Sunday, 2 December 2007

Our Twins have arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK before you get too excited - they aren't real flesh and blood twins. But they are the next best thing during this looooong wait (I feel like a broken record - I have been saying another 18 months for the last 17 months - I'm starting to get lots of questioning looks now - .

The twin dolls Ming Long and Mei Ling - that I last wrote about in January - arrived on Friday.

It was great fun to go to the post office and get the parcel and then come home rip the wrapping off to reveal them in all their cuddliness.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Zhōngqiūjié - Moon Festival

This festival is known as the Moon Festival and is held each year on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month (in 2007 this is Wednesday 26 September). Because the lunar month starts on a new moon, it is always a full moon on the festival (and the full moon rises at sunset).

On this day people enjoy sitting outdoors admiring the full moon while eating moon cakes (yuèbĭng) and fruits such as pomelo (yòuzi).

The round shape (ie the full moon) to the Chinese symbolises family unity. Therefore the Moon Festival is a holiday for members of the family to get together wherever possible. On that day children will bring their family members back to their parents' home for a reunion.

During Moon Festival all types of lanterns - and especially colourful, animal shaped paper lantern - decorate houses. Moon Festival alters are adorned with five dishes of round fruits, such as apples, peaches, pomegranates, grapes and small melons - the round shape symbolising both the moon and family unity

For adoptive families a great book to read at this time (or anytime) is 'We see the moon' by Carrie A Kitze, EMK Press. A wonderful way to 'connect' with birth family in China and beautifully illustrated with Chinese Peasant Art.

The Legends
During the Yuan dynasty (AD 1280-1368) China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1280) were unhappy at submitting to foreign rule and set out to coordinate a rebellion without being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Each cake contained a message outlining the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government and the Ming dynasty (AD 1368-1644) was created. Today moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend.

The Lady - Cháng'é
There is a legend that thousands of years ago there were 10 suns in the sky and it was burning hot on earth. An archer, Hòuyì, bravely shot down nine of the suns and saved the earth from famine. He was beloved among the people and they made him a king. He was also awarded pills of immortality by the goddess Wángmŭ Niángniang. The pills were for both him and his wife Cháng'é, but Cháng'é was curious and could not resist the temptation of immortality. She secretly took all the pills herself, which not only made her immortal but also floated her to the moon to live forever.

The Man - Wu Kang
Wu Kang was a shiftless fellow who changed apprenticeships all the time. One day he decided that he wanted to be immortal. Wu Kang then went to live in the mountains where he importuned an immortal to teach him. First the immortal taught him about the herbs used to cure sickness, but after three days his characteristic restlessness returned and he asked the immortal to teach him something else. So the immortal taught him chess, but after a short while Wu Kang's enthusiasm again waned. The Wu Kang was given the books of immortality to study. Of course, Wu Kang became bored within a few days and asked if they could travel to come new and exciting place. Angered with Wu Kang's impatience the master banished Wu Kang to the Moon Palace telling him that he must cut down a huge cassia tree before he could return to earth. Though Wu Kang chopped day and night the magical tree restored itself with each blow and thus he still up there chopping.

Friday, 21 September 2007

十五月 - Fifteen months

What can I say?

Fifteen down, only ? to go!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

What a week - 4 years AND 14 months

What a week it has been - two very significant dates.

Firstly - 14 months since log in for DD2 (sadly I don't think we have hit the halfway point yet).

And then it was the 4th anniversary of Forever Day with DD1 - amazing how 4 years can go by so quickly. Four years since she was put screaming into our arms and there was much crying from the three of us. An amazing four years passed by in a nano-second!!!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Yipee!!!!!!!!! We are out of the Review Room

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I logged onto the CCAA site at lunch time today (something of a ritual since we 'went into' the Review Room 3 weeks ago - a check before going to lunch and another before leaving work or later if I forgot).

I didn't actually look at the 'Documents Processing' box first off - I looked to see if there were any announcements in the central panel - quick browse there, nothing new. Then it hit me - the document processing box said:

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before June 30, 2006."

I thought I had started hallucinating, so I shut my eyes and opened them and read them again. It really did say June 30, 2006. My heart and head were pounding fit to burst. I had to tell someone - who'd understand.

So I grabbed my mobile phone (that is Aussie for cell phone) and tried to find fellow June LIDer 'K's number but I managed to fumble around for a while. When I finally managed to dial it, it went through to voicemail and I think I left the most gibberish message imaginable. Undaunted I emailed her and then sent a text message. And yes when she got them she was excited.

Then I phoned my DH - who I knew would be pleased but not quite as excited as K would be - and yes he was pleased but then came the boy response 'so when do you think we will get our R...' (can't bring myself to mention the 'r' word here) - which just goes to show that his Y- chromosome linked deafness has been working all these months and he hasn't taken in any of my 'bulletins' about the 'wait' increasing.

We had our 'official' adoption milestone celebration dinner - Chinese take-away (that Aussie for take-out).

And 7 hours after I first read the news on the CCAA site, I'm still EXCITED!!! (or maybe that is the effect of the MSG).

Sunday, 22 July 2007

13 months down...

Well we have hit the 13 month post DTC mark.

And trying not to focus on the fact that we waited only 14 months for DD1 - notice how I said only, during that wait I would have ripped someone's head off for daring to saying you are only going to wait 14 months. A 14 month wait, that would be luxury this time!

I realised the other day, when someone at work asked how much longer, that for these entire 13 months my stock answer has been 18 months to 2 years more - time marches on but I sound like a broken record.

Oh for the time when I can say less than 18 months - problem is will I recognise that time when it comes!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Party Animal!

My daughter turned 5 this week. How time flies!

She went through my Australian Women's Weekly Kids' Party Cake book and selected this one - Timothy Tiger. Actually I adapted him - he is supposed to be cut out from cake and then iced all over but I decided to just adapt the design and put it on top of a cake with plain royal icing.

I think he turned out really well (his stripes are licorice cut with pinking shears).

I actually made 2 Timothy Tigers - one for her actual birthday and one for her party today. OK I am that type of perfectionist that always likes to make sure I can pull off the cake before the big day (better to realise I am being too ambitious early than when the party is only a couple of hours away) - I had a back up in case of disaster - a premade Spiderman icing (she loves Spiderman - she is such a tomboy).

The party this morning went really well - we held it at Questacon (hands on science museum here in Canberra) - you have to have somewhere inside out of the cold in a Canberra winter. The kids had a science show in the party room and then had access to the exhibits. They really enjoyed it.

But back to cakes - for those ladybird obsessed adoptive parents the Australian Women's Weekly Kids' Party Cake book has 3 great ladybird cake options - there is a big ladybird cake on the cover, there is a cute little ladybird cupcake and another cake decorated with ladybird chocolates. Despite steering my daughter towards these - she really wanted the tiger.

There are actually over 120 cakes in this book - and some of them are works of art