Sunday, March 26, 2006

Referral Updates

UPDATED: 7/1/07

What do you think of the latest addition to Melonhead's decor?

We haven't updated in a while, but hey, there's nothing really to tell. Let's see: we're still waiting and there's just no end in sight. That pretty much sums it up.

We get our neice this week while Jen's sister is out of town. Build-a-bear, here we come! I think we'll go to the Childrens Museum, also, to see the dino exhibit. She's really into dinosaurs now. The bad part: we'll have to take down the fire scene tape while she's here since that's where she sleeps *sigh*. We haven't opened that door since the first week of April.

Still hangin' in there,

Matt & Jen

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Done at last!

Due to procrastination, Melonhead's room was the last room of the house to updated/remodeled. It was very difficult to choose a theme for her room because we didn't want something too baby. I really liked the jungle theme but most were to "boyish." Matt and I found this jungle themed comforter at Target and thought it would work for a girl because of it's light colors.

The wall color is Honeydew. My mom drew all the animals on the walls and we started to paint the giraffe. Later, Matt and I finished painting the rest of the animals. I made the curtains, dust ruffle and the organizer on the side of the crib. Matt painted the dresser. My sister has given/loaned us the things that our niece, Marianna, has out grown. Also, my sister's mother-in-law has given us toys. There are very few things we'll need and we appreciate all the stuff.

Disclosing the Name...

Jen is Evil! She wanted to make the grandparents wait till the last minute to tell them what their new grandchild's name was going to be. I think it was just because she wanted to stall in choosing a name in the first place. I, on the other hand, being the good son, thought it would be a good idea to tell them the name on Christmas. A devious plan was conceived.

We had the name embroidered onto two identical Christmas stockings and gave them to the Grandpas as presents. We told them they didn't have to share their presents with anyone if they didn't want to. The plan was for them to hold the name for ransom and torture the grandmas with the info, but it didn't quite work. The grandmas realized what they were before the grandpas did and Jenny's mom got out of her seat and practically grabbed it out of her dad's hands.

We had always referred to her as Melonhead, which Jen's mom absolutely hated, but now she has a real name... Maya. We still call her Melonhead, just as a pet name and because it irritates Jen's mom so much.

Dad with his stocking!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The very, very long wait begins

Our paper work was sent to China in November just before my 30th birthday. It was logged in on November 17, 2005 at the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs office. That date will be referred to as our LID (Log in Date).

What happens now? Well, the long wait begins for our referral, which is when they match a child with us and send the paperwork with her information and pictures. At first, we were assuming our referal would come in June. Now, referals are coming in a little slower so we're guessing it will be sometime in October or November. Hopefully, we'll be traveling to China sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Choosing an Agency

After Matt and I had decided to adopt from China we then had to choose an agency. It was a very difficult process and it took several months to make the decision. Some of the things we had to consider were cost, travel arrangements, location of the agency, the focus of the agency and our overall comfort level with the agency. Several we looked at were disqualified because they charged several thousand dollars more than other agencies. Most of the agencies were disqualified because their focus was on the plight of infertility and not finding parents for children.

Finally, we had narrowed it down to three agencies. We drove up to Fort Wayne for an informative meeting about one agency and were immediately turned off because their focus was adoption as a means to cope with infertility. The second agency we considered was located in Indianapolis, but their fees were 3 to 5 thousand dollars more than the others. The last agency, Great Wall China Adoption, seemed to be a good fit for us. The travel arrangements included several days of sight seeing, the fees were reasonable, and their focus was on finding families for Chinese children, but we still weren't sure. We discovered that they were having an adoption conference in New Jersey, so off we went.

The conference was the deciding factor. We met the staff as well as the founder of Great Wall, Snow Wu, and we were impressed! They were kind and very extremely knowledgeable about the adoption process. After spending the day cramming our heads with information about adopting from China, we went to Fuddrucker's for lunch and decided that Great Wall was going to be the agency we used.

Unfortunately, that was the beginging of a long wait. It is required by Chinese adoption laws that adoptive parents be 30 years of age or older. I was 29. We had to wait until May 2005 to being the "paper chase."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Breaking the News

The next big hurdle was how to tell our parents. Matt had just finished the deck and we wanted to have everyone over for a cook-out. We thought that a cook-out would as good as any other time. We had a high chair that Matt's parents had given us years ago and we dug it out of the garage. I made a sign that said "Reserved" and we just left it in the corner of the deck while we ate. No one said one word about the high chair, assuming it was for my neice, Marianna. It wasn't until we told them it wasn't for her that all the excitement started. We then told them of our plans and everything we had learned up to that point. All the parents were, and still are, extremely excited about having a new grandchild.