Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Since there's nothing more to say about the timing before THE CALL, let's review the timeline of events after THE CALL:
- We get THE CALL. No warning from our agency. No "stay by your phone on Friday just in case..." Nothing. There is much joy and excitement, and possibly screaming (yes, I've warned everyone at work), and we'll get a few tidbits of information about the baby, including name, birthdate, weight/height, province, the name of the SWI (if in an orphanage) or info about the foster family. We'll start making calls to close family members (and maybe post a very quick update here).
- We drop everything and head into our agency for the referral appointment to review all of the info the agency has on the baby. This is usually later in the day, which gives the agency time to translate everything. We've already told EJ that we'll come pull her out of school so she can go along. Perhaps we'll celebrate with some Chinese food that night! We'll also get 2-3 photos.
- Within a few days after the referral, we need to send a care package to the baby's orphanage, complete our visa applications, set up a pediatrician appointment to have them review the medical information on the child, and do a travel form with all the details for everyone traveling (passports, IDs, etc.).
- About five days after referral, acceptance letters are returned to China. This gives you time to have your pediatrician review the file. Also, we should get updated photos and measurements on the baby around this time.
- Now you start waiting for your travel authorization, which takes about three to four weeks to arrive. During that time, we need to consult with the travel clinic to see if we need additional shots based on the province we will be traveling to at that time of year. We've already had Hep A/B, but typing this just reminded me that I need a tetanus shot! We'll also meet with our pediatrician to have her write some prescriptions for antibiotics for the baby, just in case we need them while we're there...
- About four weeks after referral, the travel authorization (TA) will arrive. This is the approval to travel to China. After the agency gets the TAs for everyone in our group, they request visa appointments (for the babies) with the American Consulate's office in Guangzhou (near Hong Kong). You can't get the appointments without the TAs. The consulate's office usually confirms the appointments within two days.
- Once the visa appointments are set, the agency can make court and notary arrangements with the provincial officials. And THEN, they can book your flights. While you know that you will generally be leaving for China 5-8 weeks after referral, you don't get your actual departure date until 10-15 days before you leave.
...and answered all of the judge's questions:
All of the kids received a certificate for one of 10 categories. EJ received hers in the Post-It Note category for "an invention that we didn't think we needed but wouldn't want to be without."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
First, from Mom and Dad H, are these two embroidered squares. The first one is an adorable panda. If we go to Beijing a day early, perhaps we'll get to the zoo there to see some!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Just think about it. Think about how many different ways some words get used. And then think about how words get used interchangeably in different disciplines. For example, in clinical research, you might refer to a participant as a "patient" or as a "subject". Just think about other uses for those two words alone, such as "be patient..." or "the subject of my thesis..."
Anyway, my friend E at work sent me this link to an interesting article about how the Chinese government plans to clean up translations in Beijing before the 2008 Olympics. I'll have to be on the lookout for some funny "lost in translation" moments when I travel...
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Of course, they make really cute stuff for bigger girls too. Check out these cool tennis shoes that EJ got the other day!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Today, however, is the OTHER obscure holiday with a sports connection. Yes, today was Truck Day in Boston. There was a big story about it on Boston.com, complete with about 30 photos. Here's one of them, featuring THE TRUCK.
Again, for those of you outside of Boston, I'll explain. Today was the day that the moving truck got loaded with equipment and left Fenway Park for Fort Myers, FL for Red Sox spring training camp. That's right, we can't wait until Opening Day to celebrate (only 49 more days)! We can't wait for the first spring training game. Heck, we can't even wait until Friday when the pitchers and catchers have to report. We want to start the season TODAY!!!
Apparently, our new $100 million dollar man, Daisuke Matsuzaka, arrived in Florida today. His entire trip was chronicled by tons of media. He flew to Tampa, got into a car to drive to Ft. Myers, etc. No detail too small to report to a starving and deprived Red Sox Nation. Let's hope he's worth all that money. Just imagine what a season we could have if the rotation (Schilling, Papelbon, Wakefield, Beckett, and Matsuzaka) stays healthy...
Sunday, February 11, 2007
We've become quite addicted over the last five years or so, which of course peaked in October 2004 when they won the World Series after 86 years. We were at Disney World when it happened, and we got to see Curt Schilling in the parade at Magic Kingdom the next day.
EJ's still a little upset that her favorite player, Johnny Damon, is now a Yankee. She can't figure out why the Yankees have rules that forced him to cut his long hair!
Anyway, this quilt can't have Patriots and Steelers fabric and no Red Sox fabric!!! So, here's another square to add. Apparently, Red Sox frenzy has infested even the crafter's world, as most Red Sox cotton fabric is out of print or very hard to find. A recent auction on eBay for 2.25 yards of it went for more than $100!!! My friend BH (see previous post) suggested I buy a bandana, which gives me just enough for a square!
Here are their contributions to the quilt. First, this cute cat and dog print. E always loves playing with their pets when we're at their house!
Next, in honor of their vacation home in Maine, lighthouses and sailboats. Yes, it always nice to have friends with a vacation home (and a boat to go with it) in Maine! Did I mention it's waterfront and on an island?!?! They were kind enough to invite us up for a weekend last summer and we had a great time!
Next (to compete with my dad's Corvette fabric) is this car fabric. Gee, I have no idea what kind of car this is, but I know that D has one of these cars that he's been working to rebuild. D, if you read this, maybe you can add a comment about what kind of car it is?!?!
And finally, this one of a kind square! Daughter S has a friend who helped out with the calligraphy on this one. It says "Child of God" in Chinese. Very special! Thank you all so much! How do you feel about having a baby in Maine later this summer?!?! :)
Friday, February 9, 2007
Some of them are as small as quarter-diameter marbles. Some were larger than softballs. And a few approached the size of a basketball. They are truly stunning and no two are alike. It was fascinating to learn how he even makes the little threads of glass that make their way into his planets.
Someone posed the question last night about traveling to Beijing a day early. This is something that K and I talked about a while ago. It gets you an extra day of sightseeing, as well as one extra day to recuperate from the jet lag before getting a potentially cranky baby handed over to you! The downside of this plan is that you don't travel with your group, which we think is an important thing to do.
Anyway, a few of us in the newsgroup mentioned that we might be interested, so I emailed the agency today just to get an idea of the extra cost, which it turns out, may only be about $100-$150 per person. So, I think this is something that we would seriously consider. There was another CAWLI family that traveled early last summer and they spent the time at a silk factory and at the Beijing zoo.
According to the travel packet we received earlier this week, you only get about two hours at this location, so that means I have about 40 minutes to get to the top, 40 minutes to recuperate, and 40 minutes to get back down. Hmmm...thus far, I've only been training on level 4 (of 20) for about 20 minutes at the gym. Time to kick up the training a bit...
Here are a few photos from last year's party. It's absolutely enormous - 1800 people (include 700 beautiful children, almost all dressed in their Chinese silk dresses).
K and I will be going to EJ's 2nd grade classroom on Tuesday to do a program on Chinese New Year. We have a book to read and a lantern craft to make with them. We'll show them a map of China and point out the places we'll be visiting. And we're taking oranges with us for snacks (a traditional CNY treat - notice the lion eating them in the photos above). I'll try to post some pictures.
And finally, I picked up these stamps at the post office a week ago. I think I'm going to have to go back for more, since I can stock up and use them for the adoption announcements! Aren't they cool? There is one for each animal in the Chinese zodiac.
Here are the few fabrics I've received over the past few days. First up is a square from F. and R. C. at FLC. Thank you very much!
Next up is more FLC fabric - from the U. family! Mom C sent this cute print along with this note: "...the pattern, Memoirs from China, might be just the right square to complete Baby H's quilt. May it serve as a reminder that her roots will always be an integral part of who she is as her past becomes woven into her future." If memory serves me correctly, C also took the Quilt in a Day class many years ago. She and I also had fun last winter at the FLC cooking club. Thanks to Dad M, Mom C, and daughters S and R (both of these names are on our list of potential names!)
And finally, remember a few weeks ago when my aunt sent a square that had been from something of my grandmother's? Well, that got me wondering whether I had anything of my mother's that could be included in the quilt, but I don't think I have anything made of fabric that I am willing to cut up! I called my dad, who dug into the cedar chest in storage and found a few more things that I'm not willing to cut up!!! Well, not quite. He found a baby outfit of mine (he believes I wore it the first time they took me out after I was born) and a hand-embroidered dresser scarf that he thinks she made. One thing he did find that I think will make its way into the quilt is this fabric, which was from some curtains in the house. Thanks, Dad, for sending all of this to me!!!