2:31 PM

Love Songs to my girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl2MgaDvSdI
"Favorite Adventure"
There you are
Your beauty consoles me
I've gone far
And I almost didn't find you
And I almost lived without you
There is nothing in this world
I'd rather do
Than live for you
Here we go,
Our favorite adventure
You should know
I was never more complete
And I never thought I'd see
The meaning of my life
Wrapped in you
Next to me
If you ever fear
Someday we might lose this
Come back here
To this moment that will last
And time can go so fast
When everything's exactly
Where it's at
Its very best

7:10 PM

Another Great post from Amy Eldrige

What to Expect When You Are Adopting (from China)
By Amy Eldridge (Love Without Boundaries) I wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that there are just as many parents who are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are.
There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage. Parents who head overseas to pick up their "China doll" only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat… and on and on and on. While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having. I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), and “she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom). I guess since I “live” China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case. I talked to at least a dozen parents who didn't even know their child's orphanage name, and while I gently said "you might want to memorize that for your child's sake", at the same time I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues. It was sobering to me. Babies in the NSN (non special needs) as well as the SN (special needs) path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more. All children (whether bio or not) can have these same issues. Living in an orphanage of course increases the odds. I think the easy out is to say that agencies and social workers have to “do more”. I think most of them try to give information to the parents but often parents don't want to hear it or think it won't happen to them. Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents traveling to China soon and realize they are not prepared. One family adopting from our (LWB) foster care program was told that their child was DEEPLY attached to the foster mom. The father said, "I guess she might cry for an hour or so then?" An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year! I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour. I told them to please remember the 72 hour rule.......that after 72 hours they might see her spark, but that she would probably grieve a long time after that as well. I think many adoptive parents just don't want to read the "bad stuff". Ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves. There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues. When I was pregnant with my children I would read "What to Expect When Expecting". When I reached the chapter about Cesarean sections I always skipped it. Each and every time I would jump to the next chapter as "that wasn't going to happen to me". An emergency Cesarean Section during the labor of my fifth baby, made me wish I had read that chapter! When they were strapping my hands to the operating room table, it was too late to educate myself about Cesarean sections. I felt complete panic when I could have been prepared. I think adoption from China is very similar to giving birth. It is easy to only read the happy stories but I encourage every family to read the hard ones as well. If you are the family who is handed a child that is limp and listless and who looks autistic, what you have learned in the past will help you make the right decision for your family during those first very emotional few days. I have been called many times in the last few years by parents in China worried about their children. I agree that having a support network to help you through the initial time is essential. Everyone should go to China with at least one phone number of someone they can call if they are panicked upon meeting their new child. I remember feeling so alone when I was handed my daughter and she was so tiny and limp. Because our foundation often helps with the kids who have been disrupted, I am aware that sometimes there are children who have more serious issues than originally reported. That is a hard thing for a parent to arrive in China and then discover their child is truly autistic or has serious mental delays. I think everyone on both the China and international side would agree it is absolutely wrong of an orphanage not to be honest in their reports. No one would excuse that. I also know without a doubt the majority of children who are disrupted are only suffering from institutional issues and would catch up quickly in a loving home. It is always a very sad day for everyone involved when a child they know is absolutely fine, perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed". I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them. The truth that everyone must realize is a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China. All of their experiences are shaping who they are. The vast majority of aunties that I have met in China are kind and caring people. However it is not the same as having a mom and dad at your beck and call. I have had new parents call and say "we didn't think living in an orphanage would affect her at all". Those statements truly puzzle me. How could they not contemplate life in an orphanage? Walk through Babies R Us and you will see every gadget known to man to make our children's lives as ideal as possible. Parents can have two way video monitors so when baby awakens not only can mommy see to immediately rush in and comfort him, but she can talk to baby so that he doesn't even have one second where he feels alone. How many new parents would have a newborn and then put that baby in a crib 22 hours a day on their own? How many would only feed their baby, even if they were really crying hard, every 8 hours? Or prop the bottle in her crib and then not watch to see if she ever really ate? Of course no one would do that. We feed newborns on demand, comfort on demand, love continuously. Whether people want to recognize it or not, that is NOT the life of an orphan in an institution, even when the aunties are as good as gold. I remember one night I took some volunteers for the night shift in an orphanage. Normally just a few aunties are working at that time. One mom looked at me with tears in her eyes as she slowly realized that it was absolutely impossible to feed, comfort, and soothe every baby who was crying. She said her heart was aching to realize that her own daughter likely had many times where she cried without someone to comfort her. She told me that for the first time she finally understood why her daughter had such a deep seated fear of being out of her mom's sight. The aunties are trying their best, but it doesn't equal mother/child care. I remember being in a northern orphanage this past winter. The aunties were so proud of how they had 6-8 layers of clothes and blankets on every baby to keep them warm. They were swaddled so tight they couldn't move, but it was freezing in the orphanage. The aunties wanted the babies to stay as warm as possible. What alternative did they have? It really was freezing there. I was cold in my wool coat. The babies couldn't have only 1-2 layers on though that would give them the ability to move their arms and legs. To stay warm they had to be immobile, and so all of those kids have weak muscle tone. The aunties were truly trying their best. When a parent is given one of those beautiful children on adoption day, I am sure they will go back to their room with concern and say "She can't sit up by herself. She can't put weight on her legs". That is the truth. However she also survived 10 degree weather in a very cold province and she will catch up soon enough with parents to encourage her.
To not acknowledge that living in orphanage circumstances can cause lower body weights, low muscle tone, and/or inability to make good eye contact is very sad to me. Can it be overcome? Most definitely! The one thing I have learned over and over about the children in China is they are fighters and survivors. For some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.
Recently, one of our medical babies we had met several times in person was adopted. We all knew this child was a "spitfire". When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt. She was not what they expected. When they called their agency, they were told they had two choices: adopt the child, bring her to the US, and change their expectations, or adopt the child, bring her to the US and the agency would have a family waiting at the airport to adopt her locally. Option three of leaving the child in China was never once given. I admire that agency so much, as they were thinking of the child and the child alone. The family followed through with the adoption and handed the little girl to a new family upon arrival in the US. As horrible and tragic and emotional as it was for everyone involved, I still feel this was the right decision. It was done in the best interest of the child, who had waited a long time for a family. I wish more agencies would advocate for the child. Especially when they know with absolute certainty that nothing is permanently wrong with the child. Instead they seem to give in to the parents. Recently with another disruption, the agency I spoke with told me that it was "easier" to just get the family a new baby. Sometimes easier does not equal right. The first baby who was rejected has now been labeled "mentally challenged" even though the agency knew the child was really going to be okay. I think all of us, who realize that delays occur and babies can usually overcome them, should be the children's advocates. We should continually try to educate new parents on what to expect in China. By helping them be better prepared, we just might stop a future disruption. I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart. It is my life's work. I want every family who adopts to do so with their eyes open and as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake.

9:17 PM

it'd be Christmas if you were here

I am slightly obsessed with this song by Carolyn Dawn Johnson. She gets Canadian winters, and some how she is singing the song of every waiting mama this year. It's a new song, otherwise I would link the video. You will have to find it on itunes for now, or just trust me that it is the perfect amount of melancholy. I never knew Christmas could be so sad, until part of my heart was in another country.

cold, its just cold and its not fun any more
it's a hassle to fight the through crowds at the store
there's a tree in the den and a wreath on the door but i've lost interest
somethings different
if you were here i'd hear the bells
i'd join in with the neighbours singing chistmas carols
i'd make hot chocolate and gingerbread
keep the oven on till every one was fed
i know its not really like me to be bitter, its just winter
but it'd be christmas if you were here

if you were here i'd here the bells
ya it'd be cozy, not so lonely
if you were here i'd hear the bells

10:36 AM

Come what may,

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place, suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace. There’s no mountain too high no river too wide, storm clouds may gather, stars may collide but I will love you until the end of time.
My husband and I danced to that song on our wedding night. Back when he was the centre of my universe. Thankfully that universe has expanded as we grew a family. This may sound strange but I think the most special part of having our son was how it changed my love for my husband. Something changed in him in that moment our baby was placed in his arms, he grew in an instant to become this incredible man. He has always been a great guy who I loved, needed, trusted. It was just something in that moment though that was an absolute magical mystical moment, and my love for him doubled. In the days, weeks, months and years that have followed it continues to grow as I watch my lover become the world’s best dad.
To my great joy it is happening again. Since the moment of our referral my husband is metamorphosing into an even more incredible dad. He has been my rock throughout this past month, he has calmly guided me through all my emotions with the steady hand he has always given me. I have fallen for him all over again watching him plan “in secret” his Christmas gift for her. When he defended her like a lion and when we stared at her photos together for the millionth time. The best is yet to come. I can’t wait to witness all the thousands of special daddy daughter moments our future holds.
People have believed that he was a reluctant husband, they have misinterpreted his silent calm as passiveness. There have been times I wondered myself if we were truly on the same page. I know now without a shadow of a doubt that we are totally in step on this journey, you need only look into his eyes when he says his daughter’s name and you would know it too. He loves me enough not just to allow me my dreams, but he loves us enough to make them his dreams too. So we love him, more and more each day.
Only my true star twin could travel this journey with me.

5:45 PM

Moments like this that make me so happy to be a mommy.

Conversation with Emery yesterday:
Mommy: Emery let's think about what gift we want to give our friends, what would make them smile? What should we get William?
Emery: Dora.
M: And what should we get Noah?
E: A big white buba (translation: a milk filled bottle)
M: And what about Scarlett?
E: She wants Emmy, Emmy, Emmy, she says Emmy all the time. (translation: Scarlett calls Emery Emmy, so he wants to give her the gift of himself)
M: And what should we get baby sister?
E: She needs a daddy. She misses daddy.
Made me choke up.
Told this story 5 times already, still choking up each time.

1:45 PM

Learning all that I can about Wenzhou. And documenting it here so I don't forget.

In the ancient times, Wenzhou was called “Ou City”. When the Qin dynasty unified China, Wenzhou came under Minzhong Prefecture. In 192 B.C., it became the territory of Zou Yao, the king of East Ou. In 138 A.D., Dongou Town in Xizhang’an County became Yongnin County, the first county set in Wenzhou. In 323, Yongjia Prefecture grew out of four counties which are Yongning, Angu, Hengyang and Songyang in the south of Xilinhai Prefecture. It was the beginning of Wenzhou. In 662, Dongjia State was established and in 675, the emperor set a state called “Wenzhou”. The name remains the same and so does the territory. After the 1911 Revolution on November 8th a Branch of Zhejiang Military Government was established in Wenzhou.

In June 1914, Ouhai Dao was established and with government office set in Yongjia County, it governed Wenzhou and Chuzhou Prefectures together. In 1932, the Administrative Supervision District was established. Wenzhou District was initially called as No. 10 County Administrative Supervision District with office set in Yongjia County before changing its name for several times.

On May 7th 1949, Wenzhou was liberated peacefully and Wenzhou Military Control Commission was established at the same time. In the same year on August 26th, Wenzhou City was established. After the establishment of China, its name and the counties under it changed few times. In September 1981, Wenzhou District and Wenzhou City were merged into Wenzhou City.

Wenzhou is renowned as the “City of Clothes” and the “City of Shoes”. Not only the styles of the clothes and the shoes are new and fashion, but also the price is very low. The main streets of the old downtown area, such as Chan Street, Wuma Street, Park Road, Chengxi Street, Jiefang Road, Shengli Road and Fuqian Road, and the Wenzhou Trade City almost become the sea of clothes and the world of shoes. If time permits, wandering in the night markets may bring surprising to travelers.

The landscape in Wenzhou is known for its finest scenery consisting of many famous mountains and beautiful lakes and is the famous one in southeast China. It has national level important scenic spots like Yandang Mountain, Nanxi River, Baizhangji and Feiyun Lake and national natural reserves like Wuyanling Mountain and the Nanji Island. The total land area of the scenic spots including small and big comes around 2279 square kilometers and occupies 20% of the entire city.

Wenzhou is one of the most suitable residences for human beings on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean.

http://www.chinatouronline.com/china-travel/wenzhou/wenzhou-attractions/Yandang-Mountain_802.html

“Rice molding” also named “powder molding”, is the unique folk craft of Wenzhou, is famous along with the north “noodle molding”. Choose the boiled rice dumpling as the material, kneading, pinching, nipping, carving, making, and take various of colors to refine the crafts of human, dragon and phoenix, flower bird, animals shapes, after dyed the colors, it looks of the same resemblance.

Wenzhou rice molding have long-distance history, according to the record, it has appeared in Song Dynasty. Mostly used in old people’s birthday party, wedding, feast banquet and sacrifices to Buddha. Chongyang cake is easy to find, especially the peach cake in “Lanjiefu” in lunar March, numerous of drama player shape with different gesture, looks very lively.



1:38 PM

Adoption Etiquette 101:

Hi friends read and reference this post to learn more about the PC ways to discuss adoption. A lot has changed in the past decade, adoption is no longer taboo but it’s still a long way from being sensitive to the children and families involved. We know you never intend to offend, but here are some handy tips to help you. Thanks!
1. I, just like many of you, look at my daughter's beautiful face and I am filled with wonder, awe and cosmic flutters. She is just so perfect, it seems as though she was always meant to be ours. It is important to remember however that when an adopted child hears that this was meant to be they can interpret those words to mean that their loss and hardships were deserved. That being with out parents all these months was meant to be for her, not for every other child she knows, but for her. She may wonder if she was being punished by the fates. Instead we say "How magical is it that our adoption agency selected such a perfect match for us." Bob at our agency is 100% responsible for not only selecting this child for us, but he also played a critical role in getting Ontario to approve this match. He is renowned for the amazing matches made for countless families, he really deserves all the credit :)
2. Birth parents AKA first parents are not a dirty word in our house. They are not a secret, or evil, or bad, or heartless. They are cherished and honoured members of our family, even though we do not know who they are.

3.
You may have never heard the word Albinism before, let alone used it in a sentence. No worries, we had not either! The most important thing is that we do not want Elora to be defined by her special need. We say Elora has Albinism rather than Elora is Albino. Just like it is more polite to say my friend has Cancer rather than my friend is Cancerous, the same applies to Elora and her medical need. When people are still confused, I will also let them know she has a medical condition that causes a complete lack of pigmentation. We have also had curious folk ask if she will have red eyes like a bunny that lacks pigment. Go take a look at her new photos to see her beautiful steely blue eyes. P.S. Humans with Albinism never have red eyes though some do have violet.

4.
The topic of luck. Elora is not lucky because there is nothing lucky about losing your first family, country, language and culture. However you can say “It is so lucky you found each other” or “We are all lucky to live in Canada, where health care is free and does not determine your ability to care for your child” or “Damn Sylvia and Jeremy are so lucky they have the most awesome/cute/well mannered kids!”

10:32 PM

All I want for christmas is you.

4:19 PM

I just miss my girl

I miss my girl. The excitement is wearing off and the wait has sunk down on me hard. I am 17,715 km away from her. No problem, according to google maps it suggests that I simply "Kayak across the Pacific Ocean" for a mere 4436 km. No really, no joke. Google predicts that if I drive to California with my kayak in hand I will reach baby girl in 37 days and 18 hours. So that hardly gets me there any faster, plus there is the whole risk of sharks and pirates. Sigh. Back to waiting.
Another impact on my mood is that we found Elora's finding ad online. I want other mom's to know that it is indeed possible, difficult, but possible to find it on your own. Not every one gets lucky with this but I am very grateful to the mamas on the journey ahead of me who coached me though it. We are keeping the details private. But I will say that I was not prepared for the sadness I experienced in seeing her finding ad. A real deep hurt filled my heart and I hurt for her. The glossy glow of match day got a wake up call. As exciting as this is for me, it's not at all for her. Again something I have always known, but now I am starting to truly get it.
I have also been bombarded with stupid comments/questions from people at work. I get it, we are odd, we are adopting, we don't "need" to, we chose China, we chose special needs, she has a special need that is visible and that many people don't understand. I know I have a life time of dealing with people who have no filter. I get that because we are visibly odd to you, you think we should have that fact called to our attention. I am handling it okay in the moment, but after I just get so sad that baby girl will have to deal with this EVERY day of her life, just simply because people are mean/ignorant/rude. I don't really like people as a whole, I have a very low tolerance for rudeness, and I have no tolerance for rudeness to my babies. I totally get why some parents move to a city where they are not the only trans-racial family on the block, because how can I let baby girl ever have one day like the one I had today. I know I need to go through this to learn how to teach her how to cope. But as a mother you just wish you could shield your kids from every thing. I just want to yell at every one: come on let her be, hasn't she suffered enough already, can't you just let her belong here. Please just welcome her, with out question, just welcome her.

5:43 PM

Totally Smitten.





We got new photos of Elora today from a care package I sent out yesterday! That just blew away any whisper of doubt I may have still had. I am head over heals in LOVE!

12:45 PM

We got Pre approval

We got pre-approval today (PA) and that means three things.
1. China is now reviewing our file for this specific child
2. We can send a care package (s) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We hope to get new photos from these packages.
3. We are about to enter into the longest most unpredictable part of the wait. The wait for LOA. This is the final approval from China that she is really ours. Theoretically this is just a formality, although questions may arise from our file that they require more info on. The wait is between 45 to 157 days currently and there is no rhyme or reason from what any one can tell about why the wait can vary so much. But the count down is on we can only hope that we get in the fast lane and get approval in record short time.

6:45 AM

Match day went down like this...







Firstly totally not at all like I expected. But here is the play by play:

So match day was Tuesday, and Monday night I managed to sleep more than any other match day, because of 1. Vodka and 2. no hope of a match at all, but still did not sleep well at all. As Tuesday moved along I checked my email every half hour and kept my cell phone on me but by 12:30 I officially gave up and went out to lunch with the girls at work to help me get on with my day. I noted to them how this month was easier than it had ever been, I really was in a good, not happy, but fine place. After lunch I went to a few meetings and did some actual work (rare for me on a matchless day in the past), on my afternoon break at 3:00 I checked my hotmail account one more time, more to see if any of my other waiting mommies would be making an announcement and there it was. An email from my social worker that had arrived at 1:48 pm. It simply said, "Child Proposal, I got a package from FOI call me." I was (oddly enough) alone in my cubicle pod when I read the message and I gasped and I squeaked a bit but over all not as blubbery as predicted. I called Jeremy and told him first, he was very calm and told me to call the social worker, oh right, duh. I did not have her number. He did not have her number. About 10 minutes of frantic google and email archive searching finally produces her number. A co-worker returns to the pod and finds me acting odd, I tell her this is it (!) and make the call. Social worker's husband answers the phone, no she is not home, no he's not sure when I can reach her, no he does not have her cell phone number, try back in an hour. OMG
I excuse myself from work, shriek a little bit more, call my mom and BFF, pick Em up from daycare and rush home to call back.
I get her on the phone and she says all cool and calm, I have a child to propose, I ask her to come to the house ASAP to do the proposing (I thought that is how it had to go). She says, well just look at the file, think about it, talk to your doctor and call me back in a few days. "I am pretty sure we don't have that much time" I stammer. "No you have five days, not to worry" She replies. FYI we really only had until noon on Thursday. More confusion continues as she thinks I got the same email from FOI that she did at 8:04 AM, but I got nothing but that previously mentioned email from her. No calls or messages to the 7 other methods of contact I had sent her the week before either. ARG! Then she says, well she is a 15 month old girl. "15 months??? but how can that be? Ontario's 18 month rule will only allow us an 11 month old this month?" now I am really confused. She just says that it is nothing to worry about, yet I am still worried.
I get off the phone and check my email to find the file from FOI forwarded to me and the first thing I see is a cute face of a little girl and I think "gee, she is cute, but there is no way that I can have her." I had the same reaction that I have to countless other referral photos I have seen on blogs, RainbowKids, and other photo listings. So sweet, but not mine, wish she was, but she is not. I immediately email my social worker back and ask her to please triple check that there is truly no issue with her age. I am pretty sure there is, and I am not so confident in her judgment in this moment due to the 5 day comment from a few minutes ago. Although I am pretty positive this is not my child I follow through with the next step of the match plan, and email Dr. Janista to get a better understanding of her health. Surprisingly she calls me back to do the evaluation in under an hour, great! Except, I am home alone with a cranky toddler who is really acting up and will not eat unless I feed him, and only with the horsey spoon that is missing because he tossed it in the dog bed of all places while I was trying to take notes and listen to the Dr. Siiiiiigh. Any ways the results of the Dr's evaluation are all very positive, she is in very good health considering her living situation, she is hitting all milestones and is in the smack dab of the growth carts. Great I tell my self, but she is 15 months old. So she can not possibly be mine.
Meanwhile back on the forums, my cry out for help has brought me oodles of replies from others who have fought the 18 month rule and won. Gather your tiger mom courage and fight for your girl they tell me, you can do it! Well, I have no fight left in me, and I am not sure this is my girl. I am pretty sure no one is going to let me have her no matter what I think or feel about it. I think back to what another mom said that turning down a referral is not hard at all when you know that it simply was not possible to accept it. That is how I feel.
My husband finally arrives home and we review the file and the Dr's notes together. He has questions, he is quiet. I tell him that I am pretty sure despite what every one has told me so far, that Ontario will not allow this. He convinces me other wise, tells me to trust in the people who got us this far. So, slowly, ever so slowly we start to think this could really be it. I open her photo and we just stare at her, we zoom in on all the tiny details of her hair, eyes, toes... and we think okay lets just get some rest and then come to a decision in the morning. I check my email one last time only to find an alarming response to my question I posed my social worker earlier. Turns out when she did triple check for me, the exact wording of our child request in our home study combined with the fact that this child was outside the ministry guidelines was in fact a big problem. It is near midnight at this point, but I know that our agency takes calls at all hours near match time, so we called. Basically they thought we could get this through the ministry when they made the match for us because he thought we were with this other social worker who has an amazing track record for getting these waivers. No, I tell him, we have the social worker who did not send us the file until 5PM even though she got it at 8AM because she thinks we have 5 days to make this decision. This is her first special needs adoption. Well, the agency's tone went from that of calm-reassuring-of-crazed-new-parent-with-typical-jitters to that of serious concern. We quickly devised a plan. 1. Husband and I had to make our 100% commitment to this child by the crack of dawn. (we just lost another 30 hours of thinking time, making this decision in about 12 hours, of which usually 8.5 of them were typically reserved for sleeping) 2. Call social worker in the morning express our interest and encourage her to call FOI for coaching. 3. FOI coaches social worker, we have been told ultimately it is all in her hands, the power of her influence and argument are our only chance to get this approved. We love her, but these words do not fill us with confidence, AT ALL 4. Social worker makes the call and we need the go ahead before Thursday at noon, it is currently 11am on Wednesday. The timeline is another hurdle, have you ever got any thing from a government office in that time frame? Nope, we had not either, that is until this day... we got the approval at 3pm Wednesday. That's it she is ours.

She is ours? Really? For keeps? No jokes? I have a toddler??? And she is blonde???

And I have not slept in 2 days.

I looked at her photo again for the first time in 20 hours. Still not getting the "she's mine!" vibe. I feel badly about that. I also feel badly that I could not get all hyped up and fight till they let her be mine. I did that with Thailand, that was not even as real as this, yet I just could not do it. The odds seemed so stacked against us that it did not seem fair to us, my family, or to her, to fight and keep us all in limbo. Ultimately I had to just let it go and see if it was meant to be. But you have to know by now that control freak Sylvia has never done that in her life, at least not willingly. How was I at so much peace with letting go in THIS moment? I am still not sure, but it got me though those days, I survived them so calmly.

Now slowly a few days have past and some sleep has been had, and slowly she is becoming mine. ours, and I am seeing her in our family.

There have also been some other realizations that have lead her to feel more familiar, and finally ours.

Firstly, her need, albinism. Back in 2007 when I was planning for us to be in the China non special needs line up, I heard about albinism as a special need for the first time. I fell for a little girl on Rainbow Kids who had albinisim, she caught my eye because she looked so much like my husband. He is 1/4 Chinese and 3/4 french Canadian, he is the only one of his 50 cousins (who are also all 1/4) who is blonde with blue eyes. He has had to spend his whole life defending his Chineseness to even his own siblings who joke he is the mail man's son. He is the spitting image of his dad in fact, just different coloration. That was it, albinism seemed like some sort of cosmic fit for us. Ultimatly it was the photo of that girl who opened me up to special needs adoption. She planted that seed.

Secondly, when I looked back in my blog to see what we were doing on the day she was born, it turns out that was the day we decided to enter the China waiting child program. We had finished grieving Thailand, and found our heart lead back to China.

On her first birthday, I wrote on my blog my "match plan" and my worries about knowing from a file if the referral would really be my daughter. I was clearly thinking about her nonstop on her special day. :)

Also around her first birthday my mom had a dream, she told me of a chubby white haired baby who had squinty eyes, she said she was so sure that the dream was right and that this was our girl. I remember laughing and telling her no orphanage babies are chubby.... look who's laughing now!

6:28 AM

Introducing Elora



We are excited to announce that we received a match for a little girl who is currently 15 months old. The call came at 1:48 pm Tuesday, November 29th and we saw her photos for the first time later that evening. She is a very healthy girl who is developing well, at nine months she was crawling and sitting by herself. Elora also has Albinism (the medical term for a person who lacks pigment, sometimes called Albino). Yes, she is very blonde with bright blue eyes and she will turn into a lobster if not slathered in sun screen, in other words, she’s exactly like her Mom and Dad! She is living in an orphanage in the south east of China in Wenzhou City, in Zhejiang province. She is described as quiet, a deep sleeper, always has a ready smile and enjoys music. We hope to travel to China to pick her up in the early spring of 2012.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout this loooooong journey.
More Photos comming soon. I think it's against China's rules to post a photo before PA, but here is a sneak peak any ways :) More to come too on how match day all went down. What a roller coaster ride, honestly we are still recovering from it, hence the MIA this week. But soon I promise.