Monday, June 30, 2008

We've been tagged!

In the nearly three years that we've been on this journey, we've had the pleasure of meeting (in cyberspace) some wonderful people.  Ford & Alyson are among our favorite people who we have never met in person.  Their LID is 1/27/06 and my fingers are crossed that they'll get their referral this week!!   Oh, the suspense!  In the meantime, Ford & Alyson tagged us with the following challenge:

Write a six word memoir.  


It's so much easier to write a whole novel than it is to sum up a life in a mere six words.   Okay, slight hyperbole, there.  After giving this challenge a great deal of thought, I decided to... um, cheat. 

Instead of writing a memoir, I'm going to sum up my life philosophy, which has carried me through my life and is thus applicable to this challenge (if you say it with conviction, it's true, right?).  So... drum roll.  Here's my six word memoir/philosophy of life:


And now, in the tradition of all internet tagging, I pass the baton to five more people:

Di & Dave are waiting for Sophie.

Kris is waiting for Macy!

Ellen is waiting for Flora.

Connie is waiting for Jadyn.

Beth & Mok just got their referral for twins at The China Expedition.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Baby furniture!

There's a room in our house that we've been calling "the nursery".  Recently that room has been painted and reconfigured, with new floor moldings installed, all in preparation for a new occupant.  Today for the first time I called the nursery "Kavanna's room" and realized that she's really coming into focus for us...  we don't know what she looks like, but she's definitely becoming more real.  After nearly three years of waiting for "our baby in China" we are getting very close to bringing Kavanna home.   She  is vivid in our hearts!

An empty room will simply not do.  We took the plunge and ordered these pieces.  I liked that they are classic yet stylish.  

I can't wait to take a photo of Kavanna in that crib.  

Kavanna, your room awaits (even though the crib will be in our room, of course!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The call before the call...

Our agency called today and asked about our contact information - as in, which number should they call with our referral.  We don't expect our referral in August.  Maybe they are really prepared and getting ready far ahead of time.  Or maybe they think there's more than a microscopic chance that we'll sneak into July.    


Update:  our agency confirmed that they want the information "just in case" we get a referral in the July batch.  They think it will probably be August for us but they also said "you never know" and that's why they want our information now rather than later.  

Monday, June 23, 2008

A unique crib

I really love this crib. One option is to have a chalkboard on the end, so kids can be creative and draw with chalk... It also converts to a toddler bed. It comes in a variety of colors and wood finishes.

Nice crib, right? Apparently lots of people thought so, too - and the demand was so good that the company had to find a new place to produce more cribs, which they are still in the process of doing, so that the crib is currently unavailable. It's called the Lullaboo crib by Celery.

Basically, if you want this crib you have to go on a waiting list. And after nearly three years of waiting for Kavanna, I am done with waiting.

My search for a perfect (and available) crib continues...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Middle School Graduation!!

Doesn't Ariel look quite thrilled to be graduating from 8th grade?  Congratulations, Ariel!

I am so proud of Ariel.  Not only did she graduate with honors, she showed herself to be an honorable person during her time at middle school.  For her elective, she could have chosen chorus or band or art or something like that.  She chose to be an aide in the special needs class.  On graduation day, many of the special needs kids came over to her to congratulate her.  They clearly love her and she loves them back.  I am so proud of the lovely, generous person she is! 

Funny 8th Grade Graduation Story:  Okay, it's funny now, but at the time it was the worst day of my life.  It was a week before I graduated from the eighth grade.  I, who have always been blessed with perfect skin (thank you, Mom & Dad for good genetics) got a raging case of poison oak... on my FACE.  I looked like pizza face.  I looked as if I had the worst case of acne that anyone had ever had in the history of hormones.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to wear my bat mitzvah dress.  It was long, ivory with small flowers, an empire waist.   The popular girls wore short, sexy little dresses and high heels (no graduation gowns for anyone). 

I felt like I'd stepped out of Little House On The Prairie and they were from Sex & The City.   When you're 13, as I was, those two things together equal disaster.  Thank God there is life after middle school!  And high school, for that matter!

Congratulations again, Ariel!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Starting to decorate...

Check out this vintage poster from Shanghai circa 1930. We bought it online and are framing it for Kavanna's room. We decided not to go too cutesy on the decor, so this was perfect!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day

My husband David is an amazing dad to Ariel... and I know he'll be an amazing dad to Kavanna. He makes Ariel a priority, helps her with her homework, sets her straight if she's off course, but in a way that makes her feel competent rather than diminished, and is always there to listen.   He often says that Ariel is the joy of his life.  Seeing their close bond is what made me decide to go ahead with an adoption.  Their relationship is proof that love transcends biology... Happy Father's Day, David!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's 2am and your baby is crying...

... How far will you walk to get to your baby?  My answer to that is, "I won't walk at all.  I'll reach."

Our master bedroom is so far from the kids rooms that it might as well be on another planet.  While this is ideal when one of those children is 14 years old, it's not so good when the other child is a baby.  I can't imagine Kavanna being farther than arm's reach during the night.  Ariel slept next to me and I truly believe it was a contributing factor to her sense of security and her confidence in general.  

My only question is how long she should sleep next to us instead of in her room.  I have no experience in that matter, as Ariel basically slept with me until I met David.  When she was... 

CRINGE  ....uh, she slept with me until she was... WINCE... eight years old and I made her (finally) sleep in her own bed in her own room.  

I know, I know!!  So wrong!  I can't believe I put that information out into cyberspace for all to see, but there it is.  She had her own room with her own extremely comfortable bed, but she would not sleep in it.   Obviously we're not going to repeat that particular dynamic.   

These really cute co-sleepers are only for babies up to 9 months, so we'll probably have Kavanna's crib in the room with us.   It's all about proximity.  I want her within arm's reach.

At least, that's what I'm saying now.  Check back with me when she's home and we'll see what works best for her.

Co-Sleeping Facts

What is co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping is a term commonly used to describe the act of sleeping with one's own baby in the same bed.

What are the benefits of co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping provides: Easy access to baby; Enhancement of the natural bonding process;More comfortable and efficient caregiving such as; breast feeding, soothing, comforting, diaper changing etc. than can be accomplished if the baby slept in a separate bed or bedroom.

What is the relationship between co-sleeping and S.I.D.S.?

Cultures where parents commonly co-sleep with their babies have the lowest rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, S.I.D.S., in the world, while cultures where parents do not commonly sleep with their babies have the highest rate of S.I.D.S.. Current studies are starting to draw a correlation between S.I.D.S. and babies who sleep in rooms by themselves. The evidence suggests that some infants may fall into abnormally deep sleep and "forget to breath". With a baby at arm's reach, parents are easily alerted to abnormal breathing or other signals of distress, that may be missed if the baby were in a separate room.

What are the possible drawbacks of co-sleeping? Can it be dangerous?

There are two common criticisms of co-sleeping. First, there is a fear that a parent might roll over on the infant causing harm. Second, some parents wonder if co-sleeping might spoil the baby. These criticisms are easy to counter. Co-sleeping can be accomplished by having a baby sleep in a bed that attaches to the parent's bed in such a way as to allow parental access while preventing the baby from rolling out and into the parent's bed. The Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper(R) bassinet is a product that accomplishes this goal. See the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper(R) FAQ for more information.

In regards to spoiling a baby, there is no evidence that co-sleeping with a baby results in a spoiled child.

What the experts are saying:

"Besides enhancing bonding between parents and their baby, the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper® provides night-time security that benefits a growing baby's emotional development," says Doctor William Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and author of over one dozen guides including The Baby Book. "Sleeping g close to their infant allows parents to make up for missed touch time during the day and to reconnect with their baby at night."

Doctor James J. McKenna, Ph.D. Professor of Biological Anthropology and Director of the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory University of Notre Dame, agrees. "I believe that [Arm's Reach has] created an important way of making it possible for babies to receive the kind of nighttime care we all take for granted as being needed for babies during the night."

Regardless of the medical benefits, simply having your baby close can provide a sense of comfort and closeness to both parents and baby. With busy schedules and lives connecting with our children on a daily basis can be difficult. The Arm's Reach line of products greatly eases the emotional and physical burdens of child care by bringing you closer together... not to mention keep your feet warm on cold winter nights when you don't have to walk down the hall to reassure a crying baby!


    * A better start in life for mother and baby. Early bonding makes for a secure beginning.

    * If the child(ren) is/are restless, the mother can simply reach over and comfort them. Research confirms benefits of a quick response to a baby's needs.

    * Mother can enjoy more rest because she can reach her baby from her bed.

    * From the first day home mother and baby are able to bond and this bond carries through for the rest of their lives.

All these benefits also apply to DADDIES, I might add!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How cute is this diaper bag?


So I saw this diaper bag and had to have it.  It's from a line called "Not Rational" named because the designer's therapist kept telling her that, "Feelings are not rational."   And hey, it's a now a source of retail therapy.  What symmetry!

It also doesn't look like a diaper bag (not cutesy) and it will convert to a great bag for business and stuff like that.

There.  I have justified this purchase.  Seriously, how cute is this bag?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

...Cause the countdown has begun!! The CCAA referred a whopping ten days of referrals (I read they haven't done that in 15 months) which means they have referred through January 22, 2006. Yeah, the number of referrals is about the same but it sure feels like we're making more progress. Due to Chinese New Year virtually nobody was logged in between January 28 and February 6. Which means.... there are only five more days of LIDs ahead of us and we're more than likely going to get our referral in August!!

August. Two months from now. Suddenly we can see the finish line ahead of us after a seemingly interminable wait. Yesterday was our 28 month LID "anniversary". Somehow "28 months" sound shorter than "two years and four months".

We're finally putting together the nursery... we have to do a second home study (for our third I-171H)... but we are getting there!!!!!

The end of the tunnel is in sight. I can hardly believe it.

I am so excited. And slightly terrified.

I remember being in labor with Ariel and being driven to the hospital before I gave birth (a long 36 hours later) and I was absolutely ecstatic that I was about to see my daughter's face for the first time, and completely petrified about what would happen next. Would I know what to do with her? Would I be attuned to her? Would I be able to distinguish her hungry cry from her angry cry? Would I ever sleep again? Would I love her? Would I resent her? Would my life ever be the same again? Would I want it to be? Did the people at the hospital know they would be entrusting an infant to the care of someone who was clueless about babies? What did it mean to be a mommy?

Fourteen years later, the best fourteen years of my life because I have shared them with my amazing daughter, I am feeling the same mix of anticipation and fear... but this time I have a husband by my side, who is my b'sherit, the love of my life, and I have the knowledge that motherhood is a wild, unpredictable and utterly wonderful ride. I can't wait to start again with Kavanna.