Friday, March 02, 2007

Three......


......months since we sent our LOI (Letter of Intent) for Mei Lin (three months and three days to be exact). Three and a half months since we first saw her little face.

We didn't get travel approval this week, but I'm SURE we'll get it next week (well, pretty sure).

The CCAA had told our agency that they were sending out travel approvals before Chinese New Year (two weeks ago), but apparently didn't get around to it. There are a few agencies who received travel approval today, but nothing here. So, we've been told we'll most likely travel at the very end of March into April.

My new goal: To simply live in the here and now.

It's hard to explain, but I know most anyone who's adopted will understand when I say that it's natural to put everything in your life in the context of the trip to China and the new "baby" coming home...so much so that I tend to dwell in the future without enjoying the present. It's especially difficult when we're nearing travel because I need to prepare. I've literally lived in China-preparation-mode for the last three weeks. Every thought is laced with Chinatrip...ish...ness...

....How many packages of antibacterial wipes do we need for six people for 2.5 weeks? More importantly, how many Pepto tablets do we need for four people times three meals a day (taken prophylactically) for 16 days...? Will our visas be here in time? I need to tell so-and-so at church we won't be here to serve at the end of March. I should get two bags of dog food so we have enough while we're gone......

These things whirl through my brain at warp speed and I scare myself (and my husband) when out of nowhere comes one of these thoughts out loud.

I'm pretty well packed except for a few odds and ends (and clothes - minor details like that), so I'm hoping to relax and think in the "here and now"...enjoy life "as is".

I was thinking about this yesterday when it was obvious we weren't getting TA, and then someone (Michelle S.) on one of my adoption yahoo groups posted this quote...

"Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until
something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the
bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a
conflict. Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does
something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be
completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be
where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where
we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later,
and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we
look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand."
--Henri J.M. Nouwen


It's a blessing to have so many great cyber-buddies hanging in there with us. We've never met, but they're an amazing source of support.

Tonight we went out to eat at PF Changs and were wonderfully surprised to find that they're currently featuring foods from the Yunnan province...where Mei Lin is living and where we'll be traveling soon. Here's a blurb from the website:

Flavors of Yunnan
The Yunnan Province is the most southwest province in China and is bordered by Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Tibet as well as the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou and has one of the most diverse ethnic populations in China. The region has a wide range of weather conditions from snow-capped mountains and glaciers in the north to a mild spring climate in the central part to tropical rainforests in the south. The diversity of culture and climate is reflected in Yunnan cuisine. Some of the most unique foods found in the Yunnan Province include its famous cured Yunnan Ham (similar to Spanish Serrano Ham), cheese and dairy products, numerous varieties of mushrooms and chilies as well as fermented items, hearty noodles and pu’er tea. The Flavors of Yunnan menu is reflective of the unique ingredients found in this province.
-->The Flavors of Yunnan Menu
“The Yunnan Province isn’t well known to most people outside of China so we are excited to introduce these new flavors to our customers. We spent a significant amount of time in the region trying the different foods and visiting with local chefs. Based on our experiences, we have created a menu that is delicious, diverse and reflective of the region.” Corporate Executive Chef Bob Tam.

I had the Zodiac Noodles (click for the recipe) and it was really good though I nearly needed CPR after I accidentally ate one of the red chili pods!! OH MY G_SH!!!! Those things are lethal. The dish wasn't spicy otherwise. Miyah loved the noodles, so I think she'll survive Kunming (in Yunnan). Kunming is known for their noodles, especially "Over the Bridge Noodles" and she loves noodles.

Here's the story behind "Over the Bridge (or Crossing the Bridge) Noodles":
Once upon a time there was a scholar who settled into a cottage in preparation for official examinations. His wife had to cross a long wooden bridge over a lake to bring him his meals. In winter, his food was always cold by the time she got to the study bower. Oversleeping one day, she made a curious discovery. She'd stewed a fat chicken and was puzzled to find the broth still hot, though it gave off no steam the oil layer on the surface had preserved the temperature of the broth. Subsequent experiments showed that she could cook the rest of the ingredients for her husband's meal in the hot broth after she crossed the bridge.

This is a traditional meal in the Kunming area. Sort of like a fondue restaurant with communal hot broth for cooking the cut meats and vegetables in the hot pot at your table.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR CHINA!!!!

2 incredible comments!:

Amy said...

I understand you too well! It is like being two weeks over due. The baby is so real and you are desperate to get on with it!!! You'll get the TA this week. I hope we also get our Seeking confirmation letter this week. Our now includes our new daughters, they just happen to be there!How can we not long to be there too?

Terri said...

The wait is tough for me, I can't imagine the wait for a family of 5 (plus one including Mei Lin ) At every meal (since I knew you were my Secret Pal) I have been praying that Mei Lin and my daughter are well fed. I am going to get some Yunnan food from PF Changs today and pray for your family. I am glad all indicates Mei Lin is doing well.