Monday, November 21, 2011

Showering Henry with love and great friends

The day for my adoption shower finally came yesterday (11.19.11). I was both excited and nervous, and I felt as though I was getting married! My host friend, Nubia, baked yummy cupcakes, made delicious pizza and sandwiches, and did a ton of things to help make the shower a success, so a big THANK YOU to Nubia! Our favor boxes included: a cool luggage tag, a Hello Kitty candy, a mini pen, and some things for the games -- all loosely based on a "Chinamerica" theme.

After a bit of mingling, we asked everyone to open their favor boxes to pull out their "red card" to write a little note (comment, advice, word of wisdom, joke, etc.) to Henry for my album. Then, we played Celebrity Adoptions trivia where my friends had to guess whether the celebrity was an "adoptive parent" or an "adopted person." We played until there was one winner.

After that, we played "Test your Chinese Calligraphy Skills" which I made up. I printed the two characters which made up Henry's Chinese first and last names on separate sheets. Henry's unofficial last name was "easiest" so I gave my friends 20 seconds to study the character, hid it from view, and gave them another 20 seconds to write the name. This was their practice run, and I was pretty impressed with everyone's result. Then, I pulled out Henry's first name in Chinese and there was a chorus of, "You've gotta be kidding!" (yeah, it was very difficult!). We allowed about 40 seconds for review, and probably about a minute to write out the character as best as they could without seeing the word again. It was so funny (see photo #4), and the cards are a great keepsake for my album!

We ended our games with an American childhood pastime: hula hooping. We had a bag of Chinese coins (I have a small collection of coins but you could make these), two of each denomination, and each participant would draw one coin out of the bag. The "competitors" would pair up with the person who matched their coin, and the one who hula-hooped the longest advanced to the next round. We played until we had one winner!

Finally, for the gift-opening part, I asked everyone to "help" me open the gifts by choosing a gift that was not theirs. I didn't want everyone staring at me for 20 minutes so this was a good move on my part :). I was touched by the generosity from my friends and family, and it reminded me that Henry is a very lucky little man. I can't wait to show him everything: the announcement well-wishes, the Evite responses, the red notes from friends, gift tag messages, greeting cards, and lots of photos. Another big THANK YOU to everyone who came to the shower and to everyone who showered Henry "with love."

1) Favor boxes and cupcakes made by my host friend.
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2) We had everyone write a little note to Henry.
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3) We played Celebrity Adoptions trivia (winner: Alice).
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4) We had everyone test their calligraphy skills (winner: Sara) - hilarious!
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5) This is my friend, Misty, who won the Hula Hoop Contest
(her game face worked!).
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6) Gifts from generous friends and family.
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7) More gifts from family and friends (Henry is so spoiled!).
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8) The next day: our 10-year old Shih-Tzu, Monty,
with helium-filled balloons!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just because it's 11.11.11

Nothing spectacular in the mailbox yesterday and today is Veteran's Day, which means no mail at all (Happy Veterans/Remembrance Day!). Monday will be Day 48 of waiting for our I-800A Approval. Last year it took 45 days but according to Kim's Waiting for I800A - Nov 5 2011 chart on RumorQueen, the current wait is roughly 60-70+ days! I'm still optimistically hoping for an earlier process from the USCIS since we've filed once already...but, this may mean absolutely nothing.

We did receive some news from our agency about Henry a few days ago. Apparently, he's now in a therapy center at the Kaifeng Orphanage but there was no mention of whether this is a permanent move or if they'll take our little guy back to Xuchang. I've already told my husband that we may have to visit both orphanages! I know I'm going to take a ridiculous amount of photos!

I want to end this post with a quote, which my nephew Daniel posted on his Facebook status: I never count the days, I make the days count. Sweet but soooo hard!