Friday, April 27, 2007

We are in for the long haul!

I had no idea that when we started the adoption process, we would have to wait up to 3 years for our baby girl! All of the adoption boards are talking about 2 to 3 year waits at this point. I finally called our agency and they said waits could be up to 2 years or longer. Looks like 2008 is out. The are so many ways I could choose to react to this news. I've even given thought as to how I should think...crazy. So now I've decided that it will be what it is. It was always out of my control to begin with. The daughter that is ours and was meant to be ours will come when it is time. Good thing for us, life goes on. The are gymnastic lessons to attend, Brownie meetings, and CCD classes. The hard part is trying to get the girls to understand the concept of time....a long time.
I think we've decided on a name, or shall I say, everyone else has decided on her name. Friends even refer to her already by her name.......drum roll, please............
Gabriela Mei (insert Orphnage name) Fernandez...aka Gaby.

Our friends, Zenith, Rick, and Austin, came for a visit the other day and with them was Gabriela's first present. They were 3 real cutie onsies...all pink! I held them close and tried to imagine Gabriela in them. It is unbelieveable to think that she will one day wear baby will one day be in them.

I recently joined an amazing Yahoo group. It is called January Jiozi (Dumplings) DTC2007. Everyone who belongs sent in the dossier's to China in January 2007. Some of these people have the same LID as we do and will probably meet up with them in China within the next couple of years. It really is a fun group, support group, gotta have an answer group, the only people who can understand group. We recently sent each other postcards from our hometowns. Gabriela now has 37 postcards from the families who waited for their children just like we did. I need to buy a pretty box and ribbon to put them in. We also have a secret buddy club. Every months we send a package to our buddies. Gabriela just received some pretty pink onesies and 3 bibs with ladybugs on them. Every month their is a different theme. Our buddy lives in Arkansas and we send her a present monthly also. Next, we are send fabric for the 100 good wishes quilt. I already received one from a friend and one from the group. 98 more to go!

Signing off for now.....
Gabriela's mommy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

1st Piece of Fabric For my 100 Good Wishes Quilt

Yesterday, Rose, a co-worker of mine, gave me an absolute beautiful piece of fabric for our 100 Good Wishes quilt. I was beginning to think that nobody would come forward. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, ROSE!!!! It is truly special and will always be the first!

I am going to see if Lalo can upload a picture of the fabric so that everyone can see how beautiful it is!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

An Adoption Poem

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.
My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.
But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head.
Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.
And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round.
Now in my dreams they're almond shaped and colored cocoa brown.
And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas.
They reach halfway around the world and hold you close to me.
As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together,
you're also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.
And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye,
I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.
Our features may not look alike; we're different as can be.
But still I know that the Father has created you for me.
And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands,
and though we're half a world apart in very different lands,
I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows.
But 'til He says the time is right I give you to this vow...
I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee.
For God to hold you in His arms, until you're here with me.

Written by: Gayle Leubecker

Friday, February 16, 2007

Why China?

I am asked this question often - Why did you chose China? We chose China for many reasons. The first being - that is where our daughter is. At least, that is the first thing that comes to mind now that all of our paperwork is in China. But I know what everyone means. Initially, I always thought of Romania. When the plight of orphans was brought to my attention, it was in regard to the mistreatment suffered by the children in Romanian orphanges. It was gut wrenching to hear and watch and really just pulled on my heart-strings. Around the same time, the infanticide in China was also starting to make rounds in the media circuit. The ideas of girls being killed because they had the misfortune of being girls in a society that favors boys or left abandoned on the side of the road was almost too much to fathom. I always thought I would end up adopting from one of those two countries.
When Lalo and I finally decided to go through with an adoption, I thoroughly researched all the countries that were open to international adoption. Not everyone is. Romania was closed. Russia initially appealed to me because I thought that a child from Russia would blend in "physically" with my own biological children, being that the girls are blue-eyed and fair skinned. But ultimately, I wasn't adopting to have the "picture pretty" family. We aslo considered Colombia for awhile, but the required 7 to 8 weeks in-country stay was just too much time to be away from work and school.
There are so many advantages to adopting from China. The most significant reason is that China really has the most predictable and stable program of all countries. There are no surprises with China. You are given a timetable and know upfront what to except and what not to expect. The court system there is predictable. Just yesterday, Lalo was telling me about a cousin of a coworker of his who had to travel back and forth to Russia SIX... YES, SIX times to adopt their child. Mind you, it is supposed to be a total of two visits for Russia. This would never happen in China. This is just one example of the many things that can unexpectedly pop-up in Russia and other countries. The issue of baby selling in other countires is also a scary reality. Today, on several adoption websites, there is rumor that adoptions in Guatemala are being halted as of today. If true, this will leave thousands of families in adoption limbo until the red tape is straighten out. Again, this most likely wouldn't happen with China. There are also many other countires that have recently opened up to international adoption, especially in Africa. These programs were just too "new" for us. The girls have know from early on that we would be adopting. We needed a country that we could count on for stability and security. China is it.
There is one other key factor that made our decision to adopt from China an easy one. China requires only one visit to their country with a short 10 day stay. During that stay, we travel in groups with other adoptive parents and are escorted by our agency's very competent representatives. I chatted on-line with many parents who adopted from China who had very positive experiences. Many of these families return to China to adopt a second child.

Monday, February 12, 2007

WE are LID!!!!!

I just got the email a few minutes ago!!! Here it is....

To: Hilario Fernandez & Christine de Zayas-Fernandez

Re: CCAI Log-In Date & Packet

Congratulations!  Your dossier has been logged in by the China Center of Adoption Affairs. 

Your official dossier log-in date (LID) is: 2/10/2007

This is the notice that can only be surpassed by the one that states that we have been matched with a baby! LID stands for Log In Date. This means that the CCAA has officially logged us into their office. Remember that our documents were sent to China on 1/22/07. Pretty efficient, don't you think? I love the Chinese! The great thing about China is that they don't play favorites with particular agencies or families. Everything goes by your LID. Right now, they have matched babies with families that have been LID up to 10/13/05. Yes, that was 2005... not a typo! So you can see, this is going to be a LONG wait. Currently, I think the wait is 18 months. I am hoping and praying that this will all change with the new restrictions going in place as of May 1st. But at the same time I know that this is all part of HIS plan and will go so accordingly. The frustrating part is that it isn't like there aren't enough babies. It is just that there are so many orphanges in China that are not open to international adoption. I wonder why?

Today is a fabulous day! It marks the beginning. August 2008? Beijing Summer Olympics?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Princess Annelise

Yesterday was Annie's 5th birthday! It is amazing how time has gone by so fast and yet, at the same time, it seems such a long time ago that I gave birth to her. Annie was so tiny when she was born. Her face was as small as my fist. Her doctor appointments during the first nine months of her life were so nerve wracking. I remember her doctor saying, "We'll see how much weight she has gained and inches she has grown by next month, to determine if she is thriving. " THRIVING!!!???

Two days ago, I was sitting at gymnastics watching her rotate through all the events and I was filled with so much emotion and joy at just watching her. For the entire hour she was out there, she was grinning from ear to ear and literally jumping up in down in place as she waited her turn. Of the hundred plus girls out on the floor, none was as expressive and genuinely happy as Annie. Annie exudes contentment and sheer happiness. All the little girls wanted to be next to her. The instructors all greet her. They all know her name, even the ones who have never had her in their group.

As a mother, I find such peace in this. Annie will always be fine. She attracts the same energy she emits. People want to be with her and befriend her. Annie is definitely thriving!!!!

Happy birthday, Annelise Marie!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Bai Jia Bei

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth can go into a creative memory scrapbook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.
Being that it looks like this is going to be a long wait here, I would love to participate in this Chinese tradition and create a quilt for our daughter. Mind you, I can barely sew a button on, but I will fiqure that part out later. If you would like to help in the creation of this quilt, please read on...

Choose ANY 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from clothing or from a fabric store. It just needs to be a design and color that you like.

Cut ONE 7" (pre-washed) or one 8" (un-washed) square from the fabric.

Include your "good wish note". We will place all your wishes in a scrapbook that we will give to the baby someday.

Ideas for selecting fabric squares:
*Select a fabric that is meaningful to you.
*100% cotton fabric is best, as it washes and wears better.
*If there are several members in your family, please feel free to send more than 1 set of scraps. It would be so special to include good wishes from all members of your family!! In China, these quilts were originally made from garments of family and friends, which would surround the child with luck/good wishes.

Ideas for good wishes note:
Well... what would you wish for a newborn child to have in his/her life? Some ideas that come to mind are good health, perseverance, compassion, and sense of humor. Use that as a guide for your good wish note. Also, please include a small piece of fabric on the wish.

There are also many sites out on the web that feature completed 100 wishes quilts, in case you need some more fabric ideas. Just do a google search for "100 wishes quilts." By the way, ladybugs are considered good luck for the chinese!