Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thank you to...

everyone who commented on my last post! I was so surprised that so many people are following along on our long journey. It was so much fun to read through all the well wishes you all left.

At the risk of sounding really sappy, it's such a warm and fuzzy feeling to know we are not alone in this wait. I have absolutely no idea how we would get through this without the support of family, friends, and this huge on-line community we have. There are days when I curse the wait and then I think of all the people I wouldn't have met and connected with on-line if there was no wait. Don't get me wrong, a shorter wait would be GREAT, but at least we all have each other to get through this. Also, it's because of our on-line community that I know my dream of motherhood WILL eventually come true...all the forever families who continue to post once they are home give me a lot of hope.

I have a message for a couple of people who I couldn't reach....Lindsay, I'd love to have an invite to your blog, but didn't have an e-mail to contact you. You can e-mail me at Hi Mary, it's SO nice to hear from you. I just love your nieces, Jadyn and Jenna. They are the sweetest little girls and just perfect for Kim and Scott (China has their matching process down pat). It's been so great being there when our local families get their referrals and then watching the children grown and develop. It gets me even more excited for our turn to come around!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's out there?

I've noticed lately that my little adoption blog has been getting lots of visitors. I know that we have family and a few friends who follow along, plus all my Blogville buddies. I recently added a world map on the bottom of my sidebar, which shows where everyone visiting is from. It sure is interesting to see how far away some readers are.

If you're a regular visitor who's never left a comment, I'd love to hear from you. If you don't have a Blogger login, you are still able to leave a comment.

I'm curious to see who's stopping by my teeny tiny corner of the web.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend fun...

Any weekend that includes this, is obviously not a healthy eating weekend.

Joe was away with the boys in Rocky Point, Mexico, so on Saturday night I had a few friends over and we had a really nice evening. We made individual deep-dish pizzas (also not on the healthy eating plan) and had a nice bottle of wine. We topped off dinner with this wonderful chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips. It was SOOOO good and SOOOO bad at the same time!

Today, my friend Christine helped me finish up my project to dress up the front entry way to our house. We have a HUGE entry way and it's been pretty plain and boring for years. This year, I decided I would do some spring planting and liven the place up a bit. Christine loves to garden and decorate the outdoors, so I recruited her help. My first purchase was a wrought iron bench and some pots. Today, we went out for all the flowers and greenery and spent some time planting and arranging things.

Here's how it turned out...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Instant stress reliever...

It's that time of year again...time for those totally evil, but equally yummy little chocolaty minty bits of heaven.

There are two or three Thursdays each month on our office calendar that we affectionately call Black Thursday. I work on design and construction contracts for a local government and these are the big due dates each month when we are SLAMMED to the max with contract work for items that need City Council approval. The deadlines are tight and stress is usually at an all time high each Black Thursday.

Well, guess what today was and guess what was delivered to my office promptly after looking through my in-box FULL of stuff. Yup, you guessed it...these little beauties. Two boxes of them...

At first I put the boxes on my back table, thinking I would forget about them. Then, about 10am when the stress started to fully set in I turned my chair and there they were! I swear the boxes were smiling at me! After I polished off about 1/2 of a tube, I put the rest of it up at the front desk for the zombies to eat (I swear the guys in my office can smell food from about 15-20 feet away).

After lunch I settled back in for more contract fun and by 2:30pm I had the 2nd tube out and was half way through it just thoughtlessly chomping one cookie after another. Finally, I snapped out of it and not only got rid of the rest of that tube, but the 2nd box as well!

I am just totally helpless around these cookies! They are pure evil!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chinese New Year event...

This past Saturday was our local FCC Chinese New Year celebration.

On Friday night I baked some goodies for the bake sale table and cake walk. I made white chocolate drizzled madeleines...

and packaged them up in clear take-out containers with ladybug buttons and ribbon...

and made a few chocolate cakes with the Chinese character for "love"...

The event was well planned with lots of activities for the little ones. They also had some beautiful prize baskets made up for their big raffle and a collection of Chinese children's books for sale. Attendance seems to be a little light compared to previous years and I noticed fewer waiting parents were there. I'm thinking that the long wait is having an affect on this.

One of the highlights of the day for me was meeting Sindy, Kelly and Allie from for Allison with Love. I've known Sindy by phone and through her blog for about a year or so. They moved from Nebraska to the Phoenix area before they traveled to get Allie. Sindy is the sweetest, nicest person and Allie is such a happy and smiley baby. I know I've said before that China has a knack with matching the right baby to the right family and that is proven once again here. Allie's happy, easy going personality seems to perfectly match with Sindy and Kelly! Sindy, it was SOOO nice to meet you!

As for the stage performances, I was very impressed with this martial arts group. They made their movements looks easy, but I know that it takes great concentration and flexibility...

The drumming group was also pretty darn impressive...

All in all, it was a very nice day. A bit chilly for us here in Phoenix, but still a great day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Scrapbook pages...

I finally got a few more scrapbook pages done for Lauren's 1st year book. You can check them out here.

I'm quickly coming to the realization that I won't have a page for each day of her 1st year and my new goal is to have a page for each week. I'm thinking 52 pages is a LOT more doable than 365!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2 year LIDversary...

Can you believe we've been waiting 2 years today??!! I would have never in a million years thought we would have been in this situation back in August 2005 when we were filling out our adoption application.

I was chatting with a mom at the Chinese New Year event yesterday (I'll post about the event later) who has two daughters. I was telling her that we have been waiting two years so far and she couldn't believe it. She said they waited 6 months for their 1st daughter and they thought it was torture when they waited 13 months for their 2nd. I kind of chuckled and thought to myself that a 13 month wait sounded fabulous to me!

How much longer do we need to wait?? Rumor Queen posted her projections recently and in a horrid case scenerio (referrals have been lingering between horrid case and bad case for a long while now) referrals through February 5, 2006, would be issued at the end of July. Our LID is Feb. 17th so we are not on her radar yet, but based on her projections I'm still hoping for September or October. This could still put us at having Lauren in our arms this year. I refuse to give up hope for this.

I was looking through our dossier documents the other day to be sure I had all our expiration dates down. Our fingerprints expire on 6/30/08, our homestudy update expires on 11/3/08, and our I-171H expires on 3/10/09. We'll have to redo our fingerprints again, which is not a big's just a hassle. Unless there's a surprise speed up, we'll need to update our homestudy as well. In that case, we can kiss $850 good-bye. This bums me out, because the money would be much better spent while in China. If our I-171h expires, it's just a matter of completing and sending in a new I-600A. We won't have to pay another fee, because we get one free renewal. We paid the 1st time we renewed this and about a week later they made the announcement about the free renewal. I guess timing is everything!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a great start to the week...

My friend and co-worker, Janet, gave us a Chinese New Year's gift today! What an awesome surprise and I was so touched that she would think of us.

She gave us a book for Lauren's collection (The Grouchy Ladybug), some pretty ladybug paper, and a custom printed card.

Janet, it was SO sweet of you to think of us...thank you! It's things like this that make the adoption seem "real" for me. When you're having a biological child, you KNOW it's real all along the way and get to hear the baby's heartbeat and see him/her on the ultrasound monitor. With the adoption process, we wait and wait with no confirmation (except a pile of government forms), until the end when we get our referral. Until then, it's faith and hope that get us through, along with a few days like today when it feels a little more "real".

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Waiting grandma unveiled...

Since my mother has become a regular commenter on many of your blogs, I thought I'd post a picture of her here.

This shot was taken last year in Maui with Emily, Josh and Katie. She spent a week there with my brother and his family.

I've told her several times that she needs to have her own blog! I haven't seen one written yet from a waiting grandma's perspective.

She is so excited for us to bring Lauren home and Lauren will be very lucky to have such a doting grandma!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy...

or Happy Chinese New Year!

We are celebrating next Saturday, 2/16, at our local FCC Chinese New Year event. I'm really looking forward to seeing our local children in their cutest Chinese outfits. Since we've been part of the Waiting Families group for over 2.5 years now, we've seen lots of families be created.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Sindy and Allie for the first time. Sindy and her hubby moved to AZ from Nebraska before they traveled to China and I've spoken to her a few times by phone, but I'm looking forward to meeting her in person.

On another note, we are getting closer to our 2 year LIDversary! It's a landmark I've been looking forward to and it's almost here!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A little something...

My friend, Christine, works at Sur la Table in the evenings and on weekends. They just got their Easter goodies in and she spotted this hand painted Easter egg with adorable little ladybugs.

It sure was sweet for her to pick one up for me. I love it! Thanks, Christine!

On another note, I'm down 9 lbs on my non-diet plan. It's slow, but sure. Anyone else have any weight loss success to report?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Referrals are in...

According to the Queen, the CCAA got through December 27, 2005, with this month's batch. The CCAA isn't posting the official cut-off date on their web site anymore, but I'm pretty confident in the Queen's sources.

It sure would have been nice if they could have done just three more days and taken care of the entire month of December! Now it looks like they are taking five months to get through December...pretty crazy, huh? At least they will FINALLY get into 2006 next month! Joe and I had decided a while back that we would celebrate them getting into 2006 by registering at Babies R Us. Looks like we'll be waiting another month for that, but look out...soon I will have a scanning gun in hand!

China is experiencing horrible snow storms and severe cold temperatures. Half the Sky Foundation has posted how the storms are affecting orphanages here. Some of them have no power, food, water or diapers for the babies. It's very sad and my heart goes out to waiting parents with referrals in hand who's children are at these orphanages. I'm praying that they receive the help they need and that all the children are safe and healthy. You can donate to the emergency fund here.

Hey, how did everyone like the Super Bowl? Pretty exciting 4th quarter, don't you think? I enjoyed the half-time show, since I love Tom Petty, but thought it was funny that most of the fake crowd they had cheering his concert on seemed too young to even know who he is. ;)