Monday, January 31, 2011

What to Think?

Wow!  Just when I'd made peace with waiting another month for my referral, I'm not so sure.  The Rumor Queen Website (a blog/community/lifeline for those of us who have survived this roller coaster of China adoption) is abuzz with excitement that referrals are imminent.  I went back and checked the information my agency sent and they said referrals won't be sent until after the CNY, but after Chinese New Year they put Feb. 3rd in parenthesis!! That makes me think that perhaps they will be sending them right before they walk out the door for vacation.  Still a February referral to be sure, but earlier than if they waited until they got back to send them, which is how I interpreted the original message.

It is looking like referrals will go through June 2, 2006!   Here's a "woo-hoo" to my new bloggy friend Gina and her husband Gordon who have a LID of June 2nd.  Steve and I would love to be in Guangzhou at the same time as them.

Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Also, here is what I've assembled for packing so far.  Umm....there aren't any clothes, cameras, laptop, the paperwork, camcorder, baby clothes, cosmetics/personal get the idea.  Steve reminded me that we are only going to China for 2 weeks, we are not moving there.  He is afraid I will be slowing our travel (Tracie, it doesn't look that bad does it?) group down and have everyone annoyed with us!  I'm sure it'll look like a lot less when I take everything out of the packaging, right?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Look Who's Coming to Our House

A longer wait to referral means more time to prepare and more time to shop.  I have 2 totes full of things for the trip to China and that doesn't include a stick of clothing!  I think I'll have to scale back and Steve is going to have to do some strength training.

Dolls with Asian features aren't very common so I was thrilled to find the two cuties below.  They are on their way to us (hope they like snow).  I actually found 2 more  I want, but I'm pacing myself as I recently checked prices on flights to Beijing...oh my.

The one above (with a different outfit) has been living in a box at our house for a few years now.  I hope Grandma SG is ready to play some dollies!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

It turns out Tom Petty was right.

It looks like there are not going to be any January referrals this year.  In fact, they won't be out until after the Chinese New Year.  Our agency gave us the news on Tuesday.  I'd be lying if I said we weren't disappointed, we really thought next week was going to be the week we saw our baby's face for the first time.

The Chinese New Year, sometimes called the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday of the year for the Chinese people.  It begins on the first day of the first lunar month and lasts for fifteen days. People from all over the country go home for the holiday so there won't be anyone working at the CCAA.

I've been predicting a February referral since last spring, so it looks like that's what it'll be.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where in the World

It is really difficult knowing our baby is born but not knowing where she is.  All we know for sure is that she is somewhere in China, and she has no idea her little world is about to be turned upside down.

China is the 3rd largest country in the world in area, slightly larger than the United States. Most of the population lives in the east as much of the other land is covered by mountains and desert.  Babies adopted to our country tend to come from the southeast provinces.

Most likely she was born somewhere in the countryside and was brought to the nearest city's orphanage, called social welfare institutes in China.  More and more of the babies are living with Chinese families in foster care.  Wherever she is, we hope she is loved.

Adoptions in China are regulated by a government entity called the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA).  Here is a picture of the directors of our agency at the CCAA when they visited in 2005.

Here they are inside the CCAA offices with some of the employees.  Maybe right now our dossier is sitting on one of the shelves pictured!  Hopefully very soon someone will be brushing the dust off of it and matching us with our child!

Let's have some fun...leave me a comment and guess which province our little girl is in and what her birthdate is.  I'm going to keep my own guesses private for now.  Good luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why China?

     When we first decided to add to our family through adoption, we didn't know where our child would come from, we just wanted a baby.
     We quickly learned domestic adoption wasn't for us. The majority of domestic adoptions in our country are open, in which the birthmother selects the adoptive parents for her baby.  There are many more couples hoping to adopt than mothers looking to give up their children.  This meant potentially we might never, ever be selected.  A birthmother might choose us and change her mind once her baby was born.  We would certainly understand and respect that decision, but it would break our hearts.
     Our social worker, Brian, said something that stuck with me.  When a baby is born in the United States he or she will be adopted, but that's not the case in other countries.  Children who aren't adopted from foreign orphanages eventually age out of the system, and more often than not, face a very bleak future.
     As we learned about the established international adoption programs we narrowed our choices down to two:  China and Guatemala.   Our last home study visit was completed on November 2, 2005.  We decided to reflect on things and let our agency know after the holidays which way to go.  Of course, unbeknownst to us, at that exact time a great slowdown in China adoptions was beginning.
     Steve immediately felt China was the right fit.  I decided to learn whatever I could about the program.  In doing so I  read a book and watched a DVD that changed my life and perspective forever:

 The Lost Daughters of China and Lisa Ling's documentary China's Lost Girls  helped explain the complex cultural traditions and political policy responsible for the large number of baby girls in China who need families.  The decision was obvious, our daughter would be born in China.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Time to Get Shopping

With the slowdown in Chinese adoptions we hadn't put together a baby room.  I enjoyed looking at the beautiful nurseries my fellow bloggers and waiting families shared, but I was relieved we didn't have an empty crib sitting in the house for 5 years.  Finally this summer we came to the realization that after all this time  this adoption really was going to be a reality.  It was time to get shopping!
How much do I love Babies R Us?  Luckily they stock the crib we decided on because I still can't decide between this medium stain and white.  I am leaning toward white.  What do you think?
A close second (or third, I guess) is this espresso Babi Italia:
All opinions are welcome!
I also purchased this Graco Flip-It stroller.  The handle flips to the front or back, enabling the baby to face the parent.  I think this will be great to help promote attachment.  Love the color too!
Many thanks to Baby's cousin Brice for handing down his awesome BOB jog stroller and Peg PĂ©rego high chair.  We are sure baby will love them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Long Journey

"A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step"  ~Chinese Proverb
     It has been a very long and arduous journey to our child.  Adoption is certainly not for the faint of heart.  When we started this process in late 2005, we never could've imagined how long the wait would be.  It seems that finally, at long last, we find ourselves at the front of the line and we should be in the next referral batch.
     What does that mean?  Sometime in the next several weeks our file will be opened on some government official's desk in China. He or she will read our information,  look at old photos of us, and decide which child will become our daughter.  Our agency will be sent some pictures, a medical report, and information about where the baby is.  About 6-8 weeks later we'll travel to China to bring her home.
     It seems surreal after all this time.  Thank you to our family and friends who have been waiting with us.  We will update this blog so that you can follow our journey.  To any waiting families who may be reading this, please don't give up.  Following the blogs of others during the interminable wait gave me hope that a baby truly would come at the end.     
Dreams really can come true.