Journey To MaryAlice

Join me as I journey to China to find my daughter, Mary Alice.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Check out Brian Stuy's Latest Entries...

There is a link on the sidebar, under Favorite Links, called Research China that I periodically check for updates. His most recent posts are very interesting and cover topics such as abandonment locations, gender, age and health status at time of abandonment. Brian Stuy offers an invaluable service to the adoptive community by providing the finding ad for children that must appear in the local newspaper. It is usually the first photo taken of the child and thus, quite a treasure. He also has photos, DVD's and detailed information of most of the orphanges and provinces used in international adoption in China. His site will be one of the first I visit after learning which SWI (Social Welfare Institute) Mary Alice is from and ordering her finding ad.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Ending on this special day...

Today marks 22 months I've been waiting for Mary Alice. I think that's reason enough to break out this wine I've been saving and share it with a friend.

Today also marks a happy ending to a very tragic story that unfolded in China this week. A couple traveling to pick up their daughter, Hannah, had a tragic ending when the father passed away from a diabetic coma. To make matters worse, the US Consulate was putting up some road blocks for the mother to return to the US with her daughter since her "status" had changed. Thanks to over 1000 phone calls from the international adoptive community to her state senator and representative (a rumor Condeleeza Rice got involved,too), this situation was resolved and she is on her way home with her daughter. Very sad situation for her family, but it was nice too see our government step up to the plate when called upon by the people. Once again, I am amazed at the power of the internet to connect strangers and broaden the circle of community.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Post-Conference Roundup

Because Stephe asked, here's a picture of the doll I won at the East Meets West Conference this weekend. The dolls were brought from China by foster parents that spoke at the conference. (I got to practice "hearing" Mandarin to see if I could pick out words). They had fostered a five year old little girl there from when she was 10 days old, until she was adopted at 11 months. What a blessing it is for the little girl and her Mom to be able to meet and have a relationship with these foster parents. The Mom is actually the first agency representative I spoke with at an informational meeting in September 2005. She has three daughters from China and gave a talk at the conference on incorporating the Chinese culture into life in the US. She spoke of having a "treasure box" filled with items unique to your child's province (tea set, silk, embroidery), the clothes she was wearing the day you met her, chinese language books and music. She encouraged folks to learn some words in Chinese and how to cook some Chinese food. She cautioned people about going overboard, but to find a happy balance with the two cultures.

The kepnote speaker was Dr. Ira Chasnoff, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He gave a wonderful talk on the biology of fetal alcohol syndrome and the biology behind attachment and bonding. His most recent book, Risk and Promise: a Handbook for Parents Adopting a Child from Overseas, outlines the potential risk factors as well as protective factors involved in adopting a child overseas.

I also met Paul Consbruck, an attorney in Jacksonville that handles domestication of foreign adoptions in Florida. He spoke at the conference on preadoption legal items to have in place (travel/medical evac insurance, healthcare for child, will, life insurance) prior to travel and the post-adoption steps. The adoption is considered final in China, but to ease future paperwork in the US, it is highly recommended to have the adoption recognized in the state of Florida in order to obtain a Florida Certificate of Foreign Birth. This will make obtaining the social security card and passport much easier. Paul and his wife have one daughter from China and are waiting for their second. He also gave me some tips on diving/resorts in the Turks and Caicos Islands!

The conference was informative and fun (and much larger than I imagined it would be). I'm glad I made the decision to go and would highly recommend attending one if you are in the process or have already adopted.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

RQ Projections

I borrowed this graph from The Rumor Queen. It is her latest projections for the upcoming months. Remember, my date is 1-16-06. Basically, if the number of referrals continues in the "Bad Case" column, I should receive my referral in March. If the CCAA kicks it up a notch to "Mid Case" column, I could possibly get my referral in February. Of course, the Chinese New year Holiday always plays havoc on the timing of the February batch. Usually, they try to get a batch out prior to leaving on holiday. I should travel 6-8 weeks after referral, after I receive my travel approval (TA), make flight arrangements, Visa, etc.

Me thinks I better kick it up a notch too, and start tackling my To-Do List. I've actually attached the "M" wooden letter to the nursery wall and then distracted...worried about measuring correctly...need to focus.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Referrals Through 12-8-05!

I'd told you not to listen to the rumors!! LOL!! Agencies are expecting their referral package to arrive tomorrow.

Lots of drama this month between the Spanish Rumor Queen's 12-12-05 rumor and the factual 12-8-05 cut-off. That leaves 39 LID days until its my turn. If they keep doing 8 LID days a month, it'll be another 5 months!! That would be April referral, with travel in May/June. If they can average 10 LID days a month, I could get a referral in March, travel in April/May. And so on, and so on...!

I'm headed to Tampa next weekend for the East Meets West Adoption Conference and am looking forward to seeing some old faces and meeting new ones.

Beijing, China

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