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13 posts from April 2006

April 15, 2006

Fingerprinted today!

We mailed our I600 to BCIS on April 4, 2006 and, at the suggestion of our friends Tina and Scott (Hui Hui's Mom and Dad), we sent along a photo of Madeline and a special request that our I171 be expedited. I felt a little bit uncomfortable doing this since our child isn't more important than anyone else's but figured that it sure couldn't hurt.

The result? It HELPED........ tremendously!

We got our fingerprint appointment just five days after they received our request! Even before the home study was received! Now, if only the 171 can come in such good time too!

We were fingerprinted today. It's such a clean and happy process at our local Service Support Center. It's much different than most of my experiences with fingerprinting since I used to be a Deputy Sheriff in a large Southern California County.

First of all, back when I was getting my hands dirty, we didn't have the fancy LiveScan machines. We had the antique method of print cards and black ink. Trust me, the people I printed were not the sort of people you'd want to hold hands with -- but that's just what I had to do. It was pretty darn grim! I'm sure my fellow adoptive mom, Kat, would agree!

Our agency has a deadline of the 5th of the month if our dossier is to be sent to China the following month. Dossiers are only sent ONCE per month so making the deadline is pretty important! Cross your fingers that we get our 171 in the next two weeks. It can happen since some of our local friends (like Kristin and Frederick) managed to do it in less time than that!

If our dossier goes to China in June, we can expect TA about two months later. That puts us in a really good position to travel in September if our agency has a group traveling then. Otherwise, we're looking at travel after the October Guangzhou Trade Fair.

We're optimistic that we'll have Maddy home by Christmas though! Fun times ahead for our family! Stay tuned!! :)

April 14, 2006

Kids who look like Gwen and Maddy

We've been looking for a new house for nearly a year. It's been hard for several reasons. First of all, we're picky because we already live in a nice house in a great school district. But a two hour daily commute was starting to make my husband grumpy so we decided to branch out and find something new.

In addition to easing the commute, the new house needed to be in a school district where our kids would see faces like theirs.

We found our house <here> and we're happy to report that Gwendolyn and Madeline's new school has a demographic that we're comfortable with. The chart, above, shows the breakout of the various ethnicities (Private school is also an option if these statistics change).

When we first decided to adopt from China, part of our decision was based on the fact that we live in a very ethnically diverse area. In other words, our girls would never be the "only" Asian kid in their 2nd grade class. If that would have been the case, I'm pretty sure we would have picked another country to adopt from and I'm very sure we would have been happy with that choice.

I've been the "odd kid out" in a public school where there were almost no other kids who looked like me (very white, tall, skinny, flat chested). It was not fun. Really, I'm not exaggerating when I say it was Hell. I'd never do that to my child. So Gwen and Maddy will have to deal with lots of things growing up and they'll encounter lots of ignorance and bias and prejudice but they'll never have to be the only Asian kids at their school. We'll actually pack up and move to China before we let that happen!

I respect your right to disagree. This is one of those cases where the parents get to decide. We've decided this is important and we appreciate that some other parents might think it's less important.

April 11, 2006

21st century baby surveillance

Before we traveled to China and brought Gwen home, we spent a great deal of time baby-proofing our home. We attached the floor lamps to the wall. We tied the doors to the fireplace closed. We moved all of our stereo equipment up out of her reach. And we put soft foam bumpers around everything else in the room!

Then we stood back and watched her defeat every bit of it! She carries toys in from another room and uses them to stand on so she can reach forbidden DVD player buttons. She climbs from the recliner to the piano! She assaults the plants (even the fake ones) and climbs the cat tree. She removes the register from the floor vent and tries to encourage the cat to crawl into the exposed black hole by throwing snacks into it. She's nearly climbed over the kitchen gate! It's just a matter of days before she finally manages that and then we'll have to put those horrible latches on the kitchen drawers and cupboards. I'm really dreading that!

So, we've purchased some high tech surveillance assistance. This gadget is so cool! I can see everything she's doing from any room in the house. I no longer have to wonder if she's using my 2 minute potty break to plan her next great escape. I can actually watch her do it and holler in vain as she ignores the frantic admonition from behind the closed bathroom door. Of course, when I actually confront her, she looks all innocent like she wasn't doing anything wrong. She probably wonders how I knew.

I used to think my mom had eyes in the back of her head. I've got something much better though!

Just think.... our parents didn't even have remote controls for the TV and we have this cool stuff!

April 09, 2006

My first house

Because of Madeline's adoption, I recently visited the County Recorder's Office of Santa Clara county to get another certified copy of my birth certificate. My only other copy went to China last year (with my dossier) for Gwendolyn's adoption.

Unlike my last certified copy, this one was an actual photocopy of my original birth certificate -- including my parents signatures and our home address in 1961!

I immediately emailed my dad and told him that I'd located the house we lived in when I was born. Here's what he said:

Mom and David

Me and David

"The house belonged to a Manager at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company that I worked for in Sunnyvale. Can't recall his name. I think the place would probably sell for under $20K at that time. As I recall, there was a Fertilizer Plant around Alviso. When the wind was just right, the aroma was not pleasant!! haaha Don't really remember how long we stayed there before moving to an apartment in Santa Clara. We had just arrived in town, and were unpacking when your Mother got a paper cut on her eye. We went to the Emergency Room at O'Conner Hospital to have it looked at. Anyway, we figured as long as we were there, be would make an appointment to meet with an OBGYN because of her pregnancy. He was at the Hospital on that weekend and we spoke briefly with him. Determined that she was in the area of 7 months. You arrived before we could keep the appointment that was set up! Our landlord lived next door and they took care of David while you were being born! You remained in the Hospital over a month. The lung situation, not withstanding, They wanted you to be a full 5 pounds before you left! You know the rest of the story!"

You can see that the house has been renovated. The roof and windows are new but little much has changed.

Above, there's my mom and brother in 1961 and (to the left) me and Gwenny today.

Would you be surprised to know that this 1116 square foot house is now worth over $600,000 dollars?

Ahhhh! Walking down memory lane is so much fun! Especially when you have a camera!

Pink bows

She only left her first bows in for a few minutes but they sure were cute while they lasted!
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