Thursday, May 22, 2008
You remember the drive in, don't you? I am sure it is far more sophisticated than it was when we were kids, but still fun, regardless. I'll keep you posted after we go about the movie and the experience. You can hop over to my other blog Feng Shui Mama to find out what movies (and books) that Dana - not Mommy - will be seeing and reading this summer!
These are not book for 6 year olds, unfortunately. I can't wait until Noah is old enough to share these fantasy fiction books with me. I would recommend these for perhaps an 11 year old and up. Maybe a 10 year old if they are mature and have great reading comprehension.
Here is a link to the website so you can check it out for yourself: Alagaesia.
Well, happy reading to you and "may your sword stay sharp."
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We have basically completed his kindergarten year and we had many ups and downs. All I can say is when it was good it was great and when it was bad....boy was it. Noah is incredibly gifted and empathic and also very strong willed. As his Mother, of course, I can handle it. But, we promised ourselves that if Noah was not thriving and loving it and if I was not loving it, we would enroll him in school.
Truthfully, I love educating Noah. And, that will not end (there are always Summers!) As his parents, it is our duty and our promise to always further his education in any way we can. But, Noah is so much happier when surrounded by peers and at this age he is desperately trying to establish his independence from Mom, just as it should be. I think that is the part that breaks my heart. But, never fear, I have put my stamp upon him!
I have realized this week that I want to educate him spiritually and emotionally and help him grow in those ways to be the best person he can be. It is difficult to do that when my focus is on teaching him to read. I am hopeful that by allowing someone else to educate him from 9 to 3 that he and I can focus on his spiritual training, which is something that he loves discussing. The mention of God brings tears to his eyes and he can spot a Buddha a mile away.
I am thrilled about his teacher. She is a fabulous Chinese woman who decorates her room with Chinese characters. I am told she teaches her students Chinese, though Spanish is what the school teaches officially. I really think this will be a great fit.
So, there will be new types of adventures for me to post on my blog once school starts. For now, I am anxiously awaiting summer camp to begin...................
Friday, May 16, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Well, I have not posted in a while. I'm just checking in really for those of you reading my blog. I was asked today in an online adoption forum how I'm doing with the wait. To be honest, it's becoming very tiring. I think I was fine until we reached the 1 year anniversary of our Log In Date to the CCAA which was 2-12-08 (the anniversary).
After requesting countless Waiting Children files and not getting the chance to review them, I've been getting a little sadder each month about the wait.
The upside to the wait....fewer children are being abandoned in China, Chinese domestic adoption has increased substantially in the last year or so, and more Special Needs/WC are being adopted by American families.
The downside....the wait. We know there are still thousands of children awaiting families in China (and elsewhere) but due to government rules being tightened by all parties, the wait to adopt orphans has grown all around the world. If only the overall need would decrease. Then, that would truly be a reason to celebrate the wait.
For us, we are trying to patiently await the gift of a little girl. At this point, we are hoping from an infant up to around age 4. I think Noah thinks it will never happen. I am hoping to start on decorating the nursery over the summer. I'm planning right now for a big girl. We'll set up for an child that no longer needs a crib. That can be added later. Of course, we'll sleep with her so it won't matter!
So...that's where we are right now. Just waiting. Thanks for asking. Hope your day and your life is going well.
Well, it started as a normal day....
I was up at the crack of dawn (not really, I slept in until about 6:30 today!). Eventually Noah and Nathan joined me and we all had a light breakfast as we were going to be having brunch at my parent's house around 10:30.
But, as things go, our plans changed. 10 days ago Noah picked up a tick. We did not discover it until about 4 days later. Fast forward to today....the tick bite has turned red and ugly. After scouring the internet for information on ticks (we do live in the hot South after all), we loaded up and headed for the ER.
They could neither confirm nor deny that Noah had indeed been bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease or some other foul tick manifestation, but we walked away with a week and half's prescription for a pretty strong antibiotic, two actually, one to be taken orally and one to be used topically.
Not all was lost, though. The visit to the ER really only lasted a couple of hours. We were then off to Fazoli's for lunch where moms eat free on Mother's Day and then on to the Frist where Noah tried to find each of his favorite painter's work (Picasso). He LOVES Picasso.
Really. He really enjoys art and has a wonderful time at art galleries. It must be in the genes. Happy Mother's Day to each of you. To those of you who have children, those who are Mother's in their hearts to future children and to all women who embody the Mother aspect of the great Goddess, Mother to us all.
Well, here's what you've been waiting for! Our trip to Walt Disney World in sunny Orlando, Florida:
4-17: Nathan leaves for Disney World
4-18: Nathan's SANS conference begins
4-21: Mom and Noah leave for Disney World - stop in Macon to spend night
4-22: Nathan still in class; Mom and Noah arrive at hotel - The Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort; the entire family strolled the boardwalk during the evening and then had dinner with Goofy and Pluto
4-23: Nathan still in class; Dana and Noah play mini-golf and hang out by the pool; we journey by bus to Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party in the Magic Kingdom - and what magic it was!
4-24: Nathan still in class - last day, hooray; Mom and Noah journey to Downtown Disney where we visited the Lego store; Nathan and Noah spend the evening playing golf while mom heads for the fabulous Mandara Spa for some massage, a pedicure and a bonus of Reiki! What a treat finding a masseuse who knows Reiki.
4-26: Animal Kingdom!
4-27: Magic Kingdom and Epcot!
4-28: Home again.
Well, that was our schedule. We had a great time. The first couple of days were sort of relaxing. Noah and I took it easy. Good thing, too. Nathan injured his back and he and I were up several nights in a row dealing with his pain. We finally had to call the doctor and he was given pain medicine which finally relaxed him and allowed him to ease up his muscles. That's what happens, I guess when you lug around 2 laptops for several days.
Overall we had a great time. Everything is horribly expensive but the look on Noah's face during much of the time was so worth every penny spent. We loved all of it. But, we were so exhausted when we arrived home. In fact, today is Friday and I am still tired. I even took a 2 hour nap today!
We will hopefully go back when Noah is around 11 or 12 and have a younger child along for the fun. By then Noah will be able to ride some of the bigger things with Nathan, but Nathan had fun riding the kids stuff too. We loved the Safari ride in the Animal Kingdom. I'm very glad we did it.
Our only real regret is we did not have a day of downtime at the pool as a family. We'll definitely plan that next time. This time we were sort of on someone else's schedule and really could not do an extra day. As it was, Nathan was out of the office for 2 full weeks.
So, here are some photos. I hope you enjoy them!
Here are a few random photos from our DW trip.
Noah took this great photo of Nathan and I outside of our hotel our first night there together.
This is Noah and I watching a funny magician on the Boardwalk near our hotel.
Here is Goofy, Noah and I at the Garden Grove: AKA horrible restaurant. Thank goodness Goofy and Pluto were there.
Noah is showing me that his golf lessons are paying off here at Fantasia's Garden near our hotel.
Finally, here is a picture of our hotel. The fabulous WDW Dolphin resort. A great place to be.
These pics are from Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party. This was so much fun. It was a nighttime extra in the Magic Kingdom focused on all things piratey and princess. Here is our pirate below:
I'm a little embarrassed to say the castle brought tears to my eyes.
Here are Noah and I on Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride.
The guys in the Tea Cups! Nathan loves these!
Here are my guys watching the Pirate and Princess parade. Notice Noah changed his pirate hat for Mickey's sorcerer hat.
We really had a good time visiting the Animal Kingdom. We got some great photos and it was neat seeing all of the animals as well as Rafiki! I love Rafiki and so does Noah. Noah also wanted me to get my photo made with Pocahantos . He says she is my favorite. I didn't know.
The World Tree in the Animal Kingdom. Truly a work of art.
Don't ask me why I was standing like that.
Here are some more wild animals:
These photos are from our last day at the happiest place on Earth. I must admit that I was pretty thrilled to meet Mary Poppins! My herioine and my favorite Disney movie.
Mary Poppins and Dana. This was big fun. She asked me if we flew in by umbrella. I said, "No, broom."
Nathan in the gallows....just where he belongs!
Just a darn good picture and Nathan and Noah watching the Magic Kingdom show.
My son, the Viking warrior. Watch out Odin.
Noah and his favorite Dwarf - Dopey. Bet you couldn't have guessed that one.
We were shocked. Noah would not go and meet Pan and Wendy. So, I was the one to go and get their autographs.
You can imagine. These are the folks Noah was waiting for. He was so excited, though this picture does not do that emotion justice. Some of the photos that the Disney photographers took were better. If I can, I'll upload one of those later.
Our little prisoner!
We were all so exhausted that after Epcot and the MK we went back to the room, ordered a pizza and then went back and hung at the pool.
Well, you can see from my last post that I have become a little frustrated with the wait for a new addition to our family. The though of a little girl seemed very real and nearly 2 years ago when we began this process but now seems more out of reach.
I want to let those of you know that are reading my blog that I did speak with my China coordinator from CHI and had a great conversation with her. I want to be clear that I realize that from where the agencies sit and really from where the parents sit, there is not a best way or most fair way to handle things like the WC program. Each agency has its own policies and some seem even less fair than they one we have.
I can tell you that due to new CCAA regulations requiring families to submit dossiers for waiting children within a specific time period and due to CHI's current Hague accredidation status, that it seems that non CIS approved families will not be allowed to apply for WC and families who cannot complete the dossier within the specified time period will not be able to apply. So...this takes care of much of the problem....for now.
For me, I am personally working on being more upbeat and positive and as the house is taking shape and moving more in the direction that I would like for it to go, perhaps we will begin working on a nursery soon and be prepared when our referral comes. Until then, please keep us - especially Noah who is waiting for a sister - in your thoughts during this long wait.
I am so frustrated right now. In fact, it is beyond words, but I'll try. Our agency has made what it feels is the best decision on how to handle its waiting children files and I support them in their decision - for the most part. They have responded to their clients wishes and over the last year have amended the WC process to be what they deem to be the most fair. I have supported this knowing how hard it is to please everyone.
But! I just visited the blog of one of the families traveling right now to pick up their daughter. I immediately recognized the little girl as one we applied for last Spring....A YEAR AGO. I was curious as to why it took them so long to get their LOA and TA (the paperwork giving them an official referral and travel approval). The family was picked to review the file and accepted the little girl last April and could not get it together to submit their dossier until October! It took them 6 months to put together their paperwork and all they can say is they are procrastinators. How many of us were logged in and ready to go then?
Unbelievable is all I can say. So, this little girl has lived an additional year with a foster family that she has been bonding with and will now be ripped away from to go live with her "forever family."
I'm very frustrated right now and will be calling our agency on Monday to discuss this with them. I never had a problem with them allowing non logged in families to apply for these kids...until now. I just naturally assumed that a non LID family would really hustle to get an LID so they could be united with the child that they have been waiting for.
I'm just so frustrated by this. The thing is, for the most part I have understood that adoption sucks. Really. It is frustrating and their are long waits and the children end up being the ones to suffer the most in so many ways both before and after the adoption. But, really. This is just too much.
All I can do now is hope and pray for this little one and hope that this situation does not continue to happen.
Please keep all of the orphans in the world in mind in your hopes and prayers. They deserve so much more.
Not much going on. We are wrapping up our CIS update. It is taking me forever. I have decided that I am decidedly unorganized now when it comes to paperwork since staying home with Noah. It is funny. I could not stand to have a paper out of place when I had my own office. I was incredibly together. Now that I am at home....calendar's, clocks, papers, they mean nothing to me. I have got to get it together!
So, all I have left is to pick up the green form today, get it to our SW tomorrow, pick up the homestudy, and overnight it to CIS with a request for a free one time extension. Then, we are still in the game.
As far as kids go, we are still light years away from a traditional referral, we are continuing to watch our agency's special needs list and still considering Ethiopia. Please keep us in our thoughts as we await the gift of a new child into our home.
Hi all. Not much going on. We have applied to review the files of two more waiting children. I am holding out hope but the files are locked by a family from another agency. One cutie is a 3 year old red head - yes, I said red head - and the other is a little dark haired 2 year old. They are really quite cute and funny. Not your typical children from a Chinese SWI. Nathan said he didn't know if he could do the red head as he says she would have to be chained to us from 14 on as all of the boys would be chasing her. The other is possibly the pudgiest child from an orphanage I've ever seen.
Well, we'll let you know if we get to see the files.
For now, we are getting our immigrations stuff updated and getting ready to have our fingerprints redone. Apparently Homeland Security thinks they might have changed in the last 18 months. Of course, we know who is at the helm, so that is not surprising.
We are trying to get it all done quickly as the US is signing the Hague Treaty on International Adoption standards and makes things much more complicated for us do-gooders and would be parents.
One of my main reasons for halting the Ethiopian process was not being ready to put together another dossier, but we are essentially doing that, so if we want to jump back into Ethiopia, we'll be ready.
Please keep us in your thoughts as this wait continues. I am hopeful, though that we will see a new addition to our family by the end of this year.
Keep on keeping on....
Well, I won't say much for now, but mainly due to the fact that my heart breaks when thinking of the leaving the China program and not being able to come to a decision on doing concurrent adoptions or going just for Ethiopia, we are staying solely in the China program for now.
This decision has not been made lightly and we (me) have done lots of soul searching over the past few weeks. My heart breaks for the Ethiopian children and my heart tells me that I will be there some day looking a our child. But, for now, we have to stick to our original path and finish what we started in China.
Thank you all for staying on this emotional roller coaster with us.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Hi guys. Well, we are in our 4th season of soccer. Noah really enjoys playing and is very excited to be on the purple team this season - his lucky color. The kids really do little more than run around trying to kick the ball at this age. There are one or two on each team that are real go getters, but for the most part it's all fun. Here are a few shots of Noah in action....
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I know you've been waiting....here are some photos of Lucy and her kittens, just minutes after birth. It is now 2 weeks later and the kittens (there are 2) are fuzzy and just starting to walk. Their eyes are open and they are very sweet.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Normally on Thursdays we spend the afternoon at a local park and then Biology class. Last week our class was meeting a local wetland area and due to the torrential rains we were having, we skipped class to go and play at the Discovery Center. Noah always has fun there but the big delight was seeing "Hedgie." We are fans of Jan Brett and Noah loves her "Hedgie" character. The DC has a hedgehog in residence and it was brought out that afternoon. Enjoy the pics of "Hedgie" and the Discovery Center.
This week we had the privilege of going RV camping with two other homeschool moms and their children to the beautiful Fall Creek Falls State Park. I won't go into lots of details or gush over what fun we had and what a great experience it was for Noah and I, but I am posting some pics to give you an idea of all of those things. Also, both families will be moving far away from us soon, so it was a great opportunity to hang with these friends before going our separate ways. Happy Homeschooling!