Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Big Day!

Introducing....Kai Nicholas Cogan, age 10:

And....Kade Jackson Cogan, age 4:

Today was a huge day for Kai and Kade! They were re-aged, re-named and re-adopted - all in one day!!

Before today, their official records stated Kai as turning 13 and Kade turning 8 this July.  

We had felt even in the first weeks that this wasn't right, and our suspicions were just confirmed when we came home. We consulted doctors and dentists, had bone scans done, and Mama and Daddy used their own (very accurate) judgement to try and find a good estimate. 

The consensus, agreed to wholeheartedly by the boys, was that the best ages would be 10-turning-11 and 4-turning-5. Today, the process is complete and the boys now have official birthdays of July 2nd (Kade) and July 5th (Kai)!! 

It gives them so much security to be able to answer the question "how old are you?" 

Another issue that came up after coming home with them was names. We had kept their Chinese names as middle names, because we didn't know what they would want to be called. However, once we were settled in a bit, they both decided that they wanted very, very much to never hear those names again! 

Kai would get so sad at Shriner's each visit, because they printed his legal name (including his Chinese middle name) on his bracelet. 

After much thought, the names that were chosen are: 

Kai Nicholas (after Daddy!) Cogan 
Kade Jackson (after Mama's grandfather, our Papa AJ!) Cogan!! 

This makes them so very happy! 

Re-adoption is just a formality. It helps with being able to get a birth certificate, and multiple other things that they will encounter later in life. 

All in all, it was a good and eventful afternoon! Thank you to the amazing helpers who worked through the legal red tape with us!!! 

Karwen also needs to have her re-adoption and re-naming completed, but we have decided to do that after Kassi comes home - not too long now!

Just 16 days until we're on a plane! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Article 5

Guess what came in an email earlier today? 

"The NVC may email your GUZ# and Invoice ID# before sending your actual cable letter. Receiving the GUZ# and Invoice ID# allows you to fill out the DS260, but your Article 5 is not complete without the cable letter."  

Isn't that great?! 

In English, that just means that we've reached another milestone - our Article 5 is being processed! The Article 5 is just a paper stating that Kassi may come to the U.S. and become a citizen.  

According to this....

*This wonderful graphic was not created by us, but I'm not sure who the original creator was*

We are waiting on step 11! 

It's now less than 30 days until we will be with Kassi!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ten Great Things About Daddy:

Dear Kassi,
It is Father's Day here in America, a day when we get together to celebrate all the great things that dads around the world have done, and are doing.

To celebrate today with you, we thought that we would put a list together of some great things about your new Daddy.

1. He will always take care of us and keep us safe - no matter what! 

2. He listens and tries so hard to make everyone happy! 

3. He is so loving, funny, gentle and kind! 

4. He loves traveling (especially camping), fishing, and gardening! 

5. He likes to play all kinds of games with his family! 

6. He is a math professor, and is very smart! He teaches the big kids' math, and he helps with the little 4, too! Just wait until you meet the math gnomes...

7. He loves reading - he has read us all stories for all of our time in this family - and reads Mama to sleep every night! 

8. He likes to cook with the kids! He has taught all 6 of us how to cook from the first few years of them being in our family, and he can't wait to teach you, too! 

9. He likes to play outside with everyone!

10. He gives the nicest hugs! 

Your Daddy loves you so very, very much - it will be quite a while before you know just how much!  He can't wait to finally come and get you!!

Happy Father's Day to fathers of all kinds! Thank you for everything that you do! 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lots of Progress!

We are now OOT (Out of Translation)! 

Our dossier has been reviewed and we are matched with Kassi's file!! 

And...our LOA is on the way to our agency's office!!! 

We are winding up our red thread and getting SO close! 

If that's not enough exiting news, we also received updated pictures!! When asked whether Kassi had anything that she wanted to ask or tell us, she said that she would just like to know when we are coming for her, and whether it can be very soon! 

Just over a month now, and we will have this beautiful little girl:

in our arms forever! 


Sunday, June 12, 2016

5/5/5 for Families | Reece's Rainbow

1. Drinking a cup of speciality coffee. 
2. Eating a slice or two of pizza. 
3. A car wash.
4. Helping to bring together five families with their children.

What do these all have in common?  This:

Five dollars.  Each of the items that I listed would cost about five dollars.  Including #4! 

A few days ago, we were unexpectedly blessed with another opportunity for fundraising, and it has a lot to do with $5.

However, this one will help to bring not one, not two, not even five, but TEN children home to their forever families!!  Ten!!  How amazing is that??  Four boys and six girls will soon be four sons and six daughters! 

This wonderful program is called 5/5/5 for families, and it was created by Reece's Rainbow.  Here's how it works: 

Five families per month receive this opportunity.  Each of the five families must commit to a monthly donation of $5 or more for at least 6 months.  Each of those five families then spends one month gathering as much funding as possible, and try to get at least ten new people to donate at least $5.  At the end of that month, the money is divided up evenly among the five families, and the process starts again. 

The tricky part about this grant, though, is that we only have this one month, now until July 5th, to raise as many funds as we possibly can.  This month, the hope is to raise $4,341 for the Tretheway family, the Heath family, the Schultz family, the Zittle family, and us, the Cogans!!  It can happen with just a little help!  The goal hasn't been met for several months - wouldn't it be amazing if we could make this the best month yet in 2016?

We have more to come, but for now, could you give a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or a car wash for the lives of ten precious children? 


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Piecing Our Puzzle Together 2

All of our corner pieces and 36 (of 68) edge pieces have been sponsored!  

Thank, you, thank you, thank you to the Parianos family, the Jones family, Ms. Jenny and Samantha Grace Cherry, and our neighbor, "Miss Kit"! 

You, and all of those whose names we don't know, are piecing our puzzle together and helping to bring this sweet girl:

home with her family where she belongs! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

LID - 6/8/16

We are logged-in to the China adoption system as of today! Next step, LOA! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

One question that we have been asked quite frequently lately is "who all is going to China?"

In answer to that, here are our travel plans with a little bit of added information.

The last two trips, we have all gone, but that was simply not feasible this time.  Karwen is not ready for another trip back, and Kai and Kade aren't either.  (They are looking forward to the time when they will be!) Also, purchasing plane tickets for 9 people was not within reach in so short a time frame!  (Kolya, Kellin and Kenley are funding their own travel, so the only tickets that we are raising funds for are Mama, Daddy and Kassi!)

Things got even more complicated because almost a year ago, Daddy had committed to a conference trip in England.  We had already made plane tickets and hotel reservations, as well as Daddy speaking at the conference (twice), so backing out would have been very difficult.  We kids are blessed to be able to take some of the trips with Daddy and this time Kenley and Kolya were booked to go. Thankfully, the dates coincide almost perfectly, so when they get back, the girls can stay on England time, and have only half of the jet-lag.

Now, for the dates.  Hold on to your hats!

July 5:  Kenley, Kolya and Daddy leave for London.
July 14:  Kenley, Kolya and Daddy get back from England.
July 16:  Kenley, Kolya and Mama leave at 6:30 am for Zhengzhou, China.
July 17:  Arrive Zhengzhou 10 pm
July 18:  (Hopefully) Gotcha Day!!!!
July 20:  Homebase team situated in their camps 
July 21:  6:30 am Kellin and Daddy leave for Guangzhou, China 
July 22:  Rendezvous with all of the China travelers in Guangzhou, (it's our turn for Gotcha Day!!)
July 23:  Maw Maw arrives Tally to head Mission Control
July 28:  Tentative consulate date (We are making a guess. This will be updated as soon as we find out!)
July 31:  8:30 am Headed home
August 1:  4:55 arrive DFW and Kassi walks off of the plane as an American!!!  9:43 pm HOME!

Meanwhile, stationed at the home base are our mission control members: Karwen, Kai, and Kade.

Travel is getting so close!  See you very soon, Kassi!