Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Here we are at the dawn of 2008.
This time last year, we were in the middle of the mad dash to get our dossier finished. We were keeping busy with it and really made pretty good progress. By Jan. 17, we had everything certified and authenticated but our I-171H, which we still were waiting on from USCIS.

Now, we are coming up in a few days on 9 months since our LID. The pace really has slowed down, obviously. The scramble to get everything for our dossier kept us busy and focused. Now, we count off the days, checking in with various sites, checking RQ to see what the latest rumors are, but the intensity is not there. There's no more paperwork to get done, no more lists to check off, no more FedEx packages to track. How many more months we have of this, who can tell, other than it's going to be a bunch.

We just want to wish everyone a safe, happy and prosperous new year. To all of those who have made the trip to China and are home with their children, enjoy them. Enjoy every moment of it. For those of you like us, hang in there. The wait can't go on forever.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Closer to review

Well, the review part of the adoption is going great guns. October now is officially out of review, according to the CCAA (which stands for China Center of Adoption Affairs, which regulates adoptions in China).
That is October 2006 - yes, something actually happening in 2006! as opposed to referrals, still in 2005.
October 2006 is when we started this wild ride with our first Great Wall China Adoption seminar with Paige. Just think, as all the October 2006 people were logging in, we were just getting started, and now they are finished with review.
Our review will come when they hit April 2007. We kind of hope they ask us a question - just minor, nothing serious - and that way we'll know our dossier isn't just lost in a pile somewhere. :)

Hello all you sick, twisted freaks

Friday night we braved the fog and rain (and forecast of snow) to travel to Tulsa and see the Glenn Beck Christmas show.
For those who don't know who the heck is Beck, he is a radio talk show host who is simply hilarious (and refers to his audience as fellow sick, twisted freaks - hence the title.) His Christmas show was non-political (there was some politics in the intermission clips on the big screen) and it was simply wonderful.
He talked about cookies, snow, presents and the overall magic of Christmas, which was not about the manger but about the sacrifices the baby in the manger grew up to make. It was a story of redemption, the true meaning of Christmas.
We had a blast (and ate dip-and-dots) and it didn't snow until after we got home again.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Strange cat tales

I posted to the right about our cat, RW, getting killed recently. We were coming home from work and saw him in the middle of our country road a couple of miles from our house. We got out and looked and confirmed it was RW. We had a wild cat, named Raccat (that we can't even come close to), that came and beat up RW and ate his food. A few days before RW died, Raccat got a hold of him and he had some big chunks taken out of his fur on the back of his neck, as did the yellow cat that was run over.
So we took him home and buried him and threw an old tire over the grave to keep the coyotes away.
One day before RW came to us, a gray kitten strayed out of the trees near our house. Well, we haven't had good luck with cats out in the country, so we put an ad in the paper and gave her away. It was kind of a pain to get her to town because we are so far out, but we thought it was best.
Then, another kitten came straying out of our trees, so we figured God wanted us to have a cat, and we gave up and named him RW. In the meantime, another wild cat in the area had kittens in our vicinity and they hung around, too.
After RW died, a few days later, we got home late, after dark, and Kevin went out to feed the horse. He came back in and told me RW's back.
I said, yeah, right.
He said, no, really.
So we went out and looked and there was a yellow cat, same size and build and color as RW, with the same squeaky meow. He just wandered out of the trees, Kevin said.
He said he went over and looked at RW's grave, and nothing was disturbed.
The next morning, the ghost cat still was there, so we looked at him closer. Same size, but he looked a little, just a tad, darker yellow than RW, and he didn't have scars on his neck.
Now several weeks later, R2 is part of our family, but we have to admit it's like RW never left.
R2 did act differently around Raccat — not as afraid at first — but he has learned now to back off.
We have the twins, Siam (he's part Siamese) and Oriole (so named because she is orange and black - same colors as the Baltimore Orioles baseball team), as we call them who are just about tame but not quite as tame as were the original kittens that came to our house when RW was there.
Sometimes we wonder about whether we really buried our cat and R2 really is RW, but we know that he isn't.
It just really is weird some days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

8 months since LID

Today (Dec. 4) marked the 8th month since our LID. Another month in the books, and who really knows how many more to go. December referrals should be coming any day now. We'll have to see how many days they cover.

A lot of people seem to be getting really down about the wait lately. Maybe it has something to do with this being the holiday season, too. We've been down a little, but we plan to see this through. I figure if Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid can become fathers again after age 50, I can handle it, too, although I still should be under 50 when our turn comes. ... Kevin

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Enid Lights Up the Plains

Our church had a hot drinks booth at the Enid Lights Up the Plains celebration Friday, Nov. 23.
Enid is where both Kevin and I work, and each year it rings in the holiday with a display of lights downtown, entertain-
ment, carriage rides and fireworks.
It had been a few years since we had a booth (because of a change in the fee) but this year we did it again as a fundraiser, with only me and our pastor and his wife and daughter showing up (which was OK because there was not really any more room in the booth!).
So, we were setting up as the downtown Square was filling up with people and the entertain-ment was about to begin when we turned around to get more cups and turned back around and it was snowing, quite heavily, just like that.
It really was lovely, and people started cheering. There was no wind, and the festivities continued, albeit ending a little quicker than normal because everyone was getting wet (and it was cold!).
Anyway, it was good for business, because we sold out. We had so much fun.
We watched fireworks in the snowfall, which I had never seen before, and it was beautiful. The pyrotechnic gurus lit them off all around the Square from the tops of buildings as the finale, and it was quite spectacular. Kevin was at work nearby, but he got to come out and see the fireworks.
A small slice of small-town life (even though Enid is the biggest city I have ever lived in).



Leap of Faith

This song from the second Big and Rich album sums up our adoption journey pretty well.

"Leap Of Faith"

I put myself on a limb
And I feel it giving way from the weight of the rain
If I break or I bend
I get myself together again, put my face to the wind

It might be a long, long way to my golden day
That's a chance I'm willing to take
There's no chain, no cage that I won't break
In this long, long leap of faith

I close my eyes
And I walk right to the edge, throw my hand up to the sky
Oh, I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid to live this life through my dreaming eyes

It might be a long, long way to my golden day
That's a chance I'm willing to take
There's no chain, no cage that I won't break
In this long, long leap of faith

To a rocket I've been tied, I'm ready for the screaming ride
It's full of fuel and I just lit the fuse
I'm a raging, burning ring of fire, and I get hotter as I get higher
And I'm tearing a hole right through this sky of blue

Oh, There's no chain, no cage that I won't break
In this long, long leap of faith

To a rocket I've been tied, I'm ready for the screaming ride
It's full of fuel, and I just lit the fuse
I'm a raging, burning ring of fire, and I get hotter as I get higher
And I'm tearing a hole right through this sky of blue

In this long, long leap of faith.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our first Moon Festival

Tonight we went to the home of our Great Wall China Adoption regional representative for a Moon Festival party. There were several attending from the referral to the already been there, done that crowd.
It is so good to find those who know what an LID is or RQ, and it is great seeing the kids and knowing that one day our little girl will be among those playing.
We did find out we are the new kid on the block, as ours is the newest LID (much to the glee of the previous new kid) but there are others in the same boat as us - waiting and wondering.
We couldn't stay long, but we enjoyed the fellowship.
We have been blessed by this journey in so many ways. When we walked out of their house, a new moon was setting in the west. The party may have been a little late for the full moon, but for us and all we have been through in the past few weeks, the timing was perfect.

6 months and counting

We hit the 6-month mark recently, and on Tuesday we will celebrate the 1-year anniversary of when this crazy, wonderful journey began — as we walked in to a seminar on adopting from China and our hearts were stolen.
The wait is longer than we anticipated, but if we had known then what we know now we may never started on this roller coaster ride, and that would have been tragic.
So, here's to the next year, may it bring speedy referrals!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

September was a difficult month

September started out bad when my purse was stolen on our anniversary, then my Mom got sick and finally we learned Dad was to have double bypass surgery.
Daddy died Sept. 26, two days before his 70th birthday, never recovering from the surgery. He was excited about our adoption, and his presence in our lives will be missed.
This month has indeed been hard, but we will endure and know that God has an ultimate purpose in mind.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

5 months since LID

We hit the 5-month mark since LID today (Sept. 4)!
People in the U.S. also were getting their referrals today. It's great to see the pictures of the babies, but I will admit to getting a little jealous, too. I really wish it was us.
We realize our day will come, but since CCAA still isn't through November 2005 yet, it's going to be a long, long time.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with the wait.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Those who walk along do not walk alone

I think one of the most wonderful discoveries on this journey has been the realization that so many others are on the same pathway. It is an overwhelming source of support that I never dreamed of finding.
So many people (who post encouraging messages on your blog or whom you read about or talk to everyday on blogs) have made this journey not only special but bearable.
It helps knowing at any time of the day or night I can find support by those who have been there or are going through the same things we are. It is so refreshing to help those behind us or to see their enthusiasm as they begin in the same place we started mere months ago. It is something I never expected going into this journey.
God bless all of us on this pathway to our futures.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Out of translation

We found out today we are out of the translation room. We only found out last month we were in translation, so to be out is pretty cool.

CCAA actually has dossiers through June out of translation, so it looks like that much of the process has speeded up. Wonder if the new regulations that took effect May 1 have had any impact on that (i.e., fewer dossiers to translate)? Of course, this move now puts us near the end of a long line pending review (July 2006 currently is in review). Then, it's the long line pending referral.

But, the good news is it's one more step in the process behind us. Gotta love that!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lost in translation

Yess. We are finally in translation, a process in which our dossier in China is being translated in Chinese. This apparently takes a few months. Once through we go into "pending review" which will be several months — they are now reviewing June 2006 dossiers, so we will have a long wait for that one.
Keep us in prayer.
Kevin and Violet

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bracelets for our child

These are the bracelets we chose to wear from our LID (log in date) with the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA). We will wear them until we receive our little one.

Why international adoption?

Just this past month I got my first real negative comment about China adoption, although I'm sure the woman had the best of intentions.
So I thought I'd share about why we chose international adoption. First, we didn't just jump into this. We went through some traditional routes before we settled on Department of Human Services in Oklahoma, where we sat and waited for nearly three years.
Maybe we were too picky, maybe our social workers were just burned out (we're on our fourth) or maybe it just wasn't meant to be. We went through a course that taught us how to restrain our child (albeit they said we probably would never use it) and that definitely wasn't what we were looking for in a family.
Domestic adoption was quoted at about $30,000 upfront, money we just don't have. And while I admit we didn't look further into that realm (opting to try DHS) we were not comfortable with the U.S. court system's lack of precedent when it comes to standing up for the adoptive parent.
All of these may seem obstacles easily overcome by those who do not understand adopting internationally when there are so many children here in the United States, and I will admit that even we did not at one time in our long journey see ourselves on this pathway. However, from the minute we left the China adoption seminar we knew this was our destiny for our family. And all the struggles and stress with the long wait for referral (which has stretched up to two years and is expected to go beyond) has not changed that at all.
We are able to pay for our adoption costs as the expenses come up, and so far that means we have been able to save all the money we have needed (it's very important to us to not go into debt.)
In China, it is illegal to abandon a child, and after a certain waiting period when no one identifies the child ( through newspaper advertisements) then the child legally is declared an orphan, and no one will contest the adoption in the future.
Reading the history of China shows a need for a home for these children (most are girls, but there also are male orphans).
But we aren't looking to save the world. We're only looking for a family.
I hope this helps.

Another month goes by

Well, another month has passed, with only seven days of referrals in July. Those with Log In Dates (LID) of Nov. 7-14, 2005, were able to see their precious babies late last week and early this week.
That puts the wait time at around 20 months. It is expected to increase. We can only hope time flies by, and, yet, you hate to see it go so quickly to.
China adoption is all about hurry, hurry, hurry and then hope for time to slow once you have your family.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Someone wake me when we get to China ...

That's what I actually considered for our blog name, but I didn't want our little one to see it and feel hurt in the future. The referrals for June 2007 were for Nov. 1-7, 2005, (yes, that is 2005!!). Only seven days. That's looking like three to four years for us, and that's the optimistic outlook! The waiting is not really the hard part, believe it or not, it's the not knowing what's going to happen in the multiple years that is so hard. We've been waiting so long, and it seems every turn we make toward our family is the wrong one. So as Kevin is usually the driver, and I'm the navigator, I'm going to fold the map, put it away and sleep this one out.

Someone wake me when we get to China ...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Here's our little girl's name

We came up with the name of our daughter pretty quick. We both liked "Emily," and we're going to love calling her Em, Emmie, Emma — we love nicknames, can you tell? :)

This is a cool Web site to go to and see if you can find the Chinese characters for your name:

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Two months down ...

Today is the second month anniversary of being LID (log-in date of our adoption dossier with China)!!
As Kevin said earlier, only 24 more months to go :) and I replied we'll still be saying that this time next year!
Really, though, the wait time right now is approaching 19 months, I believe, and I know it is at 18 months for sure. Some speculate the wait will go up to 3 years and beyond. We only can hope the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) will speed up the number of referrals. It used to be a month or referrals at a time every month. Now it is only a few days every month. That are backed up to November 2005, and several people speculate it will take 5 months or more to get through the referrals of the LIDs that month alone (apparently it was a big month).
So, pull up a chair and get comfortable. We'll be here awhile. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


We received our LID. It's 4-4-07. Now we sit and wait for our referral. How long that will be is anybody's guess. Right now, the wait is 18 months, but it's expected by most people to increase, probably to 24 months and maybe more. We shall see. Regardless, we're in this until we get our daughter.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The day that changed our lives

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006: As we got up early and headed into Enid for a workshop on adopting from China, we didn't realize our lives were about to change. Too many disappointments in the past prompted us not to expect much, but when we left the church building that day where the workshop was held, we were excited. Adopting from China, using Great Wall China Adoption, just seemed right. We decided to wait, not get too excited, but by the next day our decision was made, and here we are, 5 months and 6 days after that day. We are DTC (dossier to China) and waiting on our LID (official log in with the Chinese government - CCAA)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hi everyone

This is our blog chronicling our journey to bring home our child from China.