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!