Thursday, March 29, 2007

Did you put your order in?

Let me start off by saying, I hope this post doesn't offend anyone and if it does, I am sorry.

With that said, I have to tell you what happen tonight. Francesca and I went to do a little celebrating at my mom's, on our dossier finally arriving at CCAI. My grandmother is a woman of very few words anymore, but when she does say something, it is usually way out there (gotta give her a break, she is almost 88). Anyway, we were all talking about how long the paper chase had taken us this time around and how good it feels to finally have it at CCAI. With everyone so excited and passing out hugs & kisses, my grandmother just looks at me and asks, "Did you put your order in for the next one?". I just had this blank look on my face (and thinking I can't believe she just said that) when my sister spoke up & said, "Yes, Gram, she is number 5,672!" After that, we all starting laughing! Now please keep in mind, this is the same woman that was so overly excited when we told her that we are adopting and her great-granddaughter will be coming home from China and her only question was, "Who is she going to look or Keith?" What are we going to do with you, Gram!

Thanks for the laugh tonight, Gram...we love you so very much!

Our Dossier arrived at our agency today!

Maybe this is the FedEx truck that delivered our dossier today to CCAI...
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We here at the Leonard household is doing the happy dance this afternoon! We just received confirmation from our agency, CCAI, that our dossier has been received at their office today! YEAH! Now, our dossier goes into a check-in than through a review and translation. After the translation, it is than binded and mailed to the CCAA. The whole thing should take about 15 business days!

Oh Happy Days!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Love you!

As I am sitting here typing this, with tears rolling down my face, my daughter just replied to me, "Love You" after tucking her in for her nap. As always, we read a book, listen to her Christmas tree music box and get into bed with hugs, kisses, and "I love you" to follow. But today, after I said "I love you", she looked at me & said "love you" back! I just wanted to melt right there and climb into the bed with her & hold her so tight! *and that would be kind of hard seeing how she is still sleeping in her crib*

Francesca has really been coming along in her speech. She will talk nonstop at home; repeat everything I say; and sings in the car to the music...but when we are out, her mouth is shut like a steel trap. She is still a little hard to understand, but I know what she is saying. She has known her numbers 1 - 10, and has worked puzzles since she was 14 months and is starting to know her letters as well as her colors. She has been coloring and painting since about 12 months and to her...her crayons and coloring sticker books are her favorite. She sure has come a long way!

A Beautiful Day!

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It was such a beautiful day outside that Francesca and I just had to get out there and enjoy it! Keith and I are really hoping to get a swing/slide set this coming weekend for Francesca to play with. I have been checking them out, but they are either way out of our budget or they just don't look all that exciting! I know that what ever we decide to get, she'll love it (that is just the kind of kid she is!).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our Dossier is on its way to CCAI !!!!!!!!!!

YES! Our dossier for Janie is finally on its way to CCAI (our agency in Colorado) and once it is reviewed and to China it goes to be logged in with the CCAA! Amy called me this morning with some wonderful news that they have finally received their final paper work & they are all ready to go. Even though I reviewed our dossier about a 1,000 times, I just had to do it again...just to make sure everything was there and than I packed it up in our FedEx envelope and Grandma placed it in the drop off box around 4:15pm today. I was taking photos of the packaging after Francesca and I had lunch this afternoon and she wanted to get in on the action. Below are some photos of her holding the heavy envelope. She is too cute for words!

Thanks Grandma for dropping off our FedEx package...We all love you!

Now check out the photos!

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Coming soon...our DTC and LID!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I am giving myself a B+

I have to say that I really enjoyed watching my little nephew Scotty on Monday. Both he and Francesca were such a blast! I was a little worried that things would get crazy & believe the end of the day they did, but for the most was so great! I will have to give myself a B+ (the day went so well...better than I ever expected). It was such a good experience for me and for Francesca.

Waiting on their waffles while watching Mickey Mouse ClubHouse!
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Now, check out the video! I really enjoyed my time today!!! You can see how I rate when Mickey Mouse ClubHouse is on. I can watch this video over & over again and laugh my butt off every time!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Good News & Bad News!

1st: The Bad new notebook from Dell, that I just purchased, got a virus...UGH! I currently have our local Geek Squad getting it fixed for me (for I don't have the patience to do it myself or the knowledge), but it is costing us big bucks! According to Matt, I should have it back by tomorrow night. I can't wait!

Now to the Good News!...we received our final documents back from our courier service this afternoon that were authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in NYC the other day. I made all my copies and we are ready to go. Amy & Owen got there 171H back this past Saturday & are currently in route of getting authentication. Once they have theirs back, we'll set up a day to send it onto CCAI. I can't believe we are finally at this point!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Almost Completed Dossier for Janie!

Check out this paper trail!

Family Reunion! it really wasn't an official family reunion, but it has been such a long time since our family from Atlantic City has gotten a chance to come up & visit. Francesca had such a good time with Angelina & Scotty (both born in November 2005). She was a little mother hen...keeping them in line & showing them what to do. I was so proud of her. I just know she is going to be such a wonderful big sister!

You guys need to stay here until the photo is done...and smile! (look at the choke hold Francesca has on the two younger kids)
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Francesca & Angelina!
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More kisses!
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Enjoying some cookies!
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All that fun just wore us out! (and check out who has the kids!)
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I wish I could post all the photos from this past weekend, but today I am watching my little nephew, Scotty along with Francesca! I guess you can say it is good practice for me...and for the future! You can be sure I'll have photos for tomorrow's post of todays events!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Listen to this laugh!

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Check out this video of Francesca's laugh! It just melts my heart! It all started when she was playing with her Barn Yard LeapFrog and the song "Skip To My Lou" came on. All I had to do was say the word "skip" & jump and she would start laughing...too cute!

Possible return on the 20th?

Last night, I noticed that we received an email from the courier service we are using for the authentication of our final two documents at NYC's Chinese Consulate. They stated that our documents have been received & are currently being processed by the Chinese Consulate...and will be ready by March 20th. OK, so it is taking longer than I expected (I thought for sure we would have them back by the 20th). I also need to contact our social worker to see how our update is coming along that we need to attach to our home study. I sent all the information to them about 2 weeks ago & I haven't heard anything. I need to do some follow-up today. I'll keep you all posted!

Other than those last few needed documents, (and once received I'll need to make copies for our agency & our own files) we have everything else in order for our dossier. I know that the Weaver/Winkler family are still waiting on their 171H & poor Amy is getting a little anxious over the fact that it is taking so long, but we are sticking together on this with them! They have been so instrumental to our family....that I can't imagine going through this without them. We love you guys & miss you guys so much!

Message to Janie: Rumor has it...and there are many floating around...that it can be over two years before we can hear anything from the CCAA. I am still keeping faith that it will be sometime next autumn (thinking August/September) that we'll receive our referral with travel in October/November, if it stays at the 16 month time line from LID to referral. I can't believe how long the rumor mill is stating! In a way, it is a good thing the wait is so long. Your Daddy & I have a lot of work to do before your arrival (your Daddy still hasn't finished the bathroom he started when we received your sister's referral back in 9/05). Anyway...I just want you to know that there isn't a day that goes by that I am not thinking about you and that your Daddy and I aren't talking about you. We love very much!

*At 6:45pm, 3/16/07...According to CCAI, they received the update for our home study about a week ago from our social worker. Kim at CCAI is sending me a copy of it for our records and once all our other documents are sent in, it will be added. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear this piece of information (seeing how at one point I didn't think an update was even completed...long story short...I was going crazy today trying to track it down).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another year older... is my actual Birthday & I wasn't planning on posting anything, but I just received the most beautiful cake and teddy bear with goodies from Francesca & Daddy! It just makes turning 35 that much easier! I love you two so much! Francesca is taking her nap now, but I am sure once she gets up, she'll want to play with the teddy bear & the balloon.

Just delivered!
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Now that's my kind of cake!
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I also want to send a huge THANK YOU out to everyone who has remembered me on my birthday this year. I got some beautiful cards, phone calls and emails...and I truly love you all. Again, thank you!

Monday, March 12, 2007

We had a great weekend!

This past weekend was so much fun! First, we went out to dinner Saturday night for a St. Pat's party at a local restaurant (that is really three blocks from our house) and on Sunday, my family had a birthday party for me. The kids had more fun than anyone! Just wait until you check out these photos!

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Check out my shamrocks!
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Why did they have to go & put these silly things on my head?
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My birthday party!

My Birthday CupCakes! Made with love by my Mom & sister, Lisa
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Making my wish...with help from Francesca & little Scotty!
We did blow out all the candles in one shot! (and you should know what I wished for...)
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Hanging with my Daddy!
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We sure had a great weekend...even though we had to turn the clocks ahead & lost that hour....but it was so nice to see it still light outside at 7 PM!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Two Events Happen Today!

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In about 10 weeks, Francesca will have one that looks like this!

1st: Keith & I took Francesca to the post office today to get her passport & extra photos for the visa...for when we travel to China for Janie! I tried about a month ago to get her passport, but I was told that BOTH parents need to be present when applying for a minor' I had to wait until Keith was here on a Friday (which was today) to do it. It's a little scary thinking that all of our original paper work from Francesca's adoption...her birth certificate, our adoption agreement & her Chinese passport...are now in the hands of our federal government. Anyway, Francesca got her passport photos taken and we got her passport application filled out, so now everything is on its way to the US Department of State. I am just happy that it is all over & done with...and I have another item checked off my list of what we need to do for Janie's adoption.

2nd: FedEx just dropped off our last remaining two documents that were certified through the state on Thursday! On Monday, we'll FedEx them to the next courier service that will take them to the NYC Chinese Consulate! I can't believe we are almost there.....!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Having Tea with G.G. and Grandma...

Having Tea with G.G. and Grandma! Francesca just loves to play with her tea set & G.G. sure loves it when Francesca makes her some. My grandmother is going to be 88 this year and although I have noticed a change in her health since we have come home with Francesca, she is so excited about our second adoption and wants to be here to see us when we bring Janie home! I had many wonderful times with my grandmother...and I can only hope that my daughters will be able to experience those same kind of memories....

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Got our final documents notarized today!

YES! We finally got our last two documents notarized this morning at the bank & drove directly to the FedEx drop off box and sent them on their way to the courier service for the certification through the Department of State in Pennsylvania. I am thinking it should be at least a week before we get them back. Again, another count down begins....

Friday, March 2, 2007

Francesca spoke her first sentence today!

"Ma, Down!"

When Francesca and I arrived at her school this morning, she wanted to press the door let them know we were outside waiting to be let in. As for me, I was looking through the window and talking to Francesca, explaining that Miss Nancy (her teacher) wasn't coming to the door yet. She wanted me to pick her up so she can look into the window as well and after a few seconds, look at me and said, "Ma, Down!" I placed her down without really even noticing what just happened & she rang the door bell again. Once Miss Nancy opened the door, I realized that Francesca just made her first sentence! (OK...I know it is only two words put together, but it did may sense & she got her point across very clearly). Francesca has been speaking simple one word phrases for some time now, but in the past two weeks, her speech has really taken off! I was so proud of her today that I couldn't stop hugging her & telling her how much I love her!