Sunday, December 31, 2006
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
Friday, December 22, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
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
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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
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
Saturday, December 02, 2006
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
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
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
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
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
Monday, October 30, 2006
- I'm the nurse manager/surgery center administrator for a group of 4 plastic surgeons - that one always gets people talking.
- I was in Alpha Chi Omega at the University of North Florida.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I'm a Christian and attend a Methodist Church
- 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
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
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
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
Salsa has new referrals posted
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
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!
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 Mama.com - 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
Monday, September 18, 2006
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
Oh yeah; and I hope to get our LID!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
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
Monday, September 11, 2006
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
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
Friday, September 01, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
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
Friday, August 18, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
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
Friday, July 21, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
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
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
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
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
Thursday, May 18, 2006
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
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
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
Friday, April 14, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
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