Saturday, December 27, 2008

but it is NOT MY fault.

So i wake up this morning to beep, beep, beep, beep, well u get the idea. Now my half awake brain is telling me that it is not my alarm clock. Where could it be coming from? himm I wonder Hubby gets up and runs out of the room also in a fog. then the beeping becomes more incessant and turns into a ear penetrating siren. Now I'm fully awake and my head is hurting... ahh the sound is reduced... and blessedly stops. What could it be... I hear angry mumblings from my hubby outside and I go investigate.

My dd1 says but Mom I just was getting the calendar down for L. It's not my fault. yeah right... you sound like Eve honi... So when the whole story comes out. A is insisting its January L said no its not, yes it is, no its not... yada yada ... A climbs up on Moms comfy Ikea chair.. not the most stable piece of furniture. And grabs the calendar also while she is up there she discovers our house alarm. Which was disabled but set with a pin. She managed to convince it she was a burglar. L was soooo funny when I was telling them what it did and how it worked. L said "But Mom A is not a burglar doesn't it know that??"

So that was my Morning I'm wondering if having the alarm is worth it. So I don't pay as much for my home owners insurance.. but is it worth 50$ a year in savings when weighed against 2 hours of sleep... 4 divided by 50 is 12.50 himmm my sleep is worth way more than that... (I'm counting hubbys sleep time as well.)

I think the most fun this morning was watching my dd1 try her darndest to avoid getting in trouble. Responses like "I was doing it for her... I can't hear you, what did you say? I'm confused, I don't know, My ears are clogged, I don't understand." all of these were responses to just one question... "Was it fun to play with the alarm?" does she really think I'm buying what she is selling! lol Man o Man I ended up having to tell her if she wouldn't answer properly she could go be alone outside (yes in a safe place)... I'm sure glad the wind picked up and storm clouds blew in once that happened... Suddenly she was willing to come in and tell me the truth and answer all the questions with real answers not delaying look at me answers. ;-) Gotta love it when the Child's heart decides cooperation is the better part of valor.

So I'm thinking a good discipline is for her to clean an d check all the smoke detectors in the house. I mean since she loves to climb on counters, dryers, chairs, pianos. Why not learn to use a step stool properly. ROFL

Parenting should always be fun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas blues

Nothing like listening to jazz at Christmas time. Chex cereal put out a cd ages ago and we still listen to it every year. My latest favorite is a joke present from last year. Red neck Christmas.. favorites like I'm "gettin nothin for Xmas" and Grandma got run over by a reindeer. They make me laugh.

L is super excited about Christmas this year. She almost believes in Santa I need to take her to sit in his lap and ask for a present. Tee hee that will cinch it.. Not that I want her to believe in Santa but she is so "enchanted" with Christmas. Its hard not to let it go whole hog.. Since it's her first, and she is so un-jaded.

I'm finding making Christmas work this year hard it is just not happening.. 3 days of lets make cookies and no cookies have been made. Part of me is dreading the mess cookies will make of the kitchen. Where will they all go? and will Hubby eat them the no no cookies... Himm

I been feeling sorry for A. A relative came for a visit and played up all her "acting out" behaviors as being "great and good", Not rather annoying and rude, which they can be. So she was like "I been right all along I am perfect!" When she had friends over to do some community service project stuff. She pulled out all the stops. Lets all watch me dance instead of working she "acted out" like she did before but instead of praise... It only annoyed her friend. Mom knowing this would happen had to pull her into another room for a "talk." Sigh.. I'm really not into false praise. I am into real praise. Ya do it right Ya get praised. I'm also into criticism but I'm trying to drop that, I don't see it getting the results I really want. Some times I think false praise is more damaging than criticism. You create unrealistic expectations in a child and when they fail they crash. And eventually stop trusting Adults they think "they say what you want to hear not what is true."

I like to say what is true like "This will hurt but not to much, only like a pinch for a second." as opposed to the nurse who lies and says it won't hurt a bit, and then jabs you 3 times with a needle. I'm sure my children will rise up and say Mom always told us the gory details I wish she had spared us. ;-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

follow up on L's lilies

So this summer was summer was stressful, moments of horribleness mixed in with pure bliss, but No where an even keel day. I been thinking about one day in June. L was asking about how long we had been waiting for her. I had a perfect opportunity that day to talk about these things. Her lilies had started to blossom that week. So I could take her out there and show her the flowers I had planted just for her. They were gorgeous, and huge. And so worth putting stuff back from the cart to get them. You should have seen her face. Her Eyes got big and wide and a grin from ear to ear once she understood what I was saying. I have to admit She really managed communication well. I could use the online dictionary to get certain words and meanings across but she didn't! yet she managed to let me know what was going on, with pantomime and using the few words she knew to her advantage. She amazes me every day in a really good way.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 3rd

Well this morning they dragged us to a museum all about he zhaun (jan)people. Not that it matters since the more the interpreter talks to
Little Miss Sunshine the more positive she is that mai mai was brought here from a more north proviannce. mai mai is very observant she has figured out so many things. And lol she tricked me into getting her dessert for lunch. So I made her eat all her green beans. And she loves red bell peppers and meat, she is already abandoning her chopsticks for a fork!!! but I'm not letting her yet. Need to keep up that dexterity to keep her brain so sharp.
We walked to the park about a quarter of a mile from here, so pretty
and very busy people playing cards and grandmas taking children out to play. The cities are very green, many times you forget you are surrounded by high rises. And so beautiful. The various parks we
have seen are just beautiful.

The government encourages early retirement 45 -55 that way a young person can have their job. The way things work is the older people retire and the son takes care of mama and papa if they do not have a pension. It makes it very hard for young couples to have children. Because they no longer all live in the same home so the young couple may have 2 sets of parents apartments to pay for as well as their own. Thus the one child policy is encouraged...more and more young couples must wait to have children because they cannot afford them. Every thing is done with labor when ever possible since people need employment. guess who is paying for al these jobs... You and me!! Apparently the trade deficit we owe is what means very little taxes and the government having so many workers.

Also it’s not a true one-child policy if you’re a minority a one child policy would eventually speak your minorities demise, so the minority families can have up to 4 kids with out paying a fine. Also it’s by family not person so if you get divorced you can have a new child with your new spouse. And if you can afford it you can have as many children as you like but you must pay a fine of what would be like us paying. 3 thousand dollars it’s not that much but I've converted it to our standard of living.

Since mai mai was brought in with medical issues and is a girl we are surmising her parents could not afford the necessary medical treatment. Its kinda mixed up if you can't afford treatment then your child goes without. No Medicare etc.. health care is not that expensive but since China has moved to a more capitalistic society... If your on the lower rung tough luck. So the poorer families will some times choose to abandon their little ones so the kids can get treatment.

mai mai’s foster mom has prepared her so well and she is so sweet. She has mama wrapped around her little finger. She helps me wring out the clothes because the local laundry won't be back until tomarow and it's super humid here.. walk outside break a sweat from condensation alone. She cleans up after her self!! She dressed the B's baby (hoi hoi) and calmed her down when she wouldn't stop crying last night. She sure knows her ways around babies. Bet her foster mom is missing all her help.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 1st Gotcha day

Are you ready for some crying!! the interperater asked...

Wow, I keep saying lily ran to me but now I see the footage the b's sent us she was a tad reluctant to come but she was happy and jumping up and down when we arrived. She kept grabbing my arm and making me hold her tight. she is so ready for us to be her parents, well at this stage it was more me, less Dad but he's recovering. mai mai (little sister) only blubbed for a few minutes, the interpreter told me she was crying because we were not going to America right now! and that we had to wait for paperwork and her passport and stay in a hotel.

mai mai is such a blessing. She is so smart I really am blown away at how smart. Its so weird having a child that has good balance. She ran off and hopped through a pond with stepping stones - was so afraid she would fall in but not mai mai she just gleefully hopped from stone to stone like it was nothing jay jay (big sister) followed moaning and groaning the whole time. I'm very much in love with mai mai she is so easy to love. Daddy and I talked last night about how mai mai has taken so readily to me. He said he now knows how I felt in India. But he is so happy for me because he knows I needed this. jay jay is experiencing the green monster. But I pointed out mai mai is watching and learning from her. She imitates many things jay jay does. That made jay jay feel better.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The next day in China

So we got to the. Wall yesterday happy for lift to the top and we
didn't have to climb 1k stairs. It was like going to Grand Canyon
felt like I was in a post card. Was a long day but very fun. DD1
has made friends with one of the girls on the trip. And they are
having so much fun together.

At the great wall DD1 wanted a Chinese dress. I bargained with the
lady till she was frowning. That must mean I paid the right price. NOT!

On the way back we saw Cloisonné Factory it was neat. Every
thing here seems to have special meaning and symbolism. They also dragged us to a Hutong. If you added a bathroom I would love it. As there is no potty in the actual home... But plenty latrine style just down the street,very clean 4 holes no waiting and NO privacy!. NO i really mean no privacy.. no walls, ladies chatting to each other as they go about their daily business. DD1 really had to go so off we went to a local squatty potty it took her a bit to get over everyone staring at her. Everyone is into everyone else’s business, and they seem to like it that way.

Cloisonné is dying out in China it's not a well paid job. And craftmenship is falling in quality as the people are retiring and not passing on this skill set. The ladies do the layering of color on to the brass and the men do the rough work of sanding the pieces down with rocks not sand paper! And putting the pieces in to the fire. It is said the men can not layer the color, they don't have the mental stability to do it the same day in and day out. lol

We had great food some of the other families wouldn't eat it cause they dared not get sick on this trip. White Rice for them more sweet and sour mystery meat for me.. no one ate the eye of the carp. Weird Americans leaving the best part of the meal on the table.

Pan (its not a typo) our guide told me China has lost the knowledge of how to make the huge blue and white ceramic pots of old. When they try to recreate was was made before they never achieve the same level of quality. This knowledge was truly lost due to the cultural revolution

First day in china

some notes from my trip..
We are having breakfast. DD1 is happy they have waffles. And I made
her try leechee fruit. But I wouldn't let her eat fried noodles for
breakfast. Dad is trying his limited Chinese much to the amusement of the staff. DD1 likes the leechees.
Our flight from Chicago got cancelled but we got here via San Francisco thank God we are here only the 2 flights per day I guess.
I was brain dead to think it was San Diego. Oi too many saints!
Well were finishing our kaifi and cha, and were gonna go find a place to visit all on our own..

We went to a huge park built in 1750 or so during the Qing dynasty.
DD1 is a real trooper she gets lots of stares I been telling her to
stare right back but to smile. So far 2 people have asked for her
picture. Everyone is fascinated by her but she just takes it as her

We did have trouble getting a taxi back but a very nice man helped us
flag one down. Language really is 90 percent body language we have
been using our minimal Chinese to good effect.

When we were at the park DD1 had to go potty. Sure glad I had her
practice. She still put her hands on the really gross bathroom floor eeeewwwww. Sure glad she is still on antibiotics.

Hotel is super nice and super expensive so we walked 10 min and found a mall. KFC anyone lol. We went to South Beauty restaurant. I had smoked Duck hard to eat with chopsticks, it still had all its bones! and the fat layer was 3/8 ths of an inch thick in places. Tasted like bacon but better. DD1 Loved the dumplings. They were
super good. And the bill was less than half of what we paid at hotel
and way more fun. The restaurant staff Gave DD1 two fairy tales in chinese and english. The stories weren't exactly right but close enough. and the illustrations were more chinese looking.

Monday, May 19, 2008


A few months ago DD and I went to Calaoway's to get seeds and plants for our garden. I picked up peppers, tomatos, some herbs and packages of seeds. While there I saw these lovely lily bulbs. I really miss my Star Gazer Lily's.

I had bought them at the Toronto garden show years and years ago. I had planted them at home in a pot, because in NY they tend to die if you keep them outside all winter long. Ariel came home that year and when the plant got to the point of being about to flower, DD snapped the bud off. I was sad but I was still ok with it. The bulb got huge!, and the next year it flowered. It had multiple flowers on it and the flowers were 7-10 inches across. I had to leave these flowers behind In New York. I didn't know if I would get a garden at the apartment complex, or if we would ever be in a house again.

I had left my Lilies in good hands, but as I was passing the display with all the summer flowering bulbs in it, I though I should get some. “Build a lily garden now for DD2.” Live in the expectation of her arrival. So later on in her life when her garden is full of many kinds of lilies I can say to her I bought these when you lived in China. I knew you would be home before they bloomed, and I would be able to share them with you.

I know it may seem like a small decision but Lily bulbs were 8-16$ DD and I had to choose what plants we had already picked out could be sacrificed. So one pepper plant went back and a pot of herbs, one of DD's flowering plants was replaced with a package of seeds. And I put back one perennial. Finally we had enough left in the budget to get the bulbs. It was the first thing we planted when we got home.

What a beautiful picture it is to me. You know inside every bulb is a flower its already formed just waiting to finish growing. It just needs to be planted, for the sun to warm the soil, and the rain to water it.

How faithful God is, I have had such peace this last week. I should have been upset but instead God gave me a deep assurance. Last Friday we got an email saying our trip had been set up to go to China! We had approval to travel.
We needed to get our visas and tickets etc. Well By Tuesday we had another email saying “Don’t travel” they haven’t posted your approved paperwork at the US consulate in Guangzhou.
A rock and a hard place position.
If we canceled our trip it could cost 500$. If we go we could get stuck in China for an indefinite period of time. So suddenly it looks like were in for a disappointment. We pursue our paperwork trying to find out where it is. Many phone calls and emails later we find out it’s missing, it is as if the USICS immigration office never sent it. I’m praying about it but I’m finding myself not getting all worked up about it. I really felt like God was saying wait 2 days, and watch and see.. So I did, the guy at adoption agency confirmed it when he said “You don’t have to make a decision yet. We will talk on Friday.” So I called various offices and asked for their assistance. The travel guy said I could try but not to get my hopes up. So long story short, What can take up to 4 weeks for man to do. God got it done in 48 hours. By Friday our missing paperwork was in place in Guangzhou.

So late in May will be traveling to China and we will receive into our family DD2, s With much love and joy, we wait in anticipation for this 4th member of our family to join us.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Say cheese, and keep your eyes open!

So here goes.. last week we got notified that the chinese government says its ok for us to travel. We got thrilled and happy excited paranoid all at the same time. After a few days of getting everything together. prepping visa stuff etc.. getting psychotic photos of DD taken.. I shall digress because its so stinking funny.

Why is it that when you need a demure photo of your child, so you can look that chinese official in the eye and confirm that yes she is mine and so good.. that is when your child chooses to look crazy, tilts her head and laughs out loud. And when the photographer who can't be older than 17 keeps saying
"are you ready?" (child looks great eyes open, nice smile)
"three" (child's head starts to tilt starts burping giggles)
"two" (child face starts to puff out as they withhold laughter)
"one" (child closes eyes while braying like a donkey)
17 year old then snaps photo...
rinse and repeat 10 more times.. till child is so worked up the only photo with her eyes open.... is the one where she looks ready for a rubber room. *sigh*
Exit mom with unacceptable photo in hand but really what can I do? At this point its not going to get any better, only worse.
Ok digression over with ..

So were planning on travel and we get an advisory *don't travel* the embassy in Guangzhou doesn't have your updated paperwork.
ok practice *deep breathing* DH calls the guy at Adoption agency.. DH is still in never never land ( wee were gonna travel) and really doesn't hear what the travel guy is saying. DH pursues tickets with a single mindedness akin to a pit bull.

Then DH gives me the job of calling the national visa center. Now you can talk to a real person from 8 am-12 am weekdays. but be forwarned they don't let you camp on hold... no if you don't get anyone your call gets dropped. And my stinking redial won't work because I have to punch in all these numbers .. hit 1 for english hit 2 for spanish etc..
so after about 2 hours of dialing and beginning to comprehend the spanish message that says "I'm sorry all our operators are busy now."

Finally I get a nice sweet lady who tells me my paper work is missing and I have to have the USICS ( who has not been very helpful) email the paperwork again.. Our hopes for traveling in May dwindle. So I accept the facts and move on with my life. "Gotcha Day" may have to wait. It's ok... later that day I see a forwarded email from DH saying the USICS has responded very quickly and has already emailed the paperwork.. I also have received a email from the national visa center saying my paperwork was sent to Guangzhou!!! November 2 years ago, wait it was sent when... November 2 years ago a whole second of heart racing. ahh well that is expired like the can of whipped cream in my fridge. .. but then I think what can it hurt to reply to this email and ask... they can only say no right???
So I sent a nice "I know you work so hard" email back asking them "if they could do anything... it would be greatly appreciated". Thus the saying goes, you really do catch more flies with honey..

Bingo in my email today my paper work has been sent on to Guangzhou. weird thing was God was talking to me in the car on the way home.. hey check your email no really... go check it.. I got a surprize for you.. My heart didn't even race cause I was expecting it. =))
so I called the travel guy at adoption agency "hey does this mean we can buy tickets?? can we keep our travel dates?? huh?? huh?? well maybe.. ROFL gotta love it ---->>>MAYBE<-----We will call tomorrow and see how this journey ends..

P.S. I went to another place to get DD's photos retaken (Would you have returned to the 17 year old???) and amazingly the 30 year old mom didn't say 3.2.1 go.. but snapped the picture the minute she opened her eyes. and insisted on taking the psychotic photos (would have been great for blackmailing purposes) from the day before as an exchange even tho I didn't buy them from that store..

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The secret code is broken!

I'm really tired tonight, last few days I have been trying not to worry (unsuccessfully I might add) about the adoption stuff. Someone's email server blew up (not mine) at the time Wu Yuan was assigned to us. Leading to Miscommunication on a grand scale. Everything is straightened out now but a few nights of no sleep and My sarcoidisis wakes up and yawns and say's "now that she's down I'll kick her." At least it makes me so tired I can't help sleeping.

Today in school we talked about what a kid did wrong in her reading book. And DD decided it was the boy worrying. "He should have been himself Mom." she said. So we talked about trusting in God. and I said mama's been worrying a lot lately. And she hugged me. "Mama you have been doing wrong like the boy. It will be ok."
out of the mouths of babes!

So My hubby before running off to a practice session, knew I was really tired and he said " What is she (meaning DD) gonna do?" so I said "While I'm resting. I'm going to.... I start spelling ....
L E T ... D D .. W a t c h ... t e l e v i s i o n .. o r.. a .. M ... at this point DD chimes in "O V I E! I get to watch a movie Yippie!!! M O V I E!! spells movie. Yeah!!!" I looked at Tom and though OH NO! the code is broken now I have to figure out Pig latin.. Doh!

Meanwhile she wandering around the house asking me the dogs her doll Ni hao ma? Ni hao, Zaijian, xie xie. It's wild I think she is picking up chinese faster than she picked up english.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

adoptive mom and the day we found out about you.

In December we pull out the Advent book and every day we read another part of the birth of Jesus. DD loves to open the doors each day and read the story. Everyday the first week, we read the annunciation where the angle says to Mary “nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37 Everyday I heard this verse, it wormed its way into my heart. I began to talk to God. “I know I’m not Sarah or Hanna, or Mary, I’m not some great giant of faith that I deserve to be in on the secret. But God you love me just as much as you loved those women. I really wish you would speak to me and reassure me.” I prayed this prayer without any expectations it was like a sigh from my heart.

When we first started our adoption journey I choose a baby instead of an older child. DH in his infinite wisdom played along. As the process began to unfold God started to challenge my heart. Asking me such questions as “Who are you to dictate what I have for you?” I kept thinking about God as if he has both hands full of a great gift and I keep asking for what is in His right hand. “No, no really God I don’t need all you want to give me, I’ll just take what I think, I want, and it’s in the right hand.” He couldn’t give me anything unless I took what was in both of His hands. I began to see I needed to be open to what God wanted for me, not what I wanted for me. If I look at it logically doesn’t God have my best interests at heart? What was I so worried about?, so like Abraham I took my “baby” to the alter and gave it to God. Then I held out both hands and said God you fill em.

Shortly after I had sighed my prayer, I cracked open my bible to read. I was going to read some Psalms. But instead I decided to read Isaiah. I then read this:
Sing, O barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband,"
says the LORD.
"Enlarge the place of your tent,

 stretch your tent curtains wide,

 do not hold back;

 lengthen your cords,

 strengthen your stakes.
Isaiah 54: 1-2
Wow when God chooses to speak, He Speaks. I still was a bit confused should I start shouting for joy right away? Our adoption process was in the queue and we had just gotten another email saying child wait times were going up another month possibly two. It seemed our child assignment wait time had been holding at 16 months forever. My mind kept asking the Lord “Huh?” Yet my heart was satisfied, sitting in amazement at how He ministered to my desire and I was at peace. I stored these verses in my heart as a secret treasure.

In on December 11th we got a call from Holt International, it was the waiting child program. They were wanted to know if we would be interested in a 5 year old girl.
She hadn’t been in care that long, less than a year and had some lung problems. I told J. we would look at her file. So she emailed it to me. I poured over the English translation. I fell in love with her story, her picture, her sweet half sad, half smiling face wrapped itself around my heart.

God’s timing is perfect He really knows what he is doing. You see the very next day I had an appointment with my Pulmonologist. I scheduled this appointment 6 months ago. How awesome is that???
So I took in my pile of paper and we had a nice talk.
Would this problem affect her quality of life? No.
Is it something operable? No not really.
Is this issue going to shadow her life everyday? No.
I got some tips on what not to do, like scuba diving is not a good idea, mountain climbing is out as well. Not real hardships for me! She seemed to fit in to our family right away.
Who better to take care of her than me? I understand the feelings of heaviness in ones lungs.

So for days I couldn’t sleep I was too keyed up, could we, would we. As we filled out form after form explaining why we would be good parents for her. We had to get this approval and that approval, were other parents interested in her? Would we be chosen?
I slept in fits and starts praying and asking God, thanking God believing in faith she was our Lily. Then the day came, I got a call from the director. We had been ok’d by our local agency and the waiting child program. They were handing our file over to the China program we were officially matched! I called DH, his phone was on do not disturb!! Such exciting news and I can’t reach him!! I called J.D. one of his co-workers and J.D. tracked him down. It wasn’t that hard as DH was just returning from a meeting. It was exactly what he had been hoping to hear! As we rejoiced together as a family that evening, DD was confused. “Mama why are you crying?” Poor DD, tears only mean sadness to her. So we stopped and explained, “Some times when we are incredibly happy we cry tears of joy.”