Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas!!

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas with their families and friends!! We opened gifts this morning, just Gary & myself, it was a good Christmas. Gary surprised me with the mobile for Avery's crib, totally unexpected...a tear jerker. He also got me some little Asian figurines of girls, hard to explain but they are very cute. We also got t-shirts that say, Dossier Survivor, accredited, authenticated and notarized. I thought those fit our lives these days. Gary got blu-ray movies and a game for the Wii. Avery got many gifts. We opened Sarah and Ethan's gifts today. They were the children's game, The Ladybug Game, and a chefs hat, apron, and oven mitts that are green with lady bugs on them, child's size, and a ladybug garden. Really nice and really thoughtful of them!!

We then proceeded to have breakfast with my parents and brother and sister in law and our 2 nieces that are up from Indiana. After breakfast we opened gifts and had a really nice time. Avery got a panda shirt, a Pet Shop ladybug stuffed animal, and a blue jacket and pant set from Grandma & Grandpa, and the "Grouchy Ladybug book". A cow bowling set from Aunt Liz and Uncle Tom and the girls, they also got her the shirt and ladybug.

Under our tree Avery got another Pet Shop stuffed ladybug, and a Panda. Another panda shirt, some fleece pants, and a very cute dalmation jacket, there's ears on the hood. A red velvet skirt with black polka dots(looks like a ladybug). A sweater to go with it, that's white and has little black scottie dogs on it. A ladybug bottle, and a couple of books. The pajama time book, Mommy kisses, and Daddy cuddles. A cute winter hat and mittens. Some other things too!!

We had lunch at my Mom and Dad's and are going to Ron and Judy's later this afternoon. We are so blessed that everyone thinks of Avery this time of year. One more Christmas to go and then we'll start having our own family Christmas's. Can't wait!!

Hope everyone got what they wanted and had a fun time with their families!!!

Merry Christmas!!
~Alli & Gary

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pretty neat...



Wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may your Christmas be filled with family and friends, and fun memories.

We received a package in the mail yesterday addressed to Avery Newton. That was pretty neat. We have instructions that we are not to open it until Christmas morning though, so it's under the tree. It's from Sarah and Ethan. I'm saving the mailing label to put in her life book. That was really neat to see her name. A nice Christmas gift in it's own right!!

Thanks Sarah & Ethan. Merry Christmas!!!

Love to our family and friends!!!

~Alli & Gary

"Sheng Dan Kuai Le!!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sheng ri kuai le Gary!!


Happy Birthday to Gary!!!
Sheng ri kuai le!!!

We're starting to know a couple phrases in Chinese!!!

Wo ai ni!!
I love you!!

~Alli

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A letter to our daughter...



Dearest Avery Lin,

This is our second Christmas without you, and it's hard. We think about you all the time and in every dream, or day dream you are always there. We dream about filling stockings, and doing Christmas cookie baking with you. Listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, while decorating the tree with you. Sharing family traditions and making new traditions with you. We know you probably aren't born yet, but you are and have been born in our hearts for quite some time. We dream about and see a little girl with almond eyes, and little black pig tails, with a smile and a giggle that make us smile from ear to ear. We see a bubbly little girl who is loving and adored by all. We see you dancing around the house and holding poses so that you make sure to catch our eye to see if we are paying attention. We hear you say Mommy & Daddy, and say, "Wo ai ni", I love you in Chinese, as we say it back, and hugs, the hugs are what I look forward to, I long for those little hugs and kisses. We long to have you with us but understand that this process takes time, but we wish for a miracle... that time speeds up and brings you to us sooner.

You are our daughter, God has specially picked you for us. You grew in our hearts and we never knew our hearts could grow so big. So, this Christmas although hard for us, we will hold on to the thought of you, and our special memories to come. We will put your gifts under the tree and then in your room, where they will wait until your arrival. We know you'll love ladybugs and pandas, and be as curious as can be. We will thank the heavens for every moment spent with you. We will thank God every day that he has sent you to us, and us to you.

So Merry Christmas Avery Lin Newton wherever you may be. Right now you remain in our hearts, and our dreams will hold us tight, until the day we see you and proclaim you our daughter and us a family forever.

Merry Christmas - Sheng Dan Kuai Le

Love you forever, more than words can say, and can't wait to meet you and be with you,

Love,
Mommy and Daddy-MaMa & BaBa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We knew a week ago...


Our adoption agency just contacted us today about the orphanage donation increase, we knew about it a week ago via an online group I belong to of china adoption parents. We are able now to give the donation to the orphanage in their own currency. I don't know though if we're able to exchange it before we go, or wire it to China or what. I'm sure more details are to come.

They are up to February 2007 in the review room. That's when we started this whole process, but our LID isn't until July 2007. Looking forward to seeing the July 2007 group in the review room. It's about a year from that date, unless they speed up.

Pray that speed is on our side!!!

We're still a long ways away...same as before.

Have a great day!!!

OH~
My kids (our kids), at the studio always pull through for us. One of my students, Heather, got Gary and I id bracelets for Christmas. Mine says Mama Bear w/ a chinese symbol, and Gary's says Papa Bear w/ a chinese symbol. They always make us feel like their second Mom & Dad. We absolutely love the bracelets, my favorite!!! Needed that!!! Love ya Heather!!!

Love to all,

~Alli (NDC MamaBear)

Monday, December 15, 2008

An update...


So this is just an update on what's going on with us.

We are still waiting-17 months in, and about 12-15 more months to go hopefully. The time hasn't pushed out anymore, we're still at the same timeline as we were a month ago-so that's good!!-Whew!

We are now saving for the rest of the adoption costs. The travel expenses and the orphanage donation has increased a lot. Before they told us about $3000.00 per person to travel, and we're adding at least double that, and the orphanage donation was $3000.00 and that's increased to $5086.00 (US dollars or 35,000 rmb). So, in this economy it's not great that everything has increased but it's not shocking either.

We are getting ready for Christmas. We are pretty much done shopping, just a few things. But, all of our wrapping is done, for the gifts we already had, so that's good. Our show is over and the kids did great!!! We can breathe a little better now, not sleeping better, but less busy.

We have some things for Avery for Christmas in a bin under one of our trees. I really don't think people understand that, but I'm sick of defending it, and explaining it. We are expecting a daughter from China, she may be over a year away from us, but it doesn't mean we don't think about her all the time, and why not buy the gifts for her, it would seem weird to me to not get anything for her until the referral, but that's just me. I think it's important for her to know she was thought of so much before she got here. It's my therapy and it keeps me sane, and happy.

We got our Christmas cards done, and just waiting for them to come in. It's a really neat and unique card and suits us right now for the situation we're in. It's very appropriate!! Hope you think so too!!

Gary's birthday is this Friday, we're going out to dinner, and we both start our Christmas break that day-a full 2 weeks off for us!!! Looking very forward to that.

My brother and sister in law and our 2 nieces are coming into town on the 23rd. It's great to have them home for Christmas every year!! We'll have dinner this year at my Mom's house and go to Steve & Beth's later in the evening. We do the Newton Christmas with Ron, Judy, Steve, Beth, Noah, Owen, and Sammy the morning after Christmas. It's nice to split things up so we can all enjoy eachother and not feel rushed!!

I am feeling Christmasy but not. I think Gary and I are very stressed and frustrated with the adoption more than anyone would know. We are very snippy and grouchy sometimes. Gary says I'm very overly stressed and taking everything very personally and more than usual. That's probably true...but I think I'm just frustrated, and watching everyone else with their families just puts salt in the wound sometimes. It's not jealousy or resentment, it 's something you can't explain, and only we can understand it.
But I love Christmas, and shopping, and decorating the house, so smile it's Christmas!!

Hope everyone is getting their wrapping and shopping and decorating done. Hope your home is joyful and bright!! May your house be full of family and friends and memories to cherish for years to come.

Merry Christmas!!
~Alli

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wow, that's an increase!!


Just got word today that the CCAA has raised the orphanage donation from $3000.00 to $5086.00. That's the donation you have to take in cash to China with you. It used to be $3000.00, but now they've raised it for every family traveling after January 1, 2009. That includes us, of course. Makes you want to tell them, then hurry the hell up!!!

We figured it would be raised along with all travel expenses...nothing new!!!

"Tis is season to be Merry"


Love to all,
~Alli & Gary

Friday, December 5, 2008

So...some good news...


We did hear from our adoption agency yesterday. We used to get updates all the time about other waiting families getting their referrals and it would make us feel like there was progress being made, but we hadn't heard any news like that in a really long time. The reason why was because our agency didn't have any families during those months that were waiting for referrals. There was a big gap in the dossiers and log in dates. So now our agency and the CCAA has caught up with the log in dates of waiting families and we will start to hear about other families from our agency getting their referrals. There is still the long wait for us, there are 12 groups that will get their referrals before us. But our dossier should be in the review room within about 4 months. Then it's a year typically from that.

So the time hasn't pushed out anymore, we are still looking at the same time frame. That's good news!! It's long still, but shouldn't be any longer...hopefully than we are anticipating. so here's how I look at it.

17 months is close to 20, 20 is close to 24(2 years), and then we can actually see the light at the end of our journey. And, something in my gut tells me that we may see things speed up a little, just a little. So, some good news, the good news being that things are still progressing, and the time hasn't pushed out anymore. Plus, China has just opened up their adoptions to Italy and Australia, so there are plenty of children available.

Good news for us, and now that we will start getting the updates about other families, and should start to see the special needs lists coming in again, some progress, any sort of progress at this point helps so much!!!

Gary and I are going to sponsor a child in China and help her with her education through the foundation, "Love Without Boundaries". We need to do something and want to do something for other children from the same country our daughter will be from, any little thing and any way we can help!!!

Take care and keep us in your prayers, as we keep all of you in ours!!!

Much love,
~Alli & Gary

"Every child begins again"
~Thoreau

Thursday, December 4, 2008

17 months and counting...and counting...


We are now 17 months in. We are so busy that our 17 months was yesterday and I didn't even think about it until today!! So, in a way I guess that really good. My next goal is 20 months. That means we're closer to 2 years, and then I'll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've been getting Avery little things for under the tree. I think I'm more emotional this year about Christmas than last year. We have her stocking hung, and our "China " tree is up. There are little Asian girl ornaments on our trees this year...very cute.

We have our show this week with the Companies and the kids are doing great. I'm hoping the snow holds so we can actually have a show. I told everyone we're having the show. I don't care if we need to use dog sleds, sleighs, snow shoes, or snowmobiles to get everyone there...we're having the show. Cross our fingers!!

I can't wait for the show to be over. I'll be able to sleep again, at least better than I am now. I'm up every morning at 2:00-2:30AM. It's annoying.

So HAppy 17 months to us.

Congratulations to Christa and Kara and their family for getting their referral for their little boy from Ethiopia. Gives us hope that referrals actually do come through. He's very cute!!!

Love to all,
Alli & Gary

Monday, December 1, 2008

Been meaning to do this...


Sorry, I've been so busy the past week I forgot to do this.

A big thank you to Sarah & Ethan for the Big Bird in China dvd. We love it, and it's so nice to have friends like you. Sarah is always sending or bringing something to the house for Avery. We love ya!!!

Have a good week!!!

Love,
Alli & Gary

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving...


Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We did. We went to Ron & Judy's and Steve and Beth and the boys were there, and Grandma & Grandpa Newton and Aunt Nancy & Uncle Tom. My Mom & Dad went to Indiana with my brother John to visit my other brother Tom and his family. They go every year to Indiana and we go every other year, to make it fair for each side of the family. It's nice to stay home every other year, we can get the trees up and decorate for Christmas early and relax for 5 days.

All the stressful stuff for our show has finally all come together. Now I'm just having problems with some of the dancers and their attitudes. Teenagers...they sure are different these days.

Gary and I went shopping at 5:00AM black friday in Watertown...yes we're nuts, but got 3/4 of all of our Christmas shopping done. We've cut back on the amounts this year, we're really having to save for the adoption now, we've put it off for a little bit but now we really need to do it so we'll have enough time to do so.

We got both of the big trees up and all the decorations are out, strewn about the livingroom, I've had enough for today so I'll finish it tomorrow. It's a little sad to put up trees again with just the two of us in the house. It just isn't as much fun as when you were younger and I've said it before that I don't think you feel that magic again until you have children. To see the excitement in their eyes, and hear it in their voices. To answer all the questions about Santa Claus and Needle Nose and putting milk and cookies out and reading The Night Before Christmas, and filling up stockings and I could go on and on. Hopefully just one more Christmas after this one. Our house seems quiet, and not jolly...well decorated but not really full of holiday spirit. Hopefully our Christmas show and seeing some of our former students will help our mood this week.

I think Christmas is the hardest on us besides Mother's and Father's Day. We do get Avery gifts and put them under the tree unwrapped. It's more fun to buy for her than for ourselves...at least I think so. We'll put her stocking out and wish for time to pass quicker...so that she will be with us as soon as possible. We think she'll be born in 2009, the year of the Ox, the same as me, so I kind of see that as a sign...maybe meant to be to share something special like that with one of us, possibly.

Can't wait to see those big brown eyes staring back at us, with the biggest smile, and those pig tails bouncing around the house. Giving Daddy a look that melts his heart, and Mommy a smile that brings tears to her eyes, helping us with decorating the house, and dancing around to Christmas music. Someday...that's our Christmas wish...our daughter Avery Lin to be here with us finally. Everyday I pray our time apart gets shorter, and day by day I know we are getting closer to her. Although the wait at times unbearable...the journey...more than I can say.

So we hope you had a Thanksgiving full of memories and family. Our thanks begins with our journey, thankful to family and friends for their support, thankful to eachother for that enduring love and thankful that we have a daughter waiting for us somewhere in China, and knowing that the journey will be worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Holiday Season!!!

Wo Ai Nai!!!

~Alli & Gary

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I don't know...


Feeling really overwhelmed lately. We are in the middle of getting the Christmas Show ready and are busy, busy, busy. More busy than I would like, but busy enough too to usually keep my mind off of things. The Christmas Show seems to be fighting us every step of the way. Between my Insurance Company, and Worker's Comp. Board, the lighting, the selfishness of some of the students, it's unreal. I told one of the Mother's this the other day and their response was, "Welcome to Motherhood".

I was sort of insulted but then let it roll off my back. I truly don't think she meant it in the way I perceived it. I'm dealing with over 150 students and parents, being a business owner, putting a show together with just Gary & myself, no other staff. Teaching over 25 classes a week, picking out and choreographing over 70 pieces for the year, dealing with children age 3-18, and all the ups and downs of those personalities. Picking out over 30 costumes for the June Recital. Ordering leotards, and shoes, putting together the show order for the Christmas show, making sure the girls are selling their tickets. Gary and I are printing tickets, and hiring lighting and clean up crews for the night of the show. Organizing schedules for 34 girls and parents to be ready for the show. And a whole host of other things. So welcome to Motherhood just doesn't cut it. I would love to be able to say, "no we can't do that, Avery has this, or Avery has that, and our daughter and our family come first. But we're not there yet. I think it's the holidays, we're just starting the holiday season and it's depressing. I think I'm just really tired and need some days off to gain perspective. But sometimes you feel the need to slow down and take time for yourself...but we just don't do that. And the times we want to, we have other things that we have to be at or do.

After December 5th, hopefully Gary & I will figure out a way to enjoy the holiday.

Hope you all all have a great Thanksgiving!!

~Alli

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finger printed...AGAIN!!


So, we went back to the USCIS Agency in Syracuse this morning and got our Federal prints taken again. This is #2 for this. We're hoping with prayers and fingers crossed we won't have to do it again for a third time. Our appointment was for 8:00 AM. We were there probably 20 minutes and that was that. No problems and quick and easy, I remember last time when we were there there was a woman from Khazikstan or the like waiting to take her citizenship test or something. She didn't speak hardly a word of English and they kept asking the man with her if she knew the test was going to be in English. She just kept nodding her head with a big smile saying, "Yes!". Don't know how that all turned out...it was interesting listening to the conversation though.

Not really anything interesting today. Not very many people there this morning. We went and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel afterward and then Gary went back to work.

Looking forward to next week, and having some time off. It's been TOTALLY HECTIC, around here lately. We have the show and all that there is for that which is more than anyone would ever imagine. It's also time at the studio to start Recital pieces and that's another 30+ dances on top of the 12 I've already choreographed. The adoption stuff, Christmas, Thanksgiving. My Insurance Agency is being ridiculously idiotic. Paperwork, Recital costumes, and payments, ordering Christmas tees for the 2 Companies, and also new NDC sweatshirts, scarfs, pj pants, long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees, pants-AGH!!!

Can't wait to have AVery and the distraction. Looking so forward to our lives taking a whole different turn. Playing Barbies, dancing at home only for fun, playing dress up, singing lullabies, watching cartoons, and hearing little footsteps and a little voice.

Almost 17 months...get us to 20.(and counting)

Love to all~
~Alli

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Well that was easy...


She was here about 10 minutes. DRove all the way from Camden for 10 minutes. We just reviewed our old homestudy, and made any changes that needed to be made. There wasn't very many changes. Just the improvements that we've done on the house and Gary's salary increase. Took no time at all.

Well at least the house is picked up now. That's a plus!!!

Finger printing here we come!!-AGAIN!!

Take care,
~Alli

Happy National Adoption Day


Today is National Adoption Day. Actually the month of November is National Adoption Month, but today is the actual day. Pretty neat because our social worker is coming today to update our homestudy. I'll take that as a good omen. Need as many of those as we can get.

Had to race around to get the house picked up, this has been an extremely busy week with, choroegraphy, Recital music, Recital costumes, rehearsals for the Christmas show, and teaching 26 classes, ordering the Christmas tees, leotards, and shoes, and the new NDC merchandise, plus our ceiling in the sun room has decide to leak.

When it rains it pours...literally!!

We go get fingerprinted on Tuesday. I'll blog later about our meeting about the homestudy.

Have a good afternoon!!


~Alli

Monday, November 10, 2008

So this is where we are now...


We have received our dates to be fingerprinted again. Next Tuesday at 8:00AM in Syracuse. These are our federal finger prints again. We didn't have to pay for these though...so good news there. OUr background/criminal clearances came through again...big surprise...no not really. Plus we are meeting with our social worker this Saturday about the update on our homestudy. We are dealing with the same person again so that's really good, we liked her a lot.

That's the update. New fingerprints, background has cleared, and update scheduled.

16 months in, and 15 more to go...hopefully less but at least that. Time seems to be goign quicker for us because we are so busy with the Christmas show right now. I just want to get through the holidays.

I got some really cute Asian ornaments at Pier 1 Imports this week. They are cute...little asian girls. Just 2 of them, they are glass, and they look like the old type of ornaments.

It's snowing today...guess we need to start expecting that, it is November.

Love to all!!!
~Alli

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kung Fu Panda...



Did ya know Kung Fu Panda is coming out on Sunday. I'm excited!!! Avery already has a stuffed animal of Po, and 2 of the books. I can't wait to see it!!! We planned on going to the movies with some of our kids but couldn't get there. We'll have to have a movie night with them now on the big screen...sometime!!


Skadoosh!!!

Love to all!!!
~Alli

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy 16 months to us!!!


We are 16 months today...getting there!!! People who are in for 27 months are depressed and feel like there is no end in sight. I'm trying to not think about it so much!!! Focus on the Christmas show and choreography. Get through Thanksgiving and Christmas, then we'll be 18 months. Then just look forward to next July that will be 24 months, and then we'll be in countdown mode.

Have a good day and don't forget to vote tomorrow!!!

Love to al,
~Alli

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!



Although they don't really celebrate Halloween in China I did find the following translation for the saying,

Happy Halloween!! in Chinese:
Wan Sheng Jie

A ghost is: youling
A pumpkin is : nan gua
A witch is: wu
A bat is: bian

In all my research about Halloween in China and how they don't celebrate it. It is funny how about 90% of all Halloween costumes are MADE IN CHINA!!-No surprise there!!

Hope all your little princesses, and goblins, and witches, and ninjas, and pirates have a great Halloween!!! Happy Haunting!!!

I am going to look for a marked down lady bug costume today that I can put away for Avery, even just to play in. We need the wings and everything!!! Can't wait to see Noah, Owen, and Sammy tonight all dressed up. They are our only trick or treaters that we get every year. We live out in the country and don't get very many.

Happy Halloween!! Wan Sheng Jie!!

Love to all~
~Alli

Monday, October 27, 2008

Do they celebrate Halloween in China?




Not really. But they do have festivals.

In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion "boats of the law" from paper, which are then burned in the evening hours. There are two purposes to this custom: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the "pretas" in order that they might ascend to heaven. "Pretas" are the spirits of those who died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried.

Other Halloween festivals in China I found were:
The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts and The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. They all are about spirits of people passed and setting them free.

Just a bit of Asian trivia I guess.

Have A Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our get together was cancelled...big surprise.


WE just received an email from our adoption agency yesterday saying that the waiting families get together for Saturday was cancelled due to not enough people wanting to participate. This really didn't surprise us. It always seems like there's never a lot of people there and when you do go to the waiting family get togethers everyone is so depressed that it's not a lot of fun to begin with. But it would have been nice to at least meet some of the other people. I really don't think they do enough to draw people in to want to go. There are so many aspects of this process we could be talking about. Things to keep yourself busy...the quilt, the lifebook,etc. Have a family who has recently gone to China talk and tell about their experience with pictures and video, or slides. Talk about what to take to China or not, I know this is part of the travel meeting but it would still be something to think about. I just think they don't do anything to draw people in and I think I will start making suggestions, and be on the committee. They did give us the emails of the other committee members, so I think it's time to get involved. This is ridiculous, we've planned for this for a month and looked forward to it, and we're disappointed that it 's not gonna happen. But as I stated we definitely expected it.

It's just another frustration. But I guess if you want things to change you gotta do it yourself. The agency just doesn't seem to help out with this kind of stuff. I guess they don't have to, but if you want to not have so many frustrations from people, you need to help out a little. I'll see what I can do. You know, "Be the change you want to see...".

I know that in life there are things that come up in life that throw us all for a loop. No matter what it is in your life, remember your faith. Whatever that may be for you or your family. I believe in positive thinking. I know it doesn't seem like it sometimes. But if I don't write on this blog I keep everything pent up, so this is my journal and my way of telling family and friends what's happening in my (our) lives. Good and bad. For me my faith is believing in my convictions, and helping who I can in my own way. Usually through dance and listening to my kids all the time. That's my way. But as I was saying, I believe in positive energy and positive thinking. So I am sending a lot of positive thoughts out to those of us that need it right now. Stay strong and we love you!!

Thanks for listening!!

~Love to all,
Alli & Gary

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Holidays...



Don't ya think that when you get to be a certain age, the holidays are not fun anymore. I think it's that way until you have children and then you get to see the holidays again through their eyes. I remember I loved Christmas, it seemed so magical and whimsical and it was fun and I couldn't wait for it to get here. Now it just seems like a big chore sometimes. I know we do a Christmas Show every year, and I do enjoy that. I love working with the kids and I do love Christmas music, but the rest of it just seems not fun. It is all about finding the right gifts and making lists of things you don't need or really want. We all are growed up and the magic of Christmas is gone. We decorate our house and put up the trees and make cocoa and watch all the traditional movies...but I can't wait to have children and experience it all over again like when I was a child.

The holidays are rough on us and our adoption process looks like this:
-2 more Halloween's
-1 more b-day for me and 2 more for Gary
-2 more Christmas's
-At least 1 more Mother's Day for me and 1 more Father's Day for Gary
-1 more wedding anniversary at least
All of this until we can finally go get Avery

That's what the holidays mean to me lately.

I know it's just me feeling sorry for myself, but during this process you feel it a lot. You crab at eachother a lot because the frustration is so apparent. You don't mean it but it comes out. I think Gary and myself stay home a lot because we just don't feel like socializing.

I've decorated for Halloween but 1/2 of the stuff is still put away somewhere. You just get in that funk.

So I'll just suck it up and put on the smile...

That's my vent for today!!!!

P.S.~ Aunt Cathy Hudnall~ We would like to say that we love you very much and you are in our prayers!!!!
MANY POSITIVE THOUGHTS ARE BEING SENT YOUR WAY!!!!

~Alli & Gary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home from NYC again...


Over last weekend we were back in NYC and NJ. It was time for the annual UDMA Show (United dance Merchants of America Show)-recital costumes. As a dance teacher we get 17+ catalogs of costumes for the dancers to wear at the Recital. When you go to this show you actually get to see all the costumes in person and have people try them on. You actually get to see the flow of the costume and see if they are quality made costumes or cheap costumes for the astronomical prices they ask for them. So we've gone for the past 5-6 years. The show is actually in Seacaucus NJ, and we stay in NJ. But Manhattan is only 20 minutes away by PATH train. So we left about 3:30-4:00 on Friday, and spent Saturday in NYC.

We went directly to China Town when we got to NYC. It's now my favorite place to go to. The Pearl River Marketplace is always a lot of fun. We usually walk out of there with a big bag full of stuff. This time we got some panda paper lanterns for Avery's room, they are so cute and they aren't very big. Gary got a Buddhism book, and we got Chinese magnetic words. They are like the magnetic poetry you can buy but these have english on one side and chinese on the other-very cool! I got a couple of fancy postcards that have our years on them. I am an "ox", and Gary is a "dog". They are very pretty but the funny thing about them is they summarize your characteristics and things to avoid etc. On mine it says, "Will have problems with people who are horse, sheep, and dog". Gary's says will have problems with people who are, "ox, dragon, or sheep." So I guess according to Chinese zodiac signs we are not right for eachother. So it just goes to show you how much of this stuff is so not true or reliable, and really has no bearing on our lives-"real life". Gary and I are so well suited for eachother it's not funny. But we did get a kick out of it.

I got some Chinese prayer flags to put up in the studio, the kids have all gotten a kick out them this week. We got some tea cups and a bunch of other stuff. I love this shop!!! We did do some street shopping in China Town. I got a jade necklace that means protection. The girl selling all the necklaces was telling me what they all meant. I was wearing my chinese character "daughter" necklace and she noticed that. She said," that symbol is for girl", and we explained that we were adopting from China. There is a favorite shop of mine near Canal Street in China Town. I got a really pretty scroll there last time. We found it again and I got another scroll, with a picture of a child on it-very cute!! The chinese characters on it mean life. Every time we went into a store the people would explain to us what the characters were and what they meant and I really appreciated that, it was so much fun!!

We went to the Virgin Megastore to look for some of the music we were using this year for our shows. That's the only place we went to near Times Square, except for Dallas BBQ for lunch. After that we went to Central Park and walked around there for the rest of the afternoon. I really like it there on the weekends. Every corner you turn is a new experience. We would see street performers, jazz bands set up, roller skaters dressed up and groovin' to their music-very fun and funny I couldn't even tell ya!! But we have pictures!! We went to the Bow Bridge part of the park and the Bethesda Fountain part of the park. It was a nice peaceful afternoon, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!! We left the city about 6:00. We've been there so often now that we know how to get around and where we want to go. We had a light dinner in the Meadows Complex where we were staying and got dessert from Olive Garden and went back to the hotel. We had a great time, and a nice get away. I can tell you though, it takes me 3 days to re-coop from a trip. I'm no good until about Wednesday Thursday-getting old!!

We've had some good news about the extention of our re-application. They just passed that we don't have to go to the new form and re-do everything as long as you don't let your original application expire. So, that's good news!! We just got our medical paperwork, and financial paperwork re-evaluated, and our fingerprints re-taken. All of the paperwork has been sent back in. We will have to get our federal fingerprints taken again, and I think an update on our homestudy also. Lots of fun!!! We are 15 months in and have about 15 more months to go. We have a get together at our adoption agency on the 25th, to meet other families at our agency that are waiting also. I am going to try to ask more questions about the special needs list, and see if might be able to have that option.

So that's the update on the Newtons who are adopting!! Still waiting....and waiting...frustrated and tired. But hopeful!!!

Love to all~
Alli & Gary

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another bunch of thank yous...


A big thank you to our friend Sarah. She was home this weekend and hung out at the studio and after rehearsal we sat around talking for a couple hours. Sarah is such a great friend. After our talk we were walking to our cars and she gave us a bag full of goodies. All ladybugs!! A little blanket-super soft w/ a ladybug at the top. On my favorite show, Jon & Kate Plus 8 they call these little blankets their "chewies". A stuffed lady bug that is a little storybook, and the stuffed animal of the Eric Carle book, "The grouchy Ladybug". Oh, and the cutest ladybug magnet-it's on the fridge. We love all of it Sarah and it was so good to see you and catch up. Love ya & Miss ya!!

Another thank you to Catherine one of my former dancers that just graduated last year. She brought me Avery gifts for my Birthday. The cutest ladybug little dress, and the softest flannel pj's that have ballet shoes on them. So cute!!! Avery has such a wardrobe you wouldn't believe it!! But she's a girl...that has to be expected. Thank you Cub Catherine!! Love ya & Miss ya!!

Avery is such a lucky little girl to have friends and family that are so thoughtful and special.

Love to everyone,
~ALli & Gary

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa Newton


Just a quick thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Newton (Judy & Ron). They went to Vermont for one of their getaways and brought Avery back a gift. They brought her back a little Vermont Teddy Bear that has a red tutu, and the top is red w/ black spots-Ladybugs!!!! So a big thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Newton.

Avery is more than on our minds lately. Avery is so lucky to have such a thoughtful family, they think about her all the time, just like we do.


Love to all~
Alli

Friday, October 3, 2008

15 Months...


We are officially now 15 months in. Yippee!!? So, we are about halfway. We thought we were halfway before, but this should officially be about halfway. Joined an online group today through msn, with other waiting families. It's a really good site, other families who are waiting and people to ask questions to, and vent. People who are in the same process as we are and some in the same stages. So, I think that this will help...to be able to connect with other people in the same mind set as us.

Thinking about sponsoring a child in China through Love without Boundaries. You can help to send a child to school that needs it and you can pick your child. You get updates from the child and pictures of them etc. Seriously thinking about doing that. Why not help a child there while we wait for our child from there. It's about $20.00 per month, and I think we nee to do something that makes us feel like we're helping the cause, and in some way contributing. I'll keep you all updated on that new point of interest.

That's all for now. Let's get to 18 months in, that's my next goal. Then over 20, then 30, then really close to holding our little girl.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, that this wait time go faster for us.

Love to all~
Alli

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So...almost 15 months in and 16 more to go.


So if you didn't know, we are 15 months in on Friday and have about 16 more months to go. Another year plus...I think I'm past denial now and onto acceptance. Acceptance that I'm going to be 37 by the time we get Avery and then what do we do. We would like 2 children, but it may only be that we have one. But be grateful for one, one little girl, one little ballerina of our own, one little ladybug. It's just depressing. Another set of birthdays, another Mother's Day, another Father's Day, another Christmas or 2. Another family vacation without us being a family of more than 2. I used to think I wouldn't be one of those bitter, and depressed looking individuals waiting for their daughter to arrive. But, I see it a little, not much but a little. It should be better when my schedule starts to pick up for Company, nothing like throwing yourself into your work...it's what I've done for the past 20 years.

We have a function at New Life Adoption Agency (our agency) with other waiting families in October, looking forward to that. We are going to NYC in a week, really looking forward to that, needing some time with Gary lately.

We did take out the old rug in Avery's room, and pulled off all the trim, and everything, So, it's really just a empty room. There's stuff in it, but not much. We are still going to get some other stuff done before we start her room. I'm mixed lately on starting her room. I would love to be able to sit in there and write things to her before she arrives. I've tried a journal, but can't do it on a regular basis. I think if there is a place I can go where I can feel closer to her maybe it will come easier. But on the other hand I wonder if it will just upset me. I think both. But I think that comes with the territory.

On another note. Our fingerprints have expired. Which we figured they would. So, we have to get an extention to get them re-done. We won't have to pay this time but the next time we will...because this will probably happen again. Also, one of our documents is also going to expire. So we will have to have some stuff updated like the homestudy etc. We just got the China Adminstrations Fee paid for...onto the next set of paperwork etc. and the re-doing of some too. We knew this would happen, hoped maybe it wouldn't but really knew it would.

So that's where we are. There are a ton of new quilt pages and more to come. I just finished my Grandpa Scofield's and it will be posted soon. Anxious to start the quilt and feel like we are making some sort of progress in one way or another.

If you're reading our blog, please leave comments or just a hey! It helps more than you think,

Love to all~
Alli & Gary

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank you Noah!!



A big thank you to Noah for my birthday presents. They were 4 plaques that have chinese characters on them. The characters are...Happiness, Love, Harmony and Peace. I also loved the card and Owen's picture!!

I love them and can't wait to put them up.

Thank you Noah, Avery definitely has a special cousin to meet!!!

Love ya,
Aunt Alli

New quilt squares on Avery's Quilt link...



Click on the other link for Avery's quilt. We have finally updated and put up the new quilt pages. I did scrapbooking half a day Friday and pretty much all day Saturday and got everything up to date-FINALLY!!!

Enjoy!!
Love to all,
~Alli

Friday, September 12, 2008

A poem for waiting families...


I found this poem today as I was looking for things to put on scrapbook pages and in Avery's life book. I found it very moving. It is by a woman named Myla Stauber. She is a woman who was waiting for her child from Vietnam. It is about friends and family who help you, people who encourage and say what you need when you need it. I hope you enjoy it.


Even though I was afraid
you laid a hand on mine and said "it's ok, don't cry Myla, ...your baby is out there
and she's waiting patiently for you."

Even though I didn't believe somedays,
you believed for me
when I couldn't muster it, you called,
you wrote, you came around anyway.

When I couldn't stand any more questions or talk
you said you were thinking of me and that meant so much
even if I couldn't express it

I was angry and hurting,
so much grief, pain, and loss-
when I could not see beyond it you said "love, Myla"

When I was too close to the situation and my vision clouded,
bogged down in logistics
you reminded me of the reason,
love
of the direction,
faith
of the necessity,
trust
of the power inherent in us all to rise above.

My tears are grateful ones now, friend, believe it.
I take you with me when I go.

Love to all and a prayer out to our Avery...where she is or isn't yet.
~Alli

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can you say the first of 2010...


Another update from the adoption agency today. It looks as if we're looking at the beginning of 2010, until we get Avery. That's it!! I feel as if I've been trying to tell myself that it will speed up and China will get there act together...don't think so. I appreciate all the updates from the adoption agency, it's their job, I know. But, I tell ya, I think I liked living in my world of optimism, and denial. It's happier there.

Ever feel as if there was something you did in your life that is preventing you to get what you want. If only you could figure it out so that you could fix everything and it would all be how you want it. I believe in karma. But I also believe that I have been a teacher for a reason, that I have helped hundreds of kids over the past 17 years for a reason. That I became a dance teacher who cares about her students for a reason.

Just sometimes you gotta wonder...where's ours?

Me venting...what's new.

Totally frustrated more than ever,
~Alli

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Birthday...no Avery yet.


Well, I turned 35 on the 6th. No other birthdays really bothered me, 31 bothered me a little but not much. Everyone else I talk to said that 30 bothered them, it didn't bother me I was glad to get out of my 20's. I don't feel like people take you seriously in your 20's. But 35 is tough. When I see 35 I see almost 40, which is true but it seems closer than before. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but in my head it does. I have a great life. A wonderful husband, who understands all my quirks and loves me anyways, and he is my support system through everything in life. He builds me up when I need it and when I'm unsure of myself he tells me I can do anything. I have a job that I absolutely love. Not everyone can say they love their job but I do. I have a successful business, with loyal students and parents, and the business just keeps on growing and growing. I love teaching my dancers, it's very rewarding. I have a lot of dancers that just make me laugh, and I enjoy having them all in my life. I have supportive families, and friends. A great house, and pets, we are healthy and everything is really good. But 35 threw me for a loop.

As I was putting other clothes in Avery's closet, and going through her stuff that we already have, I broke down crying. Gary was great and supportive and understood. He asked me, "do you miss Avery?" Of course I said yes. He said he did too. But is that nuts?? A child we have never met, or have no pictures of, and don't know exactly when we will go to get her...and we miss her so much. We have seen her in our dreams and daydreams, and thoughts, and every time we see a little Asian girl we say, "There's an Avery". Every picture we see...ladybug...there's Avery. I know it's not nuts, but I'm sure people are sick of us being down about the adoption and want us to just deal with it. So, we're trying. It's rough on us, and no one can say anything that makes it better. It's just what it is. We appreciate all the support. Sometimes I think I'm talking to myself, I don't think anyone is reading this. But it's my way of talking through it. I appreciate the comments when someone leaves one.

We should be having a get together soon with other waiting families from our adoption agency. Plus, we've been invited to a Moon Festival dinner again with the families that have adopted from China from around our area. Not sure if we're going to that. I have a mini breakdown when I walk in the room where there are like 25 little Asian girls and boys. That want for Avery just comes fully out and it takes me about 10 minutes to collect my thoughts. I never used to be a cryer, or a person that let things like that affect her. I didn't know things like that affected me until we went to it last year and it just hit me all at once. I loved talking to the parents though. It is nice to be around other people that have been through the same thing. Plus, one of the little girls I teach at the studio is Asian and she will be there...so we'll see.

Hope everyone is good, love to all.

~Alli

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy 14 months in to us!!


The Chinese word for 14 is "shi si".

So we are now 14 months in and have another 4 months to my next goal, but another year probably until our referral or at least when we will be close to our referral. Just wanted to sat thank you to Tom & Liz and the girls for the lady bug game, and the lady bug costume top. It has antennas and everything...it's very cute!!! Can't wait to see Avery in it buzzing around the house.

So we're waiting...STILL!!!!!!!!!!!

I turn 35 tomorrow on the 6th. A little depressing. Gary is taking me shopping today for my birthday our annual ritual, then dinner.


Love to everyone!!!
~Alli

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!!!


So we are coming up on 14 months...another year to go. No matter what it is and no matter when you ask us we are going to say another year to go. Then we 'll be surprised when it actually gets here. Happy Labor Day to everyone. The end of Summer is here, the kids are all getting ready to go back to school. I'm ready to get back to my schedule, and being busier. I've had all of my registrations and my schedule is put together really well this year. We are starting to transition people at the studio for when we get Avery. My schedule will change a bit and our commitments at the studio will change a bit...focuses will obviously change and things will be different. Our focus has always been on other people's children and now it will be on our own child (children)-Finally!!! So we've been doing my schedule differently for the past 2 years to slowly transition the kids and the parents for our life change.

My brother Tom and our sister in law, Liz and our nieces Jessica & Jodi were here over the weekend. It is a Scofield tradition to go to the NYS Fair so Tommy and his family come home for it every year. I've been to the fair every year for over 30 years. Gary has been for the past 19 years with my family...it's just tradition. So we go all together, my Mom, and Dad, my 2 brothers Tom and John, Jess and Jodi our nieces and Gary and myself. It was fun. I went on the carousel with Jodi, and the Himalayan with Jess. We all went on the big Ferris wheel except for Tommy. Gary went on the Himalayan with Jess. Jodi, Jess and I went on the roller coaster together, I was laughing so hard I was crying!!! It was a good time!!!

Today we went to the dedication of the benches in the new Adams park. Grandma Newton's parents had a bench dedicated to them and actually the other bench was dedicated to relatives on Beth's side of the family. So, it was like a big family reunion. Very cool!! After that there was a Brown family get together at Uncle Richard's and Aunt Linda's cottage. It was a lot of fun to meet people and relatives and spend time with the family. I always believe things happen for a reason, or karma, and fate or whatever. But as we were talking... a ladybug landed on Judy's shoulder. A reminder of Avery...she was there, her spirit, her reminder to us and everyone, she was part of the day and I believe that ladybug showed up at our table and on Judy's shoulder for a reason. It was only 1 ladybug, she was really red and vibrant...thank you!!!

We saw Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tom today. I don't remember if we thanked them for the lady bug pillow on here. But about a month ago we received a pillow from them that was a ladybug...very cute. Thank you so much!!!

Today was a good day. Almost 14 months in, I'm turning 35 in 5 days. I hate to think about that...it is depressing to me!!!

Hope everyone had a good Summer. We heard about China having another earthquake today. Not good. Please keep everyone safe and sound.

Love to all~
~Alli

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A week of relaxation and news...same old same old.


We just returned from a week in Cape Cod with Ron, Judy, Steve, Beth and the boys, This is the 3rd Summer we've taken a family vacation. We decided 3 years ago to draw names for the adults and only buy for 1 person at Christmas, and then go on a vacation together sometime during the year with the rest of the money you would normally spend on everyone else. We all still buy for the kids at Christmas, that's a must!!

We rent a house together in West Yarmouth(mId Cape) and stay for a week. It's a very relaxing and fun week. It's a great tradition we've started and we can't wait to actually have a family of our own to eventually take with us on this vacation. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining room, living room, kitchen, deck out back, it's very comfortable for the 3 families to share the house for 7 days.

We eat out, or sometimes together. Everyone kinda does what they want to and some stuff we do together. Gary & I took the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard on Monday. We took our bikes and rode about 18 miles. We rode from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, to Vineyard Haven and back to Oak Bluffs. It was fun and we had a good time. Ron and Judy took a tour of Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday. Gary & I rode 22 miles on the Rail Trail on Wednesday. We all went to the beach on Thursday. I'm not a big beach person, I can't be in the sun for a long period of time. I burn quick and if I get burnt badly then I'm sick for 2 days. Gary got burnt bad at the beach on Thursday-he was pink!!!! We always do some shopping while we're in Cape Cod, this year was no different.

We went to Dennis, Brewster, and Hyannis on Wednesday. We went to a place called Lemon Tree Village on Wednesday and got some prints that I saw last year. They are by a Michigan artist and her company or name of her artwork is called "Soul Soup". It's really neat poetry and very thought provoking and unique. We got 3 prints of her artwork. Gary checked our emails at the village and we received an email from our adoption agency. It was just the notification from the CCAA saying what the date of dossiers log in dates they are up to. They are up to January 2007. But we are July 2007. They are 6 months from us in dossiers and that's probably at least another year to 18 months from us actually getting our referral. Not exactly what we wanted to hear. The time is pushing out...and we knew it was going to...but it hit both of us pretty hard that day. We went out that night and had some margaritas, and appetizers in Hyannis and walked around the port in Hyannis. We needed a drink or 2 and some time to ourselves, to fully process the news.

We did get Avery some things. A lady bug umbrella and bucket hat. Some green silk pj's that have pandas all over them. Beth and Steve and the boys did what they did last year. Last year outside our door everyday was an outfit for Avery. A different one each day...we looked forward to it everyday. They did the same this year. We got books for Avery, a lady bug bookmark, bibs, a winter outfit, and a Sumer outfit, a scrapbook set for baby girls, and a doily that Steve had gotten when he was in China. We were surprised they did it again, but we loved and appreciated it and it made our vacation very memorable. We looked forward to see what was going to be next everyday. Big hugs to Aunt Beth and Uncle Steve and the boys for doing that..it was greatly appreciated!!!

We had a great time on vacation...best time yet!!! I got some new China paper at the scrapbook place in Hyannis, and got my Mom her b-day presents in Cape Cod. I'm always gone for her b-day because our vacation always falls during it. But she gets some cool gifts while we are on vacation.

So it was a week of relaxation, some not so great news...but pray for us that time will pass quickly and our family will finally get started and be together.

It will be another year, and then some, of waiting. It is frustrating and depressing. I see some retail therapy in my future. I'm turning 35 in 11 days. I never thought I would be 35 and not have any children yet. I guess life moves us a certain way for some reason. Sometimes though you can't see why...but I hope I will see it soon, and our life won't feel like it's standing still. I have a full life, a wonderful husband, a great business, and great families...but on some days...ya know? We long for the pitter patters of little feet and a small voice calling for us. I know it's coming, hopefully before we're 40.

Keep us in your prayers, and that time speeds up.

Love to all~
Alli

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The opening ceremonies...


I've been trying to find time to post this one. But did you watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? It was amazing and every time they showed a little Asian girl, in my head I would say...there's Avery, that's what she will look like. The little girl that was singing in the red dress, was adorable and looked like a little China doll...how precious.

That's all I wanted to say. Having the Olympics in China this year is great. All the sights and sounds, and children that they show all the time. It makes my heart soar and although it makes me anxious...it makes me smile and gives me more hope for the future for this long wait.

Take care, love to all!!
~Alli

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lucky numbers in Chinese



I actually wrote this blog on 8/8/08. Then thought I lost it but it posted to Avery's quilt blog by mistake. So today I found it there and moved it to this site. So it sounds like I wrote it yesterday...because I did. Enjoy!!

With the Olympics being in Beijing this year and the official start of the Olympics being on 08/08/08. There has been a ton of talk about the significance of those numbers and also the significance of other numbers in Chinese, So, I did some digging and found it all really interesting and though I would pass it on.

In Chinese culture they consider some numbers auspicious and some other numbers inauspicious. That's based on the Chinese word that the number sounds similar to. Lucky numbers are 8, 6, 9, being the luckiest. 1, 2, 3, 5, & 7 are considered good numbers also. The number 4 is considered bad luck because the word it sounds closest too in Chinese means death. Below I put the meanings of the numbers 1-9.

1- Unity
2- Considered good because good things come in pair, and things such as the chinese character double happiness etc.
3- Life
4- Unlucky because it sounds like the word death.
5- The five elements-metal, wood, water, life, earth.
6- Flowing or smooth-"Everything goes smoothly"
7- Togetherness
8- Wealth, prosperity, good fortune, very lucky if more than one in a combination.
9- Longlasting

Just to represent some numbers in our family:
My Dad's Birthday is August 8th-8/08
My Mom's Birthday is August 18th-8/18
Owen's Birthday is February 8th.
Another 8 is our Anniversary is the 18th of May.

For 6's & 9's:
Alli's Birthday is September 6th-9/6
Beth's Birthday is October 6th
Gary's Birthday is December 19th
Judy's Birthday is October 19th

There are other's but I listed just a few to see how lucky we are according to Chinese numerology.

Just thought it was really neat to look it all up and also to learn some more about Chinese culture. Who knows Maybe Avery will have an 8 in her birthday. Or our referral date will have an 8 in it, or our travel plans.

I wanted to say Happy Birthday to my Dad-

Have fun watching the opening ceremonies tonight and the Olympics. Think of us while you watch!!!


Love to all~
~Alli

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Chinese Valentine's Day-Qi Qiao Jie

So today is Valentine's Day in China. Pretty cool it's in a totally different month than ours. We will be able to celebrate Valentine's Day 2 times a year with Avery. Just think of all the extra holidays we can add to the list. Chinese new Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and a whole bunch more. Looking forward to those days.

I feel like I shouldn't be impatient because it's only the 13 month and we knew it was going to take at least 18 when we started. So, I really shouldn't be so frustrated at this point. But in actuality, it's been over 7 years coming, I think that's where the frustration stems from, so bear with me(us).

Take care, & Qi Qiao Jie!!!

~Alli

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's been 13 months today!!!


The 3rd of every month gets us 1 month closer to our daughter and here we are again the 3rd of August!!! I don't know where the Summer has gone but don't really care either, need time to fly!!!

We have really been enjoying all the stuff on TV lately about china. The travel channel had about 4 nights of Samantha Brown, Anthony Bourdain , and the Zimmerman guy going around China and seeing different sights etc. We sat each night and watched and wondered which parts of all of it we would be seeing when we go. It's very interesting to us, the whole Chinese Culture, we are very intrigued by it all. The people, the beliefs, the food, and everything. We are learning new stuff all the time. We are really looking forward to the Olympics and the coverage in the morning news shows. I'll have to record it though because I am working for the next 2 weeks and will be at the studio during most of it. It is hard to believe that in approximately 10-12 months(fingers crossed) we will be standing there ourselves and have Avery with us-blows our minds everytime we think about it.

We were in Saratoga Springs this last Friday and just went for the day. There a park there called Congress Park, and they were setting up some kind of an Asian/Chinese display inside and outside one of the main buildings-WEIRD!! We went to Saratoga Springs on a whim and for the National Dance museum-which was a major disappointment. But had fun roaming around the touristy town and bought a plaque for Avery's room that says:

With a butterfly kiss
And a Ladybug hug
Sleep tight little one,
Like a Bug in a rug.

Appropriate we thought, it's sweet.

We also got her a baby panda stuffed animal-very plush and little, just right to pack for China.

Today I went back to Kmart and got Avery 3 Summer outfits and a shirt. Total cost was $12.00. I didn't break the bank on that one!! Kmart is having major sales in all of their kids departments and probably will be marking down again to another 40% off the clearance. So, I left some other things there in hopes of even more markdowns. Her closet has clothes in it...but she's a girl and if she's anything like her Mom (me) she will have more clothes than she can wear. That's how it goes!! My mom taught me well, first go to the clearance rack, then shop around. Always look for the bargains. Anything I've bought it hasn't been much and it is always on sale!!!

We, I mean I, am still obsessed with ladybugs, and now pandas. Also I am starting to feel like an elephant whose gestation period is about 22 months. Feeling really akin to that animal lately. We have a ton of things with ladybugs on them and anytime anybody sees a ladybug we are told they think about us and Avery-that's pretty cool.

I do finally have the final draft on the quilt reminder to send out to people we haven't heard from yet. I think I will do that one, and then do a postcard to everyone else with update information and if anyone is willing to help to start the quilt. That should be a lot of fun...and make us feel as if we are doing something for her besides waiting, and waiting, and oh yeah...waiting.

We go to Cape Cod pretty soon, can't wait. Should be a lot of fun!! I recently bought 3 books to take with me. One is really good and tells you everything you would need to know about adopting a baby girl from China. Another one is told from the father's perspective...thought maybe Gary would also read that one. The last one I still have to go and pick up is about after you bring your daughter home and what to look out for and etc. It does help me to read about other people's journey's and to hear their story. So, I should be able to get some reading done while we are away.

I think that is the catch up on us for now. Still here and waiting...sometimes not patiently, sometimes totally frustrated, but taking it day by day. Don't forget to ask us about the adoption..that is our support system.

Love to all-Yea!!! 13 months!!!!!
~Alli & Gary

Monday, July 28, 2008

A poem I found today...


The Chosen Heart

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew
A part of me was meant for you.

I think how happy we will be,
Once I adopt you, and you adopt me.

I dream of all the joy you'll bring,
Imagining even the littlest things.
The way it will feel to hold you tight,
And tuck you in every night.

The drawing on the refrigerator door,
And childhood toys across the floor.
The favorite stories read again and again,
And hours of games with make-believe friends.

The day you took my outstretched hand,
A journey ended, but our lives began.
Still mesmerized by your sweet face,
Still warmed inside by our first embrace.

I promised to give you a happy home,
And a loving family all your own.
A house you've now made complete,
With laughter, smiles, and tiny feet.

A parent is one who guides the way,
Know I will be there everyday.
Rest easy as each night you sleep,
A lifetime of love is yours to keep.

Longing for a child to love,
I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew,
A part of me belonged to you.

(c) 1997 Teri Harrison


As the days go by I am finding myself needing to be doing things...this is the hardest week I have had so far...I don't know why, and I don't want to analyze it. I know there will be more and tougher days ahead. I am definitely not good company this week.

This is another great poem I found about adoption, it helps and expresses the feelings I feel when sometimes I can't.

Thank you Heather & Don for your comment-it helps so much to know that people are with us and are also keeping track of the adoption. Thanks!!
~Alli

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Feeling frustrated and more frustrated...


I don't think people truly understand the process we've been through so far. Maybe it's just me but I feel as if people don't care anymore about the adoption and have forgotten about it and it will be that way until we actually get our referral. I know I am extra sensitive about the adoption but ya know what cut me some slack!! We have been waiting for approximately 7+ years for this to happen for us...of course I am sensitive about the subject. I am at my wits end with family and I am trying to be social and put on a brave face and say all the right things and be the person everyone wants me to be...but some days -NOPE!!!

I look around and see everyone else with their families and what it must be like to have a little face look up at you and you be their whole world...and my heart hurts. What I can't get is how people don't understand that. Everyone looks at you like you should want to hold every baby you see and interact with every child you see but that's not me...even though that's the pressure that is put on me from myself and from others. I want to hold Avery...our daughter, my heart thinks of her every second of everyday. I teach children everyday, from age 3-18, and I love those kids like they were my own...but they're not and the reality of that hits me everyday. I am not Miss social butterfly, never have been never will be...I am at my work and with my kids there, but not out and about, I am my father in every way.

The things that we are able to do now, are the quilt squares and Avery's life book, get fun things for her, and clothing, and really just WAIT and WAIT!!!!!!!! So when family act uninterested I take offense...I shouldn't but I do. I guess it goes both ways, I don't ask them so they don't ask me-fair enough. We've had a lot of people...family, not do a square for her quilt which really boggles our mind. A simple thing like that and wish to not participate-okay that's fine. I know everyone is busy and has lives, we do too. We have over 160 kids that we put on 4 shows a year for, and a business that takes up most of our time, all the time. I'm just venting here, it's been a hell of a day!!!

I am keeping a journal of things that happen in our lives and that's hard for me to do. I think I'll start putting it on the computer, because I am more apt to sit down at the computer and write than do a journal entry. I'll keep trying though. When people avoid talking to us the adoption it makes it harder. We need to talk to other people than just the 2 of us. We are needy right now, sorry. We are frustrated at the wait time...even though we know it is going to be long. My kids at the studio and parents at the studio that I don't know that well have asked more questions lately than family. Maybe I just need this week off to gain some more perspective on our situation. I am just venting, the good and the bad and the ugly.

On a happier note-

Thank you to Aunt Nancy & Uncle Tom for the ladybug stuffed animal/pillow. It is adorable and than you for thinking of us and Avery. I needed that and so did Gary. It is so soft and we love lady bugs!!!! It will go perfect in her room!!!

Thank you also to Aunt Cathy Hudnall. We hope you feel better really soon, we missed you at the get together today!!! Thank you for all of your kind words about the adoption, and we think about you often-feel better soon!!! We love you!!

Love to everyone~
A frustrated Alli

Monday, July 14, 2008

Keeping hope alive!!


I am writing this blog really quickly before I have to go teach my first dance camp of the day. I am responding to the people who are wondering where the 10 months comes from and those of you who are so negative at this process.

We are 12 months and 11 days into our adoption. We do not go the CCAA website every week or even once a month for updates. I feel that that just makes you go crazy, and feel really frustrated. I also feel that there is so much information out there on the wait time that nobody really knows how fast or slow the process is going to be or take. So, 10 months is our next goal. That will bring us up to 22 months and then we will go from there. The original timeline we were told was 18 months but that was when we started the application process. We know it will be longer...much longer. Anyways if they are saying 25-28 months then it's not much longer than what we've predicted. So then we will get to those dates and go from there, could it be longer...sure.

There is SO much out there on the internet about the wait time and SO much about people thinking it's not fair and getting totally frustrated. There are so many blogs and websites, and negativeness out there...it's not for us. I think all of us that are all in the same boat should really support each other and not be negative in the slightest. It doesn't help anyone's situation to be negative. Be positive, there is always the chance that things will speed up. All of this looking to see how many referrals they got through in how many days per month, just makes you go crazy with the waiting.

We have decided not to dwell on the situation. We will start Avery's nursery this Fall, not being in a hurry. Her nursery will wait for her until she gets there. I believe in thinking positively about this situation. Do I have bad days where it makes me crazy...sure do just read back in the blog. But 10 months is our next goal. Let us get there, and actually I'm going to break it down on our way to 22 months. We all have to handle this in our own way...she is always on our minds...she will wait for us until we get there. The wait is long but worth it...no matter what and no matter how long it takes.

God bless and love to everyone in our family and our friends, and people who are in our situation...just believe!!
Keep hope alive!!
~Alli

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Zhou Nian Kuan Le to us... again!!!!


Happy 1 Year anniversary of the adoption dossier being in China to us!!!

Yes, it has been 1 year since we sent our dossier. The year seems to have gone slow but also very fast at the same time. We are expecting to wait another 10 months...fingers crossed that that's all we have to wait. So, Avery should be born anytime within the Summer if our calculations are correct.

Stay tuned for another blog to be put with this one. Now that we are 1 year in, I am going to start a Dear Avery journal. To say what we want to her as we wait the last months before her arrival. To document our days, and so we can look back and see what we were doing on the day she was born. Maybe there will be something special that happened that day that made me think of her, or something special was said or whatever that would relate to her birth.

It feels like we are in the home stretch. We have re-done our breezeway and the downstairs bathroom. Those were two things we wanted to do before we started the nursery. So we are on our way.

So happy Shou Yang to us. That means adoption in chinese.

If you have squares for Avery please send them in to us as soon as possible!!!

Love to all,
~Alli

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A journey of a thousands miles...


That saying is used over and over and over again in International adoptions. In conjunction with the red thread saying for China adoptions you always see this saying also. I was in Syracuse the other day walking at the Carousel Mall, and planned my entrance and exit through JC Penney a certain way so I wouldn't be back tracking through the store and I only had a certain amount of time before I had to pick up my Mom at the train station. So, I went into the Mall through their 2nd story and left through their lower level. On my way out I passed the jewelry section and saw these neat rings and bracelets, and necklaces, with all sorts of sayings and words on them, ones that I've seen in a catalog called, Femail Craeations that I love. But the catalog is really expensive and I just haven't ordered anything from them. They have necklaces that say, "Live Fully", "Dance like no one is watching", things as such...sayings I love and use all the time.

As I was passing I saw a ring, it was sterling silver, and had a twist in the band and had a saying that went all the way around it. The saying was, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". Meant to be!!! I bought it of course, the price was 1/2 the cost it would have been in the catalog. If I had not gone out this way through the store I would have never seen the ring...fate or whatever...I love this ring, and the more I look at it the more it gives me hope and that we can make it through the next 10+ months left on our wait time.

I also bought a ladybug bikini for Avery. It was $7.00 at Babies R' Us...CUTE!!!! I bought 24 months, it is adorable and I couldn't resist.

We have started renovations on the house. The downstairs bathroom, the deck, and the breezeway. Then after that we will start on the nursery.

That's it for now.

Love to all,
~ALli

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm late blogging for Father's day...sorry!!!



Zhi Ba Tian
Pronounced- Ji shee-Baa-T-yen

That's how you say Happy Father's Day in Chinese. Hopefully someday soon we can teach it to Avery and she'll say it to Gary. We plan on teaching her some chinese. Plus, we want to learn some anyway before we go to China.

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day!!! We had my Dad over for breakfast. We had egg souffle, and belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Indiana sausage, and bacon...it was really good if I do say so myself!!!

We went to Steve & Beth's for a BBQ late on for Ron. WE had hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, chicken, 3 types of salads...really good again. No wonder I wasn't hungry on Monday at all!!!

We are starting to plan on re-doing the deck and getting paint for Avery's room and the downstairs bathroom.

I've been on vacation for a week and of course I have a million things to do...but I'm bored. Never happy, either too much to do, or not enough. Been signing dancers up for Dance Camps since the day after the Recital. Gary is finishing up the dvd's from the Recital.

Other than that it's all the same. We just got word from our adoption agency that 4 families just left for China over the weekend to go get their sons and daughters. Quite a Father's Day gift-WOW!!!

I am wondering with the earthquake, and all the monsoons and everything over there if this is going to put us behind even more. Hope not...can't take that!!

Hope you all are having a good end of the school year!!!

Love to all
~Alli

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crib...a no go


So, we didn't get the crib last weekend. We are going to still keep looking around. We have plenty of time though, we don't need to be in a hurry. We'll work on her room now and the house and in the mean time keep looking.

Looking forward to having some time off now. The Recital is tonight and then I'm off for 3-4 weeks. We'll be busy during those weeks though. We have a bout 8 grad parties to go to this year. I've got to get out in my gardens some more, and start my vegetables on the deck.

I have over 23 little ballerinas in my Recital tonight, looking forward to the day when we'll have a little ballerina in a pretty pink tutu to do a Recital.

Love to all~
~Alli