Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Signed, Sealed, and Ready to GO!!!

On Wednesday, we visited the U.S. Consulate! Our parents took an oath, we finished final paperwork, and Kassi answered a few questions including "Do you want to go to America with these people?" (She does!) 




Now, as soon as she steps off of the plane in  Dallas in just a couple of days, she will legally be a U.S. Citizen and she is SO excited!!! 




The next day, we picked up her Chinese passport complete with visa. We also picked up the "brown envelope" that we have to keep perfectly safe and absolutely intact at all costs (otherwise there is a chance that we may be sent back to China to get a new one)! We will hand this envelope to the immigrations officer once we reach Dallas. 



She was disappointed when we got the passport to see that it showed her Chinese name (she has decided to be called Kassi!), as well as being confused by the fact that hers was red while ours are all blue. When we told her that she would only use this one once and when we got home we could get a blue one with "Kassi" on it, she was very excited! 



As soon as we came back up to the room from having picked up her newly visa-ed passport, she started packing her bags and told us that she was ready to go to America!  She is also excited to get on a plane again - she loved the one coming from Zhengzhou! We'll see how she feels after 19 straight hours on one... :) 



Since the timing for this journey was so tight, we needed to add on extra days on both ends of the trip, in case we ran into "bumps". That means that we can't leave to head home until Monday! Although we have enjoyed being here, as always, we are very ready to come HOME!! The kids, friends and other family at home base have done such an amazing job, but everyone is getting tired, ready to be a  family, and ready to work out our new normal.



We have been filling our days with crafts, shopping, and walking around Guangzhou as much as possible. However, walking around is very tricky here!  Kassi essentially uses a wheelchair any time that we aren't in the room (even in her fancy new shoes that don't fall off every 2 minutes!!). 

In the U.S. that wouldn't be a problem, but in China, wheelchairs do not have access in roughly 90% of the buildings. 



Case in point #1: The fact that this wheelchair ramp is blocked to keep out vehicles - like wheelchairs?! 




Case in point #2: the FIVE flights of stairs that Mama carried Kassi up at the Civil Affairs Office because there wasn't an elevator. Doesn't seem very "Civil" to us. Even less so considering the fact that this is where almost all of the adoptive families who are bringing home a child from Henan province come to both meet their children and finalize provincial paperwork! Mama said that this was just her labor with her new, larger sized, baby, Kassi!




We are so incredibly happy to be all together and so very thankful that we were able to make it in time!  Kassi continues to be doing amazingly well! 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hello from China!

Yesterday was a very big day.

First, it was our first day back in Guangzhou, which is our favorite city (that we have visited so far). For two of us it was the first day in China. And for those same two it was the first day with Kassi. 

Not to mention that it was her birthday! We celebrated with a Hello Kitty birthday cake (the one that she picked out at the grocery store) and presents. 

Mama and Daddy gave Kassi a charm bracelet with her birthstone on it, and the rest of us each chose a charm to put on it! 


Although it was a joyful day for us, yesterday was also the day that Kassi could have lost all chance of having a family. She would never have known the feeling of being loved.

She would never have been this:


Knowing her now, it is so incredibly painful to think of the "what ifs". What if we hadn't seen her picture? What if we hadn't made it in time? 

But we did, and we are together, and so very thankful. 

P.S.
This post was co-authored by Kellin and Kenley, who are very glad to be able to work together again! 


Thursday, July 21, 2016

A short thought...

Kassi has been really interested in the blog, so I thought that it would be really cool to have a list of everyone who sees it. So, if you see this post, please comment with your name and where you live so that when we get to China, she will be able to see all the people who have helped us, prayed for us, and watched out for us.

Getting ready

As always, getting the last few touches of house stuff and packing have to be done. But, this time it was documented!


video
See, that is how fast I was packing.

And don't even get me started on cleaning, just look at those vacuuming skills!
video

Not to mention that before and after shot of our table!


video

And now, all there is to do is sit. (Although, for those of you who have discovered Pokemon Go, there is a gym and a pokestop past security...)



But we are finally on the move, and we will soon be there.




Lots more pictures!


Here are all the pictures that we thought that you all night like to see:



































We'll be there soon!

Monday, July 18, 2016

First Skype!!

We just got off from our first Skype!
She is SUPER happy, and has already warmed up to everyone. She also thought that it was pretty funny to play the "Wake Up Kellin" game, which started with me not recognizing her and thinking that she was already part of our family, and ended up with me forgetting to speak in Chinese, and some thorough laughter.

Here are some pictures:






This is a picture of Kai drawn by his newest big sister!




It was amazing to finally see her, and to talk to her. We're finally here! Or there! Whichever you want to call it!

Next step, second wave of travelers.
Yee-haw! Here we come, China!!

Mostly we are thankful that she is safe, loved and with her family.
\

Sunday, July 17, 2016

They got her!

They should have gotten her by now. I don't have any idea as to how it is going, but we texted them as they were about to leave the hotel. We will post as soon as we know anything.

Landing!

Touchdown! 
Tranquility Base to houston, we have landed!
The ground team finally landed after almost 28 hours.
(Just in case you are wondering, that is a looooooooooong time to be on an airplane)
We got to Skype with them, but not for very long, because it was almost 1:00 AM for them, and because of the aforementioned 28 hours of flying.


Tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM-ish,  (China time, here it will be 10:30 PM-ish) They will go to the civil affairs office, and Voila! New child!
               

Get it? 
28 hours on a plane, plus the civil affairs office equals Kassi!

(symbols crash)

I just can't wait.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mission complete. (At least half of it...)

Well folks, there you have it. Just coming in live from our stations in mid-air, we have the latest reports. 

At 6:30 AM, on Saturday the 16, the plane took off as scheduled, and everything since has gone swimmingly.

They are now safely on their way to Seoul, Korea.
They will arrive at 3:00 PM local time, which translates to 3:00 AM here.
After that comes a short flight to Zhengzhou, then the next morning we meet Kassi.

(Fingers crossed and holding my breath for an easy crossing...)



We now have about 24 hours until we finally meet our sweet girl. 


😮

Shocker.

Time sure seems to go slowly, but once the time arrives, it seems impossibly fast.





Friday, July 15, 2016

! ˙ø¨® ¬´ƒ¥¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

„´ ˙å√´ ø˜´ ˙ø¨® ¬´ƒ†≤ ©¨¥ßˇ˙å†æß ø˜´ ˙ø¨® ¬´ƒ† ¨˜†ˆ¬ †˙´ ®´ß† øƒ ø¨® ¬ˆ√´ß ∫´©ˆ˜≥ũ刘≥ Ïø® †˙´ ƒø¨®†˙ †ˆµ´≥ Ř∂ π®ø∫å∫¬¥ ˜ø† †˙´ ¬å߆≥ˆ ∑ø¨¬ ¬ˆ˚´ †ø †å˚´ å µøµ´˜† å† †˙ˆß †ˆµ´ †ø ßå¥ å ˙¨©´ †˙å˜˚ ¥ø¨†ø 嬬 øƒ †˙øß´ ∑˙ø ˙å√´ ˙´¬π´∂ ¨ß ˆ˜ 嘥 ∑å¥≤ ˜ø µå††´® ˙ø∑ ßµå¬≥ ˇ˙å˜˚ ¥ø¨ ßøøøøøøøøøøøøøøø µ¨ç˙⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄⁄

Sorry about that - I guess my excitement got the best of me. 

For those of you who can't instantly translate html to English, I said:
"We have one hour left, guys. That's one hour left until the rest of our lives begin. Again. For the fourth time. I would like to take a moment at this time to say a huge thank you to all those who have helped us, in any way, small or large. You helped make this possible... Thank you sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!"



P.S. 

See you on the other side!!! 
                             ~ Kenley, Mama, and Kolya 

2 HOURS LEFT!!!!!!!!!

Control Station: T-minus two hours.

Deployment Squad: Roger that, base.

Control Station: We should be getting visual on the objective any time now. Be on the lookout.

Deployment Squad: Ten-four, base. Scouts engaged, primary source thrusters fired.

Control Station: Watch your landing gear, keep your eyes peeled and always, always know where your towel is. Have fun while your down there, take a picture for me.


Deployment Squad: Roger that. We've got visual, but it will take a while for us to get a good sight on the target. Secondary stabilization thrusters fired. Energy Plasma beams energized. We'll be sure to send you a postcard!




3 HOURS LEFT!!!!!!!!!

Hello everybody! Thank you for flying Cogan Air, please remember to keep your personal belongings with you at all times. That is, if they are packed correctly...

We hope you fly again soon!


And by the way, we only have three hours left...

4 hours left!!

Only 4 hours!!!!! (Cheering in background)

We are getting down to the wire!!!!



5 hours left!!

This is it guys, the final 5 HOURS!!

In just 5 hours, we will have our "representatives" safely on their way to get Kassi!!!


Stay tuned for the next update, but don't be worried if it comes a little late, we will try to get some shut-eye later on!


Countdown with the K's!!

Welcome one and all to the first session of what will now be called the "Countdown with the K's"!

We have established this as a way for everyone to be a part of the last few hours before we leave.

The countdown right now is 12 hours!!!!! Only 12 hours before we leave to get our new sister/daughter!!!!!!

So stay tuned, we'll bring you live hourly updates on how much longer until we leave!


Right now we are just finishing the last minute touches on packing.

Come back in an hour for our newest update!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Update and info

Hi everyone, sorry about the delay in posting, we have been going through last minute preparations/upheaval and Daddy, Kenley and Kolya are traveling for a conference that was planned pre-Kassi and really badly timed!

On Wednesday, we got an email giving us TA!  (So nice to travel with travel approval!!)

So that means that we are on step 15!!

We also got an unofficial update from a friend, including two beautiful pictures!!




We had sent a care package several weeks ago but it was lost in the Chinese Customs department.  It was found yesterday opened and crushed but nothing was missing and everything was sound.


Knowing that we had told her in our letter that there was a package coming for her, we knew that she would be sad, so you can imagine our surprise and joy when we found out that they had miraculously found it!!  
Now she will get all of our pictures, some new clothes, and our travel itinerary!!
(The letter that she is holding was written by a friend and it has our names and our travel plans.)

Hang on, sweet girl! We are almost there!!!
Only 15 days 'till her birthday, 
that makes 7 days till the first wave of Cogans leave for China!!
And 13 'till the second wave comes!!
and only   until we finally meet her!














Sunday, July 3, 2016

Final Update

We have our final update on Kassi before travel...including two beautiful pictures!



It isn't very detailed (just measurements), but it's okay! 

Because....

We meet this sweet girl in just....




Days! Begin the countdown! 

We are in a whirlwind of packing, organizing, and finishing up all sorts of things around here. It is getting so close! 





If you haven't taken a look at the 5/5/5 program, please do! We only have two days left and we are only halfway to our goal!!