Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Adoption Day!

Today we celebrated the 5th anniversary of our daughter's adoption day. As always, it brought back wonderful memories of my journey to motherhood. Many of the events and emotions during that journey are so fresh... I can't believe we will be embarking on a similar adventure soon. In honor of our oldest daughter's adoption day, I will share her Adoption Day story here:


Our bus, filled with every emotion possible, and 11 families, pulled up to the Office of Civil Affairs, the place where our dreams would finally come true. Coincidentally, the babies arrived at the same time, so as we departed the bus, a wave of orphanage workers swept the babies inside from the van in which they arrived. Anxiously we waited for the tiny elevator to take several trips up and down, until we finally made it to the lobby where we would meet our daughter. Two couches cradled 11 babies, all dressed in matching lime-colored outfits. The babies sat there very alert to the chaos around them. I immediately found the face of our daughter, whom we had seen for the first time in an e-mail just 5 weeks before this day. We made so many copies of that picture when we received for our den, one for each of us to keep at work, and one for each of the grandparents, aunts and uncles. We even put one in an ornament frame on our Christmas tree... being just a couple weeks before Christmas, her referral was the best Christmas present we had ever received. And now, about a month later, I was seeing her face to face for the first time. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I waved my husband over, who kept asking me, "Are you sure that's her?" I had no doubt in my mind. I so wanted to run over there and scoop her up, but we waited as the director started calling out family names. We kept taking pictures of her, and listening impatiently for our name. We stood there, beyond arms reach, waving and crying, and then it happened - her eyes met mine and she smiled, as if she knew who I was. One by one the babies were placed in the arms of their new families. I thought they were never going to call our name. When they finally called our name and put KaiLi in our arms, tears ran down my cheeks. KaiLi just smiled at me as if to say, "It's okay Mommy, we're together at last!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Please Let It Snow

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I know, Christmas is over, so no caroling allowed, but I'm so excited about the possibility of snow here! It's actually been freezing temps here for several days, which is so unusual, so if we do get some of that fun white stuff tonight, it may just stick! Of course they're calling for anywhere from a dusting to 1 inch, but we've been surprised before (it's been a long, long time though!) Last year we got 2 different days where the schools closed due to a whole inch of slush on the ground. Yes, the roads were a little dangerous because temperatures did dip into the freezing range, but you would have thought we were in for a blizzard the way milk and bread flew off the grocery store shelves, and the town shut down. And it wasn't even fun snow. KaiKai went out for all of 20 minutes where she attempted to sled down a hill and build a snowman. She came home unhappy and a muddy mess. Hot chocolate and a movie were the highlights of her day. And my poor little man, he was only 4 months old, and we had to call it his "First Snow." This meant we had to mark this momentous occassion with a picture. I put him in a fleece bunting, stuck mittens and a hat on him, layed him in the snow right outside our door and snapped a few photos. Of course he smiled, he always does. I don't think he even layed eyes on the stuff! So, please let it snow! Bring us a fun day of sledding and snowman building. A day without a routine, and lots of hot chocolate, and legitimate pictures of the kids having fun! Ha ha!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Adoption Terms To Know

Just realizing that I need to familiarize some of you with common terms associated with China adoption...

·CCAI - Chinese Children Adoption International (our adoption agency in CO)
·Dossier - the collection of paperwork that is sent to China
·CCAA - China Center of Adoption Affairs
·LID - Log-in Date for the Dossier into the CCAA system
·Waiting Family - What we are after LID
·Referral - When the child is matched to the waiting parents
·SWI - Social Welfare Institute, orphanage
·Embassy Appt. - Appt. at U.S. embassy in China to get baby's visa
·TA - travel approval (to go pick child up)
·FCC - Families with Children from China

Happy 2010!!

We rung in the New Year with our little KaiKai. We played games, ate fondue, watched Kung Fu Panda (one of our favorites!) and played more games until the 10 minute countdown. Little Man was in bed by 7:00, and our last minute plans of having friends come over fell through, so KaiKai thoroughly enjoyed being the center of our attention all night. It brought back memories of how it was before her little brother joined us. She was our only child for almost four years, until she was almost five. She has struggled a little with sharing the spotlight with Little Man, but all in all, she has learned to be a good older sister. She's been helping me out since she's been on Christmas break by getting him out of his crib when he wakes up. It's funny how she lowers the crib side by herself and then holds out her arms for him to come to her. He smiles, and jumps in her arms as she heaves him down to the floor. (I have witnessed this by peeking through the crack of the door, unbeknownst to them.) Yesterday she called down to me asking if she could change his diaper - this was a first. She has watched me countless times, so I responded with, "Only if it's not a poopy one. You can do it on the floor." I figured it couldn't go too badly if it was just a wet one, but I didn't want her trying to put him up on the changing table - yikes! I anxiously waited downstairs to see the results of this attempted diaper change by my daughter who usually holds her nose while watching me perform the task. I didn't hear any of the usual whining or squirming noises from my one-year-old, which was a good sign. I kept imagining him just staring at his big sister in disbelief, and laying still, not quite sure what to think of her acting so old. A few minutes passed and I heard Little Man scooting down the steps, then rounded the corner towards the kitchen to find me, pantless. Shockingly the diaper was on him pretty good; only a quarter of one cheek hung out the side. Bouncing down the stairs came my very mature acting almost 6-year-old, (for the moment) smiling from ear to ear. I told her how proud I was of her, and what a good job she did, and she proceeded to tell me how it went as we all headed back upstairs. She said she used the baby doll changing table, and sure enough, there it was in the middle of his bedroom floor, draped with a fleece blanket for protection. Maybe this is a glimpse of what is to come for us. I sure could use help like this once we get home with MeiMei. Happy 2010 everyone!