Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Silent Night, Holy Night!

We'd hoped that we would hear news of who you are for Christmas, because we could think of no other gift we'd rather receive. Unfortunately, the governmental problems with the judge in Kolkata continue to be an issue. We also learned that VCA (the organization that determines that a child is available for International adoption) has just received it's renewed license. I don't know how long that process took, but no children could enter the adoption process during that time. So, for now, we cling to the rumor that referrals should be starting to come again in the beginning of the new year. This process has certainly taught us to have patience and faith, because without it, one would go crazy.

On Christmas eve this year, we were fortunate to have part of our extended family, George (Pat's brother), wife, Shannon and two neices Olivia and Jordan join us with Pat's parents for candle light service. We sang Christmas hymns, listened to the beautiful bell choir and received the Christmas message, all the while I was thinking of you and where you might be this magical night. As is tradition, the lights eventually lowered and we prepared to lite our candles. By this time, the girls, dressed in their new sparkly dresses, were getting tired and their holiday energy was beginning to waver. Little Jordan climbed into my lap and cuddled close to my chest. With Jordan's tiny hand in mine, we held the candle, tipping it into George's flame and soon a tiny flicker of light brightened the tip of our candle. Together, the congregation sang "Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright". It was tender memorable moment and it was my Christmas wish for you.

With patience and faith, next Christmas I will feel your weight on my lap and will be able to hold your tiny hand in mine.

Merry Christmas, little one

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Adoption Backlog

Although this is not a very nice addition to the blog, I'm trying to keep a record of all that happens so we can accurately tell the story of how you came to us.

Currently, the judge in Kolkata is not signing any adoption papers (domestic or international) and hasn't since last June. There are 11 families in front of us who know who their children are, but do not have the final signature from this judge to go pick them up. This means that the babies home is full and can accept no more children until space becomes available. The judge was suppose to go before a higher court to force him to start signing, but this did not happen. He claims he will start moving the papers along, but that has not happened yet either. So we all continue to wait.

For your daddy and me, this means that we may have to wait longer to find out who you are. We thought that you were born and at the babies home all ready, but we don't know this for sure. Another adoptive family shared their thoughts about why the adoption process takes so long. They said that you are busy taking in as many memories as you can about the beautiful country, people and culture of India to share with us as a family later. I like this idea very much and it makes the wait for you much more tolerable. In the meantime, we both hope that you are safe, healthy and well cared for.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Diwali Little One

Happy Diwali!  Tomorrow is India's most celebrated holy day.  Below is
the meaning of Diwali. Enjoy!

What is the meaning of Diwali or Deepawali?
Diwali comes from the language Sanskrit "Deepawali"-Deepa meaning
light, wali meaning row, hence row of lights. Or as otherwise known,
festival of lights. People will light 'diyas' or lights of oil, or oil
lamps. This is done by using a small brass plates or tiered plates as
a lamp and putting oil or ghee (clarified butter) in the plates and
putting wick and burning it.

What are some religious aspects of Diwali?
Diwali is celebrated differently in different parts of India,
traditions can span all over India. It is generalized that people in
South India usually take oil baths in the morning. Puja (prayer) in
South India is more associated with Goddess Laksmi, while in North
India Puja (prayer) is more associated with return of exile of the
reincarnation of God named Lord Ram.

How do people celebrate Diwali in India?
Diwali is the greatest festival. Firecrackers and candles are used.
The firecrackers begin a month in advance, and nearer to Diwali it is
not even possible to think or walk outside without them being burst.
The pujas (prayers) go on for a week or more, but due to modern times,
only one to two days is given for holiday for Diwali. Families and
friends share gifts and have nice meals on Diwali evening.

This message was sent from another adoptive family on one
of the email lists we subscribe to.

This morning, when your daddy woke up he said ,"I think about
our daughter all the time. What she is doing when she is halfway
around the world? I don't sleep in anymore, because
I know she will be getting us up early."

I hope that you are not frightened by the fireworks today. If you
are, I hope that you find comfort in the arms of one of the ayahs
that care for you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

An Anniversary of Sorts

So we've been on the list waiting for your referral for a full year and are now at #4. It is hard to believe sometimes that it has been that long. I guess the good news is that we have crested the hill of waiting and are on the downward side of the wait now. (I hope!)

The average wait from the time one's dossier is received until a referral is accepted is about 14 months right now. If that is true, we will be finding out about you for Christmas. What a wonderful gift that will be. It is times like this that we would like to say thank you to your birth mother for making such a selfless decision to give you a chance at a better life than she could offer. It is this outpouring of love that we hope you will come to appreciate and admire about someone whom you will probably never meet. You will be in her heart forever just as you have entered ours.

All of this also means that you are probably about 2 months old right now! That is amazing. You are just now discovering the world around you and have no idea that your forever family is waiting halfway around the globe waiting to discover you!

To remember this milestone I purchase you a small gift. Actually they are three books that were recommended by some of my Dillon adoptive mother friends that tell the story of international adoption. I'm sure we will read them together over and over again.

My friend Martha (who happens to adopted too) recently gave me a beautiful sari for your bedroom. She had purchased it at an Indian market in California and had packed it away for years waiting for the perfect opportunity to display it. When she found out about you, she thought you would enjoy it most. So this beautiful fuschia and mango beaded sari is now the sash across your bedroom window. Thank you Martha.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Baby Steps...Literally!

We just learned that we have moved up a few notches on the waiting list. I can't express the flood of emotions that come with this news. We are now at #5, and although we have a long way to go, Pat and I are feeling like we really might become a family. The excitment at times is overwhelming. We both are eager to start decorating your room and preparing for you, but are hesitant because we are aware of the long long wait ahead. We have calcutated and analyzed this "list" in every way possible searching for the best case and worst case scenarios, but it is totally out of our hands.

I have also become email pals with several other people adopting through Dillon. Everyone has advice and their own way of going about adjusting to the wait. Thats when this quote popped up from an Indian woman from one of the email lists I subscribe to. It goes like this...

Sunno sabki, karo apne manki

which literally means "Listen to everybody, do what your heart wants". Unfortunately, our hearts want us to come and get you right now!

By the way, you now have a baby jogger...in the box with the reciept taped on top :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Confucious Says...

I've been carrying these tattered fortunes in my wallet for the past few months. They are from a wonderful little restaurant called Mike's Mandarin Kitchen, where we hold our business meetings.

I decided to add them today because we are now officially in the top 10 on the waiting list! So maybe, just maybe, these fortunes will come true. The winter months have always been lucky for us, having been married on December 3rd...18 years this year! AND we are more than ready to hear pleasant news of a personal nature!

We also spurged for Impulse Buy #3! We own a baby jogger. Costco comes through once again. Slowly, but surely, there are signs that a baby may someday enter our home!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Shopping in the Baby Aisle!

Jynger, the director of the India program at Dillon, let us know that she was going to India. She was going to be meeting with Ms. Roy to go over the new adoption guidelines (like the new age requirements etc.). She mentioned that the orphanage was in need of some items if anyone would like to make a donation.

An excuse to shop in a baby aisle!! I was all over it. I picked up a few items on the list: crib sheets, plastic pants, and newborn nipples. Pat and I mailed off the items on Saturday and then headed down the street for a coffee at Art-n-Soul, one of our weekend hangouts. As we sipped our lattes, we were both day dreaming about you. Wouldn't it be neat if you got to use the items we sent? We imagined you laying on the mint green sheets or scooting around in the cute little pink flowered
plastic pants. I guess that is something we will never know, but it is fun to imagine it!

Jynger will be home (to Tulsa) on July 5th. I hope she brings good news for those of us awaiting a referral. I hope, I hope!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Baby Wellness 101

We were on the road at 5:30 am on June 10, 2006 headed toward Portland, Oregon for an International Adoption Baby Wellness class.(Grande Starbucks in hand!) Neither one of knew what to expect, but were anxious to gather information about babies in our attempt at being prepared. The class was sponsored by The Northwest Adoptive Familes Association and was being held at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a couple of NAFA members. They escorted us to a table full of anatomically correct baby dolls. Pat was instructed to pick out his daughter and then diaper and dress her. Before we knew what was happening, this infant was put into a front loading baby carrier and strapped to Pat's chest. "She is your responsibility for the rest of the day", we were told, "try out the restroom and caferteria with a front loader, you'll need the experience." Pat, bless his heart, was such a good sport!

The day consisted of videos, lectures, slides and even a live demonstration of proper bathing techniques taught by an RN that works in the NICU at the hospital. Our bathing model was a boy from Korea who had been with his forever family for just 2 weeks and who was cute as a button.

We learned all kinds of information and met some very nice people, including 30 parents-to-be, just like us...waiting. Meeting these people left a lasting impression on both of us. We realized that our story is not much different than other adoptive parents, although we were the only couple waiting for an Indian princess :)! There were a couple of families, in particular, who are waiting for children from Guatemala. Their story was heart wrenching...they have had their referrals since these children were days old and almost a year later, only have a picture to hold of a child that experiences new things everyday without them. I pray that we will not experience these kinds of delays.

The day concluded with an adoptive adult telling her story of adoption from her birth country–China. It was a moving story about growing up in a rural part of Idaho where no one looked like her. A wonderful way to leave the day...wondering about how you will see your new world...through your eyes!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cooking II

I've advanced! I just completed a hands-on class for Indian cooking. This time we learned how to prepare another curry dish, mango lassis, puri bread, samosas and a dessert. Again, all yummy. I hope that I learn to make a dish that we can serve for birthdays or special occassions. A new tradition!

Sumitra, the chef, took some time after the class to share with a few us the proper way to eat with one's fingers. She showed us to cup our fingers and use our thumb as a scoop to sort of shovel the food into your mouth without actually having to put your fingers IN your mouth. She also told us about how good Indian food tastes when eaten off of banana leaves!

I have so enjoyed learning about the Indian culture. I hope our daughter(s) enjoy it too. It is part of why we chose International Adoption; so we can learn about another culture together.

We have also started gathering some children's books about India, some in the Bengali language. I guess we better get crackin' starting to learn some of this stuff ;)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Impulse Buy #2?

Britax never goes on sale..but they did! It must be a sign. We bought our first important purchase. A carseat! Because of the age upset, we are a little leary of something happening wrong, so it sits in the box in the closet with the receipt taped to the top :)

I also joined the Dillon forum to try and keep up with what is going on with the other people who are on the waiting list. It is a good and bad thing. It is fun to listen to other people's adoption stories, but it makes waiting kinda hard...there are so many families in front of us. I am determined not to get bummed, but use this site as a tool for gathering information for when it becomes our turn. The pictures of all the dear little ones just makes your heart ache wondering if our little one is born and waiting for us to find her? All in good time...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Miracles DO Happen!

Well, I have turned 43 (April 2006) and last month Pat turned 42 (March 2006). Normally birthdays would be happy times with presents and cake, but not this year. We are now a combined 85 which means if our adoption does not go through before next March 2007 we will be too old.

Referrals have slowed and we fear that we are in trouble. I had contacted Jynger, the director of the India program at Dillon, and had been assurred that this issue was workable and that we should contact her again after the birthdays. I assumed that workable meant we would be moved up the list so that our adoption could be finished in plenty of time.

I was so excited to contact Jynger again...I knew this meant we would get some news about when we would be receiving our referral for a child. I was horribly wrong. The solutions offered, were to change country programs or take a chance that we would receive a referral before next March 2007! WOW! What a blow. Patrick and I were dumb founded.

Unfortunatley, Jynger was out of town for the whole next week at an adoption conference in Washington, DC. There was no one to talk to about this devastating news. We cried lots of tears and were so sad as we waited.

Jynger called me the Monday she returned. We discussed our options...there weren't many. To switch country programs would be like starting all over...plus, we had our hearts set on India. And at #11 on the list, taking a risk that a referral would come through for us before March 2007 was only setting us up for a heart break. She said she thought that there were some new guldelines coming from the Indian government about adoption requirements, but that she couldn't go public with them until she received the official word. "Could we please hold tight a couple of days?"

It was the longest couple of days of my life, but sooooo worth it. Jynger called back and told us that the Indian government had unexpectedly changed their requirements for the age of adopting parents. Out of the blue, the age requirement was changed from a combined 86 years to a combined 90 years! Miracles DO happen. We were so happy. Pat even did the happy dance. That night we celebrated with champagne and dinner out. The DEADLINE had been lifted. Waiting would be easy now.

In my heart of hearts, I have to believe that mom was up in heaven pulling strings for us! We were so blessed that day!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

India, India everywhere!!

Indian Cooking - I...I'll take it! It was a very interesting class. Sumitra, the chef, is from South India where the people are mostly vegetarian. She taught us how to make ghee rice, a curry dish, a salad and a sweetened rice dessert. It was all yummy, the smells are fabulous and best of all, all the recipes seem fairly easy to prepare. I love listening to Sumitra's voice and hearing her tell about India.

We rented Born into Brothels. This story is so moving and reminded us that every place has areas that are not so nice. The children in the film were beautiful and each of their stories was a song of hope.

Two Time magazines have featured stories on India and its thriving economy and technological advancements. Very interesting stuff.

We join Mark, Beth, Connor and Malini for an Indian buffet at a new restaurant. The kids love Mango Lassi drinks. Pat loves the Naan bread. I love it all!