Sunday, June 24, 2007

How I'm Doing

I'm doing pretty well, actually. Despite dire predictions of a horrendously long wait, I still have faith that this is all on God's timetable and not mine and that He's taken me this far, this soon, so I'm very comfortable knowing He has it all planned out for me.

I've been very busy, which, with two businesses, is normal. In fact, I've deliberately slowed down and taken an interest in Ed Harris films. I just finished watching Pollock.

What an amazing story! Jackson Pollock was a very messed up individual, but produced some amazing art during his three most stable years. Now, had I seen one of his drip paintings before seeing the movie, I probably would not have appreciated it, but in the movie, the camera pans a gallery beginning on Pollock's #32, and just having seen the way he painted, a truly balletic process, and seeing the painting inch by inch as the camera panned, and not full on so as to be floundering in front of it, I suddenly got it; I saw beauty and so much more in it! The tiny image below doesn't look like much, does it? But the real thing must be spectacular!

Title: No. 32, c.1950 Jackson Pollock

I went to my local library the very next day and checked out the biography that the film is based on and it's extremely well researched and written. I'm devouring the book. As soon as I'm finished with my current major work-related project, I'm going to experiment with painting and see if I can produce anything worthy of hanging on my walls.

For a fun website where you can paint with your mouse, go here. Click your mouse to change colors.

During my research of Ed Harris films, I've also developed a new respect for what actors go through as part of their daily job and how they prepare. Ed Harris, in preparation for Pollock, built a studio and painted, for Copying Beethoven, he took piano and violin lessons for a year and actually played the violin in the movie. He's learned to handle a variety of guns professionally and to scuba dive, too.

I know that Angelina Jolie also learned to do many of the things in her movies, rarely using a stunt double. She's learned martial arts, other types of fighting, gun handling and slinging, equestrian, and more.

Actors who are good, it seems, truly experience to some extent, the very thing they have to act, in real life. This adds up to a lot of amazing experiences and cultural exposures. Frankly, I'm envious. I'd love a job that requires learning to handle guns professionally, learning several musical instruments, learning to paint, etc....

It also caused me to reflect upon all the things I do have and have had in my own life. I am a certified advanced open water scuba diver. I'm a competitive fencer. I've lived in a foreign country and travelled to several others. I do play a musical instrument well and there's nothing stopping me from learning to paint. I plan to begin Mandarin lessons this fall at my local adult school and I'm going to make a concerted effort to look for opportunities to gain exposure to new things and make sure to do the same for my daughter throughout her life.

Show & Tell

One of my super terrific daycare moms saw this outfit while shopping for her own daughter and bought it for Apple, knowing that ladybugs have meaning in the Chinese adoption community. She also gave me the butterfly and fairy in one of the gift baskets she put together for me for Easter.

Back when I was doing my paperwork, I saw this baby doll in my local baby shop and fell in love with it. It's a bit pricey for a simple 12" baby doll, though, so I waited until I had some "free" money to shop with. Well, I found a Kelty convertible baby stroller/backpack on the curb late one night, left for the trash, and took it home, posted it on Craigslist and sold it. What I sold it for covered the baby doll and the Ergo baby carrier I'm buying from another of my daycare moms. I was so excited when I finally bought the little baby doll. I took it out of the box and brushed the hair a little better so it will stay nice until Apple receives it.

Quilt Squares & Wishes 13 - 24

I got rather behind at posting my "squishes" so I've made the pictures very small to save on download time since there are so many today. To view them larger, simply click on them.

#24 from Indiana.

#23 from Texas.

#22 from Tennassee.

#21 from Canada.

#20 from Florida.

#19 from Arkansas.

#18 from New York.

#17 from Ohio.

#16 from Texas.

#15 from Rhode Island.

#14 from Michigan.

#13 from Oregon.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paperwork Feelings

After reading the comment by Beverly on my last post, I starting mulling over these feelings I have about the paperwork. While I was doing the paperwork, I was so excited at the fact that I was starting the adoption process and it was what I had to do to find out who my daughter is and bring her home, that I just did it like a mad woman at warp speed. There was a deadline I HAD to meet. Somehow, after I was finished, I separated the paperwork from the fact that it's to get to my daughter.

About a month after getting my LID I stopped off at my agency. They all were astonished at how I looked and all remarked on it. They pointed out that I'd had my hair trimmed and how I have a little tan. Most of all, they said I don't looked stressed and tired any more. Remember, I did it all in 36 days, I was more than tired, I was a zombie.

Thanks to Beverly's comment, I'm now going to work at connecting the paperwork back to the journey to my daughter so that when the time to do it again rolls around, I'll have mustered up energy and enthusiasm for it and, hopefully, gotten over this feeling of mild trauma surrounding it.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Some of the Paperwork

Here is a picture of about 1/4 to 1/3 of the total paperwork that comprised my dossier. If it doesn't look impressive, let me say that the area it's laid out on is six feet by four feet and you are only seeing the first page of each of the forms I put down in the rows.

Looking back, I can truly say that I don't know how on earth I did it, but when I think of having to renew my homestudy and CIS forms in 13 months, I feel a sort of panic welling up inside me like I can't do it again. It's like a feeling of dread, of facing something awful and consuming. It's mild post traumatic stress syndrome, I think.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Latest from CCAA & USCIS

The CCAA matched families with LIDs through Nov. 7, 2005. This is distressing to many people who have been waiting a very long time for their referral. Last month, CCAA also did only one week's worth of LIDs and the month before that, only two day's worth. I did a calculation last night based on getting through one week of LIDs per month, and it would mean I'd be waiting for 6 years and 2 months. This is very unrealistic.

Rumor Queen's website keeps track of statistics and predictions. No one truly knows what is really going on and things can change without notice for any reason whatsoever. Agencies tell families one thing and yet another agency tells their families something entirely different.

The only thing I can report that my agency told me that may have any effect on these numbers is that U.S. families at Heartsent tend not to send very many dossiers to China during the holiday season. If this is something common to all or most U.S. agencies, then there will be significantly less dossiers logged in during the last six weeks of 2005 and may even account for the high number of them logged in through Oct. and Nov. 2005 if families were trying to "beat" the holiday rush.

Meanwhile, on the homefront, the USCIS (office that one applies to for the child's U.S. visa) did go ahead and raise their fees. It's now $750 to apply and $80 for the fingerprinting. That's a $200 increase! However, each application can be renewed one time for free if the current application has not yet expired. This is great for me since the paperwork is only good for about 15 months. This will cover me for 30 months. I'll still have to pay for the updated homestudy and the accompanying paperwork for that, but saving $830 means a lot to me.