Monday, October 30, 2006

Why the suspense???

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Where are those October referrals? What's taking so long??

Monday, October 23, 2006

So Mike was out getting groceries a few weeks ago and this is always kind of a dangerous thing. You never know what he'll come home with . . . usually something for the kids (although I have to say that sometimes it's flowers for me too). Anyway, this particular day he came home with a Dora movie. My kids love Dora (and Diego) so this was perfect. It's called Dora's World Adventures and the very last place she goes is China. It's so cute. I've noticed some of my adoption friends are starting to talk about this movie too.

Here's the plot: "Dora and her friends are ready to celebrate friendship day when they realize all of the friendship bracelets are missing. Swiper has swiped them from all of the friendship parades around the world, and the bracelets won't "glow" unless everyone around the world has them. Dora volunteers to help Swiper travel to China, France, Tanzania and Russia to retrieve the bracelets and save the day! "

And speaking of movies, another great one is "Big Bird in China". Here's what one website says about it:

"Big Bird and his Sesame Street companion, Barkley, the big, fluffy dog, travel across China in search of the legendary Feng Huang, the Phoenix Bird. Along the way they visit with Chinese schoolchildren, watch a Tai Ji demonstration, learn some Chinese words and songs, and meet the mischievous Monkey King."

We got this one for the kids last year for Christmas and would highly recommend it. The kids have learned so much about China and Chinese culture from it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Quilt Update

I finally found someone to make the quilt for me. It's such a big job and I totally appreciate this person's willingness to complete it for me. What a huge relief! Here are a few pictures of the new seamstress.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

You've got mail!

I know it's not really a huge deal, but I was very, very excited today to receive our "Referral Booklet" and "Adoption Travel Guide" from our agency. Basically this guide just goes over what to expect when we receive our referral and lists the things we need to do such as signing forms, filling out Visa applications, making travel arrangements, etc.

It doesn't really mean anything except that we're getting closer. I ripped open the envelope and started reading and reading and reading. Boy does it feel real now! I know it could still be a few months away but considering how long we've been waiting . . . it's just around the corner!!! Hooray - bring on those referrals CCAA!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Unfinished projects . . . .

. . . . finished! The last time my mother-in-law was over, she kicked my butt into gear (in a good way) and strongly encouraged me to get some unfinished knitting projects done. So here I am showing them off.

I'm proud of myself for actually finishing them and they actually look half decent. The only problem is, they may look kinda funny if we do end up with a referral for a boy!! I think I may have to knit some blue sweaters just in case. Well, actually I have some more unfinished projects I need to work on first . . . such as the quilt! I really, really need to work on that one. It's hanging over my head and it will feel so good to finally get it done. Perhaps I'll post some pictures of my progress so far.

So thanks for the encouragement Peggy (and for sewing the green one together for me!) Feel like doing some quilting???

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


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Ok all you dream interpreters, listen up. I had a dream last night that we got our referral (and the baby actually came along with the referral. Ha!) And . . . it was a boy!!!

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I had a few dreams about the baby and every time it was a girl. I still thought we were having a boy. Then when I was pregnant with our son, I dreamt that we were having a boy but I still thought we were having a girl. I was wrong both times. Now I assume we're having a girl - obviously because most of the babies from China are girls . . . but am I wrong again?? Wouldn't it be a shock if we got a boy?

I suppose I need to work a little harder on preparing Victoria for the fact that she may have another little brother and not a sister. She really, really wants the baby to be a girl and we've told her that there is a chance it could be a boy. Hopefully she'll be happy just having a baby around here again, whether it's a boy or a girl.

By the way, Mike and I will be overjoyed with either a boy or a girl - that's why we didn't specify gender on our homestudy. Hopefully we'll find out soon!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to the greatest husband and father in the whole world. Have a great day. We love you lots!

(I tried to make a video of pictures of this greatest husband and father but it wouldn't work for some reason).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Waiting for Referral Syndrome

I found this article on the Christian Adoption Moms website and thought it was worth sharing. For those of you on the same journey as us, you can probably totally relate to this "syndrome" and for those of you who are following our journey, you will be able to see what we're going through as we wait . . . and wait . . . . and wait . . . (Note: comments in red are mine)

copyright 2005, Edi Sowers

"Why is it that as we get closer to referral, each day gets longer and longer?”

Picture this scenario.

Your Dossier has been sent. You’ve received notice that it’s been logged in at the country’s adoption office. You begin your wait.

At first, there is a letdown. You’ve been so caught up in the paperchase 24/7 that you now feel a sense of purposelessness. (yep, I can totally related to that one) What to do with all that free time?

Next, you start communicating with your online adoption groups. You have 6, maybe 7 months to wait before any real chance of receiving your referral. (ok, obviously this was written last year as we all know wait times are a lot longer!) The days come, the days go. You develop a routine with your work and family and the wait seems bearable.

Six months later, (again, a lot longer now!) you are chained to the computer with your phone strapped to your hip. All you can think about is – “When will the call come?” You can’t function at the office. You spend valuable productive hours chatting online with other waiting parents. The days now seem to have 48 hours instead of 24, and they drag on from one to the next.

All you adoptive parents out there know what I’m talking about. It’s the oh-so-common “waiting-for-referral” syndrome where the closer you get to your referral, the longer each day becomes.

We all experience some form of WFRS at some point. What is important is how often and how severe it is.

Mild “Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome”

In many people, the symptoms come and go. They have waves of obsession that come over them every few days or so.

You find yourself counting on your fingers the number of months, weeks, or days until your referral should come.

The calendar pages are becoming frayed because you keep flipping forward to the anticipated “referral" time, daydreaming about what day it will arrive. (that's why we all need a "carmody calendar" as Dawn calls it!)

What to do:

Relax and remember that the feelings will soon pass. Hundreds – no, thousands of parents have gone through this before. If they can do it, so can you.

Think of a useful project related to your soon-to-be child: paint a piece of furniture for their room, knit a cap, start an adoption lifebook – some activity that will allow you to think about your child during the time you are focusing on the project without becoming obsessed with it. (so perhaps I should finish off all those unfinished projects I started for our little one but don't feel motivated to do anymore??)

Moderate “Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome”

The next stage of WFRS is commonly identified by increasing anxiety and focus on the length of the remaining wait.

You may begin to have dreadful thoughts about the possible conditions in which your soon-to-be child is living.

You have the child’s room furnished, arranged, and all the clothing folded and put away 6 months prior to the referral. You go in and rearrange, pretend you’re holding the child while you rock.

You may begin to eat to calm your nerves, especially M & Ms, which seem to be particularly soothing. (chips for me!)

What to do:

Continue the useful projects you started when the symptoms of WFRS were in the mild stage. You may have to make a conscious choice to limit the amount of time you spend on said projects.
Be sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour each night. Make a habit of preparing healthy meals for you and your family. Make these daily routines.

Limit the amount of time you are online reading posts and sending emails related to adoption, waiting, referral rumors, etc. (really??)

Don’t purchase M & Ms (or chips), except for the occasional small single serving bag. Key word is “occasional” – which means perhaps once every two weeks.

Severe “Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome”

WARNING: Symptoms of severe WFRS can be debilitating. You should be on alert for these symptoms. You may need to seek help by relying on a good friend to hold you accountable for your daily activity.

On your days off (or if you work at home), you wake up at zero-dark-thirty, stumble to the computer, log in to read the latest posts to see if any new rumors have been started.

The sun rises, the family gets up – you are “in the zone” reading through the hundreds of emails from across the world, and you are still in your PJs. You just can’t tear yourself away, for fear a news flash would be posted saying that referrals are on their way for the next two months’ worth of dossiers! Your family rolls their eyes and goes on about their business, hoping that you will snap out of it and live life again.

Your every waking thought is about the referral: when will it come, when will you get the call, do I have my camera ready to take photos, and so on.

Your work suffers because you cannot focus on your professional responsibilities.

What to do:

Remind yourself that this process is something you cannot control. Breathe deeply and focus on the here and now.

Force yourself to wait to check the adoption group email postings until your family has gotten up and you’ve all had breakfast together.

Allow yourself one hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening – MAX (preferably less) to read the adoption group communication.

Go for a date with your spouse. Talk about the weather, current events, football scores – anything other than the latest referral rumor. Remember, once you have that new little one in your home, it’ll be much harder to have that precious time with your honey.

Allow yourself a window of time each day to daydream, journal, pray, think about, and talk about your anxiety over the adoption referral. This will then allow your mind to be free to concentrate on your other responsibilities. By setting aside this special, reserved time each day tell yourself that you can then get back to focusing on the rest of your life and your family, because you’ll have another “special, reserved time” tomorrow.

In summary - keep in mind that all this waiting will be well worth it when they place that little child in your arms. The more you are able to care for yourself during the wait for your referral, the better parent you will be from day one.