Sunday, December 31, 2006


2006 ~ Wow!
52 weeks
365 days
8,760 hours
525,600 minutes

What did you do with all that time?

I could spend pages listing off all of the 'tasks' I accomplished:
meals I cooked
loads of laundry I washed
rooms I cleaned
times I vacuumed (and the carpets don't look any better today that 364 days ago).

Or rather movies I saw
hours I watched TV
books I read
letters I wrote
calls I made
lunches I had with friends
trips I took
dollars I spent
quilts I made and gave away.

But you know, none of it compares to the number of days we've spent waiting for our daughter; afterall, that is what this blog is all about right? We had a great year, 2006. And we look forward to welcoming the new 2007 where we are extremely hopeful will be the year we get our daughter!

Many blessings and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

11 Months and counting

Today marks our 11 month anniversary of being logged in with the CCAA for our daughter from China.

It is a bittersweet day as we celebrate one more month closer to receiving our daughter...and yet we feel sad as when we began this process we never imagined our "adoption pregnancy" taking longer than a year ~ Yikes! Fortunately, I don't have to contend with stretch marks and swollen ankles as a result of an incredibly 'overdue' delivery!

So...for today, we celebrate!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How does one rate a week?

7 days
168 hours
10,080 minutes

Any way you look at it, that's how many days, hours, minutes we were without electricity at home. Thursday, December 14th, 2006 ~ an incredible wind storm blew into Western Washington, leaving 1,000,000+ homes without power. Temperatures over the days following the storms dropped into the 20's; Tragic deaths as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

We huddled around the wood burning stove to keep warm, we heated cans of soup, chili, stew to a semi-warm state in a matter of 45 minutes-1 hour. showers become a luxury item ~ one that we could't afford much.

With mixed blessing, our hearts go out to those who are still without power until after the Christmas holiday, as well as we feel joyful to finally be "in the light" again.

God bless to you all ~ Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blustery Day!

Greetings from another "blustery" day here in Washington!

11 more days until Christmas... and

  • No, the stockings aren't hung by the chimney with care (considering we don't have one)
  • The children aren't nestled snug in their bed either
  • Sugar-plums ~ are those plums that are sugared or sugar that is plummed~ anyways, they aren't dancing in their heads or anyone elses for that matter
  • And the only thing close to a 'clatter' I hear is the sound of "ginormous" raindrops raining horizontally against my windows.
Okay, okay so I haven't yet marched up to the attic to haul down all the boxes marked "Christmas", and I haven't yet begun to think about holiday baking or christmas cards or shopping - what' s the rush right? I have at least 10 more days.

But I have enjoyed practically every radio station playing "continuous Christmas favorites" and every house with twinkly lights and every holiday themed movie we have in our DVD collection, so that's got to count for something!

Well, I've been a little pre-0ccupied with a Christmas dinner party for 30 I catered last weekend and a quilt project (3 lap size quilts) due before Christmas ~ did I mention I just started 2 weeks ago - again, what's the rush right? Goody for me I work great under pressure.

So, for now...Merry Christmas to all and to all a good-night!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Congrats! to Some Sept. LID'ers

The following message was posted on CCAA's website as of today. A very special congratulations to all those LID up to September 8, 2005.

We continue to make little baby steps toward our own referral. Keep you posted!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The following is a post that I found on another fellow adopter's site that gives a great overview about why ladybugs have so much meaning when it comes to Chinese adoption!
Enjoy ~ Ruth

One quick cursory view of Chinese adoption blogs show that there are ladybugs in the air. Ladybugs are dancing across the timelines, found in blog names, animated on blog banners, flitting through broadcasted music, displayed in nursery photos, and when an adopting mom is fortunate to find clothing with a ladybug, it is quickly snatched off the rack.

I am a gardener in Florida. You would think that I would see many ladybugs; but I could not even remember the last time I had seen a ladybug. In a rush to leave the house, I stacked the clean dishes on the countertop instead of putting them in the cabinet. When I returned home, I found smack dab in the middle of the clean dishes, a lovely ladybug awaiting my return. I was ecstatic! But then I got to thinking. What are the ladybug rules? Does my sighting count? I am going to be the grandmother – not the mother. Are sightings by grandmothers judged null and void? Is there a self-appointed ladybug judge who will yell, “foul play”! Are there guidelines here? How did the ladybug come to be a logo for Chinese adoption? Exactly what is the lore? Is there a foundation for the beliefs?

Here is what we know. The ladybug is a symbol of good luck in most countries. In Sweden, it is believed if a ladybug lands on a young lady’s hand she is measuring for wedding gloves; and the maiden will soon be married. In England, finding a ladybug means that you will have a good harvest. In France, if you are sick and a ladybug lands on you, it will take with her the sickness when she flies away. As a child who grew up in the US, I was taught if a ladybug lands on you, make a wish and blow her away saying “fly away home”. And, among the adoption community, a sighting of a ladybug means your child was born or perhaps the referral stork is in his flight. Either way, a sighting of that spotted beetle is lucky.

That is right. The ladybug is a beetle. (OK – Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Hippodamia) There are nearly 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide and 400 in the US. A female lays more than 1000 eggs in her life. She flaps her wings 85 times a second. She chews from side to side – not up and down. A gallon jar will hold 72,000 to 80,000 ladybugs. Ladybugs protect themselves by an offensive chemical smell and sour taste. (Don't eat one.) ; Her spots fade when she gets older. The Asian ladybug lives the longest – up to 2 or 3 years. And, yes, there are male ladybugs. They are smaller than females.

Most important to our interest is this fact: THE LADYBUG WILL NOT FLY IF TEMPERATURE IS BELOW 55 DEGREES. Therefore, do not be disheartened if you don’t see a ladybug during your ‘wait’. There is a valid reason. On the other hand, if you do see one when it is cold outside, REJOICE! It has to be the real thing! Your babe’s on her way for sure!

Even though I found the word ladybug in 23 languages, I did not find it in Chinese; but there is evidence that the beetle which helped the farmers in the Middle Ages was the Asian beetle. In Europe insects were destroying the crops. The Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Asian beetle came and ate the aphids. The farmers began calling the insect ‘Beetles of Our Lady’. Eventually known as ‘Lady Beetles’, then ‘Lady Bugs’. (It is recorded that the red wings represented the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows.)

It was a much later invasion that forever connected the ladybug to the Chinese adoption community. In 1998, there was a delay in referrals. That was the summer that much of the US had an invasion of ladybugs. Immediately after, referrals poured in with larger numbers than ever. So, there is a solid foundation for the lore.

Fortunately, I did not find any ‘ladybug rules’ in my research. We are free to make the rules up as we go. (Aren’t they the best kind of rules?) Therefore, in my rule book, sightings by grandmoms count! In my rule book, the ladybug lives as a sign that a child was born or the stork is in the sky. It is a fun symbol of the Chinese adoption community; and the lore will thrive.

The little spotted beetle will be forever endeared by those of us who sleep with dreams of a child in China.

Happy 10 Month Anniversary

Yahoo!!! Today marks our 10 month anniversary of being logged in with CCAA. We sit on pins and needles to see how many the CCAA will match next. Our prayers go out to all you late August and early September LID'ers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How long did I wait???

Our first born, 9 months, 5 days and 16+ hours of labor I waited for this little cutey-pie.

Our second born, 9 months to the due date (thanks to an induction by my doctor) and 16+ hours of labor (8 un-productive) I waited for this sweet cherub.

Our third born (and baby of the family), 9 months, 1 week, 1 day and 8+ hours of labor I waited for this adorable little bundle of joy.

Our daughter from China, 9 months, 2 weeks, 5 days I have already been waiting to see her beautiful face .

So...I've waited 9 months before for incredible blessings ~ I think I can wait a little more

Oh yeah, couldn't forget the only other female in the house ~ our little Maisy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I choose...

I have this tree out my back deck (not the one in picture) that is the most brilliant orange/red maple leaf tree ever. The sun has just peaked out from the dark black clouds and the leaves on this tree cast a glow through the window. I am reflecting back to yesterday morning.

I had the opportunity to offer my strength, hard work, presence to a family who most recently has suffered great loss. Three weeks ago their 19 year son was accidently killed during a hunting accident that happened on a neighboring property. My heart is filled with such sadness and grief for this family, for as a parent you never think your children will be taken before you. They are a farming family, one who depends on all the efforts of all their family to do daily routines/jobs. Being short a set of hands can make a huge difference in the amount of extra hours that need to be worked. The out pouring of love, support, help from their community, their church is amazing. And if they weren't dealing with tragedy enough, last week we had so much rain that they were forced to move their belongings to their upstairs as they became flooded over most of their farm. The cows are in extreme conditions, standing in their own manure for several days, cause there is no place for them to go. They even lost one to illness over these horrible conditions. Working hours are extreme sometimes getting no more than 2-3 hours of sleep each night. They have had no running water in their house for at least 5 days. Makes it more challenging for clean up, though because it was raining so hard, I was able to fill several buckets standing under an overflowing rain gutter.

Though my simple contribution of helping bring their belongings back to their correct place, washing floors/shelves did not compare to the work load this family faces everyday, I was so blessed to be in their presence and watch how incredibly real they were. They choose to be present and authentic in how they feel everyday. I watched Mom cuddle up in front of the fire with her sons pillow in her lap - just being next to the smell of him was comforting in this time of grief. Yes, they have days of tears and sadness, and they also have days where they must move forward. This family is handling this with more grace, strength, faith than possibly imaginable.

In my humbled state I don't feel like I have much to complain about. Yes, I anticpated, even expected to have received our referral already for our beautiful baby girl. And I do find myself angry, upset, bummed out, feel like kicking/screaming, crying because none of it is happening the way "I" wanted it to in "My" timeline. It's not about "ME". Yes, it affects me, but it's about so much more. My fellow farming family has helped me to see this. I can choose to remain in this state OR I can choose to be real, present.

What do I choose? I choose to live! I have 3 amazingly wonderful boys that I choose to love & enjoy the time I am getting to spend with them (though sometimes challenging). I choose to love & enjoy my husband more and more each day. I choose to get things/projects done while I don't have to worry about my 1 year old getting into. I choose to pray for Abigail ~ for her daily living conditions, for her abandonment and how that will affect her someday, for her mother/father who choose to leave her behind because their countries rules say so, for her heart. I choose to live each and every day to the fullest.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Love the FALL!

I absolutely love Autumn! The rich colors of the fall leaves, the cool crisp mornings, the smell of a fire burning in someone's fireplace ~ brings with it a sense of calm and warmth. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away ~ a holiday that I assumed we'd enjoy with our little 'chinadoll'.

As I write this, I listen to my boys bickering in the living room from "boredom" of being home all day because we are officially flooded into our little town ~ there is no way in/out! I suppose the practice I have received from "waiting for Abigail" will come in handy as we "wait" for the water to receed. It has been raining for days with no real sign of let-up.

So...for now I will enjoy the time I get to spend with my boys, put in a pan of cookies and brew a nice cup of STRONG coffee!

Until later...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finally in the "Match Room"

We found out this morning that the CCAA has finished reviewing all dossiers through January 31, 2006, which means we have officially been moved into the Match room where the "magic" happens. We are elated to say the least!

The CCAA has matched babies with those families who have been logged in through August 25, 2005.

So, even though progress has been made (and we are so excited for those who have been matched with their daughters yesterday/today), we still have to wait some more and yet it's a good thing that we've gotten so good at it cause we still have to wait some more.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

China or Bust!!!

We were LID Jan 27, 2006 so that means we are "offically" waiting now.
Here is a great picture that we put on our Christmas card.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Adoption Timeline

July-September, 2005 Decide to begin the adoption process for our daughter from China

9/11/2005 Filled out application for adoption
9/12/2005 Mailed application and fee to CCAI (Chinese Children’s Adoption International)
9/19/2005 Officially accepted by CCAI for adoption. Jumped for joy
9/22/2005 Set-up necessary home study appointments.
9/27/2005 Began the “dossier” process
10/2/2005 Ordered 'certified' birth certificates
10/3/2005 Applied for passport
10/7/2005 Received Brian’s ‘certified’ birth certificate in mail.
1st home study appointment at our home (China requires 4 home study visits)
10/8/2005 2nd home study appointment at our home
10/11/2005 Sent Brian’s birth certificate off for certification.
10/14/2005 Received Ruth’s birth certificate in mail today.
3rd home study appointment at social workers office
10/15/2005 4th and final home study appointment ~ YEAH! More steps closer
10/17/2005 Received passports in mail, and Brian’s birth certificate from certification.
Received 4 notarized final copies of our home study in mail today! Yahoo.
10/24/2005 Received Ruth’s birth certificate in mail from certification
10/31/2005 Applied for I-600A application @ USCIS-were fingerprinted on sight.
11/30/2005 Received official I-171H approval from immigration allowing us to bring our orphaned daughter into the US. YEAH-Celebrate!!!
12/1/2005 Fed-ex’d docs to Washington Secretary of State for certification
12/6/2005 Received our certified docs from WA Sec. of State. 1 more step away!
12/7/2005 Overnight Exprs’d docs to Chinese/Am. Embassy/Consulate in SF, CA
12/13/2005 Thought we would be able to track our docs from SF, CA, but no record yet ~ and again we wait. Most recent word out of China is that the expected wait time for a match has been extended to 9-10 months. Our hearts are sad though we remain hopeful! Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
12/19/2005 Received our docs today all authenticated ~ really cool – all in Chinese and I don’t understand a word of it! Will make necessary copies and plan to express mail it to agency by tomorrow
12/20/2005 Well, hard to believe only 13 short weeks ago we began on this journey. Our paperchase process went incredibly quickly without any hiccups in the road ~ God is faithful. Now it’s time...we’ve come to that place in the road where we wave good-bye to blood, sweat, & tears (our dossier) and hello to ...”Wait”! Lord, give us patience to withstand the long journey ahead.
12/21/2005 Our dossier was received at CCAI ~ right on time.
01/09/2006 Dossier sent to translation at our agency
01/13/2006 Dossier officially sent to Beijing China to CCAA office
01/17/2006 Dossier received in Beijing at CCAA
01/27/2006 We are officially logged into China’s system at CCAA
And now we get really good at waiting!