Official Word--The Stork is on the Way!

Thursday, January 31, 2013 2 comments
Just got an email from our agency that they have confirmed the 10/17 cutoff and that referrals are on the way. It shouldn't be much longer!!

On a related side was eight years ago today that we found out that we didn't make the cut off date, that China had split our August LID month in half after referring full months at a time. We had been fully prepared to receive our referral and were crushed we would have to wait another month to see our beautiful Chloe. I thought of how things have come full circle, and eight years later, for our 2nd adoption, we are in and we can't wait to see her face!!!!!

Rumors of a Cut-Off!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2 comments
We woke up this morning to see some rumors of the cut-off...October 17! That means with a October 16 LID that WE ARE IN!!!!!

We are waiting for official word from our agency later today.

Last night at dinner we had a guess as to the date of referral, age at referral, birth date and for a bonus if Emma Claire would be from Guangdong province, like Chloe. As you can see, Oliver didn't feel like participating much. Matt did guess (and I didn't write it down) that Emma Claire would be from Sichuan Province. We shall see if he is right. And, you can see that Matt and I were on the same wave length and didn't know the other guessed June 18 for her birthday. So far, it looks like we were all wrong on the date of referral.

I also made a video of the kids talking about "baby sister". This is a candid look at life with a 8 year old and a 3 year old. More so life with Oliver and how he plays the role of "super pest" to big sister Chloe. The kids are excited and hopefully once we get the photo of Emma Claire, Oliver can begin to understand that she is a baby and may not be playing cars, soccer and football anytime soon!

Waiting and Waiting

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 No comments
We sent our dossier to China for a second daughter in September of 2006. It was registered or logged in (which means we officially got in line, our LID-Log In Date) on Monday, October 16, 2006. That was 6 years, 3 months and 13 days ago. And we still don’t have our referral. We wait.

I've been trying to keep busy by taking photos of the kids and documenting the last few days of the wait.

We are “next in line”, which in terms of China adoption and for lack of a better example, is like taking a number at the deli counter. You take the ticket with your number (in this case our Log In Date) and you wait for your number to be called. China has referred through October 13, 2006, but considering that October 14th and 15th were a Saturday and Sunday, we are next up.

But when? We are so close and after 6 plus years of waiting, these are the hardest, the days, weeks when you are closest to referral.  We’ve handled the six years of waiting pretty well, sure, there were moments we questioned whether we would continue, and it was frustrating, but looking back, it seemed easy compared with the last few days since we heard official word that China was matching, that someone in Beijing was dusting off our dossier and matching a little girl with us, determining that she would be Emma Claire.

Why am I on edge, checking email and FB and Rumor Queen every 15 minutes? I’ve made it 6 years, surely I can make it another few days? I even looked up the psychology of waiting. It seems once it is your turn, your time, we become less patient and the more anxious we grow, the longer the waiting seems.

This adoption will be our third international adoption and our second from China. But each adoption has been VERY different.

If you asked me at the time, I wouldn’t have agreed, but Oliver’s adoption from Ethiopia in 2009/10 was the smoothest and easiest, which is surprising because China is considered the most stable and straightforward international adoption process, one reason it still remains #1 in international adoption despite the long wait.

We only waited 6 months for our referral for Oliver, which at the time seemed like an eternity since you can get the call at any time once your dossier is sent to Ethiopia and you are matched to a child meeting your requests. We knew people that got a referral in one week and others in two months. It could come at any time after our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa. And, there is no “heads up” like China that your referral is on its way. In fact, I almost didn’t answer the phone when our agency called with our referral!

While Chloe’s adoption in 2004/05 wasn’t long and didn’t hit any snags, it was our first adoption, our first child and we were nervous and anxious and full of emotion. Up until our LID was at the front of the line, China had been referring almost one and a half months of log in dates. We thought for certain we would get a referral in February 2005, but China only referred one month of LIDs and we didn’t make the cut off. I was crushed. I was so upset when I got the email from our agency that we would have to wait until March, but that we would be next. I was teaching school and can remember reading the email and thinking I couldn’t teach the rest of the day. I did teach and I did make it until March and we did get our referral.

And now, as we are so close, I have to remind myself that if the referral arrives in February and not this month, that it is ok. We will get our referral. It’s only a few more days and we can celebrate the Chinese New Year with our referral.

Three Years at Home

Monday, January 28, 2013 No comments
Oliver--January 2010, one week home.

Three years ago this month we brought Oliver home from Ethiopia. It was quite an adjustment to go from one child to two, I found it especially hard since the kids were 5 years apart in age. Chloe was active and in lots of activities and Oliver was very much a baby. The transition was especially hard on Chloe who had to learn to share Mom & Dad and the excessive attention Oliver got at various check-ups and out and about. Add into the mix that Oliver was sickly, suffering from asthma and pneumonia.

Three years later, Oliver is now 3.5 years old and is moving out of the toddler stage and into the really big boy stage. That 5 year age gap between the kids is still trying as Oliver wants to do everything his big sister does. There is no convincing him that he’s three. He fully believes he is 8.

The tiny, sickly baby we brought home from Ethiopia is a big, tall boy. He’s one of the tallest in his pre-school class. He is stocky and muscular. He’s built like a running back. His health is markedly improved, which we are so thankful for.

He is a character and a clown. Most of the time, when Oliver gets in trouble it’s usually because he doesn’t know when to stop, when something isn’t funny anymore. He carries things too far, gets wound up and gets too rough. Typical boy.

Oliver is headstrong. Really headstrong. It’s his way or the highway, which makes it a challenge to remain calm and stay patient. Daily I remind myself that his character traits---decisive, headstrong, independent, confident, certain of what he wants and what he doesn’t want/like---are all things that are admired and needed when he gets older. Unfortunately, they are often characteristics people want to squash in a young child to keep them in-line. We try our best to let him assert himself as long as it doesn’t usurp what everyone else wants (which he can be really good at doing). In other words, we always try to have a Plan B on family outings where Oliver is concerned. We’ve learned this the hard way (a la our vacation to Hawaii---what WERE we thinking?).

Oliver is doing great in pre-school. He is the type of kid who gets in the car and begins to give you the rundown of all that was said and occurred. He will even tattle-tale on himself! I love pick-up from school because I can’t wait to hear about his day.

Oliver is the type of kid who has what I call “street smarts”. He just gets things and can read people pretty well. If you give him an inch, he’s going to take a mile. Case in point, the iPad, DS and TV. Turn your back, take a telephone call or go to the basement to move the washing over to the dryer and boom, when you return the TV is turned on and he has grabbed the BBQ chips out of the pantry. Put the iPad on lock-down so he can’t search for apps to download/delete  and watch YouTube videos he’ll figure a way around it.

He keeps you on your toes.

Oliver loves sports camp, pre-school and soccer. He is super-excited about the Super Bowl this weekend and has been practicing his “Touchdown!” cheer and stance.

Lately he has started expressing his wishes and desires in clothing. Like the Ang*ry Bir*ds shirt he loves and has worn for three days. He won’t take it off, but he will let me put another shirt on top of it.

Pick your battles I say.
And, as if on cue, I finish this post to discover....
The iPad (which was on top of the pantry cabinet) and the tell tale sign of chips broken in the carpet.

Coloring on the built-in media cabinet in purple sharpie (which shockingly enough are under lock down...or so I thought). This did come off with lots of elbow grease, bleach and a magic eraser sponge.

Perhaps this is his guilty look? Highly doubtful. Notice the shirt? This is day 3.


Sunday, January 27, 2013 No comments
A sleepover and one recovering from a virus. I guess they both make you tired....

Mom gets to sit in the car while Dad runs into the ski shop.

Sick Day

Saturday, January 26, 2013 No comments
Oliver and I are at home today while Matt and Chloe are skiing in the Catskills. It's been a cold week and Oliver has been sniffing and coughing for most of it. He has a virus and we thought it best if we took a day at home to let him recuperate.

Oliver and I built a fire today and we've spent most of the day relaxing near the fire. Oliver appears to be feeling better and since we were hanging in the living room, he wanted to know if it was Christmas (I guess hanging in your pajamas and sitting around a fire in the living room made home think it was Christmas). I told him it wasn't Christmas which caused him to ask when he would get presents. Hmmmm. I told him he would get presents on his birthday.

"No!" he said. "My birthday is for Chucky Cheeses! You're taking me but staying in the car with Daddy and Chloe!"

"Who's going inside Chucky Cheese's with you then?" I wanted to know.

"Emma Claire!" he responded.

While I certainly hope his little sister is home from China for his birthday, I don't think I will be sending him in CC's with a 1 year old by himself (no matter how much I would like to avoid the dreaded rat pizza place).

P.S. As luck would have it, it seems that when you hang all morning in your pjs relaxing, that is the morning that 3 different neighbors will ring your doorbell.

Pool Sharks

Saturday, January 19, 2013 No comments
Cold winter day, nothing else to do....

Ollie's First Soccer Camp

Friday, January 18, 2013 No comments
We signed Oliver up for a soccer camp...taught by all British ex-pat soccer players (of course).

Oliver is the youngest in the class and seems to be taking his own class....he's all over the place. But, he's having fun and he is getting lots of pent up energy out during the winter.

Too Cute

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 No comments
Bed time has been difficult the last few weeks. Both kids protest and seem to daily improve their delay tactics. One is very good at delaying by taking on daily chores, remembering something that has to be done or cuddling up to you and luring you in to reading or talking about karting. The other seems to be perfecting the "waterworks" and tugging at your heart strings, needing to "talk" to you on pressing matters at preschool or demanding that they get a glass of water, use the bathroom, floss their teeth, etc.

Then, there's musical beds.

It's tiring. They may be putting us to bed soon.

After some negotiations and tears, one little boy did give in and go to sleep, after it seems he got out if bed and pulled some toys and necessities into bed with him. Wo doesn't need to sleep in their replica Confederate hat?

Karting Awards Banquet

Sunday, January 06, 2013 1 comment
Saturday was the OVRP Club Banquet and Chloe got her kid kart trophy. Matt's brother, Rob, was in town and had a stopover on a business trip to Europe. He was able to attend the banquet as well.
Chloe dining.

Oliver spent most of the banquet playing his DS.

Matt & Rob.
 Chloe was the last to be awarded her trophy for Kid Kart Champion of 2012. Its a huge trophy and she is very proud of it as well she should be.
Some of Chloe's pals receiving their awards for Cadet.

In front of the audience, accepting the award.

Chloe back at the table with her trophy.
 Matt took Chloe outside this morning and snapped some shots of her in her race suit with all her trophies from the last season.