Monday, May 29, 2006

Good Times!

We're HOME!! We had such a good time even if is was HOT, HOT, HOT in Orlando. We had 4 day passes to Universal Studios so Geoff and I spent the morning going back to some of our favorite rides today before we left. I needed to ride the Revenge of the Mummy again because I missed a lot yesterday thanks to my sister. She hates roller coasters. Well, yesterday we got in line for the Revenge of the Mummy and waited in a long line for about 45 minutes or longer. We didn't really read the map about the rides so none of us really had a clue how it would be. The funny part was Cindy and Kelly (the other couple that went with us) went ahead of us and rode it while we were eating lunch. They called John just before we got on the ride and told him how scary it was but John played it off and told Carolyn that it was a cake walk... until we were locked in the seat and he said, "now do you want me to tell you what Kelly really said?". Geoff and I were already laughing at them when the ride started and I don't think I stopped laughing for the next 20 minutes. My sister screamed the entire ride in short panicked screams. I don't know exactly why I laughed so hard but it just tickled me silly. Of course, this is great "teasing material" I'll have to rib my sister for quite some time!

I can't wait to take Lexi to a theme park. They had such cool things for the little ones to do. We kept thinking about future vacations with her. It was fun to get away and I think it helped us to take time away from constantly checking on adoption news on the internet. We were able to focus on enjoying ourselves and everyone's company. I even spent time doing one of my favorite things, reading. I've had The Secret Lives of Bees since last summer and just never picked it up as I've spent so much time on my computer since we began this adoption journey. I love this book! I should finish it tonight. Now it's back to work. I have 9 more days until I can say I am officially out for summer.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Blah News!

This disappointing message was posted on CWA's web board yesterday. I think it is ironic that they are giving so much information now on the web board. When I was impatient and freaking out over every single delay during our dossier preparation, I was told I was being difficult (yes, I still have not gotten over that one!) and that they were doing the best they could. Well... they have gotten better and even if the news just plain stinks, at least we are getting regular updates.

Dear China Families,

Many of you have already seen the CCAA website which states that the next referral group will be for families with log-in dates from June 6 - June 15, 2005. CWA doesn't have any families with log-in dates during this time period, so we are not expecting any referrals this time.

I know how breathtakingly disappointing this news must be for many of you, and my heart goes out to you. I get many calls and e-mails from families who are feeling despair, anxiety, anger, and confusion about the long referral wait time. I know this is extremely difficult emotionally, and also very difficult from a practical point of view. It's hard to make plans when the timeline is so uncertain. Also, many of you are growing concerned about when your CIS approval will expire, and asking what will be involved in re-applying to the CIS. (We'll talk about this next week.)

So I am bringing you this disappointing news, but I also send my sympathy and support to each of you. I know this is much harder than anyone expected it to be...

This totally disappointing but it's not totally unexpected. I still believe that it will be a little bit sooner. When we began this process, we thought we'd be in China this summer. Now it's more like summer of '07. Who knew?? Do I regret choosing China?? Not for one minute. As many people have said, our daughter is in China. We're not just out to get any baby.... we're finding our Lexi Jayne! (I'm trying out her middle name just in case we don't keep her Chinese name as her middle name.... sounds great to me!) So in light of all of this....what do we do in the meantime???

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Finally, the worst of the school year is over! I made it through the Technology Showcase AND the training for our new teachers today. Talk about a sigh of relief!! I actually fixed dinner for Geoff tonight (it's only been about a week and a half). Last night after a LONG day and even longer Monday, I showered, sat in the recliner and let my toes "uncurl" from my dress shoes, and then went to bed right after 8:00 PM. I still have school related duties until June 10th but the rest is easy compared to the last two weeks. This weekend, we are going to Orlando with Carolyn and John and another couple for some R&R. We promised John the entire time he was in Iraq that we would do something once he was home. The guys have plenty of golf planned while us women will soak up some sun. I know my legs could certainly use some color! On the adoption front, no news really. There are "rumors" again of an extended long wait (specifically 18 - 24 months). I still believe that the wait will be 12 months to referral and then 2 months until travel. This means next April. One thing I'm learning is to expect a long wait and to be patient because there is NOTHING we can do about the wait. Our agency hasn't confirmed long waits yet but within their weekly updates, you can just tell it is really getting longer. Next week, they plan to tell us what to do about renewing immigration paperwork because it is only good for 18 months (I think this is correct). I guess if I have to focus on something "good" about the wait is that a longer wait makes it appear that things truly are getting better for the girls in China. It also means that maybe between now and travel time for us, oil costs will change. Right now airline fees to China are about $600 per person MORE than it was when we began our adoption process. That's just outrageous! With all indications being negative for Chinese adoptions lately, certainly things WILL turn around for us in the future. That's my HOPE and PRAYER and I'm sticking to it!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sleeping.... working.... and traveling....

I sort of had a better night last night. I was able to go to sleep before midnight! I've been in "hyper-drive" for the past couple of days trying to get this technology showcase together. Gateway is supposed to be pretty much doing the entire thing but somehow it has landed in all of our laps! By Sunday night, I'll be fretting to get my presentation completed. (Is June 9th here yet????) Tomorrow I am going to go scrapbooking with my group. I plan to get Elisa's page completed with my friend's (Nikki) help. She's so talented! I'll certainly post the completed page and the wonderful story her fabric told.

Geoff and I are also planning a Memorial Day Weekend-get-away with Carolyn and John. They have invited along another couple. Do you know how hard it is to get 3 couples to agree on what to do for a weekend? It's next to impossible. I have come to think that basically everyone starts to agree to just get some plans made! So basically, the "guys" will be going golfing at Disney World and the "girls" will be going to theme parks or sunning by the pool. We had tickets to "the phantom of the Opera" in Jacksonville next weekend but we gave them up to go with my sister and John after his return from Iraq. Of course, I made our Music teacher very happy to get tickets for free. We're not the only ones giving up tickets. Carolyn and John had tickets to see Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. We'll have a great time no matter what. (See how different we two sister are??)

On the adoption news.... none. However, there are "rumors" that the process in China is extending to 18 to 24 months. I REFUSE to take part in these "new" rumors. I have to say... I've learned patience during this process. I know it will happen and I faithfully believe that it will not be any longer than next Spring before we go to China. We will go get our daughter and we will be ready for her when that day arrives!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Insomnia Woes

I'm having the hardest time sleeping these days! I haven't had a good nights sleep since last Friday and the last 3 nights have been the worst! Last night, I tried the couch, the floor in Lexi's room, and walking around in the kitchen in the dark stretching my legs. I finally got up around midnight and took a hot bath to help relax my legs. I've got Restless Leg Syndrome (this has bothered my on and off as long as I can remember, even as a child) and I guess I've been a bit stubborn lately because I just didn't want to take the medicine for it. Afterall, you have to take it EVERY DAY. That's just nuts. But if this keeps up, I'll be refilling my prescription! It's awful because about the time I get to sleep, it's time to get up! I just keep thinking that maybe once we get Lexi, I'll loose the insomina and RLS because I'll be so worn out from chasing her around the house.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

8 Days of school to go and a brown envelope!

You know the last few weeks of school has always driven me crazy. There are too many deadlines and too many panicky thoughts of not doing everything I wanted to with my kids. Inevitably, I always gave in at some point and just let "time" do its thing and relent that I am one person who can only do so much. I thought that I'd avoid this feeling this year since I'm teaching teachers instead of students. Well, that's just not the case. I have a banquet for the teachers that I worked with this year tomorrow and wanted to do all kinds of "extra" things but I just can't do it! The end of the school year is just as crazy as it ever was working with students. The only differenc is that my "students" are now teachers. To add to my load, I began working with 16 NEW technology teachers last week. I wish I could clone myself! (only maybe could I be a skinner version next time??) You can tell I'm overloaded because yesterday we got the infamous brown envelope from China and I didn't even post! I went to bed early instead (even though my mind still wouldn't shut down and let me sleep). The Brown Envelope is the notification from the US Consulate in Guangzhou letting us know that they have received our paperwork from the USCIS (immigration). It contains MORE paperwork that must be done to get Lexi here. It's great to know that someone in China knows we are coming, even if they don't know exactly when. So maybe once next week is over I can relax. I had a training session today with the new teachers and my supervisor walked in just before I was about to continue after a short break and told me that I have to present at technology showcase next Tuesday (can you tell how thrilled I am …. especially since I have more training on Monday). All I can say is "I give up!!" Time wins! The next 8 school days will come no matter what I do. If I think positively, I can say we'll be just that much closer to Lexi. I have until June 9th in this job and then I've taken the position of computer lab teacher at my school for next year. (I just can't seem to stay away from the kids!) So as I said, I give up!! I will do what I have to do and be done with it. I will do what I have to do…. I will do what I have to do… I will… I will ... I ...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!

Today has been a bittersweet day. It's been a fabulous day but yet, I still feel like something (or someone) is missing. I have to say that it was eventful, complete with Geoff helping me with Sunday School this morning where we made little hand print poems with the kids (and yet another Sunday of ME having "practice" changing dirty diapers"... augh....!!!) and then afterwards we had dinner at our house for my mom. We haven't had everyone over since last Labor Day. This time, we had all the "local" family here(except Chris who worked all night), everything was great and it was sooooo nice having everyone here. Sara gave me the sweetest "Mother and Daughter" necklace. I also wore my necklace that Geoff gave me of the Chinese symbols for Mother and Daughter. I feel like I am on the edge of having two daughters as I sit here and type my post. It's a long time dream of mine AND Sara, who awaits a sister. She is looking forward to Lexi so much too. I can't help but think that by this time next year, I should be a mother for the 2nd time and God willing, a Grandmother too.
Everyone was only gone about 15 minutes when I got a call from my advisor. FINALLY, some good news!!! He actually listened to me for a change and things just got easier for me to complete the dissertation. I have a lot of work to do the next few days but I'm up for it. I am soooooo...... ready to get this part of my life over!! It's one step closer to being ready for Lexi. Hopefully by next Mother's Day we'll be settling in nicely with little Lexi.
And one more thing, I got the nicest card from Geoff, the cats and the pups, and our sweet Lexi (who is by far a smart little girl to send a Mother's Day wish to me as I wait for her!... I have the dearest, sweetest husband ever!!) Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'm totally disappointed!!!

I admit it... I'm addicted to American Idol and Survivor! Tonight I'm totally disappointed that Chris was voted out!! He's such a family man. I was hoping he would make it to #1. I guess I should have voted! Now if Terry doesn't win Survior, I'm just going to have to swear off reality TV shows!!!!!!

It's been busy around here!!

So I haven't posted since last Friday. There is a reason for this and it all began last Friday! Geoff and I got a phone call about 12:30 Friday (Saturday morning)from my sister, Carolyn. It seems she fell asleep watching TV and when she woke up her eyes were really dry. So she reached over and grabbed what she thought was eye drops and proceeded to put them in her eye. Well, it turned out to be fingernail glue (aka... super glue!). She spent the night in the ER with her eyelids glued shut and ended up on Saturday morning at the Ga. Eye Institute (after Geoff and I drove her there). Guess what they do when you accidentally put glue in your eye????? They cut off your eye lashes and WAIT! So here it is Wednesday and FINALLY her eye is open. NEWS FLASH: You can put super glue in your eye and NOT damage your eye. However, you DO have to let the glue wear off. The funny part is my brother in law, John who arrived safely from Iraq on Monday. I warned my sister that he would have something smart to say and he did NOT let me down. We hadn't even left the eye institute and he called on his way back from Ireland. Carolyn explained what had happened... these are a synopsis of his comments:
~ Better get yourself some dark sunglasses Helen Keller.... You can use Peedee (their Jack Russell Terrier) as you seeing eye dog . . . Try to keep yourself together until I get home or shall I say "apart!". And once he got home he teased and teased her about looking like a Gecko! He keeps us laughing that's for sure!

So the moral of the story is.... do not keep eye drops anywhere near your nail glue. The containers are soooooo similar you can't tell the difference if you don't look carefully!

As I said before, John arrived home on Monday safe and sound. I haven't ever been to a homecoming ceremony until now and it was totally COOL! It was awe inspiring to see all of those men who have risked their lives for our freedom. I was so proud of everyone and of course my brother in law was a sight for sore eyes! We had a family welcome home dinner for him that evening. This is what life is really about... enjoying our family and all of the blessings we have from above. Welcome back John!! And Carolyn... congrats on finally prying your eye open!!! Now... throw out that nail glue!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Fabric keeps coming!

This is from the Gallant's in Canada. I love this fabric!

This is fabric from my friend Nancy. It's funny that I'm posting her fabric today. It brings back memories of teaching with her last year before she moved to a different school. We had the BEST time with our kids last year during May. We bought them Mexican Jumping Beans and did all kinds of experiments with them. Then on Cinco de Mayo we had a Mexican Fiesta. I didn't like guacamole until I tasted her's. We paraded around school with our sombreros and had a great time! I miss teaching with her. Happy Cinco de Mayo, Nancy!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More Wishes and Surprises!

I've totally been slack with posting this week. I'm not even sure where the week went. I think it was Tuesday of this week that I was on my way back to school from lunch and was thinking of the quilt and which wish to scrapbook next. I was almost there and the words just started flowing in my head of what to say for Elisa's fabric (my teacher friend that just passed). It was amazing! Just words just "hit" me so I grabbed a pen and the back of a piece of paper and started writing my thoughts (as safely as possible I might add). When I came home, I sat down and wrote them out. My friend Nikki at work is going to help me make her page later this month. I'll share it when I'm done. I guess I'm just thankful that God gave the right words to say. Usually, I get my brainstorms in the shower... not driving down the road.

I have some new things to share. Last Saturday, my dear friend Samantha and her husband Dan sent us a package with Lexi's fabric. I was totally immersed in writing my dissertation so I didn't allow myself to post. (I've got to run with it when the mood hits!) I literally worked all day and up until about 9:00. Anyhow, here is what they sent.

Ever the teacher and advocate of women, Samantha sent a book about a little girl in China who wanted to go to college like the boys in her family. It's based on a true story and is a real girl power story! She also sent me some scrapbook stickers about adoption. One day soon, I'll post the poem included. It was really touching! Samantha and Dan are expecting "little Dan" in August. I'm planning to go to Atlanta in June to spend a little less than a week with them and she and I are going to SCRAPBOOK UNTIL WE DROP! She even sent me a birthday gift card to Archiver's in Atlanta to make sure I come (we don't have Archiver's here). Poor Dan! At least he'll have full control of the remote control for 5 days!
And of course, this is their page that they sent for Lexi. (Oops! The teacher in Samantha agrees with my sister Carolyn and spelled her name with an "e". We'll fix this in June!)
And this is fabric from Geoff's Aunt Holly and Uncle Phil in Maryland. Holly is going to send their page later. She also shares our love of Gymboree.

I don't have a clue how many pieces of fabric we have. I've lost count but I know we have at least 100. I can't wait to see the finished quilt!