Monday, July 31, 2006

Nothing new...

I'm a boring blogger today. I have absolutely nothing new to report. Why? I spent my entire weekend cleaning the house in preparation for my home study visit and the various family who will be visiting and staying with me the month of August. I have to say...I'm ready.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My mom wrote me...

the most wonderful reference letter for my adoption. It brought me to tears...

Thank you mom. I love you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rockin' and Rollin'

Adoption update:
  • My home study social worker is picking up my paperwork this morning at 9:00a.m.
  • My first home visit is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1st after work! gulp
  • My contract, agency fee, and copies of misc. documents that are needed are in route to my adoption agency via Fed-Ex.
  • Medical exam appontment is set for August 28..kind of a bummer that I couldn't get in earlier. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someone will cancel and I can slide in to see the Dr. earlier.
  • Reference requests have been mailed.
  • Replacement social security card has been ordered (yeah, I lost it years ago...)
  • Researching life insurance policies, which I've decided is a pain in the ass.
  • Purchased 3 sets of passport photos.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Last weekend = camping up the river

I've been meaning to post a bit about my camping trip last weekend. A major event happened in that I caught my FIRST (after two summers of trying) fish fly-fishing. Wait, count that 4..yeah, I said it. 4 TOTAL PEOPLE! Oh man, I was so darn excited. Nevermind that they were just little guys, I still caught them! I also discovered that my felt bottom boots, made specifically for wading around in the river and keep you from slipping, don't work so well in the mud. I took a big digger and was soaked.

My girl, playing in the river...

My first fish, a little bitty trout...

Peach cake, made in the Dutch oven. It would have been better, but I forgot the veggie oil...grrrr

Want to see happy campers? Make enchilada casserole in the Dutch oven. It was SOOO good!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The little guy

My nephew Jackson stopped by on cute!

Timber do ya wanna play ball?

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Operation Deep Clean

Yeah, so I received my home study information in the mail today just in time for me to work on my bio information over the weekend. This leads me to believe that I will be having my first social worker visit in the next couple of weeks.

Enter first 'OH SHIT' moment.

As I stood in my living room last night, spinning in circles, wondering where on earth I should start, I found myself panicky, like really really panicky. I had new carpet installed in the bedrooms two weeks ago and still haven'’t managed to get the house back in order yet, let alone deep cleaned. My garage, dining room, living room, and office are filled with stuff for storage, stuff for the dump, and stuff for Goodwill.

Then, I decide I absolutely MUST have a sprinkler system installed (last week). The landscaper told me that I would never be able to tell that they had been there and it would only take 3 days to install. Well, here we are 10 days later and it still isn't finished. Not only that, but my yard looks like it has brown dirt track veins running through it. Neato guys! Thanks a bunch! Long story short, they will be hydro-seeding to fix the dirt track lines. Did I mention that my dog, Timber, has been re-located to the back yard because I don't want to keep worrying about a bunch of dog hair sneaking into the cracks of the house while waiting for social worker to visit? Oh, but how is grass supposed to grow when my dog is tramping through it all day long. Sigh.

So, what did I do, I gave up and decided to read through my agency contract one last time before signing, copying, and sending to SWA along with a rather large agency fee. Bad idea.

Enter second 'OH SHIT' moment.

In short, the contract is scary, really scary and can be summed up in a few short words.
No refunds, no guarantees.

Then, I had a dream. Did you see Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon? Remember all the fancy spinning ninja moves? Well, in my dream I was inside a video game and the only way to get my baby was to complete several levels of fighting ninja. I didn't get past the second level before I woke up in a panic.

I need a plan. I need an 'Operation Deep Clean' plan. I need a list.
Thankfully, I am the daughter of THE most organized, list making man out there and I inherited some of his organization skills. Now, 'the plan' is a neatly organized list in excel and separated by what needs to be in each room. The plan is to tackle one room at a time. Besides, will the social worker really care that there is dirt in my back yard, maybe a little dog hair here and there? I don't think so.

First 'OH SHIT' moment solved.

As for the contract, I have decided to not worry about it, sign the darn thing, and remember the big picture.

The blessing I will receive at the end of this long journey.

I am dealing with a very reputable agency and am feeling very fortunate that they have accepted me as a single client (and I was able to start the paperchase after only waiting 3 months!). Yeah, there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of things can happen, but I trust that everything will work out and at some point I'll head to China and bring my baby home.

Second, 'OH SHIT' moment solved.
Now, I best get off this computer and get to workin' on my list.

p.s. Thank you for the nice comment about SWA holly, perfect timing.

My bro

Meet my brother Dustin..

He sent me these flowers the day I received the phone call from my agency giving me the go to start my paperchase..

Thank you Dustin, I love you!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Anyone notice my new blog features? A BIG THANK YOU to my wonderful brother Dustin who, after getting 5-6 whiney emails from his big sis, decided to log in and fixer up for me! How cool.

You will notice my new ticker, complete with a lovely blue background (created from scratch in code I might add, because the ticker text was black and we couldn’t see it on my black blog background). Now, let your eyes wander down to the lower right side bar area. Do you see the new counter which tells me how many people are viewing my blog at any given time. Nifty!

I wonder what else can I try, fail miserably, and then task Dustin to fix for me…

Ooo ooo, guess what else? Someone other than my friends and family has commented on my blog! Thanks for welcoming me neatokimmo! Who else is out there reading this blog? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Monday, July 17, 2006


First, THANK YOU for all of your support, encouragement, and excitement these past few days since I started the paperchase! It means so much to have the support of my friends, family, and coworkers. Thank you.

I spent Sunday afternoon re-reading the first 5 chapters of my China notebook which spells out everything I need to do for the paperchase. Is it overwhelming? Heck ya! Does it seem like it’s going to take forever just to get through this first phase? Heck ya! But, I’m just going to plug away one step at a time and before I know it, I will be DTC (Dossier to China) and then LID (log in date). For those of you who need a quick review of the process click here.

I’ve also selected a home study agency and am waiting for my instruction packet to arrive in the mail. Maybe today?? Hopefully, as I’d like to get started on the bio questions and get this thing rolling!

In other news…camping was great fun this past weekend and the sprinkler system seems to be almost finished. I’ll post pics later.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

~~Quote of the Day~~


If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
--- Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev


It's real, it's really really real! I just received a call from my adoption agency and am OFF of the waiting list. IT IS MY TURN TO START! I have been given the go to start my home study/paperwork and have now entered what is known as the "paper chase" in the international adoption community.

This is crazy...I'm going to be a mother in oh let's see....12-15 months (give or take a couple)!!
I know I know..the rumors of the increasing wait are probably true, but I refuse to believe it at this point!

I'm officially paper pregnant! :-)


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Band of Brothers (and sisters)...

Look what I found last night while surfing zee internet...a Yahoo group specifically for singles adopting from China. Whoopee!

All the single China adoptive parents in the nation UNITE!

Welcome to Single-Adopt-China!

Please send a brief introduction to our list members. We are looking forward to getting to know you. We are a diverse group of individuals who have decided to adopt from China as single parents. Some of us are currently "just thinking about it." Some of us are in the process of beginning this exciting adventure,some of us are enjoying the joys and challenges of single parenthood, and some of us are doing it again (and again...). Where ever you find yourself on this continuum, we welcome you to listen, to ask, and to share.

I wonder if I'll make any new friends? Bet I will...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dog and Munchkin = Work to Do

Check out this post from RQ's blog. Hope she doesn't mind that I linked it to my blog, I'm not sure about blog rules and please RQ, I hope this is ok!

Looks as if Timber and I have some work to do...

Monday, July 10, 2006

The low down...

Holy smokes, I’ve been a busy busy girl.

Let me back up to the 4th of July. Not too eventful, I worked the morning of as it’s my responsibility to coordinate the parade activities for NIC. It was scorching outside. Nuff’ said about that and I was glad when my duties were over. After, someone special and a few friends rounded up the doggies and headed up the river for an afternoon of swimming (dogs) and sunning (me). Great fun, except we forgot the OFF and came home with several horse fly and mosquito bite. Ouch! I skipped out on firework festivities and had only one small scare when my neighbors lit off what sounded like a bomb right outside my back door. I found out later that it was only a homemade sparkler bomb (insert sarcasm here)! Oh well, boys will be boys. As long as my house didn’t burn down I was A OK with whatever festivities were going on outside. I hit the hay in a very 30 something old lady type fashion at 10:00 p.m.

Then came home improvement projects phase 2. It went a little like this…

Wednesday p.m. - clear out all furniture from bedrooms, remove trim and closet doors for Thursday a.m. carpet installation. A big shout out of THANKS to my sister and her boyfriend for coming to my rescue when someone special had to cancel and rescue his sister who was dealing with her own 'moving furniture hell'.

Thursday - 8:00 a.m. carpet guys do not show up forcing me to miss a 1 ½ of work and enjoy the thought of tripping over all my s**t and sleeping on the floor in the living room one more night. Thanks guys.

Friday - I had the day off due to the fact that I worked on the 4th. My co-workers' 15 yr. old son met me at 7:30 a.m. and we worked and worked cleaning up and beautifying my yard. Carpet guys showed up on time and all went as planned. 7:30 p.m., I couldn't move anymore I was so tired working my tail off all day.

- I finished up the backyard weeding and mowing, headed out to my Mom’s house for a visit, and then hit the furniture stores in search of a new dresser/T.V. stand. Saturday evening festivities included watching Catwomen on HBO…gosh, I have such an exciting night life!

Sunday - finally a day of rest! After the unusually busy week, I needed it. Someone special stopped by in the a.m. and helped me move the new dresser into my bedroom. Then, we all (same friends from last weekend) headed back up the river for swimming (dogs), sunning (me), and a picnic lunch (yum). We forgot the OFF again, but had a grand old time anyway.

I was reminded several times yesterday why I love North Idaho…

Stay tuned for home improvement projects phase 3, the sprinkler system is scheduled to be installed today or tomorrow...


As noted in my previous post, last Wednesday I found myself ripping out trim in what will be the baby's room. As I worked my way around, my thoughts were of her...oh how I wish she knew that she had mommy who already loved her, was getting ready for her, and waiting patiently for her.

Don't worry munchkin! I'm on my way and your room is going to be SWEET!

Birthday wishes across the miles...

Happy Birthday to my friend Ana and my dear sweet Grandma Una Mae! Have a wonderful day ladies!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good news or bad news? Depends on your perspective..

I just received this response from my agency.

Hi Sara!
Things have slowed down a bit with summer and new applications. I left a message this last week for the person just ahead of you. I have not heard back from her. I called again today and asked that she contact me by Tuesday. If I do not hear from her, I’ll let you know. Otherwise….you’re next!

For His Children,

So, what to make of it? Well, I guess if single chic ahead of me doesn't respond by Tuesday I start. If not, then I'm still waiting for the agency to process 12 couples applications and then I go, who knows how long that will take (average is 7 per month, but clearly things have slowed down based on the above). So, maybe August will be my month. I am trying very hard to stay positive and am blinking back tears as I write this, but with the day I've had I really just want to slam my head on my desk and have myself a little ol' pity party. Not going to happen though...things will start moving forward eventually, I might be 100 years old, but it'll happen at some point.



I'm trying not to be bummed, but I sent my agency an email yesterday to follow-up and see what progress had been made processing families and to see if they were closer or better yet ready for me to start my home study. I haven't heard back from Kathy yet.

Not lookin' good, not lookin' good at all. :-(


Monday, July 03, 2006

Do ya wanna see some babies?

It's that time of the month! The Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs sends out referrals at the end of the month. One of my favorite adoption blogs, Salsa in China, has done a wonderful thing by compiling a list of 30 or so blog families who just received their referrals.

Click here to see some cutie pies!

All at once now, AWWWWWWWW!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hurry up and WAIT...

3 months ago I didn’t think I was going to be able to start the adoption process until Summer 2007. Why? Because I am single. If you are single, then you know about the struggle just getting the go ahead to start the adoption paperwork. I’m not sure if married couples really know how lucky they are being able to decide to adopt and calling ANY agency to start the process. Singles have to contact TONS of agencies asking if they have a single slot available. Why? The Chinese government places a restriction on the amount of singles allowed to adopt each year. I remember reading or hearing that only 12% of all China adoptions are granted to singles. Most agencies do not have immediate openings for singles and the wait can be up to a year, just to start the paperwork! I was considering it lucky that I could start as early as summer 2007, because I had found an agency out of Seattle willing to accept me as a client.

Then…my Mom stopped by my house one morning on her way to church. She dropped off a newspaper ad announcing a local China adoption seminar hosted by Small World Adoptions, Spokane, WA. She thought I might like to go….just for fun.

So, on April 17, 2006 I attended the adoption seminar (just for fun), listened to the presentation, and patiently waited for the Q&A. I then asked the question, “Does your agency accept applications from singles and if so do you have any open spots?” The agency rep (Kathy) responded with, YES and YES, “why don’t you visit with me after”.


Anyone who knows me knows what happened next…I started to cry and I didn’t stop crying until late that night. I met with Kathy briefly after the seminar and she indicated that there was a single gal, next in line for the next open singles spot at Small World Adoptions who had backed out THE DAY BEFORE the adoption seminar. Kathy hadn’t posted the open spot on the internet as she wanted to wait and see if there was a local family who would be willing to take it first. I was THE NEXT single person who happened to cross her path. Fate? Chance? Destiny? Luck? The good Lord watching over me? Whatever it was, my life changed at that very moment.

The emotions I experienced that night were crazy. I was happy, scared, excited, nervous, and overwhelmed with the idea that I could start this process waaaay earlier than summer 2007! I called my good friend the moment I got to my car to tell her the news…well, more like sobbed to her the news. She was so excited for me and when I asked why I couldn’t stop crying her response was “Sara, I did the same thing the moment I found out I was pregnant!”.

Oh, so that’s what it was. I had just found out I was going to have a baby.

So, where am I at now? I have been accepted as a client of Small World Adoptions and I am patiently waiting for my agency to HURRY UP and finish processing the 12 couples ahead of me so that it is my TURN TO START. My agency expects that it will be some time this summer…keep your fingers crossed!

What am I doing to keep myself busy until the magical email comes across the wires telling me to get started on my paperwork? Well, I can tell you what I’m not doing;

I’m not buying baby things… (yeah right)

I’m not constantly thinking about the baby… (yeah right)

I’m not stalking anyone with babies who are between the ages of 8 months and 14 months and observing their gross and fine motor skills… (yeah right)

I’m not reading adoption books when I should be working on my graduate studies… (yeah right)

I’m not constantly thinking about the fact that this time next year I will be SOOO MUCH CLOSER to going to China… (yeah right)