Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lottie. The most adorable puppy girl in the world.

I may come off sounding a little demented here. Don't mean to, but ... I'm in LOVE :)

Scott has nothing to fear from this as he's in love too.

We love Lottie! Lottie is our 12 week old female Havanese puppy. She's the most adorable bundle of fur and affection that we've ever met.

Lottie arrived by plane last Thursday and in six days she has become a major part of our lives. She sleeps with us, she snuggles with us, gets carried around everywhere, gives kisses and plays til she drops. She ADORES Josh (our 6 yr old border collie boy) to the point where she is his constant shadow. Her little tail just wags non-stop with glee the moment she spots him.

From the first night with us, she has slept in our bed, right between us, or on our heads (yep, ON our heads), snuggled up to Scott's back or just under my chin with her paw on my face(that just melts me). Never once has she cried at night and she has the sunniest disposition you could ever expect in a baby dog. And she IS our baby, in the true sense of the word.

Lottie's a tiny little thing, although she doesn't look it in her photos being so fluffy and all. She has the most delicate of bone structure which gives you the impression that she needs to be handled with kid gloves.

I spent the first 3 days with knots in my tummy worrying that she would hurt herself, be upset by the long day she spent flying here to us (not on the best plane connections either), worrying if she's missing her siblings and a host of other things ... now, we're just enjoying being enamoured of her and watching her funny little antics, accepting and giving tonnes of cuddles and playing on the floor with her constantly. I actually spent the majority of today playing with her and then wondered where the time went!

Ok, I just realised that this might seem to you that we might be downplaying our existing love for Josh, our border collie, BUT it really doesn't. We adore Josh too the same way that parents love all their kids (these ARE our kids). He tends to be more independent these days, being 6 yrs old and all, and is coping really well with having a puppy 20 times smaller than himself at his heels for a large part of the day. We've started to hold Lottie back from Josh at times as she really is quite enthusiastic about him. He gets his own walks, just like usual, and without Lottie.

I've been reading about the Havanese breed over the past 2 years after seeing a picture of a Havanese puppy in 'Women's Day' magazine. Many a time I've called different breeders on the mainland (there are none in Tasmania and these dogs are quite rare and hard to get ahold of, females especially) to ask about temperament and character. We wanted a dog that was smaller, one who adores kids for when our own human kid comes along sometime in the future, someone that would be non-threatening for Josh and non-shedding.

About non-shedding ... this is a wonderful thing and the main reason Lottie can sleep happily in our bed. She really doesn't shed hair at all! She smells very un-dog-like, more like flowers actually. She doesn't bark or yap except for one (sweet little puppy) bark if she wants to get your attention (or more like Josh's attention) and that's rare in itself.

So here's some more pics of our beautiful baby ...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

STORK ALERT: Referral from Taiwan

Did you think it was our referral?? No silly, our referral will come from ThaiLAND, this one is from TaiWAN :)

Our friends-by-adoption, *N* & *A*, a young couple who are part of our small adoption group, are the first of us all to receive their referral! It's a boy, Cheng En, and he's 2 1/2 months old. They are both so excited and happy and overwhelmed and *A* says she cried for two days, she was so happy! *A* says they don't have pics yet as they are going in to DHHS today to formally send back the acceptance letter and then they'll receive their much-longed-for pictures of their little man.

CONGRATULATIONS you two! You are such fortunate people.

I know that most say that the children who are adopted are lucky but the reality of it is that it's the parents who are lucky, lucky, lucky. Apart from the obvious, that all new parents are generally euphoric (whether via pregnancy or adoption), adoptive parents have mostly been through the wringer various times, some have had endless IVF, many have had miscarriages (in the plural) and have sometimes been so close to having their baby only to have it taken away from them at the last minute. Heart-wrenching, to say the least.

Added to that, children whose lives start with adoption to a foreign country are generally the survivors, the tough little nuts that have endured a tough start to their tiny lives, who've endured and actually made it through their first, second and more birthdays. Not all do.

So parents of these children know that, on the whole (and there are exceptions, no doubt) they may have a rocky start with their kids, but they will also have stronger bonds with them over time. If they work at it.

Wisdom in the world, so I've read and heard, says that you don't come upon good, worthwhile and enduring relationships very often, without hard work and effort and a lot of challenges. So the more challenges you face and the more you work at it, the more meaningful your relationships will be. There are many, many stories of hardship, struggle and challenges in the land of adoption that show this to be true. We've heard a few from adoptive parents that would make your head spin and we see how things are now for them - things aren't perfect (but are they ever?) but these families have been through so much together, and have stuck it out, only to come out the other side and receive the benefits for enduring the tuff stuff.

It almost brings me to tears when I think back about those stories. They are quite inspiring and I thank those adoptive parents for being so very open about the most private parts of their lives. They didn't have to be but they know that this helps the rest of us immensely. Amazing!

Stories from Thailand - a really great blog

Googling this and that to see the varying range of blogs and other websites about Thailand (did I mention we're going there in 8 weeks!) I found this blog.

It's stories on all kinds of topics with one common thread ... Thailand!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

7 months and counting + one Thai holiday just for fun

OH my! It's been seven months since our file arrived in Thailand. It's passed by unbelievably quickly I'm really happy to say.

Our social worker, *J*, called one morning a week or so ago and excitedly advised us that the Thai adoptions services in Bangkok have acknowledged that our file arrived, that all documentation is in perfect order and commented that all we need to do now is wait to be matched to our little baby/toddler!!!!

This has galvanized us into action and we are planning a fun trip to Thailand for early April 2008 for about 10 days. Contact has been made with Miss Oh (well known and highly thought of within Australian adoptive parents circles) for a bit of guidance on navigating our first few days in Bangkok and then we hope to swing on down to Ko Lanta, Phuket and then perhaps up to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to see as much as we can squeeze into that many days.

My head is going round and round with all of the places I'd love to see .. I don't want to waste a minute! As tempting as it is to get straight off the plane and go visit the children in the orphanages, Scotty and I have decided that we don't want to give the Thai Adoption services any reason to doubt our motives and have decided not to go visiting until we go to bring home our own babe. So close! but no dice, we've decided that's the way it's going to be.

A teeny tiny part of me is thinking, hoping really, how wonderful it would be if we meanwhile received our referral in the next couple of weeks. THEN we could be going FOR REAL!!!!!

From my lips to the Adoption services ears :)