Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Our official countdown has begun

August 10 is our official LID (log in date) at CCAA so, our 6-7 month wait to referral has begun!

So, what does all this mean? For those of you who are going through this frustrating, aggravating, exciting, stressful, wonderful process, no explanation is necessary. But for those of you who are just along for the ride, let me explain what has happened to date, and what will be happening. So that you stop asking me daily if we have our daughter yet.

On Valentine's Day 2005, we were approved by our agency CCAI to adopt a child from China. We have spent the intervening *205* days proving that we were born, documenting our marriage, submitting to having our lives, values, ethics, marriage and home critiqued, scrutinized and inspected. We have been poked, prodded, investigated, fingerprinted, and inspected. Both of us needed to have our passports updated.We have met with local officials to get signature after signature on all of our documents. We have dealt with four different Secretary of State offices as well as three different Chinese Consulates in both the UK and the US. We have trusted the USPS time after time and have been pleasantly surprised with their efficiency. In addition, we survived our dealings with the USCIS, submitting form after form after form, patiently waiting for their response.

On the plus side, we have learned a few very important phrases in Chinese, obsessed over appropriate names and I have purchased just a few outfits for our little girl. We have met other wonderful families and bloggers who are also adopting children from China. Our blog detailing all of these events was listed on China Adoption News as their featured blog. And even though I failed homeEc years ago, I am learning to sew, hoping to make the 100 Good Wishes Quilt for our daughter...All of this in 205 very long and stressful days.

Now, we wait, wait and wait. It will be approximately 6 months before we get our next piece of news, which will be a big one. Hopefully in February 2006 we will receive our daughter's referral photo and a medical report. Once we accept the referral, we will hopefully travel to China 6-8 weeks later, making all the work, stress and grief worth it, when we finally hold our daughter in our arms.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fun filled night!

Last night, Eammon and I hosted a potluck for a few local couples, ( including 2 blogger buddies) all of whom have a DTC date between April & August 2005. We met some really fantastic people, and had a fun evening filled with wonderful food, and lots great laughs. We all had so much fun, we are already planning a get-together for September, and have decided to get together on a monthly basis.

Our poor guests all got tortured with a tour of the painted room which will be baby S's nursery. But they got me back and disclosed to Eammon, my "secret" stash of baby clothes, which now has taken over our guest bedroom closet! His only complaint with the clothing, is not the amount, but the overabundance of pink, pink, pink! Is there ever too much pink in little girl clothing? I think not!! Guess though this means that I'll just have to buy additional outfits in other colors...Maybe Watford colors would appeal to him!?!?

Ahhh, but one my guests must have known, of my love for baby clothing (and pink)...Thank you K for adding such a cute outfit to the Baby S collection!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Still "patiently" waiting for our LID

Dear Lord,

So far today I am doing all right.

I have not gossiped,

I have not lost my temper,

I have not been greedy, grumpy, selfish or self-indulgent.

I have not whined, complained, cursed.

I have not even eaten chocolate.

I have charged nothing on my credit card.

But I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think then, I will really need your help.

Eammon sent the above prayer to me and I had to post it as it's completely accurate and very appropriate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Guess what Mr. Postman delivered

It's our brown envelope from the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou! I wasn't expecting this until after we received our LID (log in date) , which I expect hope to receive later this month when referrals are announced.

So, what is all the excitement over this brown envelope? Well, it means that the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou knows that we are approved to adopt an overseas orphan and that when we show up at their door, they are authorized to process Baby S's case. Ahhh, not so fast though. First, the brown envelope contains *more* forms to fill out! Then there is the matter of a physical. Before they can process Baby S's approval, she must undergo a medical exam, and they kindly list, in English and Chinese, all the various approved clinics and hospitals along with the associated fees. There is also an instruction sheet that lets us know that the Adoptions Unit will accept our credit card for the payment of Baby S's visa...Good at least they think there is still money to back that card!

One other thing that one of the forms says, is that on the afternoon of our scheduled appointment for our oath ceremony, that we must leave all cameras and recording equipment at the hotel, as they are not allowed because of security concerns...That sucks! Such an important moment, and we can't capture it on film, what's the deal with that? They also kindly include a map of the U.S Consular Section and the surrounding area, where they list a few places in English, but most locations are written in Chinese. The map though, was obviously designed by a man as it lists the necessary locations as well as a sports center, but not one mention of any good stores or shopping places.

So, the upshot of all of this. The contents of the brown envelope are disappointing, but I am relieved to know that the consulate knows we are on our way!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Another week closer to Baby S

Even though we don't expect to hear anything regarding our actual LID (log in date) until referrals arrive later this month, I know that CCAA received our dossier on 7/26. Thus, I expect that by now, we have been logged in and have officially started our 6-7 month waiting period until referral. Many people have said to keep busy during this time, and I have been doing just that.

Earlier in the week, I cleared everything out of the room which is to be Baby S's. My poor dining room, the table is covered with all my books. A futon, computer desk and file cabinet litter the room along with a 5-foot tall stuffed giraffe, a large stuffed elephant and lion. If anyone is in need of a cheap futon and/or computer desk, contact me! The painter got into Baby S's room and did his magic. I had the walls painted lilting laughter, which even though on my monitor, looks like light putty, it really is just a blush of peach. The trim is Oat cake which is more of a putty color. The room glows with the wall color and during the day, I keep thinking that I left a light on in there, but it is just the brightness of the room.

Mid-day Wednesday, my Mom arrived for a 3 day visit from the mecca, for people who are retired. That afternoon, I had the windows measured for new blinds, which should arrive and be installed within the next 3 weeks. My Mom looked at the fabric that I had planned for the window valence, and she convinced me, that it would be better to use it on cornice boards, and I think that is a better option too. I have to wait to make the cornice boards though, as I need to see how far the new blinds extend, so I know how deep I have to make them. Even though I have the fabric for the curtains, I still have not decided on exactly what I want, so we didn't start on those either. Oh well, maybe when she returns at Thanksgiving time, we will do some of the sewing.

Thursday, we went out to the Fickle Pickle, for lunch with my friends Teresa and Mary. Then my Mom and I went and spent lots of time and money at my favorite store, Homegoods. My Mom then bought Baby S this crib. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Friday, after my Mom left, I started clearing out some of the stuff that is littering the dining room. Finding a new place for my 200+ unread books is proving to be an issue. I am a voracious reader, finishing 2-3 books a week. I do not hold onto books once I have read them, but my problem is, I have to read books in the order that the author wrote them, but not necessarily all in one go. For example, if an author wrote 20 books, and I have all the books, except book #2, I will read book 1, but will hold onto books 3-20 until I get and read book number 2. I'm doing this with probably 25 different authors at any given time. I am always going to the used book store and collecting books, and even though I go through them quickly and sell them back, they still pile up. Once again, If anyone needs a cheap futon or computer desk, I'd love to get them out of my dining room...call!!

Saturday for breakfast at Einstein Bros., I met another CCAI mom-to-be, Sonia. We chatted for hours, and it was like we had known each other for years. After breakfast, we went over to a new scrapbook/stamping store to look at all the fun products and to get information on taking a class so that we can make our wish books fun, interesting and beautiful.

Today, I have to work on getting out some fabric and wishes to some of my swap buddies. I love all the fabric and wishes that people have been sending for Baby S's quilt. The fabrics are all lovely and the wishes, beautiful and touching. I love going to my mailbox...Thank you! I also need to continue to clear out the dining room, as I have made plans to have some local, Summer 2005, DTC (Dossier to China) families to my home for a pot-luck in less than 2 weeks! Thus, I have plenty of work to do, to keep my mind off of the long wait to Baby S.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Meet & greet weekend

Friday night was spent getting the new computer set-up, but after that, our weekend improved dramatically.

Saturday, we were invited to Daphne & Greg's home. We had a fun afternoon and evening, eating and chatting with another CCAI couple. Greg was the grillman of the evening, making some of the best burgers that Eammon & I have had in years! We've never had Bubba Burgers, but let me tell you they were awesome! Greg did a great job cooking them to perfection. The dogs and sausage were good too, but those burgers... They're what make burger fantasies a reality

Sunday, I met Cindy for the first time, and she is also a CCAI mom-to-be. We met at the Cheesecake Factory and spent a couple of hours comparing notes and whinging over the long wait before we have our daughters. Funny thing, we were walking out to our cars and we walked to the same place. She said, this is my car, and I thought, wow we ended up parking right next to one another. So I said the truck? She said no, the Jeep. No...That's my car I said. Oh yeah she said, the tag is different. Her same color, same model, same everything Jeep was a few cars further down the row! Weird Aye?

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