Wednesday, May 30, 2007

To Pass the Time

We have just passed our two month mark after having received our LID. It seems almost laughable to consider this a significant step knowing that we have many more months ahead of us. I can't bear to hang onto every month at this point. For my own sanity, I need to think about other things while we wait.

But after a couple months of not running around and anxiously awaiting signatures and documents, I'm realizing that, wow, it's rather nice...

In some ways, having to keep track of what needed to be done kept us well-occupied and distracted from other worries. As long as there was some project or goal for me to tackle, I could feel I was doing something. I *could* do something. You should have seen my battle plans for the dossier! I was relentless. haha. :)

And now I'm feeling ready to move onto other goals. Yesterday I finally erased the master list for our dossier from the office whiteboard. It wasn't even traumatic, so I knew I was ready, although I did take a picture of it first. (Me and my lists--lol) I felt it was time to make way for a new stage of our process and into a new state of waiting.

So now, for some odd reason, I am feeling ready to contact other people waiting, other adoptive parents, other people in our LID month (within reason--I am not a strong joiner. :)).

I also have perked up considerably at the thought of working on preparing for our daughter. I don't mind having a length of time to do things at my leisure, slowly and steadily with adequate forethought, the way I most enjoy it.

So here's a list of THINGS TO DO I've just recently started. I am a list person, so organizing my thoughts automatically makes me feel happier.

* * * * *
In no particular order:

Clear the baby's room of extraneous clutter (oh yeah. There's lots.)
Find/buy a crib
Look for crib sheets, mattress cover, pad, etc
Clean glide rocker, make armrest covers
Start collecting clothes, store in boxes
Remind sister and friends that yes, I would like any hand-me-downs
Start collecting toys for younger ages, eg stacking cups
Start cruising yard sales for kid items
Fix top of changing table cabinet (clean and re-bolt)
Repaint cabinet ?
Find NEW place for fabric stash (currently in changing table cabinet)

Contact agency LID group
Contact local adoptive family group through agency

Review/adjust list of items needed for travel
Start acquiring meds for travel pharmacy
Try making cloth diapers and diaper covers (I found a great site for that! yeah, too cool!)

Find conversational Mandarin class, or bug local University until they offer that class again!
Sign up me AND my slightly trepidacious husband for said classes -- hehe :)
Continue to practice the Mandarin I know already (read through phrases every day, practice new ones)
Attend some local cultural (Chinese) events
Find some Chinese stations and programs on my short wave radio
Find some Chinese language radio stations on-line
Look for Chinese lullaby/game CDs
Look for child tape player
Look for those black & white high-contrast picture-images for baby stimulation
Learn more Chinese geography

Start looking for quilt fabric, both for own projects and for fabric exchanges
Fix ceiling in baby's room
Find new lamp globe for ceiling fan
Remove old border
Paint baby's room (revisit paint colors)
Consider other needed furniture
Make curtains for baby's room
Start acquiring storage boxes to box up special books during toddler stage
Look for baby gate(s)
Look for high chair
Research baby carriers
Research car seats

Continue to read about adoption issues and adoption blogs
Continue to think about race and identity issues (darn it--where is Johnny when we need him?)
Reorganize all adoption papers

Start looking for baby items eg blankets, spit-up clothes, bottles and nipples, etc
Start installing child-proof locks on all cabinets
Finish knitting that blanket...
Look for baby memory book
Review immunization schedule
Sell all old pregnancy books (!)

* * * * *

As one of my favorite bloggers sometimes says, "I am full of good ideas."

* * * * *

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Baseline Informed Speculation

Wait Times as of May 2007

Even though we know that it will be *years* until we are matched with our Chinese daughter, we still like to speculate sometimes. Various people come up with tools to crunch numbers or calculate with some degree of well, something similar to informed speculation or wild guessing, the date of our match referral. Here's my current list of speculation, informed and otherwise:

* * * * * *

Someone (anxiouslywaiting) on RQ has come up with a handy chart to show number of dossiers per month and number of months AND the number of dossiers they have been matching per month.

Granted, this does not take into account people who are later in the process and not yet being counted, but...

Number of dossiers to our LID (people ahead of us in line)
divided by 27.39 LIDs (average number matched per day, aka 833 per month)
= the number of days we will wait based on the snapshot of the poll
= 1817.93975... (days left to wait)
Divided by 365 days per year (not worrying about leap years)
= 2.609158 months until we are matched.

To make a long calculation short, they say we are looking at

2.6 years (2 years and 7 months), putting us at late Oct, early Nov of 2009.

As anxiouslywaiting says, "It is math and not necessarilly reality but it is the best I can do realizing that the poll is not perfect."

He also says, "It is still just a guessing game and this is only an educated guess based upon a snapshot in time with a lot of data collected from rumors over the months. it is probably as reasonable as we can expect to get at guessing ........ but anything goes really."
So there you go: informed speculation.

* * * * * *

Now, there's another tool on the web at the chinaadoptionforecast website.

They say the time of our referral is likely to come somewhere between a minimum of August 8, 2008 and a maximum of July 16, 2031 (ha! that's why they call it the maximum!).

But wait; they have a better idea, and another calculator that does not require me to slave over my calculator.

"Our best guess - a weighted average of recent CCAA velocities, guessing that the CCAA will perform as well in the future as they are performing now, but might return to previous trends:"

April 27, 2010

Without putting too fine a point on it, that's a little over three years, one month, and one week of a wait. *sigh* At this rate, I will be happy if the wait doesn't go over THAT.

* * * * * *

My agency's updated website is still saying 18-20 months wait to match, between Sept and Nov of 2009.
At this point, I am guessing they don't want to come right out and say "up to or beyond three years." They'll raise the numbers slowly, that's my guess.

* * * * *

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The Long Wait

The Long Wait (TLW) as of May 2007

Well, for those of you out of the loop of China Adoptions, the wait times (from Log-In Date to Match) have been extending and extending far beyond our initial ideals.

When we first started the process, we were told it was 8-12 months til match. Then the official paperwork from our chosen agency was indicating 12-14 months. We were okay with that, so we started on the application and dossier process, which in itself could take 3-5 months (ha! It took us what? 7? 8 months? It's a blur.)

While we built our dossier, the waits started creeping upward. I was hearing rumors of two years fairly early (18-24 months), so I started telling people the wait could take up to two years, although that didn't stop some people from dancing about with glee and proclaiming it would take us "hardly any time at all" and that "the wait goes quicker than you think." ha! ha! Yes! They said that! hahhah

Okay, seriously, with times creeping further and further out, we are now hearing of possibly *three* years wait! I am trying to not feel too depressed about that. We have our spot in line and I'm holding on to that.

I do start worrying that the wait will extend to even longer and weird things will happen to the situation before we have our daughter matched and home. I have a dread of having to explain the situation to others. It's painful to have to somehow justify the long wait to others when we are even more frustrated and pained by the slow down. I am even more glad now that we haven't made any general announcements and having to deal with remarks from a larger pool of uninformed people. It's hard enough already with the people I keep in the loop asking "how the adoption is going." Well, I say, our paperwork is still sitting in a stack somewhere in China... Like, excuse me, it's not "going" anywhere; it's sitting there in line!!!!

* * * * *

On a related note, I have found out in the last couple of months that some of our friends who wrote us reference letters have not been keeping it quiet as I had originally requested. We have random people offering us "help" and even our car mechanic (!!!? WTF?!) remarking that they had mentioned it to him... They even mentioned something in front of another acquaintance that we would never go out of our way to share personal information with. This is very disconcerting. Do they not think that our information is worthy of discretion, especially since we asked them to be discrete? I start feeling very irritable and a little panic-y that the info is being flung willy-nilly around the area.

On top of that (being confronted with people we don't know being privy to our private lives), I don't know how to bring this up with our friends. I am baffled that perhaps, somehow, they did not understand that we were not sharing this at random and would prefer they NOT share this with other people. !!!! For God's Sake! Even if someone is pregnant, they don't usually (often) immediately share the news with the entire god-d*mned world. Wait, there was that one acquaintance who had to share to the ENTIRE world when she was merely a month pregnant--you can imagine my self-restraint at that announcement-- But anyway! :) hehehe

Anyway, we hardly see these folks in private... and our shared couple time has shrunk. So when do I have a spare quiet moment to say something to them?? I also don't want to hit them over the head with it. I just want to inquire about what they thought we wanted them to do with that personal information, and ask them, politely, to restrain themselves...

*sigh* It's not as if my mother doesn't also talk to her friends. It's not as if I don't also make my own decisions about who to share this with. It's partly that I *am* private about my life. I have had too much of people talking about my life as if it belonged to them. It's also that we will wait two to three friggin' *years* and I don't feel like putting up with sh*t from nosy people while we wait and wait and wait and ...

It makes me sympathize with all those famous people about whom it's said," they are a deeply private person." Yeah, I get it. Just because somebody knows who you are or thinks they know you does not give the right to every last iota of personal information about you. If you have been reading, you know I hit on this topic a lot. I'm sure this won't be my last. :)

But how to redirect my well-meaning but apparently clueless friends? Maybe they didn't get the memo I thought they did? Maybe by "not sharing it with everyone," they thought, like, we meant every last person on the earth. Only a few hundred or so... Okay, I know my secrets are *not* safe with *them*...

* * * * *

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ambivalent but yet We Are Go-ing....

I found this post that I started last month when some other boggers were contemplating their ambivalencies about adoption and how they were or were not pushing forward. I wrote this big long thing inspired by, but not wholly addressing that question. So here I offer you my lightly-edited musings...

on Being Ambivalent April 2007

We were going through the grieving process all through our IF experience. The last cancellation was devastating... I/we were so depressed I couldn't think about anything except our massive loss of hope. We considered DE for a while... but we could not get enthused about it and finally dropped it alltogether. We finally nudged ourselves towards international adoption--we had enough left over (both economically and emotionally) for only one more try of any nature.

My husband has pointed out that none of our decisions came easily or without much agonizing and debate. At each juncture when we had to decide what to do next (another door slammed, or perhaps creeping closed), we had to reassess what we really wanted within our remaining options. We really wanted to be parents, so at each point, we had to ask ourselves what we were willing to consider.

Adoption had been there in the deep background during IF, but we kept denying that we would go there... no, no, not us, not yet... When faced with our true choices, we had to confront each option square on... and sometimes our wishing something to work did not make it a better option. We found that DE was NOT for us, DS was NOT for us, but adoption WAS (but NOT domestic).

Part of that was winnowing out what we could feel good about doing. Even though we liked aspects of other options, our gut was not completely happy. We had to go through many stages to figure out any loopholes or variations that would let us be okay with an option. The hard work was admitting when an option had failed the test, and then letting go of it. But we had to test everything to make sure we weren't shutting off an option that might work for us.

Conversely, for adoption, it was more about becoming convinced it could work for us and less about find the reasons it wouldn't work. Seeing and hearing other people's stories, we saw that is was doable despite the challenges. I have to say that Lori in SC (blog name: clueless in carolina) was particularly inspiring in showing me life *after* adoption.

It still took us a while (several months after our last cancellation) to admit that we would seriously consider adoption. This despite the fact that I had been looking at foster children the year before (which is a while 'nother story). The turning point was a friend who had gone through the IA process sharing us her story. We were interested and asked more--no pressure. She offered contact info for her agency and other websites if we wanted it. We waited a month to ask for the info and another month after that to even look at the website. But within a week of finding our ideal agency, we were reading everything in sight and feeling... cautiously hopeful.

Finally we looked at each other and both said --We really want to do this! After a, oh, day or so, of feeling cautiously gleeful, we moved on to sheer open-faced hope. A glorious sight for both of us, I must say. It was like the clouds had lifted and we could see clearly that there was sunshine on the horizon for us. It was truly like that after feeling so depressed about our history of failed attempts. So at that moment, we were glowing with that decision--as hopeful (and naive) as someone drawing a conception date on a calendar-hehe.

But we also trusted in the process. And once we threw ourselves into that, past that first blush of excitement for our eventual child, we have been prepared to do anything-everything- to make that happen. So we trust in the process and feel there will be something at the end of it.

And strangely, I do have ambivalence, but it's the wariness of someone comfortable in one's present life, not of adoption in particular. Or I read more stories of RAD or other attachment/emotional/physical/identity/first parent issues, and it does scare me. But I figure our education is the best treatment for that. I learn whatever I can, preparing myself and M to meet eventual challenges, so I have confidence that we will deal with what comes to us. So h*ll YES, I am sometimes scared about the challenges... but still I push forward. I have to because otherwise I would have to confront just stopping dead in my tracks and preparing to live without a child. And my desire to parent a child is greater than the risks.

Now, while we wait to be matched, I am almost enjoying the long wait... It's a kind of fatalism. We still really want to be parents, but as to who our child will be... we leave that to the process.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Imagine in 3/4 time, 4-part harmony:

We are go-ing
Hea-ven knows where we are go-ing but
we know with-in

And we'll get-there
Hea-ven knows how we will get-there but
we know we-will

And though
we know
that the road
is rocky and rough,

We are go-ing
Hea-ven knows where we are go-ing but
we know with-in ...

* * * * * * * * * * *

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