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.
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?!!!
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...
Wear loose clothes;
Get up to walk and stretch
Keep your feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs or feet.
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!
Paint and Carpeting
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
The recommendation is to use crib and bassinet mattresses made of organic, natural materials.
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!)
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.)
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
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.
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)
"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)
DO NOT give samples or cheap cosmetics.
College logo (t-shirts, nice ink pens & refills, good stationery, etc.)
Nice soaps and fragrant lotions. The Chinese Love fragrance...
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 gift that is white or black in color. These colors have negative connotations (such as white is the color worn at funerals)."
"...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..."
"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."
-Adam Peterson ‘International Adoptions Should Be Celebrated’
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.
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."
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.
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.