Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some things change, some stay the same...


The lyric above is from a Pretenders song called "Hymn to Her". I don't really know what it means, but sometimes I find myself humming this song in periods of transition. I've found myself humming this song recently and so I'm posting it here just as a "remembery".

Let's see, news of progress!! Our Travel authorization came in on Tuesday the 22nd. It would have been here the 21st except that it was Dr. Martin Luther King Day. It would have been very auspicious if it were the 21st, because that's Min's birthday! So, we're going to be traveling in 3 weeks. We don't have our consulate appointment yet, we'll get that tomorrow. After we get that, then we can start getting our tickets and getting some firm plans nailed down.

This weekend we put up the shelves in the girls' room. We got the bed set up and 2 smaller dressers will replace the one big one. I still need to sort out the clothes and get Min's things into the drawers so they're ready for her when we come home.

Wednesday, Laina and I drove into Los An Hell Ease to pick up my passport that I dropped of last week. I have a brand new years pass to China!! For no extra charge and no special papers, I got a multiple entry visa for the low low price of just $100. A single entry was exactly the same price, so I just got the multiple entry just for fun. Now, Jorg and I can sit around the table on a Thursday morning and talk about what we're going to do on the weekend. "Oh, let's have brunch at the Four Seasons in Shanghai on Sunday!" "That will be grand! I'll buy the tickets and you grab our passports with the multiple entry visas in them". Yeah, that'll happen.

I got the 2 car seats for our 2 cars and also the new stokke trip-trap chair for Min. Laina's is red and Min's is black. The 2 new car seats are tan and huge. Oscar the cat is sleeping in one of them right now.

Oh and the biggest development happened last week. It has been decided that Laina will stay home with my parents. So the deal about my Mom coming along--not gonna happen. It's OK, though. I'm glad that my parents will be together and Laina will be with them. My Grandma has not been healthy recently and it will be better for everyone if my parents can be home with her, and we'll be able to have Min all to ourselves and she can have us all to herself for while before we come home.

I have a picture of Min that I got last week (thanks to A.) Was it only last week? Maybe it more like a week and a half. I photoshopped it just a little bit because it's fun to do that. So here's what miss Min looked like 2 weeks ago:

Monday, January 14, 2008

The staging has begun--

Bought this weekend:
1 8 ft board
1 6 ft board
10 L brackets
2 boxes of wood screws

Using stud finder to mark the wall where L brackets will go
Measured room to determine optimum placement of shelving

Lined up:
Grandparents to watch Laina on Sunday so that Jorg and I can work without "Help".

Oh yeah, I got an email from Adriana who is in China right now. Her son Blake and Min are from the same Social Welfare Institute and she met Min while she was there getting Blake. She said that Min was very social and liked to chat. The nannies tell her that we're coming to pick her up, so they know we're on our way!

Min turns 3 next week. I was really hoping we'd have her home by now, but we'll be there soon enough. Maybe we'll plan a birthday for when she comes home.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Still waiting on our TA

We're still waiting on our Travel Authorization. We still have plenty of time to get it and since we're not actually planning to leave for a few more weeks--we're still OK. The problem is that we can't book any tickets until that paper comes and we want to leave sometime around the 14th or so of February or something like that. So...again we wait...
On the "getting the room ready" front, we have a plan to get the shelving up. We have no shelves, but we have a plan. I can buy the shelves this weekend or something.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Happy with that!
My mom and dad came with us to go pick up Laina and I was really happy to have them along on the trip. I invited them to come along with us on this trip. I didn't expect much since my parents have done a lot of traveling in Asia this year. They spent much of the summer in the Philippines where my dad was teaching a class on business ethics or something like that. Then they took off to Vietnam where my mom was volunteering for Project Vietnam teaching doctors and therapists how they can case manage their population of developmentally disabled people. Well-that's not exactly what she did, but she gave lectures to hospital staff and not directly seeing patients. My mom is a Pediatrician with a specialty in developmental disorders.

So during the Christmas break my mom confirmed that at she would like to come along on the trip to go pick up Min. That will be so nice to have them along, both be along on the trip and also to help wrangle Laina while we get used to Min...and she gets used to us. Oh...and do you suppose there would be anything good about having a pediatrician along at all? So that will be great. We're going to be doing some sightseeing/visiting prior to pick up day. We want to go to Jinan (that's in Shandong Province) and then to Nanjing (that's not too far away from Shanghai). Then we'll go to Hangzhou.

So, tentative Pick UP day?? February 25th. This is provided we get our TA in January as expected. Although our LOA came on the 14th, the LOA packet wasn't sent back to China until the 26th because someone from our group didn't get the LOA signed and returned to the agency until then. I'm not bitter...too much, because I don't think we would have traveled until the middle of February anyways. So now, we wait--and tick off some things on the "to do" list. Notice how so many of them are ticked of them. I procrastinate like crazy.