Friday, July 29, 2011

Disappointment

Today my husband's parents were told about our choice to adopt in China.  They were less than thrilled.  They aren't crazy about the idea of adoption and less about China.  But they said, "It's your money, so do with it what you want." like it was just a purchase.  Sad.

But this adoption will take a long, long, long time.  So they have plenty of time to let it sink in and get excited about it.  I'm sure by the time a referral arrives, they'll be ecstatic.  I can't imagine them holding out that long, and if they do, once they met her, who couldn't love a little baby or toddler? 

Oh well!  It'll be fine.  It's just a bit of a let down.  But at least my parents are supportive.  That helps.

I'm hoping working on the application will cheer us up.  I'm hoping we can tonight, if not, as long as it's this weekend I'll be happy.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ling Arrived!

Wow!  I was shocked to get the organizer yesterday.  And now the Ling doll today!  I'm very excited.  I'm not taking her out of the box.  The box got slightly damaged during shipping.  The box's corner are a bit smashed and the is a crease down the front of the box.  It has a small tear on the left, front side.  But the doll and book are undamaged.   During shipping her hair got loosed and it's cascading down her left shoulder. 

I can see her passport behind her.  I think the passport is going to be cool.  Since we'll need to get our daughter a passport when leaving China, I think it would be neat to show her she has one just like Ling. 

The doll is for ages 6 and up and there is a warning of a choking hazard about small parts, so it's not for children under 3 years old.  So it will be a long time until my future, unborn girl gets to play with her.  But I'm sure she'll be treasured.

I'm going to have to find more age appropriate toys.  But I have more than enough time for that.  In the mean time, I'm very happy with this doll.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Organizer Arrived Today!

I think the title sums it all up.  Got the organizer!  VERY surprised how quickly it shipped.  It's really nice.  And it is a very dark navy!  My husband was impressed with it.  Can't wait to start using it.  I've got some stuff I can put in it already, but I haven't done it yet.

Also on a happy note the grouting is complete!!!  Now we only have to scrape off the film the grout leaves behind on the tile.  Maybe not scrape, but scrub over and over and over, then start the scrubbing process again.  But we have a floor!!! 

That means we're gong to fill out the application THIS WEEKEND... finally!  I'm holding my husband to it.  There better not be anymore interruptions!  I can't wait to get the first part done.  I hate having the ball in my court.  I like getting stuff moving.  Once we mail it in we'll have officially started.  That will be so nice to say.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sharing the News

When adopting, there are so many steps and facets.  It's way longer than nine months of a typical wait of a mother.  But for starting adoption, we're having to wait before we can officially start because we still haven't finished tiling.  It's almost ridiculous when your waiting to finish tiling so you can just send in your application!

Yes, the tiling isn't done.  We came across a few snafus while grouting.  We have most of the tiling grouted and we hope to finish tonight or tomorrow. But the appliances got moved back Sunday night, so laundry, cooking, using the garbage disposal and dish washing are all good.  Slowly the house is getting put back together.  We at least got the important areas grouted.  I was able to cook an actual meal last night.  Still no where to properly sit and eat, but we're making progress.

Okay, enough with that tangent.  What I was trying to say is that so early in the process, and we're rather early, it seems presumptuous to say we're getting a child.  Too many things could stop us at this point.  I mean, we could still be turned down.  I don't want to get ahead of myself and share heartbreak with everyone if we can't even get to the LID. 

Maybe I'm over thinking this.  I'm not superstitious by any means, however I still don't want to jinx myself.  It's like if I share it too soon, it won't happen.  Sounds silly, but part of me feels that way.  Like it's magical, and if I share it too soon, before the magic can materialize it will putter out.  I picture a glowing Tinkerbell that I have to hide cupped in my hands, and if too many people see her, she will loose her glow and die away.  Then starts the clapping and "I do believe in fairies" thing.  (Again, I've gone off on another tangent.)  So I've been dragging my feet telling even family about it. 

So I was writing an email last night to a new adoption buddy I found through blogging, and I was mentioning how I told my mother last week, but not my father yet.  As he lives far away (far away as in another time zone), and I haven't gotten to it, and wasn't sure how to approach it.  Well, the more I wrote about the more I thought, just do it.  So I did.

I called my father and said, "I have some news."  He said, "Yes."  I said, "We're adopting a baby."  Silence.  He must have been silent for only 10 seconds, but it seemed forever.  Eventually he said, "You know how to make me speechless."  And coming from my father, that is rare.  He then went to say that it was wonderful and he had been praying for something like this and he would tell his wife.  I said I was willing to tell her, but he said he'd do it.  That's when I knew he was truly excited.  My father loves to share, and if he's excited he wants to tell it himself.  So, that's what he did.  After our 10 minute conversation he shared our news with his wife.

Now we only have to tell my husband's parents this weekend.  We're planning to tell them face to face.  (They live close, like my mother does.)  It just hasn't been the right moment yet.  They've been very busy and going through ups and downs.  So we're hoping we can tell them the news very soon.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Karito Kids - Ling

I have been eyeing Asian dolls for my baby girl.  Well, on my initial search I checked to see if The American Girl dolls had an Asian girl.  From there I discovered Karito Kids.  http://karitokids.com/start.php  The Karito Kids line has several girl dolls, all from other countries with books that give a glimpse into their world.  It's to educate children about other cultures.  How cool!!

Even better, the word "karito" means charity in the constructed language Esperanto and Kids Give, the company that produces the Karito Kids, donates 3% of the purchase price to plan, a charitable organization benefiting children worldwide. The owner of the doll can go to the company's website and enter an "activation code", included in the passport, and choose how she'd like plan to use the money from the purchase.The choices are "Health", "Homes", "Hope" and "School". Again better than the American Girl dolls.

I think they are MUCH better than the American Girl line.  Each doll doesn't look cookie cutter.  They have unique looks and faces.  They're just better constructed all around.  I love this link that compares the Karito Kids doll to an American Girl doll (and they use Ling as the example). http://www.justmagicdolls.com/meet/karitokids/karitokids.htm  It just made me want to get the Ling doll all the more.  And this site shows how the Karito doll is just so much better.

The down side is that the Karito Kids dolls are just as pricey as the American Girl dolls. Not good.

So I've been searching Ebay for a good deal.  I've looked at used ones and new ones.  Today I lucked out!

I was hours away from buying a used one, checking to see if the price was going to shoot up.  But I thought I would check to see if any new listings came up today.  And it did.  A NEW Ling doll for a fraction of the price.  A little more than the used, but to be in the box and everything with her, the book, the passport, all the clothing and to know it won't get dusty or anything.  So worth it.  I bought it on the spot!  I can't wait to get the doll!!  I am so excited!  Here are the pictures of the doll.


I was happy to try and get the used doll.  But as luck has it I am getting a new one!  I'm so glad.  And I can slowly get clothing for the doll.  And American Girl outfits fit her as well, just a little short.  So I can't wait to go on Etsy and see what original outfits have been made.  I bet there will be some Karito outfits as well.

Yes, it's just a doll.  But this is the fun part.  I loved dolls and dressing up so much as a child.  Hopefully, my little girl will as well. 

Now she has her first toy.  I can't wait to get it in the mail. I should get it in 1-2 weeks.  I wonder if I'll get the organizer first or the doll?  Depends on the seller.  Oh, well.  As long as both arrive on time and not damaged, I'm happy!!
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Organizer

Before I start typing about anything... Happy Birthday Mom!!

Well, if there is gong to be 5 years of paper work, I need a sturdy organizer.  I need something that can hold everything, but not be cumbersome like a plastic box of files, something portable.  So I have been on the lookout for a messenger type of tote or file tote that was useful.  I would have really loved one with an Asian theme decorated on it, but that would be pushing my luck.

Anyhow, I found the perfect tote.  I ordered it off of Ebay this morning.  The description called it blue, though it looks purple to me in the photos.



This will be my most important item for holding everything for my baby's future.  I'll either come to see this bag as a treasure or the opposite dreading all the paperwork.  We'll see.

The bag should be delivered around August 1-2.  We'll see then if it's purple or blue.

As for the tiling, we have the hallway done, the laundry room done and the spots for the fridge, stove and dishwasher done.  We're pretty sore from it all.  Our backs, knees and hands ache.

We have to clean up the tiles today as there is a film of grout over it all, but then we can move the household items back.  We'll finish up the kitchen area today and put up the trim boards.  It won't be perfect, but I'll have most of our house back.  Yay!!

Next weekend we'll do the bathroom and the entry.  Then we'll be all done.

Then it's back to working on the deck.  (My husband loves projects.)  At least that one is outside and out of the way.  I can deal with that.

I asked my husband if we could start on the application today.  He said sure, but I'm sure after everything we do he'll be too tired.  I won't press the matter.  I just hoped.  I want to get the process started.  I know the wait now will cause a wait later.  I'm anxious to start.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Ladybug and Aventurine

Today I have the day off from work. I had a rough week and already put in 40 hours, therefore today is a freebie. Gotta love it.

Anyhow, my mother is having a girls' weekend with her sisters and cousin.  They do movies and a sleep-over.  Therefore, my husband and I are babysitting her two dogs for the time being.  So she dropped them off and came baring a gift and card. 


First was a home-made card.  She printed cherry blossoms as a small 3x4 card.  Inside the left side in red ink was the Chinese proverb about the red thread.  At the bottom was a ladybug.  Then with red ink, Mom drew a thread that looped from one end of the card to the other.  Then printed on the right side of the card in red was this, "In most cultures the Ladybug is considered lucky or to bring good luck."  Then at the top Mom wrote her own note, " Wishing you luck in your journey to the end of your invisible red thread. Love, Nanee AKA Mom".  So sweet!!


Then in a beautiful, flowered (trying to go with the cherry blossom theme) box that is sort of iridescent was a bracelet with a pearlized paper note.  The note inside said, "Ladybug: A ladybug is a messenger of brighter days ahead.  Aventurine: luck and friendship".  The bracelet is red leather with a silver ladybug charm and a nugget of aventurine.  It's beautiful.  I don't know where she found it.  Perhaps is wasn't intended for adoption, but I love it.



I'm wearing it now.  What's great is opposed to red thread, this will last longer and I can wear it all the time.  It's adjustable so I can wear it tight and see the charms on top of the wrist.  Thank you Nanee!
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home Study Info

I got a hold of the Home Study agency today.  Well, it seems pricing goes by your county. Half up front and half 60 days from then when the Home Study is complete. 

You must renew every year, and it's a smaller fee.  The Home Study can't be complete without the fingerprinting (which also must be renewed annually), for the same $40 something price.

I got all the paperwork emailed to me.  So once we turn in our application and it gets accepted we can start here. 

I'm feeling pretty prepared... except for the money part.  It's never easy to invest this much up front (and I'm talking the whole adoption process, not just the home study) and have to wait forever and a day.  Then you also know you still have to save for the other costs coming down the road.  It's worth it, I know, but it's never easy to make such an investment.

Anyhow, I at least took another small step towards our little girl.

Oh, and on a positive note, the kitchen is now completely tiled!  Yay!!  We just have to grout it now.  And we have about only 8 tiles started in the laundry room.  Haven't even touched the bathroom yet.  So, this is progress.  Tonight I hope to have the laundry room finished, and I'm to clean all the tiles and remove excess concrete so we can grout this weekend.  I may have my house back yet!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Red Thread

I just created a fun little artwork.  I've seen the girl with the red thread on several blogs.  I don't know where it originated from, but I thought to take that image and place her in China with the flag as the background.  Then I added the red thread proverb.  As a last touch I placed a ladybug on her knee.  I think it's so cute.  You can see it larger below; I posted it on the bottom of my blog.

Still Tiling

The kitchen is almost done.  Only the laundry and bathroom left.  The laundry should go quickly, but the bathroom will take a bit of time.  I'm anxious for the laundry room to be done.  I asked if we could tile it now and grout it too so we could start doing laundry again.

Drusilla in the box of tiles.
Needless to say, we're almost done tiling and we found out we got a wrong box.  I mean look at it, it doesn't go with our tiles at all!  Also how do you grout a cat?  This is Drusilla.  She LOVES boxes, even ones that she can't fit into like this one.  She obviously made herself at home.  You can see a hint of what our new floor is going to look like.  We have them angled on the left and a border of darker tile (not angled) on the right.  Once we're done, I'll put up photos of before and after.  It looks really good.  I applaud my husband for all of his hard work with all of this.  I've tried helping where I could.  I laid some of them, but he did all the concreting and cutting of tiles. (I cut a few for about 5 minutes, then came in from the heat.)

Right now Indianapolis is having a huge heat wave.  It's been in the high 90s all week, but the heat index has been 110.  We're all sweltering. 

Today I called an agency who can do our home study.  There was a listing from our agency on recommendations on who they've worked with before.  I left a message and am currently waiting for them to call back.  Hopefully, I'll get a call tomorrow.  I'm very interested in our state laws that apply to a home study and most importantly resubmittal pricing.  As the adoption will take years, I know we'll have to reapply the homestudy and fingerprinting etc.  Different states or maybe it's agencies do reapplying your homestudy differently.  Some just renew, some for a small fee, some you have to do all over again for the same amount.  This is what I'm trying to find out.  I want to know how much to "renew" and how involved the process is.

Of course I've been looking at home to decorate the room and what books I want to start collecting and what toys I want her to have.  Who can't start thinking about the fun stuff?  But as I have at least a 5 year wait, I thought I would take my time blogging about these things so there would be things to look forward to rather than typing "still waiting".

On that note, lets just hope the tiling is done by this weekend so we can clean up the house, get our lives back to normal and start the application process.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Patriotic Girl

Today my mother invited me to the jewelry fair at the Fairgrounds.  We love jewelry so I thought, why not?  I really wanted to help my husband tile and get it done, but I thought it'd be good to spend some time with my mother.  Especially with her birthday next week, I thought maybe I could buy her something.

While we were there after a couple hours, Mom saw a beautiful bracelet that said baby on it.  It was a charm bracelet really well done, and you couldn't tell it was a baby bracelet unless you looked closely.  The clasp was a heart and from it there was a small part that dangled silver charms.  They were small blocks and a child shoe.  There were stones that made up the bracelet in pastel colors.  Then silver lettering that said "baby".  Very nice.  Mom said, "Do you know anyone who's having a baby?"  I replied, "I am."  My mom then thought I misunderstood.  So she repeated the question again.  Again I said, "I am.  We're going to adopt a little girl." I then went to tell her all the info we gathered and about the long wait and the dossier and the home study.  I thought maybe she wasn't paying attention, because she kept shopping and looking at jewelry.  So I asked what she thought.  And she said, "I'm letting it sink all in."  She'd interject a question or two.  Did we talk to other adoptive parents?  She knew someone who adopted from China, would I want to chat with her?  Did my husband want a girl?  But after that we were all jewerly talk again.

Then we stopped by Kohls, because Mom had $10 coupon along with 30% off.  She found a shirt and purse she bought.  While there we browsed the baby department.  And my mother saw a 12 month old dress that was on clearance.  $4.00  It was a red/white/blue patriotic dress for the 4th of July.  Mom snatched it up and said, "this is the first thing I'm buying her".  I told her we didn't know if she'd be a year or older.  She said, "Then the dress can be a shirt.  And you can't go bad for four bucks and then 30% off."

So our future girl is already spoiled and we haven't sent the application fee off yet!!!

I guess mom is taking the news well.  We came back home to my husband still tiling.  (Sorry dear!!) And mom showed him the dress and said, "Look what I got for your daughter."  My husband confused said, "What?"  "Look what I got for your little girl."  Again he said, "What?"  I don't know if he heard her or was shocked.  It sunk in.  He loves the dress, as much as a guy can, I guess.  He told me he really liked it.

Then I showed mom some of the info we started compiling.  And she went home. 

Not fifteen minutes passed and mom called.  "She can call me Nanee." (Pronounced Naw-nee) "What?" I said.  "Instead of Grandma, she can call me Nanee."  I then got on the internet and looked up grandma.  It was Nai Nai.  So mom said, "Nanee or Nai Nai."  Funny!!

Later I come to find out Nai Nai is wrong.   Lao Lao means maternal Grandma and Nai Nai means paternal Grandma.  Oh, well.

So it's been an interesting day.  We have Noni and already a dress for our little girl!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Agency Called with More Details

I got a call from a sweet lady from the agency today.  She answered all my questions.  And those she didn't know she said she would find out for me.  And I asked if it'd be emailed to me in 24-48 business hours (since it is Friday today).  I would expect her email on Tuesday.  She said she'd email me immediately.  So an hour later I got two emails.  She was fantastic.

She told me I could be in both SN and NSN without anymore payments.  There's only a $85 payment if placed with a SN child.  So this sounds like a win-win.  I went over what I thought I could live with and if my perceptions were correct.  She mentioned what the best to worst case scenarios were and what the percentages were of getting a child found that met that criteria.  What's also good is we can go the SN route at any time.  There's no penalty of choosing that route later down the road.

As for China details, she seemed impressed with my research.  Maybe she's "paid" to be impressed with every one's knowledge, but it was nice to hear someone appreciating your thoroughness.

Nothing she said shocked me or seemed out of the ordinary to me.  I'm just more excited than ever to  start the process. 

However, we still have a floor to do.  We're cutting tiles now and getting ready to cement the next group soon.  I'll post pictures of the phases when it's complete.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Founder/President of the Agency Called Us!

Wow!  I was working on laying the tile down with my husband (we're cementing now) when a call came.  After much phone tag, we got the call from the adoption agency we want to go with.

And it was the founder and president of the company... and this is no small company.  Maybe he does this on every first call, but it's an amazing touch!  I knew they had heart!

He answered all my questions and explained how they work as a business and through the different phases.  He spoke to me for over half an hour.  He was very personable and easy-going and sweet as could be. 

He also said he'd have someone call me tomorrow to go over the NSN and SN programs.  (Non-Special Needs and Special Needs.)  I'll get into all that later.

Anyhow, my husband got the goosebumps again!  I can't wait to start!

Now if we could just get the tiling done!!  Back to the floors!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Anxious for the New Kitchen

Our impromptu new flooring would make anyone anxious.  All the appliances have been pulled out of the kitchen for days now.  We've been working on the kitchen for over a week now and hope to get it done by this weekend.  It cheaper if we do it, and with my handyman of a husband, it will get done.  A LOT slower, but cheaper.  I must always remind myself of that. 

Yes, it's hard with the fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer not at our disposal... well, except for the fridge.  It's replugged into our living room (but still you get my meaning).  Everything is out of whack.

But that doesn't bug me as much as not able to turn the application in.  (Yes, we decided to go the safer but longer China route over the Taiwan short and risky route.)  I'm afraid that if the agency approves us we'll have to do a home study soon.  And with the way the tile is going I'm afraid to do so until it's complete. 

What is my husband is like the China wait list.  He says a few days, but it turns into weeks or months?  I really hope not.  This is already taking twice as long.  But we've hit many bumps along this DIY project.  But again I remind myself CHEAPER!  It's worth it!

I just can't wait to get things rolling on our part.  With the long wait, I'm afraid every day counts.  But it will all happen in good time.  I've just got to trust the powers that be.

We still want to talk to the agency.  Clear up a few questions.  We've been doing phone tag since Friday.  Hopefully, tomorrow we'll have every single question answered.

Can't wait until this project is finished so we can go on with our China adoption plans.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Flooring

As it's the weekend, there has been no new activity on the adoption front.  But my husband and I have been very busy.  My husband, the handyman that he is, has been working on trying to lay down tile.  Our kitchen floor which is connected to the hallway, bathroom, laundry room, entry is all stripped down and we are hoping to start laying the tile down today.  I thought we would start earlier, but we hit some snags along the way.  Don't we always?

So right now the fridge is in the living room, the laundry is in the family room, the stove is in the living room as well as our dish washer.  The place is a mess!!  It's hard to do anything.  The toilet is out in the garage.  We can't use the sinks... we've been eating fast food since Friday.  And when we lay down the tile we can't walk on it for a couple days, so I know it could possibly be another week of this chaos.

I could so see us having the home study right now! 

Also one of my pups has been sick.  He'll get better, but I think all the commotion has upset his stomach.  He just isn't himself and has to go to the bathroom every half an hour... poor baby!!  So we have lack of sleep on top of this project.

But when this is all done, I'm so going to super clean.  All this work has laid dust everywhere!  And pulling off the trim, some of the drywall has torn up.  Have some repairs to do.

When it's all said and done, it will feel like a new house with new flooring!  I'd rather be working on a baby room than the kitchen, but I can't get ahead of myself.  I'm sure that project will be therapeutic while we wait for a referral.  However, we haven't even submitted an application yet.  Still waiting for Taiwan's packet.  But I have a strong sense that it will be China... even with the long wait.  Sigh!  It won't be easy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Direction

My husband and I are a bit excited.  If we don't go down the Taiwan route, we have definitely chosen the China agency we want to go with.

We have 4 China agencies and 2 Taiwan.

China agency #1, is a local one.  It seems good enough and local is a BIG plus.  But the Russian lady as nice as can be, seems more geared to the Russia program and some of our concerns are still concerns.  We didn't get all our questions answered, and I think we were just misunderstood.  I think we'd do fine there, but it didn't have all the things we were looking for.

China agency #2, is more expensive.  They have a great website and a great packet that they mailed us.  I love all the things they mention about being a place for life, and not just being there only through the adoption process.  They had great reunions, support groups, etc.   But they seemed VERY expensive and non-personal.  This is the one I mentioned yesterday that the webinar didn't work.  We called them about it and they never returned our call.  So 3 strikes and out.

China agency #3, seems very reasonable price wise, and upfront.  It's somewhat personable, but didn't come with the whole package.  And though upfront, the free packet was very sparse.  It wasn't detailed enough.  And I like everything upfront.  I'd rather too much information than not enough.  We spoke to a representative over the phone, very nice, and saw a past webinar. Even with those things it still didn't fit enough for me.

China agency #4, was the referred to me from the lady I've been emailing (who adopted a girl from China 4 years ago).  I've never met this woman, but got her email from a co-worker who is very close to her.  I saw the website of this agency before her referral, but didn't pursue them.  From the site, the agency seemed good enough, but so did others.  they didn't have a downloadable packet like the other agencies I was prosuing.  Not until she told me she used them and would go to them again (and no hidden costs!) did I sign up for their free packet (snail mail).  Well, it came in the mail today.  It's the whole package.  Some things are woth the wait. It seems cheaper than everyone else we're looking at.  The place has heart!  Lots of it.  And they have the support and programs I want.  And everything is laid out how very well and spelled out to the finest detail!!  After reading, the packet I said if Taiwan doesn't compare, this is where we are going.  And it even came with a DVD!  We watched it and something about seeing rather than reading... it touched our hearts. My husband felt more reserved about what I read until he saw the DVD.  Then he said... "Did you see that; I got goosebumps.  This is the agency if we're going the China route."  So we're pretty sure this is the way we are going... but we're giving Taiwan a chance.  You can't pass up faster time frame.

We looked at Taiwan #1 and they seem to be overcharging.  Also it's vague.  Not a lot more detail... which is very disappointing.

We are still waiting for Taiwan #2 packet to come in.  If it doesn't blow our socks off we're going with China agency #4.

This is where we are right now.  (Of course we looked at more agencies online between China and Taiwan, but we only ordered free packets in the ones we are taking seriously).  If the website didn't tell us enough or didn't seem promising, we let them lie.

I'm not looking forward to a 5+ year wait.  So much can change... and one gets older... yuck!!  But if that brings us the perfect girl, it's meant to be.  We will follow our hearts, or in my husband's words" I have the gut feeling".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Possible Turn

Today is my husband's and my 4th year wedding anniversary.  (Thus the Donald and Daisy Duck... it's sorta represents us.  We went to Disney on our Honeymoon and got some Donald and Daisy stuff.  You get the idea.)  We plan on going to a nice dinner tonight to celebrate.

Regardless of that, today we looked a little into Taiwan adoption.  It seems Taiwan could go faster and for roughly the same amount.  So we've been checking into it.  Unlike China, which is so popular, it's hard to find good information on the Taiwan program.  There seems to be a lot of conflicting information as to requirements and expectations.  Not to mention, most of the Taiwan programs are closed.  That adds a huge risk factor. 

We signed up for a few free packets from a couple of agencies.  Hopefully, they'll enlighten us.  My husband even put in a call to one he seems to like.  I think they'll call back tomorrow.

I'm not sure which is the right path for us, China or Taiwan.  But I'm going to study Taiwan's culture tonight and compare it with China and see the similarities and differences. 

So much to think about, but hopefully we're on the right path for us.  And where we get mislead, I pray God leads me back to where I belong.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Adoption Agency

The webinar didn't work last night.  Very disappointing.  We called on the phone as well as opened "channels" on the PC, but it seemed that the facilitator never started.  Maybe we messed up somewhere, but it seemed unlikely.  Not a good first impression of one of the agencies we were looking into.  We even called the agency to double check, but they were closed.

Today we focused on a different agency.  My husband and I went to a local adoption agency today, just for a preliminary meeting.  I went during my lunch break from work.

We learned a lot, yet not enough.  The more we learned, the more questions we had.

Some things were affirmed.  The price expectation was what we thought.  The five year wait is what we thought.  But she did think that the special needs program wasn't a fit for us. 

She tried recommending the Russia program.  Though we would get a child a lot faster, we would pay almost double in expenses.  She said we could get an Asian child from Russia.  there are some bordering provinces that have Asian children.  We could ask for that on the forms.  If it wasn't double the price, I'd really think about it.  But I don't think it's worth the time saved.  We'd have to come up with a lot more money faster. 

I think perhaps the longer wait will keep us financially afloat.  Not to mention, it's in God's hands when the child would be referred to us.  He could cause a miracle in China that causes all adoptions go speed up and go back to the "turn around" they were.  It seems unlikely, but there is that chance.  And with more time, my husband and I can still take vacations and other small indulgences before the baby comes.  Enjoy our "bachelorhood" while we have it.

We've talked in person with one agency.  We have 3 other agencies we're looking at.  The others are out of state.  (I think we can save a lot on mailing fees having an agency in state).  However, I do want to see what the others have to offer.  If you don't compare, how do you know.  It'll be harder not face-to-face.  But we'll see if they make it up in other important places.  I think all the agencies may break down to paying roughly the same price.  But we'll see.

The other thing this agency mentioned is that the house study will be much simpler with them here as well as paperwork.  As we don't have to worry about overnighting particular paperwork back and forth if something was not filled out correctly.  Maybe that in itself is worth it.  I'm going to find out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So Much Happening So Fast...Already!

I'm amazed at how things can fall into place or just the serendipity of it all.  Call it God, call it luck, or pure chance.  But there seems to be a lot of things happening that I couldn't have planned if I tried.

At work, a co-worker was telling me a couple other co-workers about how his wife gave bone marrow donation.  Anyhow, his wife got to meet the woman this transplant saved.  This woman and her became best of friends.  The woman adopted a Chinese girl 4 years ago!  When I heard this part of the story I got goose bumps.  The point of the story was the bone marrow... "paying it forward" so to speak.  However, the part I heard was "adopted a little girl from China"!

After he left, I went after him and asked if I could have the lady's email as I was contemplating adoption from China.  He said absolutely. 

I got her email today a note from her saying, "I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to ask anything. It is an exciting and daunting journey, and it is so helpful to connect with other families. You will discover that the adoption community is a very close knit and supportive resource. I would be happy to help with anything you need." I followed up by sending some standard questions about wait time, agencies and grants.

Then I called a local adoption agency today.  Just to see if I could schedule a meeting.  Thought I better start there for the real direction.  I thought I may not hear from anyone for days.  I got a call back today and an appointment tomorrow during my lunch break from work.  Talk about fast.  I'm not prepared for tomorrow!

Not to mention I have a 7-9 o'clock webinar scheduled for basic 101 from another national agency.

I hope I don't go into information overload!  This is good and a lot to take in all at once.  I'm hoping I  can fit in drafting a list of comparative questions for agencies after the webinar tonight!  Busy day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Beginning

It's only been a little over a week since my husband and I started seriously thinking about adopting.

For years I've said I if I ever had a child I would adopt and if I did adopt my heart was always set in China.  I don't know why, it just always has been.

Coming this Thursday, I will have been married four years to a wonderful man.  He like I have been open to never having kids or adopting. 

We always have talked about it in passing, but never seriously.  We want to do so much with our lives, we know that adding a child will turn our lives around.

Somehow, things came to a head.  I have a beautiful goddaughter.  She is a year and a half.  She lives with her family in Finland.  Needless to say, I've never met one of the most important people in my life.  We Skype, but she only notices my dogs.  And I'm sure the language barrier will be hard for us in the beginning years.  Regardless, I hear from my best friend all her moments.  And over time I've wondered am I missing being with her as her godmother or moments that I could have being a parent myself.

This was really hard to sort out.  My husband and I talked for a long time about what we were missing and what we wanted.  We decided that, yes, we want to be parents.

We already knew it was a girl from China we wanted.

So I started looking around on the Internet to see what to expect.  I was shocked to see that the wait (the LID date to referral) could be 5 years or more.  Also, that on some sites it mentions that it could be a longer wait for people who start the process now!  It could be 10-11 years!

Needless to say our hearts broke!  I was thinking 2-3 years in the back of my head, not 5+ years or 10+ that is just insane!

My husband and I looked around at other countries, but it wasn't the same.  I felt that my child was meant to come from China.  And my husband thought that China was just the perfect fit for us.  So after much deliberation we decided we're sticking to China.

There are two routes.  The healthy child which will take forever to get or the special needs which is INCREDIBLY faster.  We are going to start with the healthy route and consider the special needs route if the time doesn't shorten.

We haven't picked an agency yet.  We're currently doing that.  There is so much to consider.  Not to mention, we could be denied.  So we are really in the pre-stages of adoption.  However, if things do pan out, I want this blog for my future daughter so she knows the journey.  And I know the destination is a beautiful baby girl, however I know the journey is just as important.  So this blog is to document all my ramblings, the good and the bad moments that lead me and my husband to this baby that isn't even born yet.

I named this blog "The Journey Along the Invisible Red Thread".  Though all adopters of China know this reference and maybe it's over used.  It's still appropriate. 

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Why I named my myself Ladybug Dragon is because I see that ladybugs are a unofficial reference to Chinese adoption and it seems to tie in with the red thread proverb.  The dragon part, is because I love dragons and I am year of the dragon.  So I thought it was a good tie-in.

As I am so early in the process, I'm not sure where I am going or how this will go.  But right now there is a small sliver of hope in the shape of a red thread that I'm going to follow. 
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