Saturday, June 27, 2009

Phew!! Now THAT Was A Day!!!

Thank you...thank you...THANK YOU!!! Yesterday was an exciting day that in many ways was amazingly humbling.

The excitement of potentially receiving Hannah's referral was first and foremost in my mind all-day-long!! I'm not sure my feet hit the ground the entire day and the girls at work just kept laughing at me (and with me) and were SO encouraging! They found themselves thinking of their children, talking about them more and one gal even changed her screen saver to a picture of her 3 beautiful children. It truly was a day when family was celebrated even though I did not receive Hannah's referral.

My email box overflowed with well wishes, excitement, threats of heart attacks if I didn't call my agency again ;o) and more than anything love, love, love!! I received many encouraging emails and spent much of the day trying to work while at the same time my mind was all over the place!! Rumor Queen was refreshed frequently as I looked to see if any other agencies were receiving referrals or anticipating referrals. In the end it appears this was an anomaly and only 1 agency received referrals. This has happened one other time as I have waited for Hannah. We're never sure why it happens but sometimes it does and we just need to accept it and celebrate with those who are blessed to receive their unexpected referrals. One of my fellow 'GTA Waiting Mommies' received her referral. Congratulations Lori!!

What has also happened is that my heart is once again opening to the possibility that July could be Hannah month! *GASP!!* I could be seeing my sweet baby's face in a matter of weeks!!!

Thank you again! I am thrilled to be sharing this journey with you and am thankful for all the love and support you showed during yesterday's excitement! I can't imagine what referral day will be like!!! SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nothing Yet....I Think These are Braxton Hicks Contractions!

OK...have done VERY LITTLE today other than email people, refresh RQ and jump around giggling like a silly school girl!! The girls at work are just laughing at me and getting excited along with me!! Not sure if I'm in labour or if these are Braxton Hicks contractions but whatever....they're EXCITING!!!

Just spoke with my agency and she has not received anything yet. What I did learn is that she does not get any forewarning that a package is coming. No tracking number to trace. No DHL to stock....just a ring of the doorbell will tell her that the next batch of referrals has arrived!!!

So what does this mean? It means that nothing has happened yet. Yah, that's helpful isn't it?!!

I truly believe that the batch received by Children's Bridge was an anomoly and not an indication that other referrals will be received today. I'm basing this on the fact that no other agency in the entire world is reporting referrals.

So, what do I think? (Because you know I have an opinion!) is that the next referrals won't arrive until mid-late July but I now have renewed hope that Hannah's referral will be included in those referrals!!! Breathe....breathe!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Could It Be True??????????? Breathe.....BREATHE!!!

This will be quick as I have SO many more questions than answers and still waiting to hear back from many people.

I logged into my email tonight to find numerous emails from friends stating that their Canadian agency (NOT my agency) made referral calls today for their families logged in on March 21/06 and March 23/06 families!!!!

I've emailed my agency to see if they're expecting a package but have not heard back from them. I really don't anticipate that they are but, if this rumour is true then it does look really, really, REALLY good for me receiving Hannah's referral in just a few weeks!!!! I may be eating that Humble Pie after all!!! With pleasure!

I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

Breathe Cath.....BREATHE!!!

** 7:00am Friday, June 26th UPDATE **

At this time I have not heard anything new. Still waiting to hear back from my agency to see if they're expecting any packages from China. I'll wait until 9am and try calling her.

I've confirmed by snooping around that families with this other Ontario agency having LID's of March 21st and March 23rd DID receive referral calls yesterday based on what they wrote in chat rooms and on Rumor Queen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celebrating 39 months Closer to Hannah!

39 months ago on March 23, 2006 my file was logged with the China Center of Adoption Affairs and now I am OHSOCLOSE to receiving Hannah's referral!!! 39 down and only 1 or 2 to go! Wheee!!!

God has been my continued strength and guide through this entire process. He has provided peace and comfort during the wait. The wait has been so much more than I had ever anticipated but not one second longer than God knew it would be! He was just keeping this part a secret. :o)

Will 39 be my last log in date celebration before Hannah's referral? I don't really think so but I believe 40 will be it! Now, should I be wrong and Hannah's referral arrive in July, I'll happily serve myself up a big ole helping of Humble Pie!!

I am so thankful for each of you too! Some of you are new friends I know only through comments and emails; others we've met in person; some have become treasured friends that feel like we've known one another for years and others are family and friends who knew me 'pre-adoption' days and have been supporters and my biggest cheerleaders. To each of you...THANK YOU!!!

39 closer and the end is in sight!!!! Can you believe it?????? Soon, very, very soon we will all know who Hannah is...the baby girl God planned long ago to be my daughter and I, her Mom!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Day of Fun from Beginning to End!! Part III - Smores!! there a summertime campfire treat that's any better than smores? I don't think so!

These pics need no explanation (other than names) so I'll let them stand alone.





Perfectly toasted marshmallows. Thanks Mark!

We had such a great time visiting with you Stacey and Mark!! Thanks so much for the delicious supper and smores afterwards!

A Day of Fun from Beginning to End!! Part II - Bloggy Bash on the Beach!!

What an amazing treat it was to meet up with some bloggy friends on the beach in Monterey! It was pretty cold when we arrived and we thought we might not stay for long but we got to talking, the kids were playing in the sand and before we knew it the sun was out, it warmed up for a bit and it was beautiful!!

The bloggy group consisted of (from l to r) Kayce, me, Stacey with Ryleigh and M3 with Ro.

I'd had had the privilege of meeting Stacey in February at a CNY party but this was the first time to meet Kayce! We hit it off immediately and just like so many other times when I've meet bloggy friends, it was like we'd known one another for years. Following one anothers blogs allows us a glimpse into each other's lives so meeting in person is just a wonderful extension of that online friendship!

An added part of the excitement is that Kayce and her husband Mike have a LID of March 29th so only 6 days behind me. It was wonderful to get excited together and talk about baby stuff knowing that we'll both be receiving referrals SOON!!

Stacey and her adorable Ryleigh chit chatting with us in the sand while big brother Austin and daddy went crab hunting. Guess they were successful! Poor Stacey about freaked out (and I don't blame her!!) when one of these crabs got loose and decided her pant leg was the next place to climb. No thank you!!! Someone quickly grabbed it thankfully!

The girls using Tuba Dad as a human monkey bar!

Ro enjoying some Daddy time while

Ree enjoys some time with Mommy.

It was a wonderful afternoon of talking, laughter, chatting about referrals and so much more!! It was great to see Stacey again and so good to meet you Kayce!! Next time I'm in town we'll have to get together and we'll have the babies with us!! Wheee!!!

A Day of Fun from Beginning to End!! Part I - Monterey Aquarium

Saturday was a wonderful day of family fun!! We began the day bright and early and headed to the Monterey Aquarium. What a great place with tons of beautiful fish and so many other interesting things too! Fun!!

Daddy helping Ree climb her favourite rock

Ro imitating the fish that swim with their mouths wide open

Ro and the shiny fish

Climbing the seahorse in the seahorse exhibit which was fascinating!

A huge school of fish! They were so interesting to watch!

Family fun at the hands-on water exhibit

My mermaid impression.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Hi Dad! Sorry we can't be together today but so happy we were able to celebrate together last week! Soon you'll have another granddaughter to add to your day of celebration!!

Love you!!

This morning we're enjoying a slow, leisurely, quiet morning at the Villa da Salsa. I woke early suddenly panicked that I wouldn't have any way to recored 'THE CALL' should it come in the next month, so hopped online and began researching the 'Flip' that I've heard so much about. After reading many reviews, discussing the different model options with M3, and being thankful that they've recently been made available in Canada, I went ahead and ordered a Flip UltraHD Camcorder. I'm excited for it to arrive within the next week or so and get familiar with it! Guess this means I should finally file my taxes for 2008! (In Canada we don't have a filing deadline when receiving a refund so they're technically not late even though I am letting the govn't use my teeny, tiny bit of refund money. Better change that soon!)

While I was doing my research I could hear little girl voices giggling downstairs. With it being Father's Day I let them hang out with mommy as they prepared him breakfast in bed for daddy. You can imagine my surprise when a short time later b'fast was delivered to me too!! Mmmmm.... a happy face made of toast, cheerios and bacon! Served with Cherry Coke to drink. These girls know me well!!

While M3 and I were chatting the little girls decided they needed my comforter to make a bed for themselves so that they could nap on the floor. After explaining to us that they needed us to whisper so that they could 'nap' (which lasted all of 3.2 seconds!!) they were off to hang with daddy once again!

The time difference also allowed me to call my Dad and Grandpa too to wish them a Happy Father's Day! Cool!! Mondern technology rocks!

Now, I'd best finish this post and get myself out of bed before M3 thinks I'm waiting for lunch to be served in bed too! Although, what would be wrong with that??

This is what I found when I went downstairs a few minutes ago. Looks like M3 found my chocolate stash while she was was preparing b'fast in bed. (Don't worry Scott, she's only a milk chocolate kinda gal so yours is safe!) Oh well, her eating this ENTIRE chocolate bar for b'fast makes for a good story and this afternoon I'll hit the store and restock before packing tomorrow. All being said, I'm guessing it's a really good thing that I can do my final restock at the airport just prior to flying out as she and I have polished off more chocolate this week than either of us will admit!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank You and Friday Fun at the Pool!!

THANK YOU for all your comments of excitement and encouragement! As M3 and I were talking in the car tonight after another great day together (will blog more tomorrow) we talked about what a wonderful blessing our blogs and the friendships they have introduced us to, are!! I am humbled over and over again by the people who have taken an interest in my little corner of the world and more importantly, in Hannah's adoption!! I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in person and many new friendships have been formed in person, or here via the blog. Even though many of us have never met face to face, you are appreciated and thought of as friends! I said to M3 that I feel badly for those who have missed this opportunity of meeting people who share such a unique bond. You have been and continue to be an encouragement as Hannah and I prepare to meet one another. Also, many of you are ahead of me and already have your children home and you will be my source of contact when I face the many new situations that will come with having a daughter who will most likely have spent the first number of months of her life being cared for in an orphanage. Your experiences will be ones that I draw on again and again. Hannah's referral may be just around the corner but our friendships have just begun! That's exciting!

Also, kudos to M and M for picking up on the pictures taken at home before I left for vacation. Just prior to locking up my desk to head out I remembered to take a series of pictures of potential referral groups. I must admit that as I took more and more beads out of the jar on the left and moved them to the right, my heart beat a little (ok...A LOT) faster!! I can't wait to go back to work on Tuesday and move the beads for real! Wow...6 beads over and only 3 left!! (The stats located in the sidebar will also be changed once returning to work as those files are located on my work computer.) An updated referral statistics chart (tracking referrals for the past 3 1/2 years) will be uploaded then too.

For now I want to share some pics and videos of Friday afternoon's pool fun. The girls have changed immensely as these pictures show.
Ree 2008

Ree 2009

Ro 2008

Ro 2009

Check out how independant they are this year!!

Using me as a human jungle gym which you can tell I don't mind one single bit!!

During our time at the pool Tuba Dad came home from his business trip. I saw him coming so was able to catch the girl's excitement on video. Too cute!!!

Once dad was there he was the only one they wanted to be with and who could blame them!! Catching Dad up on all the adventures of their week.

Happy Father's Day Tuba Dad!!

6 Days of Referrals Sent....Only THREE Remain!!!

Wheee!!! As M3 would put it, I'm 'ohsoclose' to receiving Hannah's referral now!!! Today referrals were sent for families whose Log in Dates (LIDs) were March 15 - 20, 2006. What is my LID? MARCH 23rd!!! Yes, only THREE, count 'em 3 LID's left to be matched until I see my sweet baby girl's face!!! Hannah has had a name for 4 1/2 years now and soon she will have a Chinese name, birth date, place of birth, personality and precious, precious little face!!

Now, I need to be honest with you and let you know that I believe my referral will be delayed a month from what I have been anticipating and will now happen in August rather than July. Even though there are only 3 days left, they are all dates with large numbers of families logged in based on Rumor Queen polls which I base my guesstimations on. The poll I have been using since November 2008 has seen an average of 63 families placed in each referral batch. The number of families from this same poll that need to be matched for them to get to me is 108 families. A quick look at the math and it appears that July will not be my month but August.

Now, I could be wrong, CCAA could do a large batch and I would be thrilled to be served up a big ole serving of humble pie!

Regardless, I know that God is in control and He knows exactly when 'The Call' will come! Trusting Him and counting down the days until the next referral batches are sent out! Sleepness nights filled with the wonder of anticipation coming up is my guess.

Hannah, Mommy is waiting for you and I pray for you daily sweet baby girl. You are never far from my thoughts and always in my heart. I love you already!
Love you baby girl! Mommy xoxo

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hanging Out with Wela and BobBob

The days are flying by at an alarming rate and I just want them to slow down!! M3 and I comment often about the time we spend together just enjoying doing whatever it is that crosses our path. We're often found playing with the girls or reading to them and other times when they're at preschool or napping we blog (surprise, surprise!), tidy the house, shop or talk. talk and talk some more!! The friendship we share is a precious gift and I am oh so thankful for it! 18 months ago I'd been to CA exactly once in my life and now I've been blessed to be here 4 times in the past year and a half and each one of those trips has been a precious gift of time with a treasured friend and her amazing family!!

Speaking of family, M3's doesn't end with herself, Tuba Dad, Ro and Ree. Her parents, fondly known as Wela and BobBob, are part of the Salsa package deal and I couldn't be more thankful! Tonight we loaded the girls into the van and headed to Wela and BobBob's for a yummy salmon dinner. Deeelish and made all the better when Wela served up some of her famous Apricot Dream Bars for dessert. (Uh oh! Just typing that caused my mouth to water and my mind to wander to the container on the kitchen table housing the Dream Bars Wela sent home with us. Oh the a I'll let you know what won out at the end)

After supper we went for a beautiful walk near their home. Wow! So much to see! Deer, wild rabbits, bee hives and fruit I normally only see in the grocery store. BobBob plucked a delicious orange right off one of his trees for me!

The girls were super excited to go for our walk after supper and introduce me to, 'Da big gwass hill!'

It didn't take long to see why the girls loved this hill...they were able to toboggan California style! I'm not sure if it was a first for them or not but from the giggles and laughter and shouts for 'More pweese, more!' it was easy to see that this would become a new activity at BobBob and Wela's!!

It was great and I have to say, there is a lot to be said about tobogganing on the grass: it's warm; the hill is much easier to walk up when not covered with ice and snow; it's warm; and probably my favourite: there's not the snow pants, coat, hat, scarf, boots and mitts to stuggle into over a 15 min period only to hear your child say, 'I have to go to the bathroom!!!' Oh yes, we Canadian's know it well!

I took my turn taking the girls down the hill but somehow managed to lose Ro as she did a nose dive into the grass. Oops! She climbed right back on and off we went. Pulling a 'toboggan' in blingy flip flops.....who woulda thunk it?? (And yes, I'm still in lurve with my flip flops and now have made it my mission...and taken M3 down with find another pair before headed home. Must-have-more-Yellow-Box-flip-flops! Don't worry Carol, I'll pull you into this dark hole of flip flop lovliness with M3 and I! Joybells, come join us!)

Back to the tobogganing fun. BobBob, ever the handyman, rigged up a rope to help pull the toboggan up and down the hill. I can't hazard to guess the number of times he pulled 2 adorable, laughing, screaming, giggling, hysterical little girls down the hill only to hear them beg for more before the sled had even ground to a stop at the bottom! (M3 caught some great video! Check back on her site tomorrow to catch the fun in action!)

After all the tobogganing fun it was time for 2 tired big girls...and 2 still energetic little girls, to head home! We were all really surprised when we turned a corner near home and this is what we entire field of goats that had been hired to 'cut the grass.' So much fun!

Once home it was pj time and after a game of Crazy 8's, bed. Wela had bought them some new pj's and oh my are they cute!! Ree on the left and Ro on the right were showing M3 and I some of their fashion posing skills!

M3, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love spending time with you and your family!! I am so thankful that even though we live in 2 seperate countries and thousands of miles apart, that doesn't affect our friendship in the least! You are a precious friend and I cherish the times we spend together! Love you!

Now, about the quandary I faced earlier. I'm not saying what happened but we'll let the picture speak for itself! Mmmmm...night! I'm going to dream of yummy apricot sweetness.
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