Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't drink the damn Kool-Aid

So there is a rumor out there now that the cutoff for the next batch is going to be the December 27th. Not that 8 days is a whole lot of days but most people (including us) are expecting a small batch because December 2oth is a pretty big day. So 8 days would be huge. We have been burned before by believing the rumors and disappointed when they don't come to pass. We are trying really hard not to get too excited about the possibility of them getting to the 27th this month and then what it means for our referral, which we can't even think about yet. So for self preservation we are still expecting a 3 or 4 day batch but ohhh, how we would love to be wrong.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rumors. rumors and more rumors

The rumors regarding how far they are going to get with the next batch started last week. They range from Dec 20th through Dec 30th. So between 1 and 10 days. I think it is highly unlikely that we will be seeing a 10 day batch. The 20th is thought to be a pretty big day based on the online polls so I wouldn't be surprised if they only did one day. But we are hoping for at least 3 or 4 days. Probably won't be seeing referrals arrive this week, most likely we will see them early next week.

So it is looking more and more like our referral will not be arriving until the Spring or Summer which makes it more likely that we will be affected by the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The goods news is it looks like travel to China will not stop. One postive rumor on one of the adoption boards is that referrals and travel will continue during the Olympics. US agencies will just skip the sightseeing trip to Beijing. As much as we are looking forward to seeing The Great Wall, Forbidden City and the rest of the sights, we know the top priority is getting our daughter. We plan to travel back to China for heritage trips with Grace when she gets older so we will be seeing those sights eventually.

Monday, January 21, 2008


One of the positive side-effects of our long wait to adopt is that it gives us time to read about parenting, attachment and the history and culture of China. Jen's parents gave us a really cool calendar that focuses on one of the Chinese provinces each month. Once we know which province Grace is from, we will do as much research as we can about that province. In the meantime, I though it would be fun to post a picture of the calendar each month.

The Province for January is Guangxi. Guangxi is a mountainous region in the southern part of China. It has a population of about 49,000,000 and is famous for its picturesque Li river and surrounding mountains. Looking back at the referrals from our agency there seem to be quite a few children from Guangxi.

Will be interesting to see how many months of the calendar we get through until we learn where Grace is from.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mid-Month Doldrums

Once again we are a couple weeks away from referrals arriving and there are no rumors to speak of. Usually by this time there are a couple rumors floating around but the last couple months have been lacking in rumors, probably a good thing for our sanity anyway.

The last batch was pretty disappointing considering everyone expected them to get much further than they did. We aren't anticipating much for the next batch either. Based on the online polls we could see another pretty small batch. But we are hoping that they get through at least another 4 or 5 days but we wouldn't be too surprised if they just got though 1 or 2 days. Have to prepare ourselves for the worst and hope for the best.

Since we are getting closer to referral I decided to start a baby proofing project in our family room this weekend. The speaker wires for our surround sound are starting to droop onto the floor, perfect fun for a little girl to pull on. So we went off to Home Depot and bought some wire conduit to hide all of the wires away. Probably will take me a couple weekends to get it all installed. Seems like a perfect winter project.

We were also happy to see our beloved New England Patriots beat the Chargers today and are off to another Superbowl. Go Pats!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ya Mon

Thanks to everyone who voted in our vacation poll. You overwhelmingly thought we should take the we are!!! We booked the trip last week so in a little over a month we will be off to sunny Jamaica. Unfortunately the resort that we have stayed at the last couple times didn't have any vacancies. So we found a new place to stay called Negril Tree House Resort. The place looks really nice and the hotel is right on the beach so that will be cool, I think we actually have an ocean view from our room. I think at this point it would be our 9th last childless vacation so we aren't referring to our vacations as "last" any more because we never know.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday Night Fun

On Friday, Jen and I decided to do a bit of a Chinese themed night. I was working in Boston for the day so Jen took the train into town and met up with me after work. We we had dinner in Chinatown at Shabu-Zen. We have been wanting to try Asian Hot-Pot for a while so we gave it a shot. The food was really good and we had fun trying something new.

After dinner we went to the Opera House to watch the Chinese New Year Spectacular Show. This was a traditional Chinese dance, singing and instrumental show. The costumes, dancing and music were great. Although we weren't really expecting the show to be so political. Apparently is was sponsored by the Falun Dafa (Gong) Association of New England. Many of the dance routines had themes of persecution and rising up against it. It was interesting to say the least. There were also quite a few families with adopted children from China there so that made it extra special for us.

After the show we went for dessert and drinks at Finale. Kind of funny when dessert costs more than dinner but it was really good. All in all, it was a pretty fun night for us.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

No, not the movie. The little box on the CCAA website that they update every month when referrals come out to officially announce how far they got with the latest batch (and the review room). As of yesterday morning the box looked like this:

So according to the message they will no longer be updating the website with cut-off information. We need to contact our agency who have some new system where they can get this info. There were rumors about this box going away a while back, but then it never did so I assumed it was here to stay. Not really sure if the box going away means anything. It could mean that the CCAA is going to start referring partial days and they don't want any confusion if the box gets updated and some agency LIDs get a referral and some don't. Even without the box it should be fairly easy to figure out how far they got just through reading the adoption sites and rumor boards. I assume our agency will have some additional info for us about it when the next batch comes out. So we are not going to worry too much about it at this point.

***Footnote from Jen: Steve is not worrying too much about it. I, on the otherhand, am freaking out!! Ok, breathe....breathe....breathe.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Backlog

One of the readers of this blog asked if I had done any analysis on the CCAA's progress of the Review Room vs. the Matching Room. We got through the review room back in November 2006, which was about 10 months after our Log in Date. The people who last got through the review room waited about 14 months after their Log In Date. So comparing that to the last group that got matched who waited over 24 months, the matching room is staying pretty consistent. Dates are kind of hard to graph in Excel so I charted out the number of months since LID that each group has waited to get through the Matching Room and the Review Room. The Review Room backlog seems to be leveling out. Probably safe to assume if you haven't made it through review yet your wait to be reviewed will be around 14 months. The Matching Room Backlog is growing pretty consistently each month and unfortunately will almost definitely continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

To Jamaica or Not to Jamaica, That is the Question

So we are at that time of year again where is is really cold up here in New England and we are missing the warmth of Summertime. For the last two years for Jen's winter break have taken our "Last Childless" vacation to Sunset at the Palms in Negril, Jamaica.

For the past couple years I have been banking my vacation time to use on our trip to China and take some time off afterwards to bond with Grace. I have almost 6 weeks saved up which would give me a nice chunk of time to stay home and get in the swing of being a dad. But then, we really don't know how much longer the wait is going to be and some time for Jen and I to get away from it all would definitely do us some good.

So help us decide. I put a poll up on the right where you can vote to tell us whether you think we should take the trip this year or not.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2 Long Years

Today is 2 years since we were logged in at the CCAA. I wish we knew how much longer we have to wait for our referral but unfortunately we have no idea. It could be anywhere from three more months to another year if we are affected by the Olympics.

Jen removed 5 more glass stones from the jar this week leaving 17 more to go. We did get some news this week that gave us a bit of lift. Our agency sent out their monthly update regarding the referrals they received this month. The email mentioned that the next Log In Date that they are expecting referrals for is our LID (1/5/2006). Although this doesn't mean that we will get our referral next month, our agency just won't receive any regular referrals until they get to our group. This was the first time that we have seen our Log In Date in print with the word "Next". It is the little things that keep us going lately.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Comparing the Years - January Edition

The CCAA just released another small batch of referrals. Not the smallest batch ever in terms of Log In Days but still smaller than expected as December was supposed to be a smaller month and the 5 days referred were believed to be smaller days. Below is an updated chart back to 2005 showing the number if days per month.

If you overlay the years on the above chart (see below), last year's January numbers were overall a bit higher and then trended down through April. In 2006 the numbers went up in February and then trended down through April. Not sure how much lower they can go from where they are now. But we have seen a couple 5 day batches, a 4 day batch and a 2 day batch so based on the trends we could see a smaller batch next month. December is also thought to be a relatively large day so just one more reason to think we may be in for a couple slow months.

December 19th

The CCAA just updated their website confirming that December 19th is the cutoff this month. 5 days is pretty disappointing especially since we expected them to get a bit further. Might be time to hibernate and have someone wake us up in the spring.