Wednesday, April 29, 2009

55 mph or weeks ??

When people see this sign they think about how fast or slow they can go, setting a pace to follow, keeping within the guide lines set...... in our case it symbolizes how many weeks we have been waiting for a referral. 55 weeks. It's certainly not speeding along. I was keeping track of the number of weeks on my desk calendar and I remember hitting 40 weeks thinking that we should be at our "due date" for being pregnant on paper. That number went by with no referral news. Now anyone involved with an international adoption will tell you to expect a few of these along the way, and we have had a worker changes, paperwork chases, etc. Hoping we would not see #50, but watched it go by, I was dreading the 52 week mark as it meant a FULL YEAR has gone by. As of this post, we are at 55 weeks of waiting for a referral. The last update I had from our agency, we were told it could take longer, (hope you are sitting) maybe as much as another 12 months, Yes, twelve, months!! Go ahead pick your jaw up, I still can't believe it. I am trying to stay up beat and positive, but some days are really hard. REALLY hard. I keep trying to tell myself I have done this before and our labor pains blessed us with two of the most wonderful children any parent could ask for. This wait is longer than theirs was. I keep telling myself "OK, I can get through this". But it's hard. I have done very, very little retail therapy because I am not sure what to buy. We haven't set up the crib yet, Christopher said it would be too hard to see it empty for now. I have to agree with him.

To explain that I am really trying to be positive, here is a chuckle for you........

The other day, Emily asked me why I looked so down, noticing the frown on my face and the fact I was so quiet. (Those that know me, quiet is not my strong suit, I'm a talker LOL) I explained about the extended time, and she asked me if I wanted any popcorn - my ultimate favorite snack!! Ahh, Comfort food. I told her no thanks, (I'm cooking dinner) and she gave me a hug. Awww, isn't she sweet? Now they say timing is everything.........Christopher and Adam walked in the door, tennis practice finished, and looking for dinner. Emily was setting the table and they asked her what was going on. With out ANY hesitation, she simply replied, "Mom needs Cymbal ta, she's down". The two of them looked at me, total shock on my face.....and then bust out laughing. They already knew about the wait time but she hadn't yet. Emily pulled a classic 'out of the mouths of babes' and Christopher, my dear husband couldn't hold it in. Adam followed. They weren't being insensitive, it was all about the timing and the interpretation of a kid. I told her she wasn't allowed to watch television anymore! Even though I am down about the time frame, I can reassure you that things like this make the day so much better, and easier so that Yes, I can get through this. With out Cymbal ta!!!!!!

On a happy note......Tomorrow I am sending our updated & now current dossier paperwork, including our approved home study (Yea!) to our agency. You never know and Just in case, maybe our newest blessing could be ready for us soon. I want to be (paperwork) ready. And unless our agency gives us a sign like this..........
I will continue to be hopeful that I will see a sign like this really, really soon ............

Thanks for listening to my venting and pity party.......sometimes those that have 'been there and did that' are the ones that can truly understand!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little girl.... not so Little anymore !

Recently my little girl is trying some new things, and as a mom, you have to let them go and try, learning some life lessons along the way. Not always easy to do. Emily has graduated from things like jumping off the bed, or hanging upside down on the swing set to more "tween" things. I've gotten past the pierced ears, and lately some interesting jewelry. Nothing too crazy, just everything needs to be color coordinated and has to match the color of the day. OK, I'm good so far, remembering this from my own 'growing up'. A few weeks ago I went upstairs to put laundry away, walked past the bathroom and found her trying different shades of eye shadow - they were really bright too. Her explanation for the array of vivid colors, "so people can see them". (My first thought was from space ?? But I kept quiet) I explained that less is usually better with makeup...she was alright with that idea, washed her face and went on to try more colors, browns and tans. OK, still good after that. Mental note to my sister - NO more eye shadow kits for Emily. Her latest idea was all her own and I caught some grief about this, but this was something she wanted to do. Again, letting her try something is the before shot

She has ALOT of hair and has been growing it like this since she came home, so other than, small trims here and there, this is how long it's gotten in 13 yrs. Absolutely beautiful hair!!!! I always envied her because I loved her long, dark, thick, beautiful, I'm the TOTAL opposite of her, blonde hair and blue eyes. Well, HOLD on to your seat, this is what she wanted to try.............not for the weak at heart

My little girl doesn't look so little here !!!! She cut off 11 inches of her hair. She donated it to an organization that uses donated hair to make hair pieces and wigs for cancer patients called Locks of Love. This was all her idea, and as her mom, I can't say enough how proud I am of her. She told me when I asked repeatedly 'Are you sure?" (I guess I needed to be sure more than she did) She told me that she wanted to help someone else, more than she wanted the hair, and her hair would always grow back. All I could do was smile, hold back my tears, hug her and make an appointment to cut her hair. Grandmom wasn't as pleased with Emily's decision, but as a parent, you have to let them try. She looks so grown up !! Christopher and I decided that she cannot combine the eye shadow and this new cut until she is about 25 yrs old. :-) I know this was not an easy decision for her and was tough on me too. So other moms and dads, cherish your little girls while you can ~ because while you are doing laundry, they are growing up really, really, really fast!!!! Hide the make up!!

She has a birthday coming up and has decided she wants a Chinese themed party - so now I am off to search for ideas for a group of girls, just becoming teenagers.....Open to suggestions and ideas.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Catching up !

Ahhh, allergy season. I have been out of blog world for several a few, not much else. I've been sick and really only the 'have to' things were finished. Well, I'm feeling better, so I sent everyone outside to play basketball, even sent the dog outside too, so I could update our blog. Mom took over the computer ! :-)
First, I am feeling better, and Mom is still doing well too. Knock on wood!!
Second, On the Adoption front, we had our last visit with our super awesome SW, she was here last Sunday morning for several hours! Yes, on Sunday. I still can't believe she was here on Sunday. She completed the rough draft and it was emailed to me for review by Monday afternoon. Here's where I dropped the ball....I wasn't feeling well, trying to proof read, and cold medicine kicking in wasn't a good a combination. I did get it finished, and emailed her back. As of Friday afternoon, it was going to the agency for their approval. Yes!! Now if we could only get a referral .......(heavy sigh)
Finally, and I think will really show my age, (don't laugh) but while I was looking for information for the HS & the SW, I came across some dates that I thought were I thought I would share and we could all enjoy a chuckle or gasp.
This is for Adam's adoption ~ adoption application sent in to agency 10-09-93
accepted referral of our handsome little boy 09-13-94
picked up at LaGuardia Airport, NYC HOME!! 01-12-95
adoption finalized in NJ 10-16-95
Cost of I-600A filing with INS (USCIS now) $ 140.00 gasp LOL
and your fingerprints were done at the local police dpt.

*** We waited almost a year for his referral and only 4 months for him to come home. This program was really new when we did this so we were pioneers for Vietnam and still send in yearly updates & pictures via the agency to reassure the government the children are doing well. That is a fun letter to write, free reign to brag
as a proud mom! LOL ***

This is for Emily's adoption ~ adoption application sent in to agency 11-10-95
dossier to China, total of seven sets of everything 08-25-96
letter of delay- restructure of the process 10-05-96
accepted referral of our beautiful daughter 08-12-97
leave for China (normal 4-6 weeks after referral) 09-17-97
placed in my arms in Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov., China 09-23-97
go through customs in WA, fly to PA/NJ HOME !! 10-23-97
adoption finalized in NJ 10-15-98
cost of I-6ooA filing with INS $ 155.00 (not bad increase)

*** We waited 50 weeks for her referral and had only 4 weeks to get packed and last minute things completed. We were delayed in processing of our referral because of the system was beginning to send everything to Beijing for processing. The local government processed your paperwork until this change. The "normal" referral time was "few months" based on what babies were available. I'm not sure how things are processed now. ***

My, how the time lines and the costs have changed!!! We have been waiting for ONE YEAR now and still have nothing to report for update regarding the timeline. Honestly, some days I feel like it is NEVER going to happen. The kids remind me in subtle ways that "when the baby comes home" this or that will change. I try to be positive, but once in a while, it gets hard. I know other families have been waiting as long or longer that we have, I give you credit. Maybe I need a new hobby to help pass the time.