Saturday, April 28, 2007

Time Out Tired...

A good word to describe my 2 year old Darling Eli would be ornery. He is either the biggest love bug around or the most stubborn little child. Time outs seem to work well with him. The rule is to sit them down one minute for each year they are in age. So, after a little fit Elijah found himself in time out.

I put him in time out and started working on something around the house and happened to glance over at him. The timer in the kitchen hadn't gone off, so it was under two minutes and this is what I saw. He completely fell asleep.

His head kept lopping over, so I moved him onto his little couch. He crosses his legs a lot when he sleeps. I of course being the Mom think it's adorable! He also likes to sleep surrounded with his pillows and stuffed animals.

I love Saturday Morning!

I love Saturday Morning. Half of our house is still asleep. It's still hazy outside and chilly. Eli is watching Thomas the Tank Engine. I can catch up on my blogs and drink a great cup of coffee. Tim fell back asleep on the couch. All is well...

Congratulations to My Children!

Congratulations Zach, Katey and Tyler for your good grades and Honor Roll recognition. We are are very proud of you!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

You Are The Change...You See.

I was reading Kayce's blog 'Stories of Life In the Middle of Adoption' and she was talking about the great need in the world and her heartfelt desire to help.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with Steffie at our dinner. We were talking about how so many people were not seeing the needs of the orphans throughout the world.
It made me think about how easy it is for us to be comfortable citizens of the United States (or whichever wonderful country you are living in), and not be able to see outside of our own borders. It is so important to also be a citizen of this earth and to be aware of the needs and seek out where we can make a difference.
I really feel that the IA adoption community is built of citizens of the world. We are reaching out of our countries and welcoming children into our families to love them as our very own.
That makes me really happy.

Congratulations to Amy and Michael at 'When Love Takes You In' for receiving their LID 4/23/07!

Congratulations to Amy and Michael at 'When Love Takes You In' for receiving their LID!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

IMPORTANT..This is Something for Us to Be Aware of...Not in Fear Of...

This is for families adopting from China:

I don't know how many of you have seen the blog
'Chinese Adoption Heartbreak..Soul Autopsy'. (Click on the blog name and you will be linked directly to it). If you haven't read it, I highly suggest that you do. It is the account of a woman who recently went to China to bring her daughter home and encountered significant problems.
I truly believe that this case is an exception, but there is some good information in here to be aware of in the event that you arrive in China and find that things are not as they should be.

Here is an exerpt from her first post:

April 16, 2007
Welcome to hell. My Experience with Great Wall China Adoption.
The Trusted Leader of China Adoptions?
Come with me dear Readers on an adventure you will never forget!
It is a summary told by a woman who after 2 failed IVFs, a couple of miscarriages and thousands of dollars lost, threw in the towel on infertility treatment and began to forge the rocky stream called International Adoption.
Follow her and her husband as they embark on a once romantic vision of parenthood through supposed philanthropic interests! Laugh at our naivity! Share in the horror as they pour out over $50,000 on their Guatemalan adoption! Share the shock and awe of being stuck in a third world country for over 4 months because of a corrupt Guatemalan adoption attorney! Revel in the joyful reunion of mom, dad, and The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Us when I returned home with her!
But wait! There's more!
A China referral! What, you say? Yes, A CHINA REFERRAL! Even though we cancelled with the agency, the CCAA still processed our dossier and WE GOT A REFERRAL!
What Infertile in their right mind would turn it down?
Then comes....
The most heartwrenching experience of my life... a journey to China, a Gotcha Day —on Christmas no less— and then saying goodbye to our daughter-to-be a couple of weeks later.
Why? She had undisclosed and severe disabilities that made us not capable of parenting her. I wanted to. God, I wanted to. But we couldn't continue with the adoption. And I had to leave her in China.
I think I died inside that day.
Follow me home to the good ol' US of A to visits to the shrink...Xanax to sleep at night! Anti-depressants! Grief Counseling!
This tale will not be well told, edited, spellchecked or sweated over. It will probably be rambly, bumpy and full of typos as I stare at the screen listening to the hum of a baby monitor, for a peep or gurgle from The Best Thing. I may not write for days because I just feel to damn crappy about it to even think about it, let alone write about it.
And they'll probably try to sue me over this.
Well, last time I checked, Bush hasn't gotten rid of the First Amendment yet, so I'm safe.
I think.
This is a "down and dirty" write it and weep accounting of our experience of adoption with Great Wall of China Adoption, about how they left me in China to fend for myself after I returned the child, about how they didn't give us another referral of a healthy child, about how they didn't give us a dime back of our money, about how I escaped an attempted robbery in Beijing because I was left alone by the Great Wall staff, about how they never passed on messages from the US Embassy to me after I tried to contact them for assistance, and how I will never, never be the same after this loss.
I have lost embryos. I have lost babies in-utero.
But I never felt that I lost a child until now.

Her experience is very powerful. I would appreciate you leaving a comment on what your feelings are after reading this. Thank you!

Congratulations to LaLa at ladybugs and dragonflies for receiving her LID 4/16/07!!

I am so happy for you LaLa! You are the first family that I know who is going to Vietnam and I am very excited to be able to watch your journey. LaLa's blog is 'ladybugs and dragonflies'.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Let Me Tell You What I've Seen...

I've seen people encouraging one another. I've seen people celebrating each others milestones. I've seen people praying for one another. I've seen people in pain have their spirits lifted. I've seen people share their hearts-and others respond with the same. I've seen families grow. I've seen strangers unite to support someone they have never met. I've seen friendships shine. I have seen dreams come true.
All of this has happened right here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

West Michigan International Mothers...

We are looking to start our own support group for West Michigan International Mothers and would like to see who would be interested in joining in. This group will meet monthly to provide support to mothers at any phase of the adoption process. We also would like to establish play groups for children who are already here.
Please comment if you would be interested in joining this group. You don't need to reside in West Michigan, but the meetings will be held in this area.
The group website is currently being developed.
We have our own professional photographer, Karyn May who was adopted from Korea in 1970. She will hold a photography session with each adopted child free of charge. That includes our children who are already here.
If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, let myself or Stefanie at 'Never Too Many' know.
I really think that this is going to be a fantistic group.

Prayers Please for Loraena and her husband Josh.

Please join me in praying for Loraena and her husband. They were chosen by a birthmother to adopt her twin girls. The girls were born on Sunday and Loraena thought that they would be invited to the hospital shortly after that to see the girls and they have received no call.
As many of you know, the birthmother has a certain amount of time to change her mind and I'm sure that this wait has been very difficult for this couple emotionally.
I'm sure that they would welcome any emotional support that you all could provide. Their blog is 'life in oregon'.

Congratulations to Todd & Kelly for Receiving their LID 3/21/07!

Congratulation to Todd and Kelly at 'Wonton Wishes And Fortune Cookie Dreams' for receiving their LID! I remember how great if felt to have that acknowledgement and know that you have your ticket in line.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

Thank you Stefanie for nominating my blog for the thinking blogger AWARD. I try to put a lot of thought or at least a lot of myself into what I write. Coming up with 5 blogs that I would like to nominate in turn took a lot of thought and feeling for me. I am a person ruled by my heart first with my mind and spirit coming in a close second. The blogs that inspire me most are ones that engage any of those three in me. The blogs that most inspire my heart are Our Unforgotten Daughter and Chinese Starfish. Tracy whose blog is Our Unforgotten Daughter truly puts her emotions into her blog. She shares her joys and her sorrows for all to see. When I read her posts my heart just goes out to her over and over again. Amanda who authors the Chinese Starfish is truly one of the finest human beings I have ever known. I have the utmost respect for her and her mission to shelter as many special needs Chinese children as she can. The blogs that most inspire my mind are Dragonfly & Ladybug and Give Me Back My Slippers. Elizabeth at Dragonfly & Ladybug was one of the first people to reach to me in the blogging community. She is an unbelievably talented writer and a loving mother. Her words come straight from the heart with a little twist of whit that makes me laugh every time. "Glinda" from Give Me Back My Slippers is also a talented writer. Her words are laced in elegance. She is a closet poet who delivers her souls essence through words that cause reflection. The blog that most engages my spirit is Our Whole World in His Hands. Terri is a very spiritual and Godly woman. I am always touched at a deeper level when reading her posts and inspired to take a moment to connect with my God.
Hopefully I didn't overlap anyone here, I tried to check other nominated blogs so as to not re-nominate someone twice.
I truly enjoy the friendship that I receive from all of the blogs that I follow. It's hard to choose only a few for nomination.

I think that this is very powerful...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dinner with Steffie B.

This past Friday, Stefanie and I took the big step and met for dinner at Yen Ching which has been each of our favorite Chinese Restaurant for many years. We were both a little hesitant meeting someone we had met over the internet. But, it worked out to be a fantastic evening.

Over the past 4 months Stefanie has really been kind of a mentor for me since she has adopted before from China. She is able to answer my questions and calm my fears about our adoption. She has come to be such a great internet friend. I guess that my greatest fear was that when we were finally face to face, that we would be so completely different that we wouldn't really like each other and I would lose the person I really look forward to talking to every day. That fear was completely ridiculous because as I sat across from her, a comfort just came over me.

We talked for hours about our families and adoption. She is a very real person. It was like having dinner with someone I had known for a long time. The hours flew by.
It was also a lot of fun because we both know different members of the family who owns the restaurant and they were very surprised when we shared with them how we had met and why we were there.
Stefanie's blog is 'Never Too Many'. She has more pictures than I do, hopefully she's posting the one where the owner and waiter are posing with us.

Above are the two fortunes I got. The first one I relate to our adoption. The second I attribute to the Chinese New Year Dinner at the restaurant that both of our families are attending next year.

She also gave me this wonderful gift. The CD is one that she listened to while waiting for her first daughter from China named Sophia. Funny that I also am naming my daughter Sophia.
I love the bag, so I had to get it in the picture. The CD is wonderful. We have been listening to it all weekend.

I am looking forward to many more wonderful conversations and days spent keeping each other on our toes, watching our children play and following our diet!

Update on Family Reading Month..

Family reading month has turned out much differently than I thought it was going to be-it's one of the most wonderful times of our day. I thought that everyone would go into their own corner of the house and read individually. What has happened is that we are reading together or to each other.

Eli our 2 year old is being read to by different family members each night. Tyler my 11 year old is reading his book report book to me out loud every day which gives us some special one on one time. I'm still trying to fit in my own personal reading time, but that's still suffering.