Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Secret Pal gift exchange...
I've joined quite a few of the Yahoo groups for families adopting from China. Among them are three DTC groups December 2005, January 2006, and Feb 2006, Harrah's, and APC. The DTC groups are really fun, everyone is in the exact same place and so we can all kind of relate to each other. I'm really surprised that I enjoy them--it's not the kind of thing I thought I'd have any interest in-- but they provide a nice support system. Anyway, the groups plan all sorts of fun little things to keep your mind occupied during the seemingly unending wait. So far I've done the postcard exchange and begun the secret pal swap. I've also signed up for some quilt square exchanges but that's a different subject altogether.

Today, I'd had an extremely challenging day at work and when I got home I was really tired and pretty grouchy. Luckily when I checked the mail I found that my first secret pal package had arrived!!! I was so excited!!! What a great assortment of cute little things. The theme for Feb was "Year of the Dog" because of the Lunar New Year. As you can see there's a really cute chinese dog plaque and stand, a beautiful purple ornament, origami baby booties, two little jade dogs and 5 sets of the prettiest chopsticks I've ever seen!!!! There are 4 adult sized chopsticks and one child sized for Baby Girl. Whoever my secret pal is she (he??) sure did a great job. I've posted some close ups:

Thank you so much Secret Pal!! You really lifted my spirits today.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Still waiting on our LID... I know think?? we already have one, I just don't know what it is. I heard today that the families whose dossier's were sent by our agency to China on 1/6/06 received a log in date LID of 1/24/06. That means with our LID should be around the middle of February. I'll be so happy to have one. For anyone who doesn't know, the LID is the date that China uses to line up referrals. So, pretty much they go in chronological order and that's your place in line. The next referrals should be out in a week or two and will be for LIDs 5/13/05 --->?? No one knows for sure but I've heard rumors that they'll go through 6/6/05. That would be more than 3 weeks worth which would be great cuz the last couple sets of referrals have only been for a 2 week period of time. That would mean that referrals would be taking 8-1/2 mos from LID which is not so bad. I've been setting myself up for a 10 month wait for referral so 8 mos would be a huge improvement!!!

There's been quite a bit of talk on APC lately about the ages of children to be referred --its gotten me thinking quite a bit. We requested 5-10 month old girl, as young as possible (AYAP). China considers an infant to be any child up to 24 mos. I personally have never seen a referral that old, except where its been requested, and most of the babies are between 8 and 14 mos old. Lately, they've been even younger, 6-9 mos. Some people are just adamant that there is a baby out there "meant for them" --either in the religious context or not and therefore age is not an issue. Some feel that they have put their trust in the CCAA to match them with the "perfect" child for them. I personally do not feel that way. I don't have the religious connection and I sure as heck don't think that a government worker in a country half way around the world looking at our passport pix and our little commercial (aka dossier materials) has any tremendous insight. I believe they do the best they can. I've heard they try to match up by appearance and personality but, whatever. I just don't think they have enough information about the families or the babies to do that successfully.

One thing's for sure, I know that we will love the child referred to us, that one's easy. Children are so innocent and beautiful and I think human beings are just "built" in a way that when you are put in a position of care of another living thing, not just children here, you love them. I believe that parental love is a natural instinct.

Anyway, point is that either way, I still really do want a child AYAP. I really love the idea of adopting from China but I could have found my child somewhere else. Vietnam just opened their adoptions again and the few referrals I've heard of are for very young babies, like 2 mos old. That's very appealing to me. Of course, we could have gone with Guatemala where the babies are also very young but that just didn't feel like a match. Overall, I think China is the best choice for our family.

So what would we do if China decided to refer our family a child far outside our expectations? A boy perhaps. It's happened. I can unequivocally answer that if we were referred a boy we would request another referral. I love my boys but that's just too different from the experience we're expecting. Plus, I know some families would be so thrilled to have a little boy. How about an older girl, say 3 yrs old? Would we accept that referral? I don't know, I'm not sure. Truly, I hope that doesn't happen but if it did and we accepted the referral, I know we'd love her. Plus I'm sure in the future we would look back and not even be able to imagine our lives without this particular child. Just like Brett and Casey.

I love you Baby Girl, I just haven't met you yet!!!

"And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will
I will."

Monday, February 13, 2006

It's been a very long time since I have posted. The biggest news is... we are officially DTC!!! On 1/20/06 our documents were sent to China with those of about 10 other families from our agency. What a huge relief. I mean really, its amazing how stressful that part of the whole process it. But, its done and now we just have to wait. First for our LID --Log in Date --the date that determines our place in line. Then for our Referral....

"The waiting is the hardest part

Every day you see one more card

You take it on faith, you take it to the heart

The waiting is the hardest part"

"The wai-ai-ting is the harrrrr--dest part..." I think of that Tom Petty song often which is funny cuz it really is not adoption or baby related but whatever. Waiting really is hard. I guess because there's nothing I can really do to improve the situation. I can't get up early and get started, I can't work overtime, I can't pay an extra fee to expedite, and I can't call someone's supervisor and nudge the process along. I have to just... wait. And, during this active waiting period I can't even log onto the computer and track the progress like an anticipated package from Amazon. I have to just try to get through it without driving everyone else crazy. So here's what I'm doing:

1. Working a lot --bill, bill, bill...
2. Mandarin classes --oh my gosh, really fun "Ni hao"
3. Reading books about China and adoption
4. Endlessly shopping for all baby related items ie. the perfect crib, the perfect crib bedding, the perfect stroller, the perfect high chair, etc.
5. Still trying to choose the perfect name --current fav's Zaidee, Chatelaine, Adeline, Cambria, and Charlotte.
6. Finish projects around the house and general de-clutter
7. Reading every post on all the yahoo groups I belong to searching for rumors of referrals
8. Joined postcard swap, secret pal swap, and quilt square swap
9. Considering taking a quilting class --the lady at Joanne's assures me I can complete a very simple 100 good wishes quilt with very little training. Hmmm I'm not sure...
10. Remembering all the little songs and things I did with Brett and Casey when they were small so I can do them again with Baby Girl like Itsy Bitsy Spider, I Love You So Much, Wheels on the Bus...
11. Driving everyone else crazy with discussion of the above.

All in all, its been just fine so far. Of course, its only been like 23 days so it may get a little tougher but we'll have to see.

On the shoppping issue aka Retail Therapy... I've been considering a new ideas for the nursery, well same idea, different implementation. Here are some other cribs I am now considering:

The Venetian by Bratt Decor --this crib comes with the posts and you can either use them or not. So fancy but not in an over the top way.

Below #1: The Casablanca by Bratt Decor --this is a crib that was featured in the Stuart Little movie.
Below #2: Classic Iron by Legacy. This is the only one of the group I've seen in person and it is GORGEOUS! I wish it came in gold but it doesn't just silver and white.

As you can see I'm really liking the iron crib idea. They're just so beautiful, romantic, classic and extremely well made. Also, there's no furniture matching problems to contend with if I go with a metallic which will make the rest of the shopping so much easier.

This weekend we went to our final baby shopping destination and I found a company that's been in business for years that makes custom crib bedding. They have tons of fabrics and you can mix and match to make a one of a kind set. Really beautiful. Some day soon, I hope to have this all pulled together in my brain and then watch out... the credit card's coming out and I'm doing some damage!!! Until then its search and look, search and look, search and look....