Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Consulate Date? Check. Plane Tickets? Check.

I feel like a Mastercard Commercial:

Four new passports- $$$
Chinese visas- $$$$
Six plane tickets to the Yunnan Province- $$$$$
A family photo on Gotcha' Day with all five of our children- PRICELESS.

At least that's what I keep telling myself. Otherwise I'd hyperventilate.

On July 1st I saw our little boy's sweet face for the first time. I gasped, just as I did when I first laid eyes on Cholita. The difference was, with Cholita we were actually planning an adoption. With Yun Xi, there was no plan at all. I saw his picture by chance, on a website visited by hundreds of people every day. Through an amazing series of events, we were able to lock his file. And then, naturally, I panicked.

Excluding the time when I went to the store to buy dog food and came home with a miniature dachshund puppy, we are not impulsive people. Cholita's adoption was literally years in the making. We had planned. We had saved. We had already finished our paperwork. None of that had happened when we said YES to adopting Yun Xi. And yet, in those early days, we were blessed with so many signs affirming that we had made the right choice. When I worried about adopting a boy who would be nearly 4 years old, I met a man at my kid's swim lessons who introduced me to his delightful six-year-old son who had been adopted from Yun Xi's province only two years before. When I worried about money, somehow every time we needed it, the funds were there. When I worried that I didn't really know him, I got an e-mail from someone who had met him in China. "He's such a good boy," they said. When I found out he hadn't been in foster care as I'd assumed and worried that he'd have no concept of family, I met his "big sister", who had loved him in the orphanage from the time he was a baby.

Nearly eight months ago we submitted our letter of intent to adopt Yun Xi, looked at our calendar, and thought, "Wouldn't it be perfect if we could travel over Spring Break and bring the whole family?" I even wrote down our ideal travel dates and circled March 28th as our Gotcha' Day. Looking at averages, we knew that was unlikely. Looking at the averages, it would most likely be summer. But when I planted daffodil bulbs in September, I did it to welcome our boy home in the spring.

Well guess what? We'll be meeting our little boy on March 28th. The whole entire family will be all together in our baby's birthplace--Kunming--otherwise known as The City of Eternal Spring. I'd say it was meant to be.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents, First Ladies, and Lemon Chicken

Teddy Roosevelt arrived at our home this evening looking every bit the Rough Rider that he was.   He told of his adventures hunting big game, his grief upon losing his wife and his mother on the same day, and reminded us frequently that we should speak softly and carry a big stick.

Jackie Kennedy's invitation was sent by Cholita, based solely on fashion sense and wardrobe.   Jackie carefully chose this lovely outfit herself, even attempting a 1960's hairstyle.

I'm sorry to say that there was an awkward moment for poor Jackie at dinner.  Abigail Adams (who you'll meet later) mentioned that she wrote in a letter to the constitutional convention that they should "remember the ladies."  Another dinner guest, Rutherford B. Hayes (Lyle) then made a joke about Jackie's husband remembering the ladies as well and then much to our horror, President Lincoln (Bruder) brought up the name Marilyn Monroe.  Jackie just focused on her lemon chicken, which she was eating with her hands, but we were quite sure she heard.  Franklin Pierce told Lincoln and Hayes that their remarks were in poor taste.

This lovely dinner guest was none other than Abigail Adams.  Her manners were impeccable and she was every bit the lady.  Jackie, much to our dismay, wiped her hands on the table and snorted loudly at all of the jokes. 

Abigail never snorted.  She nodded politely.  She made witty conversation.  She even consoled Rutherford B. Hayes when he shamefully admitted that he's often considered the worst president  to ever inhabit the White House.  "It's a hard job."

Franklin Pierce told the moving story of his son Bennie's death in a train accident on the way to Washington for the inauguration.  His subsequent grief rather crippled his presidency.  After a polite silence, Rutherford said that he had no excuse for his own poor job performance.  He just had no interest in the presidency and wanted to play croquet.

Lincoln shared witty quotes, Pierce told how he put the first Christmas tree in the White House, Jackie informed us that she knows her ABC's (she went into publishing you know), Roosevelt was charismatic and charming, Abigail told us of her letter-writing prowess, and all of us just wondered how in the world Rutherford ever managed to be elected.

It was a President's Day to remember.

And our TA arriving?  That was the cherry on top.  Next year I see Yun Xi making a great Millard Fillmore.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Guess what's winging its way from China right NOW.....

Our Travel Approval!!!!!  In record time!

I nearly hyperventilated last night when I read the e-mail.  "Can you be ready to leave next week?" they asked.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

I almost scrapped our whole plan of taking all the kids during Spring Break. Yun Xi could be leaving the orphanage forever NEXT WEEK!  But, common sense prevailed and our kid's pleading eyes convinced us that waiting until Spring Break would be the better route.

But it's killing me.  Seriously.