Once Upon A Prayer

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Update on Qiuyan!

If I played the lottery, this would be a very good week for me to buy a ticket!
Today we received an update from Angela at
Lady Bugs and Love
on Qiuyan.

My heart is absolutely soaring, 
and my eyes keep welling up with alligator tears
every time I think about our girls.


Without further ado...the *star* of the day

1. Has Qiuyan had any illnesses lately?

2. Is Qiuyan susceptible to colds, bronchitis, or ear infections?
Since Hu Qiu Yan had surgery, she’s been pretty strong. She doesn’t catch a cold easily. Up to now, she has never had bronchitis or ear infections.

3. Has Qiuyan had a doctor
's visit recently to check on how she responded to the Glenn Procedure?  If so, what did the doctor report?
Right now she is doing really well. She doesn’t get blue or asthma. But when she had a heavy activity, or when the weather is very cold, her lips turn more purplish.

4. How would you describe her personality?
She is active and playful.

5. Does she smile or laugh often?
She has a ready smile and is very affectionate.

6. How was Qiuyan named?
Her name was given by an orphanage staff.

7. What are the meanings of her names?
All the children brought to the institute in 2009 share same last name “Hu”. She was brought to here in fall (Sep 22, 2009), and we hope she will grow up happily and healthily just like a swallow bird, so named her Qiu Yan (a fall swallow).

8. Does Qiuyan have a favorite caregiver, or is she friendly with everyone?
Hu Qiu Yan is very affectionate and likes to act in a charming manner, she calls every A yi Mama with their last name first. Such as Yang Mama, Liu Mama, etc

9. Do you have any information on the day she was found, what she was wearing, and if she had anything with her?
Hu Qiu Yan was found at a hospital. There was a nice person called police and she was sent to the hospital to check her health. After that with all the paperwork done, she was sent to the children’s welfare institute. There was nothing with her.

10. Can you please tell Qiuyan that she has a Mommy, Papa, and three big sisters who all love her very much?
No problem. We have already shared with her as soon as we have this news We told her daddy and mommy are coming to get her in the future. We prepare the children. We hope family can send some pictures to show the child, so her transition will be easier when you come to get her.
11. Her updated measurements:
Height: 88cm; Weight: 12kg; Head: 48cm; Chest: 48cm; Foot: 13cm.
Personality: Lively, playful and likes all kinds of toys.
Hu Qiu Yan loves to chat and play games with nannies. She is very smart. She knows all the nannies names. She calls every nanny mama every time she sees them. She adds the nanny’s last name in front of “mama” Hu Qiu Yan enjoys dress up. She likes little bows on her hair. She shows everyone when she wears it. She would be so happy if you say she looks beautiful! One time, there is a nanny wear a scarf for her. She wouldn’t let anyone take it off. She even wore it to sleep. She can say some words, simple phrases and sentences clearly. Sometimes she would say a lot when she wants to express herself. Very funny. She likes to imitate adults and she is very good at it. She can go up and down stairs on her own. No problem running or jumping. But can’t have too much. She has been pretty healthy since her surgery, seldom gets sick. 

I prayed for this child, 
and the Lord has granted me
what I asked of Him.
I Samuel 1:27 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Update on Nianshu!

Today we received an update and new photos of Nianshu
from Angela at Lady Bugs and Love!
The only thing that an adpoting family has to cling to while they wait,
are the teeny tiny glimpses into our child's life
as they wait upon us to bring them home. 

We also had the opportunity to ask 10 questions about Nianshu,
and the orphanage supplied us with the answers.
Thank you to everyone on Facebook who gave me recommendations. 
 As you can see, I took your advice. 

We are so excited to see that our precious little girl is thriving!
I am still in shock at how much she has grown over the past 9 months.
She is still super tiny for her age,
but with a family's love and proper nutrition
we know that she will blossom into the precious child
 that God created her to be! 

Ok...enough about my thoughts. 
I know you all want to see the real *star* Nianshu.

1. Has Nianshu had any illnesses lately?

2. How would you describe her personality?

She is active and outgoing. She is a little boyish. She is a busy girl in her group. She likes to open this, touch that, running around or jump on and off.
3. Do you have any information on the day she was found, what she was wearing, and if she had anything with her?

She was found on a bench/couch in emergency treatment building. She was found by a family of a patient. She was in yellow baby outfit, wrapped by a light color blanket/quilt. There were also some stuff with her: bottle, formula, two sets of cotton-padded clothes, two sweat shirts.  There was a note left with her also.  We will give the family a copy of it on Gotcha Day! 
4. Does she smile or laugh often?

5. What are the meanings of her names?

She was sent to the orphanage in April of 2009. The children entered the orphanage in 2009 share a last name “Zheng”, in April share same first name “Nian”. Shu means a fair maiden or lady.
6. Is Nianshu in the same room as An Yi (her mommy and I are friends)?

They are not in the same room. They are in two different buildings.
7. Does Nianshu have a favorite caregiver, or is she friendly with everyone?

There is a caregiver loves her very much, Nian Shu is very close to her.
8. We would love to request to grow her hair out.  Is that possible?

We have told her caregiver about this.
9. What things does she most like/dislike?

She likes a free place most, so she can play freely. She doesn’t like to stay within rail or crib. She doesn’t like to be told can’t get out and play.
10. Is Nianshu susceptible to colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, or ear infections?

She is susceptible to colds and runny nose in winter. Never be diagnosed pneumonia or ear infection before.
11. Her updated measurements:
Height: 82cm; Weight: 12kg; Head: 44.5cm; Chest: 50cm; Foot:13.5cm; Teeth: 20.
I think I can actually hear her sweet little giggle!

To say that I am in love would be a complete understatement. 
There are no words to describe my love for our precious daughter...no words!

Monday, November 21, 2011


The sweetness of a sister's love
Sisters by chance...friends by choice. 
(Author Unknown)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

USCIS I800A Approval!!!

Today we received our approval from the USCIS to bring home our girls!  This is the last document we needed in order to send off our dossier to China.  A copy of our approval will be sent to our courier, who will take the document to be state sealed and Chinese consulate authenticated.  We are "thisclose" to being DTC (Dossier To China)...Finally!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ladybug #2

I just sat down to my computer to check emails in my bedroom, 
and a ladybug flew and landed on my laptop.
I have not seen ladybugs in MONTHS,
it is November for pete's sake.
But today
I saw

Godwink ;-)

"Juliana" is our daughter!

China said "YES" again!
Laura and Mary just called me on a conference call
to say that today we received Pre-Approval
to adopt "Juliana"!

Ladybugs are known as a symbol of good luck in the Chinese community.
In China adoption, it is considered a sign that a referral is imminent
when the adoptive parent sees one. 
While I was on the phone telling my dad the "good news"
a ladybug landed on my window ledge at work.

Today we celebrate the good fortune which has brought us together!

Our youngest daughter, Qiuyan - 27 months old

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hope Written

Today I sent Juliana's files to the Chief Pediatric Cardiologist at the National Children's Hospital in Washington D.C.  Within 7 minutes of him receiving my email, Dr. Berul responded to me and said that he would review Juliana's reports along with a team of doctors and surgeons, and get back to me.  Just a few hours later, this is the email I received:

Dear Professor Rancourt,
After reviewing the English documents, we see that she was born with a condition of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). She has already undergone 2 of the surgeries necessary for this condition, and likely is now due for a cardiac catheterization followed by the 3rd stage of surgery (called Fontan procedure). Dr. Jonas is one of the world's leading experts in this surgery. I am more optimistic regarding her outcome than the reports you received from Seattle.

We would be happy to take care of your daughters upon arrival in Virginia, and have several cardiologists who could see you at our convenient outpatient office in Fairfax. In addition, if you have the echo or cath studies available on CD, we can review them beforehand.

Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns.


Dr. Charles Berul

Charles I. Berul, M.D.
Chief, Division of Cardiology; Children's National Medical Center
Professor of Pediatrics and Integrative Systems Biology; George Washington University School of Medicine
111 Michigan Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20010

God knew EXACTLY where Juliana needed to be in order to have 
"one of the world's leading experts in this surgery" take care of her.
God's plans for my life are always so much better than anything
I could ever dream up or wish for.

Friday, November 4, 2011

LOI for Juliana

This afternoon, our Letter of Intent to adopt Juliana that I wrote back on September 29th, 2011 was submitted to the CCCWA!  

And guess what we get to do now?  

Jacques and I believe that there are no "unkowns" in God's eyes.  
He knows all.  
We will be honored to parent Juliana 
with the hope and prayer that the Almighty Physician 
will place his hand on her broken heart and perform a miracle.  
And if God decides to bring Juliana to her eternal home instead, 
we will be honored to have been her parents 
for as long as God will allow her little heart to beat. 

It brings peace to my heart knowing that this side of heaven 
Juliana will know the comfort and security of a family’s unconditional love.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Got her!"

“Got her!”  I received a text from our agency consultant at 2:25am saying that she found Juliana, and locked her file for us.  I never in a million years thought that two little words could provoke such emotion.   

Laura said that she locked Juliana’s file at 2:22am, and that she specifically remembered the time since her lucky number is 22.  It also just so happens that Juliana’s birthday is on the 22nd day of July. 

Yes, 22 is a VERY good number. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This afternoon, our adoption agency had our homestudy social worker call and interview Jacques.  I was in the car driving home from a Techno Forensics Conference that I had been at in Myrtle Beach, SC since Sunday.  I had no clue that this was all going on until I arrived home at 10pm, and Jacques told me that our agency consultant would be searching the shared list for Juliana at 1:30am EST.

After our conversation Jacques promptly fell asleep. 

And here I sit in labor, waiting and praying and praying and waiting.

I really wish I could have an epidural...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Ending?

Happy ending?  End of the story you might think?  Not so fast.

Our adoption agency requested that we write a letter to administration explaining to them why we are wanting to bring home “virtual twins”, and why we believe our family can handle the adoption of a child who has been deemed “terminal”.

Dear AAI Administration,

Our family has been praying for a long time about who we will bring into our family through the miracle of adoption.  We began the adoption process knowing that we would come across children that would melt our hearts, situations that would break our hearts, and challenges that would stretch our hearts.  We have learned so much about who we are through all of this.  We are thrilled beyond belief about our little daughter Nianshu, and we are also pursuing the opportunity to bring Quiyan into our family too.  Many people have asked us why we would choose to adopt a child that faces the odds of survival that Quiyan does.  People have asked us why we would attempt to bring two children home at the same time - especially being so close in age.  In some ways, the answer to those questions is, "We don't know".  There are times in life when you do something because for whatever reason, you believe it is the right thing to do.  Although there are many unknowns, you realize that the righteous live by faith, and you make a decision not because you can predict the outcome, but because you believe so deeply in a cause you are willing to risk a lot for it. 

All of our lives, people have taken risks, demonstrated love, and invested in us and our futures.  They modeled for us that love is not about what you can get, but about what you are willing to give.  We are willing and desperately desire to give a home to this precious girl, Quiyan.  Every human being on the planet - no matter what situation they are born into - deserves to know, feel, and experience unconditional love.  That is what we can give.  We talk with our two girls constantly about life and death, and the reality that even children get sick, face difficulties and sometimes die at a young age.  I can't imagine a better environment for a child facing these obstacles to be adopted into. 

We know that Qiuyan is close in age to our daughter Nianshu that we are already approved to bring home from China.  In our eyes, this is not a negative, but potentially a huge positive.  We see this as an opportunity for our girls to embrace two new sisters.  We see the potential for these girls to help each other adjust and adapt to a new environment and life while having an incredible bond from potentially similar experiences.  We understand fully that we may adopt Quiyan, and that her medical bills may be significant - and then she might die.  However, it would be a far greater tragedy that this precious child might never experience the love and joy of a family who will do everything within their power to shower her with unconditional love and embrace her for all of her days.

Thank you so much for considering offering us this blessing!

Peace and Goodwill,
Jacques and Emily