Friday, January 30, 2009

So the news is the same...

I was reading out adoptive families magazine this morning and it's the issue that has a lot of updates on the cost and the timeline of most of the international adoption countries. The cost is still a lot, no change there, and the timeline is still the same. They did say that the percentage of families that get a referral in 24 months or less is 75%. So that's good, it will take longer than that though. We're coming up on 19 months next Tuesday. We're getting there...

I just checked our adoption agency website for the update about the CCAA's progress. The dossiers that are being reviewed right now, are from February 28th or before 2007. We are June 2007. It seems they are a little ahead, almost a month. We should see our dossier get in the review room in the next 3 months...hopefully. Then we wait from there some more (12 more months at least).

We are learning patience anyways. It's gotta pick up at some point.

Adoptions for China has gone down though. In 2007 there were 5,453 children adopted. In 2008 only 3,909. So that's in our favor also a little bit.

Keepin' the faith!!


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What we've been doing this week for Chinese New Year... and the adoption in general...

Well, as I stated before we decorated our kitchen for the New Year. We have chinese lanterns, and garland. Year of the Ox stuff around, dragons, and signs. Buddhas, and all sorts of stuff. Our house already had Asian influences to it because we are getting it ready to have Avery in our life and incorporating her heritage in our lives and our families. I've been looking up celebrations all over to see what been going on in China, and other places. Someday I would love to be in China for the New Year celebration, with Gary and Avery. All the pictures I've looked at this week are absolutely breathtaking. The colors, the history, the dances, and dancers, and costumes-all gorgeous!!

I did send a packet to our nieces and nephews about Chinese New Year. I had a really fun time putting it together. We have picked up red envelopes in Chinatown in NYC 2 years ago. It was probably the first time we had been there since we started the adoption process. So, we used them for Noah, Owen, and Sammy. I drew their animal signs on the outside and traced them in gold. Each one got a crisp new dollar bill, and some gold chocolate coins inside. For Jessica and Jodi we used chinese red envelopes, that had fans on them, and flowers that I had gotten in my travels around, they also got a crisp new dollar bill, and the gold coins. We sent a history of Chinese New Year, and the story of the Chinese zodiac. We sent "Year of the Ox", mazes, and word searches, and puzzles, and a panda sticker sheet, and a chinese character cling for their window. All sorts of stuff to celebrate the New Year in a new way for them, to see part of Avery's heritage and already help us celebrate and be part of her heritage in the way we could right now.

I was really excited to send the packages, it was a lot of fun to put together and research, it helped take my mind off the wait. We sent the package to Noah, Owen and Sammy on Tuesday morning with Steve to work. Steve and Gary went to work in Sackets that evening, and when Gary got home that night at 10:00PM, Noah and Owen had already colored some of the pages, and made some things after dinner, a card and chinese characters for made my night!! I was happy to see that they had taken part and were into it-Thank you guys!!!

We have a "Year of the Ox", bank on our kitchen table, it's really neat. We think she will be born this year, and if something happens that she's not or older than we thought, I'm still year of the Ox so it's all still good. Our Chinese Santa is still out, our little tree with all of Avery's ornaments and all of the Chinese ornaments on it is still out. The lanterns in our kitchen are white with Chinese characters on them, there are 10 of them, and they are strewn about. We're going to leave them up for a very long time, we're really enjoying them. On Sunday I swept the kitchen and the bathroom to take out all the bad from 2008, to leave room for all the good of 2009-another Chinese tradition. I'm kinda hoping to get to Chinatown at some point to go looking for some more year of the Ox things for her life book and such. I don't know if we'll get there in this economy but hopefully, probably not til November though, the usual trip for work.

I have so enjoyed this holiday. Learning about the traditions, and sharing it with family and my students at the studio. I do a newsletter every month, and for January I wished everyone Happy Chinese New Year, and told everyone we were adopting from China. Most of the parents know by now, but some didn't and wished us congratulations, and that's always nice.

About the wait time and the adoption in general...
I still get down about the wait time, and frustrated a bit. But I also feel like we're starting to be able to see a little light at the end. It's our busy time right now withe studio. Lots of choreography, and rehearsals, so that helps. We will 19 months next Tuesday. Really can't wait for 20 because then it should be less than a year left. WAHOO!!

I think of the day we will get the referral, it seems unreal to me, I can't really wrap my thoughts around it. I have so many questions about being a parent...a Mom. But I have kinda little Mom moments every day. Just this week, my little dancer Addy came in and put her arms around me, and said to me, "I hope you feel better Miss Alli", and then later in class yelled to me, " I love you Miss Alli"...made my whole night!! Just little things that happen day to day, that sometimes make the wait not so bad to know that eventually we will have a little Avery say, "I love you Mommy & Daddy", on a daily basis.

So, maybe I've gotten past the resentment of the wait, not all of it, and I don't want to be like some of the waiting parents I've met and seen. You can see the pain and frustration on their faces and feel it. I'm sure I'm like that at some times, who wouldn't be? And sometimes comments from tv shows, and movies, and story lines about barren people, adoption, etc., bother me, and I think too much about it, but who wouldn't? But Avery will be here and our lives will change...we know that...everyone says that, and we're fine with that, bring it on!!! I am 35 and ready for a BIG change, a change for the better, and a change that will enrich our lives, and love and teach us new things about ourselves everyday. So we say-BRING IT ON!!!

So there's my daily thought. Hope you're having a good day, and are surrounded and see the joy in your life, and appreciate it!!

Love to all~

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Which animal are you?

Here are some of the years for figuring out which animal of the Chinese Zodiac you are:

Rat-1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008-clever, charming, energetic, talkative.
Ox- 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009-honest, hardworking, strong, dependable, patient.
Tiger- 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010-powerful, brave, daring, emotional.
Rabbit- 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011-lucky, reserved, kind, peaceful.
Dragon- 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012-strong, trustworthy, brave.
Snake- 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013-determined, passionate, wise.
Horse- 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014-fun, independent, cheerful.
Goat- 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015-loving, artistic, gentle.
Monkey- 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016-clever, inventive, confident.
Rooster- 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017-capable, adventurous, kind.
Dog- 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018-loyal, helpful, generous, honest.
Pig- 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019-forgiving, noble, sincere, forgiving.

I also put some of the traits related to each after. See if they match you.

They also say that some people should stay away and are not compatible but that's not always true. They say that the ox and the dog don't get along...but that's what Gary and I are, and we compliment eachother really well so I don't know how accurate the compatibility is, but the traits seem to be spot on with a lot of people we know.

I'll put up more fun facts tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The story of the Chinese Zodiac...

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac:

Many people have wondered over the years how it was that the rat, the smallest of all the creatures, was given the honour of having the first year of the Chinese Zodiac named after him. This is the story I have heard. A very long time ago, the Jade Emperor, who ruled the heavens of China, sent a message to all the animals asking them to come together so that
he could give each of them a year, which would make it easier for the people of China to keep track of time. The cat and the rat were good friends and decided to travel to meet the Jade Emperor together. When it came time to leave, however, the cat was taking a nap. The rat, realizing that he would have to use all his cunning to be noticed by the Jade Emperor, left his friend sleeping, and set off on his own. This is why there is no year named after the cat, and also why cats have hated rats
ever since.

When the rat arrived, the Jade Emperor welcomed him and the other animals and told them that they should all take part in a swimming race. Once again, the rat realized that he would have to be very clever if he wanted to win the race. He found the largest, strongest animal, which was the ox, and pleaded with him to let him ride on its head. The ox was kind and strong, and agreed that they would swim across together. The rat travelled safely across the river on the ox’s back, but, just before they reached the other side, climbed over the ox's head, jumped onto land, and reached the finish line first. The rat had proved its cunning, and the Jade Emperor named the first year after the rat and the second year after the ox.

It's a neat story that I didn't really know. Learn something new everyday!

Tomorrow I will post the dates for each animal. Then you can figure out which animal you are.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Niu (Ox) Year!!

Today starts the beginning of the Chinese New Year!
The Year of the Ox. Ox in Chinese is "Niu". Meaning good luck and prosperity. I am an "ox" being that I was born in 1973. Gary is the year of the "Dog". Another person that is an ox is our new President, Barack Obama.

People who are "Year of the Ox":

Personality Traits:
 People born under the sign of the Ox are generally calm, dependable, patient and unflagging. The Ox is symbolic of prosperity that is achieved through hard work.  Although obstinate they do have logical minds and will not be easily frightened. They appreciate that in order to achieve success things must be done in a certain methodical and correct way.  Ox people are seldom deprived and tend to be both reliable and conventional. They are patient, but once angry and incensed it will be difficult to reason with them, they also have a propensity to hold grudges. Ruled more by their heads than hearts they are full of pride and uncompromising and in order to be happier they should nurture their sense of humor.

About the "Year of the Ox":

The Year of the Ox is one in which success will escape without a sustained, mindful effort.  The sort of problems that are encountered in the year of the Ox tend to be home front problems that seem to be never ending.  The Ox year needs discipline and it is not the time for unruly behaviour or taking short cuts.  In this year success is achieved solely through hard work.

I'm going to try to put up information about the Chinese New Year throughout the 2 weeks. Hope you will log on and leave comments and truly enjoy all the information we can give you!!!

Xin NIan Kuai Le!!!
Love , Alli

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our kitchen looks like a street in China Town...

I decorated our house today for the Chinese New Year, It starts on Monday runs through Feb.8th. We have lanterns and mobiles hanging in our kitchen. We have chinese garland hanging over our island in the kitchen. I have our Chinese Santa, and the oxs on the table w/ the new cherry blossom placemat. The chinese character clings are on the windows, and the buddhas are out and it's lots of fun. Another holiday to decorate for...I love that.

We'll have the Moon Festival, Halloween, Christmas, New Years, Chinese New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, there's a dragon boat festival in here somewhere, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, August is pretty free though. PLus all the birthdays, and everything!!! There are a ton of Chinese festivals throughout the year.

We have Chinese fortune sticks, that I got Gary for Christmas last year. Yesterday I pulled one out the way you're supposed to and it read, "You will have some good news within the next month".

Funny huh? I wish!!!!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!!!


Friday, January 23, 2009

So which is it?

I've been around town lately and looking at the Chinese New Year decorations and some say different things.

Some say "Xin Nian Kuai Le" and some say "Gung Hay Fat Choy". So I did my research and here's what I found.

The first one is in Mandarin, and the second one is in Cantonese. Both languages are spoken in China just depends I guess. We usually look for the Mandarin way to say things.

So both are correct.

Just a tid bit...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Excited about Chinese New Year!!

So the Chinese New Year starts on next Monday the 26th through Feb. 9th. I'm decorating for it this year. We are the only ones who will see it, because nobody visits us, but it will make me feel good to do it. I've got a year of the Ox candle, and chinese garland, and some chinese lanterns I've had for awhile that I'm going to put up. We have chinese character clings and dragon picks, and Fu Dogs, and it will be fun and festive. I'm also going to send to our nieces and nephews, the red envelopes with chocolate gold coins in them and panda stuff and a crisp dollar bill. I'm also going to send out a few Chinese New Year cards, and just do it up right!!

I guess I'll consider this practice for when Avery is here. I would like to have a annual Chinese New Year celebration at our house with family to help bring some of her culture and traditions into both of our families culture and traditions!!

I'm sending info. packs w/ the red envelopes, so that they can understand better what we're doing.

I'm excited, that's all!! Plus, it's something other to do than dance and worry about the adoption...something positive and makes ME happy!!

Xin Lian Kuai Le!!!!

Love, Alli

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More info. on Chinese New Year...and other stuff!!

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, will be January 26th
this year. This is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Did you know that
2009 is actually 4706 by some traditional Chinese calendars? So whether you’re cele-
brating the beginning of 2009 or the beginning of 4706, here are some fun facts about

Chinese New Year:
• This is the Year of the Ox, also known as Yi Chou.
• Before the New Year, it is traditional to clean your house completely so
that none of last year’s dirt will be present in the new year.
• Many people give their doors and window frames a new coat of red paint
for “good luck” to welcome the new year.
• Homes are decorated with paper cut outs of Chinese symbols.
• Buying new clothing, shoes, and getting a fresh hair cut symbolizes a fresh start in the new year.
• People wear red clothes and give children “lucky money” in red lai-see envelopes.
• Families share a traditional feast with lettuce wraps, spring rolls, long noodles, duck, fish, pork, tea eggs,
nian gao or sticky rice cake, eight precious pudding, and other delicious foods.
• Fireworks, firecrackers, and a lion dance are traditional ways of celebrating on New Year’s Day.

We are doing the red envelopes this year for our nieces and nephews. We have cut outs of Chinese characters around the house and red Chinese character garland in the house also. Can't wait to actually celebrate this with Avery. Our traditional Christmas cards will turn into Chinese New year cards to add some influence of her heritage into our lives. We have all of our Chinese New Year ornaments and other red and gold ornaments, and Avery ornaments on a small tree in one of our livingrooms. We'll keep it up through the Chinese New Year.

A special thank you to Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tom for the ladybug ornament for Avery, and a special thank you to Grandma Vi and Grandpa Lew for the gift for Avery. We just had our last Christmas last weekend with the Newton side.

We are keeping fingers crossed that our dossier will get into the review room really fast, but we probably have to wait another 3-4 months. I just want it to get into the review room. It's like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but it just escapes our reach.

We are thankful to all family and friends that bought and sent Avery gifts for Christmas, we really appreciate it!!!

The little Asian girl I teach each week in my classes gives hope and a glimpse into the future of our lives, and I am so grateful for her to be one of my students. She is bright, and bubbly, and smart, and a great little dancer. I'm hoping that she and Avery, when Avery gets to be older, will be friends.

I'm opting to not go the adoption agency Chinese New Year celebration this year. On the one hand I want to go just in case there are other families from our group there (there weren't last year). On the other hand it's a really depressing and frustrating event for Gary and myself. Last year I was really overwhelmed when I walked into a room full of about 50+ gorgeous Asian children from 8 months old to about 12 years old. It caught me off guard that I got so overwhelmed and I just think I don't want to do that to myself this year. We'll go again when we've received our referral or we have Avery.

We've gotten all of Avery's things into her closet, and it's full!!! So nice to see a closet of things waiting for a little precious baby girl. Lots of pinks, and ladybugs of course, and dresses, and toys etc. It doesn't fill the need of wanting to be a Mom though. But since we're waiting, and waiting, and waiting, that's all we can do right now. So we'll start her room soon.

We also need to do something about her quilt, probably when the weather gets warmer though.

Just had some tid bits to share today!!!

Love to all~

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year's you do these??

I've only really started to do New year's resolutions since last year, at least ones I'm actually going to follow through with.

I've decided this year that my life needs to be better. My life for myself, how I treat myself, the quality of my life, and just making myself happier and healthier. It's all in how I value my life and how I treat myself...nothing to do with the people in my life, this has to do with me.

1. Going to drop 20-40 pounds and keep it off this time. I dropped 30 last year, and then got really busy, habits changed, the adoption gets depressing, and all of a sudden...we're here again.

2. Going to read more. The quiet time to myself is very important and it's different than what I do for a living. I've already started this one. Already finished 2 books and stated the 3rd, and have 4 more that I'm in the middle of. I never really cared to read a lot before but I am actually enjoying it a ton!!!

3. Reclaim my sleep!! I do not and have slept well in years. I cannot shut my mind off at night sometimes. Sometimes it's work, other times it's the adoption, other times I'm worried about little stuff, it's horrible!! Gonna have my thyroid checked again, and figure this out, it's not healthy and it's not worth feeling exhausted all the time.

4. Find time for me every day. Even during the week. Find time that does not have to do with work, and classes, and music selection, and costumes, and students, and company, and choreographing. Me time, and restrict the amount of time Gary and I take away from us to always do for all of our kids constantly. I'm 35 and feel 45. I look a lot older than I my opinion. Has a lot to do with those constant bags under my eyes that have permanent residence. Gary and I need more us time, and need to really pay attention to that more. We've started a little, had a very relaxing vacation, ad stayed in a lot, so some sense of starting already occurring.

5. Exercise every day in one capacity or another. Not my classes I teach it has to be something different than that. I teach and that doesn't mean I'm moving all out for long periods of time. Already started that too!!!

6. Take Avery's stuff out of our bedroom. Already did this it's all her closet now. We've reclaimed our bedroom back.

7. Take the necessary health stuff and do it. Don't just think that things are normal, if something is wrong, or hurts get it checked. For example my foot that is constantly bothering me since I slammed it twice into the stairs. I think I probably fractured it last year or something, throbs a lot and that's not good for a dancer. Throws your balance off and it's my pirouette foot, not great. So, things like that that I just put up with because I know I'm tough...needs to probably be checked.

8. Save for the rest of the adoption and pay off and down our debt. I'm sure everyone has something like this on their list. Need to really mean it and really do it though!!

9. Start Avery's room...little by little.

10. Write to our daughter within the next year, often, so she will know certain things I want her to know. It will probably be on here because I can't write in a journal. I've tried, many times, this works better for me. I think it's the sound of the keys, it makes feel as if I'm really getting my emotions out.

There's my 10. What's yours?

Mine is a lot of self exploration this year. I have a lot of things I'm curious about and I'm going to do my research this year. Going to get really healthy and happy for the arrival of our daughter...I want to be able to keep up with her and give her all she deserves!!!

I also feel the need to be involved in something this year or start something year, I don't know what yet though. Im sure I'll figure it out!!!

Don't you love the new year? You can feel like you can start all over again on a clean slate-new!!

Hope your 2009 is going how you see it planned!!!

Love to all~

Monday, January 5, 2009

Found it!!

Found was way back farther than I thought!!

I found the Merry Christmas in chinese comment, it was on an older December 2007 post.

Here is the other way to say Merry Christmas in Chinese, "Sheng dan jie kuai le" I think we did it this way this year. I don't know why I had the other saying last year?? I'll have to look it up again.

Thank you so much!!!


Someone left a response on here, and I didn't mean to delete it, but I did somehow? I think it was either another saying for Happy New Year, or Merry Christmas, or Happy Birthday. I deeply apologize and if you are reading our blog again please re-write your comment.

Sorry...dui bu qi!!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

When is Chinese New Year...

The Chinese New Year starts on January 26th this year.

It is the Year of the Ox. That's Alli's zodiac and it should be Avery's too!! That's pretty cool that we will have the same zodiac sign.

Happy New Year in Chinese is- "Xin Nian Kuai Le"

Just though you might like to know. I will post more about this later.

We have our little tree still up with the red new years tasseled decorations and all of Avery's ornaments on it. We'll keep it through the Chinese New year just like last year.

Take care

Our 2nd Christmas...

We went to Gary's parents for breakfast the day after Christmas and opened gifts with them afterward. We usually do Gary's parents the day after because then we don't all have to rush around on Christmas and not be able to enjoy the day. We went to Gary's parents Christmas night and played the Wii system with them, and had a good time.

We opened gifts with Mom and Dad Newton, Gram & Gramp Newton, Steve , Noah, and Owen first. Sammy is really sick and couldn't leave the house so Beth stayed with him the first part of the morning while Steve opened his gifts and then they switched and Beth came down and opened her gifts and Sammy's gifts after Steve went back up. It's too bad Sammy was sick on his first Christmas...he's feeling better now though, thank goodness.

Avery got more things from Aunt Beth and Uncle Steve , and her Grandma and Grandpa Newton (Judy & Ron). She got lady bug pajamas, a lady bug bank-really cute!! A lady bug rain jacket-very sweet!! A cute pink pant suit with ballet slippers on's really soft!! She got a pretty purple floral shirt, and very cute daisy bucket hat, a plate, sippy cup and bowl set, bibs, 2009 coin set, ladybug puzzle, and a lady bug binky blanket-very cute!!! It's so much fun to open gifts for her, and we so appreciate the thought everyone puts into getting her something. It's not necessary but we do appreciate it!!

So Avery had a great Christmas, lots of new things to put in her room, and in her closet. Gary and I also got her a ladybug Twilight nightlight. It's a big plush lady bug that has a hard plastic shell with little stars punched in it. It has a light inside and when it lights up it puts stars and a moon on the ceiling. It can light up red, blue, or green. I guess in Europe they have blue ladybugs, and in Africa they have green ladybugs, that's why it has 3 different colors. It's really neat we opened it up the other night and made sure it worked and it puts a ton of stars on the ceiling. It's rated one of the 2008 best toys and and is proven to help children have a more restful sleep...thought it might work well with Avery giving her some peace when we bring her home.

We've got all of Avery's things in her closet now. Finally got it all out of our bedroom, it was over taking one side of the bedroom. Got a lot of it put in clear containers, and all her clothes are hanging up in the closet. It's pretty full.

We're going to change her room a little from what we first thought about. I thought it would be neat to paint a cherry blossom branch on the wall where her crib will be, so we're looking into that. We are still looking at brown, pink , green, and red, and off white for colors and accents. But I think the cherry blossom branch w/ blossoms on it might be fitting and go really well with our vision for her room.

We got some of the other things out of her room, and finally got our bedroom cleaned was hideous. A lot of dust, and a lot of cat hair, and a lot of stuff we didn't need anymore. I took 6 bags of clothes out of my closet for the Salvation Army, just my clothes...I really cleaned house with my wardrobe...finally!!

So we're looking forward to getting through the next couple of months and moving into the review room in China with our dossier. It's nice to see people from our agency getting their referrals now...progress of any kind is always welcome.

Hope you and yours had a great Christmas!!

We thank all of our family and friends for their thoughtfulness of Avery this holiday season!!!

Love to all~

Happy 18 months to us...

Today marks our 18 month Anniversary of being in the adoption!!! YAY!!
Another group from our agency has received their referrals...only 11 more groups to go before us!!!

The moths seem to go quickly, Gary had to remind me of today, that's alright!!

Love to all~