Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Audrey Is Famous!!!

Audrey is so excited to be on the Great Wall Feb DTC Yahoo! group home page. Check her out here. This photo was taken on her 7th birthday, last April. All she wanted for her birthday was the Asian Cabbage Patch doll so she could practice taking care of her Mei Mei. Now, she would much rather have the real thing here instead!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Things I'll Be Doing Between DTC And Referral/Travel

1. Shopping!!! It's been a while since we could shop for little pink girly things!
2. Lots of housework-decorating, painting, getting the yard in shape, etc. (Won't be any time for that with 5 kids!)
3. Losing weight-12 pounds would be good, 17 would be great, and 27 would be amazing!
4. Getting Braces-should help with #3. No sugar, soda, popcorn,etc. for 9 months.
5. Learning some Mandarin.
6. Compiling and revising packing lists.
7. Catching up on scrapbooks.
8. Starting a Scrapbook for Meili.
9. Figuring out where to put her-none of our other kids have had a nursery, Meili will be no exception. I think she'll have a crib in our room when she comes home, then share with Audrey later once she has the whole "family" thing figured out and is secure.
10. Learning more about Chinese history.
11. Reading more about attachment/bonding.
12. Collecting Chinese children's books.
13. 100 Good Wishes Quilt-Curse whoever started this! I better do one or Meili's bound to hear about it one day and wonder where hers is at. Actually, I received our first square in the mail on Saturday (from Jackie, our home study social worker) and was so excited. I think the quilt will be fun afterall.

With all of this to do, there shouldn't be any time to worry about how long referrals might take...right? WRONG!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Video Attempts

I am trying to learn how to link video to our blog. If this works, you should be able to click here and see our video from our vacation to Mexico last October.

Noah Loves Meili

Dear China Girl,
I love you
Noah (age 4)

How cute is that? Now if we can just get him to call her 'Meili.'

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

'Happiness' is...

in Chinese on our car window! I never thought I would be a vinyl-sticker-on-the-back-of-my-car kind of girl but I have succumbed! It kind of looks like Oscar the Grouch peeking out of his garbage can but it is in fact the Chinese symbol for 'happiness'-at least that's what the guy at the mall told me. I really wanted the Chinese symbol for 'family' but they didn't have it. Once I got home, I realized that the Chinese symbol for 'patience' might have been more appropriate!

Monday, February 20, 2006

What's DTC? Is it Contagious???

We had a great time last Friday night celebrating our DTC status. Cake, party blowers, and confetti poppers were in order. Audrey was sick with strep and running a high fever so our plans to blast "China Girl" through the streets of Tucson will have to be postponed.

Since our DTC announcement last Friday, we have received lots of e-mails from family and friends asking questions about our adoption. Do we know who she is? Has she been born yet? What on Earth is DTC? Is it contagious??? All great questions!

For those of you who don't speak adoptionese, D.T.C. stands for "Dossier to China." Our dossier is all of the paperwork that we have been accumulating over the last 5+ months. DTC is such a momentous occasion because it means that our job is done-now we just sit back and wait!

We don't think that Meili has been born yet, but she could be born sometime very soon. It could be 10-12 months before we find out any information about our little girl. At that time, we will learn her Chinese name, her birthdate or estimated birth date, where she is at, and receive a few small photos along with a very brief medical history. We do not choose our daughter from a line-up. Instead, we are matched to her by a government agency in China. This 'match' along with the information that we will recieve about her is called a 'referral.' Don't worry, we'll make sure nobody misses it!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Let the Shopping Begin!!!

We ordered one of these for the whole family to wear while we wait for Meili. Cute, and just $2! Click here for more info. I remember finding these over a year ago and planning to get them once we were DTC. Can't believe we made it!!!

We are DTC!!!

Dear Family, Friends and Blog-Buddies,

Well, after 5 months and 11 days of being poked and prodded and subject to everything short of a full body cavity search, our paperwork is finally on it's way to China! We are pretty excited to finally declare ourselves "paper pregnant." Thank you all for your support and tolerance of Jenn's incessant China-adoption talk. Jenn's brother, James, commented recently that with as much as he has heard about her, it seems like we should have had Meili home for a couple of years by now! We are all just so excited. What a blessing for our family!

We now wait for the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) to register our paperwork and issue us a log-in date. That will be the day that the official countdown begins. Right now referrals are taking about 9 months but the wait is rumored to stretch to 10-12 months with travel happening 6-8 weeks after that. No worries! We have plenty to do to keep us busy in the meantime!!!

Please take a peek at our ultrasound photo. Can you see her in there??? The really weird thing is that this time it's Matt's!!!

Have a great day!

Matt, Jenn, Taylor, Audrey, Noah, and Xander

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Here's The Whole Monstrosity!

Since we used our agency's dossier preparation service, we knew that we wouldn't actually get to see the completely certified and authenticated dossier. So, I e-mailed our dossier consultant a few weeks ago and asked her if she would snap a picture of it on her desk and e-mail it to us. (Thanks Cari!) I felt like an idiot asking for it but decided that I would feel like more of one if I didn't fully document the whole process for Meili. There will be so many holes in the story of her first months of life that I don't want there to be any that are my fault. I want her to know that every day that she spent in China without a family, we were thinking of her, loving her and trying to find a way to bring her home as soon as possible. It's been crazy but very, very worth it.

DTC Tomorrow!!!

I sent the kids off to school this morning then sat down at the computer with a plan to e-mail our agency and see if they could light a fire under someone's hiney at the Chinese Consulate in LA. It has been 22 days since our I-171H arrived there for authentication. Their website claims a 4 day turn-around. We once again missed our agency's Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. cut-off time for a Friday DTC so depression was definitely setting in. Instead I found this!:

Mathew and Jennifer,

Great News! Your I-171H is back from the Consulate. Your dossier will be sent to China tomorrow!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Have a great day!


I am still a bit teary as I type this. This is so exciting!!! Party tomorrow night at the Bouton house!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

No News, No Worries...until the chocolate high wears off at least!!!

I knew that I had to get out of the house today. If I stayed home, I'd just stalk my email all day long. So, I did as much damage at the mall as a woman can do with 2 and 4 year old boys in tow(I think they enjoyed the bra-shopping the best) then buried my stress in a good and cheesy burrito. On the way home, I picked up dessert, just in case. These are pics of my Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate covered caramel apple-

before checking my e-mail ...

and after...

Needless to say, no news. We'll start crossing our fingers for the 17th-my grandma's birthday. Damn that red thread!!!!


Well, we didn't make the Wednesday at 10:00 am cut-off to be DTC today. Our Dossier Consultant at Great Wall did say that since everything else is in order, if the authenticated I-171H were to show up sometime yesterday or even early today then she could still get it sent out by this afternoon. She is supposed to e-mail if that happens. So far.....nothing.

So, I don't know if we are going to be celebrating DTC tonight as a family or if I am going to go to a scrapbook party with a neighbor. I think if the former doesn't happen, only a chocolate covered caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will do the trick. I may just do that anyway since I am getting BRACES in a few weeks and won't be able to manage the caramel for at least 9 months. Also, I had a crazy idea about going sugar-free from DTC to referral just to see if that might take care of these pesky 15 pounds that have taken up permanent residence on my hind-quarters-so the apple could be my one last hurrah! It's the Braces/Referral Wait diet plan...hope it works!

Will post later if I get any exciting news. Should have broken down and used the courier, I guess.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Don't Worry, The Bowie is Temporary!

I was so impressed with myself to be able to stick some music code into my blog (with some help from my sister Janine) that I'm going to temporarily let go the fact that it is in the wrong place. The snipit will play everytime you go to another link within the blog-gets pretty annoying. I'll either fix it or take it out...eventually.

Soooo Close!!!

...to being DTC, that is! I noticed this weekend that Matt's passport was not signed which means that the copies of his passport that we sent along with our dossier to our agency are not signed either. I did e-mail new copies today so I'm hoping that we won't find any related problems later on. We received this e-mail from our agency today:

Hi Jenn,

The passport copy should be fine. You can see all of the important information, so it won’t present a problem.
I haven’t received your I 171 H back from the consulate yet, but I am hoping to have it by Wednesday. I think you will be DTC this Friday.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Have a great day!

Cari Brown

So, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the authenticated I-171H makes its way to GWCA by Wednesday morning at 10 am. We are so looking forward to celebrating DTC on Friday night. I think that we are going to decorate our car and drive around town like a bunch of lunatics blasting David Bowie's "China Girl" from the speakers unless we think of something else. (Any ideas?) We just want our daughter/sister to know how excited we were to be one giant step closer to bringing her home!!!