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1st Nursery Photos!

These are the first Nursery Photos. This weekend I will be starting and completing ALL of the photos needed for my Dossier! This should be fun! (not) Anyway, I do really like the photo below, but as I am sure you all know... the photos are just never as beautiful as the rooms in person. It's impossible to tell, but I have a faux finish on the walls, it's Sky Blue and I colorwashed "China White" over top. Yeah, I know I'm a little silly but...I a better picture of my chandelier and enchanted tree.

Merry Christmas!

My Baby Pirate was a little trooper tonight. He posed for lots of pictures so that I could find one that we can use for our Christmas Cards. Hopefully next year he will be posing with Gigi. Anyway, Dora was her stand in this year! Aren't they just too cute together?!!!

Pains of Air Travel

The pains of air travel. Sometimes it starts as soon as you start taxiing down the runway. Muscle aches and limbs falling asleep, you all know what I mean. Well, I just came across “Flight Yoga”. I hear that the airlines are all encouraging this to their passengers. Interesting. JetBlue offers a colorful card that shows you different yoga techniques that you can do while on the plane. It’s called Crunch Fitness Inflight Yoga. Just click on the name and I will transport you to the .pdf that they have available for you to download. It’s kinda cool. Other info I found...

Finger Stretch. Clench your fist tightly with your fingers into your palms, then open your fingers wide, stretching them as far as they will go. Repeat several times.
Foot Flex. With your heel firmly on the floor, lift your toes up as far as possible and hold for several seconds. Repeat several times.
Shoulder Rotation. Raise shoulders up toward your ears and rotate them, back to front. Repeat several times, then reverse direction.
Neck Roll. Drop your chin to your chest, like your great uncle nodding off at the dining room table at Thanksgiving. Then slowly and carefully rotate your head clockwise several times. Change direction and do it again.
Ear Pain
Ways to alleviate that pain in the ear...try to suck candy while flying; If your ears block, pinch your nose and blow air gently into your nose (not mouth); take an antihistamine before you fly to reduce congestion; use a decongestant nasal spray before take-off and landing; try "Ear Planes" or a similar product to help regulate air pressure naturally.
General Info
Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) before and during your flight;
Wear loose clothes;
Get up to walk and stretch
Keep your feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs or feet.


I am all about the bling. Real or Faux, it doesn't matter to me. If the faux sparkles more than the real stuff - buy me the faux. I admired Sophie's sparkly bracelet so much, I decided to find one for Giorgia. I bought all of the letters so it can be Giorgia, Giorgi, or Gigi. I love it. I am still in the market for one with a nicer band but this find on Canal Street will hold me over!

Happy Holidays!

My tree is up and the presents are almost bought. Only a short time before it's Christmas Day again. I am wishing all of you a Happy Holiday and may this one be the last one you spend without your daughter or son that is waiting for you! :)

New York, New York

I just got back from spending the day in New York! It was too fun. A couple friends and I took off the day from work to spend the day here. My mission was to visit the Pearl River Mart. I had read about it and then saw Oprah's show where celebs were raving about their favor New York spot! Sarah Jessica Parkers favorite New York spot was, of course, the Pearl River Mart. Not that I am a huge fan, but this just clinched the deal...I had to go there. It is HUGE. They have everything that you could imagine. I loved it. Note: It is very overwhelming. There is just so much stuff, then I realized that there was a downstairs. I thought the first floor had lots of stuff...oh my. Luckily for me, I only bought a few little things. Click the picture for a link to their website.

We went to Rockefeller Center, Sax Fifth Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Chinatown, lots of shopping on Canal Street, Thai for lunch and an unsuccessful dessert at Seredipity. Oh well, maybe next time. What an exhausting, but fun day!

Pearl River Mart in NY

"Pearl River Mart is truly a New York institution. The sprawling loft space offers a huge selection of imported Chinese goods, along with ample room for the shopper’s imagination to run wild. Fuse two hemispheres of fashion with a Mao suit or a Cheong Sam; dabble in calligraphy or plan a Chinese wedding ceremony with an array of cultural crafts; enliven your living room with traditional wood furnishings. Finally, amid soaring papier-mâché lions and dangling bamboo birdcages, you can relax on their mezzanine-level tea bar while sipping premium Chinese Oolong."

I-797C vs. I-171H

I had a question from a fellow blogger... she received the I-171H and should she have gotten the I-797C. I called my agency and they said either one is fine. They are phasing out the I-171H and the new ones are the I-797C’s but it will take a while for the government to phase these out. No worries.


Okay! I would have never guessed it! I was hoping for this around Christmas!!!


Emotions! What can I say... I have never considered myself to be a very emotional person. I'm emotional, maybe I just don't consider myself to be a crier! Until NOW. Since I began this process, life just looks different - better. I don't know if anyone can relate. I found myself today at a Law Enforcement Recognition Luncheon and practically balling my eyes out at the start when we rose to say the pledge of allegiance. The speaker of the event was a Superior Court Judge who spoke about the relationships between law enforcement and the judicial courts. He spoke of his travels in Russia and the difference between the US and other countries. Even with our faults, we are a truely great country. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. It was really nice to be reminded how lucky I (we) are.


I finally have my medical report completed!! Yahoo! so, Look what I just won! ($10.50 + shipping) They are so cute and there are lots of them!


Yes, shopping!! I have been bad! I just couldn't help myself. My homestudy has been completed and sent off to USCIS and I am picking up the other copies of it today at lunch. Yipee!!! So, in true Stephe style, I hit the internet with lightning speed! I admit that I am very thrifty now, unlike those carefree spending days of my past, but I just couldn't resist this little doll. I also bought a couple more items. They all came from www.kidsurplus.com and I couldn't be happier!! If you click on the photo of the item, it will directly link you to the site that I bought them. I am so excited!!!

Corolle® Cherry Doucette Rag Doll
Doucette Dolls from Corolle are soft rag dolls that are easy for all ages to play with! This special "Cherry" Asian doll has long brushable dark hair and a soft vinyl head with handpainted features. Her arms and legs are long and flexible, making her a very easy doll to dress and undress. She comes wearing a cute sleeveless dress and a matching cap. And like all Corolle dolls, she has a delicious vanilla scent. She's also machine washable! Measures approx. 14" tall. For ages 18 months and above. Designed in France, award-winning dolls from Corolle place an emphasis on quality, durability, and play value, resulting in dolls that withstand all the loving and hugs they inspire.

"The Nightingale" by Hans Christian Anderson
"The Nightingale" by Hans Christian Anderson. A timeless edition of a treasured classic! Originally written in 1844, this famous fairy tale is lovingly retold by author Stephen Mitchell, with enchanting illustrations by artist Bagram Ibatoulline. Readers will follow the story of the Emperor of China as a mechanical, bejeweled singing bird threatens to eclipse the charms of his real-life nightingale. Will the mighty rule learn too late the value of what is simple and genuine? Hardcover edition.

Small World Living™ Good Fortune Chinese Play Food Set
From Small World Living™, this Good Fortune Chinese Play Food Set is a great way to learn about a different culture - through food! This colorful 20-piece pretend-play set includes 2 chopsticks, a chopsticks holder, soy sauce plate, soy sauce bottle, tea cup, rice, Chinese take-out box, shrimp, 2 lettuce leaves, spring roll, dim sum holder with lid, 4 pieces of dim sum, a dumpling and a fortune cookie. Box has instructions for using chopsticks. For ages 3 and above.

A "REALLY" Big Thanks!

A Big thanks to Julie, Doug, Beverly, and Lisa (FL) for posting on my MAP! (How? just click on the here!) Come on everyone, when you get a chance post your photo and a "hi". I would love to meet some of you that read my posts. Plus, this way I can prove to my friends and family that others REALLY do view my blog! :)
Thanks to Lisa (DE), Lisa (GA), Meily, John G, Shelli, and Michele for logging on! YEAH!! It's the little things that make me happy!! :)

Love this Doll

This is another one that I would love to get! We'll see.


OMG! Let me start at the beginning. Did I learn a lot tonight! Let me start by saying that at my second job, I have 4 bosses, one of which is Asian. He is awesome, I love him. He is a great boss and great to work with. So, the other bosses know about my impending adoption but are keeping it on the DL for me for now. I have not yet shared my plans with my Asian boss. Why? I am not sure…yes, I am… He is the only Asian person that I converse with on a regular basis and I am unsure of how he will feel about my news. I truly know that he would be happy for me no matter what, but am unsure of how the Asian American community views international adoption first hand. Yes, I know, I am making it out to be that his voice is the voice of an entire community, but you know what I mean. Ok, so back to tonight. While trying to be politically correct, I asked him if he was Korean or Chinese. His response was…”I’m Eskimo!” Ok. I know I can be an idiot at times but I was like “ok”. He then just laughed at me. We’re cool so it was no problem. He then said he was Korean. I told him I just didn’t want to assume one or the other and offend him. Anyway, I spoke of my plans and he asked if he could offer up some advice since he had grown up with a few Korean adoptees. Of course, I welcome any info I can get my hands on. His main advice was to have open communication. Most of the kids that he knew, Korea was not spoken about in the home. They were now American and that was it. Some of the children were extremely introverted and others were very rebellious and angry. Then our conversation turned to racism. He proceeded to ask me an interesting question. Regarding my earlier question if he was Korean or Chinese, he said, would I ask a black person if they were African, Jamaican, or Bohemian or just assume they were American? Ummmm. Crap. Point taken. I told him if I came across someone that seemed Irish, I usually ask if they are Irish or Scottish. Yeah, that worked. I felt like an idiot. He said that this is how you know that some Asians will never truly feel American. I am still scratching my head. I know that I personally didn’t offend him, but…. Then, he says that he is Korean American and that growing up in Church a lot of the “true” Korean children used to tease him and call him a twinkie! A what? A twinkie…you know, yellow on the outside and white on the inside. (His words, not mine) He said most times it was in jest, but sometimes it really hurt. I had never heard the term. I almost started to cry. That’s it, how much time will I get for kicking a child’s butt for name calling!!! I’ll do the time. What did I learn? I learned enough to know that I need to learn a whole lot more!!

The Healthy Baby Nursery

I read this article called The Healthy Baby Nursery by Annie B. Bond and sometimes I wonder if too much information is a bad thing. Sometimes I am so confused, should I buy into all of the stuff I read? It seems like everything can be an issue. I guess it’s up to the individual. So, as I always do, I will share some of the highlights of this article. (and freak out quietly here at work about my toxic nursery at home! *sigh* ) Click on the Title for the link to the complete article.

Paint and Carpeting
Find out whether there is lead paint on the walls! Homes built prior to 1978 could have this problem.

The carpet in your nursery can actually contain dust mites, mold, and mildew. If there is old carpeting in the nursery, you might want to consider replacing it.

New furniture is made of pressed wood, something to avoid because of the formaldehyde in the glues that will continually outgas for the entire life of the piece. Choose real wooden furniture instead.

Toxic Crib Mattresses
“In a study of six brands of crib-size waterproof mattress covers conducted by Anderson Laboratories, all were found to emit toxic fumes in various degrees, and some caused acute toxicity to the respiratory tract of male mice. Five of the mattress covers were made of polyvinyl chloride covered with cotton or polyester layers. The remaining cover was made of polyolefin. Chemical emissions included suspected carcinogens.” So, If this is true, I wonder if the zippered waterproof mattress cover that I bought from Target is ok? Wouldn’t you think that if these items are toxic that they would not be on the market?

The recommendation is to use crib and bassinet mattresses made of organic, natural materials.
“Avoid plastic or polyurethane encasements. To prevent moisture from seeping onto the mattress from leaking diapers, invest in an absorbent "wool puddle pad," designed to insert between the sheet and mattress. Avoid pillows until the baby is at least 1 year old, and after that, invest in a natural fiber, organic pillow.”

My Map

Oh no! I found ANOTHER totally cool thing. Come see my new map and say hi. This lets me know where everyone is around the world! I just love it! Post a photo too!!!! I also put a link to it on the right side of my blog!

Family Finance

Found an interesting article on finances & parenthood in American Baby by Josh Garskof. Here are the tips that I got out of it.

1. Buy Life Insurance. Term Life makes the most sense because it coves the insured person for a period of time and pays a benefit if you pass away during the term.

2. Eliminate Credit Card Debt. Pay these off as fast as possible. The interest costs will be an ongoing drain on your budget.

3. Set up a Budget. I won't go into what they recommend because I just finished peeing in my pants (laughing). The jist was, "...add in the costs of your baby, which you can estimate at about $400 per month..." $400??? Right! On what planet. This won't even cover 2 weeks at daycare! Anyway, I do agree with the concept of setting up a budget! So, let's just leave this one alone.

4. Build a Financial Cushion. With debt under control and a budget in place, work on savings.

5. Start Saving for College. Look into the 529 accounts. These programs allow your college fund to grow tax-free. Every state has its own 529 program. Look for one that offers and age-based mutual fund that starts out with aggressive investments and gets more conservative as college gets closer. There are also a Prepaid tuition plans. This allows parents to beat tuition inflation by paying for college now. You pay today's tuition on a playment plan, and then your child goes to an in-state school.

OK. I am EXHAUSTED just thinking about all of this. :)
I guess I can add these to my list of things to do while waiting. Actually, I think my list is turning into somewhat of a book. One day, I am just going to delete it and fly by the seat of my pants. (yeah, right!)

Angelina Jolie

Angelina and her new daughter Zahara. My liking of Angelina Jolie is met with much criticism. So, this is the last time I am going to say it...I don't care what you all think! I know she's a little "different", but that is why I like her. I believe that she has truely found herself in her children and her work with UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency .

The Thermos Debate

To take a thermos to China or not! That is the question...

Thermos - YES

1. Because you have to boil water anyway, the thermos was a nice, sterile place to keep water. I would heat bottled water in the hot pot until boiling, pour it into the thermos, and cap it. I had hot water for bottles the rest of the day (mixing it w/room temp bottled water). It was also great for the stressful/screaming late night wake up - didn't have to fumble around with the hot pot while I was half asleep and freaking out. I used it after we got home - very convenient!

2. I relied heavily on my thermos. I used a stainless steal one and it was wonderful. I could boil water for the bottles and use it all day to give my daughter a warm bottle. It didn't take much room up either as we filled it with socks, etc on the way to China and then I kept it in my backpack after receiving our daughter. I just think it made life a lot easier.

3. They don't all contain glass like they used to...and the one family in our group who did not bring one could not find one in China. They were fortunate that the rest of us brought them, and one of us was usually able to share with them. Despite this, many people will probably post, stating how easy they are to purchase in China...

4. If your baby ends up wanting hot bottles, and you want to be able to go on longer excursions while still being able to make bottles on the fly, a thermos is very useful.

5. When we were bused into Shaimen island each morning, and were stuck there until the bus picked us up in the afternoon. It was really nice having a thermos of hot water to make bottles wherever we happened to be.

6. The usefulness of a thermos varies with the baby, parent, and location.

Thermos - NO

1. If your baby doesn't demand hot or really warm bottles, you don't need a thermos.

2. If you will never be far from your hotel room, a restaurant, or other source of hot water, you don't need a thermos.

3. I never used the Thermos, but that was mainly because my daughter was no longer on formula. It was my understanding that a Thermos was intended for use in keeping formula warm (although it can obviously be used to keep milk or juice cool too.)

Moorea Skye

(Moorea (More-Ray-Ah) - a Tahitian island)

Chrissy had a GIRL!!

Well, Chrissy had another little **GIRL** tonight! I am so excited. My thoughts are with her and with MY little girl, so far away.

A Poem

I came across a beautiful poem that I would like to share written by Robin Magaña
My sweet little baby,
How are you today?
I’m praying for you,
while you’re far, far away.

That you’re safe, and you’re warm
and there’s plenty to eat.
That someone is holding you closely.
That they feel your heart beat.

They say that there is
an invisible thread,
that may twist or tangle,
and the color is red.

This thread is what brings you
from where you might be.
To the ones that wait for you.
Your forever family.

I believe the thread is spun
with God’s grace up above.
He gives mommy’s like me
a sweet baby to love.

It begins up in heaven
and stretches down where you are.
It twists back up to heaven
and catches a star.

Then over the waters
of the deep blue sea.
The other end is wrapped firmly
around the heart of me.

It’s found in the stitches of
your quilt that I sew.
It’s weaved thru the dress waiting,
with the little red bow.

So I wait, so I wonder,
as my mind drifts away.
My sweet little baby,
How are you today?

By Robin Magaña ~10/2/05 ~ A mother anxiously waiting

Great tip

"Take a free e-mail address (like Hotmail) and store your numbers and copies of passports. They will be accessible via the Internet."

I'm Ready

I'm ready, let's go! Anyone?

Name in Chinese

Chinese names:Free English name to Chinese translation. Learn to write your name
in Chinese!

FREE Chinese name translation: We offer it for free while other charge you!

Your name in Chinese: with FREE downloadable Chinese symbols.


Tips on finding the perfect highchair for you...

1. A tray that can easily be put on and taken off one-handed -- which is a plus when carrying your daughter or her dinner.

2. A tray that is big and has a fairly high edge, good for the child who is a messy eater, as well as for enabling a child to use it for art projects.

3. A chair that can be adjusted to a variety of heights, so it could be used as a freestanding high chair; as a booster chair at the dining table, without the tray; or as a low chair and table for art projects.

4. A chair that can be folded up for storage or carrying to another room, if you didn't want to use the excellent wheels.

5. The ability to put the chair into the shower for a total washing, if it got really messy. You can scrub the "seat belt" with an old toothbrush.

6. A chair that is as attractive as a high chair can be.

7. A chair that is comfortable if your daughter were to fall asleep in it.

8. A chair is sturdy and won’t easily tip over

9. The chair was pretty indestructible.

This is an edited version of a post by Sharon on my yahoo group.

My New Man

Right! A girl can dream can't she? (Yeah, I am dreamin' real big today). For those of you that don't know, this is "Sawyer" from the tv show LOST! My favorite!

Bathtime with Pirate

My baby hates bathtime...but I had fun!

Christie's Baby Shower

The Shower was a success and she was suprised! This is Christie's soon-to-be second child. The shower was a Luau theme with lots of tropical decorations and leis. Of course you all saw Pirate and his little outfit!! Here I am with Christie.

Zen Shorts

(Update: I just got this book! Yeah!)
by Jon J Muth (Illustrator)

This book introduces readers to a Zen approach to the world, wrapped in a story about three siblings and their new neighbor, a panda. One by one, the children visit the panda, enjoying his company and listening to him tell a brief tale that illustrates a Zen principle. The tales invite the children to consider the world and their perceptions from a different angle; for Karl, the panda's story gently but pointedly teaches the benefits of forgiveness. Richly toned and nicely detailed watercolors depict the "real world" scenes, while those accompanying the Zen lessons employ black lines and strokes on pastel pages to create an interesting blend of Western realism and more evocative Japanese naturalism.

(Edited Editorial Reviews From School Library Journal)

Gifts to SWI's Part II

Yet another post from an APCer (I have shortened it a little)...

"The only thing I would caution about up front is, don't give or buy cheap items (I've been told that some people give samples of AVON lipsticks, or the free giveaways of perfume from department stores as gifts... which shows a disregard for the SWI directors and caregivers... they have taken care of your child for the last "X" number of months/years - and now is the time to actually show your appreciation of their care. Items they would appreciate:

Cd's of current popular (hip hop, popular, country, or classical)
NICE cosmetics

DO NOT give samples or cheap cosmetics.
College logo (t-shirts, nice ink pens & refills, good stationery, etc.)
Hometown items

Nice soaps and fragrant lotions. The Chinese Love fragrance...
Nice perfume/cologne.

Very nice costume jewelry, such as Trifari, Monet, Napier, etc.

Some DON'T's are:
NO sample sizes - considered to be insulting.
NO green hat to a man - signifies his wife is having an affair.
NO clocks or watches - represents death
NO candles - signifies a wish that their home will burn down.
NO gift that is white or black in color. These colors have negative connotations (such as white is the color worn at funerals)."


This is my mom's yorkie in Key West. Isn't she cute? She doesn't like to stay put in my mom's scooter when about town, so she now has her own doggie traveling backpack...Matching visor too! Now, this dog is SPOILED! In my next life, I want to come back as Tolly!!

Life Insurance

Life insurance is just one of those things that you need to have when you are a parent. I just wish that you didn't need bloodwork to get it! There is always drama when I need bloodwork done. Anyway, they sent someone out to do the job...they failed. They always fail. :( I know that I will pass the medical portion - I passed the adoption medical part. They just seem to insist on their "own" tests. Well, I spoke to the underwriter and got her to agree to look all my current medical records from my doctor before they send out another technician and guess what....They are accepting the medical reports from my doctor!!! Yahoo!!! No more bloodwork! Atleast anytime soon. I hope I am not jinxing myself! Yeah. Now I just have to wait for them to process my policy inorder to complete my homestudy. Fingers crossed!!

Sippy Cup Cleaning?

Okay, so I just read this neat little tip on cleaning sippy cups...
"Cleaning Lids and valves for sippy cups are hard to clean. An easy way is to fill a bowl with the lids and valves and add a denture tablet. Let soak for a few hours or overnight and the grime is gone!" -- Megann
My question is this:
Can't you just put them in the dishwasher and be done with it?
This is obviously a question from a new mom to be!! :)

Hair Dryers in China

Interesting little tip I just read...
"At the White Swan, you have to pull on the towel holder to open the drawer where the hair dryer is hiding...some people think there's no hair dryer because they assume a towel holder (the ring-shaped kind) couldn't possibly be a drawer pull. Surprise!" This was from a poster on APC.

Red Thread Families

I found a great site and it's called Red Thread Families! As soon as I am DTC, I am going to treat myself to this sweatshirt. I am going to buy it really big and cozy up on my couch with at night! Can't wait! Just click on the photo and check out their site.

Things to do While Waiting

Hi. My list is a little crazy so I have moved it to the beginning of my blog. I have posted a link to it under "Stephe's Stuff" on the right hand side of my blog just under my profile. Sorry, Lisa, I didn't mean to overwhelm anyone....forgive me! :)


Fingerprinting...DONE! Yeah. It took one week to receive a receipt from INS regarding my I-600A and I had my fingerprints scheduled for the next week. I could just walk in without any appointment Tuesday through Friday until 3:00. I had no idea it would be that easy. I reside in Delaware and the main office for fingerprinting is in Philadelphia, however they have a satellite office in Dover. Even though Dover is further than Philly, it's much more convenient. Once I got there, there was no wait! The guys in the office where hysterical. I even had Pirate with me to share the experience. I can tell you that his experience wasn't as fun...he was in his travel bag! But that's okay. He was still there to share it with me. They said my prints were great - I am hoping for the best!!

And "I" need a homestudy

Okay, so I am surfing through a million adoptive blogs and I came across a great blog and an even greater post! My day has been utterly boring and this just made me laugh! What makes it especially ironic is that I am in the middle of my homestudy! Check it out!

Pirate in Drag

So, Chrissy's baby shower is coming up in this weekend and we are making it a Luau shower. We chose the Lula theme because that is how Chrissy & Jay are decorating the new baby's room. It will be awesome and can't wait to see the finished product. Anyway, while I was gathering decorations for the party, I came across a Tropical skirt and Lei for Pirate. At first he didn't like it but once he started walking and the swishing of the grass started...it was another story. He thinks he's hot stuff, not sure I should tell him he's dressed like a girl!! LOL. Doesn't he look cute? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!!!


Finally got that Passport!!

Medical Exam

Had my Medical Exam done the day after Labor day, how much fun can one person have! Well, I'm glad that is done with. Anyway, this is a new doctor and she seems great. For those of you that know me, there is always some drama with getting my blood taken. The first attempt was a failure, now I am back for another go around. And yes, "AnneMarie" is my newest favorite person in the world. She got me on the first try. So, in the wrist with a pediactric needle and "9" viles later...I am done! I am not sure there is a single test on earth that they didn't test for! But I am sure that you all know how that goes. The way I see it, if someone is actually able to get blood from me, do every test you think you might need. Plus I had the fun TB shot and a tetnus. Now the wait for the results begins! Wish me luck. Actually, I am more worried about finding a traveling notary! :)

Gas Again

And I thought it was bad yesterday!


Well, It's submitted today!


Are you kidding Me???

Language Doll Ling

So I was bored on Saturday and decided to go to some garage sales with a friend. I came across this one home that had literally a million close-out items, NIB. I glanced over to the right and saw the "Ling" Language doll. I had looked at these a month or so and knew that they retail for $34.99! Guess how much I got it for???? $5.00 - Brand Spankin' New! Now that's a deal. Are all garage sales like this?

Ling is very happy to meet and talk with you! "Hello! Ni hao! How are you? Ni hao ma?" she says when you press her hand. Press her other hand, and she says, "I like to run. Wo xi huan pao," and counts to ten. Press her red heart on her knee, and she says, "I love you! Wo ai nee!" But that's not all! Her trendy clothes and accessories are removable, and she comes packaged with a translation booklet and membership card. Soft-bodied, 16-in. tall.

Gifts to SWI's

This is part of a post from an APCer. I thought it was interesting info on gift giving.

"...I wanted to share something I learned from our guide that I'd never read here before. She said that every time she goes to an orphanage the nanny’s pull her aside and show her a large pile of gifts that they don't know what to do with. She said usually these are lotions and they want her to translate the bottles for them.

Because they can't read the English on the bottle, they don't know what to do with them. Makes sense! If someone handed us a bottle of something white or pink and creamy andit was all written in Chinese we wouldn't know if it was body lotion or face lotion or soap for the shower. She had us all give her our gifts and she separated them into bags and labeled them so the nanny’s would know what they were.

She said the three most-appreciated gifts are: chocolate, cigarettes and perfume..."
Another APC poster said...

"We put a note on each gift bag, with our name, our child's Chinese name and referral picture and "Thank You" in Mandarin on each bag so that they knew who it was from. We found that they (orphanage workers) seemed to like cosmetics and nice body lotions (enough small samples for 10-12 people)-they did not seem to like cigarettes as a gift and chocolate melted (we travel in the summer and it was hot and humid). All our gifts went to the orphanage workers, we gave no gifts to "officials" and were told not to."

Culture and Adoptive Children

"But a lopsided majority, including those who profess little interest in their genealogies, will say they feel more grounded and secure when heir adoptive parents infuse their upbringings with the cultures from which them came, routinely give them information about their backgrounds and, when physical differences are apparent, expose them to other people who look like them."

-Adam Peterson ‘International Adoptions Should Be Celebrated’

Phase #1: The Paperchase (First 4-6 Months)

Collect all documents for Dossier

Birth certificate
Certificate of Property (Financial Statement)
Physicals (with about 10 different blood tests)
State Police Checks
Application letter to Chinese Officials
Letters from Employers
Homestudy from Social Worker
I-171H form from USCIS
Copies of Passports
6 Pictures of family
2 Passport size photo's

After all these documents are all collected and Notorized then I will take them down to Dover and they all have to be state certified by the Secretary of State. They will then be fed-ex'd to the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC and be authenticated. (First local(notorized), then state level (certified) then country level (authenticated) the documents all need a stamp saying they are legitimate.) Then the documents are sent to our adoption agency. They double check them and then translate them into Chinese. Then the documents are sent to China. That is my DTC date. Then about 1-2 weeks after that is our LID (Log in Date). Now I just have to wait! The matching wait is about 6 - 7 months. My agency will be the one that give me a call to let me know that China has a referral for me. They will give me info over the phone and then overnight the medical info and 3 photos of my child. The next step will be to wait for TA(Travel Approval). This normally takes 4-6 weeks to get with about a 2 week warning that you are leaving. I will then travel to China and spend 10-12 days in China. You will find a "In China" travel timeline on our referral page.

One Child Policy

Painted by Zhou Yuwei
Painted by Ahang Zhenhua
"How the One Child Policy came about: In the 1950s, Mao Tse-Tung urged his people to have lots of children to strengthen the country. The population growth from this edict led the government in the 1970s to be worried that China would be unable to feed her citizens. So, the Chinese government implemented the One Child Policy in 1979.The goal of this policy was to keep China’s population below 1.3 billion by the year 2000. Today, China is home to over 1.2 billion people. Couples who violate the One Child Policy are subject to fines (equal to three years’ salary!), community ostracism, and even jail time.
Baby boys are more valued in Chinese society than are baby girls because boys carry on the ancestral name, inheritance laws pass property on to sons, and sons are responsible for taking care of aged parents. Because of this many couples will abandon a baby girls. A heartbreakingly cruel choice, yes, and an event that happens all too often – hundreds of thousands of baby girls are abandoned every year in China. The babies are abandoned in public places (such as busy streets, railway stations, and in front of public buildings) so they will be found quickly. The babies are abandoned as infants – usually when they are only a few days old. In addition to little girls, handicapped babies and sick babies (both boys and girls) are also abandoned because most parents in China don’t have the money to provide for their special needs. Once found, the abandoned babies are given a medical exam and then taken to orphanages."

Why China?

Health - Chinese orphans have a reputation of being among the healthiest in the world. There are fewer problems with alcohol and other drugs in China than in many other parts of the world.

Gender - China with it's One Child Policy, has many infant girls that need homes.

Certainty vs. Risk - Adoptions in the US are much harder for a single person trying to adopt and open adoptions are becoming more common. In Chinese Adoptions, Once approved for adoption, they almost always go through. It may take longer, it may cost more money, but it will happen. I choose a closed adoption.

The need is so great -Thousands of perfectly healthy children will live their lives in orphanages which are only able to provide the minimal needs for these kids. If I am going to adopt, I would really rather help out a child that will not otherwise get help. I feel I am the lucky one in this process. I get to have the family I want.

Respect - China has a unique and remarkable history. China was a civilized country long before European countries could be called civilized. The China of today is rich in interesting and varied cultures. I feel this is a background which I can easily help my daughter be proud of.

Support - There are many thousands of Chinese children who have been adopted into US families. The parents of these children are organized and offer newsletters, playgroups, camps, classes, and all kinds of special events. I feel it will be very helpful to my daughter’s self-esteem to know others with a similar background and to have opportunities to learn something about Chinese culture. This kind of support was a VERY big factor in my decision.

Crib Bedding

If I could pick any crib bedding in the world, this would be it! It's called "Wish" by CoCaLo. I first saw it when strolling through Burlington Coat!
Wish by Cocalo Wrap your baby in luxury! A beautiful combination of luxurious satin, soft crinkled velvet and embossed burnout velvet creates an opulent and enchanting setting for your baby’s dreams. The lightweight blanket features a classic diamond quilting pattern with a tasteful cording trim and is paired with a 100% Cotton Sateen sheet. This collection offers a combination of exquisite elegance, luxury and value. Coordinated nursery pieces include: 4-Piece Crib Set with a Complementary Embroidered Door Pillow, Window Valance, Lamp Shade, Diaper Stacker, Decorative Pillow and Musical Mobile.

Enchanted Tree


I am in love with my new little Chandelier!


This is just too cute!

Crazy Cakes

"Once upon a time in China there was a baby girl who lived in a big room with lots of other babies. The girls shared cribs with one another and became great friends. The girls had nannies to take care of them, but each was missing something - a mother."

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