Hope and Change

Tuesday was an amazing day. Sitting on my couch, a mere 16 miles from the Capital (yes, that's right, I live 16 miles away, but stayed in my toasty warm pjs!) we witnessed history. There are no words to describe the feeling of watching our 44th president be sworn in. I keep thinking of how our daughter will live in a country where the color of her skin will not be a barrier to her dreams. And I am full of optimism for our country. It truly is cool to be an American again.

In the midst of the unbelievable joy of the Inauguration, it's been a tough week in the world of our adoption wait. Our USCIS (immigration) paperwork has to be renewed AGAIN, and we have to re-do our homestudy (and all its parts...medical reviews, abuse clearances, fingerprints, financial reviews, etc.) a third time as well. It's tough - it's a huge time suck, as well as another rather large and unplanned expense. If all this money was going towards helping kids I would feel better about it. But it's going to our government and our agency. In short, it stinks. And the wait is not getting any shorter. Referrals for this month came out today, and after rumors of a speed-up, this batch covered two measly days. March 1 & 2, 2006. That's it. The rumor that spirits are high at CCAA is still out there, and it's possible that when they come back from the Chinese New Year holiday they could do another batch, but who knows. I continue to hope, but it's getting harder and harder.

I'm still sticking with Project 365...these are the next 9 days of our lives. And we are completely re-doing our kitchen. I thought that would make the universe laugh enough to speed things up (because it would be pretty funny to come home to a completely torn apart kitchen, right?). So our new stove arrived Saturday - our 1970s double oven is no more. And we picked out new cabinets and a new counter on Sunday. It'll be a month or two before they are installed, but we'll do the floor after that. Home improvement has never been so much fun. :)

Project 365

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2009 is to complete Project 365. What is Project 365? It's pretty simple, actually. Take a picture every day for a year. The idea is to capture every day moments - the stuff that I never usually take pictures of. My goal is to become a much better photographer, as well as documenting what a year in our lives look like. I'm hoping that this will be a big year for us, so to see it all the way through will be pretty cool. And I want to be a good enough photographer that I can capture all of our daughter's moments on film (disc?). I will be scrapbooking the pictures as well (hopefully using a Project 365 kit to make it simple), so that we will be able to look at the year for many years to come. As I've been taking pictures, I keep thinking how neat it would be to have pictures like this from my grandparents (I LOVE old pictures - my grandparents' pictures are all over our house!), so I'm hoping that this will be something that our children and grandchildren enjoy. Our first 9 days have been pretty boring. I came back from California with a nasty cold and picked up a stomach bug a few days later, so you can tell I spent a lot of time at home! And yes - those pictures at the top are the past 9 days. My favorite one is day 4 - that's Chris cooking latkes for our annual Chanukah celebration with our friends. That's right - of the 8 of us, the 1 non-Jew is the one who cooks the latkes each year! :)

(a key for those who are interested...1/1 - playing Scrabble with Chris, 1/2 - watching tv in my favorite pjs, 1/3 - Chris playing with Shana & Stephen's dogs, 1/4 - Chris making latkes at the Langels, 1/5 - folding laundry, 1/6 - a beautiful cardinal in the midst of all the rain, 1/7 - 2 cranky rabbits, 1/8 - our backyard in the midst of a 15 minute snow storm, 1/9 - doing dishes in our kitchen)

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. We traveled to California to celebrate with all of the Surridges. We were a little slowed down by a nasty cold that worked its way through the entire family, but we still had a wonderful time. We perfected our skills at Candy Land, learned a lot about trains, read some good books, and truly enjoyed being an aunt & uncle! We had a VERY low-key New Year's celebration, as I am still getting over the Christmas cold, and Chris is working really hard to not let it take over his body. We saw "Marley & Me" and went out for Chinese food with Shana & Stephen, then welcomed 2009 in bed! (we did manage to stay awake until midnight, but just barely!)

On the adoption front, referrals landed just before the calendar switched to 2009. China finished February 2006 - exactly 47 days of LIDs to go. March 2006 is rumored to be a monster month, and we have heard rumors of both an expected speed up for 2009 and of it taking all of 2009 just to get through March 2006 LIDs. Hopefully the speed-up will be the correct rumor, but I truly believe that 2009 is our year. Of course, we said that in 2007 and 2008, but the third time is a charm, right? :) I think that the next few months will be telling...the batch before and after Chinese New Year (at the end of January). And, of course, we need to start re-doing our home study and Immigration paperwork AGAIN in a few weeks. Three times, three ginormous checks to the US Govt...this is the fun part, right? :)