Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Come on...let's get it moving....only three months more of this...and then, maybe we will see some changes.....
The torch is in Hong Kong..we are getting close.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Earlier in the day, my new neighbors, who recently moved here from China, surprised me with a beautiful gift.
Direct from Beijing. I have already hung up near Lia-Rose's bedroom. It was so sweet. The mother, who speaks in broken English said to me, "Wendi, you do not have to go to China to get your baby." I looked at her thinking "What?"...she then pointed to her 12 year old daughter (who is about 5'6) and said, "I will give you mine!"
Yesterday, my cousins surprised me with a fantastic lunch at the Plaza Hotel, along with a beautiful bracelet and specially made birthday dessert! Dinner across the street last night at my friends' home....(it's his birthday today) and more great food, wine and cards.
I got flowers and chocolates and a brand new Ipod, and candles, and a great book about motherhood and a toy for Lia-Rose. I got gift certificates and checks. I got earrings. I got homemade artwork from my friend's daughter. It was a wonderful, and perfect birthday, with the love that was given to me...the greatest gift of all.
And today, it's 18 months we are logged in....19 months since are file was sent to China, and two years since the whole process started. I heard Barack Obama say that the campaign is so long that babies who were born when it started are now walking and talking. Same thing here. In fact, we could have gone through two pregnancies!
Anyway...thanks to all who made my day so special.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
When we started this process I had just turned 45 years old. Somewhere in China my dusty file sits. Inside it talks about how this 45 year old woman, who has never had children, cannot wait to bring her little Baby home from China. Somewhere there is a picture of me in China. Maybe my hair is less gray (although truth be told I color it every four weeks), I was certainly a bit heavier, and most definitely a bit younger. Tomorrow, that same woman whose file is in China, turns 47 years old. I truly can't believe it. You know how when you were 32 and 45 seemed so old. Now, it's so young to me. Now 50 is young to me!
So, I won't freak out that so many years have gone by since I started this adoption process. Honestly, the baby making process started long before our file was sent to China. So actually, it's much longer than two years that I've been trying to bring my family together. More like 5 years. But, that is not the point.
I will celebrate tomorrow night with some great friends at a favorite restaurant on the Upper West Side. I can't wait. I hope this is the last year I celebrate without you Lia-Rose. You are the only gift I want.
Thank you my sister for a wonderful post..read this!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
As I get older or perhaps more grounded in who I am, the ability to trust the Universe becomes increasingly easier. The old adage, when one door closes five doors open has never been truer for me. The people who I needed to show up amazed me and appeared. This week I am blown away that in a mere matter of hours, things shifted...as I needed.
Roadblocks lifted, tolerations banished, change happening. It overwhelms me, this wonderful sense of truly watching these wonderful opportunities pan out. This, if you wonder, is not about the adoption. But, the magic of these much needed miracles help me remain more faithful then ever that my daughter will be my daughter… when she supposed to be.
Monday, April 21, 2008
It is my step-daughter Annie's 15th birthday today.
I haven't seen in about a year and half...(she lives in Australia!) and I can't wait till this Summer when she is here with us for a few weeks. She is a sensational person. Mature, beautiful and extra special. I am blessed to be her Step-mum!
Happy Birthday my Annie!!!!
I love you.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Anyway, a Happy Passover to all. I celebrated the first night of the holiday with my family in South Jersey. My poor husband was sick to his stomach and although I wanted to stay home with him, he insisted that I go....he was missed. I told Addie that this year would be the last year she was the youngest at the Sedar dinner. Next year Lia will be with us hopefully. This was the third year in a row that she was in my thoughts on Passover. I hope that next year she will be at the table beside me.
My birthday is this week and I am turning another year older. Perhaps another year wiser. Between Passover and my birthday, this season is always very special and memorable to me. It's my step-daughter's birthday tomororw as well as the 5th birthday of when we brought the loveable Molly, my dog, home. Spring brings me promises of happiness and reflection. It always truly feels like rebirth. So, may this be my last Spring without you dear little Lia-Rose. Next Spring you'll be home...oh please oh please ...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So as you may or may not know, last week (see April 9th post) an article ran about the Chinese adoption wait times and I was quoted. I googled myself, just because I have nothing better to do, yeah right, and a bunch of new links came up. Apparently the article was picked up by a bunch of news outlets. I told Joe to Google me, and he did, finding a Chinese news website carrying the story. I got really excited. Who knows who could see it! So we decided to translate the article expecting it to read exactly as it did in English. Except…it didn't. Here's how it translated by Google translator=
Also with the same predicament of the 46-year-old Wendi Caplan-Carroll. 儘管Wnedi經歷了兩次婚姻，但她膝下並沒有子女。 Despite Wnedi went through two marriages, but she below knee and without children. 最初，她希望收養手續能在13個月裏完成。 Initially, she hoped that adoption procedures in the 13 months to complete. 但現在，整個流程已經走了整整2年了，還看不見結束的那一天。 But now, the entire process has been taking a full two years, also see the end of the day. "有些人已經放棄了，另外的家庭改為收養衣索比亞兒童了。我們不會滿世界的尋找孩子，我們把所有心思都押在中國的機會上面了。當你想孩子已經想瘋了的時候，再說放下已經很難了。" "Some people have given up, and the adoption of Ethiopia to the family of the children. We would not be complacent about the world looking for their children, we all thought were remanded in China the opportunity to above. When you want to have children to crazy time has been difficult to put aside a repeat. "
Now I realize that the translator is not exact, but two marriages! Yikes!!! For the record…I've been married once, and my knees above and below are just fine. You just never know what gets lost in translation!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
How very inappropriate for my adoption blog! Now what were you thinking. I was referring to the fact that I spent a good portion of some "down" time this weekend watching old Sex and the City reruns. I can't tell you how spending that time took me back about 8 years. Back to the days of living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, living in my 400 square foot fourth floor brownstone walkup on West 81st Street. I loved that little (and I mean little) apartment. To me it was my sanctuary, my castle in the sky. I used to love climbing up the fire escape onto the roof and spy down on all the backyards of the brownstones below. My life then was good, albeit, lonely at times. I dated, I saw my friends, I worked, I drank cosmopolitans (no joke), I dreamed of a steady boyfriend. I shopped, I worked in political campaigns and fell in love with these little babies –my nieces who entered my life during these days.
It definitely was a simpler time. I had literally no food in my apartment. Why cook for one when the Shining Star diner was two blocks away? They knew me by name and had my favorite meal –Chicken on top of a big salad, pickles, decaf and melba toasts on the side (Yep, I guess not everything has changed) ready before I even sat down.
Life was about dreaming. Dreaming of my future. Longing for my partner. I related so much to the girls in Sex and the City. It seemed like their lives were imitating parts of my own. I had my Mr. Big definitely two Bergers and I believe that Joe in a sense, is my Aidan.
When I watched this weekend, it came all back to me. I felt like that thirty-something year old again. I felt the angst. The excitement. The hysteria. I am so happy that my life is where it is today. I wonder; when the movie comes out, will the girls seem settled. Will their dreams come true? I know that Charlotte has a daughter from China. I find that wonderfully ironic.
But the big takeaway I came away with this weekend is this…when I was in my thirties and living in the City , I was WAITING for a man. I felt at times like my life was on hold. I didn't realize how much I had back then. I enjoyed it, but why not more? I was waiting for my life to begin-or better stated-waiting to meet Mr. Right. I spent far too many hours not enjoying what I had then but merely focused on what I didn't have. They truly were the good old days. So as I wait for my baby, and dream for what it will be with her, I need to savor every moment of this..right now and enjoy. For one day, this too shall be the good old days…waiting or not.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) -- China remains the country of choice for thousands of Americans seeking to adopt a child, but the time frame for new applications is now often triple what it was a few years ago and many families are enduring uncertain, emotionally draining waits.
"I've gone up and down with it - like a roller coaster ride," said Barbara Duarte Esgalhado, a single mother in Manhattan. She has a 7-year-old daughter adopted from China and filed paperwork in January 2006 for a second adoption that has yet to materialize.
"You find yourself rethinking it a lot more - is this still a good idea?" said Duarte Esgalhado, a 50-year-old writer and psychologist.
Her daughter, Uma, was a big fan of getting a sister when the idea surfaced three years ago. Now, she's ambivalent. "A 4-year-old thinks differently about a sibling than an 7-year-old," her mother said.
The longer waits - projected at three or four years for many new applicants - officially are attributed to the large number of foreigners trying to adopt from China coupled with a smaller pool of available children and a slower review process. The China Center of Adoption Affairs, long respected for its ethics and efficiency, avoids specific promises about how long applications might take.
Infant girls by the thousands are abandoned every year in China, and the nation has been America's top source of foreign adopted children since 2000. But the annual total fell to 5,453 last year, down from a peak of 7,906 in 2005, and further declines are expected as part of an overall drop in foreign adoptions.
Texas-based Great Wall China Adoption, one of the largest agencies focusing on China, says its annual caseload is down by half.
"Unfortunately we've had families who have decided to withdraw from the process," said Great Wall spokesman Leigh Ann Graf. "We have some families who are very angry about the wait times - and others looking at the time as a way to get all those things in that they won't be able to do after they become parents."
The uncertainty has fueled rumors and speculation within the tight-knit community of Americans who have adopted from China or hope to do so. Some believe the longer waits are part of a temporary Chinese effort to scale back international adoptions ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August. Others wonder if China may be phasing out foreign adoptions almost entirely.
"Our agency made clear our wait could be three years, four, five - they just don't know," said Mike Suomi, a Manhattan architect. He and his wife, Jenn, have applied to adopt a second child to become a sister to 5-year-old Olivia, whom they adopted from China in November 2003.
"China is becoming an economic powerhouse," Suomi said. "As far as we know, there's an embarrassment factor to having an inability to take care of your own children."
The Suomis are working with Spence-Chapin, a venerable New York-area adoption agency whose caseload for China has dropped sharply due to the delays. Ann Hassan, the agency's China coordinator, said the wait can be much shorter if parents agree to adopt a child with a physical handicap such as a cleft palate or congenital heart disease.
The Suomis, both in their early 40s, are willing to consider such a child, depending on specifics of the impairment. They also considered adopting from elsewhere in the Far East but found South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan unworkable for varying reasons.
"China always was the top preference," said Jenn Suomi. "There's no funny business, no corruption, no black market."
They're intent on persisting with the China application, and they work hard to help Olivia handle the longer-than-expected wait for the sibling she wants to call Mei Mei - "little sister" in Mandarin.
"Let's say we wait four years - Olivia will be 9," said her father. "We'll be four years older. That's very hard for us. ... We're ready now, and now we have to wait."
Steve and Katherine Curtis, who live in the Long Island town of Babylon, are trying to adopt a second daughter from China to be a sister to Amelia, who was adopted in September 2006 and turned 2 in December.
"We're always thinking of her," said Steve Curtis, an auto company executive. "Absolutely we think it would be helpful for her to have someone to have a shared experience with."
Their new application was registered last October. They have no clear idea how long it will take.
"We're braced for fact it could be three more years," Curtis said. "You do all you can. Then it's up to the powers that be."
Some applicants feel they're in a particularly precarious position. Theresa Fierro, a third-grade teacher from Clifton, N.J., is a single mother who - like Barbara Duarte Esgalhado - got her current application filed in 2006 shortly before China changed its rules to exclude most single parents.
"The wait is causing some fear," said Fierro, 50, who has a 5-year-old daughter adopted from China. "And it's tough to plan. ... Should I work summer school or not? Should I go on vacation or not?"
For Joann Nix, 48, of Mastic Beach, N.Y., the wait adds to frustrations that had been building up over years of futile fertility treatments.
She and her husband registered two years ago to adopt a Chinese child. They now fear the slowdown could hurt their chances of seeking a second adoption later on.
"It gets torturous some times," Nix said. "There are thousands of kids in this world who need good homes. We want just one."
In a similar predicament is Wendi Caplan-Carroll, 46, of Secaucus, N.J. She has no children of her own, though her husband has two from a prior marriage. She initially hoped an adoption from China could be completed in about 13 months. Now the process has been under way for two years, with no sure end in sight.
"I know some people who gave up, others who decided to adopt from Ethiopia," she said.
"We're not shopping around - we have our heart set on China. It's hard to give up when you want something so desperately."
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
She loves me...she really really loves me!
This is my Molly, my beautiful "TT"...Tibetan terrier. See the before and after pictures from her recent groom. I know, it doesn't look all that different, but trust me it is.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I had the best of plans on Saturday. To meet up with my girls...Ann Marie and Susan, and more importantly the Czar and Monkey Girl. I felt it coming on on Friday night. Saturday morning, I ambitiously got in the car thinking that some coffee from the Bagel Buffet would help, but, god it was terrible. I turned around. A bad headache was coming. I had to cancel, and I am so sorry. I ended up taking two Tylenol pm and slept the day away. Of course, I wake up and feel much better and it's midnight or so. I pretty much stayed up all night.
Anyway, this morning I was good. A little wiped out, but really fine and thank goodness for that. Joe and I spent the day with our friends Rose and John and their precious Hao. Rose and John were in our original travel group and in June of last year decided that one special boy in China was waiting for them. And he sure is special. So delicate and sweet. Rose, if you are reading this I want you to know how much it meant for me to be with your baby boy. It gave me faith again. It gave me hope. I even bought three books from the toddler section of Barnes and Noble tonight. It can happen. It will happen. Thank you for helping me remember.
Also, if you get the chance, watch this video. This is mom...and ...ahem..Senator Kennedy, who honored my mother for her support of him! I am so proud, and I know my mother gets embarrassed when I mention her...but how cute is she? I am so happy that we have this on video.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
My friend Elizabeth comments in the post below that maybe its time to take her rose colored glasses off. Things are moving very very slowly. Even word of a new waiting child's list has been silenced. NOTHING is happening. Our friends, Paul and Denise, may miss the cut-off by one day. They have waited over two years.
As much attraction and optimism and belief as I throw out there to the world, Nothing is happening. I always put on the smile. I always am the one who says it's o'k. But you know what. It just isn't anymore. It's not o'k. It's not o'k that there are thousands of babies who need moms and dads, and we wait and are scrutinized and we are just denied. I am truly at a place tonight where this doesn't feel like it's going to happen. I will always be the great Auntie to all the babies and children in my life, and I am grateful for that. But, I am sorry, I want more. I need more.
My friends. I do not know anymore. It doesn't make sense, and it really hurts. *I add I am very PMS, so pardon this rant, but it actually feels good to get it off my chest. I am tired. I am tired. I am tired. I just want to exhale and believe again. But, I am worn out from believing. So tomorrow when I stand in line to get my expired fingerprints taken, I don't know how I'll feel. I am not a quitter. Never have been. But ....I don't know what to think anymore. I shout out to the UNIVERSE...I, TOO, LIKE THE PREGNANT MAN, HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE A CHILD. I WILL NOT BE DENIED. HELP ME BELIEVE AGAIN, PLEASE.
PS I am not looking for sympathy. I am not a victim. I have so many friends who are in the same place as me right now. I am just very sad.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
"Oy vey". First off all, isn't "oy vey" just the greatest two words. I mean, it's so easy to make your point when you simply say, "oy vey". When you hear it…you know that it must be …well it must be.."oy vey!"…So, "oy vey", I am seriously tired. Tired of this whole thing. Tired of this process. Tired of trying to be patient and pleasant. This sucks big time. The lastest rumors have the China adoption community up in arms. The fact that they might be matching a huge batch..well huge according to no one batch of 5 days. That is a serious, "OY VEY". "OY VEY" "OY F'ing VEY"
And by the way : In 2001, California State Assembly
Speaker, Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), compiled a 31 page Yiddish dictionary for his colleagues and of the word "oy vey" he defined it as "an untranslatable expression used for a variety of negative feelings."…from Wikepedia.
Sorry for this seriously weird blog post. I am just really tired. I worked a long day and have a few more long ones ahead of me…all good. But, "oy vey".
A few random other thoughts-
Joe and I have to go for fingerprinting updates on Friday at Immigration-Oy vey!
My sister and bro-in-law are heading to Disney World on Friday- no Oy Vey, but yeah!
I am seeing "my friend Susan" and Ann Marie and their darling babies on Saturday-no Oy Vey, but yeah!
I am seeing my friend Rose and her beautiful son Hao on Sunday-no Oy Vey, but Yeah!
Anonnie met her daughter!!!!-Seriously fabulous no Oy Vey!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So I called my mom and sister and told them I got a referral! Totally mean. I know. Lori reminded me the last time I did that and made her heart jump was when I April Fooled her that Joe and were going to get married….we in fact got engaged 4 months later…so, let's hope my April Fool's come true this time too!