Saturday, December 30, 2006

Imperial guards for Christmas. Our little boy not so little anymore.

Lori got me 2 imperial guards modeled after the ones that the first Emperor of China had made to protect him in the after life. These replicas will now stand guard over our house from the hallway. We had a good Christmas this year, everyone is healthy and happy thats what is most important. At the begining of our adoption journey we had hoped to have Norah home for this Christmas but now with the slow down we are hoping to have her home by Next Christmas. I know that we are not alone in these thoughts as other families all over the world that were paper chasing and were loged in over in China the same time we were are hoping for a speed up in referals, at least we are hoping not to have them slow down anymore. My best guess after looking at the lastest on referals, and asking friends who are also adopting in the China program what they think, it looks like March 2008, but we should know alot more by next Christmas.

Our son has gotten alot taller over the last year. He has grown so fast that he actually has strech marks because his skin couldn't keep up. He is tall now and will be old enough to drive next July (2007), scary. I think we will put a tracking system on his car so we can keep up with him, I'm not kidding. We are also lucky enough to have lived in our little town for the majority of his life so we have the benefit of people about town knowing who he is and who he belongs to. We got him a new cell phone this Christmas that takes pictures and will shoot up to 14 mins. of video. It's also an mp3 player, and has unlimited internet and mobie TV on it so he can watch regular tv shows on comedy central, discovery channel, vh1, ect. I will bet that he will get caught at least once this year watching the TV on his phone during class it is just a matter of time. He is a good kid that stays out of trouble most of the time so while the phone with it's monthly service is a little on the expensive side it is one of the rewards that we as parents agreed to give him for staying out of trouble, keeping his grades up and basically being a good member of society. He is so looking forward to being a big brother to Norah and we are sure that she will have him wrapped around her little finger before we even get back from China. He is kind hearted and good with small children. It is funny, he is so far ahead of other kids his age in his thoughts, insights, and ability to talk through difficulties, and at the same time he is right where a normal 15 year old should be. Lord, help us all when he starts driving on his own. Well mostly help us because it will just be the beginning of him making a HUGE move towards independance and adulthood. We still can't help but to occasionally see him as the little 2 year old streaking through the house after bath time with a towel on his head.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New kitchen with new sink/baby tub.

I haven't posted in awhile, sorry. We finally got around to remodeling the kitchen. We have been putting it off for a while, because of the expence and because of the idea of going without a kitchen for a couple of weeks, and finding a couple of weeks in which to do it. I had a job that I had lined up to do get pushed back a few weeks, so me and Lori started ripping the old kitchen out with reckless abandon not knowing when the next opportunity with me have a week straight off was going to come. The floor was in need of repair, the people who used to own the house had let a faucet leak for years judging by the number of floor joists I had to replace. It took 2 weeks and we still have to have doors made by a cabinet shop that make all my doors for me but it is so nice to have a working kitchen again. We used traverteen and tumbeled marble on the counter top and back splash and put in lots of outlets , a vent a hood that vents to the outside , fridge with ice and water in the door, garbage disposal, none of which we had before. The two things I love are the sink to give Norah her bath in (a back saver compared to bending over the tub in the bathroom), and the wall of glass with the sliding door and 6foot6in x3foot window over the sink that looks out over the back yard. Dishes aren't so bad with a butiful view.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Take it and go.

Let me tell you all how I feel right now, and what it felt like to get rejected by CCAI. The best way I know to explain it is to put it into a story. While I use words in the story that I wouldn’t use when talking about SN(special needs) kids and I don't veiw them as charity cases, this is the best way I know how to say what it felt like.

One day there was this family that heard about an organization that helped the kids of the world. They heard that there was going to be a fund raiser to help kids in need, and that if any one was willing to help please come and donate. This family wanted to help even though they weren’t as well off as some. They had worked hard their whole lives to get to the point were they could do some good in the world. They were so excited to be able to help the kids. Excitedly, they got all dress up in their best outfits to go and be a small part of helping to possibly change a childs life. They went down to the donation station to present what they had to give. There was a long line and it was thrilling to see all the people that had turned out. The line moved along slowly but it did move and eventually they got up to the front of the line. There they stepped forward to where the donations were being accepted. The person thanked the family for coming and asked what your family can contribute for the kids. The family knowing that making this donation even as small as it was might bring some hardships down the road that were unknown, however, together with warmth in there hearts they laid down just one dollar.

At this the person who was looking over the donations looked up and asked is this all you have to give? The father, a little shocked by the question spoke up, Yes. Sir, said the collector, you do realize that this is one of the smallest donations we received today, and that there are over 100 people in line behind you willing to give $10.00 or more. Yes, I applauded them for that, the father said, this is what my family can afford to give, and we truly want to help. Well I’m sorry sir you have to be realistic your dollar isn’t going to help many children, you take it and go. In the future if your family is willing to give more then just a dollar come back and see us.

Man that stings

Do I think CCAI is a good agency? Yes one of the best. Would I recommend them to others? Yes, and will contune to they are one of the agencies that dose do a lot of charity work for the kids in China. They have always been helpful. Have a great friendly staff at the office and from what I hear have a a top notch China team as well. The people in the waiting child department have got there hands full of people willing to going to the waiting child program. So with our short list it would be a long time before we got a referral for a waiting child. With so many people already in the waiting child program and with our short list of SN we could get a referral for a NSN child before they matched every one in front of us with a child.
I appreciate the work they do. They have been doing it for a long time now and they are just doing what they think is best for the kids.

I just took this rejection personally. Rejection is hard for anyone, even for me, and I have pretty thick skin. Now it is time to pick myself up off the ground, dust myself off, and get over it. No time for a pity party. I still have a daughter to get ready for, a family to care for, and a business to run.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

We have joined CCAI's waiting child program.

We took a big step in the adoption of Norah today by sending in our waiting child checklist. We have always talked about if we were to adopt a second time from China that we would adopt a special needs child. After much research and having talked to many people in the China adoption community who have adopted SN kids we have decided that we will send in our checklist to CCAI for a waiting (special needs) child. CCAI has a program where you fill out a medical check list on what special needs your family is open to and then if they receive information on a child with a special need that is on your list they will call you and give you some information on that child. If you want more information on that particular child then they will send you a more detailed history which will help you decide if you are willing to adopt that child.

We will still be in the traditional adoption program at the same time so that if they do not end up matching us with a child in the waiting child program then we will still receive a referal for a child through the traditional program. CCAI trys to go through all the medical checklists in the order they were received and match kids with people according to the specials needs that they are willing to consider. Right now ,if you are requisting a SN girl, they are working on check list from March and April so if you do the math, and I admit I have, then we might get a call some time in March of 2007. However, here lies the rub, I said they try to match in order of when the checklist comes in but if you are the only one that is open to a certin SN, even if you just sent in your paperwork they will call you. Because of this you can get a call at anytime, you just dont know. CCAI's ultimate goal is to find homes for the waiting children in the program and just because you haven't been in the program as long they are not going to let a file go back to CCAA. They are going to call the first person open to adopting the child with that particular need. In my opinion this is best for the kids that they are trying to find homes for and I support it whole heartidly. If you think you might be interested in this program you can go to the CCAI link at the top of the page. If you would like to research a SN go to and look it up under the the medical encyclopedia, it will give you alot of information and will tell you what might be linked to certain conditions, what the prognosis is, what disease might be related to, ect. Like did you know that 1 in 1000 caucations are born with cleft lip. This will help you deceide what you can/are willing to handle. I would recommend that if you get information on a specific child that you talk directly to a physician/specailist or 2 in that field, this will allow you to make an informed decision for you, the child, and your family. This is a life long commitment don't take it lightly.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Discovery Atlas

On sunday knight 10-1-06 there will be a program on the Discovery Channel, call Discovery Atlas China Revealed meet the people. It will be 2 hours long and looks to be interesting. I have been waiting for it to come on for awile. Here is a link to there site.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Norah on the brain.

These last couple of months I have been thinking of our little girl a lot. We went to the airport last night to welcome home another family from China with there beautiful daughter, 17 month old Savannah, who couldn’t have been matched with a better forever family. Savannah now has two loving parents and a terrific big sister. The family now has two beautiful daughters from China and told everyone that they would like to adopt again.
At the airport I got to play and color with some of the kids adopted from China that were there from my local chapter of FCC-CA (Families with children from China). We had a big time thinking up things to draw on a blank piece of paper. It was fun and kept the kids busy while we waited for the plane to arrive. Did I mention that we were coloring with markers, everyone including me had marker on thier hands, but we all managed to keep it off our clothes. A local TV station even showed up and did a short interview of the family when they arrived. Who knows maybe someone watching TV last night will now look into China adoption.
As I tried to sleep last night I thought of the events of the day, and my thoughts drifted into thoughts of Norah. I think of her often, she is always on my mind. When we are at the store and I hear a small child laugh in the way that only a small child can, you know instantly when you hear it. It is an unmistakable sound. It brings on a rush of thoughts of Norah everytime. There are constant reminders to keep her close to me and you can forget about me walking past the baby/little girl’s clothes at Wal-Mart all the little outfits get me dreaming of the day when I can shop for clothes with her, not just for her. Lori is still working on Norah’s room in the Beatrix Potter theme. It is coming along well, she is an amazing artist. Soon all the painting will be done and it will be time to start to get some pieces of furniture. We have still been picking things up for her when we see a good deal and know that she will fit into it some day down the road. We have also been working on the house and yard. We are also kept occupied by running our son all over the place to keep up with his VERY full social calendar.
So Dear daughter Norah although you may be put down this night and many nights to come feeling all alone in your crib. Wherever you are in China this night, know that your mom, brother, and I go to bed every night thinking of you, hoping and praying that you are safe. You are so loved by us. Although we are separated by thousands of miles you are always in my heart, and in my thoughts. Although you don’t know it you never go to bed without your family’s love.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is."

If any of you have seen Forest Gump then you know where that title came from. 16 years ago Lori and I stood before our family and friends and tied the knot. Back then we weren't the smartest kids on the block. We had no idea what the future held for us but we knew that whatever it held we wanted to go through it together. Still to this day we are best friends. We have been through alot together and life hasn't always been easy. We spent the first part of our marriage surviving on hot dogs, top ramen noodles, & mac and cheese. No matter how bad or good the cards were that life delt us we have always stood behind/beside each other. So here's to another 16 years, Lori I love you.

On the adoption front we are 1 1/2 months down in the wait for our referral. We have been working on the house and Lori has been doing more painting on Norah's room. Lori picked up a couple of Halloween costumes to toss into the dress-up box. One is a set of bunny rabbit ears and fluffy tail. The other is a "fairy princess outfit that includes a set of silver and white wings, sparkly wand, and of course, tiara. She remembered how much Brandon liked to play dress up when he was little and thought that she would get a head start on gathering supplies for Norah. We still have Brandon's blue jean and red bandana cowboy chaps and vest that his Grandmother made for him when he was 4. We have been going to FCC-CA waiting families meetings. The last one was on attachment, the lady putting it on did a good job. To find out if there is a local chapter of the FCC "Families with children from China in your area cleck here . Kim the lady that puts on our meetings here, is right now over in China finishing up the adoption of her and her husbands second daughter. We will be at the airport to greet them when they get back. I look forword to meeting their daughter when they get home.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


We made it home. We have been home awhile. I have just been busy/lazy about the blogging. It was the trip of a life time and I can't thank my sister and her husband enough. Below are some of the things we seen.

This is Brianne sitting inside one of the rooms at the Porte Nigra in Trier, Germany.

Amanda and Joshua walking around in town on our way to see the Roman tower that was near my sister and brother-in-laws house.

Below are some pictures of the graveyard that is located near the house. All of the graves look like these. They are all landscaped with little watering and mulch stations available for those that come and work on the graves.

In the towns in Germany they have a thing called junking day, twice a year they stick the stuff they don't want out on the curb. Then anyone that can use it can have it. Anything left over gets picked up by the trash people. They also have people from Poland that come down and load thier trucks and take the items back to Poland to resale them.

We bought a black forest clock while we were there. It's now hanging on the wall between the living room and kitchen. I'm sure that Norah will love watching all the litte stuff that it does and the music that it plays every hour. We got the one that is battery powered because we know that we won't wind one everyday. The clock has a sensoe on it also that detects light. When it's dark the music won't play and the little bird won't chirp out the hours. The picture is of the clock inside it's shipping box.

This is the Porta Nigra (The Black Gate) It is the largest surviving Roman city gate worldwide. The massive sandstone blocks are held together by iron clamps embedded in lead. There is no mortar whatsoever. It is located in Trier, Germany, the oldest city in Germany.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Roman Bath House

The town of Trier has many different sites to see, below is the bath house.

The Judengasse is where during 1235, four Jewish families had four houses built with a common escape tunnel.

Below is the 10th largest Roman amphitheater. The picture below shows the area underneath the ampitheater where the gladiators and prisinors that fought in the arena got ready. The structure was built in the 2nd century and was later incorporated into the city wall.

Here's a shot inside one of the churches. The architechture was amazing. The "pink palace" is the Electoral Palace that holds Constantine's throne room.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Whirlwind day in Paris

We parked at Euro Disney and rode the RER (train) into Paris. Amanda and Lori were trying to figure out which stop we all needed to get off at. We can definetly recommend parking your car purchasing an all day pass and taking the trains (RER and Metro) to get around the city. Our first stop was the Louvre. It was really surreal to come up out of the dark, dank underground train station to smack dab in the middle of centuries old buildings. The first "building" picture is the entrance corridor that leads to the Louvre. The pthers are of the buildings we were greated with when we emerged from the underground transportation system.

The Louvre part deux

This is the famous glass pyramid in front of the Louvre.

The buildings that make up the courtyard and compound of buildings that make up the Louvre.

Pictures of different statues inside the Louvre.

The work room at the museum.

Brandon did a nose dive (took a nap) at the little cafe we stopped at outside of the Notre Dame cathedral to get a drink and use the restroom. We had the sterotypical snooty French waiter.

After we woke Brandon up from his little nap we had him take our picture at the little cafe. If you look closely you can see Brandon's reflection in the window glass.

Napoleon's arc

This is the Arc de Triomphe. It was commisioned by Napoleol and built in 1806. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is underneath the arc and represents the one million and five hundred thousand men that died during WWI. The picture of the tunnel is how you get from the side of the street where we took the photo with the red bus in it to underneath the arc.