Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Change Is Gonna Come

Nothing momentous has happened over the last two weeks. We continue to await a referral - and to be quite honest, this is fine by us. Inasmuch as we're quite eager to find out who our new child will be, we also realize that life will change dramatically once #2 comes along. We're trying to savor the status quo while it lasts.

Right now, I can take Andrew to his gym class and chat leisurely with the other moms. I don't have to chase down a crawling baby in between sentences. When Andrew pops out of bed at night to talk about Superman's laser vision, I can bellow "Superman says to go back to bed!" from where I sit downstairs. I don't have to worry about waking his sleeping sibling in the room next to his. The more I contemplate the changes that will come, the more I'm realizing what a luxury it is to grocery shop with only one fussing child in tow. (It's true that whatever concerns I have are all selfishly motivated.)

Needless to say, amazing changes will also come. Working in the church nursery this past Sunday reminded me of how sweet it is to cuddle with a baby. I look forward to the day when Andrew and his brother or sister can play together; my friends with multiple kids all tell me there is nothing better than watching your children enjoy each others' company. And of course, there is the joy of witnessing your child grow, learn, and discover. You just can't beat that.

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On the adoption newsfront, we're finally ready to mail out our Child Referral Request form. Craig got a call back from FFC with the answers to our questions, including one about a few baby girls up for referral soon. (We had learned of their existence from another family waiting to adopt through FFC.) Instantly, we began to wonder if hair ribbons and Mary Janes were in our future. However, according to James at FFC, there are 3 or 4 families who have requested only a girl and who have been on the waiting list longer than we. The girls would go directly to them, assuming they matched their criteria. Of course this doesn't preclude the possibility of our seeing pink down the road, but for now, I don't have an excuse to start shopping for miniature dresses.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Merry Christmas, Chung Yi!

A few months ago, Ahma Penny, the grandmother of two children adopted from Taiwan, decided to organize a Christmas project with her daughter, Nicole. The goal was to fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts for each child at the Chung Yi orphanage.

Andrew and I decided to take up the challenge. We hit up Target to shop for 6 children in all age ranges, newborns to older teenagers, boys and girls. We crammed 6 large Ziploc bags with inflatable globe balls, a train set, pink pouffy hair accessories, a soccer ball (apologies to FFC's Laura Trinnaman and the other volunteers who will be transporting our items when they go there in November for a work project - more on this to come), t-shirts, pajamas, character toothbruses, journals, pens, deodorant, a puzzle, Christmas cards, die-cast cars, a beading kit, mints in a pretty jeweled box, toothpaste, a soft baby book, and assorted other sundries.

I enlisted Andrew to help me paste into the Christmas cards a typed message to each child; my handwriting is far too frightening for anyone to make sense of.

We packed everything up and took it to the local post office this afternoon. Goodbye, box! Here's hoping the children will enjoy the gifts. More importantly, here's hoping that they will feel loved in what can be a lonely and harsh world for orphans.

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We continue to await news of a referral. This weekend, Craig and I spoke at length with Dr. Abigail Farber, head of the International Adoption Health Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). We've contracted with them to review our referral once we receive it and to perform the physical evaluation of our child once s/he's home. Dr. Farber walked us through all of the medical conditions listed on the Child Referral Request form and helped us to consider more thoroughly the ramifications of each. We are awaiting FFC's answers to some questions that arose when filling out the form before sending it back to them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More and More

Let me depart from the usual adoption-related chat and rave about the round silver thingydo currently spinning in my CD player.

Rachel Passante, the worship leader at our former church, Grace Redeemer Church in Teaneck, NJ, has teamed up with her sister, Sarah Mininger to put out a wonderful CD entitled More and More. Collectively, they are known by their maiden name, Biscaye. The album features nine spiritually honest and uplifting songs powered by earthy, tight harmonies. My personal favorite is the title track and the very catchy #7, "Your Children," featuring backup vocals by our friend, John, who with his wife, Jackie, filled out one of our four adoption reference checks (Ha! I have succeeed in making this post adoption-related.)

I received my copy in the mail yesterday and drove home listening to it. I sat there for a long time in my driveway as it played, staring out at the forest in our backyard, wet leaves everywhere. The album was the perfect soundtrack to an idyllic October afternoon.

You can check out samples of the songs and puchase the CD yourselves at or at

Saturday, October 6, 2007

And the Winner Is...

What's Wrong with Mud? by Gillian Colley. Congratulations to Ms. Colley!

Congratulations also to my sister, Jenny. Meiling's Dumplings came in 2nd place in the ABC Children's Picture Book Competition. I just received the news today. There were 25,585 votes cast this year (significantly down from last year), with the winner clearly in the lead. A slim margin divided the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers.

I want to extend an enormous "thank you" to all of you who took the time to cast your votes on behalf of Jenny's entry. You guys are awesome! While she didn't win the coveted book contract, this is not the end of Meiling's Dumplings. She still plans to pursue other means of publications and I, for one, am glad for that.

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Meanwhile, we continue to wait for news of a referral. We didn't receive the Child Referral Request form that was supposed to come this week. I'll follow up with that on Monday.

This blog is starting to look too "texty." Realizing I've gone three posts without a picture, I'm throwing in some random pictures taken earlier today of big-brother-to-be Andrew rolling around in leaves.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

7 Days from 6 Months

Well, the big news this week is that there is no news. We're still waiting for a referral, seven days away from the anniversary our six-month wait.

A few days ago, we received an email from Laura at FFC telling us that we would be receiving a Child Referral Request form sometime this week. I'm not really sure what this is, but from the context of the email it sounds like we'll be asked to give more specifics about the child we're seeking. According to Laura, FFC uses the information we supply to help the orphanages find a child who matches our criteria (healthy male or female under 12 months old at time of travel). Hopefully, this means we are getting one step closer?

In the meantime, congratulations are in order to:

Mel, also adopting through FFC, who recently accepted a referral of a cute boy ( We're particularly excited about this because they joined the FFC waiting list on April 4th, just 5 days befeore us, heh, heh, heh...

Rob and Mary, a great couple from our church who have been seeking to adopt a child from India. They weren't expecting to receive a referral for a long time and were pleasantly surprised to get matched with a waiting child, a 17 month-old boy named Anant.