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Archive for October 30th, 2006

I’m a member of two DTC Yahoo groups – November and December. Although we were DTC (Dossier to China) in November, I also signed up for the December group because we could be traveling with folks from either group and I’d hoped to get to know a few people ahead of time. Since the wait has extended far longer than any of us ever imagined, you can see that we’ve had lots of time to get to know each other.

An interesting phenomenon in the DTC groups is the Secret Pal gift exchange. You’re matched up to someone for a set period of time (usually 6 months) and you send them a small gift every month. There is usually a preset theme each month, decided by the organizers, and a price limit that we (generally) adhere to.

I really enjoy this. Not just the receiving, although that’s great, but also the challenge of finding a really cool gift. It’s also a great way to mark the passage of time. The downside to it is that I end up buying two of everything, because I usually like what I’m buying so much that I have to buy one for Ava, too.

My November DTC exchange ended in September. I had a fantastic pal named Melinda who is waiting on her little girl, Anna, to join her beautiful family. Melinda has a lovely website here where you can follow along on their Journey to Anna.

Since it looks to be a while before we receive referrals, I opted to join a new Secret Pal gift exchange on the December DTC group and I believe I’ve lucked out again and gotten another amazing pal. I won’t know who she is for a while, but I can already tell you she’s great. Not only did I get a box o’ kid books for the October gift exchange, but I’ve also gotten a couple of surprise e-cards. Just the thing to lift my spirits while we continue to wait on the October referrals to arrive.

Funny story on the gift, though. We’re renovating the front porch with new railings and lots of new paint, so we haven’t been able to use the front door for a few days while we’ve (mostly J) been sanding and painting the floor. J has taped it off so it’s pretty clear that the front porch is out of bounds at the moment. At least I thought it seemed pretty obvious – and the UPS guy figured it out fairly quickly and has been leaving packages at the garage door instead. The mailman? Not so bright apparently. I just happened to walk around to the front of the house one day and, lo and behold, the package from my Secret Pal is sitting right smack in the middle of the freshly painted porch floor. Good thing J still had to do a second coat.

So, what was in the package? My new SP sent Ava three board books. One of them is a Halloween book that J grabbed right up and started reading. J is an absolute Halloween fanatic so I think it’s clear who’s going to be reading the Five Little Pumpkins with Ava.