Monday, November 10, 2008

32 Months and 'The List'

Today marks 32 months since our paperwork was logged in in China. Until the last batch of referrals came out last week (a whopping 2 days worth...) I had been expecting a referral in February. Once again I'm having to realign my expectations with reality. Humor me for a little exercise-there are 21 LIDs ahead of us at this point so if CCAA can manage an average of:

6 days per month = March referral
5 days per month = April referral
4 days per month = May referral
3 days per month = June referral

A six day average is about as much as I can hope for and less than a 3 day average is too depressing to think about. It feels like we are splitting hairs here but the truth is that now that we are closer to referral, every day that CCAA can eek out each month is of enormous consequence to us. It's hard to believe that with only 21 LIDs to go, I still need to make a chart to figure out the range of possiblities for a referral...

Regardless, we're plugging along and preparing for a new baby. So, here's my list of things we still need to do to prepare for Meili. After three years of prep, I didn't think there was still this much to worry about but the list is quite long anyway and I'm sure I'll be adding to it.

The List
(Updated 12/10)

Electronics (aka Matt's job):
-Buy a lap top Done!
-Buy a new camera (I have my eye on this one but would settle for a new point and shoot)
-Buy a video camera Done!
-Learn how to use the above
-Get extra SD cards Done!
-Look into Skype Need to get a webcam.

-renew fingerprints Sent request-no appt. yet.
-Send off I-171H renewal request (December 12-packet ready to go)
-renew home study (if we aren't going to be back from China by June or if we plan to readopt/finalize when we get home) If we don't have a referral by March, we'll start on it then.
-Request that our agency send our referral packet to us via UPS, not Matt's mortal enemy (Fed Ex) They want a pre-paid envelope ahead of time.
-Agree on a protocol if Matt is at work and the kids are at school when the call comes. I need to have Matt in the room with me when the call comes. I want to see his reaction, plus I may not be able to function well enough to receive the call once it finally comes and may need his help. Our agency will send out a 'Stork Has Landed' email and then proceed to make calls. We are going to email right back and request that they not call us until the time we think that we can get in the same room together. Matt might come home or I might drive to his office depending on the time of day and his work load. If the kids are home, great. If not, we'll clue them in later. That way I can focus on their reactions and not be writing, etc when they get the news. I know this sounds OCD but after waiting so long for this, I plan to savor every moment when it finally happens!
For Referral Day:
-Charge phone, cell phone, camera and video camera
-Hopefully, have a person to man the camera and video camera when the call comes in.
-Prep a blog post
-Update email addresses and prep an email announcement-Have Diet Coke, Chocolate in mass quantities, 'The Call' sheet, flower/ladybug pens and Kleenex handy.
-Gather links for Orphanage yahoo groups, Name translation sites, Chinese growth charts, map of China etc.
-Print yard sign (oh yes we are)
-Order a photo necklace kit (not sure if I want a square or rectangle but I'll know when I see the referral pics)

For Care Package:
-blanket Done!
-stuffed animal/blanket thing Done!
-2 disposable cameras with instructions I have one camera.
-Photo album (bought) with pics each family member with Meili's pic and labels in Chinese
-SafTPops for orphanage children
-Jelly Bellys for nannys
-save a shoe box

Shopping Necessities:
-baby shampoo, wash, powder, and lotion Done!
-diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment I'm going to start buying a pkg of diapers every couple of trips to the store.
-bibs, formula, rice cereal, baby food and baby snacks Looking for some cute bibs...
-outfits, pj's and onesies to round out her wardrobe
(Once we know her age, size and the season that she will be home)
-baby bathtub (will wait until after we're home-she may be ready for a seat)
-stroller (will also wait until we are home-we may just buy one in China)
-pack n' play (can wait)
-bouncer (also can wait)
-small cd player for Meili's room In progress.
-Make some bows (if she has hair...) Having a bow-making party in January with my China adoption friends. I've been collecting ribbon.

Shopping Frivolities:
-The remainder of the China/adoption children's books on my Amazon wishlist
-Mei Tai Baby Carrier (espresso straps with 'carnival bloom' fabric on the front)
-Kozy Pal cart cover. After surviving the better part of a year in an orphanage in a third world county, I'm not too worried about exposing Meili to germs. But after 4 kids I've never had one and I think they look cool! They also have this in the same 'carnival bloom' pattern as the mei tai.
-Asian brocade Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag (as soon as the money tree sprouts in the back yard...or I can win a bid on ebay) Lost a bid on ebay two days ago-but I've found a way to get a new one for $100 instead of $172. I'm after the Sunset Dragon Boxy Backpack.

For Travel:
-Finalize packing list (and pack!) Luggage is purchased. The packing list spreadsheet has been made and many things are already packed.
-Decide if Taylor and Audrey are going to China They probably are. They would handle the trip well and would be very helpful. Taylor could handle all of the electronics-take photos and video, upload to the laptop, update the blog and keep everything charged. I know that Audrey would be so good with Meili and help ease her transition. We play with the idea of leaving them home to have the two-on-one time with Meili and to save a few bucks but we're coming home from China up to our eyeballs in debt anyway so it's not going to make much difference.
-Make arrangements for kiddos All of our family lives in So. Cal. We'll probably drive to LA and leave the kiddos with family there, then fly out of LAX. The trick will be driving back home (7.5 hrs) with a baby who has never been in a carseat before and two jet-lagged parents. Maybe my parents can drive our car (and kids) back and we'll get them a couple of plane tickets home? The more I think about it, the more I think I want to come directly home to my own bed. It would also be less transition for Meili to deal with.
-Make arrangements for dog and bird A friend has recommended another friend who is a trainer and does in-home boarding.
-get cash in new or like new condition from bank
-have a lock engraved with our name and date for the Great Wall We've got the lock-not sure what to engrave on it.
-Get last round of vaccinations Might go Thursday night.
-Finish Quilts (We are making one handmade quilt for each month of the wait to donate to Meili's orphanage) Maybe during the Christmas break...
-Finish OHGW Quilt scrapbook (If it's not done before we travel, it may never get done)
-set up crib before we leave
-put car seat in the car
-Make appt. with pediatrician for when we return
-add Meili to our insurance
-make ahead and freeze some dinners

Gifts for Officials/Nannys:
-Stuff from our state Done!
-Buttons, keychains and small autographed prints by Azuzephre (Jenn's brother) Done!
-Lotion from Bath and Body Works 4 for $10 sale last week-Done!
-Jelly Bellys-I've been pricing them. There is a cute tin that is shaped like a jelly bean that has the american flag on the bottom. I think we'll go with those. I'm curious how long they are good for because I may be able to find them on sale after the holidays...
-red bags and tissue Done!


Ava's family said...

I think I'm going to have to make a copy of your lists....WOW!!

I'm really worried about two dates.....February 28 and March 7. Both HUGE days ahead of us.

I don't know if you got the email I sent you? I wanted you to know that I didn't receive any formula in the mail.

OziMum said...

I've got a Sony HD movie camera (hard drive) - no need to get SD cards, tapes or discs! Its fantastic! And I didn't think it was very expensive, for what it is!

I tell ya, the last lot of allocations has really mucked with my head! I thought we'd definitely have a pre-Christmas referral... now it could be as late as March. I'm not in a good way.

Lucky Mama said...


I have the Cannon camera and girl and you NEED it! I love it. It takes such great pictures. I justified the expense by saying they are only small once I want good photos of them and I won't need to do professional photos anymore so it will pay for itself fast. In all honesty I would do pretty much anything to get that camera again. BTW mine is only 8 mega pixels the older model so see if you can find one of those on clearance. :-)

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Okay.. you are good..
I am going to need your help when it is my turn..
But I guess I have a ways to go..
Have a Great Week.

jarka said...

wow this is so exciting...I ´m keeping an eye on your blog and I really can´t wait to know more :)
I love writing lists and check what I have already done but your list is the "happiest" on the world because it´s a preparation for such a wongerful happening...I ´m so jealous! :)
good luck

jarka said...

wow this is so exciting...I ´m keeping an eye on your blog and I really can´t wait to know more :)
I love writing lists and check what I have already done but your list is the "happiest" on the world because it´s a preparation for such a wongerful happening...I ´m so jealous! :)
good luck