Monday, December 31, 2007

Wow 2007!

There is only an hour left in 2007 and what began as a year of expected hardship of waiting for Mia is ending with a goodnight kiss for our son Zane! There is no way I saw this coming! As I read my last post of 2006, just one year ago, we were excited about being logged in but had realized 2007 would not bring Mia's referral. We thought this Christmas would be the last without her and now we are sure we will be without her again next Christmas. Do I dare say we will be with her Christmas of 2009? But to have Zane for this Christmas, the joy is overwhelming!

So much has happened this year. In January, we brought JinMei here for successful heart surgery - we helped change a life and she changed mine! In March, Mike and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary; what a special feeling. In June, we gave IVF one final try - unsuccessful again. In July, we got back to the Keys (my favorite place) - an annual trip that hasn't been so annual recently; and my best friend from college (who also struggled with infertility) gave birth to a son. This was the month that we started to look into the option of a domestic adoption - a scary feeling when so much can go wrong. September, we headed to Vegas for the first time; a pretty good place to head when it's your last trip without being parents, even though we didn't know that at the time! Little did we know this very weekend a teenage girl was looking at our photo album, trying to decide between us and another couple for the placement of her son. September 17th, we met Zane - although still invitro. Meeting his birthmom was the most surreal, wonderful day. I think the only day that has beat it was Zane's actual birth day. I can't even describe the feelings we have had from September 17th to now. I do not have the words to express it all. Of course, Zane was born October 22nd - without a doubt the greatest day of my life. Since then we have celebrated his first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And in November, for our Mia news, we finally made it out of the Review Room!! The last two+ months have been a blur - a wonderful, sleep deprived, exhilarating blur!

2007 - we had no idea it would bring us a son. How wonderful it is. Yet this plan, God knew all along. He told me to be patient and have faith. I can't not try to wrap up 2007 by starting with January 2007 but I have to go back to 2001 when we first decided to try to start a family. The road has not always been easy but we did it together and with a lot of prayer. Infertility is a quiet "illness". So many feelings of embarrasment, inadequacy, jealousy; all rotten, silly feelings but they happen. My mom thanked me the other day for never giving up. I told her God made it in my heart to be a mother - giving up was never an option. So 2007 brings the end of being childless. How joyous it is. All this being said, we still have a sad place - waiting for Mia. But God told us to be patient and have faith - that patience and faith brought us Zane, it will surely bring us Mia.

Happy New Year everyone! I'm so excited about 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I have failed at blogging recently - this motherhood stuff is very time consuming! But, as they say, it's the best job I've ever had! Christmas was such a blessing. It is still so unbelievable that we woke up on Christmas morning and were able to celebrate it with our son! Of course he had no idea what was going on but we sure had fun opening his presents! We thought of Mia as well but it's easier knowing she probably isn't even born yet. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I'm so excited about 2008!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Out of Review - Woohoo!!!!

I am so excited to say that our dossier is out of review! CCAA announced they are through 9/30/06. What a milestone! I never really had any fears that we would be rejected or questioned because CCAI (our agency) did such a good job getting our dossier ready but still it is a HUGE relief to know that someone in China has actually looked at and approved our dossier. Even though we still have a loooong wait ahead, at least we are moving to the matching room. I am so happy that I am in tears!!!!! We are one step closer to Mia Jade!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful as can be

This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. First and foremost is thanks to God for our son Zane. How could we possibly have known this time last year that he would be in our lives this Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the choices his birthmother made; for the support she was given. I am thankful for my husband; for his love and friendship. It was a long and difficult journey to become parents and we were together in our journey every step of the way. Thankful for our families and their endless support for us. We are so very blessed and we give great Thanks!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Congratulations Clark Family!!!

I'm so excited for my friend Donna & her family who received their referral for her beautiful daughter Lainey! To visit her blog & see her picture go to Handsful. I'm especially excited because not only is Donna in my favorite Yahoo group but she also lives in the same town as us so she can be friends with Mia Jade! Congratulations again!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

To renew or not to renew?

With everything going so smoothly with Zane, we have to take a moment to focus on Mia Jade. Our all important 171H, the document from Homeland Security that says we can bring an orphan to the US, is about to expire - in January technically. Our agency says to start now if we want to renew it. The government has allowed one free renewal of the almost $700 application. But the problem is even our agency doesn't think we will get Mia within the 18 month time frame of the new form. The problem with the "free" renewal is that all the supporting documents are not free. So do we spend the money to get a free renewal that won't do us any good (probably) or let it expire and start all over when we know it will be the document that we really need? Either way will cost a lot more money! It's very frustrating to know what to do. But as I said, everything is great with Zane. We count our blessings evey day! We won't let this 171H thing get us too down!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Our beautiful Zane

This beautiful photo was taken by my mom. One of our few pictures that shows those beautiful eyes. He is only 2 days old here and getting ready to come home.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stork Alert

My girlfriends at work gave us with a stork for our yard announcing Zane's birth. It really surprised our neighbors who didn't know about our domestic adoption plans nor saw me 9 months pregnant!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Zane is here!!!!

Mike and I are overjoyed to announce the birth of our SON Zane!! He decided to enter the world early and was born on October 22. He is beautiful and perfect!! We were so blessed! He is truly a gracious gift from God!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I had a baby shower!!!

Last Saturday my girls at work gave me a baby shower and it was a HUGE shower! There were something like 35 people there. It took me hours to go through everything once I got home to figure out what I had. I actually feel ready for a baby now - or at least as ready as you can get! It was all so moving and surreal. I still can't believe this is all happening. It is so exciting! Only 2 weeks until the due date. The nursery is almost done - just a few things left to do but it's ready for a baby.

Me and Mom on the right (I don't look 37 weeks pregnant!)
and my friends Julie & Lisa (the shower hostesses)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baby name = Zane

Oh, thank you for the comment from Joce on my last post; I forgot to share his name! We are naming him ZANE! (Middle name still to be determined.) Zane was our front runner for a name and then I picked up a baby book and they gave the meaning as "God's gracious gift". That's all it took! What else is he but our gracious gift from our gracious God! So Zane it is!

35 weeks and counting!

All is going well with our domestic adoption - our birthmom is 35 and a half weeks along and is due November 3rd. That's in One Month!! I've been able to go to her last two OB/gyn appointments and the baby seems perfect. My mom was even able to go to one appointment, so she had a chance to meet her as well. She is such a sweet girl. I still can't believe this is all happening. It hasn't quite sunk in yet!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Detour on our Journey!

Mike and I are bursting! We have been chosen to adopt a baby boy through a domestic adoption! Since China is taking much longer than expected, be began looking into other options while we wait. We got "the call" on Monday and met his birth mother on Tuesday. We just adore her! She is a teenager (and that's about all I want to share about her or the birth father just to protect all involved) and she seems very prepared to put the baby up for adoption. She is due in only 6 weeks so we have a TON to do to get ready! We are so excited! Mia's going to have a big brother!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1 Year LID

Today is our year anniversary of our LID. I think I would be more excited if we didn't have another 1 1/2-2 years of waiting. But it is something I guess. We are one year closer to finally having a child in our lives.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Xianbei had her surgery - in China!!

A couple of weeks ago we heard from Matthew that the Chinese government contacted Xianbei's mother about possibly being able to help Xianbei with her surgery at home in Nanning. It seems that after they all got Visas to come here for her surgery, a government official somehow got involved and made arrangements for her care in China. She had her surgery already and is recovering well. What a blessing! We were not even close to our financial goals to have her come next month - we would have done it one way or another, but it would have been difficult. I'm so glad we agreed to help her - by just arranging to get her here, a door was opened that was closed before!

We already have another possible child that is in great need. Somehow Matthew got a letter from a mother desperate for help. Their 18 month old has had one heart surgery, which took every bit of assets this family has, and she still needs two more. Her parents were told that her other surgeries were difficult and expensive and basically to give up. We'll see if we can help her. We have contacted the medical group to see if she is a candidate.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Vegas Baby!

Mike and I headed to Vegas this past weekend. It was our first trip to Vegas and we had a great time. We went with Mike's sister & husband and two other couples. We saw "Love" the Cirque du Soleil with all Beatles music, went to the club "Tao", and even sat a table over from Sarah Silverman one night at dinner. We did just a little gamble which means we didn't win much but we didn't lose much either! It was a real good time, and it's always nice to get away from the daily stress of "the wait".

Friday, August 17, 2007

Girls Gobal Education Fund

I have mentioned Girls Global Education Fund in passing before but have just now gotten involved, and I am so excited. The translator that came with JinMei (and again is coming with Xianbei) is named Matthew. Although he is helping with with A Heart for China, his job is working with GGEF. It is an organization that finds sponsors to send girls that live in rural China to school who otherwise would not get any formal education. It's is amazingly cheap for us to send a girl to school and yet education is priceless to a child's future. For an elementary aged girl it is $40 a year, a middle school girl is just $80 a year and a high school is only $240 a year - yes, for a whole school year! When I first signed up last month, I chose to sponsor an elementary aged girl. When Matthew emailed me about the girl I was to sponsor, he told me that she has two middle school sisters and a high school sister that he is also looking for sponsors. He asked me to pray that all these girls will be sponsored and be able to go to school. They are a family of 6 kids - the others, a brother going to school already and an older sister that hasn't gone to school for years. She stopped going to school so she could help support the family; both of their parents died a few years ago of illness. They are living with grandmom and uncle. When I got the email, I was so moved that I called my best friend to tell her the story. That evening Mike and I talked about it and decided to sponsor the two middle school girl and my mom would sponsor the elementary age girl, our original assignment. Before I went to bed, my best friend called me back and said she would sponsor the high school girl! Within a couple hours we had all four sponsored and I was emailing Matthew back. He was so excited to get our news that he said he was immediately making the three hour round trip (on his bike - he does not have a car) to go tell the family! How amazing to have these kids so excited to have the opportunity to go to school. What a difference it will make in their lives.

If you are so moved by the ease to make such a huge impact on a child for very little financial commitment, please visit Girls Global Education Fund to learn more. There are many more girls waiting to be sponsored. If you sponsor, mention me to be the coordinator - I've volunteered to organize correspondence for those signed up through me. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Xianbei is coming in October!

Last year some local volunteers joined together and started a group called A Heart for China with the goal to bring one girl named JinMei from China to Jacksonville for lifesaving heart surgery. A group called Patrons of the Heart provided all the healthcare including the surgery as long as we got her here and provided for her needs during her stay. She had successful surgery last January. (If you look back in my blog, you can see photos and my posts from that time.) We now have another girl scheduled to come in October named Xianbei (pictured here - on the right). Patrons of the Hearts once again will be providing her surgery and they (her mom and the same translator Matthew) will be staying at the Ronald McDonald House. We are currently raising funds for their travel and stay. Please visit A Heart for China for more information on how to help. We have a lot of work to do between now and October! Thank you!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Under 300!

Talk about seeking out milestones - we are finally under 300 days between the latest referral date, now November 21, 2005 and our LID of September 12, 2006. Technically 295 days. At a 7 day/month referral rate, we only have 42 more months. Just kidding; they will eventually speed up - right? Our other milestone is that it was one year ago that we were done paperchasing and sent our completed dossier to CCAI, our agency, for final review and translation. How things have changed in a year. A 14 wait a year ago has turned into 20 months and all signs are leaning to 2-3 year wait. But at least we are a year closer.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Silly Boy

I may not have kids but I do have a spoiled baby - our dog! I was just saying yesterday how you can't see dogs' personalities in pictures and then I took this one today that is as close as I can get. Here is Harman. Harman loves his toys. So much so that he often walks around with more than one in his mouth but today I witnessed as he wandered around the house collecting not one, not two, not three, but four toys to carry around. It was very tricky for him to pick up each one without dropping the others but he succeeded. What a silly boy!

After collecting them, he sat over them like a hunter with his prey, licking his lips!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm buying stuff like I have a baby on the way!

I have made a couple of fun purchases in the last few days - as if we were preparing for a baby. First, I bought a trio of baby carriers from a lady I met online. She used them with her two from China. One is a baby bjorn, one is a sling type carrier and the third, a seat to use on the plane. I will post pictures when I get them!

Next I bought a crib at a garage sale. Now this one freaked me out a little because that is for the nursery - the non-existing nursery. I purposely have not started the nursery because that would be too hard to look at with a probable two years to go. Clothes, toys, books are one thing, but a crib?! That's a bit more real. But it was too beautiful and too good of a deal to pass up. It is a beautiful cherry wood convertible crib but it will have to live in the garage for awhile.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

10 months (& considering an additional adoption)

This week we pasted our 10 month mark since our LID - and it's looking like it will be another 20-26 months wait. Unbelievable. I really never thought it would come to this but that's what all the signs are pointing to. Because of that, we are looking into another adoption while we wait. I am gathering a lot of information and making a lot of contacts. I'm not sure what path God will lead us but keep watching! Wouldn't it be fun to have a brother or sister waiting for Mia with us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cool photo

This is my favorite photo that I took while in the Keys. We were watching the sunset on the bay while a storm was brewing south over near the island. We watched this water funnel grow and if you look closely you can see the funnel all the way down to the water.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Vacation, the 4th of July and Referrals!

We had a great vacation at my favorite spot - the Florida Keys; specifically Key Colony off of Marathon. It was beautiful - not too hot, a few light showers, flat seas, good visibility (for snorkeling & scuba diving), the boys caught fish and loads of family fun. What else can you ask for?!

We had a great 4th of July on the boat under the fireworks. We had another family & some friends that went with us so we had a total of 14 people in two boats tied up eating BBQ, watching the sunset, listening to Jimmy Buffett, as we waited for some of the best fireworks I ever seen. What fun!

We didn't have any internet connection either so an entire week of no RQ (Rumor Queen-a website that watches "the wait") or my Yahoo groups, which was a good thing - a vacation from the wait! But I did see referrals have come out - a whopping 7 days taking referrals thru November 14, 2005. But it's about what I expected and it's bigger than the last 3 months, so not too much to complain about.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Neat email and Vacation bound!

I got such a great surprise the other day when I opened my email - it was a email from a boyfriend of mine in college! Someone I haven't had any contact with for 15 years - wow, I'm getting old! In a conversation with a family member of his, my name came up, so he Googled me and found this blog! Google is amazing! He sent me the sweetest email, about how he was moved by our journey and that his prayers are with us! When I started this blog it was mostly to keep family members and friends up to date with what was going on. Little did I know how many others I would meet, or be reunited with, through this little hobby of mine! Danny, it is so great to be in contact with you again!

Now Mike and I are off to vacation in the Keys for a week. A long awaited escape. We didn't go on vacation at all last year because we were saving our money and vacation time off of work for our China trip - this year - HA! I wish we were going to China but the Keys will do!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The last couple of weeks have been pretty tough - my office has experience two unexpected deaths of associates of our office in the span of 10 days. Both were unusual events; both made the local news. I find myself searching the internet, the newspaper, watching the news to learn about what happened. When did it happen? How did it happen? What were the circumstances that lead to both of their deaths? Both men in their early 40's. One, a bizarre car accident - sitting still at a stop sign and another driver, stone sober, took his eyes off the road for a second, ran off the road and t-boned our friend, killing him instantly. The other, an unbelievable shooting incident. I scan the newspaper for answers, as the stories literally went from headline news to the back page of the metro section in a day and I realized my questions were not going to be answered. I knew now when, pretty much how, but the answer I don't have, and won't find on First Coast News or in the Times Union is WHY. Why did both these men die in such freak incidents so suddenly. I'm not usually a why person. I believe God has a plan and things happen for a reason but sometimes you can't help but to ask, "why?" Larry & Tim, you will be missed.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Too cute to pass up!

My mom went to a garage sale yesterday and just couldn't leave this there! For a total of $3, Mia has her first bike!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

God Said NO!

This poem was on my ladybug yahoo group board (the BEST group around) and I thought it went along very nicely with my post from June 8th. Enjoy.

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One step forward - two steps back = 9 Months!

We are at the 9 month mark since our LID. 9 months - the same time as a pregnancy. Just thought I'd point that out. There is a song by the Beatles called "Revolution 9" on The White Album - their drug days for sure. 9 is considered lucky in China, unlucky in Japan. Our solar system has 9 planets. Oh, yeah, I think they kicked Pluto out, so that makes 8 - never mind. Kasey Kahne drives the #9 car in NASCAR. And I love Nine West shoes!

Are we half way done - doubtful. A third done - possible. Only time will tell. With each month down, it seems the wait is another 1/2 month or longer than the month before, thus the one step forward, two steps back. Anyway, another month down!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I sure wanted a kid this weekend!

This was such a beautiful weekend here in Florida. As Sunday is coming to an end all I can think is how much fun a kid would have been this weekend. I didn't do anything fun the past two days. A few things around the house, grocery shopping, a trip to Home Depot, but nothing really fun. I want a kid to play with! One of the things I really look forward to is waking up on a Saturday and going out to have fun with my kid!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

Infertility is a difficult road. Not the toughest of roads for sure but a rocky one none the less. I don't know how many times I begged, prayed, asked why, but I don't anymore. Now I can see the amazing road infertilty has taken us on. Most obvious, we wouldn't be adopting from China and, even with the wait, I am loving the journey. I have learned so much, met amazing people and done some very cool stuff. I am getting more and more involved with Grace & Hope, which is the foster care program that I've spoken of before. We have sponsored a girl for a year, watched her grow in a loving home and I have encouraged at least 4 others to do the same. I love the work we are doing for A Heart for China, the group that brought JinMei to Jacksonville for heart surgery and planning to bring XianBi in November. I've had a blast collecting for Mia's 100 good wish quilt, attending my first Chinese New Year celebration, have made some of the best friends I've ever had and are meeting more all the time. How would I have known that I would be thankful for our infertility. Don't get me wrong, I have bad days and I won't be a 100% good until we have our child but this path is pretty cool. I know I have talked about some of this before but sometimes something happens that makes you reflect and you thank God for unanswered prayers. He IS listening, just sometimes He says "no, I got something else in store for you"!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day and I am so very thankful for the country that I was born and live in. We are so lucky for the freedoms that we have and so many good men and women protect and have lost their lives for our freedoms. As Mia gets older I plan to expose her to her Chinese heritage but I also will teach her the value of being American. She will be American and she will have freedoms that she will not have had in China. I love this country - thank you to all who have, do and will serve America.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

I look forward to being a mom on Mother's Day but until then I celebrate the wonderful woman that I have as a my mom, my role model and my best friend. I pray that I will be half the mom that she is and has been to me. I also am fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law (here with our nephew) that I want to celebrate. Mia is going to be a lucky girl to have two wonderful women for her grandmoms! Until then, I celebrate being the lucky one to have them as my mom and mom-in-law and the fact that I'm one more Mother's Day closer to being a mom! And to all you moms and waiting moms out there, I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I feel healed... mostly

Yesterday I went to my best friend from college's baby shower. She lives in NC and came down to have her shower where her parents live in Florida. It was so good to see her and to see her pregnant, that it brought tears to my eyes! There was not even a tinge of jealousy or depression. Sadly I'm guilty of those feelings over the past few years at other baby showers. (It is expecially difficult when you are going to a second (or third) shower for the same person during the same period of just trying to become a parent once) and it's still hard with the long wait but I am so happy and satisfied with our path - even though long. I feel healthier than I have been over the past - I feel healed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

7 months - so excited I could burst - not!

I know we should be excited that 7 months since our LID is behind us but I'm just not getting the giddy feeling. Gee, could it be because the last batch was all of 2 days? I don't have many down days but when word got out that the most recent batch only covered 2 days, I burst into tears. It felt like a stab in the heart. I don't doubt our path but come on, 2 days? When we started the wait was 7-8 months meaning I thought we'd be looking at a photo of our daughter about now. And now I'm not sure we'll get a referral before Christmas 2008. How can this be? I guess the good news is that we have passed 7 months and some are just logging in, so we're ahead of someone. I feel like I'm in line at Disney and the sign says "1 1/2 years from this point" and yet people are still getting in line behind me - this must be a good ride!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

It's a chilly, cloudy day here in Florida but the SON has risen anyway! We sure wish Mia was here with us but it didn't stop my mom from bringing a beautiful Easter basket with a ton of stuff for her. She will know she was loved long before she joined us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Heart for China

Great news! Two days after JinMei went home, Matthew (the translator) was contacted about another little girl named Xianbei ("Che-in-bay" - on the right) who also needs heart surgery. Well we received word yesterday that the medical group that did JinMei's surgery, Patrons of the Hearts, has agreed to take on Xianbei's surgery! We have A LOT of work to do because they have her slated for a September surgery. We are also working on turning our group "A Heart for China" into a real incorporated 501(c)(3) charity! How amazing! So keep our charity (and Xianbei of course) in your prayers that we will continue to grow and find ways to do this kind of work! Who knew God had this work lined up for me - He is awesome!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

10 YEARS!!

Today is Mike and my 10 year wedding anniversary! I can't believe we've been married for 10 years! I'm actually very proud of ourselves! It has not always been easy and the difficulty of infertility certainly did not help but in a way I almost think it has made us stronger. It really put us on the same page of wanting a child so badly to jump through all the hoops to adopt. Six years ago when we first started to try to get pregnant, it was a conversation kind of like "are we ready to try?" "sure" and then off we went. But with adoption you really need to be together and then show your social worker you are united on the issue and then she has to writes to China and tell them how you are on the same page! Talk about unity! Anyway, the first 10 years have been about ourselves and we look forward to the next 10 years being about parents!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cyber Shower Gifts!

In the past few days I have gotten 2 cyber shower gifts - one from my Ladybugs & Red Thread Believers group, from Karmen and the other from my August 2006 DTC group, Kelly. They are both so cute - I have finally posted a photo! Thank you so much to both of you guys! I had skipped the last cyber showers because they were right after Chistmas but I forgot how much fun it was to get a surprise in the mail! Thanks again guys!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Horizons

I have been so bad about blogging! Things have been crazy since the "China Crew", JinMei, her mom and Matthew the translator, went back home to China on Feb 28th. Within 4 days of them leaving we got an email that a 17 year old girl went to Matthew to tell him that her sister needs heart surgery and she had heard he had helped JinMei! We are now gaining medical records and working on bringing her here too! The group that did the surgery, Patrons of the Heart, said they would do one surgery a year for a child from China (they do about 4-5 free surgeries a year for kids from all over the world)! This is all very exciting! We are working on turning our group "A Heart for China" into a real charity! God works in amazing ways!

The other big "news" is that we passed our 6 month anniversary of being logged in yesterday. The day came and went with mixed feelings - happy that it's already been 6 months and it seemed pretty quick, sad that it could be another 18 months. Oh well, it is what it is! Mike and I did go out to dinner to "celebrate" the milestone. And we move on....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chinese New Year!

Last night was my local FCC group's Chinese New Year celebration with almost 500 people - 150 of them kids! It was so much fun! Some of the highlights included JinMei signing a song to the whole group, ribbon dancers, fan dancers and the lion dance to finish the night. We had a silent auction, raffle prizes, kids crafts (which I was in charge of!), photographers and a sit down dinner.

I won a great raffle prize - the "waiting family" basket. It has a bunch of stuff for our travel to China including packing vacuum bags, diaper rash creme, bottle opener, a thermos, a flash light, a book light, a travel journal and it goes on and on.

I also got a beautiful gift from Matthew, the translator with JinMei. (The photo here is me, Matthew and JinMei). It's called a love ball and it's shown here. He says where he is from they do not do arranged marriages like most of China but allow the girl to choose a husband. At a certain festival at a certain time of the year everyone gets together and the girl throws the ball to the man she wants to marry. He can choose to catch it or not. It is so beautiful and a gift I will cherish forever!

I am so sad that JinMei, her mom and Matthew will be leaving on Tuesday but I know they are all ready to be home again. It has been an AMAZING experience. I am so blessed to have been a part of their trip here - I pray our paths will cross again! Have a good start! which is how Matthew says they say Happy New Year in China!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year and welcoming the Year of the Pig! If my calculations and expectations are right, Mia Jade should be born in the Year of the Pig and that's suppose to be very good luck! So here's to our pig baby! I hope this new year brings a turn around in referral times. I still think we will see an increase until they get through 2005 LID's which will probably be July but then I hope we will see a turn around at that point. I am very excited about our FCC group's celebration next Saturday where we have RSVP's for almost 500 people! I will be sure to post pictures of that! Until then, Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Mike and I both took the day off of work to spend Valentine's Day together. We went to the zoo and it was a beautiful day - sunny and in the 60's! A very nice way to spend the day with my husband. Hope everyone else had an equally nice day!

Isn't this a cool picture - this giraffe was right up at the observation deck!

Monday, February 12, 2007

5 months since LID - almost 1 year from start

Today marks 5 months from our LID - very exciting. If "the wait" can settle around 20 months, then we'd be 25% through. Pretty good. We are also approaching the 1 year mark from when we started this journey. We mailed our application on Feb. 20, 2006 and got our approval notice on Feb. 24th, 2006. What a year! I did think we would be much closer to our Mia Jade by now when we started but I have accepted reality and am okay with the longer wait. I think the main reason is because I still know we are on our path to our baby where as a year ago, before we agreed on the adoption, I was lost and sad. Everyday now I know Mia is in my heart and she grows everyday - she's just taking longer to cook than I originally planned! But I know she's coming! I love the journey we are on. The wonderful people I have met, the things I have learned and the culture I am experiencing. I love this journey.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

JinMei's doing great!

JinMei is continuing to rebound like only a kid can! I visited her yesterday and I think I impressed her by asking her in Chinese how she was doing. (That's one of about four phases I've learned so far in my attempt to learn some Chinese before our trip next year!) What she said in response I'm not sure but she smiled and nodded so I guess that's good! She then showed me a toy she was playing with that asks "show me a B" and then you push the "B" and it goes on to other letters. She was doing it! This is a kid that did not know a word of English two weeks ago! She is so smart. I was amazed! We also had a tricycle race - she beat me. The translator said there was not way she could have done that kind of activity level before her surgery. Now she looks like a regular kid just one week after open heart surgery! This has been such a cool thing to be a part of!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

JinMei's surgery

JinMei had her surgery yesterday and everything went as planned. She is a brave, tough little girl, as well as her mom. It is so wonderful that Patrons of the Hearts did this surgery for free. Thank you for all the prayers - keep them coming during her recovery!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Worth the Wait!

What a Gotcha Day photo!! This is my friend Laureen who just got her baby Isabel a few hours ago. I've never seen a happier pair! Laureen has already posted on her blog that every painful moment of the wait was worth it and has been washed away! I am so happy for her and Isabel!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

JinMei is Here!

She arrived Thursday morning (1-18-07) and she is even more beautiful in real life. (If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I spoke of her in a previous post on 12-8-06). She is so tiny - she looks like she's 6 or 7 instead of 9! They went to work right away - she had a 3 hour doctor appointment on Thursday (after a flight from China!) where they determined her heart condition was not as bad as they feared, which is very good news, but it is a condition that still does need surgery. Yesterday she had a cardiac cath so they could gather more information on her condition and her surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday (1-23-07). It's an amazing thing to bring a little girl half way around the world for a life saving surgery! The group doing the surgery called Patrons of the Heart said something about doing a child a year from China! Wouldn't that be incredible! Back to JinMei, there is a website and blog created that has more photos of her, updates on her progress and ways you can help; please visit A Heart for China. Please keep her in your prayers!

Friday, January 12, 2007

4 Months down - now we're talkin!

So, today is 4 months since our LID and it's really gone by pretty quickly. The current wait is at 16 months. If it could stay there (or even go up and come back down to 16 months), then we are 25% through our wait. That sounds pretty good. Unfortunately the wait has been continuing to grow. I think (hope) the worst case scenario would be 20 months, which would put us at May 2008 and that would mean we are 20% through - I can handle that! So we will continue to wait and watch the wait and count the months. 4 down, ? to go! Congrats to my fellow 9/06'ers for 4 successful waiting months!

P.S. We got our 25th square & wish for our "100 good wish quilt" today which means we have 25% of our squares - could it be a good luck sign that we are 25 % through our wait - that would be nice!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I have a HAPPY husband!

As you may know, we are big football fans - Mike a huge Florida Gator fan (and me a Florida State Nole). Well, last night the Florida Gators won the National Championship! I did NOT enjoy the last time, 1996, the Gators won the National Championship because they beat the Noles to do it. But last night I actually enjoyed watching the Gators prove the nation wrong, that they DID deserve to play in the championship game and they destroyed the Buckeyes! Mike is SO excited. Congrats to all you in the Gator Nation!