Thursday, February 26, 2009


We FINALLY got our LOC today!!!!!!!!!!!! On DAY 100!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Caleb, we're getting closer!

day 100 and new look!

Bad news: It's day 100 today. Never thought I'd have to count this high. I thought we should do something special today because 100 is a big number. It's not a good number in this whole adoption journey, but it is a memorable one. I have no good ideas. So I think I may consider this next sentence my way of celebrating day 100...

Good news: I have a fancy new blog! Do you like it? I LOVE it. I mean LOVE it. I can say that b/c I didn't do it. I picked the colors and elements, but Alexis did her magic and made it look wonderful. Scroll down the sidebar to see her info. Click and read all about her and her work. She is GREAT and is only 15 years old, I might add.

Monday, February 23, 2009

day 97

Day 97. Nothing to report. Yet. The day isn't over.

This is how I filled my long days last week:

I bought myself a pair of shoes for China. I live in flip flops in the summer. But the thought of traveling around China in flip flips really grossed me out. So I went searching for something I could wear for two weeks in China that would cover up my feet but still be comfortable enough to wear when it's 100 degrees outside. I really wanted to get a pair of Crocs but even the tiny ballet ones looked like clown shoes on me. So I settled for these...

I spent several hours sorting through all of Nathan's summer clothes from last year and pulled out enough clothes for Caleb to wear while we're in China. I did buy him flip flops and tennis shoes. The tennis shoes are probably going to be too small and the flip flops may be too big, but I'm counting on the fact that most everything is made in China anyway and I'll be able to find shoes for him there if we need some.

I also bought several journals and pens to give to the orphanage workers as gifts. It is customary to give the orphanage directors, nannies, interpreters, and tour guides gifts. Yikes. That's a lot of people. I found these adorable gifts in the Target dollar section (which isn't really all $1.00 stuff anymore. They sneak in things that are $2.50 too. Still cheap, but misleading none the less and shouldn't be in the dollar section if you ask me). They are way cuter in person. The journals and pens are made in India. I find it amusing that we will come bearing gifts that aren't really American things at all. Oh well, what's more American than Target, right?! And at least they aren't Made in China!

I started reading this...

And I bought this backpack for Caleb. It won't hold much more than chapstick, a (very) small toy and maybe three crayons. But what it lacks in storage and functionality, it makes up for in cuteness...

I also got my second round of immunizations for traveling. I hate, I mean HATE needles. But last week wasn't so terribly bad. I didn't need to gulp down a quart of water so that I wouldn't faint. I didn't start sweating profusely. I didn't get dizzy from holding my breath. I didn't even have a headache afterward (which I generally do from the anticipation and stress of anything involving a needle). I didn't cause (much of) a scene at all. Very successful for me. And, no, no pictures to prove it. Maybe I'll be able to fake a smile next month when I go for my third round.

I have nearly all my clothes organized and ready...
to pack in a few old suitcases from my parents. They just bought new luggage and were going to send their old ones to Goodwill. I'm pretty sure that China has a 44lb limit on how much your suitcase can weigh. We only have two pieces of luggage that we own and one is way too big to take to China. I know b/c we used it to travel a few years ago and it was over the 50 lb limit that Southwest had. Andy and I were traveling by ourselves and I had the brilliant idea to pack all of our stuff in one huge suitcase instead of two smaller ones. We didn't even bring carry-on luggage...just one very large suitcase to check. And neither of us had traveled enough to even think about a weight limit. Let's just say we went over it. Way over it. And had to pay a significant fee. And I do recall the nice airline check-in lady telling me that I could take my suitcase over to the side and take things out of it to make it lighter. I remember thinking, " you have any idea how I pack? I have systems. And it didn't' take 5 minutes to throw all of that weight into that suitcase. It took a long time to get it all right. All organized." But that has nothing to do with China or Caleb. So I'll stop there. Oh my. All that I'll say is that I'm not the best at being the laid back, go with flow, no big deal kind of girl. Nope. Not even close. Andy is. He's exactly the opposite. He'll be the reason I survive traveling to and from China. With a toddler. That speaks no English. He'll also throw a few pair of shorts and a ton of tee shirts in his suitcase the night before we leave. Yes, he will. And I guarantee you that I'LL be the one who forgets something. After months of trying to plan and prepare, I'll be the one to forget my flat iron. Or my shoes. Yep, it will be me. julia. sitting and waiting and spending way too much time on this post thinking about it all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 92

If you're in the world of adoption, you know that "Day 90" of waiting to hear from China is not a happy day. It is probably second only to Day 100. Anything over 100 days is ridiculously long and probably accompanied by tears, groaning, complaining, and downright begging and pleading. We're on day 92 today. That is, 92 days of waiting for our LOC from China. Not that we've only been waiting for 92 days. No, we've been waiting for nearly a year now. And not that anyone is counting or anything...(!) And although we're waiting on pins and needles for our golden ticket from China, it doesn't mean that we just hop on a plane when we get it. There's more waiting. But it will be nearing the end. Or actually, nearing the beginning. The beginning of a new life for Caleb and a new life for our family. (And yes, Andy, I do know that most of these last sentences are not real sentences. But I get to write the way I want on my blog. So there!). Can you tell I'm testy and a bit impatient these days? I will confess that I am failing any and all tests of my patience. I am not exactly experiencing and living the Fruit of the Spirit these days. No, I have succumb to my longings to get things done. To just GO. To have a plan that can be clearly marked (in pen, not pencil, I might add) on my calendar. To be able to plan for things w/o the constant "unless we're in China" addendum. And mostly, to just have an end in sight. I don't really care if the end is March (which it won't be at this point) or April (which it had better be for my sanity and the sake of my family that has to live with me) or May (better not be) or June (uhh...not even going there) or whenever. I'd just like to know. And since I can't know and am not God, I'm trying, really really trying to rest in the fact that God has a perfect plan for Caleb and for me and for our family. And that maybe some day I'll look back on this and see the reason for all the delays. Until then, I'm choosing to believe what my mind knows about the character of God. So, another day. Another week. Another month (I may need meds if it gets to this point!). Whatever it is, I'm going to choose to trust God. I will admit, however, that I'm waiting on my feelings to catch up with my mind on this one. julia ~still waiting and not winning any awards for doing it gracefully.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the "fun" is over

I posted a few months ago that we were going to try and make this whole adoption waiting game fun. Well, the fun's over. Actually it's never been fun. But I do try to always look at the good in things. I'm having a hard time looking at anything but my calendar these days. It's a new month. And we are really, really, really hoping to hear from China this month. Last week was Chinese New Year. All of the gov't offices were closed because of it. We're hoping that someone is approving our paperwork today (or at least this week) and that we'll have our golden ticket next week.

In the meantime, I feel this need to do something. Anything. I would love to buy clothes for Caleb but it's rather hard to do considering we have no idea what size he wears or how big he is. I have a closet full of Nathan's clothes from last year which will probably work so I can't justify buying him new clothes until we know what size he is. I did break down and buy him flip flops, tennis shoes, two t-shirts and two pair of shorts. Oh, and a pair of sunglasses. I know that the sunglasses will fit if nothing else does! I'm looking online for a cute backpack for him too.

I went through this weird sense of urgency to rearrange all of our family room furniture a few weeks ago. I hadn't moved much of anything in nearly three years. Until last month when I moved everything. And then moved it all back. And then moved it again. After a week of this, I finally realized that I did similar things during my pregnancies. You know, the "nesting" phase. I cleaned out all of our closets the week before Kara was born. And I went through all of Kara's old clothes before Anna was born. And I washed crib sheets and blankets and all of that stuff before Nathan was born. And as I look back on my furniture rampage, I think I just needed to DO something. And rearranging furniture it was.

I did get the first round of my immunizations that I need to travel. Yay. Exciting. I also have prescriptions for meds to take with us and a long list of random things to buy for our trip. And I officially have my clothes all ready to pack. It will be warm in Chengdu by the time we get there and hot in Guangzho. I went through all my spring/summer clothes and decided to buy a few things for the trip. Well, "a few" turned into a lot and I now have a nice new wardrobe to take to China. And just for the record, when you see pictures of us in China, the blue t-shirt that I may seem to be wearing over and over is actually several blue t-shirts. And the denim capris...ya, several of those too. I figure that if I am going to be sweltering hot in China I might as well like what I am wearing. Summer is NOT my favorite season. I will be miserable as far as the weather goes. Andy will be loving it and talking constantly about how perfect the 90% humidity and blazing hot sun is. Not me. I will be bringing out all the tricks to manage my crazy-frizzy hair and keep my skin from burning. But I will try and look down at my new capris and flip flops and be happy.

And that is where we are. Waiting. Still. And yes, the kids are still happy doing the Countdown to Caleb Calendar. And yes, I have lost weight: 7.5 lbs to be exact. Not exactly where I should be at week 11, but good enough for me. And no, I am not on verse 11 of memory verses. I stopped at verse 3 or 4. But in January our church started reading through the Bible in 90 days and I am focusing on that instead. I'm way behind but am still moving forward.

And I guess that last sentence pretty much sums up everything: Way behind (our original estimated adoption time frame) but still moving forward. julia.