Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006 - Hello 2007

There is only 6 hours left in 2006 and it's been an interesting year to say the least. One year ago Mike and I had not yet agreed on adoption from China, my brother had just revealed that he was facing a major personal struggle, my cousin was anxiously waiting the birth of her first child and was devastated in January when he was born and diagnosed as having Downs Syndrome and my best friend was having major marital problems - and my mom was worrying about all of us! A year later, Mike and I are logged in with China, my brother is doing great, my cousin loves her baby and he is very healthy, and my friend is getting divorced and flourishing - and mom still is worrying about us! All of us still have bad days but it's been a year of growth. Looking back, 2005 was the bad year, 2006 has been the year of crawling out of the hole we all found ourselves in for different reasons.

I have also met amazing families locally and on-line who have adopted or are in the same process of adopting as we are. We've become involved with our local Families with Children from China group, with Grace and Hope to foster a little girl in China so she is cared for by a family instead of waiting for her "forever family" in an orphanage and I am helping to bring JinMei to Jacksonville for heart surgery. I also know what LID, DTC, CCAA, and DH mean, what a Yahoo group is and how to blog! I love the process we are in - I just wish they would speed up! Oh yeah, we have a room full a toys with a closet full of little girl clothes. Something I didn't even think about when we were struggling with infertility.

Thank you to all of my new on-line friends, my great Ladybug & Red Thread Believers group, my local friends, my FCC group, my family and my husband for all the support in our wonderful journey! (Sounds like I won an Oscar!)

Happy New Year to you all! And prayers for quicker referrals! I expect 2007 to be the birth year of Mia Jade and it would be even better if it was the year of her referral! Goodbye 2006, Hello 2007!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Today was a wonderful day with my family. We never expected Mia to with us this year so, as much as we thought of her, gave her presents and even gave presents from her, we are comfortable with the idea that she is most likely not even born yet. With that being said, we pray for her mother to be warm and healthy. We also pray for all of the children without families this Christmas. Next Christmas may be hard for us - at the referral rate next December she should be born but most likely still not with us. The good news is that 2007 should be the last Chrismas without her. But we have so much to be thankful for this Christmas - this has been a trying year for our entire family and our trust in God has brought us all a long way this year. Most to be thankful for this Christmas though is of course the gift of Christ. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Secret Santa Gift and New Addition to my Blog

I got my gift from my Secret Santa in my "Ladybugs & Red Thread Believers" Yahoo group. I will post a picture as soon as my camera battery recharges :) It's an adorable Ladybug outfit for Mia, a musical "puzzle bug" and a bracelet with, you guessed it, a ladybug (and flowers) on it. It comes from Terri (A Gift of Ruth) in Texas. Thank you Terri! My "Ladybug" group has become very special to me.

Also, I added a feature called Feed Blitz that will email you each time this blog is updated. It's a nice feature if anyone is interested. I hope I did it right! If you are interested, you can find the link on the right toolbar beneath the "Archives" section. Just enter you email address and it will take you to the Feed Blitz site. A few simple steps and you will get an email each time I add a post. And it's easy to cancel at anytime.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Living Ladybug!

I finally got around to posting a picture of our niece Annie who dressed as a ladybug for Halloween! Nothing's cuter than a living ladybug!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Okay, Pitty Party is over (for now at least)

I am feeling much better today (maybe it's the passing of the wicked PMS - sorry to say but it true!! That or the fact that I left work early yesterday and went Christmas shopping!) Either way, that is part of the ebb and flow of this crazy path.

I got a call Tuesday from a lady named Trish at our agency(CCAI)who is writing a story about our cookbook to publish in their newsletter! So cool! This cookbook project has really been a fun deal. I can't thank everyone enough for all your participation, purchases and well wishes for the cookbook and the adoption. When the story comes out, I will post a link.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

3 Months since our LID

Today is bitter sweet. It's been three months since we were logged in but each month the wait is getting longer and word from CCAA (adoption HQ of China) is that the wait is not going to get shorter anytime soon. They stated at their annual meeting that they have twice as many dossiers (want-to-be parents) than they have "paper-ready" children. What does that mean? It means we will most likely have another Christmas (2007) without a referral. 2008 is now looking like when we'll actually get a child. What a long gestation period! It's agonizing as postive as I try to be over the whole thing. If anyone knows me or even only knows me from my blog, you know I am always the one who looks at things from the bright side. I'm not sure what the bright side of this wait is yet. I guess I am having a weak moment. It is so hard, so painful to want something so basic as to be a parent and it's just so difficult to do so. And I know we are not the only ones. I have met so many others in the same boat; slow boat to China that is. I know God has a plan, I know I trust in God, I know we will have the perfect child for us, I know friends who have "survived" the 15 month wait. The funny thing is that I decided I could "survive" a 15 month wait, that would mean we were 20% done with the wait, and we would have a referral in December of 2007. But 18-24 months sounds so much longer because that mean 2008.

I didn't mention last post that I was so happy to meet Donna of Handsful last week, one of my favorite people that I have met online since the start of this journey. She is also in Jacksonville and we met at our local FCC (Families with Children from China) group of waiting families. I look forward to knowing her, her family and her Laniey more.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here's JinMei - Isn't she beautiful!

This is the little girl that some volunteers from my local FCC (Families with Children from China) group are working to bring here to Jacksonville, Florida to have heart surgery for a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. She lives with her family (she is not an orphan) outside Nanning, China. It's been a great project and a great way to keep my mind off of "the wait". She is scheduled to come January 2nd (As of 12/9/06, her arrival has been rescheduled to Jan 17th). Patrons of Heart, a local organization, are doing her surgery for free!!! She will stay, at least for part of the stay, at the Ronald McDonald House, there are a few schools that have this project as their service project for the year and the local news is even covering the story. It is all so exciting. I can't wait to meet her! Please visit the site A Heart for China.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Referrals!

I'm so excited for this batch of referrals because for the first time I know two people who got their referrals!! Congratulations to my friends Laureen and Tonya!

Laureen lives here in Jacksonville and I met her through our local Familes with Children for China in the waiting families group. This is her first child and she is beautiful! Her name is Isabel. She is waiting in the province of Jianxi and was born 12/8/2005.

Tonya is the sister of a friend of mine. We have "talked" via email. Tonya lives in Tampa and she and her husband's new daughter Arwen is their second daughter from China. Look at that precious face! Arwan is waiting for them in Hunan. She was born 11/2/2005.

I'm so excited for both of you - this adoption thing really does work!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday (ugh, 37!!) and I wanted to share some of the kind gifts given to me.

First, my big present from Mike. If you have followed my blog at all you know I'm a huge NASCAR and Jimmie Johnson fan. So all you ladies out there don't get too jealous but I got a J.J. signed #48 car door!! Yes sheet metal and I couldn't love it more! I know it's weird but my husband knows me well! If you are wondering where you put such an item, we are working on our gameroom and it will be a very cool addition!

Next, my parents got me a beautiful picture book about China and a Precious Moment that I've never seen before - it's the little girl with a ladybug on her bow! If you look closely, she also has ladybugs printed on her dress! They also gave me some warm golf clothes since this is the first winter I've played golf - am I spoiled or what!

From my in-laws I got a ladybug bracelet - very precious.

And Mike's sister and her family gave me a memory book where you take a hand print of your child on a regular basis, like every birthday and note some of your child's favorites at that time. The entire website called Once Upon a Family has some pretty neat keepsake stuff. Also I got the new Carl Haissen book from them.

And just in time for yesterday's Florida State (my team) vs. Florida (Mike's team) game, a "house divided" flag from my wonderful brother! Perfect timing! It will also probably live in the gameroom.

I love my birthdays, except for the getting older part. I'm still such a kid, but the hardest part is another birthday without being a mother. I pray so hard that I will have a photo by next birthday!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Jimmy/ie News!!

We just got back from seeing Jimmy Buffett Thursday in Tampa! We had a great time! Jimmy always puts on a great show - this was show #4 for us. We went with Mike's sister Jenn (next to Mike) and her husband Steve as well as a couple friends of theirs, Jill and Mac. The show was at the outdoor amphitheater and it was a beautiful night. Even though the temperature was a little cool, with all the people, it got so comfortable we kicked off our shoes and danced under the stars! Thanks for a great night Jimmy!

The other "Jimmy News" is that my favorite NASCAR driver, Jimmie Johnson #48 just won the NASCAR Championship! Yeah Jimmie!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our First Testimonial!

We have our first public testimonial for our cookbook! Theresa from Expecting from China bought our cookbook at the CCAI Reunion in Orlando last week and posted on her blog about our book - thank you Theresa! It turns out that we are in a common Yahoo group, the Red Thread and Ladybug believers! If you are interested in learning more about our cookbook, please go to our blog Cookbook for Mia Jade or email me. Thank your for all your support!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

2 Months!

Today we celebrate our 2 month anniversary since our LID!
Baby steps and milestones!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

100 Good Wishes Quilt

I decided to participate in a Northern China tradition to make a Bai Jia Bei or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a quilt made up of fabric squares from friends and family. They also are asked to give a card with a wish or prayer for the baby with a small piece of the fabric attached so the square on the quilt can be linked those who gave that piece. The quilt is a culmination of good wishes and prayers. I hope Mia has it for years to come and passes it down through generations.

I have signed up for an exchange of quilt squares with two of my Yahoo groups and here are Mia's first four squares along with their wish cards. They are from to four wonderful ladies/families from my Ladybug and Red Thread Believers group (I love this group)! I will post more as I get them.

(If you are interested in participating, I would love your square! The minor rule besides what is mentioned above is that the fabric should be 8"x8" after being washed and dried. Thank you!)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cyber Baby Shower

I have joined a few Yahoo chat groups since the start of our adoption process to connect with others who are also going through the crazy world of Chinese adoption. One of my groups is called Ladybugs and Red Thread Believers and we had our first cyber baby shower where we each sent another person of the group a baby shower gift. The theme of our first shower was ladybugs so here is my first baby shower gift, thanks to Melinda who is also waiting for a Mia! Thank you Melinda!

Monday, October 30, 2006

A little about me...

While we wait for this month's referrals that were suppose to come out last week and now have been so delayed that it looks like we are not going to have any referrals in October, I came up with some things you may not know about me (Kelly). I say that like you may want to know, but you're here and there are no new referral pictures to look at, so what the heck!

  1. I'm the nurse manager/surgery center administrator for a group of 4 plastic surgeons - that one always gets people talking.

  2. I was in Alpha Chi Omega at the University of North Florida.

  3. We are big football fans. Mike is a University of Florida Gator fan and I'm a Florida State Seminole fan - big rivals. (And they play on my birthday this year!) But we agree in pro football - this is our seventh year of being season ticket holders to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

  4. We're big NASCAR fans. I love Jimmie Johnson #48. Mike likes Ryan Newman #12. Mike and I even got to drive a NASCAR car at Talladega with the Dale Jarrett Driving Experience - very cool.

  5. I just started playing golf for the first time this summer. Mike is a golf course superintendent and I figure after almost 10 years of marriage, I'd give it a try!

  6. I did Ironman Florida twice (in 1999 & 2000). That's a triathlon where you do a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2mile/marathon run. My best time was 13 hours and 22 minutes. I definatley not in that kind of shape now.

  7. I'm a beach person - I love to surf (even though I'm not very good at it), we live 3 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, we are both Florida natives, and my favorite place to vacation is the Florida Keys - a family vaction spot since I was a kid.

  8. I told my mom when I was in middle school that I would not be able to have children but it was okay because I was going to adopt from China - weird huh.

  9. I'm a Christian and attend a Methodist Church

  10. I love all kinds of music, but my favorites are The Beatle, U2 and Jimmy Buffett.

So that's a little bit about me...bring on the referrals!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Salsa Girls!

My favorite blog, Salsa in China by Mary Mia & Rod, got their twins yesterday! It's crazy - when I started following her blog earlier this year they had already been waiting a long time and were frustrated about their long wait. Then when referrals came out in July, they missed their log in date by one day. She was devastated, so upset to have to wait again. Then a month later we watched as their referral finally came and they found out they had twins! Now we watch their trip to China to get them! It's amazing to follow their story and their story is our story, just fast forward (probably not the twins but it's possible!). Congratulations to the beautiful Salsa family and thank you for letting us follow your journey!

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's fall and it's busy

I can't believe it's been over a week since I have written. So much is going on! Besides being busy at work (what' new) I've been so busy with so many other things. It always seems like the fall is such a busy time. The cookbook sales are going great and we are about to place a second order with the publisher for another 400 books! I can't believe we have sold almost 400 in 4 weeks! Mom is working a booth at a church fall festival tomorrow to sell books while I am helping a friend at another church fall festival where we are raising money to help a little girl in China come to Jacksonville for heart surgery. It's a really neat project that I have gotten involved in with a lady I met in our local Familes with Children from China chapter. On top of that I have found a speaker for our next Waiting Families meeting - a pediatrician that has done mission trips all over the world and puts together medical travel packets for families traveling to adopt internationally. Plus I received (and mailed) my first cyber baby shower gift! I can't wait for shower day - October 30. I have gotten involved with a couple Yahoo groups that are made up of people at the same stage of adoption from China as we are. To make the wait a little more fun we are each going to be assigned a person every other month to send a present to like a baby shower and each shower will have a theme - the first theme is LADYBUGS! It will be a lot of fun. I'll post pictures when I get to open my present. And on top of all of that, Mike and I are finally getting around to finishing our game room. When we built our house a few years ago we left one room unfinished, basically a basement (yes a basement in Florida!) that we could not afford to finish out. And when I say unfinished, I mean concrete floors and walls and nothing else. It was the one room Mike was most looking forward to - a place for him to go play! Well, we are finally working on it with the wonderful help of my brother. It will be awesome and should be done by Thanksgiving - just in time for the Florida (Mike's team) vs Florida State (my team - even though they're awful this year) game. Wow - that's a lot going on! No wonder I'm tired!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

1 Month Anniversary!

So during "the wait" you don't have many milestones like during the paper-chase so I'm going to celebrate monthly anniversaries and today is one month since our LID! Only ??? many more months! All of the "experts" and "recreational experts" all have different opinions on how long the wait from log in to referral will be. Some say, including mom who reads everything she can find on the internet, says that CCAA will speed up (the current wait is 14 months), then others say it's only going to get worse, as bad as 24 months. Whatever it takes, we will wait - because that's how long it will take to bring Mia home to us! So for now, one month down now matter how long! And it was pretty painless so far - Yeah us!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thank you!

I've been so busy this past week that I haven't had a chance to post any messages, read other blogs and I've barely checked my email. The good news is that our cookbooks are a big hit - I'm so excited. Thank you to everyone who has helped us by giving a recipes, telling a friend, buying a book. It's been great fun, financially helpful for our goal to get daughter home and a great thing to keep and show Mia when she is older. It's really been a lot of fun. We have plenty left so don't forget about us when it comes time to get Christmas presents!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Our Cookbooks are Here!

Our cookbooks are here! - I'm so excited! (For those of you lost, it is a fundraiser my mom and I have been working on to help offset some of the cost of our adoption). It's been a lot of work but we created a great product. It has 400 recipes from over 150 people - thank you to all who contributed your very best yummies! The categories include appetizer, soups and salads, breads and rolls, main dishes (which include breakfast items, seafood, chicken, beef, pork and even some vegetarian goodies), side dishes and desserts/cookies/candies.

Now the fun part - selling them! They are $15 each plus shipping. Email me to set up payment and delivery. Check and credit card accepted. Kelly's email. If you're local, I'll deliver your book in person so you don't need to pay shipping.

Thank you for your order and support!! Does this mean I have to start cooking?

Monday, September 25, 2006


The new referrals are out for LID's of 7/23/05-8/9/05 - that's 18 days worth! That's the biggest batch since September '05 except for January '06 which was also 18 days. That puts us 399 referral days away so let's pray for the trend to increase! Congrats to all the new mommy and daddies!!!
Salsa has new referrals posted

Lucky Ladybugs

Today we are proud to introduce our renowned guest writer and future proud grandmom, my mom, Sandy, speaking on the topic of ladybugs! Take it away mom!

One quick cursory view of Chinese adoption blogs show that there are ladybugs in the air. Ladybugs are dancing across the timelines, found in blog names, animated on blog banners, flitting through broadcasted music, displayed in nursery photos, and when an adopting mom is fortunate to find clothing with a ladybug, it is quickly snatched off the rack.

I am a gardener in Florida. You would think that I would see many ladybugs; but I could not even remember the last time I had seen a ladybug. In a rush to leave the house, I stacked the clean dishes on the countertop instead of putting them in the cabinet. When I returned home, I found smack dab in the middle of the clean dishes, a lovely ladybug awaiting my return. I was ecstatic! But then I got to thinking. What are the ladybug rules? Does my sighting count? I am going to be the grandmother – not the mother. Are sightings by grandmothers judged null and void? Is there a self-appointed ladybug judge who will yell, “foul play”! Are there guidelines here? How did the ladybug come to be a logo for Chinese adoption? Exactly what is the lore? Is there a foundation for the beliefs?

Here is what we know. The ladybug is a symbol of good luck in most countries. In Sweden, it is believed if a ladybug lands on a young lady’s hand she is measuring for wedding gloves; and the maiden will soon be married. In England, finding a ladybug means that you will have a good harvest. In France, if you are sick and a ladybug lands on you, it will take with her the sickness when she flies away. As a child who grew up in the US, I was taught if a ladybug lands on you, make a wish and blow her away saying “fly away home”. And, among the adoption community, a sighting of a ladybug means your child was born or perhaps the referral stork is in his flight. Either way, a sighting of that spotted beetle is lucky.

That is right. The ladybug is a beetle. (OK – Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Hippodamia) There are nearly 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide and 400 in the US. A female lays more than 1000 eggs in her life. She flaps her wings 85 times a second. She chews from side to side – not up and down. A gallon jar will hold 72,000 to 80,000 ladybugs. Ladybugs protect themselves by an offensive chemical smell and sour taste. (Don't eat one.) ; Her spots fade when she gets older. The Asian ladybug lives the longest – up to 2 or 3 years. And, yes, there are male ladybugs. They are smaller than females.

Most important to our interest is this fact: THE LADYBUG WILL NOT FLY IF TEMPERATURE IS BELOW 55 DEGREES. Therefore, do not be disheartened if you don’t see a ladybug during your ‘wait’. There is a valid reason. On the other hand, if you do see one when it is cold outside, REJOICE! It has to be the real thing! Your babe’s on her way for sure!

Even though I found the word ladybug in 23 languages, I did not find it in Chinese; but there is evidence that the beetle which helped the farmers in the Middle Ages was the Asian beetle. In Europe insects were destroying the crops. The Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Asian beetle came and ate the aphids. The farmers began calling the insect ‘Beetles of Our Lady’. Eventually known as ‘Lady Beetles’, then ‘Lady Bugs’. (It is recorded that the red wings represented the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows.)

It was a much later invasion that forever connected the ladybug to the Chinese adoption community. In 1998, there was a delay in referrals. That was the summer that much of the US had an invasion of ladybugs. Immediately after, referrals poured in with larger numbers than ever. So, there is a solid foundation for the lore.

Fortunately, I did not find any ‘ladybug rules’ in my research. We are free to make the rules up as we go. (Aren’t they the best kind of rules?) Therefore, in my rule book, sightings by grandmoms count! In my rule book, the ladybug lives as a sign that a child was born or the stork is in the sky. It is a fun symbol of the Chinese adoption community; and the lore will thrive.

The little spotted beetle will be forever endeared by those of us who sleep with dreams of a child in China.

PS: IT’S FOR REAL!! Both Kelly and Mike have had recent ladybug sightings! Now it does not matter if my sighting is ‘null and void’!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My sweet husband

I was telling Mike about a conversation I had yesterday with an adoption mama who said to get her husband to agree to adopt included a full month of fights. He did give in eventually (and they also have a second so she won for sure). When Mike and I first talked adoption I knew I wanted to go to China but wanted to fair to Mike in his opinion so I didn't really share my true feelings at first. Just like my dorky self, I made a pros and cons list for domestic vs international (international never included anything but China) and presented them to Mike. He seemed to lean toward domestic mostly because of the need to actually travel to China - he's worried about leaving work for 2+weeks. Anyway, one day Mike came home and found me a bit weepy. He asked what was wrong and I burst into tears and they flowed like a break in the Hoover Dam. I mumbled through my hysteria that I only wanted to adopt from China and that I couldn't explain it but I knew in my heart that it is where our daughter waits for us. After my episode, Mike hugged me and said simply "okay". That was it; we filled out the application that day. So back to yesterday. I was sharing the conversation about my friend's difficultly convincing her husband and I had said, once I shared my true feelings with Mike, he was all onboard.

Now the sweet part - Mike told me that when people ask him why we chose China, he explains to them that he feels women have a mother's intuition and even though I don't have bio kids that my mother's intuition kicked in and told me the right path for us. It's as simple as that and he trusts in that. Thank you for trusting me Mike!

Shopping for me!

I've already been shopping to annouce to the world that I'm "pregnant" - bring on the questions strangers! I figure if I start practicing answering questions about adoption from China now with strangers, when Mia comes I will have my answers down pat! These came from Adoption - link to the right under shopping if you're interested. The shirts came with a nice hand written note congratulating us on our "pregnancy".
Internet shopping is the best!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

So Much Fun!

Jags beat Steelers 9 - 0! We had such an awesome time at the football game!! My mom, dad, brother and Mike all go to the games and it's such a great family time. Mom surprised us with a cake for celebration of our LID - Mia's first Publix birthday cake! Any excuse for a cake! And on top of getting our LID, having fun tailgating, it was one of the most exciting football game I've ever been to. The stadium was just filled with electricity. The fans were great, no one ever sat down and the Jags played great, especially our defense. It was the first time in 25 years that a defending Superbowl Champ was held to a shut out. Wow, it was great! What a day, what a night!

Monday, September 18, 2006

YEAH!!!! We're officially paperwork pregnant!!!

33 days it's been since our DTC.
How much longer can it be?

Not a lot longer should it take,
To get our precious log in date.

Wait! What is this on my email I see?
Oh my goodness, it's our LID!

Finally the referral clock ticks,
Starting with September 12, 2006!!!

Another big step we have made,
Closer to our sweet Mia Jade!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Is it Monday yet?

If you watch ESPN at all you may have seen their new catch phrase "Is it Monday Yet?" advertising Monday Night Football that is being shown on ESPN for the first time. Well tomorrow night Monday Night Football is right here in Jacksonville! My entire family has season tickets so we will be there; cheering, yelling and even a little drinking! I love football and Monday night football is even better! GO JAGS!!

Oh yeah; and I hope to get our LID!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

To my fellow DTC/LID'ers - time really does fly

Those of us with a DTC or LID associated with our name (yes I think my name is Kelly DTC 8/16/06 - like a sci-fi movie) are looking at a year plus until we see the face of our angel. A bit disappointing since the wait was 7-8 months (LID to referral) when we started our process. So it got me thinking, what were we doing a year ago - how long does a year feel? And it hit me - a year ago this week we tried our second invitro. It seems like yesterday. The day I went for my bloodwork to check if I was pregnant was one of the most difficult days of my life. I knew before I went that it didn't work and after the blood draw, before we knew the results, I sat in my car and cried like I have never cried. I called Mike sobbing uncontrollably. He tried to be positive, "Kelly you don't know it didn't work - just wait until we get the results". But I knew - I can't explain it. He was so sweet, telling the office to call him and leave a message on his voicemail so we could listen together like we did the first time. We felt either way, we wanted to be together when we got the results. This time, they didn't leave a message but kept calling until he picked up and before he could say our request to have it on voicemail, they told him "I'm sorry to tell you, the results were negative - no pregnancy". Mike came home, looked at me and melted into tears. I had already had my meltdown so I was able to comfort him now.

The next day I announced to Mike that I couldn't do invitro again without adopting first. We still have embryos frozen (again like a sci-fi movie) but I can't do it again, not until we already have a child. The pressure, stress, it's so difficult. I'm not sharing all of this so anyone feels sad for us - many of you have been in the same exact situation. My point to all of this is that it was a year ago! Is seems like yesterday. Time really does fly. And now we're paperwork pregnant, pregnant for the first time - I even think I'm glowing! So our gestation period is a little longer than a normal pregnancy.

Think about where you were a year ago. If you have a DTC or LID associated with your name, chances are some part of adoption was in your life at this time last year. In September 2005, we were closing one door and investigating another. We took a little time to "mourn" the failure of our invitro, enjoyed the holidays, looked into adoption options (I actually read "Adoption for Dummies"), started investigating agencies, talked to adoptive families and discussed our financial situation (our invitos were all out of pocket - no insurance help). So yes, we're just waiting for our LID but the way I look at it, we are a year into this adoption process and have a little over a year to go - so we're half way there, not just starting at our LID. And if you count since we started trying to get pregnant, we're actually 5 1/2 years into it and only a year to go. At least this time I KNOW it will happen - we WILL have a child!

Maybe this is just a pep talk to myself but thought I'd share my own pep talk with you guys. So hang in there, time really does fly!

Friday, September 15, 2006

LID any day now - didn't I already say that??

Okay, I haven't posted since Monday because I was hoping our next entry would be the announcement of our LID and as you may have figured, we still don't have it. I am always the "look at things on the bright side" kind of person so I didn't want to write being in a bummed mood, which I have been especially today, but man, come on CCAA. It's just a log in date. You're not actually giving us a baby yet or anything like that. Just write in your little log "Kelly & Mike Wilson 9/15/06". That's all I ask - it would really make my weekend. By law of math I predicted we would hear this week. The 8/14/06 DTC'ers got their on 9/11, so add two days to 8/14 and you get 8/16 (our DTC in case you are new) and add two days to 9/11 and you get....9/13 - that was 2 days ago. I guess math doesn't work in this scenerio. Anyway, gotta go check the email again for the 400th time in the past two days!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Accidental Adoption

I can't take credit for this - it was posted on a Yahoo group board but too funny!

Thanks to Mark and Rebecca R.:

Have you ever noticed that you hear all the time about "accidental" pregnancies, but never about couples who experience "accidental" adoptions?

Can you imagine:

Honey, sit down. I have some news for you.

What is it?

Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it. I went out to the mailbox today and ... well, we got an I-171H.

A what?!? An I-171H? As in, we're going to have a baby?!?

It looks that way.

But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I-600A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update?

Of course I did. But don't forget, there was that one night...

What night? (pauses) Ohhh, that night. But it was only once. We were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (pauses again) But it was kind of fun.


It was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints.

So now we've got our I-171H, eh? But that doesn't always mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure everything's okay?

I already did.


I'm five documents along.

Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay?

Just great. There was one small scare when the agency couldn't see the Notary's middle initial, but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass.

Thank God. And you, honey? Are you feeling okay?

I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you're happy about this.

Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always a shock at first when something like
this happens, but of course I'm happy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

10 Reasons Why Adoption is better than Pregnancy

Don't fret if you are following the path of adoption after the road of infertility; here are 10 reasons I have come up with that adoption is better than pregnancy - feel free to comment on your reasons!

Here it goes.....
10. No morning sickness
9. No stretch marks
8. No one can give you a hard time for not breast feeding
7. No need to spend all that money on maternity clothes only to wear them for a few months
6. No weight gain (that is as long as you don't sit around eating chocolate & moping about the long wait - stay active!)
5. My daughter won't have my family thighs! (insert your family curse here)
4. No need for a tummy tuck when it's over
3. You don't have to stop drinking - have a beer!
2. Your shoes still fit
and best of all...
1. You will still get the child God made for you!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

LID any day now

Well, our dossier was sent 21 days ago and received 17 days ago so hopefully we'll have our LID (log in date) any day now. That is our official "start date" to our wait and the date used during referral batches. Several people on the Yahoo groups I follow have just gotten their LID and had DTCs date just days before us so it really should be anytime. I can not think of it as the start though, just the next phase, it just happens to be a the longest phase. Until then, I'm so excited to watch Salsa & Naked Ovary (favorite blogs-see links) go get their beautiful girls to keep reminding me how it's all worth it. They survived it, so can I!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Did you see Funshine...times two?

You may have noticed on my links a blog called Salsa in China. This has been one of my favorite places to visit on the web the last few months and she was so sad last month when they missed the referral batch by one day. Well they got their referral last week and I'm sure it was worth the wait of one more month....they got twin girls! Check out the site - they are over the moon! Congrats to Mary-Mia & Rod and all the new moms & dads out there!

6 months down & ?? to go

I realized that we recently pasted our 6 month mark from when we started our adoption process. We sent our application on February 20, got our call that we were approved on February 24 and got our home study packet on March 3, so somewhere in there is our official start date. So with that being said, 6 months have gone by and it seems like a blink of an eye. I remember Mike and my discussion about adoption from China vs. domestic adoption. I felt from the start that our daughter was going to be from China and expressed this to Mike - he saw my resolve and said okay, if that's what you think we should do. Within 2 days I had the application completed and on the way to CCAI (I had already done my research and was ready to go!). So 6 months seems like nothing now. Does that mean the next 6 months will be just as easy. I'm not sure about that; I've already had a few pitty party days but the good news is that it's football season! Football season always flies by so in no time 6 more months will have passed! I know it will be much longer than 6 months until our referral but I'm going to look at it in 6 month increments, not an overwhelming 14 months. Baby steps! So for now Go 'Noles and Go Jags!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just a Trip Around the Sun!

If you visited our early posts you will have seen, in all our floral, bright colored, grass skirtness, that Mike and I are Jimmy Buffett fans. So I was listening to radio the other day and one of my favorite songs came on, "Trip Around the Sun". I traditionally have been a worry wort but last year I read "Stop Worrying and Start Living" By Dale Carnegie. I truly believe this book changed my life - I live a more worry free life, sleep better, learned to let things happen; float along with the river instead of trying to swim upstream. I also feel it strengthened my faith in just letting God do His work in my life, instead of me trying to do His work. (Yes, I'm making a connection between God, Dale Carnegie and Jimmy Buffett!) So, about the same time I printed the words to "Trip Around the Sun" and put it on my bulletin board at work, highlighting certain lines about letting go and just enjoy the trip around the sun. So that's my theme for "The Wait"; it's only one trip around the sun until I see the sun of our lives - Mia Jade. This "wait" time period is not a curse - it is time meant to be well spent!

If you don't know the words it check out (it's better with the music! Found on the License to Chill album):

Here I'm singin' happy birthday
Better think about the about the wish I make
This year gone by ain'’t been a piece of cake
Everyday’s a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun


I'm just hangin’ on while this old world keeps spinning
And it’s good to know it's out of my control
If there’s one thing that I'’ve learned from all this livin'
Is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go

No you never see it comin'
Always wind up wonderin' where it went
Only time will tell if it was time well spent
It's another revelation
Celebrating what I should have done
With these souvenirs of my trip around the sun

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blog Restriction?

"Hi, my name is Kelly and I'm becoming a blog-a-holic!" I may have to put myself on blog restiction or blog time out! I have joined 6 Yahoo groups in the past week or two and have really been enjoying "meeting" others from all over from right here in Jacksonville all the way to Canada. The most fun I have had is from the two groups that relate to August DTC's - one is a general group and the other is just our agency. We are all literally in the same boat so it will be fun floating down the same stream together! The problem lies in the fact that I have been spending hours on the computer! I check emails 3 times a day, read all the posts on the Yahoo groups (did I mention 6 of them!) and then go check out everyone else's blog who have visited mine. I really am enjoying it but man I'm going to have to join blog-a-holics anonymous (Mom you can come too). I thought this wait would be hard but with all these new friends, it'll be a snap!

Friday, August 18, 2006

DTC = Dossier to China!

We received notice from our agency that our dossier was sent to China on 8/16/06! It's truly out of our hands now. We will get conformation in a few days that it actually made it to CCAA, the Chinese agency in charge of adoptions. Now the long wait begins but I guess we are officially paperwork pregnant now!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Critical Review

I got an email from our agency yesterday informing us that our dossier has completed critical review. Yeah! I was a little concerned that I did something wrong along the way and it would cost more time to correct but nope! It now goes to the translation department at our agency so that it will be translated to Chinese then off to China some time next week!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Completed Dossier!!!

Here it is!! Our complete dossier!! Months of collecting official birth certificates, marriage certificate, financial statements, getting our passports, meetings with the social worker, applying to the government for our 171H, getting stuff notarized, documents going to Tallahassee for certification then to Houston for authentication, collecting photos, getting physicals, visiting the police station for clearance letters and writing our adoption petition stating our desire to adopt a little girl from China. This is it - 5 months of work and today it's on it's way to our agency in Colorado!! They are going to check over everything, translate it and send it to China! Hope I did everything right! Time to CELEBRATE!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rainy Sunday

I've done all the dossier work, waiting for the last two pieces from the consulate and it's a rainy Sunday. So I played around with the camera, bugged the dog and cat and took some pictures of some of my favorite Mia outfits. Yes, we have already shopped for her. "We" means mom and me - I think Mike thinks we're crazy shopping for her already but when you see a deal or something you just can't leave, you have no choice. You know what I'm talking about ladies! So here's some of my camera work!

This is Harman - I think he's trying to tell me that he's not going to share any of his toys with Mia. Actually, he's going to be awesome! He is so good with kids!

This is Coal. He's just going to be annoyed that someone else will be in the house, much less someone who's going to pull his tail. When our niece and nephew come to visit, he hides under the bed for days!

Now the outfits!
This came directly from Chinatown in San Francisco - a gift from my Aunt Tonna and Uncle Mike. I can't wait to see Mia in this on the famous red couch!

Mom found this adorable outfit.

Ladybugs are a symbol of Chinese adoption. Look at the feet! How cute!
It's crazy buying clothes for a baby that you won't see for a year, have no idea how old she will be, how much she'll weigh or if she'll be in a summer outfit at 9 months or a winter outfit. But it sure is fun to wander through the baby department and just dream of Mia!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Paperwork countdown

Our last two documents are in Houston for authentication as we speak. The countdown for completion of our dossier is here. I have everything else packed and ready to send to our agency. There they do a final review, translate it to Chinese and bind the dossier. Hopefully it will be on its way to China by the second week of August. This date is called DTC = date to China. This is a milestone date until we get our real milestone, the LID = Log In Date. The LID is the reference date how referrals are made. In China, it's first come first served so to speak. When referral batches come out each month, they are announced by dates. For example, a referral batch just came out this week and it included everyone from LID 6/29/05 thru LID 7/13/05. So once we have a LID we will be able to watch to referrals coming out and have a better idea how long we will have to wait. Those with a LID 8/05, one year earlier than us, will have had a 13+ month wait from LID to referral then 2 months until travel. Unfortunately for my "friend" who writes my favorite blog "Salsa in China", they have a LID of 7/14/05 so they missed this batch by one day! Hopefully they will pick up speed again and we won't have to wait as long. We'll see - all in God's time!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Let's celebrate!

It has arrived - we got our 171H in the mail today!! This is big! It is our approval from the Homeland Security to bring an orphan to the US - we fooled them! Just kidding! I am so excited! It is the last piece of paper that we need notaried (already took care of that since it showed up this afternoon), certified (mailing it overnight to my aunt Tonna in Tallahassee for certification Monday morning) and authenticated (got the envelope and return envelope stamped and ready to go)! When all of that happens we sent it and all the other documents, photos, passport copies, birth certificates, etc. to our agency for final inspection and then off to China! Hopefully that will occur by the end of August - maybe sooner. So exciting!!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Good news & Bad news - or should I say a speed bump

A little good news and a little bad news on our road to adoption yesterday. The good news is our authenticated documents have returned from the Chinese Consulate. I have not laid eyes on them yet because they needed to deliver them in person. I got the notice in yesterday's mail so I will get them from the post office today. Other good news, we sent our final cookbook off to the publisher. It was a little more work than expected but it was a fun project. They should be ready in 45 days! I sure hope our dossier is off by then. That's where the bad news comes in. We are waiting for our 171H and I got a piece of mail from Homeland Security yesterday. Of course I was hoping that it was the 171H. Unfortunately it was a notice that our homestudy needs more documents and an addendum. More documents - more time. I must keep telling myself, all in God's time. This is just a speed bump!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another big step!

We were able to get to the Homeland Security office today, just a day after we got our letter, to get our fingerprints. This is our last big step short of some paperwork issues. Hopefully we'll get our 171H soon and then after we get it notarized/certified/authorized, we'll have everything for our dossier!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I have to blog - so much to tell!

What a day! First I got FedEx confirmation that our packet of 11 of the 13 documents we need to have authorized successfully made it to the Chinese Consulate in Houston. Of course this is an expected outcome but still it is something to celebrate. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get these back. I sent the 11 instead of waiting for all 13 and sending one packet as a kind of trial run so I'll know how long it takes when we have the 171H in hand.

The other thing was a little more unexpected - we got our fingerprint appointments from the Homeland Security/Immigration Dept! They just got the home study on Monday and we already have our appointment letter! I had no idea it would only take 2 days and yesterday was a holiday! The funny thing is the appointment time and date is crossed out and handwritten it says M-F, 8-3:30; so I guess we don't need an actual appointment. We're going to try to go tomorrow. How exciting!!!! The resulting 171H is the last thing we need before sending the packet to China!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Is that a complement?

So today I had my first semi-offensive conversation about our adoption plans. I was talking to a man at the beach, best guess 55-60 years old, about the beautiful day and 4th of July plans etc and he asked if I had kids - the ever so common question for a 36 year old married woman - and I said hopefully we will be close this time next year; we are adopting. "Oh what a difference you will make in an orphan or foster child's life." So I choose to share a little more; "yes, we are adopting an orphan from China". "China! Why would you adopt from China?! There are so many kids here that need a home." Stay calm, this is an education opportunity..."there are a lot of kids in China that need homes also." "Let them worry about their own" was his reply. KISS - Keep it simple stupid - "All I can say is that's where my heart has told me where we are suppose to adopt". This should end the conversation right? Wrong. He replys, "One thing I can say about Orientals (I'm thinking to myself, Oriental is a rug dummy), they sure are smart." Can't an attempt at a complement still be a stereotype?

I know this was not a major interaction but it did give me a small glimpse of the future. I'm not the type to get mad at others ignorance of the situation. I found it interesting and a good practice run for things to come. What an odd conversation to have on the 4th of July!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Home study officially done

Finally! CCAI has received our home study!!! I'm not sure what took so long from our last home study meeting until now but now they have it and it has been sent to Homeland Security/Immigration Department. It will now match up with our I-600A and hopefully we'll get our appointment for fingerprints within the next couple of weeks. Also today I am sending a packet of most of our documents to be authenticated by the Consulate of China in Texas. They have to verify that the certification of the notartization is valid - if you don't understand, don't worry! It's just another step but a big one.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Babies!

It's so exciting to see all the new referrals that came out at the beginning of this week (go to the link on the right, "Salsa in China" and there's a list of 20+ referrals in the June 26 posting). I know our referral is still 9-15+ months away but it's so exciting to read all the blogs and see all the beautiful babies. To know all of these familes thought they had a 6 month wait when they started and it turned into 12 months makes me feel even more excited for them. At least we know that the current wait is 12 months and that the trend it predicted to come down. I hope that it right. Congratulations and safe trip to all of these new mommies and daddies!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The little things that can make me happy

A couple of weeks have gone by since anything has really happened, but today we got our first Homeland Security mail. I knew it was not a notice for our fingerprint appointment because our homestudy was just sent to our agency the middle of this week, but it was a receipt for our I-600A & fingerprints applications. So you must celebrate the small things - Homeland Security knows where we are and that we want to bring Mia home. Now we wait for the fingerprint appointment; hopefully in July.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Our Home Study is Done!

I'm so excited! Our social worker is done with our home study report. She's putting some finishing touches on it and it should be off to our agency by the end of the week! This is a big step! It then goes to the Homeland Security/Dept of Immigration where our I600A is waiting for it. Once they match them up, they should be sending our appointment for our fingerprints. The final piece of paperwork we are waiting for is the approval which is called the 171H. Another step closer! Yeah!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Our Grace-Hope Child

A couple of things have occurred this last week or so, so let's catch up. First, we got our assignment for our sponsored child through Grace-Hope. (This is not "our child" - the one we are adoption. See the Grace-Hope posting if you're lost). Her name is Heather, or at least the name Grace-Hope has given her for this sponsorship. It's amazing to know she is out of an orphanage and being cared for by a family because of our sponsorship. I PRAY Mia will be in a foster home. What a major difference in a small child's life. I attached the link to the report we got about Heather so check it out. (not sure if the link worked so here's the complete address - ) She's a real cutie! I expect/hope she will be adopted soon. She is a healthy baby so hopefully she will find her "forever family" soon. Until then, she is being cared for in a much better environment.

Next, Mike got his passport. I know this doesn't sound like much, but it's another check mark on our things to do list. I love checking things off the things to do list! Our social worker is working diligently to finalize our homestudy. I can't wait to get that in my hands. And I have sent in our I-600A forms to the US Immigration Department - this is what we need approved to bring an orphan in from another country.

I actually can see the end of the paperwork chase and the beginning of "The Wait". I think we still have a few more months of fingerprints and notarization/certification/authentication to do, but the end is in sight - I have more check marks than empty boxes on the things to do chart!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Grace & Hope

We joined the local chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC), technically First Coast FCC, which it's name is pretty self explanatory. My mom and I attended my first event with FCC the other night - a monthly meeting of the "waiting families" - those who have started the adoption process but are somewhere in "The Wait" phase. It was nice to meet others in our same stage but the most interesting part was the topic of the meeting - Grace and Hope for Children. This is an organization who's purpose is to get children of China out of the orphanages and into foster care. By sponsoring a child for $37/month, a child will get out of a situation where they are one of up to a dozen+ children per caregiver and puts them into a home. The family gets $35/month and according to the speaker, people are eager to be foster parents because $35/home is about as much as a salary. Can we imagine? A lot of people spend more than that on coffee from Starbuck's in a month. I have already signed up to sponsor a child. If anyone is interested, go to (see link to the right). The website would have been a little difficult to understand if I hadn't heard from a volunteer one-on-one about their mission and cost etc. You have to go to "how to help" and then click on "click here to make an online donation". It walks you through whether you want to make a one time vs monthly contribution, which orphange, healthy vs special needs child etc. The man giving the presentation (his Chinese adopted dauther is almost 11 - the first adopted in NE Florida 10 years ago) had just returned from China in April when they were checking on the program and the kids and foster parents. He said when the kids get into foster care, they blossom. He also said when you go into the orphanages, you go into a room full of babies and it's quiet because they have learned quickly that no one comes to pick them up when they cry so they have given up crying. What a sad thought. It's awful that the process takes so long when there are babies just waiting right now to be picked up and comforted. Since I can't just jump on a plane and go get our daughter, not until every i is dotted and every t is crossed, at least I can put a child into foster care. I hope somewhere someone will do the same and get Mia into foster care. I hope she will spend the part of her life that we are not together in a place where when she cries, someone who loves her will come see why. Please do this!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Special Meeting and Big Happenings

The last 24 hours have been fun, complete with checking more "to do" boxes on the checklist for our paperwork chase. But first a little history. My cousin had a baby 3 1/2 months ago and when I came to visit the first few days after he was born, he was still in the hospital due to his premature arrival. It was at the time that Mike and I were still discussing international vs domestic adoption and talking to others about their experiences, their agencies, etc. While I was in town (Tallahassee), my aunt arranged for me to meet a friend of hers who had recently adopted their second daughter from China. I was so excited to meet her and her family because I had followed their trip on her blog just a few months earlier. I spent an hour or two with them that day. I went directly from their house to the hospital to see my cousin and the baby one last time before heading back home to Jacksonville. While in the waiting area my grandmother started talking to a family and I quickly realized that their daughter was adopted from China. They were so friendly and open to discuss their experience and we talked for at least an hour. It was so awesome because they used the same agency as the family I had just met with, the agency we eventually joined with, CCAI. It was an amazing experience. I had planned to met with the first family but just by chance met the second family not 30 minutes later. That meeting was so powerfully moving, that night I knew China was the path for us. After I got home and through a couple of discussions, we decided on adopting from China and using CCAI. So I fast forward. I was driving over to Tallahassee for the first time since January to visit my cousin and her baby and I thought of the family I had met in the hospital. I had stored their number in my cell phone. As I scrolled down there it was: "Kim from Georgia". I called, got an answering machine and left a message basically stating I was the one they met three+ months ago in the hospital and told they how much their openness and encouragement meant and that Mike and I had started our process. And if they wanted to return my call great, but if not it was okay, but I really just wanted to express my gratitude. Later last night the phone rang, the ID screen read "Kim from Georgia". I excitedly answered the phone - we talked for an hour! She said that when they left the hospital that night she told her husband she felt God had put her there in that hospital waiting room to talk to me. She said she almost didn't go to the hospital that night to visit her friend but last minute changed her mind. How amazing. God works in wonderful ways. She said they are thinking of adopting a second daughter and by coincidence, if they do her name will be Kelly. I plan on keeping in touch with Kim from Georgia as we continue our journey. I think it took talking with her again to realize how powerful that meeting was that night.

On my "things to do list", since I was going to be in Tallahassee, I brought some of my papers that have been notarized that now needed to be certified. My understanding was I could just walk in with the papers and they'd do it on the spot. So cool! I walked in all excited and handed 7 documents over and she looked at them, said they were wrong and handed them back. My jaw dropped. What?! I thought I read everything correctly and did everything correctly - I always read directions! I walked out and started crying! My mom quickly calmed me down, pointed out we could fix the mistakes and be back in there probably by the end of the day. She was right. I calmed down, when back to a computer to pull up the notarized instructions, fixed the documents and headed to my cousin's office who conveniently had a notary and she took care of it for me right away. Interestingly enough, the notary said she was adopted and was excited to be part of our process. We headed back to the state office, handed them back over and they certified them right there on the spot! That's 7 check marks!! I came out of the office this time jumping up and down! I'm so excited when I complete a step. This has been a big week!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Third, Fourth and Final Home Study Meeting

Last night Mike and I met with our social worker Jeannie and 3 other people in the process of international adoption for a group home study. We discussed a lot of issues such as bonding, multi-racial families, discussing birth parents with our children, etc. It was very enlightening. Once the group was done, Mike and I met briefly with Jeannie about a few things such as child care plans and how much I expect to work after Mia comes. Then that was it - our home study is done! It was actually a very enjoyable process and really made us think and talk about issue we had not before. Now Jeannie will write up a home study report to be submitted with our I600A! I can't wait to get that in the mail! One step closer!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Second Home Study

We did our second home study meeting. This time was both Mike and me with our social worker first but mostly just with Mike. I think I was more nervous for Mike's meeting than I was my own! Maybe it's that "not in charge" feeling. But it all went very well. We will either have one or two more meetings and then she'll write her report and then we can submit our I-600A! That's our petition to the Department of Homeland Security for us to "process an orphan" from another country. That's a big step and it's even bigger when we get the final approval back. But don't want to get too ahead of myself!

Friday, April 28, 2006

First Homestudy Meeting

I just got done with my first homestudy meeting! My social worker Jeannie is very nice and knowledgeable. She has adopted from both Korea and China herself so she has great insight and experience. I feel like I told her my whole life story in the span of two hours. Mike's up next! I feel closer to Mia already!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Home Study begins!

We are finally starting our home study tomorrow! I'm so excited. I am doing the first visit alone with our social worker because her first available meeting time was in the morning and Mike can't take off of work tomorrow but I was able to. Now I have to get home early from work today and clean house! I know they say the house doesn't have to be spotless but it definitely needs a little attention. Our dog Harman, who I LOVE, creates quite a mess. He is all boy! He love dirt and doesn't think twice about trotting into the house without wiping his feet. Nor have I been able to teach him to put his toys away! But he's the only baby we have right now and he has us wrapped around his paw, so to speak! He's not spoiled at all! I can't imagine what we'll be like with a baby!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Our Cookbook

One of the things I'm working on during this time period is a cookbook. My mother and I have collected almost 300 recipes from friends and family member to publish a cookbook. Once we publish it, we're going to sell them to help with the adoption finances. After two invitros, our savings are gone and we have some unwanted debt. We hope to pay for the adoption as we go instead of going into more debt. It's been a fun project already. Hopefully we'll get it to the publisher by the end of May. If your are reading this and may be interested, please let me know. The books will be for sale probably in June or July and will most likely be between $12 - $15. It has main dishes, appetizer, cookies, sides, desserts and much more!

Few more things to do

We got the okay to start our home study last week but unfortunately both Mike and our social worker have been sick all week! I guess it's better than one being sick this week and another next week. I actually took Mike to the doctor because he had been coughing for a few days and we figured he could get his physical paperwork done at the same time. They wouldn't do his physical! I was so bummed. It was one of these "doc in a box" places where you just walk in. They told me you can only get a physical for adoption at the health department. I told them they were wrong, that I just did mine at my annual gyn appointment. Anyway, I have to find another doctor and actually get Mike there! He's not one for doctor visits. Hopefully we'll get started with our homestudy soon. It's weird because the first few weeks of this process, I felt there was so much to do getting paperwork and seeing the doctor and writing autobiographies and now this week I hardly did anything toward our adoption. Just a sneak peek at what it will be like after the dossier has been mailed and we start "the wait". The latest news is that the wait period has extended to 10-14 months! I go to sleep at night wondering if Mia is still in her mom's womb, when her birth date is, how old she will be. Now I wonder if she even exists yet! All in God's time. I have so much faith in that. Hopefully we'll start our home study this week and can send off our I-600A with our completed home study by the end of May.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Checking things off of our To Do List

Mike applied for his passport yesterday and when I got home, mine was in the mail - my picture doesn't look as bad as I remember! We also got a bunch of stuff notarized. I love checking things off of our "to do" list. And we got the okay from our agency that we can start our home study. I'm so excited. I have been in contact with a local social worker that we have requested to work with. We have mutual friends, live near each other and she also has adopted from China. I also have joined the local Families with Children from China. I've gotten a lot of very nice, supportive email already. Things are happening!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Moving along

We are moving along with our "paperwork pregnacy". Mike is applying for his passport tomorrow, we have received our dossier guide and started putting all of the papers that need to be notarized, certified, authenticated together. Sounds like medical testing! We have spoken to our social worker but have not started our home study yet. Hopefully that will start next week. I'm so bummed because of the new info coming out of the agencies that referral times have slowed down to as long as 10 months. I must continue to believe that Mia Jade will enter our lives at the time of God's planning. I pray for her every night. I feel so sad when I think of all of the orphans of the world going to sleep each night without a family. I did not choose this road because of deep sense of providing a home for an orphan but for my own selfish desire to be a mother. But the longer this road is, the greater sense of responsibility I feel to provide a home for a child that may not otherwise have one. I guess that's part of being a parent.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

This is me & Mike!

Hanging out before a Jimmy Buffett concert - the hawiian shirt and grass skirt is not our normal wears!


Okay, so I went to apply for my passport today and picture was awful - I hope I'm not the only one! Is this what they are going to see when they try to figure out which baby we best match with? If so, I may be in trouble. The close up, no smile photo I can see how unsymetrical my face is! Oh well, it's something I can check off on our "to do" list! One step closer!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Our Story

This blog is designed to follow my husband Mike and my (Kelly) journey to adopt our daughter from China. We have already come up with a name for her which is the name of this blog, Mia Jade. We are just starting this exciting process. Hope you enjoy our trip.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Our Timeline

March 19, 2008 - Zane's "Forever Day" - final adoption hearing
October 24, 2007 - Zane's Gotcha Day!
October 22, 2007 - ZANE was born!!!!
September 18, 2007 - we met the baby's birthmother
September 17, 2007 - we got "the call" that we had been chosen for adoption of a baby boy!
August 17, 2007 - took our scrapbook/album to a local school for pregnant teens for a possible domestic adoption
September 12, 2006 - Major Milestone Date - LID!!! Log in Date
August 20, 2006 - Our dossier made it to CCAA
August 16, 2006 - Milestone Date - DTC! Dossier to China
August 10, 2006 - received an email informing us that our dossier passed critical review at CCAI - sent for translation
August 2, 2006 - received docments back from Chinese Consulate; mailed complete dossier to agency - Yeah!
July 26, 2006 - last two documents (171H & homestudy) sent for authentication
July 21, 2006 - received 171H!!!! sent it off to Tallahassee for certification
July 13, 2006 - received authenticated documents from Consulate
July 6, 2006 - fingerprints taken at Homeland Security
July 5, 2006 - got our fingerprint appointments from Homeland Security
June 30, 2006 - sent 11 of the 13 documents needed for authentication at the Chinese Consulate
June 29, 2006 - CCAI received our home study and sent it to Homeland Security
June 7, 2006 - Mike's passport came in the mail
June 6, 2006 - mailed our I-600A to Homeland Security
May 15, 2006 - final home study meeting - now just need to wait for the report!
May 8, 2006 - second home study meeting
April 28, 2006 - first home study meeting
April 13, 2006 - received the okay to start our home study
April 12, 2006 - Mike applied for his passport - men are so slow! And Kelly's passport came in the mail
April 4, 2006 - mailed our home study packet
March 31, 2006 - received our dossier guide - the paperchase begins!
March 16, 2006 - Kelly applied for passport
March 3, 2006 - received our home study packet
February 24, 2006 - received call informing us our application has been approved!!
February 20, 2006 - mailed our application