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Join me in my ramblings about my life, my kids, the meaning of the universe, and adopting from China.

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Thursday, September 27

A Sick Husband.

I knew it must have been a real illness when he announced this morning that he didn't feel like playing golf on the weekend. This is the equivalent to me turning down a free block of Cadbury's chocolate, or my kids refusing to have Fairy Floss at the local Show. He has been unwell for the past week and a half, coughing and snotting everywhere. I just put it down to the highly virulent 'Man Cold', but it turns out that he hasn't been playing it up. He finally went to the doctor today as he could barely drag himself out of bed, and was diagnosed with a chest and sinus infection. Now this may not sound too bad, but unfortunately my DH has a prior history of rather life-threatening pneumonia. Two Christmases ago he ended up spending close to a month in bed with pneumonia, and I sure don't want that happening again with our trip to China only a few weeks away. I will staple him into bed if I have to, but the poor boy needs his rest.

Tuesday, September 25

Paranoid Paperwork


I have just finished making copies of IMPORTANT PAPERWORK. What sort of IMPORTANT PAPERWORK you may ask?? Well, pretty much anything adoption-related that I could shove into the (now-overheated) photocopier. I have multiple copies of birth certificates, marriage certificate, statement of income, letter of approval to adopt, our itinerary etc etc etc. I am sure I have probably gone a wee bit over the top, but better to be safe than sorry, right??? Now my next dilemma - should I be photocopying my photocopies to make a separate file to pack in an alternative bag in case of the loss of the first bag ??? Mmmm, might go and try some of the lovely calmative medication that my doctor prescribed me this morning.....

Sunday, September 23

Bizarre Time Warp


I seem to have become immersed in some weird time/space rift where every minute of the day is actually lasting double that amount of time. The days are just crawling by at the moment and it is driving me crazy!!! I am completely organised for our trip to China (aside from the visas which should come back from the embassy this week) and I am desperate to get on that plane and just GO. Mmm, perhaps I should commission some crusty academic to write a paper on the ultimate cure for fear of flying - having as sweet baby waiting for you on the other side of the world!! Mind you I am going to the doctor this week to discuss the possibility of some sort of 'calmative' medication, just in case...

Sorry the blog posts have been a little erratic and rather dry and boring, but life at the moment consists of one big, long boring WAIT. Hurry up October the 17th.....

Thursday, September 20

Pumpkin Update - very sad news...

Taken from ABC on line news...

"Authorities have released the results of a post-mortem examination, which identified the body of an Asian woman to be that of 27-year-old Annie Liu.

Ms Liu's body was recovered from the boot of her estranged husband's car almost 48 hours after police first went to the family's suburban home in Auckland.

A pathologist's preliminary findings are that the young mother died from what has been described as an unspecified violent episode - though it is unclear when or where or how she was killed.

Police have established that she made her last phone and email contact with family and friends on September 10, four days before her estranged husband Michael Xue left New Zealand for Melbourne and then Los Angeles.

Police have issued a warrant for his arrest for the murder of his wife and the abduction of their daughter Qian Xun Xue, and say they are now liaising with Interpol, the FBI and the US Marshall Service to find him.


Custody bid

Meanwhile, the toddler's grandmother Liu Xiaoping, 53, will travel to New Zealand and then on to Australia to try and gain custody of Qian Xun Xue.

"What she is going through now has no doubt left scars on her heart," Ms Liu said.

"The Australian Government and people have given her great caring and support, for which I feel very grateful, but it will take some time for her to recover and walk out of the shadow cast on her heart."

Her grandmother says she is the only one left to care for the girl.

"I'm her closest and most important family member - she's got nobody apart from me," she said.

"Anan [mother Annie] was my only child and she's my only granddaughter. I will do my utmost to bring her up."

Ms Liu wants to take her back to live in China's Hunan Province where she works as the deputy general manager of a large company.

A Chinese politician in New Zealand says the three-year-old girl is best off being reunited with her extended family in China.

Nationals MP Pansy Wong says the girl speaks Mandarin, and her grandmother has given assurances about family connections in China.

"She's a very youthful grandmother, strong woman, they also have uncles," she said.

"Qianxun also has grand-uncles and grand-aunties, so there's a lot of very caring extended family there."

Please continue to pray for this little girl.

Wednesday, September 19

An Update on Pumpkin

I have pinched this directly from 'The Age' newspaper...

'THE Chinese grandparents of the child abandoned by her father at Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station plan to seek custody of her.

Fairfax newspapers report today that the parents of Annie Xue have applied to a police station near their home for exit documents to leave China.

Through The Age newspaper, they have asked the Department of Human Services how they can take over the guardianship of their granddaughter, Qian Xun Xue.

Qian Xun's mother, Annie Xue, was last seen in Auckland on September 10, six days before her husband Nai Xin Xue abandoned their three-year-old daughter, who was nicknamed Pumpkin by police after she was found at Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station on Saturday.

New Zealand police say they hold grave fears for Mrs Xue, and hope to examine records of calls to and from her mobile phone in an effort to locate her.

Interpol and US authorities are now searching for Mr Xue, who flew to Los Angeles from Melbourne on Saturday after dumping his daughter at the station.

A Children's Court hearing today will determine the girl's immediate future.

Meanwhile, News Limited newspapers report that Qian Xun is bonding well with her carers and has developed a taste for Vegemite on toast.'

Please keep praying for this little one, and for the safety of her mum....

Tuesday, September 18

Poor Little Pumpkin


Doesn't this little face just break your heart?? I'm not sure if you are aware or not, but this precious three year old was found at a Melbourne railway station this weekend after being abandoned by her father. She was dubbed 'Pumpkin' by the police because of the Pumpkin Patch-brand clothing she was wearing. The police have been unable to find either her father (who has supposedly fled to the US) or her mother, who lives in New Zealand. Apparently she did not talk for the first two days. This just makes me want to cry. Her face is just so sweet, so expressive and she looks so very, very lost. I really hope that this little one's family can be found, but the police hold grave fears for their safety - apparently her dad battled depression, and they have been unable to find her mum (and I suspect they think she may have been murdered). I will be saying an extra prayer for Pumpkin tonight...

Monday, September 17

All booked (and with a free dummy thrown in)


I went to visit Neil the Travel Dude again today, fixed up a few mistakes on the itinerary, and voila - one trip to China fully booked. It is actually starting to feel real now. Mind you, I threw him into a bit of a spin with the whole 'leaving without a baby, coming home with a baby scenario'. Apparently he has had to make a booking for a 'dummy child' to accompany us to China, which will then be replaced with the real child on the way home. I wonder - do we actually get a real dummy to accompany us on the way to China????

I have spent the weekend packing, unpacking and repacking our two suitcases. I haven't as yet packed anything for DH and I, and there is not much space. Oh well - at least Alice will be well dressed, even if her parents look and smell bad.

I have just looked at the date and realised that it is exactly one month until we leave. I wonder how long it will take for that month to pass??? I know that, considering we have waited over two and a half years to get to this point, that four weeks isn't that much of a big deal, but I am tipping that it will draaaggg..... I have done pretty much all I can do in preparation (apart from packing, unpacking and repacking several million more times) so now I just get to twiddle my thumbs and count the days until our sweet babe is in my arms. Wishing my life away again...

Saturday, September 15

Packing!

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Well, I have already started that exacting task of packing for two and a half weeks in China. I have packed and unpacked several times already, and that's just the baby stuff! I have always been a fan of over-packing, and I am finding it very difficult to be harsh with myself and discard things. And I haven't even begun to think about stuff for DH and myself. It's looking as if I will have room for a change of underwear each, so we might be pretty stinky by the time we leave China...

I ws a little disappointed yesterday. I had an email for our Head of Adoptions, with updated weights and measurements for the babies of our batch. Unfortunately, there were no updates for the babies from Feng Cheng (Alice included), as the SWI refused to provide updated information. So I am still playing a bit of a guessing game as to how big Alice will be when we meet, and have had to correspondingly pack clothes in several different sizes. I am thinking she will probably be quite small (around 7kg) but you never know - her foster family may have been feeding her up and she may be a whopper! Whatever the case may be, I simply cannot wait to hold her in my arms....

Thursday, September 13

Making Plans


I have been to the travel agent this morning and have tentatively booked our flights to Shanghai!! It seemed all so surreal at the time - I have never made travel bookings before, and I felt like a proper grownup!! I am now waiting for Neil the Travel Agent to get back to me with a quote so I can see how hideously expensive it will be. Finances are a bit tight at the moment - adoption-related costs on top of my washing machine pooping itself yesterday (sigh). Oh well - it's only money and credit cards are a wonderful invention...

I still find it hard to believe that in Feng Cheng, Jiangxi Province, our daughter is living out her life, even as I type these words. She is playing, sleeping, crying, and loving the only mother she has ever known. I was surprised to find myself feeling guilty yesterday about taking her away from all of this. I just hope that she doesn't hate me on sight as I will have taken her from her foster mother and all that she has ever known. Can a baby ever forgive someone who does that???

Monday, September 10

I'm back again!


Whew, what a week it has been. I apologise Loyal Readers for being absent, but I was absent with very good reason. Since we received 'The Call' last Tuesday, life has become completely frantic. Phone calls were made, emails flew, and all the immigration paperwork had to be finalised. I had a trip to Hobart on Friday to submit said paperwork, and arrived home that evening completely pooped, but very relieved. All our batch's documents are now winging their way to the Australian embassy in Shanghai, and should reach there on Wednesday. I also posted a care package today for Alice, which included two disposable cameras. I sure hope I get them back, full of lots of gorgeous pictures of my beautiful baby girl...

Speaking of whom - she sounds delightful. I received the translated copies of her progress reports while I was in Hobart, and have had such fun reading about my new little babe. She is described as a 'noisy, active girl'. who loves being out doors and playing with other children. She is also described as being 'often noisiness without hunger' - mmmmm, perhaps a bit on the loud side?? Another consistent fact in all the documents is that she is a light sleeper, and wakes frequently - going to have to get used to sleep deprivation again by the sounds of it. Her favourite toy is 'red plastic toy' and when her foster mother teases her she 'likes to chortle'. Wow. I can hardly believe that in about 40 days I will get to meet this little dynamo. Our handover date has been tentatively set for October 22nd, and we should hopefully have confirmation of that this week. If so, DH and I will leave Tassie on Tuesday 16th October in prepartaion for meeting Miss Alice. I simply cannot wait. Fear of flying??? Bah humbug - I gotta get my baby!!!

I will try not to leave it too long between posts again (until China of course) but I must head off and start catching up on all the house-related stuff that I have neglected over the past week or so. Once again, thank you ALL for your kind words and messages of support. You rock!

Wednesday, September 5

Wow!!!

I just looked at my hit counter and realised that in the past 24 hours, I have had over 10 000 visitors to my blog!!! I never realised I was so popular!! Or perhaps it is something more to do with a certain precious little peanut???!!! Thank you all who have left your comments and warm congratulations over the past day or so. I am truly humbled by the support and friendship I have experienced from all over the world.

At this point in time, we have set a tentative hand over date of October 22nd. I will be heading south to Hobart on Friday ( a three hour drive) to lodge Alice's visa application, and then the wait proper begins. I wonder if I could just go now???

Tuesday, September 4

Introducing Alice Xiao Ying...




At long last we have a photo to go with the name. Introducing Feng Xiao Ying, to be known as Alice Xiao Ying. She was born on January 14th 2007, and resides in foster care in Jiangxi province. She is associated with the Feng Cheng SWI (social welfare institution). So now I have posted the pictures, emailed everyone and I need to go and have a bit of a breather (and something to eat!!) Thank you all for your wonderful messages of support. I appreciate your kind words so very much.
Signing off for now, a very tired but incredibly happy new Mama.

WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!!!!!!!

I got the call this morning whilst I was up a ladder, doing a spot of painting at the kid's school. I have a sweet daughter, born January 14th 2007, so she is nine months old. Her name is Feng Xiao Ying, and, according to my SW, she is beautiful. I am completely overwhelmed. We will be getting photos this afternoon - keep your eyes on this blog!! Thank you to all of you who have been posting and congratulating us. It is wonderful to have so many friends who care.

Monday, September 3

WHHOOOHOOOO!!!!!!

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before June 30, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before November 25, 2005. "

I was just hanging out on the RQ site, bemoaning the lack of information regarding referrals, when lo and behold, a lovely lady by the name of Lorraine (thanks Lorraine!) posted a message to say that the CCAA site had been updated!! I have never tried to load a web page so fast before in my life. The cut off date is confirmed as November 25th, which is a huge relief for our batch. Since two of our batch mates had this date as their log in (as opposed to our LID of the 22nd) we now know for sure that we will all be travelling together!! What it also means though is that we should have our news this week. The CCAA NEVER updates their web page until referrals are just about to arrive (or AFTER they have arrived) so I feel pretty confident that we should hear our good news sometime this week. YEEEHHAHHHHH!!!

Sunday, September 2

The Big White Elephant in the Corner


You know the one I am talking about?? The one that sits there, large as life, yet no-one mentions it. What does this have to do with anything, you may ask?? Well Loyal Readers, in my family, the Big White Elephant in the Corner is our adoption. Today was Father's Day and I (very stupidly) agreed to host the traditional Father's Day Lunch at my house. Aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins etc etc. And do you know what? In the course of three hours, NOT ONE of these people asked about how the adoption was going. Did this surprise me?? Not one little bit. When DH and I first let our respective families know about our plans to adopt from China, our parents were supportive, and that was where the support ended. DH's sister even went as far as saying 'Why would you want to do that? You never know WHAT you might end up with'. In the two and a half years since we made the decision to add to our family by means of adoption, it has been completely ignored. I have two cousins who actually roll their eyes and quickly change the topic of conversation if I ever dare to steer it to the unsavoury subject of IA. So there it sat - the Big White Elephant in the Corner, not being mentioned, not being acknowledged. I deliberately left our new high chair out in the dining area, thinking that it may have prompted a question or two. It was referred to exactly twice - both times in reference to one of the big kids sitting in it instead of sitting out in the patio area for lunch.

So here I sit, a bit disheartened and rather tired, with a mountain of washing up to be done. I am very thankful that the journey to Alice has provided me with some absolutely WONDERFUL friends who make up for my moronic family. Thank you all for your ongoing support - and here's to a VERY big week!!!

Saturday, September 1

The Rollercoaster that never stops.

Wow - what a few days it has been on the rumour roller coaster. First the cut off is said to be the 24th November, then it is rumoured to be somewhere in early December (which would be nothing short of a miracle), then THE most exciting news came overnight. One of my November buddies posted on the RQ forum that her agency emailed her to let her know that a package had just left the CCAA (China Centre for Adoption Affairs) and was on it's way to the US. It should arrive by Tuesday, as Monday is their Labour Day holiday. As to what is in this package - I am praying that it is referrals. If it is, we should receive ours here in Tassie by later next week. The wait is almost over and I am very thankful for this, as the last week has been by far the hardest yet. I am very tired, sleep-deprived, stressed out and way too emotional. I was in Toy World today, helping DS to spend his birthday money, and I just about had a breakdown looking at the baby toys. I wonder if it's too early for a calming glass of red??? Anyway, I just want this wait to ber over - to be holding a photo of our precious babe in my hands, and to finally be able to put a face to the name. Hurry up Alice, Mama is waiting......