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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Shower #2

The Communications Group at Len's work had planned a surprise baby shower for the end of January but alas, Miss Kate decided to come early and the shower was postponed.  Today was the day.  Kate was a bit out-of-sorts as we had to wake her early from her nap and then feed her during the shower but overall she was a trooper and charmed everyone with the giant cabbage flower on her forehead.

What did my hands do before they held you?

Sylvia Plath said it so well...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where will you be in three years?

Three years ago we received our log-in date for our China paperwork.  For those not-in-the-know, that just means that our dossier was received by the Chinese agency responsible for international adoption.  And then it was probably put into a large pile of other dossiers where it has since yellowed, gathered dust and become remarkably out-of-date.

Btw, the homestudy agency listed in the previous link is not the one I have been wrangling with since we moved to Chicago.  Forever Families was awesome and if you live in VA I highly recommend them

If you had asked me then where we would be in three years I would have said

We'll certainly have gone to China and adopted our beautiful little girl and I will probably have quit my job to stay home with her for a while.  The infertility treatments will have worked and we'll also give our China-girl a sibling.  They can share a room for a while in our little Cape Cod in Falls Church with our dog and our cat and our friends close by.

Sounds nice doesn't it?  So much for seeing into the future.  In that time we have had 2 miscarriages, given up on trying to get pregnant anymore, our dog and our cat died, we moved to another state, Len has changed jobs, I have quit my job and we've miraculously had a baby.  Huge life changes and I only predicted one of those items.  Not at all what I would have guessed had you asked me where we would be in three years.

So.  Will we have a China-sister for Kate in three more years?  I think I have shown that I'm not good at telling what the future holds so I'll just say

I really, really hope so.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday fun while Daddy worked--blech!

Len does not often have to work weekends or even very late most weekdays so I really can't complain too much.  But let me say that this has been one long-ass week that will not end until Friday when Len has the day off. 

Here's how we spent a minute or so of Sunday:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good riddance

Guess what came in the mail yesterday?  (you can click on the picture to make it bigger)

So I emailed our caseworker and told her we would not be renewing any of our Nepal paperwork.  That felt good.  Real good.  Not because I'm thrilled to have given up on Nepal but because, seriously, look at that list of documents for update!!

Reason #2 is that we didn't like working with that homestudy agency as noted many times last year, including in this post.  When (and if) we need to re-do our China paperwork, we will be looking for another agency.

Any adoptive families out there have any suggestions for a great, ORGANIZED, homestudy agency that is familiar with China's requirements in the Chicago area?  Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The devasting effect of infertility (and the good that has come from one woman's tragedy)

Although we are no longer eligible to pursue adoption in Nepal, I find myself still drawn to the country and the children that are left behind, who are caught up in the on-going battle that is international adoption.  Having lived through infertility, both my own and with too many friends to count, I know the effects of wanting something you cannot have and its devastating and profound impact on your life.  One of the blogs that I have followed for quite some time is Philip Holmes (his link is on my blog roll to the right although he hasn't posted in quite some time).  His wife committed suicide at 43 when she realized she would never bear her own children.  Philip set up a trust in Nepal and is now actively working there, saving children from being trafficked and providing them with a home and an education.  His wife's tragedy has led to many children having a future.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Designer Itch

As much as I love being home with Kate, there is a part of me that really misses working and designing spaces.  So I have to take it out on our house, albeit much more slowly since I'm spending our money and not someone else's!  And in truth, it's just decorating instead of designing, gutting and re-doing kitchens and baths but hey, it keeps me out of trouble. 

After a year living here I have finally finished our bedroom and the guest room.  This is the Master Bedroom.  Kate's bassinet is in here for the moment.  The nudes are pieces that I did while at LSU. 
If you guessed that the leg lamp is from A Christmas Story, kudos to you.  It is Len's favorite movie of all time so I got him this for his birthday.  It used to live in our front window in the computer room when we lived in DC.  There really isn't a good place in our front window now so it has been relegated to our room.

Len installed a closet system.  It didn't take long to fill all the space.  And yes, that is a carjack on the floor--I think it makes a great door stop. 
This is the guest room.  I finally got the re-framed crochet pieces from Len's grandma hung.  Who's next to stay in this lovely room?  So far we've got Spiff and Paul coming the first week in June and we hope there will be more of you soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We almost missed it!

Our normal morning routine is for me to feed Kate in our bed while Len showers and gets dressed for work.  Then he takes Kate, changes her diaper and plays with her on her mat while I get ready for the day.  At some point, if Kate is content, we leave her on the mat while we make and eat breakfast.  During one of my periodic checks on her in-between bites of cereal I noticed that she had one of her toys in her hand and was bringing it up to her mouth.  This is the first time I've ever seen her actually reach for and grab a toy, much less do a taste test on it!  So, we're very excited here as you can imagine.  Another milestone--another photo opportunity.

I was a little excited so the picture is a tad blurry and dark.

Once I calmed down, we got some better shots.
She looks like she was caught in a compromising situation doesn't she?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Yia Yia and Pappou

Kate's Yia Yia and Pappou were here visiting from DC.  They were celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary (yay!) and chose to spend a good portion of it with us!

Katherine was Len's English professor back at UCF many, many (too many to count) years ago.  We all ended up living in DC 13 years ago and reconnected.  Katherine organized a trip to her native Greece in 2006 and we were fortunate enough to be on that trip (along with my mom).

Here's a picture of our group of intrepid travelers on our last evening in Athens.  Greta and George were also along for the fun.
I happened to be 9 weeks pregnant on that trip...
Fortunately, this pregnancy (and Kate!) decided to stick with it so that Katherine and Don could be her Yia Yia and Pappou and spend the weekend cooing over her!
When we weren't oohing and ahhing over Kate, we managed to make a huge pot of dolmades, a roasted chicken and some roasted veggies for dinner. Here we are doing what we both love...cooking together!
I just noticed in a few of these pics that Katherine looks remarkably like my mom!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unicef and Haiti

For quite some time, the Nepal adoption groups have been up-in-arms over Unicef's "mission".  Do they really have the best interests of orphans in mind?  There have been accusations for years from PAPs indicating Unicef's anti-adoption policy and the recent massive slow-down in adoptions from Nepal stemmed in part from a report by Unicef.  

Now it seems that some light is being cast onto the situation because of Haiti.  Here is an article printed both on MSNBC and the Washington Times.

Yes, it is always best for a child to be raised by her biological family  Second best would be an adoptive family in her country of origin but if all of that fails, a family ANYWHERE is preferable to an orphanage just so you can remain in your native culture.  Unicef seems not to agree.

Russia suspends all adoptions to the US

I'm sure no one is surprised by this article.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A busy weekend

This weekend was a busy one. First we went to an infant massage class which Kate LOVED! The tummy massage was her favorite (and was followed that afternoon by a very full diaper so I guess we loosened some things up).
 That afternoon, Julie and her sisters-in-law visited us.  They were in town for the Oprah show.  This is Julie's blog--she graduated from high school with Len and has an adorable daughter from China.
Sunday morning started out lovely.  While I fed Kate, Len made pancakes, bacon and coffee and then brought it to me in bed while Kate napped next to me.

And after lunch we smiled some more at the boob light in the ceiling. It was a full weekend.

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