Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good news/bad news

The Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs recently posted the following information on its web site:

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office in June 2005.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before May 13, 2005."

Our agency mailed our dossier on July 13, 2005, which means we were "logged in" in late July or early August. So the good news for us is that all the documents received in July should be in the "review room" now. That means we'll be hearing from the CCAA in the next few weeks if they need any clarification or more information on our documents. After that, the documents move to the "matching room," which is where officials will determine which specific child will be joining our family. So, for the next few weeks at least, no news is good news.

The other bit of good news is that after a bit of a slowdown in processing the adoptions, the CCAA sent out two batches of referrals in January. At the time we sent in our dossier, the CCAA was rather consistently referring children in 6 months. But the pace slowed a bit in November and December, when referrals were made less often and covered maybe two weeks' worth of dossiers at a time instead of a full month's worth. Two batches of referrals in January (with the last one covering three weeks' worth of dossiers) means it's picking up again, though, which is good news for all the waiting families. We rejoice as each child is matched with her family. And our match moves closer with each one! At this pace, we're hopeful of receiving our referral by the end of April, maybe even sooner. So that's great news!

The only bad news is that the CCAA is now shutting down for the Chinese New Year holiday, which means we won't have any more news for several weeks. But hard-working people deserve time off to celebrate with own families, and we're told that the referral pace often picks up a bit after the holiday, so maybe that's not such bad news after all.

Xin Nian Kuai Le ("Happy New Year"), everybody! The Year of the Dog in China is The Year of the Daughter in our household, and that's the best news of all.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Quilt news

Several people have asked lately if it's "too late" to donate fabric for the 100 Good Wishes Quilt. The answer is no! You still have time to contribute, and we hope you'll please, please do so! (See Oct. 15 entry for details on how to do it).

I put a new photo on our welcome page (EDITED -- I mean, right here!) to show you just a few of the fabric donations we've gotten in the last week -- you can see that the quilt will have many interesting colors and designs. In addition to the ones shown, we have received a Notre Dame jersey, the skirt to a Brownie uniform and some Star Wars fabric, just to name a few.

When you contribute, please send in a wish for the baby, too, so she can look through her scrapbook years from now and see who donated which piece. You can use your note to explain why you picked the fabric you did, if you want, or it can just contain a few words expressing hope for her future. If you go to the photo section(EDITED: right here), you'll see the letters from niece Candace and nephew Casey.

Organizing the quilt and working on the scrapbook keep me occupied while we're waiting for word of our referral. I'm touched by all the letters, and I just love seeing new donations come in. So if you haven't done your part, get busy! (I mean, "please give it thoughtful consideration.")

I was off work for two days last week while my dear friend Debi was in town helping me prepare for the baby in other ways (as well as bringing SIX PIECES of fabric, one representing each member of her family). We accomplished much while she was here -- check back in a few days for photos and news of the baby's room.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year!

In a month I'll be wishing you happy new year again when Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog) rolls around. Last year Lance, the kids and I all went to a local Chinese New Year celebration and had a blast. We had just turned in our application to adopt and had talked on the phone with the social worker who was to do our home study. Our first appointment was that very week. Lance and I bought sweatshirts for the Year of the Rooster, believing our daughter will likely be a Rooster, as is her big sister Lauren. We bought the kids beautiful silk jackets that they'll likely wear again this year. We want to make it a family tradition; next year we hope to go back with the little one.

The quilt squares have started rolling in, and we're really thrilled with them. I get so excited with each one! I know a lot of you are stressing about how to word your wish -- stop it! I'm not going to edit them, I promise! Your written wish can be as simple as a word or two and your signature. One friend drew a beautiful bouquet of flowers and wrote, "bloom!" Think of something you'd wish for our child and write it down, and please don't obsess about it so that it stops you from taking part in this wonderful project.

As the wait for a referral gets shorter, I'll try to update the site more frequently. I postponed this update for awhile because I was hoping to post a photo of Lance and the kids wearing their Christmas gifts -- sweatshirts with the Chinese characters for "Dad," "older sister" and "older brother." But of course I couldn't get them to wear them all on the same day until about the last day of their vacation -- and then I couldn't get them together for a photo. So maybe for Chinese New Year, huh?

Thanks for checking in, and we hope to have some exciting news before long!