Now that our expected 6-to-7-month wait for a referral has doubled, I'm in an unfamiliar position: I've nearly run out of items to check off on my to-do list! So I started a new list of the things I’ve been doing to prepare. I hope you’ll offer some suggestions, too:
1) Carrying the cat around the house in my new baby carrier.
2) Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Washed down with Diet Coke.
3) Scheduling big events several months out in the hope that it'll cause our referral to come faster. If I pay $130 for theater tickets, I’ll be heading to China by then, right?
4) Taking Lauren to see "Wicked." Two weeks ago.
5) Looking up the lyrics to sappy love songs that I think could be the sound track for our adoption video, and then humming them incessantly (current favorite: "I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You.")
6) Sudoku. I've worked so many puzzles that I ended up winning the $50 first prize in a contest for Tribune employees. (Tomorrow, the world!).
7) Putting pieces of quilt squares in a scrapbook with the beautiful notes you've written our daughter (HINT HINT to some of you).
8) Pondering important life questions such as "why do babies need special wash cloths?"
9) Retail therapy -- No matter what season she comes home, she’ll wear onesies, right? So how could I resist the two that say (in Chinese characters) "I love Daddy," and "I love Mommy?"
10) Stashing reading glasses in key spots around the house so if she needs medication in the middle of the night I'll be able to read the labels.
11) Staring at kids at Target (particularly Asian babies).
12) Editing stories at work and then vowing she'll never go on the internet, she can't get a driver's license until she's 21, and no boys will be allowed within a 10-mile radius of our house.
13) Full-size highchair vs. portable booster seat: Discuss.
14) Organizing a mid-July picnic with the other members of our Sunny Ridge July dossier group (see item #3).
15) E-mailing new friends around the country who understand the following acronyms: DTC, LID, CCAA, TA. Oh, and PITA.
16) Writing thank-you notes for quilt squares on my beautiful red "xie xie" notes (Haven't gotten yours yet? Send in your quilt square!)
17) Buying baby nail clippers that have an attached magnifier (see item #10).
18) Practicing reading out loud the kids' books I have bought -- especially the ones on adoption -- without breaking down (I dare you to get through "Mommy Far, Mommy Near." I haven’t yet).
19) Figuring out how many diapers $50 will buy (see item #6)
20) Taking long baths. Sleeping. Sitting in a spotless, quiet house and realizing it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.