Temporarily relocated to Blogger.com

January 26, 2007 at 5:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hi all-We’ve arrived in China to find that we can’t post on WordPress. We’ve temporarily relocated to Blogger. Follow this link to the new, temporary blog site:: www.reggaegotsoul2.blogspot.com
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Mud and the Wolf

Travel Date: 24Jan

January 16, 2007 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

We received our TA (travel approval for all you novices) and an appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China.  So now it’s travel time.  We get on a plane Wednesday 24 January.  That turns out to be 1 week and 1 day from the date of this post.  That seems awfully fast given that we waited 2 years to get this far. 

I know we’re stressed out because now we’re arguing about whether “it’s” should have an apostrophe in the previous paragraph.  I know that it should, but I don’t care because I’ve never been a big fan of apostrophes.  Context says it all anyway.  The Wolf, of course, is absolutely rigid about the correctness of an apostrophe’s usage.  I know that Strunk and White would agree with her…but screw those guys.  I personally just couldn’t give a rat’s ass.   Poor abused apostrophe.  Boohoo.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah.  Travel to China.  So from what we’ve been told China is very much a cash based economy and transactions are dealt with in cash. All the of money we need to bring is supposed to be in “crisp and new” condition.  Have you ever tried to get your hands on crisp, NEW bills?  Impossible.  I dare you to walk up to a bank teller and ask for NEW bills.  I’ve done it 3 times so far and always get a fearful look like I’m asking for everything in the till–no sequential serial numbers and remove the bands.  After they figure out I’m not robbing the place, I get the “we don’t have any new bill, sir” answer.  So then everyone gets embarrassed and uncomfortable as the teller actually sorts through the bills for those in the least offensive condition.  Man, you just can make this stuff up.  Try it sometime. 

So in a separate and completely unrelated topic, it came up today that Fonzi in Happy Days was always to be portrayed as a young guy in his mid to upper 20’s or so.  Oddly, with the exception of Pinky Tuskadero, he was always seen with high school aged girls.  I checked the dictionary and this does not qualify as pedophilia.  It is technically ephebophilia.   In laymen’s terms, we’re still talking about statutory rape, but not pedophilia.  The distinction probably would not save The Fonz from getting pounded in prison though.  Convicted felons have daughters, too.  I’ve discussed this with some friends and we are all of the opinion that none of this would fly on TV by todays standards.  Yet Happy Days stands out in everyones mind as being a somewhat utopian view of American life in the 50’s.   That conversation hit the “ewe, icky” high note for the day. 

Back to China.  Lots of things to do before Wednesday.  Pack, clean the house, clear out the hard liquor bottles that only have 1 or 2 jiggers left in them, make space in the fridge for whole milk and veggies by drinking the excess beer.  Stuff like that.  Wolf’s got a more detailed list I’ll have to consult.  I’m sure there’s more to it than what I listed.

Please keep checking back over the next 3 weeks.  We’ll be posting photos from China.  At first they will be wonderful shots of Wolf and I suffering from severe jetlag induced migranes in front of statues of people whom we won’t remember, taken by people we don’t know.  Wolf will look mad, because she’s generally luggage for the first 2 days of any trip outside the Eastern Time Zone.  I’ll have some cranky half smile on my face because I’ll be busy wondering if the guy taking the photo will be giving the camera back or running away with it.  The pictures will get better though and eventually all of them will contain Ravi.  Speaking of pictures, kid room pictures are in the previous post.  Note the conspicuous absence of pink.

 Thanks for reading.  Go Jesus.  

BTW-If you have any comments on my proper use of punctuation please send them to Wolf, because I don’t care.

Ravi’s Room

January 15, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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Happy New Year

December 31, 2006 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Its been a wild holiday. Beyond the normal holiday madness, here are the things that I learned in the last 4 weeks.

1. Our newest dog, Gypsy, is a Christmas hating godless communist. She spent every day that we had a Christmas tree in some strange and bewildered mental state that resulted in, um, digestive instability. I spent at least 1 hour of everyday for 1 week cleaning that up.

2. When people know you’re going to have a daughter, they give you pink stuff. Pink bibs, pink underwear, pink cups, pink toys, and don’t get me started on the clothes. Pink, pink, pink.

3. A good friend moved to Florida and I missed it. He’s not 70 yet, so I guess I wasn’t expecting him to relocate to the Bermuda Triangle. Poof, gone, like Keyser Sose.

4. I’m sure all prospective parents feel this way, but when you know that the baby is close, the anxiety levels spike in a big way. There aren’t enough projects around the house to prevent massive emotional peaks and valleys from occurring. Makes it hard on the drinkin’.

5. South Park is still d*n funny. Best South Park quote: “Go Jesus.” That seems very Christmassy, so instead off “Merry Christmas” I now simply say “Go Jesus.” It also has the added value of being succinct. Isn’t that the point at Christmas time anyway? It’s not like I stand around doing the raise the roof thing saying Go Jesus, Go Jesus, it’s your birthday, its your birthday. That’s just dumb.

6. Its hard to imbibe only Rum drinks for an entire month. Sometimes its appropriate and/or necessary to drink wine or beer. Carribean beers don’t really have the same cache as rum.

7. By the end of the holidays, you have a s* load of cardboard boxes to breakdown. In my town, the Recycling Nazis enforce the size requirements of 1’x2′. I tried to get 2’x2′ pieces into the recycling truck once. I got rejected over and over again. The Nazis communicate that to you by leaving the cardboard they don’t take in the street. After 3 weeks, they slap a sticker on your recycling bin telling you the dimensions of the cardboard they take. I dislike the Recycling Nazis.

Anyway. Happy New Year. Go Jesus.

Must post a blog to keep the readers happy…

December 15, 2006 at 10:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sadly you’re not in for a funny one, that’s Muddy’s responsibility.  But I thought since a week has gone by I should post something so that anyone checking does not give up on us!

Really not much happening in Raven news.  It’ll be a few weeks before we expect to hear about the TA, so no updates in the interim on that front.  In the meantime, though, we’ve got plenty to keep us busy!  As many of you know, D&I are much better at starting projects than finishing them.  Now with a 2 year old about to arrive in the house, we are trying to get those half-done projects finished.  So, for us, we have been quite productive in the last couple weeks.  D finished tiling the upstairs bathroom (6 months after we tore it apart), I painted a shelf for Ravi’s room (a year after I planned to), and we brought in painter Rick to finish the downstairs (1 year after priming the office windows and 2 years after I did half the trim).  About time, hm??

Then we’ve got the holidays to keep us busy (uh.. sorry everyone, no cards this year) and wrapping things up at work in preparation for taking 3 months off (woo hoo!!).  All in all, I thought these weeks between referral and travel would be torture waiting to go get Ravi, but we’re so ‘go go go’ right now that I only feel tired and distracted, not tortured.  🙂  Don’t get me wrong, though, I’d hop on a place to China today if they’d let me!

After such a long wait, it still blows my mind that in the next month or two we will have a little daughter at home with us.  (in an odd thing, when I shop for coffee creamer- pretty much the only grocery shopping I do- it is so weird to look at the expiration date & think… ‘Ravi could be home before my coffee creamer expires!’)  So if I have to wait a few more weeks, I guess I can manage.  🙂

 Cheers.

What’s Next

December 8, 2006 at 10:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So if you are wondering what’s up next, here’s the scoop.  We brought our letter back to our agency on Monday saying YES!! we want this little girl to be our daughter.  Our agency then sends that acceptance letter back to China this week, along with the letters from rest of our group.  Then we go back to waiting – but just a (hopefully!) short one this time… the Travel Approvals (the all important “TA” for those of you new to international adoption acronyms) generally come back from China in about 4 weeks.

Once we have our TA, then our agency will schedule us an appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou.  Once we have that appointment, we can schedule the trip!  I would guess that we will start the trip any time from the mid to end of January… but could be earlier or later too.

In the meantime I will just have to do lots of shopping for her to keep myself busy.  🙂

By the way… she will be named Raven Chan *****, and we’ll call her Ravi.  I’m also calling her ravichan, ravichanita, ravibaby, ravenbaby… but I’m not sure those have caught on with Muddy yet.

 Ciao all~

the wolf

Happy Birthday Ravi!!

December 8, 2006 at 10:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Muddy and Wolf regain some sanity.

December 2, 2006 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It may be something of an understatement to say that the last 3 days have been an emotional roller coaster.   Just as I think we’re back to being rational and sane, someone calls or leaves a comment on the blog and we get all emotionally unhinged again.   It’s hard to remain calm. 

 So after we got the photos and records from the agency we went home and celebrated: large pepperoni pizza and beer.  Not just any beer, mind you.  It was Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale (winter seasonal)!  Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  We had just declared it Jamaican Rum month.   But how many of you actually have had pizza and rum for dinner? 

Anyway, we spent hours pouring through the 9 page medical and development report, gushing over the 3 photos and getting bombed.  The funny thing about that is most of the report is in chinese and the photos have absolutely nothing in them that offer relative perspective.   A chair, door, person, toy, anything that would give you a visual sense for how tall, short, big or small she is.  The ball in the the “pilates” photo could be any of 5 different diameters.  Amazing what you’ll latch on to when that’s all you’ve got.  We have steadfastly ignored the 50 page packet of legal and process paperwork that the agency gave us.  Who wants to read that stuff? 

 Here’s a tip for any current or future adoptive parents in waiting.  Don’t get pizza grease on the Confirmation Letter from the CCAA.  That’s bad. 

Still no decision on the name, but figure we have the weekend to decide.  We have 2 names to percolate over and both seem perfect to us.  We occasionally go out to “Alysabeth’s Big List of Stripper Names,” but haven’t found anything new.  It might come down to a game time decision at the agency when we hand over the Confirmation Letter (remember, pizza stains = bad). 

Thank you everyone who left comments or called.  It feels wonderful to know there are so many people thinking good thoughts for us.  (is that correct grammar?)  Oop.  Gotta go.  Dogs are chasing the mailman…..

dog daydreams

Welcome Yi Fu Huan to our Family! Yeah!!

November 30, 2006 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Hi everyone! It has been a totally incredible day. We found out this morning that we were most definitely “in” the latest batch of referrals… but SO needed to see the paperwork to believe it was real. So we spent most of the day being rather unproductive at work, waiting for some confirmation from our agency that yes, we were really going to get to see our ‘kid’ soon. By mid-afternoon our social worker called to confirm that they had received our referral… and that we had a beautiful daughter! She told me we had to wait until 5.30 to pick up the paperwork… so naturally we hopped in our cars and drove to the agency right away, only to be an hour and a half early. We managed to blow an hour driving around Wellesley and Natick (I do not recommend this as entertainment), and at 5.15 told them we just could not wait any longer!

So here is our daughter – Yi Fu Huan. The pics are on the other pages, but here’s the rest of the info that we have so far. She will be 2 years old on December 8th (wow!). She is from the Hubei provence, and has been living in foster care since August 2005. She knows a bunch of words (which of course we won’t understand), walks steadily and climbs stairs (uh oh), scribbles, and sleeps deeply (yeah! hope it keeps up).

Hopefully we will travel by late Jan – early Feb to spend 2 weeks in China getting to know each other (along with finishing all that pesky paperwork). We’ll keep you updated!

~R

FedEx has landed.

November 30, 2006 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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