Wednesday, May 30, 2007


. . . I get my own way!!

Despite the opinions of some good blogging friends I still like the name Romilly.

She could still be Jemima, Matilda, Clara or more likely Beatrice, but Romilly is still my favourite - that's a record-breaking 4 whole days at the top!!


Big Brother is back!!

I think that my life will probably change more through the course of this series than the contestants' lives!

It's already preselected on Sky Plus and series linked. Well, I've got to have something to watch when the household's wide awake with jet lag at 2 am.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


What about Romilly?


1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3 It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright -
until you hear them speak.

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something
right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who
got there first.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will
sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

When you go into court, you are putting yourself In the hands of 12 people
who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.


The layout hiccups were really irritating me - so I've changed to the new version of Blogger (like the private blog). I've lost some of the personalised bits in the process, I've tried to put back my favourite and the most important bits, with some success (I'm not going to spend too long on it!)

More changes to come, no doubt. Stay tuned!


I'm still undecided and it's beginning to irritate me (let alone all the people who keep asking!)

She definitely won't be:
Emilia, Freya - too popular
Eliza - Elizabeth will be her second name, Daughter No 2 may well be Eliza!!

She could well be:
Clara - still
Jemima, Matilda, Beatrice, Naomi, Annabel, Olivia

What do you think?

Friday, May 25, 2007


I had misplaced some tickets for tomorrow . . . 45 minutes later I've found them!!

Also found a birth announcement (from 2 months ago), a great offer for my favourite hotel (though now may not be the best time to book a holiday!) and a craft magazine I knew hadn't arrived!! (Oops - don't think I'll ever learn the lesson about opening the post when it arrives!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This is the one I'm considering.

Maxi-Cosi Priori Fix in Happy Flower - YES, EVEN HER CARSEAT WILL BE PINK!!

Anyone have any good or bad experiences of it?

My reasons for choosing this one:
  • it's Isofix and compatible with my car,
  • the fabric's softer than the B*tax equivalent
  • the seat is more padded than the B*tax equivalent
  • it scores highly in the safety tests
  • it's pink!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Opinions needed.

I know I want an Isofix seat - that narrows the options dramatically, it's basically down to 2 brands, Maxicosi or Britax.

So please tell me your thoughts as I'm baffled!!


Clothes, clothes and more clothes! As well as monitors, thermometers, nail clippers, melamine 'crockery' (should be plasticery!), pink flat sheets, pink fitted sheets, bottle brushes, baby shampoo and nappy cream. Spent a fortune, still need quite a lot more.

The first outfit is a particularly special one - it's one of my favourites I bought this in a much smaller size for A. I'm hoping that Whatshername will wear this in the Autumn, but I'm keeping the tags on in case she's bigger than UK clothing sizes!!

2 pairs of summer short dungarees from Next. I've decided that I'm going to buy 9-12 months for the summer, as she'll be nearly 9 months when we meet.

Pink onesies for sleeping and socks from Hennes. I've been told never to buy 1 pair but always at least 2 - so that when the inevitable sock goes missing the other can still be used! (Any more handy hints anyone?)

3 tops from Baby Gap. The white bolero is to soothe the 'Clothing Police' in China (Granny aged Chinese women who don't approve of seeing exposed skin on babies!)

Gorgeous swimming costume from Monsoon - with room for a swim nappy underneath!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


To J - she bought lots of beautiful things, outfits for Whatshername and things for me too - extremely generous.

This dress is coming to China, it's beautiful, so soft, pink and patchwork - all my favourites!

I loved it the moment I saw it, then this weekend I discovered the frilly bits!!

(and there's more from J - when I've taken more photos!!)


To C - she bought Whatshername some beautiful PJs in 12 months (so they'll be great for the autumn). Thank you, I can't wait for Whatshername to be tucked up in her bed wearing them! x

(And I can't wait to be buying something for the P and her little sis!)


Last weekend I met up with fellow IAers at a seminar. It was lovely to catch up with them!

I showed Whathersname's photos to anyone who happened to stand still for 5 seconds - some people even recognised me because I had her photo!!

It was especially great to meet up with M and C (whose daughter L is in the same CWI as Whatshername) (we will be travelling together), C (who'll get her referral in a couple of weeks) and J (who's still battling paperwork).

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Our acceptance letters are on their way back to China!! Thanks to M and C for organising the courier - if it had been left to me I wouldn't have been at home early enough to organise Dhl for today. If I've read the messages correctly they weren't supposed to collect the package until tomorrow at 2pm but they've got it already.

When my dossier was being sent to China it was collected on a Friday lunchtime and was in Beijing by 7am (local time) on Monday morning - let's hope that the acceptance letters will get there just as speedily!!

Soon the CCAA will know that I want my daughter and have accepted her referral!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This system is one solution to the problem of travelling and sterilising bottles.

The bottle takes a disposable inner - either a pre-shaped liner or a bag. On top of the liner / bag goes the ring that secures the nipple to the bottle. Only the ring and the nipple need cleaning - Playtex advise only to sterilise once a week! They also make both latex and silicone nipples - including ones for thickened formula!

Sounds simple enough to me for our time in China!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


My little girl is growing up already!

I love her and can't wait to meet her - yet she does not know me but I am glad she is not waiting.

7 months old today. It makes me sad to think I will never know her as a 7 month old.

Monday, May 14, 2007


. . . but her nursery also needs a colour scheme. I'm trying to find a curtain fabric that will go with plain painted walls and new carpet (both colours will be chosen to go with the curtain fabric!)

What do you think of:
Opinions welcomed! Please leave a comment - I know my favourite, but I'm not convinced enough to plump for it, yet!! (Bit like names really!!)


There's supposed to be a YouTube video here, but I can't post it!

Here's the link!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


[Don't panic, I have accepted her referral and I will be going to China to adopt her and bringing her home forever!]

But she won't be my adopted daughter.

She will be my daughter.

She will have been adopted, but that will just be how we became a family - my daughter who made our family through adoption.

It's a small but significant difference, please respect it.


. . . but at least she now has somewhere to sleep and somewhere else to get a clean nappy (or will have when they arrive!)

All the advice I'd received has been to buy a cot bed and not a cot. The nursery will have white furniture. I wanted a c/b with a drop side - not just a drop-side but with a single handed operation!!

'Ivory is the new black!' White isn't easy to find. Drop-side cot beds aren't easy to find (instead they have multi-position mattress levels - but that doesn't help lay a sleeping baby down!)

I'd found this c/b on the Internet a little while ago - it's why I went to Bath a few weekends ago (they didn't have one to try!!)

So first stop this morning was to the Boori stand to try out the single-handed drop-side mechanism - I liked it so I ordered it! I think J (R4 producer) was a little surprised that this took less than 5 minutes in total! In fact we had to spin out this part of the shopping experience so that she could get more on tape! It should be delivered in about 4 weeks, they will put it together in-situ and take-away the packaging AND it was a bargain - for the price of the c/b I got £40 delivery and a £90 mattress for FREE (I like that price!)

Then we did a bit more browsing! Found the Playtex (bottles not bras!) stand - with a very helpful lady who sold me a starter pack of several bottles, a variety of nipples and disposable liners - so that I won't have to sterilise too much in China!

Next I did a bit of car-seat research, still not sure what she'll end up with!

After that I went on to look at changing tables - I found the Stokke Care at a very competitive price at the Glasgow Pram Centre stand. Again I wanted a white one, they didn't have one to check the colour, but they pointed me in the direction of the Stokke stand (over end of the exhibition!). I was happy with the colour and the price from GPC so returned there to order one later in the morning.

J left after a juice together and a quick lesson on using the recording equipment she sent me a month or two ago. So then I was on my own - I browsed around the rest of the hall, bought some bits, did some research and ordered the Stokke Care (which will also arrive in about 4 weeks). I did buy some soft leather 'shoes' - red ones with a pink gingham heart on the front (so hopefully they'll go with pink and red!)

I like versatile bits and bobs. The c/b will transform into a sofa and the changing table will convert into a television table or even a desk! So although they were both pricey they should last for many years - poor Whatshername may be the only teenager who still has a cot and a changing table in her bedroom!!

I didn't see much that I hadn't already seen but it's a great relief to have ordered the c/b and changing table. Now I just need to make my mind up about colour schemes and names!!


Yesterday I went to a seminar in Birmingham about the early days at home after adoption. Sobering topic, fascinating discussion about attachment and brain pathways, very useful.

It was lovely to meet up with other IAs - especially those from China , there were lots of smiles and hugs and kisses of congratulation, even a few pressies - but they deserve a post of their own!

Afterwards I had another interview with Radio 4.

Then I tried to find the hotel I'l booked into - Expedia had the wrong postcode, so it took a little longer than planned.

This morning I met up with the R4 producer at the NEC to go to a Baby Show.

I got home at about 2.30pm.

It's good to be home, very good.

Friday, May 11, 2007


You'll have noticed by now that I haven't posted Whatshername's photo. I haven't posted as the CCAA (Chinese Authorities) don't like it. I might post the referral photo and update when we're home, I haven't decided yet. I have posted photos on the private blog - leave a comment with an email address and how I 'know' (literally or virtually), I won't publish comments like that!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I can't get the settings right - they worked until 10 or so ago, I didn't change them but the blog did get very busy.

The text isn't within the white background - I've fiddled with the settings and still can't get it right. I'm still on the old version of Blogger - Does anyone know which settings I should adjust?

All ideas gratefully appreciated!


. . . delighted to know who you are and delighted to know you read my blog!! I was very sad that you choose to stop and miss reading about your family - though I fully understand your decision - you'd be welcome on the private blog!

For anyone who thinks that I'd welcome them to the private blog - just leave me a comment with your email address, I'll read it but not publish it. Then if I agree, I'll send you an invite to the private blog - where you can see Whatshername!!


. . . was incredible!

I was up at 4am - couldn't sleep. I came downstairs at 5 and started checking my email.

By 6.30 am I'd done some ironing (very unusual!) and was dressed (again extremely unusual for that time of day!) I rang the post office depot to see if they had my 'Special Delivery', they did - so I was straight in the car to go and get it - the first song I heard was 'Baby You Make Me Cry'. By 7am I had collected it, taken a picture of Simon (the Postman) holding the envelope and returned to the car! I opened the envelope. I was disappointed that there were 2 and not 3 pictures, but the pictures there were were great! She looked healthy - which was a great relief.

I drove back home and continued to check my email. By this stage I was worried that the medical translation wouldn't come through that day and I'd booked the Social Worker and the GP for the afternoon - the medical was essential! While I was waiting I posted her picture on my blog. Relief came when the email arrived at 10:15 - I skimmed it, no obvious problems, more relief! I printed out and took it straight to the GP's surgery so she could read it before the afternoon appointment. Whilst I was in Usk I called in on Mum's (and now my) friend J.

I got back home at about noon, by this stage the phone was beginning to ring with friends wanting to share their congratulations!

In the afternoon I met with my SW (social worker), she was very enthusiastic and positive. As we were talking we realised that it was the 2 year anniversary of my passing panel and being approved to be a Mum - thank heavens I didn't realise then that it would take 2 years to get this far. We talked a lot about Whatshername, the medical and what we would be called - we also examined the photos more than once!! We also chatted about the post adoption visits and the adoption process for No 2 and I learnt alot more about domestic adoption - now that China will no longer be an option I am still considering domestic for No 2, we'll see!

[I need to go and get up, I'll have to finish this later!]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here's clarification for J. (J - who are you?)

I'm involved with a radio programme for Radio 4 on international adoption. They are broadcasting 2 programmes in July this year (unless it gets put back again!) I'm not sure of the whole structure but think that my interviews will be used in the second programme.

I've been interviewed twice - the first time at the presenter's house in London last November, the second time I went to Cardiff and was interviewed by the producer who was in London. They've also given me recording equipment to keep an audio diary.


No email yet.

But Abergavenny Depot have my 'Special Delivery' I don't think they know just HOW special - yet!


Just after 5am after 30 minutes awake I had to come downstairs to see if the email was here. It isn't, yet. So instead I recorded my thoughts for the BBC. Now I'm shaking - and it's nothing to do with being cold!

UPDATE: 5:45 - now I'm panicking that the medical won't arrive today and I will have booked the time off work unnecessarily - which would make the running around tomorrow even more difficult to do.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


. . . unsurprisingly I have been moved to tears more often in the past week than usual!

Other bloggers have been blogging about my referral and Whatshername.

I want to say thank you to them for thinking about us (Whatshername and I) and I want to list them for posterity and in case you'd like to see! Check out:
Thanks girls and I look forward to see you at the seminar (Rosie - are you going?) (Any other readers going?)


I've spoken to the post office - I can collect my delivery at 6.30 tomorrow morning!

UPDATE - it may not be that straight forward. It seems like it might come via Parcelforce - it's taken me 45 minutes + to speak to the 'right' person (someone actually in the local depot) to arrange to keep the package (without tracking number). I guess that I'll find that out tomorrow at 6.30am when I'll find out if the package is in Abergavenny, if not I'll have to ring Parcelforce in Newport at 8.30am!


Translated medical report from China via email.

Then later in the day - registered post, paperwork and PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WILL SEE MY BABY TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


How long I have waited to see this. (I could only copy RQ's copy - hence the purple text that is not in the original, but it's good enough for me!)

I think this is something that will always make me smile.





I will continue to post here - but the info will be very censored, more news (and photos of Whatshername) will be available on my private blog - cbhfamily which is also a blogspot site. To be invited in you need to send me a request with your email address - so that I can send an invite to the private blog. Please explain how we are connected - unless it's obvious!

The easiest way to make contact is by leaving a comment - which I won't publish.



SORT OF NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

Today started rather earlier than planned.

At 6.30am Daisy let herself out of my bedroom - I raced out of bed (not quite conscious) to unset the burglar alarm before she set it off. Even though not awake at that point I was already thinking that maybe there was news from China.


But it actually only said that the translation would arrive tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will know about my baby - her likes and dislikes, vital statistics, her history and her routine.

Ironically the email only arrived 10 minutes before Daisy got me up. Now I'm going back to bed to try for my lie-in, not sure it's going to work but I've got to take of advantage of these luxuries while I can!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007


The irony of my referral is that I have bought plenty of clothes - none of them small enough!!

So Whatshername needed summer clothing in small sizes!

I bought a 3 pack of T-shirts - 1 white, 1 pink and 1 striped.

A twin pack of cropped jersey trousers - in light and bright pink.

Another pair of crops - this time pale pink cotton ones with white polka dots.

Also a pretty white sun top and a patchwork skirt, as well as a yellow set of top, shorts and matching sun hat.

As to sizes, I bought 6-9 months (except for patchwork skirt as they only had 9-12 months in that!) But I did check that it could all be returned if the size was wrong - besides I had fun and Whatshername seems more real after my shopping trip and it was worth it just for that.


The totals ticker is now over 12,000 visitors from 56 countries - welcome to readers from Poland and Vietnam (I think although it's difficult to keep track!) That's 1,000 visitors in 3 days. I continue to be amazed!


On the first day - Mummy cried and shook.

On the second day - Mummy was in shock.

On the third day - Mummy was calm.

On the fourth and fifth days - Mummy was grateful to be distracted by visitors!

On the sixth day - Mummy shopped!! (Well, c'mon, how long did you think I could hold out!!)

. . . and everyday Mummy smiled a really big, happy smile.


I've updated the clocks. The UK clock is no longer a dog face. The China clock and weather pixie are now about Kunming and the China clock is a dog face - as Whatshername was born in the year of the Dog!

I've also updated the links - but please let me know if you'd like to listed or have your listing removed.


Whatshername is right down in the most South Westerly province of Yunnan, probably in Kunming - I don't know definitely as I forgot to ask the right question, but given the emotion of the moment I think that's more than understandable.

So far I only know her name, date of birth and province. More information will come with the translation of her medical report - this comes direct from China (who have been on national holiday ever since I heard about Whatshername, they should be back at work today or tomorrow, so I'm hoping for news very soon.) The official copy of the paperwork is still at the Dfes (UK authorities) - they are unclear when they will dispatch the paperwork, I'm hopeful to receive it by the end of the week, the papers will be in Chinese but this package will also include PHOTOS!!!

Several people are asking about her name - I've made some decisions but I will share those on the private blog! But as for her first name, that'll have to wait to see the photo or even to meet her.

Finally - my emotions - I think that I have been exceptionally calm in the past week. I've done more shaking than crying and my short-term memory is ATTROCIOUS!!!!!! I find that I'm loosing track of a conversation in the middle of a word and my conversations jump all over the place and I'm doing a great impression of Mrs Malaprop - yesterday I asked someone to 'Pass the dad please Bready!'

Friday, May 04, 2007


. . . they probably bore you, but I'm fascinated!

Over 11,000 visits in total, from 54 countries and yesterday alone there were over 850 visitors. I'm loosing track of the new countries, but I think they included Europe (OK not a country!), El Salvedor, South Korea, Bermuda (Hi Toni?) and Guam. I wish I could visit all the different places that have viewed the blog - happily I don't think that there'd be time before I go to China!


Thursday, May 03, 2007


Very busy day but mostly good (with some concerning news for my buddy H, x).

I've been finding out about Kunming - the flower provider of China, I love the idea that my daughter (goosebumps just typing 'my daughter') is from a beautiful area surrounded by flowers.

It's very late, I will type more when time allows.


I will have to explain the red thread link later - no time now.

I went back and checked the blog for the day Whatshername was born - it was the day C gave me back the pink blanket that she'd finished off by crocheting the edge.

I knew the blanket was special - now I know how very special!


Whatshername is only 6 and a half months old. That's very young for a referral from China, very young - babies are only released for international adoption at 6 months old, so Whatshername is as young as I could possibly hope for!

I'm sure there will be many reasons why 'she' was chosen for me but at the moment I know very little about her so her age is very important. As a first time Mum I really wanted to have a young baby to know that I had missed as little of her life and development as possible. But there is also a far more important implication - less time in an institution should mean less developmental delays.

We are very lucky, truly lucky.


Parts of my journey are ending, new journies are beginning - so it's time to change some tickers.

The final facts:
It's over 38 months since I first rang Social Services about adopting from China.
My papers were in the queue for 18 months and 1 day (from LID to referral).

In the end I was totally caught out by the timing of events - having expected referral last month and then not expected it this month and I certainly didn't think that I would learn about my daughter yesterday!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Not only did I learn about my daughter for the first time today, but it would also have been my Grandmother's birthday - a lovely coincidence or great twist of fate if you believe in those things, I think I do.

My Granny was a very special and talented lady - I hope my daughter will share those attributes.


She's so young that I haven't got any clothes that will fit her, so I need to go shopping!!!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The last day of term is a Monday.

We're going to have 3 additional twilight sessions (2 hours each) to make up for the day - so term will finish on the Friday.

I don't work on a Monday. I won't be at work by the end of term.

So surely I shouldn't have to attend the twilight sessions, for a day that I don't work at a time when I'll be on leave? AND on the day I become a Mummy.

Dream on!

Didn't leave school til 6pm.

Life's not fair, do I mind? Nah, it doesn't really seem important!!


Yesterday there were over 750 visitors, today 670 [Updated to 788 from 598 cities!].

I'm amazed by the traffic - 1,700+ visitors and 5 new countries in the last 5 days!


Started out so ordinarily.

No news to me so I decided to ring the Dfes (UK facilitator).

It took me 10 minutes to get through. When I finally got a ringing tone they answered quickly. The lady took several minutes to confirm that I had received a referral. I asked for more info, she told me my baby's name, date of birth and province. I didn't think to ask for anything more.

They don't know when they will have completed processing the paperwork, so I don't know how long I will have to wait for a photo or her medical report.

The other couple expecting a referral in this batch also received a baby from Yunnan, that's great as it means we will be able to travel together. Unfortunately as I didn't ask about the SWI (orphanage) we have yet to discover whether they are together at the moment or not! I'm going to email the Dfes and China to try and find out.


I can't believe I can even type it!!

I'm not making much info public. She's only 6 and a half months old and from Yunnan in South West China.

I'm thrilled - I'll now have to wait until next week for a photo and more details.


Yesteday I discovered that the husbands of 2 people I know well are adopted.

I'm still amazed.


. . .it's incredible.

2 new countries, welcome to readers from The Philippines and Greece [UPDATE and Guam!]. 750 visitors in the last 24 hours and over 1,300 hits since Saturday.

I continue to be amazed.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


My papers have officially been in the queue in China for 18 months. I'm extremely relieved that the waiting is probably over. That's nearly 3 times the length of waiting than I expected when I entered the queue, that was very difficult.

My heart goes out to those still waiting.

Overall it's taken me 38 months to get this far, that's a long time, a very long time, too long.

Now, can someone please tell me that I've definitely been matched and tell me about my baby - even better get the paperwork (including photos) in the post. Don't you think I've waited long enough?


. . . I finally managed to talk to my SW, then my phone lost signal and we were cut off before the conversation had finished.

I spoke to her later whilst I was driving, so said she'd ring back.

So when I got home and had let the dogs out I found the phone to sit on until it rang.

Ring, ring (only twice as then I answered it!)


I couldn't get her off the phone, she couldn't hear the stress, I didn't have time to explain - I needed her off the line. I'm not sorry if I was rude - I need to talk to SW about my baby - NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT AT THE MOMENT.


It's the 1st of May.

Today's the day that the new rules come into force and so many people become ineligible to apply to adopt, including me. Ironic timing.

(Note - it won't affect this adoption but means I can't go back for the second baby as I'd planned.)


Over 370 visitors in 24 hours.



. . . I'm going to have a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!