Saturday, September 29, 2007

China Update

We just got back from a fun time at the lake. The kids loved the indoor water park at the resort. No pictures of that - it was a little wet - just picture wet, happy kids and you'll get the idea. This week the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs had this update on their website.

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before August 31, 2006.

This means our documents have now been reviewed and since we were not contacted with questions we are now just waiting for a referral - probably for the next 1-2 years . Our documents were registered on 8/2/2007. I am now going back to another year of incessant waiting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Of Trunks and Teeth

Today was a banner day at our house - FINALLY - at the age of 7 1/2 Wesley lost his first tooth. You have never, ever seen such excitement. We thought he would never lose a tooth. Now the exhausting wait for the tooth fairy begins. Wesley told me that he thinks the tooth fairy pays $3.00 a tooth now - he has apparently raised the value of a tooth recently. On Saturday I took the kids to see the Budweiser Clydesdale's at the stable where they have been staying for the week while they do local promotions. They were super-impressed. Of course, as a parent, you have to realize that the inevitable question will come up. In our case - while looking at a very cool horse, Wesley asked, "Why does that horse have an elephant's trunk?". Aren't kids great!! (If you can't figure out what I am talking about ask your friend to explain.)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Autumn Moon Festival Party

We had a fun party last night to celebrate the Moon Festival. We invited the other girls in town (who were born in China) and their families over and tried to make Chinese food. I like to think of our little group as the South Central (insert state here) Families with Asian Adopted and Caucasian Biological Children, I know you are impressed with my naming skills. I think that is why we have no official group name. The food was pretty good - Not that I'd brag! Everyone had a good time. We knew the night would be good immediately upon getting home from work. Claire wanted to watch Dragontale's. I am all for any activity that will keep a 2 year old out of my way when I am trying to cook. I got to the bedroom and Claire said she had put video in. It wouldn't start - so I tried to eject it and it just made a horrible noise. I then noticed a dime in the opening of the DVD player. The DVD then ejected and all was good - until I couldn't get it to reload - Well, no dragontales obviously - and I was just a LITTLE mad. Kendell got home a shook a nickel out of the TV and all is good again. I got the cooking done even with Claire helping, we had fun trying to make moon cakes. The kids had fun playing. We had a nice evening - even though the full moon isn't until next week and the moon was hiding behind a tree - Oh well!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2nd Family Day for Claire

Two years ago today Xiu Qing officially became Claire. She has gone from docile and barely responsive to playful, happy, interactive, and sometimes just mean. She is well into the terrible two's and I am hoping she is saving most of the sweetness for age 3. It is hard to believe that 2 years ago this little girl who didn't even know how to cry for attention or play is now totally rowdy. Happy family day to our family of five. The photos are from Claire's adoption day - right after they handed Claire to Kendell and the second is from today. I am adding the link for our trip to China for Claire if anyone would like to venture down memory lane with me.
Claire's Adoption Trip:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Plowed Fields - Is It That Exciting?

I don't think anyone else's husbands get excited about plowed fields. Kendell was thrilled about the plowed fields on our land. They plow these to plant fall season stuff (like turnips and whatever) to attract poor, innocent deer for hunting season. Kendell is not excited about hunting deer. He is hunting arrowheads. Sadly enough he now has all the kids excited about hunting. Wesley found his first arrowhead a couple of weeks ago. At our house your worth as a child is not measured by athletic ability - but by your ability to spot a very small piece of shaped flint. It was a nice day - everyone had a nice ride on the ATV and mule (not an animal). I also included a picture of the really big spider Claire found in our backyard.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park

We have had a busy week. Grandma came for grandparents day at school. Wesley has discovered he has his first loose tooth - Jessie has her first boyfriend - whatever that means. I thought I would post a photo of our vacation last yeat at Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO. If you are interested in a great family trip - try the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park - We had a great time hiking, our kids loved the daycamp, and it was very relaxing. I also added a photo of the Great Wall of China to our title line. If you ever have a chance to go - also a great vacation spot.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

China News

After our documents go to China they sit on a shelf until they are reviewed for errors or other problems with the paperwork. This is the point at which they could decide you are not fit to adopt a Chinese baby - based on your homestudy, medical history, or one of the numerous other documents we had to submit. The good news is that they have almost made it to our documents - This doesn't mean we get a referral anytime soon - but once we are through review we are guarenteed a baby when it is our turn. The notice from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs today says:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before July 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before November 25, 2005

Hopefully in the next few weeks we will get notice that our documents are out of review! Our documents were registered August 2, 2006.

The Evil That Lurks Beneath

I don't mind lizards, I like turtles, I even don't mind little garter snakes. I don't, however, like large poisonous copperheads that are living under the paddleboat at our lake. This little guy was hanging out under the boat when Kendell went to turn it over yesterday. Then only problem was that he was under there with a friend who got away. This wouldn't worry me so much but it is not the first time Kendell has seen this snake under the boat - The problem it they seem to be reproducing and getter BIGGER! I am fairly sure that the missing snake is pregnant with 100 little baby poisonous snakes. Sorry about the gory photo - but I couldn't get Kendell to hold the snake up like that alive - He absolutely did not want me to post this picture - but I just can't resist showing you the wonderful wildlife that lives here in our little part of the country.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Love Without Boundaries (LWB)

This is one of my favorite charities which serves the children of China. I was introduced to the organization shortly after we received our referral for Claire in August 2005. The orphanage she was at is very rural and poor. They care for more than one hundred babies - most are under the age of one. The orphanage could not afford formula for all the babies so they were diluting it. A concerned parent - who had just received their baby contacted Love Without Boundaries. A nutrition program was started and through donations all the children at Xiushan Social Welfare Institute in Chongqing, China now receive all the high quality formula they need. LWB also provides medical care for children in need - most, but not all, of these children are orphans and absolutely would not get the surgery or medical treatment they need without this organization - many of these kids are able to find families now since they are healthy enough to be adopted. Please check out their blog at: . Check out their website at: . Consider supporting a child who needs help NOW by donating at: . Our family has supported the nutrition, medical, and education programs. I know that when I support these kids - they now have a second chance for a permanent loving family. Thanks for listening to me ramble. I have included Claire's photo from referral so you know that an orphan is just a child who needs the love of a family - She doesn't look like an orphan anymore! Every one of these kids will thrive when given hope.

Monday, September 3, 2007

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Needs Stitches!!

We were having a great weekend. We went to a family reunion - everyone had fun - we had a nice ride home after we separated everyone in the car and I sat between Wesley and Jessie in the back of the van. We had a nice lunch at Chili's except for the fact that Claire cried for a lot of it because she has hand, foot, and mouth disease (therefore - lots of mouth sores - ouch!!!). We then got home a everyone was playing nicely - I was cutting out some quilt squares when I heard the scream. Jessie was trying to look innocent and Claire was crying hysterically. You know when you ask you kids "How many times do I have to tell you not to play on the treadmill?" Well of course it doesn't matter how many times I say it - because no one was listening. So, four stitches, 2 stickers and 3 slushes later we have successfully reattached Claire's little toe - By the way I made Kendell do the stitches - It seems like stitching up the kids should be a Daddy job - just like mowing on steep slopes and running the chainsaw - No need to worry - all is well here in our little abode now.

China Update

Another month has passed and China has finished matching children with their new parents - which is good news - the bad news is we really aren't much closer to being matched.

From the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs today:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before June 30, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before November 25, 2005 ---

Our documents were registered on Aug. 2, 2006 - Over the last month they have matched 4 days of documents - over the last 5 months they have not even gotten through one month of documents - So there are still 9 months of families waiting ahead of us -- in a line which is not really moving - So we continue to wait -
Hope everyone had a good Labor Day - I will post pictures of our fun weekend later.
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