Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I found something really cool this morning as well, Love Without Boundaries has some pictures of the CCAA's new building. One of the pictures is of a shelf of all of the waiting dossiers. We assume that our dossier is on that shelf somewhere. This is about as close as we are going to get to getting an ultrasound pic. I have been wanting to make a donation to this organization and a note on the page asks for a donation if you use the pics. They do some great work in China so we made a donation and here is the pic.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A few weeks ago the Chinese adoption community was buzzing about a meeting that the China Center of Adoption Affairs had regarding new rules for adoptive parents. The reported details of the meeting were that as of May 1st 2007 China will no longer accept applications to place children with parents who:
- Are Single
- Have been married less than 2 years
- Have a BMI over 40
- Are under 30 or over 50
- Have been divorced more than 2 times
- Have been treated for infectious disease, depression or anxiety
- Have net assets under $80,000
- Do not have at least a high school education
- And a few other random things
Fortunately Jen and I would not be affected by any of the new restrictions and since we have already sent our application to China it is expected that we would be grandfathered in even if we fell into the above restrictions. There are a lot of people though that were hoping to adopt in the coming year and will no longer be able to because of the new rules. Also many couples who have already adopted once from China will now not be able to go back to adopt a mei mei (little sister). The odd thing is that the CCAA has not officially released a statement about these new restrictions. Because nothing official has been released and some of the restrictions are open to interpretation there seems to be some confusion regarding some of the restrictions. Some agencies are posting/reporting the restrictions as fact but the details are being interpreted differently by each agency. We haven't heard anything from our agency about the new rules, which is good. I think they are waiting until something official comes out rather than speculate. This week the media picked up on the new restrictions and there were articles in most of the major papers including this one in the Boston Globe. Hopefully something official will be released soon so we all know for sure what these new restrictions will be.
The next batch of referrals should be coming out soon as well. There were rumors that they would be here before Christmas, another rumor that they would be here after Christmas and yet another rumor that they will not be here until next year. One of the rumors has to be right but s usual nobody has any idea when.
Jen finished up her Christmas shopping a few weeks ago and I as usual haven't started yet. We are planning a low key Christmas this year, we didn't decorate the house or put up a tree. We are just planning to visit with family and save the big celebrations for when we have Grace home. Jen and I did buy each other a special gift for Christmas though, we have a vacation in Jamaica to look forward to in February.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
We usually keep the door to the nursery closed so when Lucy gets a chance to go in there she has to investigate everything. I guess she decided that the changing table was for her. Today is also kind of a milestone for us as it is 11 months since our Log in Date. Sometimes it feels like the past 11 months has flown by which gives us some hope that the remaining months will go by just as fast.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
She just had to get it for Gracie. I didn't even realize that they still made them. I always thought these dolls were kind of ugly but Jen loved hers and still has it I think so I am sure Gracie will love it as well.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Nothing really going on in adoption news, Jen and I did finish up our Hepatitis vaccinations last week, so I guess that is one less thing we have to worry about. Our bathroom remodel is finally finished as well. We just need to touch up some paint and hang a couple things on the walls and we are back to normal.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Jen starts back up at school next week, when we started the adoption process we were thinking that we would probably have the baby by now and she would take some time off, now it looks like she will most likely be working the full school year based on how referrals have slowed down. I guess this just means that we can take our 5th last childless vacation this winter. Something to look forward to. We are still not completely done with out bathroom remodel. The tub and toilet are installed but still no sink. At least we have a partially functioning bathroom now. The sink should be installed next week. We also realized that we need to get the electrician back in to move a light fixture. We bought a new medicine cabinet/mirror and it is shaped a little differently from our old one. I can only see half of my face when I look into it and I am not very tall. So we need to move it up about 6 inches but there is a light fixture above it so we need to get that moved first. We did take the new whirlpool tub for a test-drive this week, very relaxing, definitely a good investment.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
This is the other, unorganized side of our basement, where we are storing some of the big boxed baby items.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Sunday, April 30, 2006
- I can't wear hats. They just don't look right on me, not sure why, maybe I have a weird shaped head. When I do wear one I get comment like (if the person is trying to be nice) Oh, Steve, I have never seen you in a hat. This is usually said with a smirk on their face. Or, if they are not trying to be nice.....Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
- I have a phobia about things being put in my eyes, like eyedrops. I just hope I never need to wear contact lenses. Probably stems from the eye surgery I had when I was a kid.
- When I was in college I taught computer classes at a lock-up facility for teenage girls. These girls were there because they were too young to be in prison. On my first day there I saw I girl being taken out in @nkle sh@ckles. Definitely a weird experience. (I had to use the @ to replace replace the a's because some pervs were finding this website through some inappropriate web searches).
- A few years ago, driving home from Jen's house I hit a guy with my car. He was running from a crime scene chasing another guy with a piece of metal. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, slammed on my brakes then watched him fly over the hood of my car. He wasn't severely injured but they did take him away in an ambulance. The good thing was I slowed him down enough so the guy he was chasing got away. So I may have saved someone's life.
- I am the tallest person in my family.....and I am 5'-6"
- My name is Steven King, enough said.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
6 Weird Things about Jen.....
- I am severely arachnophobic. 1a. When I see a spider I do the slappy-clappy-snappy dance where I stamp my feet and clap my hands in unison while screaming EEEeeeeeee.
- In my teens I worked as a magician's assistant.
- I hate mint. It makes me nauseas. Also makes it really difficult to brush my teeth. I need to use cinnamon toothpaste. 3a. Wintergreen is acceptable, however.
- I hate chicken parmesan. Chicken is yummy. Tomato sauce is yummy. Cheese is yummy. Put them all together and it is the grossest concoction ever.
- I can't watch people prepare my food. I'm sure I will spot something disgusting and I won't be able to eat. Ignorance is bliss.
- My utensils can't touch a table in a restaurant without a tablecloth or something between then. These tables are always washed with a disgustingly filthy germ infested rag.
Hmmm, seems like someone is a germaphobe with some major food issues. I will post 6 weird things about me (Steve), later in the week. Having a hard time coming up with 6 things.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
You may have noticed that there are some advertisements on some of the pages here. I signed up for google ads, so if you click on the ads we will earn money. Not sure exactly how much money we get but it will probably not be enough to pay for Grace's college education.
Jen also went out this week and bought a new rug for Gracie's room at Pottery Barn Kids. Here are some pictures of the rug and the light that we bought last week.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Attaching in Adoption
by Deborah D. Gray
One of the big concerns with children adopted from orphanages is proper attachment and bonding. Babies raised in an orphanage will not always have a mother at her beck and call to meet her needs and build a loving, trusting relationship. This book explores the challenges that adoptive parents must work through in order to create that secure bond and attachment with an adopted child. The book explores in detail what attachment is and why it is important. Techniques are provided to help parents facilitate attachment and bonding with an adopted child. The book also covers some scary topics that we hopefully won't encounter such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Reactive Attachment Disorder. Each topic covered book is interspersed with scenarios to illustrate potential attachment issues and provide suggested solutions. I have heard many adoptive parents say that if you read one book on adoption this should be the one you read.
The Lost Daughters Of China
by Karin Evans
This was one of our favorite books we have read during the adoption process. Another must read for all Chinese adoptive parents. The book is very well written, almost poetic at times. This is one of the more "feel good" books that we read. The author tells her and her husband's story of adopting from China from the paper chase to coming home with her daughter. She intersperses the story with narratives of Chinese history and culture. She also tries to convey within the book what circumstances could lead a mother to abandon her child. This is something hard for us to understand but a reality for many living in China. Since this is one of the first books that we purchased it has been almost 2 years since we read this book. Definitely another book that we will re-read at some point.
A Passage to the Heart - Writings from Families with Children from China
edited by Amy Katzkin
This book is a series of essays written by members of Families with Children from China. The stories discuss the joys and challenges of adopting a child from China. Sections include the Wait (we could write a whole book on that topic), Settling In, Development, Race and Identity. This book definitely has a more feel-good vibe to it but some of the articles will be a bit of a tear jerker. Definitely another must read for parents adopting from China.
Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son - Abandonment, Adoption and Orphanage Care in China
by Kay Ann Johnson and Amy Klatzkin
This book is a must read for parents adopting a child from China. This is not an easy read, it is really a series of research papers written by a College Professor and an editor of books on Chinese Studies who both also happen to be mothers of girls adopted from China. Since the book is a collection of research papers written over a period of time there is a bit of repetition but you do get a good sense of how adoption in China has changed over the years. But as I mentioned it is a tough read, most of the book has footnotes throughout which you need to flip to the back of the book to read. Much of the research in the book is backed up numbers, charts and statistics so much of it reads like an academic research paper. The book does a great job in explaining the cultural reasons why some baby girls are abandoned and why Chinese families feel that they need a son. The book also explains in depth the One-Child population control policy and how it leads to abandonment. This is definitely a book that I plan to re-read at some point. This is definitely not a fluffy, feel-good adoption book but it does give the reader a better understanding of the reason why we have our daughters.
by Andrea Della Vecchio, MA, M.Ed.
This was the first book that we purchased when we started thinking about adoption. Going into adoption knowing really nothing about it like we did, we really needed a guide to educate us on our options and lead us through the decision process. The book talks about domestic vs. international adoption and discusses the different programs in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. There are sections on home studies, choosing an agency, Non-Traditional Families and many other subjects that adoptive families work through with the adoption process. Through this book and other research we obviously decided to adopt from China so this book served us well as an Intro to Adoption 101.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Why can't we adopt a newborn/infant from China?
The youngest babies that we have seen at referral seem to be around 5 to 6 months old. Add two months to that to get our travel approval and the youngest she will be is 7 - 8 months. We are on the young side so I expect that we will be referred a younger baby, although there is no guarantee. We requested a 6 - 12 month old or as young as possible. The reason why we can not get a baby any younger has to do with the process China has to go through to consider the babies abandoned and available for adoption. When a baby is abandoned and taken into an orphanage a finding ad is placed in a local newspaper. This is just a picture and a description of the baby and where she was found. This is so the birthparents can re-claim the baby if they wish to. I doubt that this happens very often though as it is illegal to abandon babies. If the baby is not reclaimed within a certain number of months then the baby is considered abandoned and is available to be adopted. The babies are checked over for health issues and paperwork is processed and by this time the baby is about 5 -6 months old.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Why does it take so long to adopt from China when there are so many babies in orphanages?
I don't think there is one simple answer to this one but I will try to answer the best I can. When we first started the adoption process we were told that the wait to referral was about 6 - 7 months. This didn't seem that bad to us but we knew going into it that this timeframe could change. As we were progressing through the process we noticed that the wait times were increasing to where they are now at around 9 - 10 months. We realize that this could increase even more but the time frame could get shorter as well. One of the main reasons we have heard is causing the increase in wait times is an increase in the number of dossiers (requests to adopt) that China is getting. The United States adopted almost 8,000 babies from China last year and this number seems to be increasing each year. Along with the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, etc also are increasing their adoptions from China. China is also in the process of ratifying the Hague Convention of International Adoption Law. The Hague basically puts policies in place to ensure that the international adoptions are serving the needs of the children first. Basically this means that there will be new polices and paperwork that China has to go through in order to be in compliance. We have also read that the China Center for Adoption Affairs is moving (or has moved) to a new building. Hopefully moving forward the wait will stabilize or even decrease, if not maybe Jen and I can fit in one last childless vacation.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Some pictures of our trip......
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Are You Concerned About the Bird /Avian Flu?
The short answer is not really, but I would be lying if I said we weren't thinking about it. When there is a newspaper article about new outbreaks we do read them with interest. Recently we have read that there have been outbreaks of the virus in parts of Europe but they seem to be pretty sporadic and have been contained. From what we understand the Avian flu currently can only be transmitted to humans by handling animals that are infected with the virus. In some parts of China people have chickens running around their yards so it is understandable that the virus is transmitted to them. I recently read an article about some children in Turkey who got the virus because they were playing with dead chicken heads. Not sure why they were playing with chicken heads but we will be sure not to do this when we travel to China. It is supposedly safe to eat chicken as long as it is cooked well so we are not too concerned about getting the virus through eating meals while in China. The big concern is that the virus could mutate into a form that could easily be transmitted through the air from human to human. If this happens there would probably be quarantines and travel bans, similar to the SARS outbreak a few years ago. The other scary point about the avian flu is that it is a much more powerful virus that the regular Influenza virus that go around every winter. The Avian flu seems to affect and sometimes kill people regardless of their age or strength of immune system. Our agency has an update on their website about the Avian flu as well and it says that the Chinese Government is pretty diligent about preventing any outbreaks of the virus. It is mandatory that if a bird is found dead an emergency team arrives in the area and whether the bird died from Avian Flu or not all birds within a ten mile radius are killed. So it is comforting that the Chinese are taking it very seriously. I have noticed that there have been a lot less news reports lately about Avian Flu so maybe the media is getting bored with it. I really think it was something that the media latched onto and blew out of proportion. But we will continue to read all we can about it and hope that it doesn't mutate into a virus that is more easily transmitted.