Thursday, December 20, 2007

Guess What Friends and Family???

We are going to China!
Yes we are booked!
Yes we have plane tickets! and Yes paid for....

We are leaving on Jan 17th. Consulate appointment is on the 29th. We will be home on Feb 1st.

Details to follow on exact itinerary.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Immigration Form is coming!!!!

I got an email from the Adoption Officer at Immigration. It has been approved and is being placed in the mail!!!!!

So what's next?

We get this golden ticket. Agency can make consulate appointment in China for us. We need this appointment to bring Ricky into the USA. This appointment is the last thing we do in China. So basically they make the appointment then backtrack 14-15 days- that's when we leave.

We are so close!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Update to the Fingerprint Situation

We found out yesterday that my father in laws fingerprints failed. There is a FBI hotline number you can go and check.

We went today for the oath - basically you have to swear you are not a criminal.

Now we wait....Travel Department will not make a consulate appointment without it.

It could be tomorrow, it could be in two days, it could be next week. Adoption Officer at immigration was really all over the place on when it will be issued.

We are shooting for Jan 10th to leave.

Friday, December 07, 2007

TA has arrived

and we are not ready.

one word...


no word yet.

who the hecks knows when

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Updated Picture of Ricky!

We got an update on the little man. He is now 15 months old as of Dec 2nd. He is walking. Big note -- he is in foster care. So he is getting one on one attention. That is good! He will probably go through a grief stage when he pick him up. Oh yeah he is now 22 lbs. He has gained 4 lbs in the last 3 months.

He can not say any words.
He can walk on his own.
He sleeps soundly, but occasionally he will wake.
He does not suck his thumb.

He is not shy with strangers.
When he is fussy, holding him up and walking around will make him calmed down.

Foster Care:
He is in the foster care and there are foster parents and grandma.

He eats rice, vegetable and drink milk.
His current schedule for eating and sleeping:
Sleeping time: 8:30 pm -7:30 am,
Napping time: 1:00 pm
Eating time: 7:30 am drink milk and then have breakfast
12:00 lunch
5:30 pm dinner
8:30 pm drink milk.


We have an issue with my father in laws fingerprints. In order to go to China we have to have valid fingerprints for all members of the household. This is for Ricky's US VISA to enter the states. We hope to have it cleared up tomorrow. We have a special friend that is helping us getting into the fingerprint appt. This is a miracle that we are being helped out. Otherwise we would have to wait another 2 plus weeks to get fingerprinted, which would delay our trip.

Please think good thoughts about this. If his fingerprints are cleared, we will hopefully remain close to schedule -- We will leave after Xmas or right after new years.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ricky - Mommy is coming to get you!!!

Today we got our Letter of Acceptance, which means China has officially said "Yes" to us. We made it through review and match. Bill was a bit nervous -- thinking something would go wrong. We should officially receive it by FedEx tomorrow. We have to sign it and send it back. CCAI sends it to China then we wait for our Travel Approval. This takes anywhere between 2-3 weeks.

At that point, we get a US consulate appointment in Guangzhou to get Ricky's Visa. This appointment typically happens on day 14 or 15. So for example, if we get a January 4th appointment, you have to subtract 14 days from there. So we could be leaving for China before the end of the year and spend New Years in China with our new son as a new family. How neat is that?!?! ' Everything depends on the Consulate appointment. So we shall see!

This would also be a good time for Emily as she is on vacation from school so maybe she won't miss that much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


You know it is bad when you cannot recognize your baby but it is really difficult when you only have two pictures.
The picture saga....
A month ago, a family went to Fuling SWI and asked to see Fu Bao Bin (a.k.a. Ricky Bin Bin). They said he was in foster care. I think they were confused. There was another child with the same name - Fu Bao Bin who I have now discovered was in Foster Care. I'm not sure where Ricky is but I believe he is in at the orphanage. As of May he was in orphanage.
That photos were posted on the Fuling SWI website. I have gone through all of these new pictures. I think the one on the left could be Ricky. Child on left has a cleft lip scar like Ricky. To me they look alike - hair, and ears. Who knows....I wish we could get an update or someone say this is him. I have no way of knowing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My Little Bride of Frankenstein

We went trick-a-treating last night. We don't do it in our development because houses are too far apart. So we go "borrow" a neighborhood. Bill and I decided our next house will be in a child friendly neighboord like the one we go to for Halloween. Houses are decorated, people out on porches, kids being pulled in wagon. A great night!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

waiting, waiting and waiting

Once we received the referral, my waiting anxiety disappeared. For about a month or so.

I'm checking emails, checking the boards, wishing for our LOA. Maybe the magical refresh button will make the LOA appear. NOT!

There are no LOA's in sight anywhere. There seems to be a stall. I'm not sure we will be in the next batch or not. I was hoping to spend Christmas in China but I guess it might be January.

I think the problem is that Sept 2006 is in the Review Room. People are saying until Sept 2006 is out of review we won't get our LOA since we have Sept LID.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

30 days....

As I sit here on a Sunday, I look back at the last month and ponder all the changes that have happened and all the changes that will happen.

It has been over 30 days since we knew of Ricky.

It has been over 30 days since we got his pictures.

It has been over 30 days since we have turn in our Letter of Intent to China for Ricky.

It has been over 30 days since I have now become a mommy to 2! Even though I don't have him yet, I have become emotionally attached to this little guy.

Part of me thinks time is flying by, while the other part is saying hey slow down you have too much stuff to do.

No more counting LID months.

No more worrying about how long this process is going to take.

No more stressing over the lack of referrals from CCAA.

I'm the type of person that needs that end date. That is what has made the wait so hard for me. Well my end date should be coming soon. We are thinking either late December or early Jan.

We are now waiting for our social worker to update our homestudy. It has been a week since we met with her. I was hoping to see the update this weekend. We need to have the update done in order to get refingerprinted for the USCIS. We didn't get the update.

There is a family from Peachtree City that is traveling to the orphanage this week to pick up there daughter. She has offered to try to get updated pictures of Ricky. I'm hoping that she is successful.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pre-approval is here

Pre-approval letter came 2 weeks after our Letter of intent. It basically means that they have moved our file over to the waiting child pile.

hopefully in 60-90 days we will get a letter of acceptance. then comes Travel Approval then comes going to China!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

boy how things change.....

I didn't even notice our 12 month wait went by. I guess we don't have to count anymore. Life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls.

To say that we are so not prepared for Ricky's arrival is an understatement. We thought we had 2 plus years of waiting. I know we signed up for the waiting child program but I really didn't think we would get a referral this quick and one that we would accept.

At this point we are so overwhelmed my head is spinning. It doesn't help that my work is very busy. I feel like we have so much to do and so little time.

The agency is saying we have anywhere between 3-5 months. I'm figuring on January 2008.

We are in the middle of our homestudy update. We had to add an addendum onto our homestudy because we were not originally approved for a waiting child. That is done and has been sent off to China. Our social worker is coming the first week of October to do the homestudy update. We have to update our homestudy because our approval from the US expires on Jan 24, 2008. We cannot take the chance of this expiring. We might have enough time, we might not.

Yesterday we went to Scottish Rite Craniofacial Center who will perform Ricky's cleft palate surgery. They were really nice. It was an informal let's get to know you type of meeting. It lasted 30 minutes. They told us what to expect for Ricky's first surgery and possible other surgery's as he gets older.

I think it put Bill's mind at ease that we can handle this. He is still worried about some other aspects such as Ricky being teased because he might have a speech impediment. No one wants their child teased especially for physical limitiations. I'm still hoping with lots of speech therapy and lots of love, he will do fine. Watch out mean kiddo's, I'm on the lookout for you!

Right now, we are awaiting China's pre-approval of our adoption of Ricky. This is sort of just of formality. We should be hearing soon -- typically take a couple of weeks to hear this.

After that the next step is Letter of Acceptance. China send this as their formal declaration that you have been approved. This letter can take anywhere from 60-90 days.

After that is Travel Approval - typically within a month of the letter of acceptance.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Here comes Ricky!!!

I emailed our agency today and asked if we could post pictures.
They said why not -- he is YOUR son!!!!

So here is Ricky at 8 months.

then at 1 year just taken last week! He is in pink! Boys love to wear Pink!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I guess there is no other way to put other than shout it from the rooftops but we have a baby boy. This week we got to review a file of a waiting child from the Fuling Orphanage in Chongqing. He is just turned 1 on Sept 2nd. Happy Birthday, baby! He has a repaired cleft lip and unrepaired cleft palatte. We consulted with a wonderful international adoption doctor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - International Adoption Clinic - Dr. Chambers. She has adopted twin girls from China in Chongqing herself. After our consultation, we accepted the referral yesterday.

As soon as I have permission to post more on the blog, I will.

Here is a picture of China and I have circled where we will be going hopefully in January 2008.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

11 month LID Anniversary

Today marks 11 months of officially waiting. China has referred up to Nov 21st 2005. I believe that is 293 more LID days to go. Problem is that they have only referred 7 LID days in the last couple of months

We started this process in March of 2006 so add another 5 months onto the process. When we started this and went to orientation, they told us 12-14 months. When we sent our paperwork in it was 14-16 month wait. So naively I thought we would be in China this year.....well that isn't happening. Based on current calculations, it is looking like June/July 2009. It is very hard to imagine where we will be in 2009 in our life. Emmy will be 9.

All I have to say this whole process just isn't what we signed up for and isn't very fair.

I have found several children on other agencies waiting child programs that I think we could of handled the need but we cannot petition for that child because China doesn't allow you to persue a child on another agency list. So we must wait on our list. Our agency waiting list is large.

Regarding the waiting child (special needs) program we signed up for in April that is the only sign of hope I have right now. I'm banking all my dreams on this and we will get matched with a child that will have some minor special medical need that we can handle. I have told Bill that I cannot see the picture when we get a this match as I will fall in love with the picture only and not read the medical. When could this match happen....well they are starting to match boys from Feb-April. Most people on this waiting child program are waiting for a girl. We said either so I'm pretty sure if we do get a match it will be a boy.

So there is a slight chance that we could get matched on their next list which is suppose to arrive soon. A match doesn't mean we can accept it. It all depends on the need. I am also not trying to bank everything on a match soon. I have been soooo disappointed in this whole process. I'm not sure how I will handle it if we can get a match but we cannot accept it.
I keep tell Bill it is a leap of faith. No matter if it is a bio child or an adopted child, it is a leap of faith. You just don't know what medical or emotional need will happen in the future. You just need to go with it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cartoon of the Day....

How appropriate...I'm really doing okay but thought this was appropriate....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

I suck...

at waiting...

at blogging....

there I said it.

I'm tired of waiting..... I cannot wait till 2009 so all I have to say is that CCAI better match us with a waiting child in the next 6 months or I'm through with this whole thing. This whole process just doesn't seem fair.

Sorry at the lack of blogging. I cannot keep up with work and other stuff right now so something has to fall to the side.

In honor of the way I feel.....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Meet the family...

Courtsey of the Simpsons Movie Website.

How did I miss this...

Happy 10th LID Anniversary! Every month we are one step closer. Too bad we are climbing the Great Wall of China!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

All Sweetness

Oh wow, China has referred 7 days! Up to November 14, 2005. This moves us closer. All in God's time you know. He is preparing us for our challenges ahead. Hmmm looking a calendar it only means we have 2 plus more years of waiting. Oh we can handle it. I can spend time shopping for the baby -- although I have no idea it will be a boy or girl or what size to buy for but I'm going to spend all my money on pink! We will wait until 3, 4, 5 years with a great big smile on our face.


the previous post was my spin on trying to be positive and after I ate two bowls of corn pops to try to put all the sweetness in the post.

I don't get it, why are people paperchasing China? I just want to scream -- people wake up and smell the coffee --- it will be 3 plus years until you see anything from China.

May is out of Review..

This means we a few months closer to at least be reviewed. What does review mean -- China will finally look at our documents, which have been sitting since 9/11/06 in their office. They will give the yeah or nay to them.

I don't think we will be questioned but with China you can never know.

Also -- rumor has it (well it is probably more than rumor) -- that they have sent more referrals....7 days...big whoop.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy 9th Month! Also Happy Birthday to my little girl, Emily!

Gee I almost forgot. This is a day late. Oh well.
Also Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Emily who turned 7 today! Emily told me today even though she is now a big kid, she will always be my baby!

I guess it is time for an update. Well CCAA has matched a whopping 6 more days. Bringing us to 11/7/05. With this rate I hate to say it but it looks like the we are hitting the end of June 2009. Yes I repeat 2009. I'm not ready to believe in that year. Alot can happen. At this point I'm still hoping for a referral by Christmas 2008.

My heart is telling me that we will be matched with a waiting child. We turned in a checklist in mid April. I think we will hopefully see a referral through this program maybe by end of this year/early next year. Please keep in mind, they may have us look at a file -- it doesn't mean we will accept it. Bill is open to a special needs child but he is very cautious about what we will accept. If we don't accept the referral, our place is still in line for the non-special needs program.

We have been seeing referrals of some very young babies -- 6-8 months old at time of travel. We would like as young as possible so it is very tempting for us to stay just in the non special needs category and just stick it out.

It is very hard to wait. I try to remain optimistic and on most days can. It is just hard to wrap my mind around that fact that we could be waiting until 2009. A lot can change in all of these years of waiting. I'm not even sure by then we would want another child. Emily would be 9 by then. How I wish (1) my body would produce another child -- not happening (2) we started this Chinese adoption so much sooner rather than wasting our time and money on infertility treatments. 2 freaking years down the tube. oh well cannot change the past.

That's it for now. I will try to be better about posting updates.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome Home Emme Lu and family!

One our ALTs is coming home today with Emme Lu a.k.a The Bee.

I have been following their blog --

She is such a beautiful baby and they have had such a wonderful experience! They went to her finding place and met the woman who found the little Bee!

Welcome Home!!


Friday, May 11, 2007

Some Analysis....

Ok I'm not the Rumor Queen but someone from that forum posted that they saw a pattern of referrals. Meaning give or take a couple of days if you look at October referral period, they referred 19 days. In 2006 for the late Sept/Oct referral period they referred 18 days. On average they are sticking with a 12 day referral. You need to look at this over a year's worth of time. That said, I created a spreadsheet so I can see where I fall.

So here goes....Here is the chart showing the pattern, I repeated the days starting with Sept/Oct of 2006.

So even if they change the number of days referred each time but stick on average to 12 days... Not good..... End of June 2009. Remember my LID is 9/11/06

Now if they kicked it up a notch and on average referred up to 15 days. Give or take we would receive a referral in late Jan 2009.
If they kicked it up even futher and start on average to do 18 days of referrals. Keep in mind, this is an average. We would get a referral in late Oct/Nov of 2008 -- ahhh so much better.

That's all I have with the analysis. Probably the same as Rumor Queen but I need it spelled out in a spreadsheet. When the next referral comes in, all I have to do is plug in the number of days and see where my highlighted area is.

Who knows if this is right or wrong but heck it is something eh?

8 Months of Waiting

8 months many more is anyone's guess. I am happy to report that I'm in a better place about the wait.
Yes the wait sucks, stinks, rots etc.
But this month I have not been fixated on it. So that is good. Hubby is breathing a sigh of relief too.
Next month who know but this month, my stress level over the wait is down to nothing!

my big girl!

Emily is so looking forward to being a big sister. Time doesn't seem to move fast for her (or me for that fact!).

Emmy is getting to be such a girl....I cannot say little anymore. We have dance recital in June and here is picture of her.

I love you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh the Places You Will Go

Oh the Places You Will Go is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. I think it reminds us that life can be extremely tough at times, but we will be just fine if we keep on the road and face up to each challenge as it presents itself. It's about challenges and change. It describes up times and down times, waiting times and stressful times.
This book was read to us at my college graduation. It still pertains to my life today.
Here are words from Oh the Place's You'll Go!

Today is your day. You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away! You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. You'll look up and down streets.
Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you'll want to go down. In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener therein the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t Because, sometimes, you won't. I'm sorry to say sobut, sadly, it's true and Hang-up scan happen to you.

You can get all hung upin a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted.

But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose?

How much can you win? And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...or right-and-three-quarters?

Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you'll start in to racedown long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place......for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to goor a bus to come, or a plane to goor the mail to come, or the rain to goor the phone to ring, or the snow to snowor waiting around for a Yes or a Noor waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kiteor waiting around for Friday nightor waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jakeor a pot to boil, or a Better Breakor a sting of pearls, or a pair of pantsor a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting. NO!That's not for you! Somehow you'll escapeall that waiting and staying.

You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go!

There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't. Because, sometimes, they won't. I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too.

Games you can't win'cause you'll play against you. All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl

On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl Onward up manya frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike and I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed upwith many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tactand remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed!(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Brayor Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places!

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.

So...get on your way!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

7 months....

I started to say Happy 7 Months. But it is far from happy. We also passed our 1 year anniversary from starting the process. Looking back I see how naive I was. A year ago when we announced we were doing this, I thought we would be in China in the Fall of 07. Well our paperchase took 2 months longer because of the ATL USCIS office. My next train of thought was we will be in China by Dec 2007. wrong again.

Now best guess is between Sept 2008 and Dec 2008 -- leaning towards Dec 2008.

This plain sucks.

What I find is amazing is that people are getting LIDS this month, April 2007 and they think they will travel by the end of 2008. What planet are they living on? There is something to be said for being optimistic, but these people need a reality check! Be prepared for a 3 year wait.

Our medical checklist is at the agency. Well there are over 200 people ahead of us and it is served based off when the checklist went to agency then if there is a match on our list. So....this could be a complete waste of time. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Referrals are in!!!

For a stinking two days. Yes they only matched 2 days. The end of October and November of 2005 are suppose to be very large. People say they still matched the same number of referrals it is just that there are a large number of people waiting with these LIDs. That doesn't help us feel any better.

I'm also tired of hearing "it will be worth the wait". I'm sure it will be but again it doesn't help now. We didn't plan on a 28 month wait.
So what are we doing to shorten it? Well we filled out our agencies medical checklist for special needs. There are certain minor needs that we could handle plus we are open to a boy so maybe we can be matched via their waiting child program. We are persuing the waiting child program through our agency so according to China we are still in the non-special needs track. We just have to wait and see.

Also we are now looking into Ethiopia as option. The waiting times are much quicker but the program is very new and who knows how stable. We are going to take the next month or so and research this option.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I know this is suppose to be about adoption but...

I couldn't resist.
Check this video out...

My Aunt Jane knows more than my RE

RE means Reproductive Endocronologist (aka infertility doc).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Waiting for Referrals is like a late Period

Well it is getting to be that time of the month. And no I'm talking about my period. It is the time of the month when referrals come in. Well they are late. They have been referring towards the end of each month/first couple days of the next month. What does this do to people?

Well if this was a period.....what happens when you are late with your period. Well if you have been trying to get pregnant, you get very anxious, very excited, cannot concentrate, and take every pregnancy test known to man. When you pee on the stick, what happens, it is negative and then your period starts. Well that has been the story of my attempts to get pregnant. Or even worse you get a positive, then you get a "period". What the hell. How do you even react to that? By taking more tests, drinking or enhaling water, then pee again 10 minutes later. Only to find out that you either had a bad test, or you had an early miscarriage.

Well the fact referrals are a day or two late, it is driving everyone on the boards crazy. Even though it is not our turn, what happens now affect us in the future. So you get very anxious, very excited, cannot concentrate and you check every email or Rumor Queen multiple times a day. The Rumor Queen board is like a pregancy check (the pee), they then say yep referrals are on the way (the positive test), then you wait (drinking of the water), then you go back to the board (pee again), find out that referrals are not coming (nope not pregnant).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy 6 month LID and ramblings

Happy 6 month LID ( a couple of days late)

This time last year, Bill and I decided to adopt from China. We signed up with our agency a year ago. How naive I was. I remember stating -- oh we will be in China by Oct 2007. That's because they quotes us a 12-14 month wait. But I didn't realize that in the previous months that they only were referring 5 days of LID. That was never told to us. Of course, we were told international adoption has no guarentees when it comes to the wait. Well, I never thought it would be a 24-30 month wait for us. (heck it could be longer). If they refer 15 days each referral period, one calculator gives us a referral on 12/28/2008. Last month they did not refer 15 days.

So with the wait comes looking at our other options. We have looked at switching countries to either Vietnam or Ethiopia. For us, a dual adoption is not possible. Unless we get referred twins, we are only planning adding one more child to our family. Financially we couldn't afford to do China and another country. Looking at Vietnam, it is too expensive. We would loose half our China plus with the Vietnam expenses it was over our budget. Ethiopia looks interesting. I have sent for some information.

After talking with Bill, it looks like we will probably stick with China. Unless things get totally out of hand (isn't a 2 year wait out of hand?), maybe Ethiopia. Bill wants to stick it out with China.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rite of Passage

I found this article very interesting. I have attached a link to the video.
It is about a chinese adopted baby having her bat mitzvah.

Chinese Orphan’s Journey to Jewish Rite of Passage
Of the 613 laws in the Torah, the one that appears most often is the directive to welcome strangers. The girl once known as Fu Qian has been thinking about that a lot lately.

Three weeks ago, she stood at the altar of her synagogue on the Upper West Side and gave a speech about it.

Fu Qian, renamed Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro at 3 months, was one of the first Chinese children — most of them girls — taken in by American families after China opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990s. Now, at 13, she is one of the first to complete the rite of passage into Jewish womanhood known as bat mitzvah.

She will not be the last. Across the country, many Jewish girls like her will be studying their Torah portions, struggling to master the plaintive singsong of Hebrew liturgy and trying to decide whether to wear Ann Taylor or a traditional Chinese outfit to the after-party.

There are plenty of American Jews, of course, who do not “look Jewish.” And grappling with identity is something all adopted children do, not just Chinese Jews.

But seldom is the juxtaposition of homeland and new home, of faith and background, so stark. And nothing brings out the contrasts like a bat mitzvah, as formal a declaration of identity as any 13-year-old can be called upon to make. The contradictions show up in ways both playful — yin-and-yang yarmulkes, kiddush cups disguised as papier-mâché dragons, kosher lo mein and veal ribs at the buffet — and profound.

Yet for Cece, as everyone calls Cecelia, and for many of the girls like her, the odd thing about the whole experience is that it’s not much odder than it is for any 13-year-old.

“I knew that when I came to this age I was going to have to do it, so it was sort of natural,” she said a few days before the ceremony at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a Reform synagogue on West 83rd Street where she has been a familiar face since her days in the Little Twos program. Besides, she said with a shrug, “Most of my Chinese friends are Jewish.”

As Zoe Kress, an adoptee in Mt. Laurel, N.J., said about her approaching bat mitzvah: “Being Chinese and Jewish is normal for me. Thinking about being Chinese and Jewish is a little strange.”

Olivia Rauss, a girl in Massachusetts who celebrated her bat mitzvah last fall on a day when the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot coincided with the Chinese autumn moon festival, said she saw no tension between the two facets of her identity either.

“Judaism is a religion, Chinese is my heritage and somewhat my culture, and I’m looking at them in a different way,” she said. “I don’t feel like they conflict with each other at all.”

While no statistics are kept on the number of Chinese children adopted by Jewish families, over all, there were about 1,300 Chinese children adopted into American families from 1991 to 1994, another 17,000 in the second half of the ’90s, and 44,000 since then, according to the State Department.

Cece was born on Jan. 29, 1994, in Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. She was abandoned to an orphanage because of China’s one-child rule, and adopted by a lesbian couple, Mary Nealon and Vivian Shapiro. (The couple later adopted another Chinese girl, Gabie, now 5.) Cece has been drawing double-takes for a while, like when she used to ride on Ms. Shapiro’s lap on a packed crosstown bus and would burst into the Passover standard “Dayenu.”

Ms. Shapiro, an advertising buyer, was brought up by atheistic Jews; Ms. Nealon, a school nurse, was raised a Roman Catholic. But after they met, they were drawn to Judaism and decided to give Cece a relatively traditional upbringing.

“That was my hope when I started her in day school,” Ms. Nealon said, “that when she got up on the bimah” — the lectern where the bat mitzvah girl reads from the Torah — “she would feel like she had the right to be there.”

The countdown to the big day was the typical blur of lessons and studying, sit-downs with cantors and tutors, caterers and party planners. There was a thick dossier of Jewish history to master — history that Cece confessed did not feel like hers. “I just really try to learn it,” she said. “I don’t try to think of whose history it is.”

And, of course, there was shopping to be done.

“In my fantasy,” Ms. Nealon said, “we’d take her to Chinatown and have this incredibly beautiful Westernized Chinese dress made.”

But Ms. Shapiro said: “She wanted no part of it. For her, this has nothing to do with being Chinese.”

Cece set her cantor’s reading of her Torah portion to “repeat” on her iPod. She met with the head rabbi at Rodeph Sholom, Robert N. Levine, an affable, animated man with an office full of books and baseball memorabilia.

“So, Cece,” Rabbi Levine said, “what do you connect to most about your Judaism?”

Cece had transformed into the archetypal opaque teenager.

“I think I like the holidays, and, um, yeah,” she said, looking down.

The rabbi asked her to recite for him. She did.

“I love it,” Rabbi Levine said. “You have a beautiful voice. Your Hebrew is perfect. The only thing I need you to do, Cece, is project. Just give me a ‘Baruch’ like you’re singing in the shower.”

“Baruch,” Cece said, a bit louder.

On Feb. 17, nearly 200 of Cece’s friends and relatives filed into the vast Romanesque sanctuary of Rodeph Sholom. A box of commemorative yarmulkes with the yin-and-yang pattern sat by the door. Six alumnae of Cece’s orphanage — they call themselves the Fu sisters — had flown in from all over the country.

To the side of the altar, on a red throne, sat Cece, resplendent in a long black patterned dress with a scoop neck.

Ms. Shapiro laid a prayer shawl over Cece’s shoulders, a symbolic transfer of power. Cece and the other bat mitzvah girl that day, Sadie Friedman, lifted their voices and let loose a Hebrew welcome song that Cece had sung with the synagogue choir from the time she was 7.

Rabbi Levine preached from the day’s reading: “ ‘Let the stranger in your midst be to you as the native, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ ”

Cece and Sadie approached the ark, the enclosure, flanked with marble columns and topped by carved lions, where the Torah scrolls are kept. The cantor, Rebecca Garfein, handed them the oversize scrolls, dressed in maroon and gold fabric. The girls held them like bagpipes.

Cece laid her scroll on the bimah and read in Hebrew, in a loud, clear voice, from Chapter 21 of Exodus, a compendium of commandments on the treatment of servants and slaves.

Then she moved to her English speech.

“This long journey to becoming a bat mitzvah today has provided me with so many ways of learning,” she said. “The part that will always stay closest to me is the importance of caring for strangers. Just like Jews were once strangers in the land of Egypt, we have all been, or will be strangers at some point in our lives.”

Cece finished, touched the fringe of her shawl to the Torah and kissed it. She returned to her throne and sat down, cheeks red, looking exhausted and relieved.

That night — the eve of the Chinese year of the pig, as fate would have it — Cece and her guests reconvened at the Faculty House at Columbia University. The outer room was set up like a casino, with Cece-backed playing cards and Cece-faced play money. Inside, the music throbbed, the D.J. yelled, the fog machine billowed. Cece and her friends traded their shoes for white socks and pogoed across the floor.

After dinner — kosher Chinese for the kids, steak for the adults — the D.J. cranked up “Hava Nagila.” Cece, in a chair in the middle of the dance floor, was lifted up, up, up until she bumped her head on the Chinese umbrellas hanging off the chandelier.

Then she was back on the floor, dancing with her mothers and little sister and singing along with the recording: “Hava neranena, venis’mecha,” or: Let us sing and be glad.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Meeting You Halfway Around the World

I cannot wait for this to happen. To me it still seems unreal that we are doing this. If you asked me two years ago we would be doing this, I would say you were crazy. Now, I cannot imagine NOT doing it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

For No Reason....

On Friday, the hubby sent a dozen lavender roses to my office. The first thing I asked is why? He said just because. I said are you sure you haven't done anything. I have had people at work ask me why the flowers. All I say is just because.
The card read "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow". Aww how sweet is that.
I'm not sure how I got so lucky. I love you sweetie!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I go to the same Chinese Take-Out Restaurant for the past year. It is on my way home. It is one of those places that this in a strip mall -- not a real sit down place but more of just take-out. I have been going there for probably over a year and half.
I have this overwhelming need to want to talk to them. The restaurant is run by a family. The son is probably first generation american. They have an adorable little baby girl in the family.
Am I weird? I have kept my big mouth shut so far but it is very tempting.
Also, our town isn't as hick as I thought it was. I have concerned about racial diversity in Emily's school. If we stay in the same area, there is some concern. I didn't think there were any Asian Children in her school. The school population must be 90% white. Recently, I saw one Asian child. We were also eating in a local southern cooking restaurant. I saw 2 Asian boys with their caucusian parents. I think they might have been Korean. OK I know not big but at least it is a start.
I also found out that I'm not the only Jew in town. Several members of our Temple live out our way. I guess they are the ones buying up all the Hanukkah stuff in the local supermarket.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy 5 Month LID

Please print and color!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Reminders of the Past.....

February for us (as a family) is crappy month.....Bill's mom and grandmother died in February. Bill's mom's anniversary of her death is tomorrow. We all miss her very much. Sad to think she hasn't seen Emily grow up to be the little girl she always wanted.

Yesterday, I was reminded of another wasn't like I was just there. Yesterday, I was home with Emily. She had strep throat over the weekend and I kept her home yesterday. I got the mail and there it was. The reminder that I was trying hard not to think of.

It said "Congratulations on being 24 months old" Huggies coupons. I don't have a 24 month old.

We lost a baby over 2 1/2 years ago in the first trimester. People called it a miscarriage. It was very much a baby to me. When we found it we were pregnant, it was truly a miracle or so we thought. Emily was an infertility baby. This baby was o'natural. Well in the excitement of it all and a bit naive at the time, I signed up for that Babycenter website, month to month guide on your pregnancy. Heck it was over 4 years since we had a baby. I needed to read up. Well they sold my name without my permission to a bunch of companies. I didn't sign up for that when asked. Well, the baby wasn't meant to be. Yet, I guess the advertisements were. I started getting them just months before the baby was ranged from actual formula samples, coupons galore, picture coupons, ect... I had a bit of time to get over the miscarriage (you never really get over it), then slam, whack you in the face, these items started appearing.

Well come to find out, they are still coming 2 years later. Bill has been sparing me from them in the mail. I didn't realize they were still coming. Thank-you Bill -- I love you sweetie for doing this. I had a good cry over this stupid huggies coupon. I often wonder about that baby -- what he/she would be like. I better stop....the tears about to flow again.

On a positive note, it was one of the major factors that led us to where we are today. Adopting a baby from China..

Just remember, even though I didn't get to meet you, I love you little one.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Referrals and Review Room Updated

Referrals are arriving. They have referred upt to Oct 13, 2005. I guess you can look at two ways.....

1) Optimistic -- Hey they referred like 16/17 days. Which is good.

2) Pessimistic -- Hey CCAA was closed the first week of Oct, so you have to back some days out.

I'm not sure which way I'm looking at this. I have been very down about this whole adoption thing. We are almost at our 5 month mark it is sad to think we could potentially be waiting another 18-22 months.

Monday, January 29, 2007


There is no news of referrals for the next group.

Can we just be done with year of 2005 LIDs?

Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.
Well I'm failing terribly at Patience when it comes to this adoption. I scour the internet, my yahoo groups, my email for any glimpse of something new but nope. zilch.
I know I'm suppose to live my life and blah blah blah. I am trying.... I guess you can give me that.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tag - I'm It

ABC Tag game. I still have T to do but here are my answers.

A - available or taken: Taken.

B- best friend: My husband

C- cake or pie: Cake - Chocolate Cake.

D- drink of choice: Diet Coke with a bit of rum when I'm having a stressful day.

E - Essestional Item you use everyday: deodorant

F-favorite color: purple

G-gummy bears or worms: gummy bears

H-hometown: raised in a hicktown called Westtown, NY -- population 500; cow population 1500.

I - Indulgence: Bagels with Lox

J-January or February: January -- Feb is a bad month for the family.

K-kid's names: Patricia or Patrick

L-Life incomplete without: husband and daughter.

M-marriage date: 10/05/1996

N-number of siblings: 3

O-oranges or apples: apples - gala

P- phobias or fears: bugs in general -- hate them.

Q-favorite quote: patience is a virtue (one that I don't have)

R-reason to smile: my daughter

S-season: Fall

T-tag 3 people: I will have to think about it.

U-unknown fact about me: I like to read smutty romance novels.

V - veggie I don't like: Brussel Sprouts.

W-worst habit: surfing the net and my blackberry.

X-xrays: none recently

Y-your favorite food: a good steak and baked potato

Z-zodiac: Cancer

Thursday, January 11, 2007

4 Month LID Anniversary

not much more to say.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Putting Things into Perspective

When I need to put things into perspective, I tend to read stories (or in this case a blog) about other people's battles for survival. I find that it helps me put things into perspective about my life and my own troubles. It is a dose of reality that I need to kick myself in the ass and say you know what Jen, it isn't so bad. In the past, I have read about Holocaust survivor stories. I read these with a passion. The ability to survive such a horrible act and come out it still human is amazing. I'm not sure if I would have the strength. It also reminds me what people will do on because you are not the same race or religion. One of the major items, I hope to teach my children is that it doesn't matter what race or religion someone is -- they are person and we respect them. Bill and I are the perfect example how two people of different religions can respect and love each other. With the addition of the new baby, we bring a new mix into the picture. We can love each other no matter what race you are. We have already begun to teach Emily about how her new brother or sister will be of a different skin color and how she won't look like us but it is what is in your heart and how you are as a person that counts.

Back to perspective.....

Somebody sent me this blog of a family battling cancer -- their 6 year old daughter's cancer battle. I have been following their story. When I think I have it rough I remember Maria. No family especially no child should go through this.

There are a couple of videos on the right that pretty much summarize her journey. Please think about Maria when you think you have a bad day or things are not going right. It puts things into persective.

Finally, I'm not sure why but today I have been thinking alot about my mother-in-law, Pat, who we lost to breast cancer almost 6 years ago. Pat was in her early 50's when she died. Her life was just too short, I miss her very much. She didn't get to know Emily. Emily was 7 months old when Pat died. Pat would have loved Emily at this age. I truly believe Pat held onto life to see Emily be born. Our new baby will be named after Pat -- Tricia or Patrick. I hope that her spirit lives on in them.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Oh Where to Begin.....

Typically when there is a show on China on the television, we tend to watch or videotape it. It is our way of educating ourselves. When there is a show on Chinese Adoption, again we tend to watch them -- maybe we will find out something we don't know. Well on Friday night, Bill and I watched Paula Zahn's NOW show on Chinese Adoption. We did find out some new things - it is great when we can educate ourselves. This is what we found out:

1) We are racists.

2) We are adopting from China because Chinese babies are smarter, cuter, healthier than American babies.

3) That we are racists (Oh yeah did I say that)

4) American's are obsessed with China Dolls.

For those who didn't get the glorious chance to watch the show. Click on the following link for a transcript:

The panel implied that people that adopt from China do not adopt african-american babies because we like the skin color of our China Dolls better. By the way the use of the word China Doll insinuates that Asian women are hypersexual, submissive, "exotic", feminine, and eager to please white males. They said that we do not adopt african-american babies because we don't see them as smart or as hardworking as our Chinese children.

If you look back to one of my first posts on Why China? -- we clearly explain that we want a baby, no mention of a cute or smart child was made. We looked at our domestic options. Honestly, we didn't like what we saw. First, Bill and I are of mixed faith -- a complication for most "Christian" agencies. Second, we did want to be in competition with other adoptive families. Yes, it is a competition on who the birthmother is going to pick. A marketing campaign on why Bill and I would make great parents to another child. Frankly, I have had enough beauty pagent competitions in high school to last me a lifetime. I don't want to be judged on looks or how much money we have. Judge me on me. Third, we wanted a closed adoption. Frankly, the US adoption system is more and more open. Fourth, the risk -- yes there is a risk with international, but I don't want to be matched with a birthmother then find out that she has changed her mind. I have met family after family through our adoption process in which they have had failed domestic adoptions take place. Domestic Adoption advocates say it doesn't happen -- well I have heard enough from families in which it has.

If someone would just give us a baby, I wouldn't care if the baby was green, blue, white, yellow or black.

Back to the show...

This show was suppose to be about the new regulations around the Chinese adoption. It turned out to be a forum for 3 panelists that a specific agenda. The fact the Paula Zahn was responsible for putting together this show (or at least her producers), shows that she is a farce as a journalist.

The attorney that was on the show was Solangel Maldonado. She is a professor at Seton Hall and has written a paper on Discouraging Racial Preferences in Adoption. In this paper she surmises all my reasons that I stated above are a bunch of bull and I have an unconscious bias towards white or asian children because I don't want a african american child. Heck, if Ethiopia was just a bit more stable, we would have gone there. She goes on to state that there should be a law that prohobits people from applying for an international adoption until they have waited a full year for a domestic adoption to take place -- in a particular where they have shown they have waited for an african american baby. Freaking unbelieveable.

Ok -- I do believe some people do look for white babies but get real to lump all chinese adoptive parents into this mix is a joke. Heck, I live in the South, raising my child Jewish -- not an easy thing. We will be the object of attention when we adopt a chinese baby. We would the be same object of attention if we were to adopt an african american baby. I could have taken the easy way out and raised Emily Catholic like her dad or adopt a white baby -- but no, easy isn't always right.

I'm getting all riled up is the entire Chinese adoptive community. The boards have been on a letter writing campaign. I certainly hope CNN takes notice and issues a statement in regards to this show.

The real question is why are Americans looking for babies outside of America? Perhaps a show on the failures of the US Adoption Laws and US social services is the true reasons.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

my other children

We also have two dogs that I consider my babies...

Shelby the Sheltie is my old lady. My dh bought her for me for our first valentine's day together (just 4 months after we met). She is now over 12 years old. This picture is old but it is one of my favorite pictures.

Shelby playing dress up!

Here is the Stitch our pug. She has a personality of a clown. She is 2 1/2 now. If you now the movie Lilo and Stitch, Stitch was named after that character by Emily. Well much to our chagrin, the name fits her.

Referrals are in...Whooppee

Ok I know I need to improve my attitude.
This represents about 2 weeks of LIDs I guess.
no speed up...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Birthday to one Wicked Witch! Happy Birthday Nic!

Happy New Year and The Wait

Well as we welcome the new year, we have to be a bit more realistic about the wait. I continue to hope that things speed up but I do not see any signs to this.

Recently, the CCAA (the dept that handles adoptions in china) announced new regulations for China. This has been all over the news. See Rumor Queen link for full regulations. Are we affected by them. Well our agency says since we are logged in already, they say we are okay. Are we really? I'm not sure, I hope so. We (both Bill and I ) have started our weight loss plan. One of the new restrictions is over BMI. I'm over the BMI -- just a bit. I'm hoping I can loose the weight before we are reviewed. If China has a problem with us, they will notify us for updated medical. I figure we have at least 6 months before we are reviewed. So in case they ask, we will have our ducks in a row.

Also, regarding the wait. On the Rumor Queen link she posted a calculation to figure out how far away we are from referral. We are basically 348 LID dates away. It has taken 2.3 months to get through a month of dates. 348 x 2.3 / 30 days = 26 months from referral. That is from TODAY. So given this, referral won't occur until 2009. Yes 2009. I'm sick to my stomach about that. I knew this would be a long process but I didn't figure 2009. I thought I was informed. I researched, I searched, I read. I was informed as I thought I could be. I typically don't things half-assed. Well, now I feel like I knew nothing. They have only referred 6 months of dates for the past 15 months. I didn't know that. Our agency didn't tell us. Do I think they lied to us....well they quoted us what the recent referral time was and told us it could change. We were quoted 14-16 months of waiting. We were so excited about the possiblity of new baby, that you sort of ignore the bad news and think only of the good. It has never been this slow before. Bill wants to be optimistic about the wait saying things will speed up. I think he only says that to keep me sane.

I still believe China is the right choice for us. What are alternatives?

  1. Domestic Adoption? I'm really not up for our own adoption system here in the US. It is way to open for me. [note, it might be right for others but not for me]. I also couldn't take the heart ache of a possible birthmother changing her mind.
  2. Foster Care -- we have talked about this as well. again, i'm not sure I could handle loving a child only to have to give the child back. [again, this is right for some, but not for me]
  3. Infertility Treatment -- go back to trying again. Well I just gave up my insurance which covered infertility treatment 100 percent. I would need some major surgery to possibly fix the problem. If i have the surgery and it doesn't work -- they I'm knocked out of china because you cannot have major surgery. The surgery they want to do is not a guarantee of fertility.
  4. Another country -- Vietnam and Ethiopia are the ones I would be interested in but I'm not convinced it is the right move.

so for now we wait........and wait......and wait....