Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leaving, on a jet plane...
I can't believe it!!! We are packed and ready to go. We each have our checked bag (weighed so as to not exceed 44 lbs), carry on (dimensions no greater than 21x15x7" yikes!!) and our "personal item" (laptop case for Bobby and tote bag for me). We have snacks for the plane, more electronics than it probably takes to get the plane off the ground and all our very important papers. The car seat is installed in the car, plug covers inserted, baby gates ready for set up!!! OMG!!! I'm freaking out!!!

Seven days from now, we will meet Georgiana Rose NianSheng and will officially become a family of 5.


Friday, November 28, 2008

The Nursery
It is basically done!!! Only tiny details are left. Its been about a 2 yr process and boy, what a process it has been! First, about 2 yrs ago, when I thought we were about 1 yr from referral, we bought the furniture. I got it on sale and then had the store hold onto it. They did that for about 6 mos, then they called and said I had to come get it. I guess baby stores just don't comprehend a 37 month pregnancy (application to referral). Silly them.

Then about 1 yr ago, Bombay Kids was going out of business and I was able to get all the bedding, chandelier, shelf baskets, window coverings, etc all for about $300!!! Full price would have been well over $1000 so I couldn't pass it up. When we were about 2 mos before referral, we finally painted the background color. Not sure if you can tell from the pix or not but its a lovely soft shade of green (we had to paint it twice, first color was much too bright) and the ceiling is a very soft blue. Then came the crown moulding. We also changed the closet doors to bi-folds. The old ones were sliders and completely limited access. We also had the door cut into a dutch door in hopes of keeping the cats out. Plus, I thought it would be nice to be able to close the door without it being closed completely.

Then came the painting of the flowers and the fairy. I hand drew it and just painted it in. I think it came out pretty nice and really matches the crib comforter. I even managed to sneak in a couple ladybugs!
Anyway, here are some more pix.

I also decided that we needed a little artwork. I looked everywhere to find something that I thought would look good in the room. No luck. So I finally decided to paint a little picture myself. Add a repainted 50 cent picture frame that I picked up a few years ago and Voila!!! Artwork.

I am definitely not an artist but I'm pretty proud of myself for making something that's acceptable to hang on the wall.

What do you think???

Last thing, the chandelier. It was plain so I bought some beaded shades and dressed them up with a little trim and velvet roses, same thing on the curtain tie backs! I love them, soooooo girlie!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Very thankful
Yesterday was a big day!!! My last day of work for 10 weeks!!! I can't believe it... 70 days of no work!!!! Yeah!! Not a minute too soon either because it seemed that until I stopped working I wasn't going to be able to move forward with packing and all the final things that need to be done. On my way home, I stopped by and got the last form I needed for the trip--an immunization form-- notarized. Five minutes and, just like that, the last piece of paper was complete!! Its been a long road.

Today was a pleasant day, very relaxing. I did a streamlined version of the feast just to keep things simple. Brett's home from school which always makes the house feel more warm. Its weird because, when he's gone, I don't really miss him--not in the way I thought I would. He's gone and doing what he needs to do, I'm glad he's moving forward with his life, I feel like he's safe so, overall, its ok that he's not here. But, when he's home, the house just feels more complete. Even if he's upstairs or somewhere doing his own thing, its so much more comfortable with him here.

Its been just the four of us for so long. In just 9 days we will officially become a family of 5. I can't believe it!!! I'm thrilled and, truth be told, a little terrified. We're sailing fast into completely uncharted waters. The slow boat to China that we've been on for the last 3-1/2 yrs has become a speed boat. And, to keep the water metaphors going, I'm a little afraid of crashing and drowning. Is that weird?

I feel guilty being so frightened or even seeming like I'm questioning. There are literally thousands of people who would be overjoyed to be in my shoes. I'm overjoyed to be in my shoes. I know how fortunate I am, not just in the IA sense but in all areas of my life. I have two beautiful, intelligent, healthy, happy children. I have a wonderfully supportive husband who has always been there for me. We are fortunate enough to have jobs that work for us and afford us the ability to have a nice life and put our kids through college. Its all pretty good. I hope this is the right thing. I believe it is but, I'm really getting nervous. Will I be able to meet this challenge?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Travel Arrangements made, visas are in hand!!!
Today was a pretty nightmarish morning at work. I drove in murderous traffic, got screamed at and, to top it all off, had a client make blatantly anti-asian racist comments to me. Yeah, I know. However, the day does end up getting a check in the W column because it was so productive in regard to my quest to get to Georgie!

I got on the phone with the travel agent and in 2 hour-long calls had pretty much everything all wrapped up. The agency's travel person, Lynn, was super helpful and very nice to work with. Almost all of our air travel and hotel is booked with the exception of the Beijing hotel and BJ to Nanchang flight. That will be taken care of tomorrow. We decided to get G her own seat on all the flights for two reasons: first, extra squirm room and second, luggage weight. Buying her a seat means she gets to bring her own 45 lb bag and carry on!!! Yeah!! So now, the only leg of the trip that is possibly problematic is the BJ to Nanchang flight. If we get charged extra, we're just going to deal.

I was also able to pick up our visas in LA. It was super easy and only took about 5 mins from parking the car to pulling away from the curb!!! And, another plus, I was able to pay with my credit card, gotta love them points!!!

OK, so here's the itinerary:
(its been updated a little)

12/1 --Mon: fly LAX to Beijing non-stop
12/2 --Tue: arrive Beijing 5:30 am, check in Novatel Peace Hotel, rest day
12/3 --Wed: Lama Temple, Water Cube, Bird's Next, Olympic Park
12/4 --Thu: TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City, Lunch at local family's house, Hutong Rick Shaw, Acrobatic Show
12/5 --Fri: Great Wall, Summer Palace
12/6 --Sat: fly BJ to Nanchang, prepare for Baby G
12/7 --Sun: Georgie Day!!!! scheduled for 5pm
12/8 --Mon: Registration at Civil Affairs office, notary, apply for Georgie's chinese passport
12/9-12/11 --Tue-Thu: paperwork, bond and shop, hopefully visit orphanage
12/12 --Fri: receive adoption paperwork
12/13 --Sat: fly Nanchang to Guangzhou
12/14 --Sun: free day= bond and shop
12/15 --Mon: medical exam and visa photo
12/16 --Tue: CA (guide takes paperwork to consulate)
12/17 --Wed: receive Georgie's US visa, swearing in ceremony at consulate
12/18 --Thu: fly Guangzhou to BJ then BJ to LAX

Georgie, we're coming soon!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great news!!!
We have our consulate appointment (CA)!!!!! We are confirmed for 12/16!! I was really hoping for sooner but we'll take what we've got. At least now we can finally begin making travel plans. Tentatively, we will leave on 12/1 tour Beijing for a few days, fly to Nanchang then meet Georgiana on 12/7, fly to Guangzhou and have CA on 12/16, and be home on 12/17!!! I can't believe it. We began this process in 8/2005 and now, 3 years and 4 mos later, my dream of having a little girl will finally come true.

My last day of work will be 11/26, we'll have the Thanksgiving holiday with Brett and Casey, then off we go!

I'm so excited!

Just for fun, here's a never before seen photo of Baby G. It's her mugshot, gotta love that hair!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

TA is on the way!!!!

For the last few weeks my morning ritual has been:
1. wake up, shower, dress
2. feed cats
3. check computer for info on TA's
4. call Bobby and say "no info on TA's yet"
5. go to work feeling mildly depressed and slightly numb while muttering pathetically to myself "I want my baby"

But not today BABY!!!! Today was good news! Bobby's been working a weird shift so he was there to read it to. This is what today's email brought:

"Dear Families,Your TA's left China yesterday so they should arrive at HAIM
office on Monday.I'll post to the group. This means we should be able to request
your CA date by Monday night. This should make your weekend much happier.

Yeah!!!!! Of course, we'll meet another slight delay due to the consulate's closure on Tuesday 11/11 for Veteran's Day but at least we have made progress!!!! I'm still crossing my fingers that our CA will be 12/9. There is a very slight chance. More likely it will be later but that's not within my control so I'm just crossing all crossables that it is sooner rather than later. Anything that gets us home as early in Dec as possible allowing for maximum time to be spent with all five of us together before Brett has to return to school is good in my book.

Today's a good day!