Friday, June 30, 2006

Sweet Surprise

Last night I was not feeling 100% and someone special decided to stop by and say hello. When I opened the door his arms were full of flowers and a big ol' jumbo size bag of chocolate kisses!

Ummmm, hello! A man at my door with flowers AND chocolate! I'd say he's a keeper.

I told him so too...while shoving kisses in my mouth.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Process

Here ya go! This is my best attempt at explaining the China adoption process. I cannot believe the amount of paper work involved...let’s just say I will be planning a serious celebration the moment my paperwork has been sent to China.

It currently takes about 15 months, start to finish, for the adoption process. The major milestones are:

1. Paperwork

I will provide documentation for every aspect of my life:

  • financial statements
  • employment verification letter
  • birth certificates
  • paperwork from the INS
  • physical exam results
  • recommendation from a social worker (home study)
  • reference letters
  • statement of heterosexuality
  • photographs
  • fingerprints
  • FBI background checks
  • letter from local police department

Every document will need to be notarized, then certified by the state, and finally authenticated by the Chinese Consulate. Now I understand why it’s called the “paperchase”!

2. Assemble the Dossier

All the above documents will be checked over, reviewed, and finally translated into Chinese.

3. Send the Dossier to China

Once my dossier is complete it will be sent to the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs in China. From what I understand it takes approximately 4-5 months to assemble the dossier. Once the dossier is officially received by the Chinese government I will be given a log-in-date (LID).

4. Parenting Education

My agency requires that all adoptive parents must complete 10 hours of parent training. In addition, I have been and will be reading anything I can get my hands on that has to do with parenting, single parenting, parenting toddlers, adoption, attachment, and China adoption.

5. Referral

Approximately 12 months after the dossier arrives in China, my dossier will be reviewed by the Chinese government. The government adoption officials will then match my file with that of an orphaned girl needing a home. They will send a picture and medical analysis on the baby to my agency who will then forward the information on to me. Oh happy day! I can hardly wait as this is the day I will become a MOM!

6. Go To China

Approximately 7 weeks after my referral I will travel to China to adopt my baby girl. Most often, parents receive their children within 2-3 days after arriving in China. This is called "Gotcha" day in the adoption world and is celebrated by many families just like birthdays. I will spend approximately 14 days in China, filling out official forms, getting my daughter’s traveling papers in order, and then finally…bring her home. She will become a U.S. citizen as soon as her little feet touch the ground.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Beautiful nails...

Congratulations to my sister Lexi who successfully passed her nail tech certification tests! Way to go! I am so proud of you!

I need a manicure...hint hint!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Summer Fun

Timber and her "cousin" Waylen had a grand ol' time playing in the lake Saturday.

Hurry Mom! Throw the frisbee!

Swim swim swim swim!

I got it! Outta my way Waylen!

More more more!!

3 hours later they were finally tired...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why Adoption? Why China?

As I begin this journey, many people have asked me "Why do you want to adopt?" "Don't you want to have a baby of your own?" My first response is never spoken out loud, but always the first thing that enters my mind and goes something like this..."My own? You moron, what are adopted kids if they are not your own?" Now, I know they only mean having a biological child, but really! More on this topic later...

Let me tell you why I want to adopt...

First and foremost, I know I want to be a mother. It is something that I have always dreamed of and waited for. I can't imagine living my life and not being a mother. I love kids and always have. I am comfortable with kids and kids are comfortable with me. Growing up I took care of children, whether it be my siblings, working at a well known Lutheran summer camp, a homeless/transitional housing daycare, VBS, babysitting, summer nanny jobs, you name it. I enjoy spending time with my friends children and my nephew, I guess I'm just a kid person.

I am ready to be a Mom.

I am also 30 something and have never been married, not that I don't want to, but Mr. right has not made his presence known...not yet anyway. I do hope to get married someday, but as my business law professor once said "HOPE is not a strategy". So, my strategy was this. If I wasn't married by the time I was 35, I would start seriously considering other alternatives to having a baby. Great strategy, but funny how life takes a turn when you least expect it.

The idea of adoption first came about while watching an episode of the Oprah show in November of 2004. The topic of her show that particular day was China adoption. I remember thinking, hmmmm, this might be an option for me someday (I was 30). Fast forward to September 2005, a friend from church, Sandy, asks my Mom to write her a letter of reference for her adoption. I remember my Mom telling me this. The idea of adoption became very tangible for me at that point. Sandy was single, she was 30 something, hadn't found the "right" guy to marry, was ready to have a baby and sick of waiting to find the "one"...hmmm, sounds familier right? This got my wheels turning, if Sandy could do this as a single women living in Cd'A, then I could too. So, I spent the next few months following the end of her adoption journey and began researching international adoption.

Another question I am asked is "Why China?"

After much research, China became my country of choice for many reasons.

First, children from China are often abandoned after birth due to their sex. China has a long established one-child per family policy and culturally, boys are preferred because they will stay and take care of the family. Girls will get married and leave. It is such a complex subject; I cannot even begin to explain and it's really hard to try and simplify it in one sentence. However, if the idea of abandoning a child because she is a GIRL doesn't tug at the ol' heart strings, I don't know what will.

Second, birthmothers are hoping that they are able to keep their child and will take good care of themselves while pregnant; this means that babies from China are generally healthier. Also, because the children are abandoned and parental rights terminated, birthmother tracing is difficult. When I first began researching international vs. domestic adoption I had a great fear of the birthmother changing her mind and not going through with the adoption. I'm not sure that I would be able to handle this type of a situation. It would be too devastating on my part.

Third, consistency in the process and cost of adoption; China has a well known established international adoption process. I will know costs in advance, what to expect, what needs to be done, what will happen next, etc.Another reason is travel. Traveling to adopt from China is a one time trip. Many other countries require an adoptive parent to travel more than one time, something that I am not sure that I would be able to do (work) as well as the additional expenses involved. I do hope to travel to China more than once, but I would prefer to share the journey with my daughter, introducing her to her birth country and its culture.

Another reason I am choosing China is because of the country and my personal connections to it. I feel that as an adoptive parent of a baby from another culture it is my duty to teach her as much and to the best of my ability about her birth country and her cultural roots. My Mom has visited China and I have a step-cousin who currently lives in China who works as a doctor. I have friends who are Chinese and I am now getting to know other families who have adopted children from China as well. These connections are additional resources for me that I would not have access to if I chose to adopt from another country.

Lastly, and the most important reason is...

Someone asked me the other day, "If you were to get married and become pregnant, would you still adopt?" I sure would! PLUS, if I have a future husband he better be on board with adopting or he won't be my husband. Period. End of story. There is NO way I am not going to adopt a child.

Adoption has entered my heart and it's not leaving.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Oh my, while surfing the internet last night I discovered Pottery Barn Kids. I've never had a reason to go there, but have been thinking about nursery color schemes lately. Here are a few of my top choices...check em' out. Soooo CUTE!





THEN I had an idea. Maybe I should check out Ebay and sure enough, 3 out of the 4 are up for auction on, all brand spankin' new! The bumber pad, quilt AND crib sheet starting bids are around $50.00. Wow! Thanks for giving me the Ebay fever Dustin. Now, if I could just decide which one....

The sun'll come out..

I returned home from Boston Monday afternoon and found a beautiful flower bouquet on my doorstep AND a birthday present from my friend Stacey. Thank you! The trip home was fairly uneventful except for the 1+ hour delay out of Minneapolis...grrr.

Let me back up to the grand finale of my Boston birthday weekend. Annie on Broadway was FANTASTIC. I loved loved loved Annie when I was a kid (still do). I loved the movie, I had the piano book, the tape, and remember acting out all of the scenes with my stuffed animals. I know the words to all of the songs. We had such a good time, the sets were amazing and the cast was fabulous. It was my inaugural "real theater" experience and I can't think of a better show to attend. I can't thank Dustin and Ryan enough for making my birthday weekend special and spoiling me rotten!

The Opera House

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Food and Toes

The Affleck's were spotted here on Mother's Day

Brunchin' on my birthday

Pretty toes!

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and Dads to be out there (Zach)!

My day started off with a happy birthday text message from someone special back home, thank you. I puttered out of the guest room to make a cup of coffee and was greeted by Dustin and then Ryan singing rousing renditions of Happy Birthday, complete with dance moves to boot. I opened the most wonderful present, a beautiful sparkly necklace once featured as one of Oprah's favorite things. Thanks guys! You are the best! I LOVE IT! We lazed around and then headed to Cambridge for brunch at Henrietta's Table. It was so good and we all ate too much food, but isn't that what you are supposed to do? Plus it's my birthday, so I can do whatever the hell I want. After, we picked up Dustin's friend April and headed to the House of Nails for manicures and times all around. Tonight we are heading to the opera house to see Annie, I can't wait. I wonder if the cast will get mad at us for singing along to EVERY single song. We've been practicing all weekend. What a wonderful finale to my b-day weekend.

My birthday present from the guys..WOW!

30 something, not so bad after all...

Dustin and Ryan

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Saturday, June 17, 2006


Saturday we headed to Chinatown on a mission to find Asian baby dolls, no luck. After, we lunched at Blu and then headed to see the WORST movie all three of us had ever been to, Prairie Home Companion. I'm serious, the best part of the movie was the box of milk duds I ate and the new Fandango commercial. After the movie we hit a few more shops and then headed home. Dustin whipped up a fab steak dinner and we settled down to watch Matt Lauer's dateline interview with Britney.

Chinatown, oh how I wish we were REALLY in China...

Chicken feet anyone?

Or how about some crap, otherwise known as carp. Click on picture to see what I mean.

Lunching at the Ritz-Carlton's Blu

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Bean Town

I arrived safely in Boston and will be spending the weekend with Dustin and Ryan celebrating my 32 birthday.

Friday Ryan had to work, so Dustin and I were on our own. After a quick trip to Dunkin' Donuts we headed out Wrentham Premium Outlets for some power shopping. Stores we visited and left some hard earned Idaho $ were; Eddie Bauer, Converse, Le Cruset, Gap, William Sonoma, Fossil, and J Crew. Check out the little chucks I bought for the munchkin below.

After, we headed back to East Boston and made Thai for dinner...yum! Dinner was followed by a leisurely walk down to Constitution beach with the thought that we would burn off some of the calories consumed earlier...right...had to stop at Baskin Robin's for a scoop o' ice cream while walking home.

Dustin cooking up a storm

The cookbook...

Voila'! Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goon!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane....

I'm off to Boston for the weekend!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm cool...

Aunt Lexi and my cuuuute nephew Jackson stopped by to do some business (purchase plane tickets).

Happy early Birthday to me!

Look what came in the mail yesterday! My new fancy schmancy Boos Block cutting board. Made of maple and 1 1/2 inches thick, this sucker will last forever.

I was so excited to use it, I made a low-fat shrimp and linguine for dinner last night. I love that you can chop ALL ingredients and just shove them aside, eliminating the need for transferring to several small bowls.

Now, if I could just get the nasty shrimp smell outta my kitchen....gross.


I'm a little hyper, but my Mom sure loves me!

Blog world...

Welcome to my blog! Follow along as I embark on a journey of a lifetime…adopting my daughter who waits in China.

Here are my rambling thoughts on adopting as a single gal, schlepping through grad school, my chocolate lab (Timber), home improvement, Dutch oven cooking, the great outdoors…and whatever else comes my way in this little thing called life.