Wednesday, August 31, 2005


A copy of our Dossier arrived in our mailbox today. I think I might just put this in the fire safe. It's so "perty" except for the photos b/c they are all in black and white and most of them are so dark you can't even tell who is in the photo. The cover letter from Harrah's says they are sending us a book When You Were Born In China by Sara Darow. I'll have to look this one up since I haven't heard of it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Madelyn has TWO Christmas Tree ornaments now. The first one was a lady bug from Seagrove Pottery and I bought this Boyd's Bear dressed as a lady bug recently to add to her collection. Most of Logan's are Trains. I am trying to keep the kids their own collection so when they move out one day, they'll have their own ornaments for their trees. Posted by Picasa

100 Good Wishes Quilt

As of today, I have 90 squares for Madelyn's quilt. I still have no idea how to quilt but I do plan on learning. If anyone else would like to contribute to Madelyn's Quilt, please let me know.

Interesting Link

Pain and Sufferring

Back in June I was in a car accident...nothing major. I think I posted about this before. I was on my way to meet Karen for dinner and I was rear-ended. I needed a new bumper to my van but that was it. I did however start getting terrible headaches and had neck pain from it so I started seeing a chiropractor. I only visited a few weeks and felt much better after that. The insurance company of the man that hit me calls me up and says last week "we want to settle your claim." I thought it was already settled. They still had not paid the chiropractor for my medical bills. I'm fine from the accident and feel normal so I said okay and she told me she was going to pay me $750 for pain and sufferring. Wow! I was not expecting that. I never got a lawyer b/c I wasn't injured that bad nor did I want to rip off the man that hit me b/c it was an accident and he apologized for it. I never thought I'd make money off the bump though. I haven't signed the papers yet to settle b/c they are not wanting to pay the chiropractor the full amount ($101 less) but as soon as I settle this, I will sign and all this money will go towards the adoption since I was on my way to chat with another adopting mom our her experiences.

Thanks, Karen, again for everything and sorry I stood you up that night not showing up at the restaurant.

Here's one cute photo from our beach trip of Logan. This was actually his 3rd beach trip but the other two he was too young to enjoy. As soon as we got to our hotel room before we could unload the luggage cart, he had already undressed down to his socks waiting on his swimming trunks because he was going to the beach with or without us he thought. I wish I had caught his first expressions on video once we stepped on the sand and the first time he got his feet wet but I forgot to take the video camera out to the ocean. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

DTC email

I've been weeding through tons of email from being gone this weekend and just now came across this one from HFS....

Congratulations!!! We are excited to let you know that you are now one step closer to your little one! You are officially DTC today, August 26, 2005, via Fed Ex Package #7923 6928 1765. Please wait 24 hoursbefore trying to track the Fed Ex package. It sometimes takes that long to get into the system.In a few days you will be receiving a copy of your dossier along with a letter detailing your current payment information. Several weeks later CCAA should inform us of your official log-in date (LID), which usually occurs within 2 weeks of DTC (it sometimes takes longer for us to be informed than for you to be logged in--try not to worry!!). Referrals are currently running about 7 months from LID.If you have any questions, please let me know. Once again,congratulations from everyone here in the office!

After reading this, I decided to check FedEx tracking numbers...

Aug 29, 2005
10:25 AM

It's in China!!!!

New Magnet for the Kid's Limo (My mini-van of course) Posted by Picasa

If anyone is interested in one of these magnets, leave a comment on my blog with your email address.

Not So Great Vacation

Some people would love spending their vacation in bed all day long. This might sound good to many going on vacation just to relax and get some rest.

Well.....I did that Saturday but not because I wanted to. I woke up around 5:30 am nauseated. Later on in the morning in turned into vomiting. I spent my entire morning in the bathroom or in bed b/c I couldn't move. Tony and Logan at least we able to have a little fun. Around 2pm I thought I was feeling better and told them I wanted to go to Family Kingdom with them and watch Logan have fun on some rides. I got there, couldn't hardly walk into the park, sat on a bench and later barely made it back to the van where I laid down for over an hour waiting on them to have their fun and then take me back to the room. I then developed a major headache and remained in bed the rest of the day. It was awful.

Not only was my Saturday night bad, Friday night after we got our call that we were DTC (HOORAY!!!) we went out for a while. During our visit at Broadway at the beach, someone stole two of my car magnets. They were the ones I posted on an earlier post...."Support our Red Thread" that I bought off the APC group that someone was selling to raise money for the Chinese orphanages and also my "Preganancy and Infant Loss Awareness." I'm sure someone stole them b/c I'm almost positive I saw them when we got out of the van. Two of my magnets were still left on the back. I was very upset that someone would have stolen my Red Thread magnet especially the day we went DTC and also very upset someone took my Pregnancy Loss magnet b/c it was the weekend our baby was due that we lost in April.

Sunday was suppose to be better. How could it get worse? Well, it didn't start out well. At 4:45am we are awaken by fire alarms in our hotel and a very, very loud intercom system telling everyone to get out of their rooms. Thankfully I was over the headache and wasn't vomiting or I would have been in trouble. Unfortunately though for us, we were on the 16th floor which meant we had to go down 16 flights of stairs. Tony carried Logan all the way down those stairs. I was still weak from the day before but I did manage to make it down. I was amazed that we were one of the first to get out of the building but then later realized most of the others that came down after us had clothes on whereas we just put shoes on and took off (except me, I grabbed a towel and wrapped around me b/c I didn't take the time to put on a bra). There was no fire. Tony said he overheard it had something to do with a generator.

When we get back to our room, we discover there is no water. Here we are up, wide awake, and can't use the bathroom or take showers. We decided just to throw clothes on and eat an early breakfast across the street. However, when we come back, there is still no water. We didn't get water until much later that morning but we were able to borrow another hotel room and use the bathroom/shower.

Did our vacation get better? It actually did. We were finally able to go out later that day and have some fun on the beach as a family, played putt-putt, went to the water park at our hotel and the pool, took naps, went back out to swim, and later enjoyed seafood buffet. I did end up getting one good day on our vacation.

While we were gone, our realtor held an open house again and left us a note that 7 families came by. Hopefully this is a good sign and maybe we'll get an offer soon.

WE ARE DTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We just got back from the beach and I wanted to post that we got the call Friday that our dossier was sent to China. I had left my cell in the van so I missed the call but thankfully our dossier consultant left us a message saying "Congratulations, You are DTC". I got the message that evening when we left out to get some dinner that night.

Now, the paperchase is over....the wait begins.....

Friday, August 26, 2005


We're off to Myrtle Beach, SC today for three nights. We never got a vacation this year so we decided to take a mini-getaway to the Beach. Logan wants to go to the beach and play with his shovel and bucket. We want to go just to relax and not be at home since Reagan's due date is in two days. We have another open house this Sunday so we have to have the house ready to show before we walk out the door.

It's possible I'll be DTC today. Since I will not be around to check email, I'm going to ask they call our cells and let us know if we definitely go DTC. I'll post Monday whether or not we went DTC.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I've been watching Sell This House to get ideas on what could make our house sell. I decided to go online and sign up for this show. I doubt we'll get picked but that would be really cool. It seems as if they pick much more expensive homes to sell. When I filled out the form it said to pick the city you live in and there was only one dot to select and it was a city in MT. I couldn't finish the form without picking a city so I chose that one even though I had to fill in my address.

Our Kitty Cat

Princess Leia is catching some rays through the windows. She's been recuperating from surgery. Now she can't scratch us (no front claws) and leave marks all the way down our legs like she was doing and she can't have any babies. I feel bad about taking that away from her since I've tried so hard to have babies but I sure wouldn't know what to do with a bunch of kittens if she did get pregnant with a litter. Posted by Picasa

Updated Expenses

After mailing the check yesterday, I checked my total expenses to date...


It's worth going into debt for something so precious. People spend more money than this on new cars (we're guilty of that). It's going to be the best spent money ever.

I was wondering why my checking account was slithering away slowly. I calculated updated FedEx fees this morning from the past month - $106.92. That's not even all for this month.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mailed the Check

I emailed back to Harrah's to ask if I needed the check to them before DTC. I never got an answer so I wrote to our dossier consultant. She said to be on the safe side to go ahead and send. So, here it was after 7 and FedEx closes at 8. I had to rush to get Logan dressed with shoes, same for me, and make out the check. I wrote the check wrong first but I fixed it. Hopefully our money will be there Friday afternoon about the time they are ready to send off dossier's to China.

This Just In

Just received from HFS...

Congratulations! Your dossier is nearly complete and ready to be sentto China. You have put forth a great effort to get where you now are,and you deserve a pat on the back. You are one giant step closer tobecoming a parent of a child from China.This email is to let you know that you still have a balance due on youragency fees. This payment is needed in order to submit your Dossier toChina. Your balance is $3,010; $1,900 for the second half of theagency fee, $610 CCAA fees and $500 post-placement deposit.Please let us know when we can expect your payment.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Info on I-171H

Just received from our dossier consultant....

I want to let all of my own clients know that if your I-171-H is inprocess right now that everything is ok. In addition, if your I-171-H is inprocess with another one of our consultants, please contact them directly withregard to the status of your document. If your consultant is out of town orwill be out of town during the processing of this form, please ask her to informyou on how she plans to handle the processing while she is away. Sometimes, several I-171-H's come in on the same day or within a fewdays of each other. Therefore, in many cases, I send them to the Secretary ofState together. If this occurs, you might not see any charges on your fedexaccount. It is difficult to check on the status of your documents at the TexasSecretary of State because your dossier consultant likely has an accountwith them and all of your information is processing under their name or accountnumber. Your consultant may handle the processing of this form a littledifferently so please feel free to ask them any questions that you might have. We all want you to be DTC as quickly as possible and we will doeverything we can to make sure that your documents are completed in a timely manner.If you have any concerns, please contact your dossier consultant directly. Our next DTC is fast approaching so if you have any concerns, please e-mail your consultant and check with Kirsten at the main office to see if yourfile is complete!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

In Remembrance

The next couple of weeks are going to be a little sad at the Hooker house. Two weeks from today will be the date I was due with Reagan Anne Hooker who was born and died 4/6/05. With my history, more and likely she would have arrived this week I estimate. Logan was two weeks early b/c I was induced due to high blood pressure and the fact I had this with Reagan would probably mean that she would have come early too if she had been healthy enough to make it to this point. We will always love and remember her.

Bee Sting / Open House

How many people get stung by a bee inside their own home? We had open house today so we frantically cleaned and cleaned today. As I opened the glass doors to the fireplace to clean the inside of the glass, a bee quickly came out and landed between my big toe and 2nd toe. It stung me and I squashed it at the same time. My toe is swollen and I'm still limping. I don't think I've ever had a bee sting this bad and painful.

We did have four families come by to look at our house today. That's 8 total now. Yesterday Logan saw a couple coming into our house and he was not happy. We hid out at a neighbor's house b/c we only had a 15 minute warning to get out. He threw a fit and put his shoes on and was going to go back home and get those people. Now we're having to make sure we work on him about selling our house and getting him a new bedroom and a bigger playroom. When Tony asked him if he wanted a new big house or a little house, Logan told Tony he wanted a little house that would fit in his house.

While we were ran out of the house today, we went to eat out at a restaurant and after we placed our order, a roach crawled down the brick wall beside us and onto our table. Needless to say we left immediately. I told the man that seated us to cancel our order and we walked out, didn't even pay for drinks. That was just nasty. What is it with creatures swarming us today? We finally got some lunch at Pizza Hut and then stopped at Burlington Coat Factory where I had to buy Madelyn another dress. This one had pink lady bugs on it. All the others I have bought had red lady bugs. I saw another I like more but it looked a little dingy to me so I didn't buy it but it was prettier. She now has a total of 6 dresses with lady bugs on them plus a few others. I don't even like to wear dresses and I'm buying them for my daughter. Kinda weird, huh?

Saturday, August 13, 2005


The thought occurred to me today that I'm not going to be able to decorate a nursery until almost the last minute. Today I looked at some crib bedding and realized if I buy it, I'll either have to put it in storage or keep it with us if we end up housing somewhere temporarily until our house is sold (assuming this one sells). As of today, we've had four lookers at our house. No offers yet unfortunately. I did though fix up our spare bedroom in Logan's nursery decorations. I never got rid of them so I put up his valance and fixed up the crib. I miss those days of seeing him in that crib so tiny and little. We're pretty certain we'll get a girl from China but we don't want to decorate it too girly. I'm not a pink person. The one set of crib bedding I saw today could be for either sex and it had baby animals like elephants and giraffes on it. It was really cute and not that expensive like some of the crib beddings out there. The faster our house sells, the faster we can move towards Charlotte and then I'll start doing some major shopping for Madelyn.

What little girl wouldn't want this for a brother? Messy, messy, messy Posted by Picasa

Cute, huh?

Posted by Picasa I've seen this "hair washer helper" many times at target but I never bought it until today. It went on clearance so I felt I had to get it. I never used these things with Logan, but I can see how these could come in handy.

Friday, August 12, 2005

DTC in 2-3 weeks

I spoke with Kim our dossier consultant and she will send off our I-171H today to TX Secretary of State. After she gets back from vacation, it will then go to DC. I asked "what do we do now" and she said "just wait".

Now I can write

I was a little too excited earlier and shocked the I-171H came today. I really wasn't expecting it until next week or the week after. I got lucky b/c my dossier consultant goes on vacaton next week. Right now it is being faxed to her at HFS.

I didn't stalk the mailman or rush to get to the mail like I thought I would be doing come next week. Instead Logan and I were headed towards the grocery store. I fastened him in the car seat and we pulled out of the garage and I decided I stop at the mailbox first. I pulled out an envelope with US Department of Homeland Security on it. When I open it up, I first start scanning for I-171H. It's at the very bottom of the page. I call Tony and tell him and put the van in reverse and drive back to the garage. I left Logan in the van so I could come in and call my dc (and email a few people). He wanted to stay in the van and I did turn the ignition off. I knew I was going to have to wait for a call back or email back from her so we went on to the grocery store. I came back and she emailed me to fax it so it is going through my fax machine now.

We're really close to being DTC now. My guess is maybe two weeks from now we'll be DTC.


I'm holding my I 171H now. I haven't even read it. I first looked for the words "Form I-171H" after seeing the envelope said US Department of Homeland Security. No body told me it's very small at the bottom of the first page. I have read that we are approved for up to 2 children, either gender, age 0-18 months. I'll read it later after I figure out what to do with it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Horrible Lifetime Show

I'm not a big fan of Lifetime movies. They have a lot of depressing movies but today I decided to watch one. We have our TIVO set to record anything adoption or Chinese related and this story happened to be on adoption. The name of the movie was The Baby Dance. It started out really good about a woman with 4 children already that wanted to adopt out her 5th baby. A wealthier couple decided to get this baby.

At the end of the movie, the baby is born. Unfortunately during childbirth the baby's cord is wrapped around her neck and the baby is not breathing but eventually does come around to breathing. The doctors warn the adopting couple that b/c of lack of oxygen there could be problems later on with this baby and may be a special needs child. This adopting couple decides not to adopt and the birth mom does not keep the baby. They leave the baby at the hospital.

I was really upset with this outcome. First reason it upset me was my son was born this same way. Logan had the cord around his neck and Tony never got to cut the cord b/c the doctor had to hurry and rush the baby over to the nurses and doctors to get him to start breathing. His first Apgar was a 4 - not very good. We were very happy to hear him start crying and they later gave him an 8 but did want to take him to the nursery pretty quickly just to check him out more. Never in my life would I have ever considered not bringing him home if he had sufferred any problems. Logan is a very healthy, smart 3 year old now.

Another reason it upset me was that I AM a mom of a child that was diagnosed and died from a fatal birth defect. Reagan was diagnosed with Triploidy which I have mentioned before and no one can live with an extra 23 chromosomes. At first we were warned of possible down syndrome or another birth defect and we knew we would love her no matter what.

Now as Mother adopting and waiting for Madelyn or unnamed boy whichever we are referred, I can't imagine turning this child down for any reason. No, we haven't applied for special needs b/c we have Logan to think about as well. I am on HFS's Waiting Child yahoo group and am anxiously awaiting them to release the password out of their special needs children so I can see what type of SN children their are b/c I might just see one that I fall in love with. I can't definitely rule that out but at the same time I don't want to pick my child. I can't pick what I'm handed biologically so I'd rather leave it in the hands of God to choose the child meant for us.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Financial Statement for other Purposes

Today my financial statement came in handy for another purpose besides the adoption. I was able to submit it to the person approving us for a home loan and didn't have to go through pulling all the bills out telling him how much we pay per month on each bill. This info is on credit reports so I wonder why they ask us this when they get the info anyway.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Lady Bug Flag

Isn't this cute? Posted by Picasa I got it from Marilyn Beeson. We got to church together. It was even in a cute little bag with insects all over it including lady bugs. I'm going to wait and hang it at our new home. I'm afriad the new buyers might see it and think it stays with the house.

New House / Adoption Loan

Yesterday we signed a contract for a new home. I was so nervous about signing since our home here has not sold but this house will not be done until January. It has 4 bedrooms, living room, dining room, bonus, kitchen/breakfast and 3 1/2 baths. Yes, a little big for 2 adults and 1 kid now but we're thinking future b/c we don't want to move again for a long time. Logan gets the biggest of the three bedrooms upstairs and then Madelyn gets the next biggest. Her's will only be one foot smaller. Both have the same size of closet so that was no issue. If one had a bigger closet then that would probably be Madelyn's b/c I'm sure she will have more clothes than Logan. The bonus room is big enough that we'll have a den setup arrangement with a table and majority of the toys to act also as a playroom.

Tony is giving up a computer room unless he uses the smallest bedroom. He said yesterday his life is becoming a country song b/c he's recently lost his truck, his computer room, and a few other things. He is going to get a top of the line laptop though once we move which he is happy about.

Today we found out we were approved for an adoption loan line of credit. That's a relief. This will really help out with the last installment we have to make before becoming DTC and then help us also with the travel arrangements and fees to China come Spring when we go to get Madelyn.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I read two other blogs that had a "List" that I thought was cute so I thought I'd make up my own. I needed a break from packing, rearranging my house trying to get it marketable.

Adoption Forums from which I've cancelled my membership: 1 (APC b/c it had way too many emails everyday)
Dresses purchased for Madelyn: 7
Adoption E-Pals I've actually gotten to meet in person: 6
Times I've cursed out my fax machine while faxing to HFS: about 4
Number of 100 Good Wishes Quilt Squares sent out as of today: 60
Number of 100 Good Wishes Quilt Squares I have received: 7
Number of paper cuts I got from licking and sealing those envelopes: 2
Number of times I've cut myself with the rotary cutter: 1
Number of bibs I've bought Madelyn: 3
How many words I can speak in Chinese: 2 that I can remember
Number of Chinese adoption related children books bought: 3
Days since filing date of I-600A: 80
Christmas ornaments I have bought Madelyn: 1
Chinese Dolls bought for Madelyn: 2

Thursday, August 04, 2005

House For Sale

Our house is finally up for sale. We've got lots of work to do around here so this blog may have some empty days while we are cleaning/repairing our home and waiting on the I-171H. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Adoption Stalker-itus

I've been told now I have Adoption Stalker-itus. I posted to a group I'm on about following a Fed Ex truck yesterday and this was my diagnosis. When I left my house yesterday a FedEx truck pulled into our development. I turned around and followed it to see if it was going to my house. I wasn't sure if the I 171H would come FedEx or US Mail. Now I know it comes US Mail so no more for now looking out for the FedEx truck. Here's the symptoms of Adoption Stalker-itus according to Dr. Sparky....

* Waiting by your mailbox every day for the mail to arrive
* Banging a "u-ie" when the Fed-Ex or DSL truck come within 10 miles of your home
* Sitting for hours at the computer constantly refreshing your e-mail, waiting & hoping for ANY news about your adoption (or anyone else's for that matter)
* Annoying all of the staff at your agency with daily e-mail & phone calls

The only know cure for this is to go to China and meet my sweet one BUT I have been warned that symptons do sometimes reappear once back in the states.