Monday, December 26

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, cozy, crazy, lovely and safe Christmas :) 
Christmas Eve I baked my Apple and Pecan Pies and that evening attended worship service with my family, an aunt and two cousins.  I remember when I was little and during service asking when it would be done, and one Aunt telling me just two more bloop-dee-bloop rides, this year it was the dripping hot wax on my finger as we were finishing Silent Night.  Ouch!!!Then it was back over to Grandma and Grandpa S home to spend time with family, indulge in a little more food ;) and open presents!  I gave a Ca.bella's gift card to the uncle whose name I drew at Labor Day.  While I received wonderful gifts from one of my cousins who finally made it to the adult grouping this year.  (there's a kid's group and adult's group--you have to have graduated from High School to be in the elite group ;) )  Then I was dropped back off at my house to sleep in a Silent Night before heading to work from 6 to 10 in the morning.
Work went smoothly for me and was over before I knew it, then it was back to Mom and Dad's.  Then I helped myself to mom's famous cinnamon rolls and a short glass of egg nog.  You know the ones she only makes this time of year and last maybe until the morning of the 26th---yummy!!!  When the other half of the family arrived ;) we started opening presents.  Love getting to watch my nieces as they open presents, especially the older one who really is expressive when opening gifts and got herself some kitties (not real), Ari.el doll, clothes and other goodies.  The younger one is catching onto opening gifts quickly, and maybe that's just because there's an older sister on the sidelines who is gladly willing to step in and assist should the need arise :)
I love all my gifts and am very thankful for them as well!!!  Maybe this time next year I'll be working on a little gift from God.
On the home selling front:  An offer was made late last week, which I made a counter offer to.  The prospective buyer and his agent felt it was a very fair offer.  Unfortunately his lender would not approve the funds for the new price, and so for now he is shopping around lenders to see if he can get the approval he'd need.  Plus the house would have to pass inspection and assessed at the asking price in order for the type of loan to be approved.  For now I'll keep my fingers crossed.  Otherwise next week will probably bring along a price reduction to bring it to where it should get more offers and be more "market friendly".  This will certainly push back the baby plans with whatever monies will need to be brought to closing, but I am thankful that I will be able to do so.
For now I'm looking forward to what is brought in this New Year and to whether or not my new niece will be born in 2011 or 2012. 
Merry Christmas to you all and a New Year filled with the best of what God has in store for you!!!

Tuesday, December 6

It's the Holiday Season. . .

. . .and Santa Claus will be here in less time then it took me to write since the last entry :(  Sorry about that!
There have been quite a few people in and out of the house looking, just not the right buyers yet.  But boy does the house stay clean!  Not that it doesn't on a normal basis, but I can't let things pile up until my weekend and then straighten up and clean then.  I'm glad it's just me that I have to get ready for work in the morning.  It takes enough time to make sure everything's show ready and opened up before I leave, I'm glad I don't have to worry about getting kids out and about too.

The depressing part is not being able to decorate the house for Christmas :(  Yes, I know Christmas will come and still be the same regardless what the house looks like, but it's different.  Mom would always have our house all set up for us to enjoy the whole Christmas season.  I remember in the old house the first floor was just the family room and it was set up with the fake fire place and one of the trees.  My sisters and I loved when the only lights in the room were the colored ones illuminating the ornaments on the tree and the red candellabra that was plugged in near the "fireplace".  We loved taking our dolls down there to sit on the couch and look at the wonder that filled the room.  That memory always warms my soul and reminds me to slow down and enjoy it all while it's here.  In my apartment I loved to spend one night, after watching a Christmas movie, with my Robert's egg nog in hand curled on the couch just looking at the tree sparkling while Christmas music played in the background.  Hey, after spending that time to decorate the tree I was going to enjoy it ;)

Last year I think I finally had it down to where what trees would go where (yes, there was a tree in every room upstairs) and where all my decor would reside for years to come.  Well, that's what I get for thinking I had it all figured out :)   This year I'm putting up one tree (the Disney tree) in the playroom, and another one is already up in my room (my Hallmark tree).  Still have one more tote to bring over from the house and set up.

I think it's just sad for me knowing that this is the first year in the house's whole life that its halls won't be decked out.  I am bringing back over a small pre-lit (and on a timer) tree.  I'll probably also put my led candlesticks as well to put in the windows.  What it all boils down to every season is getting to spend time with my loved ones and enjoying each moment I have with them.  It may seem cliche and corny, but hey I'm a corny, sappy girl ;)

P.S. someone is coming today to look at the house--so cross your fingers, say a little prayer, or do a home selling dance that these are *the* people for my home.

Friday, October 28

The Sign's in the Yard!

Wednesday the Realtor came over.  We signed papers, she took pictures and measurements and as of yesterday I was listed.

Today a sign has appeared in my yard and a lock box on the front door.  It feels a little strange to come home to a home that has all the very real details of  a home for sale.  There was even a showing while I was at work today.  Thank you Dad for doing a run through before they came.  My realtor has this site set up that asks the selling agent a few questions after their tour.  It has already been filled out and I could see the results online.  Not the buyer for my house.  He was looking for a big garage, but the layout wasn't for him.  He did say that the living room and kitchen were big draws.  And the selling agent said he thought the listing price was right for what he's seen on the market so far.  So I'll take those good things and hope the house sells as fast as the Walker's ;)

Saturday, October 8

Apparently. . .

I will need to win the lottery in order to afford to sell my house, or so it feels.

The couple who came in the house said that the upstairs was cute and the garage was big, but with no real updates they found other homes in the same price range that had the updates.  Looks like it will be a tough sale for the price I wanted to put it at originally (you know the price that I would either be able to walk to closing with no money or up to around a thousand.) Now it looks like I would probably have to take at least 6,000 clams that I just do not have. Ugh, which puts me between a rock and a hard place :(  I have got to do a better job of giving it to God!

Trying to figure out what to do and wishing that this would have at least been the easy part.  Ugh, stinkin' economy!

Sunday, October 2

2 Coats Down

1 to go!

I should be going to bed now, but since I got a second wind I need to wind down.  So, I'll write out a story and put myself to sleep ;)

This past Tuesday I met with my Realtor and went over what would need to be done with the house, what she will be doing for me, and of course the comps in the area to give me a figure for listing the house at.  Main things being bringing it up to FHA/VA loan standards.  Like making sure the oven (that I only got to use for the first six months living here) works, no chipped or peeling paint outside, and making (for lack of a better word since my brain isn't exactly functioning on all cylinders right this moment) a banister for the porch out back.  Then updates and the such to bring in the most bang for the buck (I'm willing to spend ;) ) like new carpeting downstairs, painting the paneling down there white, silver knobs for the bathroom vanity, and removing the old paint that was uncovered on one of the bedrooms wood floors.  Luckily Dad still had the bar remnants in the garage and was able to put it back up, making the patch of carpetless floor downstairs obsolete--whoo hoo Daddy!  I've spent the time since I got home from work until midnight prepping and painting the paneling white.  I just don't understand why someone doesn't want multi-colored panels--hello it was a creative space for scrapbooking (or was supposed to be ;) )?  Mom even came over and spruced up the front yard a bit with her spray painting skills--thanks Mommy :)

Originally there was going to be two weeks I gave myself and Dad ;) to get all the work accomplished before listing.  Then my Realtor sent me an e-mail on Friday night, but due to my computer being a brat I couldn't get to until 6 this morning.  In it she said that one of the buyer's on her team (she's an exclusive seller's agent and she has three exclusive buyers agents) has a prospective buyer who is looking for some aspects of a home that mine has to offer.  So she would like to try to get them through this weekend.  So now it's a push for me to get it at least presentable by tomorrow (you know doing laundry, regular cleaning, cleaning up from projects around the house, etc) and at this moment I don't even know when they want to come through.  Hopefully they'll be a call tomorrow morning with a time that is good.  Then hopefully if they are the right buyers they'll make an offer, it can be accepted, everything goes perfect and it's sold before December.  I know it's not likely, but a girl can dream, or at least be optimistic right? :)

Have a wonderful Fall Weekend and Happy October!!

Saturday, September 3

Are you ready for some Football?!!!

Ehhh. . .

I know there are throngs of people out there who would shout an enthusiastic "YES!" to the old question.  For me however, it doesn't really affect me either way.  To me football means school is back in session, tv is taken over for  few nights each week on several channels covering everything from high school to pro, and that the smell of Autumn is not too far behind.  While you won't find me huddled by the tv screen waiting with bated breath and wearing my lucky socks praying for my team to win, I'm not opposed to the sport either.  I do find I have a loyalty to my alma mater for high school (and since my college team is no more. . .) and of course the good 'ol Bugeaters ;)  I hope they win each week, feel sorry for them when they don't, and wear their apparel.

What I remember loving most about football is memories from when I was little.  Going over to Grandma and Grandpa B's and the smell of chili simmering wafting through the house.  The sounds of the game drifting into their bedroom as I took a nap in the middle of bed snuggled up to B (my doll.)  The commercials about "good neighbors" and waiting for the station identification.  Any time I hear those now on the radio during a game, especially if we are listening at work ;), it takes me back to the feeling of comfort and warmth.

Monday, August 29

Labor Day

While I will be working the afternoon of the Monday holiday, we'll be celebrating with the S side of the family on Sunday afternoon.  Just thinking of all of the upcoming holidays makes me so excited to think that hopefully soon I will be sharing these days with my own little family.  I love traditions, holidays, vacations and can not wait to share them with my child(ren).  I think it's one of the reasons that I want to be a mom, to introduce them to and enrich their lives with traditions.  Especially because I loved my own childhood so much and hope to provide the same euphoric feeling for my own children as they grow.

Holidays at both grandparents were beloved, and equally different.  On the S side I'm the eldest grandchild, and I have to say I've very much enjoyed it.  Most of my aunts and uncles on that side were still very young when I came into the world, so whenever I came over I always felt there were plenty of people to play with.  There was my uncle the Octopus, who I can still remember giggling with on the kitchen floor as I struggled to escape from as he would tighten his grip and tickle until I claimed I had to use the bathroom.  The aunt who when my sister and I saw B.arbie's Ice Cream Parlor set in a department catalog, she worked with our imagination to make our very own set which was so much better than the mat.tel version.  The uncle who would let me play olympic games on his computer.  I can still imagine them now, and can't believe how far along games have come.  Aunts and Uncles who would take me down to the park to swing or help me hang from monkey bars.  Aunts who loved playing Pict.ionary and Tri.vial P.ursuit with me, especially as I got older.  Playing with them and my younger cousins now reminds me of doing all this with them when I was the younger ones' ages.  I can also remember the polka music Grandpa would be listening to and getting to be his Poopie Doo #1.  I loved playing Cop.s and Ro.bbers board game with Grandma and knowing that her cookie jar with silver lid was always full of homemade cookies and a glass of cherry Ko.ol Aid wouldn't be far behind.  I enjoyed playing hide and seek as well as playing the piano and pretending the sound was a beautiful symphony. 

Then there are the holidays.  Where most everyone tries to attend and Grandma and Grandpa's feels as much as home as the ones I grew up in did.  Where you always feel comfortable and enjoy taking it all in and relishing these times we have with each other.  Where you can't imagine it being any other way.  Again I appreciate being the eldest grandchild, and having so many cousins to get to be apart of their lives.  I love getting to do the things that my aunts and uncles had once done with me with their kids.  Taking them to the park, playing board games, and just talking and remembering how things have been since I was little.  Christmas will have to have it's very own post during December, as it is my favorite time of year.
I just love getting to be part of this family and have been so fortunate to have both sides full of love and wonderful memories.  Like a broken record, I can not wait to bring a child into this family and share them with everyone.

Even though this holiday won't be at Grandma and Grandpa's house, it will still be home because it's with family!!!
(I know I just prattled on and just hope this made some kind of sense ;) )

Sunday, August 21

Whistlin' While I Work

Okay, so maybe more of singing along to 80's tunes while I work ;)  I've got laundry going, dishes done, and the upstairs bathroom cleaned.  You know the good 'ol every week work.  I also moved a lot of boxes that mom and dad had brought over from last year back to their house.  Now with Dad's help and the SUV we can move back the rest of their boxes, their furniture, and the things that don't quite fit in my sedan.  I also cleaned out the fridge today, which left a nice light scent of vinegar behind and a sparkling inside.  Now I need to get my scrapbooking things all taken out of the closet and move them to the basement so when I feel like taking a few more car loads I can take those along with more boxes I've already filled.

Last week I went through the kitchen and took everything that I can get by without over to the house.  I know it all needs to be pared down to make the house then look and feel bigger.  Tonight I'm going to go through the three bedrooms (or as much as I can) and box things up.  Tomorrow we'll be buying some baseboards, and staining of said baseboards as well as other wood items we picked up last week, so that Dad and I can get them installed hopefully Tuesday.  I also need to get crackin' on my favorite part of the property---the great outdoors, ugh!  At least it's not as miserable as it had been when I started deweeding last month, but now I get to contend with pollen allergies :(

When I'm to the point when there is no more packing and no more painting I will be one happy girl!  At least there's a big goal at the end of all of this work, I just wish I knew exactly when this part of the journey would be done.  Then I could circle it on the calendar and think I just need to work on this part of the project until this date.  However I know a lot things from here on out aren't going to be easy peasy as in knowing a date for something that I can know that's the finite timeline.  I hear babies don't work that way ;)

Okay, back to the singing while I work.  Those boxes don't pack, transport and unpack themselves you know :)

Monday, August 8

I Promise. . .

. . .that this blog will be more exciting in the future ;)

I do have something to share right now though.  We are going to start our multigenerational home at Mom and Dad's.  There definitely is more space there!  I will move back into my original room, and Katie's original bedroom will become the hopefully eventual baby's room.  The original family room, now formal dining room, will be turning into a play room!  A place for all the toys to hang out and for Mom to watch the girls, and my eventual child(ren) to play and be a kid.

For now though it means selling my home.  I am hoping to meet up with a realtor by the end of this month.  Just need to get mom and dad's stuff that is downstairs right now back to their house so they can get it moved where they want it.  Then clean the basement and garage.  Do some finishing touches in the third room and wax the wood floors.

During this time I will also be dealing with the emotional side of selling a home and having to see it as just a house to do a business transaction with.  It is already hard enough emotionally to move out of a place I have called home for the past three years, but add onto that it was my grandparent's home for all of my life.  It will be hard when it comes to the actual day, losing the physicality of this special place.  Luckily I know it will never lose it's special place in my heart.  That no one will be able to take or sell my most precious memories of all the fun I had there.  Listening to my Grandpa tell the stories of his life, even if he told the same one more than once ;)  Grandma busily cooking for the holidays and her delicious Christmas pies.  Spending the night with my younger sister and getting to dress up in Grandma's slips and nightgowns and wear jewelry and thinking we were all decked out for a special occasion, walking up and down the hallway.  Going down to the basement and playing with my cousins, especially on Christmas Day after opening presents and tummies full of yummy food.  Or after a day full of running around outside, sitting and watching my uncles light off fireworks in the street in front of the house.  The memories and images are endless and I'm ever so thankful that I was blessed with them.

For now I'm  just hoping the house will sell fast and for a decent price, and that I can move forward with the next phase in my life.  That will be where this blog becomes a little (okay, a lot) more interesting!

Friday, July 1

Change in Plans

Okay so June was a bad month for posting here--sorry about that :(  However, it was mostly due to the fact that I was making some big decisions.  Like deciding to live with mom and dad (and Katie).

When I bought my home I was okay with the payments because I thought eventually Prince Charming has to come by at some point and we'd have our fairy tale wedding and then start a family.  So the payment and household bills wouldn't be bad at all to share with someone.  But darned if he hasn't shown up, nor have I won the lottery.  I know that if I wait for everything to be just so I may end up never having children because the day will never come.  I do want to know that I can comfortably raise my child and even get to indulge myself with vacations with my children.  It would also be nice raising them around family and other adults other than just myself.  We've all talked about it and decided that it would be a nice arrangement.  Right now we're just working out where we will live.  It will definitely be an adjustment, but a journey we are looking forward to taking together.

Another aspect that I had to truly look at was adoption.  There are just some things that would potentially change for me that would make me ineligible for adopting from China at the present time.  However, that would take me back to my original Plan B-having bio children.  It would be nice knowing that I could better afford monthly attempts of IUIs.  It would be nice knowing that there would be someone else present in the home if/when I'm pregnant, especially towards the end of the pregnancy.  It would be nice to know that are people in that home who would lovingly look after my child if I needed them to.  It's nice to know that these people are well aware that a newborn will cry at whatever time and that they love us enough to still want to live with us.  It is nice to think that I can raise my child by myself, but that they will still have built in friends and guidance.  It's nice to think that even if they do not start out with a Daddy in their family, they will start out in a mulit-generational family living situation.  It will be nice to know that I can help mom and dad out as well.  It's wonderful to think that if things go according to plan (uh-oh there's that word that doesn't always seem to work out for me ;) ) then I could start as soon as January of 2012 to start my own branch of the family tree.  That part excites me so!

So who knows where this blog will be going over the next month(s).  I will continue praying and talking with God about everything and I hope you will continue to follow along my crazy adventure :)

Thursday, June 2

Heat Miser

Ugh, I am not ready for summer!  OK, not ready for the heat and sunburns that seem to accompany it.  I have the ceiling fans whirring and the A/C chugging to keep me comfortable inside.

I didn't actually get as many posts done as I wanted to last month.  I was writing them ahead of time and then posting at a pre-deteremined time, but then that meant I didn't get any meaty posts in.  You know the ones that talk about agencies and Gotcha! Day.  So if my computer cooperates with me that is what I would like to try to work on for this month.

I'm not actually any farther on this path to an actual adoption.  I am working on some pretty big decisions right now though and once I am sure of them and where I will be going with them I will share here.  I'm pretty excited about them, even though once again I could be going a new direction, but I'm ready for the journey.  So I will continue to pray and plan :)

Tuesday, May 31

End of May

Well end of the first month blogging here :)  I hope that what I included gave you a little taste of what I spent probably the first two weeks or so looking into.

Right now it's just hard to think that my daughter has probably already been born and for whatever reason her birth parents made the difficult decision to abandon her.  I hope that they have some peace in their heart that God can place knowing that I will do my best to give her the life they felt they couldn't.  That I will love her unconditionally and in a way that only a mommy can love their child.  It's difficult to think of her living in a S.WI or even fo.ster home, because that means she's not here with me.  At this time it really makes all those purchases that were a "must have" insignificant now, but I still have to pay for them.  Which just keeps me away from her that much longer :(

So I have to give it all to God and let Him take care of her for now and keep her in my prayers and heart until I can be the one caring for her.  I would truly appreciate any prayers or thoughts for us right now :)  (well, all the time ;) )

I plan on continuing blogging about China and adoption in general, but will try to add more personal posts as well.  It's probably not *all* that exciting yet, and hopefully that will change once I can actually get the process rolling.  Of course you can always check out the blogs I have on my blog roll, as they are in the process, or already have their children home.  That means you can read their whole journey if you'd like.  But maybe that's only what adoption obsessed people do ;)

If you have any suggestions or input for further posts just go ahead and put it in the comments and I'll see what I can do for ya :)  Thanks for reading so far!!!

Friday, May 27

Reminder to Myself

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
--- Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

Monday, May 23

Proverbs 24:12

...once our
eyes are opened,
we can’t pretend
we don’t know
what to do.
God,
who weighs our hearts
and keeps our souls,
knows that we know,
and holds us
responsible to act.

Sunday, May 22

3 Years!

Happy Birthday today my sweet Sue!  (not using her real name of course ;) )

I truly cannot believe how quickly the past three years have gone.  I'm sure for you the first decade of life will pass by at a leisurely pace, since that's how I seem to recall it.  As you get older it really starts to fly by and then you find yourself telling your niece to enjoy her childhood while it's here :)  I now understand what Grandma meant when she would always tell me how she wanted to put a rock on my head to keep me from growing.  I remember telling her what a crazy idea that was, I *needed* to grow up.  From this side though it just goes to fast and you want it to slow down to enjoy every precious moment of a little one's first years.
I love how much you've learned this year! It's crazy sometimes to hear you chatting away, putting puzzles together, and watching you with your sister when it seems just like yesterday I was walking you around downstairs trying to let your mommy and papa get some sleep at night.  I love your big eyes and your sweet button nose.  I love listening to you sing the Wonder Pets theme song or "Your lipstick stains."  It was so fun to see a little girl get so excited about Christmas and the wonder of it all!  One of my favorite things was having you and Moo over and getting to be with you as you saw what the Easter Bunny brought you :)

You truly make me excited about getting to a Mommy someday, but for now I'm more than honored getting to be your aunt and watch you grow!  I'm looking forward to this summer and spending days off with you, Moo and mommy, it's gonna be a blast :)

Happy Birthday my Big Girl!  Hugs and Kisses, Aunt Redhead!

Saturday, May 21

Friday, May 20

Happy First Birthday!

Happy Birthday Baby Moo!  (not her real name of course!)
It's here already, isn't it?!?  One year ago I received the call that you had entered the world and I rushed to get your big sister up from her nap and down to the hospital to meet you.  Of course you know you came home on her second birthday, but I blame that on your mommy and papa, you didn't have a say in when you'd be born ;)
You were such an easy going baby that mommy and papa didn't need my help as much as they did when they were new parents.  You are such a sweet heart that I love getting to spend time with you.  Over last summer I loved putting you in the sleepy wrap and wearing you.  You'd fall asleep shortly after being snuggled in and would wake up with a sweaty little head.
I don't know how it's possible but your eyes seem even bigger than your sister's, and are just as adorable to look at.  I love your hair, and how it seems to be turning an auburn color ;)  Of course my favorite part of your first year is when you said my name!!!!  Your sister was a stinker and would refuse to say it, but you say it and wave at me and just fill my heart with joy :)
I'm so blessed to get to be your Godmother, and love how you and your Godsister (I guess?) have one name in common.  Especially since it was the name I *loved* when I was little, and planned on using for my daughter when I grew up.
I can't wait to see what's in store for you this coming year!
I love you my sweet little baby girl!  Hugs and Kisses Aunt RedHead!

Tuesday, May 17

Isaiah 43:5

 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 

Sunday, May 15

Numbers 6:24-26

 The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

(I've always loved when this is said at the end of service!  I'm sure it will find it's way into the nursery :) )

Friday, May 13

Jeremiah 29:11

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Wednesday, May 11

Matthew 18:5


And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

Monday, May 9

Bai Jia Bei

Or the 100 Good Wishes Quilt!
It is a tradition to make one in the northern part of China to welcome and celebrate a new life.  Family and friends are invited to contribute a piece of cloth that will make up the quilt.  Many people adopting their child from China create a quilt and scrapbook for their child.  They will ask those wanting to be a part of the tradition to send/give a certain size piece of material (like 10x10 or 8x8) and then also a smaller piece of the same fabric attached to scrapbook page that contains that person's wish for the new child.  The quilt is meant to be passed down for generations, and the scrapbook is a wonderful way for the child to see how much they were loved and thought of before they were even part of the family.
I cannot wait to do this for my own child someday (soon!!!)

Click here to see a finished quilt.

Sunday, May 8

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful, loving, caring, sweet mommies out there today!

I am ever so thankful for my mommy, for all the support, fun, and heart she has given to me for over three decades!  After all she's the reason I would love to get to be a stay-at-home mom, but more importantly a mommy!

And yes they celebrate Mother's Day in China too.  Though the popular flower to give there is the Carnation, because the dense petals symbolize a mother's care and love.

Saturday, May 7

Finding Ad

Also known as the Chinese Orphan Announcement.
After a child is found abandoned the Chin.ese government announces it by placing an ad in the local newspaper.  By law it is required to appear in the newspaper for three days.  If the parents who abandoned their child changes their mind they can go claim their child.  It usually states their gender, approximate age, where they were found, and what they were wearing when they were found.  Of course it is also accompanied by a picture of the little one.
For the adopting parents, if they can find the ad, it may be the earliest photo they will have of their child.  It is also an important part of the child's past, and would be a great addition to their Life Book. 

Click here to see an actual ad.

Friday, May 6

The Starfish Story

I've seen this one on many an adoption blogs and websites, so I thought I should include it here too!

The Starfish Story


The Starfish Thrower
Once upon a time there was a man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit
of walking on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking
along the shore.
As he looked down the beach
he saw a human figure
moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself
to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster
to catch up.
As he got closer,
he saw that it was an
older man and the man
wasn't dancing.
Instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently
throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The older man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish into the ocean."
The man noticed
there were hundreds of starfish
all washed up on the beach
from a storm the night before.
He watched as the man carefully
continued to pick up the starfish
one by one.
"I guess I should have asked,
‘Why are you throwing starfish
into the ocean?’"
"The sun is up
and the tide is going out.
If I don't throw them in
they'll die."
"But don't you realize
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"
The older man listened politely.
He bent down, picked up another starfish
He looked at the starfish
as he prepared to
throw it into the ocean,
past the breaking waves and said –
"I will make a difference to this one!"

Thursday, May 5

Family Planning Policy

Otherwise known as China's One-Child Policy.
In the 1950's Mao Tse-Tung, architect and founding father of the People's Republic of China, told his people to have many children to strengthen their country.  From his urging the population spurt cause the government in the 1970s to be worried that China would be unable to feed her citizens.
In 1978 the policy was introduced and was to go into effect in 1979 for all first-born children.  The Chinese government created the policy to help out with social, economic and environmental issues.  Officials suggest that it prevented 400 million births from 1979 to 2011.  This policy restricted married urban couples to having only one child.  There were exceptions to the rule however such as: rural couples, ethnic minorities, only child parents, foreigners, and areas in Hong Kong and Macau.  Breaking this policy means a fine of what would equal almost three years pay, and no bonuses at work; pressures to abort and possibly even forced sterilization; health care taken away and having to pay for both kid's education.  At this time their government plans to keep the policy in effect until 2015, as it was only meant to be a one-generation policy.

Wednesday, May 4

Ladybugs

Ahhh. . .the mascot for Chinese adoptions.

They are considered lucky because several years ago, when the China's international program was really taking off and there were a lot of adoptive parents waiting for their referrals, there was an infestation of ladybugs.  After the ladybugs started taking over there was a huge wave of referrals of children for these adoptive parents.  So it is now believed good luck to see a ladybug and that your referral will be coming shortly.

Even though they are red, the ladybugs have no root in Chinese culture.

Tuesday, May 3

Guidelines

As of March 15, 2011 single women can adopt a Special Focus child from China.  The following are the guidelines for said adoption:

  1. The single applicant may adopt one Special Focus child at a time, with an interval of at least a year between adoptions.
  2. Applicants must be between the ages of 30-55. If between 50 and 55, the age difference between the parent and the child being adopted must be no more than 45 years.
  3. Applicants must be healthy and without criminal record.
  4. Annual income must be $10,000 per family member, including the child to be adopted.
  5. Net assets must be a minimum of $100,000.
  6. Applicants must be experienced with child-raising or employed in a related field such as: teacher, doctor, counselor, etc. Experience with special needs children is important.
  7. Applicants can have no more than two children under 18 currently in the home. The youngest child must be over the age of 6.
  8. If the applicant has a stable relationship and lives with a male partner, the requirements of couple applicants shall be applied.
  9. The applicant shall provide her civil status certificate. As previously, unmarried applicants shall provide certification for being single and non-homosexual; divorced applicants shall provide the divorce certificate of the last marriage; and widowed applicants shall provide the death certificate of their ex-spouse.

Monday, May 2

The Red Thread

According to this ancient Chi.nese proverb, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of men and women who are destined to be together regardless of time, circumstances or place.
The Chi.nese adoption community has adopted (sorry, had to use it :) ) the adaptation of the proverb as a motto.  In the case of adoptive families it means that the child and his/her parents are connected by the invisible red thread.  It's a comforting thought to know the family meant for you is out there regardless of the time, stress, money, or bumps in the road you may find on your journey to your child.

Sunday, May 1

Ding Dong! God Calling

There I was looking at something on the internet, I don't even recall now but that's probably irrelevant.  Suddenly I had this feeling come over me that I was to adopt my first child.  I don't know how to explain it better than that.  So, I started looking up the state's foster program to see children who needed a home.  As I started looking at their faces I felt a pull that I was looking in the wrong direction.  It was then I knew that my future child was in China, and I needed to focus my research there.
Wouldn't you know it, not even two weeks prior, China had just reopened their adoptions to single women.  Apparently a few years back they had closed adoptions to single women (though there are still those waiting for their child from 2007 and prior.)  They have so many orphans with special needs that they would like to see have their own families that they decided to reopen to single women.  At least I know upfront that my future child will have some sort of special need, as I will only be able to adopt a "Special Focus" child.
Though I can't remember specifically what I was doing at the moment I heard God's calling to adopt, I do remember what was going on when I first really thought about becoming a Choice Mom (a single woman who becomes a mom by choice).  It was two years ago, April 22, 2010 to be exact, and I was at work talking to my friend.  The conversation had been revolving around me wanting to be a mommy (which she's heard a lot over the years ;) )  Then we got to discussing what would happen if my (future) husband and I could not have children, would I consider adoption.  I replied in the affirmative.  Then she asked me if I would consider adopting even if I didn't marry.  Huh?!  As soon as I got home that night I began searching on the internet about becoming a single mom by choice.  There is plenty of resources and support out there that I didn't know existed because I had never seriously considered it.  But seeing as my original plan didn't work out, you know marry my soul mate at a young age, have my five children by the time I was 30, and get to raise them all as a stay-at-home mom, I was ready to create a new plan.  By no means have I given up on finding my future husband, but then who knows what God's plan is for that (and really it's His plans that seem to work out for me ;) ).   I'm not sure though if we don't meet until I'm 50 that I'll be ready to be just starting a family at that time.  So, I spent plenty of time of praying and asking God if this was the path to mommyhood I was meant to follow.  As I felt peace in my heart I started scouring the internet, reading books, and following blogs to see just how these single ladies were becoming Choice Moms.  Although my initial delve into the subject was based off of a conversation about adoption, I was really looking into IUIs and having a biological child.
So when He called me to adoption I feel like I'm back on the path he has for me to follow.  After this revelation I have had so many dreams, that when I wake up in the morning I just have this wonderful feeling about adoption.  Right now I have this wonderful vision in my head of my two future children (yeah, I'm not too sure I could handle five on my own right now ;) ) One is a little girl with jet black hair while the younger one, holding her hand, has red hair.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if they both turn out to be boys ;)
What I do plan on doing is blogging about this journey that I find myself on to adoption.  I will try to add in some helpful websites, others' blogs, and information I find along the way for not only myself but others who may be interested.  I plan on adding more information in the near future and keeping family and friends (and anyone else, I guess) in the loop of where I'm at.  Right now I'm gathering information and working on finances so that I can prove I can afford to take care of child in daily life :)  Thanks for joining me!