Thursday, April 30, 2009

Home Study Complete!!!!!!!!

Today I was able to check the home study off of my list!  We definitely went out to celebrate tonight.  We were so worried about the paper chase in the beginning.  Little did we know that the hardest part would be getting the home study done.  Our case worker came today and asked us tons of questions about our childhood, family, and life experiences. 

I have been prepping for this day for a couple of months.  I even hired a house keeper to help me scrub the house.  Knowing that the case worker’s job was to come here and make us prove what we put on our application was a little nerve racking for me.  Nothing was difficult to prove, we just had to find all of the documents and get them copied.  Ray was actually pretty supportive of the house keeper coming knowing that he got out of having to help me with the “big clean”.  Don’t get me wrong- he is incredibly helpful.  There is just a different stress for me with the home study looming.

On a side note- my favorite comment from the first visit by Marty was a comment directed toward Ray.  She went to sweep his room and picked the rug up to expose the wood floors.  Somehow in the coarse of the conversation Ray told her that he worked from home everyday, and she replied- “maybe you should make it in to the office more”.  I guess she thought that the home office needed a break- little too cluttered ;-)

So I start to photocopy the pertinent documents and realize that I forgot to make a copy of my employment verification before I sent it to the Houston consulate.  WOW- how on earth did I do that?  I can tell you- STRESS!  This did however lead to a downward spiral and a long couple of hours involving sobs and Kleenex 2 nights before the big day.  Long story short- it wasn’t that big of a deal but in that moment it was the biggest thing ever.

It started raining early this morning and it was raining hard.  The case worker came about 15 minutes early and we were glad that we spotted her before she got out of the car so that we could wave her on to the garage, avoiding the deluge from the front porch roof.  She was a grandmotherly lady with a smokers voice.  It was not hard to open up to her and answer all of her questions.  It almost felt like a job interview and in a sense I guess it was.  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  How would others describe you and your relationships?  What type of parenting style do you think that you will have?

The interview was shorter than I expected and I have to say that I was happy about this fact.  I had worked up this event so much in my head just because I didn’t know what to expect.  Ray and I were exhausted.  I am so glad that it is over!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Squishy #50

I have made it halfway to my goal!!!!!  What a fun fabric- I love the beautiful butterflies!  (I do feel a little lacking in my wishes though- this one is over the top)  I don’t think that the glitter around the edge came across in the scan.  I am so very blessed to have so many people that care.  Thank you Amy!


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Squishy #49

This swap seriously makes me want to keep looking for more beautiful fabrics.  No matter how many times I go to the fabric store, there are always new beautiful fabrics!  I love the combination of the deep red and the gold.  It is even more gorgeous in person.  Thank you Debbie!


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Squishy #48

This fabric just makes me want to get moving!  I love the frogs!  I will have to keep this fabric away from my mother-in-law ;-)  Thank you Misty! Square48Wish48

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Week

This week has been full of ups and downs.  The beginning of the week I was involved with a Pediatric Advanced Life Support class (PALS) for my job.  While I was there I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a lady named Toye (for my family this is even more ironic because that is my maiden name).  She is also adopting from China and has a Logged in Date (LID) of March 2006. (  This means that she will be receiving her match VERY soon.  The last round of placements for our agency were through the LID of March 8th.  I really think that she will be in the next round of matches!  How exciting!

I actually didn’t even get to meet her until the second day of the class.  We both had so much to talk about once we were introduced that I wish that we had met sooner.  No big deal though- she works in the same hospital as I do, and we have swapped info now.  I have also asked Peggy from the Freshwater ladies and she has given me the okay to invite her to the get togethers on Tuesday night.  I made a new friend this week!

Paperwork went to the Houston Consulate this week.  It is not the full bunch that will eventually clear this consulate but it feels like I am getting SOMETHING done.  Positive side- our home study is THIS coming Wednesday!

The down part of the week was another wake up call for me in this crazy process.  I keep forgetting that I really can’t do anything until this magic birthday coming up.  In Chinese adoption the magic birthday is 30.  I guess I should be dreading this number as I know some of my friends have, but for me it is quite the opposite.  Until I am 30 we can not send in a Letter of Intent or LOI.  I learned this hard fact this week.

I was checking up on my Yahoo discussion group when someone posted that there was a new profile on the waiting child website.  Since CCAI is able to match most of the profiles that they receive, most of the children will NEVER make it to this page.  I decided that I would go take a peek for fun.  I was hit like a ton of bricks when I gazed on her beautiful little face.  HOW in the world did THIS baby make it to the website?

I have looked at hundreds of profiles on some shared list sites and NEVER have I had such a strong feeling over a child and the short profile listed.  The medical needs were not ones that my husband and I had checked on our profile, but the more that we looked at her adorable photo the more my heart ached for her.  My husband (who is taking longer to educate on some of the medical needs) even said things like “she is a girl- she can grow her hair longer to cover her partially formed ear”.  “Well she is already getting treatment for her club feet.”  “I know plenty of people with partial hearing loss that have no problems.”  HOW DID SHE MAKE IT TO THIS LIST? 

My husband soon said to email CCAI to get more info, so I did just that.  I even woke up the next morning and called the waiting child contacts at CCAI to see how this worked since I had never asked for more info on a child.  I was told that since they have gone through all 250 + profiles to find a match and had been unsuccessful with finding the right fit- now it was based on first come= first to view the full profile.  I was told that there had been a fair amount of interest shown for this young lady and that the list was getting longer all morning.

The next part of the conversation was the hardest for me.  I asked if it would be a problem that we were having home study issues.  “oh no- not a problem.”  Will it be a problem that my birthday isn’t until June 22?  “Let me find out.”

When Sarah got back on the phone the first words out of her mouth were, “well I have bad news.”  That is never a great opener.  Since we are not ready to send in a LOI, we have to be moved to the bottom of the list to view her full profile.  SO- basically, because I am not yet 30- too bad so sad.  She is ready to be adopted.  She is ready for a family that can submit a LOI.  Right now we don’t meet those qualifications. 

I just need to stay away from the profiles until June smile_sad

On the positive side (because there has to be one) it did open up dialog between my husband and myself.  We have now added club foot and partial hearing loss to our check list.  With this heart break it has opened our eyes to more things that we feel we can handle.  Somewhere out there is OUR little one.  We still need to make ourselves ready for him/her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Squishies #41-47

Today I received a big surprise.  My sister Michelle collected a few wishes from her class to send to Xiao Hai.  They have been following the blog in class and the kiddos love looking at all of the squishies.  MichelleClassNoteThey decided that they also wanted to send love to the future baby.  I was indeed touched by the heartfelt and unique wishes.  Some of the wishes included art work and one of the wishes even included some Chinese characters. 

The wish from Kevin is special because of the cultural connection that is shared with his family and our soon-to-be child.  This particular squishy fabric was from clothing like the original Bai Jia Bei’s.  Michelle (Mrs. Anthony) told me that Kevin even tried to teach her how to pronounce Xiao Hai correctly when I started this blog. 


Tommy wants the baby to be a chess player like he is.  That is a definite possibility. The country fabric that accompanies this wish is full of love (as evidenced by the beautiful red hearts).  I know that the baby will feel that love every time he/she cuddles up snug as a bug in a rug in this quilt!    


Karlee sent a piece of one of my favorite types of fabric!  I love the bumpy texture combined with the soft chenille feel.  There will be several different textures to explore.  I do have to tell you that we have picked out possible names for Xiao Hai and the girls name is Kylee.  So very close to your name!  I know that we will have a wonderful life with our baby and I am grateful for you wish! 



Mackenzie- the fabric that you picked out is so fun and colorful!  The blue looks like water and bubbles.  It could be an ocean (like the one that we will have to fly over to get Xiao Hai) or a blue fizzy soda.  You get to use your imagination and make it whatever you want! 


The purple fabric has fun circles and other shapes.  This fabric will allow us to teach the baby about shapes and colors.


Wish43-44_0001Sanjana’s squishies are unique because her parents also included a fabric and a wish to accompany Sanjana’s.  The pink butterflies and purple flowers are bright and fun.  It makes me feel warm and happy just to look at them! 

The purple fabric has a fun texture to it as well.  I am sure that this texture will also be a favorite touch spot on the quilt.  We also wish that our baby will be able to join our family soon so that we can start having fun with him/her. Square44


Thank you to Michelle and her class!  It was a much needed happy surprise today!  I do indeed feel all of the love and support that you guys sent my way.   

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Squishy #39 & #40

The first fabric from the Disney swap arrived today and I am so very excited!  I think that is hilarious that I have the Mickey fabric, but now I get to use it in this project.  Since I am a Disney nut- there isn’t a whole lot of Disney fabric out now that I haven’t tracked down. 

Square40Wish40Having said that, I don’t have the Tigger fabric.  That one is fun and makes me want to bounce ;)  Thank you Becky! (BTW the next time I come to Tulsa we will have to meet up for lunch!)

Square39  Wish39

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Squishy #38

This fabric also came from the Asian swap.  The paper lanterns and the flowers on the branches are so fun and gorgeous!  It makes me want to add lanterns to the baby’s room.  They are so festive and fun.  Thank you Dawn! Square38 Wish38

Squishy #37

The butterflies, coy fish, and dragonflies on this fabric are actually kites!  If you look close you can see the string and handles.  When you believe that anything is possible- you can fly!  I am loving the Asian swap!Wish37 Square37 Thank you Catherine!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We have a home study date!

I spoke with the home study agency this week and FINALLY got a date for our home study!  April 29th we will complete this major hurdle in our path.  I never thought that we would be waiting for this step for so long.  I imagined that the paper chase was going to be the big headache in the dossier process, but I am loving the paper chase in comparison to the hassle we have gone through in just scheduling the home study. 

When I called the social worker she originally wanted to know if I had my schedule for May.  I just about lost it right there!  ARE YOU KIDDING?  I informed the social worker that if she was really that booked then we needed to be assigned another case worker that could handle the load and maintain realistic timelines.  After that she was more open to looking for a date in April.  (We have to hire our own agency and pay for these services out of our pocket. This is not someone that is “assigned” like when using the domestic systems.)

The next step before the home study is a major cleaning sweep of the house.  I know that we would be just fine without the stress.  Our home really is not that messy.  Ray thinks that I am crazy to put myself through this extra effort, but it will make me feel better.  Besides I am sure that the case worker is not my biggest fan right now, and I don’t want to give her any reason to doubt us (even if this thought process really is unfounded).

Throughout this process I keep trying to tell myself that all of these trials are happening for a reason.  I believe everything happens for a reason.  My husband reminded me before I spoke with the case worker that in my logic-that everything happens for a reason- it applies to both good and difficult situations.  That if I can remind myself that ultimately these things may be happening so that we will be matched with OUR child- then there is a purpose.  (I hate it when he uses my words against me- especially if he is right)

Right now is the time for me to have faith.  I try to remind myself that it is not my timeline that I am working on.  It is not even my plan that I am following.  I KNOW that Ray and I were called to be adoptive parents, and that our child will be born in China.  I know that there is a bigger picture here.  I just wish that I could get this patience thing down so that God would stop trying to teach me about it! ;-)

Xiao Hai I love you and I will keep working toward you!

Squishy #36

This fabric that I received today also has the beautiful parasols.Square36  This one just also adds the sweet little Asian faces.  I LOVE IT!  I am so glad that I signed up for this swap.  I am also excited to have received this fabric from Puerto Rico.  This just adds to the wonderful diverse culture that we are promoting in our home.  Thank you Lidanette! Wish36

Squishy #35

Square35 Wish35

This fabric reminds me of the beautiful parasols that they have all over the China pavilion in EPCOT.  It is just missing the family name written in Mandarin script.  I guess that gives me something else for my shopping list the next time we go.  Oh wait- I have a ton on my shopping list already.  I will never look at this pavilion the same way again!

Squishy #34

I am in love with the fabric that I received from the Asian swap!  Blue is my favorite color, and I love this combination of colors!  I actually have a scrub top that has a very similar color palate.  This eclectic quilt will be a treasured piece of our family!Wish34 Square34

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Freshwater Group

So I told you guys about my great day I had recently with meeting a new friend that shares a love for beautiful babies from China.  Well last night I got to go to my first gathering of the “Freshwater” girls. (I will have to find out where the name came from)  What an amazing group of women!!!!!!  I was almost overwhelmed with all of the support, instant friendship, and LOTS of advice.

I did NOT feel like an outsider even for a second.  The ladies took turns introducing themselves to me and gave me a chance to talk about my situation and experiences so far.  I was told repeatedly that I was a welcome member of the group, shown beautiful family photos (you know the ones that are on your phones and in your wallets), and encouraged to consider adding some “identified medical needs” to the list I already have.  Each mom was an advocate for the special needs of her child.  I tell you what- I am almost ready for a baby that is deaf with skin problems, cardiac problems, cleft lip and palate, and an imperforate anus. (maybe I should take it slow though and stick to what I have for now ;-)

I did learn a lot about the differences in how my adoption agency (CCAI) and how the majority of the ladies agency (Dillon International) does child matches and referral's.  The shared list was a big hot topic.  I knew that I was seriously lacking in experience and knowledge with some of the questions that they asked me, but it was a good educational experience- even in just figuring out what I don’t know and what I need to research further. 

I also figured out last night that the thing that is going to keep me from an earlier child match will be myself.  ALL of the other women there last night have bio kids.  They had the ability to have little ones right from the start- so to them- getting a little bit older child is no big deal (less time in diapers).  I want the experience with a little one.  I may only wait for the little one once, so I want it to be the first experience and not when there is another kiddo tugging on my leg wanting attention.  I want to be able to see SOME of the firsts even though I will still miss some of the true firsts.

I guess one of the biggest things that I learned last night is that I am my own worst enemy in the fight with the calendar and this ache in my heart.  I hope that I have the strength to endure this process and come out on the other side what I expect to see.

Above all that happened last night was the most amazing feeling of belonging.  I fit in with these women- regardless of personality and style.  I felt like I was welcome and an active part of the gathering.  Thank you for being more of a support to me than I am sure any of you realized!  

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Squishy #33

Wish33 Square33

Thank you Marsha!  I am absolutely in love with ladybugs (and I need all of the good luck that I can get right now)! 

I have heard the saying that ladybugs are just angels with freckles.  I will take all of the divine help or just good luck that comes my way anytime! ;-)  Maybe it will help with this home study mess.

Squishy #31-32

Square31These wishes are extra special!  Wish 31 is from my Wish31dad!  The fabric is especially fitting for him.  Growing up I remember the times when we would go flying in his Cessna four-seater airplane.  I also remember the long days at the air shows (wink).  Wish 32 is from MY Virgie.  I love the bee references in the wish to match the theme of the fabric!  They are both fun and whimsical fabrics that will help to show our little one just how fun and diverse our family is.  Thank you for taking part in this project Dad and Virgie!  We love you and can’t wait to share our little one with you when that day comes!  Square32


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting Something Done

So…… I never thought I would be so very happy to have a long to do list again…….but in this case I am ecstatic!  Once I got the green light to go ahead and start the paper chase with the documents that I do have, I was ready to go!  Today I feel like I accomplished something! 

I was able to get some of the documents sent to the state level (out of state documents) and another bunch of documents notarized (we had been sitting on those because we felt no urgency with the home study study agency mess).  Now that I feel like things WILL get moving soon, I have a renewed need for the to do list.  On my next weekday off I will take the paperwork for our state over to the Secretary of State’s office to handle that portion in person.  I love putting checks on the Dossier Quick Reference paper!

Can I just tell you how very happy I will be when I can announce that all of my paperwork is at CCAI.  I will be even happier for it to be logged in in China- but for right now- I will take just being in Colorado.  For right now I will take any progress I can get.

Squishy #30

Wish30 Square30 I really did just have a great day at the mailbox!  Sorry to blast everyone, but I am a lucky girl!  Now when I am at work Ray just sends a text with how many squishies instead of a yes or no.  This piece of fabric is part of the Shabby Chic swap.  I LOVE it!  Thank you Donna (aka DC).

Squishy #29

Square29 Wish29 I am going to have to keep this square away from my mother-in-law!  She is a major frog collector- and who wouldn’t be if there is such amazing, fun fabric out there.  Thank you Catherine!

Squishy #27 & 28

Wish27-28 Square27These awesome fabrics are from Beatriz!  I swear I have fabric envy from some of these swaps.  My poor husband.  He thinks that I have plenty of fabric in my personal collection- I think that I am far from done.  I am sure that I will slow down after I have a little one running around.  Thanks Beatriz!


Squishy #26

This is another squishy from the Shabby Chic swap.  It is simple yet beautiful.  If I don’t get matched with a girl- my little guy will definitely be in touch with his sassy side (wink).

Thank you to Courtney! Square26 Wish26