Friday, August 29, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

(Scrap page graphic removed from post 10/14/08.)

Celebratory YAHOOs all around tonight for adopting friend Sara/Sofa. They waited 8 weeks to be approved for Milana Lee, and are getting ready to do their paperwork race to get everything notarized, authenticated, to TECO, and back to our agency ASAP. I made this scrap page for her when she told me about their referral. I love this photo of her little girl on the play phone!

Kevin spent tonight installing Hannah's new ceiling fan in the nursery while I celebrated adoption milestones with a couple of mamas on the phone. We're off to the lake for the weekend with family, hoping to savor the last juicy bits of the summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Today was a really tough day... until we got the update photos, of course! I had the day off. I didn't get much of anything accomplished. I just want to sit around in my pajamas all day and wait... wait for something to happen... wait for my life to start. I felt like this a lot right before we got our referral. Anyway, I had been thinking a lot about how much Hannah Claire must have grown and changed since we last had photos and an update. And just this morning I wrote a little letter to her... and look what happened! Poof! The update we've been longing for!

Kevin went to the dentist today and stopped at the mall. I can't believe that he came home with three little boxes of Robeez baby shoes. That's so unlike him. He doesn't buy himself shoes, much less go out and buy baby shoes. Very amusing.

Tonight I worked my worries into a headache and went to bed. About 9:30pm I hear Kevin yelling for me. "Sarah!!! Come here!" I got out of bed and stumbled in my sleepiness into the kitchen where my computer is. I knew by the sound of his voice, this was something very good, or something very bad.

Kevin has it set up that when we get an e-mail from the adoption agency, it makes a "tada!" like sound on my computer and Outlook automatically forwards a copy of the message to Kevin's computer as well. Obviously, we want to know we have these messages, right away! Haha! Opening the e-mail was a lot like opening our referral e-mail. What do you look at first? The text, or the pictures? We read the text first, and my sleepy mind tried to do the math. "Okay, 4.9kg times 2.2kg/pound is... uh... still an itty bitty baby." That's 10.78 pounds to be exact, but this is a weight on her from July 31st where she was 57cm (22.44 inches) long. That was several weeks ago. There were only two photos in this update. I was scared to open up the photos and hesitated. Kevin's like... "Hurry up and open it!" Too funny. Anyway... wow. She looks older, but she still looks like that girl that we know and love only through photos. Same little expressive eyebrows and upper lip. Her hair is getting longer. She's in an over sized light pink romper with snaps down the front. Yes, put my baby girl in pink! From the looks of the crib, she's moved out of the little baby room into the big baby room.

We forwarded the photos to the grandparents right away and called them on the phone to check their e-mail. Gotta take care of those grandparents. I'll bet by my parents already have photos printed out to take with them to work tomorrow to put on their desks.

In other happenings, Kevin is very excited to go on his first Canadian fishing expedition near Chapleau, Ontario, with my dad and THE GUYS, leaving next Friday. I'm glad that we got the updates now instead of while he's gone and out of reach by telephone.

letter to our little one

Little one,
It's been nine long weeks since we've had updates on how you're growing and learning new things. We long to have new photos of you and know how much you weigh now. I worry that you'll have changed so much in a little over two months that I won't recognize you. I'll bet you've learned to roll over, and I wonder if you're started teething already.
Sometimes I go into your room and lay down on the floor in front of your crib, wondering what it would be like to just lay there and listen to you sleep. We can't wait to have you home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

this post's gone to the dogs

This post is for Kerney that lives with Kathy, Jeff and baby Drew. Kerney commented on our blog tonight.Dear Sedona,
You have no idea how much your life is about to change. In a couple months, you're going to be just a dog.
Love, Kerney

Dear Kerney,
Tell me, are there any upsides to going having a baby in the house? Do babies from Taiwan share their food with you? Those surfboard rice crackers they like aren't half bad.
If any other canine readers out there have some tips on how to train the new baby to not pull tails and feed us rice crackers, I'd appreciate your help.
Lots of licks and love, Sedona the babydog

another freeze dried care package

Okay, okay. We're not really sending Hannah Claire beef jerky anything FREEZE DRIED in her care package. It's just that the food saver bags are coming in handy again to get all of her goodies to fit in the allotted one gallon sized bag. We've been putting things in food saver bags to suck all of the air out of the package to cram as much stuff as possible into one little bag.

I read somewhere that another parent thought the children where Hannah Claire lives could use some more toys. We found a flowered "Chime Garden" by Lamaze that looked like fun and just fits... barely... into a one gallon bag. When you press on a flower it lights up and make a sweet non-irritating chime sound. There's another setting that plays an entire song when you press on a flower. The flowers are bright colors with different crinkly, soft, and taggie textures. We also sent a teething rattle that looks like a flower with a mirror, a tube of diaper cream, and finished it off with some candies for the nannies.

Sedona pawed at the package wrapped in plastic tonight. She studied me with a confused look on her face. "I don't get it. Why would my mommy and daddy buy toys, seal them up in plastic, and not let me play with them?" Oh, babydog. Our lives are gonna change!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

finishing Hannah Claire's nursery

I came home from work one night this week and Kevin had put together the crib all by himself and set up the crib bedding. It was so sweet of him to go ahead and do this. Kevin and I set up the changing table and hutch this weekend. It felt so good to get into the closet and open up baby care items that I've been saving for so long. I have kept tags on baby care items and clothing "just in case" something went wrong.

You can click on any of the above pictures to get a closer look.

When Nancy, our artist, called me at work and told me about her plan to paint two blue birds on a branch near an empty nest, I got really teary eyed. Hopefully our nest won't be empty for very much longer. We're ready for you, sweet baby.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Video: Hannah Claire Gets a Plum Tree

The painting was finished today and Kevin brought the furniture home tonight. We're busy putting the furniture together, but had to share the video that we made tonight. It was Kevin's idea to set up our video camera to take 1 second of feed every minute for 7.5 hours, and then the it was sped up 4 times to make this video.

The plum blossom is the national flower of Taiwan. The blossoms are common subjects in Chinese art. They are beloved for their resilience and perseverance in face of adversity. Plum trees bloom most vibrantly during the winter after other plants have shed their leaves and before flowers appear.

Our child was a preemie, emerging unexpectedly nearly three months before she was due. She's faced a lot of challenges in her short life, and we're amazed by her already. We love you, sweet girl. It's been seven weeks since we've had pictures and updates on you. We worry about you. We pray that you're growing, learning new skils every week, and feel love all around you. Wo ai ni.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

rice crackers at our door: surprise package from Judy

Today we're home while the artist is painting Hannah Claire's plum blossom tree in the nursery. It's more beautiful than I could have imagined! Nancy is still working, and we'll post plenty of photos when she's finished.

The doorbell rang this afternoon with a delivery. What could it be? It's a package addressed to "Miss Hannah Claire!" I opened the box to discover the sweetest note from Judy and family and shed a few happy tears. The package contained a pretty pair of Robeez shoes, babylegs, a box of Baby Mum-Mum rice crackers, and Baby Bjorn bib that is especially good at catching up little William's high chair messes. I couldn't cry for very long, as Sedona wanted to check out those baby rice crackers Mommy has been reading about.

Sedona looooooooves the rice crackers. I videoed the experience, and she was so funny that I had to share it with you all. Thank you, Judy! When we started this adoption journey, I never imagined that we'd make such great connections with adopting families. We're truly blessed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the fortune cookie answers my most frequently asked question

If you can't read the graphic above, it reads "August 6, 2008: What's the question everyone keeps asking us? It's "when?" When does Hannah Claire come home? The answer is... we don't know. We just have to wait on the court system. It's hard to explain this to people that don't have any experience with international adoption. I hope this fortune cookie I opened tonight at dinner knows what its talking about!!!"

Today we received confirmation that our dossier documents were sent to St. Lucy's last Wednesday. Now everything is out of our hands and the agency's hands... and we wait. St. Lucy's will file our case into court in Taiwan, maybe even this week or next week. We've been told to not expect to hear much or even any news from St. Lucy's about our case until we get the call of a first ruling. No news is good news, in this waiting period.

The touch ups to the nursery painting are done. (Praise the Lord!) We went to Babies R Us tonight and ordered the crib and changing table set that we'd picked out oh... about 16 months ago! The furniture should arrive in 1-2 weeks. We took home a crib mattress tonight and I got a little teary eyed while Kevin put it in our vehicle. I'm still feeling very thankful... thankful that we're getting the opportunity to raise this little bug of baby girl that we love so much already. There's been many months of waiting where I really doubted this would ever happen. This side of the wait has been much easier... like a relief to me, but harder on Kevin has he's mind is a swimming with all of the stuff that goes along with becoming a full time stay at home parent.

Okay okay, enough with the sappy stuff. After heading out of Babies R Us we went to House of Hunan. I've been there once before with my friend Amy (You ready to have that baby yet, girlfriend?!!? It's T minus 9 days until THE DAY) after a Babies R Us trip. We had a great dinner... and their egg rolls are my favorite egg rolls I've ever had. Tonight the best part came with our almond cookies and fortune cookies after dinner. My fortune cookie told us that the current year will bring me much happiness. This year as been a pretty happy year already with Hannah Claire's referral, and hopefully this cookie knows what's it's talking about... and that this year will get even better with a "Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire" before the end of 2008.

P.S. I've heard your opinions regarding baby carriers, strollers, and drop down vs. stationery cribs. Any opinions on baby monitors?

Monday, August 4, 2008

otherwise occupied: painting the nursery

My mother called tonight for the Hannah Claire update. Well, there wasn't any update. No news to share. We've been busy at home with a little painting project. It will get much more interesting next week when we have an artist coming to paint Hannah Claire's nursery walls.

We've put on three coats of dark gray magnetic paint on one wall, two coats of primer on four walls, and two coats of beige color on the ceiling and four walls. Yup, that's a lot of paint. Sedona has been locked out of the "wet paint" room and she's not happy about it. She sits outside the door wanting to be with us while we are painting with an occasional whimper.

I don't know about you, but painting a room tests a marriage. I can't believe the huge amount of paint that has been spilled, splattered, and sprayed onto the floor. We do have a huge canvas tarp that covers most of the floor, but somehow paint managed to leak through it as well as splatter on parts that the tarp isn't covering. I've heard lots of four letter words over the last four days, and I don't think any of those words were GOOD, PRAY, EASY, or NICE. We bought a powered paint roller so we (that means Kevin) wouldn't have to go up and down a tall ladder over and over to fill up the roller. In theory, this was a great idea, and one can paint faster with a powered roller. In practice, two relatively inexperienced painters don't do well with a machine that leaks and splatters paint all over the place. There was also an incident where a hose was left on for over five hours, but we won't get into that. Let's just say that I'm very glad that we're all done except for a couple of touch ups that we can finish tomorrow night. Thank goodness we have a solid floor covering in the nursery and can wipe up paint spills easily. If there were carpet in that room, it would have to be replaced for sure.

I chickened out of painting the walls pink. I was fearful of a Pepto Bismol effect.