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!