Monday, January 30, 2006

LID January 27, 2006!!

Dear Ford & Alyson,
Great News! Your dossier has been logged in by the China Center of Adoption Affairs.

Your official dossier log-in date (LID) is: 1/27/2006.

If you have questions about the current child match referral timeline please feel free to e-mail
Congratulations from all of us at CCAI!
This is the news we were waiting for!!

We knew our dossier was received by China on January 16th (DTC) but having the logged in date (LID) is very important. We are now on the official "waiting" list. Yea!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Prayers for Karen, Scott & Gwen

For whatever reason our broadband server has been mostly down the last two days and we’ve had to fall back to using a dial up connection. I was sitting here thinking how totally whacked that was and then I ventured over to Gwen’s Blog.

Karen and Scott and their beautiful daughter Gwen have a challenge they are going to be dealing with as a family and as great and powerful as the love and support of a family can be – they could use your prayers.

Karen: Many know you personally. Others, such as Aly and I, count ourselves as part of your extended blog family having followed your amazing journey for Gwen. Please know that you, Scott and Gwen will be in our hearts and prayers daily. God's Peace and Healing upon you...

Ford & Aly

Saturday, January 21, 2006

First Purchase for Lizzy!!

Our neighbors were holding a garage sale this morning so we wandered over. Actually, I wasn't going to but the ever social Ford definitely wanted to check out the neighbors and see if there were any deals to be had. I leashed up Salty Dog and acted uninterested and watched Salty do his mandatory sniffing in every yard, checking the mailboxes and tires everywhere (you know what I mean by a dog checking out these things - right?).

So, I did look over the goods on sale while Ford tried to keep SD from checking out the people too. I found this little folding lawn chair that the family had used to display larger dolls & stuffed animals on. To heck with that, this is going to be Lizzy's first chair for us to use in the yard or out on the dock. It will be just her size. Even though I don't mind the green paint color, we will probably re-paint it white to match the rest of the lawn chairs (homemade Adirondack chairs... ummmm that's another project we need to make more of). I am actually really excited as this is a first purchase. I keep telling myself not to buy anything until we know "who" our little Lizzy will be - what age, weight and height. Many more months of waiting.

Soon I am going to persuade a very nice lady, RS, to help me do some garage sale shopping when the time comes closer to our China trip. She is known for her bargains she gets at sales so I look forward to trying my hand at it to! I figure Lizzy won't understand or read the labels on her clothes for a few years... So garage sale finds will be her play clothes until she starts spouting "Gap for Kids", "Old Navy" - gosh, I am so out of touch with children's clothes I don't even know any trendy name brand clothes for kids....
I am sure someone out there can help me! What are the cute clothes brands so that I will at least recognize a garage sale bargain when I see one?

CCAA Review & Placement

Latest & Greatest from the CCAA website.

(For those proficient in math just work out the months in your head. All others may now discreetly stare at their fingers & mumble)…

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office in June 2005.

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

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thank You

A lot of Paperchase effort went into reaching our DTC milestone. Now of course, we anxiously await an email informing us of our LID, a wait that could be weeks in the coming. However, tonight’s post is not about DTC’s or LID’s or the crème de crème, best known as The Referral.

Tonight’s is a Thank You post.

Thank you J&S
Thank you J&C
Thank you W&C

Each couple above played a key role in our adoption process. They were our references. Each took the time to fill out the forms, write the personal essays and make certain all was signed, sealed and delivered to our agency. Our cost for having friends do this for us? Nothing. Our reward for having friends do this for us? A soon-to-be daughter named Alyzabeth An.

How each couple came to be in our lives carries its own special story as does the place each occupies in our hearts. Each couple is uniquely diverse and unwaveringly supportive of the future we envision. Truer friends would be hard to find.

Writing about each of our reference couples would fill pages. We will not even try.

J&S: Thank you for being friends without pretensions or motive. Friends who are the same today as yesterday and who remain so come tomorrow. Thank you for genuine smiles and warm hearts that always extend a friendly handshake and a caring hug.
Thank you for believing in us as parents.

J&C: Thank you for being friends that while distance keeps us apart; our friendship continues to keep us close. Friends who remain true to others and themselves; be it White Tie only or peeling shrimp along side a bucket of iced down longnecks.
Thank you for believing in us as parents.

W&C: Thank you for sharing the belief that loving our kids is more important than anything else we do. Together we share much as the parents of Justin and Leaa and Aly & I are always embraced as family to N & C. We are acutely aware that ours is a friendship easily questioned with few understanding the depths of caring we have for one another and why that is. Ours is a bond forged by a mutual love for our children.
Thank you for believing in us as parents.

Aly and I have been tapped in the past to be references on resumes. We always took a certain amount of pleasure in knowing the requester thought enough of us to trust having someone ask us “personal” questions about them. However, we do not even fathom what thoughts and emotions our couples felt when asked to serve as references in our adoption quest for Alyzabeth An.

What we do know is how eternally grateful we are to them and how much a part of this family they will forever be.

To each of them: Thank You for believing in us as parents…

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

LID to Referral: 10 Months

We received an email from our agency (CCAI) yesterday. The projected timeline from LID to Referral given in our Dossier to China Packet was 10 months.
As with all of you, we can only hope that the projected timeline decreases as the year goes forward.

Re: CCAI Dossier to China Packet

Congratulations! Your dossier has arrived in China!

As we have received confirmation that your dossier has arrived at CCAI’s Beijing Office and was delivered to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, it’s time to download the Dossier to China Packet. This packet will include information on current timelines, what comes next for your adoption, and how to stay connected and informed during the next phase of your adoption journey.

CCAI Dossier & China Departments

Monday, January 16, 2006


I picked oranges yesterday while my wife was on top of the house sweeping the roof and cleaning out the gutters. Not that I haven't been the one who normally does this task (on a metal roof I might add - the closest we can get to outdoor ice skating in these parts). Still, what started out as a request to put up the 10' ladder so she could trim the crepe myrtles became instead a marathon of physical torture. For her.

So, as I kept a wary eye on her in case 911 needed to be called, I rolled up the Christmas lights & piled up the Oak tree limbs she lopped off (the crepe myrtles were apparently not challenging enough). And I removed an Orange tree that had died back a couple of years ago during a freeze. Oh, it had tried to fake it as a real Orange tree. It grew back tall and green. Flowered with the best of them and set some fruit that looked as though it was painted a perfect orange, chemically dipped and placed in your grocer's fresh fruit bin. It was an imposter and I had been its willing enabler. Deep down I knew it had not sprung back to life from above the graft. No, this was a true root stock offspring and its fruit bore the truth. Sour. Sour, as in pucker your face, tingle your cheeks, make your tongue feel funny sour. So I did what any of you would do. I wrapped a chain around its trunk and tied it off to the hitch on our truck and with a few series of go, stop, back-up, go faster -- I tore it out of the ground. I was so proud, not as proud as I was of my ski slope braving wife still "sweeping" the roof but still proud. Until DW joined me to cut the Orange tree up and move it to the debris pile. Here's the deal. If you decide to jerk an Orange tree out of the ground anytime soon - use a chain long enough to keep the tree from coming in contact with your vehicle.

I wonder how much a paint job costs to cover scratches left on a tailgate? Or should I think of the scratches as manly reminders of how hard I worked? I didn't think so. I elected to tell my wife that I thought she did a great job up on the roof but maybe that's where I need to be next time since all I accomplished was devaluing our principal ride and nearly destroying the Navel Orange tree that somehow survived the extraction of its neighbor.

Oh, the oranges I picked came from the Navel tree... I picked most of them from off the ground where they had fallen after having been "brushed" by Mr. Sour Tree as it was leaving. You may notice that they aren't a perky bright orange the way you see them in the stores. Maybe you thought that fresh oranges really came in that stunningly waxy, unblemished orange perfection? Oh well, ours may not be Norman Rockwell beauties but they're real, they're fresh and they're sweet. I only wish they could take scratches off the back of pickup trucks...

And yes, the roof looks great. Thank you Aly...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I've BeenTagged! Blame Johnny...

I’ve been tagged by our “Texas is #1 but I don’t have my shirt to prove it” Johnny.

Johnny, all I can say is if you felt old doing this; after reading mine you’re going to feel darn right youthful!

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was an Operations supervisor pulling 12 hour shifts rotating from days to nights weekly, the same as I had been doing for the 10 years before that. Just with different companies.

I work in an industy that has potential to foul your water and air. My job was to reduce the probability of that happening and to correct it should it occur. Striving to be your environmentally conscious company, we embraced our stewardship role by trying to leave you with air you could breathe and water you might even drink and we called it “Building Community”.

It was also ten years ago that I was with my mom in Chicago when she died.
And Aly and I were still “waiting” to get pregnant.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

I was no longer working shift work though still with the same company having been assigned to straight days working special projects for mahagony row (it is amazing what you will do to safeguard that rarest of rare birds, a defined benefit pension plan). Actually, life is good right now. Both at work and at home.

And Aly and I were waiting to get pregnant

Five snacks I enjoy

  1. Salted in the shell roasted peanuts

  2. Ice Cream (I haven’t found a flavor I wouldn’t eat and consequently Aly doesn’t keep any in the house)!

  3. Buttered popcorn

  4. Bull’s Hit potato chips (grown & produced locally)

  5. Alyson’s strawberry shortcake – simply the best…
Five songs to which I know all the lyrics
  1. Tangled Up In Blue – Dylan

  2. Sympathy For The Devil – Stones (And NO, I'm not a devil worshiper)

  3. New York Minute – Henley

  4. Let It Be – Beatles

  5. War Pigs – Black Sabbath
Five things I would do if I were a millionaire

  • Not tell anyone

  • Establish anonymous modest educational scholarships

  • Pay off any debts

  • Purchase property in Maine

  • Invest what remains in Index Funds

  • Update: My wife pointed out that there was no mention of giving anything to the Church. I told her it was a given we would give to the Church. She wasn't buying it. So, before we would do any of the above, WE would give 10% to the Church. This may or may not get me off the hook...
Five bad habits
  1. Quick to temper but not so you would know it

  2. Ability to procrastinate with the best of them

  3. Not letting go of the bad times & bad people

  4. Not exercising

  5. Developed a NASCAR driving mentality in morning and evening rush hour traffic
Five things I like doing
  1. Fishing

  2. Concerts

  3. Cooking

  4. Traveling

  5. Live theater
Five things I would never wear, buy or get new again
  1. Hair piece

  2. Socks with shorts

  3. Used Vette

  4. Cigarettes

  5. Thong underwear
Five favorite toys
  1. Laptop

  2. Boat (Before hurricane Francis sunk it)

  3. Digital camera

  4. Pool table

  5. TIE: A properly inflated basketball / Fishing pole
So here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot

a la carte
An Elephant's Gestation
So, it's come down to this
Alyzabeth An

Then select five people to tag:

Miss Cellania

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Today Is A Special Day - Very Special...

We both were tired.

We both wondered if today would be the day.

We are still tired and yes, Today was the day. Aly and I are DTC.


Your dossier was sent to China today! :)

Here’s what to expect for the next month:

The CCAA will receive your dossier in approximately 3-5 days. We will e-mail you your Dossier to China Information Packet as soon as we know that your dossier has been received by the CCAA. The current referral timeline will be discussed in this packet.

The CCAA usually logs in dossiers within 1 month of their receipt. Your dossier may be logged-in this or next month.

The CCAA will notify us within the next 8 weeks. The date will be posted on your personal on-line Parent Access Network page of the CCAI website the instant that we are notified.

Again, congratulations! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Congrats on hitting this milestone,


I really don’t know what to say. We both are just kind of numb if that makes sense. We know the “waiting” period is going to be hard, very hard but we are just so glad that the paperchase is over. Until you have gone through this, you have no way of knowing how truly hard the paperchase can be.

So now the next big step is to go LID. We have our fingers crossed for that to happen before the end of this month. We still believe in miracles :)

We've toasted with a great California cab complete with a hug, a smile and a kiss for our Alyzabeth.

I wish I could find the words to express this better but tonight I simply can’t find those words. We’re numb with joy…

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday - Click on Link (New Links)

We added three new links on the right side bar. All are shameless plugs for family members and their small businesses: Aerial Tribe, Discovery Toys & Maine Goodies

If you enjoy a moderate jazzy, funky, rock & roll sound, then take a listen to the sounds of Aerial Tribe, all original music by band members: Patrick, our SIL Jesse & Jared. Please listen often and buy their CD!! If any of you know someone with connections out in the music industry and can "coerce" them into listening, it would be appreciated as this band is waiting for its “big break”. Send an email from their web site or email us and we will get you in touch with the band. End of shameless plug/advertising #1. Two to go.

A sister to Ford, my SIL, is a stay at home mom who worked as a professional at the college level. She has two gorgeous children and a superb hubby (we love you M.). While staying at home she “discovered” Discovery Toys and has learned a lot about them, enough to be an expert and a salesperson. I bought some of the age-appropriate toys for Christmas gifts and I now love them and will purchase them for our Lizzy. Just click on the link and “discover” very reasonably priced toys. She earns a small amount of money in order to purchase toys for her children. They may be ours but this is truly a great family. Go Mia!!! End of shameless advertising plug #2!

Here’s # 3: Maine Goodies. As you may know I am a Mainer In Exile and this is my sister & BIL’s home business. They sell items from mostly small crafts people living and “crafting” in Maine. They have been operating this business for a few years now and it continues to grow! Again, you are helping a stay at home parent and getting a great product in the deal (well, I for one have not warmed up to the Blueberry Cream Soda). Check them out!

Thanks for reading and I hope you will click on their links! Now, I need to find a home business I can run and hopefully make some money at…. I am still thinking… any ideas??? Free small business advice will be welcomed!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

From Guest Room to Alyzabeth An's Room

Currently, this is the third guest bedroom. (Thinking about it, I should have gotten permission for these pictures from significant other, ignore the clutter, however, it’s usually worse!) Over the course of the year we will transform this room into Alyzabeth An’s room. Think we have a few changes to make?

Rumors are flying again with regard to how long the wait from LID to Referral is taking. Everyone had pretty much settled in with the timeframe extending from 6-7 months to 8-9 months. Now, some are reporting 12-13 months. I’ve checked our agency site (CCAI) and the latest referrals are still running @ 8 months. When they contact us with our DTC date I will ask them about the “wait” and let you know what they have to say.

We went to our first meeting of the First Coast Families with Chinese Children Thursday night. We saw some familiar blogger faces. Hi Kim, wish we’d had a chance to get acquainted (Long meeting without a break, ugh). Next time for sure. I thought about bringing a camera and taking some pictures. Something to ask about at the next meeting. I think you all would enjoy seeing the faces of the little ones that were there, we sure did.

Go Jaguars!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Dossier Review - And the answer is......

Just read a message sent today from our agency. They are still in the “critical review” of our dossier. We hope it passes muster soon! Waiting on the DTC milestone next!

Also, tomorrow is my Dad's birthday!
Happy 75th Birthday to my Dad (yes, the same one who sent my hubby an electric manhole cover for Christmas)!!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

In China Now

If you have not been to the My Chinese Dream blog you need to get yourself over there. Alison is in China right now to put her first forever hugs on her new daughter Mali.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year 2006!

We wish you all much happiness, a successful adoption and all good health through 2006. Our plans are to pray for our new daughter while we wait, wait and wait!

The picture is of over 90 decorated Christmas Trees in our little town's park. They are put there by citizens and businesses to remember veterans and reflect on Christmas pasts.