Archive for May, 2007

Maybe Baby

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Looks like my sis Tina is in labor. So I may be spending the evening in a hospital room.

Will keep you posted.

Please send good mojo for Mom Tina, Dad Brian and Baby Bran (yes, you read that right – he’s a Celtic warrior, not a cereal. Will post a link later.)



UPDATE: She’s definitely in labor but it’s very early. She’s effaced but not dilating yet. So… going to rest up and see what happens.

Could be a long haul here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: false alarm I guess. Labor stopped sometime last night. Bummer. Will keep you posted on Baby Progress. 😉


My Next Breakdown

Friday, May 18th, 2007

So, now that my momentary positive outlook has passed, back to reality once again. Our I171H approval will expire in September so we have to start the process of renewing it. Which means we need to do a homestudy update. Which means we need to redo most of the paperwork we did for the original homestudy. Yes, you read that right. We get to do this ALL OVER AGAIN!

Hence, the title of this entry. I soooo don’t want to do this all again. At least, if we had to be re-doing paperwork I would have preferred it be for a second child rather than for the same freakin’ adoption.

But on that note comes the question of what we are going to do next. We are currently weighing some options. We’re not planning on leaving China but we are considering at least the possibility of a concurrent adoption from Vietnam.

Vietnam is a VERY different program. Or maybe I should say Vietnam is closer to the norm for International programs than China. China is a very centralized program with the CCAA in charge of approving prospective adoptive parents and making the referrals. One of the reasons it has been considered so predictable is that the rules were known as they are set by Chinese law and the CCAA and that there is no province to province or agency to agency variation in the process for the most part. And although this wait time has thrown things into considerable disarray, the arguments still holds that it is one of the most predictable programs out there in terms of money and process.

Although the government of Vietnam is trying to make changes to add more centralized control to the process, the IA program is much more variable. There are laws governing international adoption that all provinces must follow. However, individual agencies make agreements of support with specific provinces and the orphanages there-in rather than with the central government. So the length of time the process take from sending your dossier to Vietnam to referral can vary a lot depending on your agency. It simply depends on how many children are in care, how many agencies a province works with and how many waiting parents those agencies have in process. The agencies that have been in country the longest thend to have long wait times because they are working in the larger provinces which have long established IA programs. Agencies with shorter wait times tend to work with more rural provinces with a shorter history (or none at all) or IA. It is, in the words of one agency director, a lot more “wild and woolly” than China IA. Could be more of a roller coaster. And your agency’s experience, ethics and organization are very important. So one has to have a care when going there.

We’ve been doing research and have an agency in mind. But we have to make a decision pretty soon as we should be doing the VN paperchase at the same time we redo our homestudy. And in case you are wondering, yes, if we complete in VN we will have to do all this once more before we can complete in China. Whew! A little more than we had bargained for.

Oh, but so worth it when we get there.

Are we there yet?

Blessings all,



My Husband Fixed my Wireless Issues

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

So I thought I’d share some random pics.

Maastricht 052.jpg Oma and me at my Uncle Jim’s in Eindhoven

oosterhout 032.jpg Top row Aunt Ingrid, cousin Ezra, his wife Marijka, Sharon, her beau Patrick, middle row Uncle Arij, me, Oma, Uncle Jim, Aunt Joyce cousin Benjamin, front row cousin Maartin and Thomas – in Oma’s back garden in Oosterhout

J and D in Amsterdam.jpg Darren and me after a fabulous Indonesian meal in Amsterdam

Cross 048.jpg Me and my brother Paul


“Where’s my Cee-cee?”

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

I just ran across the blog of an adult Indonesian adoptee! I’ve added the URL to the Adoption Related links on the sidebar. She was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and raised in a small town in the Netherlands by white Dutch parents. It’s a very recently started blog and I am way looking forward to reading it.

She hasn’t written much but her entries got me to thinking about my father’s family, especially my grandmother and grandfather.

Specifically my Oma and Opa Ostveen, my father’s mother and step-father. (There’s a whole story there but I won’t go into it today.) As many of you know Darren and I were in Europe not too long ago and we spent a week with the family in Holland. I got to spend a lot of time with O’ma who is in her 80s now. It was wonderful.

Oma’s English is only so-so these days – she used to be more comfortable in the language but as she’s gotten older it’s gotten harder. But she worked very hard to tell me some family stories and some of her personal history, which I treasure in my heart.

One jewel has to do with my brother’s nickname for me for many years when I was a little girl: “Cee-cee.” What I didn’t know until Oma told me is that Opa Tom is responsible for the nickname. We moved from California where I was born to Ohio when I was less than a year old and Opa Tom came to visit not long after we got settled. Mind you they were living in Holland and this was in the days before international travel was cheap and simple. So it was a pretty big event. Oma says that Opa thought the world of his grandkids. He spent a lot of time with us and would say to Paul “Where’s your sissy?” whenever I was out of the room. Paul would then swing around to whichever parent was in the room and demand in his 4-year-old imperiousness: “where my cee-cee?”

I can remember Paul teasing me with this phrase as a kid but not in the taunting way most older brothers might but more of a loving thing. At least as much as the big brother is allowed to express love for his younger sister. But even though it embarrassed me (and Mom liked to bring it up at the drop of a hat ) I was always rather fond of the nickname.

Having this story from Oma makes it even more special.

Opa Tom crossed over many years ago and I am more sorry than I can say that I did not know him better. But this, this I will always have from him.