Monday, February 26, 2007

Referral Party for Michele...

My friend Michele leaves for China early this Friday morning to meet baby Ava!

I can't believe she is finally leaving after such a LONG wait. This means it's getting closer for us, right? We've seen quite a few families leave for China and return with their beautiful's so much fun to watch, but I'm really looking forward to our turn someday.

Last night Laura & Dan hosted a party for her. It's always SO nice to get together with our FCC friends and I LOVE to play with the babies.

Here's Jenna and Jadyn who weren't quite walking on their own at the Chinese New Year event, but they ARE now!!

and Jenna....
and Lily, who will be walking soon enough!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday...

This is my first time participating in Donna's Favorite Foto Friday, so I've been assigned the letter "F" for first!

The challenge this week is to come up with 10 things I love that start with my assigned letter. Here goes...double click image to enlarge...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blogger help needed!

I created a new blog header for a bloggy friend and I can't for the life of me figure out how to get it on her blog. She has converted to the new Blogger and uses the new Minima template with all those darn widgets that I can't figure out. I'm getting so frustrated and hoping that someone out in Blogville can help.

I'm fine with customizing the old templates, but I just don't get the new widgets and new coding in the header section.

I would be forever indebted to anyone who can help. Please e-mail me if you have any advice. Thank you!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cute Outfits...

This is the last day off from the mini-vacation I took to visit with my Dad. Tomorrow it's back to work...ughhhh!

I headed over to the outlet mall to return something and instantly got sucked in like a vacuum to the brand new Gymboree outlet store. The deals turned out to be not that great, but of course once I was in there with all the adorable outfits I had to get some things.

I got a few things from their "froggy" collection, which was on the clearance rack. I love this one piece outfit and this shirt.

I think this embroidered froggy detail is so cute.

I also got this little navy blue dress with darling little pleats along the bottom with little embroidered frogs along the hem.

This little bohemian style outfit wasn't on the clearance rack, but at least it was 20% off.

I wasn't intending to get anything that wasn't on clearance, but I was in the baby clothes shopping "zone" and it was one of those days when it just felt good to buy baby stuff. I think most waiting mommas can relate. ;)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Meet Matilda...

Tilly for short. She's our new 2001 Honda Odyssey. Although she's five years old, she's not very well traveled and has only 35,500 miles. I've only been driving her for a couple of days now, but I think she'll be a good fit for me and Lauren. Although she doesn't have any bells and whistles, besides power doors and windows, she's VERY roomy and seems pretty comfortable so far.

I have a feeling that Tilly may be taking the Arizona gang to our Disney Waiting Mommas Summit in April.

This morning I dropped my Dad and Step-mom off at the airport to head back home to New York. Here's a shot of me and my Dad from this morning.

I spent the last five days hanging out with them and my brother, sister-in-law, nieces and nephew...we had a really nice time.

I hate saying good-bye to my Dad...we don't see each other very often and I always get teary-eyed and feel a bit down for a while. I think it's because when he leaves I realize how much I wish he lived closer. We did have a really great visit though and I'm sure we'll be seeing him again once we bring Lauren home.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

12 Month LIDiversary!!!

We have been logged in for 12 months as of today!!

It's hard to believe that it's been an entire year since we started waiting. Today we join the ranks of the 1 year club! I feel like we've reached the top of the mountain and now it's a downhill slide. We are currently waiting for our appointment to get re-fingerprinted and will be meeting with our social worker soon to get our home study updated.

By the time we get all our paperwork updated and do the nursery, it won't be long after that! Congrats to everyone else who is joining the 1 year club with us with month!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm still here...

I've been busy this week and slacking off on posting.

My Dad and his wife are coming in today from New York for a visit. I'm SO excited to see them. I'm off work the rest of this week and don't go back until next Thursday...I've been looking forward to the time off and spending some time with my Dad.

Also this week I've been thinking about getting a little mini-business up and running as an adoption fundraiser, so I've been brainstorming some ideas and hope to get it started very soon. I've seen other waiting mommas sell taggie blankets, totes and t-shirts. I have something a little bit different in mind, so I guess I'll have to just jump in with both feet and either sink or swim. Hopefully I swim. ;)

My friend Michele leaves for China in just two short weeks! I can't wait for her to hold baby Ava for the first time. I'm especially interested in how Michele's travel goes since we are with the same agency. I'm expecting that my experience will be VERY much the same as hers and I can't wait to see how it goes.

Hope everyone has a great weekend...I know I will!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cookie production...

I just finished packaging up cookies for the bake sale table at our local FCC Chinese New Year event tomorrow.

I'm really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful children, especially Jenna & Jadyn and Lily who's parents we have become friends with through our Waiting Families group.

The weather has been beautiful here lately and tomorrow should be sunny and about 78 degrees...perfect for an outdoor event!

By the way, these cookies are Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti, except I used pecans instead since I had a bag in the pantry. They are yummy!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Out of review, so NOW what??

This post is for family and non-waiting parent friends who aren't quite sure what it means to be out of review and what comes next.

First, a little adoption terminology lesson:

CCAA - China Center of Adoption Affairs is the government agency in China who oversees the adoption program.

Dossier - Fancy name for our adoption file, which is basically filled with the blood, sweat & tears of six months worth of paperchasing (not to mention all our hopes and dreams).

LID - Log in Date - this is the date our dossier was logged into the database at the CCAA (our LID is 2/17/06).

Review Room - this is were the CCAA reviews all the paperwork in our dossier to make sure everything is in order and complies with their guidelines.

Matching Room - this is were the CCAA actually matches you to an available child in their system (it's a total mystery how they actually do the matching, although there are theories out there).

Referral - this is the paperwork on the child they have matched you with and includes photos and medical information. Referrals are issued once a month.

TA - travel approval - this means that an appointment has been made in China for your adoption to be finalized and they are authorizing you to travel.

Since our dossier has been reviewed already, it is basically in a HUGE stack of files waiting to go into the matching room.

I don't know at what point our dossier goes from the holding area to the matching room, but I suspect that once they are almost done matching January LID's the February dossiers will be heading in.

This is the matching room...the place where all the magic happens and they match us to a precious baby waiting for a family.

How long will it be until we get our referral?? Well, if I had a crystal ball I could answer that for you, but no such luck! The CCAA has been issuing about two weeks of LID's each month and they have issued referrals for LID's up to October 13th. If they maintain this pace, we are likely to see our referral in Sept/Oct. If they speed up, it could be sooner. It's a monthly waiting game to see how many dossiers the CCAA gets through.

Well, that's that in a nutshell. This waiting game has been our life for the past year and it appears we have another eight months or so to go! Fasten your seatbelts, it may be a bumpy ride! ;)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Finally out of REVIEW!!

I'd been checking the CCAA website all day and nothing. Then I get home this evening, log onto my e-mail and I had about six messages from bloggy friends letting me that we're OUT OF REVIEW!!!

I quickly switched over to CCAA and sure enough just when I wasn't looking, it's updated!! They have reviewed through March 22nd, well past our February 17th LID.

I was surprised at my reaction when I saw the update...tears of joy! If I'm already crying over this milestone, I can't imagine my reaction when we finally get our referral.

Congrats to all my bloggy friends with February and March LID's!! We're in the home stretch now!