Thursday, July 27, 2006

Things are looking up today

Although we finished yesterday off with a death in the family, things are turning around today. If I could just get the boys to get along I'd be euphoric! I downloaded a new photo program this morning that was free for comcast customers. After playing with it for about a half an hour I managed to make the following video AND get it to play on the blog! Yipee. That's a feat I still haven't managed with the last video.

The rumor Queen is saying today that the European agency that is usually right is predicting CCAA will get through all of August in August. This is a VERY early rumor and most likely too good too be true, but at least it puts a little hope in the day!

After spending yesterday down in the dumps, I've managed to get caught up today and now I need to go get my stuff marked for the garage sale!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's Black Wednesday

Today is our one year anniversary of our LID (log in date). That is the date we were officially entered into the computers in China and officially 'in line'. At the time we were sure we would be home by Easter. Now we are praying to be home by Christmas. It has been a tough year. Yesterday the rumors were sounding more positive and I was feeling a little more optimistic. This morning I woke up to find out that referrals have been sent (known as a Stork Alert) and the cut off date is July 13th. I've been pretty down today. I was really hoping they would go at least a little past the 13th so that we could feel confident that we were in the next batch. As it is, we THINK we have a pretty good chance of being in the next batch. We just have to sit around on pins and needles waiting. The reliable rumors will probably start in about two weeks. As I said, I've been pretty down. Rick and I went and got re-fingerprinted for our state background check today. It is the first step in re-doing our I171H (immigration paperwork). We were really hoping to avoid having to re-do it, but since it expires November 12th and at this point we won't be traveling until at least the first two weeks of November, our agency felt it would be cutting it too close for comfort.
On a happier note. IF we are next, we would expect to hear from our agency around the second to last or last week of August. They will have her name, birthdate, and city of birth for us. The next day they will overnight a whole packet with pictures and a health history. We then fax back our acceptance and then wait for travel approval from China - usually about 3 weeks right now. Two weeks after that arrives we leave for China. There are trade fairs in China in October which will severely mess up our travel and probably bump us to an early November travel. I'll definately keep everyone posted though!

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's Monday...

I had a dream last night! I'm not sure if it is a good sign or not, but I drempt that we got our referral this month. The not so good part was that she was 23 months old AND born in 1988 (?). Guess it is starting to get to me a bit. The CCAA (the organization in China that handles all adoptions) has been moving it's offices which of course is resulting in MORE delays. The July referrals are not expected to appear until the first week of August. Nobody knows yet what this will mean for the August referrals (which we expect to be a part of).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rick's projects

The only thing I asked of Rick while we were gone was to get the promised sandbox finished. Well, he spent days digging in the heat through the solid clay only to have it rain for the next several days. I kept bugging him and asking if it was done yet and he kept saying he couldn't finish it because there was too much water in it. I was imagining a thin layer of water - not a swamp. Or as the neighbors have started calling it 'the mud pit". Threasa says we qualify as the neighborhood white trash now! Well, while he was waiting for the water to drain he decided to assemble a swing set to surprise the boys. They were so excited when they saw it and it has gotten a lot of use already. As for the pool - oh yeah, sandbox, believe it or not the water is STILL draining and we've been home a week in 100 degree weather! I think we have a problem.

Looking for bugs. Posted by Picasa

And this would be our new pool -uh sandbox.  Posted by Picasa

The swingset Rick assembled while we were gone. Posted by Picasa

Our summer vacation...

We spent two weeks in Vancouver and had a wonderful time. The boys spent as much time as they could swimming in Aunt Karen's pool. (Thank you Aunt Karen). Trace was even diving to the bottom of the deep end this year gathering diving sticks. Caden has lost the fear he had last summer completely! At one point he even jumped off the diving board with no water wings - apparently forgetting he needed them!
We also spent as much time as we could with Rick's Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Woody and their girls Nichole and Coleen. The boys absolutely LOVE them(we do too!). Rick was able to come out for the long Fourth weekend and we all went to the beach. The Ortiz family graciously let us all move in to their cabin for the weekend and Trace and Caden were in heaven! Caden calls the girls his 'girl-friends' and, other than Nichole and Coleen, would probably label 'Me-da-dee' Ortiz his favorite. We spent a day down on the beach watching the kids dig while Rick and Woody fished out in the surf. It was beautiful weather for Long Beach. That Saturday we let off half of our fireworks. It was the first year Rick and I bought any for the boys and they were extatic!
While we were home we also saw a few friends. Trace was very happy to get to see his best buddy Taelor twice! And both boys were excited when we missed our flight home because it meant they got to visit Steffan twice also. We also went to visit their great grandparents in their new place and met the newest cousin, baby Ethan. It was a busy almost two and a half weeks but we really enjoyed ourselves. I had lots of free babysitters and had the chance to do some shopping without kids. We were all ready to come home by the end though. The boys were anxious for their own beds and toys and I was ready to relax!

All right Caden! What a difference a year makes! Posted by Picasa

My little fish! Trace is happiest in the water and could hardly get enough! Posted by Picasa

They look so cooperative don't they? Posted by Picasa

Nichole is always willing to help the boys dig in the sand! Posted by Picasa

Caden posing for a picture while fun 'Aunt' Kim, Auntie Cheryl and Lynn try to stay out of the wind! Posted by Picasa

Digging to China. Hey, maybe we could get Paige faster this way! Posted by Picasa

Playing in the sand. Posted by Picasa

My new screen saver! Posted by Picasa

Just too many to choose from! Posted by Picasa

"I'm ready. Let's go, mom!" Posted by Picasa

Caden and Coleen waiting for the end of the fireworks. Posted by Picasa

Caden with his precious knight pictures. These were the ones my mom took at the show back in May. Posted by Picasa

Hanging out in Papa's hot tub. It was actually cold from just being re-filled! Posted by Picasa

Missing one tooth! Posted by Picasa

Missing two teeth! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 15, 2006

One year ago today...

We were here in Chicago visiting and got news that our paperwork had finally been sent to China! We were officially DTC. After months and months of paperwork and delays it was such a relief to be able to just sit back and wait. I never imagined that 365 days later I would be living in the very house we were visiting and STILL waiting. While the rumors early in the week were positive the newest rumors are not so much. Ok, they are down right depressing. I think I've become numb to this whole process and as terrible as it sounds I just don't really care anymore. That's NOT to say I don't care about Paige or adopting her, just that I can't seem to let myself get too emotionally involved right now. It's just too hard. I've only had one dream in the last year about her and I can't bear to think much about her, it just hurts too much to wonder who she is and where she is. At this point Holt and our social worker have advised us to start the process to re-do our paperwork. It will involve another meeting with the social worker to update our homestudy, more child abuse and criminal background checks and of course more money! This time it isn't China requiring any of it though, it is all for US immigration. Our papers will expire in November and odds are we will not be back on US soil before they do. Please pray with us that we WILL be home for Christmas - I don't think I could make it through another one without her!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A quick China update...

Last month (June) China sent referrals through June 28. It was the most hopeful batch they have sent in almost a year! They finished almost all of June in June meaning we are right now looking at a 12-13 month wait time. At a few times over the last several months there were rumors that the wait time could potentially reach 18mo-2yrs! Now I am starting to chant 'All of July in July - no Dragonfly left behind!' All of us who sent our paperwork in July are called the Dragonflies. So the bottom line is that we have a chance of getting our picture (referral) in the next couple of weeks. BUT it is still a really really slim chance. Our date is July 26 and just like they cut June at the 28th they could easily cut July at the 20, 24, 25, etc. It is actually very likely that that will happen. However, it dosen't stop me from starting to get a little excited and a lot paniced! We can almost say with certainty that we will have a picture by the end of summer and travel by October. So please say a prayer for us and for Paige that she will be ready to meet and bond with us!