Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our progress so far...

It has really been a whirlwind week and a half, this week went so fast for me that I never knew what day it was...but that's good the faster the better. With a checklist and a to do list in hand I ventured into the special needs world doing all I could to learn about certain needs and what they meant and how minor or major they could be or become. I am becoming pretty affluent in the medical terms and can tell you what they are now pretty much just by the fancy medical term-impressive! I found that a lot of them are the same thing, just differences in severity. I ended up all of this week researching and then leaving Gary packets on the kitchen table for him to peruse when he got home, so we were both researching in our spare time. We have had so much help through family and friends on helping with some of the needs, and pediatricians, and connecting us with other families who have been through this-Amazing!!

Our progress in this last week:
1. Called Public Health and have vaccines set up for February 10th. Hep A & Hep B to start with.
2. Sent out emails and letters to pediatricians.
3. Think we have a pediatrician that will work with us, just need to lock this down.
4. Gary & I should have the special needs list narrowed down by this weekend.
5. Getting funds together for the deposit.
6. Sent out last call invites to friends and family about Avery's quilt.
7. Sending out back up letters to other pediatricians just in case.

We got a lot done this week, and have even more to do. Thank you to everyone and all their support, it means the world to us. We are excited that the prospect of receiving a referral is now in clear sight!! Our daughter is so much closer now-we feel it!!

Tonight Gary and I are going to Wicked in Syracuse. It's our second time seeing the show but the show is so amazing!! It's our last big night out for awhile as we are going to have to scrimp and save for the next few months!!

Love to all~
~Alli :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The meeting...

So yesterday was the day we met with our adoption agency about the switch to special was a good day!!!

I haven't slept much in the last week we've had a lot going on in our family and there has been a lot of research to be done. Learning about different special needs and having many discussions about what we would accept and what we wouldn't. My Mom had a heart catherization last Wednesday and it ended up being more serious than we all thought, she had 2 stents put in and a balloon. So we were at the hospital 2 days last week, and have been checking in on her since the and making some meals, and she's fine now, but I think we all stood up and took notice about how serious the condition really was. So thank goodness she had the procedure, and is now recovering.

We met with another family from around here last Friday that have been home going on 7 weeks from China. They adopted a little boy with special needs and we met with the to ask questions and meet Isaac and what a nice family. They were so open and warm, and answered all of our questions and shared pictures from their trip. They have 4 adopted children. We actually met them 2 1/2 years ago when we had just started the adoption process, they had 2 children then, and have adopted 2 more since then. A great family and great dinner, we really enjoyed re-meeting them, and meeting all their children, they have adopted now 2 times from China. They were a wealth of information.

So yesterday we met with our adoption agent, Pat. We talked about the switch to special needs and really how easy it was going to be, and what paperwork we have to fill out, and she is going to send us the rest of our paperwork that needs to be updated. There were a couple OMG moments during our conversation.

1. The switch can be done relatively quick, and then we will be privy to the special needs list that comes out about every 5-7 weeks.

2. Pat sends all the information on every child, medical,background as much as know, pictures, etc. She sends it in the first email so you can look at everything right away, and take the file to a doctor to have it reviewed. There is no waiting list at our agency. If you are interested in a child you tell them and they block that child and that's it. As long as no one else has blocked that child before you from the agency. Once your paperwork is in, and the letter of intent is sent you wait for confirmation from China. We can't share any information with any part of our family while we review children or wait for confirmation from China-HARD!!

3. Once we have all our paperwork in, and the new paperwork in, and the deposit(OMG), this could happen really quickly...really quickly(OMG)!!!!

4. The fee(deposit) they require at our agency for the special needs program is quite steep, but doable, but quite steep and we will need to get a lot of money together in a very short, and I mean short period of time-OMG!!!

5. Plus, if we travel soon we would need to get the welfare donation, and travel money together really quick also-OMG!!

So, there it is!! It was a very exciting, and hopeful meeting. We have a lot to do, and a lot to get ready for...but 2010 seems like it will be our year!! Finally!!!

Wish us luck as we get ready for the arrival of our little girl...Avery Lin, hopefully here in the next couple of months...yes, I said months-cross your fingers and pray for us!!!

Love to all,
~Alli & Gary

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big discussions and big decisions...

As we've been on this journey to parenthood for the past 30+ months we have had our ups and downs, and some really big ups and some really low downs, it's to be expected on this journey of parenthood and on this journey of adoption. But sometimes you have those days that just weigh on your mind and on your heart and you wonder where to go and what to do.

As I had a day off on Friday I was very tired and very unmotivated. I'd had one of those weeks where everyone tells ya how tired you look, and you really don't feel it until your day off. I did something I never do, I went on those sites that when you're in International adoption you should never go on. But I did and what a depressing couple of hours. Yes...hours. Once you're in that world you can't get out because you are looking for some string of "good" news. It's all so dismal and you can't believe what you're reading, and so you keep looking for new posts and some shred of hope. I know, I know, what was I thinking. Bad idea...I know.

That whole experience just put a damper on my whole day, and nothing was accomplished. Gary came home from work and unknown to me he had had one of those days also. Gary only has these days about 2 times a year. Once this time of year, and the other in the Summer. But he had had a day where the adoption was weighing heavy on his mind. We had both had a bad day, and one that just makes you frustrated, and depressed, and angry, and fed up.

I feel like I keep telling everyone 10 months, and I'm not sure that's what it is, nobody knows, and we cannot wait another 24 months or longer...

Despite our bad days, we had a nice dinner together. It's nice that I've had my Fridays off lately, I can cook, and we can actually sit at our kitchen table, talk and eat together-a rarity sometimes. So some big subjects and some big topics, and some big decisions have been made.

We talked about the last 30 months and how hard it has been. Gary said, "We've turned into that couple we met at the Chinese New Year Party 2 years ago."  The ones we said we never wanted to turn into...but after 30 months...we are there. They just looked so worn down, and sad, and the wait had beaten them. I think Gary and I feel that way a lot, we hide it well a lot of the time, but not so good  other times. This journey has been hard on us, wondering why us, and where is OUR daughter, and when. But also, the constant asking of when, and why from everyone else is also hard. So, as we carry the burden of waiting and waiting and waiting, we also carry the weight of everyone else, because of the unknown. We love to be asked about the adoption, so this doesn't mean to stop asking it actually means keep asking but no assumptions, and more understanding, and more listening to us, that's what we're really saying. But we have made some decisions about the adoption and we are letting family & friends in on the direction we are planning to take for the adoption...

We are coming up on the 3rd update of our dossier. We have to get our fingerprints done again, state and federal. Plus, an update to our medical, financial, and home study is coming up again also. So, we've decided to change to the special needs program for the adoption. We have had many discussions this weekend and we think this is the way to go for us. It should speed up our referral time, and we can definitely care for a special needs baby. It does mean a little more paperwork, and  a lot of time researching in the next week about the "special" needs of the children in the China program, but we really think this is our path. We think this was our journey to begin with and we finally now are starting to realize it, and some things we already knew are still true.

We know that we will have an Asian daughter, that we know for sure and we know that in our soul, that our "Avery Lin" will be from China, and will change our lives. So we are still in the China adoption program but will be talking to our agency this week about the switchover and what it may entail and what it will actually mean for us. We truly believe this is our path, our calling, and that it probably was our path from the start and we are now just realizing it. This journey has taught us a lot, patience, friendship, endurance, how to deal with disappointments, how much our love can withstand, and how to love beyond boundaries, beyond anything and how to handle anything and everything that may be thrown at you.

We plan on talking to people we know who have gone through the special needs program, people we know who have switched to the special needs from the non-special needs program. We have tons of questions for our adoption agency. A lot to ask, and do, and think about in the next few weeks. But we really do feel this is right for us and this is the journey that will lead us to our daughter.

We hope everyone will support our decision, and we will need many prayers, and positive thoughts as we venture into our new territory. We will need a lot of support, and a lot of inquisitive questions.

So that was the big discussion...and the big decision.

Wish us well!!

Alli & Gary

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CCAA News...a snails pace...

As of December 30, 2009:
CCAA has finished reviewing adoption documents registered before Febuary 29, 2008.
CCAA has made placements for families whose documents were registered before April 3, 2006.

So...they've gotten through 4 more days of referrals...not a lot of progress but getting a snail's pace!!!  :(

Hopefully we'll see some more progress in a few weeks.

Need lots of good thoughts and prayers to help us out!!!

Love to all, 

Monday, January 4, 2010

More pics of the nursery...

The light fixture is up now, and the base trim is up, the "A" on her door and some of her Christmas gifts in the corner...

Nursery...what a beautiful word to say and hear, and have in our house-YAY!!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy LIDversary to us today...

It's the 3rd of the month again. 30 months

But how excited are we that we have so much done on her room...VERY!!!

6 months away from 3 years...3 years-YIKES!!!

Please speed up!!!!

Hope you've enjoyed the movie on the progress of the nursery. We've done more since that and will get pictures up soon!


Friday, January 1, 2010

The Nursery Transformation...

We have been busy parents to be this week. We have both had the week off and gotten right into getting progress made on the nursery. So we striped the walls, and painted trim, put up wainscoting, and Gary put the new floor down. What a transformation!!!

I never thought a little paint and some wainscoting, and flooring would make us so happy. It seems more real now, and it feels like we progressing-FINALLY!!! This room makes me so happy!!!

I go in and turn the light on and smile. A little girl's our fantastic!!!!

Here's a slideshow of our progress and I'll post more photos after tomorrow. It looks like a little girl's room, we are ecstatic!!

~Alli & Gary

Happy New Year!!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: The Nursery...
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