Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year to ALL




In less than one hour it will be 2006. Wow! 2005 has been a roller coaster ride. We watched one child graduate high school and go on to college. We watched another child start her first year of high school and another one move up a grade and mature at what seems like to fast of a rate.

We continued on our journey for our adoption. Hard to believe we started at the end of 2004 and will complete this journey in 2006.

I want to wish all my family and friends a joyous New Year in 2006 and may all your dreams and wishes come true.

ALERT, ALERT, ALERT!!!!


ALERT........ALERT.......ALERT..........
I am so excited I can hardly stand it. A stork alert has been issued and my referral is in the air on its way to the USA! Because Monday is a holiday we won't get them until Tuesday. Needless to say it is going to be a tough next few days.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays To All



Twas the night before Christmas and all in the Stahley house are tucked in and comfy for the night.

Last night we had Christmas with Mike's family. It was a lot of fun. Mike's parents took us all (14 of us) to Red Lobster for Christmas dinner. Then everyone came back to our house for present time. We had done a name draw at Thanksgiving time so we each had one person to buy for. It was fun watching everyone open their gifts and see what the bounty was. Mike's parents did not stick to the rules and passed out money envelopes to everyone. Shame on them...but I love them. :)

Tonight we had our Christmas program at church. It was put on by the children from the church and was very cute. The rest of the night we are just spending relaxing at home. Watching movies and staying warm.

Tomorrow is pretty low key for us too. No plans except for our own Christmas at home. I really like that. We don't have to rush off to anyone else's home. My dad is coming though in the morning to watch us open our gifts and eat some goodies for breakfast.

I got the COOLEST gift yesterday! My super-cool Lovebug sister from Kentucky sent me a gift and I love it. It is a little denim backpack and she had Olivia's name put on it. I can picture our little one when she is about two years old walking around with her pack on her back. Thank you Sheila, I love ya girl!

Merry Christmas to All and remember the Reason for the Season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Suprise Mail

Today in the mail I received an envelope from Brazil. Many years ago we had an exchange student that stayed with us for a year. Gleise became our oldest daughter. It was a wonderful experience having her with us for that year. The following year she came back and stayed with us for a month. We had kept in touch for a while, but over the years that communication has run dry. I knew she was going to Australia for 6 months and then we just lost track. I only have an old address for her mother. Anyway, today I got an envelope with two pictures in it. They are of Gleise's almost two year old daughter. She is sooo cute. There was just a quick note on the back of the picture and no return address. ARGH! Well I am going to give it a try. I typed up a letter and I am going to send it to her mothers old address. Maybe the mother still lives there. I hope.

Please feel free to add comments to my journal. I have no idea if anyone out there in cyber land even reads this. LOL!

The first half of the Lovebugs got their TA's today. YEAH! I don't know why that excites me so much but I guess I feel like we can't get our referrals until the group before us gets their travel plans. There is a possibility that they will be leaving on January 4th.

Mike said something today about heading to Kentucky for a couple days next week. WOW! That came out of the blue. So, we may be planning a trip south for a couple days.
Chinamama

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Home From Iowa







Well we just got home from Iowa this afternoon. We went out for Christmas with mom. Olivia got her first two Christmas presents. That almost made me cry.

We drove out Friday night and had Lisa and baby Nolan with us. (Jon had to take Megan to the airport so she could fly to Texas to spend Christmas with her dad.) We got there pretty late that night. On Saturday most of us went shopping to help mom spend the rest of her money. In the afternoon mom and Gordon treated us to a movie. (Note: Go see The Family Stone-it is really good.) That evening we opened presents and were up till about 1 AM.

Evan is home for three weeks too. He met us at mom's house. He is staying out at mom's for a couple extra days.

Tomorrow is a FREE day. Whoo Hoo! No school and no plans. R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N!

ChinaMama

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Same old, Same old

The home front is pretty quiet right now. Only two days left of school and then two weeks of Christmas break! YEAH! I am sure ready for this. I will love not having to get up at 6 and go out and start my bus in the freezing cold weather.

Christmas shopping is done and wrapped so now I can just kick back and relax. We are leaving Friday night and heading to Iowa for Christmas with my mom. Then nothing until the 23rd when we have the Stahley Christmas. We really have a pretty light schedule this year.

This is really a week of anniversaries for us. On December 11th we made the decision to adopt. On December 12th we contacted our social worker for the first time and on December 13th we sent in our application to the adoption agency. So I guess you can say that a year ago this week we got the ball rolling in the process.

I have been sick this week with a headcold. This has put me in a rather grumpy and tired mood. Hopefully I will have it kicked here in a day or two and then be great for our vacation weeks.

Mike has been puttering around the house driving me nuts. He has been washing dishes (by hand instead of the dishwasher) and today he swept the living room. Now I know most of you women would think "That is Awesome" but on a certain level it bugs me. It makes me feel like he doesn't think I am doing my jobs right. I know he is trying to find things to do, but he hasn't even started on my honey-do list and the lack of income is really bugging me too. I think he will be helping the neighbor guy on his farm some, so that will keep him out of my hair.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Next Batch of Referrals

Well the latest batch of referrals has arrived. They came on December 8th which is awesome because that is two days less than a month from the last batch. They have been coming 5 weeks apart, so that is good news. Our agency did not receive any referrals because our group is the next batch they are expecting. The cut off for this batch was April 14th so we missed it by 3 days. We WILL be in the next batch though. YAHHOOOIE! I can hardly wait to see sweet Olivia's face. I think this month will go quickly.

We got 10 inches of snow on Thursday night so yesterday we had a snow day-meaning no school. Morgan and I went Christmas shopping. I think she has most of her stuff done now.

Mike is laid off. Bummer! This is about two weeks earlier than we hoped for. I am just praying for that there are no unexpected expenses this winter.

One more week of school before our Christmas break. I am looking forward to that. Evan will also be coming home in a week and be home for about three weeks. Hopefully my sanity holds out. LOL!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Oh Paybacks!


Remember about 5 weeks ago I told the story of how I went down to Kentucky to surprise a few of my Lovebug friends. Well there is a such thing as paybacks. Friday night we came home from going out to eat and found a 6 pack of Ale-8 on my front porch. (Ale-8 is a pop that is made in Kentucky that Morgan has become a big fan of). I knew immediately that something was up and sure enough within about 2 minutes a vehicle pulled into my driveway with Kentucky plates. After I got done screaming and going crazy I got to sit down and visit with Sheila, Jack, Kim and Kimmee who made the 6+ hour drive to visit me. It was so awesome and they got me good. I did not have a clue they were planning this (believe me my fridge would have been stocked and my house clean if I knew!). We stayed up until 1 AM Friday and Saturday night gabbing and laughing. We went to Shipshewana to visit Amishville. It was exactly what I needed this weekend to pull me out of my funk from the bad referral news. The weekend flew by and now I have the energy to wait another month. Thanks girls! I love you!

Friday, December 02, 2005

One more month

Well word is in.....we got cut again. They only matched up to April 15th. Referrals are suppose to be sent out at the beginning of next week. That is the only good news I heard so far. (The referrals have been sent about every 5 weeks and this time it is less than 4 weeks). I thought I was prepared for this, protected my heart and all, but I guess that wasn't true. I had an appointment to get my nails done today and when I sat down, Dawn looked at me and said "Why do you look so sad?" To which I replied "Whaaaa whaaa!" Yep, I started bawling. How embarrassing. I am such a dork! The thought of waiting one more month isn't too bad because it is December and because of the holidays will go quickly-what is bad is that I am still 3 months now from holding my little one. Instead of traveling in December we will probably travel in March. ARGH!!! I am going to take 1-2 days to cry, scream and throw things and then I will move on to positive thoughts.

Well, I can now say I am 99% positive we will be in the next batch. We technically only missed the cut off by 2 days (the 16 & 17th were weekend days). SO-around the first part of January we will get to see the face of the newest Stahley member and I will get to start packing and planning.

I just read a post from another mom-to-be in the same situation that we are in and I totally agree with her. I need to picture God asking me "Do you trust me?" And then I need to completely and totally trust him and his plan and get off my high horse.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On pins and needles....again

Oh heaven help me I am not sure I can take much more. Okay, word has it that the CCAA is now matching part of April. The big question is "WHAT PART OF APRIL?". We have heard from one of the bigger agencies that the referrals will be mailed next week and that they are getting referrals for 4/12 and 4/14. That info does not help me because their next Log In Date is not until 4/27 and we are 4/19. So somewhere between 4/14 and 4/27 the CCAA cut off. Where? I don't know! I am really preparing myself to wait another month. I know I will really bummed if we are not in this batch but I am really trying to not get my hopes up. But there is a really big possibility that CCAA will only go to 4/15. That is what some of the larger agencies are predicting. Soooo close and yet soooo far.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Well I did it

I am putting myself out there with my dresses. I have now listed them on my website too. They have their own page titled "Dresses". Real unique huh? Anyway, if you are not familiar with my website you can view it at:

stahley.bravehost.com

I would love to have you take a look at it and please sign my guestbook while you are there. There is a link on the left to do that.

Thanks for looking,
China Mama

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving.....come and gone

Our Thanksgiving weekend is almost over. It was short lived and we are already on to Christmas. One day of Thanksgiving and then the Christmas decorations come out and the tree goes up.

I was so hoping to have Olivia home for Christmas this year. I am pretty sure she will not be home for Valentines Day and Easter may be cutting it close.

Evan heads home tomorrow morning. Last night in the middle of the night the phone rings and it is for Evan. I head downstairs with the phone to get him and I mean that literally. I slipped on something on the steps and went down head over heals. I was sure I broke my foot in the process. It throbbed most of the night. I can walk on it though so I think it is just sprained or bruised. The rest of my body felt like it had been hit by a truck when I got up this morning. Oh, and the phone call was from Evan's room mate letting him know their dorm was broken into and that Evan's playstation was broken and Tyler's computer was stolen. Thank goodness Evan had brought his computer home with him.

Yesterday was Black Friday otherwise known as "The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year!" I left at 5:30 AM and only had a few stores to go to. Lisa, my SIL, went to a couple others and we just helped each other out. Every year I ask myself why I do this. And every year I do it again. I didn't spend too much this year. I got Morgan's Christmas done, bought some more material for my dresses and got a great deal on my candles that I love so much. (I am a candle nut-I just love those big 20 ounce candles and burn them in just about every room of the house.)

Weather is still ccccold but should warm up for a few days. I am really not liking the cold anymore. LOL. I need to move. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Snow, snow go away.....

I hate snow. We are getting dumped on today and it is not even Thanksgiving yet! YUCK! It is pretty, but I hate driving in it and I hate how cold it is.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Evan should be on his way home right now. (Shhhhh, it is a surprise though). We are going to Mike's sister's for Thanksgiving. I am taking the crescents and the dressing. Easy enough I suppose.

Friday is my shopping day. I am one of those dorks that gets up at 4:00 AM and stands in line to get into the stores for all the "great deals". Even if I don't need anything I go anyway just because.

I keep finding lots of stuff to get for Olivia and she won't even be with us for Christmas. I already have quite a stash so I really need to stop buying stuff. It is just so hard to not want to spoil her.

Well....once again the rumors are not looking very promising. Word coming from a couple of the larger agencies is that the CCAA will continue to split months for a while. With that being said, having a LID of 4/19 is not a very good position. It is not looking real good that we will be next. The ONLY good thing about that is that we will be in the next group for sure! It is an early rumor but the source is normally right on, so....... not looking to good.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Will we be next or won't we. That is the question and only time will tell. We should probably know in a couple weeks. I don't know if they are going to split April like they did March. If they do, we probably won't get our referral until the first of January. The waiting is so hard.

I am going shopping in Chicago today. I am going with my friend Julia from South Bend. She is taking us Thrift Store shopping. It will be her last outing before she takes off for China. She is leaving on November 30th to pick up her second "China Princess".

Morgan celebrated her 10th birthday on Wednesday. Her "birthday party" with 15 of her friends is tomorrow. I don't believe I was thinking straight when I allowed her to invite 15 nine and ten year olds over. Just call me loopy. Mike has agreed to help me out though. Believe it or not it will be the first time he has helped out with one of the kids' birthday parties. I think I will let him handle the pinata'. HaHa!

Next week is Thanksgiving already. This month is just flying by. Thank Goodness!

This is also the wonderful deer hunting season. Mike's dad got two deer last weekend-accidently! He shot one and then thought he was shooting at the same one and killed another one. LOL! Mike can't get lucky enough to get a shot at one and his dad kills two. Good thing is he doesn't use the meat and we do-so we got the meat from two so far.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dresses, Dresses, Dressess....


I have turned into a dress making fool.

The dresses from our Lovebug shower were a hit and so now several of the girls are interested in some dresses. I bought some more material yesterday and need to pop out 5 more dresses plus the extra two I already have done so I can post a few of them. This is getting crazy.

This is opening weekend for deer hunting so I have seen very little of Mike. He left yesterday morning at 4:30 and ended up spending the night at his mom and dads. I guess he has two deer to bring home so far, but he has yet to shoot one.

Katie was in an accident on Friday night. Allie, her best friend, was driving and Sami my niece was with them. They were all okay. The SUV is totalled but they made it out okay. Pretty banged up and stressed out, but okay. Katie got strapped to a back board and a neck brace and got an ambulance ride to the hospital too.

I also got to keep baby Nolan overnight on Friday night. Lisa was really sick and Jon really wanted to go deer hunting so I suggested that they let me take Nolan so Lisa could take some meds and get a good night sleep. Nolan did great and it gave me some middle of the night practice. I think mommy was much more stressed out than Nolan was.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Stork is Here.....

Well the stork has landed for half of my LoveBug buddies today. They have been posting referrals for the last hour. We even have one set of twins! Yeah! All our babies seem to be from the same orphanage in the Guandong province which means after they tour Beijing they will get to fly down to Guanzhou and stay for 1 1/2 weeks in tropical climates. How cool. The twins are 20 months old and the youngest so far is 7 months. This hopefully means I am officially in the next group. Whoppeeee!

Monday, November 07, 2005















Last night I had my LoveBug Cyber Shower. All the girls from our LoveBug group got together and chatted online. We played some shower games and opened our gifts from our secret pals. It was alot of fun. Above is a picture of all my goodies I have recieved from my secret pal over the last several months. We all decorated our computer areas and ate chocolate and drank tea for our refreshements. We were online until about midnight. Whew! It was a great sucess.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

No Referrals this week

Well CCAA is taking their sweet old time this week. There are no referrals being sent this week. ARGH! Evidently the Director is gone until next week and he needs to sign off on all of the referrals. I wish they would hurry because the sooner the rest of March is sent out the sooner the April can be sent out.

I feel so bad for my fellow LoveBugs. More than half of our group has log in dates of 3/30 and they are next in expecting their referrals. This dragging it out is torture. I want to see their babies!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wild Weekend

Last weekend I was flying by the seat of my pants! We didn't have school on Friday so Morgan and I jumped in the van and headed south. We decided to surprise my LoveBug pals with visits. Well I believe surprise was an understatement.

Our first stop was Tammy in Louisville. Unfortunately I had to wake her up at 11 at night because there were no hotels to be found in Louisville. She graciously put Morgan and I up for the night. What a fun way to start the weekend. I enjoyed visiting with Tammy and getting to know she and her family better. She and I will be traveling to China together so this will make it even more special.

Next we headed further south to Parksville to see Kim. I think I shocked her socks off. We were waiting for her in her driveway when she got home. When she realized who was sitting there we both went into a screaming tizzy hugfest. It was awesome. It was hard to believe I had never met Kim before because she felt like a long time friend. I spent a couple hours visiting with Kim and Kimmee. Unfortunately Kim is not one of the LoveBugs that I will get to travel with. She will be going a month ahead of me. Then she had to leave so Morgan and I headed out once again.


John, Kim, Rachel and Kimmee

Our next stop was a hotel in Lexington. While there I contacted Sheila, who is about 45 minutes from Lexington. She said to stay in Lexington and she and Jack would head that way in the morning to meet us. Meanwhile Kim called and said she was coming to Lexington and so we all decided to get together for lunch. We spent about 2 hours at Steak and Shake visiting and sharing stories. Sheila is another one of the LoveBugs that I will get to travel with when our time comes.
We said good bye to everyone in Lexington and headed north to Cincinnati, Ohio. In Cincinnati we tracked down Kristin at her church where she works. Another great outcome. One of her employees called her over and at first she did not recognize me. Then when it dawned on her who I was and that I was there to visit her I thought I might have to pick her up off the floor. She immediately invited Morgan and I to spend the night at her home and were awesome hosts. When got to spend the evening and morning with her husband Jim and her two sons Zach and Ben. She too was like seeing an old friend.



Rachel, Kristin and Jim Ben and Zach

After our wonderful visit with the Wootens Morgan and I headed towards home. 950 miles and three days later I can say I have sisters in two other states that I can't wait to see again. It was an awesome-fun trip that I am so glad I decided to take. Now.......if I could just get some of them to come up and see me.........

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Back to the waiting game

Well we will not be getting our referral this month. Only the rest of March has been matched. We have also heard that the CCAA will be moving in mid-November and to expect delays in the next batch of referrals.

Bummer but that is okay because right now my dossier is in the matching room and we are NEXT! WHOO HOO!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

OH MAN.....COULD IT REALLY BE?



Okay getting a little antsy now. I hate to even post this for fear of jinxing it-BUT- there are some very strong rumors out there that the cut off for the next batch may be around April 20-22! THAT means we would be included after all!!!! According to one agency CCAA has matched the rest of March and they are working on April right now. They could be matching us with our little girl RIGHT NOW!!!! They said April LID's are in the matching room now. The next piece of info is that referrals should be coming next week. Hopefully be here by Friday November 4th!

Morgan and I are going on a road trip tomorrow. We will be gone for three days. We are going to be meeting some friends hopefully. I wil try to post Sunday and explain it all then.

Mike called from the Dominican yesterday. He is having a good time. He was feeling a little homesick yesterday but otherwise is keeping busy. He said it has rained everyday. I think that is pretty common there though.

Off for now-

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Slow Saturday


That picture to the left is the logo for my LoveBug group from AHH some of which I should be traveling with. I told Mike he is the ladybug with the orange afro and buck teeth. LOL.

Mike left today for the Dominican. It is just us girls this week. I spent the day in South Bend with Julia and little Genevive. Morgan had a sibling class at the hospital. She said it was really cool.

I heard from someone today that for the next four months at least the children with their paperwork ready to go making them available for adoption are on the younger side. The CCAA has very little paper work on older children. That means we have a good chance of getting referred a younger baby. That same someone told me that her agency said they are trying to get referrals to go into April. That is good news for us, because then we should not get cut off for a referral at the end of November.

The Washington Post today had a story about the Bird Flu. It said that if one case shows up that the flu can be spread from one person to another then China is closing its borders to keep it from spreading. I am going to try to not even think about that. It is just way tooo depressing.

Little Chloe Jo (our girl puppy) went to her new home yesterday. Her new mama called to let us know she did great and is hardly missing us. Next week little Boomer will go next door to his new family. Morgan is having a pretty hard time with it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Short update

Well Evan made it home and will be heading back tomorrow. Mom made it here last night and will be here for the next week spoiling her new grandson.

No new adoption wise really. They hope that referrals are sent out by the end of next week. So maybe they will be here by Mon. the 31st.

Mike is leaving on Saturday for the DR. He hasn't said much about it. I am sure he will be more excited about it once he gets home. It should be a great experience for him.

Short update, but it at least is one.

Friday, October 14, 2005

He's Coming Home....

Evan is on his way home from Hesston as I type this for a visit. He has a few days off for fall break and is a little homesick so he caught a ride home. It is hard to believe he has already been gone for about 2 months.

No real news on the adoption front. There are two rumors going around. One is that the rest of the March LID's are in the matching room and the April LID's are still in the review room (we don't like this rumor). The other is that the cut off will be April 22/23 (we like this rumor ALOT!).

Mike got word this week that he won't have a job this winter. They decided to not run the shop in Middlebury. This really stinks. We have lived on unemployment before, but I had also saved a little nest egg to get us by. Since he has worked the last couple years in the shop we have done well so I didn't worry too much. SO, no job, no nest egg. UGH!

Little Nolan is doing good. He basically eats, poops and sleeps. Just like babies are suppose to do. My mom is coming in a few days so she can get to know her newest grandson.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

BABY ANNOUNCEMENT




Here are some pictures of my nephew Nolan Michael. He is about 4 hours old in these photos.

Lisa's delivery was a tough one. She went into labor at 1:30 AM Friday. She labored most of the day and after walking and walking some more was admitted into the hospital at 7 PM Friday night. She was 2 cm dialated. They had to give her morphine-it wore off. They finally gave her an epideral. Her blood pressure plumetted to 48. They rushed around and pumpe some fluids into her, her pressure spiked and she got migranes and threw up. Finally things leveled off. Saturday (this) morning the doctor came in and she was 4 cm dialated. He broke her water. At 10 AM she was only 5 cm. About 45 minutes later the doctor checked her and she was 10 cm. Whoo Hoo-we are almost done. NOT SO FAST- after 3 (YES that is a 3!) hours of pushing Nolan was finally born. 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. Cute as a button! Strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. Much cuter in person than even these pictures show. Anyway I AM AN AUNT!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Just trying to relax

Okay-I am trying to make this my motto now. Don't worry, just be happy. My mother gave me a pep talk the other day. Instead of protecting my heart from disappointment I am going to pray for a miracle and believe that it will happen. I am praying that our referral will come at the end of the month like we had originally planned. If it doesn't, I will deal with that when it happens, but for now I KNOW God answers our prayers and can perform miracles so that is what I am counting on! You go God!

Yesterday was a sad day for our community. A fifth grader from Morgan's school was killed while riding her bike. Morgan has been very sad today and said it was really sad at school too. I was very anxious to see Morgan this afternoon and just hold her on my lap. It sure makes my problems seem very insignificant right now.

OH GREAT NEWS!!!!
LISA IS IN LABOR!!! She has been in labor since 1:30 am and we have not heard much else. Hopefully when we get up in the morning little Nolan Michael will be out and waiting to meet his family! WHoo Hoo!


Monday, October 03, 2005

Another Bummer Day...

Today the March referrals started. AHH got only 4 referrals and nothing after 3/17 just like I had heard. I belong to the March DTC group and they were posting referrals all day. I should have been excited for them, but I just couldn't be. I had a real heavy heart today and feel really depressed. It will most likely be 9 weeks now until we get our referral. I need to snap out of it.

On another news front, Mike is going to The Dominican at the end of the month. He got an offer to go with our church on a mission trip (same place Katie was this summer) to help build a house. The trip will be paid for, the only thing we lose is his week of pay. It should be a great trip for him. He is gone 10/22-10/29.

Off to bed and to sulk.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005

WOW-Way behind

It is amazing how I have fallen behind in my blog. I really wanted to post one to two times a week. It just hasn't been happening.

My puppies are growing very nicely. They are just starting to get to the playing stage. They are sooooo cute.

Now mom only weighs 4 pounds and the pups are about a pound.

I also had two cybershowers this week. Both for my March Yahoo groups. The one on Thursday was great. I got my first gift bought off my registry. Morgan had fun opening the presents.



I have also been involved in that alphabet swap that I mentioned before. I still have about 4 more swap items coming but so far I have gotten a great load. Here are some of my items.


Word has it that referrals have been sent out and are on their way. Word also has it that the cut off this month was March 17. Now that is really BAD news for us. We were hoping to get our referral next month (at the end of October) but with an LID of 4/19 I am pretty sure they won't make up that much of a difference. That means our referral won't come until the end of November or first of December. This also means that we won't be traveling in December but we will be pushed to the end of January. Chinese New Year starts on January 29th and nothing is open in China for two weeks so that bumps us to the middle of February. So in one fell swoop we lost 6 weeks. I have had a rough few days. Lots of depression and crying. A huge pity party for myself. I am starting to accept it but I am sure for the next couple weeks I will have some low times and woe-is-me times. There is a slight chance it may still come next month, but since March and April were big log in months it is really doubtful.

Okay- I need to quit being an Eeyore.

Night.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Checking off the Holidays

Today is our 5 month anniversary for being logged in. YEAH! Right around Easter I was reflecting on how by next Easter Olivia would be home with us. Well since then there are several other holidays I can now check off that she won't have to celebrate (like she does anyway) without her forever family.

Valentines Day
Easter
Mother's Day
Memorial Day
Father's Day
4th of July
Labor Day

It would be awesome if we could celebrater Christmas and her first birthday together too, but only time will tell.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Keepin On


My babies are getting pudgy and more vocal. They still have their eyes closed but should be opening in the next two days. They are so snuggly.

There are rumor running rampent on the DTC sites. The closer we get to referrals the wilder they get....

1. That referrals will go to March 25th and be mailed out by September 30th before the week long Chinese Holiday in October.

2. The Director of the CCAA is out of town until after the Chinese Holiday (he is supposedly the only one that can sign the referrals-so they would not come out until after the holiday).

3. The referrals won't come out until after the holiday but they will include March and April. (I like this rumor best!)

No matter what is true or not, right at this time our dossier is suppose to be in the "review room" where our documents are being looked at and checked over. This is very exciting because the next step is the matching room. Please start praying for us, as I believe very soon God's hand in our future will be revealed to us.

One of my friends Julia, is going back to China to get her second daughter. They were suppose to be up next for referrals. Well this last week while looking at her agencies new list of special needs children she fell in love with a little girl and they have gotten the okay to adopt her. It will delay their travel by a couple months, but she is over the moon in love with the little two year old, soon to be known as Abigail.

As the referral time comes near, we are having cyber showers in our groups. I have two this month for the March group. These are so much fun. I love showers.

My SIL, Lisa is getting very close to having her baby. She has been having contractions and the doctor said she is ready any time. (She isn't due until Oct. 3rd though).

Hopefully I can post more on referrals soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Another September Day

This weekend was a crazy one. Mom and Gordon came on Friday night and Uncle Jim and Aunt Trudy and cousin Jimmy and Michelle came into town Saturday night. They came for my sis-in-law, Lisa's shower today. My diaper cake was a hit. Everyone thought it was crafty. Lisa got a lot of neat things today. A fun time was had by all.

Only 1 2/3 months left until our referral (I hope). It is getting real. For a while I was turning down the excitement level. Just seemed to far away. I have been having dreams again and spending a lot of time hanging out in Olivia's room.

Last night Mike and I went to see the play Aida at Amish Acres. It was awesome. If you ever get the chance to see that production do it.

My friend from Fort Wayne is back from China with her new daughter. They had a rough time while they were there and I can only hope that they can now really start to bond and be a forever family. Their daughter (19 months) was not bonding with Cassie at all and only wanted dad. She also cried a lot during their two weeks there. Tomorrow dad goes back to work and mom will be on her own with her. It could be a tough day.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Puppies Are Here!

Annie had her puppies this morning. 5:00 AM. The first one was a boy and was born great. The second one was breech and her head got stuck. I was really worried for a while but finally got the little thing out. So: 2 puppies, 1 boy and 1 girl and doing great. Mom is doing good and is an awesome mom.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Busy Day....


Okay-I came up with an idea for my Alphabet Swap. It was so obvious. Olivia's Onsies! So I went out today and bought 27 onesies and spent several hours decorating them for my March Moonbeam buddies. I also bought more fleece and made a regular blanket and 6 mini blankets. My back is killing me from bending over all day.

I am also sick. Head cold-sinus pressure and running nose. I was up all night. Three weeks into school and it has already started! Once I start back on my bus route I seem to be sick all the time. I will get at least 6 colds over the next 9 months. Mike thinks it is because of all the snotty nose kids on my bus. He says he is going to buy me a surgeons mask to wear.

My friend Cassie from Fort Wayne is in China right now picking up her second daughter and it is not going well. Little Isabel is rejecting her and will only go to daddy. It is really hard on Cassie. Isabel seems to be grieving a lot too. She is 19 months old and was in a foster home. The kids that come from foster homes seem to have the hardest time adjusting. They are better off in the foster home, but this little one was basically ripped away from the only family she knows and put with strangers. It is sad.

Referrals did come on Thrusday. Look at my website under "The Wait" for details. There is only one group ahead of us. The March group is expecting their referrals around the end of September. There is a holiday for China and every thing shuts down the first week of October. They will probably try to get the referrals out before the holiday. BUT since they will be shut down for a week, our referral may come a little later. Who knows.

I also made a "diaper cake" yesterday for my SIL's baby shower coming up this weekend. It is pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Thats all for now.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

February's Referrals


Here they FINALLY come. The February referrals are on their way and should be here tomorrow or Friday. The cut off is suppose to be February 25th. So-not only did they NOT come early, they are not going to include any of March. Bummer.

My little baby (picture to the right) will be a mommy in about 6 days. She is getting quite pudgy. I can lay my hand on her tummy and feel the babies kicking. I am hoping for 3 pups but will be satisfied with 2. If she only has one, I threatened to ship her to the pound. (I told her I was just joking-can't stress her out right now.) Anyway, three pups would help fund my trip to China. I already have 2 sold if she has them.

I just signed up for a new swap. This is called the alphabet swap. I have to come up with $1-$2 gifts that start with either O or S (Olivia's initials). Last month they had a B swap for baby. People sent things like bibs, booties, bows, board books, baby rattles etc. Soooo if anyone out there has a real creative idea for me please let me know. I have to send out 27 items so I need to get busy. I could also do L (for Livi-nickname). HELP!!! This is like a baby shower swap so it should have to do with kids.

I will post the referral results on my website page "The Wait". Well I should be down to two months left of the wait. Then we will start a new wait for travel.

ChinaMama

Monday, August 22, 2005

On his own...




He is off to college. Mike and I got back yesterday from our looooong trip down south. The Hesston campus is beautiful, Evan's room was really nice it was HOT there. Over 100 degrees. Seriously though, it was a great place and I felt really good leaving Evan there, knowing he will do great. You can check out his campus: http://www.hesston.edu It will take some getting used to at home though. Last night I did a mental roll call of my kids like I normally do. In my mind I knew Evan was not at home, but my first thought was "I wonder what time Evan is getting home." It took a second to remember he wasn't coming home.

Nothing new on the "Olivia Watch". Referrals rumors are running wild again. People think they may come next week and include all of February. But-they are only rumors.

My friend, Cassie, is leaving on Wednesday to pick up her newest (and 2nd) daughter from China. I am so jealous. Excited but jealous.

I am getting really tired of this wait. It is sooo draining. I am almost getting to the point that I don't even care anymore.

Annie is getting FAT! I am hoping for 2-3 puppies. That will help fund our trip. Poor thing though. Only 2 more weeks.

Well I hope to write soon with more news.

ChinaMama




Sunday, August 14, 2005

More babies on the way


My baby is going to have babies! My little yorkie, Annabelle (Annie) is due September 6. Now in this picture she is just a baby herself. She is now 1 1/2 years old and all of 4 pounds. I am hoping she has 2-3 puppies. I am looking forward to the upcoming births as it will give me something to focus my attention on besides waiting for referrals. By the time the puppies are weaned and ready to go to new homes, it will be just about time for Mike and I to head to China.

We take Evan to college this week. We are leaving on Thursday evening after my bus route and driving all night to Kansas (15 hours). Evan and I went shopping today to buy the last few necessities that he needed. I still can't believe my first baby is going to college. There were some days I never thought the time would come but now it seems to have just flown by.

Morgan, Katie and I start back to school on Tuesday. That is 1 day away! This summer has gone quickly.

One of the women on my March Moonbeams group has become a new mommy. Her husband is in China right now with their new little 18 month old, Delaney. She stayed home because she couldn't take enough time off work to make the trip and have bonding time at home. It is so exciting as people start to get their new daughters.

Well that is all for now
ChinaMama

Friday, August 05, 2005

Happy to see August


We are already 5 days into August. There are sooo many rumors going around about when the next batch of referrals will come and how many days they will include. I give up trying to keep up.

I won a contest this week. My April chat group that I belong to does a contest every 5 days or so. Someone posts a prize along with a guessing game. The last one was we had to guess this persons breed of dogs that she owns. I guessed Yorkies and I WAS RIGHT. I won a Chinese Cookbook and a Calligraphy book. So now it is my turn to choose a prize and contest. I said I would make letter pillows in the winners daughters name. My contest was they have to guess how many diapers I have bought so far. It is all pretty funny. The picture above is a sample of what I am offering.

My stamp camp for my friend Cassie this week was a success. I helped her make $160 plus $160 in orders. My little contribution to her China trip.

I started on my 100 Good Wishes quilt today. I went to my aunt's house and we set up a plan. I need to do some cutting and such this week and then next Friday we will meet again and get started. I am pretty excited.

Only 10 days until school starts. Morgan finished Jump Start and Bible School this week so we have a one week break before we head back to school. I am ready. The sooner school starts the faster the days are moving.

My Aunts have set up a shower date for my sister in law Lisa. We decided to forgo the double shower. With this being Jon's first baby, it is better they have their own shower. Hers will be September 11. Then sometime after we get our referral Lisa said she wants to throw a shower for me. Secretly.......I can't wait.

that's all for now-
ChinaMama

Friday, July 29, 2005

They are here....

July referrals came yesterday. Our agency got 15 referrals for people that are logged in from December 24-January 27. That means they actually went longer on the dates this month. NOW next month will be the real kicker. Chinese New Year was the first two weeks of February this year so the CCAA was shut down during that time. That means there was only two weeks in February that were logged in. Sooo next month will really be up in the air. Either the rest of January and all of February will be matched and maybe the referrals will come a little sooner or they may throw some of March in there too. Who knows. We are still counting on an October referral. We are half way over on our wait. Whoo Hoo!

We picked up Morgan's goats at the fair this morning. Yeah! No more trips out to the fairgrounds.

On Sunday our friends the Trawick's from South Bend are coming over for a cook-out and swimming. They are getting ready to go back to China to pick up their second daughter from China. I am really excited about their visit.

Also, on Tuesday, my friend Cassie from Fort Wayne is coming over to do a stamp camp at my house. For $10 my friends can make 10 cards. I am doing this to help Cassie make some funds because they will probably be leaving August 24th to head back to China to bring home their second daughter from China.

Busy Busy!

Thats all for now-
ChinaMama

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

July Referrals are on their way...

We got news today that the referrals for July are in the mail and on the way here. Are agency said they are expecting a package on Thursday and one on Friday. I was sooo hoping they would come last week. It seems like each month they come a few days later.

Morgan showed her goats at the fair yesterday. She got fourth place with one of them. She had a hard time controlling her goat and got pretty upset in the ring, but the club leader got in the ring and helped her.

Morgan also started Jump Start today. (Basically 2 weeks of summer school.) She thinks it will be okay.

The heat has been oppressive here lately. On Sunday the heat index was 108 degrees. The drought we were in is over though. We have been getting rain at least every other day with some pretty bad storms mixed in. I guess there is a cold front coming in tonight with some storms and finally tomorrow it will be only 75 degrees.

I got a couple gifts this week from two of my secret pals. I got two of the cutest outfits for Olivia. Also a doll, a book and a bib. It is sooo much fun getting little clothes. It just keeps confirming that she is coming.

OH! I don't know if I ever posted here our name pick. It is Olivia. Most people know by now, but if you didn't now you do.

That's all for now- I will post again when referrals are here.
ChinaMama

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Half way there....

Today is the 17th. In two days we will be LID for 3 months. We have hit the half way mark till our referral. Only three months to go. At this time we are still on target for an October referral. We will know more in the next month or so though.

School starts in one month. I know this next month is going to fly by. It is still sooo hot here. One of the hottest summers I can remember.

Oh-Katie is back from the Dominican. She had a great time and did not want to come home. She made some really great friends while there and really had a hard time leaving them. She is already trying to plan a trip back. She really grew spiritually while there and said she has never felt as useful as she did while there.

Rumors are going around that referrals may be coming out this week. Hopefully I will get to post those.

ChinaMama

Monday, July 11, 2005

Summer is half over

Going, Going......summer is passing us quickly. This is the first year that makes me very happy. The quicker summer goes the quicker October comes! Morgan is back from Bible camp and Katie has less than one week left in the Dominican. Fair is in less than two weeks and bible school less than three.

Jon and Lisa are having a boy!! 100% sure. The ultrasound shows it very clearly. They are over joyed. Today we worked on baby announcements for her.

We also found out yesterday that my niece Brittany is pregnant. She is due on February 25th. I am hoping for a girl. I will have someone to pass clothes down to then. HAHA!

I am hoping to start on my 100 good wishes quilt by the middle of this month. Once I have it done I will post pictures.

Thats all for now-
ChinaMama

Sunday, July 03, 2005

July is Here!

With this 4th of July weekend we usher in a new month. Today Morgan went to Bible camp for a week. That was a rough parting. We left to a tear streaked, panicked looking face. Just about tore my heart out. I know she will do fine, but there will be some major adjustments for her.

Katie leaves tomorrow morning at 3:30 AM for her two week adventure in the Dominican. She will be working with special education children. She is getting pretty exicted about traveling. We will have one week with two kids gone (and Evan is hardly ever around anyway) and one week with one gone.

We went to my cousins yesterday for a cook-out. While there my mom started planning a double baby shower for my sister-in-law and I. I am pretty excited. Something like a shower will help make our adoption seem more real.

ChinaMama

Monday, June 27, 2005

December's Are Here!

The rest of November through December 21 referrals are here! We have also passed our two month waiting mark (June 19). Today our agency reported 9 referrals with ages ranging from 7 months to 17 months. I am soooo anxious to head to China and meet our daughter, BUT on the other hand I am glad I am not in China right now. It is extremely hot in China during the summer and the hotel rooms are about the only place you can find air conditioning. Travelers say even the restaurants are not cooled. Also this is their rainy season and the southern part of China (where the American Consulate is located) has had some major flooding.

I will just bid my time. The summer seems to moving along pretty quickly. A couple more days and we will already be into July. Whoo Hoo! I have been working on a new project this last week. I am making little dresses. I have made 5 little sun dresses so far and just bought some more material.

Well-Hopefully only 4 more months to go to see our baby's picture!
ChinaMama

Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Day Weekend

This last weekend we had a church camp out. There were several families camping at Twin Mills campground. LOTS of little kids running around and a few dogs too. I kept thinking....*Next year we will have another little one running around playing*....

No news are referral news yet. The next group is expecting referrals this week or next. Once these referrals come in there are only 4 more batches to go until ours.

Morgan's summer is getting busier. She started swimming lessons and will be doing this for the next two weeks. Then she will be off to camp for one week. She will have a couple week reprieve and then it will be fair time and also Jump Start at school.

Katie leaves in two weeks for a two week trip to the Dominican.

That's all for now-
ChinaMama

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Little Taste of China

Today my friend Julia took me to Chinatown in Chicago. Julia has a 2 1/2 year old from China and she is going back about the same time I am for a sister for her. Julia is quite familiar with Chinatown so Morgan and I went with Julia and Genevive on a girls day out. It was very interesting. We went into several grocery stores (Julia goes regularly to get some of Genevive's favorite foods). Thestench of the fresh seafood (you name it, they have it) to all the dried seafood and herbs hits you in the face when you walk in. It is enough to turn your stomach. Julia informed me that pretty much all of China smells like this. Morgan looked at me and said "Have a good trip Mom, I am staying home." We also got a taste of how crowded the tight the shops are. You can hardly walk down the isles (sp) because they are so narrow. We had a wonderful lunch too. It was an interesting day to say the least.

ChinaMama

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Next Phase of Life

Tomorrow is Evan's graduation open house. He has graduated (yes-we have the diploma in hand) and tomorrow we celebrate. I am stressed (lots to do) and thoughtful at this time. On one hand I am reflecting on how fast time is flying by. It is hard to believe Evan will be moving on to the next phase of his life now. We have done our job of raising him and now we are just here for support and advice when he asks for it. Time really does fly by and reminds me of my mortality and if I am not careful how quickly time will pass me by.

Not much else to report on the adoption front. I am continuing to collect my quilt squares. I am hoping to start in the next month or so to put my quilt together. I am also involved in a postcard swap with others on my April list group. (These are other women (mostly) that are on the same timeline as I am with their adoptions and we should be traveling to China approximately the same time. They are a great group. We all seem to be going through the same thing at the same time. When noone else understands us (husband included) we can vent and scream to each other and we all understand where the others are coming from. Anyway, we are sending each other postcards from our area addressed to our new daughters. It is fun to get mail from all over the world.

Our friends Wes and Val have finally gotten their dossier done and sent in to China. We were hoping to travel together, but they will probably be a couple months behind us. They are asking for twins-how awesome!

There are some nasty rumors that referrals are now going to 7 months. I am not going to believe it until I see that actually happening and it is closer to our referral time-like August or September.

Well I am going to quit rambling now.

ChinaMama

Thursday, May 26, 2005

May Referrals

The May referrals came this week. They covered those families that were LID from October 20-November 19. Yeah-jone more month down....keep them coming. Our agency recieved 16 referrals for ages 7 months-18 months.

Proms are over for the year and now it is graduation time. Evan will be graduating this Sunday. I hope I can handle it. Last night he had his Bible class final. He and two other friends have to give their "Faith Statements" to a group of about 15 people and their bible teacher. WOW! It was really powerful. Evan had the whole room crying. I am really proud to say I am his mom. He is sure growing into a fine young man. He is really going to make a difference in others lives.

That is all for now-
Chinamama

Thursday, May 19, 2005

1 Month Count Down

Today is our one month "anniversary" of our count down. We have been logged in for one month. Man time is going slow. Everyone is expecting referrals next week for the month of November. Rumor has it that CCAA may have hired to some new help, so maybe they will pick up a little bit and keep things moving along.

Katie went ot prom a couple weeks ago and this weekend is Evan's turn. Then next week my baby graduates!!! I can hardly believe the time has come for one of my babies to leave the nest. I didn't know if I would think he was ready, but this last year he has really done some growing and it may be time for him spread his wings a little.

I am hoping to write here about once a week during our wait, but I have already gotten a little behind. 11 days since my last post. That is a good thing though-time is moving on.

Chinamama

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and I am sitting here thinking about my other baby. She is waiting for her new family somewhere thousands of miles away. As we pass each holiday I keep thinking that the next one we will be together. So far we can count down Valentine's Day, Easter & Mother's Day.

We spent the afternoon with Mike's family today at the lake. BBQ chicken on the grill. I love Mike's family but sometimes things are so hard. Mike's mother (maybe father too) is not in support of the adoption plan. Everytime I see her, she reminds me of her feelings. At this time of excitement it is hard to be around her. I guess it will be her loss.

Katie had her prom this weekend. This is going to be a really busy month. Evan has prom in two weeks with graduation the following week. Then we have his big open house to plan for to finish off the season. I will be glad when this month is over. HAHA!

ChinaMama

Monday, May 02, 2005

LID on 4/19/05

WHEW! We got our LID date today. It is 4/19/05! Praise the Lord! That was the last possible date we could hope for and still be in the April group. China has been splitting months for referrals and they seems to be splitting them on the 19th or 20th of the month. SOOOOO hopefully that means we will still be with the April group. I am glad the suspense is over.

Chinamama

Nothing New...

There is nothing new on the adoption front. We are still waiting to hear what our LID is. This I am really worried about. Nothing I can do about it, but still worried. Someone from Denmark recently reported that her dossier was delivered to CCAA on 4/5 and she had an LID of 4/25. That is bad news. We need an LID of at least 4/19 to be able to hope for a referral in October. Otherwise, we will be pushed into the next month most likely. For some reason they are taking a long time to log in the dossiers at the CCAA.

That is about it. Nothing else new really going on here.

Chinamama

Sunday, April 24, 2005

April's Referrals come and gone

April's referrals have come in. On the 18th anyone with a LID of late September through October 20th got their referrals. It is too bad it wasn't ALL of October. It is kinda frustrating the way they split the month up. I am still crossing my fingers that the referrals stay at 6 months. I guess I shouldn't complain because if I can wait 6 months I can wait 7 months. We still have not gotten our LID yet and probably won't until next month.

This last Tuesday we had 85 degree weather. This morning we woke up to 3 inches of snow. YUCK! Mike said Mother Nature is playing a cruel trick on us.

Evan just left an hour ago for a week long senior trip to New York City and Washington DC. It is hard to believe his senior year is coming to an end. In two weeks we will be doing his registration for Hesston College.

ChinaMama

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Docs at the CCAA

We have been informed that our documents are now in the hands of the CCAA. They will go over the forms and approve us (hopefully) and then match us with a child. Problem is this will take 6-8 months to do. Anyway, our dossier was delivered to them on April 5th. So the translating is done and we will just now wait for our LID (log in date) and then the count down begins.

I am of course stressed (as usual) because there are some rumors going around that CCAA is slowing down the referrals some. If that is true, it will take longer than 6 months and we won't have our little one home before Christmas. But, there is nothing I can do about it but sit back and wait now.

Last night we were at Menards and Morgan spotted a couple with a little Chinese girl. So of course I had to be nosy and find them. They have been home for 8 weeks with little Zoe. It was so neat to get to talk to them. They gave us lots of advice and told us some stories too. We stood there for 45 minutes talking to them. By the time we left, Mike, Morgan and I all got a chance to hold Zoe. What fun!

ChinaMama

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Weekend

Yesterday was Easter and a thought came to me (yes-I have a thought once and a while). This will be the last Easter (God willing) that our new little one will spend in an orphange. This time next year we will be teaching her who our Heavenly Father is and why Easter is so important to us.

I put a couple pictures of our nursery on the blog. I am pretty proud of this little room. It only took me 8 days from start to finish-including new carpet, doors, paint and trim.

On Saturday we went out to eat with some new friends. We met with Oscar and Julia from South Bend. They also brought along Owen (16) and little Genevive (2-home for one year from Hunan China). I met her online and we decided to get together. They shared with us their experiences with adoption. They are going back again this year for their 2nd adopted daughter. This time though they have asked for a 3-5 year old. It was fun meeting with them.

Now that our paperwork is done and sent off I spent the weekend "shopping". I signed up for baby registries on the Walmart site and the Target site. What fun that was! I have had a few people ask what things we might be needing so for the fun of it I set up the regestries. I also realized how much more fun a young toddler is going to be and shop for verses an infant. Toys and books etc. A one year old will be the perfect "fun" age.

Thanks for checking in
ChinaMama

Our Nursery View 2


Our Nursery Posted by Hello

Our Nursery View 1


Our Nursery Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

DTC TODAY!

We are DTC today. That means our documents were sent out to China today! They will start translating them next week and then we will get logged in at the CCAA.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stressful Day

Man what a day I had yesterday. Talk about being reminded that I am not in control but God is. My I-171H was certified on Monday (I took Morgan with me and we had a field trip at the State House). I Fed Ex'd my package to Chicago to a courier. She was then planning on taking the document to the Consulate and having it authenticated. Picking it up today and sending it to my agency so that they got it by Thursday. Then our agency would send it to China on Thursday (they are closed this Friday). Anyway, Fed Ex lost my package and it did not get to Chicago. We made several phone calls yesterday and Fed Ex was trying to locate my package. I was a mess cause that meant my perfectly laid out plan was not going to happen. Well, the package was found last night and it made it to Chicago by this morning. The courier took it to the Consulate and begged and pleaded and they agreed to authenticate it TODAY! They almost never agree to doing it same day. She will pick it up this afternoon and get it sent out to our agency and they should have it by tomorrow morning. Then our precious dossier will be sent to China and our paperchase will be over!

Chinamama

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The now beloved I-171H

Exactly one week to the day of being fingerprinted WE GOT OUR I-171H form that we had been waiting on. I am so excited. Before it was the hated I-171H now it is the beloved I-171H. Now the plans are....

Monday..I will drive to Indianapolis and have the 171 state certified. Then I will drop it in a fed ex box and send it to Denise Hope, a courier in Chicago.

Tuesday...Denise will receive the 171 and take it to the Chicago Consulate for authentication.

Wednesday...Denise will pick up the authenticated 171 and fed ex it to our agency.

Thursday...Grace at A Helping Hand will receive the 171 and hopefully send our Dossier off to China. HOPEFULLY!

Then it is wait time.

Also, today I finished the baby's room. Mike got the trim put up, the closet doors up and the dimmer switch done. The only thing I need to do now is move in the crib. It is really a cute room. I am proud of it. Now I just hope the next six months flies by.

ChinaMama

Monday, March 14, 2005

FINGERPRINTED!

Finally-we have been fingerprinted! What a joke too. We had a 9:15 am appointment in Hammond on Saturday. We also had a Lake Effect Snow Advisory going on. So we left at 5:30 am just in case. Well we did hit bad weather on the way (40 mile an hour on the toll road). We still made pretty good time and had an hour to kill once we got there. So we went out for breakfast. While sitting in the restaurant I looked up at the clock and about fell off my chair. Stupid me, I forgot that Hammond was an hour behind us, so we in fact had a two hour wait. DUH! So we parked the van and slept. Once we got in there it took 25 minutes to print the three of us and then we were out of there. Now hopefully within two weeks we will get the much anticipated I-171H form that we are needing.

I got the baby's room painted this weekend and Mike got two of our three doors replaced. (The current bedroom doors are painted and I want stained doors). This morning I went in to pick out new hall carpet and carpet for the nursery. I figured it would take a couple weeks to get them out to install it. Nope, she said, "We have an opening tomorrow morning, would that work?" Whoo Hoo. That is cool. Now I have to get my butt in there and get that old carpet cut out. Tomorrow it is off to Millwork to get my trim.

I don't think I have mentioned it yet on here, but Jon and Lisa are expecting again. She is about 10 weeks along. They were not making any announcements to start with because of her miscarriage this winter, but she has been sooo sick this time. The doctor said that is a good sign, but I am not sure she agrees anymore. She has been really miserable. Hopefully it will let up soon as she nears the end of her first trimester. She is due October 7th.

Mom starts her Chemo Therapy tomorrow. That is another new change. The doctors decided it was best to do Chemo along with the radiation. She has been out shopping for wigs and such. I am truly inspired by her upbeat spirit and outlook. I am sure she has her down moments too, but she has really kept a positive outlook on everything and I think that will be to her benefit.

Well that is all for now. Off to rip out carpet.
ChinaMama

Monday, March 07, 2005

We're Baaaack...and other good news

We made it back from Cancun this morning at 2 AM (We left the resort at 1:30 PM-12 1/2 hours of travel). That made for a pretty short night and VERY early bus route this morning. The weather was great, the sites were neat and the traveling was waaaay too long. But hey, it was a free trip. Who am I to complain about anything. It was a nice break.

Some of the good news is, on Wednesday before we left I heard from the INS in Indy. She tracked down our fingerprint appointment and when we got home our letter was waiting for us. We go in this Saturday. I was hoping they would let us come in earlier this week, but it doesn't look that way. Oh well, I will take it at this point.

ALSO...the doorbell just rang and our documents that I had sent to the Chinese Consulate were being dropped off by the Fed Ex guy. That is cool. Only 11 days to get those back. I also got Evan's physical from the Secretary Of State, so I will send that off to the Consulate. We are now just waiting on the I-171. That should come within 2 weeks of our fingerprinting (I HOPE).

We might still make it to having a DTC/LID date in April. I am really hoping for that.

Thanks for your prayers,
ChinaMama

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Need a Break

Well yesterday we said goodbye to Grandpa. It was a beautiful memorial service. Besides my cousin Beth who was at college and got sick so she couldn't make the trip back, the whole family was together. I don't think that has happened since I was a little girl. It was sad to say goodbye but it was also a joyous occasion knowing that Grandpa is home with Jesus.

We still have not received our fingerprint letter. I am wanting to give up. Ther is a difference between being patient and feeling defeated. I am starting to feel defeated. Someday I will laugh at this but that is hard to believe right now.

Tomorrow Mike and I start our journey to Cancun. Well actually tomorrow night we go to Fort Wayne so we can leave the next morning. After this last month I need a break.

When I get back I get to start decorating. We have the girls moved to their new rooms and I can start tearing Morgan's old room apart and fixing it up. That of course will lead to the hallway and then the living room. Good therapy. HAHA.

ChinaMama

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa...

Well nothing new on this front. Still waiting for that fingerprint appointment. With tomorrow being a holiday the next possible day to hear something is Tuesday. I am still trying to be patient. Really I am.

I got about 80% of the stuff moved out of the spare bedroom so Katie can get ready to move her stuff in. Mike is so sweet. He knows I am chomping at the bit to get started on the room make overs so he let me start moving his stuff. I gave him my canning room. That way all of his hunting stuff can stay together.

Bad news in the Yoder family. My grandfather is enduring his last days on this earth. He is 92 and a very strong Christian and more than ready to go home and meet Jesus. Of course this is sad for the family but all the brothers and sisters and grandma have agreed to let nature take its course and no heroic measures should be taken.

Only 1 1/2 weeks until Mike and I head to CanCun. This will be our last vacation before we become parents again later this year. We will be there 4 days. This is a Brooks paid vacation. All inclusive. It should be a fun trip.

Hopefully I will have good news to report in a couple days.

ChinaMama

Monday, February 14, 2005

Still hanging on

Not much to update. We are still waiting for our fingerprint appointment. It should be coming any day now. They said 3 weeks after they received our homestudy that we would have our fingerprint appointment. I was really hoping that meant we would be getting fingerprinted in 3 weeks. I guess they meant we would get our letter with our appointment date in 3 weeks. They have had our homestudy for two weeks today and we have heard nothing. I just hope they don't set up our appointment during the time Mike and I will be in Cancun.

I am getting antsy to start moving the kids around in their rooms so I can start decorating "her" room. I know it seems early but I would like to do this for several reasons. 1. It will give me something productive to do. 2. I won't be shopping out of boredom. 3. I have lots to do in that room-carpet, paint, trim, decorating, organizing. (That doesn't include moving Mike's stuff out of the spare room, Evan to his new room, Katie to Evan's room & Morgan to Katie's.) 4. I will have a place to store all of the stuff I have bought. 5. I will have a place to go when I want to think about "her".

Well I am pretty sure we have a name for "her" but I am not sharing yet. Everytime I/We throw out a name someone says "yuck". So for now we aren't saying.

Well that's all for now. Hopefully the next time I post I will have USCIS & fingerprint info.

ChinaMama

Monday, February 07, 2005

Rough Week

This last week has been a tough one. On Wednesday my mom found out she had breast cancer. The doctors said it was a rare very aggressive and invasive type. That hit us all very hard. On Thursday she met with the oncologist and surgeon and they told her that they did not think it had spread and they wanted to due another surgery right away to find out. That brings us up to today. She had the second surgery today and the lymph nodes and breast tissue came back negative for cancerous cells. Praise the Lord! That means the cancer had not spread. So, there will not be a need for chemo or radical surgery. They do want her to due a 6 week treatment of radiation, but compared to what she was looking at this is all good news.

As for the adoption front.....no news. We are still waiting for our fingerprinting appointment.

This last weekend we went to visit some new friends in Fort Wayne. The Cramer's are paperchasing for their second daughter from China. They have a three year old that they adopted a year and a half ago. She is a doll. The next day I heard Mike telling several people about the precious little girl he met. I think he fell in love with Kendall. We got to see pictures and a video from their trip to China. It sure makes it seem more real. How cool.

ChinaMama

Monday, January 31, 2005

January Referrals

Today is referal day on the chat sights. People who were LID at the end of July or August are starting to get their referrals today. When that starts happening people really go nuts on these sites. They list all the information they have etc. I should be really happy for them, but I only feel depressed because I am not there yet. I know my time will come but it still seems so far away.

Mom will find out tomorrow about her biopsy. We are still crossing our fingers. My aunt (her sister) Trudy is also having some difficulties. She may have to have her thyroid taken out for cancer reasons and they have also found a spot on her lung. The good news is her son Jimmy and his wife Michelle just found out they are expecting their first child. Whoo hoo. Finally some great news.

Last night we had some company over. A couple from our church that came home from China one year ago with their daughter came over with a video, pictures, experiences and advice. It was really nice getting to visit with them.

Well, back to the referral announcements.
ChinaMama

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sent off...

Today I received our Homestudy in the mail (actually about 6 copies!!) So, right after my bus route I headed to the post office to priority mail one of the precious copies to USCIS. Now hopefully in about 3 weeks we will be heading to Hammond to get our FBI fingerprints taken. There is a good chance we could have all our documents in by March. I am really excited today. Only one more paper to go and then the leg work of certification and authentication.

ChinaMama

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It's In!

Well Fran was good to her word this time. She emailed me the final draft of the home study at 2:30 AM this morning. I just forwarded it to our agency. Now we just wait for the okay from AHH. Once we get that then Fran will mail me several copies and I can get one to USCIS so we can get our fingerprint appointment set up. One more step closer.

For those of you reading this today, please keep my mother in your prayers. Last week during her mammogram the doctors found a lump in her breast. She is having a biopsy done today. She is obviously quite concerned and we just ask for God's peace to be placed on her and for knowledge for the doctor's on how to best handle this.

Today is our Anniversary! Yep that is right 19 years today. I know we had a rocky and unsure start (Evan's arrival 10 weeks early) and some ups and downs but we have endured. Mike remains my best friend and partner to this day. Here is to the next 19 years!!!

ChinaMama

Sunday, January 23, 2005

It's about time

Well Fran our social worker finally made it to the house today. She said if everything goes well, she may have our homestudy done by the end of the week. YEAH!! Then we can get our fingerprinting appointment set up at USCIS.

This woman is crazy. Mike said she makes me look quiet. LOL. (Yes it is possible to talk more than I do!) Anyway, she was here for about 2 hours. We just went over our draft and made a few changes. Then signed a couple papers and gave her a tour of the house. That was it. She is a really laid back person.

Now here is the kicker-she wanted to know if I would be interested in doing some work for her. She was impressed with my "type A" personality. The same personality that has been driving her nuts for the last month. She said she needs an organized person with computer skills to do computer work for her that is a people person. She said she will contact me in the next couple days and tell me what she is interested in. Mike thinks she would drive me crazy and that I would be mad at her all the time because she is just the opposite of me. I want to hear what she has to say.

Oh well, now if I can just get her to keep her word and have our homestudy done by the end of the week I will be a happy camper.

No news on the name game. I have just about given up. We will just call her "Hey you". I came up with about 5 new names and of course Mike didn't like any of them.

Well that is about it on the home front here. At least my house is starting the week off clean.

ChinaMama

Monday, January 17, 2005

WOW!

Last night I had enough of my Website done to share it with close friends and family. I got two reponses back from my aunts. WOW! (hence today's title). I hope they don't mind but I am going to post their comments because I want to be able to look back on them someday when I am feeling down.

Hi Rachel...I am sitting here with tears running down my face....I am so happy for you and Mike and your kids. What a blessing you are giving this family! And if you are still looking at names... how about Ronda Sue....after grandpa Yoder and you. Bringing a new little one into your lives is so exciting and giving her a name that connects her to her new family might be very special to her as she grows up. It may give her a sense of really belonging. Oh...I'm just so excited for you....well, I will be following your every step and every day you and Mike and Baby Stahley will be in my prayers. God bless you on your journey......Love, Aunt Sandi

This is fantastic/wonderful/miraculous!!! Can't wait to meet our new little great-niece! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help! Also, when you have a bit more information (age, size, etc.), we need to throw a big ol' baby shower!

Much love,
Aunt Louie and Uncle Jim


These emails just made my day!!! I got one from Uncle Chuck last week and didn't think to save it . Now I wish I would have. These will be so fun to share with our daughter someday.

No news on anything since last post. We are just waiting for our fingerprint appointment and next weekend our homestudy appointment. I am still praying for patience.

ChinaMama

Friday, January 14, 2005

Finally The Draft

No....I don't mean Evan got drafted. I mean we finally received the first draft of our homestudy. All I can say it is about time. This has been a very frustrating week for me. We had heard nothing from our social worker for over a week. She was not answering my emails or returning my calls. I finally sent her a "I am getting very frustrated with you...." email. The next day I sent her an apology. (I figured this was not a woman I wanted mad at me). She finally emailed me back and said she understood. Then she changed our first home visit from this Saturday to next Sunday. (Hmmm....maybe she is mad at me). I am praying for patience. I am to the point where there is nothing else I can do. We are just waiting on our homestudy and INS approval.

We did get Mike's passport this week and my last two birth certificates from Allen County.

We are back to working on names again. We had it down to Olivia. Then I read that Olivia was #6 in the nation last year. That means there will be a boat load of Olivia's running around for the next 5 years. Now we are looking at: Lyndsay, Molly, Gabrielle, Julia, Mychelle and Brooke. I really like Sabrina, but Mike shot that one down. He doesn't like anything that I do.

Well, I will sign off for today. Keep praying for us. (Me for calm and patience).
ChinaMama

Friday, January 07, 2005

Makin' progress....a little at a time

Well our application is off to USCIS (formally known at INS). We sent it out yesterday and they got it today. Yeah! Now we just wait. When I talked to the woman there she said we should get our fingerprint appointment for about 3 weeks after our application is received. We are still waiting on our homestudy stuff. She said she would meet with us next Saturday (1 week). I sure hope that goes quickly. I am still unsure of that lady. My goal is to still be DTC by the first of April. If that happens we should be in China in about 11 months.

I have faxed all the documents we have collected so far to Grace at AHH. She has given the okay on them with only minor adjustments. She says we are moving at lightning speed. I hope, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

I am 37 today. No fanfare please. Don't really care. Just another number. Yuck!

ChinaMama

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Holidays Are Over

Boy, am I ever glad the holidays are finally over. Now maybe we can get some stuff done. We finally got some papers from Fran our social worker and filled out everything we could and got it all back to her. (We are still waiting on the state police check and CPS check). I hope she will now set up our homestudy interviews.

I know they say the wait after sending your papers to China is the hardest but I don't think I agree. I will feel relief when our papers are sent off and everything is out of our hands. At that point it is just the waiting and the planning. That won't be so bad. This pushing and waiting on other people so I can go to the next step is not any fun.

I bought the decor for her room. I went with Boyd's bears. It is really cute. I found a whole set on ebay and bought it. Now this summer we can tear Morgan's old room apart and decorate.

Michael and I have been discussing names for our new little one. We are leaning towards Olivia.
Michael doesn't like any of the names I have suggested. I like more unusual names and he likes them a little more common. So far we have come up with Olivia and Abigail.

Some of my other favorite names were: Reiley, Payton, Isabelle, Kalina and Delaney.

I want to keep posting because when we get our referral, I want to look back and see what we were doing on her birthday.

Tomorrow we are back to school and work. At least something to keep us busy. Katie was really sick this weekend with the stomache flu, but seems to be back on track today. Thank goodness.

Well, more to post later.
Chinamama