Monday, March 27, 2006

What a weekend!!

I think i'll be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight!
Attended an all day dental seminar on Friday and then half of Saturday. There were some great speakers which made it enjoyable.
Saturday, my mom and Denise held a beautiful baby shower for us. We are so blessed to have so many incredible relatives and friends who have provided for us at a time when it would have been difficult. Together with the adoption expenses and revisions we are making here in the house, things can get a little tight!!
Thank you all so much!! Everything was beautiful, the food was great and it was wonderful to see everyone!!
Sunday, Fred and I ran around and got Sophia a dresser, sidetable, rug and balloon shade for her room. Just waiting for her doors and skylight shade to come in. Today, I got it all put together, started organizing the adjacent playroom and began to tackle clearing out her old bedroom. Yikes!! Good thing bulk pick up is scheduled for this coming week!!
Once that's accomplished, we can start the work on the nursery!! As of right now, it looks like Babiesrus relocated to our living room, our bedroom closet and the basement!!
Thanks again to everyone!!
Shower pics in the next post!

Monday, March 20, 2006


Fred is almost finished painting Sophia's new room (picture me jumping up and down!)!!
He had a little help from the soon to be "occupant" tonight!
She was only a little disappointed to learn that she would just be rolling paint on and not painting designs!
We have a white iron daybed for her and new bedding. Just need to find curtains, a light blocking shade for the skylight and an area rug!
Got all of the current fabric swatches and "good wishes" scrapbooked in an album yesterday. I am really pleased with it and had fun creating it!
Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day! Our firehouse put on a delicous dinner Friday night and then we were treated to another yummy dinner Sat. night at the Badendyck's new house! The girls had a nice time playing and laughing together and we all had a nice visit! Thanks again!!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A little more.....

of our story! Included is a copy of the Christmas letter that we had sent with our cards, telling a little of the beginning of our journey and an explanation of the "100 Good Wishes" quilt. There's also a photo of the fabric squares we have been given so far!! We really have been blessed so far as we haven't experienced any "bumps in the road"! (except for Fred being singled out at the FBI's office!) He had just gotten a new drivers license and they didn't like the way his name had been abbreviated and we hadn't received our passports yet for identification! They made us wait in a little roped off area for the "Manager of the Department of Homeland Security". Are you kidding me?!! I was in tears! Eventually she came out of HER office and cleared him. (I think she was afraid of what I may be capable of at that point!)
We were recently notified that the China Civil Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has finished reviewing our paperwork (dossier) and they have no further questions for us. Now we will move on to the "matching room" where all of the back log is taking place!!
The Christmas Letter:

Happy Holidays!

Dear Family & Friends,
As most of you know, in January of this year, we decided to add to our family through adoption. After much research, days and nights of document gathering, a Home Study with a social worker sent from above (!), lots of fingerprints and background checks, etc., our dossier was sent to China at the end of July. We were officially logged in at the China Civil Affairs office on Aug. 24th.
Lately, the referral of the baby that has been matched to you had been taking six months from your LID (log in date). At the time that our referral was wired, China was inundated with dossiers (which of course is a good thing!), which delayed us about a month.
We had hoped to receive our referral at the end of Feb. and travel to China for our two weeks to bring our daughter home around the end of April. As of last week, the CCA notified our agency and informed them that referral times will now be more like 8-9 months. This was very unwelcome news, but we’ll just have to wait and see!
When the time comes, we will update everyone with the information and pictures that we receive on a website that we will also be posting on while we are on our journey in China! You will be able to log on and read about our daily experience and check out some photos of our site seeing and new little wonder!
We have chosen the first name “Alena”, which means “pretty” in Greek for our daughter and we will keep part of her given name in China as her middle name. Sophia can’t wait to be a big sister and keeps her in mind when we are shopping!! We will be busy over the winter with preparing a new room for Soph upstairs and then repainting and decorating her existing bedroom for the nursery. That, along with the holidays, school and activities should help our wait move along! We also have a goal to create a “100 Good Wishes” quilt for Alena. It will be such a special gift from so many people and will last a lifetime or more!!
This is the meaning:
Traditionally in some parts of Northern China, when a baby was born, family & friends of the child would donate fabric scraps from old clothing to the child's mother. She would make a quilt for the child from the scraps. It is said that the luck and energy of the people who wore these clothes surrounds the child when she is wrapped in the quilt.This is the tradition upon which the 100 Good Wishes Quilt is modeled.This is the tradition now:What is a 100 Good Wishes Quilt? To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute two patches of the same cloth (7X7) with a wish for the baby. The first patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth can go into the Life Book with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. We found out about 100 wishes quilts through others who adopted a daughter from China. It is a tradition to greet the new baby with a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Although this is a Chinese tradition, it is a great tradition for any child to be welcomed this way. What a treat to read the good wishes when the child is older to know how much they were wanted!
If you find it in your heart to contribute, you’d be giving us and our baby girl “Alena” just a little bit of connectivity with the world around her. You would need to send two 7X7 swatches of the same cloth along with a wish for the baby!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I will post pictures of the quilt when it is completed on the website that we will be using when we travel!!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy year to come!
Fred, Jenni & Sophia

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Not quite as I remember!!

Well, Sophia and I spent the day at the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus today! It was a lot of fun, but after spending a total of 3 hrs. on a bus with a bunch of 6-7 yr. olds telling knock-knock jokes to eachother that make absolutley NO SENSE and then hearing them laugh until they cry, I am exhausted!!
I went to the "same" circus in elementary school, but it seems to have changed a bit over the COUPLE of years that have gone by!! These are just a few things that I can think of:
1. There are no more lion or tiger acts. (after Siegfried and Roy~self explanatory!)
2. There is a new clown and his name is "Sixty Cent"! He wears his hat backwords and let me tell you , he can dance!!
3. No one is shot out of a cannon, but "Hercules" catches the cannon ball as it blasts into his chest! (Sophia did not enjoy that act and appears to be scarred for life!)
Anyway, a good time was had by all and I am really looking forward to next years school adventure!! (Maybe it will be Fred's turn to chaperone?!)

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's all in the name!!

So, picking Sophia's name was a breeze! Not so easy this time around!! We knew that we wanted to continue with a name that ends in "a". Our three nieces on Fred's dad's side of the family all have names that end in "a" also.
Fred was not fond of very many of them that I came up with!! I had my heart set on "Marina", but that was not happening!
I finally came acrossed "Alena" one night while looking through greek names. (The spelling of Sophia that we used is also greek meaning "wisdom".) It is pronounced ah-lee-na and has various meanings one of which is "pretty" in greek! I thought that was just perfect and thank the Lord, so did Fred!
Most likely, her middle name will be part of her given Chinese name. If not, I really like "Claire".
We'll just have to wait and see!

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

"Our Story"

Just thought I would add our "story" in here and what I think about to try to make things a little easier and put things into perspective.
We don't have troubles with conceiving, but I can't seem to remain pregnant. I had three miscarriages, and with the third pregnancy, one embryo was in the uterus and the other was in the fallopian tube. I had emergency surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy and the middle third of that tube was removed and reattached. We saw a perinatologist right after that and found out that we had once again conceived. I was terrified!! They did a lot of testing and put me on baby aspirin for inadequate blood flow to the uterus and brethine for an irritable uterus. (darn uterus!! )
I was hospitalized in a major hospital an hour from our home for three months while on magnesium sulfate and an infusion pump of terbutilene. Finally, Sophia was born, healthy!!!
We have been thankful everyday since then and just left it at that. We had one healthy and beautiful daughter.
I had another miscarriage Aug. 2004 and that was about my point of devistation. We had not planned and prepared for another child, but of course we were ecstatic, scared and that became our whole focus. Fred had mentioned adoption Sept. 2004 (two of our friends have brought their daughters home from China!) and I said "NO". I was in no way ready and had never considered it. Then in Dec. 2004 we received a Christmas card from one of the two friends with a photo of their birth son (who is our daughters age) and their new little girl that they had just brought home earlier that summer and I knew the instant that I laid eyes on that photo, that was what we were meant to do. I can't even explain the feeling that I had that moment.
I have set that picture aside to include in our future daughters scrapbook.
From there it has been full steam ahead!! Whenever I get a little down about our experiences, trials and tribulations, etc., I try to think about people who have trouble with infertility and are not able to adopt. This is such a gift to us, our daughter halfway around the world and everyone around us.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Getting Started!

Well, i've been wanting to get started with some kind of a blog or website, but not sure WHERE to start!
I kept a journal while I was pregnant with Sophia, but it seems that method is somewhat outdated!!
I don't know if this will be the easiest way to go during our time in China, but for now it's free and it's an easy way to share, update and let off steam!!
Sophia is enjoying first grade and just returned from a week in Disney with our best friends. (Lucky girl!!)
She is also anxiously waiting for her new bedroom to be finished upstairs! I am somewhat more than ready myself!! It feels like nothing is where it's supposed to be right now and keeping up with the dust from the sanding upstairs is a lost cause!!
We'll get there eventually.

We're still collecting fabric squares for our "100 Good Wishes" quilt for Alena also. We've collected about 50 squares now and they are all so beautiful!
Just a recap~ it's so simple!! You only need to send either: Two 7X7 squares of matching fabric and a good wish for Alena to read in the future OR one 7X7 square and a smaller matching swatch attached to the paper that your wish is printed on! All of the wishes will go into an album for Alena to keep and she'll have a beautiful quilt to cherish forever!!

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"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

- Helen Keller

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