Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Out of the approximately 7000 pieces of paper we've had to fill out so far with this adoption, this was easily my favorite so far:

Officially, it's called a Letter Of Seeking Confirmation From Adopter. It our confirmation to the CCAA that we wish to accept our referral. Unofficially, I think we'll call it the "Abso-freakin'-lutely Letter."

Many thanks to my dearest hubby Greg for happily volunteering to be the one to head out into the continued sleet and snow today to deliver our acceptance documents to our agency. Already he's risking life and limb for his little girl. Awww...

Xin Nian Kwai Le

Happy New Year of the Ox, everybody.

In spite of dropping temps, freezing rain, sleet and snow we happily marched ourselves out to dinner at a wonderful Chinese restaurant tonight with agency staff and friends. I'd show you pictures from the event, but someone (I'm not naming names) forgot to bring the camera and the restaurant's website won't let me steal their pictures. We both tried some new dishes and I gotta give a big thumbs up to the Walnut Shrimp. It totally rocked. And it was pretty. If only we'd had a camera...

It was great to see some of the friends we've met over the years of waiting. I know they are hurting right now, and I continue to hope that the coming months will see them united with their children in China. Some new friends, still in that so close but yet so far stage (an April 06 LID), were even kind enough to bring Annabelle a few gifts, including an awesome bib that says "My daddy is a HOTTIE!" Mommy thinks so too. Daddy continues to insist that Mommy is insane.

After dinner, we skedaddled (isn't that a great word? I just love it!) on home and tried (successfully) not to crash into anything on the increasingly slippery streets.

On that note, I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. May this year bring your families closer in every way.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

At last!

Sorry for the all day wait folks, but Greg and I are thrilled and tickled to get to announce the addition of Annabelle Grace to our family at long last.

Her name is Ling Cha Tao (we have no idea what that means) and she was born February 14, 2008 in the Jiangxi Province. She's currently living at the Shangrao SWI in the city of Shangrao. All of medical info checks and well and she looks like a firecracker!

Did I mention she is possibly the cutest baby on the planet with the most munchable toes I've ever seen? See for yourself!

According to the referral packet we received she laughs a lot, is very active, and is sometimes obstinate. She sounds just like her dad.

We couldn't be happier!

Jumping Out of My Skin!

The calls are starting to trickle in for this batch of referrals, but we've heard nothing from our agency yet. I'm going out of my mind and I'm not getting a damn thing done here at work today. I have so much excess energy and nowhere to go with all. I feel like jumping rope, or doing laps around my office building (which, if you've ever seen me run...just no.) Since our agency is right here in town, Greg and I have agreed to not find out anything over the phone and go into their office so that we can receive our referral, and see our daughter for the first time, together. I had the presence of mind to bring the camera to work with me today, just in case. And I have my list of questions to ask all printed out and ready to go, too.


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Are your eardrums bleeding from that. Yeah. Sorry. Couldn't help it. It's just that one of my favorite people in the whole world (I'd link, but she's pw protected) sent me a head's up about this! I actually shrieked a bit when I saw it and woke Greg up. It shouldn't be long now!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nothing New to Post HERE, but...

Head on over to Stephe's place and ogle the cuteness that is Giorgia. They just met a couple of days ago and seem to be getting along swimmingly. Actually, I can't imagine anyone NOT getting along with Stephe. She's been a huge cheerleader for our DTC (dossier to China) group and I'm so glad it's finally her and Gigi's turn to come together.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Packing it in

No, you're not getting rid of me that easily.

A certain upcoming trip and all the quirks of international travel have been a bit on my mind of late (oh, say, for the last 1,084 days since DTC). I've looked at baggage weight limits for both domestic travel, international travel, and in-China travel (all different), linear size baggage limits for way too many different airlines, and various packing lists which vary from BRING EVERYTHING! to Pfft! Why Would You Need More Than a Carry-on, You Silly Girl? from those who've gone before. When I try to smoosh all of that together in my brain, I end of with a lot less hair than I used to have.

What it boils down to is this: we get one 44lb bag each and an 11lb carry-on each to pack for two adults and one baby of unknown size for two weeks in up to three cities with possibly wildly different climates in a foreign country whose language we don't speak (oh, and brain bleed from that run on sentence). Obviously, it's been done before and so is do-able. But not by me. And not with the current luggage that we own. What's a girl to do?


I found a great deal on Christmas day at http://www.ebags.com/ and took full advantage and scored the following, which arrived this week:

We got two 30" drop bottom rolling duffel bags and two 19" rolling backpacks. For the price I paid, I don't expect them to be the highest quality luggage in all the land, but if they'll get us to China and back, I'll be tickled all the same.

Now, internets, share your best packing tips. Just 'cause I have the luggage doesn't mean I know how to use it. Must haves? Neato tricks? Don't bothers? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Ladies Who Lunch

So, how was your weekend?

I was lucky enough to get a visit with an old friend, Amy, and her adorable Martina, on Saturday. She was in town visiting family and we arranged a lunch get together. My mom even came along after her chiropractor's visit and was, of course, charmed by them both. Martina was a little shy at first (she was tired and missing her daddy, but quickly warmed up and was soon a typical giggly, smiling and thoroughly enchanting four year old. See for yourself:

How Amy and I reconnected is a funny story. We knew each other in high school, had many of the same classes, and were friendly. We didn't hang out together outside of school much, though. We graduated and went merrily on our separate ways. Then, about 3 1/2 years ago, as Greg and I were just starting to pursue this adoption, I joined an yahoo chat group, the infamous APC (Adoptive Parents - China), where on any given day you'll be lucky if a bar fight doesn't break out over the color of the sky. There are over 19,000 members to the group world wide, so some of that is to be expected. If you can weed through it all, there really can be some good info there, especially from the "been there, done that" parents. Anyhow, I had been reading the posts from this group for a few months, but I hadn't yet posted anything. When I finally did, it was to take exception to a really cruelly worded statement from another long time member of the group. I sat back and waited for the hate mail to come rolling in.

Imagine my surprise when the very first reply I received was from Amy. She figured there couldn't be that many people in my town with my name (for those that don't know me personally, it's unusual). She and her husband now live in another state, and were preparing to leave for China to go get Martina. We've been chatting through e-mail and visiting when we can ever since. They were even kind enough to invite us for dinner one night when we were in their area. Amy is quite the cook, and I've been enamoured of Martina since she bravely climbed right up into my lap that night. Amy and her family are currently waiting for the referral of their second child from China, so if you go visit her blog send them good wishes and tell them to come back and visit soon.

Seeing Amy and Martina on Saturday also gave me an excuse to take a few pictures and play with my new obsession, digital scrap booking. I've been downloading tons of free kits from the Internets lately and I really wanted to put a few of them to use. How did I do?

scrap booking credits: QP from the Shabby Mommy collection by Shabby Princess Designs of www.shabbyprincess.com, frames from the A Little Bird Told Me collection by Shannon M. Glick-Howington at www.angelwingsnthings.blogspot.com, butterfly and green flower from the Petit Bonheur collection by Claire7799 at http://claire7799.canalblog.com, orange flower from the Hearts & Flowers collection by Vicki at http://vicki20.blogspot.com and buttons from the Swanky collection by Michelle at www.shelbellescraps.blogspot.com. Whew!

Friday, January 2, 2009


It's a good day for beginnings.

This is the first writing I've done in a very long while. After so many months of having nothing new to say, or at least thinking I had nothing new to say, it feels good to share again. It feels good to want to share again.

It's the first day of the first month of a brand new year. Everything is possible all over again. Especially hope. As we endured this unforeseeable wait, I almost forgot that hope was possible.

It's the first day of the month that will most likely bring us our daughter's face. That day will be the best first yet.