Friday, June 29, 2007


There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago about the baby naming industry. Yes, it's become an industry and people are actually hiring consultants to help them name their babies!! Is that really necessary? I'm not saying it's easy; I'm just saying it's personal. Of course, I'm all for free enterprise, so if that's what you need to do, there are now many resources available to assist.

By the way, just in case you're, we haven't yet selected a name. :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


June was so overwhelming that we are even further behind in our baby preparation research, so it's back to the old study habits - time to cram! I've been devouring Consumer Reports, recommendations from friends, and just about any other reliable or semi-reliable source of information I can get my hands on to figure out what we need to be ready for a baby of approximately 6-12 months of age. Cloth or disposable? Standard vs. angle-neck? Sling vs. wrap? Silicon vs. latex? These questions and more must be answered sometime in the next few weeks or next few months. At this point, we have no idea (about the answers to these questions or the time frame).

As if I'm not panicked enough...there on the Consumer Reports website nestled in between "Toys & Games" and "Family Vehicles & Travel Safety" is "SAT Prep Sites". Ok, then! I guess it's never too early to start planning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

False Alarm

The phone just rang. It's a bit on the late side and I noticed the caller ID: our agency!!! I just spoke to them yesterday when I learned that our case had been logged in to the court and when I was told that the next news we would receive would be news of a decree, so I thought it had to be some big news!

Not so. Just confirming that we will attend a class that doesn't even take place until next month. Yeesh.

News...sort of...

In the last 24 hours, we've received news on two of the most important issues in our lives right now, but in both cases, the news is rather non-news.

We were hoping for wondrous news today as our doggie went in to get an ultrasound to see if the chemo is working. The answer we got is good in that the tumors haven't grown, yet they haven't shrunk at all either, so we don't know much more than we did yesterday. There has been a change in the character of the tumors: the interior of them, which is made up of dead cells and fluid has gotten larger. Whether this can be interpreted as meaning the chemo might be working or not we do not know. (any oncologists out there care to offer an opinion? and only if it's good news, please!!) We gave her another round of chemo with a different drug today and will take her back in two more weeks to see if we can get some better news then. In the meantime, all of your comments and support are greatly appreciated.

We also received an update from our agency along with news that our case was officially logged in to the Taiwan courts. This is a tidbit of information they do not always receive, so we feel fortunate in some ways to have this bit of news. On the other hand, we are assured that the LID (e.g. Logged In Date - stealing a bit of China's lingo here - why should China get to use all the cool acronyms?? ;-) has no bearing on the speed of the courts from here on out. Regardless, we're happy to know some progress has been made. The next bit of news we can expect to receive is either that we received our First Decree or that we received our Final Decree. Either of these bits of news will indeed be newsworthy, so bring on the good newsworthy news!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Too Much News...Still No News...

The last few weeks have been absolutely full of news - so much so that I don't know where to begin other than to say we still have no news on two of the things that matter most in our lives. We are still waiting to learn whether the chemotherapy treatments are working on our sweet doggie and we are, of course, still waiting for some news - any news - on when we can bring our little guy home from Taiwan.

I am happy to say we've had a lot to celebrate over the past few weeks. I had a birthday; my husband received a Masters Degree (I am SO proud of him!); we celebrated Father's Day and we celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary(!).

Our anniversary celebration was a little different this year: we flew to Ohio to attend a surprise FIFTIETH Anniversary party for my aunt and uncle who were married on the same day (different year!) as my husband and I. They were definitely surprised and we had fun celebrating with them and visiting with our family in Ohio even though the trip was much shorter than originally planned so we could get back to take care of our sick doggie. Although the trip was short, we managed to squeeze in some good quality time with family along with a little sight seeing and exploring. It's fun to think (hope?) that next time we visit, we'll have our little guy with us.

Friday, June 15, 2007


There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week. It talked about how fathers have a unique influence on their children, even if they spend less time with them than mothers typically do. There is something about the way that fathers talk to their children a little differently than mothers do - apparently, men use more complex language structures and don't talk "down" to the kids as much as women do. The article also observed that fathers tend to play a little rougher with their children. This combination of fatherly talk and play in the early years helps to instill confidence and critical thinking that lasts a lifetime.

For my part, I remember reading the Wall Street Journal with my Dad when I was very young and I read it every day now, so there must be something to this. :-)

Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Always waiting...

The test results were not as conclusive as we'd hoped, but the oncologist assures us that our sweet doggie does have a very bad stage of cancer, so we started chemo today. We hope the tests provide more definitive answers on Friday, but either way the oncologist assures me it won't change the treatment plan much, if at all. So we're waiting for test results and waiting to see how she responds and waiting for a call with good news (please?? we could really use some!!) out of Taiwan.

Court Process

We're waiting for news from the vet (not easy) and I have some catching up to do in sharing updates from our agency.

We received a letter from our agency last week explaining that our dossier and care package had been received in Taiwan on June 4, not on June 1 as I had previously thought. The good news is that it is there now and we hope our little guy is enjoying his gifts and a judge somewhere in Taiwan is processing our case quickly.

The letter went on to say that the average time for cases is six months, rather than the four we had previously been told. We're trying not to get discouraged, but it was hard not to feel down after reading the letter.

We also received details on the stages of the court process in Taiwan. They are:

Stage one: Dossier is sent to Taiwan
Stage two: Case is sent to judge
Stage three: Case receives first decree and a minimum of ten days must then pass without anyone objecting
Stage four: Case receives final decree
Stage five: Court documents are translated and paperwork is finalized
Stage six: US agency receives documents and we can travel!

Somewhere in there we will have some additional paperwork to do including making copies of our tax returns and getting more government documents processed and notarized, but we're not to worry about those details just yet. Our agency will give us the green light on those items when the time comes. It really can't come quickly enough.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Days of Sorrow and Hope

When I met my husband, he had two beautiful dogs - just puppies then. That was ten years ago. The dogs have been with us throughout and were even in our wedding. They are big dogs with beautiful (although very different) personalities and they were stunning together. On our daily walks, it was not uncommon for cars to pull to the side of the road to inquire about one or the other of the dogs. One was black and one is white and people were typically drawn to one or the other.

These dogs have always been amazing with children. They would patiently endure curious pokes and prods and provide gentle little baby kisses if it seemed welcome. They are part of our family and we looked forward to them sharing life with our children.

One (the black one) was diagnosed with cancer this past December and passed away in April, less than two months ago. While cancer is common in her breed, she had recently been acting so youthful that we felt she would be with us for years to come. It hit us hard and the end came quickly and painfully for all of us.

That left the three of us to welcome our little boy and we looked forward to our little one growing up with our fuzzy one. On Thursday night we learned that this dog has cancer. We could not have been more shocked. Cancer does not run in her family, nor does it run in her breed. Dogs in her family often live to 14 or more years - even to 17. Although we've been told that the cancer is all over her abdomen and internal organs, the only sign that she's showed us that anything is wrong is a diminished appetite, which we had chalked up to depression surrounding the loss of our other dog. We took her in for a check-up simply as a precautionary measure, not expecting to find anything wrong and certainly not expecting news of this magnitude.

We are devastated at the prospect of losing her yet still hopeful that she will somehow pull out of this and be with us to welcome our newest family member home and for many more years after that. We visit with the oncologist tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


At last report, our baby was just over 24" tall. I'm having fun thinking about what that means.

That means that he is twice the size of my PowerBook G4 screen. Just over twice the length of two sheets of paper laid end to end. Roughly the length of a standard-sized pillow. About the height of an end table. The length of Daddy's two forearms formed into a cradle.

The thing is, by the time I write this, he's already grown bigger.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Care Package in Hand?

Our dossier and care package were set to arrive in Taiwan yesterday, so we hope our little boy is already cuddling up in his new blanket and having fun with his new toys.

I so wish we could be there to see him enjoying his gifts. We're hoping the staff will snap some good photos of him while we wait.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Adoption Math and Updates

On Thursday, we received our first update since our referral and it did not produce the emotion I expected. It made me grumpy! The vagaries of adoption math are to blame.

When we received our referral, we were told it would take about two and a half weeks from the time we accepted the referral to the time our dossier would be ready to go to Taiwan. While two and a half weeks seemed like an awfully long time, we were ok with it and hoped it would happen faster. By my ticker, it took almost three and a half weeks. Not happy. No, not happy at all. On top of that, we had been thinking our wait might be four months from referral. Instead, our agency clarified that the average court time may be four months, but we wouldn't travel for up to two months after that. We were advised to plan for six months and be happy if it happens sooner. Six months from now is December. That's crazy talk!

Adoption math is fuzzy and illogical and the only thing I can do when I hear updates like this is calculate how old our little boy will be by the time we bring him home and think about how much better it would be for everyone if we could somehow make the entire process go more quickly.

The good news is that our dossier should now be in Taiwan and on its way to the courts. Hurray!

Now, for the updates. He is 24 inches and a whopping 11.5 pounds and so cute we cannot stand it.