Friday, December 24, 2010

The Last Christmas

Dear Mia
Five Christmas seasons have passed since I started my journey to you. I thought this one would be easier knowing it was definitely the last without you. But it's not. It may be the hardest yet. Tonight it's Christmas Eve. Which means it's already Christmas morning in China. And all I can think about is the fact that you are here on this earth, somewhere in this world. You are real and you exist. I just don't know you yet.

I wonder who you are.... and where you are. Are you in the orphanage? Or someone's home? I pray that wherever you are ....someone there loves you. I pray there is someone there to hold you, rock you, comfort you. I pray that you are safe and warm and fed.
That's all I want for Christmas.

Next year everything will be different. For both of us. And even though it will be hard at first, I promise it'll be okay. Some day you'll love me as much as I already love you.
Merry Christmas Mia... I can't wait to meet you.
Love Mommy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tate is Eight!

Today is Tatum's birthday. Since it falls so close to Christmas, I decided to celebrate with her last Friday. She'd informed me a few weeks ago that in honor of her birthday she wanted to spend the night at my house. That alone is a big deal since she lives with 4 other siblings. Just being away from them is a treat. LOL!

Tatum is our princess. She was the first girl after my sister had two boys. I'm close to all my nieces and nephews but there's just something extra special about the relationship between a niece and her aunt. Next year I won't just be the super-cool-most-awesome-fun-aunt-in-the-world. I'll also be somebody's mom. Which is gonna change the dynamics of our relationship some. So I wanted to make this birthday extra special because next year she'll no longer have my undivided attention.

We started our date off with dinner at Steak-n-Shake. In our matching monkey hats made by Tatum's grandma. Then we went to see Tangled in 3D. Which I must say was very cool.
Afterward it was getting late so we went home to quickly open her gifts. The doll from the movie seemed like a good choice. She also got a cute dress with matching boots. But for some reason I didn't get a photo of her wearing it.
She chose to sleep in my bed. Griffey gave me the cold shoulder and decided to snuggle with Tatum instead. Traitor that he is.....
I had a hair appointment early the next morning. We stopped at Starbucks to pick up a hot chocolate on the way. And a coffee for the grown up. The sweet little girl behind the register bought Tate's drink when she saw the birthday crown she was wearing. Which might have made me even happier than her. LOL!

Since Tatum let it slip that her dad trims her hair (oh the HORROR!), Jessica and I felt it was time she learned how to get her hair did like the big girls do. So while I was waiting for my color to process, she got her turn in the chair.
It looked much better after being evened up and some layers added. I just wonder if daddy will be able to continue to cut it now that she's had the whole wash, cut and style treatment. Before our next stop we fueled up on a slice at the mall food court. But why I scheduled a hair appt at the mall on the weekend before Christmas is beyond me. I'll never do that again.
And finally to wrap up our fun birthday celebration we relaxed with a pedicure. The birthday girl also got a mani so her pink sparkly toes would match her fingers. Can you say "spoiled much"?
The cake and singing and stuff had to wait until Monday. We slipped that in between making Christmas cookies, taking our annual Penguin PJ Pic and watching Polar Express. Who said having a birthday so close to Christmas means you get ripped off? Not this girl!
Happy 8th Birthday Tatum!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Epic Failure

It's pretty ridiculous to think you can coordinate a photo involving 6 kids after 8pm at night. Especially after you've worn them out baking Christmas cookies all afternoon, then allowed them to ingest far too much sugar and run around the house like wild banshees. Oh and did I mention one of them is 2 yrs old? That alone usually spells disaster. But we decided to up the ante by skipping the nap that day.

Can you say "recipe for disaster"?

Somehow I managed to find matching pairs of penguin pj's all the way from toddler up to...well, let's just say grown up size. LOL! For those who have followed my blog over the years, ya know this is an annual tradition for me and my nieces and nephews. Our Penguin Pajama Pics! This year even Braeden joined us.

Things started out completely unorganized as you can see. I look at this photo and can imagine a little balloon over Braeden's head that reads "What the hell have I gotten myself into? These people are crazy!" Things started to unravel pretty much immediately after this.Almost got one. But the 2 yr old decided not to cooperate.We got a little closer with this one. But wait... that dang 2 yr old again.
Then we just gave up. Somehow the best pic we ended up with was when we completely lost control. They all turned on us and decided goofy faces were more fun. Oh well. There's always next year, I guess.By the way, credit for the title of this post goes to the teenager. I think he repeated this phrase about 157 times yesterday. It seemed fitting for this occasion.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

See? Told Ya So

My happy face is back on! There's a strong rumor over at RQ that the next cut off date will be May 29th and referrals will arrive next week. Things change fast in China adoption, ya know. Let's hope this rumor is true!

Cuz that would mean all calculations... I should be NEXT NEXT. Not in this December batch. And not in the next batch. But in that 3rd batch. Which I predict could arrive late February. But more likely in early March because of Chinese New Year.

But my birthday is in February. And I can think of no better gift. Just saying. In case anyone from the CCAA might be listening.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

54 Months Later...

And still no end in sight. Still no word from CCAA about referrals for December. Although there are now rumors circulating they're gonna skip this month. My hopes of a January referral are gone. Then with Chinese New Year the first week of February.... I'm starting to think it may be March before I hear something.

So today marks 54 months since China logged in my dossier. That's four and a half years people! January will actually be FIVE YEARS since I started this process. Five flippin' years of my life. Who could've ever imagined I'd still be stuck here. This is insane. Absolutely ridiculous. How can an international adoption program string people along for 5+ years? It's just not right to run a program that way.

Please don't tell me how China doesn't owe me a child, that there are no guarantees in IA, that there aren't enough paper ready babies, blah blah blah. I'm well aware of all that. Please don't tell me how worth it she'll be. I get that. Please don't tell me about God's plan. Cuz I don't wanna hear about it. Don't tell me everything happens for a reason. I don't care right now. And certainly don't tell me how long you waited...if it was less than 54 months...cuz I might just punch you in the face.

Sorry. But today I just need to be pissed off. Cuz I'm sick of this shit. So feel free to vent away with me. Tell me how much this sucks. I'm in total agreement. But don't try to paint rainbows and sunshine for me. I'll just bulldoze right on over them.

Today I'm ANGRY! Tomorrow I'll put my happy face back on.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Rollercoaster Continues

Everyone always said The Wait is hardest at the end. I didn't completely understand that until now. I know I'm not NEXT. And I'm fairly confident I'm not even NEXT NEXT... yet this is getting harder already. I'd been doing pretty good lately with all things adoption. As far as my emotions go, I mean. Lord knows... I've struggled at times during the last four and a half years. But for the past several months I was feeling refreshed, excited. Dare I say ... happy even.

And 98% of the time I still am. That feels good.

But I'm also starting to feel moments of sadness, too. I know those moments will become stronger over the next couple months. Right now I'm still pushing it outta my head for the most part. Because it's easier to make myself numb and not face it. Not think about the fact that my daughter already exists in this world. That hurts. I can physically feel the ache in my heart in those moments when I let my guard down and those thoughts sneak in. I'm not ready to deal with that yet. But it's coming.

And stress. Did I think I'd felt adoption stress before now? You betcha. But now... oh boy. It takes on a whole new dimension. And guess what? I'm fully aware that it's only gonna get worse. The closer I get, the stress will increase. When I'm finally holding that picture .... it'll be magnified by a million. All my emotions will be. Happiness. Sadness. Excitement. Anticipation. Fear.

The not knowing is killing me right now. The CCAA hasn't sent a batch of referrals out since Nov 1st. And there are no rumors circulating either. Today is already Dec 10th in China. How can we not have heard something by now??? During this entire long as referrals kept coming on a fairly regular basis I was able to hold it together. I was able to keep the faith. Keep hanging on.

But now that I'm so close to a referral ....the unknown has become excruciating. How far will they get next time? When will the batch come? What will the cut off date be? Will they do 2 batches in December? Will they squeak one in before Chinese New Year? Which one will I be in?

So close... and yet still so far.

Monday, December 06, 2010

And A Partridge In A Pear Tree

Tatum and Travis had their school Christmas concert this weekend. So now I shall subject you to photos of the event. First up... second graders. And just in case you can't tell where Tatum is...well, she's right in the middle under the big green arrow. LOL!
Cute, isn't she. And the fourth graders. Travis is on the top row right in the middle with the adorable grin.The video was taken by my brother-in-law who somehow managed to cut his son completely out of the frame. But I love it anyway just cuz the song is so fun. It's a crazy sound effect filled version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that just cracked me up. Don't feel obligated to watch it unless you're actually related to me. But if you do...check out the little girl front row in the green dress. She's having a blast.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Guess What?!

Ni Hao Y'all

Good news, y'all!
You CAN try to win one of my mom's fabulous hats!!
So many folks are loving on these gorgeous handmade hats that she decided to offer 2 hats of the winner's choosing in
Stefanie's 30 Days of Giveaways.
She'll even custom make them in whatever color you want!

So get over there and