Monday, December 18, 2006

10 months down

Today marks our 10 month anniversary. Grunt and moan inserted here.
What I haven't written in my blog lately is that DH and I had a discussion a few weeks ago. We were reevaluating the adoption, should we stop? It is getting so long that do we want to be parents to a young one in our 40's? So, my DH said we will stop when he turns 42. So I asked, "What does that mean? If we are next on the referral list and your 42nd birthday arrives...are we going to stop?" His answer was "no." I explained that I would regret not doing this the REST of my life. Hence, we decided to pursue.

Well, I was telling my dearest daughters this info the other day as we were discussing the L-O-N-G wait for their sister. My older DD said, " You can't stop. Who will get OUR sister? She is supposed to be our sister! We want our sister."

If there were any doubts before, there certainly are none now. So the entire family is back on the train. The train once known as the Orient Express which has been renamed the Great China Slug....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ugg, Grunt...

The wait, the wait, the wait is getting harder!!
I haven't written lately because I feel like saying ugg and grunt. The other thing I find myself saying lately is...who the hell knows? This is of course preceded by, "so? any news?" I really do appreciate the interest people have. It is genuine. I wish I could give them some kind of answer. So for now, I will say ugg and grunt!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yang

So I found something I want to share. I feel like one of my students searching for something for show and tell. Anything at all.....(ironically, we don't even do show and tell). But, I digress. So, on my MSN homepage I have the word of the day. The word of the day is yang. How fitting is that? Something in Chinese on my American homepage. Do you know what yang means? Well, I will tell you...yang means masculine element: in Chinese philosophy, the principle of light, heat, motivation, and masculinity that is the counterpart of yin and is thought to exist along with yin in all things. I always thought it was yinG and yang. Apparently, it is YIN and yang. Light, heat, motivation, and masculinity. I am walking away with motivation on this one. Motivation, motivation, MOTIVATION....I need to stay motivated to hang in there for this very long haul to China and Flora!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What to write, what to share...

I have been avoiding you lately. Simply because I have nothing to share. I have nothing to tell you. I could run through my laundry list of what I have been doing lately.
1. Visited family for Thanksgiving. DH says no more driving at Thanksgiving next year (the traffic doubled our time). We shall see.
2. All my christmas shopping is complete. I have never been done this early. I like it!
3. No news on referrals or review room movement.....crap!

I keep trying to come up with something clever, something witty, something insightful to write.....and NADA!
I'll keep trying and get back to you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The 9 Month Reflection

Nine months ago today, the CCAA held our dossier in their hands and said, "Yep, it's here! We are so thrilled that this family finally completed their dossier! We have been waiting for them." Apparently, the CCAA has said the exact same thing to another 20,000-40,000 families! The nine months seems like the worst milestone yet for me. I guess I keep thinking that in 9 months women get pregnant and give birth! The nine months has been the hardest one yet. However, my heart is in China. When deciding upon adoption, it was always China, even if it took 3 years.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What are you thankful for?

As this wait seems interminable, I have to ask myself what am I thankful for with regards to the wait....?
1. I am thankful for the love and support of my husband and children. We like talking about the adoption, Flora (by name), the frustration with respect to the wait.
2. I am thankful for the community of people who read and leave comments on my blog.
3. I am thankful for the other blogs out there that get me thinking.
4. I am thankful for the time to try and prepare (in vain) for our daughter's arrival.
5. I am thankful for the RQ, albeit, I take her site with a grain of salt.
6. I am thankful that I can write big checks, really quickly as our year anniversary quickly approaches. (It is a skill that comes in handy).
7. What are you thankful for? Please leave a comment or if there are so many things write it on your blog with the link in the comment section. I love to hear what others are thinking....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

People are Kind

My father used to tell me that I always overestimated people. I always saw the good in them. I don't necessarily think that is a bad trait. Recently, I have had so many people ask me when I am getting my baby. People actually remember we are adopting. Heck, it has been a year and a half with no movement essentially (in the eyes of acquaintances anyway). I just think that so many people have been so kind. I am thoroughly impressed with this kindness shown by so many people.
I did have a friend say to me that his mother feels that adoption should be eradicated. In fact, she wrote a book about it. I do love having discussions like this. His comments did not offend me, but rather made me think and rethink the whole adoption process. It is actually sad that a family can not keep a child for any reason. Wouldn't it be a better place if each child could stay with their birth family and had a wonderful upbringing? Oh, and every couple who has battled infertility...infertility became obsolete? On the flip side isn't it amazing that families with no biological connection are willing to love and rear a child or children? Wow, I think that says a lot about humanity.
So, I find people to be very kind. Thank you!

Friday, November 03, 2006

babies everywhere

As referrals burst through the door and blogs, it is fantastic to see all the little faces and the beautiful words of proud Moms and Dads. Go visit RQ as her latest entry lists all the blogs with many photos of adorable Chinese children who will soon join their forever families. http://chinaadopttalk.com/ Additionally, I want to add that while you were sleeping the CCAA updated their website. January has cleared the review room. That means in approximately 1 month, we will also clear the review room. No phone calls from GW asking us to "clarify" anything!!! One nailbiting month to go! It that a dim light I see?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Referrals are in flight

While you were sleeping, referrals were in flight and the CCAA updated their website. The CCAA made it through two days more than the rumor had stated. August 25, 2005 is the cutoff. Now, if I could hear a little something, something on the review room. Really, I am not trying to be greedy.

UPDATE:Our Homestudy, because I know you have been dying to know, is almost complete. DH needs a medical exam and paperwork and the SW needs to pay us a visit. Apparently, it is no big deal for the HS to expire. Then I ask the question....What is the point of a expiration date???

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The List

I am one of those people who will be happy to do something, as long as I can do it NOW. I can't wait or opps I'll forget. So this whole adoption thing has me all a dither with expiration dates.

Fingerprints-check good, until Feb 2007
I 171 H-check, good until April 2007
Home study-check, good until Halloween....ah crap!


Yes, with my focus on the dates of the fingerprints and I 171 H, I forgot my Home study, which is apparently necessary to get all the other stuff. Actually, I contacted my HS agency in April and the response was we'll contact you 6 weeks prior. I remembered last week. I jumped through hoops over the weekend to finish everything. In fact, it would all be done, BUT my DH's dear Doc is MIA and new Doc wants to "SEE" him, before she'll sign anything (never mind that he has been to the Doc 2 times for 2 physicals in 18 months, the first Doc, who did the original med forms went boutique and second Doc went MIA). Opps, was that the sound of my DH firing the new Doc. You Bet!!!
New Doc from MY PRACTICE says new Pt appt Monday, and Paperwork immediately! HS update delay 7 days, not too shabby.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ah, the perks of the wait....

What I am finding is that with this ever extending wait (the glass is still half full), I am finding that I can validate any and every day with some quantification. For example, it is 500 days since process started, 8 month anniversary, or % of wait down based on some number I can no longer define. So, today my dear friends and family is 250 days since this roller coaster has started. It is amazing the higher the numbers, the more damn celebrations! Wha Hoo, do you hear me celebrating?

Journaling?!

I found this beautiful red leather journal months and months and months ago. I decided to start writing in it, per a conversation with a friend who adopted from China 5 years ago. She suggested that I write down my thoughts. So I did. I believe that I made 3 entries... then that beautiful red leather journal was stowed away for a long time. I vowed that I would blog, then copy into the journal. I finally finished that project this weekend. I copied all of my thoughts and remembered to hit a few anniversaries that I had missed in the blog. So now, if this blog disappears into cyberspace foreva' I got the written word! I hope that Flora understands my journey better one day. I certainly look forward to understanding and knowing her journey. In the very near future (I hope).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crap on a Cracker

I missed two, count them two, milestones!! I missed our 500th day since we signed our application with Great Wall committing to our agency and Chinese adoption. Five hundred days-Holy Moly! The other milestone I missed was the anniversary of our LID! Eight months and counting. Somewhere I came up with the number of our adoption taking 548 days. We are down 243 days. That translates to 44% under the bridge. Not even half way yet. Boy, I hope I am wrong about that 548 thing. I wonder where in the world I came up with that number! That means approximately 8 1/2 months to go! Still, I hope I am wrong about that number!
That glass, well for today anyway, is half full! And, that comment about committing 500 days ago, well that is just a drop in the bucket 'o' time compared to the lifetime we are committed to Flora!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Follow up to my N. rant.....

So my dear ole hubby read the previous post and he said....
"You should call N. CORPORATE and complain!"
I said, "I am too tired, it's over, it's done!"
He said, "No, you my get free stuff."
I said, "so what!"
He said, "then I'll call."
So I forwarded all of my e-mails etc.
He called corporate and they said....."we'll put you in touch with the local store."
He said. "that is who is NOT helping us here."
And corporate said, "sorry, hold your breath 'cause we'll call you back!!!
Hubby is blue in da face and still no ringy dingy...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Buh Bye..

I was reading this blog http://thenakedovary.typepad.com/ this morning. What annoys me? Well, I will tell ya what annoys me right this very minute...NORDSTROM!!! My favorite store in the world. I love shopping there, er used to! After 11 years I am calling this relationship quits. Yes, I received many gifts from them, but I gave way too much to that beast, who never cared.
I am sure that ya'll know N. prides themselves on customer service. Let me tell you what I haven't gotten lately from N. Many, many times I have been shunned by the "snobs" in the TBD department, here at my local store. I kinda got used to it. We had an understanding. They snub me, I purchase THEIR clothes in the Children's dept., giving those ladies the commission. And dear ole hubby says the Men's dept is bad too. Sales Associates on their cell phones, telling jokes, not acknowledging his presence. BTW, hubby is a big, bald guy. Difficult to miss.
As relationships wind down you put up with those kinds of things....UNTIL the whammy!!!!! My whammy was a fine sales assoc in the BP (shoe) dept. Her name is STACY. We exchanged pleasantries. She sold me a pair of shoes. They needed to be ordered. I had them sent to the house....ooppps there's a $5 charge. Well, I will be more than happy to come back here to N to pick them up, and possibly spend MORE money. What? You don't like that idea? I made you cancel a transaction? and RE ring it in? Is that a huff I hear? Please don't tell me that was another huff. Have I ruined your day by purchasing a $100.00 pair of shoes from you? Well, I am sorry. OMG, is that your A$$ walking away from me? Without uttering a word???? Well, this is my A$$ walking to customer service to complain about YOU!
The manager was kind, but not gushing. He promised that the BIG manager would call me, 10 to 12 days later, no ringy dingy. So I composed an e-mail. I think I used the words inadequate, slack, rude, disappointed. Guess who gets my e-mail....the slack manager who neglected to call me. oh, well. She responded to my e-mail, requested my phone number, and called a week later. I did not speak to her b/c I was busy at work. I called her back. She was not there. I left her a message. Six days later, still no ringy dingy. I am done. Not interested? Neither am I. Customer Service, my foot!!!
I no shoppy at N no more...........buh bye

Monday, October 09, 2006

Our local FCC group brought in Dr. Jane Liedtke for a 3 hour seminar. Dr. Jane started a foundation 10 years ago. Here is her website http://www.ocdf.org/ocdf/index.htm. She spoke about several topics including the return trip to China to visit the orphanage. She was entertaining and informative. She answered every question asked. Dr. Jane lives in China and has a 14 year old daughter whom she adopted when she was 17 months.
There was a crazy story told about a family who returned to the daughter's finding site, at the doorstep of the house. The woman wasn't there but, the neighbor was. She invited the family in and was quite a hostess. The neighbor woman did not return in time to "meet" the family. The family left only to return the next day to take another set of photographs because their camera had been stolen. In the meantime, the woman who found the daughter contacted the birth family (she knew who they were as they returned to collect their daughter years later). The birth family visited the finding woman's home to talk about the daughter the same day that the adopted family returned to take a second set of photographs. They families met. How amazing?
I always had in my mind that we would never meet the birth family. Of course that is most likely true, but the remote possibility of it happening threw me for a loop.

Alright now for her weigh in on the slow down issue. Her thoughts are the CCAA has officially taken over the responsibility of the 750 domestic only orphanages in addition to the 250 international orphanages. They simply do not have the help they need to process this magnitude of information. Apparently, Chinese workers DO NOT have universal skill sets that Americans have. Therefore, training lasts M-U-C-H longer than what we would consider a "training period."

One other piece of information for all of you awaiting referral people. You may request from the orphanage a copy of THEIR file on your daughter. It will contain documents other than what is contained in the CCAA and agency file. Perhaps a note, most likely the police report which has the most true information. ASK FOR IT WHILE YOU ARE THERE. If the director is less than thrilled to give it to you then ask what the special processing fee is.

I would recommend seeing Dr. Jane if you have the opportunity.

Friday, October 06, 2006

How about another recipe?

October comes and I "nest." It seems to happen every year. I want to bake and cook! So I'll share another recipe. One of my all time favorites!
Pumpkin LoavesIngredients:
· 2 c unsifted flour
· ½ teas salt
· ½ teas baking powder
· 1 teas baking soda
· 1 teas ground cloves
· 1 teas ground cinnamon
· 1 teas ground nutmeg
· 2 c sugar
· ¾ softened butter
· 2 eggs
· 1 can (1 lb) pumpkin

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 4 small loaf pans
2. Mix dry ingredients-flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices.
3. In a large bowl at medium speed beat sugar and butter just until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin at a lowspeed. Then, add the flour mixture to wet mixture.
4. Turn batter into pans, dividing evenly
5. Bake 1 hour (or until tested with a toothpick)
6. Let cool into pans about 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It is official

We are in the review room with the CCAA. yipeee, oh s$&@! Yippee, Oh S$@#!!! I am excited and nervous at the same time. Cross your fingers that all is well with the paperwork!! I know I am!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Assembling and Producing

In my oh so spare time, I have been assembling all of "the" family recipes, all of the newspaper recipes that have been turning yellow, and organizing the pages of multiple recipes. I know it is crazy, but I am finding great delight and great pride in this project. I have now organized 2 4inch ring binders of recipes that have been carefully sniped, categorized, and placed in plastic sheet protectors. I will share one of my newest additions that has proven to be a big hit at picnics and by friends.

Watermelon Salad

· 1 small red onion sliced into crescent shapes.
· Citric juice, 2-3 splashes of lemon or lime (I prefer lime)
· 3.5 lbs of cubed watermelon
· 9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
· 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
· 1 small bunch of mint, chopped
· 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
· ½ to 1 cup Kalamata olives
· Black pepper to taste

Put cubed watermelon into a bowl.
Add onions, feta, olives, parsley, and mint.
Toss lightly using your fingers.
Drizzle olive oil, citric juice, and black pepper.
Toss again.

Serve immediately.

It is an awesome/easy recipe. Perhaps I will share more recipes. I love cooking and baking. Both bring me such joy and solace. I will say that having a long standing agreement with my hubby adds to my pleasure. If I cook, he cleans. If he cooks, I clean. If we both cook, we both clean. Great partnership after nearly 15 years of marriage. By the way, he is also a great cook. Let's just say we eat well.......Now days, the littler munchkin enjoys cooking. She'll tell you that she makes the BEST mashed potatoes. Although, she could use a little guidance from the potato queen, my mother.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Montessori Soapbox

I, being a Montessori teacher, found this amazing quote I wanted to share with my peeps..."Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potential." Dr. Maria Montessori.

I would encourage any parent out there to look at your local Montessori school when considering a school for your children.

A few untruths about Montessori schools: we are NOT a cult, we are not all connected, we are NOT the program that allows children to do whatever they want when they want, we are not so strict that children can't so anything.

I always require my potential families to observe a class. That way you could get a feeling about the program and go from there.

I will now step down from my soap box, but I do believe in what I do and I believe that it works.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yippee..

OK, so the rumors were all over the place regarding the arrival of today's referrals. The worst case scenario was July 28, 2005 and the best case scenario was mid August 2005, and the pipe dream was ALL of August. Well, the referrals came down in the middle of the worst and the best case scenarios. I would like to point out that it was more on the best case scenario side.
Congrats to all those mamas and papas who will fall in love with their new babies very, very soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Girl or Boy?

So, I was thinking the other day...our referral will it be a girl (as in what we requested) or a boy (as in S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E)...... Furthermore, I was perusing my usual gaggle of adoption blogs and she had an old Sesame Street video on her blog. I then killed lots of time by hunting for this clip on you tube. I remember this from when I was a wee little one. By the way, the boy's voice..is it Mel Brooks and the girl's voice..is it Marlo Thomas? What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDGQgSGHGZ0

Monday, September 18, 2006

7 month anniversary

It is official! We have been LID for 7 months today! Only 39 months to go (that is by my calculator, working with the January referral in 2010 estimate). Wah hoo, we are one month closer than last month!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Something that makes me laugh....

I think that this video is h-y-s-t-e-r-i-c-a-l. Kinda makes me want to go out and purchase 8 treadmills and gather up 3 friends!


Update: OK, so I took away that thing that makes me laugh. It started to annoy me. I once heard those traits that you find so endearing eventually annoy the crap out of you!! This is one of those times!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The wait???The Wait!!!!!

So many people have recently been asking me when my baby is coming. I think it might be because I have a baby on my hip everyday at school now. I committed to watching a teacher's daughter everyday for a few hours. She is a real joy. So, now all of the parents have been asking me when my little one is coming. I briefly considered dying this child's hair black, saying I went to China, and keeping her. Apparently, the mother wasn't too fond of this idea. I can't understand why not!
So, this one parent with whom I was speaking adopted a daughter from Kazistan. Do you know that she still reads blogs! She is hooked on Salsa in China. In fact, she was on vaca when the twins arrived and it was killing her because she was without a computer.
Then someone else asked me if having this 1 year old everyday was helpful or not. At first, I thought no way. It is NOT helpful. It makes me want my daughter more. This is true. Then, I thought absolutely. It is helpful. It reminds me that caring for a baby is like riding a bike. I apparently haven’t forgotten all of my skills (good thing too). Big picture here….caring for that baby everyday solidifies for me that I am glad that I am adopting. I am not too old. I do want and I am prepared for another child. It is a good thing because between now and the year 2010, I am going to be getting a daughter from China.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Are you kidding me??

I cannot believe that I have not posted in so long! Wow, ya'll (yes, I did just type that) must know that I have been B-U-S-Y! School's back up and running With the new building, I have been handling quite a lot. There have been so many deadlines that I have missed. I neglected to mention that we hit our six month anniversary of our LID on August 17, 2006. I also neglected to mention that I will no longer be 35 when my daughter arrives and my husband will no longer be 38.
I went on a weekend trip to Nashville to visit C and KK. C is my rock and she moved there recently, although I miss her terribly (she used to be closer)I am glad that she is closer to her family!
Well, the school bell tolls.....time to get moving!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yahoo Groups, yahoo groups, yahoo groups....

I belong to so many adoption related yahoo groups it is funny. Let's see the first one is the January DTC group, named the Precious Pandas. All members were DTC in or near January of 2006. I belong to my agency's yahoo group, the agency's Virginia yahoo group, the carry-on only yahoo group (I plan to travel to China as COO..don't laugh-really!), the ask Jane in China yahoo group, and finally I just signed-up for the local Families with Children from China yahoo group. No wonder my man always sees me on the computer checking my e-mail, all 100+ per day!

So the Precious Pandas are meeting in Philly for the weekend. I think it is wonderful for these women (mostly) to come together and meet. Anyway ladies, I wish you all a wonderful trip!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Photo Op....



These are my beautiful daughters. I felt the blog needed a little something more visual then my ramblings, so I decided to upload photos of my girls. They are amazing, and I am so proud of them. They now only ask me once every two weeks or so, "Mom, when are we getting Flora? 2009?"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Are you a blog stalker?

This is anonymous right? O.K. I admit it here in this safe place, I am a blog stalker. I read other's blogs daily, sometimes I check them two or three times a day.

I have my favorites on the left here of my screen. I am so anal retentive that I have them categorized by LID. Yes, it is true they are in order. At the top are the LID's who are next to receive their referrals. Then they progressively go down the list of favorites. If you are lucky enough to have received your daughter (at this point all my fav blogs have been referred daughters), then you drop to the bottom of the list.

The Laukats hold a special place for me as they are the first family I started stalking. I am holding my breath for those awaiting TA's (travel assignments, B.G., G.J. F.) and referrals (T-F).

Who are these people you ask? I don't know. But, we are all in the same boat paper chasing, waiting, guessing what China will do next. Do they know I exist? No, not unless I make myself known as I did with G. I am sure that their are a few individuals stalking me. If so, now is a great time to ID yourself. Just say Hi, leave and your LID and your blog address. If you stalk me, I'll stalk you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A beef and something sweet

Alright, I'll start with the beef! So, remember that I wrote all those politicians? See June 4, 2006 post. (EEWW, I have to take a shower now. I don't much care for politicians. They are icky!) Ok, back on topic here.

I wrote all these people, including Senator Warner, Senator Allen, El Presidente, Representative Scott, Ann, and Emilio. I received two responses...........
First was Senator Warner! Thanks Johnny. His letter was actually pretty good. He knew what I was talking about and gave reasons, albeit reasons that blew smoke up my skirt, but reasons nonetheless for the 15 month and 18 month expiry.

Then El Presidente wrote back,'m sorta, kinda. Some low person on the pole (like the bottom) sent me a two line stock letter. The President appreciates your letter and takes your concerns seriously. Seriously, my foot!!! Do you even know what the hell I am talking about, Dubya??

I heard via RQ that a Representative in NM has introduced legislation extending the I-171H. Kudos Heather! So I shot an e-mail off to Booby Scott (no, that wasn't a typo). I doubt he'll want to help after I gave 'em hell for NOT responding and then got to my point about the I-171H. We shall see.

OK that concludes the beef portion...
Now the Sweet stuff....
Here's a hot cup'o'joe latte with Vanilla Chai creamer raised in honor of those families who will be receiving their referrals in the next day or two. Families from June 29 through July 13 have been matched!! Hooray. For those of you who missed it by a a few days, it sucks! But get ready things are 'a' changing soon enough.

My thoughts are hurry up and get through the beef to get to the sweet stuff. The dessert is much better!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Number Day

Today is a milestone number day! We have been logged-in with the CCAA for 150 days! With a wait of approximately 548 days (i.e. 18 months), we are now at approximately 398 days. We are about 28% down for our wait time. That is assuming (_!_)-inserted ass icon-you know the ass, you, me thing-, those numbers are real....

Friday, July 14, 2006

TAG! You're it!!!

If you have read the title of this post, then consider yourself tagged! Read on fellow bloggers to see what you must do....It is all about the sevens.

7 Things I Want to do Before I Die
1. Travel to every continent
2. Go on an African Safari
3. Travel to Morocco
4. Laugh everyday
5. Own another sailboat
6. Learn to windsurf
7. Be the best Wife and Mom I can be

7 Things I CANNOT do
1. I cannot sing, although in the car I have a great voice :)
2. I cannot make jello
3. I cannot stand it when people touch my feet
4. I cannot talk softly
5. I cannot eat overcooked steak
6. I cannot stand children eating in my car, I cannot stand a dirty car!
7. I cannot say I am sorry

7 Things I CAN Do
1. I can teach children how to read
2. I can cook (aside from Jello)
3. I can be a friend
4. I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue (quirky-huh?)
5. I can crack gum and blow bubbles
6. I can assemble anything just like a man would (with no instructions, maybe
pictures)
7. I can be a bitch and say mean things when I am mad!

7 Things That Attracted Me to My Husband
1. He was single
2. He has the most beautiful color of eyes
3. He is a big guy, I feel/felt safe
4. He has a huge heart
5. He is kind
6. He says I am sorry
7. He can't dance or sing, but he thinks he can

7 Things I say Most Often
1. Montessori? well it is a method/philosophy of educating children......
2. Oh, my stars(in the company of children)
3. *&^%$&&$#@!#$% (in the company of adults)
4. Actually
5. Yes
6. No
7. Honey, where's my coffee?

7 Books I love
1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
2. Chrysanthemum
3. The Kitchen God's Wife
4. The Devil Wears Prada
5. The Accidental Virgin
6. Twenty Things Adopted Children Wished Their Parents Knew
7. The Montessori Controversy

7 Movies I Love
1. Braveheart
2. Dances with Wolves
3. Bull Durham
4. Crash
5. Ocean's Eleven
6. Unfaithful
7. Jurrasic Park

That's it kiddos...your turn!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Heller...

Heller there one and all. I know, I know, I have neglected you all! I know I have had my e-mail inbox flooded, I mean FLOODED, with requests to get back on the bandwagon and post something. (NOT!) Well, I am back. Let's just say the school finally opened (it almost didn't). I have been consumed by that for the last 3 weeks.
So kids, fellow adopters, question here.......Are we all type A personalities? or what? I just received an e-mail from one of my many adoption groups asking about Cheerios....So how do you pack them, without arriving with only Cheerio crumbs? I have asked myself that question a million times, until the BTDT woman, let's call her R, to protect her idenity of course, suggested to put them in my thermos. Then, I figured, wow, stuff them into the bottles too!!!
Overachievers anonymous here I come, anyone what to join me????

Thursday, June 29, 2006

So I spent the afternoon...

I spent the afternoon with my friend, Rebecca. We relaxed by the pool. We missed you Tiffany. I am glad that you matched all your socks though (see Gracie's blog) Anyway, so my friend Rebecca, tells me twice that I am wrong.....Stuck in the Middle is NOT a Beatles song as I had originally blogged. She tells me that it is a Bob Dylan song. Okay, I swear that I can hear Paul singing, "clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you." So I HATE to write inaccurate information, especially when (roll call) Rebecca, Tiffany, Robin, Courtney, , Kim, Jodi, Mom, and now Georgia (she's a new friend whose blog I read daily) are reading this thing. I have come home to research who sang this silly song.............drumroll please.............Stealers Wheel............WHO???? STEALERS WHEEL
Nope, Rebecca, you were wrong too. Not the Beatles, and not Bob Dylan. Stealers Wheel, however, was a British band (does that count for somthin'?). Hey, Rebecca, ask the magic eight ball!!!!
Disclaimer: I am sorry if you read this blog and I did not name you. Let me know that you read it!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stuck in the Middle

All I can hear is that song with the line, "Stuck in the Middle." I, having had my dossier registered in China for over four months now, feel stuck in the middle. I am no longer a newbie, having a recently registered dossier in China. I am not at the referral phase, having been matched with a child waiting to travel. I am in the middle. I might as well get used to the middle position as I may be here for a long time! The estimated wait time at the middle position.....who knows!!!
-Maybe 3 more months, doubtful
-Maybe 18 more months, hopefully not
-Maybe 9 more months, likely.
Anyway you slice it, it's a really lng time!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Congrats to a Friend

Alright, I want to wish a sincere congrats to a friend, who is also adopting from China. The CCAA web site has changed, stating that all dossiers dated before October 31, 2005 have left the review room. You know who you are.....YEAH!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The CCAA has Updated Their Website

The CCAA has officially updated their website. Seems that the rumors were right. Families with a log-in date through June 28th have been matched with their children. Their referrals should be here today, tomorrow, or Monday. That is good news, however, there has been NO movement on the review room side for nearly two months. The rumors say that people with November and December log-in dates have been contacted for more information regarding their dossiers. Perhaps the CCAA has just neglected to update the website. Keeping my fingers crossed that we will travel by next spring......

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What to say

Wow, nothing new to accurately report on the adoption. There are rumors FLYING around about the wait. According to the rumor mill, a batch of referrals will be out shortly (no date known) and these referrals will go through June 28, 2006. That is good news. At this point the referral wait time is approximately 12 months. If the referral wait remains at 12 months, I would be thrilled. But, that's for the CCAA to know and for me to find out.

I came across a blog, via my yahoo friends, of a couple who adopted from China. Two months later they relinquished custody of their daughter to another family who previously had twice adopted from China. (FYI- All children who are adopted from China become US citizens when they go through customs, so this girl was not returned to China as she is a US citizen.) The story has certainly hit quite a chord with me. On so many levels, anger, sadness, relief, more sadness, more anger. The circumstances, of which I am not privy to ALL that transpired, are all around just sad and unfortunate.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

As most of you know, my father died 5 1/2 years ago. I hate that he is gone everyday. I am not fond of Father's Day for obvious reasons. I do try to "suck it up" for my dear husband, who is also a father. By the way, I am not such a fan of Mother's Day either.
I however, in avoiding my work, was surfing the blogspot quizzes today. I came across this one and thought it would be fun to post on Father's Day. A bit of background why I thought this was particularly funny. My father was a strict Republican. He'll only admit to voting against the Republican Party one time for Ross Perot. I, on the other hand, am a liberal independent, who receives mail from the Democratic party. That sums it up for me.....Now, who's your daddy?
Your Daddy Is Dick Cheney

What You Call Him: Daddy Dearest

Why You Love Him: He's your sugar daddy

Saturday, June 17, 2006

4 Months Down, ? to go

Well, today is June 17, 2006. We have been logged-in in China for exactly 4 months. What does that mean, you ask? It simply means that we have been through with our paper chasing for more than 5 months, remember the month it took to get to China? It means that China has received, acknowledged, and translated our dossier. It means that our dossier is sitting outside the door of the review room, waiting for someone to read it and decide "if" they have any questions about it and "if" on paper we look like acceptable parents. It means we are 4 months down with I don't know how many more months to go. It also means that little dragonfly, flying across the top of the blog is directly on the number 4! Go dragonfly, go!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The coolest calculator

The other day I was stalking the RQ website. (Yes, I am officially back on the wagon!) There was a post written about a college prof who has some free time because she was expecting to travel to China this summer and planned accordingly. Apparently this college prof teaches some sort of stats class. Nonetheless, she created this calculator that "predicts" your referral timeline. Go see it at http://brightoutlooks.com/ Well, I plugged in my guesses for for the next few batches of referrals. According to my "guesses" I have a referral date of March 20, 2007. The funny thing is that my friend Rebecca, the type A pessimist whose LID is exactly three months before mine, calculated a referral date of April 2007. I am so excited that I have been bumped to the front of the line. It must be my sunny personality. Well, I hope I am right (ya'll know how much I like to be right!)!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The gift that made me cry

As my friends know I am a teacher of young children. Often at the end of the year the families give gifts. Well, I have a child in my class who was adopted from China. Sadly, she is moving to another school next year. I have kept the parents informed of our journey for Flora thus far. In any event, I received the nicest letter from them thanking me for the last two years. It was a very kind note. The last paragraph said that they want me to keep in touch with them. They are especially interested in the adoption. They included a wonderful gift of the dress their daughter wore for a Chinese New Year celebration. It is a beautiful red dress which the parents purchased in China. I was so stunned by such a special, thoughtful, and generous gift. For them to pass the dress on to me instead of keeping such a sentimental thing for themselves was utterly amazing. Well, the child asked me to open the gift in front of her. When I read the note and saw the dress, I started to cry. It was incredible!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Frustration mounting today

I feel quite frustrated today, carried over from last night. We received our monthly update from our agency. This is a much appreciated and anticipated e-mail. The contents are not always easy to consume. I printed the May e-mail and the June e-mail and tracked the changes. It was quite frustrating as I did not see any significant/measurable change. None of the LID groups moved up the food chain. In the past, there has been some sign of movement, but honestly this time there has been NO movement. Now, any intelligent person might say, well Ellen, that is evident from the CCAA website. According the the CCAA website, only one week's worth of LID's were matched last month and no other LID groups have been reviewed. The September 30th day has not changed for two months! But in my fantasy world I thought that perhaps the CCAA moved their employees from the Review Room duty to the Matching Room duty to expedite the dossiers. Ha, Ha! DREAMER It seems that is extremely unlikely.

I still have this loud pang that says money talks. The slow down of adoptions has to be impacting the financial viability of the orphanages. Remember, each child adopted requires a $3000 donation directly to the orphanage. I would guess that the slow down can only last for so long. In any event, I keep telling myself that!

Monday, June 05, 2006

What Have you Done for Me Lately?

Alright, I admit the last time I wrote a letter to the President of the United States I was 10 and it was when President Reagan was shot. As a young child I was wishing him well and good health. I also offered my sentiment on that crazy so and so, who shot him for the girl in Candleshoe. (Who remembers that Disney movie?)

Well, the Rumor Queen has put out a plea requesting, no begging, adoptive parents to make some noise regarding the expiration and additional expense for the I-171H. To obtain an I 171H, you are required to submit fingerprints to check your criminal background,if any. The fingerprints expire after 15 months and the I-171 H after 18 months to the tune of $700 or thereabouts! So on her second request I initated my letter writing campaign. Truth be told, I wrote the letter April 26, 2006 to my Congressman. I never mailed it. Well, I have broadened my scope and I have now included, President Bush, Senator Warner, Senator Allen, Homeland Security Ann Palmer, USCIS Emilio Gonzalez, and Congressman Scott. I encourage any of you readers of this blog who are in the process of adopting to write El Presidente, your Senator, your Congressman, Ann and Emilio. Each letter can make a difference.

I am now stepping off my soap box. I will tell you that I received from President Reagan an aknowledgment of my letter. I am hoping to receive something similar from these hard working government appointed or elected people. I'll let you know how that goes.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Shopping Outing Successful, But We Missed Tiffany

Well, Rebecca (check out Meilin's blog) and I had a very successful shop for deals on clothes to donate to our orphanages. Tiffany (check out Gracie's blog) we missed you... The outlets had amazing deals on clothes, including items for $3! Yes, I bought various items, some boys things, for $3!!!! We found other things that were $5 and $7. Deals galore. Now, I have to remove the prices, not the tags, and put them in a packmate. I am almost ready to go. The problem, however, is that China is not yet ready for me!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Shopping

So we are asked/encouraged/required to make a donation of clothing to the orphanage in China from where our daughter hails. Therefore, in order to fulfill my necessary obligation, I must go shopping. So my friend and I(see Meilin's blog) are going shopping tomorrow. We are headed to the outlets to buy summer clothes on sale. I talked her into this one as summer clothes are; 1. lighter to carry, 2. More bang for our buck. Why you ask are we doing this now? Well, truthfully 'cause what else do you do while waiting two years to adopt your daughter? Secondly, summer sales only come around once a year. We are going shopping! yippee!! By the way did I mention that I have budget? Budget, what is that you ask! Yes, we have tightened out belts and we are saving money! So, my budget is (drum roll please) $100. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

See my diaper bag!


Okay, I am trying something new on my blog...inserting a picture. So I thought I would insert a photo of my diaper bag! Here it is!

Feeling Better

Our family seems to be feeling better as a whole, which as Martha would say, "is a good thing." We are looking forward to a nice long weekend together. It is the unofficial start of summer and our pool opens this weekend. It is also time for school to end soon. Therefore, we are winding down to wind up again!

I do have to share that a friend of mine now has a new business with a monograming machine. Needless to say that Miss Flora now owns a blanket, diaper cover, and a bib all with her name. They all look absolutely adorable!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Feeling Blue

Our entire family is feeling blue. We had to put down one of our family pets yesterday. Our cat, Jasper, who was my husband's and my first acquisition together in 1991. He traveled to Hawaii with us. He was almost 15 years old (this July). So thanks, J-man, for being good to us! We will miss you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What are you doing June of 2008?

Well, based on my math ([insert disclaimer here) which can be sketchy at best], if the referral rate continues where the CCAA sends out 1 weeks worth of referrals for every month of time, then that puts us at a place where we could possibly receive our referral in June of 2008. How ridiculous is that? So you can say that I am:
a. the bearer of bad news (no kidding)
OR
b. the bearer of good news as that is so absolutely absurd that things will turn around in the near future!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chin Up

Someone from Charlotte's Web (yes I know it should be underlined, however I don't know how to do that!) would say "chin up." I believe it was the goose. Well, chin up everyone. Today is a happy/sad day. Today the CCAA confirmed that referrals were sent through June 15, 2005. Allow me to recap;
a. Last month when referrals were sent out, they were sent out covering the LIDates of May 31, 2005 through June 6, 2005. Therefore, in a single month only seven days worth of dossiers were matched.
b. This month when referrals were sent out, they were sent out covering the LIDates of June 7, 2005 through June 15, 2005. Again, in a single month only eight days worth of dossiers were matched.
c. One month of time spent matching yields eightish days worth of dossiers being matched.
d. This is a trend that will hopefully will turn around soon.
e. This sucks!
f. However, congrats to those few families who have been matched with their children.
g. Ideally, we would like to see one month of time equating to one month of LID's being matched.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yeah, I am proud of myself

Hello, friends, family, and lurkers,
I think I have finally "fixed" this blog to make it look right. It took several hours and a "fake" blog to reference. Let me know if you think I could make any other changes. Thanks for checking in on our adoption process and progress. No news is no news....for now!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

For those of you who know me....

One of the greatest things I got to do when we decided to have #3 was.......buy a new bag!
Yes, I am offically a bag addict. No, I am not in denial about it! I love purses! I love tote bags! Hell, I even love diaper bags! That's why I have two for my dear Flora. One is even black leather........what a surprise! So I found this blog thingy, and it is perfect for me and therefore any of my friends!


You Are A BCBG Black Leather Clutch

You're a modern, urban chick who's more than a little tough
(Well, as tough as you can be while carrying a purse)
Black leather is like your denim - goes good with everything
You'd even wear it to work, if you could get away with it

Alrighty then...

So it has been 3 days since I disconnected. I asked myself today, "how's that workin' for ya?" I figure I'll just check my e-mail instead. All those groups I belong to say that if you don't have the stomach for it then don't go there to that, that website. Well, that makes me want to go there more. You know when someone says, " Wow! It smells bad!" What is the first thing you do? Take a huge, long SNIFFFFFFF! And your response, so surprisingly, is, "Yeah. That smells awful!"
So I ask myself over and over what are they reading? What in the hell do they know that I don't? So, I'm thinking that this disconnecting thing may not be working so well for me. No, I am strong, and I am disconnected! To be continued..................

Friday, May 19, 2006

So what's with the rumors?

I was stalking the rumor website for months, and now I have disconnected. I "hear" lots of rumblings of wait times increasing. I have heard 12 months, 14 months, 18 months, and even 24 months. Who knows. I don't know, the rumor mill doesn't know, my agency doesn't know, and I don' t think that the CCAA, itself, even knows! I have been periodically checking the CCAA website, looking for change. Once change/progress has happened it is no longer rumor, but it becomes fact and that's what I want! The hard cold FACTS!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

So, I have this friend.....

So, I have this friend who also going through the adoption process from China. She says that the rumor from Spain is 18 months until referral. My response to her is, la,la,la,la,la.........I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Just so you get the visual, my fingers are in my ears and I am sticking my tongue out at her. I am NOT listening to her!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Wow 80 visitors

I researched, ha ha, who am I kidding? I read other blogs and found that nifty counter at the top of the blog. I trialed and errored my way to insert it in just the right spot. Eighty people have visited my ramblings....actually I account for 74 of them! Oh well, thanks for visiting....please leave comments!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

O.K.-I am a certified blog geek!

So, I look DAILY at other people's blogs. I only like the China ones (those who are beginning paperchasing, those who are DTC, those who are in China, and those who are home from China). So I found this quiz and I took it.....now it's your turn.

Who would have thought my 80's heartthrob was Michael J. Fox. I am glad I am attracted to someone with staying power!


Your 80s Heartthrob Is

Michael J. Fox

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Good Day Vs. A Bad Day

I spoke with a friend yesterday who is also in the middle of the adoption process. She is months and months ahead of me. She was down yesterday, and I was up. It is amazing how there are cycles to the whole adoption thing. She was feeling beaten & bruised from the length of time for the entire process. While I am disappointed by the length of time, I firmly believe that the timing will work out. This is out of my hands, surprising that I would resolve myself to not being in control. The difference between a waiting family with children and a waiting family without children is HUGE! I truly feel for those whose arms ache for a child, NOW!
I will say, however, I think about our daughter everyday. I wonder if she is born yet? Was she born today? What was I doing when she was born? Were her parents heartbroken to give her away? Those and many other answers will be revealed eventually!

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Hypothetical Agency Update

Well, agencies are very protective of the information that they receive from the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs. Some agencies maintain Guanxi, a special, mutually benefical relationship with the CCAA. And if someone were to post information received from their agency, it could possibly challenge the realtionship between the CCAA and the agency. Therefore, I will not be posting any information in order to preserve the Guanxi.
Suffice it to say that, hypothectically speaking, considering that our dossier travelled to China in January, we would be probably in the translation room. However, wouldn't it a great surprise, hypothetically speaking of course, if we were past the translation room and we found ourselves outside the doors of the review room, waiting to enter. Wow, wouldn't that be a kick in the pants.....hypthetically speaking!!!!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The infamous brown envelope

Yeah!! We got it today! The infamous brown envelope arrived in our mail. It is so exciting. "What is it?," you ask. You mean you don't know? Well, it is one of those few documents you actually want to receive from the government. The brown envelope contains all of the documents that we will need to fill out in China.

People say, "Don't worry if you don't get the brown envelope. All the documents will be given to you to fill out when you get there." Well I say, "stick it in your ear!" I got it! Not getting the brown envelope is disappointing, and people TELL you it is NOT a big deal. The truth is...it is a big deal! It really and truly is.

I thought it was coming. Many people have been getting them, especially those with similar LID's. I will confide in you and don't tell anyone, but I have been running and checking my mail for the last two weeks.

However, the brown envelope has arrived.................now what? The only thing that would occur between the LID and the Referral date was, yes, the brown envelope. Now it is over, finis! Well, I say bring on the referral!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Two Months, 3 days Down

I forgot to post on the 17th....but just a reminder that we now have 2 months and 3 days under our belts.......

Ah... What to do now

Well, I have posted many times no comments are ever made, so I wondered is anyone reading this blog? (Hence, the counter...) I have family far away for whom this started. Now, I do it for me.
In pure Ellen fashion, all the shopping is done! Finis! Complete! Yes, car seats, cribs, linens, clothes, toys.....all purchased. I am holding off on a few incidentals, like medicines and bottles as they have a shelf life. At this point who knows when our Flora and/or other daughter (yet to be named) will be picked up in China. It appears, as I have received word from various sources that a year plus six months is the referral waiting time at present. Who knows that may increase or decrease. It is entirely up to the CCAA.
So the question still remains, ah, what to do now. I guess we wait. Perhaps if that becomes old and boring we could always wait some more. Then, I guess we will wait even more. Unfortunately, the waiting gets more expensive as things that we assembled for our dossier expire. Paperwork must be updated and redone. I know! That's what I'll do! I'll update and renew our paperwork. Yippee! Something to do now, inaddition to the waiting that is.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The rumors go round and round

WoW!

The rumors go round and round. I spend a lot of time checking and rechecking the rumor queen's blog at http://isorumors.blogspot.com/ I read the comments and WoW! is all I can say. Although she puts down lots of specualtion and she creates lots of statical studies (unscientific, of course), I try to remain calm and distant from this information. I have a looonnngg wait.

If you look at the past information and use it as a predeterminator, we have a longer wait than orginially expected. For example, it took upwards of 3 months for the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) to send out referrals for the month of May alone! Three months of referrals to one month of LID (Log in Dates) translates to years of waiting. Who knows what the wait time is........I am trying to keep my eyes on the prize.

Remember, that we are dealing with a 3rd world, communist country, therefore information is not forthcoming. There have been RUMORS that China is going to discontinue international adoption altogether. I can't buy into this one, as the population is issue is not going to change without a change in perception and policy within China. The other issue is, and this is the big one, MONEY. Each child is worth $3000. We as international adopters must donate that amount to the orphanage. That amount per child adds up very quickly! (a group of 5 families, going to adopt, traveling at the same time, at the same orphange, in one fell swoop means $15,000). Taking that money out of the system, where some orphanages can operate with little to no government assistance would certainly strain the system.

Anyway my thoughts on the rumors.........remember they are RUMORS!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We have our LID

Hello to all...
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we have been recognized by the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA). As of Monday March 6, 2006 we have a Log in Date (LID) of February 17, 2006. This is the date for which we have been waiting. Now, we can track where our dossier is via e-mails from our agency. Once a month we receive a "places everyone" e-mail notifing where our dossier is in this long process. Now that we are logged in, our dossier must be translated. That process can take several months. When our dossier is translated, it moves to the review room. And ultimately our dossier will make it to the matching room. We will then receive our referral. After that we have approximately two months before we travel.
Having said all that, don't ask me when........It wil be many, many,many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many months (approximately 10 months) before we get our referal. I will continue to post as I know anything.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Still Waiting for our LID

We are still waiting for our LID. Hopefully, we will hear something early next week. I have heard of other families who had a DTC of 1/20 and who were logged in on Valentine's Day (2/14). We are anxious to hear. I will post when I hear something.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sample Intra-China Travel Itinerary

Thursday: Depart from home
Friday: Arrive in Beijing (13 hour plane ride plus date change)
Saturday: City tour of the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square
Sunday: Fly to your baby's province, meet your baby THAT afternoon.
Monday: Do the paperwork
Tuesday: Shopping for babies (super Wal-mart, I hear)
Wednesday: City tour
Thrusday: City tour
Friday: Get baby's passport. Fill our forms and check documents
Saturday: Fly to Guangzhou
Sunday: City tour
Monday: Baby's medical exam
Tuesday: Interview with American Consulate Office
Wednesday: Obtain baby's visa
Thursday: Depart Hong Kong
Thursday: Return home with your baby (it is still Thursday because of date change)

1 month since we were DTC

It has been one month since our dossier left for China. Once we receive our LID, I will begin counting down months. I have no idea with what number I will start. I suppose I could count up. Yeah, that's it. I'll count up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Waiting for our LID

It is February 19, 2006. I have decided to do what all these other adpotive moms and dads-to-be are doing...setting up blogspots. Now, if I can keep up with this, everyone will have a clue about this adoption process.

Alright for the nuts and bolts. We were dossier to China (DTC) on January 20, 2006. Remember all that paperwork I was complaining about! That was our dossier. I was gathering all kinds of documents for the Chinese Government to look over.

Now we are awaiting our log in date (LID). That is the date the Chinese government "recognizes" our dossier. It is also the date we use to track where our dossier is during this whole process. The Chinese government only logs the dossiers in once or twice a month. I am hoping that we will get an LID of February 7th or 8th. We should know soon.

Once logged in, our dossier will spend1-3 months being translated. Then it will spend up to 4 months in the Review Room, being (are you ready for this) reviewed! Then it will spend up to 2 months in the Matching Room. The Matching Room is where our family is matched with our daughter. The rumor regarding the matching process is that they scan the Father's picture and match it with a child that "looks" like him. I HOPE NOT! Joe doesn't have any hair! I don't believe I have seen an Italian/Polish Chinese baby.

I am rambling. Back to the dossier tracking process. Now this is where it gets good. Once matched we get a referral which includes a picture, a birthdate, and a size. We then must decide yes we want this little Italian/Polish bald Chinese girl or no thanks.

Once we sign on the dotted line and answer yes at the top of our lungs....we make our travel arrangments and wait again. Do you see that waiting is a reoccuring theme in this process? Although this wait is 6-8 weeks, I hear that it is the hardest wait of all!!!

Then we travel to China, 13 hours ahead of Norfolk to gather our daughter and bring her home.