Monday, December 17, 2007

My to do list:

I'm reposting this list up here so that I can look at it. Here's the next few steps in this process--

Send LOI (letter of Intent to Adopt):
(Done August 13)
Wait for PA (prior approval): (Done September 14th)
Send Dossier to China: (Done September 15)
Talk to Social Worker to get home study addendum: (Done September 18th)
Get Home study Addendum (Received on October 3)
Receive Letter of Acceptance (Received on December 14)
Sign and Return LOA back to the Agency via FEDEX (Completed on December 17th)
Apply for Travel Visas to China (Picked up from L.A. Consulate on 1/23/08)
Receive Travel Approval (Received on 1/22/08)
Agency Makes Consulate Appointment
Get the go ahead to book plane tickets
Leave to Pick up Min!!

Now, lots of people start getting the baby's room ready as soon as they are DTC. I am not this way. Right now, the only things I have done to actually prepare for having Min in our house is to purchase a bed and get a dresser. I have quite a few things that I'd like to get done before she comes home. I'm posting this list here.

1. Put the new dressers in the room.
2. Put up shelving to get the toys off the floor.
3. Hang a peg board so the girls can hang things on it.
4. Change out the bookshelf to a smaller, shorter model. The one that's in there right now is not a good option.
5. Mark the clothes that will be Min's and the clothes that are Lainas.
6. assemble Min's bed and put the blankets and sheets on it.
7. Get under bed storage boxes for both the girls beds.
8. Hang a towel bar in the bathroom so both Laina and Min can have their own towel place. (They can always know were their towel is. This is important). (Laura is a geek).
9. Get 2 car seats Min, one for each car.
10. Get Min her own Stokke chair.

The girls are going to be sharing a room. Our house is a rental and it only has 3 rooms. One of the rooms is functioning as the "office". We hope to be purchasing a house here in the lovely county of Orange as soon as we sell our house in P-town (in the spring it goes on the market). We also need the market down here to tank a little bit more. It needs to be fiscally more responsible to buy rather than rent. In the future, the girls can have their own room if they want. Or, if we have 2 rooms for them, they can sleep in one, and have their stuff in another. We'll see how it goes. If they get along, then all is well. If one of them is always aggressive and tries to destroy, hit, bite, push or pester her sister (Laina?? Never!) then we'll have to see what arrangements we'll have to figure out. That's a bridge to cross after we've already fallen in the water. Yeah, something like that.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

LOA came Yesterday!

SO, or Letter of acceptance arrived at the agency on Friday. This is great news for us. It means that China has approved all of our paperwork and authorizes us to adopt Min. The next thing that we need to wait for is the TA or Travel Approval. This could take anywhere from 2 weeks to a more realistic 4-6 weeks. I don't really think we'll be traveling before the middle of February because of Chinese New Year. I don't want to travel during CNY anyways. I've done it...twice...and it's a pain in the backside. In the very large, grander scheme of things, waiting a week or so for the whole country to simmer down is going to be better than traveling during the holidays.

So that's where we stand on that! Yahoo!!! Next week I'll go get the Visas for me and Laina. I don't have to get one for Jorg--he has a seasons Pass!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Agency Agony

I really like my agency. I think they're right on top of things and the people are really cool. I don't have any bad thing to say about them. Honestly.
So, I called and talked to one of the women who function as my caseworker. I told her my case number that the Guangzhou consulate sent me and then I asked her if there was any news about my LOA. She said that she hadn't heard anything, but based on my LID, we could get news at any time. Right. I knew that. Then I asked her how long we should wait without hearing anything before we should worry and call the CCAA and see if anything is wrong with my paperwork. Do you know what she said? SIX MONTHS!! We'd have to wait 6 months to call to China to see if something is wrong and then we could try and straighten out the problem and then proceed with the wait AGAIN. GAHHHHHH!!!!! I told her that I would wait 6 months but that when it got to be 6 months, that I would be the first one calling office when it opened the next day, on wait 6 months and one day. She laughed and I laughed and we had a jolly old giggle about that. Ha-ha- ha. I didn't tell her that I'd be calling her from the Mental Ward and the adoption was off because I had gone certifiable.

So, Now I'm going to watch Kitchen Nightmare. That show makes me feel so much better about my hygiene habits and my skill as a cook.

Brown Envelope

The cruise was GREAT!! It was a short 3 night cruise to Ensenada that was a perk from Jorg's company. They had a good year and the big boss paid for any employee and their spouse to go on this cruise. Laina had a good time with my parents and Jorg and I had some time to relax and rest. On Sunday morning, we slept in until 8:00!! Unheard of! We ate a ton of food and now I have to try and get back to my "before we moved to California" weight. Not too much, but enough to be a hassle.
I'm going to the YMCA again tonight and I've done more squats in the the past 3 days than I have in the past year. It's sad. When we lived in Portland, I would work out at least 3 times a week because I went to my karate classes. My Karate classes down here haven't worked out too well because of childcare issues and also the dojo I started at just wasn't the best match for me, so now I'm just going to the gym and doing elliptical and lifting weights. It's not fun or exciting. The YMCA we joined is under a drastic remodel and the "aerobics" gym is under construction. When the project is over, I think they'll have kickboxing again, and I'll do that. I'm not sure when I'll start Karate again. I might just do a drastic departure and try something like ballet or tap dancing. Wait...that would just be ridiculous. Although... I thought it was pretty ridiculous to start karate. We'll see...

Well, still no LOA. We did get the "Brown Envelope". The "Brown Envelope" is not so important, but it does mean one thing. I have a good excuse to call the agency. There's a case number that is on the paperwork in the "Brown Envelope" that the agency wants me to give them and so I'm going to call them and then I can ask them if they've heard anything about why it's taking so blessed long for our LOA to come through. They'll say they have no idea. I know that's what they'll say, but I'm going to ask them anyways because it makes me feel better. I can also ask them how long I have to wait before they'll call into CCAA and ask THEM what the problem is.

I'm Walter Cronkite and that's the way it is.

Friday, December 7, 2007

No Gnuuus is Good Gnus with Gary Gnu...

No news on the LOA front. So...we wait... It's sorta maddening because there is no rhyme or reason in the wait. The family that was logged in 15 days before us already got their LOA back on November 8th and they're going to be traveling over Christmas. The way it's going, we really will be sticking to our worst case scenario for travel, April or May. So, to kill a few days, we're going on a 3 day cruise to Mexico and Laina's going to spend the time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. 3 days with no baby, Maybe I'll actually read a book or something!

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments! I can't wait until we actually travel so I can write about something interesting--not just waiting for paperwork to push through.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I promised myself that I would wait until we got our LOA to post on the main page "more babies" post on Rumor Queen. I'm going to break that promise!! I'm expecting our LOA to come any day and I don't want to wait until the next "more babies" post in December, I want to post it NOW!! So, welcome to my blog, everyone from Rumor Queendom and please feel welcome to follow along as we travel, hopefully in February.

Our family is Me, my husband, Laina and we're going to go get Min. When we travel for Min, it will be my 5th trip to China. Jorg doesn't know how many times he's been to China. He has one of those season passes. Seriously, he has a season pass to China, as many entries as you want for one low price. Laina has traveled home from China and this will be her first trip back. She's traveled a lot for a 3 year old, though. She's been up and down the coast several times, to Germany-twice and then long car drives up to Sacramento to visit my sister.

Min has been matched with our family off of a waiting child list and has been living with her foster family since she was 3 months old. We have some pictures of her from when she was a baby and also very current ones, thanks to some lovely women who traveled to her SWI on a medical trip. Min goes to the SWI every day for preschool, so they got to meet her there. Min's foster family adores her and takes good care of her. I'm gearing myself up for a not-to-happy little girl when we go to pick her up.

Laina is really looking forward to having Min home and asks about her every day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ACK!! Hang on Little Tomato! For REAL!!!

Here is little Miss 'Mato, Min clinging to her Jie Jie on the scooter ride home. Twice a day, this little one stands backwards and holds on to her sister and they go out and play the real life video game, "try to get home safely". Oh well, what 're you gonna do? I suppose I could send a helmet with my next care package, but that won't guarantee anything. I could cause a stink and ask my agency to call the SWI and tell them to not let it happen. I don't know if there's anything I could do about it at all. So--Little Tomato, hang on and don't fall off!! Jie Jie**, drive carefully!

**Jie Jie's face is blurred, your eyes don't need checked. I did that on purpose.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I had a conversation today with a Chinese woman. She thought that we should give Min a "regular" name. She said that all kids want to do is "fit in" and that a name like "Min" is too strange that Americans wouldn't accept it and that I should give her a regular American name. I then told her that "Min" was an easy name for Americans to say and spell and that would be hard for her to change her name. When she heard that we would be giving Min an English middle name, she thought that was good. Then Min could choose which name she wanted to use. So, this woman has given us her blessing to keep Min's name, not that we ever needed it, but now we have it. Now the quest begins for a middle name. We don't even have a short list right now, but we'll get one before too long.
Beautiful Min, we have to find you a good middle name!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The lady that sent me the picture of Min as a little baby just sent me some more pictures that she took last week. She talked to the director and the teacher and the foster family and took pictures and even a movie. All I have right now are the pictures. Min was a bit overwhelmed by the attention and looks somewhat shell shocked. I love that she's so well loved by her foster family. Her hair is perfect, her clothes are clean and neat and she's dressed warmly. You can just tell that they are crazy about her!! I got a lovely picture with her and her foster sister (not gonna post that here, that's special for our family) and I know it's going to be so precious to her.

Here's what she looked like last week!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

So, I joined the yahoo group for Hangzhou, where Min is living right now. I got a letter from a woman who was in Hangzhou in February 2005, right after Min came into care. She had a picture of our little Min when she was just a tiny baby, only about a month old!! Check this out!!

OK, so the upshot is, that we are going to have the CUTEST FAMILY EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!

This lady is also going to bring a little care packet to Min when she goes to Hangzhou on the 10th. I'm sending some clothes, a picture book and a doll. I don't know what else I should send, since I can't get the whole world in a mailing packet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We got the PA!!!

On Friday, September 14th, we missed a phone call that told us that the PA had come in. We were camping with our family. So, on Monday, I paid a fee and they sent the dossier! So now we could be traveling in about 3 months time. We'll just have to continue the waiting game...wait...wait...wait!! The next thing we need to wait for is called the "Letter of Acceptance" or LOA. We can expect that in about 90 days.

Here's the Adoption "To Do List"
Send LOI (letter of Intent to Adopt): (Done August 13)
Wait for PA (prior approval): (Done September 14th)
Send Dossier to China: (Done September 15)
Talk to Social Worker to get home study addendum: (Done September 18th)
Get Home study Addendum (Received on October 3)
Receive Letter of Acceptance (Received on December 14)
Sign and Return LOA back to the Agency via FEDEX
Apply for Travel Visas to China
Receive Travel Approval
Make Consulate Appointment
Get the go ahead to book plane tickets
Leave to Pick up Min!!

I can tell you a little bit about our little girl, now! Her name is Min. We're going to call her "Min". She's 2 years old and will turn 3 in January. She's a month younger than Laina. She doesn't like to eat, and really only likes to eat rice and noodles. Her favorite toy is a car, she loves to visit the neighbors and she loves to wear pretties in her hair. She would love to have a doll. Here's a couple of pictures of beautiful miss Min!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


So, it's been 24 days since we've been waiting for our PA. I don't know how long other people have to wait for sure, but I'm thinking we should be getting our PA (prior approval) in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll get it before the end of September.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Lyrics and music: Patrick Abbey, China Forbes & Thomas M. Lauderdale

The sun has left and forgotten me
It’s dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down?
I’m gonna drown
In a sea… of deep confusion
Somebody told me – I don’t know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you’re feelin’ all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find

You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it’s dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love – just

Hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you’ll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something’s coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead

And so I hold on to this advice
When change is hard and not so nice
If you listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you

On August 13th, our Letter of Intent was sent for Miss Tomato.
Let me tell you what I know about her. Her birthday is in the middle of January, 2005. She's almost exactly a month younger than Laina. When we started into this second adoption, I thought for sure we would be bringing home another baby, but I'm so excited that we'll be getting a toddler/little girl. She likes pretty things, dolls, and hair ribbons. She likes to say hello to the neighbors and play cooking in the kitchen. She's a little spoiled.

She's been living for most of her life in foster care, with 2 older siblings and one younger sibling. She seems to be about the same size as Laina. I can't wait to meet her!!

Her special need is that she has a nevus on her chest. We'll have to monitor it for changes and see if it ever needs treatment. Right now, it looks like we just need to check it out and have it monitored. I don't really get why this is a special need, but I don't make the decisions regarding special needs kids.

I think about the kids that were on the list and that we considered submitting LOI for. I hope they are matched with families soon. They're all such beautiful kids and their "special needs" are so manageable.

So, My Little Tomato, we know your name and we know your birthday. We know you're beautiful and we know that we'll do our best to bring you happiness, love, fun, laughter and all the good things we can. I hope that I'm a good mommy to you and I hope you will love our family. I hope you don't think it's terrible to have a sister that is your same age. I'll do my best to give you all the special care and attention you'd like and deserve. I want you be able to do whatever you want when you grow up, and we'll do our best to continue building your little foundation so it's strong and steady for you as you grow.

Here's a possible time line for our paperwork to be pushed through:

Letter of Intent: 8/13/07
Prior Approval: Sometime in September, Let's say it's the 20th, just for fun.
Dossier to China: Right after the Prior Approval is sent. It's all ready to go, we just need the PA before we can send it in.
Log In Date: About 3 weeks after the Dossier is sent. In this imaginary mock up time line, that would make it October 4.
Letter Of Acceptance: Could be fast, could be slow. Let's put it on the slow side, just for kicks. I'll say it's 125 days. So that means we'll get our LOA on March 3 2008.
Travel Approval: About 4 weeks after the LOA. Again, this is a super, duper slow estimate. This will give us permission to travel to get our daughter.
Actual Travel: 3-4 weeks after the Travel approval is given. So, we may go sometime in May if this pretend time line holds true.

I doubt this will actually happen this way, though. As pessimistic as I am sometimes, I think we'll travel faster than this. I'm thinking sometime in February. Jorg is guessing sometime in April. We'll see who's right. I'm estimating long, though. If we travel sooner, I'll be happily surprised and not disappointed if we wait longer than I expect if I think we're traveling in November, for instance.

And for now...we wait....

Friday, August 3, 2007

Yesterday we read more about this little one. She is just about the same age as Laina, and that will be a challenge. She's smart, talkative, spoiled and beautiful. She just might be our little tomato...maybe maybe maybe... Hopefully we'll learn more about her today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The 29th was the second anniversary of Laina's referral. Yesterday, on the 30th we saw a little girl's picture. This little one looked an awful lot like she'd like to be a little tomato!! We've requested her file to see if, in fact, she's our tomato. We'll keep the world posted when we know more!

Friday, July 27, 2007

We just got an email that our agency has the new Waiting Child list and they will be posting it first thing on Monday morning. So...maybe little tomato...just maybe...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

This last week I've been doing a lot of research on special needs and what ones I think would be something that we could handle in our family. I personally don't have a problem with physical defects, like missing fore-arms, cleft lip or/and palate, deformities of the hands, deformities of the ears and things like this. Anyways, we're going to be having looks at our agency's waiting child list and seeing if there is a little person that we can warmly welcome into our family. We'll see what happens.

In other news: Mayor Villaraigosa is an idiot. I'm getting tired of Karate (at least my school). In more other news, I need to shave my shins. So...that's the news.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It came back!!

OK, so now we've got our I-600A form back from the CIS!! When Jorg comes home on Saturday, we'll get a passport photo from both of us, photos of the house and boom...we're DTC!! cool.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hang on Little Tomato

This blog is to chronicle the very long and tedious wait for our child that we don't even know and may not even be born yet. We're still paperchasing and we're waiting for our fingerprints to clear the CIS screening process. I just wanted to get this blog up and running so I can post things as they happen.