Thursday, September 06, 2007

And now we're at 15 / This wait is hard...

Fifteen months since our file went to China. Who would have thunk it? I certainly thought we would have been and returned by now, and would be getting ready for our first Christmas with Baby Girl.

This wait is hard.

I am finding it harder and harder to go to shopping centres again. When we were doing IVF it took all of my strength to go to the local shopping centre - as it was almost inevitable I would bump into an old school friend who would ask the dreaded question "so when are you two going to have children." When we moved (almost) interstate, not bumping into people at shopping centres was a great relief. The dread is no longer bumping into old school friends, but rather being an observer to 'happy families'.

My latest obsession (when I actually do go to a shopping centre) is looking at little boys, who have blondish, slightly curly hair and green/blue eyes, and wondering, if all had gone to plan and if we had a little boy, would he look like that? In my dreams of having children - the picture was never of me putting pig-tails in a little girl's hair. It was always of seeing Shane playing football with a little boy.

As the wait gets longer and longer for our first child, the old demons of failure, desperation and utter sadness also have time to haunt me again. I don't want to go back to that dark, dark place I was in during IVF, but occasionally I find myself so overwhelmed with grief. Grief for my lost dreams, Shane's lost dreams, our lost dreams.

I do think that (some) people assume that because we are now adopting, the pain, sadness and grief of years of infertility, IVF and pregnancy loss has magically disappeared. For me, not only has it not disappeared, I am still reminded, in some way, every single day of what we don't have, what we have lost, and what we so, so want. Today I couldn't buy the newspaper, as the headline story on the front page was "Triple the fun as city goes baby crazy" (which referred to a story of a woman giving birth to triplets). Who would have thought buying the Saturday paper could be so traumatic?

Don't get me wrong, we are both over the moon about eventually meeting our daughter who will be born half a world away - she is already the absolute love of our lives. And now we are on this path, know this is the way it was always meant to be. But that doesn't make the pain of loss any less.

This wait is hard...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So close... kinda!

So we both have a long day at work, and Shane went up to the house site straight from work to jack-hammer some pier-holes for the shed, so by the time we both got home, we were not in the mood for cooking and decided to go to the pub for dinner (and a beer or two).

Now I've mentioned before - we live in a small Australian country town... the 'blink and you'll miss it' sized country town... and our pub is a typical Aussie country pub that's operated since 1872, and is full of great Aussie characters and great Aussie beer... and to this day still looks like this:
The great thing about living in a small country town is the 'bush-telegraph' - where stories of village life, and sometimes villagers themselves get passed along from one person to the next. Sometimes the Bush Telegraph can rival RQ... but not in this case.
So imagine our surprise when we got to the pub, to be told by one of the locals - our friend - LP - that the village had a very important visitor today...
None other than China's President - Hu Jintao was in our village. Seriously. Here. IN OUR VILLAGE. Too cool huh? Of course it was a stop off on his way to Sydney to participate in APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation).
Don't believe me? You can read about it here. Apparently he came to visit a working sheep station near the border of the ACT and NSW, where he watched a sheep dog demonstration at a nearby Bywong property. Then came and had lunch at 'Grazing' - our village's award winning restaurant.
Like I said... so close.... Kinda... It was just a nice feeling - even if by 6 (or probably 100) degrees of separation - there was - for an instance - a close connection to China - here at home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Splash of Colour

It's been a while - having problems with Blogger again. What a pain in the butt.

Anyhoo - over the last week or so we have again seen some 'bigger' changes to the house - the outside has been painted, and the verandahs are taking shape. The tiling is just about complete inside, as is the painting, so really all is left is for the three bathrooms to be fitted out, kitchen put in, light fittings installed and flooring put in. And we're done. To be honest it has been fairly painless really. You hear horror stories of people building houses, but we haven't faced a major drama yet (well... if you don't include me changing the inside colour of the house from 'off white' to 'whisper white' while the painter was on his way to buy the paint)... but that's it really.

I have to say it has been nice having the house take up a lot of our thoughts and energy over last few months, it's been a great distraction from the adoption. But how will I be when we move in and I can see baby girls room just sitting there - empty? How many months will I have to look at an empty room? It will be the only room in the house to remain unfurnished - well until we know we are only a couple of months away from referral... which is the biggest question of all - when will that bloody happen?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We're getting there...

I haven't posted too much about the house lately because the changes are now in the detail and can't really be seen on a photo... or just don't really look like much. A lot of what is happening now is on the inside of the house. All the electrical work and plumbing is complete, the reverse cycle airconditioning has been installed, and we have walls! Even since the pictures below were taken we now have most of the doors hung, and the architraves and skirting is on. The under tile heating in the bathrooms has been installed and the bathrooms have been wet-sealed ready for tiling. Outside the verandahs are ready to be poured, and the water tank base and walls have been poured. This week the bathrooms will start to be tiled and we should see the start of the verandahs, which once again will make a big difference to the look of the house.
So we're getting there. It's been about 4 months since the slab was poured, and we were delayed by about 3 weeks with the rain. So Speedy Gonzales Chris (the builder) has done a great job in such a short time... and he tells us we should be moving in about mid September, just in time for spring and some warmer weather - so in about another 5 weeks we'll be living in our dream house, on our dream property in our much loved town.
And I can't wait.

This is looking toward the family room and kitchen from the games room.
This is standing in the 'yet-to-be' kitchen looking out the front of the house.

And this is the water-tank-in-preparation - the concrete is poured between the 2 walls - then the metal casing is removed. Then all the earth is backfilled around the tank and then we get some water delivered to start us off and pray for more rain!
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Monday, August 06, 2007


Well what is there to say? Fourteen months logged in today. To be honest I don't have much to say about that sorry state of affairs other than to note it on my blog. So consider it NOTED.

That's all folks.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Out of Review Room!

It's official. Someone sitting in an office in Beijing, China has looked at our file, read all about us and seen our photos. Officially we are out of the Review Room (to see photos of the Review Room click here)... which was an (almost) record breaking timeframe for being in and out the quickest... we were in the Review Room for a whopping 3 weeks! Although you have to remember our file sat on a shelf in that same office for 13 months before anyone looked at it. And now it will move to another shelf before it is looked at again.

So in essence this means that the People's Republic of China have now approved us to adopt one of their precious children.

We are now considered to be 'pending allocation' and that actually means the next time someone will look at our file, they will also be looking at our daughter's (or son's) file as well, and hopefully saying "ahhh yes, this child and this couple will make a lovely family."

Who knows how long we will now wait to get that call. It is such an unknown. When people ask I just keep saying "oh about another year." But I feel like I have been saying that for... well... about a year!

My hopes and prayers are that we will see our child's face before Christmas 2008.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Author Unknown...

There are women who become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for a child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle everyday for the rest of my life. I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed them.
I count myself blessed in this sense, that God has given me this insight, this special vision which I will look upon my child in a way that other mothers don't. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love. I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbour, friend and sister because I have known pain. Real pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell in a way that many never face. Yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it and join them in theirs. I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of others eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes when walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
And I will be a wonderful mother.