Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Pics

More about Karsynn

Karsynn is a very good baby. She slept her first night through with us. She went to bed at 10:00 and woke up at 2:30 for a diaper change and bottle. She went back to sleep and slept until we had to wake her up this morning. She's been going through some grieving today while sleeping, which breaks my heart, but she's been through so much that is to be expected. She's a happy baby. She rarely cries. She loves to play and laugh. She fits our family perfectly. We had our 2nd visit to the Civil Affair office today and she's officially ours in the eyes of the Chinese government. Yeah!!!!!! I was more emotional today than yesterday.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We have updated pictures!!!!

Here are updated pics of Karsynn and C.J. Sorry that C.J. is blurry, but it's the best we have right now. We get the babies in 3 hrs. Be sure to click on the small picture to enlarge the photo. You can see her better that way! She's perfect!!!

More Pics

Sorry for the delay!!!!

Ok, the past few days have been a complete and total blur. We did about a weeks worth of touring in Beijing in a day and a half. YIKES! Beijing is a very interesting and historical city. We just arrived in Chongqing tonight. Currently, Troy and I are unpacking Karsynn's clothes and other things. The strangest thing was to walk into our room and have a crib waiting for us. We have paperwork to do tomorrow morning and we get the babies about 2:00. Here are a few pics to enjoy for now.


Friday, July 27, 2007

We're Here!

Hello all! After a few "bumps" in the road, we finally made it to China. Wow, what a LONG trip it was. By the time we made it to the hotel yesterday, we were all exhausted. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my whole life. We begin touring today. I will post more later. It's 4:00 a.m. here, and I can't sleep. Until next time...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Final Post Before Leaving for China...

I can hardly believe this time has come. We've waited so, so long for this that it doesn't even seem real. This is our last night at home as two. We've had our last full day together in the U.S. as a couple and very soon we'll be a family of three. A moment we've waited for forever. We are feeling so many emotions tonight. Anxious. Frightened. Excited. Nervous. Thrilled. Uncertain. All of the above. Life is about to change for the two of us...for the better. I cannot wait until they place that blessed little child in my arms. As long as Troy and I live we promise to always love and care for her. She has no idea what she means to the two of us. She will make our lives complete.

As this is my final post from the U.S., I, again, want to thank you all for being so supportive during this long process. Please continue to follow our journey in China. I will use this site as much as possible, but if all else fails, then you can also see our journey at www.youbelong.net/thehatfields

We love you all! Until next time...

It's 4:00 A.M. and I can't sleep

It's early Wednesday morning. I just woke up and can't go back to sleep, so I thought I'd at least do a post. In a little more than 24 hours, we will be boarding a plane in Lexington, KY, on our first leg of a very long trip. A trip that we've waited a lifetime for. Simply amazing. Here is a short travel agenda, so that you will know what to expect as we journey to China:

5:25 AM: Leave Lexington for Cleveland and Cleveland to Newark, NJ
12:15 PM Leave Newark, NJ for Beijing (13+ hour flight)
1:45 PM Land in Beijing
  • Visit a Jade factory
  • Visit the Great Wall of China
  • Visit the Forbidden City and Tiannamen Square

Sunday: Fly to Chongqing (Karsynn's Province city)

  • We will be in Chongqing for 9 days: visiting Panda zoo, museums, parks, etc.
  • July 30th, around noon, will be "Gotcha Day," the day we finally meet Karsynn (It will be Sunday night here in the US, but Monday afternoon for us)

Fly to Guangzhou, China:

  • This is where we will complete the last part of the adoption paperwork. The US Consulate Office is located in Guangzhou
  • Consulate Appt., Medical Exam, Take the Oath to promise to always care for Karsynn

Take a train ride to Hong Kong:

  • We will stay overnight at the Hong Kong Citygate Airport Hotel
  • We will board a flight the next day from HK back to the US

We are scheduled to land at Bluegrass Airport around 10:10 PM

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just Two More Days!!!!!

This post is for my friend and travel partner, Nila, who called today and said, "You haven't updated your blog yet!" No, Nila, I haven't, because I just updated it last night around midnight. LOL! She's a hoot!

Today has been another busy one. For one time in my life, all my bills have been mailed VERY early. I mean, the bill recipients will FLIP OUT when mine come in early. I'm usually just right on time, but not this month. I'm EARLY!!! I'm leaving the country, so I have to be EARLY! Yeah!!!

Today's To Do List:
  • Write out checks for the bills and mail them (Done, EARLY!)

  • Write a note to Ray, who is house sitting and dog sitting for us for two weeks. I'm so weird. Like he doesn't know how to care for a dog. I left him an envelope full of notes. My life is so sad.

  • Finish cleaning up the laundry room and Karsynn's playroom. (Done!)

  • Make up envelopes for tips in China and sort money

  • Finish packing or at least arranging it so that we're not over our limit

  • Eat some fresh from the garden (not mine of course) SWEET CORN for lunch (Mother-in-Laws are wonderful sometimes!)

That's it. I think we're done. Hopefully tomorrow can be a day to spend with family and just relax. I'm going to miss them like crazy while we're gone, but it will be over before we know it and we'll be back home so that everyone can enjoy spoiling Karsynn. Again, please pray that God gives my dad and Troy's dad peace of mind and heart while we're gone. I know they're worried, but we will be just fine.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Only 3 Days to go!!!!

Well, the packing has officially begun. YIKES!!!! What a task. So far, we have one LARGE suitcase that contains all of Karsynn's things. It is completely packed!!!!! Troy and I are sharing another large suitcase, but we're over the weight limit, so we'll have to do some shuffling tomorrow. We are also taking one carry on that just bearly makes the limit. China only allows 44 lbs. for checked bags and only 11 lbs. for your carry on, and then you can have one personal items. They're killing me!!! I'm sure when I get home I'll realize that I overpacked, but I just don't want to miss something that I might need. Sounds silly, hunh? I was very proud of myself today. I treated myself to a pedicure today. It was SOOOO relaxing. I told the little Cambodian boy, who was only a sophomore by the way, that I was going to China on Thursday. He said, "I'll massage your legs extra long, then." He's going to make his future wife very happy one day. He was so sweet. He's trying to learn to speak fluent English, so he practiced some with me. He learned "practice, practice, practice" today and he also learned what it means to be "spoiled." So cute! Until next time...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Karsynn's Finding Ad

When a child is abandoned in China, law requires that an ad be placed in the newspaper which sometimes shows a picture of the child and explains when and where they were found. This ad runs for 30 days. There is a guy from Utah who runs a Finding Ad service for adoptive families and he will locate your child's ad and get a copy of the newspaper for you. Here is Karsynn's first picture. I'm assuming she was probably a few days old. Her Chinese name, Nan Min, Bao, is printed in the top corner of the ad, so we know this is her. Also, I can tell by that cute little "m" shaped nose. Enjoy! I'm also posting her other pics too, just because I love seeing that sweet little face. Karsynn is the second baby from the bottom on the left side. Click on the picture and a larger version will come up.

4 days until we leave for China...

Well, I can FINALLY say that "MY CLASSROOM IS READY!!!!" I've worked two straight days on getting things unpacked, hanging posters on the wall, organizing materials, making notes for my sub, arranging desks, and planning instruction, but it's DONE!!! Thank goodness. I probably logged about 20 hrs. these past two days just getting it ready to go. Today, we have a get together with some members of our "adoption family" in Shelbyville. We all wanted to get together one last time before we all travel to China. I'm so excited to see all of them again.

Today's To Do List:
1. Relax and have fun with friends
2. Tackle the laundry room

That's it! I'm giving myself a break today. I can't hardly believe that we're only four days away from leaving for China. As the time draws closer, I know that my dad and Troy's dad, who are staying behind, are getting more anxious and apprehensive about us leaving them. Please pray that God will give them peace of mind and heart during this two week trip, particularly for my dad. I know that this is difficult on him, but I'm so thankful that he has agreed to allow my mom to go. I'm really going to need her there for support. Although I'm not actually giving birth to Karsynn, I still need my mom there to show me how to do certain things and just to have her to lean on during difficult times. Again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to pray for us that our family will come together with ease and that Karsynn will bond quickly without many problems. We love you all!


Friday, July 20, 2007

This one is for Nila!!! 5 days until China!!!!

Well, only 5 more days in the U.S. for us and then we're off to China. I am like a crazy woman right now. I have more going on in my life than one person can handle, besides the adoption, that is. Please say a quick prayer for me that God will work everything else out that is going on right now.

Today's To Do List:
1. Work on my classroom from 9:00 a.m. until ?????
2. Drop prescriptions off at Wal-Mart
3. Do more laundry
4. Work on Karsynn's play room

That's it. I can't do any more. These long days and late nights are killing me. Mommy and Daddy are coming soon, Karsynn. Just a few more days!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

6 days until we leave for China...

Today was an absolute crazy day, for lack of a better word. I shampooed the carpets in the living room and hallway today. That was a task. Then, I gathered all the legal paperwork that we have to take to China. I managed to fit everything into one large plastic envelope, which was amazing. Now all I have to do is check it and double check it before we leave. I hit a little panic mode today when I started looking for the prescriptions our doctor had written for us over 3 weeks ago. I couldn't locate them anywhere. It wouldn't have been so bad except that our doctor went on vacation until July 30 and we leave the 26th...YIKES. After looking all over, calling the Doctor's house and leaving a message, and even calling the pharmacy, I found them in Karsynn's room. Whew! Troy has dealt with the money thing all day, so he is really stressed out tonight. I can't get him to even sit down for a moment and take a break. I did manage to watch Big Bro. 8 tonight after recording it on DVR. That's a great invention. You can just fast forward right through the commercials. That's about it for today. Oh yeah, I did wash Karsynn's clothes and blankets today in Dreft. That's a first for me. They're so tiny that I could hardly fold or iron them. It was fun, though. Until next time...

7 Days until we leave for China...

Today's TO DO list:

1. Do laundry that I didn't get done yesterday
2. Clean up the laundry room
3. Clean up Karsynn's Play Room
4. Shampoo the carpet in the living room and hallway
5. Gather all the paperwork that we need to copy for China
6. Write out all the bills that need paid while we're in China

Yesterday was productive, but today needs to be even more productive. We only have 7 days people, SEVEN DAYS!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let the COUNTDOWN begin!!!!!!!

8 Days until we leave for China...

Today's TO DO list:
1. Clean Living Room
2. Straighten up the playroom
3. Do a few loads of laundry
4. Wash some of Karsynn's clothes
5. Call the Credit Card Company
about being in China

That seems like enough to keep me busy, at least for a few hours.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Just Ten More Days...

It's been awhile since I took the time to truly reflect on where Troy and I are in this long, difficult journey of adoption. So, while I have some peace and quiet for at least a few minutes, I think I will. As I sit here typing, it is so hard to believe that we will leave for China in ten short days. I remember waiting for referrals to come in. Ten days then seemed like a lifetime to wait. Now, with it being so close to time to travel, ten days seems like hardly enough time to pack. How ironic life is! As we have been preparing over the last couple of weeks, I've often found myself wondering what life is like for Karsynn right now in China and praying that we can offer her a wonderful life here in the U.S. We've been anticipating her for so many months now, but the funny thing is she has NO idea that her life is about to change so dramatically. That makes me really sad. She isn't anticipating us. She's probably as content with her life as she can possibly be, because she knows nothing different. As joyful as we will be when they hand her to us for the first time, we have to remember that she will be traumatized for at least awhile. We will be taking her away from everything that she has known for that last 8 months of her life. Although we know we will be taking her away to a much better life, she will view it as the opposite. I know that this isn't anything that a lot of love and patience cannot fix, but it's still sad to think about. She will be experiencing people who look very different, sound different, smell different, act different, and people who want to love and kiss her all over and make everything all better. However, this will be hard for her to understand. I just hope that God blesses Troy and I, and especially our mothers (who are traveling with us), with the patience to understand what Karsynn will be going through. My heart will certainly break in two if she doesn't come to me and begin to bond quickly; however, I know that bonding is something that will have to be worked at. We don't have the luxury of having carried Karsynn for 9 months in the womb, but I have carried her for much longer in my heart, she just doesn't know that yet. I am consumed with love for this child. I have prayed for this child and God has answered my prayers. For so many months we wondered what she would look like and what her personality would be like. Now, in just a very few short days we'll finally know. All of our questions will be answered. I know that many of you have anticipated Karsynn for just as long and are VERY anxious to meet her. I do want to prepare you for how she might react at first and ask that you be patient with her and with us. As new parents, it will only be natural for us to want to calm her when she cries and hold her when she's scared. Please know that if we overreact or seem tense, it has nothing to do with you. In fact, adoption experts have said that it is best if she is securely bonded with us before she begins to interact with others. So, if we whisk her out of your arms when, and if, she begins to cry, then just try to understand. We've missed the first 8 months of Karsynn's life and that's time that we will never be able to get back. The time when natural bonding and attaching that takes place between a baby and its parents has been lost for us, so we'll have to work really hard to catch up. There will be other things that you can do for us during this crucial time, though. Here are some things that other adoptive parents have been offered by friends and family which really made their transition to a new life a whole lot easier:
  • Offer to run errands or run to the grocery
  • Come by with lunch or dinner
  • Offer to wash and dry a load of laundry
  • Take time to call before dropping by, as baby AND parents might be resting
  • Offer to take pictures or video of the new family while visiting
  • Come by to see the baby, but don't EXPECT to get to hold it immediately
  • Offer the new parents and baby plenty of alone time to bond

As a new mommy, it is so difficult to try and explain these things to friends and family. You feel almost like you're being selfish, but I promise you, I'm not. Troy and I have had 24 credit hours of parent education classes before this adoption could take place, and much of what we learned dealt with attachment and bonding. The window of opportunity for bonding for adoptive parents is so small, so every moment is precious. I hope you will understand. We love you all and can't wait to share Karsynn with you.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back to Reality!!!

Enough Said!

Whitney and I at Ocean Walk

A late afternoon storm...

Troy and I at Deck Down Under

Whitney Brooke
We arrived home around 9:00 from Daytona. We had such a relaxing time. I hated to see it end, but it does mean we are that much closer to bringing Karsynn home. I've posted some pics. The bathing beauty is my niece, Whitney. She's 12 going on 16. She keeps reminding me that she'll be driving soon. Yeah right! It about killed me to see all the boys gawking at her in Daytona. I thought I might have to beat a few of them off! LOL! Enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Country Travel Arrangements are Here!!!!

Troy and I just received out travel agenda for China via email. This all seems so surreal to me right now. We've been waiting for so long for Karsynn, and the time is here, yet I'm sitting here in shock. We are going to be very busy while in China. I will post some specifics of our trip later, for the email was about 6 pages long. We will be united with Karsynn on July 30 in the afternoon. The day we've been waiting on is coming at the end of this month. Can you believe it? I cannot imagine what I'm going to do with myself until then, but I'm sure I can find something to keep me busy...LOL. I'll post more later. For now, I'm headed to the pool for some relaxation and sun. Daytona is lovely, but HOT!!!!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Travel Arrangements...FINALLY!!!!!

We have a Consulate Appt. in Guangzhou on Aug. 8th, so that means we will be home on Aug. 10th, not the 11th. We are in contact with Lawrence, the travel agent from Seattle, making plans for travel, as I type. I cannot believe this day has come! My heart is overfilled with joy.

Love and Prayers,

Friday, July 06, 2007

Kailee and Lilianna's Referrals are Here!


Lilianna Saul

Kailee Hartnett

Karsynn and CJ officially have two other playmates. These are our friends' daughters. They just received a referral today. We are so excited to add more members to our adoption family!!!!

Both girls are in the same orphanage in Beihai SWI in Southern China. They are both about 16 mo. old.

The picture at the top is one of our other friends' baby girl. They will travel soon to bring her home. Her name is Lily and she has a beautiful sister from Ukraine named Ella.

Another Baby Shower!

While we were in Missouri, we were surprised with ANOTHER baby shower by Troy's family.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

We got our Travel Acceptance Letter (TA)!!!

Oh my, good news comes again. We've been waiting on our travel letter and they came today!!!!!! AAAHHHHHH! Our travel coordinator has applied for a Consulate Appt. in Guangzhou for either Aug. 8 or 9th, so we will leave on July 26. It looks as if we'll return on Aug. 11th. We are so excited that I can't even tell you. This was a pleasant surprise to come home to today after a 10 hr. drive from visiting Troy's family in Missouri. It looks as if the next few weeks will be very busy!!! Stay tuned!