Since we shared our news about Tallula, some of y’all have asked a few questions…
1. When did all this happen? How are you so close to being able to bring her home?
Well, a lot has been going on behind the scenes. We chose to keep it to ourselves so we could focus on Poppy. And so we could keep our sanity. And, honestly, during the homestudy, and the wait for USCIS to complete our paperwork, our sanity was in short supply. But now that things are finally moving again, and travel is on the horizon… well, we are so happy to be able share our joyful news with y’all.
We submitted our LOI for Tallula in early July. And, amazingly, we received our LOA just three weeks later. Which would have been spectacular, had this been a regular adoption. But it wasn’t. When we got word of our LOA for Tallula, we were already in the process of bringing Poppy home from China, and moving to a new house in a new state. Which meant that we would need to bring Poppy home, then move, and then bring Tallula home.
Which meant a whole lot of additional work.
Once we got home with Poppy, Chris and I sat down and had a look at all the paperwork that needed to be done for a homestudy in our new state. And then I cried. Seriously, I don’t know if it was just this agency, or this state, or the Hague, but it was a nightmare. All new auto-biographies. All new reference letters. All new financials, employment letters… and all needed to be notarized. Original birth certificates for everyone in the house. Complete physicals for everyone in the house…
Do you know how hard it is to get physicals for all your kids when you’ve just moved and don’t even have a doctor yet?
But let’s not go there. It’s all behind us now, right? And the 4 months it took to get our homestudy completed, and the 2 months it took USCIS to get our new approval and I800 completed are now just a distant memory.
Our I800 was completed on January 26th and our paperwork was cabled from the NVC to the Embassy on February 3rd. Now we are waiting for our Article 5 paperwork with should be ready to pick up on February 21st.
After that, we’ll just be waiting for Travel Approval.
Another question y’all have asked is…
2. Where did that name come from?
It has been a name we’ve loved for a long time. It was a name we briefly considered for Vivienne and Poppy. But it just didn’t fit.
To us, the name Tallula sounds sassy. And smart. A my-way-or-the-highway kind of a name.
And, almost as soon as we saw her face and read her referral information, we knew she was our Tallula.
Tallula means “abundance”. And “princess”. And that just seems to fit her to a T.
Her middle name, Mae, is a family name on both of our sides. And we love the southern twang it adds to Tallula. We’re not set yet on what we’ll actually call her, but there are a couple of incredibly cute nicknames we could use with a name like Tallula.
Or even Lula Mae.
We do need to come up with something soon, though. Before my husband’s chosen moniker for her begins to stick… T-Lu. Goodness, no.
And some of y’all have just asked for more.
3. More info! More details!
And I’m more than happy to help.
She was born in April 2010. Considered to be ‘low birth weight’, she was sent to live with a foster family in May of that year.
Her paperwork says, “She has a quick smile and when calling her name or playing games with her, she giggles. Neighbors call her ‘huan xi tuo’ – one who is happy all the time.”
From her referral paperwork:
“At the age of about one year, she could speak phrases of 2 – 3 words such as she jia jiao (sleeping) and lai ya (come).”
“When celebrating the Chinese New Year, the mother took her to visit extended family members, and she was very generous and followed the mother’s instructions to do some motions and made those family members laugh happily. When having the red envelope, she would thank them in the Chinese way, gong xi fa cai. They all praise her as a smart girl.”
Seriously. By the time we travel for her, she’s going to be smarter than me. If she isn’t already.
She is also, shall we say, robust.
At admission – when she was just a few days old – she weighed 4 1/2 pounds and was 17 inches long.
But at a year, she was 26 1/2 pounds and over 29 inches tall.
And at 17 months, she was 33 pounds and 37 inches tall.
Which, to put that into perspective, is about the size of an average 3 1/2 year old Chinese girl.
If her paperwork is correct, she will be taller than Poppy and Vivienne.
We are definitely going to have our hands, and our hearts, full.
And we can hardly wait.