Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I wish, I wish it were to be to go to China but no such luck. Although I do not know how we would afford to go right now so I am glad in a way for the extra time to save and raise the money to go. Speaking of which a HUGE thank you from us to our first contributor for Chloe Yun, we are so happy to have people who care about us and our precious girl waiting in China for us. It means so much to have the prayers and help to get us on our way :) Anyone else wanting to chip in there, go right ahead, don't be shy:) What better cause can you think of? To help a girl get a forever family and know YOU had a part of it. No overhead, no taxes, no administrative costs, it goes straight to getting Chloe Yun HOME.

Kat and I are heading to Florida this week, we bought our tickets with income tax return before we ever knew we would find Chloe Yun so I did not want to cancel this trip when it is so very special for Kat. She will be seeing her Dan Dan, the girl she was raised with as the foster mothers were sisters. They share a special bond and were so sweet together in China during our trip. Kat has spoken to Dan Dan and wanted to go to see her, not understanding the distance between us. It is also the first China girl reunion that we have been able to attend, and it is HUGE. I think Kat will LOVE seeing all the China girls and I will have an opportunity to get some pointers from experienced moms that have adopted older China girls. We are both eager to go to that. Grandma is coming in to help and keep everyone in line:)

And does anyone go to Florida and NOT go to Disney?? We have Princess appointments for the girls to made over:) and we will be spending some lazy time at the beach as well. I am looking forward to SLEEP and seeing my great friend. who is like a sister to me. We share a kinship through our girls, we are Min mommas. A Special group of moms of the great and trying Min spirited girls:) Although there are a few boys now but we knew of none when adopting our girls. Our foster moms know we are taking this trip and are eager to see the girls together for the first time in almost 2 years as well. So lots of pictures it will be, although with Baba's camera since I now broke the camera to my printer as well as the printer. Man, was I upset. I was at a ballgame carrying 50 million things and as stuff started to slip, I saved dropping the boy and sacrificed the camera. I was really hoping it was a soda I had dropped but NO, it was the camera and it killed it. I can not survive with no camera so Baba can go without a camera as we can not afford to buy a new one anytime soon.

Kat is so excited to know it's just 2 days till we go now, she keeps saying "DanDan have pool. She have toys. We have toys, we not have pool. DanDan have pool." WOW- hope she can bring herself to come HOME with me and give up that pool.........

Saturday, May 24, 2008

OOPS on me

The picture above is from from the snow storms this past winter and relief that was sent in to China through many organizations. Guess we know Chloe has seen snow:) She's in the green, best smile I have seen yet:)
Now about my BIG BOO BOO-
All my fault, my impatient self, that our Home Study was NOT being processed by immigration till yesterday. WHY? "Cause I wanted to do it MY way! YIKES> did I create trouble.
Agency said "we send in your immigration stuff all together, hummm, as my brain started figuring out that it's quicker to send it in to my state than from their state to my state after I send it to the agency. So first I send off the I-600A form.

That was the first mistake. Hague is in effect for adoptions from China now and it's not 2006 anymore. Back came my check and form. Did this teach me to listen?? No, of course not. So off I send the I800A form (without homestudy as it wasn't done yet). This time they accept it and I am thinking-huh, see agency doesn't know everything.

WELL- apparently they do. Yesterday 2 poor souls spent the better part of the day fixing my mistake. I sent the home study to the same place we sent the last one to. Again, it's not 2006 anymore. They have a new way to deal with the Hague countries adoptions. Hence, a new place to send everything at once.

So after they got our form and started processing form, they called to ask "where is the homestudy?" Oops. Thank God I certified it, they were "tracking it down" as of yesterday, a kind and very nice government employee named Meredith. Usually all you can say is bad things about government offices, but on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend, I think she went above and beyond to call me twice to fix mistakes and get the ball rolling for our immigration approval. I even got to speak to a real person and ask if they were far behind on approvals as we need to get our dossier to China asap due to Chloe's age. Very nice woman, who by then should have been telling me to stick it for sending stuff wrong, replied, "oh, we will get this in, don't worry". WOW- to ease a mother's fears even when she is an impatient red headed who goofed big time and gave you extra work to do. KUDOS to you Meredith.
That will teach me to listen. Maybe:)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New pics and better days

Ahh, yes, the days pass by, lots of rain here, and immigration is the word. Comm'on immigration. The last and most important piece of expensive paper to bring Chloe Yun home. Must have it, can't adopt with out it, gotta be in there. We asked, as did the home study agency to expedite our case due to her age, never hurts to ask, huh?

In the meantime, new pictures found from missionary trip last fall, so cool to find these pics and guess immediately which one is her. I'm seeing some spunk here. She's gonna fit right in. She is standing in a group just like Kat would, kinda sassy looking, "okay hurry up" look about her. Too funny. We're going to be blessed for sure with this one. I can tell already.

We have had so many people give us encouragement and hope, we truly are blessed and trust in God to be giving us "the perfect fit" for our family. He didn't lead us here for nothing, our signs are there, we feel sooooo relieved and happy that we know for sure she is meant to be our girl. A big question seems to be "are we worried, about her age." No, we are not, we do not wish for her to feel we are "saved her, " we just want to be her parents.

Age 13, so what? We have done that many times over so it isn't a big deal to us. Kids are kids, they are all special, we enjoy getting to know this new one and embrace the fact that she is meant to be ours. We wanted an older child, we are as thrilled if she were 2 going on 3. Just as we were with Kat.

What we missed- this is her history, it will impact her future, it will always be her history, but it does not have to be negative. It's in how you look at it, how we teach her to live with it.
At lunch today we "ate China" as Kat says and she says "I in China" like a goof and the waitress said "you are China?" and she said "NO- I IN CHINA!" then burst out laughing. We went with big brother Derrik, whom I made pick up the tab (okay so it was only $18 for us 3) but I said "oh Happy Mom's Day to me RIGHT?" Yeah, he's the one who forgot me :)

She then told the owner she is getting sister, as he already knows but she tells him over again, "Chloe, is her sister." She was going through the people she knows who are Chinese, Po Po ( grandma), Kat, Chloe, Dan Dan, Yan Yan, Rissa, Manda, Gie Gie, Wai Gong (grandpa) Lu Yun, and I said to her "hey silly, Lu Yun and Chloe are the same person, your sister." She laughed and said "oh yeah." She is quite the character some days and today she was in top form. Such a joy. Just wondering what Chloe will think of her:)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thank you Bro

Sometimes people are just too much, and I had a day like that. I needed some brotherly love and even from Japan I could feel it. I love my big bro, he's so cool. He has red hair like me, he loves Asian culture, just like me, he is such a good support in the craziness of life, I have to make this post to him. So thank you brother, for bringing me happiness when others have driven me to wish I drank. I've always said I will never drink 'cause if I start I may not STOP! Ha ha!

It's raining again today, the kids are getting stir crazy in the house. Yesterday I was supposed to work and had really wanted not to but to find someone to work for you on a weekend is about a likely as getting blood from a turnip. Especially when you already only work one day a week, if you dare say that day doesn't suit and you'd like to change it, you risk the wrath of all those hardworking women who are forced by finances to work there everyday and can kill you with the daggers that their eyeballs can shoot off from 20 feet away. Women can be some vicious people to work with. PHEW> I guess they think I sit around eating bon bons everyday and watching soaps. I think I'd rather work around 100 men than 10 women.

Little do they know I am in need of surgery for the bladder that is now sitting down around my knees from not getting to go to the bathroom for endless hours, I forget my own middle name but know when the boy's next 3 hour feeding is and when he pooped last. I don't ever watch soaps, hope to catch the news once a week, and don't sit down for 99% of the day without someone on my chest or lap. My job is here. I love my job, true, but I am working. I'm not a PP (pampered princess) nor would I want to be, with the world as it is this is my way to give back to others, my mothering skills. I don't want awards or recognition, just give me some sloppy kid kisses, a smile from an angel and I'm good to go.
I thank God for my "work" and will get to my bladder someday. Hopefully before I start talking nonsense and the older kids slap me in the Manor. (Nursing home from HE--) since I told them I knew they weren't going to put up with me when I grew old.

Okay now off of MY issues and on to the fun stuff, the kids. PROM NIGHT last night, Malaree and H went. H also turned 18 last night. Big day for her. The girls looked just gorgeous. SO proud of them:)

They made my day, their youth, their fun, their good looks, their excitement. And we made sure the guys knew to behave or we'd hunt them down and hurt them- ha ha!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still happy as can be

Had to make a few changes to Chloe's information. Not allowed to share "identifying information." Still can't rain on our JOY! It's even gotten better, so far we have 4 more pictures of our girl, from mission trips to her orphanage. I can't post any of these due to other children being in these pictures. I have some more pics supposed to be coming and someone going to the orphanage to complete their adoption is going to give her hugs and kisses for us. YEAH! By the time they go she will have received our box sent with love and tons of pictures.

We are still sitting around waiting, I better get good at that. WAITING> hearing of storms, and earthquakes, enough to turn a mother's hair white. Oh, yeah, I already am, I just hide it:)

We are full swing into the baseball season here, Camden is getting better and better. He got 2 hits last night. Kat LOVES going to the ball games, as it means GUM. Something she readily tells all she "not allowed to have" but it seems that changes when it comes to "Baseball gum" as she calls the crap that looks like tobacco. ( shame on that company)

She eats it like it's a food then heads for the sunflower seeds, of which she still can spit the shells like a grown man. She came to us with this amazing distance spitting ability, she could but any boy to shame. Thank God it's reserved for her sunflower seeds and tooth brushing time, it's not really an attractive quality in a little girl:)

Kat has told everyone she is getting a sister, even if they don't want to know, she tells them. Chloe she says, my sister. She asks if everything we bought last night in the grocery store was for "Chloe". I said "No, I think the rest of the family needs to EAT food Kat." Silly girl. Not very jealous, that's a good sign. We popped in the dollar store today and got things I forgot last night-( mind is going- what can I say) and when we got back she said " I didn't get nofin" No she didn't. Just necessities. WOW. Amazed her we were okay to do that. No trinkets, no candy, just put away our light bulbs and our Ziploc bags and move on :)

I started a life book for Chloe, figured I have lots of time to work on it. Hard to start it from birth, but I did. She will need to have something tangible to explain her life, even if it looks pitiful to others. It's her story. It's a work in progress, I used the same Asian doll baby picture for the baby picture on the front page as Kat's and she said "hey that my baby picture", but she wasn't upset, she was happy they both had the same "baby". Oh my girls. If only you understand that God was holding you back then, cradled in His arms till He could hand you over to us. A precious gift to raise as our own, to cherish and enjoy for as long as He gives us.
Amazing grace, that's for sure.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Late Momma's Day Surprise

Look at the picture first- NOTICE ANYTHING FUNNY??

Ohhh am I a HAPPY MOMMA today. I got the BEST gift anyone could have ever given to me. I'm getting another DAUGHTER. AS IN, A CHINA GIRL. She is gorgeous. She is almost 13, she is in Henan. (Not affected by the earthquake, thank God).
The picture is one I put in a photo album that I made for our girl. Baba said all those kids will scare her- ha ha!

Now for the kicker. After applying for PA (pre- approval) from China, we asked her last name. Her reports did not have it on for privacy issues. When they told us we couldn't believe it. SAME as KAT! She is NOT from the same province, not the same orphanage. Not even a common name, we are told. We will be naming her Chloe Yun. Anyone have goose bumps yet?

I was so happy we got PA I screamed and since that isn't allowed in the house, I heard a little girl- Miss Kat- saying "that you mommy, screaming?" Yup, that's me!

Now for the questions you all will want to know.
She can ask for simple things in English. I already called our school and they will work with us to place her where we want in grade level terms and they have ESL (English as Second Language) classes she will be able to get help from.

Here are a few things you may NOT say to us-
Are we nuts? NO
Don't we have enough? I hate this question- we are not collecting pets here, we are accepting the grace of God to have given us another daughter. We are thankful and excited, don't rain on our joy. We love her already.
What will you do with another one (kid) HUMM- LOVE HER!! Provide for her, just as we do them all.
Where will we put her? In Kat's room, we have an extra bed, believe it or not, and Camden is sick of sleeping in her room to make her happy. She hates to be alone.

Are we worried about bringing home an older child. "NO" she is meant to be ours, we did not want a competition going on between her and Kat. They will each have their place in the family yet have each other as China girls. Why this age? We just knew we were babied out, Kat is loving being the youngest girl and we felt a gap between Donobin and Camden.

Miss Chloe is barely bigger than Camden, even though she is nearly 13. She also has pig tails just like Kat. She likes to read, play with dolls. She is sometimes impatient (she'll fit right in here)and she is healthy but considered SN due to her age.

We are rushing to get paperwork done, we have our home study done, waiting on immigration approval, have all documents for our dossier to go to China except the immigration approval. We must have that. So we hope to look at a timeline similar to Kat's dossier to China in late June, approval to travel in Sept. We have no desire to travel in August due to the heat and the Olympics, the flight costs are outrageous then. But we will go in God's timing as He brought us this child, when we were thinking it would not ever be possible to adopt from China again and here we are:)

Last time with Kat we were blessed to be given the means to afford to adopt her with only my brother helping us out with a donation. We have covered all Chloe's adoption costs up to now and will be fine till travel. We expect to need to ask for help with the travel costs. My aunt is willing to go with me, hubby isn't going to lower the costs of our travel. My aunt is paying her own way- I felt rude to ask her to cover her own expenses but she is like a mom to me and she understood completely.

We will be fundraising (any great ideas there, pass them on!!) as this time I will not have the option to go to a full time position. But we fully believe God wants this little girl to come home to us, to be our Chloe and that the funds will come. We are placing a chip in on the site (as soon as I figure out how) for donations for Chloe to come home. We do not wish for anyone to "pay our way" we will be working hard to make the money we are short. We figure it at $3,000 we will need.

SO if you feel inclined, if you want to know that YOU had a hand in bringing Kat's sister home, PLEASE chip in and know we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. We can't wait to share Chloe's homecoming with everyone.

I am just bowled over with JOY. I think it's the best Momma's Day ever except the oldest son ( lives NEXT DOOR) never called or stopped in but then he will be paying for that for the next YEAR till he can make up for it:)

Chloe Yun, we love you girl, you don't even know what you are getting into- WOW!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Birthday song

This week brought C's birthday. So off we went for a cake, we had already gotten him a very needed item, an alarm clock for a gift:) We also bought him a nice new bicycle. Kat ran to him in the morning before school to tell him "Happy Birfday" then spent the day singing Happy Birthday to him, even though he was in school.

We invited his family in for cake and ice cream, Kat says to his Dad " you my friend?" He said " I guess so" so she then declares " you my best friend". Okay then. Everyone gets such a kick out of her and her silliness.

She enjoyed going out back and riding with all the kids as C tried out his new bike and the others rode along. Donobin even hooked up the bike trailer when she got tired and couldn't keep up, so her Royal Highness could ride in luxury.

We have some excited kids here, the usual" summer is coming" spring fever. The girls both have Prom coming which just happens to be on H's birthday. They had the great idea to do a birthday/after prom party to which I am not being party to. NO way. I know better than to be sucked into that one. Too many problems. So they are trying to organize one on their own and we will see what they come up with, our birthday celebration is cake and ice cream with gifts, family only. I'm NOT hosting an after prom party for 200 kids! Wonder woman I am not- for sure. The girls both have gorgeous dresses, they will be so beautiful for their prom.
Mother's Day is this weekend, I have asked for mulch and flowers, hard labor included. I want to buy my flowers, get a load of mulch and be the boss of where it all goes. I normally go nuts with flowers and spend 2 days planting but that is not an option this year with Mr. T needed to be fed every 3 hours. Can't get that into it. So next best thing is telling the kids where to plant and letting them do the dirty work:) All for the sake of the gift giving spirit- ha ha!
Mr T had a rough patch the past few days, fussing one night from 2 am till 6, the nurse couldn't do a thing with him, but he has been sleeping solid for 2 days now. He even missed the 9 am feeding yesterday and seems pale and listless. I am worried he is going downhill and I fight with myself to be "ready" to let him go, I do NOT wish to have him in pain, yet I love him and want him to stay here with us. So selfish of us. He seems a bit more lively this evening, more himself but he is still pale and I am asking for prayers for him. Please lift this little guy up in your prayers, our little gift from God, at a time when I thought we we done with babies in our life, he has been the neatest surprise baby we have been blessed with.

Camden is losing teeth left and right, he is snaggle toothed now with the second front tooth barely hanging in there. I tried to yank on it last night but it was a no go. So C helped him to twist is out (yuck) tonight. He is thrilled to be raking in money from that tooth fairy and his big teeth are moving in so fast, he hardly has the open spot for a day or so and the new tooth is coming in. Now if I can just get Kat to STOP wiggling her teeth, in an effort to copy big brother and cash in:)
I'm off to hand over the baby to the nurse and say my own prayers. G' night.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Days

Wow is it cold for May! First it was warm last week, pulled out the shorts, got all excited and now it's in the 30's at night. Crazy weather.

Camden and Kat decided yesterday to take care of all my tulips, as in PICK them all! AHHH! My lovely double tulips, my blue ones, all of them, gone. I was upset but then when I realized Kat thought they had done a good thing, to pick them and give them to me, I just figured, oh well, they will be back next year.

Mr. T has had a rough patch, 4 DAYS of inconsolable crying, one night it was 8 minutes, the longest he slept at one time for the night nurse. She ran from our house, looking kind of like she wanted to scream. We took him to a support group meeting of foster parents and he slept 1 hour then screamed one hour so I know they all were thinking " Thank God we don't have HIM" but we love him. Doesn't matter if he bawls or not. We can't help but think he is hurting but that's an old issue I have gone over and over with his doc. We think after these spells his head enlarges too, so it must be related somehow. And yes, we know about shunts, it is not an option for this little one. I am glad now we have different nurses as to not burn them out when he is tough on them. All the nurses love him and they do their best to make him happy at night. Bless them! He is exhausted now and sleeping away. Usually he will do this about once a month for the 3-5 days, otherwise he may have a fussy day or night.

We had Mayfest last weekend in our little town, and yes, it was still April. Not sure what that is about, but we went and got Kat's face painted, she picked a sunrise, and Camden and her won little toys fishing. Kat immediately gave her little plastic Dalmatian dog to Mr. T and claimed she won it for him.

Camden is full tilt into baseball, he had a game tonight. Mr T and I stayed home since it's so chilly but as I just went downstairs to gather Mr. T's feeding stuff, there were 3 TV's on full blast, bead from the abacus that Camden and Kat fought over and broke so beads of every color flew everywhere, but once I turned everything off and cleaned up the beads it looked amazingly like a clean house with no one home :) WOW. Don't see that often.

Miss Kat and I have a very special trip coming up. At the end of May we are heading to FLORIDA! Yes, we are hitting Disney World, the agency's China reunion, and staying with our wonderful friends, Kelly and Caidi. Caidi is Kat's best friend from her orphanage, they were fostered by sisters so they grew up together. Kat is very excited and knows she is going to see "her Dan Dan" as she calls her. Grandma has so graciously agreed to come in and stay, the baby will have nurse coverage and we aren't staying very long, but we will enjoy ourselves, I am sure. We hope to make this trip so that when the day comes to go back to China to visit Kat understands we are visiting, not taking her back.!

We already have appointments to have make overs done at Disney for the girls and they are counting down the days till we go. Fun, fun, fun!