Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Waiting for Yu Qiu Ping

Thinking of the child that you are waiting for? Yes, as waiting parents we ALL wonder while we wait (and wait and wait!). "Where is my child living? Is she born yet? Is she warm and cared for?" One morning, during our wait, I walked into my husband's bedroom as he dressed. He had tears in his eyes. He looked up and asked me: "Is she warm and being held?" Now, this is a husband who I had to DRAG through the paper chase! He's now the most fantastic dad to our 4 year old...On some level, everyone worries and wonders about the child they will call their own! We prayed EVERY day that our child was warm and safe until we got to China in the summer of 2002.

I tried to fill my time up with house renovations. I also sewed a "100 Good Wishes Quilt." Sewing the quilt squares together, somehow, made the 14 month wait feel like I was connected to my child. I would sew and dream of what we would do together, what it would feel like to hold her for the first time, and wonder what shape eyes she had. It's all part of the adoption process and the wait is easier for some than others. To help pass the time while waiting, I connected with other parents who had the same DTC month as I did and it was terrifically rewarding. I recommend joining a DTC Yahoo group to parents who were waiting. In addition, participating in a 100 Good Wishes Quilt swap with other parents is also a fun way to keep busy until you travel. You will give and receive this wonderful keepsake quilt for your child. If you've never seen a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, then check out the Yahoo group "100 Good Wishes Quilt."

There is ONE thing that I didn't do while I waited and that was learn about lifebooks. These books were created for adopted children so that they could learn about their early life story. Had I known about such books, I would have researched this project before leaving for China! If you're waiting or if you are ready to write a lifebook for your child, I've created two resources for adoptive parents with children from China: one for waiting families and the other for parents who are beginning a lifebook. Two sites to purchase resource materials are
http://www.foreverfamilycreations.com/ and http://www.scrapandtell.com/. Join the 1700 parents on the Yahoo group called CHINALIFEBOOKS. We have been writing lifebooks since January 2006 and will begin all over again in January 2007. In this group, we share ideas, wording, and resources about lifebooks! This group is run by two Gladney moms, Shirley Mills and Kay Graap. Here is a short excerpt from the lifebook page on my Gotcha day:

"Dear Kyra,
The moment the director placed you in my arms was a moment that I waited a lifetime to experience. I looked into your big, brown eyes and from that moment on, you were my daughter. I felt the warmth of your soft skin and our family finally was complete. You looked at my strange blond hair and blue eyes which were so unfamiliar to you. That evening, you fell asleep on your daddy's warm chest. After we put you in your crib at the hotel, we just watched you sleep in a peaceful, dreamy slumber."

This, and other writing styles, are all explored in the Lifebook writing guide. This workbook is created for parents of children adopted from China.

Kay Graap, Author and Adoptive mom of Yu Qiu Ping (2002)

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