Saturday, January 31, 2004

The first of the homestudies.

On February the 13th we are going to have the first of many homestudies. To explain to those who don't know the adoption process well I will explain.
When you adopt from China you are required to have a series of a homestudies. A home study is not just an examination of the home but more importantly it is an examination of the family. Questions are asked of those living in the home and sometimes of people for whom the prospective child will be in contact with. To see if the family is stable in every which way. To see if these perspective parents would be "good" parents. The first of the homestudies is for the state to say, yes I believe these persons mentioned are approved to be parents. The next are at the end these are called homestudy follow up. The part of the homestudy is required by the CCAA not to be confused with the CCAI (our agency). The CCAA is the adoption organization of Chinese government. This is to make sure that the child is settling in. What one needs to keep in mind as you continue to read The Red Thread is that we are dealing with 5 different departments continually to make this adoption happen.
1: Adoption Agency (CCAI)
2: Homestudy agency (Adoption Associates)
3: The State of Pennsylvania (
4: The US Government (BCIS)"Which is constantly changing its name it was the INS."
5: China (CCAA)
Okay today's lesson is over.
Getting back to our news. Like I said on February 13, which is a Friday is our first homestudy. I don't know if we should be worried about the visit because everyone even the most perfect individual is a little worried when it comes to the homestudy. I am not too worried and I know Malcolm isn't but it will be Friday the 13th. I will let you know how it goes...

Written by Taney.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Chinese New Year - and the arrival of a package on the 22nd.

Happy new year to you all as we enter and celebrate the year of the monkey.

We hope that it is a sign of good fortune that on the 22nd, we received written confirmation of our acceptance by our agency CCAI and the next pack of papers that Taney & I are itching to start to work through tomorrow.

Returning to the subject of Chinese new year, we were sent the following information that is of great interest to us:
Things to DO:
Greet others with "Kung Hei Fat Choi" which means "Wishing You
Prosperity and Wealth".
Give two Lai Sees to each child as happiness comes in twos. This is
your way of passing good luck to the next generation.
Business owners also give Lai See to employees and associates.
Wear new clothes - preferably in red for luck.

Things to AVOID
No housework or cooking is allowed for the first two days of the
New Year. Sweeping and cutting are especially taboo, because they
represent the sweeping away or severing of good luck.
Don't wash your hair on the first and last day of the New Year.
Don't greet people who are in mourning.
Don't drop your chopsticks.
Don't say words related to sickness and death.
Don't borrow or lend money.
Avoid arguing and using negative language.
Don't slaughter poultry or livestock to avoid any association with
Avoid breaking anything as it is indicative of bad luck ahead - if
you do, you'll have to say "lok day hoi fa, fu gwei wing wah" which
means when you drop something it breaks into pieces like a flower
blossoming bringing wealth and prosperity or "peace for all time" to
make sure the year is a lucky one.

Coincidently, a new colleague working with me, presented each member of our team with a small brown envelope containing something that could be better than a small amount of money, a new jersey lottery ticket that could yield millions. Well I can wish.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Chinese New Year - Year of the Monkey.

One thing that has crossed our minds recently is that given we anticipate our adoption to complete December 2004 or January or February 2005, this means that our daughter is most likely to be born during the year of the Monkey.

We will mark the occassion as this is one of great significance to us.

January 22,2004. This is the first day in the Year of the Monkey. Interesting cultural link here.

The twelve zodiac signs
These are the result of zoning time and direction into twelve blocks, each block being given a name of an animal based on the ancient Chinese concept that all time shifts based on these twelve units. Those individuals born during a particular year were said to inherit some of the personalities of that year's animal.

Monkey (saru) --- People born in the year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the Zodiac cycle. They are clever and skilful in grand-scale operations and are smart when making financial deals. They are inventive, original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with ease.

Tiger (tora) --- Born 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914
People born in the year of the Tiger are sensitive, stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, selfish and slightly mean ... yet they are deep thinkers and are capable of great sympathy for those they are close to and love.

Rabbit (usagi) --- Born 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915
People born in the year of the Rabbit are the most fortunate. They are smooth talkers, talented, ambitious, virtuous and reserved. They have exceedingly fine taste and regarded with admiration and trust.

That all given, a very intereting thing happened at the Chinese Buffet restaurant Taney & I visited last night. As we were about to leave, a family at a nearby table left first and their daughter, a beautiful little american-asian girl not more than three years old, bent down and picked up a penny, a one cent coin and gave it to us.

In England, there is a saying, see a penny, pick it up and all day long you will have good-luck.

We are keeping the penny to bring us good luck.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Application to CCAI in the mail.

It was with tremendous excitement that our application form was mailed off today to CCAI.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Application to CCAI

The i's are dotted and the t's crossed on the application form to CCAI that Taney & I signed on Christmas Day.

The application form was sitting under our tree on Christmas morning and was our gift to each other on Christmas Day. The second gift to be opened on Christmas Day was a Panda for Taney with a special message attached to his arm. We say he as the Panda has been named "G.W."

Today our mail included a letter from our Doctor that is required to complete the additional papers to CCAI. Monday morning the application pack will be copied and mailed off.