Thank you, Merci, Xie xie

First, thank you for all of your support and kind words. It really means a lot to me and CSP. I pass on to CSP the things I learn from y’all and we’ve both come to rely on my bloggy friends as a support system, esp with the adoption. We’re still mulling things over.

On a lighter note…. I thought I’d share some of the fabulous gifts I received for Christmas. M&L (honorary aunt and uncle) really spoil us. And they really know us well and are incredible gift givers. They gave me this cute retro cell phone receiver in pink. It really works! And it’s awesome cause now I can cradle the phone between my head and shoulder.
They also gave me this gorgeous tea set. I’m a tea drinker and have been wanting to start a tea pot collection and now I can!

One of the wonderful gifts from my in-laws was a book I’ve been dying for:I Like You by Amy Sedaris. I just love her and this book is a riot while still being informative.

On my side of the family we don’t exchange gifts amongst the adults, only the kids get presents, but CSP is an only child and we’re still non parents (for now) so we still exchange with his parents and M&L. We keep it modest though since we’re on the adoption budget. Our gifts went over really well. They included flameless candles which were a big hit since both couples have pets and are wary about lighting candles with the pets in the house. I absolutely LOVE it when I seem to pick out the perfect gift for someone, especially hard to buy fors like my in-laws & M&L. I can’t wait til we can include our children in the Christmas mix!

Adoption Update: the new regulations

So, as many of you have already heard, the CCAA has issued new regulations for adopting from China. I’m touched by the amount of email I’ve received from you guys regarding the new regs and how or if they could effect us. When the rumors started I got in contact with our agency to discuss our options as there are a few of the requirements that we will not meet.
Here is where we stand: we could send our dossier to China, have it go through the process there and wait for who knows how long up to and including a year, to have China turn us down if they make their new regs retroactive. We would lose a LOT of money and time and would be emotionally devastated. Plus then we’d have to start the process over with another country.
Or we we could send our dossier to China, have it go through the process there and wait for approximately 2 years and be referred a child or twins. That would be ideal (minus the looooong wait).
Or we pull out of China and go with a different country within our agency. We’re not crazy about this option as we would prefer not to adopt from the other countries that our agency works with for various reasons including cost, multiple trips, etc. CSP’s job will not allow for multiple or long trips to Eastern Europe, and our bank account won’t allow for the higher costs that come with adopting from there or Guatemala.
Or we could pull out of China and go with another country and another agency. This would mean forfeiting the approx. $5000 we’ve already paid to our agency, but we’d be able to go with our 2nd choice for country.
Or we could go domestic. We’d discussed this before we chose China, and for various reasons we are not crazy about that idea. We don’t want the birth parents finding us or bumping into us at T@rget. And we especially couldn’t handle it if the birth parents changed their minds on us and took our baby away. Fostering is another option but neither of us could handle them taking a child away from us after we’d bonded with him/her.
Our social worker is scheduled to come here for our new house inspection on the 16th. Before she comes we have some decisions to make. We’ve been talking everything over and doing a lot of praying and consulting with our nearest and dearest on our next course of action.

Whatever we decide we may keep it a private decision for a while. This whole thing has been emotionally draining. I’ve been very blue over the last few weeks because of it. The idea of abandoning China breaks my heart. We’ve been in love with China and Ling Ling for 2 years now. We’ve worked so hard to prepare for her. Leaving China feels like leaving Ling Ling and that hurts. But when we discussed adoption at the start we knew we didn’t care where our children came from, we just wanted them to come home.

Ike

Some of you eagle eyed readers noticed the absence of Ike from the Christmas picture. Ike has found a new home. Well, we found one for him. You see, Ike was a barker and a marker. He peed on everything. You literally could not put a thing down on the floor without him peeing on it. He peed on every piece of furniture over and over- ruining furniture and carpet alike. We tried everything and worked with our vet to overcome these problems for the 3 years he lived with us. Finally we figured it out- he wanted to be an only pug. Our house was going on the market and I knew we could never sell it with him living there (it got really old having to constantly take down the drapes to wash and press them to get rid of the pee stains). But we loved him and didn’t want him to go to just any home. He needed to live with someone who understood how to be a good pug owner. So I contacted Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue and turned him over to them knowing they would find a good home through their thorough screening process. And they did. He lives with a middle aged gentleman who used to show pugs. He’s the only dog in the home and he’s thriving. You can click here and see how he’s listed as a success story. I didn’t blog about it when it happened (in June) because with my ablation surgery and putting the house on the market it was just too much stress and I just couldn’t handle it if someone blasted me for being a bad pug mom. We’ve received updates through MAPR that he’s very happy and that’s all I ever wanted for him. And you know what? Kea is happier too. She now goes outside to potty without a fight. We knew Ike bugged her but didn’t realize to what extent. We ended up having to pay $3000 for a carpet allowance when selling our house because of the damage he did, not to mention all the furniture he ruined. He was a lot of fun and had he come with a manual at birth that said “hey, I gotta be the only dog, yo.” then things would have been different. We just had no way of knowing when we added to our puggy brood. It was a really tough decision and I cried that whole day, but we had to do what was best for the family. And now he’s made someone else very happy so that’s a great bonus too.
So, that’s what happened to Ike. No, you didn’t miss anything. I was just hesitant to talk about it cause it made me sad. But it was for the best. And hey, we’ve still got 2 sweet little puggy girls over here who never tire of attention and internet lovin!

And you, you light up my life

CSP and I haven’t exchanged Christmas presents the last couple of years since we’ve been doing things like buying houses and trying to adopt children. But he did let me pick up a pair of these cool light up knitting needles that we saw at Michaels. We had to run in to pick up a yarn needle (mine’s still boxed up somewhere and I needed one to finish a scarf for Olivia). Yes, I decided to knit a scarf a week before losing right arm function. But I figured out how to wedge a needle into my bandage and knit using mainly my left hand. I’m crafty that way. And I actually finished the scarf in time! (must remember to photograph scarf) Anyway, how cool are those needles?? Great for knitting in the car during long drives at night or while we’re watching movies. And my nephews think I have 2 magic wands.

Christmas Re-cap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was busy and good. Christmas Eve Eve I baked like a wild woman and made 3 mini loaves of beer bread:, about 723 pumpkin muffins (some mini, some regular, some with chocolate chips, some with peanut butter chips):, and a batch of almond cookies (some with chocolate chips):. All of the above were made with mixes from Tastefully Simple What? you thought I was a scratch baker? I’ve got one arm!
Christmas Eve I finished gift bagging some gifts (again with the one arm- no wrapping of presents) then I went to my sister’s for a little while. My Dad and stepmom came into town to stay with them. I visited for a little while then went home to meet up with CSP to head to his parents’ house. We stopped at Jack in the Box on the way since every Christmas Eve his mom serves oyster stew and I hate oysters, plus eating soup with my left hand before a photo op was a dicey proposition. M&L were there (fabulous couple who are basically the cool aunt and uncle the universe forgot to give us). We had a big time and stayed way too late.
Christmas morning we went to my sister’s to see what Santa brought my nephews. Man are they so cute and they were so, so excited about everything. After a couple of hours we went home and I finished up cooking green bean casserole, crock pot mac & cheese, and corn casserole. Then we piled all the food up in the car and headed to my mom’s. There was way too much food at her house.We ate then settled in to watch a couple of movies. We got home late again then made sure to sleep in nice and late the next morning!

Christmas Bloggy Parade of Homes!

If you’d like to participate in today’s Christmas edition of Bloggy Parade of Homes please go take pics of your house then post in my comments that your pics are up. Now, on to my house. Click photos to enlarge.
No tree this year since we just moved in, but I did manage to put up a few decorations.

Not bad for a one handed lefty girl huh? Ooh and I found these clip tacks that made hanging lights so easy!
Merry Christmas!!!