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.