Wednesday, August 30, 2006


So, today in the middle of the liquor store (I was purchasing a special mix for a dinner party I am hosting tomorrow night), a woman walks up to me and recommends a wine called Sante Isabella. Well, to say the least, it shocked me. Those of you who know us well will know why.
She was just a stranger and I was looking at a variety of wines but ended up going with her recommendation. We have each had a glass and it is good and has allowed me to relax a little. Boy did I need to relax a little, work has been INSANE!! A huge thank you to a stranger in a store for a lovely glass of wine partially named after our daughter.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Update on Rumours and Dragon Boats

A quick note. Referrals came in last Friday, they have matched to July 22nd of 2005. The wait is increasing and we are looking at a longer wait time. Lots of time to finish the renovations and save more money!! On the upside, everyone at work will be relieved and I can plan on being there next summer for all of the fun and special activities. Just wanted to share a few more photos,
Shawn took these down at the dragon boat races last weekend. We were entranced by the performers and there were thousands of lanterns!!! Our local grocery chain Fairway has been selling them for weeks, you add your name and message and then all the money is donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation. In fact, that is where all the money from this huge event went!! The military actually donated miles of tents for the weekend and it was really a spectacular show with the races, two stages of entertainment and lots of shopping and food. It was great!!


This is mainly for family and friends who have been asking about our renovations. This first picture is of the vinyl flooring going down in the kitchen. We wanted to do the laminate but being a corner unit, we had the problem of a level floor. The time and money just didn't seem worth it, so we chose this and really like it. The tones go really well with our laminate wood flooring and it has the "look" of ceramic but the warmth and durability of vinyl.
This second photo
is a composite of the new kitchen countertops. It is called Portico Marble and is a very neutral colour that goes beautifully with the new floor.
The third photo
is an example of the basswood blinds that we ordered and put on all of our windows. We LOVE them. They are clean, fresh and so much better than the crappy old builders metal miniblinds that were up. We looked for over a year for these and almost compromised and purchased the "faux wood" ones but we found these at a great deal and put them up over the last two weeks.
So, I will post pictures of the finished articles. Right now, all of the owners are helping to paint the exterior of our building to save money for our Strata. It is so fun and the colour is a gorgeous deep red. It goes really well with all of the new street lights that our little community association has put up. Our neighborhood is on an "upswing" and that's why we bought here two years ago. Our property has increased in value by 75%!! Looking forward to having everything done, off to hold the ladder for Shawn!!

February DTC Secret Pal

As promised, here is a photo of the lovely gifts from my February DTC secret pal. It was "Something for Mom" month and she gave me a really neat mug warmer, ladybug little notecards which I think I will use in Isabel's scrapbooks, a tea bag strainer (that Shawn LOVES to use when he makes our sleepytime tea every night), a candle, bath goodies and organic green tea (which I drink everyday!!) in a beautiful ladybug box. A HUGE thank you and big hugs to you to secret pal, I loved the gifts and am using them as I write this!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I hate rumours part two...

Yep, I really do. The newest one is that there will not be any referrals this week but maybe next and they may not even refer LID's to the end of July 2005. Yuck!! Well, what can you do. I think that the worst part, is explaining this process to family, friends and especially co-workers and bosses. I read on pomegranate last week, about conversations going on at work with the "I just don't know when" theme. With there being such a labour shortage here, it is difficult to find qualified people and although my boss and I have discussed the adoption timing, I know it is in the back of her mind. Today I told her not to worry, it looks like she has me until at least next summer. Not what I wanted to have to say but she was happy to hear it!!
So, we will have to wait to see what the CCAA will do. I really feel for all of those July 05 and Aug 05 LIDers. They are a brave bunch and from the comments that I have read, the most patient of people - they too thought that their wait would be 6 months at the latest. Off to the rumour queen site to get more info...Yikes!!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I hate rumours!!!!

Just a quick post as we are putting up new blinds and getting ready for the kitchen counter measure (more home improvement projects to keep us busy!!). I hate rumours. I should stay very far away from the Queen but it is like a bad accident - I am drawn there every day. The rumours about the upcoming restrictions on the program are brutal. Age restrictions, singles restrictions, health restrictions, weight restrictions and all of the other proposed restrictions. YIKES!! All we can hope is that we are squeaky clean and that our dossier makes it through the review room this year. Oh well, what can we do. Another challenge to becoming parents. I just don't think it is EVER going to happen. I just have this feeling that after 7 years of trying to build a family, we should stop and start to appreciate our life without kids. We are stopping all shopping and researching for now :( Once March is through the review room, we will start again but that could be months down the road. Back to work!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

March DTC Secret Pal

Home sick again (yuck!!) but the postman (and he was a man), rang with a special gift from my March DTC Secret Pal. She was so generous this month (the theme was Animals!!) and I adore the little toothfairy box that she included. So very very sweet. I am going to put batteries in the butterfly clock and put it in Isabel's Lavender Room right now!!
Oh yes, and the card she included was great.
I had to take a picture of Camie with it. So cute!! Pretty good looking for an 18 year old isn't she!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I love surfing (yes, another sick day). I came across this...(just click on the title WOW and it will start, don't know how I did this!!)
on Sopapilla's blog.
I have always loved Sarah, not just because she is a Canadian from the West Coast or her incredible talent but because she is a forward thinking amazing person. Wanted to share with anyone who hasn't seen this. What a gal!!!

How can you tell a newbie blogger?
They have "links" all over posts, not in the main section!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I was reading lots of blogs today (home sick and what a great way to spend some time, not that I don't read blogs everyday anyway!!!). There are so many topics and so many different opinions out there. It is really amazing. As I am relatively new to this whole blogging world, I am finding new blogs everyday!!

There is one thing that I hadn't experienced in the three months that I have been reading blogs and yahoo groups. That is a really angry and negative blog. Yesterday, I had the unpleasant experience of reading one. The blogger was so angry and she was really derogatory in her comments about adoptive parents. It was difficult to read but I am glad that I did. It just states yet another perspective about adoption.

I have known all my life, people who have been either domestically or internationally adopted. As one of my brother's best friends growing up was adopted from Vietnam, I grew up knowing what international adoption was about and how it affected him and his family- for the better I think. Having many friends who were adopted, I never knew that there was such anger directed at adoptive parents. In fact, one of my closest friend's in high school was part of a family with three black adopted children, a chinese mother and white father. I never thought it was strange, not until we went to Michigan on a soccer tournament when we were 14 and experienced extreme racism. My Dad pulled us out of the homes where we were billeted and we had a great time at the hotel but I have never forgotten it. A rude awakening for a couple of Canadian kids who had never experienced such outright racism.

So, I empathize with the writer of that blog and others whose childhoods were full of racism and pain. I can only hope that through the experiences my husband and I have had, we can assist our daughter with these issues. As I have stated before, there is a large Asian community here in Victoria, from immigrants (like my husband) to international students to 3rd and 4th generation Canadians (just like me!!!). She will not be the only Asian person within 100 miles and both her parents have first hand knowledge of abandonment and immigrating from another country. I think that perhaps, people who slam all adoptive parents should also have a look at who we are and what we bring to the table for our children.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hello Veronica the Great!!!

Today was such a great day. I talked to Veronica for a few hours and it was so nice to reconnect!! We have been friends for years and she lives across the country so we don't see each other very often. I know she reads this blog so wanted to say HELLO!! Miss you and it was great to chat. V, Erin and I got into some real "trouble" in our twenties and man, those memories are there forever. All I can say is "I hope that my daughter is NOTHING like me!!!!!" Poor Shawn, he always picked us up and made sure we were home safely.
In other news, I have finished the advent calendar and I love it!!! It is so pretty. The cute angel quilt needs to be ironed and started. When I have it up and going I will post a picture. As I said, I bought it years ago with the intention of making it for my daughter. Can't wait to get started - it makes me feel as though I am "doing something" with this long wait.
It's a beautiful night and I think we will go for a walk...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

In the blogging world...

I have been reading posts today and everyone is talking about this "guilt" idea of adopting children from different countries. This is a comment that I posted on Kay's blog but when I read it back to Shawn, he suggested I post it here as well so...

"I don't feel any guilt about adopting internationally. I can see where you (K was writing about feeling as though she was injuring the global community by taking that child out of her homeland) are coming from with your thoughts on the injury to the global community however, I think that our world is one where immigration happens every minute. We are able to move from one country and culture to another in a matter of hours. As well, reading different stories and knowing women from China, I don't think that international adoption causes female infanticide and abandonment. I do think however that international adoption allows these children to live in a culture where they are celebrated for who they are whether they have special needs or are female. I read one post where an infertile Chinese women felt so guilty that she was willing to give her husband a divorce (she had shamed both of their families by not being able to give birth to a child)!!
When we adopt our daughter from an orphanage where she is one of many and give her a family, where she is the one and only child - her life will change for the better, we think. We live in a city where many of the original settlers were Asian and there is a huge Asian community here - it grows daily through immigration and our daughter will be part of this. If everyone stays in their country of birth, how can they share their culture and promote multiculturalism and understanding in the world. At my workplace and in my family I will be the minority but that intrigues me - we have multicultural potlucks at work which I organize and I adore learning about my husband's culture. So no guilt here at all. Can't wait to raise my daughter and give her everything I was given as a child - including a keen sense of HERself and her culture.

So, that's what I think. I have always liked to call Canada a "salad bowl" where people are invited to share and maintain their culture when they immigrate to this country. I am a proud 4th generation Canadian but my ancestors too came from somewhere else and we were able to keep many of our customs and ideas. So, again, can't wait to raise my daughter and celebrate her ancestry with her!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Isabel's lifebook

I am starting to put together Isabel's lifebook - right now I am just finding supplies and ideas are rolling around in my head. I can start with the items from our side - the journal I am writing for her now, the paperchase we went through, the wait time - and prepare the other pages so that I can enter the information when it arrives. I am hoping that in the journal, I will have written something special on her birthday so that we can share that day even though we will not be together. We do know however, that her birthday (unless her birth mom leaves a note that states the actual day) is a guess but that doesn't matter to us. It is still her special day. A big thank-you to Kay at Hanazono for her suggestion of a journal to write in. I am doing an online version but I would also like to have one in my own handwriting for Isabel.

I am also very excited because I found a beautiful white scrapbook to put all of the quilt square messages in. It is plain white and will offset all of the gorgeous colours and fabrics beautifully. I am a notorious white lover. I have white walls, pale yellow and white furniture with hints of blue and green in my living room. We have painted our fireplace wall a lovely golden yellow and it really shows off a gorgeous Asian print in a gilded gold frame, the crystal candle holders that were my great-grandmother's and the roses in petit silver pots that I adore. I also love primary colours, imagine that!! Isabel's book will be full of beautiful colour and stories just for her. I have a "School Days" book as do my siblings, that my mother put together for us each year with a picture, special artwork, birthday cards, our report cards etc. It means so much to me now and my hope is that Isabel will treasure her lifebook too. Don't worry, I am also going to do the "School Days" book for her as well!!

So, I have ordered a kit to help me along in this process. I love doing all of these things, it just makes me feel as though we are closer to becoming a family. At first, when the wait times started to increase, I was devastated but now I am happy in a way because it gives me so much time to prepare and create all of these lovely things for Isabel. I am almost done with the advent calendar (see previous posts) and am starting to think about working on another quilt that I bought years ago, in hopes of making it for my daughter. I love summer and summer projects!!

Some thoughts on a sunny day...

I called this blog "butterfly kisses and 100 good wishes" because of the night time rituals that my family practiced when I was a child. Please see the May 21st archive for that post. So, today after putting together secret pal gifts, researching areas of China where children have just been referred from and immersing myself in the whole "Chinese adoption experience" I realized that I was being very ethnocentric.

Momentarily, I panicked. What if butterflies mean something horrible in the Chinese culture. I have purchased many items with butterflies on them; fabric, children's toys and last but not least, calling this blog 'butterfly kisses". I know that I have seen numerous butterflies on different pieces of Chinese artwork, so they must mean something!! So I went on a search to see what they mean in Chinese culture. Much to my relief, butterflies are associated with joy. Wow, I was very lucky here but this is how I feel when I see my little yellow butterfly - full of joy. The Pin Yin at the top of the page says "Butterfly". Isn't it beautiful!!

This exercise just reminded me of all of the changes coming and how we will need to wrap our minds around working with our daughter who comes from a different culture. I often joke that I was only able to understand Shawn (he was born in Guyana and moved to Canada when he was 6 years old) after I took a course in Caribbean Culture at University for my anthropology degree. So, all joking aside, after we have our daughter's referral, you won't find me without a book or article about her specific cultural area. I want to know the practices that she is used to and if her birth family had been able to have her as a part of their family, what they would have given her from their culture. Shawn is making a video library of everything Chinese that is on television so that we can show these to Isabel and learn together.
So, now we are aware, we will be working towards learning more about our wonderful daughter's incredible birth country and history.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We are five months into the wait

Camie Cat is calling me to bed so this is a quick post but we are now officially five months into our wait as of yesterday. The last referrals went out last Friday and they were for people with Lock In Date's up to July 13, 2005. There is a lot of speculation out there that they will finish July and get through all of the August LID's in August. That would be great because that would mean that it is still a 12 month wait for us. Longer than the 8 months when we started this process but not the dreaded 24 months that some people were predicting. It is a "wait and see" situation. As I have said many times before, we have absolutely no control over this process!!
What I can control is my spending and I will take a picture of my purchase this week. It is an inflatable kitty stool that was too cute to pass up. It was a little more than 10.00 with tax so I am going to have to count it into this week's purchase as well. Too bad, no shopping this week :(
In other news, all of my quilt squares for both of the swaps have been mailed. My secret pal gifts for August have been purchased and I have found socks for the sock swap that I am involved in. I am sending my first pair of socks in the swap to Australia. How cool is that!! I was saying to Shawn that 10 years ago, we wouldn't have made these connections with people and the research that we are doing would have been much more labour intensive i.e. visiting the library regularly (not that we don't now!) and lugging books around. It is really great to have this whole community online and we are learning so much!! Ohh, gotta go, kitty is calling...