Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travel Approval!!

I can't wait to kiss this face!!!!

I'm thrilled to announce we got our TA today, which means we're one step closer to travel.  The consulate is closed all this week so we won't be able to apply for our consulate appointment until next week.  What would this process be without more delays??  Still, we're getting closer... we're coming for you, Kavanna!!

Also, congratulations to everyone who received a referral this week!  I'm so happy for all of you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An amazing gift...

I've written before how wonderful it has been to start this journey towards our daughter and find new friends along the way.  One of them is PIPO, who made - yes, made, as in sewed - - this beautiful quilt for Kavanna.  The borders match the nursery colors perfectly.  Gorgeous!

She also sent Ariel a beautiful frame that has the word "Sisters" etched in the glass.

And that's not even all!  Yes,there's more!  She created handmade personalized cards and wrote lovely notes to both Ariel and Kavanna.

David and I were so moved to receive these beautiful gifts.  Thank you, PIPO!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Newborn photo


Thank you for all the support and condolences during this difficult time.  The many  comments and emails have meant so much to David's family.  Jerry's memorial service today celebrated his life and was full of laughter and memories.  

So as we say goodbye to Jerry, who will live on in our thoughts... we welcome a new life into our hearts.  Here's a photo of Kavanna as a newborn - it's her finding ad.  Many thanks to Brian Stuy from Research China who located this ad for us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My father in law, Jerry, lost his battle with Multiple Sclerosis last night... He was diagnosed late in life, at age 60, and quickly lost the use of his legs, so he's been in a nursing home for the last fifteen years. In the last year the disease progressed very aggressively. He lost the use of one arm, then the other... and recently could not swallow. He faced this condition very bravely and with dignity. He moved to hospice care last week and took a sudden turn for the worse.

David took an early flight to Chicago yesterday and was able to be with his dad before the end. Jerry loved Ariel so much... and when he got the photo of Kavanna two weeks ago, he kissed it. We will miss him terribly.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Care package!

Thank you to Ann at Red Thread China for putting together such a great care package for Kavanna!  It includes:
Family photos
A translated letter (David's story for Kavanna)
A blanket
A soft toy (coincidentally, I love elephants, which Ann did not know when she put this together)
Candies for the foster family
Tea for the foster family and the orphanage workers
A big embroidered bag to put all of Kavanna's things in when she is brought to us

We hope to leave six weeks from today (November 1st)!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We had no idea when we started this journey towards Kavanna that we'd discover such a wonderful community of families who are adopting or have adopted from China (and other countries).  We're grateful for the support and friendship of all our new friends, some of whom live nearby and others a world apart.  One special family is Ford and Alyson, who are in China now with their beautiful new daughter Alyzabeth An.    Stop by and share the joy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A surprise gift from China...

"Look!  I'm standing up all by myself!"
How cute is this face?  I have to resist diving onto the computer monitor to give those cheeks a kiss!
Our agency has been in contact with Beijing to make sure this milk is safe!  It's so hard hearing about tainted milk and seeing her drink from her bottle.   Check out her wheels, too!
"I'm a happy girl.  Life is grand!"
"Check out my hair.  I'm stylin', baby.  I'm a Pebbles baby (Flinstones were my favorite cartoon).

Kavanna and her foster mom, to whom we are so grateful!

We're sending two care packages to Kavanna... one through our agency and another through Ann atwww.redthreadchina.com

Today Ann sent me (as a surprise, totally unexpectedly), NEW PHOTOS of Kavanna, all taken in the last couple of months.  I'm so moved and awestruck and grateful that Ann would give us this priceless gift.

She also found out that Kavanna has a best friend and neighbor who is also going to be adopted by an American family... we actually know this family, having met online and discovered that we're with the same agency and the same travel group.  That means that Kavanna and her friend will be able to spend time together in China, which will hopefully help with the transition. 

WOW.  I am moved and amazed by Ann's sweetness and thoughtfulness.

Enjoy the new photos of Miss Kavanna Lin Rocklin.

Monday, September 15, 2008

David's story for Kavanna

One day, before you came to the world, a mommy, a daddy and a daughter (named Ariel) who lived far, far away looked up from what they were doing and asked each other what they were thinking about.

"Someone," said the mommy.

"Me, too," said the daddy.  "What sort of someone were you thinking about?"

"Someone happy," said Ariel.

"And full of fun," said the daddy.

"And oh, so beautiful," said the mommy.

"With a smile brighter than all the stars," said the daddy.

And they realized they had been thinking of the same person!

"But who is she?" said the mommy.

"Where is she?" said the daddy.

"How do we find her in this big world?" they all wondered.

And they thought about it and talked about it and dreamed about it, until one day, they found the answer.

A journey!  An adventure!

         "But wait," said the mommy.  "We could journey across the street or across the world, but how will we know her?"

         "The red thread," said the daddy.  "One end of it is touching her..."

         "So the other must be touching us," said the mother.

         "Find the red thread and there she will be," said the daddy.

         So they looked in the air.

         And in each other's hair.

         They looked here and there.

         They even checked the lair…

                of a cuddly panda bear!

         They looked for days and weeks and months and even years. Then one day there was a knock at the door.  When they opened it, they found a package tied with a bright red thread!

         They opened it and there was a picture of the happiest, most beautiful,  and full-of-fun baby girl they had ever seen.

         "There she is," said the mommy.

         "There she is," said the daddy.

        "There she is," said Ariel.

         She lives in Guangxi.

         Her name is Lin Yingyong.

         And we will call her Kavanna, which means to live with joy... because that is what we all will do."

         And guess what?  That baby... is you!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last week we went to the Getty Museum, one of our favorite things to do on a Sunday.  The building itself is a work of art, and it has some decent Impressionist paintings, but not enough of my favorite, Renoir... It's also a wonderful place to bring a picnic and enjoy the view and the sun.  This Sunday we visited the Getty Villa and felt as if we were stepping back in time as we gazed at mummy portraits and at Greek and Roman statues... I wonder if any present-day sculptors could reproduce such evocative and lifelike images, or if it's an art lost to time?  On the way home we stopped for a late lunch at the place where we were married... all in all, a perfect day.   

We missed Kavanna, who was sleeping through the night as we looked at art... Sweet dreams, Kavanna!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where in the world is Kavanna?

Kavanna is living in the Guangxi province of China, which is in southern China.   It's known as the "green bright pearl" of China because it is so lush and beautiful.   We'll spend a few days in Beijing (to the north) and then meet Kavanna in Nanning.  From there we'll fly to Guangzhou, where Kavanna will officially become a member of the family.  We hope to leave in about seven weeks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Looking at Kavanna makes me smile... and beam... and laugh with delight.  And as Ellen, who's waiting for Flora, reminded me, this photo belongs at the top of every post.

We got our renewed I-171H yesterday.  Hurray!!  One last thing for which I do not have to wait!

A few weeks ago I posted on RQ that after this Long Wait, I wanted immediate gratification from now on, for everything.  I think everyone who survives The Long Wait for China deserves never to have to wait again.   I jest (but only sort of).

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Welcome Song...

We got Kavanna's translated growth report today.  The mystery of the meaning of her name is solved!  
Yingyong means "Welcome Song"...  
That makes me smile.  Then again, since last Tuesday, all I do is smile!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kavanna's cool new stuff

A stroller that gives her a higher view of the world... a very versatile highchair... and one of the world's safest carseats.  We waited three years and one month to go shopping for these particular items... and wow, did it feel good!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The mind of a...OUR...baby...

What is Kavanna thinking?  

1.  How would I go about securing world peace, given that I am an infant and have limited powers to effect change in the international stage?
2.  About Einstein's theory of relativity... Hmmmm....
3.  What's for lunch?  Congee?  
4.  What is that sound?  Oh, it's my tummy.  It's rumbling.   (see #3)
5.  You looking at me?  Huh?  You there.  You looking at me?
6.  And with thanks to Erin, who also just got her referral for her daughter:  My mommy and daddy and my big sister Ariel are coming to get me soon... Yay, they're coming for me soon!!  

Friday, September 05, 2008

We received Kavanna's medical report yesterday and emailed it to an international adoption specialist who proclaimed her to be in excellent health!  We were very impressed that he got back to us in a matter of hours.  
When we read the paperwork we realized her Chinese name is Yingyong, not Ying Yong.  
We signed the Acceptance Letter for the CCAA and sent it via FedEx this morning! 

Head circumference:  50th percentile
Height:  50th percentile
Weight:  90th percentile
90th percentile!   Kavanna is one chubbilicious baby (thank goodness!).  Ooooooh,  I just want to pick her up and kiss those adorable cheeks!  

Thursday, September 04, 2008

About Kavanna's name

CHINESE NAME:  Lin Ying Yong
The "Lin" is her surname.  We're still awaiting her paperwork so we don't know what "Ying" or "Yong" means.
Since she comes from the Yulin SWI, all the children have the last name "Lin".   In China, the surname is placed first, so her first name is "Ying" and her middle name is "Yong".  
Although it is unusual for adoptive parents to make their child's surname the American middle name, we decided that "Kavanna Lin Rocklin" just sounded more right.  Interestingly, the last three letters of our surname are the same as hers.
Hopefully this is making sense.  Today I bolted awake at 4:45am and I'm now so sleep deprived I feel as if I cannot form cogent sentences (hey, I thought this was supposed to happen AFTER she arrived home, not before!).
AMERICAN NAME:  Kavanna (pronounced Kah-VAH-nah) is not an actual name but we thought it was so pretty and meaningful we decided to make it a name.  Kavanna is a Hebrew word that means "intention and focus and joy of life".  To us that sounded very Tao, as well, and so her name represents a bridge to both her cultures.
Kavanna Lin Rocklin... we can't wait to meet you!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More information about Kavanna

According to the report: Kavanna is a deep sleeper (so they say). She likes to roll and tear up paper. She's fond of imitating others. She can eat a biscuit without help.

Clearly, this child is a genius, in addition to elevating bright, happy cuteness to a whole new level. I don't think the term uber-cute even suffices. I need to make up a new word. Kavannalicious? K-Cute (nah, too much like K-Fed). Gotta think on that one... I'm loopy, since insomnia struck again last night. If only I could sleep like Ariel, who sleeps like the teenager she is (the loudest metal band on earth could play in her bedroom and she would not stir) , or like our new daughter Kavanna, the deep sleeper.

I almost still can't believe that I can finally write, "our new daughter".

Wow. I just want to pull her into my arms and kiss those adorable cheeks!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Seriously. How cute is this - OUR - baby??

Here she is!!!

Okay, I'm slightly biased but I think she's unbelievably cute!!  In fact, in the smiling photo she looks a lot like Ariel when she was a baby!  We are completely in love!!!!!!

(click photos to make them larger so you can see more of the chubbilicious cuteness that is Miss Kavanna Lin)

We got the call!!!

Our new daughter is:

Born 10/29/08  (10 months old)
She's been in foster care since a couple of months after she was abandoned.
She's apparently REALLY CUTE!
We're expecting photos later today....

I can't stop crying with happiness.  I'm so thrilled.