Sunday, May 03, 2009


First, we are still waiting to hear what is happening with Minyun and her adoption. Both of our agencies are looking into what is happening with her and we are thankful that they are so willing to do so. Our hope is that we will be able to send the beautiful photos that we received with our referral to her new family along with a few other items that are "hers".

On that note, many people have emailed and asked if we have in fact received a referral. We did and she is lovely. I have started a new blog called the Divine Miss Adventure
if you are interested in following Annie's adventures with her crazy parents!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

All is well...

We are back on Canadian soil and last night, jet lagged and feeling crappy we had wonderful news. Minyun has had her surgery and she is doing very well - there will be very little scaring and she will be ready to be adopted by a family very soon.
We want to thank everyone but especially those who reached out to us and gave their assitance especially Epin from the Tonggu family group who was just AMAZING and kept us up to date on what was happening, Tonja from my Marching Pandas group who jumped right in and made some wonderful things happen and Sarah. You guys were wonderful.
You are the best people in the world!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your support...

has been wonderful. We are doing our best to communicate with those who might be able to help our little Isabel Minyun and I believe that we have been somewhat successful - funds are being allocated to her care and Love without Boundaries has also been contacted through the network. We are hoping to receive updates soon. We felt so helpless and I have learned through this experience how incredible the Chinese Adoption world is. It is incredible.
It is with a heavy heart that I write that this will be one of my last posts on this blog. It was all about Isabel and we are no longer on the same paths in life. I will keep you all updated with any news we recieve about her care.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all for your words, emails and kindness. We are thinking that we were referred little Minyun because we are the type of people who would try to help her no matter what. At least we know that she will be taken care of and adopted by a loving family one day. Minyun will forever be in our hearts and we are so very sad that we won't be the parents that will raise her but we will always love her, forever...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thank you...

For all of your thoughts, prayers and comments. We are going to look in to the kind of care that Minyun is receiving today. That was our utmost concern and our guide assured us yesterday that she is in hospital and her SWI is a good one that has some $ (our International Specialist gave us the same information when he went over her file). Will keep you updated.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No photos...

only sadness. Our little girl was in a bad fire on the weekend and we are unable to adopt her. Please say a prayer for her to heal quickly (the photo was devestating but we saw her little eyes shining through) and be put back into the system so that she can be adopted by a loving family. We are waiting to hear what happens next...
Thank you,
Kristine and Shawn

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Photos of yesterday....

This is outside of the Llama Budhist temple in Beijing. It was quite an experience. There was quite a bit of insence and the artifacts were incredible. Check out the little puppy. We have seen a few of these little cuties walking around - no big dogs though.
This is the scene outside of our hotel. There are bikes everywhere and lets just say that they don't follow the road rules so trying to cross the road for a massage is stressful enough that you NEED a massage after you do it!!!! We have quite a few pictures to post but blogger isn't allowing me to put them on.
Last night we and two families ventured out for dinner ourselves. With the help of our dictionary, we were able to order a fabulous meal with crysanthemum tea. We were very proud of ourselves. For 8 of us the total was 20.00 Cdn. Cool...
Oh and the luggage arrived last night. I was sleeping and Shawn was in the shower so it was fun to navigate but hooray!!! We have a change of clothes. I washed our clothes yesterday afternoon - if you ever need a wringer, Shawn rocks as everything is bone dry this morning and ready to wear if we needed too!! But we don't!! Yippee!!!
Oh well, tomorrow we meet Isabel!! Off to the markets today. We are REALLY glad that we came a few days early to experience the culture, food and get our heads straight!!! We leave the hotel at 5:30 am tomorrow to fly to Jiangxi province to meet our daughter. What an experience this has been so far. Can hardly wait...

Friday, March 06, 2009

a few thoughts...

So after we tried numerous times to hook up the computer with the adapter that we brought from home, we took a chance and spent the 5.00 on one at the grocery store up the road- I know, a huge chance!!! Guess what!! It works, so now we have power and free internet access. Yippee!!!!
We have basically been left on our own today and tomorrow which is great. One of the families has a friend here and we met her at the bank. She told us where to go to find the Beijing artists in residence and we think that we will take the Subway there tomorrow. Now the Bank, that was certainly an experience and I have to say that we were VERY happy that we insisted upon brand new bills from the bank. The gal really did look at each bill, back to front, put them through the counter/counterfeit detector a few times. It took over an hour but it was fine- Shawn is learning great patience!!! There are lots of extra police on the streets as there are conferences going on so we felt very very safe walking the streets with our moneybelts on.
Oh and pack your deodorant in your carry on!!! As our luggage hasn't arrived yet, we are without and it took a LONG time to find some here as the Chinese don't really use it. It was also very expensive but NECESSARY. It was wild - we bought deodorant, hair conditioner, lipstuff and Shawn's hair stuff - the total was almost 80RMB!!! Our lunch from the takeout was 8RMB in comparison (rice with egg, stir fried veggies, bread for Shawn and a pineapple bun - very yummy!!).
We are now having a little rest (we were up at 4 am this morning) and then we are off to see the sights and I might have a massage as the massage place is just across the road. Looking forward to that!!!!!
Will post pictures later. The sights here are amazing- a bunch of guys sitting on their bikes having their lunch, an old bike with the trailer holding a tv, it is really the people that make this city vibrant and there are lots of people here but not as many as in Toronto's Chinatown!! Actually it still kind of feels like Chinatown at home except people speak very little English. We had a small run in with the pineapple bun lady and three other people came to help!! It was too funny but everyone here is kind and will try and help the silly foreigners.
Anyway, just can't believe that we are here!!!! Can't believe that in two short days we will meet our darling child and wow, is Chinese tv ever humorous!!!!

We're here!!!!

I just wrote a long post that blogger erased. So suffice it to say, we are here - Beijing in hopping but we are hopping into bed - the "rock futon". Our luggage did not arrive with us but should be here tomorrow and we have met two of the families in our group. We had a nice dinner and now we are all in our rooms, trying not to fall asleep too early. Shawn took some great photos bufor some reason, when we plug the laptop into the wall with our converter, it doesn't draw power so we aren't going to be uploading until we figure it out.
Anyway, off to bed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

one day left...

Tomorrow we fly to Beijing. Pretty crazy stuff!! The house is clean, frozen meals are done (both of these, thanks to Colleen - I would post the photo of her cleaning the oven but Shawn won't let me - it is hysterical!!!), Isabel's room is set up, the laundry is done, the bags are packed, the computer is backed up, the skype is ready to go, the mail has been held, the reservations for dinner tonight have been made and the taxi has been ordered to pick us up. Yikes, you would think that we are organized!!! Doesn't feel like it - really it doesn't but I guess after 4 years of waiting, we are ready to go!!!!!
Wish us luck!!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

a little worse for wear today...

Had a FABULOUS night last night with the gang from work. The food at M.INGS was super, the company was perfect, the laughter was infectious and the gift of a "Lucky Tree" from everyone was amazing. Let's just say that the red envelopes were "FULL" of exactly what we needed thanks to Shirley!!! Yes, it brought tears to my eyes - it was such a beautifully creative gift that pays homage to Isabel's culture. I really have no words - which if you know me well, is quite a feat!!!
You can also see from the photo the cute little walker that Ricci gave Isabel (her little nephew loves his so she thought Isabel should have one!!), the noisy but cute gum ball machine, Isabel's dolly and the Quatchi that Grandpa and Nana gave her. The Quatchi is one of the mascots for the 2010 which are being held across the water in Vancouver - a neat connection with Isabel being born in the year of the 2008 Olympics. They were going to get her a bear but this guy just had a little more meaning. He is REALLY soft and cuddly too!!!

So after dinner and a few martinis, I said, "so where are we going now!!!" The "martini" girls and I ended up going out except I think that I was the only one having the 'tinis - they were into the other cocktails and wine last night!! I even think I saw a beer or two. It was a blast and I am glad that I am not working today like a few of you are!!!!!!!! Thanks guys - it was a wonderful send off!!! I am going to lie down now...

Friday, February 27, 2009

One more step closer...

Today I spent my last day at work. It was a happy day in many ways and everyone was just wonderful!! They are having a dinner for us tonight which Shirley has arranged and I can't wait to kick back and enjoy it.
My only regret about leaving is missing those that I have worked closely with for the last 10 years. Shirley wouldn't even talk to me today and those of you who know me well, know how hard it was to say goodbye to her because if and when I go back, she will probably not be there. She is an amazing lady and I will so miss our daily laughs and giggles - she and a handful of others have made the last few years there tolerable. Love you guys- you know who you are!!!
I have to say the well wishes from the staff and family members of our residents were just amazing. I want to thank everyone for the hugs and smiles. Jens had all of his staff gather and gave me a lovely gift that he picked out himself!! Our Great Dane went into the baby section!! Wow!! He even made my lunch for me. It really couldn't have been a better day AND the sun is shining!! Oh and Dad, I didn't need the kleenex too much today but I might tonight - hopefully copious amounts of wine will help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are one step closer to our darling girl. May the next week go quickly!!!!!
2 more weekends, one more Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before our family day... can't wait. WOOOHOOOO!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Countdown is on...

:5 more days of work
:13 days until we fly
:16 days until we meet Isabel!!!

There are only
3 more weekends
3 more Mondays
2 more Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
UNTIL WE MEET ISABEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh and our TA arrived this past week, so I guess were really going!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Ok so the last few weeks I thought that I was losing it. My nose wouldn't stop bleeding, I had massive headaches and everyone around me kept pointing to blood pressure. Well, its not. Just really BAD allergies which my Dr. gave me a script for and now all is well!!! Anyway, we also were trying to get all of our paperwork together, Isabel's suitcase packed, lists made of 'to do's' before we leave etc etc etc. We seem to have a handle on it now which is GREAT!!! Oh and my nose not bleeding all the time - yeah that is pretty great too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So we have our itinerary:
Fly to Beijing March 5th
Fly to Nanchang March 9th
- Our Family Day is March 9th - less than a month away now!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fly back to Beijing March 14th
Fly home on March 20th.

Woohoooo!!!!! We have our tickets and when our confirmation came through, it felt so real!! We are actually going to China and meeting the person who is going to change our whole world!!! The person we have been waiting for all of these years. The person that we can call OUR daughter!!! We are just so thrilled and excited. Oh and she received her care package yesterday, on my birthday. Yes, that put tears in my eyes!!!! So now the countdown is on as the saga continues... (sorry, my addiction to East.enders is showing)

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I arrived home from work today and in the front hall, I found this guy...
Shawn's co-workers got together, had a pizza lunch party, a cake that said "Congratulations to the New Daddy" and bestowed upon him these lovely gifts today. The outfit is adorable and the HUGE stuffed dog is so soft. I can see Isabel using him as a cuddly pillow to lean on and read or sleep or wrestle... The sweetest gift from the guys and gals but such a surprise!!! They wrapped it beautifully and the card was so kind. I am sorry that the photo isn't better (it doesn't do the little outfit justice) but I used Shawn's camera and I am not good at figuring out all of his settings etc.

I also wanted to acknowledge that on the day we received our referral, Colleen, Bob and the boys sent us this beautiful bouquet which is still doing very well. Shirley ran out and found this cute little puppy so as soon as I returned to work that day, Isabel had a little gift!! The beautiful dolly was Isabel's Christmas gift from Colleen.
Thanks to everyone for your kindness. I know people are talking shower but I want to wait until we get home from China. There is just so much to do in the next few weeks. Oh and after lots of research I found that I want to use these gdiapers when we get home - I love the little outerpants (I don't know where to register for these though!!). I hope that she will already be on her way to potty training so these should be great. Cloth diapers were our other option but they are a huge investment if she isn't going to be in diapers very long.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Losing my mind...

First, we didn't expect to go to China until the end of April. That is what we were given as an estimate by our agency in January. Last night, Yulin called and asked if we could be ready to go the first week of March. Uh YESSSS!!!! Wow, Alison warned me we may go sooner than they originally told us but I was living in my little "waiting game" bubble!!

So, I have been up all night making lists in my head for work and home as the control freak in me is rearing her ugly head!!! A child will be living here in 7 weeks and luckily we put up her crib on the weekend and started organizing our bedroom and hers... still so much more to do though - I haven't even looked at her clothes, toys and books that are all in storage for at least a year. Oh my!!!

I can't believe that this is actually happening and that we will have our daughter home sooner than later!!!! After essentially "shutting off" my mommy thoughts to survive the long wait, I have to turn them back on and wow, are they rusty!!!!! Does anyone know what a one year old eats? (just kidding!!!)

Going to get ready for work now - only 4 more weeks there after 10 years... another life change is about to happen and we can't be more excited!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary my love...

Ten years ago today, we were married in a beautiful garden with all of our family and friends around us. Last night, we reminisced over photos with our friends and today is just for us!! It has been an incredibly exciting and emotional week. The last time other than twice this week, that Shawn was really choked up with happiness was AT our wedding. He loves his girls sooooo much!!! We can't wait to be parents to our darling girl and the icing on the cake is spending the day alone with my sweet, kind, talented and wonderfully grumpy husband.

Oh and we are overwhelmed with all of the kind wishes that we have received. EVERYONE has been so kind and supportive - this is one TERRIFIC community and we can't wait to share our journey with everyone!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here she is...

I took a photo of the colour photocopy, I just couldn't wait to share her with you all!!!!!

She's s a Girl!!!!

I can't seem to upload her pictures here because they are scanned and in Adobe. But she is JUST the cutest thing EVER!!!!! When I have the original photos back from the international doctor, I will post. Her name is Isabel Minyun or as Shawn is calling her "mini-mouse" (born in the year of the mouse!! March 27th, 2008!!). She is from Jiangxi province and has been in foster care since she was found.
We are over the moon. I know that you are not supposed to fall in love with a photo but man, it is hard not to, even for Shawn!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's in Canada...

We just had an email confirmation from our agency that our proposal came last night and it is in the hands of the translators. Yippeee!!!!! Relief!!!! We should know something soon...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Still Waiting...

Our agency has no idea when our referral will arrive. We are still waiting and it is frustrating, really really frustrating but what can you do.
It is now the weekend so we won't hear anything until next week. Key the sad string section and weepy violins here...

Happy Spring Festival everyone!!!! We are having our Chinese food tonight from our favorite place which is just around the corner.
Oh and for all of our Scottish friends, I just hosted a Burns Supper but alas, being celiac I couldn't partake in the scotch and I WON'T eat Haggis!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Robbie Burns day to you all!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can't sleep...

"Of all the soft, delicious functions of nature this is the chiefest; what a happiness it is to man, when the anxieties and passions of the day are over."-Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) My message from my Daily Wisdom today.

Then why can't I do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I toss and turn and dream all night long. I dreamt of my kitty Rhiannon last night and all of her snuggles - it was wonderful but it just reminded me of how much I miss her. Oh well. Sad with the sweet...

I know that the main reason we/I can't sleep (as Shawn is doing the same thing) is that we will be seeing the photo of our child in the next week. The RQ has reported that packages are in the air!!!! For us it means that it has to go through the Ministry and then to our two agencies which do the translating and then presenting. I have been ASSURED that they don't "sit on" the proposals because they are a priority!! Thank goodness but at least after 4 years in the process I have WAY more information and know who to bug the hell out of to make sure that things don't "sit" like our dossier did.

So we are sitting tight, buckling up our seat belts and reading ourselves for take off!!!!! I think we are in for a bumpy ride!!!

Oh and Colleen, thanks for a fabulous weekend and Isabel's dolly. I can't get over her face. She is sitting in a green chair by the fireplace waiting as we all are... Shawn says that he was just joking about the purple hair, he thinks that we will have loads of fun colouring Isabel's hair!!!!!! Too funny!!!