Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Keep your fingers crossed...

that the CCAA will update the "reviewed through" date on their web-site when they update the referral date. Rumor is that referrals are on their way and may start arriving at agencies this week.

The CCAA hasn't updated the reviewed through date since NOVEMBER 3RD, when they updated that they had finished the review of dossiers logged in up to January 31, 2006. Since our log in is 2/17/06, we don't even know for sure if our dossier has been reviewed. We can assume it has since it's been SO long since the last update, but who the heck knows.

Gee, it sure would be nice to officially AT LEAST be through review before our one year LID anniversary!!! I don't want to be a downer, but this is SOOOO discouraging!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

First shoes for Lauren...

We were at an outlet mall today and picked up these adorable little Nike sandals for Lauren. Since we have about six months of Summer here in Arizona, she should get some good use out of these. They were on clearance for $8.00!

I also picked up these cute (but not so little) Skechers for me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Life on hold? Not anymore! Care to join me?

Some of you have posted about the wait feeling like life on hold. I totally agree. It seems like life revolves around when we get Lauren. The ironic part is that we have NO idea when that will actually be. To me the hardest part about the waiting is not knowing when it ends. I think some people feel that if they were in our shoes they would just forget about it until the referral comes. Nope, no way. That's just not how it works. Imagine being pregnant, but you just don't know when you'll give birth... might be 9 months, or 12, or maybe won't know until labor starts.

Well, I've decided to take Christie's advice and LIVE life instead of circling in this holding pattern.

First thing on the agenda is a GIRLS TRIP to Disneyland, the official happiest place on earth (we can all use some happy right about now)!! This includes any waiting mommas, mommas back with their kiddos, and friends. The trip would be this coming Spring...maybe April. So far, Lisa, Heather, and Laura are in. How about you?

If you're interested, leave a comment or e-mail me. I'll add everyone interested to an e-mail list and we can "chat" later about the details.

I think this may be just what the doctor ordered! I've been on two trips already to meet bloggy friends in both Philly and Utah. I'm shy, so I really had to give myself a HUGE push to go, but I'm SO glad I did...both trips were great!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ABC's of me...

A - available or taken: Taken and very happy
B- best friend: Two closest friends...Linda Marie and Jennifer
C- cake or pie: Cake, chocolate please!
D- drink of choice: Starbucks cinnamon mocha...yum!
E-essential item you use everyday: Laptop computer
F-favorite color: Warm colors...cranberry red, mossy green, buttery yellow
G-gummy bears or worms: Neither, but if they were dipped in chocolate, then maybe.
H-hometown: Queens, NY
I-indulgence: Pedicures
J-January or February: February, since our LID is Feb. 17th!
K-kid's names: Only furbabies right now - Addy & Lucy
L-life incomplete without: My hubby, friends and family
M-marriage date: March 12, 1993
N-number of siblings: One younger, but much taller brother, Jim
O-oranges or apples: Love fresh squeezed orange juice
P-phobias or fears: Fear of flying and I HATE roaches...EWWW!
Q-favorite quote: A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference...Winnie the Pooh
R-reason to smile: My furbabies ALWAYS make me smile
S-season: Spring...everything is new.
T-tag 3 people: Anyone who wants to play, add a note in the comments
U-unknown fact about me: I let my cereal get mushy in the bowl before I eat it, especially raisin bran
V-veggie I don't like: Eggplant
W-worst habit: I worry excessively
X-xrays: Ultrasounds and CTscans...more than I want to count over the past 5 years
Y-your favorite food: Duh...chocolate
Z-zodiac: Leo

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

11 months today and a new blog look...

We have been LID for 11 months today!

It's hard to believe we've been waiting almost a year now and it's been 17 months since we submitted our adoption application.

I converted to the new version of Blogger and finished my new blog look this afternoon. The only major problem I have since the conversion is that a lot of my post comments are now showing as anonymous when they weren't anonymous before! This bothers me because now when I look back I can't tell who said what.

I'm hoping this problem won't continue from this point forward and that it only affected past comments. I'll be finding out soon enough!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Make the switch...

I guess the switch over to the new version of Blogger is inevitable, but I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has already made the switch. Did the conversion go smoothly? Did you have any problems with your template formatting? Are the new features worth making the switch now?

Oh happy day!!

Nancy and Brian have Lily!!!

Check out their family of three photo...they couldn't look any happier or prouder to be Lily's momma and baba. I love the photo of Nancy resting with Lily sleeping on her sweet is that! I can't wait for them to get back home with Lily so we can meet her!

Congratulations, you three make a beautiful family!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lauren's First Toy!

Joe and I were at HomeGoods this morning, which is basically like TJ Maxx's home decor section on steroids. They have a great little section with kid's stuff...mostly bedding and cool nursery decor.

Tucked in behind some other stuff we spotted this. It's just the perfect height for a toddler to stand at and play. This is the very first toy we've purchased for Lauren and I think it's pretty darn cool.

I'm not totally sure kids still like to play with these, but I was having fun with it. We can give it a test run when Nancy comes home with Lily.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Lots of visitors...

Oh my gosh, I just noticed today that I have over 50,000 hits on my little adoption blog!

Back in August 2005 when Joe and I first sat down to complete our application for adoption, I started surfing the web figuring I might be able to get a few questions answered. I had absolutely no idea what I would find. I got my questions answered and SO much more!

I saw a post on a discussion board about an adoption "blog" and I had no clue what the heck it was, but a couple of clicks later I was hooked and not long after I had this blog up and running. I figured it would be a great way to keep out of state family updated on what's going on with the adoption. I figured I'd make occasional updates over the next 6-8 months (ha,ha) and then we'd be traveling to China to bring Lauren home.

It's hard to believe that was 17 months ago and even harder to believe that we have at least 8 more months of waiting if the monthly CCAA batches don't increase.

I am so thankful for the friendships I've started since I've been blogging. It has been incredible watching friends go off to China and being able to follow along on their waiting parents live for this stuff because it makes this experience seem all the more real until we are able to bring our child home.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This and that...

Our friends and local FCC family, Nancy and Brian, are leaving early tomorrow morning for China! It's hard to believe that by tomorrow night they will be in Hong Kong. They will hold Lily for the very first time on Monday. Their dream of being parents is finally coming true...and they will make the most incredible parents! Nancy and Brian, our prayers will be with you and Lily over the next two weeks. I can't wait to see the first photo of the three of you as a family!

I've been a little lazy about posting lately, but I have a few photos I wanted to share. First, over Christmas I got a couple of cute ladybug things. My friend, Linda Marie, gave me this adorable pin set...

and this cute little lady made of almond paste.

Oh, and for Addy and Lucy, doggie fortune snookies. I especially like the one that says cats are not chew toys...that one's for Lucy. ;)

I was having lunch out at a Chinese restaurant with a friend and some of her family and the waiter gave her granddaughter these chopstick helpers.

You attach them to your chopsticks to make giant tweezers which are really easy to use. I think I need these for China! ;)

Monday, January 08, 2007

CNN show...

Joe and I watched Paul Zahn's Now on CNN this past Friday evening and were totally disgusted with her coverage of the CCAA's guideline changes and the discussion she lead with her panel of three. I'm not sure if you happened the catch the show, but if you did you were probably equally insulted by it. I found myself actually yelling at the TV screen...that's how worked up I was listening to the panel discussion.

They showed a short video piece with a CNN correspondent in China talking about the recent changes. They focused on just certain changes including the body mass index limit of 40, no more singles, no anti-depressant drugs, the income level change, and that prospective parents can't have facial deformities (which they twisted into sounding that only beautiful people need apply). After the video piece, they spoke to a female attorney who works on weight-discrimination cases and wrote a book on this topic. She spoke about how unfair the new body mass index limit is and made absolutely no valid points.

At this point, Paula Zahn turns it over to the panel including one female (Maldonado) and two men (Cenk Uygur and Roland Martin) who turn the entire idea of Chinese adoption into a sickening racial debate. Here's the transcript of the panel discussion from CNN's website.

ZAHN: Obviously the Chinese government is making it clear it wants to be more selective will prospective parents, it wants to place these children in the best family environment it can. Isn't that justified?

MALDONADO: Absolutely. I think we all know that China is a sovereign country. It has the right to place whatever restrictions on foreigners who are seeking to adopt their children that it wants. And adoption is really about supply and demand, and the reality is that there are many more Americans, many more Westerners seeking to adopt children from China than there are children available so the Chinese government can decide to do whatever it wants.

MARTIN: OK, why? What's the big deal with Chinese children? Enlighten me, please, help me out.

ZAHN: You understand this better than anybody. Why don't we see more Americans adopting black foster children?

MARTIN: That's my point. What's the big deal with Chinese children? Why the infatuation?

ZAHN: You think it's something with the color of their skin? Is that what you're driving at?

MARTIN: Maybe they think they can adopt a smart kid that is going to grow up to be a doctor? I don't know. They need to realize that's called training, not just inherent, it will happen when they're born.

Angel, help me out.

MALDONADO: Absolutely. This is something I've been looking into for a long time. Americans have this love affair with girls from China. There is this belief, this perception, irrational as it might be that if you adopt a little girl from China, she's going to be intelligent, she's going to be more lovable.

MARTIN: Like the porcelain doll.

MALDONADO: We definitely see that idea of the beautiful Chinese little girl, as compared to do, they really want to adopt a black boy.

ZAHN: What difference does it make if the prospective parent has a facial deformity and the prospective parent weighs 70 more pounds than the scale says they should weigh.

UYGUR: I love the idea of them weighing people. All right. So you know, first of all, okay, so gay parents are out. That's a clear rule, but then also Dennis Hastert's out because he's way too fat. They put him on the scale, sorry. But I'd probably be out.

I don't know, maybe I'd have to go on an exercise regimen, to do the body mass indexes they pinch you in all of these different places.

ZAHN: You can fake it, suck it in.

UYGUR: Not me.

MARTIN: Paula, you raise the question - China, first of all, they do have the right to do it, but the flipside is what is the infatuation by Americans and other foreigners when it comes to adopting Chinese children? That is a real issue there, and why do we avoid other children and not just -- children who are here in America, who are looking for homes, and who just like Chinese orphans want a nice place to live.

ZAHN: But realistically, how are you ever going to change that bias?

UYGUR: I think a lot of people are looking for Muslim children these days.

ZAHN: Yeah, right.

UYGUR: Because we started the Iraq war and there's so many orphans. I'm sure they're getting a lot of Iraqi children, right? No, of course, they think it's cute and they're smart and it's really dumb, actually, of course. Roland's right, it's all in the training and it's a shame because all over the world there's other kids that need to be adopted especially in Africa, but for once, the celebrities are doing the right thing there trying to foster that.

MARTIN: Call the queen of Africa, Angelina Jolie. She can hook you up.

MALDONADO: I think what we need to do is we need to break down some of the misconceptions. For example, people believe if they're adopting a child from China, the child is going to be healthier than a child they adopt in the United States and that is just not true. Even if the child is born ...

ZAHN: It defies logic. The quality of the medical care many of these kids have suffered through the first several months of life.

MARTIN: What also ignores logic is that China is having an explosion when it comes to obesity as well so maybe they should start their own million pound challenge like we started in Chicago to deal with Chinese folks who don't want to have overweight kids.

ZAHN: What are some of the other assumptions you think people in America make about the native intelligence of children based on whether you're Hispanic - We had a guest on the other night when you were with us suggesting that Hispanic parents don't take education as seriously as some other sets of our population. There's a very complicated picture here.

UYGUR: And America is changing and some of the assumptions are going to change because of that. What really happens isn't of course that Asians are smarter. Immigrant families foster a culture where they work hard and emphasize education so Jewish families went through that, Asian families went through that. But now Eastern European families are coming and doing the same thing and African families are coming and doing the same thing. So I can't wait for 10, 20 years down the line, everybody's like I've got to have an African child. Because they're all geniuses.

MARTIN: Remember, those are learned traits that you learn based upon how you have been raised.

UYGUR: Of course.

MARTIN: You are simply not born, hey that, kid will have a great work ethic because they were born to an immigrant family. It simply doesn't work that way because you got some lazy immigrant families. What do you think the assumptions Americans make about kids of Asian descent even here in America, they'll work hard, they'll own their store someday.

UYGUR: They'll be brilliant.

ZAHN: All right. Hispanic ...

MALDONADO: Well the idea about Hispanic kids, it's sort of mixed. I think the stereotypes about Hispanic kids are both positive and negative. They believe that Hispanic kids are likely to work harder than black kids, but they also believe that they're not going to be as intelligent as Asian kids.

ZAHN: Muslim kids.

UYGUR: They're going to grow up to be violent.

Who is adopting a Muslim kid? Has anyone adopted a Muslim kid in the last 20 years in America?

MARTIN: You've got somebody sitting there saying, keep the Muslim kid out of chemistry class. Keep them away.

ZAHN: How about black kids?

Do you think the average American out there makes the assumption they'll be lazy and never make it through high school?

MARTIN: I think they probably assume they're going to sing for them like Jay Z and play like in the NBC.

ZAHN: Anybody would love to have Jay Z's career.

MARTIN: I'd rather have Bob Johnson's. He's a billionaire and Jay Z isn't.

ZAHN: Thank you, Roland Martin, Solangel Maldonado. Thank you, all. Appreciate your time.

From what I understand, CNN received an outpouring of e-mail from the adoption community after this show aired and for this reason they are revisiting this subject again this evening. This time they are supposed to have actual adoption experts to discuss the subject...what a novel idea! Why they didn't have a panel of adoption experts to begin with is beyond me.

I'll be watching this evening and I really hope that they set the record straight. As a waiting adoptive parent, I am sickened by the idea that Americans would adopt from China so that we can have a super smart, extra beautiful child. Talk about racial profiling!! This thought NEVER crossed our minds. We are adopting from China for many reasons, but this is NOT one of them!'ve done a HUGE disservice to the China adoption community!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Michele, a BIG congratulations on your referral today! Ava is absolutely beautiful! Her photos are just too sweet and she looks so happy and healthy. I am SO thrilled that your dream of becoming a momma has finally come true. You are going to be a fantastic mom and Ava is one lucky little girl!

I can't wait for Lauren to meet Ava and Lily later this year. It's so great that she'll have local adopted, Chinese friends!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my Bloggy friends!! I hope that 2007 brings you many happy surprises!

Joe and I had a very nice and relaxing holiday weekend. We spent some time at home just hanging out with our furbabies and being just plain lazy (needless to say, the x-mas decorations aren't down yet). We hadn't been to the movies in a LONG time, so we saw The Good Shepard, with Matt Damon & Angelina Jolie, on Saturday night. We spent New Year's Eve with a good friend of ours, Linda Marie, and she made us a fabulous dinner of baked salmon, asparagus & carrots, and yummy mashed potatoes. We topped that off with coffee & Baileys and chocolate cake. We hung out, chatted, played with her furbabies and rang in the New Year with the ball drop at Times Square.

My friend, Miyoung, has been trying to expose me to Asian culture, so this morning we met for brunch at a local Chinese restaurant that serves dim sum. I had no idea what dim sum was, but Miyoung said she would go easy on me and wouldn't order the chicken feet or tripe. This got me a little nervous since I'm not an adventurous eater, but I went this morning ready for a new experience to start the new year. For those of you, like me, who don't know what dim sum's basically a meal served at brunch time where the servers wheel around carts of various dishes served in small portions, so you kind of get a taste of lots of different things. We had calamari, pork dumplings, shrimp dumplings, shrimp stuffed eggplant, chow mein, and sticky rice with bacon. The carts keep coming along and you can sit there and eat for hours! There was a cart that came by with tripe, but as Miyoung promised she passed on that for my sake....thank goodness!

After our meal, we went to a local Chinese grocery store, which was quite an experience! This isn't a small mom and pop's a full-scale large grocery store with a big butcher and seafood counter. From the moment you walk in, the pungent aroma tells you that you're definitely NOT in your local American grocery store. The place was packed (although Miyoung said they get a lot busier) and people were going in all different directions at once making it hard to even maneuver the cart. Besides the produce section, with quite a few bizarre fruits and strange veggies (including a strange, hairy looking thing) they have isles and isles of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian foods. Some of the items at the butcher counter were a little stomach churning and then as we approached the seafood counter, we see this guy pulling these large fish out of a tank and putting them on the thing we know, he's whacking them with a rubber mallet as they were flopping around! Now, that's something I could have done without!

As you can see by my purchases, which didn't include the strange hairy fruit, I kept to a few safe items to start with, but I definitely plan on going back before we have another Chinese food cooking night to get the ingredients for our dishes.

Thanks, Miyoung, for a GREAT new experience today and a fun way to start off the year!