Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wicked Countdown

Okay. I know I should be counting down to China...but, as we have no firm dates for travel, so I am counting down to Wicked, the musical. September 13, 2009, Nathan and I along with his parents and sister will be sitting in fabulous seats at TPAC viewing Wicked. If you have not read Wicked or any other Gregory Maquire, run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and pick up one of the most intriguing and unusual stories to grace fiction bookshelves.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

She's Ours ! (On Paper!)

Words cannot express how happy I am to introduce Dang Yu Qian, at 3 1/3 from the Tongren Region of China.

Today Nathan and I received our Seeking Confirmation Letter, our official paper from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs letting us know they have formally approved our petition to adopt Yu Qian.

We now are awaiting our Travel Approval.

Miracles happen in our lives each and every day and today's miracle came in the form of a little piece of paper!

As soon as I can find the cord to the camera, I'll post our referral page with a photo of her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Waldorf and Why No Media?

Last night as Nathan, Noah and walked down the Shelby Bottoms Greenway I had time to think about our day which led me to further reflection about the media policies in Waldorf Education. Of course, these are my personal thoughts and not nesseccarily from a Waldorf pedagogical stance.

First, let me tell you a little about our week. Noah watched television last Sunday. We had no TV again until Wednesday afternoon which was his first day of school. It was a half day but was still overwhelming due to getting up early, mine and Nathan's committment to the Hospitality Committee that morning and Noah's first day of getting back to that routine. And, it was seriously hot. So, by the time we arrived home, we were both overheated and just plain exhausted. He asked and I said yes, so PBS was turned on for about an hour and a half and I vegged out in front of the computer. Noah did not see the TV again until Saturday morning.

Over the weekend, he watched a little television, some on Saturday morning and then on Sunday. We have been listening to Harry Potter and the SS on CD and as we have finished it, I decided we could watch the movie on Sunday night. So, from Sunday to Sunday, he probably watched a total of 8 hours of TV which works out to an hour a day, which, quite frankly, is still too much, but compared to what the average child watched - 28 Hours - I'm feeling pretty good. And, considering that out of those 8 days, only 4 consisted of TV time - I'm still feeling good.

There are days when we are torn. We would like to eliminate the television entirely, but Nathan and I also enjoy it and we want Noah to grow up with access to some media as we do not want him to be an adult that cannot carry on conversations with other adults when it comes to pop culture. That may sound silly, but I have met those people and it is not pretty.

That, coupled with the fact that MANY of the kids we interact with have seen so much more than Noah and he is already feeling a little left out, leads us to this. But, I want to be clear about the media and its affect on our children. Noah and his friends can scarcely carry on conversations without them including references to television shows. Noah is NOT allowed to watch cable television shows such as Spongebob, but so many of his friends are - even the Waldorf kids - and it is somewhat disturbing to me that even at this young of an age that the media has so much influence over them.

I was thinking of these things last night and what I realize is that the media policies that exist in Waldorf education serve many purposes and it is my hope that as families turn to Waldorf schools and enroll their children there they will follow the policies to the best of their ability. Though I have no PROOF of this, I would daresay that the day for an average child in the US goes something like this:

Get up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast and turn on the TV. If the child is not at a school that has a dress code, they might put on a Dora or Scooby Doo shirt. They go to school where other children are wearing character clothing. At some point during they day they may be shown a movie (yes this happens, I remember it as a child and have recently had families tell me that their child is regulary shown movies at school and I KNOW that MANY daycares use movies for toddler/preschool children). They spend much of their free time disucssing TV shows and then come home to turn the television back on.

There is really not a point during the day when the children are free of the distractions of television. I say television but I also lump video games into this category. Most of the families we know outside of Waldorf have at least one gaming system, many have them all. We go to restaurants and see children as young as 5 walk in with DS games and never once look up or talk to the parents. We see kids texting and never interacting with their families at dinner.

It is incredibly sad.

So...that is one of the reasons we are so grateful for our school and the Waldorf perspective. While at school the children are not allowed to discuss TV or pop culture. No cell phones are allowed. No video games. No clothing covered in Bakugan. None of those things. The children are able to knit, read, paint, do their work in a media free environment giving them the one respite they may have. Our children will have MANY years to be rammed by the media machine. Childhood only happens once and I am glad we have chosen this path for Noah where he will have at least a few years of having a few precious hours of each day in a media free environment.

With that said, I would LOVE to have a Wii. Oh well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No News + A Few Good Books

For those following along, we are still waiting for our SCL (Seeking Confirmation Letter) Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs). As soon as we know, you will know. I suppose it is not entirely a bad thing we are still waiting. Our social worker came by last week to see the new digs (a formality) and we realized our homestudy is not written to allow us to adopt a 3 year old with special needs. So, that is having to be rewritten (or will be as soon as we get our new police reports showing we have committed no crimes). When I have told people that adoption is not for the feint of heart, I've been serious. So, for now, we update and wait lots of good books.

One of the pluses of living in Nashville is access to the great library system they have here. Noah and I frequent 3 of the libraries, including the downtown library and it is so much fun. We have gotten lots of great books and one of our favorites lately has been Thea's Tree by Alison Jackson. This is a clever take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale and is great for older kids.

We are huge fans of the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and we found some of the books on CD, so our car rides have been filled with listening to the story of a 9 year old detective who loves pancakes solving neighborhood mysteries. Big fun!

And, of course, we are listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again...and again...and again. Noah really gets it now and says he is ready to move on to The Chamber of Secrets. We are going to try it. It is a little scarier and the kids are a little older, so I'm not sure. Maybe when he turns 8. We'll see.

See keep checking back here for more book recommendations and updates on our journey to Arwyn.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Well. You can imagine what is often on my mind. We first saw her face 3 weeks ago. We were in the middle of a SERIOUS crisis involving the sell of our home and the purchase of our new digs. I had told Nathan the day before that we would have our referral that week and it came within 10 minutes of my calling Nathan to tell him our house was not going to close.

Though we reviewed the file and consulted with the international adoption ped and we both knew we would accept the referral, neither of us had the emotional or mental awareness to click in. We sort of put the entire thing on a back burner for a few days. One we got through the move, in fact, our first day in the new house, we received an update and it all began to sink in that she was going to be ours.

Now, here we are, three weeks after seeing our little girl's face for the first time. Actually, let's go back to last night. Nathan's BFF Mark came over for dinner and I quickly got him downstairs to see her photos on the laptop. As I zoomed the photo, it hit little girl is living in an orphanage on the other side of the world. The photos up close did not paint a pretty picture. I am telling myself that she is being taken care of as well as possible, but to see the state of the part of the orphanage in the photo was not encouraging.

I didn't cry last night. The Universe knows how many tears I have shed these last few years waiting for this adoption. But, it was there, nonetheless. We have received our pre approval and now I we are waiting for our Letter of Acceptance. We hope it comes soon.

Please keep all of the orphans of the world in your thoughts as you lay down tonight. And, keep of their caregivers in your thoughts as well.

Peace Out

Special Needs Adoption


Hi All,

We received our PA (Pre Approval) from the CCAA to adopt our little one. It came yesterday. Now, I have to put together a care package (with joy!) to send to her.

It will have a little stuffed gift from us as well as a photo album with photos of us. The nannies in the orphanage will show the pics to her and hopefully she will have some idea of what is transpiring.

I have more thoughts to share but that is all for now.


Monday, August 3, 2009

It's A Girl!

That's what I've been telling folks. It's a girl! We have received (and accepted) the referral of a beautiful 3 year old from China. I cannot share much about our little one right now as she is not officially ours, but we will soon be parents again.

I have so much I want to post about her and will as soon as we get the official word from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs, but as far as we know, she ours.

Now....what the heck do we do with a 3 year old?

Just kidding. It's going to be interesting bringing a really small one into the house again. We have so little to do and so much time! Wait. Reverse that.

Truly, though, we are so excited. Nathan has been quiet and is digesting it all. We are just coming through getting moved into our new digs and are still trying to get settled. So, I don't think it has really sunk in. But, I can tell you that we all look at her photo many times a day and I'm really connecting in such a heartfelt way.

I spend a large part of my day imagining meeting her and introducing her to Noah for the first time. So, it's finally here and we are finally going to be parents again and we are truly grateful.

Peace Out.