Monday, February 26, 2007

Shedding some light on how the process goes...and goes...and goes....

Basically, the process goes like make the decision to adopt, you apply to an agency, you have your life examined in detail, you get approval from the agency,you apply to Homeland Security to approve you, you submit your paperwork to China to approve you, you get a referral and then you go to China to pick up your child. Amazing that this 2+ year process can be summarized in 4 lines! In the meantime you begin to grow as a person, a partner and prepare to become a parent. Wow! The whole time keeping your eye and your heart on the beautiful, imagined face of your darling, praying that it will be smooth and quick and will really happen. The part about really happening is the part that tests your beliefs, causing you to reach deeper within yourself for the sweet core of peace, faith and more faith.
When our paperwork went to China we were assigned a Log-In Date. Ours is February 16,2006. Your life begins to revolve around that date. Every month or so, the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs processes matches between dossiers(and the people who they are about) and children ready for adoption. They send the match, now called a referral, to the agencies, who notify the waiting families. Once you have your referral, you accept it or not, you wait for consulate appointments, travel approval, visa approvals until you finally get to travel to China. Once you arrive, you are introduced to your new family member and you now begin your life together. Families stay in China approximately 10 days while paperwork is finalized.
China has processed dossiers with log in dates through Oct. 13,2005 so far and everyone in the adoption community is anxiously waiting for the next group of matches/referrals. This will probably be within the next couple of days to a week. Based on how many matches they are doing per month, we are expecting our referral sometime between August and October. If you'd like to visit the Chinese Adoption website, the address is On the right hand side of the home page you will see document processing. The bottom portion is the one that states how far along they have gotten in the matching process. So far, they are updating these monthly as they go. Some rumors are that they may stop updating, but for now we can follow along with their process.
I hope this clarifies the process a bit and helps you to follow along with us. At this point, Lily has probably been born. We don't know anything about who she is or how old she is or where she is. We imagine her safe and warm and loved. We haven't been matched with her yet. At least not on paper. She is a strong belief right now. We believe we are progressing through the process at the speed that is perfect for all of us. We feel connected to her.
Thanks for sharing our journey with us.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Upon Your Breath, Lilyana O ...Part I

We are now only months, rather than years, from a life-changing trek to China to bring home our daughter (!), Lilyana. We have waited longer now than we have yet to wait. We finally feel we have caught the growing swell of a wave, are gaining momentum, no longer treading water...on a tide borne of the new moon of this Year of the Glowing Pig; a tide that will deliver us across the great Pacific and lap us gently upon ancient shores where family, now unknown to us, await us. The image is still too incredible to wrap our minds around entirely. A miracle that we ourselves have willed into being; or, more humbly and accurately, have nurtured to fruit.

This comforting momentum allows us now to breathe and reflect on the path we have already journeyed, a perspective we more seldom allowed ourselves so many months now past, for fear of building expectations too weighty to bear for the long haul we had ahead.

Nearly ten years have passed already since Susan and I first knew our love for each other had grown into a life promise. Through the formative months and years of our relationship we certainly talked around the issue of having children, but were content enjoying the discovery and shaping of our life as couple. I recall a time when we gently closed the door on the room that contained that conversation -- about bringing a child into our lives. We were independently and mutually resolved that, perhaps, the opportunity to be parents had simply passed us by, as we settled into the image of our family as two. We settled on this image consciously -- we didn't simply stop talking about the alternative. The act of closing the door made the discomfort of letting go (of the hope of parenthood) less acute, made the pain more manageable.

Susan's latent desire to be a mother had always appeared stronger than mine to be a father. I certainly experienced occasional pangs, usually when spending time with my brother's or sister's children. Those whiffs of fatherness, however, never seemed to last long enough to cause the family room door to reopen. However, I did peer through the keyhole from time to time; and I sometimes wondered if my apparent ambivalence about being a father had contributed to Susan sealing the door to her own longing. I decided to wait for a sure and deliberate
breeze to blow open the door, but it never came.

Until a warm zephyr (from the East, no doubt) alighted February 14th, 2004...

(to be continued)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Forward the Cause...Purchase a necklace

This necklace has been created by artist, Maya Madden, of Spring Green. It is a inspired by a Chinese woodprint of a Crane. Cranes symbolize long life, motherhood and grace. The necklace is silver and contains many beautiful details, such as the hand made clasp. Maya has agreed to allow us to sell them to help fund our orphanage contribution for Lily's adoption. (All proceeds from the sale of the necklace's will be earmarked for the contribution we are making to Lily's orphanage.) What's even more awesome is that any profit she makes will be helping to fund her son and daughter-in-law's adoption,too. Please order yours today. The price is $39.50, plus shipping(2.00). Think about ordering several or asking friends and having them shipped together. Email me at to order. They are so beautiful and will help bring you long life!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bai jia bei - 100 Good Wishes Quilt

In some areas of China it brings good luck to make a 100 Wishes Quilt for a new baby, called a Bai jia bei. This tradition has been adopted by the Chinese adoption community. We collect quilt squares and a good wish from family and friends. The quilt squares are sewn into a quilt and the good wishes are placed in a book so that Lily may know of all of the love and good wishes helping her through this transition and throughout her life. If you'd like to send a square and a wish, this is what you do... You pick out a cotton fabric, prewash it, cut an 8 X 8 inch square. Place a small sample of the same fabric on a piece of paper with your wish. Send it to us. We have been involved in some quilt square swaps and have about half of what we need to complete our quilt. It has been really fun to see the various fabrics and of course, all of the wishes. Some wishes are poems, others are quotes, proverbs, loving thoughts..whatever moves you!
Email me for our address at

Welcome in the Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the first day of the Year of the Fire Pig. The Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. It is a 15 day celebration that signals the end of winter and the coming of spring. It is based on the lunar calendar and begins with the second new moon after the winter solstice and ends with the full moon 15 days later. The full moon will be March 3rd,the end of the Festival this year.

On the 16th of this month, one year ago our dossier was logged in to the CCAA, Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs. We thought by now we'd be holding our Lily Ocean in our arms. From the looks of things, we hope to get our referral sometime between August and October of this year. We'd be traveling a couple of months later to China to meet her and pick her up.
I don't think I've ever waited this long for something I want so much!
We had Lily's room all ready, crib set up, books and toys ready...and now have decided to change the location of her room. That's one way to make the time pass...have a big painting and decorating project!
Just a bit about what it's like for me to wait....I dream about her, sometimes literally, sometimes day dreams...about what my hopes and wishes are for her, about being a mom, about where she is right she born, is she in the womb, is she safe and cared for, is somebody loving her? At times I feel like she is a familiar part of me and because she is not here I miss her. Other times, it is stranger than I can imagine, traveling across the globe and coming back with a little girl. And, all of the time, I am grateful(!), grateful that David and I are in this process, that we have the means and the patience and desire to be in this process, that we are going to have so much fun and challenges and love,that our house will blessed with the laughter and music of a wee one.
We're ready...Bring her home to us!!!
Wishing you much peace and prosperity in the Year of the Pig.