Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Xander!

Like it or not, our baby boy is growing up! Here's a pic of him on his first birthday.
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
And 5!!! Xander woke up this morning and said, 'I like my 5 year old self!'
We have to agree. We love you, Xanderbonie!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mission Accomplished

When we asked Xander what he wanted to do for his birthday this year, the only thing he came up with was, 'Drive a monster truck.' OK, great. How on earth are we going to pull that one off? Well, just a couple of weeks after having the conversation with Xander, my parents came through town and had stopped off at an Ostrich farm about 45 minutes away and mentioned that they also had a monster truck tour. So, a plan was set in motion.Xander got to invite his best two buddies (both named Evan) to join us. They got to feed deer, miniature donkeys and ostriches. The kids used the safety tubes to feed them but Matt had to prove his manhood and hand feed them. He got nipped at a few times.
Next, we went into an aviary and fed lorikeets. They were quite friendly as you can see below.
The grand finale was the monster truck tour. The kids had so much fun learning about how the ostrich farm is operated, off roading and fishing for ostriches!

Since Xander was the birthday boy, he was chosen to stand on the ostrich egg (A full, fresh one can support up to 350 pounds!) AND drive the monster truck! We had one happy birthday boy on our hands!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Heart my Husband

I love my husband every day but I'm especially grateful for him this morning. It's not because he loves me unconditionally and is a wonderful and patient father. And it's not because he works 60 hours a week saving the world one package at a time to support our family...

It's because there was a gecko loose in my kitchen last night and he caught it and took it outside for me. I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

30 Months LID and Another Meili Dream

Today marks 2 1/2 years since China received our paperwork and the wait officially began.

If you saw the post before last, you know that last Friday was a rough milestone for me. I was glad to spend the early part of that day at the temple with my husband on our way to Sedona. The peace and the quiet of the temple always pushes my reset button and I'm able to focus more clearly on what is important in the big scheme of things. I thought alot about Meili that day.

That night, I had another dream about her. It seemed freakishly real. I didn't get to see her very well but I held her. She was really warm and I could feel the size and weight of her little head as it rested on my shoulder. I could feel that she had some hair but not much.

In the dream, I came into a large white room. It reminded me of a school cafeteria, but bare. In the room were a bunch of children. They were different ages but all of them had dark hair and appeared to be Asian. I was eager to interact with them and did, even held a few for a few moments before moving on to the next. Then, I came to a baby and picked her up. Unlike the others that I had held, she rested her head on my shoulder and settled in. It was like a piece of a puzzle had been found and I knew that she was my daughter. I also knew that there was little I could do about it but I searched the room anyway for someone to talk to.

I found a man sitting at a small desk and asked him if he was the orphanage director (which was weird because he was white and spoke perfect English.) He said, 'No, I'm the secretary.' (?) I asked if the baby had been sick since she was so warm. He said that she had had a cold, but nothing serious. I told him that I had been waiting for my daughter from China and that I had a log in date but it wasn't our turn yet. Even so, I told him that I was pretty certain that the baby in my arms was my daughter. He looked at me, then checked the papers on his clipboard and said, 'Yes, she's your daughter. It isn't time yet but she is yours.'

It's too bad that I woke up before I could ask when it finally would be time but I like the idea that Meili exists somewhere and that she is already mine...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sedona Getaway

Matt and I just returned from Sedona yesterday where we spent 2 1/4 days attending his cousin, Aprille's wedding and celebrating our own 15 year wedding anniversary. It was only the second time that we have taken a trip together without the kiddos in 13 years of parenthood. Needless to say, we had a blast! My only complaint is that we didn't have a couple more days and that we didn't do it sooner! Here are some pics:

THE ROOM-My only request was no southwest decor. I was happy!

I'm too lazy to rotate the pic but Matt says he expects the TP in our bathrooms to be folded like this in the future...

THE REHEARSAL DINNER-The food was amazing but the company was even better. It was great to visit with Matt's family and meet the newest additions, Bryan (Aprille's DH) and Marvi (Josh's DW.) Both of them seem like very kind people with fun personalities. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better!

Here's a pic of the bride and groom-

and Matt and I-

THE PINK JEEP TOUR: I had suggested that we take a hot air balloon ride for our weekend adventure but ultimately let Matt decide and I'm glad that I did. We took a 3 hour jeep tour. It was a combo off road/scenic tour. By the end, I think my internal organs were rearranged and I was in need of a chiropractor but it was a blast! I see now why my brother is into off-roading with his Jeep!

Ignore me-look at the pretty rock formations...

Yep, we came down that in a jeep!

After the jeep adventure, we met up with Bill and Debbie (Matt's parents) and Todd (Matt's brother) and John (Matt's uncle) and went through some art galleries. Here's Debbie trying out one of the rock chairs.

THE WEDDING PREPARATIONS-We checked in with Aprille after lunch to see how she was doing. She was cool as a cucumber and looked beautiful with her hair done!

THE WEDDING- Here's Josh and his new bride, Marvi. She's a sweetheart (and they have a bun in the oven!)

Here's Bryan and Aprille. The ceremony was beautiful and educational. We had never attended a Jewish wedding before but the wedding program explained the significance of each of the parts. I really liked the 'sand ceremony.'


Debbie and Bill-

And Todd-If you are planning a special event, he'd love to come and fold fancy napkins for you...;o)

HEADING HOME-On Sunday morning, after a sunrise walk and soak in the jacuzzi, we bid a sad farewell to our lovely accomodations and headed home. The last time we went away was for our 10th anniversary to NYC. Our goal used to be to take a trip together every 5 years. After this trip, I think an annual trip is in order!

Friday, September 05, 2008

3 Years

Yep, this is another whining post about the adoption wait so if you aren't into it you have my permission to move on...

I've known for a while that the month of September would be a rough one for me. I feel like once I get through this month, I'll be okay. But for now, it's tough for a couple of reasons.

First, today marks 3 years since we sent our application to our agency and officially began the paperchase. 3 YEARS PEOPLE!!! This is just incomprehensible to me and beyond ridiculous in so many ways. Never in a million years would I guess that the adoption would take this long and be such a difficult and emotional process. When you start an adoption thinking that it will take about a year from start to finish and then find yourself without your child three years later, you start to question not only when but IF it will happen. It's just tough.

Second, Xander (our youngest) turns five in a couple of weeks. I'm sensitive to the fact that some waiting families have no children or have a youngest child who is much older than five-I really am. At the same time, for me this is huge. In my 13 years of parenthood, I've always thought that when your youngest child turns five, it marks a huge turning point in your life. If I meet a family with x number of children and the youngest is 5+, I assume that the family is done having children. (Keep in mind, I also thought that 30 was old at one point in my life. I'm not saying I'm right, just giving you some history here.) So, here I am facing the point in my life when I thought I'd be ecstatic about being able to do all of the things that you can't do when you have young children to care for (like read for pleasure, bathe regularly, etc.) I admit that looking forward to this day got me through some of the rough, sleep-deprived and up to my elbows in poop and vomit days of early motherhood. So, the thing that is hard to reconcile in my mind right now is that the coveted day is about to finally arrive and I don't want it. I just want my daughter-sleepless nights, poop, vomit and all.

When I meet with parents for post placement visits and ask them about the challenges they have faced since coming home with their children, I'm often told about how uncomfortable the parents feel when people they know well and people on the street tell them how lucky their child is to have them. They are often not sure about what to say in response. If I ever receive a comment like this once Meili is home, I'll remember the way I feel today and tell them that they are just plain wrong. The truth is that I need Meili much more than she needs me.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Day

Last month's sorry news from CCAA sent me searching for burritos. This month, they managed to match 9 days worth of LIDs. We know that 5 of those days had no real LIDs due to Chinese New Year closures in '06 but the fact that we now only have 29 LIDs ahead of us in line (and about 920 behind us to put it in perspective) sent me on a celebratory shopping spree. I've had my eye on this for months and finally added it to Meili's collection:

So, if the CCAA manages to get through an average of 5 LIDs per month, we could see a referral in March of '09. That's just 6 months away. I think I can do that!

Referrals were received by families logged from Feb 1st-Feb 9th, 2006. That included Erin, Bob and Mollianne! Meisey is such a cutie! We are thrilled for them and wish them safe and speedy travels!!!