVER FRIENDS! They are too cute for words....
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Our First Snow Fall of 2007!

Here are a few photos to enjoy of Francesca playing in the snow! She loves being outside, but our time was limited today because it was so cold out there (and she was too interested in how her uggs looked in the snow)!

Having Some Fun!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I can't feel my cheeks!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mommy and Francesca (and Francesca is more interested in checking out her & Mommy's uggs)!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, February 2, 2007


On a happier note, I was just reading Francesca's travel journal from back in November 2005. Wow, what a change she has made! In case you want to view it again, just click on the link below.

Francesca's Travel Journal from November 5th - the 18th 2005!

Enjoy! I know I have...reading it again after all this time & crying my eyes out...all over again.

I needed something to make my day brighter & since Francesca is still napping...this is the best next thing!

Getting worried....

OK...I am really starting to worry here! The mail arrived nine o'clock this morning and no 171H/797C approval. It has now been over 1 month(one month & five days to be exact according to what CSS told me) since CSS said that they sent it in! I am getting very worried here that it wasn't sent to the correct office. I wish I could find out if they have received our completed home study. I am a nervous wreck here! If we don't receive it within the next week...I am going to start making some phone calls. I know there have been two federal holidays since being sent...New Year's and M.L. King Day, but would those two days of closing actually cause a delay?