-- We decided to start a family, either a natural child or an adopted child.
10 Emma was born in China
-- An appointment with an urologist convinced us to choose adoption.
-- Began the adoption paper work with an adoption agency in Oregon.
-- Identified a 4 year-old boy and his 2 year-old sister in Hawaii for possible adoption.
-8 Signed up with a different adoption agency which was faster and less money.
-- Prepared our second bedroom for two children.
13 Planned to fly to Hawaii in early April to adopt two children
20 Decided that the two children had more medical problems than we could handle.
-- Filed fingerprints with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
-2 Subscribed to A-Parents-China on the web and found a great source of adoption information.
-7 Emma was found at Yizhou, China, and placed in an orphanage.
-- Learned that we were unlikely to be chosen by a local birth mother because of our ages.
-- Decided to adopt from China because healthy infants are available there.
-- Completed our home study.
16 Filed our paperwork with the INS.
27 Emma arrived at the orphanage in Nanning.
-8 Homestudy was completed.
-- Received a photograph of Emma at the orphanage.
27 Decided that Emma was the child we wanted to adopt.
29 Received a video of Emma at the orphanage.
10 Mailed first paperwork to Chinese consulate in Chicago to be authenticated.
-- Decorated Emma's bedroom and filled it with toys and stuffed animals.
-- Sent paperwork to China to be translated.
-- Mailed completed paperwork minus INS approval to our adoption agency.
-2 The INS approval came through just in time to fax it to the adoption agency just in time to catch the last FedEx plane of the week to China.
-3 Received a second video of Emma at the orphanage.
-7 Our adoption paperwork, dossier, arrived at the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs in Beijing.
-7 Emma was placed in a foster home with a retired couple.
25 Consulted with a plastic surgeon about Emma's scar.
29 Expected to leave for China this day, but our approval was delayed.
25 Emma's Christmas gifts were under the tree waiting for her.
10 Emma celebrated her first birthday.
14 Received offical referral approving us to adopt Emma.
10 Received travel approval and made hotel and plane reservations.
26 Left home at 7 am. for Portland airport.
27 Arrived at our hotel in Hong Kong at midnight after travelling for 28 hours.
28 Left hotel at 8 am. Met four adoptive families at the airport. Met our translator and another family at Guangzhou airport. Arrived at the Majestic Hotel in Nanning.
-1 Traveled with five families and two translators to the orphanage to meet the children. All but the 5 year-old cried loud and long. Went to the Ministry of Justice office for official adoptions. Went to the Ministry of Civil Affairs office to apply for the children's passports.
-4 Visited Emma's foster parents' apartment for about 20 minutes, a very nice couple.
-6 Flew to Guangzhou and stayed at the New Victory Hotel.
-8 Emma's medical examination for immigrant visa.
-9 Appointment at US Consulate to apply for immigrant visa.
10 Received Emma's immigrant visa. Said goodbye to other families and took train to Hong Kong.
12 Flew to Hawaii to visit friends at the adoption agency.
17 Returned to Oregon.
21 Grandma and Grandpa Smith arrived from Iowa to meet their 13th grandchild.
15 Baby shower put on by Aunt Gracie and Cousin Karen at Michelle's house.
24 Mailed paperwork for re-adoption in Oregon to get Emma's Oregon birth certificate.
-3 Emma met most of her aunts, uncles and cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Smith's farm in Iowa. They adored her.
16 Judge signed Emma's readoption papers.
14 Emma's readoption ceremony at the Washington County Courthouse.
-8 Received Emma's Social Security Card
10 Mailed Emma's naturalization papers to INS.
-6 Emma became a US citizen
-5 Emma had surgery to reduce the scar on her left cheek.
16 Emma had surgery to plump up her upper lip.