Sunday, August 22, 2010

"I can't believe we have a baby's room!" --Larry

This weekend Lar and I won the Craig's List Jackpot when we scored a crib, a tall dresser, and a short dresser/bookshelf hutch/changing table. We have been religiously checking Craig's List for a month (has it only been a month since we were matched with Abigail?!?!?!) and were never the first couple to respond to a set for sale.

But this time I played the "adoption card" and the seller called us back first! It is like being on your honeymoon and playing the "honeymoon card" at the airport, car-rental place, B&B, etc., only this time you are trying to get very different things for your life!

Our friend Betty bought the cutest crib bedding set for Abigail and after some help from our neighbor, we got everything set up and the crib bedding and bumper installed.

(Notice the one lone toy from our colleague Norma. It is a panda.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Going Public and LID

This past Friday we officially "went public" with our adoption. Since we thought this process would take another whole year, we hadn't told most of the people that we know about the adoption. So not only did we get to say "Hey, we are adopting" but also "We have a daughter already." This was pretty fun, since we are teachers and all of our colleagues asked "What did you do this summer" we got to reply "We adopted a beautiful baby girl from China!"

Also, we found out on Friday that our Log In Date (LID) is Thursday, August 12. But since our match day was Wednesday, July 21, I think that Log In Day was not as big of a deal for us as it usually is for some people. What we are eagerly waiting for is our letter that will allow us to travel to China and bring home our beautiful little girl with her penetrating onyx eyes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lar and I recently visited day cares to select one to care for our daughter when we return to work. (I must say that I already can't bear the thought or fathom the idea that we are going to take our precious little human and entrust her to strangers for 6 hours each day!)

Anyhow, we were incredibly impressed with the second daycare we saw. It smelled of clean and of baby and of content. A few babies were napping in their individual cribs. A worker was rocking another. A teacher was changing a bulletin board. It was soothing. We were impressed that they use baby signs to communicate and feel that is a good choice for our daughter who was born with a cleft lip and palate and may have speech problems.

As Larry and I exited the facility and walked to the car, I declared that it was so peaceful and wonderful there that I just wanted to quit my job teaching high school students and work there, holding babies all day.

Shocked (because I have never really liked babies and have never wanted to hold one), Larry turned to me and exclaimed "Who are you and what have you done with my wife!?!?!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Can you love someone before you meet her?

As Lar and I sat in our hotel room 2 weeks ago and looked at the tiny pictures of the girl who might be our daughter, I asked him "Are we supposed to feel something?" He said "I don't know."

Two weeks later, I get more excited by the day about her arrival. I feel so attached to her. I told Lar "I didn't know I could love someone so much without even knowing her." He admitted that he didn't think I could either, since I am not exactly the warm and fuzzy one in the family.

But I do. I love her so much already. I never thought I had a "maternal instinct" but apparently I do.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The beginning happened very fast

"We learn, not for school, but for life."

A little more than a year ago, full of spit and fire I decided to start a blog about eduction in America. I posted one entry, included one of my favorite quotes ("Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works."- Carl Sagan) and then I got distracted by another idea.

I decided that I did not feel the need to carry and give birth to a child, but that I wanted to raise a child. To educate a child (not home-school, but expose to many ideas and places in this world). My husband Larry and I spent 5 or 6 months researching all types of adoption. By January 2010, we decided to pursue a special needs adoption in China.

We were prepared to wait a year or two, save some more money, live it up as DINKs a while longer.

During the second week of July, while visiting my brother Jim in Virginia, Lar and I made a trip to the State Department and to the Chinese Embassy to finalize our dossier. Later that day, we missed a call from our agency, called back and left a message and figured if it was something important, they'd call back.

On July 18th, along with my Dad, Jim, and Steph (Jim's wife), Lar and I left for a week-long bicycle trip from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. On July 20th, our dossier arrived at our agency in Georgia. On July 21st, while eating pizza in a hotel room in Harper's Ferry, WV we got another call from our agency in Colorado wondering why we hadn't accepted the little girl with the cleft lip.

The rest of the evening is a blur of Dad, Jim, Steph, Lar and I passing around an ipod with her picture, calling doctors, and trying to keep the pizza down!

Could this big-eyed little girl be our daughter?
We were expecting a 2-year-old.
She was not quite 9-months.

In the two weeks since then, we accepted this child, CCAA "pre-approved" us, our dossier was sent for translation, and we began to buy baby furniture and rearrange our perfect, organized house!