Apparently it was too high.

Adventures in family-building

June 30, 2006

Just Pictures

Another classic example of the "Please, PLEASE smile pretty for mommy, Trevor! PLEASE!"

Paul is a talented photographer and gets much better pictures of Trevor than I do.

Tuesday, June 27 was our 8th wedding anniversary. We stayed at a local resort hotel. In this picture, we are inside the building - a glass-domed atrium the size of a small neighborhood.

P.S. Mommy is sufficiently freaking out that our picture is coming soon. Freaking about out what, she's not sure, but freaking out on spec.

P.P.S. A photo tip - on these pictures we post on this blog, if you float your mouse pointer on the picture and left-click once, a larger version of the picture should display.

June 22, 2006

Adoption Update

Here is the promised update on our adoption from China. The Chinese government agency that manages all adoptions, the CCAA, announced this morning that they have completed adoptions for people registered with their office through June 28, 2005. We were registered June 30, 2005.

We will receive our referral next. We are finally next in line.

Timewise, we can expect our referral around the 3rd or 4th week of July. At that time, we will get a few pictures of our daughter, her birth date, a medical report, information on where she was found, information on her personality and daily routine, and the location of the orphange or foster home she is currently residing at. Travel to China is currently running at five to six weeks after referral, so we expect to travel to China in September.

I can't decide if I will be endlessly chatty on this blog due to excitement over the next month, or frozen in a stupor of disbelief. We shall see.

FYI, our plan at the moment is to make sure all of our family has seen our daughter's picture before we post it here on the blog, so don't dismay if it takes a few days after we receive our referral to get it up here.

I've put a little countdown ticker at the top of our blog to help everyone keep track of how close we are to getting our referral. I've based this on an estimate that we will get our referral on July 26. This is only an estimate. It could be a few days on either side of that. But it's a solid guess based on the pattern of the last few months.

Let the countdown begin.

June 21, 2006

There's always more to nothing

Far too soon, your child stops mispronouncing words in that precious way they do. Logurt gives way to yogurt. Boke gives way to broken. Mommy gives way to Mom. Molo gives way to merlot. (<--- heh... just kidding.) But there are still irresistable treasures to be had from the mouths of babes long after they figure out basic pronounciations. They will reveal little gems of wisdom, little vignettes on life, rhetoretical questions that make you ponder. We have taken to calling our son Zen Master Trevor at times. Here are a few recent treats:

* Trevor checked out a Japanese anime comic book at the library, the kind you read right to left. It's Dragon Ball Z for those keeping track. The dialogue is written in the form of speech balloons coming from each character. One of the balloons had nothing but a 3-dot ellipses in it: ... Trevor pointed this out to me and said, "That means there's more of whatever was before it. But there's always more to nothing."

* I mentioned to Trevor the other day that something was going to happen "in a week and a half". He informed me that was impossible. "Why," I asked, "is that impossible?" "Because a week has 7 days, and 7 is not an even number, so there can't be a half of it." Oh. Huh.

* We go through a 4-way stop sign on our way to school every day. I burst a few blood vessles because of the frustration this causes me every morning, since most of the free world doesn't seem to know how to wait their turn at a 4-way stop. I generally mutter a few curses under my breath and pronounce the offending drivers as "complete nincompoops" when I finally make it through the intersection. However, once in a blue moon, everyone seems to wait their turn. One morning after a particularly rough 4-way, I told Trevor, "I get mad every day going through that stop sign." He said, "Mom, remember that day when everyone waited their turn? You should think of that morning every time we go through this stop sign, then you'll always be happy." Wow.

* Paul was out of town for a few days last week. I rented a movie for Trevor and I to watch (Sky High, it was a hit, so campy and cheesy but hilarious). On our new fancy-schmancy big TV set, you have to turn on several machines - the computer, the TV, the DVD player, and the stereo, to get the movie to play correctly. This involves no less than 3 remote controls. I finally had everything working but the audio, and I yelled to Trevor in the other room, "I have everything working but the sound!" He yelled back, "I'll fix it when I get in there, Mom. Dad and I are boys and we know about that stuff." Insert giant eye-roll here. For the record, I DID get the audio working myself, me, a mere girl!

* Trevor was experiencing consternation that a friend of his is 2 months older than himself, this being a very important measure of self at his age. He informed me that if time stopped for the whole world except for him for a period of 2 months, then when everyone started up again, he would be the same age as his friend. I think Trevor has a future in quantum physics.

* Upon discussing a particular bible verse, Trevor asked, "Mom, when God was telling us the bible, did He give us the numbers to the verses, too?" Darn good question, if I do say myself.

Another update on the adoption will be forthcoming next week.

June 11, 2006


What's not to love about a warm summer evening at the ballpark, a six-year-old gap-toothed buzz-cut boy in his new TBall uniform?

Kids rock.

June 7, 2006


The wait to bring our daughter home has been longer than we originally expected. About six to eight months longer - 50% more time than we thought we'd have to wait.

I could choose to complain about how unfair it is that we have to wait so long for our daughter, when most people we know get their child about nine months after they decide they want one. Instead, I choose to contemplate how unfair it is that her first parents had to make the terrible decision to abandon her. To this unknown Chinese mother and father, we will owe a debt unpayable. We have to wait six to eight months longer than expected to meet our daughter. They have to spend the rest of their lives not knowing what happened to their daughter.

I could choose to whine incessantly about how loooong it's taking, how I didn't plan it this way, and stomp my feet loudly in protest. Instead, I choose to practice the patience that will be required of me when we have a new baby in our family.

I could choose to stock up on dozens upon dozens of expensive baby girl outfits, while I grouse that I don't know how big she will be and what season she will be which size. Instead, I choose to be grateful for the dozens and dozens of graciously given hand-me-downs from wonderful friends, as well as other gifts and one-of-a-kind items made expressly for our daughter.

I could choose to avoid pregnant friends and those with babies, as I grumble bitterly that everyone gets their turn before me. Instead I choose to support them in any way I can and celebrate their new additions, and share in their joy. I know they will do the same for me.

I could choose to gripe that it will still be one to two months more months until we get her picture, and then have to wait four to nine weeks beyond that before we travel to China to meet her, in agreement with some of the people that express this sentiment when I tell them our current time expectations. Instead, I choose to rejoice that it's only one to two more months! We have waited FIVE YEARS for our second child. One to two more months before we see her face is peanuts.

I could choose to focus on all the potential negative things about the adoption. The list is long, if you start to make it. Instead I choose to focus on the word "potential", and to see these things as challenges that we will face head-on as they come our way - but not before. Preparation is good, obsession is not.

I could choose to be dragged into a pit of resentment by those clamoring to pull me down there with them, or by those eager to push me over the edge so there is more room for themselves on the surface. I choose to believe there is enough light for everyone. I will do what I can to help those struggling to find their way out of the dark.

The Momma

P.S. I did not write this to paint myself as a saint. I wrote it as much for my own affirmation as I did to explain my attitude to others. It often is not my instinct to make the latter choice in these situations. It is frequently a conscious and forced effort to choose the positive over the negative. I sometimes have to fight my way through a throng of negative energy to find my way out. Most importantly, I know that when my own strength is not sufficient, I do not have to struggle alone and helpless.

P.P.S. I had to use the thesaurus a lot for this post.

June 5, 2006

Windows 2.0

I.stayed home from work today while windows were installed in our house. Our windows were the original 1968 windows and not one worked. We started the window purchasing process in January and we paid for them five weeks ago. Replacement windows are pretty much only custom built.

Here is a fun little game. What is wrong with the picture to the right? ...answer at end of post... Out of 15 windows 9 are not what I ordered. Mostly, what was left off was either "low-E" or "argon" both make the windows better in the Texas sun. The installers also broke one. So, I spent a fair part of my day yelling at my window company.

So, you ask "What's that got to do with the price of tea in China". Isn't this a blog about adoption? Well, we started almost 18 months ago thinking we needed to save a lot of money for the adoption within 12 months, enough to buy a nice mini-van. We arrived in 2006 with our financial goal met, but no child. China was not on the same schedule. We have learned to save at a fair clip and now we can use some of the money we are saving in 2006 for things around the house that really need to get done. Of course we would prefer to be back from China and obsessing over our precious bundle of joy, not some stupid windows. In a few months, windows won't be nearly as important as they seemed today.
Answer: The little squares on the top part of the window are not the same as the ones on the bottom. It looks dumb.

June 3, 2006

Price of Tea

I'll bet you're wondering what the title of our blog has to do with the price of tea in China. Well let me tell you about it. Part of the adoption process in the USA, no matter where you are adopting from, is the dreaded Home Study. I was very stressed about the Home Study. I imagined Gladys Kravitz walking in our house with her white gloved hands, rubbing her fingers to see if we had dirt on top of our picture frames (we would have failed miserably). Sometimes I pictured Dr. Phil probing our psyches, asking us deeply personal questions, to see if we had dirt in our brains (we would have failed miserably). It was truly the part of the adoption process I dreaded the most.

Instead, we were wonderfully pleased with the social worker (MSW) we chose, a lovely woman named Beverly. She is such a blessing! She was wonderful and easy to work with, very supportive, very positive. It turned out to be one of the easiest parts of the whole adoption! Even when we told her our deep, dark secrets, she still approved us to adopt a child from China. (Oh people, stop salivating... our secrets aren't that bad. You know most of them anyway. Most of them. Most.)

Nonetheless, we had to answer the "Home Study Questionnaire", a 9-page hand-written behemoth, answering some questions that, um, take some thought. On what the most proper way to phrase something might be. We wanted to be truthful, but my goodness... some of those questions were doozies. It was in answering them that I came up with the title for our blog. Some of the questions made me think to myself, "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?!?" And then I found myself oh so very witty to think of that phrase. Because we are adopting from China. And the phrase is about China. Ha ha ha. Isn't that hilarious? I slay me.

Here are some of the questions. Think about what you'd say if you had to answer them for a stranger to read. It was challenging.

How would you describe your anger style? What kinds of things make you angry in daily life? (All other drivers)

Did you feel the discipline your parents used was appropriate? (Of course I did, Mother.)

What do you wish your parents had done differently? (Absolutely nothing!)

Any experience with drugs and alcohol? (I don't even know what you're talking about.)

How did you feel about your first sexual experience? Was it funny? (Um... um... um....) (*** Note: This was the question that actually prompted me to ask what that had to do with the price of tea in China. I believe "absolutely nothing" is the answer.)

What are the areas of your marriage that need improving? (How could marriage to a perfect man possibly be improved?)

Please describe use of alcohol. (As often as necessary! Be right back... off to fill up my wine glass....)

Describe the personality of your siblings while growing up and now. (Ha ha ha! HA HA HA! MWAAAAHAAAAHAAAAAAAA!!!! >:-) (I am kidding. We are blessed with lovely sisters and brothers.)

So yes, we answered all these and more, honestly. And we were still approved. AND we read each other's answers to the questions. And we are still married.

After the adoption is complete, these forms will be burned.