January 29, 2007


We're ten months LID today and I thought it would be nice to at least give a little note about it. Seems like longer - that's for sure.

My father is still very ill and in the hospital. Nothing to take your mind off of the long wait like a family crisis and the fear of losing someone you love so much. I'm still in California, and Anton was able to come out and be with me this weekend, but had to leave today. It was a teary goodbye, because I don't know when I'll be home again.

This is a very difficult time and I appreciate all the lovely and wonderful comments you have left here and on my Dad's blog. I love my bloggy pals...you really make my day.

And to my M3 Posse - I MISS YOU!


January 23, 2007

Prayer Request

Friends and Family ~

This last weekend has been very hard on my family. My father is in the ICU after experiencing heart failure Saturday afternoon. I have flown home to California and am spending time caring for my Mom and siblings, as well as being there for my Dad. I have created a website to keep everyone updated on his progress. Please, please pray for a full recovery. We need prayers more than anything! I won't be updating here for a while, but will update his site daily.

You can click HERE to visit his blog.

Thanks for your prayers...


January 14, 2007

To make my M3 Posse laugh...

You're A Crazy Drunk

When you drink, you get wrecked - and it ain't pretty.
What Kind of Drunk Are You?

I think these tests are too funny...three or four questions and they've got your number. Click the link to find out what I mean.

I don't want any barbs about this one...I'm no drunk...but after New Year's, I found this too funny to pass up.

Love my girls...

January 7, 2007

A Keira Year in Review

For a while now, we've been feeling the weight and the dread of the ever increasing referral wait. It wasn't until we sat down last week with the numbers, the stork alerts, and all the dates in front of us that the grim reality set in. Simply put (not for the faint of heart...stop reading now if you're even remotely glum about this process...you may experience heart failure...ok, but I warned you...) where was I...yes, yes, simply put we sort of expect Keira's referral in April of '08. It's what the trends, the numbers, the LID's and the referrals tell us. Unless there is a drastic change in the referral time frame, there is just no other way of looking at it. I did also go here and check my LID and they say 12/15/07 for my referral - which is slightly "better" if you could call it that. A disgusting site that shall remain nameless for fear of crushing those in this process with me ( I know you would want to look!) said that the wait will surely increase to 2-2 1/2 years before creeping back down. This was based on all kinds of trends, the Hague Convention and all sorts of other reasons.

This was all quite depressing and I must say that I've noticed that my husband, who has remained positively cheery throughout this last EIGHTEEN months, has that same slumped aura about him that I've been lugging around for the last six months. It's not easy to adopt and it's certainly not for the faint of heart! There are so many variables, and questions, and changes to the process - it's not easy to get through that.

Meanwhile, you bargain with yourself the entire time you're in this, and to what end? For example:

  • I will not choose a name until we have sent in our paperwork
  • I will not start a nursery until we are logged in
  • I will not start buying clothes or toys until we have been logged in for six months
  • This will be the last Mother's Day without her
  • This will be the last Thanksgiving without her
  • This will be the last Christmas without her
  • I will not put gifts under the tree for her until she is here to open them herself
  • I will not keep the nursery door open anymore because it's painful to walk past
  • This will be the last New Year's without her
  • OK, this will be the last Mother's Day without her...

And so it goes...as it has for us, for you, and for thousands of other waiting families.

There does not seem to be a thing we can do but wait. Wait for the next referral batch, wait for the date to strike LID so we can update our blogs and say "Happy __ Month LID", wait for the next set of pictures of the babies who were referred out to our own bloggy pals and loved ones, wait for the next e-mail from our agency telling us "all things being what they are, etc . etc., we expect the process to lengthen beyond the current 16 month time frame", and so on. Waiting sucks and in this process there has been very little in the way of hope dealt out from the agency or from China.

Now, I don't want you to think I've said all this to be negative or to bring you down. Anton and I have discussed heading down a wildly unpredicted course and I, myself have started some projects that were previously not on my "to do before baby" list. I want to share them with you so you can be encouraged, or angry at me, or however it is you react.

For starters, let me say that I love my secret pal. She has been a great source of encouragement for me on this journey and I'm so glad we have each other. This has been a very helpful tool in passing the months. Here is a picture of the hat she sent to AB and he loves it and wears it regularly. I wanted her to see the proof! It says "Father" and also has the Chinese characters for father on it.

Secondly, let me re-iterate that we love Keira and have not and will not be giving up on her. She is as much a part of us as we are of each other. Her beautiful room is a daily reminder that she is out there and that we are not to give up. Here are some pictures I took the other day. I just loved the way the lighting came out. Also, she has a new book shelf that her Daddy put together for her. She had so many books, they wouldn't fit anywhere else.

Love the little blankie corner with rocker. She will love this room, I'm telling you...

I love this little rocking chair. AB's mom found it at a garage sale, his father re-finished it and painted it to match her crib. It's so darling!

See, already have her " Chinese Elder Respect" book sitting nice and pretty for her...

Above is the finished product. Nice and short for her to easily access, and full already with chubby books for her to love. That's what I like to call the "Baby Library".

Well, having said all that - AB and I are talking about pursuing other options. Stay with me folks...it's still the "Adoption of Keira Joy", it's just that we feel with the longer wait (the ever increasing wait is more like it) and the fact that we have yet to start a family - well, we want a family...what can I say? It's not that we don't want Keira as much as ever, it's that we want more than one child. And by the time this is over, it could be almost the end of 2008. Well, that puts one of us at almost 40. No pointing fingers or dropping names needed. That's just not ok with us. Not if we can help it. We got a late start...we got married late...we had fertility issues we didn't plan on...we moved across country...it's been a bit crazy. Time slips by and then you realize 'whoops...weren't we supposed to be further along by now?" So, I say all that to say this: we're looking into adopting baby number #2 now instead of after China, from another source as yet undecided, and Keira may end up being child #2 in the end. Then again, we may be very naive and have no chance of pursuing that, but I'm willing to try and so is AB.

On the other hand, I want to add that even with all the changes put into effect as of May by the CCAA - all the new rules, etc. - we are still not out of the running. We realized this last night as we read through all the new conditions. Further and further we got and realized "hey! we still qualify to adopt again from China!" Now, I realize that at this point that makes us sick and twisted to want to put ourselves through this again, but we really did want two children (or more) from China. What can I say? Maybe baby #3???

Meanwhile, we're also looking at moving on with life. We've been in an intense holding pattern for a year and we're exhausted, as are many of my adoption buddies. We actually took some time to go and look at some land (16 acres) today and loved it. It opened up all kinds of thoughts and dreams and reminded us that there is life outside of the adoption process.

We also have been working on getting to know each other better and re-invent the marriage wheel, as it were. It may sound silly, but I guarantee that there is something about your spouse you do not know. It's amazing what conversation can bring up and how simple things can turn magical. The other night, AB came home and cooked a marvelous meal while I sat at the table chatting with him and working on my laptop. We had an incredible dinner and afterward decided to forgo the dishes for a beautiful fire and a movie. Anton got to pick and he chose "Mulan". Fitting, I think. Later we "paused" for hot chocolate with marshmallows and went back to snuggling on the couch and the remainder of the movie. (*Side note: If you don't snuggle, I urge you to try it. Have your hubby sit on the couch and curl up next to him. There is no better way to end your day than this.) Point being: it was kind of magical in it's own quiet and normal way. It was just dinner, chatting, and a movie. But it was so much more - it was connection and camaraderie, and affection. Kind of a quiet way of saying "yeah, you're the one I want to be like this with when I'm 80" or "isn't life good?".

But I digress...I was talking about moving on...

I personally have started my own little campaign to rent as many documentaries and informative DVD's as I can about China. I've also started reading novels and biographies about Chinese women, and Chinese history. I've decided if you're going to go through this, you might as well be as educated and informed about the culture and country as you can be.

I'm painting. As soon as I have time. Ha! No, I really am...I already bought the paint and all of the supplies. Now I just need to get in there and do it. We still have two bathrooms, an office and a master suite to paint and it's all on me, baby, because AB hates painting. I don't mind it...I actually find it quite theraputic. No more postponing the home improvements - the time is now.

I've also decided that I must start hitting the slow-forward button on my "self remote". I have been living by the clock these past eighteen months and it's simply as exhausting as it sounds. The dossier process was stressful and anxiety provoking, the LID process is stressful and anxiety provoking and I'm here to tell you - I'm tired. Life goes on. I can't sit around and OBSESS any more, especially not for another year and a half. I'm just too darn tired, and frankly, I don't have the energy to keep at it as I have this last year and a half. So, I'm slowing down and placing my focus elsewhere. On maybe adopting domestically? On being a better worker, on being more involved with my friends and being a better friend to them, on improving my marriage (because they all need work, don't they?) and on being kinder to myself and having more grace for what I need to make it to the end.

Speaking of being kinder to myself: What I really need is a bubble bath. I need to read more. I need to watch more funny movies. I need to be with my friends more and laugh more. I need to have romantic conversation with my darling husband. I need to walk my dogs and love on my aging cat who has been in my life for 13 years. I need to take better care of myself. I need to stop waiting to take a weekend or a week trip with AB somewhere, and just go. I keep thinking "we should save that money for the adoption" or "we should wait until we know for sure when we're traveling" - well shoot - I'm tired of waiting. It's only going to happen when it does. There is no sense in putting your life on hold, as we have done in so many ways. So no more of that. I'm just moving on. Keira is a part of us, and there is no getting around it. But life does go on. I feel like I physically shrivel up each time referrals come out and the wait gets another month longer. I just can't let that happen anymore.

So here is the bottom line: I'm going to try my darnedest to move onward and upward. To stop letting this process weigh me down and instead have something spectacular to tell Keira about the two years we waited for her and how we used it wisely. I'm going to pursue other adoption options and see where they lead. As long as they don't lead us away from Keira, I think it's a good start. I'm going to pursue my life with AB and my pets and try to cherish each one of these days we have, as we are now. In fact, these times will not come again and we will not always have these fur-babies with us. I'm going to pursue the dreams I have for all areas of my life and not just one area. And I'm going to try and learn as much as I can in the process.

And if nothing comes of the domestic adoption pursuit, then so be it. But at least I can say I tried and we all know God isn't opening any doors that he doesn't want opened.

How's that for a New Year's Resolution?

Here's a good motto I've had for many years:

Now friends, be kind to me. We need your prayers as much as you probably need ours to get through this process. This is just our way of dealing at this point. So no worries and no frowns. We're moving onward and upward. You coming?

hugs ~

Where have I been?!?!

I've been horrible about posting! Yikes - already into the new year and nary a post from me...I have truly (TRULY) been so busy, that I've hardly had a chance. We had a very busy holiday with a housefull, we had a blast New Year's Eve with my M3 Adoption Posse (minus two and their hubbies..sniffle) and since then AB has returned to school, I've gotten back to the swing of work (ok, I worked the entire holiday) and we've come to some grim terms with this adoption process. I'll share those in a post to come in a day or two.

Meanwhile, I have so many pictures to share - it's frankly stupid. I've spent the last two hours making slide shows to make it easier for you to look at...hope it helps - there are no captions but you'll get the gist of it all.

Starting with Christmas - we had a great time and had a full house. What started as "just us" turned into just us, my cousins from Cali and their newborn and newly adopted son, AB's parents and our good friends E and L. The food was terrific and so was the Wii party we all ended up in. It was too funny to watch my in-laws batting and bowling their little Wii remotes! This from a woman who can hardly stand it that we're gamers to begin with! Anton outdid himself with an amazing dinner and we were all so full it was hard to enjoy dessert (but we managed). On a side note - the dogs love Christmas - and Kaleigh (black dog) loves opening presents. Also, Anton and I did stockings for each other (what!?! we have no kids...where's the harm?!?) and this year, we had so much company sleeping everywhere that we just took them in our room (Santa knew where to find them) and opened them on the bed - this all to explain some of the pictures...so here they are:

Meanwhile - can I just add that New Year's was a blast! We spent it with my M3 Adoption Posse and their DARLING hubbies and it was too much fun! Probably the most fun we've ever had on New Year's. I had a wee bit too much in the way of...spirits...(thank you Robyn and Paul - never bring those to a party again!) and the next morning I came out to the living room looking every bit the part. AB smiled at me and whispered "welcome to National Hangover Day". I had to laugh at that...which of course hurt my head terribly. I think by that night the dull sensation of having a sledge hammer through my skull had finally worn off.

**REGARDLESS, a word to the wise - if you don't have a group of women sharing the adoption experience with you that can really and truly relate - go out this instant and recruit! There is just no possible way I could be getting through this without them. Without further ado...

Ok, so if my gang doesn't enjoy those shots (a couple of which I swiped from R), then I don't know who will! To really appreciate some of the "action" pics, you have to understand that for two and a half hours we played "Turbo Club Cranium" and it was a total hoot! That will explain the times you see us manipulating arms, doing charades, etc. We laughed so hard I was literally dizzy...oh wait...I don't think that was the laughter in retrospect, that was making me dizzy!

Well, onward and upward...I will post again soon with some more juicy pics and some tidbits of the latest and greatest. Gotta spread the love, or my faithful peeps might get bored reading my drivel.