Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh my aching heart...**UPDATED**

Not gonna lie. This last batch of rumors knocked the wind out of me.
I realize they are still 'just' rumors & there is so much conflicting information circling that everything seems to be as clear as mud.
TA's really should have been here, but that doesn't mean they won't arrive tomorrow.
All things crossed.
I realize in the big scope of life that 20-30 days is really nothing, but for my heart, it's everything. What does it mean for me to have to wait another month?
It means:
*my girl will most likely learn to walk & it won't be to my arms she falls into.
*she will probably cut another tooth & I won't be there to wipe her tears & help the pain to disappear.
*she will enter into another season of life with 10 layers of clothing on & not have the comfort of air conditioning.
*she will miss out on seeing her big brother turn into a teenager.
*she will go another month without the love of a family.
*she will have one more month of baths, that I won't be able to give her.
*one more month of new discoveries of food, that I won't be able to feed her or introduce her to.
*is she crying? It's another month of not feeling the love & comfort that only her Mommy can give her.
*is she bored, sitting in that chair? It's another month her brain will go unstimulated without the toys that we have waiting for her.
*is she happy? It's another month that it won't be me putting that smile on her face.
*it's another lost month of her baby giggles that I will never hear.
*it's another month that she will learn to speak a Chinese word that will fall on deaf ears.
Another month is huge to my heart.
**Updated** this just in from our agency...
Hello All, We at ____ want to make sure that you have the same information that we do. At this time, we realize there are many rumors swirling about the chat groups, etc. that upcoming travel groups will be delayed because of the CCAA's concern about the Swine Flu. What is true is that CCAA did put out a notice last night regarding the Swine Flu and expressing their concerns. However, to put your minds at ease, we are informing you that the CCAA has told us that they have no intention of discontinuing Travel Approvals. Rather they have requested that families and agencies seriously consider whether they will travel during this time, as children are much more susceptible to such viruses, before making travel arrangements. The CCAA will extend all current travel approvals 2 months for those families who decide to not travel at this time. If you would like to talk further about reconsidering travel please give us a call and we will make arrangements for you. We certainly understand anyone choosing not to travel and would encourage anyone who has even potentially been exposed to the Swine Flu virus to seriously reconsider traveling so as not to spread the virus to others. It is important to consider all of the factors, aside from your desire to bring your child home, the safety and well-being of the children being adopted, the children in the orphanages, and all other peoples in China or during travel you could some in contact with. We will keep you posted if any new information on this front comes our way. Thank you for your understanding and your patience on this matter. Hope you are all well.
It looks as though we won't have to wait that extra month! Thank You CCAA!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh No, please don't let this happen....

The rumors going around that the CCAA may stop all referrals and TA's for 20-30 days due to the Swine flu is leaving me a mess. A mess.

I did speak to my agency, to which they told me not to worry, that they have received no word about this happening....however, other (non US) agencies are sending out written confirmation that this is happening. How can this be happening??? Have we not had enough road bumps on this journey??? This just can't be happening, I can't handle the stress, the pressure, the anxiety, another damn roadblock. I wanted my baby girl home yesterday.
In fact, I wanted her home on March 7, 2008...the day she was born. We've waited long enough to be together, neither one of us should have had to wait till she was 13 months old for our referral day. We were were ready at her legal 6 month age! We've had to renew more paperwork than I care to imagine & now if this rumor proves to be true, what will happen to our Visas that are set for May 14th? Somebody tell me why she isn't already here!?!?!
Just look at that face....the thought of her growing up another day or another month without me is more than my heart can handle.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Laid back kind of weekend...

Hep shots done....& because I just posted the photos of us getting them and had second thoughts that someone would misinterpret them, I deleted them. We went Saturday night to our good friends home (The Doc & Nurse{married of course{) gave us the shots at their home after a mighty tasty dinner.
The boys rocked it out....

Sunday we did the unthinkable & grilled burgers, with REAL beef. Yeah, go ahead and gasp. & if you want another huge gasp, that even my mother had the biggie over, we grilled Kirk*land brand hotdogs last weekend that were the bomb. For those of you that know me, know how odd those 2 meals are and the rarity of it all. So anyhoo, we lounged by the pool and because life seems to be coming at me full throttle, my loving husband made the best cocktails ever.

They were as pretty as a rainbow!
3 different kinds of rums, cranberry, pineapple and blue pucker.
= YuM!
Way to complicated for this simple minded gal. That's why I just drink beer. It's easy, you just twist the cap.

The next few pictures are just of W doing his best swim moves.
To watch him jump in the pool is nothing short of funny. Look at the angle that he goes in and how funny his face is. I think it screams "OUCH" but apparently he thinks it screams "FUN."

I am hoping to get to some thank you's and room photos soon, I'm just a little overwhelmed with life at the moment. It will be soon, I promise.
& BTW: WHERE IS MY TA???? We need our girl home. Pronto.
& how 'bout that SWINE FLU thing???? Of course it would happen right now during our travel time....because everything ridiculous and completely shitty will happen on our wait. Ridiculous.

Friday, April 24, 2009

This seems like forever ago....

& yet it's the very kitchen that haunts my dreams, keeps me from a good nights sleep and makes me question the future. There are several uncertainties in our life, but there are also many certainties that I know I can always count on. One of which is the adoration of a man who finds life with me to be grand, 3 boys who are always ready for a good time & one little princess who has more love waiting for her than she can imagine. We no longer look at her photos and think about her, we now talk to if she's right here.
This has become our favorite photo of her. Gawd, just look at that face..... C did the 'school news' today and it was a live broadcast into all the classrooms. He brought his sisters pictures, showed them to the entire school and spoke about the orphans in China that are waiting for forever families & he specifically talked about his sister, Emerson. My dear friend called me from the school to tell me this took place. I did not know this was going to happen or I might have better prepared him, however, C knew his stuff and apparently the entire school is now educated on Chinese adoption & how much he loves his sister.

G wrote a 'love letter' to his sister, that his younger brother found & showed me. I gasped while listening to how my son poured his heart out on sheet of paper to the sister he only knows in his dreams and his devotion to forever protecting her and how much he already loves her.
W offered to give her all of his jammies since I told him she just might to sleep naked since all the female jammies seem to be 'uncool' for her style.
We had printed out special photos for the boys to carry with them and I am guessing they are in their backpacks because among all the things I clean up after them, it's never been the photos of their sister.
So though life is filled with many twists and turns, it will never replace the steadfast love that has become our family unit. Now where is our TA?

love that bling!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seeking advice if you can get past the golf first...

So golf went fine yesterday. Actually, it went fine for me & G did his personal worst. Chalk it up to nerves or the fact that the winds were in high gear with absolutely no wind cover from trees or homes. It was reported to me that his team won & he tied 3rd within his teammates. (?)
Not really positive because well....., I'm just not.
They had another golf tournament today & Dad came home to report that they would be spending time at the driving range this weekend.
However, we saw 2 or 3 huge bald eagles on the course yesterday, as well as a few gators & buzzards, which I find to be highly disturbing.

So I'm way to tired to put together a 'packing list' because I find the whole task very daunting. I figure if I need a list, then I'm over packing. So I'm going to take the easy way out and ask all of you BTDT folks a few questions....if I may borrow a bit of your time....?

1. Besides electronics, what was the thing that you are most glad you took to China?
2. What was the thing that you wished you would have dragged to the other side of the world?
3. What do you wish you would have brought with you & didn't?

I'm open to all unsolicited advice, pour it on me baby!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some rules are meant to be broken.

My son G, the eternal rule follower, will have his first golf tournament today.

He has presented me with the list of do's & don'ts no less than 5 times. He is terrified that I am going to show up with a foam finger, my face painted & dragging a cooler behind me while wearing a tank top. I do think the cooler on wheels is a smashing idea. It would have a dual purposes & provide seating, while keeping my thirst at bay.
I do believe a MAN invented the sport. What woman would invent a sport where everyone has to sit in utter silence. I've never done anything in my life that demanded there be no noise pollution. I think it's the Dad's way of saying, "Hey, me and the guys are going golfing for 6 HOURS, so you'll have to keep the kids."
I think golf is boring. I think it needs livened up. I think you should be able to let out a big holler. They say it's a sport after all, but why does it seem to be more like going to the library?
Oh, I was also informed that I could not text, check email or nothing on my iphone. I wasn't even allowed to look at my phone??? That hardly sounds fair. I get the whole no ringing or talking, but texting....? that doesn't make any noise & provides a slight bit of entertainment for the long walk.
So I might not paint my face....but he didn't say anything about a cow bell.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

beach & shopping or eh....complaints?

Nothing beats blue sunny skies....or building sandcastles.
Our island kids spend hours looking for treasures....
& sometimes they bring back more than crabs.

Weston is in love with the Cooper dog.
He's one cool dog & he's cute!

The clowns of our group. They keep life fun & exciting!

W can swim without a life vest, but when I'm feeling lazy & preoccupied by the people, the drinks & the conversations, I make him keep it on. Cole fell in a pool once when he was a baby while at a 3 year old birthday party for G. There were 20 adults standing around the pool, but only Dad saw him go in and jumped in after him. So since then, if I am not in the pool with them, they have to suit up because I can't handle the stress & it's so easy to be distracted by others.
Nothing ends the night better than a *pink drink*!

Sunday we had to take care of a few *important* issues like this....

& this....because I have longed to buy pink chucks since the birth of son #1.
It was a must.
AND I'd like to file a consumer complaint to the makers of girl clothing.
I have waited 13 years to buy some girl clothes. I always thought the boys were getting the shaft, but Sunday's shopping trip proved to me that there is a serious need for cool chic clothing.
I had one mission: To find a pair of pajamas that would fit my girl to take to China that did not have a ladybug or piece of fruit on it. We were at the outlets & the following stores helped to fail that mission terribly....
T0mmy Hilfinger
The Baby G.O.P
Carders (I did snag a cute bathing suit with swim shirt here though)
Ralph the Horse
Gymbobee (In all fairness, I did find some here, but thought I could do better)
That Kids Place
I walked away with one pair of pj's....that are to big for her right now.
I had someone remind me to check out H Anderson & I thought...yeah....! They have soft stuff, they've gotta have something....
& sure enough, the first set of pj's I clicked on was this.
Seriously folks, what's up with all the ladybugs & fruit on clothes????

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where the boat leaves from...

MORE IN SETS Pictures, Images and Photos
The boat is leaving today & I will be on it with a drink in my hand.
I'm ready to relax and enjoy some island time with my bestest island friends!
I need to clear my's completely overloaded.
I had horrible dreams last night, haunted by my girls living conditions. I'm pretty mentally prepared for the worst, but read some very enlightening emails & posts yesterday that I guess just played into my psyche. I do appreciate the knowledge, though it's hard to read & know my Emerson is still there.....
We are aware there could be some issues with her eyes not tracking correctly. I asked my pediatrician about it earlier in the week since J & my Mom were all over it & since then I've rec'd a few very sweet emails & one daring *snort* phone call. I'm thankful for the information, the links and the recommendation to the best eye docs in my area. Love ya Mare! Just one more thing for us to prepare ourselves for.
Not to mention all the RAD~PTSD stuff I'm reading. Preparation is key & I feel as though I'm giving my own brain the mental workup of what I must do for her. I'm tired just reading what I must do and I don't even have her yet. I'm struggling with the sleeping thing. Not sure where she should sleep. I'll state for the record that we have never been a fan of co-sleeping. Not gonna lie when I personally think it's silly to have kids in your bed. Quite frankly, I like having a *Hooha*life with my husband and I'm just thinking that throws a monkey wrench into things. J&I have always kept our relationship first and the kids come second. Don't flame me, if you like co sleeping, rock on with your bad kid filled bed. I'm just stating for us, it's never been an option. However, I have to say, that I'm actually thinking of co sleeping with her, maybe even doing the redneck crib hook up like Mare did. I don't know yet, but I know that we want to be right there for her every second of the day, including when she wakes up she sees us. She might not go for it at all....we'll just have to play it by ear I guess. I'm unsure of how to prepare the cribs, pack n play's or whatever else she needs to sleep in before we leave for China because I'm pretty certain we won't want to walk in the door and set a crib up.
It's not like we haven't had 4 years to prepare for this moment....why does it seem like a crash course on IA adoption of the institutionalized child....???

Off to put my sand in the toes, my place of tranquility....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not gonna lie, this Mom gig is hard....& I'm packing a soap box...

I have stared into these eyes all day long...
(this is what J & the boys refer to as her 'Tiger picture')
I have spent the day studying up on RAD. The tough stuff that most people don't want to talk about, the stuff that scares you shitless, the kind of stuff that makes you yell out a big, "WHOA..."
Because my dear friend is deep in the throws of therapy to help heal her daughters heart, I've decided to dust off the attachment books and dig as deep down as I can go in order to better prepare myself & my family. J came home an hour early and we spent the entire time talking about everything I read. My highlighter is about to run out of ink & my eyeballs hurt. I do feel better empowered for what might be coming, but I also feel completely inadequate for the duty that is calling. I'm scared there won't be enough of me to go around. My girl will have had 3 abandonment's in her life by the time I roll in to pick her up....I would say that's an 'interruption' in what should have been the most formative bonding time in her life, the first year.
J & I are spending a whole lot of time talking about how we must change our parenting style to fit the child that is in a high risk category of having attachment issues. Most of my close friends and family will not understand many of the things that we are going to do with Emerson & the reasons behind them. I'm afraid this will only make things more difficult. We do live a social life with many people in & out of our home daily & I am wondering how all this will balance itself out. I'm scared that we won't be strong enough to handle her fragile state for as long as she needs. I feel as though I am cramming for the big final in one month & have way to much to learn!
The good thing is, my husband is vowing to do everything on this earth to get it right with her, including moving the sun in the sky if need be.
Next I pull out my soapbox &
climb on the very tip top spot.
Why in the hell would anyone think that traveling to the very country, that finds you worthy of raising one of their very own jewels, that is low on resources to take care of the very people that hand you one of their own ACCEPTABLE to leave your dirty underwear across the many Provinces of China???????? I'm totally disgusted to read the many threads dealing with packing and how many people have declared that they will NOT be bringing home any dirty underwear, but instead, they will just ditch em! Apparently, they haven't been educated on China's overflowing landfills. I'm pretty certain you don't have to be an educated person to figure out that China doesn't really care to deal with your dirty laundry.
Bring your damn dirty underwear home with you!
Disposable underwear you ask? Yeah, how biodegradable is that? I don't know, but I find the whole discussion in the forum to be outrageous. I don't care if you shit yourself on Gotcha Day, bring your undies home, please don't scatter them throughout the beautiful country of China as your departing gift......
now stepping off my soap box.......
2 bullets:
*Because inquiring minds have asked, I will take some photos of the pink palace soon.
*G made the "A" team in golf at his school. He was thrilled and we were for him as well. He doesn't really have the opportunity to play a whole lot, unless he's with his Gramps, so he was very happy to be playing with the heavy hitters. Of course the first thing he wanted to do was call his Gramps to thank him for taking him golfing of his spring break.
(I'm totally blowing this G rated thing aren't I?)

decor & treats

I (re)decorated my girls display board that hangs in her room, with the help of Glinda (the Good Witch)...everything she says seems to leave me in tears.... & one day her journey will lead her to the face of her daughter as well. Thank you Glinda, for every beautiful quote, poem & comment that you send my way.
They all seem to take my breath away & describe the very feeling that I am feeling.
I just do not have the eloquence to speak it so well.
I've had this frame for 4 years....just waiting for this face to fill the hole.

And because the mail lady loves the Kita dog to pieces, she left her a little sumpt'n smpt'n in the mailbox today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Totally Overwhelmed by the power of the internet x2....

I had a completely different post planned for tonight & I fell into a blubbery mess when I opened my email to find this.....

I can't seem to control the tears that seem to be endlessly flowing down my face.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you all what a blessing this is to have these 6 extra photos of Emerson dating from 9-8-08 to 3-10-09. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. These photos came to me through a Spanish organization that sponsors children. Our family will forever be grateful for this program & we are already discussing what we can do as a family for the children left behind in Shangrao Ling Orphanage. Though we will bring our unforgotten daughter home, a piece of our heart will forever be with the children left behind.
Let me point out how small the world really is....
My dear friend K, decided to check with a friend of hers that lives in Spain, Carmen, to see if she knew of this organization. Not only did she know of the organization, but she herself sponsored a child from Shangrao Ling Orphanage who was also assigned to the U.S.A. with Emerson. I'm blown away with how small the world is & how kind the human spirit is.
Thank you for this gift of her history.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Conversations, Packages & Old Gifts

The other night, I had a conversation with W that went something like this:

me: "Watcha think of your sister?"

W: "My sisdar?"

me: "yeah, the one wearing the pink jacket in the photo."

W: "She's cute, that's my sisdar....& I'm going to share my cars with her....& I'll give her my blue bear."

me: "Wow, that's love...but you can keep your blue bear just for you, since we got her a pink bear all of her own."

W: "Ok."



The care package was mailed off today. Here's what we included for the low shipping price of $45.78, she's totally worth it, but I really hope it gets to her...not holding out much hope though. I included the 'pink bear' with her photo attached because we will be taking one just like it to China. The family photo album, 2 disposable cameras with her photo and Chinese name written on it, a toy, a snack & some chocolates for the nannies.

So who was around when this photo was taken??? Anyone? Anyone?

It was taken in November of 2006 & I look like crud because the boat had just docked & I hadn't showered. So PugMama gave us these beautiful pillow cases with our girls name on them. I'm very happy to now have it on the pillow for display.....

2 out of 4 kept their name...but what is so funny about it all is that I was the only one that didn't want to lock into a name 100% for multiple reasons that I won't get in to. We all know that PIPO didn't use Jadyn & PM didn't use Ava. I do believe that Col would have changed Hannah's name had it not been inked around her husbands arm...which would not have been nice to change at that point. =0) Funny, but not nice. & just because I pulled this tee out today to pack for China...... it was a smashing gift from Pipo & one that still rings true for all of us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wanting more info....

I'm kind of bummed that I have not heard back from anyone who contacted me originally about my girl on referral day.
First, there was an organization in Spain that said that they had photos & possibly video of my girl. I've emailed them repeatedly but have heard nothing. Another girl from my travel group was a referred a baby from the same orphanage and received the same message and has already received several photos. I mean really....don't taunt a Mom with that and then not respond back & in case I didn't mention her orphanage....
my girl is from Shangrao Children's Welfare Institute in Jiangxi Province.
I have joined the Shangrao yahoo group, but haven't found any photos of her.
Secondly, I also emailed the "finding ad" guy back and though he told me he would get back with me last week...I have heard nothing so far.
I'm just sad because I really would like to have as much information that I can gather on my girl to pull her history together, but I have heard nothing thus far when it seems everyone around me has gotten new weight updates & several precious *extra* photos of their daughter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

One Week Ago....

It was one week ago when I saw the face that would be the daughter that I've longed for
for 14 years. She literally took my breath away.
Within one week, she has captivated my heart and I have fallen so deeply in love with her face that it physically hurts. One week ago....we celebrated Emerson Grace with a beautiful little cake that J's friend had made up at the last moment.

We popped the cork on some very tasty champagne and toasted to the dream that came true....
We toasted to the lifelong friends we've made on this journey, the sisters that our daughters already have in America and how thankful we were for all that we have been blessed with.

We ate, we drank, we showed every.single.person. the face of Eme~Grace....VIP style ;)
We sat on the dock of the bay and made our own music.
And during the course of the night, I must have asked....did that really happen? a dozen times.
I can't believe it's only been one week! It's been a whirlwind of sorts and I am utterly blown away with all of your very sweet emails, cards & comments. I could have never made it through this wait without you. I'm in awe that we dared to dream a dream in 1995 & though we had to jump through more hoops than we ever could have imagined, our Emerson Grace was worth the wait.
We can't wait to bring her home, but like always....we will treasure & enjoy the now. For those of you left waiting, my heart will always be with you, till the moment you bring your child home...just don't give up on the dream. Dreams do come true.
My boys have been vacationing all week at the most golf~ilicious place on the planet, Grams & Gramps. No doubt they've been enjoying themselves immensely, but it's time to bring them home. I was hoping to have our weekend video completed by now, but with so many photos & having so many other things to take care of, there just hasn't been the time.
& a big happy birthday to my girl, Colleen.
I love & miss you & I'm so grateful that you were here last weekend to celebrate the joy that is Emerson Grace.
I only wish you were with me tonight to sit on the dock of the bay....happy birthday.