March 17, 2012

Things we know about Callie Beth........

When we received Callie Beth's file to review, we were thrilled to find ten pictures of her included with the file, along with bits and pieces of information about her early life.  The following are things we were told:

Callie Beth was abandoned on June 24, 2009 in Jiaozuo City, Henan at the No. 1 People's Hospital in the women's restroom in the pediatric ward.  That day, since the Jiaozuo City Civil Police conducted a thorough search and could not find any clues as to who had abandoned her,  she was taken to the Jiaozuo City Welfare Institute for rearing. When she arrived at the institute, all she had with her was one milk bottle.

Callie Beth's Chinese name (Fu Xia Yan) and her birthdate were determined and estimated by the institute's employees.  In other words, May 19, 2009 was the birthdate she was given, but we really don't know when she was born.  The meaning of her name is:
Fu - Surname;  Xia - Summer;  Yan - Beautiful

When she entered the institute, she was diagnosed with imperforate biliary atresia, and on June 29, 2009, the orphanage sent her to the China People's Liberation Army No. 91 Central Hospital for related surgery.  The surgery was very successful.  On August 3, 2009 she was returned to the orphanage.

The earliest picture of our little beauty

At 1 year old, Callie Beth is described as an adorable, especially intelligent little girl who was developing well in every regard. She is reported to be able to crawl, walk freely, move her thumbs and fingers nimbly.  She can take a block out of a cup and put it back in.  She can understand everything adults said to her, and point out her different body parts.

Her favorite toys are those that play music and ball toys.

Her personality is described as very gentle. She loves to smile, she loves to play with toys, and she has an exuberant energy.  Her reactions are quick.  She listens and is obedient.  She rarely cries.  She sleeps and eats well, and is closest with her caretaker.

Her measurements a year ago, at age 19 months old were:
Height:  31.89 inches
Weight:  26.11 lbs.
Head circumference:  18.50 inches
Chest circumference:  20.08 inches
Teeth:  18

We received the following updated information in November (age 2 1/2) about Callie Beth:
 Height:  36.6 inches
Weight:  29.4 lbs.
Head circumference:  18.1 inches (her head has SHRUNK!!!!)
Chest circumference:  21.6 inches
Feet:  6.3 inches (if this is accurate, she is running a close race with BIG FOOT!!!!)

We will see whether or not these measurements were anywhere near being accurate.  Apparently, there was an error with the head measurement one time or the other, and I'm thinking her foot measurement was done on the outside of her shoes she was wearing.

The pictures below were taken in early October 2011 by a sweet lady who works in the orphanage.  They were taken at Callie Beth's preschool there in the orphanage.

One shoe on and one shoe off....I'm practicing to be a KY girl!!!

I think I may love to read like my Mama does!!!
I LOVE my teacher and my teacher LOVES me!!!!!
We received the following pictures with our November 2011 update.

Callie Beth with her "Dora" haircut.

Our little booger with a BOOGER in her nose and VERY short bangs!!!!

When we received Callie Beth's file to review in early August, and I found out which province and orphanage she was from, I began researching to see what I could learn about it.  My research turned up basically NOTHING!  The only thing that would come up when I typed in Jiaozuo City SWI was entries about Show Hope, meaning Show Hope as associated with Steven Curtis Chapman.  About the only thing I could deduce from what I read was that Show Hope was actually located in this orphanage.  For two months, time and time again, I researched, in hopes of finding out SOMETHING about where our baby girl was living.  I was really a little worried that she might NOT be in as good of an orphanage as Molly Kate had been, and that she might not be getting the care she needed.  Knowing how serious her condition had been, this was a VERY scary thought to me.

FINALLY, one October day in the wee hours of the morning, on a whim, I decided to send an email to Show Hope.  I had been on their website MANY times, searching for info about the Jiaozuo City SWI, but all I could figure out was that they did occupy space there.  SO, I sent an email requesting any information they might could give me about the orphanage.  I told them Callie Beth's Chinese name, and that I didn't expect them to know her----BUT, if by chance they did, I would appreciate any information they could give me.  I told them I wasn't asking for them to tell me anything that would not be kosher for them to share, but that I just really would love to know something about the place where our daughter was living.

The next afternoon as I was checking my email, I opened an entry, thinking it was from our adoption agency, that simply said, "Can you verify your daughter's birth date?"  Well, dumb dork me typed in Molly Kate's birth date, and then it struck me, "Why does CCAI need HER birthdate?  I looked back at the email and saw that it was from Show Hope!!  I corrected my mistake and typed in Callie Beth's birth date, and immediately sent it.  A few minutes later, I received a response that was music to my ears!!!  YES, even though the birth date I was giving them was different from what they had, which they thought was probably a clerical error, they believed our daughter was actually UNDER THE CARE of their Show Hope Center in the orphanage.  The lady from Show Hope who I was corresponding with, Cathy Troyer---who coincidentally is from Paducah, 25 miles away from our home, and who has a sister who lives in the same town as us----asked me to send a picture of Callie Beth to her, just to confirm that we were talking about the same child.  I did, and she immediately responded that, YES....she was the little girl, whom they referred to as Emy, who was indeed under their care, and had been since she was dismissed from the hospital after her surgery in early Augustof 2009.

There is nothing anyone could have told me that would have made me any happier than to know that Callie Beth was receiving the BEST of the BEST care!!!  Even though Show Hope can't give us information directly about her---and I truly do respect that---they are able to tell me that she is healthy and doing well.  Cathy has also been able to let me know that the three care packages I have sent to her were received.

Back in January, Show Hope featured Callie Beth in a blog.  You can view this blog at:

We are hoping to receive more updated information on Callie Beth SOON!!!  Every little tidbit we can find out about her is a treasure to us!!!!!

March 16, 2012

Adopting a special needs child----.but, "What if........?"

We knew going into this journey that adopting a child with some type of special need was our only option, and we had no problem with that.  Before submitting our medical checklist to our agency, Roger and I talked about what types of special needs  we felt we would be able to handle.  Callie Beth was actually listed as having two special needs, which is one of the reasons she was listed as a SPECIAL FOCUS child, rather than just a SPECIAL NEEDS child. She was described as having a congenital vision abnomality (we later discovered that this is more than likely strabismus, and that her vision is fine.) Her primary special need, which is biliary atresia, was NOT one that we included in our choices, simply because we had no idea what it was.  However, we still agreed that we wanted to review her file.
As soon as we had requested to see Callie Beth's file, I began researching biliary atresia, and I discovered that it is a VERY SERIOUS condition, where the bile duct from the liver is not completely developed.  The procedure used to correct this problem is called the Kai Procedure, named after the doctor who created it, and basically what is done is a duct is made and rerouted from the liver through the intestines.  For a child to survive, they MUST have this surgery to correct the problem soon after birth.  Callie Beth was estimated to be about five weeks old when she had the surgery.  She was extremely jaundiced, and without the surgery, she soon would have died.  For a large percentage of children with this condition, surgery does not correct the problem and they eventually have to have a liver transplant to survive.  We don't know what the future will bring for our daughter, but so far, everything looks GREAT!!!  It has been over 2 1/2 years since she had her surgery, and there have been no physical setbacks.  She is a healthy, happy child.
When we received Callie Beth's file, I sat down with Roger and tried to spell out the worst case scenario that could happen with her----a relapse, a very serious illness, maybe the need for a liver transplant, or maybe even death.  We talked about it, we prayed about it, we talked some more about it, we prayed about it---until 5 AM the next morning---AND, we both came to the same conclusion.  We both agreed that we had never before lived our lives based on, "what ifs."  Something COULD have been wrong with any of our boys when they were born, or Molly Kate COULD have had problems, even though she was a non-special needs child.  Anything could happen to ANY of us at ANY time.  If we lived our lives worrying about what COULD happen, we would be miserable.  We understood that there were preexisting conditions with Callie Beth, but we truly believed that God had chosen her for us, and if that was true, HE would take care of her.
SO, we DON'T know what the future will bring for Callie Beth, but we are rejoicing that she IS a healthy, happy, almost three year old little girl right now, who is waiting for her forever family to bring her home!!!!

March 07, 2012

SO......when did our journey to Callie Beth begin?

I learned around the time we were preparing to go to China for Molly Kate, that a new rule had been passed by the CCCWA.  It allowed families to go back to China and adopt a special needs child using their original dossier (the PILES OF PAPERWORK that has to been done to adopt a child), rather than starting all over with the paperwork, IF they did so within a year of their first adoption.  When my friend told me about this, I laughed and said, "I don't imagine WE will be going back to China for another child. I'll do GOOD to raise this one!!!!"  I didn't say we WOULDN'T do it, but I was pretty sure THAT new rule wasn't going to affect us.  I think, though, that Roger and I were so GOO GOO GA GA over Molly Kate from the beginning when she became ours, that it really did a number on our hearts, too.  We didn't talk to each other about adopting another child, but from the time we got home from China with Molly Kate, Roger told everyone we talked to that we COULD go back to China and adopt another baby girl, if we went back within a year.  I occasionally mentioned it, too, and me being the kind of person who will NEVER have enough children, I was in no way against it.

In June 2011 Molly Kate and I flew to Denver, Colorado for our agency's yearly reunion, and then to spend a week with my best adoption friend in the world, Bonnie Dillow, and her family.  She and her husband have FOUR wonderful daughters, three of which were adopted from China.  Even though they were older than Molly Kate (4, 7 & 8 years old), they were so sweet with her and played with her, just as if she was their age.  AND, Molly Kate was right in the middle of pretty much everything they were doing.  It was just SO sweet to see her interaction with them, and it really got me to thinking----she needs a sister of her own.

As soon as we got home from Colorado, I told Roger that if HE was serious about adopting another sweet baby girl, I was too, and we'd better get with it, if we were going to do so.  He agreed.  I contacted CCAI, our adoption agency, and they sent us the medical needs checklist that we needed to complete.  The day we received the the checklist, which was during the last week in June, I happened to get on our agency's website and looked at the Waiting Children link.  Even though I had looked at this link many times, which has pictures of numerous waiting children (special needs/special focus) who are available for adoption, I had never been drawn to any of the children, UNTIL that day.  There she was....this sweet little girl, who stole my heart.  I read the information about her and her special need.  I just couldn't take my eyes off of her.  I logged out of the website, but I know I went back to it no less than 50 times that day.  I had Roger look at her file, and I asked him if he felt any special connection to her.  He said, "No....but you know me.  If you think she might be the one, then she probably is."  He said he had no problem with us asking to review her specific file when we sent back our medical needs checklist.  SO, I actually sent an email to CCAI, telling them we would like to review her file.  The reply I received was that there were MANY people interested in her file, but they would put our name on the waiting list and IF she wasn't chosen by another family before they got to our name, they would let us know.  I was sure in my heart that she WOULD be chosen by another family because she was such a BEAUTIFUL child, and even though her special need could result in issues in the future, I really didn't think that could possibly keep anyone from choosing her.  I prayed that she would be matched with the family GOD intended to be her forever family, and that HE would match US with the daughter who was a perfect fit for our family.

A month passed.  I checked the Waiting Child link every day, and as I continued to pray for this sweet little girl, her picture remained on the link.  I sent an email to our agency and told them I was just wondering if she had found her forever family yet.  I was told that she hadn't, but there was still a LONG waiting list of families who had requested to review her file, and they would call us IF they got to our name on the list.  I kept praying for her, that she would find the PERFECT forever family, but I NEVER prayed for God to match her with us.

Nine days after I had sent that email, I came in late in the afternoon from a day of shopping with my mother.  When I sat down to check my emails, I noticed I had an email from CCAI titled, "File Requested."  It didn't register, UNTIL I opened it and saw the words, "Believe it or not, no one has chosen to be this little doll's forever family.  If you are still interested in reviewing her file, please let us know as soon as possible."  I COULDN'T believe it!!!!  I called Roger and told him, and then I wrote back to let CCAI know that we were DEFINITELY interested!!!

CCAI had some technical difficulties with getting the file emailed to us, and it was late the next afternoon before we received it.  Roger was at work, and it was almost time for Molly Kate and me to leave to pick him up for church.  The file was in three different emails, and when I opened the first one, I saw it was more pictures of this precious child.  I could tell that one of them was definitely the most recent, and when I opened it, I burst into tears, just like I did when I saw the first picture of Molly Kate.  This little girl was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and she just had the sweetest look on her face.  I hurriedly printed off a copy of the picture, and we headed to pick Roger up.  When we got to his office, he got in the middle seat to sit by Molly Kate.  I reached back and handed him the picture I had printed.

Remember how Roger didn't feel the connection to this sweet little girl when he looked at her picture on the Waiting Child site?  WELL, he may not have felt a connection to THAT picture, but he certainly did to the NEW picture of her.  Even though there were many things we needed to discuss concerning her special need before we made our final decision, that picture made that decision for him.  There was nothing concerning her special need---even the worst case scenario---that was going to change his mind.  AND, there was no convincing needed on my part, either.  I HAD KNOWN the first time I laid eyes on her that I wanted her to be my daughter.

SO, five days later, we contacted CCAI and told them we wanted to be this little girl's FOREVER FAMILY, and on August 9 we received our pre-approval to adopt her.  Thus, our journey had begun!!!!

March 06, 2012

Why in the world would we want to adopt AGAIN?

I can honestly say that I don't believe ANYONE has come right out and asked us why we would want to adopt again.  I think after we decided to adopt six years ago, that shocked everyone so much that there's nothing they would put past us doing now!!!! Also, those who have been around us any length of time since we adopted Molly Kate in February of 2011, have seen what a true blessing SHE has been in our lives, and knowing that, adding another little girl to our family hasn't seemed TOO crazy to them!!  With Evan, Keaton, and Shea  as old as they are now, and since none of them live at home full time anymore, the realization hit us that Molly Kate was an "only child," and we decided that probably wasn't  best for her, although she IS very content being with just me every day.  We talked and prayed about it, and we felt led to look in to adopting another daughter.  We really left it in God's hands.  We knew if it was HIS will for us to adopt again, He would send the PERFECT second daughter our way, just like He sent the PERFECT first daughter.  If we WEREN'T matched with a daughter, then it wasn't meant to be.  SO, our wait began.......and THEN........ (to be continued)  :)

March 05, 2012


We are Roger and Vicki Pierce.  We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share in our SECOND journey of a lifetime that we chose to embark on this past summer.  Actually, I think the truth of the matter is that GOD chose US for the journey---we just listened to His call.  If someone had told me a year ago that we would be in the midst of another adoption right now, I would have WANTED to believe it was true, but I wouldn't have TRULY believed it.  Well, FRIENDS, it IS true, and we are SO excited about adding another beautiful daughter to our family.
We don't know what all this journey has in store for us.  In many ways, we are taking the biggest step of faith we have ever taken before.  But we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are doing exactly what God wants us to do, and HE WILL be with us EVERY step of the journey!!!
We truly hope you will be blessed in some special way, as you follow our story of bringing our sweet Callie Beth home to become her FOREVER FAMILY!!!