Sunday, October 31, 2010

Piano Lessons and Another Care Package

Mia is taking piano lessons through our Fine Arts Academy through our Church Pomona First Baptist. It is an amazing program that runs 8 week sessions (1.5 hours each session-- first half music theory and second half lesson) 3 times a year in a group setting but the best part is this program is offered for FREE!!!!! It has a huge community draw and we have well into 150 students attending. It is a phenomenal program that our whole family is enjoying. Kevin and Ethan are taking guitar, Owen is taking Bass Guitar and Mia and I are doing piano. Last week I snapped some pictures of Mia practicing. She is by far the youngest student in the program and our director was totally fine with her participating as long as I was with her the whole time. We play outside for the music theory part but she just loves the hands on lesson. She is really good and totally has her fingering down and is able to play easy little songs.

She is really good!!! The focus and concentration is amazing for a little one.

Practicing Mary Had a Little Lamb

I'm so thankful we have such a wonderful program through our church!!!

As many of you have read, we received our LOA for Finley last week. We got our I800 sent off and it officially arrived at the lock box in Texas last Thursday. We also got our visa applications given to our amazing China coordinator Sabrina as well as some other papers. We decided to send another care package to Finley and Sabrina took care of the shipping and translation.

Here is what we sent:

I know it is cheesy, but this is a little bag I found in Mia's room made of plastic so I taped pictures of our family and Finley to the bag with just clear tape. Totally done cheap but cute and I think she will like having her own little bag (even if it is covered in taped on pictures).

I also sent a dress and leggings, a bunch of hair clips, a soft book she can carry around and do activities in and another adoption book. This will probably be the last care package we can send before we get her so I wanted to give her some things she will really like. I hope she does.
So we are about 2 to 2.5 months from getting our girl. I just want to leave now!!!!!! We love her so much it hurts!!!

Have a great week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOA Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK-- what does that mean for all you non Chinese adoption people???? Well, the LOA or "Letter of Approval" is the letter China sends when they have officially reviewed your file and found you fit to adopt the child you are asking to adopt. So basically, it is an approval that gives us the green light on allowing us to adopt Finley. We have passed their review process and they deem us fit to adopt a child with a special need. YAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

So officially Finley will be ours and now we are in the waiting for our Travel Approval- TA- which is when China says-- come and get her!! There are a few steps in between LOA and TA but we are already working on the first which is our approval from US Immigration to bring Finley into the US. The process from now till TA usually is about 60 days but it can go faster and I am hoping it will go faster for us. My dream is to be in China over the New Year but we will see.......

So, I am happy as a clam right now and just want to get to China to get our little girl!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We Got Video of Finley

** Update-- I also just got updated measurements when I turned on the computer this morning -- I love this woman!!!

The online growth charts say the following:

your child is 33 pounds, and that is
at the 72nd percentile for weight.

your child is 35 inches, and that is
at the 8th percentile for height.

It looks like Finley is well fed :)

At least she is about 4 inches shorter than Mia-- Mia associates height with age so being the "little sister" she must be shorter!! So glad she is!!

The relationship I have with Ms. Wang, the nanny at Finley's Orphanage, is growing by the day. She is very excited to share information with me and is more than willing to take pictures and video as often as I want. Tonight we got home from a Duck's Hockey game and I got an amazing email with 2 short little videos attached. They are so darn cute and it is obvious they are preparing Finley very well for our arrival!! I could not be any happier!!!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Finley # 3!!!

We could not be more blessed than to have such an amazing communication with the staff at Finley's orphanage. Through our connection with the retired couple who volunteers in her orphanage, we have been able to communicate with their amazing guide Maggie(who will hopefully be our guide as well)and one of the nannies who has been amazingly gracious at getting us updates on Finley. I had asked about a month ago if they would help me get a cake for Finley for her birthday and the nanny, Ms. Wang not only was willing to help but she also made the cake and got Finley a gift. She also was willing to take a ton of pictures of the day and email them to me. I have her direct email so I was able to email her (translated into Chinese) and ask questions and she emailed me a letter back. It was an awesome letter that warmed my heart. She also sent me about 28 photos of the day!! I was and am thrilled!!!! Here are a few of the day:

Our little Angel with her photo book of our family. Ms. Wang said that Finley knows all our names after only reviewing the book 2 time-- our little smarty pants :)

This is Ms. Wang the Nanny. Based on the pictures I think she might have taken Finley home for the holiday. She has a red dot on her forehead which means luck and is placed on foreheads during holidays so I am guessing, based on a few pictures I saw, that she might have taken Finley home-- how sweet!!!

What an amazing woman Ms. Wang is. I feel sooooo blessed she is with Finley!!

It is either the peace sign or she is holding up 3 fingers indicating she is turning 3.

With the pillow we sent holding up her 3 fingers!!!

Getting ready to blow out the candles on her cake. I love how intent she looks!

Chowing down on the cake. The letter from Ms. Wang indicated Finley loves cake-- too cute!!

Hanging with a pal

I love this picture. She looks so sweet like she is taking care of her little friend. Love it!!!

All the boys-- and Finley-- posing for pictures

And a face shot. Too cute.
The letter that Ms. Wang sent is as follows:

Greetings Christy Bock,

I’m Mrs. (teacher ) Wang. We were happy to receive your letter. We are so happy that you are adopting Hao Yi. I am also thankful that she has found a home. With your love and care, I know that you will take very good care of her. I am happy to celebrate Hao Yi’s birthday, it is something that I should do anyway. Please don’t be so gracious.

Today in the yard, we celebrated Hao Yi’s 3rd birthday. The kids were very happy. Hao Yi blew the candles all by herself. Her face was all smiles, especially when she ate her birthday cake. She even thought of the other kids and wanted to share her birthday cake with everyone. The teachers bought her a doll for her birthday present. She loves it, and carries it with her wherever she goes. I took many pictures of her and sent you some for your view. If you received them, then I will send more. The teacher also showed her the album you sent her. She taught her to recognize everyone in the picture. Hao Yi was very happy and after going through the pictures twice, she had memorized who everyone was. If you want to know anything more about Hao Yi, please write us. I will help you.

God bless your whole family.

Teacher Wang

I thought it was very interesting she signed it God Bless your whole family!! I wonder if she is a believer?? Hmmmm...... That would be totally cool!!!
Anyway, I am on cloud 9 with all these updates and pictures. I just want to get to China NOW!!!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Go Bid!!!!!

Hi guys,

Had a busy weekend and was not watching the bidding and good thing because THERE WAS NOT MUCH GOING ON!!!! So, thanks for those who have bid and keep bidding but I think I will extend the bidding a few more days just so I can get as much interest as possible. Tell people to check out the site and maybe if you have a blog and feel comfy directing people over--- I would appreciate it. Remember, all money raised is going to bring Finley home!!

Thanks guys!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Clothing Auction Beginning on Finley's Site

Hi all, I just wanted to let you know I posted a ton of Mia's clothes on Finley's fundraising site. There are dresses, pants, jackets, outfits and a ton more. I listed 33 auctions with most of them being more than one item. So please, take a look at the blog as all of the money we raise will be used towards our adoption expenses.
Please visit or just click on the top right of this blog on the Finley's Fundraising Site.

Thanks so much and Happy Bidding!!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In the "waiting for LOA" Slump and Over scheduling

Sorry I have not been posting much. I have just been very busy. We have way too much going on and I already feel overwhelmed with the kids activities.

Our crazy schedule includes 3 different school pick up times. I have to work 3 days a week but Owen gets out at 2:45pm in our city we live in. Mia gets out of preschool at 3:30pm in the city next door and then Ethan gets out of football at 4:45pm. It is a logistic nightmare!!! Then to further the craziness we add in their after school activities (Ethan plays football with his school). On Mondays from 6-7:30pm the kids attend the fine arts academy at our church where the boys play guitar and Mia piano. Then home for dinner and homework. Then Tuesdays Mia has ballet at 4pm and Owen has cooking class from 4:30 to 5:30 then at some point I have to pick Ethan up from football. This week starts the addition of hockey which starts at 7pm but we don't know the days of the week. So, more than likely, the boys will have hockey on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Add that Ethan's football games on Monday and Thursday and practices on Tuesday and Wednesday-- life gets really crazy!!!

I write all that to explain how crazy life is right now. I am a huge proponent that kids should not be over scheduled and it looks like I need to take a bit of my own advice. I don't know how we ended up in this many activities but somehow we did. Ethan really wanted to play football and since it is with his school we decided it was OK. Then cooking was a fun addition as well as ballet. Then the guitar and piano lessons fell in our lap free of charge through our church and then the hockey is a constant for the boys and what they love!! Luckily, football only has about 3 weeks left and then things will calm down, but until then, life is just way too crazy for words-- hence my lack of posting. By the time the kids are in bed all I can handle is going on Rumor Queen to check out what is up on the adoption front and then to bed. Sorry I have been a horrible poster but life is crazy.

Furthermore, I am in the "wait for LOA" right now. We are now 25 days into our wait which means we are getting close to getting our coveted Letter of Approval (LOA) from China. China is closed for a bunch of holidays so we wont be getting it for at least a week or 2 but hopefully soon. Once we get the LOA we have a bunch of little steps and then within about 60 days we should get our TA (travel approval) and then we can go pick up our Finely. If things work out PERFECTLY, we will be in China right after the first of the year!!!! I just cant wait and this wait for LOA is really hard because there is NOTHING I can do to speed it up-- totally out of my control-- uggg!! BUT, with that, God has been teaching me a lot about control and patience.

Anyway, I don't really have any pictures right now but I will try to post soon-- I wont wait a week-- I promise!