Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The FINAL countdown to see Olivia’s beautiful face…

Finally! Some people talk about a long physical labor, well, our labor fell more along the lines of a long “mental labor”. By the time we travel to China (March, 2008), we will have waited three years to bring our daughter home.

But God had the perfect plan for us, and He knew we could endure the pain of the wait. We are now approximately two weeks away from seeing baby Olivia’s face for the first time! The numbness is finally starting to wear off; one reason why I am blogging again (Dad D, I know that makes you happy!). After last Mother’s Day I had to let go for awhile; it was a means of survival. We are now beginning to feel waves of excitement. I write “waves” because month after month of disappointment from not being matched keeps the China adoption community quite skeptical.

However, this time is different. Why? Well, we officially became NEXT in the line of 30,000+ waiting families when they matched families with log in dates December 15-19, 2005. Leave it to our luck...we are log in date December 20, 2005! They missed us by one day!!! (Mom D, what happened to the luck of the Irish?) But that’s what makes us NEXT! There are no log in dates in between…not one, nada, zip, zero, zilch!!! They will match December 20, 2005 families in the next batch!!! That’s us!!! I can’t even believe I am writing it. Pinch us, please!!! Is it real?!

We now ask you to please pray for those with log in dates after us. We pray that they match several days beyond ours, as this wait will continue to cause heartbreak for a lot more families and children, if it continues to increase. My prayers and hopeful thoughts truly go out to everyone who is waiting. I wish I had the right words to make it all better.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who's Olivia?

Oh my, a name change?! Well, before you think we are crazy I want you to ponder something...WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR OUR BABY GIRL FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS!!! And in 3 year’s time, a lot can change! True, the name Myah has been in our hearts for over two years, but a series of coincidences brought us to the very special name of Olivia. First, Tiffany got a gorgeous tattoo of an olive branch. The olive branch has symbolized peace for thousands of years, and for Tiffany, it symbolizes the peace she has gained in her life. A few days following the creation of her tattoo, we started talking about names, but mostly about boys’ names that we liked …it was just conversation. The next thing you know, we see a beautiful painting of the name Olivia (exactly like a painting we have of the name Myah). It was just sitting haphazardly on the counter of Best Buy. Tiffany and I both commented on it, and the next thing you know, we start talking about how much we liked it. Then Rich and I seriously began talking about changing it.

When we arrived home that night and looked up the meaning of this newly found name, we discovered Olivia means “peace” (related to the olive branch). Well, what a connection for Tiffany! Then, over the course of the next few days we began to repeatedly see and hear the name Olivia (we counted 6 times!). Maybe we were looking for it, but we don’t think so. It showed up in the strangest places! I also dug a little deeper into the history of olive trees, and guess what I found? Many researchers have discovered the first olive tree originated in Asia!!! And finally, I remembered my mom’s favorite music artist was Olivia Newton John. I have very fond memories of my mom playing her records and singing her songs. Thanks to my mom, I know ONJ”s songs by heart to this day!!! Her full name will be Olivia Sonja (given Chinese name) Davis. My mom’s name is Sonja and we should know Olivia's given Chinese name in a couple weeks!!! The name just feels right, and who knows, maybe we changed her name on the exact day we were matched with our daughter. THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

Well, I wasn't sure how I'd make it through Mother's Day this year, but I'd say its a pretty good sign that I'm writing this post. I dreaded this past weekend all last week...poor Rich! But I have to say it was a wonderful weekend.

Rich and the kids all got me cards and gift certificates for a manicure and pedicure. I even got two Mother's Day cards all the way from the Little Angel Orphanage in Shanghai, China. They were from Olivia! Funny how there was no postage on the envelope and baby Olivia can write full sentences already. Rich explained that the orphanage allows the children to send mail for free to their mommies on Mother's Day, and we all decided that she must be in an orphanage for the gifted and talented since she is writing before her first birthday!!! I also thought it was interesting how Olivia and Tiffany have similar writing and they haven't even met yet. Hmmmm??? Nevertheless, I felt closer to Olivia than I have ever felt. She is with all of us in our hearts. Thanks guys!

We took my mom to breakfast on Sunday. When I called her in the morning she said, "Oh, hi hun". It was beautiful to hear her say those words! For a long time she didn't refer to me as anyone and now she was saying the words that she had always said when I would call pre-Alzheimer's. Maybe it was Mother's Day that sparked her memory. After breakfast we took a walk around her property and picked my Grandmother's lilacs, daffodils and bleeding hearts to make a splendid bouquet. I made sure to talk with my mom about my "Nana up on the hill" and how much she loved her flowers! My mother kept looking at them and saying, "They are so pretty". She was my ray of sunshine on Mother's Day!

Later in the day, we met Rich's mom and dad for dinner. My mother in -law is is such a strong and giving woman, and I thank God everyday for the wisdom she shares. Rich and I are very lucky to have her in our lives. (Dad, Father's Day is on its way!) It was a great ending to a great weekend. Thanks guys for being our rock. We love you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mom's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mom!!! Yesterday was my mom's 70th birthday. We had her and my dad over for dinner and cake on Sunday. Dad was pleasant as pie and mom was as sweet as can be. For those who don't know, my mom has Alzheimer's. She is in the mid to upper stages of this heartbreaking disease. Although she suffers very little (which is a good thing), it is very sad and trying for those around her. My mom was adopted and I truly believe we are carrying on her legacy through the adoption of baby Olivia. My mom's condition makes the wait for our baby even more difficult as we want so much for my mom to understand who Olivia is and why she is here. I've learned that grandchildren light up the eyes of their grandparents, especially those with forms of dementia. So, we hope and pray she will be here in time to light up my mother's beautiful blue eyes. I know it will happen...God will see to it.

My mom's lucky number has always been seven (probably because my brother and I were born in the 7th month). Well, she just turned 70, this is the year 2007, and there is a really good chance that our referral will arrive in July....and a lot of babies currently being referred are around 7 months of age. That would be incredible, huh?

Pray first, but think 7!!!

Another Wonderful Adventure into Chinatown...

Yes, we pounded the pavement in Chinatown again, and sooooooo glad we did! After going to Federal Plaza with Mom and Dad Davis (so glad to help with Mom's green card renewal!), we all made our way over to the Jing Fong restaurant. Things were a little different this time as it was not an organized event, but we learned a lot about authentic Chinese dining. They had a lunch special call Dim Sum. The waitresses brought carts to tables and guests could choose from a variety of appetizers... we weren't quite sure of the ingredients, but we braved it out anyway! Unbelievably delicious! It was Chinese food in a whole new way...a very authentic way! We will be experts by the time baby Olivia is here. We ordered a couple of entrees to share, ate them, and didn't even realize we received another table's entree until the waiter explained. What an experience, but well worth it!!!

After lunch, we strolled through town. We found a little authentic Chinese market and bought wasabi peas ( a favorite of ours) along with some green tea. Rich hasn't stopped drinking the tea since we arrived home. His system is certainly overflowing with antioxidants! And Mom's face was priceless when she took her first taste of a wasabi pea (these in particular were very high in the horseradish department!).

What a great trip! We can't wait to visit again, and lets hope baby Olivia will be there with us. Soon, baby, soon!

Arrival update:
The wait currently stands at 16.6 months. If it remains the same, she will be with our family by the end of June, but if the time continues to creep up exponentially, then we are looking at August or September. Lets keep the faith and pray that she is in our arms as soon as possible, and as soon as God sees fit!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Making connections with others seems to help with the wait...

I took the following post (below in quotes) from another waiting mom's website since I couldn't say it better myself. For the longest time I thought about how this long wait is very similar to the stages of death, and was surprised to see that someone else viewed it in the same way. Please don't be sad because of this posting...the stage where I reside now is somewhere just before the last stage. I am letting go and beginning to realize I have no control over this. The reality is that we are closer than we have ever been!

Here is her posting...Rich and I understand it one hundred percent!

"I believe that I have experienced each stage of grief, in order, in varying degree and duration. I've certainly seen them all expressed by others in the many online groups to which I belong.The 5 stages (and my interpretation of each) are:

1. denial --"there's no way this can be happening, I refuse to believe that we will not have our referral within 6-9 mos as I was promised by my agency, the referral times will certainly speed up, these changes are merely temporary and will have little affect on us in the long run", etc.--I saw a lot of this on the boards for the first few months of the slow down. There were some people who absolutely refused to believe that wait times were lengthening, exponentially. Some on the Yahoo groups became literally incensed if anyone dared to express a belief that we, with 2/06 LID's, would not be home with our children by Halloween, and later Christmas, 2006.It was as if they believed that the mere recognition of the fact that wait times were increasing would somehow cause a longer wait.--personally, I tend to be a pragmatist, and somewhat negative and cynical by nature. I didn't live in the land of denial long at all.

2. anger --"this is ridiculous, how can CCAA be doing this to us, someone must be to blame, my agency intentionally misled me", etc.--during this next stage I read of people even considering lawsuits against their agencies. I was angry for a while, not at anyone in particular, just generally angry.

3. bargaining (pleading) --"surely there will be a change soon, these drastic extensions in the referral process cannot go on forever, this will be the month they will speed up, the wait is due to the bird flu, the Hunan scandal, CCAA moving offices", etc.--I spent a little time here, pleading with the process, imagining how things could be different.

4. depression --this one is rather self explanatory. I've tried very hard not to get depressed but it creeps in. I've spent quite a bit of time being intermittently sad and frustrated. Sometimes it really hit me. The waiting, at times, felt so empty and even hopeless, it was actually physically painful. I think you actually would have to be in the process to truly understand this emotion. I miss and long for a person I havent' met yet. It's weird. I felt pretty sorry for myself and continually lamented the fact that we hadn't begun the process sooner.

And now, I enter.....5. acceptance --TA DA!!! "it will happen when it happens, I will get my baby when the time is right, there is nothing I can do to speed this process--I can only control my feelings and reactions/response to the process", etc.--Here I am. It's official, I have accepted that I have absolutely no control over these circumstances. I recognize the process for what it is. I no longer feel that sense of anger with the fact that the world isn't fair. I don't harbor any false hope that there will be some divine or other intervention that will magicly speed the process and I haven't shed a tear in quite awhile.OK, I've arrived. Now what?"