Bookworm, tomboy or girly girl? The three-in-one package deal sounds pretty appealing to me!
I guess we'll have to let her decide who she is. But I hope she ends up having lots of interests. My parents had very few interests, and I took my cues from them, and now I regret it. We want our daughter to experience the world.
You DO have a site set up to overload with posted pictures, right?! ;) And good camera phones? I just signed up for a Flickr account, and Rick has Photobucket. Our camera phone is bad. But we have cameras - a digital camera, a box camera circa 1965, and two broken SLRs that might be fixable. Gotta remember to find a camera repair shop.
How old is the child going to be? 18 months to three years. Definitely a toddler.
what's a good estimate how long they expect this to take, and how will that affect the child's age when you get her? Our wait will be less than a year from the time China receives our dossier. (Which is why we should send it out NOW!!) Maybe as little as six months. Maybe when they match us with a child, they'll choose one who is at the young end of our spectrum so that she won't age past the top end while we wait. Or maybe not!
Why a girl and not a boy? We have a lot of nephews and Rick's mother really wanted a granddaughter. :)
I like boys just fine, but we talked about it at great length and decided that, because we had very few restrictions on our request form, we could stand to add just that little request for a specific gender. The program has more boys in it than girls, but the agency is sure we'll get a match easily because we okayed so many of the possible disabilities listed.
Why did you choose China? We like China. It has a rich culture, and Chinatown is easily accessible. She won't be totally isolated from her culture. And because we really liked this program and we fit its adoptive parent requirements very well.
What's the worst part of the experience been so far? Convincing our PCP's secretary to assist with the paperwork. She's been very resistant throughout it all. But now I have a contender for worst part - getting the dang dossier in the mail! We're so close! Every stupid little last-minute issue that comes up pisses me off more and more.
What's the best part? Well, there's the prospect of being parents... that's the big thing that keeps us going. Also, the support and good wishes from our family and friends. Everybody is being so wonderful, and we haven't run into the problems they warn you about. No family members disapproving of the interracial nature of our future family. We won't run into hostility from neighbors or school system here on the adoption-friendly Cape. Nobody has told us we're idiots for going special-needs. We have had a few people tell us irrelevant horror stories for no obvious reason, but that's just an annoyance.
Have you met others in your community that have adopted from China? Not yet, but partly that's because we haven't shown up to very many social events yet. We did go to one, and did briefly meet some couples with adopted children from China (and Kazakhstan), so if you count that, then yes. And we see families around town all the time. But I don't know anyone by name yet. I shall remedy this by showing up at the events in the future.
Why do you want to adopt? Don't you feel like you're depriving yourself and/or your boy of the chance to genetically propagate? No, actually I don't care either way. I respect that some people value passing on their genes, but don't find it that compelling. I'll be a mommy just as much this way as any other!
Do you really think you're cut out to raise a foreign child? We're going to try our best! We'll be better at it than some, I suspect, because we're genuinely interested in Chinese culture - we're even learning Mandarin. How much do you plan on "Americanizing" your kid? I don't think we have an option - she'll be Americanized all the way. It's not like we can shield her from the culture we participate so much in ourselves. What will be more interesting is how much Italian culture she'll get. My mother has already taken it upon herself to handle that. (Sheesh, I wish she'd done the same for me! Better late than never, I guess.)
What will you do if/when your child begins expressing an interest in finding his or her biological parents? Not much, I'm afraid. We'll help as much as we can, but Chinese custom and policy dictate that the identities of her parents will be unknown. Nearly 100% of Chinese children in the orphanage system are abandoned anonymously. This is because of the one-child policy; in addition, it is illegal to abandon your child (even one you've given birth to illegally), so for parents who are not rich, the best recourse is to not get caught.
While we're in China, we'll take lots of pictures of her home region and learn all we can about it. Then, at least, she'll have information about what her parents' lives must have been like.
That's the end so far. More questions welcomed.