Friday, August 25, 2006

The Reason Why....

Today I searched on -- it stores videos. There are videos of adoptive parents's journeys to China.

I found one in particular that was so moving. Here is a peek into what we will hopefully be experiencing. It is long but watch at least the first 8-9 minutes. You will see the Gotcha Moment.

Just watching these videos remind me the reason why we are doing this and why we have to wait....


Roller Coasters

You might wonder what a roller coaster has to do

with adopting a baby from China. Well I think we warned that international adoption is sort of like a roller coaster ride. There are a lot of ups and downs. It looks like once we became DTC (maybe it was there before, but I was so concentrated on the paperchase), we have official stepped onto the roller coaster. Today is sort of a down day, the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs -- the Head Honcho's who do referrals for China), sent referrals from July 14th to July 22nd 2005. Only 7 business days. What was weird about this notice is that usually the European Adoption agencies know ahead of time when referrals are coming and what the cutoff date is. US agencies typically follow suit later. Well whatta ya know....know one knew! Referrals came to some US agencies yesterday and people starting posting their referral notices.

I'm trying to be optimistic about this but if they only refer 2 weeks at a time (keep in mind they only referred 1 week), it will be a 2 year wait. I won't even specualate what happens if they only keep referring 1 week to 10 days at a time.

I'm trying not to have a sad day. I just thought in the next couple of months we would see things pick up and the Head Honcho's stick to the 12-14 month referral past.

Bill is the optimist in the family right now. I'm trying not be a pessimist but more of a realist. After having so many disappointments in regards to fertility, I feel the need to guard my heart against disappointment.

It is a good thing my stomach can handle roller coasters but right now I'm not sure if my heart can.

Tomorrow will be a better day!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Learning Mandarin

Since I now have all this free time, I thought it would be a good idea to be able to communicate a bit when we are over in China.

For my birthday, Bill bought be a beginners Mandarin book and audio cd. Well it sucked. Sorry Bill. I tried to use it. I just want conversational Mandarin. Like where is the bathroom? Thank-you, Good Morning etc...

I found a website called ChinesePod -- see

This site is great. Best of all most of it free! Fits right into the budget. I have downloaded about 70 lessons. Burned about 15 to cd right now. I'm listening to them in the car. I can now say:

Good Morning
How are You
I'm good and you
I'm good too Thank-you

I'm not sure on the phoentic spelling yet -- I have to pay membership to get that. Still deciding if it is worth it.

This morning, I had Emily (who is 6) listen to the first track. She went into school this morning and said Good Morning in Mandarin. I bet her teacher was shocked!

Off to listen to track 2 tonight!


Monday, August 21, 2006

Books to Read about Chinese Adoption

Besides paperchasing, I have been reading up on adoption in particular Chinese Adoption.

I have read books on China Adoption. Georgia has a great adoptive resource library so I can get books for free -- they mail it to you free of charge and then provide you free shipping. Here is the website, if you are interested: . So I have read:

A Passage to the Heart by Amy Klatzkin - The articles in A PASSAGE TO THE HEART, taken from FCC (Families with Children from China) chapter newsletters, discuss all aspects of adoption from China. These include: the waiting period, the adoption journey, settling in, health and development, adoption after infancy, single parenting, culture, language, identity, race, going back, birth parents, and much more. By turns funny, moving, practical, and deeply personal, this collection is a treasure trove for those who have or are planning to adopt from China.

Dim sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families by Myra Alperson - As the adoptive Jewish mother of a Chinese-born daughter, Alperson is able to offer personal as well as professional insight into such topics as combining cultures in the home, confronting prejudice, and developing role models. Focusing on adoptive families she provides guidelines on how families can prepare for their exciting journey toward becoming a multicultural family. her book includes a wealth of on-line and "conventional" resources to find books, food products, toys, clothing, discussion groups and heritage camps that help families to enhance their lives as they build a multicultural home.

Lost Daughters of China, The: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past by Karin Evans - Evans weaves together her experience of adopting a Chinese infant with observations about Chinese women's history and that country's restrictive reproductive policies. Borrowing an image from Chinese folklore, Evans conveys herself, her husband, and their daughter as tethered by a red string that yoked them a equally awesome cultural divide.

Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China by Kay Ann Johnson - Kay Johnson provides an intimate portrait of the complex processes by which, over the past decade, thousands of little Chinese girls have made their way from orphanages in China into adoptive homes overseas. Johnson untangles the complex interactions between these social practices and the governments population policies. She also documents the many unintended consequences, including the overcrowding of orphanages that led China to begin international adoptions.

Adopting After Infertility by Patricia Johnston - The issues raised in this book are difficult ones. ADOPTING AFTER INFERTILITY examines the lifelong impact of building a family by adoption after experiencing infertility. Couples struggling to decide whether to adopt, those who have said yes to adoption, and parents of young children who have been adopted are the intended audience for this compassionate book. It will help you and your family make the decisions that are right for you.

I have book that I bought called Adoption Parenting:Creating a Toolbox, Building ConnectionsEdited by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae, PhD. I haven't read it yet.

Out of all the books, I really liked the Dim sum, Bagels, and Grits. It really fits well into our family (Interfaith (Jewish/Catholic) ( living in the South).

Another recommendation is to get the National Geographic Video - Lost Daughters.

Here is to good reading!


Friday, August 18, 2006

It is in their Hot Little Hands!!!

Our dossier was hand delivered to CCAA today!!!

Doing a happy dance!!!!!!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

DTC (Dossier to China) 8/14

Our dossier left Colorado on its way to China. We believe it will be in China by the end of the week! It takes about 4 weeks for us to be notified of our log in date. We may hit August, it could be September.

Now we wait.......


Monday, August 14, 2006

Somewhere over the Rainbow

I have changed the name of the blog to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. This is one my favorite songs. This version is done by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

Somewhere in China in the next year, our child will be born....


I just saw a post on a paperchasing board that someone who sent in their homestudy prior to ours to the USCIS just received their I797C. Their date was June 2nd. Ours was June 7th. They waited 10 weeks. We waited almost 8 weeks. hmmm not sure how that happened.

Somehow the polish curse wasn't with us. A miracle!

Bill thinks that our file was flagged. We had problems getting all of our fingerprinting appointments. USCIS forgot the inlaws. So we had to call Senator Isaakson's office for help. He thinks that is what flagged us as RIPs (Really Important People). Yeah right -- I will let him think that he is a RIP in the eyes of the Gov't. (he is really important to me though if that counts!)

I just sent a pleading email to our dossier rep to see if we are out of translation and on the way to China!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Those Rumors.....

Hi my name is Jen and I am an addict. An addict of the Rumor Boards. I just cannot stay off the board. To the right of this message is a link to the Rumor Queen. The Rumor Queen is a mom adopting from China. I believe she has a late Sept 2005 lid. She uses her blog to track potential rumors from all over the world. It does give you a great perspective on the situation but also you always got to keep in mind that these are rumors. Right now the rumors aren't good. With us just getting logged in (hopefully this month) -- the wait could be over 2 years. Think August 2008. I know in the big picture we will still have a baby but it is hard when you want it to happen now or okay I'll even take a 12-14 month wait. Our I171h/797C expires in January 2008. This means we have to travel by October 2007 in order for us not have to redo it. I will talk about what that means in a minute. Back to rumors...

They are talking about imposing new restrictions on adoptive parents. The one that alarms me is the weight restriction. Both Bill and I are what I call "fluffy". One rumor is that neither parent can weigh more than 300 lbs. Well neither one of us do, so I really hope that if a restriction is put into place we are safe. Other rumors include 1) you have to own your house (mortgage okay) -- we are safe on that one, 2) make more than $50,000 -- we are also safe on that one. These new restrictions have been rumor'd for over year now. Nothing has come of it. The reasons for the restrictions would be to lower the amount of dossiers in China.

One of the reasons for the wait that is speculated is that there are too many dossiers compared to paper ready babies. Then there was a scandal in the Hunan province that people were arrested for baby trafficking. The Hunan province was a large province in which babies came from the Chinese government shut down the entire province to International Adoption. Hence, less babies being referred. There is also speculation that the Chinese Gov't issues a number. This number reflects how many babies they will allow to be adopted internationally. So too many dossiers logged in means they will far exceed this number. Again this is speculation, remember that this is China -- a communist nation -- I'm not sure anyone knows except China. And it is well within their right to control this. They grant us permission to adopt their beautiful children, that is a blessing. I'm hoping that this blessing is bestowed upon us. {tears are running down my eyes}. This is something I sooo want. I'm not sure how I will handle it if we never see this dream come true.

Back to the I171h/I797 c -- if we have to redo it. This is what it will mean.

1) We have to get refingerprinted by August 2007. Our fingerprints are only good for 15 months. We will probably have to get this done unless China really speeds up the process.

Cost - $875

2) Homestudy Update -

Cost per our agency - $200

One thing about have our agency be our home study agency as well is that I think that they can control things better in regards to pricing. I have heard this can cost other people as much as $2000

3) Physical Update

Cost - $40 for co pays. Hopefully that it is.

Total cost $1115

Why does the I171H/797C expire -- well according to the US gov't it is for the best interest for the child to make sure our circumstances haven't changed. With all the immigration stuff happening today, you would think our gov't would focus on different things than wasting time and money on this.

There is a new bill introduced into Congress to extend the the I171H for 2 years. We have already written our congressmen, our senators, head of the USCIS. There is a grass roots campaign among the adoption community to get this going. So we wait and see if it works. It is kind of exciting to be part of it. I hope it works.

Hi my name is Jen and I'm a Rumor Board addict so I'm off to the rumor case something has changed in the last 10 minutes.... :-)


Friday, August 11, 2006


You would think after all these years of infertility, raising a 6 year old daughter, and my job -- training/helping people on computers, I would have developed patience.

Well I guess I tolerate things. I'm not a patient person. I want to be DTC (Dossier to China!), Now! Stamping my foot like a 2 year old.

I found some quotes on the Internet on Patience....

"There was a time when Patience ceased to be a virtue. It was long ago."

That sounds just like me.

Another one.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." John Quincy Adams

Now that is is very true.

Maybe we will hear something today or Monday....


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We are off to translation......

I was watching United States Postal Service today waiting for our Houston documents. They arrived. I ran up to the agency and delivered them.

We are officially done with the paperchase.

Next step translation then off to China!

We hope to get an August Logged In Date....We shall see...

now onto my next task -- the baby's room! Yeah!


Monday, August 07, 2006

Got the Revised Golden Ticket!

USCIS reissued us the I-797C. We got it in record time. We also found out we are out of critical review. Critical review is where the agency reviews your dossier three times to make sure that there are no mistakes. So what is our next step.

I get our final two documents back from the Houston Consulate early this week. Then we off for binding and translation. Then off to China!!!! This means will get an August Logged in Date (LID). This date becomes most important because this is how China tracks your dossier. Right now they have referred LID dates up to July 13th 2005. So you see it is just over 13 month wait.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well we got the golden ticket (sort of)

Of course nothing is ever easy. We have a polish last name as my dear husband likes to remind me. We stepped out on Saturday night and went to a social gathering of waiting families. The FCC (Families with Children from China) has a waiting group. We had a really good time. We were surprised as Bill and I are not really social groupees. We are more into our family activities and such. We met about 10 other families who are waiting. We were the "new" kids on the block. One of only two families still chasing. We were talking about the elusive I797C/I171H stating our we think it will be over 8 weeks. We were just over 7 weeks at that point.

Well whatta you know, we got home and guess what was in the mail. The I797C. Don't jump for joy yet. Remember that polish last name -- nothing_comes_easy_ski. Well it had a mistake on it. yes a mistake. I about cried. Bill was pi$$ed. You know he works for the gov't so he had to take a jab at the gov't employees. They made a small mistake of leaving off his name from the form. There was a small field that said Spouse's name (if any). Well it was blank. Small problem. His name needed to be on it. So here were are on a Saturday evening wanting to jump for joy but instead we are now wanting to jump out the window. Small problem though we live in ranch home :-)

I called our agency on Monday am. USCIS needs to fix it. She will place a call to them. However, one small glimmer of hope is still flickering. We can notarize, county certify, state seal, chinese consulate authenticate this document we now have. They will just attach the new one to this one we have. So on Monday, I went driving all around Atlanta to get this done. The documents went off to Houston yesterday. They typically have a 4 day turn around so I hope to have it back early next week. USCIS should be reissuing this document soon....

The rest of our documents have been in Critical Review since last Wednesday. Critical Review is where the agency basically reviews each document like 4 times to make sure everything is correct. They say it typically takes 10-15 business days to complete. We haven't heard anything back yet so this is good news. But remember our last name -- nothing_comes_easy_ski -- so no celebrating yet.

One last note, CCAA (China's adoptive gov't agency that controls all international adoptions) just issued referrals for June 29 through July 13 2005. So people are waiting about 13 months now. Lets hope they do more next month.