Tuesday, October 31, 2006



Note the black rose!

What a difference a year makes!! Our baby is growing up so fast. I'm thrilled that she's still into Halloween and thinks it's fun. She may look like the near-teen that she is, but she's still got some little-kid in her!

Last year I still had the hope (oh, the naivete) that Kavanna would be here for this Halloween. That would have been a treat, wouldn't it?! This year I just hope we'll have our referral by next Halloween, and even that seems overly optimistic.

Face it, I just hope we get Kavanna home before Ariel goes to college!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

On the couch...

I wonder if the workers at the CCAA have any idea the extent to which so many people are trying to figure them out. There seem to be a variety of different takes on the psychology of the CCAA. Here are a few I've extrapolated from various sites and posts:

Power Trippers They are on a huge power trip and enjoy wreaking emotional chaos on the waiting families. They want things done their way or not at all. They gleefuly plan new ways of thwarting the families. In one country they will say the wait will be 14 months; three days later they will predict a 24 month wait. Then they sit back and laugh. Example: "If you really want a child from China, you'll wait as long as it take and you won't complain. Any complaints out of you and we'll deem you an unfit parent! Heh, heh, heh..."

Fear & Loathing: They don't want to do anything to upset their bosses for fear of displeasing them and falling out of favor. They will ignore their own needs (more workers, more space, more technology) and not make a move or have an independent thought. They are in the grip of a monumental paralysis. Example: "We're doing the best we can. Last November the orphanages suddenly emptied and there are no more children. Domestic adoption has taken off like wildfire and there are no more children. Isn't it wonderful?"

Making Nice: They will tell you what you want to hear for fear of upsetting you. They smile a lot and make comfortable predictions so that you won't get angry. They just hate people to be angry, especially with them. Example: "Your LID is February? Oh, you'll definitely get a referral by April at the latest, absolutely. Count on it. You have our word." (notice they don't say which April?)

I believe we need to let go of these viewpoints and take on a more balanced viewpoint.

Or.... a more balanced view: Let's say the CCAA is no different from your average corporate division. They have something that people want and are willing to pay for, and the manner in which they do business governs both how their customer base views them, and how they are viewed internally by those responsible for their raises, promotions, etc. Who to please first, or best?

Look at it this way: this wouldn't be the first time a business division (the CCAA, as a part of "the corporation," i.e. the Chinese government) was running smoothly under its division leader. That leader gets his or her coveted promotion, to a bigger division. They hand leadership off to the next person in line (who probably earned it because of political connection or achievement in a yet smaller division). At the same time, they inform the division that it is now responsible for a whole new set of responsibilities, such as domestic adoption, and more. That new person doesn't have the expertise, vision, or loyalty among the rank-and-file to pull it off. And the slowdown begins. It's hard to believe that in the space of a couple of months there was a dramatic slowdown in abandonments, or that the economic boom in China trickled down to the provinces (it hasn't).

We believe the CCAA is doing its best, considering all these changes. We hate the lengthening wait, but we are grateful for the opportunity to adopt a child from China and we will love her always.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Somewhere in China...

Mei is another child we're sponsoring through Love Without Boundaries (as little as $10 per month sponsors a child's education). She's in kindergarten, and I love this photo of her working so intently, focusing on her writing. We and other families are waiting for our babies and children, but due to her age, Mei will likely never find a forever family and may never know that half a world away another family cares about her and is watching her grow up... Look at that weathered, almost makeshift desk. Such a contrast to the bright clothes she's wearing, and to the colorful shirt of the child behind her. In the midst of all that gray, a splash of color, of life, of hope. Study hard, Mei.

Friday, October 13, 2006


So David and I are learning to tango... And it's so much fun! I have a newfound appreciation for dancers who can make the tango look so effortless. We're a bit more on the jerky and uncertain side at this point (Ariel burst into gales of laughter when we showed her our moves) but we're having a blast. Might as well do this sort of thing while we can, right!?

We're also learning to swing (dance, that is!!) and may even venture into the rhumba!

Ole! Okay, that may be more for bullfighting but it just seemed to fit, as we feel like the proverbial bull in a china shop on that dance floor, narrowly missing other couples and bumping into our instructor.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Eight months since our LID! Part of me feels good about this: Yes! Fantastic! Great! We're making progress!. Another part of me feels decided sour: Big friggin' whoop... Eight months is a drop of water in the proverbial bucket ( and I need that bucket to emotionally puke my impatience with this process, and purge the frustration) ... We may have another 20+ months to go... By the time we get our referral and travel to China, a snail could have crawled the length of this football field.

The unhappy truth is, Kavanna is becoming less real to me. When we first sent our dossier to China, I could easily imagine what it would be like to hold her and kiss her. I saw myself changing diapers, comforting her cries, watching her smile, hearing her talk. I imagined David pushing the baby jogger and being a great daddy, very attentive and caring. When I told people, excitedly, "We're adopting from China," she was real to me/us.

Now, she seems less like a person and more like a very faraway concept. I feel as if I'm on a treadmill, walking and walking and getting nowhere. The sound of a baby's laughter is getting dimmer in my mind.