Archive for September, 2006

Desperately cleaning, and procrastinating

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

The Winter parents arrive for their yearly visit tomorrow afternoon, and we’re all in a tizzy getting ready.  Joe knows better than to entrust much of the cleaning to me, because I’m hopeless at it, but I do have a few very specific jobs.  I’m in charge of cleaning all the random paperwork off of the kitchen table (a task which takes me hours because I have to examine every bit of paper and then decide what to do with it).  I’m in charge of cleaning my bathroom, which I did in the middle of the week.  Mission accomplished! 

Joe has completed his clean-up efforts in the guest suite downstairs, and has been spending this evening trying to create enough room in the nursery to set up the crib.  I haven’t looked in there, being much too busy procrastinating to waste any time watching what he’s doing, but he’s been very busy.  He reports that it was a very trying day for Sirius Black, our 3 year old Australian Cattle Dog.  Siri is petrified of the vacuum cleaner, even when it’s not running.  Joe had it stationed in the doorway to the office much of the day, and somehow Siri got trapped inside the office.  He can’t get around the vacuum, no matter what.  (Makes it a pretty effective barrier if we’re trying to keep him away from something, like the couch!)  Then, Joe actually had the audacity to get out the Hoover Floor Sweeper thingie (a hard floor sort of electric mop) which is just as scary as the vacuum.  I guess that had Siri cowering under my desk for the afternoon, completely unable to escape the office.  It’s rough being a type A neurotic cattle dog!

Well, back to my kitchen table chore!

No news today … and a gift from Auntie Renee

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

It has been reported that several agencies are expecting to receive SN TA’s on Monday.  We’ll just have to wait and see. 

When Renee arrived a couple of weeks ago, she brought these very cute little rice bowls for Anna.  I had forgotten about them because I very carefully wrapped them back up in their tissue paper so they wouldn’t get broken on the way home, and then put them away.  They have brightly colored animals on the outside, and outlines of the same animals on the inside, to encourage a little one to eat all of her congee!




Day 45

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

People who have submitted their paperwork to adopt a special needs child from China all talk about the number of days they’ve been waiting for their TA’s (travel approval) to arrive.  We count forward from the date that all of our paperwork was logged in in China.  In our case, our paperwork was all logged in last April, but our letter of intent (LOI) to adopt Jiang Yi Qin was sent on August 14, 2006.  That’s the day I’m counting from, because that seems to be the consensus.  We did receive a pre-approval from China on August 21, so I could count from that date, but that doesn’t sound as good.  Saying we’ve been waiting 45 days sounds so much closer to the goal than 38 days. 

There is a rumor going around that since all Chinese government offices will be closed October 1-7 for a national holiday, there will be a batch of special needs TA’s issued before they go on vacation.  That would mean they’d be mailed tomorrow probably, and start arriving in the US early next week.  It’s just a rumor, and even if it’s true, we’re still a bit early in the game to expect ours. However, I know of at least one instance where a family received their TA in under 40 days, and one in this last batch was at 58 days, so it’s just barely possible for us this time around.  I’m having a hard time focusing on anything else these days …

We’re hoping and praying constantly that we’ll soon get to bring our little girl home, but as Lutherans, we’re doing it very quietly from the back row of the sanctuary, all the while singing hymns in 4-part harmony as we consider which casserole to prepare for our next pot-luck lunch!

Joe will tell you that if we don’t get to bring her home soon, there won’t be any money left for us to actually pay for all of her fees, because I’m so busy spending it on stuff for her.  And some on me, as well, of course.  And some on him.  I’m now using the excuse that I have to find a few sets of lightweight, wrinkle-free clothes that we can wash out in the hotel sink and dry overnight.  The fewer clothes for us we take, the more we can bring for Anna and the more we can bring home!  The shopaholics out there will understand that you don’t actually need a good excuse to shop! 

A gift from Grandma and Grandpa Winter

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

When I got home from work today, a little package was waiting with this beautiful dress inside.  I certainly hope Anna ends up liking dogs and cats (not that she will have much choice) because virtually all of her clothes are going to have pictures of one or the other, or both, on them.  I think this will be a very cute Christmas dress for her.  Seems I have something in my closet somewhere with scottie dogs on it; I’ll have to find it and see if it matches.



Anna’s name

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

For those who might be wondering about the source of the names we’ve chosen for Anna, I’ll give a quick explanation.  I’ve looked up the two names on the Social Security Administration’s website, and found that Anna is the 20th most common name given to little girls in America, and Elizabeth is even more common (I forget where, exactly).  So, we’re not exactly going to get lots of originality points for our choice.  In fact, I can foresee Anna being known in grade school as the “Chinese Anna”.

Our reasons for choosing these two old-fashioned but lovely names are simply my grandmothers.  My paternal grandmother was Anna Marie Amelia Zastrow (married: Winter), and my maternal grandmother was Bessie Broadnax (married: Bittle).  We’ve altered Bessie to be a little more formal, but that’s where the name originated.  I hope that she’ll appreciate the significance of her names when she’s old enough to understand where they came from.

If we are so fortunate to get to add a second child to our family, we’re planning to try to come up with a combination of Joe’s grandmothers’ names for her. 

Now I must take myself off to bed.  I’ve got surgeries to do tomorrow morning …

Some folks are getting referrals

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Congratulations to all the families who received their referrals Monday and Tuesday!  The CCAA posted that they had matched all families with LID’s (log-in dates) before August 9, 2005, early Monday morning.  So those folks have been waiting between 13 and 14 months from the time they sent all their paperwork to China.  It will take another 4-8 weeks for them to get their travel approvals (it’s been averaging about 4 weeks lately) and then they’ll travel 2-4 weeks after that.  They’re thinking they’ll be traveling in November. 

While we’re no longer in the traditional adoption program, it’s still fun to follow the progress of the matching process.  It’s taking longer and longer for them to match each set of LID’s, and our fellow April 2006 LIDer’s are suspecting that it will be October of 2007 before they receive their referrals, unless things speed up significantly.  Our best wishes to all of our cyber-friends in that group.

Again, we’ve already been matched with little Miss Anna, and are roughly 43 days into our wait for our TA.  We’re hoping that we might get our TA in mid-late October, and we might get to travel with the folks that got their traditional referrals this week.  So, we’re hoping and praying for a speedy TA.

Anna’s gift from Diane

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

My receptionist and good friend Diane brought Anna “Good Night Moon” today.  She says it’s the best bed-time story every, and she would know, with 2 grown-up kids and a brand new granddaughter!  Welcome to Miss Rebecca Kathryn Colby, and congratulations to Diane and daughter Amanda (the proud mama!)

I also had a walk down memory lane last week when I found a Dressy Bessy doll for Anna.  I never had one, but my little sister Nicki just adored hers, and carried her everywhere with her.  I think she’s just the right age for Anna, and I hope she’ll have as much fun with her as Nicki did.

Maybe next month? Maybe …?

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

A large group of people waiting for their TA’s (travel approvals) for special needs children received them this week.  If you recall, the TA is the next thing we’re going to hear from the CCAA in China, which will mean they’ve approved us formally, and we are authorized to travel to China to get our little girl.  The typical wait from the time all your documents arrive in China to the time the TA is issued is between 60 and 90 days.  We’re currently on about day 40, so if the TA’s come about the same time next month, it will be just about the right timing for us to receive ours.  I noted several people who received TA’s this week had waited roughly 70 days.  I can’t get my hopes up too much, because there are other people who have been waiting upwards of 150 days.  It would be awesome if if happened next month, which would allow us to travel in early November, but I wouldn’t complain if it came the next month and we traveled in December.  Well, I might complain a little.  Complaining is a special talent of mine.  Just ask my employees!  And my husband!

Give ___ a chance!

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

I got this adorable little T-shirt for Anna last week.  I think it’s hilarious.  Joe doesn’t think he’s going to let me put it on our daughter.  I’ll have to sneak her into it and then take lots of pictures of her to embarrass her later in life.

I also got a very cute Christmas shirt for myself that I may not be able to wait until December to wear.  Especially since they only had a size large, which fits me fine in my current state of svelteness, but Lord only knows what size I’ll be in 3 months!  Both shirts are printed by a company named Hatley, which is based in Montreal.



Preparing, preparing

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

I’m currently reading a book entitled, “Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections,” edited by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae, both mothers of internationally adopted children, I believe.  It has many explanations of behaviors we might expect to experience from a child who has been institutionalized and abandoned as many as 3 or 4 times in her short life.   It also has lots of strategies for recognizing and addressing those concerns and fears she is certain to have.  It’s a real eye-opener.  “Attachment parenting” is kind of a buzz phrase these days, but it is a concept that will be very important to us in this particular situation, where we somehow have to convince a little girl who doesn’t know us and doesn’t understand us that she will never, ever be abandoned again, and that it’s safe to become attached to us.  It is a process that will likely take years to accomplish.  I’m only about 20% of the way through the book, but I feel that I can recommend it highly to anyone planning to adopt, either domestically or internationally.

For my “lighter” reading, I’m plowing through Neal Stephenson’s “Quicksilver,” the first 1000 page tome of his Baroque trilogy.  He’s an entertaining and very clever writer of historical fiction who focuses heavily on scientific and technical advancements and places his fictional characters amongst real scientific geniuses such as Isaac Newton.  This volume is set in the late 1600’s in England when telescopes are being designed and planetary orbits are being described in relation to the new concept of gravitational force, and calculus is being defined as a computational tool.  Neat stuff.  I’m slightly more than half way through this one.  Only 2 1/2 more to go!

I’m taking a break from my recent obsession with British crime fiction.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series.  She doesn’t endow her characters with the ability to engage in witty repartee like Martha Grimes does, but her stories are very gritty and evoke very real emotions.  I have become very attached to Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers, so much so that I thus far have refused to watch any of the BBC-produced television mysteries based on the novels simply because the TV Lynley looks absolutely nothing like the Lynley I know.

What’s everyone else reading right now?  Please post your favorite autumn read!  I’m always looking for something else interesting to read while snuggling under the comforter on the couch with a cup of hot tea.

Now, off to finish my medical charts before office hours tomorrow.  Ugh.