Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bye Sandy! (Guest Bloggers)

 K - Age 8  I'm glad sandys gone.But it was not that bad .I'm just glad we didn't lose power this time. I'm glad I had off from school the whole time. My family and I got to sleep down stairs.  My dad bought us a Jenga game during the storm. Wasn't that nice of him?

G - Age 6:  My  Name is G**** I think   it    was   awsome.  If are  powr  ran  out  I  will   skrem.I  want to go   to school .

We made it through just fine!!!  So excited that the power managed to hang in there.  I thought a couple of times it was on it's way out.  We are also very fortunate that the clean up outside is minimal.  Off I go now to occupy the troop!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane SANDY!!!!!

We'll friends..... What can I say.  This is the first time in my entire life that I have experienced a weather event like Sandy.  We live about 20 minutes north of Philly and are bracing for the hit.  We have shopped and done everything we can think of to get ready.  My big kids are so upset because their biggest issue is what will happen with trick or treating on Wednesday.  School is cancelled for tomorrow and I predict we won't be returning until Wednesday or maybe even Thursday.  Poor Maddie, we will always remember her first Halloween home with us!  We decided to all sleep downstairs during the storm.  I hope sleeping in a pack and play doesn't throw her off to much.

So, to all of you who are going to be in the path of Sandy aka "Frankenstorm" be careful!  I'll post again.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Maddie!

Today Madeline turned 2 beautiful years old!!!  I haven't posted in awhile!  Life has been very busy!  Here's what Maddie has been up to.  Since her surgery in July her vocabulary is taking off!  She is a little parrot repeating everything she hears.  My favorites are: "My mama!"  and of course " I love you!"   Which sounds like "I ov youuuuu!  She is still holds the title for "Best Sleeper!"  If only all little could sleep like she does!  About a month ago she started full time day care and she LOVES it!  I struggle to get her to leave at the end of the day!  Thanks to her amazing teachers! Maddie doesn't go anywhere without her 2 lovies!  First is what she calls "Ah blanket" and the second is her Ernie puppet!  As for her older sister and brother.... the three are really funny together.  The transition for all 3 has been wonderful.  Sometimes I feel like I am parenting the 3 Stooges!  We'll here they come now so off I go!  But not before I wish our special friend Brielle a happy birthday for tomorrow!!!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1 Week After Surgery

I am so happy and relieved to be past Maddy's surgery.  She was a real trooper with everything she went through.  In total we ended up spending 3 days and 2 night in the hospital.  She is healing very well and her sweet spirit has returned.  The only thing left to get back on track is her sleeping.  She is waking at night several times.  That's okay as each night brings a step in the right direction.  Here are a few pictures.

Maddy right before surgery..

Maddy in post op (not happy at all :(

Maddy today one week later!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Today is the big day!   We are sitting here waiting for Madeline to come out of surgery.  We have had two updates so far and she is doing great!  Everyone her at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is terrific!  I will update later today!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Schools Out!

Yup!  Schools out and the kids are thrilled!  On the last day of Kindergarten George lost his first tooth!  Kristen is happy that I won't be waking her up early for a while!  As for Miss Madeline... what can I say.  She is a dream baby!  She eats and sleeps incredibly! At night after kisses she let's me know it's time to go when she waves goodbye.  Then, that's it until the morning!  We are getting ready for surgery which is in about 4 weeks.  She no longer drinks from a bottle and has moved on to a traditional cup.  She has seen the early intervention team here for speech and development.  She has made some serious gains and her development is just about on target.  Although she can't say many words (due to her palate) she does answer yes or no questions by shaking her head.  I am amazed at how well she understands English.  She uses lots of signs too!  Here are a few updated pics!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Lovies!

Trying to get a picture with all 3 kids looking at the camera is tough!  While waiting for hubby to come out of the store the other night I thought I would try it.  Here's how it went...


Friday, May 4, 2012

A Day at CHOP

We are so fortunate to live 30 minutes away from one of the best children's hospitals in the country.  Today we met with Dr. Low who will be performing Madeline's surgery.  The date has been set for July 17th.  She will have her palate and lip repaired at the same time.  It is a big surgery but Maddy is a little firecracker and I know she will do beautifully!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Loving Life with Maddy!

We are overjoyed with our little girl!  She is incredibly sweet and full of giggles!  Since arriving home this past Saturday here are some things we have learned:

1. She answers to her Chinese name, so we call her Fei Fei or Xiang Fei.  Of course, we call her Madeline too :)
2. She is a DREAM baby when it comes to sleeping.  She has slept through the night since Gotcha Day!  No 
3. She is a complete and total Daddy's girl!  It's really cute to see her reaction to him.  However, when he is not 
    around she is very happy and cuddly with me!
4. Since being home, she took her first steps and toddles around the living room.  She rides her little sit on 
    scooter.  She signs the word "more" when she wants more food.  She points the remote at the tv, and holds a    
    phone up to her ear.
5. What she really doesn't like is having her diaper changed or getting a bath.  As for dressing her it is an 
    Olympic sport.  One day (hopefully soon LOL!) we will look back on this and laugh!

As for now, we are LOVING life with Maddy!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012


In one hour we are going to head out of the airport to pick up Walt, Kristen and Madeline!  I am beyond crazy excited!  I still have a lot to do here at home but I will leave you with a glimpse of where they are at thanks to flight tracker!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Half Way There!

Today marks the half way point of Walt's trip.  They are now in Guangzhou, China.  This is in southern China where the American Consulate is.  Kristen and Madeline are doing very well!  Walt says Maddy eats like a truck driver.  She is wearing 18 month clothing which again is great with her unrepaired palate.  She is crawling all over the place and tries to pull herself up on the bed.  As for the plane ride from Nanchang down to Guangzhou she didn't like it very much and cried a lot.

As for me... I don't know how I am going to make it through the week!  I am more than ready to have my family back home!  George doesn't know what to do with himself without his side kick/partner in crime.  Even the dog continues to stare at the door waiting for his beloved Kristen.

Here are some more pictures!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sisters At Last

It has proven more difficult to keep the blog updated then I thought.  First and foremost all of them are well!  Madeline has been with Walt and Kristen for 3 days and it could not be going any better!  She cried a little when they first met but hasn't looked back since!  We think having Kristen there has helped A LOT!  Kristen can get her to have full on belly laughs!  Walt describes her as very sweet and is happy that she is a good eater.  She loves to play with her stacking cups and beach ball.  Her first bath was an experience but the second bath was lots of fun!  She has been going to bed easily as Walt puts her in her crib, she plays for a little bit then drifts off to sleep.  As for her size, she is busting out of her 12 month old size which is awesome! Even with her cleft palate she does a great job eating.  Of course, we owe all of this to her wonderful foster family!  She is not walking on her own but as soon as her feet hit the ground she want to go!

I can't believe they are half way through their trip already!  They will be home one week from today!  I can't wait to get my hand on that baby!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thank You

The time is 7:50pm here in PA.  Half a world away, it is 7:50am.  For the last time, one mother will wake up a sleeping Xiangfei and say goodbye to her.  At the same time there is another mother who cannot wait to see her face for the first time.  I will never know the name of her birth mother or her foster mother.  I wish there was a way to let them know that me, her forever mommy promises to love her always.  In just over three hours XiangeFei will meet her forever daddy and big sister. Tonight she will go to sleep as Madeline Kate Fei.

Monday, April 2, 2012

13 Hours and 50 Minutes

That's how long a straight through flight is from New Jersey to China.  Walt and Kristen left this morning.  There plane took off at 11:55.  I have been tracking them all day.  We won't hear from them until early tomorrow morning.  George is missing them already.
                                                      This picture was taken around 4:30pm

It's now 7:45 pm...  5 hours to go!  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Travel Itinerary

Here we go!

4/2 - Off they go!
4/3 - Arrive in Beijing - Spend one night
4/4 - Fly to Nanchang!
4/5 - Gottcha Day!  Madeline will arrive at 11:00!
4/6-4/8 - Paperwork and sight seeing!
4/9 - Fly to Guangzhou
4/10 - Baby Medical Check
4/11 - Free Day
4/12 - CA appointment and oath ceremony
4/13 - Pick up Madeline's Passport and Visa
4/14 - Come Home!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I heard this afternoon from our social worker!  We got our first choice date for our appointment at the US Consulate!  On April 9th Walt will take a pledge on behalf of Madeline!  That's three weeks from today!!

UPDATE -  Due to a holiday in China we had to tweak our travel dates.  Here are the official dates.
April 2 - Depart from Newark
April 5 - Gottcha Day aka Xiang Fei officially becomes Madeline Kate Clark!
April 12 - US Consulate Appointment!
April 15 - Arrive Home!

More details to come!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Today I am walking on cloud 9!  At approximately 12:55pm my cell phone rang!  As I jumped up to get it (and hurdle a few first graders) all I could think of was this better not be Walt calling me!  Well it wasn't!  It was my wonderful agency calling to let me know they received our travel approval!  Our first choice/tentative dates are March 30 - April 10th!  If this works out, Gottcha Day will be April 2nd! We'll know for sure by Tuesday!  Tonight we will celebrate with a Chinese food dinner then some fun at the park!  It just so happens that today is exactly seven months since we were preapproved to adopt Madeline!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yeah! We Got An Update!

It's not often that something is emailed to you that makes so unbelievably happy.  I'm talking, no words to describe happiness!  Lucky for me that happened this afternoon!   We received updated pictures and answers to the questions submitted to our agency.  First, the questions:

Family’s questions

1. What is her current height and weigt?  
 height 78cm  weight 10.4kg  head circumference 44cm  feet 11cm  teeth 4 on the top, 5 on the bottom

2. Does she sleep in a crib or with her foster mom? 
 She sleeps in the crib on her own.

3. Does her mom rock her to sleep or is she given a bottle and placed in a crib? 
She likes to hold a little handkerchief or towel when she goes to sleep.
Just lay her down in the crib with the towel in hand, no need to rock her.

3. How does her foster mom calm her when she is upset?
Usually the foster mom would give her a toy or something to calm her down.
She would play with toy in hand and stop crying.

4. What do they call her? 
The foster family just call her Xiang Fei.

5. Does she drink from a cup or bottle?
They give her water by spoon.

6. Does she drink milk or formula? 
 She drinks formula. The brand is Lactogen from Nestle.

Now for the pics!  In China it is normal to dress babies in layer upon layer.  Hence.... check out her red cheeks!

As for when Walt is going to pick her up?  Any day now, our agency will hear from China on that.  I think they will be home just after Easter!  (Stay Tuned)

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12 Has Come and Gone

I was wrong.  I was predicting that today was going to be the day when we would have gotten our TA phone call.  Nope.  Nada,  Zilch.  Back in January, my wonderful agency predicted March 19th. So I guess will see!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our Article 5 Has Left the Building!

Don't be fooled by the title of this post!  Today, our Article 5 was picked up and is headed up north to Beijing.  What this means is both China and USA have approved all our forms!  At this point, we are just waiting for our golden ticket otherwise known as our travel approval!  (Insert crazy big smile here)!  The big question is when will it arrive?  The most recent batch arrived for those lucky families about 2 weeks after their Art. 5's were picked up.  I am completely fine with 2 weeks.  Just to be on the conservative side I am guessing March 12.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Article 5 Drop off

Tonight when we are sleeping our in country agency coordinator will deliver our paperwork to the Consulate!  They will be there for the standard two weeks.  So excited yet very calm.  For now, the paperwork and forms are done with!  To pass the time we started buying all the stuff we need for the trip.  I have never seen such a large suitcase!

Friday, February 3, 2012


This week was the most productive week throughout this entire process!

1. Monday - Received 800 approval.
2. Wednesday - Received our GUZ number.  We were entered into the NVC system
3. Thursday - Received an email letting us know that we were cabled!
4. Friday - Received an email with our pdf letter!

Lots of little steps got done!  Next step is Article 5 drop off hoping that is early next week!  So all this means we could be in line for travel approval in about 2.5 weeks!

Monday, January 30, 2012


I was going to call the USCIS this afternoon to check on the status of our application.  I wasn't even in a hurry to get home to check the mail. But, to my surprise it was there!  I really wasn't going to look for it until Wednesday!  This approval allows Madeline to become an official US resident as soon as her sweet little feet land on US soil!
Okay.... now it really feels like things are moving along!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I am so happy to finally say we received our LOA today!  After the issue we had with our paperwork I thought for sure we were going to wait into February!  So what does this mean?  It means Madeline should be home here with us by Easter!  However I say that with my fingers crossed!  We will now navigate the USCIS working on visas and other approvals!  But for now we will celebrate!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Received an Update!

I love surprises!  Today we received an update on Madeline along with a few pictures!  She weighs 21 pounds, walks with the help of her foster mom.  Like Kristen, she will eat just about whatever is offered to her.  She is described as shy and quiet but likes to smile!  She sounds perfect!