Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's been so long!

I'm so sorry it's been so long. I am updating - so please just visit there in the "travel updates" tab and you'll see all that's been happening. Life is so busy being a new mum! But I will add some photo's for you to see if you can't get across to Ebony's site. She is an absolute miracle and she's beautiful beyond belief. We are both so in love with her and she is the happiest baby! She laughs so easily and she adores her daddy. She's not eating any solids yet - but at 10.5kg she has a bit in reserve! I had a day of worry, but I've decided to just keep up her fluids and she'll eat when she's ready. Well it's late and we have to be packed and ready to head by plane down to Ebony's Orphanage at 7.30am (I have NO idea how we'll do it - but we will!). Bless you all and thanks so much for your prayers.

Monday, December 25, 2006

and now it is the day!

Well the day has arrived. My darling little Ebony - you are in a car - probably for the first time in your life - on your 7+ hour journey towards us. My heart is just so full of love and anticipation. My arms are empty this morning - but by tonight my arms and my heart will be filled. You are already loved so much more than any words could possible describe. You are loved deeply and completely by us - but also by many other beautiful and precious people in whose heart you have grown for a long time. You have grown in mine since long before I even knew that you would come from a Country that I had never seen. Now I have seen it and experienced it and I just love your Country - the place that will always be special to me - because it gave me you.
I cry deep down inside for your mum - for the pain she has had to endure in giving you away - for the empty place in her heart that will always be there because she will never know the joy of you. She gave us that gift and I will be eternally grateful to her. Bless you sweetheart - my hopes for you are that you will know true joy in this life - that you will know the presence of God in your heart - that peace and love will be your purpose - that you will have a quiet strength that will help you through the many trials and tribulations of this life. I pray you will have a long life - that you will have a family of your own to give you a sense of continuity. I love you my little Angel - with a love that I don't understand at the moment, but I'm sure will make sense as the days unfold. Be happy - be blessed - be still and know the peace that transcends all understanding - on this - one of the most difficult days of your life.....and one of the happiest days of mine.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's almost THE DAY

What can I say at a time like this - the feelings are so overwhelming. I'm just so filled with anticipation and I can't believe that tonight I lay my head on the pillow for the last time as a mummy in waiting. I just have tears of joy running down my face as I think of what tomorrow will hold - as I think of the amazing gift God has given us. My little angel is laying in a cot on the same soil as I am on today. She has no idea at all of what tomorrow holds for her. Please pray for her that she will be filled with peace as she takes the 7+ hour journey by road from Suixi to Guangzhou. I've moved beyond excitement. I have peace in my heart and am ready for sleep. Thanks so all the beautiful people who have emailed me - you have made this time even more special and have helped keep my eyes wet! I feel totally blessed and loved and supported. I have tried to email some back, but for some reason I can't through the blog from here - I will on my return. So - it's time for sleep - the sound of carols is filtering through into our room. I will sleep well and dream of sleeping beside my little girl tomorrow night and loving her in a way that I have never, ever know.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We're nearly on our way

I thought I'd post a photo or two of where the house is now at - no that's not rain and fog - it's the deck after it's just been stained and smoke! - no views at the moment. We have a bit of work happening whilst we're away, but not a lot.
Well - the time has come. I'm doing all the finishing touches and have finally finished packing. I'm so excited! So - for now - it's farewell. Hopefully, all going well, I'll post lots from China so you can kinda walk with us. Did I mention that I'm excited! I've had so little sleep and I can't see it getting any better. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their love and support and to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas. 'Talk' to you from China.........I'm not sure if I mentioned that I'm REALLY excited....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

After the dust has settled

I thought I would show you a couple of photo's taken by a visiting fire-fighter last Sunday. These are taken at 'The Pondage" which is where I walk or ride around and it's about 4.5 kms from where we are living and about 2.5kms from the new home. Everything seems to have settled down now and the hot spots are more around Bogong Village and Falls Creek. The danger is still there, but not so bad. I'm taking photo's and insurance policies with me to Melbourne just to be safe. I've finally packed today - so were ready to go - Ebony has one suitcase and we are sharing one! I can't beleive we've actually been able to get everything into one suitcase! It's a miracle on it's own. We leave for Melbourne on Tuesday and then we fly out on Thursday. I have cried a lot today - just feeling overwhelmed and trying to come to terms with my excitement and nerves! What an incredible 6 weeks it has been. I've slept so little compared to normal. I guess that's just preparing me for motherhood!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How can this be happening?

  I've just returned from 5 days in Melbourne - it was exhausting and today I'm trying to come to terms with getting this home back into some sort of order and......bushfires. Yes - right on our doorstep. If you believe in God - please pray for us. It is such a stressful time with trying to build a home, sell franchises, get ready to travel and meet our longed for little daughter and try to cope with bushfires within 1000m of our new home. I've posted a photo to help you understand what we're contending with. It was taken last night on one of the visits we did to check on things and it was taken from the deck of our new home! I'll post again in a day or so when things settle down a bit

Monday, December 04, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Time is going so quickly - I can't believe that in 3 weeks from this moment, I'll have my much longed for daughter in my arms. I think of it and I get tears in my eyes. This has been the most amazing journey. I don't think I could even truly describe the feelings that I have been through in the past month. I'm still coming to terms with packing for a child when I've never had one. Packing for a child when I don't really know her size. Packing for a child when...well...when I'm totally confused about what to pack! Here's a photo of what I'm trying to sort through! I know it will all work out - but it's very hard to get my head around. I'm actually NOT that busy - I'm just loving this period of my life. It is our 14th wedding anniversary on Wednesday - but we leave for Melbourne in the early hours of Thursday morning, so we celebrated on Sunday with a trip to Bright and a lovely afternoon together. This is our last season as a couple. I want us to make this time special - amongst trying to build a home, run a business in Melbourne and establish a business here! Sure!
Our relationship seems so rock solid at this time. We have huge stresses on us - but together we're making it making it. I'm not sure if I have a Heckle or a Jeckle when I call Graham during the day - but by the end of the day we're mates - and that's the main thing.
I've also include a photo of our 'temporary' nursery...... Yes, the mosquito net will have to go! but I love it at the moment. It can be part of her bedroom once she's in a bed. You have to give a girl credit for being a girl!
We've also progressed with our home the best we can - it is just coming along so well as far as I'm concerned thanks to our dear friend Steve Beattie and his wife Marg (for letting him go!) ... here are some of the images of where we're at. .... it probably looks a bit strange because it's a corragated iron home and this is the back, but it will look wonderful when it's finished! Keep watching for further developments......

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We have our travel dates

It's been confirmed. We will leave on Thursday 21st December at approximately noon - then spend a night and part of a day in Hong Kong and late on the 22nd we'll catch a train to Guangzhou. It's meant to be a beautiful train journey where we will see quite of a lot of the countryside. We're all looking forward to that! We will arrive later on the 22nd at the place we will see our daughters for the first time - The White Swan in Guangzhou. We are able to take a trip to the Orphanage where Ebony spent the first 16 months of her life - it's another 1 hour plane trip, but we are so excited to be able to do this. We have been in contact with many others from all over the world that have/are - adopted/adopting from the same Orphanage. It's an amazing world on the internet. We have learnt so much.
We are so excited to think that in 5 weeks we will have our little girl in our arms forever.
We received an update on her and she now has 8 teeth! (less for us to worry about :)

I thought I'd add a photo taken when we saw Ebony's photo's for the first time along with a photo of our 'batch buddies' from Benalla who celebrated their new daughter's 1st birthday with out on Sunday :(

Monday, November 20, 2006


Has it really only been 10 days since I last wrote? I feel like I've lived a lifetime in that time.
Just after my last post I left to meet Graham in Benalla (he'd been down in Melbourne since Wednesday night) and we had a weekend with the other members of our 'Batch' that will travel together to China. It was a wonderful weekend with lots of joy, tears, fun and exchanging of gifts. Came back to Melbourne Sunday night and then we got about filling out forms etc and trying to get back to a normal life. Wednesday I had the final sesison of my "Asian cooking class" which was great fun. I hadn't planned to go back to Melbourne until Monday 20th to lodge the immigration paperwork for Ebony, but I found out Wednesday that it had to be done ASAP, so Mandy from Benalla and I had to head down there on Thursday. It was a loooonnnng day. I was up at 4.30am and didn't return until 9.30pm! I was exhausted and an absolute mess on Friday. I then had Children's Ministry training on Saturday from 9.30-2 which I loved but was still feeling very exhausted. Sunday was Church, then lunch with one of the lovely couples from Church and their children and then we were of to Benalla again for the night and on to Melbourne Monday.
Yes, the house is progressing! Things are a bit slower simply because we have so much else to contend with - but it's happening. I've included the latest photo's.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Introducing our little girl....

We welcome you to the place in our hearts that you have filled for sooo long - we love you already, without seeing you in person. My heart weeps happy tears every time I look into your beautiful eyes. I love that you look so happy and that you are waving to us.
We are waiting for you our little miracle and will be there to bring you home as soon as we possibly can.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We have a daughter.....

Firstly - I want to say a special thank you to all the beautiful people who have emailed and left messages on my blog that I can't respond too because there are no email addresses - you are truly special people who have touched my heart. I'm overwhelmed by your kindness and your love and wish I could tell you personally!

Now for our daughter! her name will be Ebony Grace Xing Boote. She was born on 20th August, 2005 (one day after our file was logged in - in China). Her Chinese name is SUI, Hua Xing and she is way down South in Suixi Orphanage, Guangdong Province in Guangzhou (I'm learning lots of new names!).

I took Mum and Dad (who are visiting) up to see the new home at about 10.30am yesterday and I (luckily) diverted the home phone to the mobile. Boy am I glad I did! We got the call! - I didn't expect it until Wednesday night and it came at 11am! I was so glad to be surrounded by people we love and who love us. It was lovely. I couldn't believe it - I was running around the block trying to find pen and paper - then I had to have a long conversation with the Social Worker who called me - all about the home we are living in and her having to come and do an assessment - when all I wanted to do was get of the phone and shout it from the rooftop!
As soon as I hung up, I burst into tears of joy!
What a day it has been and then a night! I've slept all of 3 hours - probably preparing me for motherhood!

Well, we don't have a photo yet - that comes tomorrow - but I will post as soon as we get it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thank you Lord!

It has happened - the CCAA changed their website at approximately 8pm this evening and we're included! Yes - I'm a Mum - I don't know what to say - or think - or do! My heart has been so numb for the last week. It has been an incredible roller coaster - but now I have the confirmation I've waited so long for. How can I put it into words! other than to thank my wonderful God for His faithfulness to me - to us!

Here's the post on the CCAA site I've waited SO long to see.......the bottom paragraph says that placements are finished for all files to the 25/8 - we are 19/8 - so it definitely includes us.
The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before December 31, 2005.
The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before August 25, 2005.

Monday, October 30, 2006

No news yet with the adoption.....but some for the new home!

Life certainly has its ups and downs - but I'm choosing joy! There is still no news on the adoption front. It WILL happen and part of me can't wait - but I have to wait so I'm going to wait well :) As a result this post is about our developing new home! Here's some updated photo's.....

As you can see - the deck is amazing and it looks so much more like a home with windows in it!. The builders have worked very, very hard and they are due to leave on Wednesday and they won't be back they hope! They are both absolutely exhuasted! The rest will be up to us to organise trades to do. Bye 'till the next post.......

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What will today bring?

Good sound sleep is becoming a thing of the past. I guess it's a bit like being in the very last stage of pregnancy. I'm awake far more than normal. I'm up checking emails at ridiculous times of the night. I can't think straight - and yet there is an incredible sense of peace.
We are staying with my brother and sister in law at the moment (and their 2 beautiful little girls!) - my sister in law (Bernie) is checking the CCAA site more often than I am, which is so sweet.
The reality is that we are most likely included in this next lot of referrals - but I really can't fully go there yet. I won't until it's official. I truly thought we would hear Mon or Tues - so I'm hopeful for today.
I don't want to wish away time - I have full faith that all things will happen when they are meant to and I don't want the time to go quickly when Ebony is home - so I must be patient now and enjoy this time and it's excitement.
The next post should be the one I've dreamed about posting for such a long, long time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

100 good wishes quilt progress

For those of you who aren't aware - I've taken on the project of a 100 good wishes quilt which is a Chinese tradition. If you are interested in being part of this, just leave a comment on my blog (with your email address) and I'll send you what I'm doing. Anyone can participate! It's a gift for little Ebony when she's older and can understand its meaning. I have 24/100 squares (photo of them below) so they are........and thanks so much to all of you who have been able to get their's done. I'm trying to have all the squares in by 30th November.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Today is what some would call Black Friday - not us though!


Well, don't things change a lot in one week!  I've been laid up after having knee surgery on Monday (everything went incredibly well) and today was my first chance to get back and see the progress.  I was thrilled!  Everyone's been working very hard (except me!).  The first photo shows what will be the kitchen.  The second photos is taken standing in the kitchen looking through the lounge.  The third photo is the view from the office!  Gosh I can't believe how incredible it looks.  We both feel totally blessed.

We've had a few issues this week with engineering and bracing - but so far so good. Trusses should be up in the next day or so and windows arrive on Monday! WOW.

In amongst this we patiently wait for news from China. We have to head back down to Melbourne Monday 23rd as we have a new employee starting and I have to have my post-op 
appointment. I truly hope that during that week we will have really good news!

Life has its twists and turns - but if I can leave it to God it works out as it should.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Our new home has started!

It's been 10 days since I posted. Already 10 days! it's so hard to believe that in another 20ish days we hope to hear the news we've waited SUCH a LONG time to hear. China is celebrating a National holiday this week - so most businesses close down. This could mean referrals are delayed by a week. Only time will tell.
Now for an update on the building. Below is a picture of where we are at as of today. The builders started on Monday 25th September and spent the whole week here (they are staying with us). The were due to go back home to Melbourne today, but ended up leaving on Monday because the frame and trusses have been held up and won't be here until next Monday. Our first delay. I'm actually glad because the home we are living in is ours again (going to have to get used to that changing!). Anyway, the weather was spectacular for the builders last week and they got lots done (and so did we!). We had to come back down to Melbourne on the weekend for Aislinn's Christening in Werribee. It was a LONG weekend, but it was lots of fun. A quiet week for me this week - just catching up on things - doing some craft and getting ready for surgery on my knee on Monday and the builders return.

Monday, September 25, 2006

So now there's news

Referrals came through at lunchtime today and they are through to the 9th August! That means we're 10 log in days away! So what does that mean???? Hopefully it means we'll be next, so late October we should hear. (Which would mean travel December I think) Oh my gosh - could it really be? I'd give it an 85% chance. Everything points to the fact that it should happen, but so many have been disappointed in the past. I really don't know how to feel, but mostly I'm excited.

I also have to tell you about the most beauitful card I received from my 9 year old niece Renee today. It made me cry - actually I'll post photo's instead.....they speak for themselves. Everytime I re-read it I cry. I went straight to the block
(the builders have arrived) and I couldn't read it to Graham 'cause I was crying. I'm so lucky to have such a beautiful, caring niece who loves God like she does. (If you can't read it - she says "Dear Jen, I was so upset when you left. I could feel my heart beating because it knew that I was feeling upset. I hope you have a safe trip and I know GOD will be with you. POME (how cute!) : God loves you - He knows what you do - He hears the Cows go moo - and I LOVE YOU! ) Ooh - here I go again....tissues!

No news yet....

It's only early, but I just wanted to share. I've woken up this morning feeling better than I have since we arrived back "home" from our week in Melbourne. I didn't really realize that I wasn't doing so well last week. This is all such an adjustment, but I'm thanking God today for His goodness in helping walk me through this time in my life. The seasons are amazing here - a bit like life. Last week we had 26 degrees - yesterday we had warm sunshine to heavy hail and lo and behold I look out the window this morning and what do I see - snow again (I've included a photo). I couldn't believe it. Every time I think I've seen the last of the snow - it comes back. We also had a heavy frost this morning - and now the sun is shining beautifully. Well - I'm off to see Graham at the block - at least with some sort of a spring in my step. The builders have arrived and life is going to look very different for us for the next few months as they will be living with us 10 days on and 4 days off (at least 3 times, maybe more). I pray I'll be writing really good news again before this day is out.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Meet some of my special friends

Tomorrow I hope to post more information on the next round of allocations - which could be a very exciting post - but before then, I want to introduce you to 2 of the children that have recently returned from China - Gabriella, who I spoke of earlier in the year and now Aislinn - who only returned on the 10th September. The first photo is Gabriella on the grass at playgroup - then Aislinn's referral photo (in the cane chair) and then Aislinn on her first day at home after flying in from China with her mum and dad (in the bottom right corner) - Derek and Sandi who were in our Education sessions. Both these little girls are so beautiful and it's a delight to be part of their lives. They both have wonderful and loving parents and being so far away from them is one of the sad things about living up here in Mt. Beauty!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A new place to call home

It's happened - here I am in beautiful Mt. Beauty. As I write, the sun is setting over snow capped Mt. Bogong. The peace and serenity of this valley has to be seen to be believed. I know it's not been a good snow season, but it's still spectacular. I go to sleep at night and it is SO incredibly quiet it's hard to describe.

I'm finding the transition more difficult that Graham - he's settled in beautifully and hasn't looked back - I had to remind him on Sunday that I'm leaving behind so much of what and who is important to me. Most of my family and all my friends who have walked the journey of adoption with me over the past 2 years. I know I'll be ok - it's just going to be difficult for a while. I wake up in the morning and there is absolutely NO pressure at all. It's hard to believe after what life was like in Melbourne. I'm not working at this stage - I'm trusting God will open doors if that's what He wants me to do, but I won't be surprised if he simply wants me to "be" for a while and not "do". I feel much better today - yesterday was a tough day. I arrived up here last Wednesday and then had to go back to Melbourne for the day on Saturday. It was fun but exhausting. I guess I'll get used to it!

We're in temporary accommodation which still has beautiful views, but obviously is not the place to put our roots down. I'm praying that this will be where we bring little Ebony Grace home to (because of the timing more so than anything).

Today the CCAA updated their site to show that they have now matched up to 22nd July - not at all what I had hoped. I really hoped they would process to the end of July - but they didn't. What does it mean - who knows? Every month I think the picture will become more clear - but it doesn't. I'm still believing in my heart that we will travel in December - I can't possibly bring myself to believe anything else. I'll deal with it when and if I have to. There is simply too much change happening at the moment for me to try and deal with what may or may not happen. Officially we now have 28 days between when they have referred to (22nd June 05) and when we will be referred (when they reach 19th August 05).

In the meantime I spend hours sending and answering emails explaining how much things have changed over the past week - planning for the new home with Graham and dreaming of what life will look like in the next chapter.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A year ago today our file was logged in in China.

It's Saturday today and I'm sitting in my room at Mark and Bern's. We returned from our holiday on Queenslands Sunshine Coast on Thursday afternoon. We finally had what I call a "real" holiday. We only hired a car to get to and from the airport - other than that we walked and enjoyed the amazing sunshine. 22-24 degrees almost every day. We had such a beautiful location - we could see the place where the Noosa River enters the ocean at Noosaville - from our bed! (see photo!) Needless to say it wasn't hard to "lay in" in the mornings. We barely went out for meals - we just enjoyed our surroundings and felt totally blessed to be there.

There have been another lot of adoption allocations since I last wrote and the CCAA have now allocated all files received up until the 13th July 2005. We really only have 37 days between when they are up to and our date. What that means I just don't know at this stage. You would think that as we get closer it would be easier to guage - but it's still all guesswork. At least now I really do think that Ebony will be home for Christmas. It's been 1 whole year today since our file was logged in in China. It's also been the toughest year of my life. But I KNOW it will be worth it.
How am I feeling? In total upheaval. We have come home and now we are really unsure of what to do. We are both leaning toward me giving up work and going to live in Mt. Beauty and trusting God that the finances will work. I just don't feel that I could live apart from Graham. It doesn't seem right. I'll know more on Monday and will post soon after, but I think my days in Melbourne are now numbered. We both do.

Friday, July 14, 2006

How am I feeling?

These are such interesting times for me. We have so much happening it's almost beyond my ability to cope. If I thought too deeply about what's going on I think I'd collapse. Our home has sold and we are moving out in 3 weeks. We have been offered a 3 bedroom home in Mt. Beauty rent free while we build - which is an incredible blessing. We move on the 4th August and then come back to Melbourne on Monday 7th and (thank God!) we leave for 8 nights on the Sunshine Coast - which couldn't be better timed. We return on Thursday 17th August and then on Monday 21st, Graham will officially move up to Mt. Beauty and I'll move in with my brother Mark, his wife Bern and my 2 beautiful nieces Bec (3.5) and Lizzie (1). There I'll stay until China (whilst we try and build a home in Mt. Beauty!). Gosh! Adopting - building a home - moving - living apart........I can't believe it's all happening - and SO fast. I feel extremely overwhelmed - but I know it will be OK - it will all happen. I just don't know how at this stage. Work is also a puzzle for me - I love working at the Church and they are being so incredible loving and gracious. I know it's hard on them, trying to plan around my uncertainties - they are an awesome group of people to work with. I am continually fighting feelings of disconnectedness and I guess uselessness. I'll just fill in the spots wherever I'm needed and pray that I'm useful.
I've already started packing and the room that I lovingly painted and decorated has now been dismantled :( It's hard to believe Ebony will never sleep in there!
On the adoption front - I'm just waiting for the next lot of allocations to come through, which should be in the next 10 days. That will tell us ALOT about what will happen from here. I'll certainly post when I hear the next lot of news!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Written by Jen for Ebony Grace

I did it! I put my thoughts into a poem whilst I was away at Lakes Entrance last weekend. It's far from perfect - but it comes from the heart....

My darling little Ebony Grace
How much I long to see your face
Such emptiness has my heart long felt
Yet I know when I see you just how it will melt.

A lifetime of sadness, a hole not yet filled
Yet God’s loving plan will see my tears stilled
He formed you and made you – especially for me
He’s watching your life now – as He does so you’ll see.

My love for you sweetheart seems so intense
There’s times when I wonder if it really makes sense
Sometimes I try to picture your face
And often I imagine your baby embrace.

How different my life is going to be
I can’t even express how that thought sets me free
I pray that the journey that brings us together
Will move along quickly so we’re a family forever.

The place of your birth is so special to me
As is the woman who with sadness set you free
She’s brave ‘cause she did what most couldn’t do
In the depth of her heart she lovingly knew
Giving you up was the best thing for you.

So know my sweet daughter I’ll do all I can
To love you and guide you to fulfill our God’s plan
Remembering for ever the gift that she gave
Loving you forever is my way to repay.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another bit of excitement

We're another step closer. Yesterday the CCAA changed their website to show that children had been allocated for all files logged in up to and including 28th June (we were logged in on 19th August - that means they have 48 days of files to get through!) - that means we're now officially the next Victorian Batch to be allocated! This lot of allocations was an increase in the number of days too - they allocated 13 days - which is a vast improvement on a few months ago. We can realistically say that there is an outside chance we'll get allocation in August (travel Oct), a slight inside chance for September (travel Nov) and a reasonably strong chance for October (travel Dec) our precious little girl could be home for Christmas. It's almost too scary to say. I'm feeling really excited at the moment....will post again soon on other "life" events that are going on.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We're edging forward.....

This photo was taken on Mother's Day. No - I'm not sad, as a matter of fact I barely thought about it until the waitress offered a free glass of bubbly to "Mums". I didn't know what to say - but my precious Dad did - he ordered one for me and went on to make sure the waitress knew exactly what was happening. Thanks Dad - you made me feel special. At least I believe I can say with certainity that this WILL BE my LAST Mother's day where I don't have a child to hold in my arms (although I think I thought that last year!!!)

Another round of allocations (referrals) have come through (yesterday). This time they are through to the 15th June, which means China made it through 9 days this time. Not great - but not bad either. I feel the best I have felt for most of the year today. I don't know why - I think I've just come to terms with waiting. My guestimate at this stage is that we will get allocation in October (late) and travel in December. I can cope with that.

We've officially made the decision to move to Mt. Beauty in the foothills of Falls Creek in mountain country Victoria. We are both very excited, although I'm a little more reserved than Gra. It means separation from family for me - at a time when I was really looking forward to being an "at home" Mum and spending time with my sister and sister-in-law. All I can say is that God knows - I don't. The part I love is selecting all the kitchen/colours/tiles etc for the new home. I laugh when I walk past Ebony's room at home and see all the work I put into it and knowing she may never actually sleep in it now! Gosh life is funny.
We've decided to go ahead with life as if the adoption isn't happening - that way we just continue to plan and when it happens we'll make everything fit together. I don't know how, but again I know God does.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Red Thread

Came across this today and had to share it! It explains so beautifully the "Red Thread" that I occasionally refer to.......

Why China??

A red thread to China was cast today,
from us to a child so far away.
This thread symbolizes an attachment of hearts,
that distance alone can’t keep us apart.

Her mother and I are caught in a chase,
that time alone will bring us to face

This loving young child we want so much to greet,
with love in our hearts before we did meet.
This tiny, thin thread may stretch, tangle or fray,
but our love for her grows stronger each day.
Through the test of time it won’t break or sever,
she’ll be part of us forever and ever.
With oceans between us, the distance is spanned,
by a love that is greater than man could have planned.
For God in His mercy loved her and us,
and decided our family would be a great plus.
So for now we’ll just love her and pray every day,
that God keeps her and loves her for us till we may,
travel to China, that land of great past,
to the side of our daughter, to hold her at last.

~Author Unknown~

Monday, April 24, 2006

Life Lessons

I haven't been well over this last week and it's given me time to read. In the last couple of days I've finished a book called "The Waiting Child" and in the last 1/2 day have read the book "A Treasury of Adoption Miracles". I have learnt SO much. Now - finally - it all makes sense. Now I see how we are the lucky ones - God chose us because He knew we could do it. He knew we could love a child from a different culture - one that has grown IN our hearts - although not under it. Deep in my heart I have felt that a lot of my purpose has been to fill the empty place in my heart - now that is a an added blessing. What an amazing God we have - what an awesome journey it has been over these years - and what a privilidge to know that God knew all along what I didn't. I have cried many tears over the past days - each page I have turned has opened my eyes to the struggles and challenges that lay ahead - but they are tears of joy, expectation and readiness. Praise be to God.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A taste of excitement......

I had to do a quick post to share my excitement that our friends Leanne and Hao became a "family" at about this time yesterday. I mentioned them in my last post and it's so exciting to hear that 2 have now become 3! Little Gabriella is settling in well. Apparently she is tiny - fitting into 00's when Leanne expected 0's. I'm just so excited for them and having this happen at this time really does give me a ray of sunshine. I can't wait to see them as a family and to finally meet tiny little Gabriella. This journey is amazing and as I said to my friend Lyn this morning, I find myself shifting between so many different emotions - and at times just pushing down any feelings at all - but at the moment I feel lots of joy for Leanne, Hao and precious little Gabriella.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And another month goes by......

Here I am - a month later. It's hard to know what to say. Work is so busy at the moment I'm really not having much time to think.
We've recently completed 3 weeks cleaning at the Commonwealth Games Village. That certainly made time go quickly. During that time we also had a weeks holiday up at our favorite place - Mount Beauty in NE Victoria. A place to find peace and rest. It was wonderful.

It really does seem that the adoption process has slowed down dramatically. At the end of March the next lot of allocations were posted on the CCAA website - this time there were only 5 days of files - the close off was 30th May LID's (see previous post for explanation!). This has been devastating for our dear friends in Vic Batch 20 who have been waiting since November for their allocations. They missed out on the last lot by 8 days, and now by 3. The only ray of sunshine I could give them was that they would definitely be in the next lot.
We really don't know what is happening, but I'm holding on hard to the fact that our local Department and the overseas Agencies are saying that the wait from LID to allocation is now about 12 months. That means we would get allocation in about August and probably travel September/October. My upside is that the weather will be much better then!
I've really had to have a good talk with myself and find peace in the knowledge that this will happen in God's timing - not mine. And His timing is always perfect.

We had a wonderful get together at our place on March 25th with our "travel buddies" who we will travel to China with. Our dear friend Lyn Smith (Manda's mum) came along and talked to us in depth about what to expect from here and the various processes we will encounter along the way. It was an amazing afternoon. We all really enjoyed getting to know each other better and also learning more about the process.

The other exciting thing is that at the time of the last allocations, the CCAA website also changed to reflect the fact that all files with a LID in August passed through the review room and are now in the matching room. That's exciting - that is where we will be matched with our precious daughter Ebony. It's just so exciting to see some change and some progress.

It's also exciting to know that our friends Leanne and Hao leave TOMORROW to meet their precious daughter "Gabriella Grace" - this is such an exciting time for them and I can't wait to hear of their journey and to see their darling baby daughter when they get home. I wish them every blessing on their journey.

Till next time......

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A special day

Today is a special day - for many reasons. It's my birthday for one - but more importantly it's the last one I'll spend not being a mum.
My darling husband presented me with a most precious card and gift this morning (not something he often does!). He gave me a beautiful card that spoke of my last birthday not being a mum and of the mum he believed I would be and his gift to me was one of the "Willow Tree" series called "Angel of mine - so loved, so very loved". It's a carved figure of a mother and baby -I cried - and so did Graham. I have looked at these figures so often and longed for one (I've given many as gifts!) - but never wanted to buy one for myself. Who more special to give me one? I'm so touched and so grateful to have a man like I do in my life.

On to the adoption - It's been a challenging start to the year with mixed news about the timeline for adoptions - I thought I'd take the time to explain the process because so many are asking me what is going on.
Once our file was received in China we got a Log In Date (LID) - from here on, that is the most important date for us. Once in China, our file moves into the review room at some point, where it stays for some 1-2 months, and then it moves to the matching room. It is in the matching room that we are allocated a child and soon after we are advised we have been allocated. At this stage there are 2 batches ahead of us - we're Vic Batch 22 and there are still Vic Batches 20 and 21 to be allocated. In the last few weeks, the China Centre for Adoptive Affairs put on their website that "all files received in China with a LID of June 05 had been reviewed and that they had finished the allocation of children for the families whose adoption application documents were LID before May 25, 2005."
Soon after that notice was put on the CCAA website (approx 24th Feb) allocations started to come through. Unfortunately Batch 20 (Victoria) missed out by about 8 days. Their LID was 2nd June 05. The CCAA site still says the same and all of us waiting are regularly checking for those dates to change. Rumour has it that all files with a July LID have now been moved to the matching room and all files LID August are in the review room. IF this is true - we could be a June/July allocation - if it isn't true, who knows. My heart crys for those in Victoria Batch 20 - to miss out by such a few days.
The good news has been that friends we have made in the adoption process - Leanne & Hao Cheng - have been allocated. They were actually behind us in the process (LID 26th September), but because Hao is from Chinese descent, their file was what is termed "expedited", which means they get allocated earlier. I couldn't be happier for them. I cried as I read their post and the joy they were feeling. A tiny 8 month old baby daughter - Lei Jin Shi - I can't wait to see photo's. It helps so much to have any allocations coming through - there is so much joy coming out of the "posts" on the Families with Children from China (FCC) site that it really helps me to keep focussed on what is ahead for us.

So that is where we are at on this day - I'm heading out to do some gardening and then we're going to a BBQ with some of our China "batch buddies" as we call ourselves 'cause we're all travelling to China together and some other friends we went through the process with who are adopting from Ethopia.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Staying focussed!

I never knew it would be SO difficult. Waiting is much harder than I expected, although it's more trying to stay focussed on today! We haven't heard anything, and at this stage there are still 2 Victorian "batches" ahead of us. I haven't lost hope for June/July - but we just don't know. I said to some people yesterday - the way I feel is like being about 8 months pregnant and anticipating and beginning to dream of life in it's new form - and then being told you actually have another 4-6 months of pregnancy ahead (I'm sure the girls can relate!).

Anyway - I'm doing everything I can to stay focussed on each day and to enjoy the time we have together before little Ebony arrives. Also trying NOT to be too busy!

So no concrete news - just some feelings......and hopefully a photo's of Ebony's room too!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Well - I've never been very good at keeping secrets......
We've decided on the name "Ebony Grace" for our daughter! I had a huge list of names - which I didn't think would happen - then I came across a photo of little friend of mine from some years ago and her name was Ebony. I mentioned it to Graham and he felt really comfortable with it! The second name bears no explanation I'm sure.
It's Saturday today and we've just finished painting half the inside of our home. We started early in January. Ebony's room is done and it's just wonderful. I'll try and post a photo when I can.
The journey to Ebony is slowing down a bit - it seems the China program is becoming very popular and the result is longer waits. Although I felt a bit frustrated at first - I've settled back into accepting it and am just enjoying preparing our home for the arrival of this precious little girl. I'm probably not bubbling over in the same way I was at Christmas time, but I know that time will come again. We're expecting to receive allocation (this will be when we get a copy of her file including a photo) in approximately May and then we'll travel about 7 weeks later.
I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006 is finally here!

Now it’s finally arrived! The year we will bring our daughter home to live with us. I can’t describe the excitement I feel. I’m going to be a Mum! Here’s what I wrote in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning in the form of an email to the FCC (Families with Children from China) group:

[Hello everyone - here I am wide awake at 3.45 in the morning! Just thinking and dreaming of what next Christmas will be like. It has been a journey of some 25 years where there has been so much pain, surgery, invasive procedures, tears and frustration and now I sit here and can truly contemplate a year ahead when I will actually become a "Mum". It's hard to comprehend, yet I feel like my whole life has led me to this place. Finally I'm allowing myself to feel excited and it's the most wonderful feeling. This is the first Christmas for so, so many years, that I can feel real, deep, unexplainable joy and it's the most wonderful feeling. I can't even imagine what it will feel like when we see the photo of the child that has been chosen for us - the one that I know will be worth every moment of the wait. So here's to all my friends out there in FCC land - no matter what stage you are at - and there are many. The time is coming - and it will be here before we know it. To the first time Mums (& Dads), the second time Mums (& Dads) and the Mums (& Dads) in waiting - have a beautiful Christmas either with your precious family or whilst you are waiting with eager anticipation. Bless you all for your incredible wisdom and support - I don't think I could have done this journey as well without you - as a matter of fact, I know I couldn't have! Jen (& Graham) Boote Batch 22 3.55am 24/12/2005]

Welcome to 2006 my precious daughter – wherever you are - I know you are alive and waiting somewhere and I’m feeling REALLY alive and desperately waiting for you!....oh! and by the way - we've decided on a name! but it's a secret for the time being........

Thank you God for Your faithfullness to us . Without You, none of this would be possible.