Saturday, March 31, 2007

a busy last week of Freedom!

Well, I took the winter off to be ready to travel at any time, so when should we be traveling but during the busiest time of the garden center year. We should be leaving on the 9th and returning on the 24th or 25th of May. Supposedly our Travel Approvals are in the mail from Beijing to St Louis as I type. As soon as the travel co-ordinator receives them, she'll call for our consulate appointments and that will determine when exactly we travel. Tentatively it's set up as follows...
Thurs, May 10th, Leave the US
Fri, May 11th: Arrive in Beijing
Sat, May 12th: Sightseeing in BJ (TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City, & the Great Wall (Juyongguan); Lunch is included.; & CHI Orientation
Sun, May 13th: Fly to your child’s Province (if you want to skip BJ, arrive in your child’s province this afternoon)
Mon – Fri, May 14th – May 18th: Receive your child and go through adoption processes
Sat, May 19th: Fly to Guangzhou
Sun, May 20th: Free day
Mon, May 21st: Medical exam
Tues, May 22nd: ACS appointment first choice (second choice: May 23rd, third choice: May 21st or May 24th)
May 23rd: Go to ACS to take oath and get visa late in the afternoon (around 6:00pm),
Departure to US in evening after 8:00pm OR next morning, May 24th (depending on date of the ACS appt)

We should get Acer the week of the 14th. If we actually get him on the 14th, it might still be the 13th at home, which means we MAY have him on Mother's day (or not, but at least it'll be that week)

Also this week, my best friend Jeni and her 5 year old daughter flew in from NM, always good to see her. I've been blessed to have a friend like her. Whenever we get together, it's like we were never apart.

We also, after an extremely long time, have finished the parquet floor in the dining room. It's a lovely pattern designed by my best friend's husband, dark outer border, light inner border, checkerboard in the center. We use this room as our main socializing room and the floor has been under construction for literally years. We've tried various things and thought of different ways to make the floor happen and now it finally has - Yeah Us! Thank you Brandon, Alex, Will and Beq for your assistance with the gluing and laying of the floor.

We also had a great dinner out with 2 couples from our Chinese Lang & Culture class from last summer. Good food & conversation, much laughter.

I went to Beq's house on Thursday to help her, in our standard housework exchange, her Mom Martha was also there and Martha and I harassed Beq unmercifully while we worked on our projects. I don't think she'll get the two of us together again anytime soon!

SIL Kerry, Nephew Oliver and Niece Lulu visited Friday and had a great time playing with the dogs. We wandered to different stores locally and the three of them rode the double decker carousel at the local mall.

Today's my first day back at work. I'll arrive at 11 and start my first seminar at 11:30. Jumping right into spring with a vengenance!

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Pictures coming soon

The Ass't director of Acer's orphanage sent us new pictures of him today. Too cute! Bill will be adding them to the picture slide show later today, be sure to check back tonight to see the little guy in action.
Good news, he appears NOT to be wearing a diaper. This was expected as they potty train very early, but confirmation was welcome.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh Yes, there's still more paperwork!

Just when we thought we were done with paperwork.....
Travel Paperwork!
We just received our latest and biggest batch from Children's Hope yet. This includes the pins to wear so we can be identified and three seperate packets of other stuff and explicit directions to dot this i and cross this t.
Guess I know what my project for the week is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Long awaited step in the right direction

I will admit, I did some retail therapy, especially back in Jan. when the winter sales were on. Well, I kept the receipts, and kept all the tags on, just in case. I didn't want to jinx us, I figured if I took the tags off too early, we would be turned down. so today I took the tags off, sorted stuff, chose 6 outfits to take with us and put them all in the wash. Then I'll pack up 3 in each piece of luggage, and have one minor step down for our trip in May. Yes, I do anticipate more clothing from our toddler showers, but I want to take items I chose myself when we go over. He can wear the other clothing when we get back, plenty of time for that. I'll also be packing Acer's monkey backpack of toys and blanket. Maybe tomorrow I'll pack a bag of toiletries for us. If I just pack a little each week, it will slow the process down enough that it will take us until May. I'm really looking forward to having a child in my care on Mother's day this year!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Toddler Registry

Here's a listing of various things we'd like for Acer. We have registered at Babies R Us/Toys R Us but some are from Ikea and they don't have a registry so I thought I'd create my own. We also have a list of stuff you could find anywhere. If you buy something, please add a comment to the bottom to say what you've purchased, that way we might avoid duplicates and I promise not to look! Also, as we won't know the amount of vision he'll have nor exactly what size he is, gift cards to Ikea, Toys/Babies R Us, Kohls, and Target are always welcome.
In general we're REALLY trying to avoid all the commercial TV & movie based items like Thomas and Dora. We like animals, Fantasy (dragons etc) and space themes. We prefer good old fashioned make your brain work toys, wood is good, compared to toys that don't encourage imagination. In clothing, I know that most little boys clothing is far more subdued than girls' but we're trying for bright colors in the same themes as his toys. We're guestimating that He'll be in size 2T when we get him, but 3T and 4T clothing would definitely be safe.

Ergo carrier and waist extender strap info at color cranberry w/cranberry lining

Ikea Ideas
Minnen (several types of Minnen, we like the Drake/dragon ones)
Drake Soft toy, Bard Quilt cover & sham, drake quitcover & pillow case, drake wallpockets, drake bedspread/blanket.
Bygga construction set
Klappa Apa soft toy sey of 2
Barnslig Apa soft toy
Lillado train series, anything
PS Lomsk swivel chair
Vimsig Hanging Decoration
Noje Corner Wallbasket
Mula toy series, any
Lekplats playmat
Blimp Pendant Lamp

From Target, Fisher Price Stacking cups/balls

General Toy Ideas
Below is a list of parent recommendations for toys for Visually Impaired children.
Toys R Us also has a differently abled toys catalog availble on line
Balls on spindles
Physioballs (or any large balls)
Gertie Balls (soft and easy for little hands to grasp)
Sit on bouncing balls with handles

Stacking toys
Nesting toys
Peg boards
Magnetic blocks
Bristle blocks
Mega Blocks
Wooden Braille blocks
Shape toys in graduated sizes that fit into a base
Wooden puzzles with knobs
Lauri puzzles
Duplo Blocks
Waffle Blocks
Velcro Blocks
Large cardboard blocks

Lauri Lacing Bears
My Buddy doll (good for practicing zipping, buttoning, etc.)
Play Sink and dishes
Play oven and skillet by Fisher-Price
Little people and school house by Fisher-Price
Velcro fruits and vegetables with plastic or wooden knife

Music and story tapes
Floor Piano (a soft mat with "keys" you step on)
Talking toys
Golden Sound Story Books
Musical instruments
Plastic music boxes with easy to turn knobs
Tomy and Shelcore action, noise, and music toys
Sparkling Symphony Gym
Sight, Sound, and Touch Bugs by Fisher-Price (they sing and wiggle)
1-2-3 Sing-Along Puppy

Play Doh Fun Factory (also use with cookie cutters, small rolling pin, plastic knife)
Scented markers
The Wonderhorse Spring Action Riding Horse
Sit and Spin by Today's Kids
Garage by Fisher-Price
Riding toys
Happy Vehicles
Magnetic fridge letters with braille

More news from a great day

I didn't post this yesterday because I thought it deserved its own post. We've been preparing for a totally blind Acer after the people who've met him have referred to him simply as blind. The medical reports indicated that his vision would be somewhat correctable with super thick lenses, but we were preparing for the worst. A lady whose husband was picking up their daughter from Acer's orphanage had him ask about Acer for us. I had no idea she was doing this until she emailed me the following report yesterday.

They said he is a delightful child. Very very smart and a
pleasure. They didn't comment too much on the extent of his vision
impairement, but did say that he has made great progress. He is
very aware of the placement of things, and is very able to discern
when things are on the table, people come into a room, etc. They
also described him as playful and active. Not completely verbal
yet - conversational, but has a good command of what language he has
already acquired. They said he is a very happy child.

He has more vision than I'd hoped, I'm overjoyed. I was over the moon yesterday already, this sent me off to Saturn I think.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Finally we can post pictures!

We weren't supposed to post pictures until we'd gotten approved, but now we have so here they are.
The five Pictures of the very young Acer are from June of 2005, then there's the young Acer with His foster Mother from July of '05. There are 3 pictures of Acer from April '06, 2 pictures from June '06 and one picture from October '06.
He's 50th percentile height on the Chinese growth charts and 90% weight, as of last June. We're hoping for an update before we go over to be able to have clothing that fits him.
Now we can start the serious preparations, I haven't really done much because I didn't want to jinx us.
Okay, it seems that despite my best efforts, I can't post pictures, I'll have to wait until Bill gets home :(

SCL Today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In case Heather forgets to call/email/IM/post to anyone, I just wanted to let anyone reading this know that we got our Last Letter(Seeking Confirmation Letter) today. This makes it official! We have been approved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would like to thank anyone and everyone that has been listening, reading and asking "Any news?" Because now, THERE IS!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Joyful news for 2 wonderful families

This has been about as good an adoption news week as we can get without actually getting good news ourselves. Our friends Mark & Kristen, whom we met last summer in Chinese language & culture class got their referral for Kiera, and Jo has received her Travel Approval For Hannah! Hurrah to both couples on their upcoming journeys.
As there is a 2 week block, April 14-30th, when we wouldn't be able to get hotel rooms in Gaungzhou because of a trade fair, I'm now sure we're going to be traveling in May, the height of the busy season for Garden Center business. Work'll just love that.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Still waiting

I'm not sure how others cope with waiting for the "last" piece of mail. We are waiting on a letter now for the last couple of months, and with absolutely NO responses, NO anything, it is starting to get maddening.

Almost every day I get the question "Any news on the baby?" and I have to tell them "No, less than nothing." This is getting frustrating!

Well, I know, short rant, but I haven't posted much at all.