Saturday, May 27, 2006

Peace and Gratitude

Yesterday was rough. I was at GWCA offices first thing to pick up Emerson's documents. Poor Beth. She had to run for tissues when I had a little emotional breakdown after reading that Emerson was found June 25, 2005 and her birthdate is estimated to be April 3, 2005. I had heard of birthmothers keeping the babies born in winter until the weather warmed up some to make sure they would survive...but Jiangxi is warm in April. So after knowing Emerson for 2.5 months, how could her birthparents have left her? I wanted to have love in my heart for my daughter's birthparents and this really threw me for a loop.

Thanks to my wonderful June Jitterbug family and their support and various perspectives, I went to bed yesterday having reached some measure of peace. Here's my post to them:

"Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my pain on behalf of my daughter today.

I will admit (please, no flames) that when I first opened "the email" and say her age, before I saw her photo, I felt very disappointed. When I was DTC, my expectation was "average referral age, 11 months". Then over the past 6 months, we've been seeing younger and younger babies and I was expecting 11 months as the OLDEST and was prepared for the possibility of very young baby. At 13.5 months, I knew I'd missed her first birthday, her first words, her first teeth, her first steps, etc.

But the instant I opened that photo, I just melted. So my first gut reaction to the lag in her being abandoned was purely emotional. Through my own life's filters, I was viewing this from the perspective of having such a strong emotional attachment immediately with this child and couldn't imagine being told now that I couldn't bring her home, so how could someone who has actually held her and fed her and comforted her and stroked her beautiful cheek while she slept EVER let her go?

But you are all completely right in that my circumstances are not those of her birthparents and I will never know the extent of the difficulties they faced in their lives that led them to this decision. And knowing how robust this little sweetheart is now, and apparently was at the time of abandonment, I'm finding a new peace and gratitude that she was given the chance at a healthy start at life before she was given up so that I could be her forever mommy.

Thank you all for being such a beautiful source of support and reason. (I promise to be back to my giddy self shortly...or is that more of a threat??) :) "

So this morning I'm off to Louisiana to bring grandma and grandpa a picture of their newest grandchild...and to eat as much boiled crawfish as I can. In several sittings throughout the day. It's the cajun way. :)

I can't wait until next spring to see the look on Emerson's face when she sees crawfish for the first time! LOL!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Oh Happy Day!

I can't even begin to describe what this day has been like emotionally. Imagine all of the emotional highs and lows that I've experienced over the past year concentrated and then condensed down and experienced all in one day.

THAT my friends was today!!! A roller coaster ride of emotion and although time seemed to stand still for awhile, the rest of the day moved at breakneck speed!

Thank you so much to EVERYONE who posted their congratulations and best wishes today. For those still waiting for their own referrals, the journey does get rough at times but your turn will come and you'll see it's so worth it! :)

A dear sweet person emailed me privately that my baby was the cutest baby she had ever ever seen on any of these boards. OF COURSE SHE IS!! LOL! I responded that I absolutely agreed. Now I know that once she gets her referral (fingers crossed for next month for her!), she will rightfully think that HER baby is the cutest baby she's ever ever seen on any of these boards. That's as it should be and I'm ok with that.

I thought I was all cried out until I came home to the most thoughtful gesture today. I drove up to my home and saw "It's a girl!" balloons tied to the plants just before my porch and a nice pink bow tied to my doorknob with a card left in the door! Thank you so much, Lela. You will never know how much that meant to me. :)

I've joined the Yahoo group for the Fuzhou SWI and ordered Emerson's Finding Ad and I'm just exhausted so I think I'm going to go to bed now and dream happy dreams of my sweet little girl. Tomorrow morning I'll get her complete medical information, growth reports and learn more about her first year of life.

Goodnight everyone. :)

Meet Emerson Olivia ChuanYao!!

"The Email" finally arrived at 2:54 PM! I have a daughter!!! :))

Name: Fu Chuan Yao
DOB: April 3, 2005
Province: Jiangxi
SWI: Fuzhou Social Welfare Institute
Weight: 21 lbs
Height 28 inches

She has 4 teeth! And I detect a hint of a crooked smile and a little wave in the hair...just like mommy! :)

I'm overwhelmed with joy! :)

The Day the Earth Stood Still

It's funny. That's my favorite old black and white movie. Or it was until today.

Today, the earth is standing still. The last 2 1/2 hours have taken an eternity! The first person in my agency LID group has posted her referral, so I know emails are going out!! Where is mine?? I even checked my SPAM box just in case!

I know it's coming, but I'm beginning to think that repeatedly refreshing my email inbox every 3 seconds is not having ANY effect in getting it here sooner! :(

The Package has arrived!!!

According to the DHL website:


I can't breathe.

It's official...THE STORK HAS LANDED!!

Just heard from GWCA! The stork has landed and the email said if you're receiving this email, they have definitely received your referral and will be emailing all information shortly!!

I'm going into the ugly cry now!!

Breathing is not optional

Ok. I slept. Woke up often. Had weird dreams that are already too distant to remember but I know they had nothing to do with adoption.

And now it's finally morning and I'm up and having to remind myself to breathe! I checked DHL. The package left Wilmington, OH at 3:46 AM on it's way to Austin!

On May 27, 2005...almost exactly one year paperwork left my agency on it's way to China. Sometime today, my daughter's paperwork will arrive at my agency.

I guess this is what Oprah would call a "Full Circle Moment". :)

Midmorning update: Package is out with Delivery Courier on it's way to GWCA office. Hurry, hurry, hurry,hurryhurryhurry!!

The first referral has posted on the JuneDTC05 site! Congratulations, Rademacher family on your new baby girl!!! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I LOVE ya, Tomorrow!!

Referrals will arrive tomorrow! Someone through some source that I don't know and don't want to know was able to get the DHL tracking number for my agency's package of referrals. The package arrived in San Fransisco earlier today and has now left San Fransisco on it's way to Austin.

My agency will definitely be emailing rather than calling, but they'll follow up with a call on Friday to answer any other questions we may have. I can live with that. As long as I can get her picture and know who my baby is, where my baby is, how old my baby is...I'll be one content mama. For now. :)

Am I supposed to be able to sleep?? If I could just go to sleep, tomorrow would be here when I wake up and I'd be just HOURS away from referral. But I'm afraid sleep is just not going to be happening tonight. :)

Umm..."The Email"??

Doesn't have quite the same ring (pun definitely intended) as "The Call", does it? Because of the holiday, my agency has asked families expecting referrals tomorrow if they'd prefer a call or an email. If they need to call, the actual Fed-Ex packages won't be mailed in time for delivery to all families before the long weekend. If they send emails with all the same information and the scanned photos, they can get the packages in the mail tomorrow for delivery on Friday.

Since I live in the same city as my agency headquarters, I can pick my information up and not have to wait on the Fed-Ex delivery, so I'm deferring to what the rest of the group prefers.

But I have to say I've daydreamed about "The Call" for a year now and the mental shift to "The Email" is going to be a hard one.

And now I feel really silly about the cell phone charging. (Right. Like I didn't before.)

Obsessive Cell Phone Charging?

I'm worried about my cell phone battery being dead when the call comes. I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about it. I'm so worried about it, in fact, that I brought my charger to work with me today so I could make sure my phone stays fully charged. Doesn't make sense. The call won't come today. It'll come tomorrow at the earliest, possibly not until Friday. Rather than calling today's cell phone charging "obsessive", let's just call it "practice". :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

THE STORK IS FLYING!! I will see Emerson Olivia's face in just another day or two!

Wow! What an incredible day! Ok, first, a little about who I am and how I got here...and where "here" is! :)

I'm Denise. A single 41 year young woman who finally decided to start a family last January. After years of waiting for Mister Right, I decided that I'd rather find my little Miss Right for daughter! If by chance Mister Right comes along later, well that'll be a nice bonus to an already full life, won't it? :)

I've never really considered pregnancy as an option for me as a single mom. My ache is to be a mother, but giving birth isn't so important to me. And since my genes aren't so great for passing on anyway, adoption was always my first choice. There are so many children in this world without a mom...and here I am a mom without a child. What could be more perfect?

I rarely do anything impulsively (not counting those dreaded late night infomercial purchases), so this too took lots of thought. After a few years of scouring adoption websites and reading about the challenges of single parenting, something finally clicked in January of 2005 and I just knew. I was sure in every fiber of my being that I was meant to do this, COULD do this, and it was the right path for me. And I knew without a doubt that I would find my daughter in China.

And so my Journey to Emerson began. :)

My timeline so far:

01/21/05 Decision made, I called GWCA looking for a spot on a singles waiting list and through the grace of GOD and the beautiful heart of the GWCA employee who answered my call (who I won't name to protect her from possible repercussion), I was offered a spot that someone else had just released. What a miracle! (My apologies to anyone who had missed out on a spot during their 2005 selection!)

01/25/05 Application signed and submitted.

02/11/05 Contract signed and the paperchase is ON!

05/27/05 Paperchase is complete, dossier is on it's way to China. I'm DTC!

06/09/05 CCAA logs in my dossier! I have an LID!! Current referral wait...only 6 months! Referral in DECEMBER!!??

09/05 Uh oh. Late September, rumors circulating that next batch will be smaller, the first indications that things are going to take a BIT longer than expected.

10/01/05 CCAA begins sending 1/2 month referral batches instead of full months.

09/05-04/06 Delays, delays, and more delays. During this time, CCAA announces that referral waits could grow to 12 months and beyond due to decreased number of paper-ready babies and increased number of dossiers being logged in. Batches continue to come monthly, but batch size shrinks from 1/2 months to only 5 or 6 days per batch.

04/27/06 Referrals arrive covering 05/31-06/06/05 LIDs. SURELY this means I should receive my referral in the next batch!!

05/23/06 It's finally happening...Referrals for 06/09/05 LID are in the air! THE STORK IS FLYING!!

So that's a little about how I got "here" this point where I'm only a few days away from finally knowing who my baby is. :) In future posts, I'll share more details about the journey; specifics about the paperchase process, getting Emerson's room ready, things I've done to pass the time and books I've read to prepare myself for this new life that's about to begin.