Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It'sThat Love/Hate Thing Again...Now with updates!

Except right now, I'm not feeling the love.

Referrals are here.

Well, some referrals are here... The CCAA only processed matches through May 25, 2005. Since the last referral group ran through May 13, 2005, that means in a month, they only did 12 days worth. Someone please tell me this is gonna stop. It's got to. I know they are doing their best, with more applications than ever before (there were approximately 7900 adoptions to the US alone last year), and probably short-staffed like any other government agency anywhere. But at this rate, its going to be well into 2007 before we ever see our daughter's face. The current wait is around 9-10 months (it was 6 when we started), but The Agency predicts it will continue to stretch out to about 12 months from LID. It's killing me. I can't wait to see what I nutjob I've become by autumn.

And some are not... Apparently, (and I do not claim to know all the facts here) DHL lost over 100 referrals for 2 of the 4 largest agencies that process Chinese adoptions in the US. The Agency's entire group included. The Agency only had one LID for this referral group and those poor folks are losing their minds right about now. The above reference slow down started right in the middle of their wait, with little to no warning. Under their original time frames, they should have already been to China and back. They should be experiencing the doctors' appointments, sleeping issues, amd poop blow-outs they've been dreaming about for years by now. But nope, they get to wait some more. While everyone else posts!! their!! happy!! news!!

Some of the first actual people G. and I met who were adopting through The Agency were 2 couples in this group. We don't know them well, but we've become friendly with them. We like them. They are nice people and they have been through ENOUGH! I know they probably aren't reading this, but I hope they can feel the waves of love and hope that are flowing toward them right now as I type. I can't imagine what you're going through. I don't want to and I am so sorry you have to go through it. We all know you will be united with your children soon, but that doesn't help the pain now, so we won't pretend it does. Just know we are thinking about you.

Now (and I promise this isn't the amaretto and OJ talking) who's gonna kick some DHL ass?

Updated to add: The referrals are now back from the land of the lost. Turns out China accidently sent them to another agency with an almost identical name. I apologize to DHL's ass.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Thank God the Olympics are almost over. And thanks to the magic of our DVR I am only about 10 hours behind in my viewing of all sports chilly and obscure. I've been watching skeleton (aptly named), snowboarding, figure skating (not obscure, but wonderful!) and even aerial ski jumping (who thought that would be a good idea?) I think I like the winter Olympics so much because there is so much potential for serious injury. The crashes, they are spectacular. I don't want to watch these athletes get hurt...but I do want to watch them almost get hurt. I'm a little twisted that way.

So, if I can make it through tomorrow without anyone telling me how badly Sasha Cohen choked tonight (and I hope she doesn't, but given past history and all I'm not holding my breath), then we should be back to regularly scheduled programming this weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I know I haven't posted in over a week, and really I do apologize. I have a good excuse though, really. I have been completely mesmerized by the Olympics. I don't know why I am now glued to the TV watching sports I've never heard of before, but I am. I try to come out of the haze long enough to post again before their over, but I'm not promising anything.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Atomic Mama recently posted a few recipes after bragging that her husband fixed a delish sounding dinner for her recently. I thought it only fair to reciprocate. Since our current repitoire of Chinese dishes involves pouring the probably not terribly authentic but very tasty Trader Joe's Garlic/Ginger Simmer Sauce over sauted veggies and chicken (shrimp if we're feeling adventurous!), I've decided to switch it up. Until very recently, I've been terrified of Indian food. As noted at the ranch, I am a self-confessed wus. I was alway afraid there would be nothing I could eat at an Indian restaurant without my tongue catching fire (painful AND embarrassing.) So imagine my perplexedness when G. gave me an "What's Cooking: Indian" for Christmas last year. It's a beautiful book, and I assumed it would stay that way...free of the splatters and dog-eared pages of my more used volumes. A few weeks ago, however, I found a local Indian/Pakistani grocery and was inspired to buy the ingredients for a meal. I think this one may end up with a little splatter after all. I hope you enjoy!

Buttered Chicken (this one looks intimidating, but its easy)
7 Tbsp sweet butter
1 Tbsp oil
2 med onions, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne (reduced to 1/4 tsp due to above stated wussiness)
1 tsp black cumin seed (regular works just fine)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
3 whole green cardamons (dried works fine)
3 whole black peppercorns
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp tomato paste
8 skinless chicken pieces
2/4 cup water
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup light cream
fresh cilantro and chopped green chiles to garnish

Heat butter and oil in large pan and saute onions til golden. Reduce heat. Crush ginger in separate bowl. Add next 10 ingredients and blend. Add chicken to spice/yogurt mix and coat well. Add coated chicken to onions and stir-fry "vigorously" for 5-7 minutes. Add water and bay leaves and simmer for 30, stirring once in a while. Add cream and cook another 10-15 minutes. Garnish and serve over rice.

Spicy Corn and Peas
1 cup canned/frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fresh garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
2 fresh green chiles (see cayenne, above)
1 med onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp butter
4 dried red chiles, crushed (left them out entirely, didn't miss them a bit, SO THERE!)
1 tsp lemon juice
fresh cilantro for garnish

Thaw/drain veggies. Process or grind cumin, garlic, coriander, salt, 1 green chile and onion to a smooth paste. Heat butter in large skillet. Add spice mixture and fry over med heat for 5-7 minutes. Add crushed red chiles and stir. Add corn and peas, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add other green chile, lemon juice and cilantro. Stir and serve hot.

Rice Pudding
1/4 cup basmati rice
5 cups milk
8 tbsp sugar
pistachios, chopped for garnish

Rinse rice and place in large saucepan. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk and bring to boil over very low heat. Cook until rice has completely absorbed milk, stir occasionally. Remove from heat and mash rice "making swift round movements?" for at least 5 minutes. Return to heat, gradually add the rest of the milk. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring all the damn time, for 7-10 minutes (my ass, took like 25) or until "quite thick in consistency." Garnish and serve.