Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thoughts and Reflections

Winter so far --- It's been a busy few weeks here, the short lived ice storm I talked about earlier was followed by a more intense ice storm that paralyzed much of the Midwest for days. Hundreds of thousands of people lost electricity for up to two weeks. Se were lucky here, as we did not lose our power except for a few hours a couple of days later. The surprising thing was that for over a week after the ice, we had very little wind. As bad as it was, we were only a 30 mile per hour wind away from a true disaster. We have had some snow, but nothing really bad so far, just enough to keep the cows from being able to go to the fields to graze, so we have been using more hay than we had hoped.

The Political Process --- The Iowa Caucuses will soon be over, and I can hardly wait. Not that I am political, I will just be happy to see all the politicians go away. The Iowa press always acts as if having the first Presidential elimination event is some kind of an honor, and I guess in a way it is, but it sure plays havoc with everyday life. It seems like there's a presidential candidate behind every bush and rock (and under some of the rocks as well). The whole spectrum seems to be represented, including the fruits and nuts on the fringes of both parties.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

December 14, 2005

It's official, the cutoff date for this batch of referrals is Dec 14, 2005. The 6 days of paperwork covered in the past month is disappointing in terms of progress, but some batches have covered only two days, so it's not so bad. We are officially in the 29th position in line at the referral window. It will be several months yet, but as we are moving closer it is beginning to get a bit scary.

A young woman who has family here in our town, is on her way to China right now with her husband to be united with their daughter. In a few days they will be holding her for the first time. Please remember Kathy and Matt in your thoughts, and pray they have a safe journey.

We hope to be following in their footsteps in a few months. We have speculated about this before, but with babies often being less than 1 year old at "Gotcha Day", the tiny girl who will be Miaya must surely be living somewhere in China at this moment. We can hold her only in our hearts and pray that she is well cared for and content as she unknowingly waits for her forever family. It is difficult to know that your child is halfway around the world in the care of strangers.

And we can only keep waiting.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We'll know more soon!

The rumormongers are predicting the next cutoff date to be December 14, 2005. If that holds to be true, the CCAA will have covered 6 LID days worth of applications, about average for the last 6 months or so. This would put us 29 LID days away from referral. Given the about 6 day average progress per batch since May '07, we could reasonably expect 4 to 5 months until it's our turn. We still have hopes that it will be February or March 2008 when we get our notice. If that is that case, we would likely be traveling in April or May.

As we approach the third Christmas since we began this process, we are not in despair, but do feel sadness at marking yet another big family event as a couple and not as a family. But then, we have marked so many already.

What a storm!

I've never seen an ice storm like it, 15 hours after it started, nearly all the ice had melted, leaving tree limbs as about the only evidence it had happened. Most such storms leave the area paralyzed for several days, with people out of power for days or weeks.

We came out of it in pretty good shape, just the one big tree destroyed -- not really a big loss, we knew it was hollow and in bad shape any way. A few other limbs down, but nothing really bad.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Do you want Ice with that?

Well, we didn't want ice, but we got it anyway! By late morning, the temperatures had risen above freezing, and the ice was beginning to melt. However, this old maple tree we had been worrying about anyway succumbed to the weight of the ice and split into several pieces. We knew the tree was hollow, and as you can see in the picture, it really was! The best part was that nothing else was damaged. When the weather clears, we will get the local tree service to come cut down the rest.

Kim emailed this picture to Channel 13 TV in Des Moines, and they used it several times on their storm watch broadcasts.