Sunday, August 27, 2006

A little more about Emma...

We got a translation yesterday of Emma's growth and development records. All very interesting and valuable. She's been in foster care, under the supervision of the orphanage. They say "her routine daily life is very regular" (up at 7:00, breakfast, morning nap, lunch, afternoon nap, dinner, in bed by 8:00). Her "main meal is milk, rice noodle. Supplemental meal is steamed egg, noodle, vegetable and porridge." It also says, "Qi, Jia Yan has a outward personality. She is active and smart. Her mental development is good. She can get on well with others and likes to show off herself. She likes to play outside, when she stays outside, she is so happy and exciting, she can stand up by holding the object. She likes to watch TV, anyway, she is an attractive and lovely little girl." I believe this was all written when she was about 14 months old.

Wikipedia says this about QiChun County, in Hubei province, where Emma is from: "The County has produced hundreds of scholars and doctors and is known as 'The County of Scholars.' Perhaps not surprisingly, the local character is considered 'refined.' Hubei people are known as (and refer to themselves as) '9-headed birds.' This is meant as a compliment: they are both talkative and clever (9 mouths yacking; 9 brains thinking). Hubei people are said to be 'square and sturdy' (that is, healthy, strong, and square-and-sturdy in appearance)."

Sounds like she'll have quite a personality!

Friday, August 25, 2006

More about referral

We weren't expecting to get our referral yesterday. I've been tracking the adoption rumor websites like a bloodhound the last couple of weeks; nobody was expecting anything until the end of next week. Usually there's someone who knows when the referral packets have been mailed (and we knew we were going to be in this batch) and so most people are expecting "the call" on a certain day. So it was a big surprise to get it yesterday (it made it even more fun).

There's a tradition in the Chinese adoption subculture that ladybugs bring good luck, and lots of people claim to see ladybugs right before referrals come out. It's pretty funny to read the ladybug sighting stories around the time referrals are due. So yesterday I was meeting with my boss about 1:00, came back to my office and looked down on my desk, and there's a ladybug! Granted, it was a ladybug not in the pink of health, but a ladybug's a ladybug. I told my co-worker Diane about the myths and how there was now a ladybug on my desk; she said, "Oh someone put it there on purpose." I told her I didn't think so. Then I called Joe to tell him about the bug sighting, and AS we were on the phone, he said, "Oh, we just got a message from our agency. We're supposed to call them." So we got on a conference call with the nice lady from the agency who told us our referral had come in. Yeehaw! So I'm here to tell you those ladybug stories are true!

We've decided to keep Emma's Chinese name (Jia Yan) as a second middle name -- we'll put the names together, which is commonly done. So her name will be Emma Claire Jiayan Haynie. A nice guy from China who works in my building helped us out with the pronunciation (I'd gotten a couple of different pronunciations yesterday but I'm trusting his version). Her name now is Qi Jia Yan (pronounced Chee Jyah-Yan). Qi is her surname (which comes first in Chinese) and all of the girls in Emma's orphanage have that name (it's part of the name of the orphanage, Qichun Welfare Institute). We looked up the Chinese characters for her first names and found that Jia means "beautiful, good, auspicious, delightful" and Yan means "beautiful, handsome, seductive." (Maybe we won't tell her about the seductive part.) So...she's beautiful and beautiful! Works for us. David the Chinese translator said that she very likely goes by the nickname of Jia-Jia right now, which would be common for someone with a first name of Jia. We think Jiayan is a very pretty name and are happy to be able to include it with her other pretty names.

We've included a map of China that highlights the Hubei (hoo-bay) Province, where Emma lives. Hubei is the province where the big Three Gorges Dam is, on the Yangtze River. We'll pick Emma up in Wuhan, the provincial capital city. According to the paper work we received, Emma has been in foster care, which is usually a good thing because the little girls are in a family setting and get more individual attention. Info about the Qichun Welfare Institute says that all the girls in the orphanage are placed with local foster families but visit the orphanage regularly for medical checks and to play with other kids. Our agency director said she is probably now back at the orphanage full-time awaiting her adoption. So she's already had a lot of adjustments to make in her young life. We're eager to pick her up so she can stay put.

We hope to be traveling in a couple of months or so. We'll be traveling with four families from Minnesota (our agency has a branch in Minnesota and four of their families got referrals yesterday, too). We don't have any info about those families yet, but I'm sure we'll be in touch a lot in the next few weeks. Angie, maybe some of them are from your old neck of the woods.

We'll keep you posted on further developments.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Here she is!!

We got our referral today! And here she is, Miss Emma Claire Haynie, currently known as Qi Jia Yan, residing at the Qichun Welfare Institute in Hubei province in central China. She is 16-1/2 months old, born April 12, 2005 (Julia's BD!). She is walking, is described as active, fairly extroverted, fond of imitating, fond of listening to music and playing with toys, and gets along well with others. More to follow, but had to get these pics out. We're thrilled and think she's adorable!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Emma's Future Quarters

So here's a "before" picture of Emma's room. We need to get going with the redecorating, I'm thinking. I'm considering lavender for the walls. Matt and Erin (Joe's brother and wife) are giving us their lovely crib, which their boys have outgrown. Was going to get a changing table, but have heard from two reliable sources that they're a waste of wall space -- floors and beds work just as well. The chair in the photos was handpainted by one of my co-workers.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cute little girls

We went to a picnic over the weekend with some families who have recently brought their daughters home from China. The first photo is of our friend Thea and her daughter Chloe. Thea and her husband adopted Chloe from Anhui province 10 months ago (Chloe is now 20 months old). Thea and her family live in our neighborhood and we see them sometimes at the grocery store, but her husband is being transferred to Tacoma and they'll be moving in a couple of weeks. Drat. I was hoping Chloe and Emma could hang out together. Thea says Chloe is starting to make word-like sounds...and they sound Chinese.

The other pictures are of Chris and his daughter Lily (in one of them Lily is chewing on one of the BBQ ribs Joe brought to the picnic). Chris and his wife returned from China just six weeks ago with Lily, who is 10 months old. I think she was born in Jiangxi province. Lily's folks say she is a great sleeper and an all-around joy.

It's fun to see families with their new children.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quilt Stuff

In the past couple of weeks we've had two friends surprise us with really cute quilts they made for Emma. The first one is from a friend in our old ward, Lorana Dedman. She is the queen of crafts and handmade items and made a pink quilt with little Winnie the Poohs on it (they don't show up so well in the photo). The second quilt is from my friend Larae Thomas (I taught Larae's daughter piano for a few years, then Larae herself, and now we get together for an organ lesson every couple of months.) This quilt is the first one Larae has ever made (hmmm..could've fooled me).

I'm also just about finished collecting fabric squares and wishes for Emma's 100 Good Wishes Quilt. (Click here to learn more about them This has been an extremely fun project. My sister Barbie's friend is going to be the quiltmaker, but it has been a blast collecting all the squares and wishes. Everyone's so creative.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Starting our blog

Okay, so we're starting a Haynie family blog, mostly to keep family and friends (can you hear Joe saying "friends?") apprised of what's going on with Emma's adoption. As you know, we've been awaiting Emma's referral for over a year (the referral will include 2-3 pictures of Emma and will tell us her age, Chinese name, which orphanage she's in, a little medical history, etc.). We hope the time is coming soon when we will receive our referral and will finally be able to see Emma's little face. It's about time.

For a cute picture from the last referral batch (sent out last week) check out and click on the pix to enlarge. These are my favorite pictures from the current crop of referrals.

So we'll keep you posted about what develops.