Thursday, July 20, 2006

Almost Outta Here!



We're almost all packed and ready to leave for Utah/Yellowstone on Saturday. Interspersed between the long car rides where I get to serve as stewardess to 4 children will be calm relaxing days of hiking, waterfalls, horse-back riding, dutch oven cooking! and catching up with old friends. We moved to Tucson from Salt Lake about 2 1/2 years ago. It will be nice to go back and see all the things that we miss! I'll be away from the computer for the entire trip which probably isn't a bad thing... I'm counting on Lisa to fill me in on the latest referral news when we meet for bagels on the 29th! Back on the 30th-better be some good news in the adoption world when I return!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Look What Came in the Mail!


I am loving this Secret Pal thing! July's theme was 'Something for the Nursery.' Check this out...so cute-and the picture really doesn't do it justice. The lavender silk pajamas are sooo soft and girly and the rabbit security blanket is just perfect! Audrey and I have been looking for something snuggly to send in a care package to China once we finally receive Meili's referral. We've only found blankets like these with blond-haired girl heads attached to them. Since we're fairly certain that Meili won't have blond hair, we knew that they just wouldn't do! ;o) Now a bunny...that's universal! Thanks secret pal! You've done it again!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wanna Get Really Depressed???

According to www.chinaadoptionforcast.com ...

Our prediction for LID 2006-03-10
We can now extrapolate a few different possible dates when you might get your referral:
Worst case - if CCAA does future referrals at the SLOWEST velocity we've ever seen from them - your referral is very likely to come SOONER than this: 2010-05-24
Best case - if CCAA does future referrals at the FASTEST velocity we've ever seen from them - your referral is very likely to come LATER than this: 2007-02-15
Our best guess - a weighted average of recent CCAA velocities, guessing that CCAA will perform about as well in the future as they are performing now, but might return to previous trends: 2007-11-27
Since China generally sends out referrals in a batch about once per month, your referral date could easily vary +/- one month depending on whether you just get included or just get missed in a particular batch.

I think that the best case prediction is palatable. The others make me want to eat a king sized almond Snicker bar...whole! Only time will tell...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Calling All Quilt Squares!

If any of you out there in blogland care to swap fabric squares and wishes with me, please contact me asap at azboutons@comcast.net We are up to 64 squares and holding. I'm eager to get started on the quilt-going with the lantern pattern, I think. Meili's likely to find out one day that the quilt is supposed to have 100 squares. I certainly don't want her to think that the CCAA matched her with a bunch of losers for a family so please help if you can!!! I'm getting ready to send out my next batch...Rebecca, Julie, Lisa P., Victoria and SusanA.-your squares are coming soon!

What Next?

Our agency confirms that starting August 1st ( wow-a whole 2 weeks notice for families getting ready to travel there...how kind.) adoptions from the Guangdong province will now require a 16-17 night trip instead of the requisite 11-12. I'm all for exploring the country and learning about the culture, but to be stuck in one place (and a fairly westernized one at that) for an extended amount of time doesn't sound like fun to me. We have been debating about whether or not to take our oldest two with us to China. I don't think that our oldest could academically afford to miss 17+ days of school-and he's a straight A student! Not to mention, the additional travel expense would eat into their potential airline ticket fund. Also, bad enough to have to worry about who can help watch the kids while we are gone for two weeks. An extra 5 days might put someone over the edge and into a mental institution! So, bad news for prospective adoptive parents whose children are from that province and good news for the hotel industry in that area...Better start pinching pennies a little tighter just in case!

CCAA is on the move!!!

This is info that applies to the China Adoption community in general. I don't think that my agency would skewer and BBQ me for posting this...or would they?

From a reliable agency:

We have confirmation that the China Center for Adoption Affairs has begun their move to a new office in Beijing. This move has been well planned by the CCAA to ensure that their change in address does not impact the adoption process, i.e. registration, review, matching, etc. The CCAA will not be closing; they will simply be moving each department one by one. In the weeks ahead we will be in constant communication with the CCAA through our office in Beijing to continue to provide information regarding the registration and review of dossiers and, of course, the arrival of the Stork. We will keep you informed as we receive news from Beijing.

So, they won't be shutting down. Great news! I'm swearing myself off of the Rumor Queen site!

Meili's Blessing Dress


I ordered this for Meili the other day. It should arrive any time now. I guess that I had so much fun finding Audrey's baptism dress that with that event over with, I had to move on the the next event apparel. My parents and littlest brother (he's 13) returned from a trip to China about 6 months ago. They covered the major highlights in a good portion of the country. Per my request, my mom searched for a Meili sized, white Chinese silk dress wherever she went and didn't find one (probably because white is considered a color of mourning in China.) I've since learned that you can probably find one in Guangzhou where many of the shops cater to crazy Americans like myself who want a white dress for their daughters' religious ceremonies. When I saw this on the China Sprout website for $17.00 (on clearance, of course!), I couldn't pass it up. So not only am I off the hook for tracking one down in China, but I also get to buy something else while there to fill the space that this dress won't be taking up! Next shopping pursuit: We are going to Yellowstone via Utah (aka Land of the Big Bow) and plan to hit the craft shops and pick up as many headband bows in as many colors as a baby's head can handle...can't wait to see my husband roll his eyes!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Seven Things...

Ok, I've been tagged by Erin! I am supposed to list seven things about myself under seven headings then tag seven people. I think that I am the last person to finally post mine so if you are reading this and haven't been tagged...well, now you are!

7 Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die:

-Turn 100!..better lay off of the potato chips, I guess
-Learn to play the piano well enough to play at church
-Serve an LDS mission to China with my husband
-See my kids grow up to be happy and successful
-Climb the Great Wall...working on that one!
-complete baby books and videos for all of my children
-Get a Master's degree. Not sure in what yet-Social Work, Education, or Communication/Broadcast Journalism...still have that unfulfilled desire to be a news chick...

7 Things I Cannot Do

-Tolerate stupidity
-Drink liquid until I am finished with a meal
-Post a picture of the inside of my fridge or pantry on my blog
-Relax without worrying about what I am not accomplishing while I am trying to relax
-Go to the grocery store without a list-I'm a list freak
-Let my kids wear clothing with iron-on cartoon characters on them-unless it's underwear
-Potty train Xander. Have I really done this 3 times before?

7 Things I Can Do

-Find a bargain on ANYTHING
-tell anybody their business
-Make balloon animals, a useless talent that comes in handy at my kids b-day parties
-can peaches-It's almost peach season, can't wait!
-regrout tile in a shower-surround while breastfeeding-We managed and maintained apartments when we were starving college students with our first child...awkward but it worked! I can also breastfeed a child in the car without removing them from their carseat. (If the women in the National Geographic magazines had cars, they could do it too...)
-Multitask. I believe that the ability to do so is the primary distinction between the genders
-Be a mom to five children

7 Things That Attracted Me To My Husband

-His intelligence
-His kindness and compassion for others
-His Opal Manta!
-Definitely NOT his crotch length OP cords-When I think back to seeing him in those back in 1987 (we were 12!) I can't believe that we have since mated... It was not a pretty picture.
-His muscular biceps-and he's still got 'em!
-His 6-pack. It's in there somewhere, I'm sure but I can't talk-I never had one to begin with!
-His self-motivated nature and ability to finish what he starts.

7 Things I Say Most Often:

-"Go somewhere!" when all 4 kids are hovering within a 5 foot radius for no particular reason
-"Are you dry?"...trying to potty train Xander
-"Get your chores done!"
-"I love being your mother."
-"You're my favorite (insert age of child) year-old."
-"LOAD UP!!!" when its time to get all of us out the door.
-"Let me eat in peace!!!" according to Taylor

7 Books I Love:

-The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
-The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
-To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
-The Professor's House by Willa Cather
-The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella-If there's any question in your mind about whether you are ready to adopt a child from China, read this book. If you about have an aneurism trying not to bawl your eyes out while reading it, then you're ready. If you don't, then you need to check yourself for a pulse. ;o)
-The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Barbara Park-This is the original Super Nanny...Great for kids of all ages!
-The Book of Mormon (Hey, its my list!)

-7 Movies That I Love:

-The Wedding Singer (the greatest movie of all time if you are 'preoccupied with 1985' like I am!)
-The latest Pirates of the Caribbean
-Independence Day-have to watch it every July 4th
-China's Lost Girls-not really a movie, but so well-done
-50 First Dates-yep, love Adam Sandler
-Armageddon-Love anything with Steve Buscemi in it! He is my favorite actor, hands down...so weird-looking, you just have to watch.
-The Cheaper by the Dozen movies-not gonna win any Oscar's and not a big fan of Steve Martin but makes me feel oh so much better about the chaos in my own home!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Four Months Since LID!


Can you believe that??? If (the big if) current trends hold then we are 1/3 of the way there. I can't tell if I think that the time has dragged on or if I think that it has flown by. I guess it would depend on my emotional state on a given day. Some days I am content knowing that one day we will in fact have Meili home with us when the time is right...and others I am a basket case until I just resign myself to fact that there is nothing that I can do but wait. Yesterday, my neighbor mentioned that she doesn't know how we can stand to wait when she is getting anxious to get Meili home herself and it isn't even her baby! I think it's wonderful that Meili will have so many wonderful people in her life!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ok, lets see if You Tube will let me have the whole thing...

Thank You Karen of Gwen Blog!

I finally found some video/photo slideshow software (thanks to Karen) that I can manage. It's detailed enough to be able to add title pages at the beginning and throughout the video, add text/captions to photos as well as manipulate transitions and add music easily. All this can be accomplished with the little computer saavy that I posess! The great news is that I already had the software and didn't know it! It's Windows Movie Maker-already part of the Windows XP package installed on our computer. I put together a video of Audrey's 8th birthday and the related festivities as a starter video. Coming soon are baby videos for each of the children-I feel like it is only fair that I do these now before Meili's adoption video so my existing kiddos don't feel jipped! Ok, stay tuned while I try to figure out how to add the video to my blog with dropshots. Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our 5 Seconds of Fame-Update


Today the international adoption article that I was interviewed for was published in a local paper. You can take a peek at it online here. The hard copy of the article includes a picture of the whole brood around the dinner table(you can see the top of my head as I am hunched over scooting in Xander's booster seat-quite attractive...) with the caption, "It's a full table at the household of Matt and Jennifer Bouton, but the couple says there's room for one more. After all the paperwork, they are now waiting for a referral so they can adopt a Chinese baby."

I was under the impression that the experiences of several pre and post-adoptive families would be included in the article but there were only two, including us. I really enjoyed reading about the other family who has been blessed by adoption many times over, both internationally and domestically. I was particularly pleased to see that they offered a hefty dose of reality and acknowledged the potential bonding and attachment challenges that adoptive families often face.
I'm left feeling a little bit as though I had much more important/interesting things to say regarding our adoption experience thus far but it would have been inappropriate to offer a soliloquoy on the subject; I could only answer the questions that were asked. Overall, the reporter did a fairly good job, especially for someone with zero adoption knowledge before the article was researched and written.

The article mentions that I once taught 7th grade English and am now working in the adoption field as a home study case worker. I just love (not) that I am quoted as saying, "Coaching eager and receptive families beats convincing apathetic 12-year-olds of the importance of literature." I did say that, more or less, but the comment was preceded by, "Don't print this, but..." I guess she forgot that part. ;0) Oh well, it's true!