Life is good. Life is very good!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The kids are amazing

We have been talking a lot with the kids about China, life in an orphanage and what Sophia has gone through. We know that Sophia is in foster care now, and has been for some time. She has also been called "robust" by her caregivers and they told our friends that she has never really been sick (not even a cold). The other interesting tid bit is that Sophia is VERY STRONG WILLED. As they put it, "what Sophia wants, Sophia gets"! It sounds like she will really fit in to this family!

The kids have tried to come up with an idea to give money to Sophia's orphange for children who have medical issues such as cleft palate, who can really benefit from bottles that help them drink better. Many of these orphanages simply do not have the funding to buy extra supplies that can be really expensive. The kids decided to make card sets and sent an email off to friends and family. They are asking for donations for Sophie's orphanage and will send homeade card sets to all who donate! What a GREAT idea! We are excited to see what comes in and this is a fun way to keep the kids hearts with us as we journey to China.

We sent in for our Visas and they should be here very soon. We hope to get some word about travel approval by the fisrt week of June! Pray for us! We would hop on a plane tonight if we could. It is hard for us to know Sophia is just sitting there waiting for us - but it calms us to know that she is coming home so soon!

Her room is almost ready. We have just a few things to hang up - but we have a twin bed set up beside her crib. We figured that during those late nights, a bed may be a good idea to snuggle with mama, so baba can get some sleep!

Let the countdown begin!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


What an awesome day!!! I kept seeing all of these LOA (letter of acceptance) come in from a waiting child group and did not get a call or email until 3pm from Cindy - she left two messages and then when I called back, Dave (the other American's Adopting Orphans owners) told me that our LOA was in. This is the piece that tells us beyond any shadow of doubt that little Sophia Hui Juan is OURS!!!! We feel so blessed and are excited to make the journey to bring her home! We go into American's Adopting Orphans to sign on the LOA and then it will be off to China!!!!! We then wait for two more items. We need travel approval and once we get that we need to make a consulate appointment. Our hope is to travel at the middle to end of June - Sophia baby.....here we come!!!!!!!!! We are blowing kisses from little Kent, Washington to little Kunming, China!!!! Love mama and baba

Friday, May 04, 2007

What is a cleft lip and cleft palate

Education on Cleft lip and cleft palate
As you are aware, our beautiful daughter, Sophie, was born with a birth defect of a cleft lip and cleft palate. Her cleft lip was repaired in China when she was seven months old. As far as we know, she will has not had her palate repaired. I thought I would post some interesting facts on clefts to help educate our family and friends who are not very familiar with this condition.If you rub your finger above your top lip, you will feel two ridges. Those are in fact the cleft scars of a non cleft-affected person. Those tissues naturally join by the fourth week of pregnancy.The palate is then formed out of the structure that begins as the tongue and palate. Between the fourth and eight week of pregnancy, the tongue drops down and the palate segments then move from the sides and fuse in the center. Run your tongue across your hard palate from side to side and you will feel the seam where the two sides fused.A cleft, therefore, is not something that is formed, so much as it is something that does not form. Everyone began life with a cleft. For 699 out of 700 of us, the cleft fuses before birth. For that one in 700, it fails to fuse.One child in 33 is born with some sort of birth defect. One in 700 is born with a cleft-related birth defect. It occurs most often among Asians, Latinos and Native Americans.The causes could be a gene passed down from the birth father or birth mother or from the lack of folic acid in the birth mother's diet, or from the pollution in the air.A parent with a cleft has a minimum of 5% chance of passing the cleft along.
Some famous people who were born with a cleft:
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Tom Brokaw
Mary Crosby
Stacy Keech
Cheech Marin (from Cheech and Chong)
I've listed two non profit organizations where you can learn more about clefting. With donations, these types of organization can provide the necessary surgeries all across the world: