Monday, December 26, 2011

Travel Approval --- WhoHooo!

Travel Approval -- Day 15!!!!  Well it felt like 50 long agonizing slow days, but I received official Travel Approval on December 22, 2011.  Now it's frantic rush to get everything done for travel day on January 4th!  I can't believe it!  Here I come little Mia! 2012 is looking pretty darn fine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Article 5: Last Immigration Step!!!

Today I received news that my Article 5 had been picked up from the U.S. Consultate Office in Guangzhou, China and delivered to the Chinese Governement so that they can now issue my Travel Approval!  TA should occur in "2 to 4 weeks."  Cross your fingers for 2!  If all goes well, I'll be on a jet plane for China soon!  What an amazing "early" New Year's present! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sponsorship of Mia Approved!

Today I received news from the wonderful director of Gracie's Room Program, that I could sponsor Mia for the remainder of her stay at Xinxiang Orphanage.  I'm not sure what that all entails right now, but I do know that I feel much better knowing that I have some part in my angel's daily nurturing until I can get her snuggled in my own arms!  I've donated previously to the program and sent in my sponsorship fee of $250.00 today which is the sum that will sponsor a child in the Gracie's Room program for a year.  Thankfully little Mia will be in her momma's arms well before 2012 even thinks of moving along, but hopefully another kiddo can benefit from as well. 

If you want to sponsor a child in Mia's program, visit Dianjiang Kids International; click on Donations; then click on Gracie's Room. $250 is a lot these days with our struggling economy, but $250.00 can change the life of a little one, just like my precious Mia.    It's well worth it! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ode To My Very Dear Friends

Ode to My Friends

Can I just say....I have the best friends a gal could ever want or need.  I know you are all sick to death of the adoption chatter that spews from my lips every time you talk to me.  I know I have had a single focus for the past---gee, year.  You've never once told me to shut up, zip it or skip it.  Here's to you, my friends.  I love you all dearly.

To my friend who talks funny:  Joey you gave me strength & courage that I never possessed until I was truly blessed to be counted as one of your best friends.  There may be oceans between us, but you will always be my beloved sister and now, our little princess' auntie and godmother.  You, Jo are the loveliest person I will ever know and you brought me the greatest gift.  The lady who finally gave me courage to become a momma.

To my once client and forever friend:  in 15 plus years of my law practice I have never crossed over the line that separates lawyer and client... Until I meet you my dear Chet.  You have a heart of gold and I couldn't imagine not having you by my side.  Life can sure throw some curve balls at us, but you and your family are proof, miracles do happen and love and perseverance do solve the unsolveable.

To my old college roomie:  Still wished you'd taken the bar exam!  Remember to blink.  It would still have been Lems & Brown.  You and your family are truly beautiful and I hope that I'm a centimeter of the parent that you and Cherie are to the boys.  Truly inspirational and scary as hell.  I have a lot to learn.  Are you sure there's not an instructional manual?

To My Plain City Adopted Family:  Well you're stuck with us now.  You don't generally get to pick your family.  But I sure made an amazing pick!  I'm not only blessed but truly honored to be part of your loving nest.

Carlton:  You are my yin to your yang.  Enough said.

  I love you guys!  What a helluva China Team!  GO CHINA!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Letter of Acceptance arrived yesterday! I've been officially approved to become Mia's momma by the Chinese Government. Whew!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mia News!

Little Mia News

Our angel girl and her orphanage were visited in mid September 2011 by an agency representative that handles the charity outreach program.  She specifically recalled Yu Ting!  Little Mia Yu Ting is a shy butterfly.  She wouldn't approach or engage with the agency worker and hid behind her nanny.  Mia was described as "beautiful," "very cute," "shy," and "really strong."  She is bonded with her nanny and has 14 other orphanage brothers and sisters with her in the Gracie's Room Program.  There are currently 5 nannies for the 15 special angels in the program.  It sounds like Mia is receiving good care and individual attention for 8 hours a day from her nanny.  The orphanage is still in need of basics like shoes, socks and warm clothes for the kiddos.    Can i just say this wait is pure agony and I can't wait to cuddle my little muffin!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Learn More About Gracie's Room

To learn more about little Mia's infant nuture program, go to  and click on the link for

Little Mia has been blessed to be in the Gracie's Room Project since June 2010 and she will stay there until her Mom and the "China Team," hopefully gets to pick her up in December 2011/January 2012!!!

From the latest photos from the wonderful volunteer staff of Gracie's Room Project, it looks like our little angel is learning to walk with the help of her nanny!  A huge THANK YOU to Krista & Moya (you guys just make the wait bearable). 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Medical Conditions Checklist: 03/31/2011

Mia Referral: 06/22/2011

Letter of Intent: 06/28/2011

Dossier to China: 08/19/2011

Log-In Date: 08/26/2011

Letter of Acceptance: 10/24/2011

Travel Approval: ???

Gracie's Room & Women Lawyers of Utah

Journey to Motherhood
As some of you may know, I’ve been planning on becoming a mother for some time, and not to my ark of animals at home.  There is of course, all the concerns with maintaining my role as lawyer, managing my firm, and still being momma bird and momma doggie.    Juggling it all, which is what each of us does each day as a woman lawyer.  We know how to micro-manage, multi-task and get it done, in essence, to kick butt.  
When I came to the realization that I wanted to be more than a canine or avian mom, my biological clock hadn’t just stopped, it was now missing parts.  So I began searching for alternative means to become a Mom and discovered the world of international adoption.  This may sound strange coming from a lawyer who practices family law, but I had never explored this avenue for myself until now.  
I made an amazing discovery.  My daughter has been living in China!  I’d like to share with you a wonderful program I was fortunate enough to stumble upon and then I’d like to ask for your help.  It’s called Gracie’s Room-First Hugs Program.  The Program is solely funded by private donations from around the world and consists of volunteers, professional women, like you and me, who devote their time, efforts and money to give orphaned babies a chance to be loved.  
Babies and love?  You’d think they come hand-in-hand.  There are more than 600,000 abandoned children in orphanages in China.  Unfortunately, there are not enough caregivers or money to provide daily one-on-one care for all these children.  Gracie’s Room Project was established by the family and friends of Gracie Reilly, a little girl who was adopted from an orphanage in China by her forever family in the U.S.  Sadly, little Gracie passed away at the age of 3 from a rare form of leukemia.  The motto of the infant nurture Program established in her honor is “what better way to cherish this little girl than hugging babies in her room every day.”  
--Gracie’s Mom.  
Gracie’s Room currently has 15 babies in it with an average of one nanny per three to five babies.  Children are chosen for Gracie’s Room because they have special needs and the Program and nannies are trained to help these angels thrive.  These kids are held and played with.  Instead of a propped bottle under their chins as they lay in a crib, they are held in their nanny’s arms.  The children have daily exploration away from their cribs and opportunity to crawl and interact with their nanny and other children.  Their nanny will hold their hands and help them walk when they’re ready to totter around.  Most orphanages have a ratio of 1 nanny to every 20 children.  As a result, most infants spend their time alone, oftentimes in cribs, bouncy seats or walkers.  Gracie’s Room provides invaluable emotional and physical development.  The children in Gracie’s Room receive individual care and opportunities to explore their new world and environment.  Simply, the babies get daily love and attention.  
Please help me in supporting the Gracie’s Room First Hugs Program and its children, one whom I hope to call my own this year.  
--Wendy J. Lems  (donations can be made at
“Mommy bird, kick butt in court with grapes!”  --Solo the Bird