Saturday, November 05, 2005

18 months old tomorrow!


Returning to America may have been the end of our adoption journey but the start of our life together as family. Last weekend I sat and watched the video footage of gotcha day for the first time, reliving the moments of that special day half-way across the world.
How things have changed in such a short space of time:

You could barely sit up without support then, now you are running around the house.

We fed you baby formula and introduced you to Banana-Goop, now you feed your self (more-often-than-not) and enjoy a whole range of foods. You even help feed the cats.

You cried, now you are starting not only to mimic word but think and use the words you want, like cookie, mamma, dada, "kitty-kitty-kitties" airplane, elephant, baa, noo-noo (your favorite blanket) Ace (the dog) no (more often that I would like to hear), ni-ni (to go to bed) re-re (when you want to read a book) poo-poo (for I have a dirty diaper) and chinese shen-shen for thank you.

You cried then, your laughter and smile melts hearts and tells us that you are happy.

The best things for me are

Coming home from work and seeing you at the from door every day.
The way you blow a kiss from the crib each night I put you to bed.
The hugs you give my knees!
Snuggling up and watching your favorite TV programs, Teletubbies, Zaboomafoo,
Angelina Ballerina, Thomas the Thank Engine.
Chatting with you in the evenings with this quite whisperering thing you do with me that makes no sence to me but speaks volumes with you.
Having quick telephone calls that end in bye-bye.

Celeste you have grown from our little baby into a toddler so quickly, in some ways oh-to-fast. Your personality is so very precious to me and every day you surprise me is some small way.

The very best thing is your laugh. Our home is always filled with laughter and giggles. It is and always will be a happy home and place of safety for you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


This is the final posting of this blog.

After over twenty four hours of travel from Hong Kong entering into JFK where you were made an American Citizen and a short shuttle flight to Philadelphia, in the evening. You were met by your Gran, Aunt Tabitha, Uncle Scott and Uncle Pearse at the airport.

We have all travelled far. The Red Thread has proven to be very long but not tangled and now with the three of us together forms a stronger bond than one thread that stretches half-way across the world.

From this day onward, you have the rest of your life to look forward to, celebrate and cherish.

Consulate Day

This morning the sun shone brightly over Guangzou, home to the adoption section of the US Consulate and Department of Homeland Security. You were carried from the White Swan to the Consulate where our identities were checked and we made a solem oath that all of the papers we had signed were truthful and honest. A visa for your entry to America was given and as soon as your feet touched American soil you are to be made an American citizen.

The same afternoon we headed back to the airport to fly to Hong Kong, the second of four flights home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May 11 - Into our arms forever.


We will relive this day many times over for years to come as this is the day you were placed in our arms for us to be a forever family. This special day has been written into a journal that we are keeping during the journey in China and is our special story.

There have been plenty of happy tears shed to this point, and many more on this day not only by your Mom and Dad but by all of those who you have yet to meet that will mean so very much to you. Not least your extended family, your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in America Britain and Canada.

Today all of our lives change and my heart grows ever bigger to hold onto the love I have for my Celeste.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Celeste's Birthday - May 6.


You probably will not know this, but today is your first birthday. Of all the gifts your Mom & I could give you on this special first birthday. We boarded the plane in New York to fly to Hong Kong and are a half-way around the world closer to you.

Friday, April 01, 2005

April 1 a flurry of papers and reservations

The lack of posting in the week plus has been a result of a significant amount of activity at this end of the red thread.

Earlier this week we received our second but not final travel packet that included papers needing signatures and notary action. This was all resolved by today, most completed and returned to Colorado by Wednesday. Visa applications were submitted to JC Travel in San Francisco as we await their return which will take a little time.

Meanwhile, our agency gave a very clear signal that we will not be travelling in the first groups, but head up the second groups to Hong Kong and onward to our final destination in China to meet Celeste and start her journey to bring her home. Most importantly we were given an indication of dates of travel while not confirmed were close enough to go ahead to book airline tickets for two out and three back.

Speaking with a number of airlines including the conciege service at Amex clearly identified no business class seating available through to the end of May and clearly no opportunity to upgrade. The solution was for three seats on the return journey that will be non-stop from Hong Kong to JFK in New York.

Celeste's entry point into America will be within the metophoric shadow of the Statue of Liberty, as was my entry into Newark almost five years earlier.

The airline tickets have the flexibility built in to change dates outbound or return if needs be, subject to a small penalty, nevertheless we have flights and have taken a major step forward in realizing the nearer conclusion of our adoption journey for all three of us.

This week Celeste, your Mommy sent you a package that contained a soft photo album, a blanket and a toy stuff chickadee to play with as an advanced birthday gift. We were only allowed to send a small box not bigger than a shoebox and this was carefully packed and sent with love.

Much has been achieved in a flurry of paperwork and reservations and as the calendar switched from March to April, the crocuses bloomed in the garden the birds returned to the trees and we are two weeks closer to being together than we were two weeks ago.

Celeste Mommy and Daddy are coming to get you, not simply words but we have tickets and a special ticket for you too.

Two notable other events happened in our family you have two new cousins, Brian and
James born on March 20 and March 29 respectively.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A Fantastic Weekend

I write this posting only to record the happenings and events that unfolded this first weekend because they are very important and never to be forgotten.

Celeste we are sending you an early Birthday present, we are putting together a little box that contains a blankie and a chick-a-dee bird that sounds like those that sit and chirp outside your nursery window. In the box will also be a button up jumper that Nanny knitted for you, a little outfit sent to us from Auntie Lou and Cousin Hannah, and a little outfit from Auntie Jill and Cousin Siobhan with booties and a hat.

Saturday afternoon we sent a piece of paper to China that will mean that our red thread meets sooner than later and that we will be a forever family.

On Sunday your new cousin Brian was born, just as Gran, Uncle Pearse, Uncle Mac, Auntie Jill, Aunt Brittany drank a champagne toast to you and to coming home soon.
Later the same afternoon Mommy was surprised with a shower and you have lots of wonderful new clothes, books, toys and your very own bath. All the ladies prepared all of your Mommys favorite foods and drink and over 30 ladies showered your Mommy and really surprised her.

It has been a fantastic weekend, but most important of all we are two days closer to all being together.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Celeste is beautiful.

4:30 this afternoon our friend Hillary at CCAI who has worked with us through the compilation of our paperwork called Taney to announce that we have a daughter.

In the following moments, the call explained that she is in a town called Chongqing a few hundred miles west of Shanghai.

In an instant our family grew by one adorable little girl who has pulled at our heartstrings for many months.

A single color photograph from China was scanned in Coloardo, emailed to Pennsylvania, forwarded to me in my office by 4:50pm, forwarded again to England and Wales to "Nanny & Grandad" and Uncle Kevin after I had an opportunity to take a breath from this great news.

Taney & I had an idea we might hear today, St. Patricks Day, but dare not to hope for the number of times the delays accrued for no apparant reason.

Yesterday we check with CCAI to discover that we had a travel group number assigned, this could only mean that our refferal had arrived and was being translated. Then we heard that there were 125 similar referrals at CCAI, we could only hope for a call.

Thursday, I headed off to work and Taney was up waiting for the phone to ring. With one phone line Taney could not be on-line checking the progress of referral announcements from the adoption groups that we belong to who have helped and supported each other during this long delay since January.

Periodically I monitored the Weararenext group on yahoo for news, then around 2pm referrals slowly started to be announced. I would call Taney on the cell phone to give updates, although information was scarce and the home phone refused to ring, and when it did it was Taney's sister Tabitha.

On one occassion I called Taney's cell only to hear the home phone line ring, my heart leaped three feet, but again it was Tabitha. Other referrals posted, many with our agency, sharing our DTC and LID dates. Why did we not have a call?

Then 4:30, Hillary called, Taney was in the midst of mopping the kitchen floor. The exchange of information followed and a photo was emailed of Celeste, a beautiful baby with soul searching eyes, that melt your heart on contact. She was wearing a white and blue jumper.

4:50, I got a call on my cell that I was carrying with me all day long, it was Taney "I have just sent you an emailed Daddy" she said. Technology could not work fast enough, in a blurr I opened the email and silently read the contents from CCAI. Not realizing that there was a photo attached. I could not open file, all fingers and thumbs. Then Celeste was on my computer screen looking back at me with those deep brown eyes that spoke "come and get me".

Taney relayed across all the info given to her by Hillary. I printed off as many of thi the little photos I could on the color printer and handed them out to the few co-workers left in the building. pleased as punch as I had just found out I was a new Dad.

Taney drove to Grans to inform her family, I recieved a call from Uncle Chris driving home and Taney, Gran and I headed to see Grandmere together.

The roller coaster had stopped, time to get off.

To celebrate Taney & I headed out to LaFontana the best Italian Restaurant in town, to toast Celeste with wine and good food.

So now at the end of the day we both are exhausted, we have updated Celeste's Story of me book from the goings on of today. Tomorrow and the next few days we start the important part of the journey getting things in order to travel to China.

Celeste, Mommy and Daddy are coming just as fast as we can. We will all be together very soon and we love you so very, very, much.

Friday, March 11, 2005

March 11, more hurry up and wait...

The end of another week and the news from CCAA suggests that after the general slowdown for Chinese New Year holidays, much like December here, followed with training for CCAA staff, this has compounded the delays in matching and sending on referrals.

Wishing and praying this last week did not measure on this occassion as nothing has been mailed to America for us this week. It is possible that referrals may be mailed next week, although they take 3 days in transit and then the agencies sift through before reporting to the waiting parents.

So, it is possible that our referral will have left China by St. Patricks Day next week. It is possible but not probable that we have any quality information before the start of the following week!

This is a rollercoaster of wait and testing of patience and emotions. After the disapointment of last week, this week somehow does not feel as difficult with the wait. Nvertheless we continue to wait and now understand that the group we were split from are heading out to China to bring their daughters home. We are next, we are and we keep reminding ourselves. Yet as I know first hand when dealing with government it is a case of hurry u and wait.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

March 6, Referral due within days.

It is a little over six months and a couple of days since our dossier was logged in with CCAA in China.

Taney & I have patiently waited, worked on the nursery and since the end of January been caught up in a split of referrals that now places us very close to the end of a six week wait for news of referral.

We cannot wait, we are simply set to burst as we are instructed that referrals should be in our hands by mid-march.

The wait is hard for all three of us, it seems as if our lives are on pause waiting for news to progress further with the next stage of the process and making plans to travel and bring our daughter home.

I have made many predictions in previous months, yet the closer we get the less certain things seem to be, nevertheless, my latest predicition is a call from CCAI before Friday to tell us that referrals have been mailed from China. With the time difference if this does not happen by Thursday then we have another weekend wait and this has been a very long weekend, following February that seems the longest month of the year. With the trade show in China in April, and the Mayday holidays in early May, I predict travel within a couple of days either way of May 7th.

Check back soon for the next posting later this week.

Monday, January 31, 2005

August referrals up to mid-August

Some weeks ago I wrote the closer we seem get, the less certain everything seems to become.

Today and yesterday, I have been watching the news from other families those who had dossiers in China in late July and up to around the 23rd August last year receive news of their referrals.

I am thrilled for them all, however this means a wait of a month for us. Our predicted timeline is for the call about a month from now in early March and travel to China around the end of the first week in May.

For those couples in the same position as us last month and this, my heart aches for you. The rollercoaster of the last couple of weeks, the waiting and agony of not really knowing has been truly gut-wrenching.

Yet each day is a day closer. We are both pleased to have the wonderful support of families that care and support us - and we know that there are other great Mom's and Dad's in anticipation of joining us on our flight to China with a common goal in May. We all feel the same way and cannot wait.

With the snow on the ground, May seems a lifetime away, but tomorrow is the First of February and one month closer with sad depressing January behind us.

Friday, January 14, 2005

January 14

This has been a roller coaaster of a week as with DTC of late August and the split of the July referrals we sit on the cusp of good news in February or later. If later we are aware of the trade show in China that effectively halts the adoption program for about a month as the hotels are booked by businessmen for the annual trade fair.

Nobody in America really knows the timelines and sometimes not knowing is really hard. Starting our adoption journey, other parents had told us that the hardest was the waiting after the paperchasing. This wait tests you and even my sunny optimistic disposition has seen more than a couple of black clouds this week in the wait.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The waiting...

It would seem that not everyone who had their dossiers logged in with the CCAA in July received a referral this week. The latest is around the 25th, leaving a number of frustrated parents waiting another month. Our concern is that as our dossier was logged in on August 30th, will we be included in the next group of referrals due around this time next month (possibly) or will their be a break as has happened with July.

It seems that the closer we get to the refferal date the longer and harder the wait seems to become. My patience is starting to unravel as I yearn for news that will start our journey to China.

It is a heartwarming thought that our dossier has found its way to the matching room. Perhaps the match was made last week, or perhaps we are one of the matches to be made next week. Knowing that we have reached the matching room is not enough now and we both have a desire to know what is going on over 6,500 miles away.

January is a sad time of the year, it is cold, the color of Christmas has been packed away and the house while warm and cosy lacks the magic of Christmas over the fireplace, dangling from a tree, hung over doorways and windows. Since October the house has prepared for Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, now in the darkest days of the year with no celebrations to deck the halls with, we wait and wonder and pray.

February brings more than a possible referral, it also brings Chinese New Year, as the Year of the Monkey, a wonderful year moves into the Year of the Rooster.

But this is still over a month away and it seems like a very long wait indeed.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4

Today we have discovered that there is a strong supposition that those adopting with their dossiers log into the CCAA system last July have been matched and that referrals are being sent to respective agencies over the next couple of days. All things being equal February 10 many of the parents DTC July will be holding referral photos and on the brink of the next steps of their journey.

There are rumours that the August group is large and may be split, although previous similar rumours have never been substantiatated. So again all things being equal, it is fair to assume that the dossier for Taney & I is sitting in the matching room as I submit this entry. It has possibly been sitting their for a month or two slowly rotating toward the top of the pile to be matched. This could be any day and the prospect of this alone is very exciting.

Again, all things being equal CCAA if CCAA do not split August there is a possibility that referrals are sent from China to the agencies this time next month. Allowing a few days for the couriers to arrive in the US and for the papers to be translated and the families like us to be contacted initally by phone, on or around February 10 I hope to have some great news to share.

Again, all things being equal travel to China will be 6 to 8 weeks later. The end of March is a huge trade conference in the country that effectively suspends the travel plans for adopting parents as their is no room at the hotels. So let us guess-timate that travel to China could well be just after Easter in early April. Spring will have arived, the clocks will be changing to summer time and the worst of a Pennsylvanian winter will be coughing perhaps a final snowfall.

The actual dates of travel will not be confirmed until approx 7-14 days before the date of travel so for those of you offering questions, anticipate vauge answers as it is possible the closer we get the less certain the final details will be until just before we leave.

As we have always expected we anticipate our port of entry being Hong Kong with travel in and around China as needed returning 10 to 14 days after with little blossom.

I honestly cannot express just how excited I am, standing on the threshold of inclusion in the next group of referrals is incredibly awesome and yet humbling.