Sunday, July 31, 2005

Will this be our new home?

Tomorrow Tony and I are meeting with this builder again about this floor plan and home.
It has 4 bedrooms with an option to have 5 but we want a playroom instead. This neighborhood we're thinking about is beside an brand new school going up. I would be able to walk the kids to school everyday unless it rains. It also has a neighborhood pool. I'm already designating which room is Logan's and which is Madelyn's. I don't know right now if this is a definite but it's pretty close if they can make the price right with what we want in it. Unfortunately moving towards Charlotte, we will not have much land and will end up in a Homeowner's Association which I'm not happy about unless we can find an older house not in a development. This will take some getting used to.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Present from Big Brother

Logan bought this for Madelyn. Okay, we'll I said "Hey, Logan, want to buy this for our baby" and there was no response from him but I put it in the buggy and paid for it anyway. Too cute with the pink ladybug to turn it down. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 29, 2005

Fingerprints DONE

Tony and I finally had our prints made today. Tony's appt was at 10 but he got there about 9:40. He was done by 10:30. I got there about 10:30 even though my appt was not until 11 and was out of there by 11:02. I was expecting to arrive and sit with Tony a little bit while he waited but he was ready to leave when I was checking in. It went much faster than what I was prepared for. I didn't even have much time to watch Dr. Phil on their TV. I could have probably been in and out faster but I had a woman that couldn't type and even though I had my name spelled out in clear print on paper and she was taking that info and typing it in, she still spelled it wrong. I don't know how she got Holper out of Hooker. And then she asked for middle name which was spelled out on my paper plus the letter I took in with my appt time on it. She then didn't know which to use in that spot - my given middle name or my maiden name that was on my driver's license she had in front of her. She must have been new. I also get the ones in training I think no matter where I go. It's like in the movie Rat Race where one of the racers goes to a rental agency and is in a hurry and gets the trainee that has to be told what questions to ask and can't use the computer. I thought of this movie while I was takling to this woman today. Now all we do is wait on the I 171H.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Karen and Scott are now Proud Parents

I'm so happy for them that I wanted to post their message on my blog as well. She called me but also emailed this out.

Her name: Lin Ying Tong (to be called Gwen)
DOB: Jan 25, 2005 (barely 6 months old!!!!!)
Her province: Jianjxi
Karen and Scott, NC
We are over the moon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(More later when we can breathe!)

This just makes it so much more real to me that it's truly going to happen for us one day. I can not wait to see her picture.

Are We Criminals?

We will find out tomorrow. This is the last thing on our part we have to do for our dossier to be complete and then just wait on the I-171H to find its way to our house. We're staying in Charlotte overnight. Our buyer's agent we're working with is going to show us some more homes this evening.

Today should be referral day. I'm so excited. Karen should be getting her referral today. She is the first one I've known personally to get a referral so I'm really excited about hearing about her call. Watch her blog. The link is to the right of this screen under Journey to Gwen. I hope to be around to see her post but I may not hear about it until tomorrow once we get back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gotta Have It

I need this...

Well, I don't need it but isn't it cute?

From our Agency Today

We have received the majority of your dossier documents this afternoon and are beginning to assemble your dossier for final review. Since we have begun putting your dossier together, this e-mail is just a reminder that the following dossier items should be delivered to the main office in addition to the items being sent to your dossier consultant:

3. Passport copies - we will need copies of the photo page of you and your spouse's passport, either in color or black and white. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! Best wishes, Chrissa Sandlin Harrah's Adoption International Mission 281.465.9990 (phone)

I replied back that I had already sent these copies. Then I got back an email saying she was out of the office until mid August. I don't know what the deal is with that but hopefully someone will reply soon. I also sent it to my dossier consultant.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Want This House

I want this house but don't want their restrictions they have nor the tiny yard, but at least it's flat and not much to cut. I'm trying to get a copy of the HOA rules. I spoke with a realtor today that is mailing me some things to look over in regards to selling our home. Some people ask "what do you do while waiting on referral." Well, ours will be selling one house and buying another it looks like. That should keep us busy while we wait.

The Fun in Moving

No, we're not moving yet, but I'm working on getting our house marketable and presentable for others to come in looking through closets, pantry, etc.

First thing I found today was Logan's baby book. I haven't updated it in a long time, so I decided to sit on the couch and go through it with Logan. He loved it. Anyway, when we got to the Third Birthday section, I discovered the pages were decorated in lady bugs. Logan turned 3 on April 10 and we applied with our agency shortly after. I decided to write in there this information and the meaning behind the lady bugs. The lady bug doesn't affect him but it does play a significant part in his life that we applied near his 3rd birthday for his baby sibling.

I also found some old pocket calendars, 2000-2003. On January 12, 2000 it is marked the official date I finally sought help to get pregnant (this is not counting all the time before that we thought about ttc). I think I have every appt marked in this calendar. Logan finally came along 4/10/02. This is how long I have desperately wanted children that I was willing to start fertilty drugs and all the dr's appointments and test, etc. I don't tend to keep up with a pocket calendar anymore but I do have this blog to detail Madelyn's (or baby boy Hooker's) journey.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I'm Famous

My picture made it to another blog...


Here's a picture taken by another Sonshine Gang member of me and Logan in front of Tweetsie. We came home so dirty and nasty from coal and sweat. It was only about 105 degree humidity. Logan still had a great time. Posted by Picasa

Got my 1st Square

I received my first quilt square today...YIPPEE!!! However, I don't know which direction it should go in. If you read it from top to bottom, would the way I have this pictured be correct? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 24, 2005

We're Home

We're finally back from our Charlotte weekend trip. Last night I met 5 other adopting moms. Most of them I have links to their blogs on my blog. We had such a good time. I felt a little odd being the only one already having a child and for the rest of them this will be their first child. Before we met, I was at Burlington Coat Factory at Concord Mills and wanted to buy something for all of them. I bought bibs that had lady bugs - not all the same. It seemed to be a big hit. I even ended up with an extra so now Madelyn has her first bib (well, not the first but the first new one - I still have all the good ones saved from Logan). Karen left a cute picture on her blog of our fabulous desert ....

We also spent some more time looking at homes. I didn't realize how strict some Home Owner's Associations could be. One made it sound like if my dog barked once and a nieghbor complained then we could be fined. I've got to get to work on making our house marketable. I just found out tonight one nieghbor to one side is selling his and he told me the man across from me is selling too so we'll have some competition.

More Kids/Bigger House

Yesterday morning we spent some time in Fort Mill, SC and a little around Charlotte looking at homes to get an idea of what homes cost, location, etc. Right now I'm favoring a DR Horton home. It's a bit expensive but I love it but doubt we could afford it. Here's the floor plan...
The price on that website if more than we were quoted and both of those are probably more than we want to spend. I think I want too much for what the homes have to offer in this area. I only want to move one more time or at least until I'm too old to take care of myself.

I did talk with a buyer's agent yesterday and I think we're going to use her to do some looking for us. Right now these are our requirements...
1. Master bedroom on first
2. Big Kitchen
3. 4 bedrooms (gotta have somewhere to put more future children besides Logan and Madelyn)
4. office/study/bonus room - something extra for all of the Hooker house computers (maybe even two of these rooms so the kids have a playroom)
5. Porch (even if it's small)
6. Dining room
7. Flat yard even if it's tiny (if you've seen our current yard, you'd know why this is a requirement)

We've also asked the buyer's agent to look for neighborhoods with playgrounds and pools. It was so much fun looking yesterday. I actually got turned down for one development. They said I wasn't old enough. As it turned out they were an adult community for over 55.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Childfree Weekend

Tony and I have a childfree weekend. It just doesn't feel right to me. I thought I'd be out late, sleeping in late, getting some rest, etc. but nope. We did get to go out to eat last night and catch a movie but I was ready to go back to where we're staying. I miss the little man. I know it's going to be harder to get these weekends once there are two kids around. We really lucked up this weekend. Tony is helping a coworker move and I'm meeting a few other ladies adopting from China tonight for Dinner in Charlotte. His coworker is letting us borrow his corporate apartment for FREE for two nights. This apartment is bigger than my house. So, why am I on the computer (his coworker's pc that hasn't been moved yet) and not sleeping late this morning? I've actually been looking at homes online. We decided we're going to do a little searching while down here. After finding out there wasn't as much as I thought as far as changing adoption homestudy papers, we're thinking of maybe moving before the adoption is complete. However, I forgot to question what is involved if we change STATES. Many are telling us to looking right over the NC line into SC b/c homes and taxes are cheaper. We have lots of research to do and I dread trying to sell our home.

Friday, July 22, 2005

McDonald's Drive Through Window

On my way to Charlotte I pulled of to a McDonald's. I was wearing my Harrah's Family T-Shirt. It's black with writing over to the left where I pocket would tend to be and has a Chinese symbol on it. The young girl at the register starts reading my shirt while I'm waiting. She ways to me "so do you adopt out kids or something?" I told her nicely No and that I was adopting from China. She proceeded to tell me that she and her boyfriend wanted to adopt and then said she thought she might be too young b/c they were only 18. I told her she had to be at least 30 to adopt from China. Her expression back to me was "Why do you have to be so OLD?" I took that comment a little insulting since I just turned 30 and that's the first since then to refer to me as OLD. I decided not to explain that they prefer mature parents and just said "I don't know". Then she started asking "can you pick the baby out" and "can they speak English". I get this English speaking question alot. Do any American babies speak English at 9 months old? Logan didn't. Maybe I need a t-shirt that says I'm adopting from China and has bullest "why" and bullets for "requirements". And then at the bottom it needs to state, "No stupid questions will be answered."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Naming Our Baby

I think we've narrowed it down to what we want to call our China Baby. I'm getting tired of saying just that - China baby. According to HFS, as I've mentioned before, 98% of the adopted children are Girls. We are applying for either sex. It really doesn't matter to us b/c if we could have more children of our own, we couldn't chose the sex that way either.

Naming this baby wasn't easy. We had just chosen a name for our daughter, Reagan Anne, we lost in April at 19 weeks into my pregnancy right before we lost her. Coming up with names again has brought back memories of sitting around trying to name her (and picking out boys names as well b/c we didn't know the sex until 6 days before her death).

The first name we chose I have loved for a long time. It was on my list for Reagan but in the end we chose Reagan. Anne is my given middle name (except now I use my maiden name as my middle name.) My mother's middle name was Ann and she gave her middle name to me with an E on the end. Logan's first name is William, just like his daddy's name and granddaddy's name and great-granddad's name. All of them have different middle names. So, I wanted my daughter to have my middle name since our son got a family name.

Today while I'm in Wal-Mart looking at toys with Logan (we always have to look at toys when we go there), I look at the girl toys while he looks at the boy toys (on the same aisle of course). I've been searching for an Asian Cabbage Patch doll but still haven't found one I like. One of the dolls that came to my attention was a blond, green eyed girl. I have green eyes and used to be blond in my younger days. Her first name was the same one I wanted to use for a while with the middle name Adrianna. Wow! I loved it! However, I questioned why I couldn't modify that just a little. After Tony came home I wrote down on a piece of paper the name I saw on the doll and then below that I wrote the first name I have wanted, the modified middle name and then our last name Hooker. He liked it!

So now we have a girl name chosen for our China Baby. Here it is................

Madelyn Adrianne Hooker

Now I wish I had bought that Cabbage Patch Doll. Notice how I still kept part of my middle name in her middle name. Her birthday on the card was July 24th. I have a good feeling that our baby will have a birthday in July or August this year. I've tried to count down when we might get our referral and the average age at referral and counted backwards to figure out birth month.

Some parents keep part of the Chinese given name. We discussed that and may still do that but for now this is what we like. It is still subject to change, but more and likely it will stay this.

We still need to have a backup name if we get referred a boy. We'll have to think about this one for a while. We asked Logan today if he had a baby brother what would he name him and he said Joshua. Joshua is the name of one of his friends. If Reagan had been a boy, the name would have been Camden Douglas. I really have no idea now what we would name a Chinese son.

We didn't purposely plan it to be an M name b/c I have an M name, and Tony and Logan's first names are with W's (boys all W's and girls all M's) but it will look cute on our insurance card to show (just got a new one so that was on my mind)....
Hooker, William
Hooker, Melissa
Hooker, William
Hooker, Madelyn
And it wasn't planned to all have 7 letters each in them either.

I'm so happy now to finally have a name to call our daughter.

Chinese Fortune Cookies

Last night I was too tired to cook and Tony wasn't going to be home until very late, so Logan and I headed to the Chinese restaurant after a long day with the Sonshine Gang at church. I loved the fortune's this time in the cookies.

Logan's cookie fortune says:
"Never quit!"
Chinese word is Gift Li-wu

My cookie fortune says:
"Love is on its way"
Chinese word is Miss You Xiang-nian ni

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

More Info on 100 Good Wishes Quilt

Please add a note with your good wish for our child. Your wish can be simple or elaborate: of your own words and thoughts, a favorite poem or quote, or whatever. One of the fabric squares will help make up the quilt, and the other square will be matched with your wish and go into a memory book for little Baby Hooker. When she/he is older, she/he will be able to match up the wish and the fabric, to her/his quilt. The quilt will be a way to give her/him some sort of history, as she/he will someday know that while she/he was in a Chinese orphanage; so many people thought of her/him and loved her/him. Please remember to sign your wish and include your city, state and country. Pictures of yourselves would be good too, if you would like to include them!

I found a class for beginner quilter's starting 9/22. If I can arrange babysitting, I'm going to try to take that course. Hopefully by then I'll have a large number of squares to work with.

Change of Jobs/ Change of Address

I know how much Tony hates the drive to Charlotte everyday so I've been questioning what we would have to do if we moved before the adoption was complete. Hopefully Tony will be offered a permanent position in Charlotte by end of this year. If so, we will want to move closer so he dosn't have the commute like he has now.

According to our dossier consultant at Harrah's...

you just need to update the information when you get your referral but you can go ahead and move.

According to the owner of Nathanson's (Home Study agency)...

For any change in your family (job, new home) you'll need an Addendum to address the change, and approve you again. The Addendum costs $150 for one item (new home) and $50 for each additional item (new job/finances). Just send us a check when you figure out what you need, and we'll get a social worker out to work with you.

Harrah's Loss

Today marks one year since the death of John Harrah. He and his wife started Harrah's Family Services - the adoption agency we are using. We didn't get the chance to meet him since we just signed on this year but the emails that are coming through on HFS yahoo group indicate that he must have been a wonderful man to work with. There is a link to this agency on the right side of my blog that tells more about this agency. Our prayers go out to his family today.

Personal Property

I got an email from Kim today saying we did not include a personal property value on our financial statement. We assumed this meant items like a camper or boat, etc, but it meant the value of items in our home. Gosh! How do you come up with that kind of estimate? We've been in this house almost 6 years and it's slammed packed full of stuff.

Well, I just got an email back saying she could type in $20,000 which is about average and it would not be verified anyway. I said that was fine by me. Shew! That saves me some time trying to figure out what everything is worth.

Update to 100 Good Wishes Quilt and FedEx

It's been recommended that I collect two squares of the same kind from the ones donating and that they be 7x7 inches in size. I'm so excited about learning how to make this.

BTW, the FedEx package did arrive at Harrah's. They have an agreement with FedEx to leave packages and not sign them. I don't like that idea but there's not much I can do about it. I mailed the courier fee yesterday to USPS priority mail and they said there's probably a 90% chance it will reach them Wednesday before our dossier consultant goes on vacation. To gaurantee the arrival it was going to cost around $13 and that's just too much in my opinion to mail a single envelope.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Not Happy with FedEx

All day I've been watching to see if FedEx gets my dossier documents to my dossier consultant. Just now online it says "left at front door - no signature required". AGH!!! I did not sign for them to do this. I've left a message with Harrah's to find out if they got it or not. I have the tracking sheet in front of me and it says "sign to authorize delivery without a signature" and my signature is not there. I'm not a happy person. This is like leaving my child unsupervised outside by themselves.

My Little Chinese Precious Moments Doll Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Forgotten Checks

Our dossier consultant was working tonight on a Sunday so I got my answers about the checks I forgot Friday to include in my FedEx package to her. I'm going to be able to send her the checks via USPS and if they don't reach her before Thursday, she's going to go ahead and send my 11 documents to DC to the courier and Tony's employment letter to FL for state certification. She leaves Thursday for vacation but will be back the following Tuesday. Thankfully her vacation is short b/c I doubt many of us waiting parents want our documents to sit around for a while if there's a deadline to meet. I'm not one of those but I can bet there are some ready to DTC this week. I'm glad she's going to take care of my things before she goes though.

100 Good Wishes Quilt (cont)

I've decided to give this a try. I posted some information on it on 7/12. I don't know how to quilt nor do I have a sewing machine but I'm going to try to learn how to do this and maybe eventually get a machine (or maybe I can borrow my mom's).

This would be cool to have if I had a name already picked out.

Here's the link again if you don't want to track down my last entry. It has some more information on the quilt and the history behind it.

If you have a donation to make to my child's quilt, please email me and I will send you my home address.

Thanks so much!

First Christmas Tree Ornament for our Adopted Child

I'm crazy over Christmas and love to buy and receive Christmas Tree ornaments. While in Seagrove, NC looking at pottery yesterday, I found a lady bug ornament. Of course I bought it. I bought an elephant for Logan (b/c he loves those at the zoo and I had last year already bought the train from Seagrove so that was out). I bought an Angel also in memory of my three angels.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Documents are in the Hands of FedEx

Twelve of my dossier documents are in the hands of FedEx back to Harrah's in TX. 11 are state authenticated. When I opened the door to the FedEx dropoff (and I made sure I went to one inside a Kinko's so I knew for sure no rain could get in it) I was scared to leave it. I looked in the dropp off twice after droping it in just to check on it. It's like I have just trusted my child with this company. I know I have copies of everything in that folder but those are my originals on the way to my dossier consultant. I'll be checking to make sure that folder arrives Monday all day Monday.

I forgot to send the courier fee and a check for FL authentication. I've emailed our DC to find out what to do and if I need to get to FedEx tonight and send another check.

Expenses to Date 7/15/05

After I write a check today for the courier fee of $95 and a check for Florida authentications of $10, our expense so far for our adoption will be $5945.25. I haven't been keeping up with copying fees and may have missed a few other things but this is the majority.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

11 Documents Authenticated

I made the dreaded trip to Raleigh, NC today. The drive there wasn't too bad even though it was raining until I got to Raleigh. I don't understand why this city can't have road signs on both sides of the roads and why you are automatically on another road b/c the one your own actually makes a left turn but there's no warning or road signs to indicate it. I allowed 2 1/2 hours to get there and still showed up late. I circled around the capital twice trying to find a public parking space. I ended up three blocks away and didn't know this until I found a FedEx guy to tell me where to go.

Why 11 and not 12? What about the 13th? I took 12. I didn't realize that Tony's employment letter is notarized by a Florida notary. That means it has to go to Florida, but Kim Sumrow is gong to take care of this (our DC). I have a credit of $10 for the 13th document - I 171H. I didn't know what to expect when I got there. I had Logan with me along with a friend's daughter, Nicole, to help me with Logan in case I had to go back into an office and it was not appropriate to take him. It turned out I stayed in a waiting room with toys while they took my documents away from me. Kinda scary that I had a stranger take my documents I had worked so hard on and disappear.

I wanted to get everything photocopied today and sent back to my dossier consultant but I didn't make it b/c we had to rush back for swimming lessons and VBS. I haven't even looked at the forms that come with the authentications.

If anyone needs to go to Raleigh for the state authentications, there is parking on Martin St. If there's something closer, I don't know where it is. I had almost two wrecks trying to find parking and started screaming at the kids to turn down the movie so I could concentrate (and it wasn't even loud). I'm so glad to be back home. I'm not a BIG city girl even though I've lived in Charlotte and may move back there soon, I do not like Raleigh.

One funny thing that happened while we were there in the Old Revenue Building - we were looking for the restrooms and got behind a group of people in suits and probably big money making people. Logan starts singing out loud "Old McDonald had a Farm....E I E I O" and one man turns around and says to the group "Looks like new employees in training". I don't know why they said that but it was funny how they were laughing at Logan. I'm so used to him singing this song that it doesn't even phase me anymore when he starts it up for no reason.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Caught in the Storm / Raising Money

While taking Logan to VBS tonight, I got caught in a horrible storm and spent time in Eckerd's b/c it was closer shelter than home. He was dropped off at the church where there was no power but the workers said they were continuing with VBS. I should have stayed there but for me to park and then run in was more dangerous than driving to Eckerd's and parking right up front and running in. I was able to drop Logan off through the drive-through area.

Anyway, while in Eckerd's I shopped even after their power went out too and found a lady bug photo holder. I'm not big on photo holders anymore b/c I try to scrapbook. I haven't scrapped in a long time b/c my time has been spent elsewhere. Anyway, I decided to buy it. I had read on another blog (can't remember which one) that they had taken a little album like this with pictures of family members and pets to China with them and said their daughter loved looking at it and it was one of her favorite things they said they took with them. This album is small and will easily fit in the suitcases. It's really cute with four different colored lady bugs on the outside and it holds 4x6 photos.

Another blogger sent me a link to an ING savings account. If I signed up, she earned $10 for referring me and I earn $25 for signing up. I can make up to $250 dollars if I refer others out that sign up. So far I have sent out 18 invites. If anyone is interested, let me know so I can send out an invite to you. You don't have to use it. Just keep it active for at least 30 days I think it said, close it and get your reward money.

Got the Call

Not the one I want but I did get a call saying my doll I ordered a while back is in. It's a Precious Moments Chinese doll.

LID's for January seem to be on their edge of their seats waiting on their calls for referrals. I wish I could be in their shoes. If January is just now getting their calls, then it looks like now my referral may not come until about April. This just keeps getting longer and longer.

Bring Me Hope

I got this link from the HFS group. I watched the 7 min version. I don't know if there is sound or not. I couldn't hear anything but it may be my laptop.

Fingerprints in the Wrong Place

I got up this morning and started copying some of my dossier documents through my fax machine. I couldn't copy the ones with staples though so I'll have to go to the library later. My dossier consultant needs a copy when I send all the documents back after state authentication. While looking through these papers, I found dirty fingerprints on the back of Tony's medical forms. How did these get there? I don't know if they were there before I sent to HFS dossier office or they came back to me like this. I was furious. At least it is not on the front but it still makes me mad. I want these documents to be perfect.

Also, I was looking for my fingerprint appt sheets and couldn't find them. I think I had steam coming out of my ears b/c I was so mad that I had misplaced them. Thankfully I found them. I wanted to look at the address even though it's still two more weeks until our date.

I looked up the directions on mapquest for 2 S. Salisbury St Raleigh to the building I go for state authentications. It says it should take 1 hr 57 min from my house. I think I'll allow 2 1/2 hours to get there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Filing Date for USCIS

Tony looked up the USCIS to see what dates they are processing now for the I-171H. They are currently on May 1. We have a filing date of May 18th. Hopefully that means by the time we get our prints made on 7/31, they'll be working on or near our filing date. Can we be DTC by end of August?

100 Good Wishes Quilt

I need to learn how to make one of these.
I don't own a sewing machine so that could be a problem. I don't even know if I have a sewing needle.

I Love This Blog

I love having this place to write about my adoption experience. Our future daughter/son will read this one day and know they were loved before they were born. That's how it's been with all my babies, but I never had a blog to keep track of everything. I did print many emails sent back and forth on April 2002 baby groups with Logan and I did the same with Reagan as well for August 2005 babies. Unfortunately I had to leave the 2005 groups just like I did when I had my first loss in 2001.

I wanted to write also a big Thanks to all those that have supported us through these past 3 months since our loss. Reagan would have arrived in August, more and likely a few weeks from now, if she had been healthy with no birth defects. I have the best friends ever that have been with me through my worst moments, and I have now met a few other moms to Triploidy babies and I know our daughter has some great friends in Heaven to play with. I've been so happy to have the support we have with the adoption as well. I think the word has finally gotten around to most at church now. I've joined many adoption support groups and have met many people through my blog. Every entry will eventually be printed so our child can read this later on in life.

This blog has been my therapy. Loosing a baby along with battling infertility is one of the worst possible things I think a person can go through, or at least speaking from my experience. My China baby will in no way replace our loss nor will my future children, biologocial or adopted, be loved any less. I've wanted to adopt for a long time now and the perfect time finally came. This blog has been a way for me to focus on the future and what it holds instead of staying in the past. I still grieve for our loss everyday but it feels so good to have something to look forward to - a bigger family.

Logan will make the best big brother a kid could ask for. When I see him playing with his friends, older and younger, I know he's going to adore and love his new sibling. He loves to be around other kids and I look forward to the day he meets his sister or brother for the first time at the airport. I think that day will be even better than Gotcha Day.

After Thursday, I'm practically done with our dossier. All I have left is to wait on the I-171H and send it to our dossier consultant. She'll take care of the rest. I'm so close to being "paper pregnant". I wish I knew if the child meant for us is already born and if so, when was it, or if he/she is still in the womb. I wish I could be there for my baby now either way.

Currency Converter

I'll have to remember this link on our trip.
I was right about the sub posted before this. It's about $3.87 in US dollars.

Food in China and Money Conversion

Several have told me this is one of the best/safest places to order food from while in Guangzhou, China if we visit here.
The menu looks good and the prices aren't too bad. If I go by the conversion rule of half and half and half, then it looks like the cheese steak sub is about $4. I've been told they take US Money too.


I rarely ever look at Horoscopes but yesterday on my birthday I decided to look at what The Winston Salem Journal said for me for those having Birthday's on the 11's. We don't get the Monday paper but there were free copies at the library yesterday for anyone to pick up.

"In the coming 12 months, you may adopt a kinder, more romantic and gentler attitude. Don't get carried away by wild enthusiasms in the early fall, because much better plans can be made in February and March, when Lady Luck is rooting for your side. Grab whatever assistance comes your way and make important decisions then, because in April and the following few months your dreams can come true."

Wow! What an exciting horoscope to read on my birthday. It used the word adopt and Lady Luck (I'm thinking lady bug of course) and the mention of the months. My guess is we'll get our referral maybe around February or March and hopefully travel in April or May.

Monday, July 11, 2005

My New Favorite Book

I have a new favorite book. I posted earlier about a book I ordered called "Waiting for May" by Janet Morgan Stoeke. As soon as I saw it in the mailbox, I ran inside and opened it. I tried to get Logan to sit in my lap to read it but he wanted to play trains so I read it out loud. I balled like a baby reading it and was crying so much I couldn't even make words come out of my mouth. It's so precious. The story is about a boy telling the story about adopting his baby sister. My guess is the boy in the book telling the story is around 5-7 years old. Logan is younger than that but I think the more we read this to him, the more he's going to fall in love with the baby that is meant to be ours in China. I laughed when I read how at Christmas time they wanted May (the girl's name) there but he did get a cat and named her Mao (Chinese for cat). I should have thought of that when choosing Leia's name. In this book, the boy gets to travel to China but we will not be taking Logan. He's too young to make this trip even though he'll be closer to 4, I'm not comfortable taking him to a country we don't know much about plus this will be our only time to bond with her alone. I love how the beginning of the book starts out..."I know that when other kids get baby brothers or sisters, their mothers' bellies get big and they go to the hospital. But we're not getting our baby that way. We are going to get ours from China. But first, we have to wait." This is the way I want him to explain to his friends that he is going to be a big brother but right now we have to wait.

12 of our 13 Documents

I forgot to post Friday about the fact that I have 12 of our 13 dossier documents back in my possession. I'm taking these 12 to Raleigh Thursday for State authentication. We had to pick them up from FedEx Friday night b/c I missed the truck again Friday during the day. Our dossier consultant did not send back the explanations of the medical forms so I'm assuming those do not have to go to Raleigh. I do have the front page of the medical forms.

Happy Birthday to Me

So far it's been a boring birthday. Most of my day I've been chatting about adoption related topics online. My day otherwise has been like any other day...paying bills, cleaning, laundry, stopping Logan from torturing the cat, etc. I did get a call to discuss a bill from my amnio I had with Reagan telling me the worst news ever. What a way to ruin a birthday! I guess that's not as bad as getting a call July 1st that I had a routine OB u/s scheduled with specialists I had seen with her (it was a BIG mistake on their part.) I wish I could get a call to go on down to Charlotte for fingerprinting now. I'd leave with the towel over my wet head and Logan still in PJ's and take off barefoot. Even better would be for our I-171H to show up in the mail. Eighteen more days now until we get our fingerprints made.

I forgot to mention a present I got from Stephanie last night. She found a beach bag at Hallmark that has China written on it. She said she had to buy it for me. It's cute. She also gave me a gift certificate to get some clothes and an ornament. She's so sweet!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Last Hour of My 20's

I'm down to the last hour of my 20's. On 7/11 I'll be 30 and finally qualified to adopt from China. Our dossier is not ready yet but at least when it is done, it can be sent to China now that I am 30.

I spent my last day at church, going out for lunch, a little shopping, rest at home, and the evening was spent at my neighbor's house while my son was at VBS. I got spoiled by the best neighbor in the world. She and her husband made me homemade chocolate ice cream, a brownie pie, homemade bread and I still got birthday presents. We looked through some of her crochet books while I was there and I came across a lady bug pattern. I think we'll try it sometime soon. I may try to make a blanket and then stitch some lady bugs on it. We're thinking about making some scarves, blankets and other crochet items to sell to help me raise me raise some of the adoption money. She taught me how to make scarves and blankets last winter.

At the mall today in JC Penny's, there were two dresses for little girls at the end of the clearance rack waiting on me to see them. The first was red and white stripped with a lady bug at the bottom and the other had lady bugs on the collar. Both were 12month size. Of course I couldn't turn that down. Hopefully our baby can wear these next summer. Her closet will be full soon. Tony says it will be funny if we get referred a boy instead of a girl especially if we get rid of all of Logan's clothes he has outgrown.

I'm trying to find a cabbage patch Asian doll. I'm not having any luck. I saw one today in Toys R Us that had the eyes of an Asian girl but I didn't like her dress or name. I guess I'm being too picky. I loved cabbage patch dolls when I was younger so I was hoping to find one for our little girl. If we do get a boy, I'll keep the doll for myself.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A cute, funny story

I had our pest control people come out today and as he was putting down some bug glue traps, he told me a story about another house he had been at. He said a couple that had adopted a Chinese daughter took a picture of what she did with the glue traps. She had taken one and put it on her head like a hat and it got stuck to her head. They thought it was so funny that they took her picture and showed the pest control company. Fortunately they are not toxic. I told him that I was also adopting from China. He then began to tell me about how cute that little girl was. I know our baby will be cute too.

I Missed the FedEx Truck

I missed the first FedEx delivery back to me. ARGH!!! I got back from meeting a friend for lunch and found a slip on my door that I could either pick up tonight after 7:30 or they'll try to deliver again tomorrow. It has 11 of my dossier documents in that folder sent back to me from my dossier consultant.

Authentication at Raleigh Appt Made

I have an appt to have 12 of the 13 documents authenticated at the state level next Thursday, August 14th at 10:30. I have to go to the Old Revenue Bldg 2 S. Salisbury St in Raleigh. I hope I can find it by this address given to me on Mapquest.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Translation Link This is going to come in handy.


I saw this posted on the apc group and wanted to mark it on my blog. I want to learn some Chinese but I'm not betting on ever becoming fluent in the language.

In Chinese, the terms for grandfather/grandmother on father's side are
different from those on the mother's side. (This is also true for
uncles and aunts). Also, there are formal ways to say grandfather and
grandmother and informal ways.
On the father's side --
Grandfather: Zu Fu
Grandpa, Papa: Ye Ye (pronounced kind of like ye in "yes")
Grandmother: Zu Mu
Grandma, Granny: Nai Nai
On the mother's side --
Grandfather: Wai Zu Fu
Grandpa, Papa: Lao Ye
Grandmother: Wai Zu Mu
Grandma, Granny: Lao Lao

Another Interesting Link

Karen also sent me this link. Thanks Karen. Look at all these dossier's in one room. It's amazing that they get the referrels out in 6-8 months now with all these.

A New Book Ordered

Karen sent me a link for a book called "Waiting for May" by Janet Morgan Stoeke. I had to buy it after I saw the description. Here's the description given on, but I ordered it from b/c it was cheaper there.

In this poignant and heartfelt book, a young boy anticipates the arrival of his new baby sister. She is coming from China to be adopted into his American family.The story describes, month by month, the boy’s participation in the long adoption process. Finally the waiting for May is over—she meets her new family, and it is the boy who makes her smile. The child narrator’s point of view distinguishes this book from others on this topic and makes it immediate and accessible. Beautifully rendered, sensitive paintings augment the text.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Baby Story

Tony has Tivo set to record any show on adoption, adopt, adopting, China, Chinese, etc. Today it recorded A Baby Story about a couple that adopted from Korea. I haven't watched A Baby Story in a long time b/c I get so depressed watching it since I've struggled with infertility and pregnancy losses, but today I decided to watch this one. It was about a couple (with a 9 year old son) that endured secondary infertility and didn't want to go any further with fertility drugs or beyond that so they decided to adopt from Korea. The lady traveled by herself. I cried almost the entire show especially when she met her son for the first time with the foster parents. It was so sweet how the baby took to his new mom and dad, and he was so adorable. The 9 year old little boy was so excited to meet his new brother. I hope Logan is that excited when we get back from China. I know I will be. When we were researching Korea, on the papers for one of the agencies we were looking at showed that Korea only allowed people under a certain BMI to adopt. I don't remember what it was but we didn't qualify.

Shopping for ???

From what I'm told and have seen, most of China adoptions are girls - 98%. So, I assume we'll get a girl even though we did say either sex. While I was at Toys R Us today, they had some summer clearances going on. These clothes were marked down and then it was 50& off that. I spent $20 and got 6 things for "?" assuming we get a girl and 2 for Logan (boys clothes are hard to find). Great deals. Logan picked out a onesie with pink flowers and lace around the arms for his baby sister. I also got another onesie with cherries on the collar, denim shorts, top and bottom with frogs and ducks, a shirt that says "I Love You" with hearts, and another outfit that is pink with Garden flowers on it and a hat. The last referrels that came through seem to age from 6 months up to one year (maybe a month or two over) and from what I've read, it seems to be the sizes are around 6-9 months or 12 months at Gotcha time. Most of what I bought was 12 months. If we get her in the Spring, I'm guessing by summer she might be in 12 month clothing. If not, I've got several baby girl presents for future daughters.

Happy (Late) 4th of July

Yesterday we had an eventful day starting with the Parade in Kernersville, Logan running away from us in Kohl's and having to get the staff there to help locate him, picnic with church and fireworks. On our way home, I said with a smile to Tony, "Next year we get to do all of this with 2 kids." This was Logan's first BIG display of fireworks and his expression was priceless. I can't wait to see how our new baby will react to them next year. She/he will probably be close if not already one year old by then.

My kids have a new cousin, Jarrett Clay Weast, born yesterday weighing 7lbs 13oz.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I'm trying to find ways to raise up the funds for our adoption. The large amounts to pay out will come after our referral. Here's one site with recommendations.
I'm going to try to list some of my CD's I never listen to on and see if they will sell. This will not raise much but every little bit will help.

If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.