I have sadface over how fast he is growing up...he's still a toddler in his personality and development, of course, but he looks and feels like a big boy and it is TOO SOON.
( big, bigger, biggest boy (pix) )
Charlie: no thank you!
Me: Please? I really want you to.
Charlie: no, I don't want to.
Me: Charlie, if you put on your special outfit and let me take your picture, I will give you candy.
Charlie: Okay Mommy!
( Many more pictures behind the cut... )
Entire set is here: www.flickr.com/photos/thrawn150/sets/
1. new Crocs, not to be parted with for any reason no no want Crocs want Crocs aaaaiiiee
2. As many choo-choos as possible
3. Reluctantly accepted plush animal, made more tolerable by being in form of ball
4. All the binkies, including ones recently found in a drawer that are totally not the right type, so they are lovingly carried around while simultaneously being rejected.
Charlie is developing more physical confidence, so he's starting to do more jumping and rolling and falling down. This is occasionally terrifying for us, but it's good for him, so we encourage it. The other day he entertained himself, and us, by rolling around on the playroom's foam floor for a while.
Thanks for looking!
So, two weeks ago, right in the middle of all the work in the basement, my new "Limhwa ToYou Sara" doll arrived, after a 6-month wait. She had to immediately go hide in a drawer so she wouldn't get damaged by the dust or flying debris. Yesterday I finally got to take her out and start trying wigs on her, with varying results. These wigs were all bought as options for myElfdoll Hana Devil doll, and are all a little big for the Limhwa, but I'd rather not order new if I can make one of these work. I think I actually like the red fur wig shown in the first picture, but she will definitely need fairy wings if she's going to wear her hair all cray cray like that. (Or I might twist a couple of plastic fishies into her hair so she can be Delirium.)
The construction of Mike's office is finished, yay! So now we're working on putting the basement, and everything in it, into its new configuration. I spent the evening tetrising furnature around in my study (which is next to the new office) so am too tired to post anything coherent. So have some pictures of Charlie with binkies on his toes instead.
(1. He can't put them on his own toes yet; he waves a binky at me and says "toes, toes" until I do it. 2. He can't stick a binky in his mouth with his toes...yet. We are encouraging toe skills since in some cases an agile foot is a good substitute for a hand. Arboreal locomotion, for example.)
( More HFCS )
ETA: Elise suggests a caption contest for this picture! Have at it if you're so inclined. (I'll have to think a bit about what the prize should be)
( Two more pics under the cut )
Demonstrating his fine motor skills and working on his escape skills
( Many more behind the cut )
Thanks for looking!
In December of 2007 we still didn't have a referral--in the China process, they go in strict date order, matching a batch of LID dates once a month, with everyone who shares a LID getting referrals in the same month, and by the end of 2007 they were only doing a few LID days each month, for a variety of reasons. People were still getting matches but the wait time had grown to 24 months and the agencies kept saying that "the CCAA was saying they don't intend to let the wait get to 36 months if they can help it." Which is another way of saying they expect the wait to approach 36 months. We activated plan B and went back into the home study process, this time for a domestic adoption, since we always wanted at least 2 kids. We kept the China file open and figured we'd wait and see what happened.
As most of you know, in June of 2008 Charlie happened, yay! Just before that, in May of 2008, China introduced a lot of new restrictions on future applications, designed to reduce the number of people applying to adopt, and they made some changes to simplify special-needs adoption, so people with LIDs in the non-special-needs program could switch. The pace of referrals has held steady since then at about 3 LID days per month, with a recent jump up to 6 LID days per month. At the 6-LID-days rate, we can expect a referral in 2013 or so.
The slowdown is good news for Chinese babies and families. It's always better, I (and various others) think, if the needs of a child can be met by their home country, and their birth family if possible. The switch in emphasis onto special-needs adoption is smart and can provide good outcomes for kids who would have limited opportunities at home, where attitudes and economics still are evolving. But there is a tremendous pressure created by so many waiting LID families, so many people with the $5000 orphanage fee ready, and such a long-standing "good adoption program" reputation for the CCAA to uphold. Whenever there's a supply & demand imbalance in adoption, there's a risk of trafficking, and we feel that the risk will grow in the next few years, particularly when it comes to the perfectly-healthy-girl we originally requested. By now we're old hands at SN, but being old hands at it means knowing the resources we would need to raise two SN kids, and we don't think we'd be the best choice for a second SN baby.
So, we closed our file. One small pressure point in the system, released, and one more of our dream babies fading back into nothingness. Giving up this dream baby was harder than all of the rest put together, although there have been many, starting with my adolescent dreams of a someday-baby who looked like me, and ending with the 4 babies whose mothers reviewed our file, during our domestic process.
Today I put my real baby in the car with me and went and donated all of the clothes and toys I'd been saving for our theoretical China baby. We had applied for a girl so I had a lot of girl stuff--dresses handed down from my nieces, Asian dolls, pink sports toys, etc--and I couldn't bear giving it to anyone I know. I'd packed it all up already when we started the domestic process, so I didn't have to look through it all again, although I did peek. I headed to the Salvation Army drop trailer thingy to give it away, but the one near me was full up, and the actual Salvation Army store near my MIL was closed (as on every Sunday, apparently), but I ended up finding an AmVets donation center instead. This pleased me because while I am in favor of all thrift stores, I'd rather support an organization that focuses on getting medical care for vets than one that focuses on Jesusing people into sobriety...all things being equal. Anyway, having Charlie along for this errand made it really not bad; I like my life and my family the way that they are, and I count my blessings every day. And while from one angle our China adoption attempt was a failure, from another angle we did our China adoption without having to get on an airplane. Today, at least, I'm choosing to see it from the latter angle, and not dwell on a child who, however precious, only existed in my imagination.
(Charlie playing on a bouncy thing at our town gymnastics center)
( Earlier iterations behind the cut... )