Thursday, May 31, 2007


I have been thinking about posting on this for a while, but haven't had the time to really post. Also, I haven't really been able to put "it" into words. I don't know if any one out there in blog-land will understand, but here goes.

I have been feeling guilty about the second adoption. I feel like Baby M was supposed to be our first child. I feel like I'm somehow replacing her...and in the future, how the hell do I explain to her that even though she's younger, and we adopted her second, SHE WAS MY FIRST CHILD...? Does this make any sense to ANYONE???

I haven't felt attached to this second adoption. I am excited, and really ready, but until today, it hasn't felt "real". I haven't reallt allowed myself to think about it much, and really, other than one or two close friends, I haven't really even talked to anyone about it. (Again, the guilt thing). I am so tired of people asking "isn't it EASIER to just have your OWN kid?". Man that pisses me off!! There are so many things wrong with that statement, I won't even BEGIN to try to answer it.

With our China adoption, Tod and I talked about it for 3 years (3 YEARS!!) before we even began the paperchase. I read EVERYTHING I could about China adoption, history, ficton, etc etc etc. I spent HOURS on adoption boards for PAPs (potential adopting parents), and went out and made friends with people in the community with children from China, or with families who are in the process...I lived in China in my dream life; I spent time thinking about what to pack, what province Baby M might come from... in short, I obsessed over it. I still do, but on a much smaller level, truth be told. And with this one, we talked about it for about 2 months. One week we were adopting form Taiwan, then back to China, then one day I decided IT WILL BE VIETNAM. And there it was. And here I am. I;'ve just begun my reading on Vietnam (another post on this later, if I get up enough nerve to write abou tit). It's hard, actually. Everything seems to return to the "conflict" in Vietnam in the '70's and how badly people were treated... But, I did try to start my reading on up-beat notes. My first book "Finding Katherine" by Ellen Fitzenrider. I finished it in 3 days. Now, as I set it down, I am beginning to feel close to a child that is growing in someone else's belly. I'm starting to get a feel for the country, the people, and the history. I'm STARTING to think about a baby that might be mine sometime soon. I think I'll read up some more, and re-visit Graham Green's "The Quiet American" ( a book I read in college, along with Michael Herr's "Dispatches", and a miriad of other books all dealing with Vietnam since I took a history/literature course on Vietnam way back in the day..back when I was in love with the country, and the people.) I guess I am starting to rekindel that flame. In fact, Tod and I had chosen VN as our #2 choice for places to adopt (behind China, of course), and wanted to travel there on our honeymoon years and years ago (ok, 5 years ago!!)...
Ok, I am already starting to feel better.

This adoption, this baby (who Uncle Phil has temporarily nicknamed Baby Jerry or Baby West), this second child, will be our first. And when we sort this all out, I hope Baby M doesn't feel she was EVER second best. Her birthfamily will abandon her. We will adopt her. That part of her history is set. We are her future, and she is ours. I bet she'll be an awesome little sister...

Besides, I hear Vietnam is lovely in the Spring. I hope to find out soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Misc. weekend post

I hope y'all out there are having a nice holiday weekend, and are enjoying your friends, family, free-time, etc. I spent almost all day in the garden. It was a nice day, although VERY HOT, and no rain in sight. My nails are totally shot, I have tan lines on my feet from my flip-flops, but my yard is starting to look like a REAL yard!!

And unfortunately, my hands are very sore and tired too, so I won't write much. I am still hoping to post some on the new adoption, and various thoughts on it, but just haven't had the time. Ok, I had the time saturday, but spent it sewing. I have some pictures I need to upload, but again, TOO TIRED now!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's party time AGAIN!!

It's that time again!! I'm having a modest little birthday party Monday night for those of you cool enough ...oops, I mean - close enough - to come. Mainly just an excuse to sit on my patio, tip back a few cold ones, and bitch about my Mother-In-Law... um, I mean, talk about how awesome my new house is...and how awesome my new peeps are.

So, come on by Chez Carley for some drinks, some food, and some old fashioned good times. No RSVP necessary.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


So, I've had a bunch of comments both on and off post about adopting form 2 countries at once. Here's the scoop:

It's (technically) up to your China agency. Some agency's will say NO CHILDREN (be they adopted, or bio) while you are in the process of adopting from China through them*. We are fortunate that our agency is not one of these. There are some rules that apply (they want 6 months between children, but basically if it's only 4 or 5, they aren't going to NOT allow you to continue with the China program!), but also, our second agency (our VN agency) also wanted the "ok" from our China agency. So, it CAN BE DONE, but generally, your agency's have to be on the same page.

Then, and here's our biggest thing, you have to be able to AFFORD it. Vietnam is differnt from China and the costs are roughly the same, but they come in bigger chunks. Next year could mean trips to Vietnam AND China for us, and I guess you will be able to watch the smoke roll off our credit cards, if that's the case!!

I've been emailing a few of you folks about this process, if you have questions, or want to know more specifics, please, feel free to email me personally, or simply drop me a comment and I'll get back to you!! (Besides, I LOVE COMMENTS!!)

*I know of one large China only program that has this as a hard and fast rule. There are others, but I only have heard first hand about this one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Started officially...Vietnam here we come

So, we've officially started our second adoption.
  • Agency - Check
  • New I-600A for fingerprints sent in - Check
  • Home Study (#2!!) set up - Check
  • Books on new country - Check
  • Freaked out about money - Check and Check.
We're on our way. The only thing holding us up on our dossier at this time is our damned fingerprints. USCIS is SOOOO slow, and we can't send in our dossier officially until we have that piece of paper. Ironically, we HAVE an I-171H already, BUT, we need on for Hanoi, not Guanzhou!!

We have our HS paperwork nearly done, and should have that scheduled by the end of next week. We can update our China HS at the same time, an amazing stroke of good luck! (The first, and probably last we've had/ will have).

We should have our fingerprint appointment in Charlotte sometime in...August, maybe? I'd be super pleased if we could get that done sooner, but we should find out in about 3 weeks, and as always, I'll keep y'all posted.

In the mean time I'm keeping busy reading some new books about a new country (!!), and doing a bunch of sewing. Wait until I post pix of my new bag!! It's SOOOO beautiful! Unfortunately, as with my favorites, I sold it already. sigh. However, I'm going next week (for my birthday!!) to my fav quilt store and I'm buying NEW MATERIAL that will be for a diaper bag FOR MY NEW BABY!! I can't wait to see what I pick out!!

As for anyone out there in blog land that is in need of a uber cool bag, or a super nice gift, email me!! I need some new orders! (Want to see the bags? Check my little links to the Right over there on the side.)

Ok, off to beddie-bye for me. I'll post some more later this week. Be sure to keep in touch!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday musings (i.e. total misc.)

Well, I don't usually blog at work, but thought today would be slow and I might have time...wrong! I had to actually WORK at work today!! (Who ever heard of such a thing?!!).

As for tomorrow...well, it's Tuesday, and no GG for me and my BFF. So, I've got plans with another girlfriend tomorrow, and we're staying in, drinking some vino, eatting some good food, and hanging out for girls night. At least I'll still have a girl night!! I love to go OUT for girls night, but from now on we'll be staying in a lot more. Man, this second adoption nearly sent my DH's head spinning, and I'm intersted in getting everything done ASAP, which means come up with a trillion bucks between now and like, August.

Anyone else totally bored with this post? I think I am.

Anyway, I'll catch up on the various "on tap posts" sometime this week.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend Misc.

So, we had company over the weekend (good company) and I'm happy but TIRED. I'm working on a bunch of blog topics, mainly on the new adoption (BIG NEWS: I won. We've officially started!).
I just wanted to check in, say howdy, and let you know I had a fantastic weekend. I need an extra day to recover from my weekend, however. ;->

Hope y'all had a nice weekend, check back tomorrow with updates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eleven months down...a billion more to go?

Today, we're officially 11 months into our wait for Baby M.

What the hell else is there to say?

We're doing our best, Baby Girl!! We're coming soon!

Monday, May 14, 2007

quick-ish timeline (Vietnam adoption)

So, this is a really quick time line - mainly so my Big Mamma knows when to be home to help us (incert every thing from diaper, to feed, to not break) the baby (oh, and so you can finish that baby quilt!! But don't pick out colors just yet, you may be surprised when I tell you we MIGHT be asking for a boy!!!)

  • Paperchase - I hope to be done in one month.
  • DTA - dossier to agency - this will take a week or two, to get it in order, and translated.
  • Referral - hold on to your hats - 3-5 months. That's right 3-5 MONTHS after LID (log in date). As a disclaimer, Vietnam is different from China in that dossiers are logged in by agency, and then referrals are chosen by the agency, NOT a governemnt department, so the timeline here depends on two things:
  1. how many people are in the "line" ahead of you (yes, this is like China), but the line is an agency by agency thing, not the entire country!!
  2. how many children (and what sex they are) are needing homes at that time.
  • Referral to travel - 3-5 months. I'll do the math for you here, that means 7-11 months FROM THIS SECOND we could very well have our baby in our arms. {Yes, we started with China, and yes, it should have been faster, but it wasn't. this is differnt, and the time lines/times are far more consistent, since there are actually laws on how long you can wait!! In this case, they say you must not wait longer than 5 months to travel!! Usually, I gather it's closer to 3 than 5. }
Anyway, our agency gives us our referral, so it can be somewhat expidited depending on the agency (more people ahead of us = more wait; less people = less wait). The other cool thing is that babies as young as 4 weeks old are placed for referral, so we could be bringing home a very young baby!

Right now, I haven't officially started the paperchase mainly b/c I haven't brow-beat my husband into paying for this yet...but I will. We get all our paperwork in the mail this week, so I'll know exactly how much it'll cost to actually get started. Also, for those of you who know the China process, fear not, this paperchase is WAY faster, and a LOT LESS INVOLVED. Plus, we already have a HS, so we just need it updated... pretty cool.

Alright, this isn't exactly short, but now you have a better idea of the process. I'll obviously be posting the timelines along the way!! That is, if you are still reading!! Don't go anywhere, it's NEVER DULL 'round here, folks. Promise!!

All right, all right

Ok, ok. I'm fessing up. We have:
  1. Desided to adopt from a second country (not a huge surprise, as I've been mentioning this for a little while).
  2. Choosen the country...and no, we opted to NOT go with Taiwan. We've chosen Vietnam. (I'll go into this in for detail later!). Much of it has to due to wait times.
  3. Considered "bio" kids, but this is a can of worms I'm not willing to go into on the blog. Sufice to say, we are very pleased that we are able to begin a second adoption so that we will become parents sometime in the next year, even though China's wait times have increased.
  4. Not agreed when to begin. I have the paperwork on the way from our agency (already chosen), but due to financial concerns, DH would like to wait to officially begin. I, on the otherhand, would in no way like to continue waiting any longer than I have to. I want to get started today!
I'll post the details later. The process is a little different, the wait times (with some agencies) are long, some are shorter. Some agencies allow you to choose the sex of the child, some don't... I'll get back to this today or tomorrow.

A word to everyone:
We are very happy about this choice. We are very disapointed that China has slowed down, so that we must wait on Baby M for another year or more...but we are choosing adoption as our FIRST CHOICE. We are in no way sad that we haven't had "bio" kids or that that was our first choice and adoption was a "second best alternative" ('cuz for us, this in NOT the case). If you even for one second think we are making a mistake or you don't agree with our choice(s); keep it to yourself. We are VERY VERY ready to be parents, and we want our children to know they are loved, and that they are our FIRST CHOICE of a way to grow our family. We do hope to eventially have "bio" kids...when that happens, that will be our choice also.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ok, big news on the way

I'm not going into it now, but big news is on the way!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So, last night was spent "out and about". First, I wend directly from work to a bar to help Uncle Phil celebrate his 34th b-day. Fortunately, there were a bunch of us there to make sure he didn't get TOO roudy or fall down the stairs (and to drive him home!!). It was a lot of fun, but I had to cut out early and go to Laz's house for the second to the last episode of GG. We had a nice time too, and are planning a HUGE GG BLOW OUT next Tuesday. We're planning on starting with pizza, then getting Chinese food, plus candy, popcorn, and 2 kinds of icecream... Yes we'll regret it in the morning, but it's the only proper way to see off our fav show. We'll see if the Tuesday night thing keeps happening...or else we'll have to find another show to watch as an excuse to get together... any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

SP gift!!!!

I received the most beautiful Secret Pal gift yesterday when I got home from work. It was wrapped in a lovely red box with a huge white bow. The presentation alone was stunning, but then when I opened it and read the card, I cried it was so wonderful. I've got lots of pictures (I'll post them later on the blog), but right now I'll post a quickie. Thank you thank you SP. You are so very thoughtful, and know exactly the right things to send. This is a beautiful and very special gift I will cherish forever. I can't thank you enough!

Tuesday Ramblings

It's Tuesday. The only good thing (well, two good things actually) are that 1) it's no longer MONDAY!! and 2) it's GG night!! My really good girl friend Laz and I always get together onj Tuesday's and have a girls' night where we kick the boys out of the house (or at least the TV room!), and make dinner, sew, bitch, chat, watch our fav TV show, and giggle. We've had a rocky road (not the ice cream...although that sounds good!) trying to remain close while she's met and prepares to marry her fellow, but I think we're back in the swing of things. For us, we had to make a date every week or we just ended up missing eachother due to work, life, etc. My other great gal friend Jen suggested the idea, and I think it's one I hope to keep.

On a totally unrelated note, I've been thinking about blogging in general, blogs, and why people read them. I have a friend that blogs everyday (really!!), and not only does she blog every day, but she has good stuff to say about 95% of the time. If she isn't on a rant (which always make me laugh 'cause they are often funny), or a philosophical discussion (mainly with herself!), then she posts pictures, or just talks about her beautiful little girl. I have a hard time posting once a week. Mainly b/c I don't really have much to say that I think folks will find interesting. I try to keep politics out of this (although as the elections get closer...who knows what I'll say!!), and I'd venture to say many of my readers are here 'cause we're adopting from China, and well, that has sort of stalled, hasn't it?!! Y'all don't REALLY need to hear me rant about the wait times, the unfair fact that our fingerprints "expire", how much it costs, etc. You already know it all!! And yet, here you are. So, thanks for following me on this trip, and thanks for careing enough to follow along, even though I WILL bitch about the wait times, the expired fingerprints, etc.!! Thanks for following my story!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Weekends with friends

So Saturday we had a party that was not planned until, well, Saturday afternoon. We had already invited a friend over for dinner and then one turned into 3, and then alcohol was brought (hey, it WAS Cinco de Mayo!)...needless to say, a grand time was had by all. It's been so much fun having friends who live right up the street from us. It makes drunken dinner parties so much easier (and safer - since nearly everyone can walk/stumble home).

Anyway, there were people we sure missed (namely the two great gals that live in BFE Iowa and Oklahoma...). Sigh. You both need to move back to Raleigh. In fact, you need to move in on our block. How much fun would THAT be??!!!

Ok, I need to get back to work. I'll post more later this week on the happenings about the house. Until then, I'm going to be working outside in this AWESOME weather!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Catching up

Finally. I'm taking the time to catch you up on the goings on about Chez Carley. First, I received the third installment from our CSA. Check out the pix below!! So far it has been a lot of fun, a great way to get fresh veggies (like some I've never heard of!! Kohlrabi, for example. We got some this week. I'm making it for dinner tonight!!), and I feel good about having local produce fresh from the farm.

Next up: My super great June Bugs Secret Pal. Yes, I didn't get my April gift until early May, but you ALWAYS make up for it (and hey, it just gives me something to REALLY look forward to!! So, honestly, I don't mind!!). This month's package was loaded with the cutest clothes, adorable little bunny barettes, and sweet little shoes... oh, and the absolute CUTEST EVER socks!!!! Thanks tons. I just love them ALL (especially the monkey socks!!! Really, I've been thinking of doing the new nursery in a monkey theme!! How much fun would THAT be??!!). Thanks again. I do hope you've choosen to stay on as my SP. If not, I'll be very sad, but will understand...It has already been nearly one full year, can you beleive it?! What a wonderful year you have made it.

Also: the house is coming together. We are down to 4 little boxes of misc. JUNK that still needs to be unpacked, but everything else is done!! We've been doing a lot of work on the yard (see that green stuff in the yard?! That's actual GRASS!!!), plus on the flower beds around the yard that I have added. Anyway, here's another photo of the front of the house. If you haven't seen the inside in person, but want to, come visit!! Otherwise, we've been asked to be on the historic homes tour for the neighborhood we are in, and we're going to be opening our house to total strangers on September 16th. I figure it'll have to be REALLY REALLY clean, so I'll take more pictures INSIDE then!

Finally, last but not least: our potential second adoption. Tod and I have agreed on a country (Taiwan), but not the program (there are about 4 different programs, but there are only 2 we're really intersted in...I'm sure I'll go into it later). However, I haven't spoken to anyone at CCAI yet about the wisdom of pursuing another adoption while we wait for our precious Baby M. China's "rule" is you have to wait one full year between kids, but who the hell know how much longer we're going to have to KEEP waiting for Baby M ALREADY!!?? Speculations range from next June-August (from our agency), to sometime in 2010 (from a China prediction website that has been up for a LONG time). So, we could have our 2nd child (who oddly enough would actually be our FIRST child) in 6 to 18 months from now (if we started now). I already have almost everything I need document wise for our dossier, the main hang-up is frankly, money. But, it's also JUST MONEY. We'll already have to re-do our fingerprints and our I-171H AGAIN (adding another what, roughly 2 grand to the total cost). I figure, we have to re-do our HS and finger-prints already, why not just pay for them one more time and just add a second kid to the list then!! Other than going through another agency for the adoption, we still have to file the SAME apperwork over again... I still need to talk to someone who knows more than I do about this, so we haven't made any final decisions yet. We'll have to make the decision by July (that's when we have to re-do fingerprints and HS), so that's when we'll decide for sure. I guess another China adoption is a possibility too. We can simply get our HS updated, and make 2 copies so we can send that in with our 2nd dossier for baby #2 from China. Then we'd be LID June 2006 AND LID like, August 2007, or something like that... but China is pissing me off right now, so I don't really don't want to be in this same position in another 2 years... A HUGE milestone is coming up for us, and it looks like we'll still not know ANYHTING more this June than we did LAST June...Anyway, we are making strides, but they are small and slow.

The one good thing (I suppose) is that I have had plenty of time to get settled into my job, and we're in a wonderful house...and the best part is I've made some really good friends (ok, really jsut one really good friend, but I've met lots of folks on line I hope to stay friendly with - like my Secret Pals!!). On that note, I'm heading back to the yard to work on my garden (and put this crappy WAIT out of my mind.)