Tuesday, March 6, 2012

After this whine, I'm gonna need me some cheese

Every time I start thinking about what I'm going to complain about here, a flood of counter-attacks hit me:  (They all start with "Yeah? Cry me a river..." then they get different.)
  • ...at least YOU don't have to have morning sickness the whole time.
  • ...what about the folks in the traditional adoption program who wait for 6 years???
  • ...some people would die for this opportunity.
  • ...at least you have a match!
  • ...what about people who have lost their babies?
  • ...you KNEW it would take a long time!
  • ...you signed up for this in the first place!
  • ...you have PLENTY else to be thinking about and doing.  Why waste your time pining?
Why?  Because my baby is halfway around the world and I won't get to meet her, hug her, hold her for about 3/4 of a year still!!!  That's why. 

Yes, plenty of people have bigger worries and sorrows than me, but this is my moment to mourn for what is hurting me.

I have had GREAT news and GREAT things happening lately.  The reality is, though, that there is SO much further to go and I am thinking about all the things that will happen in the mean time that I will miss.  Snow just started walking.  I've missed that.  I already missed her first smiles, her first eight teeth, seeing her crawl, clap her hands, smile at ducks and chickens, saying her first words, eating her first solid foods.  I might not even get to feed her a bottle at this rate.  That time may have passed.  A lot of her fat babyness might have melted away into complete toddlerhood by then. 

I signed up for this.  I know.  I still desperately want it.  But I am feeling an acute sense of loss right now for the things I have missed and will miss, a helplessness against the process, and an intense longing to reach out to the little one who will forever be my daughter, but who right now doesn't even know I exist. 

I also worry.  I worry about how she is progressing in a (albeit presumably good) foster home that is run by a city orphanage in a poor province.  I worry about her eyes - is she getting enough protection?  Enough visual stimulation? Is she adapting and learning how to compensate for her low vision?  Am I losing the opportunity to give her the start she needs to be able to read print instead of using Braille?  I worry about her skin - is she covered and protected?  Has she gotten too much exposure and burned?  I worry about her not forming an attachment to her foster family and having difficulty bonding to us.  I hope she forms a strong attachment to her foster family, but I weep at the thought of how it will break her heart to be taken from them.  I worry about my baby. 

But since there is nothing I can do now but do paperwork, wait, do paperwork, send her a care package, and wait more, I'll tell you what I'm going to do:
I'm going to make some ice cream for Lashi and I and watch something brainless and funny (hence, the "Cheese") and go to sleep. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Meet our little princess, Snow!

Now that we have received our pre-approval to adopt our little one from China, we are now allowed to talk about her online.  

No longer do we need to speak vaguely about our beautiful princess, using code names like "Snow White".  We can now use her real name!  So without further ado, meet... Snow!!!  Her name, Xue, literally means Snow.  Why?  Because she is the "fairest of them all".  
Snow in December 2011 - 11 months old.   Check out the booties that are bigger than her head!

Snow is albino.  She is the whitest Chinese girl you'll ever see.  Rosy pink-white skin, platinum white hair that sticks straight out from her beautiful little head.  She's a little porcelain angel!  She also has low vision, which we will be checking out with a pediatric eye specialist as soon as she gets home and somewhat settled.

As soon as we heard that CCAI had an albino baby's profile for us, we did what anyone would do: we Googled "Chinese albino girl".  We were pleasantly surprised to find a wealth of examples, mostly due to the successful modeling career of Connie Chiu.  
Hong Kong born fashion model Connie Chiu

Snow just turned one year old in February.  We are hoping to get her home by this fall.  Ideally, if our clearances would come through faster, we COULD (with lots of logistical and financial miracles) travel to get her in August.  I'm not holding my breath, but I AM praying.  I would like to enlist the prayers of all of you praying people to help us get our baby home soon. 

Now, for a little FAQ, punctuated by pictures of my beautiful little daughter:

Where is she?
She is living with a foster family in Nanying, Henan province, China.  Where is that?  If you draw a line between Shanghai (on the coast) and the ancient capital of Xian, Nanying is about 3/4 of the way to Xian.

Are her eyes pink?
Well, we have no idea.  She is very sensitive to light, so she doesn't open her eyes far.

Pretty Snow at 6 months old
Turns out, most albinos actually have blue eyes, not pink.  We'll just have to wait until we meet her to find out.

No, she's not bald.  That fuzzy halo IS her hair.

There is more, but I have to run now.  If you have questions, leave them in comments below.

*happy mommy dance*