Love From Afar

A family's love for a child begins long before his or her first breath is taken. Our love for Paige began in September of 2004 when we signed the adoption application with Children's Hope International.

Long before Paige was born, her waiting family (Kevin, Carla, Chelsea and Haley) began to pray and prepare for her journey home. Many months, even years, have passed since the application was approved. Birth and marriage certificates were ordered. Passports renewed, seminars attended, documents notarized, certified and authenticated, all as a part of the journey to bring our baby Paige home.

As we mailed our completed dossier to CHI and then on to China in September of 2005, we began to wonder where our little Paige could be. Is she still developing in the womb of her birth mother? Is she being cared for in an orphanage? Is her little ears hearing sounds that will always remind her of her culture? How long will it take to bring her home? All of those questions, could only be answered over time.

Join us in the journey.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Service in Castle Rock, CO

We loved spending time with Nana, Papa, uncles, aunties and cousins. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fair Time!

It wouldn't be a normal fair without a good face painting.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two Kinds of Love

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.

Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.

Author Unknown

Friday, June 22, 2007

First Doctor's Visit in the US

The day after we returned (Friday), we took Paige to her first doctor's visit in the US. The receptionist was very intreaged by the Chinese Vacination Report and Medical Report.

Dr. Comilang did her normal healthy baby check up and asked several questions. Paige seemed to be healthy except for two things. She has a herniated belly button which we noticed when we got her and she had a little bit of a raspy sound in one of her lungs. Dr. Comilang said the umbilical hernias often correct themselves and could wait until she was about 4 or 5 years old. Because of the raspy lung she gave us a prescription for an antibiotic.
We then introduced Paige to McDonalds fries, Target, Walmart, and Vons.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Coming Home

I must apologize for the delay in posting to this blog. We had a great trip home from China. Our first flight was from Guangzhou to Tokyo. There were several newly adopted babies on the flight. We had purchased a seat for Paige on our flights so it gave us a little extra room.

In Tokyo, we had about a two hour layover which gave us a chance to stetch our legs and feed Paige. Carla fed Paige in the airport terminal and just when she had finished, Paige started to cough, gag and up came the lunch. Luckily, (for me) most of it went into Carla's hand and we were able to put it in a zip lock bag. Carla rushed off to wash her hands and I tried to not follow up with a courtesy up-chuck. Once everyone was clean, we were all smiles again.

We boarded the plane and prepared for our long flight. Paige did very well on this flight as well and only got fussy a couple of times. We were all able to sleep a little and dream about the comforts of home.

Once we landed in San Francisco, we cleared customs and gathered our luggage. Carla's mom, dad, and sister where waiting along with Chelsea and Haley for us to come through the Customs door.

The girls were excited to see Paige for he first time in person. Paige just kind of took it all in. Once we got everyone loaded and the new car seat adjusted, we were on our way home. About 15 minutes into the trip home, Paige started to cough, gag and yes, up came her last meal. It wasn't allot but it doesn't take much to change the atmosphere of a car.

We got her cleaned up and introduced her to In-N-Out french fries. The hamburgers will come latter. The rest of the trip home was pretty calm.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mom talking to Chelsea and Haley

Mom talking to Chelsea

Mom talking to Haley

Medical Exam Time

Today was our Medical Exam and we did very well. The doctors said Paige is more normal than her new parents.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Paige's Passport

We received Paige's passport yesterday (Friday) and flew to Guangzhou today. This was Paige's first airplane ride as well as her first time out of the Hubei province. As you might expect, she slept on the way to the airport and woke up just before we went through security. She was awake during the plane ride which was about an hour and a half. She did very well and even allowed me to feed both her and mom the rice with chicken and vegetables. Once we were on the bus from the airport to the hotel, she fell asleep again.

We will be here in Guangzhou until Thursday. We have a medical visit, visa photo to take, consulate appointment and then hopefully get Paige's visa on Wednesday. We will then fly home on Thursday.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Paige trying to get a lotion bottle

Paige is doing great. She is starting to talk (babble) more and is laughing and giggling. She isn't afraid of other people and will go to just about anyone (at least for a few minutes.) Her motor skills are a little behind schedule. Even though she is almost 14 months old, she can not walk or crawl. She can sit on her own if you sit her up, but she can't sit herself up. She even had a hard time rolling over when we first got her.

Well times have changed. She is rolling back and forth and figuring out how to roll where she wants. We have to keep a close eye on her now when she is on the bed. We are trying to get her to stand more so with a little encouragement we will be chasing her in no time.

The video below is from our second day with Paige.

More Video

The first video in this post was from Gotcha Day.

The next video is from the second day with Paige when we were waiting to sign the adoption papers.

More on Food and Paige

Paige seems to be good for half a bottle in the morning and evening. The problem is when you mix half a bottle thinking she will drink it all, she only drinks half of what was mixed. However, she loves to eat congee (rice porridge), french fries, steamed eggs, yogurt and ice cream. Yes, most of the Chinese children don't get ice cream until they are at least 3 years old, but it only took Carla 3 days to give her some. She has been eating very well from the beginning but she doesn't like the formula. She will drink apple or vegetable juice and even water. I really can't blame her for not drinking the formula. It smells really bad! And no, I haven't tried to taste it yet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Update on Paige and her new parents

Well we are closing in on the end of day three with Paige. She has been a very serious looking girl and has had the same expression most of the time. Smiles are very hard to come by but are starting to happen more frequently and with less effort.

On Monday morning, we went to the meeting room to sign the 24 hour guardianship papers and get Paige. We were in a small room with the other families from CHI and were expecting the children to be waiting in a different room. Much to our surprise, they brought the babies in the room where we were and took them over to one side (close enough to see but not close enough to reach.) As each family was being called to the front to sign the papers, we would look at the babies and try to find ours. One of the men carried a child to a bar stool close to where we were sitting. I told Carla that he was holding Paige. We later found out he was the orphanage director for Paige's orphanage and he was holding Paige.

We were first to get called to meet our child. They brought Paige and handed her to Carla. Paige seemed a little confused but went to both Carla and myself without crying. Once everyone had received their child, we all went back to our rooms. The first day, Paige would go to either Carla or myself with no problem. By day two, she definitely had a preference for Carla and would whimper if she left her sight.

Paige has been sleeping from about 8:30 in the evening to around 6:00 the next morning. She doesn't seem to like the formula the orphanage said she was drinking so we couldn't get her to drink any formula on Monday or Tuesday. This morning (Wednesday) Carla mixed a bottle of formula as Paige was waking up around 6:00 a.m. Before she was wide awake, she put the bottle in her mouth and to our amazement, she started drinking it. She drank about half the bottle. She did the same thing this afternoon as she woke up from her nap.

Paige is starting to show a little more personality. She is starting to smile more and is definitely attaching well to Carla. She is a very precious little girl and will bless our lives for many years to come.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's Official

When we received Paige yesturday, we were required to sign a 24 hour quardianship. The 24 hour quardianship is to give you time to make sure you want to adopt the child. While we would have been happy finalizing the adoption yesturday, we had to follow the legal guidelines.

Today we signed all the legal documents and Paige is officially our child. They didn't realize it, but she has been our child for a long time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gotcha Day

We are in Wuhan

We made it to Wuhan. We are scheduled to get Paige at 10:30 tomorrow. It will be Monday here, but since we are many hours ahead of US time, we will get her before Mother's Day is over in the states.

I will post pictures and hopefully some video tomorrow afternoon. The guide told us to get some rest this afternoon because we may not get much sleep for the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday's Tours

Today was a long day of tours. We began with TianAnMen Square & the Forbidden City. We had a Peking Duck Lunch and orientation after. Just about the time we were ready for an afternoon nap, they hauled us up to the Great Wall for a little hike. I will try and post some pictures tomorrow.

We leave at 8:30 in the morning for the airport. We should arrive in Wuhan sometime after 12:00. We will have the afternoon to get ready for Paige. We aren't sure exactly when our appointment is on Monday, but we are hoping it will be early in the morning.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Child at Deaf School Singing

As a part of our tour on Friday, we went to a Hutong area. These areas are much like they were hundreds of years ago. We were able to visit with a family who lives in much the same way they would have long ago. We heard stories about their lives and were able to ask questions.

Before we arrived at their home, we went to the old school house. In this particular school, they were teaching hearing impaired children. Many of the children had Cochlear Implants and were learning to speak. One of the children came out to sing a song for us.

You can click the play button to hear his song.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday's Adventures

Today we began our day by touring the Temple of Heaven. Our guide Dennis, did a great job of explaining the history and meaning of the area. We left the Temple of Heaven and had lunch at a restaurant that reminded us of Mariposa's China Station. There were bus loads of White People. After lunch we visited a Hutong area which is described in the post with the video.

Dinner was at KFC. Carla had a spicy Chicken wrap and I had something fried with vegetables inside of it. I thought it was chicken when I ordered it but the first bite proved me wrong.

We are pretty much over the jet lag and both of us are feeling good. While we are excited to finally be able to meet Paige in a couple of days, it is a little weird to know Paige has no idea of how here life is about to change.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday's Tours

Summer Palace - Shopping - Peking Duck

Thursday was a good day. The weather was great (not to hot, not to cold, not to humid). We started the day out by meeting 4 other families who arrived early like us. We meet our tour guide Dennis who took us to the Summer Palace for a half day tour. You can see some of the pictures in the next post. After the tour, we went to Carrefour which is the China version of a Super Wal-Mart. We purchased lots of water, a few vanilla cokes and a Snapple.

We had lunch at a tea house between KFC and Pizza Hut. We were actually going to the KFC until I stopped at the tea house to read the menu. We were able to get the other two families with us to try a little authentic Chinese food. Carla and I had a vegetable soup with some steamed dumplings on the side. We will probably have to go back again before we leave Beijing.

Around 4:00, Wendy (previous intern at Yosemite View Lodge) came by the hotel and took us shopping. I was able to practice my limited Chinese by repeating over and over "too expensive" Most of the items we purchased I was able to get them to come down almost 90% from their first price.

After shopping, we met Sharron Wu, who works for the Best Western Global Marketing Group. She took us to a Peking Duck Dinner at a very nice restaurant. By this time, jet-lag was setting in pretty good for us so when we returned to the hotel around 9:00 p.m. we called it a day.

Today (Friday) will be a full day of tours. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

We Are In China

We had two very uneventful flights today.  We left San Francisco on time for our 11 hour flight to Tokyo.  In Tokyo, we had a 2 hour layover before leaving for Beijing.  The Beijing flight was a little over 3 hours.  After clearing customs, we were very happy to see our guide holding up a CHI sign. 
The hotel we are staying at here in Beijing is very nice.  The best part is the McDonalds a couple of blocks away.  Tomorrow will be full of sightseeing and visiting with friends who live here in Beijing.  Since it is 11:44 p.m. here, I am going to post this and try to get some rest.  Remember to keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Travel Itinerary

Our travel plans have been finalized and we are frantically trying to get everything together and packed. Our Itinerary is as follows:

  • May 8: Depart SFO
  • May 9: Arrive in Beijing
  • May 10: Tour of Summer Palace and dinner with friends from Beijing
  • May 11: Tour of Temple of Heaven, Hutong Tour and Chinese Acrobat Show
  • May 12: TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City, and the Great Wall
  • May 13: Flight to Wuhan
  • May 14: Meet Paige and start the journey as a new family
  • May 15: Do all the legal signing of papers
  • May 16: Tour to Yellow Crane Tower
  • May 17: Tour of Hubei Provincial Museum
  • May 18: Prepare Papers for American Consulate
  • May 19: Fly to Guangzhou
  • May 20: Free Day
  • May 21: Medical examination for Paige
  • May 23: Go to American Consulate to take oath and get Paige's immigration visa
  • May 24: Return home!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Travel Approval Sent from China

We received information today that our travel approvals have been sent from the CCAA office in China. Once Children's Hope International receives the travel approvals, they will begin scheduling our appointments in China. The VERY Tentative Travel Schedule at this point is:

  • Thurs, May 10th, Leave the US
  • Fri, May 11th: Arrive in Beijing
  • Sat, May 12th: Sightseeing in Beijing
  • Sun, May 13th: Fly to Hubei Province
  • Mon, May 14th – Fri, May 18th: Receive Paige and go through adoption processes
  • Sat, May 19th: Fly to Guangzhou
  • Sun, May 20th: Free day
  • Mon, May 21st: Medical exam
  • Tues, May 22nd: American Consulate appointment
  • Wed, May 23rd: Go to ACS to take oath and get Paige's visa
  • Thurs, May 24th Departure to US

These are very tentative and we hope to actually leave for China a couple of days earlier to do some sightseeing on our own.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

100 Good Wishes Quilt

In the northern part of China, there is a tradition used to celebrate a new life. This tradition is called a Bai Jia Bei, or “100 Good Wishes Quilt.” It is customary to invite 100 people to contribute a single square of material. Each piece of material is then sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the family and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

We would like to do something similar for Paige. We are creating a Bai Jai Bei quilt along with a Good Wish Memory Book. We want to welcome Baby Paige into our home with a quilt that represents the good wishes, prayers and love from our family and friends. If this is something you would like to help us with, please email us at:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hubei Province

Paige was found in the city of Chi Bi. This city (also known as Puqi) is in the Hubei Province.
Our understanding is that she is currently living with a foster family.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Referral Day

Carla's Voice Mail

This is the message Carla left on my cell phone.

Press the play button (you may need to press it twice)

Monday, March 5, 2007

What? Could it be true?

What a day this has been!! With a 7:50 a.m. Flight to Berlin, I was up at 1:45 a.m. and out the door headed for the San Fransisco Airport by 2:30. I arrived at the airport in great time and was able to grab a bite to eat before leaving the car at the long term parking lot. Once I was checked in and at my departure gate, I called Carla to let her know I was safely at the airport and waiting at the gate. As I boarded the plane, I turned off my phone and settled into my "economy plus" aisle seat. With our on time departure, we were off to Washington DC for a plane change and then on to Zurich and finally Berlin.

Landing in Washington DC proved to be an adventure with 35 mph cross winds and the plane being tossed back and forth trying to center on the runway. With all wheels safely on the runway, my fellow passengers and I gave a sigh of relief. Once we were parked at the gate, I gathered my belongings, turned on my phone and headed down the aisle of the plane for a quick exit.

As I walked down the Jetway, my phone beeped to let me know there was a message. Pushing the voice mail button on my phone was the first step in making March 5, 2007 and unforgettable day. As the message began to play, I heard Carla say in a broken voice that Ann (from CHI) had left a message on the CHI Yahoo Group that the referrals had been sent for LID's from October 18, 2005 through October 24, 2005.

Trying to maintain composure, I called Carla back. She had spoken to Ann and received the details. Our Baby Paige is almost a year old. She was abandoned on April 1, 2006 and was thought to be about a week old. The doctors gave her a birthday of 3/22/06. The name given her by the orphanage is Pu Fu Dou. Pu is the name of the city she was found in. Fu means good fortune or blessing. Dou means seed or bean. Her name given by her forever family will be Paige FuDou Shelton and will be our "Seed of Blessing."

Washington DC has been the sounding board for many a great proclamations, but for me, our nation's capitol will always be remembered as the city I learned about my little seed of blessing.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If you ever wonder why, watch this.

I came across this while searching through some adoption videos.

Uploaded by ludo

Try this if the you don't see the video above

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I-171H Immigrattion Form Renewed

We received our New I-171H form from the Citizenship and Immigration Service today. The Fresno CIS office was able to process the form in 7 days from the date they received our Home Study Update. We are very thankful for their quick response from.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

CCAA Issues another set of referrals

The CCAA issued a set of referrals today for Log In Dates of 9/28/05 - 10/13/05. While we were hoping to be a part of this set, we knew it was unlikely. Our LID is 10/24/05 so we should be in the next set of referrals.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Immigration Paperwork Expires

Before we could submit our paperwork to China in Sept. 2005, we needed an I-171H form from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS). This form is an advanced approval for allowing us to bring a foreign born child back into the United States. We received our approval on July 1, 2005 with an expiration of 18 months latter. As you may have already determined, the form expired on January 1, 2007 and since we don't have Paige yet, we needed to get it renewed.

In order to get a new I-171H form with a future expiration date, we had to get an updated home study which meant new physicals, updated references, financials, employment verifications, Department of Justice clearances, etc. With all the new paper chasing complete, we met with a Social Worker last night so she could write the home study update. If all goes as planed, we will have the new I-171H form from the CIS before we get Paige's referral.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Move from Department 1 to Department 2

According to the CCAA they have finished the review of all adoption applications with Log in Dates (LID) prior to January 31, 2006. Since our application has an LID of October 24, 2005 our application has been moved from Department 1, which reviews all the paperwork, to the next department. Department 2 is responsible for pairing a child to a family.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Prayer for Paige

Almost fifteen months have passed since China approved our dossier and we still ask the same questions. However, Paige's Journey Home is drawing close. Another month or maybe two and we will see her picture for the first time. We will know her age and where she was born. A beautiful face can be remembered as we pray, "Lord, protect our little Paige. Keep her safe and healthy under the care of those who are assigned to her. Whisper in her ear, your journey home is almost here. Your forever Mom, Dad and sisters are only a few months away."