Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Grade Opera

Today Camden's class presented an Opera of their very own creation entitled Mystery at the Carnival. They came up with the story, cast of characters, songs and ideas for the sets (the parents got to have most of the fun creating the sets however). Every child had to audition and much to Camden's dismay, he did very well (his teacher's words) and was picked to play one of the bigger roles. Coincidentally, he was chosen to play the character with the name he came up with...Asadon - the great magician. To say that Camden was nervous about doing the show was an understatement. He didn't want to do it and tried his best to get out of it. The morning of the show he flipped out a bit and did quite a bit of crying. He did have quite a few lines to learn and he was nervous that he would forget them. Truth be known I was nervous for him as well. But I am happy to say he pulled it together and once again did very, very well and didn't forget a line. We couldn't be more proud of our sweetart! Here's a few pics from the day and show:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The rumor today is not a good one. Unfortunately, it looks like China is putting everything on hold for now due to the Swine Flu outbreak. There will be no referrals sent and no travel approvals given. For us that means we will not see a picture of our child this month. For those people that received their referrals for their children last month, they will not be given permission to travel to China. My heart really goes out to these people as this must be devastating to have a picture and information about your child, know their languishing in an orphanage and not be able to get them. This seems hard enough for us..and we were just waiting for the "the call". At this point, we don't know how long things could be on hold. It could be a month, it could be several. This morning I was extremely sad about this turn of events but I am feeling a bit better now. God has provided solace. For me He sent it through a dear friend and a Sister-In-Law as well as many facebook friends. Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers ladies. It is appreciated much more than you know! This journey has not been an easy one for us but we continue to trust God through it all. We know He has the perfect child for us and we will continue to wait on Him.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting upon the Lord

But they that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up
with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rumors are Flying

We got our first rumors this week and boy is it exciting. I have tried really hard not to ride the wave of rumors each and every month. But finally being so close it it difficult not to. The first rumor is that Matching has begun. This means they are matching available children with families. The second rumor is that the cutoff is the 14th. For you faithful readers out there you know this means we could be in this month as our log in date is the 13th!!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited this makes me.

Following are some pictures of the the CCAA's Matching Room. It is amazing to think our dossier could finally be here along with our daughter's file and the two shall soon meet.

Here's what Rumor Queen says about how the Matching Room works:

First, they review the baby dossiers and make sure there are no issues with them. We are told that they then count up all of the baby dossiers that are eligible for matching that month and then look to see how far this stack will go in the parent dossiers without sending out a partial day, and they pull all of those parent files. That is the likely cut-off date. Sometimes something happens and they don't get this far. Sometimes something happens and they get farther.

Next they match orphanages up with agencies. This orphanage has six babies, this agency has six families. These two orphanages are in the same province and have a total of 12 babies, this agency has 12 families. When they are through with this is when (I believe) some agencies start to get information about the cut-off date. Or at least it is when they used to start getting information.

And then they start matching individual babies to individual families. At some point during this part of the process most agencies used to hear from their person in the matching room to let them know how many referrals they will be receiving and from what province(s). Some agencies shared this information with their clients. Some chose not to. Recently I’ve gotten the feeling that many agencies are still getting this information but they are being given orders by the CCAA to not share this information with the families.

Just as in the review room, each matcher is assigned certain agencies and is responsible for communicating with their agencies. Some matchers tell their agency the cut-off date, some matchers tell their agency “you have X number of referrals arriving”, some matchers give their agency a list of that agency’s families that will be receiving a referral. And some matchers don’t say anything at all to their agencies.

The next question that comes up is generally how the matchers match families and babies. I’ve heard from several people who have had the opportunity to speak with someone who works in the matching room. The various conversations seem to all agree that they first look for something that stands out: a matching birthday, a baby who looks a lot like a parent, or a baby who likes music and a parent who teaches music. Several matching people have stated they match by bone structure of the baby’s face and the parent’s faces (this is why they need our passport photos, so they can compare our mug shot with the baby’s mug shot). Some have stated that they used Chinese astrology, also. Once they’ve matched the obvious matches they then start to look at things like age of child requested. The age requested is not a priority for them, they feel they are matching families and not filling orders. And I have to say that they’ve done a wonderful job matching us and our Big Girl, and now I trust they will do an excellent job matching us with her little sister.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evening Fun

I think these speak for themselves!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is the Current Wait Time?

Many have asked what is the current wait time and why is it taking so long. It is interesting to me that has of late I have had several conversations with people that have thought that China had completely stopped allowing children to be adopted internationally and that we would never be receiving our child. For the record, since we started our adoption journey, China has never stopped allowing their children to be adopted internationally. However, as we know...they have slowed things down to a snails pace. When we officially started this process back in September 2005 the wait time was 7-8 months after your dossier was logged in. Once our dossier was officially logged in March 2006 the wait time was 11-12 months. After that point things greatly changed and we watched the wait grow 1-2 months every single month. During that summer in 2006, we contemplated and prayed about whether or not to pursue an interim adoption with another country. But everyone thought that things would speed up and that China would never allow the wait to grow too much past one year. In the history of the program(to that point), the longest anyone has ever waited was 15 months and after getting to that point China brought the wait back down to 5-6 months. Needless to say, we didn't pursue another adoption that summer. The following summer in 2007, we again thought about pursuing an interim adoption. Once again, all authorities on the subject thought that things would approve and that the adoption would happen within the year. At this point, China also made a rule that they didn't want any other children (through pregnancy or other adoption) brought into the family within one year of the Chinese adoption. If we did we might need to put our dossier on hold. Once again not wanting to jeopardize the adoption, we did not pursue any other adoption. Suffice it to say this adoption has been with in a year of taking place for almost three years.

Our agency, AWAA recently posted to their blog regarding the wait time. They gave a pretty thorough list of reasons why. I think the only ones they missed were politics, saving "face" and the Olympics. Here is their post:

The current wait from LID to referral is 37-38 months at all agencies and increasing. This represents the wait time for families who just received a referral in April and who could potentially receive a referral next month. The wait time is calculated from the Log in Date when a dossier is sent to China, to the date that the referral is received. For families with LID dates after March 7, 2006, the wait time trend continues to increase half a month to a full month each month. No one can accurately predict how long the China wait time will become or when it may start to decrease due to a large number of unknown factors, such as the following:

• the number of infants that will be available for adoption and paper ready within the upcoming year

• the number of domestic adoptions that will occur within China this year

• the number of families from around the world who have login dates between the last referral LID and today

• the number of families who will withdraw from the China adoption process due to the increased wait time

• the number of families who will adopt special needs children and will no longer have their dossier waiting in the non-special needs line

• the number of families who will switch programs during their process and no longer adopt from China

Families are encouraged to calculate their wait time as a projected estimation, knowing there is no way to predict the actual wait time for each family. The wait time changes as it is based on the number of LID’s from around the world and the number of referrals that are paper-ready each month.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A lovely 28 hours

Thanks to our good friends, The Lowell's, taking Camden overnight, Doug & I had the opportunity for a little get away. The first one in more than 5 1/2 years. Things have been very busy around here lately (and will soon become busier) so we welcomed the opportunity to reconnect a bit as well as have a little belated celebration of our 16 anniversary which took place in January. We had purchased a night at a B&B in Amado, back in December at a charity fundraiser. We were pleasantly surprised that they put us in one of their nicest rooms. We had a wonderful bed, jacuzzi tub, flat screen tv and a little fridge. The room was even cute for southwest decor (sorry to you lovers of all things southwest...that's not me!) Anyway, the room was prime for relaxing and reconnecting and we took advantage of it.

Here's our little B&B along with a few of the beautiful surounding flowers:

We had a romantic dinner here at Longhorn Grill. You should have seen it at night...the eyes are bright red. There was actually one other dinning option in town...the Cow Palace. It had a whole cow on top of it. Too funny...AZ definately has a lot of kooky stuff! We had a good time though.
On Sunday we headed to Tumacacori, which is an old mission from the 1690's. We greatly enjoyed learning about some of the history of Southern AZ. But I did feel convicted though...I have lived here many years and have never gone to see this. In fact, there is probably many things that I haven't seen here. The last several years Doug and I have been more interested in adventuring to other countires, instead of learning more about our own. We have decided that we would like that to change.

Here's what it currently looks like inside:
This is what "they" think it looked like way back when:

My handsome hubby:

Us! :)

At the mission there was a sweet little old woman, doing a traditional tortilla making demononstration. Come to find out she has been doing this here at the mission for 26 years. It was so she was making her tortilla's (along with her yummy beans by the way) she was doling out all sorts of wisdom. Unfortuately, we had to get it second hand as we don't speak Spanish. But it was wonderful just the same and we were able to chat with two more couples in the process. The sweet little tortilla lady (and her hubby) have been married for 50 years and here is a few of her words of wisdom:

The most damage you can do (to a relationship) is with your tongue.
Without love you have nothing but if you have love you have everything.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

China Adoption Monthly Cycle

38 months ago on Feb 17, 2006 our papers were sent to the CCAA in China. Shortly after, through one of the many Yahoo China adoption boards I joined, I met Jenn. I was ecstatic to make a local China adoption connection. We are with different agencies, but were excited to learn that our papers went to China on the very same day. Soon after emailing, we made plans to meet at a local park with our kiddos for a picnic. Doug was a little concerned at first that I was meeting a "friend" that I met on the Internet. :) But soon after came to really appreciate their friendship and of course adore their wonderful kids. Long before I was in blogland, Jenn was a blogger and posted about our very first get together. Since then we have gotten together pretty regularly to yak about all things China Adoption. Her friendship has been such a huge blessing to me. There is nothing like having a friend who knows right where you are at and understands the ups and downs of it all. I can honestly say that she has truly kept me somewhat sane these last three years and she has certainly helped me (try) to get my ducks in a row. Their log in date is 3-10-06 which is three days before ours. We are hoping that we will both receive referrals for our daughters in May and be in China at the same time. We would most likely be in different provinces but would both finish in Guangzhou where everything is finalized. So we would be likely to overlap there. Either way, we know they are next and will receive their referral in May. Words cannot express how happy we are for them!

Many of you have asked, "Any News?" Well in response to that seemingly simple but truly complex question, Jenn has written a post that really sums up the China Adoption Monthly cycle in all its gory detail. My friend has the gift of the written word and since I will be unable to reproduce such a post, she has given me permission to link to hers. To get a better understanding of the ups and downs of the last 37 months in China Adoption land and get a better idea of when we might get some "news" go to Stork Watch - Monthly Cycle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What province is she in?

As we grow closer to receiving our referral, I can't help but wonder about the child that God has for old is she, is she in an orphanage or foster care, what province is she in. So much to wonder, dream and fret about. The average age of the children that are referred are around 10 months old. But it certainly varies. In the last batch of referrals for our agency, the children ranged from 9-29 months. Some of the children are in foster care but the vast majority of children live in orphanages in China. Our agency, AWAA has received referrals from all over China but the majority of referrals are for children from Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hubei, Chongqing and Hunan. In just a few weeks we may finally get answers to many of our questions.

Monday, April 13, 2009


We had a very nice but very low key Easter weekend. Cam has been on spring break which has been so great. It's so nice to have him home. By the time they are in school it almost seems like they spend more time away from you then with you. That's why I relish the time he is home even though I pretty much get nothing done. ;-) Anyway, we enjoyed some nice family time and enjoyed a wonderful Good Friday and Easter celebration at our church. We also colored some eggs and on Saturday evening, Doug and I hid some eggs through out the house, for Cam to find. The next morning unbeknownst to us, Camden rose early and found all the eggs (with the exception of a couple), opened them all up to see what was inside and then closed them back up and waited till we got up. He then wanted us to find them we didn't know where they all were. Too funny! I love it that he still thinks there is an Easter bunny.

Here we are after church on Easter Sunday:

Cam was excited about the contents of this egg. You can't really see it but it a General Grievous Croc charm. Cam hasn't seen Star Wars III, but that doesn't stop him from thinking that he's the coolest. What's cooler than a cyborg with four arms and four light sabers???One of our hidden eggs. Yea -yea..there aren't just the pretty pastel ones in our household!

Coloring some eggs while still in our favorite froggy footie jammies:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Monday, April 6, 2009


Since most of our visitors aren't from the blogospere, I have added a guestbook feature on the sidebar on the right under the Verse of the Day. If you stop by for a visit we would love to have you sign it. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sad News

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Two days closer

It's not yet official but it looks like the CCAA has matched two more days and are currently up to March 8th, 2006. That is 5 days away from our login date of 3-13-06. Two of those days are weekend days when no one is logged in which makes us really just 3 days away. We know from China Adopt Talk (Queen of all things China Adoption...she compliles all info (and rumors) from other adoptive parents and agencies), that there is not many people logged in on 3-13-06. In fact it looks like our agency/travel group may be the only one. We also know that a ton of people are logged in the day after us on the 14th. So the likelihood of the CCAA lumping us in with all the people logged in on the 9th and 10th is very high. Make sense? Clear as mud? It really all means that we are likely to see a picture of our child in 30 days. If not it will definitely be in 60 days. Either way my nesting instincts are starting to kick into high gear. My poor hubby...