Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chinese New Year!!

Last night we joined hundreds of other FCC Families (Families with Children from China) at the Empress Restaurant in Chinatown for a Chinese New Year celebration feast. What an experience. Food! Entertainment! Lion Dancers! Magicians! And hundreds of shining, happy faces, both daughters and parents, sharing the experience, united by love. It hardly seems possible that we will be one of those families, soon.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Our nursery

This is from the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue.
Well before our dossier went to China I bought this baby bedding at Pottery Barn Kids. I loved it because it's so pretty and non-cutesy. Now that we're DTC we can start decorating the nursery... Very exciting!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Birth Mother

Somewhere in China a woman is about to give birth to a baby girl (or girls) who will become our daughter/s. For no particular reason, we sense Kavanna is yet to be born (although sometimes I wonder if she's already here, but recently so). My thoughts wander to her birth mother, waiting to deliver her baby. Is she anxious with anticipation, knowing that if it's a girl she cannot keep her? In China it's illegal for doctors to reveal the gender of a baby to the mothers. Who is she, I wonder. A farmer, a factory worker, a student? Chances are she's married, as it's nearly unheard of for women to bear children out of wedlock. Is this her first child? Her last?

I imagine her feeling the kicks of her unborn child. She must feel the elation of a mother who feels life growing within her, and also the dread of knowing she cannot keep a girl baby. I wonder if she ever argues with her family about the fate of her unborn baby, vowing to keep her if she's a girl, or if she has submitted to the inevitable with a sense of helpless despair.

What will Kavanna's first hours or days be like? My hope is that in the brief time she is with her birth parents that she feels loved. I imagine them weeping as they say goodbye, kissing her and holding her tight, memorizing the feel of her. For them, that last touch must last a lifetime.

We will never know Kavanna's birth mother and father. And we will always be grateful to them for their sacrifice... and their gift to us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Year Of The Dog

It's almost time for Chinese New Year. The year is 4704 and it's the Year Of The Dog. January 29, 2006 is the first day of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, and predates the calendar we use, which back only about 425 years. The calendar measures time, from short durations of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in months, years and centuries, entirely based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars. It's a 15 day celebration that involves festivities, family and special food. We'll be celebrating with other waiting families at our local FCC Chapter celebration.

Friday, January 06, 2006

DTC - January 13th

This is a necklace that depicts "double joy" in Chinese characters. How appropriate! We got a call today from Natasha, our dossier consultant at GWCA - our dossier has been received from the consulate. It will be sent to China next Friday. Yes, Friday the 13th, but for us a very auspicious day!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I want patience... and I want it NOW!

Lest anyone think that we're calm and collected about this interminable wait, we're not!!

Back in September we started this process and went into high gear, collecting documents, preparing our homestudy, subjecting ourselves to inspection from everyone from social workers to the Department of Homeland Security. Then came.... the BIG WAIT.

We waited for State Department approval (the 1-171H). Now we're waiting for the Chinese consulate to authenticate all our dossier paperwork. After we are DTC (dossier to China) we will wait for a LID (log in date) and then the clock officially starts ticking. By that time, it'll be ten times louder than any biological clock! The Chinese adoption affairs office is closing for two weeks at the end of this month, which means we may not get our LID until mid-February. With a referral rate that's now 9 months, and expected to increase to 10-12 months, we may not bring home Kavanna (et al, maybe) until Spring 2007.

I feel as if I've already been waiting for nearly two years. With each IVF treatment came the dreaded 2 week wait, to see if we were pregnant. Then there was the wait between ultrasounds to make sure everything was okay. Interminable!! At least this time the outcome will likely be positive and we will eventually bring home a baby (or two!). Still, since things can change without notice and there are no certainties, it's an emotionally grueling process.

The silver lining is that we've learned a lot about ourselves during this process. David and I got even closer during this last challenging year (adios 2005!). We learned we can depend on each other no matter what. I've also discovered that I am the Queen of Impatience (truly, I believe I take impatience to an elevated, and thus royal, degree).

It's a struggle to stay in the present and not be so future-focused. Hmmmm... it seems that Kavanna, whose name has to do with focus and purity of intention, is already teaching us (okay, mostly me) a thing or two.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More ladybugs!!

David and I went to dinner at a funky Italian place near Ariel's theater group, while she was in rehearsals. It's one of those inexpensive family restaurants with red plastic seats and murals of Sicily on the walls. Sort of down-market Italian-style Disneyland-eque. We had just ordered when something caught my eye. On the wall behind David was a wall full of Italian souveneirs... plus one glass square covered in painted ladybugs. Totally incongruous to the surroundings. We're hoping those ladybugs bring us luck!!

China pearls... or, purls....

Many orphanages (and homes, apartments, and shops, etc.) in China have no heat. Yes, you read that correctly. Many buildings are not equipped with central heating. As a result, thousands of babies and children suffer through cold winters without heat. They need warm clothing, and they don't have enough of that, either. I decided that I can do something to help. When I was six years old, my babysitter Hattie, taught me to knit and crochet. My goal is to knit/crochet a minimum of 100 warm hats and 100 scarves to donate to an orphanage when we travel to China. Maybe some for the nannies, too! Here are the few I've done so far... (the doll is a life-size baby doll that Ariel played with when she was a baby)... only 192 more pieces to go!!