Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday......What?!?!?!

Yes, Grace got a birthday card in the mail today for her 1st Birthday. Early on in the adoption process when we naively thought the wait would be around a year we went to Babies R Us and registered for baby stuff. When you register they ask you the expected arrival date. At the time we thought we would be traveling around December 2006 so that is what we told them. They must have some type of software program that sends birthday cards with a gift card to everyone who registered one year later. So we got one....we kind of had to laugh about it but it really drives home how damn long we have been waiting. At least we have a $3 gift card to use for Christmas shopping this year. Always got to look on the bright side I guess.....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

December Referrals

November has just flown by. It has been a quiet month as far as rumors go for the next batch. Not a thing out there. We are not really expecting them to arrive this week. Probably some time next week though. It is anyone's guess how far they will get this time. We are hoping they get to at least December 14th, that would be 6 more days. The cool thing about this next batch of referrals is it will include referrals for some families from our agency's December DTC group. These are the familes that sent their dossiers to China in early December 2005, just before we did. Another sign tht we are getting very close.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Christmas Shopping

This year we are trying to avoid the holiday crowds at all costs so we are trying to do as much of our Christmas shopping online. Last year the holidays were rough for us. We were expecting it to be our first Christmas with Grace, the wait was getting longer and longer and we we feared that we wouldn't have her home this year. We pretty much emotionally checked out for the holidays. This year as we inch closer we are feeling a little better about things. We picked up a little gift for Gracie for Christmas this year, it is a CD of Chinese lullabies.

Happy Thanksgiving

We just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for this year as we are finally getting very close to a referral. Do I even dare say that this will be our last Thanksgiving without Grace? Hope everyone has a great day eating turkey and getting together with friends and family, which is pretty much our plan for the day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A boy named Grace?

One of the recent topics of discussion on the China adoption boards lately has been the increase in surprise referrals of boys. It is still pretty rare but some parents that requested a girl in their dossier have received a referral for a boy and it seems to be happening more often lately.

Nobody seems to be really sure why this has happening more frequently but it may have something to do with an increase in Chinese domestic adoption where a family already has a son through birth and decides to adopt a daughter, so there are just more boys available. It may also be that China is becoming more modern and babies are not being abandoned as much just because they are girls so the percentages of boys and girls being abandoned is not so lopsided. When they match us up with a child they do it by agency travel group. So if our travel group is 10 parents and there are 10 babies available in an orphanage that we are matched with and two are boys, then two of us are getting boys.

We originally requested a girl because when we started this process we didn't think it was possible to get a boy. While researching the process we fell in love with all of the pictures of these cute little girls and didn't think about other possibilities, until recently. We picked out a girl's name, named the website after her, we have a closet full of pink dresses and we decorated the nursery in pink and pastel colors. We even bought and installed a pink chandelier for her room. We did paint the room blue though, maybe that was an omen.

Jen and I have been discussing lately what we would do if we got a referral for a boy. I read one story of a couple that asked for a girl and got a boy and asked for a new referral. They got a referral for a girl the next month. Not to judge the decision that this couple made but Jen and I decided that we would not do that. If we are referred a boy, then we will have a son. We have fallen in love with the idea of having a daughter but as a father-to-be I have to admit it really doesn't matter to me. There would be a lot of fun father and son things we could do that a girly-girl may not be interested in. Jen is a little more attached to the idea of a daughter but agrees that we could not turn down a referral. We would just have to return all of the pink stuff we bought and buy things with a more masculine theme. Would be a bit of work but we would deal with it. And of course we couldn't name him Grace so we would have to pick out a boy's name.

We do think likelihood of getting a referral for a boy is really small but the possibility is out there so we are mentally preparing ourselves for it. Returning all of the pink stuff that we have been buying would be a pain but I am sure I would be a distant memory 5 years from now when my son and I are fishing down by the river. Although maybe Gracie will enjoy fishing with daddy as well....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Adoption and Orphans in the Movies

Whenever Hollywood tries to take on adoption themes we always get a little nervous. Various sitcoms have done episodes featuring Chinese adoption and they show it as a quick and simple process that you decide to do on a whim and the next thing you know you are on a plane to China. We know that is not the case.

There are a couple movies in theatres right now that take on the themes of adoption and orphans. The first is Martian Child, you can see the trailer here. Based on the name of the movie I was ready to be offended. But it seems like the movie may have gotten it right. It is a story starring John Cusack as a single science-fiction writer who adopts a little boy who says he is from Mars. Just based on the trailer it seem like they explore a lot of adoption related themes and approach them appropriately. The movie is based on a novel but they changed some things to make it more Hollywood accessible. Seems like it might be really good.

There is another movie in theaters now called August Rush that takes on the orphan theme. You can see the trailer here. It is a story of two musicians who fall in love, get pregnant and then lose each other and their baby. The mother played by Kerri Russel is tricked into believing that she has lost her child in a car accident but the baby boy is actually sent to an orphanage by her father. The child grows to be a child music prodigy who seems to know his parents want him and are looking for him. He uses his musical talents to reunite with them. Seems like they tie it up with a happy ending.

We're not sure how August Rush portrays the birth parent/orphan theme but we haven't seen it yet so we can't comment. Jen and I usually wait until movies come out on DVD to see them so it may be a while before we see these movies. The critics seemed to have slammed both movies but I don't always trust what they have to say. Would be interested in anyone's thoughts if they have seen either of these movies.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

22 and 28

Two numbers....22 is the number of months we have been waiting since our Log In Date as of this past Monday. 28 is the number of Log in Dates they have to get through to get to our Log In Date. Jen took 8 more glass stones out of her jar at work this week representing the number of days referred this month. 28 days/glass stones left, we can make it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Days Referred This Year vs. Last Year

Another 8 days referred this month which interestingly is half of the number of days that they referred last year at this time. I updated my chart comparing the number of days referred this year to the number of days referred last year. If you look at the chart for the first 4 months things were pretty comparable. Then at the end of March we had that first small batch and things seemed to go downhill from there. Going forward the number of days referred was usually half or less the number of days referred from the previous year. Thinking we can probably expect more of the same going forward.

December 8th

It's official, December 8th is the cutoff this month.

Too good to be true

The rumors that were floating around a few weeks ago that referrals would go through December 12th are looking to be false. The latest is that referrals were mailed from China last week and some agencies on the West Coast seem to have received them on Friday. Sometimes it takes a little longer to referrals to get to the East Coast. So they should be arriving at the rest of the agencies on Monday. Most agencies are telling their clients that they got through December 8th. We won't know for sure how far they got until the CCAA updates their website which probably won't happen until late tonight at the earliest. If they did get through the 8th that would be 8 Log in Dates that they got through, which would be the most they have done in the past 8 months. At this point they seem to be averaging around 7 LIDs referred per month. If they keep up at this rate we will be looking at getting our referral in March or April of 2008. The bright side of later referral is that the weather will be a little warmer if we travel in the spring.