Saturday, January 29, 2005

Baby it's Cold Outside!
Patrick Cook

Ice Storm 2005-Swimming anyone?
Patrick Cook

Icy Dicey

Last night a winter storm made its way through Georgia. It started as rain turned to freezing rain and then became sleet. The sleet covers the ground an inch thick in places and looks like snow at first glance. The weatherman says we are in store for some more this afternoon.

I ordered a map of China from National Geographic and tacked it to the wall. The map is very detailed and helps one to understand the enormity of the country's population. Each province is represented and everytime I find out where the referrals are from for the week or month I go to the map to see where these little ones where born. Jiangxi, Hunan, Sichuan, Guangxi etc. have all become familiar to me geographically. Six months ago I had no idea where Beijing was, except that I knew it was the capital of China.

I now ask my Chinese acquaintances where they are from and I actually know where places like Shanghai and Dongshan are on the map. I didn't even know where Taiwan was located.

I never in my life thought about going to China until we decided to bring Hannah home. Now I am starting to feel a connection with it's culture, customs, language , and especially it's children. Before, I never read a news article about China. Now, I read everything, no matter how mundane or small.

I recently finished a Book called "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck (Thanks Effie). It is a fictional story about pre-cultural revolution China. This book mentioned much of the culture and customs that are still prevalent in much of China today. The simplicity of the language and narrative intertwined with the cultural history make the story very compelling.

Friday, January 28, 2005

DTC! (Dossier to China)

Today is a very important day in our adoption process. All the paper gathering, certification, and authentication has ended for now. Our adoption agency has our "dossier" together and will send it to Beijing today. This is known as the DTC(dossier to China) day.

Now we wait for our referral of Hannah. The referral is when we are actually matched with a child and notified of the match. Soon thereafter, we will receive a picture and a report of the child's name, weight, age development, personality, and health from the Chinese government and be asked to accept or refuse the referral. We have read and been told the referral day is a very emotional day. We will lay eyes on our child for the first time that day. What a day that will be!

There is one more very important day that the referral is loosely tied to. This day is known as the LID (log in date). This is the day the Chinese government officially receives our dossier. Recent posts on internet message boards indicate LID is usually ten days after DTC. The referral wait from the LID is running in the six month range. The Chinese new year begins February 9th and ends the 13th. If our dossier is not LID before the Chinese New Year we may have to wait a little longer than expected. Many people in China vacation during the Chinese New Year and the government is shut down during that time, as we understand. We will not know our LID until sometime in March (we hope).

I am very emotional as I type this and I just want go get Hannah right now! The wait, the horrible wait.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

MaCayla Cook, Hannah's big sister to be.
Patrick Cook

Sunday, January 23, 2005


MaCayla is sick today. She has a high fever and Deann was not feeling well this morning, so we skipped church. We did have a devotional on happiness. It was very interesting teaching the meaning of joy to MaCayla. The point of the study became very clear as we talked about the things that bring us happiness and what God might think of those things. It comes down to making good choices. For instance, we asked MaCayla how her choice of breakfast might influence her day and therefore her happiness. I told her eating chocolate for breakfast might make her happy for the moment, but later in the morning she may become irritable, which may cause her to misbehave. The misbehavior would have a consequence, which could steal her joy for the day. I know...a little too deep for a first grader, but hey I learned something. Every choice, no matter how small, may influence our joy. So go out there and make good choices...for your sake. God wants you to be happy!

Three Cuties

MaCayla "Cookie", Deann and Elizabeth. Elizabeth (the daughter of some very special friends) provided the final inspiration we needed to solidify our decision to bring Hannah home. Elizabeth will always hold a special place in our hearts, as will her sister, Lydia.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him" 1 Samuel 1:27
 Posted by Hello

My Daughter's Note to Hannah

Dear Hannah you are going to be the best little sister ever that's what I think about you because
I just think that I don't know why I think about you every day at school at church at mama jo's
and big pop's and they are two good grandperent's I'm telling you about this because I want
you to know about america.

P.S. I bet you would like to know about your other Grandparents, also. Poppa Cook, Momma Cook, Momma Pat and Bob. They are very sweet to me and they will be sweet to you.

MaCayla Cook is six years old in the first grade and has agreed to regularly contribute to this blog.

Friday, January 21, 2005

DTC Date

We received a call from our dossier specialist tonight. She explained that our DTC would be Friday, January 28, 2005. My wife and little girl cannot stop smiling and neither can I. One step closer.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Journal Entries

I began keeping a journal about our adoption experience on November 30, 2004. I hope to publish the journal on this blog in the near future. In the mean time, we are very close to DTC (Dossier to China). Right now, we know many of our dossier papers are in Houston at the Chinese Consulate being authenticated. They may even be on the way back to Holt International as I write this. We are very excited knowing we are so close to DTC and eventually LIC (Logged in China).

Photo of Cook Family sent with dossier to China. Deann, MaCayla and Patrick CookPosted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Message Groups

I have read message groups this past week that pertain to China adoption. I am realizing there are many other hopeful parents like us with the same feelings of love and hope for their precious children to be. I knew there were thousands of others, but after beginning to read their stories on the message boards it fills my heart with joy and somehow I feel a bond with complete strangers.

One message board has a recurring theme of "rescuing orphaned children". Most of the adopting parents are not adopting for this reason. Neither are we. I have never had the feeling I am rescuing an orphan. I simply want to love this child as much as one person can love another. Some might say "How can you love a child you have never seen". To them I say "I have seen her in my heart". Some things are impossible to explain logically and are beyond reason. Love is one of those things. It can never be bought nor sold. It can only "be". It is very similar to knowledge in that it cannot be taken from you. Like a memory it is forever yours to keep and hold close to your heart.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Anxious Moment

Have you ever had a moment when you feel like you are aware something is happening to a loved one? I just had one of those moments. A strange feeling of anxiety filled me, but I was not anxious. I started to think about Hannah. It was as if I were feeling her anxiety. I am not sure what to make of this.

Yesterday we sent the final paperwork to Holt International. No more paperwork, for now. Now we wait.