Sunday, December 31, 2006

The baby's room

Ok - so I'm having another sleepless night. It's
1:51 am and I can't sleep but 3 hours ago I was so tired. Anyways, I thought I'd write about Sonny's January and February project. I've finally decided what we are going to do in the babies room. I have decided that we aren't going to use a crib - we are going to start off with a toddler bed instead. And I'm going to have Sonny make it - but first he's doing 'the wall'. I saw some really cool toybox and cube things to 'make' a wall unit on the Pottery Barn website. But, they are really expensive, not the right color and don't fit exactly how I want them. So I've convinced Sonny to make the wall unit instead. Plus, he loves doing stuff like this - when he can find the time. So I 'drew' out the cubes in different sizes
with painters tape on the wall. The two large cubes - next to the window - on the floor will be open toy boxes and the rest will be open cubes of varying sizes. The row of cubes on the far left will only be 6 inches deep because of the closet door - but the other cubes will be 12 inches deep. And I think we decided on 20 inches deep for the toy boxes. The space under the windows will be left open -- we thought about a bench there but the window is too low - 14 inches off the floor and there is 66 inches between the windows which will fit a full size bed - some day. In the mean time I'm going to put a big soft rug there for the girls to play on. Plus, the sun is really, really bright in this window so it will be a perfect play area. And I ordered window guards for this window and all the windows upstairs. They are really neat and will also work great for the dogs too. (I don't open the windows in the summer since the dogs could push out the screens - so the air is always on). They are made by Guardian Angel - they have child safe spacing between the bars and an emergency release in case of a fire. They mount in the inside of the wood around the window. I can't wait to be able to open the windows this spring. So this project will be keeping Sonny busy for January and February and I will be painting and redoing the girls bathroom. It's still got just primer on the walls from when we had the house built 3 years ago. I will post more about that and pictures another day.

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pictures of my 'babies'

Ok - I had requests for pictures of my babies. So here they are. Thunder is my red male - he just turned 5. His birthday was 12/10. He's my lazy couch potato. I literally had to drag him off the couch just now to take these pictures. Plus, bribe him with treats to wake him up. Like I said - my lovable couch potato. Well, it is 11pm - well past his bed time. And yes, this is their couch in our bedroom. Plus, if you look close you can also count four other dog beds in our bedroom. They are very spoiled. Then there is Tehya - my black female. She is a non-stop ball of energy - until you tell her it's 'nite-nite' time. Then she just quiets down and goes to bed. If we could only get half that lucky with a baby I'm be over the moon with happiness. Anyways, Tehya will be 4 on the 28th of this month. Oh, and her nick name is the lick-monster. Our babies will never have dirty faces. :)

So these aren't the best pictures of them - they both look really tired. I know they might be dogs but I know their looks. I'll get some better ones of them playing outside.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy 6 months & 1 year for us today!!!

Right now it's 2:20am on December 19th, 2006 - and I can't sleep. I've been playing solitaire for the past 30 minutes and finally decided to write this instead before heading back to bed.

We signed our contract and mailed it to Great Wall China Adoption on the morning of December 19, 2005. We left later that day for Sault Ste. Marie to see Sonny's dad and step-mom for Christmas. When we got home - I got busy with our paperwork for our dossier that China requires for the adoption. I actually got up early on December 26th - not to go shopping for all the after Christmas sales but to get everything ready to go to the post office and apply for my passport and renew Sonny's. Fast forward to the first week of June (Saturday June 3rd - to be exact) and we received the last piece of paperwork in the mail that we needed. I hurried and got it notarized, certified and authenticated and to our agency as fast as humanly possible. Our dossier got mailed to China on June 9th, 2006 and our official LID (log in date) is June 19th, 2006 - 6 months ago today. And 12 months ago today is when we signed and mailed our contract.

Not sure why I can't sleep, maybe it's the dinner from Applebee's that we had last night, or the nap I took after work, or maybe our baby girl was born tonight. I guess we'll know if the last reason is true in about 6 - 10 more months when we get out referral. Whatever the reason - it's really nice to be awake and reflect back on the past year and know - ok more like hope and pray - that our baby girl will be home for Christmas next year.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

And if my baby was born tonight or another night this year -- I pray she is safe, warm and has a full belly tonight and every night until her mommy and daddy can bring her home.

Good night baby girl.

Monday, December 18, 2006

December Funky sock exchange!

Ok - so I have way too much 'stuff' to do around the house and really nothing ever seems to get done. But I decided I needed more adoption stuff to keep me busy. So last month I was reading someone's adoption blog and they were doing a 'funky sock exchange' with their yahoo group and I just thought that was a great idea. So I got 18 people on our 'June Bug' group together and we decided that we are going to do a sock exchange for 6 months. December was our first month. It's been a lot of fun!!! Plus, some people are posting pictures on our June Bug group photos section and they are all so cute! Here's mine. Angie J. got my name and she also added in an adorable Ladybug 2007 planner/calendar. I just love it! Plus, the socks are great - so warm and so very soft - they are like velvet. It's so nice to get a little package in the mail - they always seem to come at the best times.

Thanks again Angie!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Suprise Christmas presents & wonderful friends!

Over the past few months during our wait for our referral (when we get a picture and medical info on OUR baby) I've been keeping myself busy with Secret Pals, Cyber Showers, hunting down sales and adoption wait time rumors. But, more importantly I've been making some WONDERFUL friends online - that are literally in the same slow boat to China as we are. One of them lives in Canada - Drea. She and her husband have two adorable little boys and are waiting on their baby daugther/sister. Drea, is just the sweetest person in all of Canada. And we have so much in common - like chocolate, food of any kind, and SHOPPING. But, maybe not in that order. All these things make us so happy. So of course she put her expert shopping skills to use and bought me something for Christmas. Oops, did I say for me - I meant for the baby. She sent US this adorable little dress - I just love the muted colors in it - and little cream colored jacket to go with it. Thanks again Drea for the wonderful gift and for thinking about us. I know my baby girl will just look simply adorable in it.

Now all I need is the baby to go with it.
Hint - Hint! CCAA are you listening?

But really Drea you are just the sweetest and I'm SO glad I have to laugh and cry with during the wait.


Referral Updates

On November 30th the latest batch of referrals came out - going through September 8th, 2005. Making the current wait time about 15 months from LID to referral. Not so good. The CCAA is still only referring about 2 weeks worth of referrals a month. I looked back at referrals over the past year and this seems to be the trend. I now am starting to believe that this is the new norm. All this scientific data and thinking on my part and I'm now starting to think it really might go to 24 months for us. But, I'm not quite there yet. I was really holding strong that we'd be in China in July 2007 - but right now that doesn't seem possible. So I'm letting my expectations slip a tiny bit and I'm now hoping and praying to have my baby home for Christmas 2007. Which would mean we would need a referral around the beginning of October to be home for Christmas. That would mean 16 months of time between our LID and our referral. So with it being at 15 months right now this is still a pretty big dream. But, right now that's as far as I can left myself consider our life without our baby.

The next batch for referrals should be out between Christmas and New Year's. Maybe we'll all get a wonderful Holiday surprise before 2006 comes to a close. I can still dream big - can't I?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November Gifts - I'm SO lucky and spoiled!!!!

I have such great Secret Pals and Cyber Shower friends. Just look at the great gifts I got this month.

I got this adorable ladybug activity book/toy and three counting books (Five Counting Sheep, Five Silly Monkeys, and Five Little Ladybugs) from my June Bug Secret Pal. She is so sweet and thoughtful. I just love everything she sends me. And the ladybug toy is just so cute. It's a stuffed toy, a book, and activity toy, a rattle, a squeaker, and lots more. It's going in the box of stuff that I'm considering taking with us to China. I think it would be great in the hotel room and on the plane. Lots to do it keep little fingers busy for 19 hours.

And then I got a cool ladybug spinner and shape sorting toy for my November Cyber Shower gift. The funny thing is - Target has this butterfly/ladybug spinner and I've picked it up at least 6 ot 7 times to buy. Then I say no - I don't need it right now, I'll wait until it goes on sale, etc. So I haven't bought it. And then I get it as a gift in the mail - how cool is that! It's so much fun to play with too - I had to put it up so I didn't wear it out. I just love playing with the baby toys. I can't wait for the baby to get here so we can spend the whole day playing with toys. What I great time that will be.

And last but not least is my wonderful gift from my GWCA Secret Pal. She sent us these adorable dishes. A plate, bowl w/plastic lid and a tiny little cup with a handle. And it's pink - my favorite color. And the best part is they all have a tiny little tiaras on them. (It's hard to see from the pictures). See my Secret Pal already knows my baby is going to be totally spoiled and she's helping to make that happen. The dishes are also metal so that when the little princess throws her dinner on the floor the dogs can eat the food and the plate won't break. Mommy really likes that! No - not the throwing of the food but that the dishes won't break. But, I'm sure the throwing of the food will be funny the first few times. :) Plus, she sent me this great journal with a Chinese flag on it. I'm still deciding what to use it for. I just love my GWCA SP - she really seems to know me and my tastes. I really hope that her LID is close to ours so that we get to travel together - now that would be super cool.

Thanks again to my two favorite Secret Pals and to Robin for my great Cyber Shower gift.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Happy 5 months to me (and Sonny too)!!!

Well we made it to the 5 month mark. When we stated this journey referrals were coming out about 8 months after LID's. Now it's around 14.5 months. So the 5 month mark doesn't tell us much - other than we want our baby already!

Still holding on to the hope that things will speed up soon. Will post info on the next batch of referrals when they come out - could be anyday to 3 weeks from now.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My June Bug SP October gift - I forgot to post it!

I'm so bad - I can't believe I forgot to post my super cool scrapbook from my SP from our June DTC 2006 group. It's the greatest. My SP read that I was clueless on the whole scrapbooking think so she made me a starter scrapbook - it's got pages for when we are in China, for when we get home to America and them pages for each of the 12 months -- plus a whole bag of 'extra stuff' to add to the pages and a set of scrapbook templates. It's just great and I love the album too
- plus there's a spot on the album cover for a picture. Of course the referral picture will go there. Check out these cool pages - there are pictures of different pages on the June Bug SP blog.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Updates on my mind wandering thoughts

So the CCAA surprised everyone with this batch of referrals - the referrals came out on 11/2 (a couple of days later then expected). But, they went thru August 25th!!!!!!! This a huge - the 24th had tons of dossiers logged in - our agency had three different weeks that were logged in that day. Which ended up being something like 73 families just for our agency. I'm so happy for everyone that got referrals - especially the people who didn't expect them. That must have been a great surprise for all those people.

So my theory on the Tiger's winning the World Series and my baby being born this year didn't pan out. The Tiger's lost the World Series but considering that they were in like last place in 2005 just getting to the world series was amazing. Plus, the playoffs kept me busy for a few weeks and then I spent less time worrying and less money shopping. There is always next year for the Tiger's and that will be the year we go to China to pick up our baby. I'm still holding out that we'll be in China in July 2007 - at least for now. But, I still think that our baby will be born in 2006 - we'll see if that theory holds up.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tag blankets

So my mom and I have decided that since she has so much fabric (really - she has tons of it) that she is going to use the fabric to 'make stuff' for me to sell to help with the adoption costs. So our first project is 'tag blankets'. She made up 15 of them to start and I'll going to see how we do before she makes any more. I'm just going to list them on eBay and hope of the best. I'm going to try and keep the prices cheap - I'd rather sell them cheap then have them not sell. Here's what the first batch looks like.

The blue and green 'bug' ones are my favorites (I'm keeping one of each). They are about 20 x 20 and have 5 ribbon tags on each side - plus some have one and some have two plastic rings attached to pieces of the ribbon. You know to hang them by or to nibble on or to drag them things like that. Mom did a great job in coordinating all the ribbons to go with one of the colors in the fabric. Plus, these ones are a super soft flannel. They'd be great in the car as a tiny blanket. I was thinking about selling these ones for $8.00.

The santa ones are about 14 x 14 and also have coordinating ribbons and one plastic ring. I was thinking $5.00 for these.

And there is only one out of the Sesame Street one - also flannel - and it's about 11 x 20. I was thinking $5.00 for this one too.

Any one have any thoughts or idea for me on these or the pricing?

Oh, and if any one want one just email me and I'll sell you one - that way you don't have to go though eBay. I'm sure I can ship them in an envelope for about $2.00 without insurance.

Referral guesses and mind wandering thoughts

It seems that my blog has turned into a gift 'thank you' blog. That wasn't the intend of the blog but there really hasn't been much adoption news to report. The last batch of referrals that came out was on 9/25/06 and went through 8/09/05. The next batch is due out any day now and is rumored to go though 8/23/05 or 8/24/05. If it goes through the 24th then that would be huge - from everything that I read that's a day A LOT of dossiers got logged in. I know our agency had three weeks (they mail them every Friday to China) worth of dossiers logged in on the 24th. Sometimes I think the CCAA will only get through the 23rd. Then 20 minutes later I think it will be the 24th. I really do believe that the CCAA will start referring whole months again I just don't know when. I'd really like to believe that this is the month we start to see them turn the corner on getting more referrals out. Why not - it's got to happen at some point.....right?!?!

So here is an example of how my mind wanders and I can work any subject in an adoption topic:
I was thinking last night as we watched the Tiger game (Detroit's baseball team who is playing in the World Series - for anyone not into sports) that this is a month for come backs. The Tigers were in like last place last season - no one would have ever thought at the beginning of this season that they would make the playoffs let alone the World Series. So maybe this is the month of - beating the odds - making dreams come true - shocking the world - turning your luck around. So I guess I have high hopes this month for the Tigers and for referrals getting back on track to whole months so that this time next year I will at least know what my baby's face will look like. Who knows maybe this is the month that my baby is being born. I just feel good vibes this month and maybe that is why.

And more wandering:
Plus, I have another theory - the Tigers WILL win the World Series this year, the last time they won was in 1984 and the time before that was in 1968. So my theory is that not only will the Tigers win this year but that my baby will be born this year - because when they won in 1984 I graduated from high school that year, and when they won in 1968 Sonny was born. This all makes perfect sense in my world - too bad it's not the year of the Tiger.

But I have another theory on why my baby will be born this year - the year of the dog:
Our dogs are our 'four-legged babies'. Some people or most people think we are nuts but Thunder and Tehya get treated like our children. They mean the world to us and I can't image my life without them. My only worry about going to China to pick up my baby is that I have to leave the dogs for 2 whole weeks. (I even tried talking Sonny into staying home with them - he just looked at me like I had lost my mind.) It is just going to kill me inside to leave my 'babies'. We have never left them for longer that 5 days. Anyways - about my other theory - it is that my baby will have to born the year of the dog - just because it all makes my little world. Because dogs and babies just go together. Right?

So anyone want to guess on what day referrals with go through this month?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More October gifts to post.......

Ok - so a couple of posts ago I talked about my wonderful Great Wall Secret Pal and that she mailed me mooncakes that were delivered on a Saturday and then I got a wonderful book ('We See the Moon') about the 'Moon Festival' delivered the next Wednesday. And she shipped it next day mail so I would have it before the Moon Festival on Friday the 6th. She's just the sweetest for going out of her way to make my days a little bit better.

So here's a picture of the book and card - plus the adorable bug mailer.

I've also mentioned before that I'm also doing a monthly 'Cyber Shower' with the 'June Bug' yahoo group and Octobers theme was hats, socks, and hair things. I got all this stuff from Bridget!!!!! An adorable pack of white socks with lace around the cuffs, all kinds of hair pretties and I super soft winter hat and mitten set. And she threw in a cute little ladybug luggage tag - that I just love. Thanks again Bridget.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Our 4 Month Anniversary!!!!

We were officially logged in with the CCAA on June 19th. So today is our 4 month anniversary on being logged in and our 10 month anniversary of when we officially signed and mailed our application to Great Wall.

So another month behind us and one month closer to our baby or babies!!!

So now I wonder if she/they have already been born. Somedays I feel like they are already born and waiting for me and other days I just don't know. I think it would be cool if they were born in the 'Year of the Dog' - which we are in right now. Just because our dogs mean so much to us and it would just be another family connection. Thunder and Tehya will just love the babies - they love all kids. Especially ones with food in hand or on their faces. Tehya will be the official face licker. I'm sure the babies with just 'love' that --- not.

I'll have to take some new pictures of my 'babies' and pos them this weekend.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gifts the girls got!!!!

Ok- so I'm really behind in post pictures of the wonderful gift we've received from our on-line friends. My on-line friends and 'secret pals' really keep me going and make everyday during this wait I little bit better. Their support, gifts and emails always come when I need them the most. I can't wait to have my babies meet these wonderful people. I have a feeling we are going to get to see a lot more of the US and Canada after we are home from China just so I can finally meet everyone. They are now part of the family.

These are two adorable little outfits I got from my 'June Bug' secret pal for the month of September. Pink and purple - my two favorite colors. They are little onesies with matching pants.

These gift I got from my GWCA secret pal for September. In this package I got a really nice diaper bag, two wipe-off bibs and three children's board books. The were 'The Grouchy Ladybug', 'Five Little Monkeys' and the Belly Button Book'. I read all three of them twice - they are just so much fun to read. I can't wait to read bedtime stories.

Chinese Moon Festival was October 6th. And my GWCA secret pal mailed me authentic moon cakes!!!! This was just so very thoughtful of her. We had one moon cake with my parents, and my niece Emma the weekend before the 6th - the day they came in the mail. Then on the 6th I had another moon cake with my two Aunts and my two cousins (really 2nd cousins) that my one Aunt is raising. They are Tom and Felicity. I still have two left - for this weekend. Sonny was in India for the 6th and he was home last weekend but was very sick - got a really bad cold in India. We will be spacing out the celebration for the month of October. My GWCA pal also mailed me another package that I got on the 4th - it was the book 'We See The Moon' - about the tradition of the Moon Festival. She is just so sweet and thoughtful - I know someday I just have to meet her. Since she's with the same agency and is logged in the same month as us I really hope we'll travel together. Oh, and not only did she mail the book to me - she shipped it 'next day' so I would have it in time for the 6th. How sweet and generous was that?!?!?!?

Until later - more pictures to take and post this weekend. I'm off the bed.
Plus, info on a little 'fund raiser' I'm going to do with my mom coming soon. But this is a cute, fun and cheap one.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm back!!!

I haven't forgotten about my blog or the adoption ---- really. I've been trying to keep busy to take my mind off of the wait times and of course doing lots more shopping. I've also been busy emailing some wonderful people I have met from the adoption boards I'm on. They are all wonderful and the make the best support system -- and they have great shopping/sale tips. I'm also loving the shopping I get to do for my two Secret Pal exchanges and my monthly Cyber Shower exchange. It is so nice to come home from a long day at work and find a package on the porch. I promise to post picture this week of all my wonderful gifts.

Things have been stressful for both Sonny and me with our jobs lately --- and he's in India again. This time we only have about a week and half notice that he was going. Plus, he found out he was going to have to go to India 4 days before his appt. to get 4 teeth pulled for his braces. He still got his teeth pulled. He wasn't happy about the timing but he did keep the appt. so there is no turning back now. This trip is for 12 days -- but he's seems to be having a good time when he's not working and he hasn't got sick this time.....yet. So hopefully on Thursday when I pick him up he'll be healthy and carrying lots of gifts for his wife. I keep checking the visa bill on-line to track his shopping trips but he spends mostly cash there and it takes about 4 days for the store names to show up on-line. And even with the store name I really don't know much - since it's not like that have Macy's or Targets over there. So I have no idea even what kind of store it even is.

Well the dogs are whining to go outside so I'll write more later --- promise.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My first Secret Pal gift!!!

Yippee - it final came. I waited and waited and waited - and on August 31 it came!!!! I was getting a little worried that my SP forgot about me. Since I'm sure she doesn't have anything else in her life to do except to shop for my gift. But, she remembered me and the babies!!!

Ok - I know I have no patience - I've been like a kid at Christmas waiting for this gift. Can you imagine what it's going to be like for me when we a just a couple of months away from a referral. I need to start doing yoga or sometime. Or, I could just shop and eat chocolate....well, that's the plan for now.

Ok, I got off the subject of my gift. I got two adorable little sundresses!!!! And they are pink - I
love pink! Aren't they cute?!?! Plus, she make me a homemade card with Chinese lettering/characters on it. I can't wait to show that girls someday. I've already got a cute photo box for all our/their cards and stuff. I can't wait to see what I get for September.
Thank you again SP!!!

Sonny's trip to India

Before Sonny left for India he was instructed not to come home unless he came with gifts for his wife. (after all --between London and India he was going to be gone for over two weeks.) Well, he did bring me gifts! I got this wonderful, cool, hip silk shirt -------------------------->
And, a stunning 3 strand pink pearl necklace with earrings!!!

BUT - best of all he bought the girls (if we don't get twins - I will save one of the dress for baby #2) each a dress!!!!! And, I didn't even tell him too! He's such a great dad already. These dresses are like tanktop dresses with shirts that go over them. The shirts have hook and eyes on the back of them. Plus, they are silk!!! They can wear them as dresses and then the shirts will look adorable with jeans. They are so much prettier and nicer in person. My camera didn't pick up the colors right - the one on the right is dark purple and red and in the picture it looks more blue than purple. But, aren't they just so cool!!!!

July Cyber Shower gift

On the Yahoo 'June DTC 2006' group I'm doing monthly cyber showers. Each month there is a different theme and each month you get assigned a different person to buy for. July's theme was 'red, white & blue' -- no big surprise there. I got (well, the babies got) two cute little red, white and blue checked rompers, a beautiful card and a little picture frame from Kristin M. It's so nice to get packages in the mail with cute little surprises in them. It's neat to see what other people pick out for you. (I didn't sign up for the August Shower since we were both traveling so much the end of July and in August. But, I've all ready signed up for the September shower. The theme for September is Ladybugs.)

I'm back!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been trying to keep myself busy. Nothing that I'm suppose to be doing but lots of online adoption fun! I'm now involved in 2 different Secret Pal gift exchanges and one monthly cyber shower gift exchange. So of course I've been doing lots of shopping - I now has three more excuses to shop until I drop - or run out of money.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Overview of Paperwork/Adoption timeline

12/19/2005 --- Mailed application to Adoption Agency
12/27/2005 --- Passports renewed and applied for
12/27/2005 --- Ordered birth certificates & marriage license copies
04/21/2006 --- Home Study completed - copies picked up
04/22/2006 --- Mailed I-600a to USCIS
05/16/2006 --- Fingerprints taken
06/03/2006 --- Received I-171H form
06/05/2006 --- FedEx'd dossier to Adoption Agency
06/09/2006 --- Agency mailed dossier to CHINA!!!!
07/11/2006 --- We recieved our LID --- JUNE 19TH!!!!

"So when are you getting the baby?!?"

This seems to be the million dollar question. We'll love to be able to tell everyone a date or at least a month or even what year! But the real answer is nobody really knows. When we started this process it was taking 8 months for a referral (when we receive a photo and brief info about the baby they matched us with) in April it went up to 12 months, right now it's between 12 - 13 months. However, the current rumors/predictions are that the wait will increase to 18 months before the end of the year. While this make us very sad because we want our baby NOW - we know that GOD will make sure we get the right baby at the right time.

The CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) does give us a 'tracking number' or a 'place in line' which they call a Log In Date (LID).

Our LID is June 19, 2006.

Referrals tend to come out once a month - near the end of the month. Last months referrals came out on July 31st and went through July 13, 2005.

Referrals are expected again near the end of August.

You can check on where the CCAA is on processing referrals here:
Half-way down the page on the right you will see the 'Documents Processing' box.

JUST LIKE THIS ONE ------------------------->

From what I hear - a couple of years ago the wait was around 14 months and the CCAA sent out referrals every couple of weeks to get the wait down to 6 months. Last summer the wait time was still at 6 months. So anything can happen - who knows maybe we'll get really lucky and the stars will align just right and the CCAA will start sending out either more referrals each month or start sending them out more often. One can only hope and pray for such a miracle.

Friday, August 11, 2006

First Post

Hi all, this is our first post in the blog world. We will use this 'space' to update our family and friends on our China adoption status - or these days the lack of status. We might even post some stories about the wait or rants about the wait - depending on the mood of the day. :)
All in all -- we will try to keep things light and fun in this space that we dedicated to our baby girls.

Until next time.