Saturday, December 30, 2006
December 20, our social worker sent an email saying that our agency told her that they had sent our criminal background check clearance to her on that day. I haven't heard anything from her since. I was assuming that she had gone out of town for the holidays, etc. and that the USCIS would be closed various days and had decided that they would probably get it sometime after the first of the year. So, today, whatever today is, we received this piece of mail. And, truthfully, it could have come yesterday because I don't think we ever went out and got the mail. Let's say it arrived today - the 30th (ok, I looked). They say they received the application on December 27 and the envelope is post marked December 28. Could this year's Christmas miracle be a speed up at the CIS? The receipt states that processing takes approximately 60 days. They may have said that last time when it took 90, but they requested additional documents. Either way, we should have our renewed I171H by March-ish. Which sadly, should not have any effect on our travel to China.
Which brings me to the seemingly slow things. Everyone is on pins and needles waiting for word on this month's batch of referrals. It's about that time of the month, and people are getting anxious. Clearly, we won't be hearing from our agencies before January, but there is the possibility that the referrals could have gone out yesterday. Hopefully we'll hear something next week AND they will cover at least a couple of weeks' worth of LIDs.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
We had a great time on our trip. I managed to relax, so I'm not really overly stressed...right now.
Tomorrow's Christmas Eve, and I'm so excited. It will be a busy day greening the church and all, but I'm looking forward to it.
I can't wait for Christmas morning - to see P's reaction to whatever Santa may bring. It's going to be a fun time.
I've been totally out of the loop on the adoption front. Our agency is closed until Wednesday. The next batch of referrals should be due out shortly. I'll poke my head in on some of the rumors and report back and the goings-on.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. I thought this last year, but I think I'm pretty safe saying that we'll have our new daughter next Christmas.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
So, I asked P what was up with not listening in class. She, of course, said she didn't know. I told her to ask her brain why it couldn't listen in class. So, she paused, asked her brain and paused again.
Then she said that her brain wasn't where it was supposed to be when she was in class. I asked her where her brain was. She said that it was supposed to be in the middle, but during class it was over on the right. (Isn't the right brain the "artsy" side?). I asked her why her brain was on the right and what it was doing there. She asked her brain, then said that it went over to the right because it wanted to watch TV, have something to drink and eat a sandwich.
This evening, I asked P what she thought we could do to keep her brain in the middle during class. She suggested "brain medicine" that "tastes really icky". I suggested maybe we could remind her brain every morning that while she's in class, her brain has to stay in the middle. She thought this was a good idea.
Phoebe and Allen were both in a community theatre production of "The Littlest Angel". While neither of them was actually the Littlest Angel, we did all have to be at the theatre every night last week. Phoebe had to be there 6:30-8-ish each night, and Allen stayed later. As soon as I get a copy of the pics my mom took, I'll post them. Phoebe had a great time. She was a little star. Literally, her role was as one of the little stars. She basically ran out at appropriate times and raced around other characters or sat on the edge of the stage listening to songs. The rehearsals stressed me out for the week. It just seemed like we didn't have a lot of together time. While I have several things to do this week, at least my family is home for dinner every night.
I've started working with a trainer at the gym. Yesterday we worked on my legs for 30 minutes. Who knew they were so weak? I use them daily. I'm a bit sore, and walking funny today, but it's a good pain, right? Tomorrow I'll meet with her again. We'll work on my chest or back. As long as it's not legs, I don't care.
Phoebe's class Christmas party, sorry "luncheon", is Thursday. ("It's a luncheon mom, not a party"). Then Friday, I'm one of the drivers for her class to go to Casa Manana in Ft. Worth to see "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
Saturday we leave for a cruise with Allen's family. It should be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to lying on a beach and doing nothing at all. That should be just the thing to really enjoy the holidays when we return. I have major plans for relaxation!
Hopefully, within a few days of Christmas, the next batch of referrals will come out and we'll see what progress China has made. We'll be a little bit closer.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I do have a feeling in the back of my mind, a fear if you will, that once the CCAA starts matching October LIDs things are going to slow down to a few days at a time again. Who can say? Certainly not me.
But, I think it's safe to say that I ought to finish up the nursery and all those prep type things that I haven't even thought about. Probably ought to read the documents that our agency sent us so long ago about the referral phase of this process.
Last year at this time, the slow down was just beginning, and I don't think anyone expected to still be waiting now. But at the same time, I think we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Waiting for Arden (LID 8/26/5)
Bringing Kennedy Home (LID 8/31/5)
Linda and Danny (Dutch) (LID 8/31/5)
Petit Coeur de Chine (LID 9/2/5)
Bringing Home Olivia (LID 9/7/5)
Suereth Blog (LID 8/30/5)
Waiting for Lucy (LID 9/8/5)
Crazy about Cali (LID 9/5/5)
Journey to EmmiGrace (LID 8/30/05)
The Howells (LID 9/8/5)
The Sauers (LID 8/26/5)
Reggae got soul (LID 9/7/5)
Isabel Grace (LID 8/30/5)
Journey to Lily Grace (LID 8/30/05)
Fireworks and Fireflies (08/26/05)
Our Adoption Journey to Ada (8/31/05)
Miss Audrey (LID 8/26/05)
Towe (LID 8/31/5)
They are about 6 weeks from our LID. If they continue to do 2 weeks of LIDs per month, then we're looking at about 3 months until our referral. IF, IF, IF... So, end of February? Beginning of March. Traveling over P's birthday?
Gosh, I have a lot to do. All those things I've been putting off because it seemed like our referral would take forever. Catch up on P's photo albums, etc., etc., etc.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Now the rumors are that the cut off date is September 7. Big difference, huh? Last month's cut off was August 25, so that's almost 2 weeks. It's still better than those batches that came over the summer that covered less than a week.
We're in the process of renewing our I171H form that expires in the middle of February. This is the form that allows us to bring an orphan into the country. We need a new one if we won't complete travel before it expires. I'm thinking we won't be back from China by then! :) I think we may be lucky to have a referral by then.
So, should I start a betting pool on when we'll travel? Before P's birthday or after?
Friday, November 24, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
I saw this picture on a yahoo group, and couldn't resist sharing it.
I've been stressing a little bit this morning because I'm finally recognizing how much I need to do between now and tomorrow afternoon when my family comes over to celebrate Thanksgiving. I've been pretty laid back about it all week, because it's my family and they are pretty low maintenance. As long as I make mincemeat pie, my dad and brother will be happy.
So now I'm thinking, "Gee, I guess I ought to take all of the Halloween stuff back upstairs so that it can go back into the attic" and "Hmm, might want to sweep up the dog hair" and "I should probably go buy food aside from the pie fixin's".
A on the other hand is planning to take an early lunch and go see the new Bond flick.
So, do I clean or go to the movie in the middle of the day with hubby?
Monday, November 13, 2006
I had a bit of a book shopping spree last week. Most of them have been trickling in. Today I received several from Amazon (more on those books in a later post) and two books from Half the Sky(http://www.halfthesky.org/) arrived today! They are beautiful. One is Good Morning China, the other is mei mei, little sister, portraits from a Chinese orphanage. I slowly paged through both of them and I'm about to do it again. The watercolors in Good Morning China are so pretty, I can't even describe them. This particular one is a special edition that Half the Sky is selling until the end of the year. The binding is a traditional handmade Chinese binding. I love it!
Mei Mei is wonderful for totally different reasons. The entire book is black and white portraits of children in orphanages. They are breath taking, smile inducing and tear jerking all at once.
If you haven't visited Half the Sky's website, go visit. It's a wonderful organization created by families who have adopted from China. They do some great work!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Before all the shooting and drawing, I went to the gym! There's a new LA Fitness near us (probably less than a mile). I went and looked around last week and went back to join yesterday. My friend and yogi, S, went with me while I signed up after dragging me out of my house to go to a yoga class somewhere else. So I had a lovely yoga class yesterday (thanks, S) and a treadmill and weights session today.
What will tomorrow bring?
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Our next adventure
Our Journey to Madison Mei
San Diego Seigels
The Three Miracles
Three’s a Charm
Waiting for Michella
Lindsey’s MeiMei (Music)
Our Journey to Abbey Road
Journey to Emilia
To Tess & Back
Moon Pies and Moon Cakes
Our Family Journey (Music)
Caroline on my Mind
Our Journey to Baby Shanahan
T&G’s Red Thread
Journey to Tinkerbelle
Our Journey to Megan
Our Journey to Cate
Thursday, November 02, 2006
We'll get there.....
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
This also means that the wait is holding, tenuously, at about 14 months. Which leads to yet another rumor bouncing around.
There is a rumor that someone with a log in date of 10/24/05 was told by their agency to look for a December referral. That would include us. And that, in my opinion, would be a miracle. Major, divine intervention, full on miracle. So, I'm not convinced that it is humanly possible, and I'm not holding my breath.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
While I think few people believe that referrals will actually cover the rest of August (wouldn't that be lovely), the big question seems to really be will it be the 23rd or the 24th.
What difference can one day make?, you may ask. Well... for one thing, our agency doesn't have any dossiers logged in after last month's referrals until the 24th. There are several weeks' worth of dossiers that were all logged in on August 24th. So whether it's the 23rd or 24th could mean the difference between our large, China-only agency getting referrals or not. It would also be a positive sign as far as the number of referrals China has worked through this month, possibly meaning a slight increase in monthly numbers going foward.
BUT for now, we watch and wait to see what the cut off date will be in actuality. There are lots of people out there on pins and needles with an 8/24 LID. I really hope we hear something definite (and on the positive side) soon.
I can't imagine what it's going to be like when we get closer to our LID. Probably little sleep and not much food (though lots of chocolate).
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Who would have thought at this time last year that we'd still be a-waitin'? Certainly not me. Yes, it's been one year since China logged in our documents. Even though, as I write this, it's still the 18th here, it's the morning of the 19th in Beijing.
I don't know what to say. I guess I've learned patience...or learned that I can't stand learning to be patient.
Actually, I THINK I'm a little more laid back in general than I was a year ago. Maybe just more worn down. Kidding... I've taken the adoption attitude of "it's out of my hands" with a lot of things. When there's really nothing you can do about a situation, it's best to recognize it right away. If you don't, you get such a headache from smacking your head against the same wall over and over again.
Also, I'm really having to trust God on this. I keep thinking that God has known all along who our daughter is, and knows whether she's been born. I think God has known from the beginning when we will get our referral. I don't believe He "made" it take this long so that I'd learn valuable life lessons. I just think He knew how long it would take, and was just waiting around for me to turn to Him after getting that headache I mentioned above.
Of course, I'm also having those "what was I thinking" moments. Not because I'm regretting going the adoption route. I'm freaking out over being the mother of two. TWO?! They'll out-number me! Gang up on me! EEK. Those thoughts don't stay with me for long, but they do pop up every now and then. Sure the total number of children won't outnumber the total number of parents, but day in and day out... oh, I just don't want to think about it.
So, here we are. One year later. Last year, I was afraid that we'd be traveling to China on Phoebe's birthday last May. Now, I'm starting to wonder if we'll be traveling on her birthday NEXT May....
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Over this past weekend, we went to visit my parents. For those of you who don't know, my dad had bypass surgery at the end of June. It took us all by surprise, but couldn't be avoided and luckily he didn't have a heart attack before hand. Anyway, he's "feeling much better now". It was great to see him feeling so well. I think we all need to watch out now that everything is pumping the way it should be and the doctor has said he has the heart of an 18 year old.
While we were at my parents' house, my mom and I turned that crazy fabric into a crazy crib skirt and a crazy valance. It looks really cute. I have not taken pics of it yet, but I will and I'll post them soon.
This week I've actually had 2 custom jewelry orders! Oddly enough, both of them are for "Mother's Bracelets", even though I didn't have any examples of them on the website. Strange world. Someone ought to sell tickets. I'm going to post both of these bracelets on the website - maybe more people will want one for themselves.
Today being the Feast of St. Francis, Phoebe's school had a Blessing of the Animals before school today. Senna did well. Apparently she only goes into attack mode when someone comes to the front door. Out there on neutral turf, she's fine.
Tomorrow will be a bit of a sad day. A friend at our church died in her sleep on Sunday night. She was the wife of one of our retired priests. I'd gotten to know her this year, and was looking forward to knowing her better. She was very smart, no nonsense, and was hilarious! We're all going to miss you, Pat. A lot.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Here is what I've bought. Since I surprised myself with the choice of the bunnies on the wallpaper, I guess it should make sense that I chose fabric that kind of surprised me too. Are you ready??
The first picture will be the main part of the skirt. The second will be a 4 or 5 inch stripe around it a few inches from the bottom.
Now, of course, the colors don't come across very well. Well, the pink does. But the, let's call it plaid, is actually brighter than it looks. And the bits that look like cat-sick-yellow are actually close to the color of a Wal-Mart price tag, but lighter and not quite as bright.
I think I bought enough fabric that I can also make a window valance. Because, if you're going to go, you have to go all the way!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Well, after quite a steep learning curve on building a website, I am happy to announce that my jewelry website is now up and running. The address is littleshopofbaubles.com . I have high hopes that someone, somewhere out there on the world wide web will stumble into my little shop and find that perfect necklace that they didn't know they needed.
We shall see.
Monday, September 25, 2006
After all that talk of being surprised by the arrival of referrals, our agency sent an email today saying that referrals are on their way. So, they did get a warning this time before just receiving them out of the blue. When I first read the email, I was REALLY depressed. Our agency is getting referrals for parents whose documents were logged in through July 29, 2005. Que? As you may or may not recall, last month's referrals were for documents that were logged in through July 22, 2005.
Now, what actually makes this slightly less depressing is the following information: The actual cut off date for this batch of referrals is August 9, 2005. So, China did do more than one week's worth of LIDs, it's just that our agency doesn't have any LIDs after July 29 until August 24.
So, congrats go out to all of those families who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the referrals. I can't wait to see all the pictures.
Friday, September 22, 2006
All of that being said, there is a rumor today that referrals were mailed today. I'm not sure what the usual travel time is once referrals are mailed, but if they were indeed mailed today, they should arrive some time next week. Of course, I'm sure lots of people will be watching for the CCAA website to be updated with the cut off date for this batch. Repeat it with me... "more than 9 days", "more than 9 days", "more than 9 days".....
Monday, September 11, 2006
Well, the calendar on the wall says that I haven't posted in 2 weeks! Two weeks?! You'd think a lot would have happened in that time.
There hasn't been a whole lot going on.
Rumors are already swirling around about the next batch of referrals. Everything from "they'll only cover a few days" to "they'll go well into August LIDs. We'll see when we see.
Meanwhile, our fingerprints that we had to have taken to adopt expire today. We have received a letter allowing us to go get re-fingerprinted, and we will probably do that on Saturday. It kind of makes me laugh that we even have to be re-fingerprinted... As if I've become Jimmy Hoffa in the past 15 months. I understand that taking the fingerprints generates an FBI criminal check and that they are really just seeing if we've been naughty, but it seems like there should be a way to do that without taking the fingerprints again.
It's strange that each office of the USCIS (Immigration) has different procedures. I was expecting to have to pay the $70 per person fee for fingerprinting again, but apparently in Dallas, that is not the case. Thanks to a woman on one of the yahoo groups that I'm on, I was able to email our request to be re-fingerprinted on 9/7/06, and we received our letter on 9/9/06. Yes, that's a 2 day turnaround. That's the quickest action I've seen on any of the paperwork we've received during this entire process.
While I haven't been blogging, I have been working on getting a website up and running to sell handmade jewelry. I've become addicted to making jewelry over the past several months, and I have high hopes for others actually liking it, too. Blogging is much easier than e-commerce. I will post when it's actually up and running.
And finally, since I've been thinking about it all day, I have to make mention of today's date. I can't believe it's been 5 years since we were all glued to the TV in disbelief as those insane people took down the towers. Today, I watched a little bit (only a little bit) on CNN.com as they streamed the broadcast from 5 years ago. It was still unbelievable. It was very surreal watching the reporters talking about events as they unfolded, knowing that they didn't know what was coming. It was like knowing the future and watching as everyone else found out what I already knew. I remembered the disbelief, the confusion, the sadness. I remembered all of the flags that flew for days and months afterward. Then, I took a little drive to the grocery store and I was a little annoyed that I didn't see many houses with American flags out front. I didn't see flags at half staff in front of businesses. I know with all of the media coverage going on this weekend and today, that it's not possible that people have forgotten.
But, have they remembered?
Monday, August 28, 2006
"The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before July 22, 2005."
These referrals surprised everyone, including our agency. The agency sent an email on Friday stating that they'd suddenly received referrals for families with a 7/20/05 LID. (The next LID for our agency is 7/27/05). Usually our agency receives word from the CCAA letting them know that the referral batch is on its way, and the referrals arrive a few days later.
Maybe this is a good sign that referrals actually arrived less than 30 days since the last batch, instead of the usual 31-35 days. Who knows?
This whole process has really taught me (although I slip daily) to enjoy every day and not just sit and wish the days away.
The living continues.....
Friday, August 25, 2006
It's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to....
Yep, today is my birthday. What will the day bring?
Rumors are bouncing around about referrals coming in. Apparently some people with 7/22/05 LIDs have received referral calls! How odd. There has been no indication that referrals are on their way. We haven't received any emails from our agency about referrals being on their way. What's up?!
The downside of the the rumors is that people are saying that the cut off date for this batch is, in fact, the above mentioned 7/22/05. Huh? That would mean that referrals cover 9 days' worth of LIDs. Mmmm, lovely flashbacks to April and May referrals. Whee, let's see...If referrals come once a month, and cover about a week's worth of LIDs, with an LID of 10/19/05, we'll get our referral....Hmmmmmm. It's like a word problem from 5th grade math made up by a sadist.
On a positive note, all of the above has yet to be confirmed and is currently only a rumor.
For the most part throughout this process, as rumors have swirled, they've pretty much bounced off of me. Some have turned out to be true, others have not. As I told a friend yesterday, if this one turns out to be true, I think I'll have to officially give up on meeting our baby this year.
There are certainly worse things going on in the world. And I was just thinking the other day that between me and my baby's birthmother, I definitely have the better part of this deal.
So, what will this birthday bring? Reminders of how much I love my friends and family? Reminders of how lucky I am? Reminders that no matter what day it is, my family still generates dirty laundry and dishes? Reminders that I have no control over our adoption process, no matter how much I may try?
I'm going to go with "Yes" to all of the above.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The following 2 pictures are of the room before we started. It looks a little on the yellow side of green, but it's actually a dark olive green:
The next picture is of the walls primed, and the picture following it is of the walls painted (but not the ceiling yet). The lower half of the wall is light green and the upper half is light blue:
Thursday, July 27, 2006
We've been in the process of adopting our daughter from China since February 2005. We are getting closer to our referral, so we decided it was time to start a blog. As we get nearer to meeting our daughter, our family and friends can follow our journey....