Thursday, July 31, 2008

Next Wednesday, August 6th, will be the three year anniversary of starting the adoption process. The first two years, eleven months and three weeks of the wait were frustrating and difficult, but manageable. This last week has been agony. The uncertainty is driving me nuts. I can think of little else. Last night I dreamed a friend got referred a two month old and we got a four year old. My thoughts are following me into my dreams. There's no escape from High Anxiety. Agghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled to be anxious about being this close to referrals. It's a nice issue to have. But I'm really whacked out and wired all the time. It's like I have Red Bull running through my veins instead of red blood.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shaken, and stirred

This is not a post about James Bond's martini (I know, groan).  The earthquake today really shook me up.  Literally. My office is on the 12th floor and it's on rollers, so after the actual earthquake stopped, the building continued to sway.  Yikes.  

It stirred up a lot of feelings of powerlessness and helpless, which basically replicates my experience of the process of adopting from China.   Somewhere in Beijing a worker in the Matching Room will make a decision that will impact the rest of our lives.  We have zero control over any aspect of that decision, except to let them know our preference for a girl, as young as possible.   It's agonizing to feel helpless... and to wait...

The earthquake also made me think about the earthquake in China in May, so I'm also feeling very grateful that nobody was hurt in the Los Angeles area today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Not just a cup, but a just cup"

Imagine this:  You're a coffee farmer and a musician from Uganda and you're in New York for the first time.  It's September 11, 2001.   Just as you are about to step inside the World Trade Center, the first plane slams into the building.  What do you do next?

This was the situation faced by JJ Keki (who also has 25 children, 14 of whom are adopted), a Ugandan Jew who had faced religious persecution and wanted to do something to unite people of different faiths.  He went back to Uganda and created a coalition of coffee farmers of all faiths, called Mirembe Kawomera, which means "delicious peace" in the Luganda language.  The interfaith coalition is comprised of Jewish, Muslim and Christian farmers, a testament to the ability of people to overcome differences, share common dreams and find peace together.

You can read about JJ in this month's issue of "O" magazine, or online here.  If you're willing to forgo Starbucks for some organic coffee grown by people who have united for peace, you can buy it here.  A portion of the profits goes to the community - sending kids to school, among other things, and helping to ensure a better life for the next generation.

Their motto says it all:  "Not just a cup... but a just cup."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our latest purchase

This is our latest purchase, an Ergo baby carrier.  I've heard great things about it, and it's good for babies and toddlers alike.  We got the black one with green lining, so David aka Daddy can wear it, too.  He's not going to wear the flowery baby sling I also got :).

Or the reversible mai tai carrier I got a thousand years ago (okay, three) when we first started this process and I thought getting a baby-related item would make this adoption seem more "real".  

We may be about two weeks away from referral and it doesn't feel any more real.  I'm prepared for disappointment.  In my worst case scenario the CCAA refers only 1/26 and 1/27 and then does a whole lot of expedited referrals for people of Chinese descent.  The only good thing about that scenario is that we would KNOW without a doubt that we'd be next... and we could see Beijing because we'd be traveling in November.  

I always look for the silver lining.  If I didn't, I'd have exploded (or imploded) from pent-up frustration and the fury at feeling so powerless.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We're next! Maybe.

Are we next?
Will the CCAA only refer the (small) two days ahead of us and leave us hanging another month?
If we get our referral in August, will the October trade fair in Guangzhou affect us?
If we get our referral in August, will the basic closure of the country the first week of October affect us?
Will we have to wait a whole other month to travel?
If we don't get our referral in August, will the CCAA do referrals during the Olympics?
Will they skip September (which would mean two more months of waiting)?
Can this get any more frustrating? (wait, strike that; best not to tempt fate)
Can this get any more exciting?
Will we really see Kavanna's face the first week of August?
When will we get to hold her in our arms at last?

Waiting sucks.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Looking into the past...

The current issue of Architectural Digest has these stunning photos of 19th century China. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Today is our (see above) LID anniversary.  From February 6, 2006 to July 6, 2008 equals 2.4666667 years.  None of this 29 months nonsense.  When Ariel was 29 months old I said she was "almost two and a half" years old.  I did not say she was "29 months old."

So.  There it is.  Hopefully only one more month to go before our referral.

There are dire and gloomy predictions being posted on the message boards.  Some people fear that the CCAA will only get through January 2006 on the next batch (which translates to only two days of referrals and a measly 37 RQ families, according to her poll).  I, on the other hand, am staying positive (which may mean that my head is firmly buried in the sand and I'm oblivious to reality).  Here are my rosy predictions:

If the CCAA only does about 80 Rumor Queen families/month (less than current average despite this month's abysmal number):

August:  through 2/06

September:  2/13

October:  2/19

November:  2/24

December:  through Feb, into the beginning of March

If the CCAA does about 100 RQ families/month:  (which is more the norm)

August:  through 2/08

September:  2/16

October:  2/24

November:  March 2 or 3

Anybody with me?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I spend wayyyyy too much time on the internet!

What does a $300 (yes, three hundred dollars) diaper pail look like?  Like this.  

Here's the scoop:  "Doctors and dentists throughout the world use Vipp waste bins because they're compact, airtight and sanitary -- and those same qualities are what make Vipp Bins the perfect diaper pail. Other diaper pails may be airtight, but they're often made of odor-absorbing plastic that can leave a lingering smell each time they're opened. That's why we love these Vipp bins: they're made of stainless steel that's easy to keep clean and odor-free. Handmade in Denmark, their clean lines fit into almost any decor and room. And you can use any plastic bag inside of them, so you never have to worry about keeping refills in stock."


Friday, July 04, 2008

Moving on...

The cut-off this month officially blows.  It's abysmal, it's depressing, and it's upsetting.  But you know what?  We're lucky enough to know our referral is a month or two away (or even three, depending on how much credence one gives pessimists who believe there will be zero referrals in September due to the Olympics).  We're talking months to wait, not years.  Am I disappointed in the last referral bunch?  Hell, yeah.  But we're also fortunate that we won't be waiting too much longer.  So I'm over it.  

That said, on to other things.  I'm beginning to research packing lists and I've found some of the most interesting products for traveling.   

Inflatable hangers.   That makes no sense to me.  And at the same time it makes absolute sense.

Finger toothpaste.  A little glove that goes over your finger (like a tiny little condom) and you brush your teeth with it.  No water required.  There's a joke there somewhere, I'm sure.

Shampoo sheets.  I'm impressed by the ingenuity of that one but also confused.  Is there a place on this planet at which real liquid shampoo is not available?  

Instant mouthwash that's carry-on approved.  Genius!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Waiting For Godot

In the play, the characters wait (and wait... and wait...) for Godot, who never arrives.  Let me tell you, I can totally relate.  

Word is that the CCAA is only matching through 1/25/06.   We can now  cross five days off the calendar.  But of those days, only a paltry three have actual referrals (the other two days were a weekend and nobody was logged in).  This represents a significant reduction in total number of referrals.  

At this point we're still fairly confident (hmmm, maybe I should rephrase that to "cautiously optimistic")  that we'll get our referral in August.  The CCAA should refer the rest of January, which is 1/26 and 1/27 and nobody was logged in after that due to  Chinese New Year.  So unless something truly unusual happens they should get to 2/06/06).

Of course, this whole process has been truly unusual, so you just never know.

Our agency will receive referrals on Monday and many waiting parents will see the faces of their babies on Monday.   For them, the wait will end and a new life as a family will begin.  I wish them all much joy with their children.  I am thrilled for them.

And truth be told, I'm rather envious as well.  

Back to waiting...