Thursday, March 27, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Noah and cousin Maya hanging out together. Audrey with Maya and Madison (who is actually Matt's cousing but is our kids' age).
Now onto Sunday's events...
After a delicious breakfast (thanks Grandma Debbie!) we went to church with my parents. I saw some people that I hadn't seen in about 15 years. It made me feel old to find out that the kids I used to babysit are now married and having children of their own! One lady actually asked Matt if I had ever gotten over my Michael Jackson obsession-maybe getting older is a good thing...
After church we went back to my parents' house and met up with all of my brothers and sisters. There are seven of us in all and here's a rare photo of all of us together. From left to right there's James (31), Jared(15), Jeff (19), Julianne (18), me (34), Jason (27), and Janine (23). Notice anything? Yep, my parents gave us all 'J' names. Guess what else? My parents are Jim and Judy and all 9 of us have middles names that start with an 'E!' Here are my parents with the grandkids (-1, We missed you, Anjeline!) From left to right-Taylor, Emilie, Noah, Xander, Audrey, Rebecca and Hailey.
And here's the whole fam damily-
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The kiddos picked out her body and outfit-
Monday, March 10, 2008
Another thought...If good things come to those who wait, think about what awesome things are in store for folks who have waited as long as we have!!!
So, the ladybug mystery is solved. The ticker just doesn't impress me anymore. I have no intention of making it to the end of the 10 years since LID path that it now has charted out. I've got a blog makeover in the works anyway so I think the ticker has served its purpose and will be retired.
Of course, I can't fail to formally mention that today marks 2 years since we were logged in. I thought I'd be a mess but it is what it is. We have a fun family 'celebration' of sorts planned for this evening. I'll recap and post pictures tomorrow.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Our dossier (adoption paperwork) was registered or logged in at the China Center of Adoption Affairs in Beijing on March 10, 2006-two years tomorrow! Our place in line is determined by this date. While we don't know exactly when we may see a referral, we know that we won't be surprised out of the blue by a phone call say, tomorrow. It just ain't gonna happen. Waiting families receive their referrals in a neat and orderly fashion. Once they get through most of the dates ahead of us, then we'll have a better idea but it will be impossible to predict until the event is just about upon us because what was the most stable and predictable international adoption program is now anything but predictable.
Last week, families logged in between December 28th, 2005 and January 4, 2006 recieved thier referrals. That means that there are now 65 log in dates ahead of us at this point. For the last two months, we have seen 8 days worth of LIDs referred. This is nothing like back in the good old days (before we began paperchasing) when 26-33 days were referred each month. It's also not quite as bad as the 2-5 days that made up the recents norms. So if very recent trends hold, we could see a referral in 8 or 9 months. Reality check tells me that there are some pretty meaty LIDs coming up and the 8 day batch trend may not hold.
What's really exciting is that I've been tracking where our travel group (those who were logged in on the same day as us and are with our agency-12 or so to begin with but only 2 families left that I am aware of) is on our agency's list. When I first printed out the list, there were several pages ahead of us; now there are only 6 groups (8 lines but two of them are duplicates.) Looking at the list doesn't give me any idea about when we will get our referral but when I cross off a line or two almost every month, it does remind me about how far we have come.
About a year and a half ago I started to put together a chain of paperclips, each one representing a LID that was ahead of us, to be removed when the dates were matched with referrals. I soon gave up though, when I realized at that point that the chain would have been about 45 feet long! After next month's referral batch, I think I'll try again! We really are getting closer, not close but closer.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
For much of the past two years, I have been anxious, angry, and frustrated with the adoption process. If patience was something that you could buy from a store, I would have emptied my pockets. I am a person who likes to get things done. If there are obstacles, I like to find ways around them. However, getting Meili home sooner than later is a problem I can't solve. I think that subconsciously I really thought that if I just did the secret pal swaps, bought the furniture, filled the closet, read the books, finished the 100 good wishes quilt, revised packing lists, etc. like a good pre-adoptive parent, that it would somehow bring us closer to meeting our daughter. I was emotionally spinning my wheels and it was exhausting.
And that's why the peace I feel is such a welcome change. I know that we have a daughter waiting for us in China. I've known that for a very long time. I know that the timeframe is out of my control and I'm ok with that. I guess that is what faith is...
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Mark and Matt in the kitchen.
We just finished session 3 of our Mandarin class! For our final day, our lao shi (teacher) invited our two native Chinese buddies, LiGen and Felix, to come and teach us how to make jiao zi (dumplings.) These were delicious and I was so glad to come home with the recipe. I'll post it later if I get a chance. We are very fortunate here to have a Chinese Cultural Center about 10 minutes from our home and access to a lot of educational opportunites there. We told our teacher that we would not be signing up for the next class because our kiddos are starting team sports and our time will be tight but I'm regretting that decision and will probably email her today. We've come a long way (with a significantly longer way to go to become functional in the language) but I'd hate to backslide at this point. I have a crazy dream of being able to actually converse with the people we will meet in China particularly those who may have played an important role in Meili's early life. Zai Jian!