Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas time in Florida

It didn't take me long to get over my pity party mentioned in the last post. I had a good cry and felt much better within a few days. Don't get me wrong, I still can't believe that this will be my 3rd Christmas waiting for my daughter and I am still so sad that she isn't here yet. But, there is nothing I can do about it. It will happen when it happens(or when the CCAA gets their butt in gear and refers more than a handful of days at a time :o)).

December has proved to be a busy month so far and there is nothing better than Christmas time in Florida! I still haven't decorated - just a wreath on my front door. When I first moved here 15 years ago it seemed odd to be shopping, decorating and partying in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Now I can't imagine doing it all bundled up and freezing my butt off! We've had some cooler temps lately but nothing that a light jacket or sweater couldn't handle.
Last weekend I had brunch with some of the great friends that I've made at my job. Only one of them still works there, one is now a stay at home mom and the other two were unfortunately laid off because of this crappy economy. We had a blast. These girls were pretty much the only people at work that know about my impending adoption. They are all so supportive and always know just what to say to make me feel better. It was just what I needed to get me out of my funk! Thanks girls :o)

Yesterday I spent the day with my best friend and her beautiful daughter. It was a sunny 72 degrees so we decided to head out to the Saturday morning market and then to the park. We had a great day and I got to get some baby lovin' with this cutie! She melts my heart and I just love her so much.

One of the things that I really love about Christmas time in Florida is the holiday boat parade. People decorate and light up their boats like you can't even believe. They blast Christmas music, dress up like santa, elves, reindeer, snowmen - you name it - and drive their boats along the the intercoastal. My friends have a beautiful home on the water and have a shin-dig every year for the boat parade. Once again, they did not dissapoint!
My best friend Rachel, her daughter and me.

The custest little elf ever!

These are fuzzy but the boats were awesome!

And just because it's cool - this owl lives in the bird house outside Rachel's house. He was just poking his head out one day and I got up close to get this photo

I'm off to my parents in Connecticut for Christmas! My sister is flying down here and then driving up with me and the dog! Can you believe that this is the 2nd year that she has done this?? It's a long drive but believe it or not we have a lot of fun. She's the best and I am so thankful that she is my sister. I love you Kate!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza or whatever you celebrate.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

LID #27

I can't believe that it's been 27 months since my dossier was logged in at the CCAA. Sometimes it seems like just last month that I got the call about my LID and other times it seems that it has been an eternity. Right now it feels like an eternity - with no end in sight.

This year marked the 3rd Halloween, the 3rd Thanksgiving and now the 3rd Christmas without the one thing that I want most in this world. This is my favorite time of year and I can't even get motivated to put out any decorations or to put up the Christmas lights. Knowing that next Christmas will be the same just makes me really, really sad.

I'm going to cry now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for my family, my friends and just knowing that someday a Chinese child will call me Mommy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

26 Months Logged In

26 Down
? To Go

I'm so tired of waiting.
I just want to be a mom.
Now, there are rumors that the CCAA only did 2 days worth of referrals???
That sucks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fun With Friends

This weekend our local aquarium hosted it's annual "Guppyween" celebration. All the kids get dressed up and go trick-or-treating at the aquarium. Being that I am STILL waiting for Maggie, and have no other kids, I knew NOTHING about this. So...when my best friend called and asked if I wanted to join her and her 13 month old daughter, I jumped at the chance. I must say that my "honorary niece" was the cutest Tinkerbell that I have ever seen!

She was mesmerized by all the fish

There was a wall of fog with laser images of dancing fish and she didn't quite know what to make of it. She was holding on to me for dear life. You can see the look of terror in her face :o(

We had a great time and it was so fun to see all the little kids dressed up for Halloween. It did make me a little sad though. I started the adoption process way before my best friend ever thought about having a baby. When she and her husband decided to get pregnant I was so excited because I thought that their child would be somewhere around the same age as mine. We talked about how much fun it would be for our kids to be best friends just like us. Obviously that didn't happen. Her daughter is now 13 months old and my child probably hasn't even been conceived yet.

But there is a bright spot - - - they allow me to be such a big part of their daughter's life. I was there during her pregnancy and got to go to an ultrasound appointment with her, I was there for her birth, which was A-MAZ-ING and I now I get to be there and watch her grow into the sweetest, most loving little girl in the world. I am so blessed. And Maggie will be as well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

After spending the last week in Disney World with a five year old it made me realize that I need to get in shape and get lots of sleep before Maggie comes home! Whew - it was exhausting but we had a great time. We celebrated Beth's clean bill of health and introduced my cousin (and Godson) Liam to all things Disney.

Beth, Joe & Liam at The Magic Kingdom

Liam loved the teacups because "we went so fast it almost made Mom sick!" :o)
Meeting Minnie Mouse was the highlight of the week! He was star-struck!

As much fun as we had at The Magic Kingdom, Liam LOVED going down this slide at the resort. He must have gone down it a hundred times!
My beautiful Godson!

Liam and I
Beth and I

It was a great week and so wonderful to be able to spend time with Beth, celebrate her health and share in Liam's first trip to Disney!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Race For The Cure 2008

Today was the 10th annual Race For The Cure in St. Petersburg. It was amazing! There was such a huge turnout and the weather was perfect. This is the 10th year that I walked in honor of my Aunt Beth. She is only five years older than me and more like a big sister than an aunt. She is a SURVIVOR and the most amazing person I know. She has beat the odds for over 15 years now and continues to be an inspiration to myself and many others.

After six months of grueling chemo treatments, Beth was just given a clean bill of health from her oncologist. She is in remission!! She and her family are coming to Florida on Tuesday and we are taking her almost five year old son to Disney World to celebrate!

Please remember to click the box in the sidebar to help fund mammograms for those that cannot afford them. It only takes a second and it could be the difference between life and death for someone less fortunate than yourself!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Think PINK

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. As well as providing a platform for breast cancer charities to raise awareness of their work and of the disease, BCAM is also a prime opportunity to remind women to be breast aware for earlier detection.

My family, along with many others, has been affected by breast cancer. I hope and pray that one day there will be a cure. Early detection is instrumental is saving lives. PLEASE get a mammogram, do regular breast self exams and remind everyone that you love to do the same.

Please take a moment to click the link on my sidebar to donate a mammogram to those that cannot afford it. Help to save someone's life.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Special Gift for Maggie

Over the last two years that I have been logged in, I have received many special gifts for my daughter to be. The most recent and one of the most special things that I have received is from my cousin Jill. Jill is a freshman in high school and had the privilege of traveling to China this summer as part of a student ambassador program. Although I was EXTREMELY jealous that she was going to China before me, I was so excited for her.

For Christmas I gave Jill a journal and asked if she would journal her trip. We talked about all of the exciting places that she would be visiting and the things that she would see. I asked her to write down what she thought of the places she went and the feelings that she had while she was there. I felt so blessed that she would someday be able to share this with my daughter.

Jill left for China this past July. She was to be there for 17 days. The Friday morning after she left, I was getting ready for work when my phone rang at 7:15am. When I answered I heard "Hi Suzie - It's Jill calling from China!!!" I seriously couldn't believe it! My beautiful, thoughtful and amazing cousin was calling me from China! She said "I climbed the Great Wall of China today and it was amazing!! You have to come here when you are in China. And guess what Suzie? All of the kids and babies that I have seen are so cute and I just know that Maggie is going to be beautiful!" She continued to tell me of all the amazing things that she was experiencing and it took all I had not to bust out crying while I was on the phone with her. I told her I loved her and that she made my day by calling me. As soon as I hung up, I cried. Not just a few tears, but a big old ugly cry. At first I thought I was crying because I was so jealous that she was there and I wasn't. But then I realized that wasn't the reason. I was crying because I love her so much and it meant everything in the world that she thought to call me. She wanted me to know how amazing China was and that she just knew that Maggie was going to be beautiful!

When Jill returned home, we all met out in Utah for my brother's wedding. She had bought gifts for everyone and was so excited to give them to us. My sister and I were in the hotel room as she was showing us what she bought for all of the guys. As she emptied her bag, the journal that I had given her fell out. I picked it up, opened it and the first thing I saw was "Dear Maggie". I couldn't even read it. I busted out crying (again). She told me that she wasn't completely done journaling about her trip but had written the whole journal to Maggie. Have I mentioned how much I love this girl???

The next day she presented us with the gifts she brought from China. Everyone got great gifts but mine were AMAZING!!! The first thing I received was a framed piece of paper with Chinese writing on it:

Can't read what it says?

Of course, I busted out crying when I read it!

The next gift I received was a beautiful red and gold box:

Inside was a laminated card that said "Maggie" in English and in Chinese. There was also a jade budda "chop" (stamp) and a small pot of ink:

I am so thankful to have Jill in my life. She is an amazing young woman and I can't wait to bring Maggie home to meet her!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why Adoption? Why China?

I have wanted to be a Mom for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I had the same dream as most other little girls - I would be married to a hot stud of a husband who made a ton of money and worshipped the ground that I walked on, we would have the most gorgeous, well behaved children that everyone wanted to be friends with and we would live in a mansion at the beach with lots of cars and beautiful clothes. Sounds about right, right? Wrong!

I eventually did get married but not to a hot stud of a man. He was more of a so-so looking control freak who turned out to be a big loser. After 2.5 years of being married to him I decided it was time for me to get my life back so I divorced him. As much as I wanted to get pregnant and have a baby, I'm so glad I never did with him.

So there I was approaching the big 4-0 and I still did not have any children. I still wanted to be a Mom. I longed to be a Mom. I wanted a child to love - and to teach things to - and to hug and kiss - and do all the amazing things that a mother does. I wanted someone to call me mommy. I wanted to do all the things for a child that my mother did, and still does, for me.

I decided to look into my options. The man of my dreams hadn't shown up yet so getting pregnant by him seemed to be out of the question. I looked into artificial insemination. I always thought that I really wanted to be pregnant. I wanted the whole experience. I just wasn't 100% comfortable about all the unknowns with that. I didn't completely rule it out, but I wanted to see what else was out there.

I started to research domestic adoptions. Although it's not always the case, I read many stories of disrupted domestic adoptions where the birth mother came back to reclaim her child. I immediately knew that I could not take that risk. My heart could not handle that.

I knew that my only other option was international adoption. My cousin and his wife have two beautiful girls from China so it seemed like a good idea for me too. Right? Ironically (or not), my church was hosting an adoption seminar that same month. I attended and heard stories from families who had adopted from many different countries. I left the seminar with tons of information and just knew in my heart that this is what I was meant to do.

Over the course of the next several weeks it seemed that everywhere I looked, something having to do with adoption was right in front of me. I met people with adopted children ~ There were articles in my local newspaper about adoption ~ I saw advertisements from different agencies that were having adoption seminars in my local area ~ I came across a TV show called Adoption Stories and cried as I watched with envy as families were created.

I attended several of the seminars and learned about the different agencies and the programs they had to offer. I spent hours and hours on the Internet doing research. I came to the conclusion that if I was ever going to be a mother, this was the option that felt right. I knew in my heart that this was meant to be. At this point, the only person in my family that knew I was considering this was my sister.

I ended up really liking the first agency that I met with. At the seminar I spoke with one of the agency's coordinators named Jennie. She was so nice and answered about a million questions that I had. As a single woman wanting to adopt, my choices were limited. Many countries didn't accept singles. Jennie suggested Vietnam or Guatemala. I left the seminar and once again did a ton of research on-line. After many phone calls and emails with more questions, I told Jennie that I just wasn't sure. Something just didn't feel right about Vietnam or Guatemala.

I knew that the waiting list for singles to adopt from China was LONG and that it would most likely be 1-2 years before I would get a spot but I asked Jennie about it anyway. She told me that she would check with Martha, the China Program coordinator, and get back to me. When Jennie called me back she said "We just had three single spots become available and if you want one you need to call Martha right away!" When I called Martha she wanted an answer right then and there as these spots were hard to come by. I was completely unprepared to make that decision. I went from researching my options to having to make a commitment to adopt. YIKES!

Martha was nice enough to give me until morning to make my decision. I had approximately 15 hours to make a LIFE CHANGING DECISION!!! I spoke with my parents who immediately told me to hang up the phone, call Martha and tell her YES, YES, YES!!! They supported me 100% and still do to this day 2.5 years later. I called Martha and the rest is history. I am finally (someday) going to be someones Mommy :o)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

LID Anniversary

Never in a million years did I think that 24 months after my dossier got logged in at the China Center of Adoption Affairs I would still be waiting to become a mom. It's what I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. When I first started this process the wait times were 15 -18 months. It has grown increasing longer every month since then and is now at about a 31 month wait. I guess the positive side is that I am 24 months closer to seeing my dream come true!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Blog!

As I am approaching my two year log in date anniversary, I decided that in addition to stalking other peoples blogs, it was time for me to start one of my own. I plan to document the remaining journey to my daughter in China.