Friday, April 30, 2010

Not the day...

Well, yesterday was not the day. And so, in the immortal words of Liz Lemon...
Maybe we'll get the call next week.
Seriously, what good is it doing anyone to make us continue to wait?!? This girl has lived in an orphanage for 10 1/2 years!!! And she continues to wait simply because of beaurocratic red tape?!? For whom, exactly, was this process set up? The children? The waiting families? Honestly!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Today the Day?

Is today the day we will get the TA call? Oh, I hope I hope!! Although, I hesitate to even type that for fear I will jinx it. But there is a possibility that our TA will come today. If not today, maybe next week (they generally don't come in on Fridays, for whatever reason).

And yes, the above is another new picture of our Lin!! The one thing I can say about this wait is that we have been very lucky with all the new photos. Most families get two or three pictures to look at, and those are often months old. We have been just so lucky to get so many updated pictures. This one is of Lin (on the left) and her friend, who has just been adopted and is now living in the U.S. I absolutely love it. Dave and I have been in contact with this girl's new parents and we are excited to keep the connection between these beautiful girls. We live several states away from each other, but it's not so far that we couldn't drive a few hours and meet half-way for a reunion weekend.
Come on, TA!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dave's Birthday BBQ!

Dave's birthday began at 3:45am, when he put the beef brisket in the smoker. Let the birthday festivities begin!
Bacon -- the perfect start to any day...

A birthday hug from "Daddy's Spicy Pickle."

BBQ King

Yes, that's a flowered serving platter that Dave's using for his dinner plate.

Mmmmmm.... Ribs.....

And presents. A Blu-Ray player, "Band of Brothers" box set, Starbucks coffee, new grill accessories, and all the meats he wanted to throw on the grill. We had beef brisket, pork ribs, shrimp, sausages and chicken. Oh, and the bacon for breakfast. Everything you may need to know about my husband has been summed up right here.
Happy 40th Birthday!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


My husband and daughter are in her room right now, supposedly reading bedtime stories. Instead, what do I hear? Hysterical laughter. They seem to be having a simply swell time.

Well, har-dee-har-har...

I chose not to read the bedtime stories tonight because, well, I'd had enough of Ruby today. What a great thing for a mother to admit, right? But the reality is, she's been a bit mouthy all day, she's done a great deal of whining, a great deal of pouting when she doesn't get her way. And then there's the continued potty saga. She says she wants to wear big-girl underwear. She's so proud of herself that she keeps it dry. Then she will not go to the bathroom on the potty. So what happened eventually? She wet her pants. And her socks. And her shoes.

The thing is, she just didn't seem to care. She would have kept right on playing, I think. So what am I supposed to do? "You can lead a horse to water but you just can't make 'em drink" is the phrase that keeps running through my head. Argh! What am I supposed to do?

I know, I know. The only thing I can do is let it go. She'll figure out how to go potty in her own time.

Oh, this post was NOT going to be about potty training again! The point was, yes, I'm a tad jealous that Dave and Ruby are able to be such great friends while I feel like I need a break from them both. I think the best thing for all involved is if I just go to bed...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Name Game

We found out today that Lin is called "Chu Chu" in the orphanage. How cute is that?! I've been singing "Chattanooga Choo Choo" all morning! Maybe Chattanooga will become her nickname. Ruby has already told me NOT to call Lin "Sweet Pea" because that's my nickname for Ruby. I have made a solemn promise that Ruby is my one and only Sweet Pea. I actually think that's pretty smart of my 3-year-old daughter, to have that much sense of identity and that much awareness of herself and her role in our family.

Ruby, by the way is named after my maternal grandmother. My grandma's name was Ruby May and Ruby's given Chinese name was Jun, so we've got Ruby May and Ruby Jun in our family. Amazing how God makes those connections.

But get this...

We have planned right from the start to call our new daughter Lin, rather than giving her a totally new name. She's not called Lin right now, but it's part of her name, so we're hoping it's not too weird for her. We went with Lin because it's easy to pronounce for us Americans and also because both Dave's and his sister's middle name is Lynn. So she's got a family name, which is important to me.

But the even bigger connection is in the meaning of Lin's name. In English, Lin translates to woods or forest. My paternal grandfather, who passed away when my dad was just 9 years old, was named Forrest. And I always thought, if I ever had a son I would name him Forrest.

Years and years before I knew my daughter or could even imagine her, God knew her. And named her for her great-grandfather.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good News Bad News

Well, the good news is our Article 5 was issued on Monday. We are officially waiting on our TA! Assuming we are within average wait times, China should be sending out our TA in 2-3 weeks. Woo hoo!

The bad news is our agency has told us NOT to plan on being in the early May travel group. Oh, crud. So even if we get a lightning-fast TA, there is no room for us in that group. On the phone with our social worker, she said "Are you going to cry as soon as we're off the phone?" and the question alone made me cry.
But, life goes on. I'm choosing to stay positive. I don't want Lin sitting on her bed in Shanghai moping around, crying, depressed. I want her to be having fun, living life. So that's what I'm going to do, too. Life goes on.

And speaking of life, here's a few pics of life with Ruby. What a doll!
Here she is, modeling her new bathing suit which she has paired with her tutu and her "Balleria slippers." (Yes, she leaves the "n" out of Ballerina -- adorable, although the first time I heard her say it I thought she was saying "diarrhea.")

And here she is after she made her bed all by herself. Now that she's 3, she's old enough to have some household responsibilities. We're starting her off with making her bed every morning and helping clear the table after dinner. Just think, in a few years, I'll be sitting on the couch eating chocolate cake watching my daughters do all the household chores...
Wait, you say it doesn't work that way?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Pictures!

New pictures of my girl!!

Only a few more weeks until we meet you in person, Lovely Lin!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Could she be any sweeter? Honestly...

Goodies from the Easter Bunny!

Hunting for eggs at Grandma's house!

TMI... I Don't Care!!

Ruby is wearing Big-Girl Underwear today! This is a huge step for her. She's been avoiding this chapter of her life for far too long! She has displayed all the "readiness" signs for nearly a year now, but every time we mention going potty like a big girl, she says no. Sometimes she says no quite nicely ("no thanks, Mom, I'm too little") and other times it's a bit more... forceful. Like Saturday afternoon when she went into a half-hour RAGE, at times getting inches from my face and screaming "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

She was wearing a diaper a few minutes later.

Yes, I gave in to my 3-year-old child. Don't judge me.

But today, what do you know? She wants to try again. She's at her daycare, so maybe they'll have more luck with getting her to actually "go" than I do.

By the way, I'll post Easter pics later today. Ruby was an absolute doll! Can't wait till next year when I'll have TWO beautiful girls in fancy dresses on Easter Sunday!!

Please, PLEASE, let us travel sooooooon!!!!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Eggs and Cavities

Ruby enjoyed her first Easter egg hunt of 2010 at my parents' church last Saturday. It was a little chilly, but she had a great time! I'm sure that pesky Easter Bunny will be hiding more eggs here at home and at Grandma's house on Sunday.

Hopefully she doesn't get a whole lot of candy this Easter. Poor girl had two cavities filled last Thursday and, boy, has it been a long week! She has been having awful sleep terrors, she literally screams when she's eating, and she's been an overly stressed-out grouch the rest of the time. We even took her back to the dentist to make sure there was nothing wrong. I had visions of her filling having fallen out and the bare root of her tooth being exposed for days on end. But no, the dentist didn't find anything that looked wrong.

Thankfully, by this evening I believe we're all just about back to normal. She still wouldn't let me brush her teeth around the fillings, but I'm hoping that will get better in the next day or two as well. If I can't brush her teeth, she'll get more cavities and this will happen all over again!!

But I learned a valuable lesson this week. I learned that I should never stop doing the attachment/bonding activities that I did with Ruby in those first weeks we had her. After coming to a breaking point on Tuesday morning (literally... don't ask), I forced myself to take a step back and see what was happening. The girl was most likely traumatized by the experience and how did I react? With frustration and anger. She was crabby. She screamed. She was having a sleep terror episode once an hour or more for several nights in a row and during her afternoon naps. And as a result, I was tired and stressed out and crabby myself. And I just got more and more frustrated with her for continuing to be crabby. But after doing some trusty internet research on how to handle sleep terrors I realized that what Ruby needed was to feel secure. She had had a very scary experience at the dentist (she was sedated, but not completely "out" so she had some consciousness during the whole procedure) and what she needed from me was patience, reassurance... Bonding. Once I had this figured out, I could see the changes in her almost immediately. I hope I will never forget this lesson.
So, things are back on the bright side. Today was unseasonably warm, so I got out the clothesline and hung my laundry out to dry. Is there anything better than the smell of laundry that has dried in the sunshine? I think not! I'm even going to do another load of laundry tomorrow, even though it's Friday and I normally don't do any housework on Fridays (not that I'm so great at housework any other day of the week!), just because it's supposed to be back in the 80s.