Friday, June 26, 2009

Freak out!

So I'm surfing the net this morning, making all my usual stops and I see a new post on Rumor Queen.... apparently a Canadian agency received referrals yesterday for their families logged in on 3/21 and 3/23. WHAT?

What does this mean? Were these referrals sent out by accident too early? Were they really logged in on 3/20 and they are just late?

So many possibilities. I've emailed CCAI to see what's up. Because if this is a 2nd batch, and that batch goes through 3/23, then there is a great chance that we are NEXT.

Did I just type that?

Oh Boy. I'm gonna be one busy girl next week. I suddenly feel so unprepared!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A List a Mile Long...

So next week I am off from work (mandatory shut down) and my to do list has grown like kudzu on a steamy afternoon in the South. (for those of you that don't know, kudzu grows like a gazillion feet per day).

I want to replace our front shutters... the green ones that are up are getting kind of bleached out from the sun. I am putting up black instead (they are in stock at home depot). I also need to pull weeds and clean the house. You know, one of those "good" cleanings where you do things like dust the ceiling fans.

I want to go register at Target and Babies R Us. This is how I am going to feed my shopping habit without actually spending any money. I am very excited to do this, I've held off because our referral seems so far away. Well, it's getting closer now, and I know I won't have time to do it after the referral, so I thought I'd go ahead. My friend Jennifer is going with me to do the Target one and my mom is going with me to do the one at Babies R Us. Fun stuff! I hope to visit a few consignment shops as well while we are out.

I also need to start the 100 good wishes quilt. If I don't do it before baby girl comes home, she'll be in college before I get to work on it. I figure I'll do the top and then get someone else (perhaps the quilt shop) to quilt it to the bottom. First I have to decide on a design and buy the coordinating fabric. I will probably do that this Saturday, after my triathlon.

Oh yeh, did I mention I'm racing again this weekend? Short sprint here in town, shouldn't be too big of a deal. Should be home and done by lunch.

I am also taking Derek's mom to a few doctor's appointments, and I'm sure other things will crop up during the week. And of course I'll need some relaxing-by-the-pool time. Good stuff.

Today I ordered "Taming the Tiger While It's Still A Kitten" attachment parenting cds and booklet. I really need to start educating myself on this. Odds are our daughter won't have any issues, still, I think we need to be prepared in case there are problems.

I guess that's all that's going on at the moment. The next set of referrals probably won't be out until the week of July 20th- 24th. I hope hope hope they do more than just 2 days worth, but that is all I am realistically expecting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Referrals are in...

And the Log in Dates covered were March 15th, 2006- March 20th, 2006. If you remember, our LID is March 27th, 2006. So we are close.... very close....
My best guess is still September, though there is an outside chance for August. If we receive our referral in September, we would likely travel at the end of October-Beginning of November, and should be home in time for Thanksgiving.
Wow. How cool is that? Thanksgiving- Christmas is such a special time of the year anyway, so being able to spend that time at home with my new baby girl getting to know one another will be such a blessing. Maybe I'll be able to piece her 100 good wishes quilt together before we go. I would love to find someone who can quilt it together for me. I can do it, but really don't have the time to sit and quilt it... (truth be known I'm not sure I have the patience... hand quilting is sloooooowwwwww).
In other news, I think I will be making a new purchase soon... a Flip Ultra HD digital camcorder. They are so reasonably priced and seem to offer everything we need in the way of a camera. I love that they are so small and honestly, I don't think I will ever need anything more than the 2 hours of footage that the camera will hold.
Had a sprint race this past weekend. Tri the Midlands in Columbia, SC. It was hot. Hell Hot. I saw the devil on the course. I did pretty good, finished 27th OA female and 6th of 19 in my age group. I was satisfied with my swim, pleased with my bike, and disgusted with my run. I had to take 3 walk breaks. That is so unlike me. The 5th place girl passed me in the last mile... I tried to run her back down but had nothing left. She ended up about :30 ahead of me. But I am pleased that I seem to be getting better overall... still not at the front of the pack but seem to be moving to the front of the middle of the pack. That's better than I thought I was capable 3 years ago. I'll keep training and working hard. It seems to be paying off.
Have another race this weekend in downtown Greenville. Go Tri Sports Sprint- 300m swim, 9 mile bike, 5K run. The bike is a 3 loop course and the 5K run is an out and back on a trail. This should be interesting...

Insert movie times and more without leaving Hotmail®. See how.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Does this worry anyone else?

Ok, having been the daughter of an engineer who worked for Milliken & Co., I have always been taught the importance of buying American made products. This fact has been reiterated to me over and over in my life, and even more so as an adult since I work for an American manufacturing company.
I believe a lot of our country's problems today can be directly linked back to what I call "The Walmart Effect" and our country's primary focus on finding and buying cheaper and cheaper products. This has not only killed the small businessman, who now can only exist in a niche market, but has also killed American manufacturing companies. The fact is that labor is cheaper in other countries and transportation, which was once an obstacle to doing business with foreign countries, is now easily accessible and relatively inexpensive.  This has driven the consumption of Chinese made products up to an all time high.
Lately, with the way the economy is going, people have started to once again talk about "buying American" and steering clear of the "cheap and inferior" products coming out of China. This worries me.
1. I am absolutely behind the "buy American" campaign. I truly think that by doing so, we can help bring this country back.
2. I am worried that my Chinese born daughter will hear someone comment about the "cheap and inferior" products coming out of China and will think that about herself.
Obviously, we will do our best to raise our daughter so she NEVER questions her self worth. But, surely she will hear these comments over and over again throughout her life. And I'm sure it will not make her feel proud to be an American, but rather ashamed that she is Chinese. This is something I really worry about.
And to be honest, while I loathe Walmart, and try to never step foot in there, I can't blame the Chinese for the downfall in American manufacturing. The people of China are doing everything they can to create wealth for their country- to rise from severe poverty levels that claim so many Chinese families... which may have been a reason that my daughter was abandoned. So, I can't disparage China for wanting more for their people. I want my daughter to be proud that she is Chinese. As proud as I want her to be that she is American. Can the two co-exist?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Festival of Flowers OLY Tri 2009

Sometimes a race is good because you have fun and not because you PR. This weekend I did the Festival of Flowers OLY distance triathlon. I finished in 2:51:39. Last year I finished in 2:47 and change. Of course, I was in the best shape of my life heading into Ironman CDA.
This year I was fine on the swim, slightly faster on the bike, but my run stunk. I had to take 8 weeks off from running due to some mysterious hip flexor injury. I've only been running again pain free since the end of April, so my expectations of what I could do were not what they have been. I was just hoping to run 10 minute miles for the 10K. I managed to do the 6.2 miles in 1:01:59. I'm not sure I could have nailed 10 min miles more perfectly if I had had an official pacer.
Next year I'm going for that PR.
Anyway, I managed to finish 5th out of 9 in my age group. For the swim I was 3rd of 9 (missed 2nd by 1 second!), 3rd of 9 on the bike, and then 6 of 9 on the run. I see lots and lots of running in my future. Hopefully pushing baby girl in the jogging stroller will help me get stronger and faster.
I leave you with a picture from the race. Left to right are: Brad Fraedrich, Kimberley Westbury, Jan Garrett, Katie Malone, Me, and Andy Van Evera. All on the Malone Coaching team!!

Lauren found her dream laptop. Find the PC that's right for you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

one more test

Testing from hotmail account to see if all the legal mumbo jumbo is left off the end of the post...
A little pic of my girl when we met....

Lauren found her dream laptop. Find the PC that's right for you.


Just a little test to see if this email to post option works or not….

A little funny I found…. I wonder if Chip and Dale realize someone is selling their Chippendale chairs…

Random thoughts...

I am having one of those days where it seems like all I can do is think about the adoption, the trip to China, and what our little Tiger is going to look like. It's days like this where I can't imagine that we've waited already over 38 months. A few more to go, that's all. I guess it's normal... if I were pregnant, I would say I'm just getting ready to enter in the last trimester.

After reading about Pugmama (her blog is and how she got her TA (travel approval) and then had to leave for China in 2 days, I am starting to make plans for everything that needs to be done once we receive our referral. I do not want to be stressing about what needs to be done at the last minute, and since we have that little black cloud hovering over us, that is bound to be what happens... We need to register... we need to purchase a car seat... we need to pick out a pediatrician...we need a stroller... we need a booster seat/highchair.... we need baby clothes (once we know about the size)... we need sleepers and onesies... we need bottles and sippy cups... you get the drift.... and don't even get me started on packing.... my plan is to take 2 large suitcases. One large suitcase for Derek and I and one that has a smaller suitcase in it for all things related to baby (yeh i'll probably mix the two in case one gets lost). I will pack diapers for the trip home all around the smaller suitcase inside the large one. This should leave us with an extra suitcase to bring home all kinds of special goodies. From what I understand Chinese diapers are not as absorbant as those sold in the US, so parents who have BTDT advise to bring some from home for baby to wear on the journey home. The last thing you need is a diaper blowout at 35,000 feet or in line at immigration...

Lately I've been enjoying reading the blogs of new parents in China... because it helps me to imagine what it's going to be like for us, and what to expect. It brings me such joy to read all about these new families. I race to my computer each morning to see what the latest post is all about!

Thank goodness it's Friday. I have a full weekend planned. Tomorrow I have a short 20 mile bike ride and then need to clean my bike and lube the chain. After that I need to get my pigsty of a house in order and laundry washed. Sunday I have my first race of the season! Festival of Flowers OLY triathlon in Greenwood, SC. Last year my time was 2:48 and change. Hoping to shave a few minutes at least off that... but I was in much better shape last year getting ready for the Ironman. Hopefully Derek can get some good pictures this year!

I guess that's all my random ramblings for now (is that redundant?).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Trying this on for size....

Thinking about the name Samantha.... would probably call her Sam for short....

It's not for sure, but it's moving up in the short list....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

One little day makes all the difference...

Over and over again throughout this adoption process, I've learned that one little day makes all the difference in the world. One day sooner on our doctor's visits, one day sooner on our fingerprints, one day sooner on our homestudy, etc would have meant one, or even a few days sooner that our dossier was logged in in China.

Well, after looking at the number of waiting families to be referred, I am reminded that STILL... one day makes all the difference in the world. I am beginning to understand that the best way to predict the # of referral days that are going to come out each month is to look at the number of families that are reported for each log in day (this is based on the rumorqueen website and her polls). The closer we get to referral, the more important these numbers are....

Basically I have crunched the numbers and poured over them, and if the next batch of referrals goes through a LID of 3/21/06, then we will get our referral in August. If the next batch only goes through 3/20/06, then it will most likely be September.

This date assumes that the next batch will be received sometime during this calender month, after the "April" referrals were received on May 20th. Yes, this means that a month in there will have been skipped.

On another note... I just watched a "gotcha" moment (I hate the term gotcha, btw) on the web. A one minute video showing a waiting mama receiving her precious baby girl. It suddenly hit me, I just watched a family being made, as much as if I had just watched her give birth. It was a beautiful thing, and I am not ashamed to say I got a little teary watching it. After all, that will be us in a few months. It's all starting to sink in.

Monday, June 01, 2009

tick tock tick tock tick tock

Well, if I had a biological clock, that is what it would be doing. So instead I present you with what my "adoption womb" is doing.

Our best guess is still that we will get our referral anywhere from the end of July to the end of August. But I wouldn't be surprised if it extends to September. Either way, we are for sure going to be travelling this year to get our little Tiger! We still don't have a name picked out. You understand that we will probably be on the plane over the pacific still discussing names....

I received some distressing news from my employer. It seems that while I can take up to 12 weeks leave as required by law under FMLA, I will receive no compensation. I also understand that if I were giving birth to a child, rather than adopting, I would receive 6 weeks of paid time off as part of what I could take under FMLA. I guess I never realized prior to this journey all the... what's the word I'm looking for here?.... the... second class treatment that adoptive moms get. I mean, after all, we aren't REAL moms.... according to many.

It is so frustrating to be in this situation. We've had so many obstacles to overcome on this LOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG journey that I just want to know, can't we catch a break?

This too shall pass. No one ever promised that life would be fair. We will be ok, I'll take the full 12 weeks (instead of only 6) and will bond with my beautiful baby girl. No, we won't have money to live high on the hog, but we'll be ok. It's just hurtful to think that not everyone will recognize our family as being "real" and that my child will go through life with other's questioning our family and perhaps not being treated equally.

But, I still love Derek, and he loves me, and we'll love our little Tiger. That's all that matters, right?