cherry blossom baby

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 Join the joyous journey to my baby in China!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Here's Zhuo Zhuo!!!

Here she is!
Dong Zhuo Zhuo
DOB April 20, 2005
Yangdong SWI
Guangdong Province
Height 27.5 inches
Weight 18 lbs.
Moderate sleeper, shy and quiet, can be obstinate...does this sound like someone we know? She is close to her caretaker and other children in the orphanage. She was brought there the day after she was born.
Oh my gosh!! My baby!!

Note the red necklace in the top picture. My sister and I think she is saying

"Mommy where are you?" We have to get a smile on that face!!

The Stork Has Landed!!!!

Great Wall just emailed me that they have received my referral!!!! They will call me this afternoon with information and email me a PICTURE. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


It seems that today will be The Day!! My agency emailed me this a.m. and said that the CCAA seems to have changed their proceedures and did not notify them that referrals were being sent. They have confirmed that a package was sent from Beijing on Wednesday and should arrive today. They said that they usually recieve things after 12:00 p.m. (that's 10:00 a.m. my time) and that they will call all the families today.
Last night I took Tylenol PM so that I could sleep, and it worked. I feel great! I am going to try to do business as usual as much as possible today so that I don't flip out.

It so amazing that this day is finally here!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Blogger is blocked at my work so I couldn't see you all posting or any of your sites until I got home. Of course when RQ crashed she moved back to her old blogspot and I couldn't go there either. I am so grateful I can access Yahoo Groups from work! Sorry if you all thought I was hiding, this is all so unexpected today. I was very geared up for first week of September, but hey, this is much better!

What is Going On?

I went back to work today and was faithfully doing my referral watch, although it has been a barren wasteland. I came back from talking to my principal and Rumor Queen's site was down due to over 700 hits. Then I went to my DTC group and found that some referrals were coming in. I tried to phone my agency but it was 3:15 my time and 5:15 p.m. their time so they did not answer. I left a pleading message saying please don't leave us all hanging, but no response. My heart is guarded at the moment. Some are receiving their referrals, some aren't. Usually my agency sends a Stork Alert when they leave China but we've received nothing and it sounds like other agencies have been taken by surprise too. Thank goodness this is Thursday and we still have tomorrow to get information before the weekend.
OH MY GOODNESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is Abbey's bathroom before and I just didn't think that it was going to be fun with the sliding doors. Mick and Scott are friends from church who came and took out the doors. Scott let me know that carpet would not be a good idea with water being splashed out of the tub so they took it out and put in tile. I am so greatful for their help and I want to give a shout out to Caitlyn and Kim, their wives, for being so gracious in letting them help me. Kim came over and brought her baby Madison to play while Scott assembled my crib.

I just don't know what I would do without all the wonderful people in my church family.


Bath Time!
Abbey's bathroom is Hello Kitty. You may remember if you are a long time reader that I had to remove the shower doors and change the carpet to tile to get things ready for her.
The blue thing cushions your elbows as you lean over and it also has a little kneeling pad. It's from Kid Kusion. I also have a good non-slip mat I need to put down in the tub from Ultimat.
I am hoping that she's small enough to go in the kitchen sink at first. If not then I may need to get a baby bath but I wanted to see how big she is first. If any of you moms have words of wisdom about the options that are out there please let me know what worked for you. I know the best solution may be to get in the tub with her.
Now all we need is a baby and there will be bubbles and giggles.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Eight more days days to go! Very bad rumors today. I refuse to believe that the CCAA won't make it to my July 20 log in date this time. That's just seven days worth of referrals. So I am standing strong as the rumors fly.

More Fisher Price toys. This is the little Sonya Lee doll I got for Abbey. It's soft and very cute.

I found this little house at a garage sale for $3. It has lots of other pieces and accessories that aren't shown here. It was all in perfect condition.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Delurking - Yes, I am talking to you!

Okay, I have friends that tell me all the time that they read my blog but they don't know how to post a comment. Now is the time to learn so that when I get my referral you can join in on the rejoicing. It's really so easy. If you register all you need to do is set up a user name and password. There is no cost and there are not alot of steps or questions to answer, it's very simple. You don't give your address or personal info. You won't receive any spam. It just takes a minute. Come on, just try it. You can also post anonymously. The first step is clicking on the word "comments" below.

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Good News!

My agency has just let us know that there will be no delay with referrals due to CCAA officials vacations. They do not know the cut-off or mailing date yet.


Oh, yeah! We're in the single digits now! Nine! Glorious nine! May I remind you all that this is not an exact count down to the referral because we don't know the exact date. It is a countdown to the end of August because my agency had said it will be at the end of August/ beginning of September. But still, it is so exciting that it is getting so close.
This is my diaper bag which my mom gave me. It matches the stroller and is also made by Graco. It's a 3-in-one bag. You can use the pink and gray together or they snap apart

and you can use either alone. It has really cute accessories like bottle and wipes holders. I wanted this one so that I can hang it on the back of the stroller and everything will match.
Next we have some fake Bling. When I first saw the binkies with Swarovsky crystals I thought they were so girly and cute but I was
concerned about safety because they have warnings that the crystals can come off and they are really just for show. Now they've come out with these plastic knock-offs available at Target. They aren't as sparkly but they are totally safe and I think they are pretty cute. Also, they are $4 instead of $25. If she likes binkies I will be getting more.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Can you hear the click, click, click as we head up the last and biggest hill on the referral rollercoaster? The anticipation is definitely building for the July Dragonflies. I usually get excited and a little nervous before school starts, so this should be interesting with the two converging. I go back to start getting my classroom ready this week, teacher's meetings begin next Monday, and the children return next Wednesday. We should begin hearing about referrals by the end of this week and then they will probably start coming in the middle of everything else. It's such a wild ride!
I am so excited about this Hip Hammock. Martha, our school's speech therapist, got it for me. I feel that it is the right fit for my body and will be the most comfortable way for me to carry my baby. Since I began the adoption process a year and a half ago I began working out with weights to prepare for carrying her around China. At the same time I began uphill walks to get ready for

the Great Wall. Bring it on!

I don't have this Baby Sherpa backpack yet, I am considering buying it to celebrate my referral. I need a good pack for China and I am thrilled that Angel has informed me that we can take a carry-on and a backpack. That will help with packing so much. I like all the organizing pockets and features on this one. If any of you have personal knowledge or experience with the Sherpa's please let me know.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


They have always been a symbol of promise. God's light in the midst of a storm makes all the difference. It can turn our darkest hours into moments of great beauty. It can sound very hokey (that's a word, right?) but if you've experienced it like I have then you know just what I mean.

13 Month Anniversary

As of today my paperwork has been logged into China for 13 months. Since I told so many people that I would get my referral last January (at the time there was a 6 month turn around), I am not sure that everyone believes me now. But they do know I am happy and confident that I am getting a baby, so they just let me be.
Yesterday I had the priviledge of meeting with a friend who I met at the beginning of my journey. Laura and I attended an adoption seminar in February of 2005. I had been praying and considering adopting for two years. In December of 2004 I really began researching agencies and the minute I clicked on the website for Great Wall China Adoptions a little bell started ringing in my heart and I knew that this was the path that led to my daughter. Their singles slots had just been assigned for the next year. They had recieved 300 essay applications in November and had choosen 100 single ladies from that group. I decided to gear up for applying the next year and headed to this meeting. It was really pouring rain that day and the meeting was a long drive away. I remember thinking that I was really afraid to drive in the storm and then the thought hit me, "If you are thinking you can fly to China to get your baby then you can definitely drive through this rain!" After the meeting concluded both Laura and I stayed after and took turns meeting with one of the coordinators. It so happened that two of the singles choosen for the slots had to drop out of the process. If Laura and I faxed in our paperwork right away we would both be considered. Writing the check and signing the agreements was the scariest thing I have ever done. For 3 days I felt that I was jumping out of an airplane. I pressed through the fear and have never questioned my choices again. Laura also got a slot and we've been able to each drive 1/2 way and meet a couple of times (we live 1 hour and 45 minutes apart - if there is no traffic). It was really encouraging to see her again and reflect back over the past year and a half since we met. I so admire her and I am thrilled for her daughter who will be one very blessed little girl. The day we left that meeting the light broke through and I drove home with huge multiple rainbows in my view all along the way, it was awesome! I am so amazed still that I got that slot. It wouldn't have happened unless I went to that meeting, and at the time I thought there were no opennings available for another year. Sometimes we don't know what small key will open a huge doorway into our future.

More Twins Reunited

Although I am still skeptical about the DNA validity of these situations, I thought this was an amazing story and video clip about two girls found a week apart at the same spot and both named Mia by their adoptive parents. One of the moms had felt sure all along that there were twins. Watch the video and read the story here in today's Chicago Tribune.

11 Days!

Eleven days left in this looooooong month!
The garage sale went well yesterday. I am the type that sells everything for a quarter or I give it to people I can tell really want it. I just love to see people happy with my old stuff. The difficult thing was taking the left overs to the Salvation Army. Getting out of the car I hesistated for a second looking at a teacup in my box. The worker came running over yelling, "Oh no ma'am, you've come too far to turn back now! You got to let it go!" He was right. It's so easy on Clean House to see that these people need to get rid of stuff, but we all think are own things are so good. I start remembering how much it cost or who gave it to me. I have to tell people at the garage sale what the original price was. The good thing is that my garage is well on it's way to beening very clean and organized, which feels so good.

This is Abbey's Fisher Price Farm. I bought it on clearance 1/2 price at Target and I am thinking I will give it to her for Christmas. In the little accessory set below note the asian Sonya Lee doll. I am so happy that FP has made her the star of their Little People line.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

12 Days!

Does anyone know of a song for the 12 Days of Referral? I feel like there should be one. Maybe I should buy a gift each day too. So exciting!!!

This is Abbey's accessories drawer with her tights, headbands, sunglasses, and a few hair doo-dads.

Dresser Drawers

Abbey's dresser has all her cotton jammies, t-shirts, etc. I am noticing a lot of pink and red in the bottom drawer although the middle one seems to have a little more variety.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Wow! Thirteen days to go. All of the sudden it doesn't seem real again. This is such a walk of faith. No baby bump, Dr.'s appts, or tummy kicks...just faith that a baby truly is on the way.

There has been a lot of talk on with the July Dragonflies recently about baby gear. Here are some items I recieved as gifts and I am thrilled about!

The Britax Marathon car seat. It's gray and my car is silver with gray leather so it's perfect.

And this is the Graco Lindsey Metrolite stroller. I love the pink gingham. I am still wondering if I need a jogger stroller as well but I am going to see how I do with this one first.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Toy Time

Fourteen days = two weeks! We are definitely in the second half of the month. Thank you to all of you who have been posting and following along, it's encouraging to know that others are excited too.
A girl cannot live by cute clothes alone, she needs some good toys too. I love this Fisher Price Learning Piggy Bank. The side of the pig flips open to get the coins back out. This will be great for counting, colors, fine motor skills. Lenora got this for her.

This is her Fisher Price Little People Car. There is a baby that goes in the backseat. I love Fisher Price toys!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Halfway There

Today is August 16 and since there are 31 days we are now turning the corner and are halfway there.

Here are a couple of books I have to share Chinese New Year with Abbey. This one is by Karen Katz and it goes through some of the basic traditions at a preschool level. I love the bright collage illustrations.

Chopsticks, by Jon Berkeley, is a very cute tale about a mouse at a restaurant in Hong Kong. On CNY, in the light of the moon, a carved wooden dragon comes to life and flies Chopsticks on his back over the city landscapes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Jade Braclet

Here's the jade braclet from Lisa for Abbey. While I was out walking the other day I met a Chinese lady who had a yellow jade braclet. It was very unusual and interesting. She said that she is passing all her jade down to her daughters. I don't usually wear jewelry but I have to say that jade has a very special feeling when you wear it. It's cool and smooth and strong. It really does feel good to have it on.

Forever Family Day Gifts

  • Hopefully about 16 more days until referral. I have to say after yesterday's post I felt a little bad because I really was okay, but people got concerned about me and I recieved emails that people were praying for me and even an offer to be taken out to lunch. I really am fine. I was almost laughing all day yesterday because so much has happened in the realm of delays that it is hard to wrap my mind around. I was told the vacations may not affect us and if they do it will just push things into the beginning of September.
    There is a tradition of buying gifts in China and giving one each year to your daughter on your Family Day anniversary to honor her birth culture. Most people shop for 18 of these to last through their daughter's childhood. I only need 16 because two have already been given to me. At my shower my friend Teresa gave me this lovely tea set from Beijing. And then my friend Lisa gave me a jade braclet. She had been given two from her family in Taiwan and was so kind to give one of them to me for Abbey. The following is my list of suggested items for the other 16 gifts. If you have other ideas please post them.
    name chop
    silk umbrella
    squeaky shoes
    silk blanket
    calligraphy of child's name
    province specific items
    artwork - drawing, painting, tapestry
    painted glass
    silk photo album
    traditional clothing
    silk kite
    music CD's
    granite etching

Monday, August 14, 2006


I have just recieved word that the CCAA officials will be taking some vacation time this week and next and that this MAY cause a slight delay in the arrival of referrals.


I cannot believe this. They are saying that they may now come early in September instead of the end of August.
That is all I can say at the moment.

Lots to do!

Seventeen days until the end of the month! We are in a dearth of rumors. It's dead silent out there. Hopefully we will begin to hear some inklings soon because so many people are on the edge of their seats, especially those with LID's the last few days of July. Waiting is hard, but the uncertainty of knowing if you are included and when they are coming out is harder.

My theme for this summer was "Prepare Her Room". I did do a lot but I still have a way to go. The biggest part left is adding some butterfly wallies and touches of paint to make it look like they are flying. I haven't found any artwork yet and may look in China for some peasant art. I still need a clock, lamp, and music source. But I am so focussed on all the cleaning and purging that this will have to happen later.

These little dragonfly moccasins are from Naartjie. So far they are my favorite store for children's clothing. Their prices are very good to begin with, but their sales just make for incredible deals. Everything is comfortable cotton with lots of embellishments and matching accessories. They are a little funky and unusual. You can layer all the skirts and leggings and add matching headbands and purses. They need to come out with an adult line. Click on the photo gallery down at the bottom right of their homepage. Their quality level is lower than the fancy lines, its more comparable to Target.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

18 Days!

I have such mixed feelings as August creeps by. On the one hand I am counting the days until I get my referral, on the other I am watching the end of summer break slip past me. There is so much I still want to accomplish. Last night I went out to the garage to get some dryer softener sheets and ended up spending hours out there starting to clean the whole thing out. Somehow that had kept falling to the bottom of my summer "to do" list. You know how a big cleaning project can get worse before it gets better? Well trust me, it's worse! I do not know how or why I have a accumulated all this stuff. It is out of control! The Christmas section expecially. I am definitely in purge mode. It could be because leading up to going out to the garage I had been watching Clean House. I love that show and I just want to yell to people agonizing over their junk, "Let it go!" Well now I am saying that to myself. There are so many things that I save because I might need them. Do you save boxes that things come in case they ever need to be returned or because you might resell them? I save all these boxes but I never resell things, I always just give them away. Well, stuff has got to go. Goodbye to my old life, hello parenting!

Angel, here is the dollhouse bookshelf now in Abbey's room. These are only her board books, and she has more in baskets downstairs. I'm not getting out any regular books until she's older. At some point I will show the whole room, but I still need to do the wall art.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Prizes and Favors

These little pots were the game prizes. Rebeccan and Marci stamped the flowers on them. Everyone got to pick flower pens to play the games with and take home as favors. We played one unique game. There was an envelope with a little rhyme on it giving instructions on it as to who was to recieve it next. Some of the rhymes included giving it to the person with red nails, the most buttons on, the most recently married, etc. That person would open it and inside there would be a smaller envelope with another instruction. It finally got down to a tiny envelope with a little strip of instructions and that person won the prize. That was fun.

Food Design Team

Kim, Tania, and Caitlin did a wonderful job with the yummy food. One idea was so cute I just had to share. See the little cups? Those are layers of yogurt and granola with little raspberries and blackberries on top. They were so cute! I am saving that idea for future parties, it's a great little healthy treat.

Amanda's Shower

This is my friend Amanda. She teaches first grade next door to me. I love it because she can always find important papers, like notes to parents and master copies, when I can' I just call her or run next door. If someone is acting naughty, we just send them to each other's classrooms. It's great. Anyway, we also are in the same small group at church and so we share so much of our lives with each other. It's been fun to have someone as excited to talk about baby things as I am. Amanda's baby is due at the end of September so we both hope to start the school year and then be off for a few months with our daughters.

Amanda likes gerbera daisies so that was our theme. It was so fun to have so many people that love her there to pray for her and shower her with gifts!