Thursday, January 31, 2008

While we wait for referrals

Love Without Boundries

fundraiser/contest that Love Without Boundaries is in. Apparently, the organization to receive the most $10 donations from different sources wins $50,000.
Click here for the page that explains the contest, and then click here if you’d like to donate on behalf of LWB.
LWB intends to use the money to fund surgeries. Heart surgery in China averages around $5,000 per child, so they can provide much needed heart surgery for 10 children with the prize money.
LWB is currently in the lead, but not by much, and the contest is nearing the final stretch.

Please go and donate it is a very good cause

Cautiously Optimistic

This is the latest update from the Rumor Queen Blog....

Thursday morning updateJanuary 31st, 2008
I was hoping to have something concrete today, or at least R4 material, but we’re not there yet.
We’ve got several agencies saying December 27th, and at this point I’m willing to go to an R3 that the 27th is included, and an R2 that the 27th is the cut off.
A couple of agencies have verified that they have something on the way. Some say they will get their package today, others say they will get their package tomorrow. We do not know if these packages are referrals or not.

If in fact they get through the 27th of December this time or better yet further it would be a good thing, a very good thing. The 27th would be 8 days of referrals more then we have seen in some time. That would bring us to within 14 days of our LID of Jan10th 2006. It is so hard not to get excited about this but we Jan. folks are all trying to be Cautiously Optimistic.... We will have to wait and see what happens but this could mean referral in March if we are very lucky more likely April .... OMG this could really be happening for us... OK .. OK breathe breathe......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A great fortune

So this made me get goosebumps...

We voted after work and then decided to have Chinese for dinner. We headed over to our favorite Chinese take out restaurant and ordered the usual. We decide that we eat to much Chinese food. We have this new game while we wait for our meals to be prepared. We profile people and guess what they are going to order. It is corny but we are usually right and it makes us laugh....anyway ....

What gave me goosebumps is this... Every time we get food from this restaurant they give us 3 fortune cookies they have from the beginning and we never have asked them for 3 they just do it Hmmmmmm....

Riz always eats one and reads his fortune.

I eat one and read my fortune

and then we share the third one and read Sophia's fortune. This time they made me stop for a moment... here they are..

Sophia's Fortune

So what do you think, is it a sign or what???????

The Donkey

I love the Donkey, So cute and misunderstood....

"Colloquially, the term "ass" is usually used today to refer to a larger, horse-sized animal, and "donkey" to a smaller, pony-sized one. In the western United States, a small donkey is sometimes called a burro. A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny, and offspring less than one year old, a foal (male: colt, female filly)."

This is a fascinating website all about The Donkey.

OK all kidding aside don't forget to get out and Vote. Today is the Florida 2008 Primary. It does not matter if you are a Democrat like me or a Republican like many of my friends. The important thing is to get out and vote. Being a Democrat in Florida today is a bit disappointing only because the National Party has chosen not to seat our delegates at the Convention because Florida Chose to move our primary up by several weeks (that is in a nutshell the issue goes deeper then I will get into here). To me it is still very important to vote today in the primary and for all of the other bills on the ballot. This is an interesting Website for a little of Florida's political history. I for one as a woman and as an American think that we are in a very exciting place politically. Whether you are Republican or Democrat we are finally seeing some diversity on the Presidential ticket. It is very exciting to think we may be part of history come November. For the first time we see not only a African American man or a woman on the ticket but we see a Mormon, an Italian American, and an evangelical. To me this is what this country has been missing a true representation of the melting pot that we are and that this country was founded on. So whether you are Republican or Democrat do your civic duty and get out and vote.. We live in a great country and this is how it works by all of us doing what it takes to stand up for our beliefs and letting our voice be heard through the democratic process of voting..

Monday, January 28, 2008

Let them eat CUPCAKEs (BTW the Corona belongs to Riz)

Have you ever just wanted a cupcake? For no reason I just wanted a cupcake yesterday so that is what we did made cupcakes. We spent Sunday making simple out of the box
chocolate cupcakes with white frosting.
We dressed them up a bit with colored Jimmies/Sprinkles. I have to use both words here because we can never agree on what they are called
I was raised calling them Jimmies, Riz was raised calling them sprinkles, so what do you call them???? Whatever it is they are yummy goodness... My favorite was the PINK... It made me think of the days in the future when I have to make trays of cupcakes to send to school or for birthday parties or just for fun with Sophia.. I can't wait..

Oh yeah they were delicious too..:)

Stay tuned for more from the birthday cake lady...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Completely off topic



If you are a lover of LOST then you already know that it returns Thursday Jan. 31 at 8pm Eastern time on ABC. We are very excited about this although a little disappointed that we don't work our friend Layla anymore. It was always a highlight to go to work after an episode of LOST and talk to her about the show. We would try and figure out all the goings on from the episode. We never could figure out the show but we are close I know we are... LOL.... Layla we will just have to call each other on Fridays to talk about the show now. I can't wait to see Jack, Kate,Sun, Jin, Sayid, Locke, Hurly, Claire and most especially Sawyer.... The show is so great but I will admit you will be LOST if you have not watched it before. I would however recommend renting or buying it on DVD and watching it from the beginning... you wont be disappointed... you can go HERE to view a recap of the whole show to this point..

What will happen next?

Watch the 2-Hour Premiere Event Thursday Jan 31st at 8/7c on ABC to find out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thank you Kim

I want to say thank you to Kim, our agency representative. She called me today just to touch base and make sure we were OK. I told her that it does not go unnoticed that they are checking in with us each month. Even though they do not have much or anything to tell us it still means a lot to us that they are checking in every month. Kim and I chatted for 10 or 15 min., That conversation lifted my spirits more then I can tell you. I was very happy to hear that all 10 of the families that we started this waiting with are still in our group. I am very excited that we will all be getting to China together and that our families will have all gone through the same experience. We talked about the need for us to update our Federal Fingerprints once again(third time now). They will expire at the end of March and must be current when we travel. The good news is that we will not have to pay this time to get them updated a savings of $150. Kim thought that although we will not see our referral this go around (the referrals that we are expecting right now) we MIGHT see it in the next group (the one coming at the beginning of March). I am really not expecting to see our referral before April, May or maybe even June but god when she said that my heart skipped a beat and I so pray that she is right. We updated our phone number and went over what to expect on referral day. So here it is this is what will happen on referral day..
1.IF they know in advance that referrals are coming, Kim will let us know.
We really want to be at home she we get "THE CALL" but we will see what happens. They may not know in advance so we may be at work. We work in the same place so no big deal. Riz will come to my office and we will close the door and have our moment. then leave for the day to share with family, but we REALLY want to be home for this..
2. Kim will call us once they have received our referral and it has been translated. They do a basic translation the same day they get the referrals and calls are made ASAP to waiting families. Thank god for this... it makes us so happy that they do it this way not all agencies do this.
3. We will decided what we want to know at the time of the call so Kim will tell us only what we want to know. Some families only want the basics or nothing at all until they open the envelope they receive in the mail. I think we will want to know everything she can tell us, but we still have to talk about this one.
She will have Sophia's Chinese name, Birthday, Province, Height, Weight at time of referral and pictures so she can tell us if she has hair or not and if she is big or small etc.... and the best part.
4. She will e-mail us Sophia's referral pictures ....
5. Then all the information along with our acceptance letter will be mailed to us overnight FedEx (OK Shane make sure it gets here will ya LOL)

I have thought about all of this a million times in two years, but to hear Kim talking about it got me very excited. I got goosebumps and teary while she was talking...

I think this one phone conversation gave me what I need to make it through the next few months... So, I want to say Thank you so much you made my day.... I can't wait to talk to you next month...
Hang on Sophia we will be there soon....

Is it February Yet?

This month is moving so slowly. I feel like it has been January forever. I can't wait for February to get here and see how far referrals go this time. There are some early rumors out there that say that Dec. 22 2005 families with one agency have been told that they will be in this group of referrals. That is not to say the 22nd will be the cut off just that they will be included in this group of referrals. On an other note some families that received referrals in the last group (jan. 2, 2008) received their travel approvals (TA's)this week. Now typically referrals start arriving shortly after TA's arrive. I guess we will have to wait and see, but we are good at that, waiting...We have a friends Kim and Kevin (LID 12/20/05) who WILL! be receiving their referral in this next group their blog is here and you can follow along if you like. We just want to say congrats! to them in advance we can't wait to hear all about Hannah...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Very Special Post

Our family is growing...

We are very happy to announce that Riz's Brother, Chris and his wife Tabby are expecting a baby. Chris and Tabby were married in November of 2006 and have been enjoying married life. Chris and Tabby are very happy to be adding to their family. The baby will have a big brother, RJ, who is also very happy about the new addition. Riz and I are very happy for them and can't wait for Sophia to be home so that she can share in the family happiness. Needless to say my in-laws are over joyed that by years end they will have not one but two new grandchildren.

Congratulations Chris, Tabby and RJ

Thursday, January 17, 2008

17 years

January 19th 1991 ...

WOW! I can hardly believe we have been married for nearly 17 years. This Saturday we will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. When Riz and I started dating in the summer of 1988 we never dreamed we would be here 17 years later. If anyone would have asked us then, I am sure that we would have both given a description of a different life. I know that I speak for Riz when I say we are right where we want to be, right where we are supposed to be...I love Riz more the anything else in this world. Almost anything, I know that he understands that I love Sophia even more then I love him and I know he feels the same way. I know we both would not have it any other way. We leave tomorrow for a weekend at Disney World with our best friends Matt and Lisa (also celebrating 17 years of marriage this year April 19th). We will be relaxing at the Bonnet Creek Resort for 2 nights. Saturday we will see Cirque DE Soleil La Nuba (if you have not seen this go see it as soon as you can it is great)...The music you are listening to is the song we had our first dance to at our wedding. It is Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong By Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warrens. It was the theme song to the Movie An Officer and a Gentleman (one of my favorites). This song always make me smile and brings back all those wonderful memories from our wedding and the reception 17 years ago....

Now ordinarily I would put a lovely little picture of Riz and I on our wedding day here, but because we where married so long ago we have no pictures from our wedding in digital form. So instead I will post this picture of New Orleans that is where we went on our Honeymoon...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rizzo The Rat

Look at this.... How cool! I can't wait to get my hands on these... I bought last years Chinese New Year pin who was modeled after none other then Ms. Piggy. This year RIZZO the Rat was the model... So run and order one if you want. I plan on purchasing several at the parks as soon as they go on sale.


Dressed as a familiar looking mouse, Rizzo the Rat celebrates Chinese New Year 2008 - the year of the rat - while a puzzled Mickey Mouse looks on. Monty Maldovan from Disney Design Group created the artwork for this limited pin. The pin features a pin-on-pin element, glitter fill and a dangle. Chinese New Year 2008 begins on February 7, 2008.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Mother In- Law

I wanted to do this post to say thank you to my Mother-in Law, Sandy. Ever since we started waiting for Sophia, Sandy has been sewing up a storm. She loves to sew and has found new inspiration in her granddaughter. I am going to post pictures of her beautiful work so you all can appreciate how talented she really is. Riz and I can't wait to see Sophia in all of these beautiful little dresses. It is really funny because every time she gives us a new dress I say "She will have to have a picture done in this dress". Last night we celebrate our 17 year wedding anniversary with Riz's family (it is really the 19th of Jan but my in laws will be out of town so we celebrated last night). Sandy surprised us with a new dress for Sophia. Let me just say it is one of the prettiest things we have ever seen.
We can just picture in our minds what Sophia will look like in this dress with a pair of white tights and a pair of white Patent leather shoes...too cute!

We just love it and even brought it to work with us today so everyone could see how talented my mother in law is, of course everyone loved it. When I saw this I knew right away that the Bracelets that Sandy made for me and Sophia would match perfectly. If you all remember my top 10 list I had a matching Mommy and daughter bracelet set on there.

Well Sandy copied it and made them for me and Sophia for Christmas. I love these too. We are very luck to have her. Thank you Sandy from all of us we love you....

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am not sure that spending most of last weekend and every night this week after work lugging stuff down from the attic and out of the shed preparing for a yard sale, then all day today bargaining with total strangers for stuff I would have donated to Good Will was worth $175. What is with people not wanting to bend over to look at something? I have to say that it really bugs me when you have something marked $1 or 50 cents and someone asks you if you will take less... WHAT? I don't get it really I don't.. Riz was very proud of the fact that he sold 9 Rocks for a dollar a piece. This was probably the best sale of the day. Last year while we were in the North Carolina Mountains we collected a bunch of River Rocks. We had good intentions of doing something with them but they have been sitting on our front porch in the same spot since we took the out of the car after that trip. We probably could have sold those rocks 10 times over. 4 or 5 people asked us "how much for the rocks?" we both laughed and said they aren't For Sale. Then we thought why not? Riz said put $1 on them, so I did and not 1 minute later all nine rocks were gone.... WOW! Who knew.....So everything we did not sell we loaded in the car and took to Good Will. We were just going to put the money we earned into the baby account but Riz suggested that we buy something we still need for Sophia. So we are going to buy one of these

It is called a Baby Hawk Baby Carrier. There are so many beautiful fabrics to chose from and you can totally customize it. I have two friends (Layla and Amy) that have used them and they both love them. Layla even demonstrated for us how easy they are to get on and off without any help. Check out the Baby Hawk Site here I have chosen Fiesta Pinwheels and Carnival fabrics with the dark pink straps. I chose to add the pockets and a toy ring. This is a little expensive but great for bonding and attachment. I know I can't go wrong taking the advice of Layla and Amy....Plus this money was all from stuff we would have taken to Good Will so we don't feel guilty about spending it on this.......... So maybe it was worth it after all.....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thank You Dannye

For nominating me for this Blogging with a Purpose Award.. It means a lot to me that others see my blog as a source of inspiration. Helping others get through this difficult journey is my pleasure so many others have helped me. Dannye you will get there just keep the faith.

I understand these are the following guidelines for said award:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
3. In their post about the award they need to link back to the original entry.
4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to Eric Novak's site.

So without further ado, here are my five nominations in no particular order:

1. As We Wait for Lily Kate Susan and Jonathan are not only our travel mates but our friends. We could not ask for better people to share this trip of a life time with. Their blog is always the first one I check each morning and it always puts a smile on my face. Susan thank you for always being so kind and sweet.

2. Our Hope and Dreams Cheri and Shane's blog is a source of motivation and inspiration. All I have to do is go there and see Hope's beautiful face and it reminds me that we are NEXT (with our agency) and that our time to be parents is coming. Cheri and Shane thanks for Sharing Hope with us while we wait for Sophia.....

3. Charmed In China Wendy's blog has made me laugh, cry and scratch my head at times. Most of all Wendy has thought me so much about being a parent. More then just parenting, being a parent to a child who had a different beginning and may have different questions and issues. Her experience has been so wonderful as a learning tool for us. Thanks Wendy for everything.

4. Giorgia Danette Stephe's blog is full of wonderful finds and the most amazing research I have ever seen. Stephe has taught me so much about organization. She is not only a fellow adoptive parent but a good Panda Friend. She and I met in 2006 when we began the wait together. We spent a weekend together in Philadelphia with some of the most amazing women I have ever known. Stephe is level headed and always the voice of reason when I need it... Stephe thanks for all you do in our little Panda World....

5. and last but certainly not least I love this blog because it is simple and she is my local connection... Journey to Mary Alice Sharon lives with in an hour from me and she and I have spent time together on several occasions. I can always count on Sharon for the latest on the local goings on, and a good cake recipe from time to time. Sharon's daughter Mary Alice and Sophia will have many play dates together, I am sure. I know that those pictures of Mary Alice and Sophia will frequently be highlighted on my blog. Sharon thank you for always being the one I can go to and say what the H@$% is going on LOL...

Thanks again Dannye....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Where do I begin?

2 Years
24 Months
730 Days
17,520 hours

That is how long we have been waiting for our referral from China. How much longer will we have to wait? Who knows for sure?My best friend Lisa tells me all the time that I am a much stronger person then she is. She tells me she is not sure that she could be as patient as I have been while we wait for Sophia. I tell her that I am really not patient I just have no other choice. The adoption is a wonderful and strange thing all at the same time. The unknown is so scary some times. When we began this wait we never really thought that we would have a baby in 6 or 8 months, but we also never dreamed it would take more then 2 years either. This anniversary is one we never thought we would have. We looked at each other this morning and said how do we even address today? What are the right words? Happy-NO , Merry-NO- Congratulations-NO, none of those seem right because this is not exactly a happy occasion but not exactly sad either. We know we are close, we can feel it, can't explain it but we can feel it. We know that Sophia is alive somewhere on the other side of the world. She in the last few months has had to face more loss and more trauma then any one person should have to and she is just a baby. She has lost more then time, more then 2 years really. She has no idea how her life is about to change because she is not waiting for us and has not been waiting for us for 2 years, she is not anticipating our arrival. We know that it will happen and one day this wait will be a memory. We know that our lives will be filled with the joy of our daughters laughter and tears from time to time. For now we surround ourselves with others who understand what we are going through like Susan and Jonathan Love our friends and travel mates. They are waiting for their first child Lily Kate. It is very possible that Lily Kate and Sophia are crib mates right now. Susan and I have had several conversations about that and it brings us comfort to know that they are probably together. On referral day I know Susan and I will be e-mailing and calling each other with joy in our hearts and excitement in our voices. For now we support each other ... When she is down I try to give her words of encouragement and when I am down she is always there with the right thing to say. Yesterday Susan was feeling down and we shared several e-mails back and forth, by lunch time I think she was starting to feel better. Then she sent me this message of inspiration and without even knowing it made my heart fill with love for her and for our daughters.. Thank you Susan your friendship and support mean more then you know. The fact that we have had the time to connect and for our relationship to grow has been a blessing and will only benefit Sophia and Lily Kate for years to come

"The time may be delayed, the manner may be unexpected, but the answer is sure to come.
Not a tear of sacred sorrow, not a breath of holy desire poured out to God will ever be lost;
but in God’s own time and way will be wafted back again in clouds of mercy,
and fall in showers of blessings on you, and those for whom you pray."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New US Postal Stamps

The United States Post Office is releasing today a new series of first class stamps. They will start this year and run until the year 2019. The Chinese calendar runs in 12 year circles so there will be one stamp released each year that will reflect the Chinese Zodiac. Chinese New year this year is on Feb 7 and is the year of the Rat. I can't wait to purchase a page of these stamps to put away for Sophia. We plan on doing this each year until we have them all. I also plan to purchase a few extras sheets so that when I send out Sophia's adoption announcement they will have the Year of the Rat stamps on them.

I personally think they are beautiful stamps.....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Question of the Week

My friend and fellow waiting blogging mom Rhonda does a question of the week on her blog. I think it is a great idea and decided to join in the fun.

So her question is this

What is your favorite winter time activity....

OK so since we live in Florida and we are backwards from the rest of the country. This time of year the weather is PERFECT 70's and 80's most days, although I love the 60's and even colder.... So this is the time of year we do outside stuff... House projects, picnics, long drives in the country (with gas at $3.20 a gallon this is sadly not happening). Our most favorite Winter Activity is spend the weekends enjoying Disney World.
We are lucky enough to not only live 45 min from the parks but we have Annual Passes so we make the most of them this time a year. Some times we go for the whole day sometimes we just go for dinner and people watching whatever we do we love it and never get tired of it there is so much to see and do and enjoy.. So for any of you who live in the frigid north or anywhere cold for that matter come join us for a day at Disney World after all it is the "Happiest Place on Earth" and "Where Dreams Come True".....

Plus as a bonus we spend a great deal of time in the China pavilion. It makes us feel closer to Sophia and to China in some way....... We always think about what "Real China" will be like....

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Referral Time again

All we can say is that this sucks! It is so frustrating! Every time we start to feel like we are getting closer and nearing the end of this wait, every time we start to feel like being parents is within our reach that it just may happen for us... more disappointment is what we are given. The CCAA referred only 5 days this month at this rate we are still looking at another 4 or 5 months or worse who knows anymore. So another Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Easter, another Birthday and no baby. Words can't describe how hard that is for us. We have been waiting Nearly 2 years since we were LID and 2.5 years since we began this journey. In reality we have been waiting and wanting to be parents for much longer then that. Our 17 year wedding anniversary is this month and we have been trying to have a family most of those years. The struggle with infertility was gruelling and when we moved in to the adoption it was like a weight had been lifted we knew that we would be parents we just never dreamed it would take this long. ......