Saturday, January 06, 2007

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change

This is my focus for the month: achieving change through a change in perspective.

My life is very fulfilling -- I'm a full-time nonprofit exec, a full-time mom (what mom isn't!?) and community volunteer and activist. My time is filled with everything... except proper self-care. So this year, as we wait for our referral for our children from China, I'm going to focus on re-framing my time and how I use it.

I remember my Latin teacher saying, "Mens sana in corpore sano"
2 points if you know what that means!
Okay, "A sound mind in a sound body."

I'm committed to getting into shape (and the "round is a shape" quip gets old fast).
The commitment to fitness conjures up the favorite "E" word: exercise.

Exercise in patience...

Exercise in futility...

I'm one of those people who runs around cleaning up the house before the cleaning lady arrives!

So it stands to reason that I tell myself that I must lose 10 pounds BEFORE I go to the gym and work out with a personal trainer.

I tried watching those exercise DVDs at home so I don't have to embarrass myself in public. I can work up my bloodpressure heckling these ultra-fit, serenely happy aerobic/weights/yoga gurus who talk and smile without panting while gracefully gliding across the screen.

They glisten, I sweat. They smile and talk, I grimace and pant. If the guy is too cut and hunky, I just admire his physique and am perfectly content to let him do the work. Where are they when I need help to hold the green bouncy ball and keep it from squirting out from under me, causing me to land on flat on the floor?

Then I go to a local workout area to work on what they call an Elliptical machine -- boy that can help you feel muscles you didn't know you had between your fannie and your knees! Of course the kids keep calling my cell phone wondering where their favorite socks are, if they can play at so-and-so's, etc. The fact that there is another parent at the house is immaterial. They want MOM!

I tell my kids that I went back to work so I could go potty by myself! I'm only half joking! The one time the receptionist came looking for me in the bathroom to announce a caller, I had to swallow a very visceral response. I asked her instead if anyone died, if there was a fire or other dramatic emergency. She seemed startled by my question and said meekly, "no"

I told her that I don't like to talk when I'm on the toilet (okay, when talking with sisters, it's okay -- but you must flush and run out of the room quickly) and please take a message.

Oh, oh... it's 10 p.m. and the kids are not asleep yet -- gotta run!



Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We're Making Progress in the Adoption Journey

We are absolutely THRILLED to report that our dossier was delivered to the China Center of Adoption Affairs yesterday (January 2, 2007)!

This adoption from China feels like a never-ending gestation. In March, 2006 we filled our our first application documents to build our family through adoption from China. This was followed by several months of paperchasing -- collecting and completing lots of documents to have them notarized, get the notarizations certified by the County, and the County certified by the State, then off to the Chinese Consulate for final authentication. With the homestudy complete, the second part of our request to the USCIS (formerly known as the INS) sat on someone's desk for an agonizing 4 months. We finally got our form from the federal government and our wonderful adoption agency, CCAI, completed their critical review and translated our dossier and delivered it to China in record time.

What's next? We hope to learn that the dossier is officially "logged in" later this month, which is when their countdown begins. The rumors are flying about the length of time for matches. China has far more dossiers of waiting families than they have dossiers of orphans for adoption.

We don't know for certain, but we are anticipating a match in 18 months or so (leading us to being united with our child in July or August, 2008).

Here's the crazy part -- we've petitioned for twins up to two years of age. While that is extremely unlikely, given that we already have children, you don't get if you don't ask. We also haven't specified our child/ren's gender, so there is a chance we will be matched with a son.

Katrina and Alexander are 15 months apart in age and they are such good friends; we want the same special bond for the next two siblings in our family.

China recently announced some major changes in the eligibility requirements for people seeking to adopt, effective May 1, 2007. Among the changes, only married couples can adopt (presently 8% of adoptive parents are single) and neither partner can be 50 years of age or older. That will pretty much rule us out for a second child from China if this process takes as long as expected.

The ups and downs of the "paper pregnancy" as the adoption process is often called has been more intense than I anticipated. More on that later.

Right now, we're going to celebrate the small victories!