Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mission Accomplished!

The trip to Yakima was a success! My new buddies, adopting from Vietnam, picked me up at 5:00a.m. sharp and off we went. 3 1/2 hour later we arrived at the Department of Immigration where it took all of 20 minutes to submit my paperwork and be fingerprinted. Then, we headed home. Very uneventful, yet we felt so relieved and happy...just one more step outta the way!

What next? Well, I wait for my approval to arrive (I-171H) via USPS. The I-171H is the U.S. government approval letter which authorizes me to bring an orphan into the is the result of my trek to Yakima.

Guess what else...I don't have anymore paperwork to do!! Everything is ready and waiting on this last document. Once it arrives, I ship it off to my agency for certification, authentication, translation, and then off to China it goes!! Very exciting.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ding Dong!

I decided to take an early lunch and head home to see if my home study had arrived yet (otherwise known as UPS stalking). While I was reading RQ's website (didn't I say I was going to STAY OFF that darn thing) the doorbell rang. Sure it is!! Yakima road trip is on! 6:30a.m. departure tomorrow morning and my Mom has offered to ride along with me.

What a beautiful picture this is ;-)


Hannah, my new buddy adopting from Vietnam (haven't met her yet, but I know we will be...) and her husband received their home study in the mail today as well. We are now car pooling to Yakima tomorrow, departure time 5:00a.m. ouch!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Road Trip

I'm heading to Yakima, WA!! Why? As I type this, my FINAL NOTARIZED home study reports are flying to me via fed-ex overnight and should be delivered tomorrow. All systems are go for Wednesday's drive across zee state to submit my I-600A immigration papers AND I will be fingerprinted as well! I worked so much this past weekend at the fair, I don't even have to use a vacation day!

I'm coming babyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, don't you worry!

In other news, my home study case worker hooked me up with another family adopting from Vietnam. They live in my town, we are close in age, know some of the same people, and are in the same paperchasing stage. The only difference is that they will get their referral within 4-6 weeks after sending their dossier to Vietnam! Can you imagine? WOW. They hope to travel and be home by Christmas. I wish them the best and look forward to following along on the rest of their journey AND meeting their new baby...we are already discussing play dates for our girls. :-)

Sunday, August 27, 2006


My Dad sent a care package from New Zealand filled with the goodies I enjoyed while visiting him this past Christmas...chocolate, coffee, magazines, etc. Thanks Dad!

Included was munchkin's FIRST present!!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The fair...

My job requires that I work the fair booth each summer. I can't say I like the fair, in fact, I loath it (except for the corndog I ate yesterday, now that was GOOD!), but it's my job and therefore required.

Anyway, today a single Mom and her two Chinese daughters stopped by my tent to visit and find info about the college. It took all of my power not to start rambling on and on about my adoption. I read so many stories of adoptive parents who are sick to death of people asking questions, people staring, people butting into their lives, asking stupid questions, asking about their adoption, etc. etc.

So off they went to do their thing....

I had to smile, because seeing this family gave me HOPE and dang those girls were CUTE with a capital C!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kickin' it into high gear part 2

Oh ya people! This chick wasn't kidding around. As I type this I am gazing over at my BEAUTIFUL NOTARIZED medical forms AND the draft of my homestudy report.

At this rate, I'll be heading to Yakima next week. :-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Kickin' it into high gear

I called my agency this morning and they confirmed that they are aware of the rumors, but have yet to receive an official announcement from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) regarding changing the single adoption program. Their best advice was to kick it into high gear and get a Dossier-To-China (DTC) date ASAP. They have no idea what the new rules will be nor when they might go into effect...(nothing new there). The rumors flying around the yahoo boards seem to be that whatever the new rules are, they will take effect December 1st and if you have a DTC date before then you will be grandfathered in (totally not confirmed).

So, after discussing the next steps with my agency rep we plotted out my estimated DTC date…good news as it looks like I should be DTC by mid-Oct. at the latest. My paperchase timeline moving forward is as follows:

  • Draft home study report sent out for review by the end of this week.
  • Final home study report complete and notarized by the end of next week.
  • First week in September travel to Yakima, WA (3 ½ hours away) and hand deliver my I600A application (apparently this saves three weeks of processing time).
  • Receive I-171H approximately four weeks later, this document is needed for dossier (September 30ish?).
  • Overnight dossier documents to agency for certification and authentication as soon as I receive I-171H.
  • DTC mid-October or before!

We’ll see….I am choosing to remain optimistic and will try my best to make it all happen!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Up down up down up down...

are my emotions of the last two days.

I. can. not. look. anymore.

The latest on RQ's website is here.

I am now sitting down, reviewing all adoption paperwork, making sure I am SUPER duper organized, finish anything I can outstanding, and calling my adoption agency AND home study SW first thing tomorrow morning.

Huckleberry Pancakes!

My good friend Shelby and I went out for dinner and drinks last night. While driving to the restaurant, we noticed a couple of gals selling huckleberries on the side of the road. I love love love love huckleberries and am very fortunate to live in right in the middle of huckleberry country, so we pulled over and bought a couple of bags.

This morning, I headed over to Shelb's and she filled my belly full of HUCKLEBERRY PANCAKES. Yummmmmm, they were so good! Thanks for breakfast Shelby! I have to figure out what I'm going to make with my bag o' berries...cobbler maybe? Fresh hucks on my yogurt tomorrow morning? Decisions decisions...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Oh s*it!

I checked the SAC (Single-Adopt-China) board this morning. A gal's agency called and told her to hurry up and get her Log In Date by October because China is changing the rules and halting single adoption. I don't know if I can be LID by October...I'm hoping, but am not sure. Is this true??? Has anyone else heard anything. I'm sorta freakin' here and am planning to call my agency first thing Monday.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lazy with a capital L

On Friday's I get off of work at 1:30p.m., which is great cause I can run around, get all my errands done, clean up the house and then go do something fun. Well, not sir ree.
Today I had an appointment at 1:00p.m., went home, thought about mowing the lawn and decided to take a nap instead. A nap? I am not a napper, so I don't even know where that came from. So, after my nap I got up, thought about mowing the lawn and decided to sit outside on the patio and blog surf instead. I did gaze up occasionally to look at the lawn and think about mowing. Then, I decided to move inside, get comfy on the couch (remember I'm wireless now) and continue my blog surfing. Oh, and turn on CNN for a quick Jon Benet update...which by the way, how crazy is that?? Almost 5 hours later, I am still surfing blogs and watching CNN. Guess I'll mow tomorrow since it's dark outside now. ;-)

Here's something super funny that I am flat out stealing from Kelli in Portland's blog. click here and enjoy!

OK, back to my blog addiction...

What to do when you are getting a little nervous....

You read something fun!

Everything I have been reading lately is about adoption and attachment worst case scenarios. I think my dear social worker was noticing that I was starting to display a serious deer in the headlight look by the end of our we were joking around (yep, she's pretty cool and down to earth) at the last meeting and she suggested I read this book (remember we were kidding around, don't think my sw is seriously requiring me to read a book with parenting and martini in the same title!).

Being the good student that I am, I rushed over to the bookstore yesterday to pick up a copy. Not only did I find it used, it was half as an added bonus I paid only $3.50 for it.

Ahhhh, much needed light fun reading about parenting. I think I'll be drinking a martini while reading it tonight. ;-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I. am. not. alone.

Yesterday I was feeling very alone in this process. I think it’s from going through the “With Eyes Wide Open” workbook with my home study social worker. It sucks to not have a support person there with me, discussing the questions, discussing possible solutions, etc. There are parts of the book that downright scare the crap out of me and make me question whether or not I can really do this.

I know that the point of the book is to make me think and to prepare me for the worst and my social worker has been pretty good about calming my fears, but this is her first go with the book as well and she doesn’t have all the answers...I’m her trial run to see if she should require it for all of her home studies.

Then this happened two days ago…I had ordered munchkin’s crib bedding and it arrived in the mail earlier this week. Yes, I know it’s early in the game and yes, I know that my paperwork hasn’t been sent to China. However, I also know that my Dad is coming to visit me in a couple of months and he is going to help me paint the nursery…he might not be back to see me before she comes home (he lives in New Zealand). The thing is, I was told by someone close to me “don’t you think your jumping the gun a bit?” translation - you shouldn’t be buying things yet.

Maybe I am, but as Connie mentioned a few days ago buying things is a way to keep it real and yep, I'd have to say it helps keep it real for me as well. I’m not pregnant and I don’t feel any different, yet I am practically turning myself inside out to prove that I am worthy to parent a child on paper RIGHT NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year...right now…it’s real to me now. It’s consuming. I would imagine the thought of a baby would be consuming for someone who is pregnant…what makes it any different for me? Instead of 9 months it’ll be 15 months (knocking on wood), instead of a big belly I’ll have a photo…big damn deal.

I try to keep my friends and family informed of what’s going on and I know that they support me 100%, but it’s just not the same as being IN the process….going through the interviews, filling out the paperwork, having so many people analyze everything about my life, seeing it all on paper, writing the checks, drawing blood, medical exams, fingerprints, background checks, wondering if after ALL this someone will just say “nice try, you are not worthy”...sigh...

Anyway, my point is that I no longer feel alone. I am starting to see and feel the power of the internet and the adoption community that resides within it. I feel connected to other waiting families who are experiencing the same feelings as I and I am grateful to have the support…thank you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's next?

Many people have asked me "So, your home study is almost complete..what's next?". Well the paper chase isn't over yet folks, in fact it's just getting started.

So, friends, family, adoptive parents to be who don't know...this is what happens next. Ya better go get a diet coke, beer, or whatever and giddy up to the computer because it's an explanation for sure.

This information is provided to you by the Families with Children from China website which is now conveniently linked on my sidebar under Adoption Links.

The I-600A
The I-600A is an INS form that starts the process of your international adoption with the INS. Specifically it is a petition for advanced processing. Before the INS can issue a visa to allow an adopted foreign child to enter the U.S. they are legally required to perform an investigation to ensure that the parents meet certain requirements.

In addition, the child must also meet certain requirements. To avoid long delays with new families waiting in foreign countries, the INS will conduct their investigation of the parents before the parents travel to China, this is the 'advanced processing' part. The process starts when you send in the I-600A form along with your birth (and marriage, and divorce) certificates. You will be notified to show up at a specific office to have your fingerprints taken. These are sent to the FBI for a check to see if you have a criminal record. You or your agency sends a copy of your completed home study as well. The investigation consists of going through the home study, checking the other documents and waiting for the FBI clearance. When the investigation is complete, they send you INS form I-171H which states that you are cleared to adopt a child.

Then comes the authentication. From what I understand (and I could be wrong) I do this at the same time as the above process...

The official in CCAA will be matching you up with a child solely on the basis of a stack of documents from a large country 1/2 way around the planet. They cannot possibly keep track of what is an authentic document from thousands of state and county government bodies in the U.S.

To resolve this problem, they have adopted a set of requirements called authentication. The best way to explain the authentication process is by example.

One of the required documents in the dossier is a basic medical examination to ensure that the parents are healthy enough to raise a child. The medical exam form is filled out by the examining physician (Dr. Jones), and signed in the presence of a notary. The notary (Bill Smith) places his seal on the document and signs a certification that Martha Jones M.D. is the person signing the document. The document then is taken to the county government (Essex County), which issues an official county document certifying that Bill Smith is a registered notary in Essex County. These two documents now are taken to the State government (Vermont) which issues a third document which states that the certification issued by Essex County is an official Essex County document. The three documents now go to the U.S. State Department which issues a fourth piece of paper which states that the Certification issued by the State of Vermont is in fact an official document. Finally, these four documents go to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate which provides a fifth and final document stating that the U.S. State Department document is an official State Department document.

At the end of this process, a paper trail exists that provides official assurance to the examiners at CCAA that the medical form was in fact filled out and signed by Dr. Jones and that the information on the form is correct and can be used by CCAA to determine that the prospective parents meet the criteria set by the Chinese authorities. This process must be done for all components of the dossier that are sent to China.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine is.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Are ya kidding me?

So, this is disturbing to adoption medical appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday and I am seeing my old family doc, whom I haven't visited since oh..let's see...high school. Why? In short, I'm the healthy gal who sees a nurse practitioner one time per year and chooses to hit the immediate care facility for the few, if any, times per year I have the flu or a sinus infection. The nurse practitioner nor the immediate care facility qualify to complete the medical forms necessary for my adoption.

So, doc asks me to provide a copy of the immediate care records so he can look my history from the time he last saw me. Long story short, I call and request a copy of my records from immediate care and they say "no problem".

Today, I stop in to pick up my records and give them my name. Chickie poo at the front counter just hands me the envelope through the window. No questions asked, no I.D. checked, just here ya go. Now, call me crazy, but that just can't be right? My social security number, birth date, everything are on those papers. It could have been anyone who called and requested the documents and then picked them up. HELLO people...ever heard of identity theft or how bout' medical records are strictly confidential? Just doesn't seem right AT ALL!

In other medical news, the ol' family doc is being VERY supportive of the adoption physical. I sent him a letter last week and asked if I could have my blood work done ahead of time so that all results are in the day of my appointment. His office was right on it and I'll be having my blood drawn tomorrow morning after a 12 hour fast...ouch!

I've 'heard' that the medical portion of the paperchase can be somewhat of a nightmare for adoptive parents. So far so good, let's just all keep our fingers crossed that he writes LEGIBLY or else the Chinese government will probably throw my papers out the window!

Monday, August 14, 2006

With Eyes Wide Open

Today was my second homestudy visit with my social worker. We met for lunch for lunch at a local coffee house and went through the first 6 chapters of my “With Eyes Wide Open” workbook.

Let me tell you one thing, this book makes you think (and some parts flat out made me scared and question whether I can really do this). It’s all good though, I can’t ignore the scary stuff and the only way to overcome my fears is to prepare myself as best I can. This book is giving me a greater understanding of the developmental, bonding/attachment, and environmental issues that I will experience when I bring munchkin home.

What’s cool about it is that it isn’t just a book you just read and answer questions. Each chapter is full of exercises, role-play, and imagining techniques which are challenging me to think and feel in an entirely new way…guess that’s why caseworker is making me do it.

I would recommend this workbook for all parents adopting children internationally. Here are the chapter headings to give you a better idea:

· Image of Our Child; Adoption Gains and Losses
· Sounds of Early Life
· Food and All That Means
· Beds and Sleep
· Child Development;
· Preparing for the Abused Child
· The Sick Child
· The Well-trained Child
· Enclosed in an Orphanage
· Bonding to a Rejected Child
· Separating from Caretakers
· Travel and Culture Shock
· Home and Post-adoption
· Preparing for Prejudice/Being Different
· Siblings in Adoption
· When They Fight
· Birth Families Revisited
· An International Family
· Resources

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I broke down...

and ordered munchkin's crib bedding!

I know, I know, I keep telling myself that I shouldn't be buying anything until my dossier has been sent to China. So far, I haven't bought too much, just a few books, baby Chucks, a little onesie, a bath towel (hey! it was on clearance), and a baby doll. However, I love love love this and I didn't want to chance waiting too long only to find that it was sold out when I actually got around to it!

Plus, my Dad is coming into town for a visit in the next couple of months and it might be the last time he is here before she comes Dad has been tasked with helping me paint, install a new closet door, shelves, and new trim (and you said you needed a vacation Dad!). Of course I just have to know what the crib bedding looks like so that I can select a wonderful Martha Stewart paint color to match.

How's that for justification?

I wonder why I'm so hesitant to buy stuff for the baby? Well, for one, who has the time when I've got mounds of paperwork to keep track of...but also, I kinda feel like if I buy things I might jinx myself and this whole thing won't happen. Is that weird? Oh and HELLOOOO, I better save something for when I have nothing to do except wait and wait and wait for a referral after my documents are sent to China.

Anyhoo, here it is in ALL IT'S GLORY!!!!!!!!!

And yeah! I ordered the bumper, the crib sheet, the quilt, AND the bed skirt! How CUTE! I'm also watching the valance curtain on eBay and waiting to slide in with a bid at the very last moment.

Ummmm, I also ordered these very cute changing table storage boxes...

Ok, I'm done for real now. I'm not EVEN going to take them out of the packages for fear of what I mentioned above. I just needed the colors to match paint with. Really! :-)

Now, back to my paperwork...


I've been pretty busy the past week or so and haven't had a chance to post much. To get my blog posts rolling again, I've ordered a piece of hardware that will allow me to go wireless on my laptop...ooooh, I'm so excited for it to get here. Hopefully it will be here by the weekend!! I can see it now...internet surfing and posting from the couch, the kitchen table, the back porch, the floor, where ever I darn well please! I can't wait.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Letter by Amy Eldrige, "Love without Boundaries"

I think this letter is worth posting.

I have been so saddened by this situation. I most definitely wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that just as many parents are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are.

There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage, and who head overseas to pick up their "China doll" only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat...and on and on and on. While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having. I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), "she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom). I guess since I live China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case.

I talked to at least a dozen parents who didn't even know their child's orphanage name, and while I gently said "you might want to memorize that for your child's sake", at the same time I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues. It was sobering to me.

Babies in the NSN as well as the SN path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more. I think all of us on the WCC list acknowledge that, while also acknowledging that all children (whether bio or not) can have these same issues. Living in an orphanage of course increases the odds.

I think the easy out is to say that agencies have to do more, as well as social workers, but I do think that most of them do try to give information to the parents but often parents don't want to hear it or else think it won't happen to them. Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents leaving soon and to realize they are not prepared. One family was adopting from our foster care program, and when I told them that the child was DEEPLY attached to the mom, the father said, "guess she might cry for an hour or so then?" An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year! I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour. I told them to please remember the 72 hour rule.......that after 72 hours they would probably see her spark, but that she would probably grieve for a long time after that as well.

I think for many adoptive parents, they just don't want to read the "bad stuff", and so I do think that ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves. There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues. I equate this to when I was pregnant with my kids and I would read "What to Expect When Expecting", and I would get to the C-section part and always skip it. Each and every time I would jump to the next chapter as "that wasn't going to happen to me". Well, on my fifth baby, when they were rushing me in for an emergency C section, I sure was wishing I had read that section earlier! But at that point in the OR, while they were strapping my hands down to the table, it was too late, and so I felt complete panic when I could have been prepared. I think adoption from China is very similar to giving birth.. it is much more rosy to only read the happy stories on APC, but I now encourage every family I meet to read the harder ones as well, because if you are the family who is handed a child that is limp and listless and who looks autistic, what you have learned in the past will help you make the right decision for your family during those very emotional first few days.

I have been called many times in the last few years by parents in China worried about their children. I agree that having a support network to help you through the initial time is essential. Everyone should go to China with at least one phone number of someone they can call if they are panicked upon meeting their new child. I remember feeling so alone when I was handed my daughter and she was so tiny and limp. Because our foundation often helps with the kids who have been disrupted, I am aware that sometimes there are children who have much more serious issues than originally reported...and that is such a hard thing for a parent to get to China and then discover their child is truly autistic or has serious mental delays. I think everyone on both the China and international side would agree that it is absolutely wrong of an orphanage to not be honest in their reports, and no one would excuse that, but I also know without a doubt that the majority of kids who are disrupted are just suffering from institutional issues and would catch up quickly in a loving home. It is always a very sad day for the orphanage and everyone involved when a child that they know is absolutely fine, but perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed".

I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them. The truth is, and everyone must realize it...a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China, and all of their experiences are shaping who they are. The vast majority of aunties that I have met in China are such kind and caring people, but it absolutely is not the same as having a mom and dad at your beck and call. I have had new parents call and say "we didn't think living in an orphanage would affect her at all", and those statements truly puzzle me. How could they not contemplate life in an orphanage?

Walk through Babies R Us and you will see every gadget known to man to make our children's lives here as ideal as possible. Now Americans have two way video monitors, so that when baby awakens not only can mommy see when to immediately rush in and comfort him, but she can talk to baby so that he doesn't even have one single second where he feels alone. How many new parents would have a newborn and then put that baby in a crib 22 hours a day on their own? How many would only feed their baby, even if they were really crying hard, every 8 hours? Or prop the bottle in her crib and then not watch to see if she ever really ate?

Of course no one would do that...we feed newborns on demand, comfort on demand, love continuously…and whether people want to recognize it or not, that is NOT the life of an orphan in an institution...even when the aunties are as good as gold. I remember one night when I took some volunteers in for the night shift in an orphanage, when normally just a few aunties are working. One mom looked at me with tears in her eyes as she slowly realized that it was absolutely impossible with just two hands to feed every child, to comfort every child, to soothe every baby who was crying. She said her heart was aching to realize that her own daughter most likely had many, many times where she cried without someone to comfort her.....and she told me that for the first time she finally understood why her daughter had such a deep seated fear of being out of her mom's sight.

The aunties are trying their absolute best, but that doesn't equal mother/child care. I remember being in an orphanage in the north this past winter and the aunties were so proud of how they had 6-8 layers of clothes and blankets on every baby to keep them warm. They were swaddled so tight that they couldn't move, but it was freezing in the orphanage and so the aunties wanted the babies to stay as warm as possible. What alternative did they have? It really was freezing there...I was cold in my wool coat, so the babies couldn't be up and about with just 1-2 layers on, with the ability to move their arms and legs. To stay warm they had to be immobile, and so of course all of those kids have weak muscle tone. But the aunties were truly trying their best, and when a parent is given one of those beautiful children on adoption day, I am sure they will go back to their room with concern and say "she can't sit up by herself...she can't put weight on her legs". That is absolutely the truth, but she also survived 10 degree weather in a very cold province and she will catch up soon enough with parents to encourage her.

To not acknowledge that living in orphanage circumstances can cause lower body weights, low muscle tone, inability to make good eye contact is very sad to me. Can it be overcome? Most definitely! The one thing I have learned over and over again about the kids in China is that they are fighters and survivors. But for some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.

Recently, one of our medical babies that we had met several times in person was adopted, and we all knew that this child was a "spitfire". When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt. She absolutely was not what they expected. When they called their agency, they were told they had two choices: adopt the child, bring her to the US, and change their expectations of what they were hoping for, or adopt the child, bring her to the US and the agency would have a family waiting at the airport to adopt her locally. Option three of leaving the child in China was never once given. I admire that agency so much, as they were thinking of the child and the child alone. The family followed through with the adoption and handed the little girl to a new family upon her arrival in the US. As horrible and tragic and emotional as it was for everyone involved...I still feel this was the right decision for the agency to make. It was done in the absolute best interest of the child, who had waited a long, long time for a family. I wish more agencies would advocate for the rights of the child, instead of always seeming to give in to the parents, especially in those cases when they know with absolute certainty that nothing is permanently wrong with the child. Recently with another disruption, the agency I spoke with told me that it was "easier" to just get the family a new baby.

Sometimes easier does not equal right. The first baby who was rejected has now been labeled "mentally challenged" even though the agency knew the child was really going to be okay.

I think all of us, who do realize that delays occur and that babies can usually overcome them, should be these children's advocates by continually trying to educate new parents on what to expect in China. By helping them be better prepared, we just might help stop a disruption in the future. I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart, and it is my life's work…but I also want every family who goes to get their baby to go with their eyes open and to be as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake.

Amy E"


A spammer has been leaving crappy comments with links to pages that YOU don't want to visit on my BEAUTIFUL blog. I've now turned on the comment moderator feature, so you won't see your comments right away..I have to go in and approve them first.

Damn spammers!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Before I started the adoption process a ladybug was just a ladybug.

Then I read that ladybugs represent love, luck, and plentiful crops. Did you know in almost every country, the Ladybug is said to be a symbol of luck, health and fortune?

The Ladybug has been a special good luck symbol for families who are adopting from China. There have been numerous stories of people seeing ladybugs on the days their dossier was received in China or on the day that they receive their referral....or so they say.

This morning, a ladybug landed on my shirt while I was walking in to work.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Homestudy visit success!!

It went great! My caseworker was wonderful and made me feel very comfortable. We visited, reviewed paperwork, talked timelines, and I answered a few more questions she had. We then toured the house (which took 10 minutes). That was it! The entire visit was about 1 1/2 hours. Everyone was right, I had nothing to be worried about...but you know me, I worry.

Oh, and Timber was on her VERY best behavior!! I think the calm ghost entered her body for the entire visit. She just lounged on the back porch and watched us the whole time. Did someone come over and drug her while I was at work??

When it was all said and done, I looked down at Timber and said "We are having a baby". She just licked me and wagged her tail...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My nerves are kicking in...

It's 4:57p.m.

social worker will be at my house at 6:00p.m.

my tummy has butterflies

I just want this to be over

shutting down computer now

next post will be the "after" post

Oh ya, I'm sooo ready!

I'm ready for my home visit! I'm eerily calm this morning...probably because I know that my house couldn't be any cleaner...or maybe it's because I know this is just one more step needed to bring my baby home.

I'll post after and let ya'll know how it goes!

I forgot to mention that I registered for fall semester yesterday. I'll be taking Diverse Populations & Individual differences and Career Guidance and Transitioning to Work.