Wednesday, May 18, 2011

See Ya On The Flip Side...

No sleep was had here last night. None. I didn't plan it that way. But I was literally packing until the last minute. I thought I was pretty organized. But somehow actually getting it all INTO luggage and within weight limits was harder than I thought it was gonna be.

Partly because I was pretty convinced I could do it without taking a second rolling carry on. Most people tend to take those and a backpack as their "personal item". I didn't want to carry that much luggage. I managed to do it! I made it all fit into 2 checked duffel bags, 1 carry on, 1 backpack and 2 personal items. One of the duffel bags was exactly 44 lbs when it was weighed at the ticket counter. That earned a high five from my sister.
I wouldn't recommend staying up all night. But it is what it is. I figure I'll catch a few zzz's on the 14 hour flight to China. Right now we're sitting at Dulles Airport on a 5 hour layover. Yeah...that was the tradeoff for a better price on a better plane. So this is it. The next time you hear from me, we'll be in China!

During the trip, I'll be posting to a separate blog. There are a lot of people in my "real life" who are interested in following along. But I didn't necessarily want everyone reading every single thought that's run through my head over the last 5 years. LOL! Plus I wanna do the whole "book your blog" thing with this new one as a keepsake for Mia.

So you'll find us over at Finally... Mia for now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Itinerary

Weds May 18th - 6am flight to Dulles then on to Beijing at 12pm. My sister and I arrive in Beijing at 2:40pm on Thursday.

Fri, Sat and Sun we tour there. We're the only family in our travel group who chose to pre-trip. Which may actually turn out to be okay. We'll have more flexibility about what we want to do  and see.

Mon May 23rd - fly to Guangzhou awaiting the arrival of my adoption agency's main travel group who arrive at 6:30am on Tuesday the 24th.

Weds May 25th - fly to Nanchang and if all goes as planned meet Mia!!

Tues May 31st - fly back to Guangzhou.

Sat June 4th - leave Guangzhou to Beijing to Chicago to home. Arriving at 8:53pm Sat night. With the time difference we'll travel 12 hours back in time.  Unfortunately, it won't feel like we gained 12 hours to our bodies. We can't trick them. They'll know we've been traveling for 24 solid hours.

There will be friends and family meeting us at the airport to welcome us home. For those local, come on out if you'd like to join them. But be warned...we'll probably look pretty rough and we may even smell a little. LOL! We'll run the gauntlet of well wishers, say hellos, give some hugs and then be on our way. The party will NOT continue at my house. Just saying. I'm pretty sure I'll be exhausted at that point....and need a few days to recover.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Family and Friends

As I prepare to cross the threshold into motherhood, I thought it'd be a good time to explain some things. During this long wait, I've learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of my baby. In Mia's short life, she'll have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle.

While she may not consciously remember the events, she'll still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief, trauma and confusion. She's already experienced the loss of her birthmother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She'll struggle with feeling safe and secure and may lack the ability to trust that I will meet her needs.

I'm prepared to meet her where she is emotionally and progress on her schedule. I have to prove to her that I'll always take care of her and keep her safe. I need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment, I must allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all the emotional stages with me... despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that I'm spoiling her, I've learned it's best that I meet every need quickly and consistently.

Until she's learned that I'm her mother, I alone need to be her primary caretaker at all times. It's essential that I always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. I know you're impatient to do these things, too. Trust me. I don't want to deprive anyone of loving my daughter. But in the beginning, I ask you to understand my need for you to step back and defer to me. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. I'll follow her lead and trust my instincts rather than worry about what society expects.

We've all been waiting anxiously for Mia to arrive but you have to remember ... she hasn't been waiting for us. She's about to be ripped away from everything she knows and loves. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways. I'm prepared to help her through it and prove that I am forever and this truly is her last stop. No matter what it takes.

I trust that as my family and friends you'll help me to do what's best for my daughter. I thank you in advance for your support and understanding. For more useful info about attachment check out this website

Mia's Mommy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Most Amazing Baby Shower Ever

The attention to detail that was put into every little part of this was just over the top. That's my nursery fabric tied around the chopsticks. See what I mean?
My mom made this hot pink and lime green dragon. 
It's so fabulously awesome. I was speechless.
The hostess with the mostest. My tiny BFF, Dominique. We've been friends since the 7th grade. And yes... I towered over her then, too. LOL!
She had a Shutterfly book made of Mia's nursery. Again... speechless.
The most beautiful cake I'd ever seen. All my favorites.... polka dots, favorite colors and my new favorite thing, cherry blossoms. It was perfect!
We got a late start (surprising, right?) and took awhile to eat so some people had to leave before we even started the games. But it all worked out fine in the end. I was just so happy to see everyone. Some friends I hadn't seen in awhile and it was really great to catch up.
Don't ask. Some strange game Dominique came up with about trying to kiss Jackie Chan and Jet Li. It was pretty funny.
My mom made this for Mia to wear for our consulate appointment.
She also crocheted 3 pairs of mary janes in white, hot pink and black. They're the cutest things ever! There's also a hair bow holder and several hair bows she made. But the pic didn't come out and my camera battery is dead. So I'll add it later.
Tess liked the books Mia got.
My friend's daughter Jade, Teagan, BFF's son Jack, Tatum and Tess. They were my little helpers when it came time to open presents. I think they may have been just as excited as I was. Maybe more. LOL!
It was more amazing and wonderful than I could've ever imagined. The decorations were so beautiful. The cake was gorgeous and absolutely delicious. The food, the fun, the friends. All of it was just the best ever. Thank you to everyone that came out to celebrate my baby girl. But most of all ...thanks to Dominique, her family, and my mom for giving me the most magical day. I know how hard you worked and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Making Progress

This is the last weekend I'll spend in my house alone. It's all a bit surreal. I took a shower today realizing soon there will be bathtub toys for me to navigate around. Right this very moment there are bottles and sippy cups in my dish drainer. I washed baby clothes the other day and marveled at how tiny they are.

I'm full throttle in prep mode right now. Most everything is set aside waiting to be packed. That's planned to start Sunday night. I even bought a little luggage scale to make sure our bags aren't overweight.  I think I've narrowed down the clothing for myself and Mia. Now I just have to make sure it all fits.

I have a baby shower tomorrow. I'm so excited for that! It's all a total surprise. My bestie has it all planned and from the little bit that I've seen... I bet it's gonna be something spectacular.

I'm slowly wrapping things up at work. Only 2 more work days left! I won't be back until August 15th. The whole summer to spend with my baby girl! You have no idea how happy that makes me. I have visions of putting her in the stroller for an afternoon walk, going to the pool, the park. Just spending lots of time in the sunshine as we get to know each other.

Today I had Eco-Maids come and clean my house. It was a nice little gift to myself. I think other than the cost of this might have been the BEST money I ever spent. Relieving  the stress of having to do it all myself and the time saved was so worth every penny. My house is sparkling.

Griffey even had a bath today. He's all fluffy and fresh. I just hope he stays that way for the next few weeks. It'd be nice if he still smelled good when he meets his little sister. I wonder how that relationship will work out. Of course, I hope they fall in love with each other. But it might take awhile. It's just been Griffey and me for over 10 years. Sharing the attention might be a difficult adjustment.
So my plane tickets are bought. The "really good condition" money situation has been worked out and is all ready to go. The pediatrician has been chosen and the first appointment made for a few days after we get home. I'm installing the car seat in the backseat on Sunday. I'll own a stroller by Monday. On Wednesday at 6am the plane takes off on the way to my daughter.

Soon a baby will live here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Almost Right...

On the day of my referral call when I found out Mia's birthday, I mentioned the significance of my trip to Florida. It was my babymoon. The very last vacation I would ever take as a single carefree woman with nothing but freedom to do as she pleased. It was wonderful!
I spent a week in a cute pink house right on the beach with my sister and a couple girlfriends. It was our week of doing absolutely nothing. No schedules. No make up. No sightseeing. No plan. Just pure relaxation. Lots of swimming in the ocean, enjoying cocktails, soaking up the sun, taking naps, reading books, watching movies, and talking. Lots of talking.

But I also spent a lot of time in my own head. I sat by the waves and thought about my daughter. I imagined our life together. I acknowledged all my hopes and dreams for her. I wondered what she'd look like. I dreamed of a day when I'd bring her to the beach and introduce her to the ocean. I reflected on the last 5 years of this wait. I made peace with the knowledge that my life as I'd once known was coming to an end. But I was beginning a whole new and exciting chapter. I just spent a lot of time with my daughter.
And something changed in me that week. I can't even begin to explain it. Because it defies explanation. It's just something I felt in my heart. A connection like I'd never felt before. A sense of peace. A sense of knowing. I had a very strong feeling she was born during my time in Florida. I said it out loud that week. And I said it a few times to others between last October and the day I found out Mia's birthday.

I was in Florida from Sept 29 through October 2nd, 2010. 
Mia was born October 9th, 2010.
I was pretty dang close. But my mom reminded me that I was born two weeks after my due date. So she's convinced my girl is like her momma. Always a little late to the party. And she was actually supposed to be born the week before...and that's why I felt her coming. Maybe. Who knows....