Yesterday (21st September 2009), I landed a new job as Manager of Accounts and Administration at Park Avenue Accommodation Group.¬† I’ll be starting in two weeks - they were obliging enough to give me two weeks to find a child care option that would work for us.¬† I feel happy about this appointment for a couple of reasons, one of them being that I will now be able to contribute to our family.¬† Another is that Madi will be able to play with children again.¬† Apart from visits down to the playground every so often, she has been in the company of just her Mum, so it will be good for her to make some new friends.¬† She still talks about all her friends in Denver.¬† It’s amazing how little ones know so much.¬†¬† Madi being in day care and me being at work all day, though, also means that I won’t have a chance to see my little girl so much and that makes me upset.¬† I have loved being with her for the past two years.¬† She brings such joy to my life.¬† However, it’s time to move on to the next step in life.¬†¬† We will all be learning from this new experience. ¬†¬† I hope it will be as good as the last one!
Yesterday was Family Day (Wednesday 09/09/09)!¬† Madison is now having real conversations with us.¬† She likes to repeat everything we say, but she also says things all on her own.¬†¬† She likes testing us at times.¬† If we ask her to do something, she will often either run away or ignore us.¬†¬† We have to put our feet down firmly sometimes.¬†¬† Often, when she is noisy and busy, it’s a sure sign that she is tired.¬† We used to be able to tell that she was tired when her pointer and middle fingers of her left hand would go into her mouth, but now, more often than not, it’s when she is running around and chatting to herself.¬† The concept of potty training was put on hold during our move.¬† We’ve now started to ease back into it.¬† Still seems like a long way off, but the updates may tell a different story since she has only about 3 more months until her 3rd birthday.
We celebrated meeting each other and becoming a family for the first time two years ago by going out to dinner last night, just the three of us.¬† It was a rainy, cold, windy day in Melbourne, so there wasn’t much to do outside during the day (which is where Madi would have liked to have been).¬† Mummy, Madi, and Yarra did take a walk together around the streets near our house.¬†¬† Daddy was working hard all day, so it was nice to go out together when he got home.¬†¬† Today is our Adoption Day anniversary.¬† Yes, we became a family before our adoption was finalized.
This time of year, we remember all of our friends who have been adopted. ¬† A lot of happy families were made two years ago!
Happy Family Day!
We got the call this morning (27th August 2009).¬† We were approved for a rental home in Endeavour Hills.¬† What a weight has been lifted off our shoulders.¬†¬† Now Yarra can come out of quarantine and have somewhere to go!¬† The modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home has a good sized, fully enclosed yard - hours of fun for Madi and Yarra!No comments
So, here we are. In Australia, finally. We left the USA on August 3rd, 2009 and arrived here in Australia on August 5th, 2009. The two week period leading up to our departure from Denver was hectic, and at times, frantic. There was soooo much to do, and it seemed at times that we would leave certain important things undone. Fortunately this was not the case. Kelly, with the strength of ten persons, not only navigated the moving process but also completed our second dossier and got it off to the Chinese embassy in Chicago, before we left. She completed all the necessary paperwork in a record 4 weeks. The last time it took us almost 4.5 months to get it all done.¬† She is truly amazing. So, now our new adventure here in Australia has commenced. I must say, so far it has gone pretty well. We have had the great fortune of staying with family, which has been a real blessing. We are so lucky! Of course, uprooting ones family, and moving this distance has its pitfalls as well. We both have come here without employment, and luckily that has changed for me in the last 10 days. We are now continuing the hunt for a rental house and that has been quite the challenge I can assure you. Trust us when we say that business here is done vastly different to how these sort of things happen in the United States. I do not think that had we known this before we left, that we would have done it any differently, it certainly would not have made us “not do it”, but it would have been nice to know the sort of hoops we are having to now jump through. Yarra our dog, has made this transition quite smoothly. He is currently in quarantine on the west side of Melbourne, and the facility there is nice, although we are eager to have him back in our lives daily, that happens September 4th. Madison is adjusting quite well, but when you’re 2.5 years old, your only real concern is where does Grandma keep more of those delicious Tim-Tam biscuits. Kelly is still pursuing work, and while she is very eager to return in one capacity or another, I keep reminding her that these are important days to make the most of in terms of our time with Madison, and each other, as I am sure we will not have a break like this again for sometime. It is winter here, a bit chilly at times, and there has been some rain as well. Spring is just around the corner, or so they say, and we will all welcome warm weather when it comes. I think once we have a home, of our own, it will relieve much of the stress we are feeling. Not quite sure when the container arrives, but out there on the high seas, somewhere, there is a 40′ Evergreen container with our household items in it. Its strange, Melbourne is going through a period just now where there has been, and continues to be a fair amount of new immigration. We are now a part of that movement, kind of a strange sensation when one looks at it that way, we are immigrants. Most of the immigration has come from the Oceania region. A fair amount of ethnic Han Chinese, and quite a bit from the Asian sub continent (India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia….etc.). We are often the only ones in line at the assistance and registration offices that are anglo, and where both parties of the family are speaking and writing english. Its kinda fun though, as we wait we try to out guess one another on where some of the others are from. Sometimes we are right, but it is always fun to guess. I officially begin my new position on September 1st, tan, rested and ready.
Life is busy right now.¬† We have the move to Australia happening on 3rd August which is less than three weeks away.¬† There are Customs forms to complete for the household goods we’re taking, there are things to do with Yarra before he can go (buy a kennel that suits the travel requirements, a final vet check, booking him on the plane - it can only be done 10 days prior to departure, among other things), I have to find a good home for my budgie, there is luggage to purchase so that we can take as much clothing and knick knacks that we think we would need immediately on our arrival, and we have a whole list of little odds and ends that have to be done. ¬†¬† Meanwhile, we continue to work.¬† I think my last day will by July 27th (in 11 days).¬† On top of all that, we have our second adoption paperwork that we’re trying to complete before the move (to make things easier!).¬†¬† My Dad has been wonderful and has obtained a certified copy of my birth certificate but the Chinese consulate in Australia needs to see my passport to authenticate the document, so that will have to wait until I arrive there.¬†¬† I’m just waiting on my doctor’s appointment which is set for tomorrow (July 17th) and the results from those tests, as well as Madison’s doctor’s appointment on July 24th and the paperwork from that before I go to the Secretary of State at 1700 Broadway in Denver to have all of the documents I have certified.¬† Then I can send them to the Chinese consulate here in the US to have them authenticated.¬†¬†¬† We still need another one or two social worker visits on top of that.¬† Oh, yes…and the closing for our house is set for July 24th as well.¬† Can someone please stop the world, just for a minute?¬† I need some time! ¬† Next on the list…finding jobs in Melbourne, finding a home, finding transport options, and I’m sure there will be more - I just can’t think that far ahead right now.
Heading for the next part of our lives…please stay with us!
Yesterday (Monday 6th July), a week after we met with Myra for our first homestudy, she was back at our place for our second meeting.¬†¬† We have given her most of the paperwork that she needs to write the report for us.¬† There are just the medicals and the CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) reports to have sent to her now.
On a different note, we’ve been having a great time with my sister and Kurt’s sister this week.¬† Yesterday, we even made time to all see a movie together - a rare treat for us!¬† Stephanie heads off today and Eileen is leaving tomorrow.¬† Karsten will be arriving on Thursday.
How many times can one person be fingerprinted?¬† We just went in today to be fingerprinted AGAIN.¬† It seemed to take forever.¬† Perhaps it just felt like forever because Madi was overtired and running around faster than we could keep up with her.¬† Perhaps it was because when it was almost our turn to be fingerprinted (I was number 16 and Kurt was number 18), they called out “14, 15, anyone to be fingerprinted?” and a guy who had number fifty something piped up with yes and they said “come on then” and then all of us before him became a little agitated!¬† Perhaps it was the fact that the guy taking my prints (who was very nice and was volunteering) printed my right hand twice instead of one right and one left and then we had to start all over again.¬† Then Kurt came in and within a matter of about 5 more minutes we were out of there.¬† Our prints only last 15 months (hmmmmm, I believe I’ve had them all my life, but they tell me they last only 15 months), so I’m sure we’ll be going through this joyous activity again at some point.¬†¬† I’m looking past that now, though.¬† We have taken another step towards our second child, so we’re getting closer.
Well, it’s official.¬† We’ve begun the paper chase again.¬†¬† I went to the Orientation yesterday (Friday 19th June) at the CCAI Agency office in Greenwood Village.¬† We knew that a few things had changed from our first experience in terms of the paperwork, but the fact that there is a lot of paperwork and procedures has not changed.¬† I printed up the Adoption Dossier Guide (CCAI is amazing and has everything explained in detail for us) and have written our adoption petition.¬† The next step is to order our marriage and birth certificates.¬† If I stay organized, we’ll get there eventually!
We’ve started on the adoption journey again.¬† On Thursday, June 4th 2009, we sent the names of our three references to CCAI.¬† Kurt took the adoption application into the CCAI office yesterday (June 8th) along with some other paperwork.¬†¬† It looks like I will be attending an orientation session on Friday afternoon (June 19th).¬† Then, the paperwork trail and lots of waiting begins!¬† We’re all excited, though.¬† Kurt asked Madi yesterday, “Would you like a brother or a sister?”.¬† “A brother” was the answer.¬† Then later, “a sister”.¬† “Can I teach them things?”¬† “Yes, you can!”
Well here it is, 1 year ago we were introduced to our lovely Madison for the first time. Hard to believe how quickly that went. Thinking back on it, it was quite a day one year ago. We woke up in Hong Kong on the 9th knowing that at some point later that day, we would be with her. After a 2 hour flight to Nanchang, we arrived in a rainstorm to the Provincial capital city, full of anxiety and excitement. We found out on the bus to the hotel that we would see the babies in 4 hours!!! Holy (you know what!) At 5 pm the orphanage director and his staff brought the girls into the ballroom one by one. We were the second couple called, at that moment, our lives were brightened forever. The balance of that evening was a mixture of tears, laughs and lots of ear to ear grins. Such a relief that the long wait was finally over. We spent the next 6 days doing the necessary rounds of appointments with governmental officials, sightseeing with the other families, and settling into a groove as a family. So many memorable firsts, bottles, baths, smiles, giggles, and even poops!! Funny, the things that you thought may not be that important, really are.
Such an incredible trip that was. China is such an incredibly astounding experience. We were so fortunate to have had the chance to see many of the different “types” of China that we saw and experienced. Trust me when I say that City/Tourist China is dramatically different from rural China. It made no diffence for us, no matter where we were, in the cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Nanchang) or in the rural areas of the Jiangxi Province, it was the people that we remember most. Don’t get me wrong, we saw some incredible sights, and had meals I will always savor and remember (mmmmm……..Peking Duck in Beijing……mmmmmm) but the people and their warmth and hospitality will always stick out. Believe me, if you want to go somewhere were the locals always welcome you with open arms and no request is denied, go to China. I know we will return, sooner than later I hope.
Our Madison is really a treat to enjoy. She has brought so much love and joy to our lives, I cannot even begin to explain it. I think its safe to say that for both Kelly and myself, this (parenting) has been the most rewarding experience of our lives. I am sure there will come a moment or two where there will be challenges and trials, but that too shall pass, and is part of this incredible journey we are now on. Watching a person grow and learn is the most rewarding thing about being a parent. I am constantly reminded, daily, at how precious and wonderous life is, I thank Madison for showing and sharing that with me. She is a beautiful girl, in so many ways. As excited and in awe of all that’s already been experienced, I am really anxious for the next few phases of her growth, more words, conversations and discoveries, and the constant evoloution of that wonderful personality.
We spent today together a a family unit, from breakfast, to a long walk with Yarra, then a picnic at the zoo. Watching and listening to Madison make the animal noises, and seeing her smile and laugh was truly the high point of the day. Tonight we will make Pizza here at home, sort of a recreation of our first night together in Nanchang when our guides from CCAI ordered everyone in the group Pizza Hut, and had it delivered to our rooms. They understood that our minds were elsewhere, and nutrition was needed in some fashion or another. One things for sure, our toppings choices are bit more mild tonight than the options presented in Nanchang. Well, off to roll out dough, and decorate a pie or two with Madison.¬† One year, truly amazing.