Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The part that urks me is China has no problem with posting. It's a "blanket" policy of the agency. And it's sooooooo HARD to NOT SHARE OUR JOY! We've shared here for the past 3 years and we're so excited that we'd like to share with the WORLD... anyone that wants to know all about our beautiful daughter!
But we did sign the agreement and we would NEVER jeopardize our adoption or cause any ill on anyone else's so we will concede and do as we agree...
that doesn't mean I have to be happy with it.
*** Disclaimer!!! I did not and have not mentioned the name of our agency. They have done nothing but bring us happiness and I'm sure they only act in regard to our best interest.
Monday, December 29, 2008
She from the ********* Providence and is the **** **** SWI.
She's 11 months old born on January **, 200*.
On Sept. 22nd she weighed 14.3 lbs and was 25.6 in. tall. She laughs a alot, likes to play peek-a-boo, and likes the bright colorful toys.
We are in love! She has big brown round eyes and looks so tiny! Her fingers are long and Mei said she may just grow up to play the piano!
Will try to update about the day later... It's so hard coming down off Cloud Nine to do this post!
She is beautiful!
We are not supposed to post pictures until she is officially ours but if you email me I'll share privately! She is gorgeous!
Ordinarily we could call our agency but since they are CLOSED the best we can do is hope that Mei checks the mail today. So we're bracing for a long labor just in case we don't get the call today. The timing is perfect, Geoff is home unexpectedly and doesn't have to take time off of work. I'm home! The call sheet is ready. The video camera is set up to record my cry-fest! LOL! I even showered in record time this morning! I didn't even shave my legs (which I do religiously every day!!!) Come on phone RING!!!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I also got our belated Christmas Newsletter done today. Since Christmas is over, it will be a Happy New Year letter now! :-) I have run out of time this year with so many family things going on and the birth of Christopher Evan. So hopefully those will be mailed out on Monday and arrive in time for New Year's Eve.
I'm still working on a holiday slide show. That's another story!
Geoff and I are still on cloud 9 waiting for referral news! We're getting ready for the wave of things to do once we get the referral. I don't think we will know anything on Monday but a girls got to hope for Tuesday or Wednesday!!
On another note... PLEASE NOTE! We cannot post referral pictures because of our agency's policy. So if you would like to know more, email us privately and we'll hook you up!
Friday, December 26, 2008
The comment below is word for word from the RQ!
Now for the tricky part! Our agency is off for the holidays until January 5th! YIKES! We did receive an email though from our adoption counselor saying that they would notify families of Travel Approval and other things so we are assuming referrals will fall into that category. So will we hear something next week? Will we be parents next week? I'm so excited it's surreal!
You always hear that things come in threes. Here is our list of three this week.
1. On Monday, we finally got our i-800 in the mail! (After 6 months of waiting since the paperwork was mailed in)
2. We met with the Pediatrician on Tuesday to discuss Lexi. Talk about feeling like expectant parents!!!
3. Referral news... even if just rumors at this point.
So Geoff keeps telling me that I have to stop crying. I don't call it crying though. It's just happiness spilling over!
P.S. I will try to post some Christmas details but first have to have some time to FOCUS!! WOW, WOW, WOW !!! We're going to be a Mommy and Daddy really soon!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Little Christopher Evan is so tiny. In this picture he is laying in the lap of my Boyd's Bear "Father Kristmas". The bear is about 12 inches tops sitting down. His little 0-3 months outifit given to him by his Great Aunt Carolyn is too big on him but he's so adorable!
Of course, no photo shoot would be complete without a Brennen shot... this is going to be a future digital layout called "Brennen Vs. Lexi's Christmas Tree". He had a hay day with it the day after his brother was born as I loaded the car to go visit them. We've since given up on the tree this year. It's just too tempting for Bren. I had decorated all in red this year for Lexi and the beads were strung perfectly on the tree. I never even got a chance to take a good photo. The best thing I did was decorate with non-breakable ornaments (of which it WAS loaded with pre-Bren!) LOL! We're rethinking the Christmas tree in the toodlers room idea! But isn't he just sooooo cute as he is so tempted and intrigued by the tree???
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
In the meantime, Geoff's parents came to visit from their SC house this weekend. They met Brennen for the first time and we spent the afternoon together. After we took him home, they ended bringing him right back for us to keep while the baby is in the hospital. We surely love having him around and enjoy every single second with him but it's unfortunate that it is under these circumstances. Having Grandchildren is a wonderful thing! But I have to admit, it makes me long to have Lexi home even more. You hear Grandparents say all the time that the grand kids are wonderful and that one of the perks is that you can send them home. We don't like to send them home and savor every moment with them. We won't have to send Lexi anywhere. And what a wonderful addition she will be to our family.
Brennen was a bit apprehensive at first and wasn't sure of Geoff's parents at all. But he warmed up quickly and was very entertaining. He especially enjoyed sharing their food and going outside with Great-Grandpa Jake.
So tonight when things settled down, I took a picture of Brennen and emailed this collage above to him Mommy, Daddy and Baby Brother. We are learning so much by having Brennen around so much. He is a wonderful teacher for all the little things we need to know when Lexi arrives!
And speaking of Lexi, referrals are due in anytime. CCAA is really close to our LID. Last month they logged in through Feb. 17th of 06. Our date of course is Feb. 27th. I've pretty much resigned myself that our referral will not come until January. But in just a few days we will be able to enjoy the wonderful words "WE'RE NEXT!!!!" In the meantime, there are two very special boys that we can enjoy extra time with!!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
And not to mention at first the HS agency wanted more money to do the changes. More money. We've paid for the update. They didn't do it up to speed with the Hague Convention but that is not our fault. Thankfully, our adoption agency went to bat for us and pretty much told them that we shouldn't have to pay any more money. Of course... we did have to pay for the online classes that we took today. I swear, I took these same classes for free a few years ago just because I wanted to learn. Now that these classes are required... they cost money. It's like every one involved has their hand out and all you can do is fork it over if you really want to get your baby.
My fear is that we will end up with a referral in January and we'll still be waiting for our i800. That will be a total nightmare!! I pray we do not have to cross this bridge.
In the meantime, we continue to anxiously wait. I can only hope that once we get the referral, we will not have papework drama.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I wish I could say I knew what the cut-off day is but I don't yet. There are rumors that the 20th is in but nothing concrete. We still are hoping for a December referral but I'm beginning to worry that it will be January. I know... more waiting. Very disappointing waiting. We spoke to our adoption counselor today and learned that if we do get a December referral, we most likely will not travel until after Chinese New Year in February. Given this news, we may as well get a January referral because at least then we won't have to wait extra time until travel. How frustrating it would be to have Lexi's referral and have to wait even longer!
Anyhow, a big CONGRATS to all the new Mommies and Daddies out there!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Yesterday was our LID Anniversary... 31 months of waiting. Here's hoping that the end is in sight... The weekend has been good for me. I'm feeling better and am hopeful that referrals will be here early this week and will cover through the 17th!
And while I'm posting, I thought I'd share some Brennen cuteness. This picture was taken a few weekends ago when he spent the night. It's so cute! When he finished with breakfast, he got down and got his book and started reading. He really loves books! He flips through the pages and chatters his baby chatter! I love this little guy so much!!!
Friday, September 26, 2008
This may be a first for the adoption community... The picture above is a small container that has various stages of ladybugs. Ladybugs in the adoption community are believed to be a sign of good things... referrals. Well, with my Outdoor classroom activities at school we have grown Milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies and at this very moment have 60 Monarch Chrysalis' in our computer lab. We've hatched and released 29 already! Well, with Milkweed comes aphids and aphids attract ladybugs. So I've had my classes going on ladybug hunts in the Butterfly garden. We have now successfully found ladybug eggs, watched them hatch under a digital microscope and even have witnessed them changing from the larva stage to the pupa. The final stage we are hoping to view is the hatching of the brand new ladybug! So here is my container that i will be watching this weekend. As I look at it, I wonder how many others in the Chinese Adoption Community have ever grown their own luck! I know it's just a legend but I've had an amazing time teaching my students in the computer lab about the metamorphosis of both the butterfly and the ladybug. We're building projects about them both and have witnessed some of Mother Natures miracles right before our eyes. I really would love to see referrals come next week and I pray they will go through the 17th so that many of my Precious Panda friends will get their referrals. Then that will leave just me and one more. It's time for our little miracle to show her pretty little face! So come on referrals!!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'm worried that Lexi is one of the babies that have ingested the formula. No one really knows the long term effects these babies may suffer. I am also worried that this will effect upcoming referrals. Of course the Chinese government is now investigating. Formula and milk products have been pulled from the shelves and are being tested. Orphanages are testing the babies. There have been "rumors" that this crisis could slow referrals while they test babies. I may be wrong but I see no need to delay referrals. Any damage has been done. If Lexi has been exposed, I would like to get her home and begin whatever medical treatment that needs to be done. We are praying that our daughter is safe. We have been patient and have learned to handle the long, slow wait but this latest crisis is making my patience grow thin and I'm beginning to wonder if our recent confidence that our referral will be soon was false hope. We need prayer. We need some hope. We need our Lexi.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This morning I heard that Sara had gotten up with him so I jumped out of bed and asked her if she wanted to sleep some more and I took over. It was not long before Geoff was up too and as he cooked breakfast, we played and played. We made forts out of blankets and danced in the kitchen and annoyed (jealous... jealous!!!) the dogs to no end! It was too much fun! I have missed him staying with us (it's been since July!!)
Saturday, September 06, 2008
She's a mommy... a granddaughter... a great-granddaughter... a cousin... an aunt... a friend to many (including me)... a step-daughter (even though Geoff proudly says he sees her as a daughter not a step child)... but most of all she is my daughter and I love her very much! And of course, she will very soon add sister to this list of who she is!
Happy Birthday Sara! I love you sweetie!
Thursday, September 04, 2008
An ADOPTION UPDATE!
This week we got news that CCAA made referrals ALL THE WAY THROUGH February 9th, 2006. This means to US... 18 more days! Of course, 18 days in China Adoption could mean many months but it also could mean a referral very soon! This month they went through 9 days. If they continue at this rate of 9 days a month, we could be looking at a November referral. I shutter to get my hopes up on this but there is always a small part of me that does! But to be honest, I'll be happy with November or December... as long as it happens! This does pretty much mean that we will most likely be traveling to China during season but THANKFULLY, Geoff now works with a company that understands and has already begun to tell him that they don't want him to worry about returning to work the day after we get home! His vacation from this year will pretty much roll over into next year so possibly he will have some time at home with me and Lexi upon our return. I'm really hoping that maybe he can arrange to work some from home because babies do sleep from time and time and maybe he could do some work via the Internet. After referrals came out this week, I had a new found hope and stepped up my plans at work. I'm working NOW towards completing media festival projects with the kids as opposed to waiting to last minute like usual and doing it in January and February. I've got the entire population of 604 students thinking of projects for us to do in the lab. I've also brought in my "cats" (aka monarch caterpillars) and am trying to get them interested in doing stuff around the entire monarch/milkweed habitat. I love teaching science/language arts/computers all at the same time! I have to admit though, I'm still pretty overwhelmed with the beginning of the year lab set-up. I'm still working every night doing things to get caught up but at least the year is already flying by! Next week the teachers will be sending home the mid-term 9 weeks progress reports! Imagine that! We're almost already half through the first of the 4 nine weeks of the school year!
So on to my original point of this post... Brennen.
Brennen taking a swim... "not too sure of this Grammie!"
"Ohhh... Grammie... I can splash!"
"Watch me doggie paddle!"
"Ah... Grammie, it's TIME for you realize that I'm getting to be a big boy now!"
"Hey Grammie, let me sit on your shoulder and watch my favorite movie... Shrek! He's so silly!"
"This is serious stuff Grammie!"
"Hey Now... I'm a ROCK STAR, get your game on.. let's play!"
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So after our appointment, we went to a really cool outdoor mall in Jacksonville called the St. John's Town Center. It has a Pottery Barn Kids and all kinds of cool little shops! As we walked up, we saw a PF Chang's and decided that we should eat there and celebrate our LAST fingerprinting appointment and the 30 month milestone. (Who would have ever thought that we could celebrate after waiting THIS long! But at least at this point, we are definitely on the down side of the wait!). We toasted our iced sweet teas and ordered a bunch of Chinese food that was delicious!!
Despite it all, it turned out to be a really nice day. Then we came home and had dinner at Sara and Chris' house and played with Brennen. We both still have a feeling our time will be December. Of course, it's not as soon as we wished for but it's finally in sight. I get so emotional these days that I just about can't mention the adoption without my eyes welling up with tears. I can only imagine what a mess I will be when we finally see our precious little daughter. She IS worth the wait...every single second!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
On another note, I'm very, happy about referrals this month. My friends Kathy and Melissa got referrals yesterday!! Yea REFERRALS!!! Melissa little one is only 6 months old!!! Kathy's little one is 18 months old! We have not seen pictures yet but I'm sure they will be precious! The rumors this month were that it would only be a 2 day referral month and I was a bit down about that but it turned out to be 5 days and I'll take that. CCAA is now through Jan. 31st of 2006. Sure we've been waiting almost 30 months now but hey, we are getting there and we just know that our turn will be here soon.
Watching the 2008 Summer Olympics has been bitter-sweet. I love watching and learning about China but I've found myself having some unexpected emotions. As we watched the opening ceremonies, I cried. I was just overwhelmed and couldn't quite put my finger on why. I found that many others in my Yahoo group have felt the same way. After all, China is our daughter's birth place and will forever hold a special place in our heart.
On another note... Sara's second baby will be another boy! We found out last week. They are still trying to name baby #2. We would have liked a little girl for Lexi to play with but Mother Nature has another idea, another playmate for Brennen. AT least Lexi will have two little nephews to take care of her!!
I'll do my best to try to get back on schedule posting. It HAS been tough beginning the year. Next week we will be heading to Jacksonville to be fingerprinted ONE MORE TIME for our USCIS paperwork. I guess until we get that referral and come home with our daughter, we'll just keep jumping through all these crazy adoption hoops!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Brennen was a trooper at his party even if he didn't like putting his hands in the cake! This boy will rub everything else all over his face and hands but not CAKE! Well, maybe next year. Sara and Chris threw a very good birthday party. They cooked hotdogs and hamburgers and even rented one of those blow up jumpy things for the kids to play in. Brennen had a very good time but really was only interested in one toy... the tricycle that his Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ben gave him. It was the big hit! He wanted to push it all over the place! We gave him a sand and water table. He showed a little interest in it but was just taken by the tricycle.
Then we headed to the beach to our luxury condo. We literally walked across the parking lot and were on the beach. It was so very nice! Carolyn and I hit the beach on Sunday and didn't stop until it rained on Friday. I even coaxed Geoff out on the beach on Monday. He is not a fan of water but is trying very hard to learn since he knows that will be a place that we will want to take Lexi. In fact anyone who lives here needs to be able to swim some. My brother feel off of a dock one time when he was about 5 years old and we had to jump in the get him. And even Brennen is fearless already on the beach! Sara brought him up and stayed a few nights and as soon as his feet hit the sand he made a bee line for the water. He rushed at the waves! If we hadn't had his hands he would have been swept away by waves! He really made me nervous!
We came back last Saturday to find that my milkweed plants at home and at school have just grown immensely! I even have baby Monarch caterpillars on them already. At school the sunflowers are at least 8ft. tall! And the plants that we planted right before I left in the garden are already up and a pretty good size. I'm working to get it in good shape before the students come back to school.
Today I was working outside when two of the custodians came out to check out the garden. They are always helping me do something out there. Well, I was telling them that next summer I would not be out there everyday and would need to get students and their parents more actively involved because I'd have a baby at home. They both looked at me and in shock and then remembered the adoption. They were looking for a baby bump! It was too funny! We've been waiting for so long now that people have actually forgotten that we are adopting! This week on July 16th, will be three years ago that we made the decision to go to China. We named Lexi on the same day. My, that seems just like yesterday but in also it seems forever ago.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Sara tried to give him a little taste but that was a no-go too!
In the end, he was reaching for his Grammie to rescue him! It was too funny! The real party is this Saturday. We'll see how he does then!
Well, yesterday I met my Dad up at school to do some planting in the garden. I really really want the kids to see some summer harvest so we replanted corn, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and green beans. I wanted to learn my Dad's way of planting. I have to say we had a great time! I love to spend time with Daddy learning about his past and how he does things. It also means so much to me that he will come up on a hot summer day to work so hard in the hot sun just because I want to. Times like this are priceless!
Now I'm conflicted about going away next week! My principal is supposed to mind the garden while I'm away. I check daily for aphids and signs of disease on my plants and make sure they are watered. I probably will have his number on speed dial next week to make sure everything is properly taken care of!
Attracting Monarch butterflies is pretty much a hobby of mine. I've done it for the past 3 years and have loved every moment of it. I get amazed by nature every time I observe the process. However, this morning while I was out minding the milkweed plants, I leaned over to check out a plant and all of a sudden heard a loud buzzing! I looked up and right in front of me was a wasp stinging on of my Swallowtail cats! I shooed him off but it was too late! Poor thing just died. I was so upset! I know that nature has it's laws but today nature just totally blew my day! The nasty little wasp came back for it later on when I left. They use them to lay eggs in inside of their nests. I have a bunch more cats growing in my little herb garden. I sure hope he will stay away! My brother and Mom are going to be taking care of my plants, dogs and cats, and caterpillars next week. Hopefully, all will be okay!
I do plan to continue to keep my little hobby intact when I have Lexi. I think showing her things like this will bring very educational experiences to her and stimulate her curiosity. Maybe she will grow to be a nature girl just like her mom. I know I have picked up a lot this from my wonderful parents.
And yes, I am choosing to pretty much ignore the disappointing news that we got yesterday that referrals only made it through Jan. 25 of '06. I guess some progress is better than no progress. We now have 31 days between where CCAA is and where we WANT them to be!