Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Made the Paper

Tony was interviewed last Friday night at a Tree lighting ceremony that I took part in singing with the choir.

Thought I could go back to sleep after that news

Nope, couldn't do it. I woke Tony up and told him the news that we missed the cut-off of referrals this time. It was bound to happen to us. This is how our luck runs.

Back when I found out I was pregnant with the twins, we actually thought we would see Madelyn before we saw the twins. Now they are probably going to have their first birthday before we meet her in China.

I've been trying to find the bright side to this. Here's all I can come up with...

1) More time with just two babies instead of three. Nathaniel and Andrew will be older, maybe even walking before Madelyn is home. I don't have to rush to wean them from nursing as fast now.
2) More time to pack and be ready for the trip
3) No rush during the Holiday's to make travel arrangements
4) More time to shop for her (like she doesn't already have everything a baby could want or need but a little more time to collect more things to spoil her with when she gets here)
5) More chances of her having a birthdate closer to the twins or Logan's birthday. The twins due date was Logan's birthday but they arrived 6 weeks early. This would also mean her birthmom was pregnant at the same time I was with the twins.
6) We'll have time to do our tax returns for 2006 before she arrives.
7) The weather for our trip may be warmer so our luggage will be lighter.
8) She'll be in China to celebrate maybe her first Chinese New Year (could even be her 2nd one).

We'll definitely have to renew our I-171H now. I have it ready to go out anyway whenever I decide to make a trip to the post office to mail it out. No rush right now just as long as it is valid after 2/9/07.

Missed by ONE Day

We've been skipped over again. CCAA website shows matches up to 9/8/05. We missed out by one day. Yes, I'm upset. Maybe now I can go get some sleep and stop watching for updates. On the bright side, no doubt that we're next in line for referral.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Way to Go Deacs!


I didn't sleep well last night. I'm not feeling well plus Nate was up for a while last night. Anyway, I probably checked RQ and CCAA websites 10 times during the night for updates. We're put through the ringers to make sure we are qualified to adopt but they seem to be forgetting that the longer they make us wait, the more rumors there are, then the more insane we get waiting to know an answer when it's time for referrals if we're included or not. Some say referrals are in the mail, some say it's only through LID's 9/7/05 (reminder that we're 9/9), some say all of September could be included, etc.... It's insanity. Niether of us here can pry ourselves away from looking at the sites for more information. On the bright side, if we are NOT included this go around, we definitely would be in the next batch BUT we'll drive ourselves crazy watching for rumors for when the referrals are going to be sent out to the agencies. Unfortunately, it's almost a definite if we are included in the next batch that we will not travel until March due to Chinese New Year in February. The twins will be one year old then. Will we miss their first birthday if we're in China then? ARGH!!! I want answers NOW!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Questions to ask at time of referral

Today's date (of course we'll know this - well, maybe)
Time of Call
Name of person calling
Baby's full Chinese name
Translation of baby's name
Full name of baby's orphanage:City:Province
How old is the baby?
Date of birth
Measurements & when they were taken
Who will translate the referral & medical information?
When do I have to return my referral acceptance (important if you want to have a doctor review your medical information)
Any information regarding abandonment (note left, date found, etc.)
Foster care? How long? With whom?
Have you had referrals from this province before? From this orphanage?
What items can this orphanage use the most?
Travel group #
Other families in group referred from same orphanage
Names of other families in our travel group
May I have the other group members email addresses or phone numbers?
How can we get a care package to the baby's orphanage?

Ladybug Sitings

Any ladybug sitings out there? Come on referrals!!!!

Unfortunately the only ladybugs I've seen today are dead in my windows. That's not a good sign.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Turkey day has come and gone and now it's Christmas Time. Woohoo!!!Before Thanksgiving was here, I already had up our Christmas Tree and some other Christmas decorations. I did this early b/c I know when our referral comes, decorating will be the last thing on my mind. I love Christmas - my favorite Holiday. This year will be even better and next year will be the best yet with Madelyn here. Children in our home definitely makes this Holiday exciting.

I did something so stupid. I still can't believe I even did this. I felt the effects of it too from doing it. So, what was it? I went midnight shopping - Black Friday. This was after not getting a good nights rest the night before AND having traveled to my mom's and back and having Thanksgiving meal and no rest. Concord Mills opened the night after Thanksgiving at 12:01am. The first 1000 shoppers in received a tote bag that had coupons and gift cards in them for a few stores inside. Some of my friends called me up and said they were coming down to go midnight shopping and wanted me to go with them. Since I hadn't seen them in a long time, I decided to go. I jumped on the chance of shopping without a stroller and kids but shopping during my sleep time was just plain stupid. The mall also had a contest if you shopped in flannel pj's, you could enter to win a $500 gift card. So, I pulled out the flannel which was definitely a more comfortable way to shop, but I didn't win this contest either.

So, at 10:30pm the night of Thanksgiving I get to the mall before my friends to find out everyone in the surrounding area plus other states had came for this. I was definitely too late for the first 1000 shoppers but I stood in line anyway. My friends arrived around 11pm and decided to step in line with me. This of course ticked off several people. My friends kept telling them, "we're just standing here talking and we will not get the tote bag." I thought a fight was going to break out right then b/c of this. I told them I would leave the line and get in the back but my friends kept insisting I stand there b/c I was there first. I just stayed quiet while all the arguing was going on with the shoppers determined to get in that building first. It was definitely an interesting night from seeing fights, people crusing with low riders and hydraulics, one lady running down the line of folks trying to get the wave started, drunks coming out of Dave and Buster's, and my friends singing and dancing outloud in their pajama's.

We didn't buy much. We DID enjoy the company though. I was so glad to see them and hang out with them again. It had been such a long time since we had done anything together. The friends I hung out with are actually sister's. They "adopted" me into their family and even when they call my house, Tony even refers to them as my sister's. These two wrote recommendations for us when we first needed them for the original homestudy. One of them is even going to watch the twins for us while we're in China as long as there's nothing else going on at the time we plan our trip. Aren't friends wonderful?

I got home around 4:30am. I got a little sleep before the twins woke up and I had the worst headache. Tony took over after I fed the twins and I got another 1 1/2 hour nap. Then later on in the day I took another nap. I have no plans on doing this again when there are small children in the home that will not let me rest the following day to recuperate.

I'm still not done Christmas shopping. I was hoping to have it all done before referral but maybe, just maybe, our referral will come this upcoming week and whoever doesn't get a gift that I usually give a gift to, oh well, I did my best. RQ says it could be possible for our referral this week with the rumors going around.

It's my bedtime (past it) so I'll leave this note with a good laugh. (Nate was in a really good mood after meal time tonight.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Could we be next?

and if so, will we see Madelyn's face next week?

According to Rumor Queen, it's possible we may get our referral next week. I've also seen an estimate of Dec 5. Either way, less than two weeks. OMG! I can't believe it's this close after all this wait.

As for everything she'll need when we get home, the only things I really need are diapers her size b/c I'm sure she'll need a smaller size than the twins wear, formula, and that's probably it. We have tons of clothes that I've bought over the past year and donations given to me from other moms of girls. I probably should get more crib sheets so she's not sleeping on blue ones that I use in the twin's cribs. I do not have everything I need to pack for our trip but I'm not worried about that. I can pack fast.

I have never traveled overseas. I haven't flown since 911 either so I'll have to check into everything I can and can not take on the airplane. I need to make sure I have all the papers I need to take with me.

If it's possible we could hear something next week, maybe we could travel before our I-171H expires. I'm still debating over whether or not to send that money in.

I feel like it's the end of a pregnancy. When it came close to delivering Logan and the twin's I was ready to go. Part of me was scared that we were bringing home a baby(s) but at the same time I was so excited. Same goes here. I'm nervous about having another child but thrilled and excited and can't wait to bring her home. Our family will be complete.

I've already hung up our Christmas tree and stockings this year, and YES, Madelyn has her own stocking hung. Kinda cute we have 6 stockings. I have the original two Tony and I started off with that we hung together when it was just us, then there were three, and now SIX. WOW! Years ago no one would have ever guessed I would have had four kids.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Santa Clause has come to town

We're anxiously awaiting his arrival in a few more weeks and hoping Madelyn's photo arrives before Santa comes to our house. Too bad he can't swing by China, pick her up and bring her home while on his toy route. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 19, 2006

New I-171H

We received another I-171H yesterday since we had our fingerprints re-done. This time our I-171H says "approved for 1 child, either gender, age 0-18 months." We've been teased a few times about getting another set of twins. We didn't request twins so that was highly unlikely anyway of occurring but our last I-171H did say "approved for 1 or 2 children." It does say "either gender" so the possibility of another BOY could happen but again, the probability of that happening is very low. BUT if we did get referred a boy, I don't think we would turn him down. I would, however; have to re-paint the pink and green, ladybug/floral bedroom though and probably not name him Madelyn.

Friday, November 17, 2006

We Have a WINNER!!!

I entered Logan, Nate and Andrew in the Sears Portrait Halloween Contest. I only did it for free photos. I never win so I didn't expect to but we DID win. Actually, Andrew won. He won in the Infant contest. We won a Big Picture (not sure what that is yet) that is valued at $180. Too bad we couldn't just win that cash but I'll take the free portrait. We had family pictures scheduled for tomorrow but our little winner here has a runny nose and has been vomiting a lot today so the appointment was canceled. I think I'll ask if I can hold off on this one until Madelyn is here and put all four kids in the photo.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Stupid Questions

When you think you've heard them all, you're wrong. People can still ask stupid questions.

Yesterday's stupid question of the day while I'm at the mall pushing the double stroller around with two whiney babies...."So are these your first twins?"

That one made me pause. I've heard people ask if one kid is the only child or if there's more kids, but it's rare there are many multiples from one woman. It CAN happen though. I've seen it among the Moms of Multplies club I'm in. AND in my case, no this wasn't my first set but it still took me by surprise I was asked this.

I told her after a long pause, "No, this is not my first set. I miscarried a set of twins my first pregnancy." I think she swallowed her tongue. I didn't lie to her and I felt like telling her the truth. She then apologized for asking that question.

Can't wait until the day I push the triple stroller down the mall and get asked "are these your first set of triplets?" My response might be something like "no, got a set of quads back home and the septuplets have already gone off to college."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This Cake could burn the house down....

That's a lot of candles on a cake!!!!!

Logan wanted to make Tony's birthday cake special and demanded we put candles on his cake last night. However, I didn't have any candles b/c I had given recently all the birthday candles I had to a neighbor. On Tony's way home from work I told him to buy his own birthday candles and call me when he is driving up to our house. I snuck out the garage door and took the candles from him and then came back inside and told Logan it was time to light the cake. We turned out all the lights and I snuck back out to tell Tony to come in. Tony came through the front door like he always does from work and Logan yelled out "Happy Birthday" and we sang the birthday song to him. Even the twins had a few bites of the cake. Nate didn't care for it too much but Andrew loved it. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Tony

Saturday, November 04, 2006

HELP !!!

Since I can't seem to get a straight answer from email, I'm looking for help from readers.

Our I-171H expires 2/9/07. We were fingerprinted today and homestudy is in the works being updated. Should we or should we not file another I-600A now? It's a lot of money to spend if we don't need to and not enough if we are turned down b/c it expires before our Consulate appt. Since it takes several weeks to get a new I-171H, I'm thinking we can't wait much longer if we need to renew soon.

Please email me or comment. I saw a post today saying if HS expires but I-171H doesn't before consulate then HS did not need to be updated (and this was only for NC). I want to see this in writing from an agency if this is true. We're so confused over all these forms.

Fingerprinted AGAIN

Today we spent the afternoon at the Charlotte ASC center being fingerprinted again. Today was a terrible day to go. Our appointment was at 2pm and we didn't get fingerprinted until almost two hours later. Last time it only took us about 30 minutes. Neither of us took anything to read or entertain us so we had to TALK to each other. Wow! That's something neither of us do without kids anymore unless it's after bedtime.

So, for those that don't know how this works, this is what happens when you show up at the Application Support Center.

1) Walk through door to stand in line.
2) After waiting in this line, you show appointment date/time papers and hand over ID to first person.
3) ID is paperclipped to paper and you are told to go fill out another form
4) Sit down and fill out pretty much everything they already have except add on height, weight and color of eyes and hair. Two colors were added to the eye color selection - Maroon and Pink. Ok, maybe pink for pink eye (infection of the eye) but Maroon?
5) Finish up on that sheet to stand in line again.
6) Go up to desk to hand over paperwork that he paperclips to application and ID already paperclipped together. A number is then handed over to you. (We were 019 and 020 and the number on the board said 988 at that time.)
7) Sit back down again to wait but at least you are sitting this time waiting on number on board to change.
8) Numbers finally change. Walk all paper work to another desk and hand it over. The small piece of paper is given back and you are told to sit down once again and wait for number to be called.
9) Finally, you get called back by the person that is going to enter all the info into the computer and take fingerprints. After all this waiting, couldn't someone have already done this part of entering in the info into the computer?
10) After fingerprints are taken, you are given a survey to fill out.

I've been watching too many home decorating shows. One of the first things I said to Tony when we walked in was that this place needed a decorator. It's one big open room with blue walls and nothing else. They had two magazine racks that I saw with no magazines in them and no one was reading any. There was a tv with a sign to not turn it on. No cell phones allowed. You are expected to sit there in the uncomfortable chairs for two hours looking straight ahead for your number to be called. Oh what a fun afternoon it was today.

We're trying to decide if we need to update our I-171H. It expires 2/9/07. If we are in the next referral batch, it's possible we'll travel before this date. If not, we'll need to send more money to renew this. We had no idea when we started all this in April 05 that we would not have Madelyn before the homestudy, fingerprints and I-171H expired. She's worth doing it all over again many times!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Well, there goes our babysitting plans...

Duct tape no substitute for a babysitter, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) -- A woman accused of duct-taping her two children together and leaving them home alone has been charged with child abuse, the sheriff's office said.

Agla Nadia Vincent, 25, was arrested Monday following a seven-month investigation into whether she left her two boys, then aged 2 and 3, taped to each other while she went to work, said Lt. Annie Smith of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Vincent was a four-year naval officer at the time and worked at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. She completed her service and was discharged in August, naval base spokesman Rick Cruz said.

In March, a witness heard the children crying and called the police. When military police arrived, they found the children taped in a bedroom with feces and cereal scattered on play mats on the floor, investigators said.

The children were taken into custody by the Florida Department of Children & Families and Vincent was free pending an investigation.

An officer who arrested Vincent said she denied leaving the children home alone all day.

Vincent was being held Tuesday on a $5,000 bond, the Florida Times-Union reported for Wednesday's editions. It was not clear whether she had an attorney.

So now what do we do when we want to go out on the town? :)


Of course since my last email, I'm wondering what the predictions are for LID's of 9/9. Rumor Queen gives us a date of 11/28/06. Another adopting parent from HFS has a prediction of 11/22/06. So, either we know the day before Thanksgiving or shortly after eating everything until our bellies explode and shopping all the Christmas sales. Does this mean travel in January? Before Chinese New Year (which begins 2/18 from what I understand)? Will we be back for Nate and Andrew's first birthday? When will Madelyn's birthday be? If the child being adopted is usually around one year old at time of "Gotcha", this is really cutting it close to being the exact age of Nate and Andrew. Is she going to be older or younger? The excitement is going to give me an ulcer for sure.

Since the beginning of all of this (first day of signing all the application papers to HFS), I've actually had time to have been through TWO pregnancies before seeing Madelyn's face. Nate and Andrew are 8 months old tomorrow. I only carried them for 8 months and this began as we were going DTC. How often do you hear of someone giving birth twice in a year? It can happen. We are now gearing up for another exciting moment in our household introducing another family member. At least this time there is no physical pain on my part.

I've got to get going on my Christmas shopping now or else it's not getting done b/c I expect December will be spent getting ready for our trip. CHINA - HERE WE COME! Maybe I better start decorating my house now for Christmas b/c I may not even think about a tree later on this month once our referral comes out.

We Might Be Next

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before August 25, 2005

If at least 15 days of LID's are in the next batch, we will finally get our referral.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Updated Home Study

Tonight we had our first of four visit to update our home study that expires this month. I have cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more all over this house and I thought I had learned my lesson from the other two I've had but I didn't. The social worker was only in the living room and she looked at all the kid's rooms plus playroom. She was very WOW'd over Madelyn's room and the playroom which I think are just cute and awesome myself. We went over all of our original home study and told her what had changed, what was the same and what to add. The best part was all three boys were GOOD!!! Amazing what bribery can do...LOL!!!

After our SW left, Logan asked Tony when he was going to Ma-maw Pat's. He's planning on staying with my mom for some of the time we are in China and the rest with his Aunt Kricket. He even asked if we were packed. He assumed since the social worker was here, it was time for me and Tony to get on a plane and take off to China. That would be great except we are definitely not packed and ready to go right this minute. I probably could be tomorrow if told it was time. Let me make a trip to Wal-Mart first and start grabbing essentials to take with us. (Wal-Mart has everything, don't they?)

We still need our background checks, references, our finished financial status and make copies of everything and we might be done with our homestudy. I'm not sure what else they could really ask of us when it's already all down on paper. Nothing else has really changed. Seems like we could get a discount on what it cost for the home study since majority is already done especially since we had the addendum just a few months ago regarding our house and the birth of the twins.

Rumors say referrals are arriving tomorrow. Not ours I'm sure but maybe next batch????