Finally. I checked the CCAA website this morning when I got up - as I do every morning - and it said that they were through reviewing up to May 31, 2006. So that means June 2006 is in the review room - or we are IN the review room. Ok - I know it will be better when we are OUT of the review room -- but just to have moved into the review room is great!!!! Especially since April 2006 was in the review room for 106 days - the longest in the past year. And May 2006 was only in the there for 13 days!!!!!! That's the record.
It's just exciting to have finally 'moved' in the process. July could be a very exciting month - maybe we'll also get through the review room too. A girl can dream......right?
Before I went to bed last night I checked the CCAA's (China Center of Adoption Affairs) website - which I do first thing every morning and last thing every night before bed - and the review room information finally changed. It hasn't changed for months and months - those poor March 2006 people have been 'sitting' there forever. Just wondering and praying that they 'passed'.
So now it's official - they have reviewed all the dossiers through April 30, 2006. We are June 2006 - so we are almost there. Once we get through the review room we'll be able to breath a little bit easier.
FYI - we really don't think there is going to be a problem with our dossier being reviewed - but it will just be a nice knowing we made it through this step. There were some rule changes that went into effect on May 1st, 2007 - which weren't suppose to affect anyone already logged in - but you never know. Anyways, even if they reviewed us with the new rules we'd still pass all those rules too.
So you'd think that with this 'good' news I'd be able to sleep well tonight.....nope......It's 1:56am and I've been up since 1am. After going to bed at 12:00am. I think my body is just practicing for having the babies home.
Well today is our one year LID anniversary. What does that mean.....nothing. When we started this journey we assumed -- you know what assuming does -- that by this point we'd have our referral......maybe even our daughter home with us. But, now with the current referral wait time at 19 months and rumors floating around that the wait could go to 36 months.....12 months really means nothing......very sad. Plus, our dossier hasn't even been reviewed by China yet. So even though this should be a huge milestone in the process --- at this point it isn't.
All we can say today - is that we have been logged in for 1 year. Referrals could be 7 months away or 24 months away. We have no good information to point either way. All our agency can do at this point is guess and hope --- the same things that we do.
The funny thing is I bought a wipe off magnetic calender for the frig back in November. When I got it the first thing I did was mark the 19th of each month with how many months we have been logged in. This month the square for the 19th reads 'LID - 1 year!!'. The funny thing is that's where I stopped - at June. I didn't think last November that it would really get to this long of a wait. Now, I need to fill in the 19th for July through December. Well, maybe not. If I don't do it - maybe it won't be a constant reminder to me every time I look at the calendar and my eyes automatically are drawn to the 19th. I used to smile at the monthly milestones. Now, it's just another appointment on the calendar. I'm totally numb most days lately about the wait. The only thing that makes me 'feel' that it's real still is shopping.
Retail therapy......my saving grace in the wait. At least that still works. I now have about 10 storage boxes of clothes, a closet shelve full of blankets, a storage box of books, 4 diaper bags, and a whole closet full of misc items and toys.....lots of toys. I guess this means I won't be having a baby shower. By the time our daughter does get here she won't need anything but hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy.
Hold on baby girl.......mommy and daddy will be there as soon as humanly possible. Mommy might get down about the wait but never about having you home. That is the only thing that keeps me going when the wait seems never ending. I KNOW that you will be home when GOD thinks the time is right. HE just hasn't let us in on the plan yet. Mommy will keep praying for signs.
My GWSP is the most incredible, amazing, wonderful, and generousSecret Pal!!!!
I can't believe the absolutely wonderful gift she sent me for Mother's Day.
Let's back up a couple of days. On Tuesday the 8th I got an email from my SP saying that she mailed my May gift and I would be receiving it in a couple of days but not to open it until Sunday. (she has a secret email address that she used to send me messages some times)
On Thursday I received a package in the mail. Now, it was from 'Red Envelope' - so I knew I would love it. But, I couldn't open it. And I really wanted to. But, I had promised I wouldn't. So I was good.
Friday came - I checked out the box again. I moved it from the snack bar to the kitchen table. Sitting there all alone - just waiting for me to open it.
Saturday came - I moved the box to dust under it and placed it back in the same spot. So tempting. I then thought - just open it - she'll never know. Very tempting. But, I was good and didn't open it. Only a few more hours.
Sunday morning - Ok - now I can open it!!!!! And look what's inside. Ok - Since my picture taking skills aren't the best - here's what that picture from the Red Envelope website looks like:
So thank you SP from the bottom - top and middle of my heart. You have made this Mother's Day truly amazing. This is a day I won't soon forget. And your generosity is amazing too. Word can not express how much I love this and you.
Here are my adorable gifts from my June Bug Secret Pal. Just look how cute the red, white & blue rompers are! I just love them. I'm such a sucker for soft cotton clothes. And these little outfits are so soft.
Also my June Bug SP is very talented - as I have said before. Check out this photo album / scrapbook she made for me. I really, really like it. It's just so sweet! I'm hoping someday soon I can fill it with pictures of giggly little girls.
Thank you so much SP for all the wonderful gift you have sent me. I love them all and still hope we get to meet someday. I thought you were going to reveal yourself this month and you didn't so I still don't know who you are.
We have been offically logged in for 11 whole months now. Wow!!!! Wow - is about all I can say. There is a rumor about a small speed up in referrals. That would be wonderful. My wish is still to have our referral by Christmas - this Christmas. I'm going to hold onto that dream a little while longer.
That's all I can do at this time - is pray and dream.
The past couple of months have been really tough for me. The yucky weather, lack of sunshine, bad news on friends health, the pet food recall that our babies were eating, struggles with my weight, Sonny working lots of extra hours, and the lack of news and referrals from China. Add these all up together and it's just plain ugly. So what's a girl to do to get back on track? Shop? Well, yes - you must have retail therapy - but that only works for a little while. Then you start worrying about the credit card bills on top of everything else and it just gets uglier.
But, there is a huge bright sparkly light at the end of this dark tunnel that I have gotten myself into. Back in January some of the girls in my Great Wall yahoo group decided to get together. First there were 8 of us, then 10, then 12, then 13 and finally 9 brave souls decided we needed a girls weekend. After all we were all going to be spending 2 weeks in China together so why not have a starter trip. So we were all to meet at Lynn's house in Texas. But wait -- this wasn't your typical girls weekend - remember none of us had every meet. We had to email each other pictures of what we looked like so that we could meet up in airports across the country. I know -- kind of weird sounding. But, really it wasn't. The 9 of us have been chit-chatting since last June. Ever since we all got on the China Adoption roller coaster that has decided we need an extra 100 or so loops around the amusement park before it will let us off. (that translates to we are still waiting and waiting and waiting for our referrals).
I meet up with Susan at my local airport. It was sisterhood at first sight. There was huge smiles and lots of hugs - then off to find some food and drinks before our flight to Texas. Just like we were long lost college friends who hadn't seem each other in years - but knew each other since childhood. We talked to entire flight while 200 Navy boys and girls napped around us. (another story for another time). We felt oh so safe and oh so old with the boys and girls.
Patti picked us up at the airport and it was lots more hugs and laughs. Off to Lynn's. When we got there Cynthia, Pam and Michele had already arrived. Again, more hugs and more laughs - just like old times - the old times that never were. Michele and I ended up being bunk mates. Or should I say the giggle sisters. We headed to bed about 2am and somewhere around 4am a train could be heard in the distance - for some reason the giggling started again. I think we were somehow 13 years old again - it felt really good to laugh or should I say giggle again. I can't remember the last time I giggled like a kid - something I need to do lots more of. Being with my sisters brought back all our childhood memories - memories that never happened between us.
I have the bestest cyber buddies - I get the best gifts.
Look at these cute little summer dresses for the girls from my June Bug Secret Pal. I just love them. And they are so, so soft. And the colors will look great on them. And more scrapbooking stuff - a memory kit for baby girls - mommy is going to have to get her butt moving on the scrapbooking thing. I can't wait to start once I have pictures of them.
Here are the gifts I got from my Great Wall Secret Pal. another great stacking toy - which mommy loves. Some great Asia recipe cards - some of the dishes look yummy. Two pair of darling jammies. I love jammies - for me and the girls - I figure you can't have too many pairs - kind of like shoes. And check out this cool placemat. Once side is a vinyl placemat and the other side of it can be used with chalk. How great is that. Who thinks of these things? And how finds them on-line? There's also a little chalk pocket. Plus, there is a ribbon around it so that it folds up all nice and neat. Wonderful idea and gift. Thanks SP!!! Here is the web site that was on the tag with it. I haven't checked it out yet - too afraid - I'm sure they take credit cards.
And Drea got me these cool (well I guess they are really warm) socks. Check out the I'd rather be shopping ones. How cute and so me!!!! Sounds like my 'shopping' buddy knows me way to well.
And Drea also had me for the cyber shower this month. The theme was stuff to take to China. Check out the adorable Gagou-Tagou stuff. (that's the brand name). They have adorable stuff. And just love it all. And the piggy slippers are way too cute. They are all ready in the box for China. And the book is very fitting for me. I can't wait to read it. But, I'm saving that for China. It will be great on the plane ride there - to keep my mind on a light subject. And I'm sure it will be the last adult book I'll be reading for many, many years. Thanks for everything Drea - you are the best and are always there for me when I need you. You are truly a great friend. We must get together - with or without our baby girls.
Ok - I've been really bad and haven't been blogging a lot lately - so here are all my wonderful March gifts for all my great on-line adoption buddies.
This are my adorable March sock from Danesha. Thanks so much Danesha. I just love them. The sock monkey looks so happy. We could all learn something from him. :)
And here are my great gift from my June Bug Secret Pal. I just love the Bible story book and the bunny. The bunny 'sings' the Now I lay me down to sleep prayer. I can't wait for my baby girl to be able to repeat that. That will really warm my heart - ok, and I'm sure it will make me cry too. And the car organizer is great too. I didn't have one of those yet. Thanks so much SP. I always love all your gifts.
These are the great gifts I got from my Great Wall Secret Pal. I just love the set of books. They are the ones with the mommy, daddy, grandpa and grandma and me - way too cute. Plus, Sonny was happy to get a book about daddy's. He's always excited when the packages arrive. This time he was more interested than most. And the farm book is very cute too. And the socks are awesome!!!! I love the dots!!!! I will now have to totally avoid Old Navy - I think I could do some good credit card damage in there. But, once we get closer to referrals - I might just slip a bit. Again - thanks so much!!!!
And for my March cyber shower - it was a scrapbook theme - in case you couldn't tell. Heather got me some great stickers with dragonflies, butterflies and flowers - they are so pretty. And some travel things (sorry - I'm still new to the scrapbooking and don't know all the right names) and some really cute letters too. Plus, lots of paper and some sticky ribbons. Thanks so much Heather. Pretty soon I'm going to have enough stuff that I'll have to get starting so that I can clear out some space.
Everyone is so very thoughtful and wonderful I really do hope I get to meet everyone some day - soon!!!!!!!!!
Well, as of today we have been logged in for 9 months. But, at this point in the game it's really to early to even know what that means. I choose to believe we are at the half way point. Only time will tell.
The CCAA sent out more referral on March 5th. Through October 24, 2005. And have reviewed the files (dossiers) through March 31st, 2005.
The good news is our file/dossier will be reviewed soon. Other than that - there isn't much good news. Or any news really - we are just inching along.
I still hope every month for a speed up - maybe this is the month for that. One can only hope.
Our theme for February was Chinese culture. And since February 18th was Chinese New Years and it's the year of the pig I got all kinds of wonderful gifts. My pal Michele M. got my name and really went overboard on her spending - but that's because she's just such a sweet person. So thanks again Michele - I love everything.
Check out that adorable pig onesie - I just love it. I can't wait to put it on the baby. I'd love to take the pig outfit to China with us. We'll have to see how big or small the baby is at the time.
And don't you just love the pink dress bottle cover? I have it on a bottle of wine right now on the entertainment center.
And two more books! I just love books and we didn't have either of these.
I'm one very lucky girl to have such great friends.
And here are my February gifts from my Great Wall SP. She always remembers all the China holidays and sends me something for them. February 18th was Chinese New Years - so she sent me this great can with Chinese biscuits/cookies in it. They aren't very sweet - but are good. Plus a Dora doll dressed in Chinese clothes and two sorter/stackers.
Here's are the gifts from my June Bug SP for February. She is so thoughtful when picking stuff out for us. I just love everything but really, really like the butterfly painting. Isn't it just the cutest? Thanks again SP you are great!
Wow - today is the 19th of February. We have now been logged in with China for our baby for 8 whole months. When we started the paperwork referrals were taking 8 months. Now all I can do is pray that we are at the half way point. My, how things change in a year.
I guess I should look on the bright side and think that gives me 8 more months to finish all the 'projects' around the house. But, really I don't need 8 more months. I've been stalling on getting the projects done since the wait was growing and I didn't want to be 'ready' with nothing to do. I could really have everything done in 3 months. 2 months if I left off the things that don't really need to be done. But, heck if they called tomorrow and said come to China now to pick up your daughter - I think all the projects would just go away. Who said the baby's room needs to be painted - the lovely dull grayish white primed walls would do just fine. But, since I know that's not going to happen the baby's room will get painted in lovely shades of pink and lavender. After all -- I've made it through the first 8 months - I can make it through the next 8 months. And spring should be right around the corner. Well maybe around the block. But, it's coming.
Yesterday was Chinese New Years. It's now the year of the pig. Of course that's the cute pink little ones with tiny tails. And the ones that squeak not snort.
I even got three beautiful Chinese New Year cards from my GWCA June buddies. I didn't even think about this until it was too late. But, really I didn't even know they made Chinese New Year cards. You would think with all the on-line shopping I do I would have seen them but no - I missed them. Oh well, there's always next year.
So Happy New Year and Happy Year of the Pig to everyone!!!!
Ok - so we built the house and moved in the 2nd week of September 2003. The builder made me promise not to paint anything for 18 months. That was a tough promise to make. But, I did. So that took us to March 2005 - and living with two large dogs and just nasty primer on the walls. Which by the way does not clean well and it's so pretty to look at - NOT. Then we had to have some drywall repairs. So in the late summer / early fall of 2005 we started painting. And we are still painting. We are over 2/3 done with the painting/redoing the rooms and the girl's bathroom was the next project on the list.
Here are the pictures of us prepping the room. Over the sink was just a large mirror - so we bought a recessed medicine cabinet to replace the mirror with. Well, once Sonny cut the hole for the new medicine cabinet we found this lovely pipe in the way. (actually it's a stink pipe to let air into the drain - don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about). So instead of ripping out tons of drywall, and the vanity and rerouting the pipe or changing the size of the pipe we decide that we'd recess the cabinet in as far as we could. Which was about half way. Thank goodness for 2 x 6 walls because this gave us the extra little bit of room that allowed this. We also bought a new light bar and new sink/counter top. Plus all new decor and paint. Including one of those cool rounded/bowed shower curtain rod that gives you 6 extra inches of 'elbow' room. So after cutting holes, removing all the 'old' stuff, patching walls, re patching walls and caulking we were ready to paint.
It's done!!! And I just love how cute it turned out. (Sonny said it's definitely a 'girly' bathroom.) I keep going in there and checking it out. I think it turned out so cute!!! Just the way I pictured it when I was planning it all out. And the dots (actually 'Wall-Pops' - from Lowe's) are just way too cool. And they really do make the walls pop with color. So what do you all think? (Oh, and by the way I was so excited on how great it turned out that I took 34 pictures - so if you need more views just let me know). And I took all the pictures without the bathroom door on so that I could get better shots. In fact I still need to paint
the door and have Sonny hang it. Hopefully this
week I can get it painted. I'm just going to paint the inside of the door the same aqua-y color as the walls and trim.
More features: On the side of the vanity I hung a duck towel ring with a little ducky fingertip towel on it - that way the girls will have their own towel bar at their height. And there's a duck two-step stool (with two little drawers) between the toilet and the vanity - so we are all set in the bathroom for little ones. Plus, the I bought the duck waste basket that went with the bathroom set and it's next to the tub with bath toys in it. It was too cute for trash - plus Thunder eats used tissues - yuck! So we have to have the real waste basket under the sink. And I bought a duck safety water spout cover - that has a built in bubble dispenser. So now I just need the toilet and vanity safely latches and I think we're all set. Oh, and I got a blow up duck baby bath tub that goes in the big tub. It's also got a safety feature in it to tell you if the waters too warm/hot.
Look at these sweet gifts I got from my GW SP. She always sends the best gifts. Look at these little Robeez shoes. Aren't they adorable? I just love the little cherries on them. And I love that they are machine washable - how cool is that. And look at this little hat. It reminds me of a little strawberry. How cute will the baby be in that?
Thank you, thank you SP - I just LOVE the gifts. Another month of you knowing exactly what I like. :) Sherry
I got the best Cyber Shower gifts this month. And guess who they were from. My super sweet friend Drea. And I had been talking to her all month long - well I do that every month - but she never even let on that she had my name. She's things she's really sneaky. And she was way too generous too. She bought me some really great gifts. I got a Discovery Bee interactive activity book - which is going to China with me. I got the Discovery Ladybug from my SP a couple of months ago - now if we get twins they can each have a discovery bug - how cute will they be. Plus I got the book 'When you Were Born In China' - which I'm going to take to China with me for the nanny/nannies to write a note to the baby in. Then I'll save the book for when they are older. It will then be a keepsake from their past. (Thanks Drea for reminding me about this). I also got a set of 6 wash cloths - with little ducks on them. They will go perfect in the new bathroom. (which I think I'm going to start painting in the morning.) A sweet little 'Bravery Hearts' bracelets from the SickKids Foundation. (read more about it at www.braveryhearts.com) And a cute little pack of tissues that has a little saying on them --- Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness" didn't know where to shop.
So thanks again Drea for all the wonder gifts and for always being there for me.
Wow - it's January 19th and we have officially been 'logged-in' for 7 whole months. Some days it only feels like a couple of months and sometimes it feels like years. I'm not sure what today fells like other than cold and snowy. At least it means we are one month closer to our baby girl. And that's a good thing. I mean a GREAT thing!!!!!!
The last time the CCAA sent out referrals was on 11/30/06. Everyone was hoping for another batch before Christmas but that didn't happen. Yesterday the CCAA updated their website and the agencies in the US started getting the referral packages from DHL. Our agency only had one LID for this batch - September 12th, 2005. This batch covered 19 Log In Dates (LIDs) from September 9th through September 27th. I think this is good news - the most LIDs they have done during all of 2006 was 18. And this only happened two times in 2006. The lowest number of days in 2006 was 5. So I think 19 is a very good sign.
Here's some more stats:
In 2005 the CCAA did 287 days of referrals - 7/1/04 thru 4/14/05
In 2006 the CCAA did 146 days of referrals - 4/15/05 thru 9/08/05 An average of 12 days a month - ranging from 5 days to 18 day.
So here's to hoping and praying that 2007 is more like 2005 with the referral numbers.
I'm still counting on getting our referral in 2007!!!!
I'm behind again in my thank-yous. But, my two wonderful Secret Pals sent me great gifts again. From my Great Wall Secret Pal I got a wonderful book on transracial adoptions. Which I can't wait to start reading. I love learning anything and everything I can about what our lives will be like once we become a racially and culturally blended family. I can hear the girls now - 'oh, mom - we're just like all the other kids'. But, then the other voices in my head say - 'learn everything you can now - because once there are babies in the house - your brain will become mush'. So for now I will go with the mush theory and keep reading.
Plus, she sent me a wonderfully smelling Macintosh Yankee candle. And a great topper for it. She's just so thoughtful and sweet.
And then my June Bug Secret Pal sent me two super soft baby blankets. One of them says 'I love mommy' --- guess which one is my favorite? And she also sent me some Burt's Bees foot cream and some great smelling body butter. And some vanilla-jasmine lotion and body spray. I will be smelling mighty fine this month. Plus, she always send me wonderful hand made cards - this months card was made by a friend of hers. It's really beautiful.
I hope someday I get to thank both my SP's in person. Maybe we'll all be in China this year together!!!!