Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3rd "LID"iversary

Today is our 3 year "LID"iversary. Hopefully we only have one more LIDiversary to get through before we can bring home our China baby.

It is somewhat fitting given our experience with China adoptions that today we learned that our China agency is bankrupt and closing their doors tomorrow. After panicking due to very poor communication that made us think we had to have our new notarized application and additional payment to the new agency by tomorrow, we are much calmer now after reading all of the bits of info other Harrahs clients have gleaned. Apparently we have until mid July to submit the payment and paperwork to our new agency - CCAI. It looks like a good agency, but the unknown is always a bit worrisome. Harrahs was so flexible and laid back, and it looks like CCAI will be a bit more "hands on"; for example, apparently we will have to pass a quiz verifying that we took 10 hours of training before we will be allowed to make travel arrangements. Hopefully they will be as flexible about us adopting from Kazakhstan during the wait as Harrahs was.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Archaeology Site Visit

This past weekend I took Nikolai to his first archaeology site. One of the sites we are working on had a public day on Saturday where anyone could come and tour the site. It is not an excavation I am personally involved with, but it is for a client I work for a lot. The excavation was in the yard area of a stone building that had been built ca. 1760 and called the Market Master’s house. You can read more about the excavation here http://www.bladenarch.blogspot.com/
Nikolai was a little unsure about where I had brought him at first, probably in part because several excited coworkers and our client came up to us right away to meet him. Our client also had her 1-year old son there, so that was fun. She offered to let Nik sit in a test unit for a photo, but I opted for outside of the unit. I tried to get Nik interested in helping screen at the public screening station (i.e., play in the dirt) but he was a little unsure why I was encouraging this. He really liked the metal conglomerate that Tara showed him, though.
One of my coworkers (who Nik had actually met before) showing Nikolai a test unit

Posing with artifacts (including the whole and very breakable artifact our client handed Nik for the photo!)

Monday, June 8, 2009


There is nothing like a good rumor to get us really focused on finishing our home study update so we can get a valid 171H. RQ is reporting a rumor that CCAA will match all of March 2006 in the next batch of referrals. I KNOW it will not happen (and RQ says the same), but what if…? Most people think it will take until at least October to finish March, if not the rest of the year. No good rumors have ever come true, but eventually over a 4-year period, one is bound to happen, right? Even though the rumor is very unlikely to pan out, it is fun to dream for a little – just don’t tell my employer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


We went camping this weekend with two other families. Nikolai LOVED it, which makes me happy since most of my fondest memories from when I was a kid are family camping trips. I am not surprised that he had fun since his approach to life is that everything is fun until proven otherwise.

I took Friday off to pack. I was running a little late, but left our house at 3 to pick up Nikolai and then drive to Annapolis to pick up Chris, who had a business “meeting” at a crab house. We left Annapolis at 5 and arrived in VA beach around 10:20 pm! I hate traffic. As we approached the camp ground, the temperature dropped about 5 degrees, the wind picked up, and we started seeing a lot of lightening. We pulled into the camp site, which Jenn, Eric, and Tyler had luckily already chosen, and could tell that the storm was imminent. Tyler was already asleep in their tent, so Jenn and Eric went back in their tent and we sat in our car as the skies opened up and lightening flashed everywhere. After the storm passed, we finally got the tent up around 11:30 pm. Luckily Nikolai just slept through everything and we moved him into the pack-n-play in our tent.

Nikolai was funny Saturday morning. He woke up early (5:30 am!) since our tent is white and it gets bright as soon as the sun rises. I ignored him as best I could until he stood up, looked down at us sleeping on the ground, and started saying Dada!? Dada!? He giggled and pointed at the tent all around us – full-arm open-hand pointing as if to say: do you see this?

We spent the morning at the camp site and went to the beach after lunch. Nikolai loved playing in the sand and water. The sand was trouble though; Nik would get a little in his mouth and then use his totally sand-coated hands to try to get the sand out. He also had a few face plants in the sand as he had difficulty walking on it at first. I have no idea how much sand he ate. Eric and Chris fished some, but only caught a small rockfish and a skate. A guy nearby caught a small fish (like 4”) in a net and let the kids see it. Nik grabbed it right away.

Sunday our friends planned a full day including going to the beach, eating lunch, breaking down the camp site, playing at the playground, looking at the fish in the tanks, and hiking in the cypress swamp – not to mention driving home. I was a little worried that nap time was notably missing from the schedule. We went down to the beach in the morning. As soon as we got close Nikolai started saying “ish” (fish) and doing the sign for fish. Is it really possible that he remembered the fish that were caught on Saturday?? I doubt that he automatically associates water with fish. We got back to the camp site a little before noon. Nikolai actually fell asleep during lunch in the cool chair we brought that attaches to the picnic table. We pulled the pack-n-play out of the tent and laid Nik in it to take a nap while we packed everything up.

The mini-hike through the swamps was fun. We did not bring anything to carry Nikolai in, so he walked some, we carried him the rest of the time. He was really loud in the woods, which were otherwise quiet and tranquil with occasional frog croaks. He just sounded so amazed by everything. During the hike (and really all weekend) Nikolai tried to imitate Tyler and wanted to do everything he did. But a 5-year old can do things like walk on the wooden retaining wall that is difficult for a 1-year old, even with two spotters.

Nikolai really honed his dog-spotting skills on this trip. A few times on the hike he would stop or try to go backwards saying “ooh ooh”. Sure enough a moment later a dog would come around the corner. I do not know how he knew they were coming – perhaps he heard a leash rattling? He got to visit with three dogs this trip, accompanied by ecstatic giggles.

We were definitely going through baby withdrawal at work Monday, and I think the baby missed us too. He just wanted to be held rather than being laid in his crib to sleep. Usually he wants to lay down right away and fall asleep on his own. Unfortunately he is a little miserable too since it looks like he may have caught poison ivy as well as sustained several bug bites.