Monday, December 24, 2007
An update with photos of what we have been doing the last couple of weeks.
Even though some of the times were sad, we as a family always do our best to find joy in life everyday.
Brandon took his last driving lesson and now needs to take his driving test.
Lori’s grandmother passed away and Annie took a trip up north with us to go to her funeral. Annie had just gotten to meet Lori's grandmother a couple of weeks earlier when she came down to Lori's mothers house for a visit.
Here she is at grandmothers house looking over all the photos of the family.
Annie in wide open Nebraska.
On our way to grandmas we left Arkansas and went into Oklahoma,
American Eagle but had to order it in her size. It should be here soon. Luckily Annie does not mind acting goofy when she is out with us. Here she is trying on an Elmer Fudd style hat with the ear flaps.
We went on a sleigh ride last night. We go for a sleigh ride ever year. I think when Norah gets here she will enjoy it as much as we do.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I had the privlage of being Santa Claus at the recent FCC Christmas party
& I had big help from Annie "The Elf". Lori, Annie, & I finally got to meet a new little addition to our FCC group, Rachel. I had a big time coloring in the coloring books & blowing bubbles with her. Matter of fact she would not let me stop coloring as long as I was sitting next to her. When I stopped coloring she would pick up a crayon and hand it to me, it was very cute.
Annie was the best Elf ever. She handed out candy canes to the kids after they got thier presents and helped Santa pronounce some of the names. (Just a little FYI, red candy canes have lots of red dye in them, after a while the kids that got the red ones had red mouths & hands.) If the kids were afraid of Santa they would go to Annie and sit on her lap. When Annie heard that I was going to be Santa Claus she asked if she could dress up too. We told her she could be an Elf and Lori found her the costume at Party City. I picked me up a Santa suit there as well. I figured with little kids coming into our home soon that it will get lots of use. We got to the party early and helped set up the tree with lots of help from the kids. Then after awhile Annie and I went and put on our costumes for the big event. I even glued on the beard just in case any of the kids wanted to tug on it. The presents were already wrapped books that the parent of each child brought with the kids names on them. It was a good night for the kids and Annie and I really enjoyed ourselves. Glen
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Glen Everybody Has A Story
An 'American' Success Story He's known now as "Dr. Q," a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University.
But not all that long ago, he was an illegal immigrant from Mexico picking crops in the U.S. Steve Hartman met up with him.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Dou Yupei, vice-minister of civil affairs, said the ministry would allocate 200 million yuan (US$25 million) annually between now and 2010 to build welfare institutions in each prefecture-level city across the country.
The institutions will have multiple functions, such as better care, education and rehabilitation, Dou said at a donation ceremony yesterday.
The plan, called the "Blue Sky Plan," means orphans will live under the same blue sky as normal children. This was advocated by President Hu Jintao during a visit to a children's welfare institution on June 1.
China now has 66,000 orphans living in public welfare institutions and more than 570,000 living with families, according to the ministry.
Half the orphans living in welfare institutions suffer from physical disabilities or congenital diseases.
Dou said another children's welfare plan, the "Tomorrow Plan," has achieved fruitful results since it was launched in May 2004.
The Tomorrow Plan, which provides rehabilitation to all handicapped orphans, has brought new life to more than 25,000 children, 10 per cent of whom have now been adopted by families.
Orphans suffering from congenital diseases or physical disabilities receive free treatment or operations.
Dou said the new plan, implemented by the China Centre of Adoption Affairs under the ministry, is expected to be completed by May next year and would be extended to children of poor families.
"China is still a developing country with limited government funding for welfare," Dou said.
"We are very grateful for the donations and support from home and other countries and hope more warm-hearted organizations and individuals will join our cause in the welfare of children."
How does she do it? The young boys and girls asked, joking at each other's snowflake-shaped folded paper.
"They're like my friends," said 15-year-old Sara of her teammates. "It's like any other summer camp I've been to."
But it definitely isn't just any ordinary summer camp.
The atmosphere of bonding was a result of their shared background as adopted children from China. The 30 children were orphaned in different Chinese provinces and adopted by North American families between 1991 and 2001.
Today, 29 of them live in 17 US states, including Alaska and Hawaii, while the other resides in Canada's Saskatchewan Province.
The 10-day summer camp, themed "Embracing China, Experiencing Beijing," opened on Wednesday and is the first-ever such activity organized and hosted by the China Center of Adoption Affairs, Ji Gang, director of the domestic adoptions department with the non-profit organization, told China Daily.
It's the first China visit for about half of these children since their adoption, including Jiangsu-native Alyssa, who was adopted at 10 months old and just celebrated her 14th birthday at Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing on Friday night, and Sara, adopted at 11 months in 1991 from the same province.
The youngsters have so far visited the Forbidden City, the Capital Museum and the Temple of Heaven, as well as Baigongfang, a traditional Chinese art and handicraft museum where they learned about paper-cutting and kite-painting on Friday morning.
On Friday afternoon, they also experienced a taste of haggling at the famous Xiushui silk market.
The sex ratio at birth in rural areas is 122.85:100, higher than the national average of 119.58:100, as compared with the normal sex ratio of 103 to 107:100, according to Zhang Weiqing, National Population and Family Planning Commission director.
By 2020, males aged between 20 and 45 are forecast to be 30 million more than females in the country, he said at a rural population and family planning conference in the Henan Province capital.
Rural families still have a preference for boys as agricultural production currently relies mainly on laborers, according to Zhang.
China will continue to crack down on illegal prenatal sex selection and will try to help people discard traditional ideas of a preference for boys, the official said.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I feel blessed to have her as part of our family & thank her parents for giving her & us this opportunity.
Alice sobs into her mother’s arms. Returning to her former orphanage was meant to be the climax of her visit to China. The staff and orphans have showered her with attention, given her presents and taken her to a fancy restaurant. But surrounded by Chinese food she doesn’t like, Alice looks utterly miserable. “The orphans think we are spoiled, not tasting this fantastic food”, explains fellow adoptee, Nanna. “Think about it. Maybe they never, ever have food like this and we’re sitting here not eating”.
Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and Linnéa have always shared a special bond. “Even though we live far from each other in Sweden, our parents made us meet every year”, explains Nanna. “Now, we are going back to the place where we come from and we have decided to go there together”.
The first thing that hits them about Shanghai is the pollution. “It smells a lot from all the cars”, complains Mimmi. “They drive like nuts!” The girls are disgusted by Chinese toilets and baffled by babies’ trousers, which have slits cut in the seat. “They’re naked. You can see their whole behind!” giggles Mimmi. “Maybe there are so many children here, they don’t have time to change diapers”, guesses Nanna.
Initially, the girls are pleased they fit in. “What is really cool is that everybody here looks just like me”, states Mimmi. “I’m not the only one with sloping eyes and black hair”. But as passers by hear them speaking Swedish, they become objects of curiosity. “It feels like we are celebrities”, giggles Mimmi. “Everybody gathers around us”.
After a few days in Shanghai, they travel to Zhangjiagiang where their old orphanage is situated. “I just hope we’re welcome”, confides Nanna. They’ve had no response to their letter and are worried they’ll be turned away. But as soon as they arrive, staff bend over backwards to accommodate them. The girls are touched to see their pictures in photo albums. “We really didn’t think those photos that we sent from Sweden should be so properly put in books”, confides Mimmi.
Although the girls are happy in Sweden, they’re haunted by the knowledge they were abandoned by their natural parents. “No one understands. I really feel like there’s a lump in my stomach because I know nothing about them”, confides Alice. Mimmi agrees; “If I start to think about it, it feels like the whole world is going under for me”. Visiting the orphanage seems to cause these feelings to resurface.
The principle introduces the girls to other children. Many of the children are handicapped but one girl with sad eyes stands out. “She is about our age and the problem is that no one wants to adopt big girls”, says Alice. “I would like to adopt her!” retorts Mimmi. “But the problem is teaching her Swedish now that she already speaks Mandarin…”
On the way back, everyone is subdued. “We were really lucky to be adopted to Sweden”, states Alice quietly. Tomorrow, they will return to Sweden. But first, they have something important to do. They’re getting stickers made of the four of them together. As Alice explains, after taking this trip together; “we feel even more like close friends”.
If you find your self in the next couple of months have to renew yours? Keep in mind that you get one free renewal for your current I-171H. You must send in your request to have a free onetime renal before your current one expires. This is what I am going to do.
Ok with the wait extending out so long there is a good chance that our new I-171H will be expired or is going to expire with in 6 months of getting a referral. Your agency will ask you to redo your second one if they aren’t sure it will still be good buy the time you get a referral. So this is what I am doing. To make the most of my one-time free renewal I sent in our I-600A two week before our I-171H was about to expire with all the backup docs, and there signature Required. They will send me a letter that states my I-600A that I have filed with them is good for one year. When I get a finger print appointment I will ask for a latter date. That will take them a couple more months to get me one. Then when I do have a home study update and get new fingerprints it will be. Another couple of months before they get me a new I-171H that will be good for the next 18 months from the time they issue it.
Doing it this way I will be able to have a I-171H that will be good the 26 months instead of expiring in 18. Hopefully that will be enough time to get a referral we are only 8 calendar mounts away from our LID of 7-22-2006 but that could easily = 24 more months of waiting.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Priority rules in the review of inter-country adoption application dossiers by CCAA
Date of Post:October 31, 2007 Source:CCAA
At present, the number of adoption application documents that the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (hereafter referred to as CCAA) receives is increasing very fast. However, the limited number of Chinese children available for inter-country adoption is far from being able to meet the demand of families from overseas. The CCAA maintains, in accordance with the principle of protecting the best interests of children in the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (hereafter referred to as Hague Adoption Convention), that adopters in the following conditions answer better to the spirit of Hague Adoption Convention and the provisions of adoption law in both adopting and sending countries, and are able to offer the Chinese children adopted the best possible environment to grow in. It is our hope that adoption agencies responsible for submitting adoption dossiers read this letter attentively, screen the families and give priority to those in the following conditions, and submit the adoption application documents for them:
The CCAA first accepts and reviews adoption applications of foreign adopters who are qualified with the following conditions from the day of 1st May 2007, and then makes placement of adoptees with them. Adoption applications of the other adopters who are not qualified will be put into consideration after all the cases of the qualified have already been dealt with.
Ⅰ. The adopters are a couple of one male and one female with a stable marital relationship. In case that both the husband and wife do not have any ex-marriage, the length of marriage has to reach two years. In case that either the husband or wife has ex-marriages (not more than 2), the length of the current marriage has to reach 5 years.
Ⅱ. Both the husband and wife have reached the age of 30 years and are under 50. For adoption of special needs child, both of them should have reached the age of 30 and are under 55.
Ⅲ. Both the husband and wife are fully healthy physically and mentally, and do not have the following conditions:
infectious disease within infective stage;
binocular blind or binocular parallax or monocular blind and with no ocular prosthesis;
binaural hearing loss or language function loss; adoption of special needs children who have identical conditions will be exempt from this limitation;
afunction or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incompleteness, numbness or deformation; severe facial deformation;
severe diseases which requires long term treatment and which affect life expectancy, like malignant tumor, lupus erythematosus, nephrosis, epilepsy, and etc.;
post-surgery of major organs transplantation, not yet 10 years;
medication for severe mental disorders, like depression, mania, or anxiety neurosis, and etc, stopped not more than 2 years;
BMI (BMI=weight (kg)/ height2 (m2) )≥ 40.
Ⅳ. Either the husband or wife holds a stable occupation. The family annual income reaches $10,000 for each family member, including the prospective adoptee and the family net assets value should reach $80,000.The family annual income does not include welfare income, like relief fund, pension, unemployment insurance, or government subsidy, and etc.
Ⅴ. Both the husband and wife have received education of or above the level of senior high school, or vocational skills training of the same level.
Ⅵ. The number of children in family under the age of 18 years does not reach 5, and the youngest one should have reached the age of 1 year.Adoption of special needs children will be exempt from the limitation of “the number of children in family under the age of 18 years does not reach 5”.
Ⅶ. Both the husband and wife have never come under any criminal sanction. And they behave honourably with good moral characters, and abide by regulations and laws. Both of them do not accord with the following situations:
have a history of domestic violence, sex abuse, abandonment or abuse of children (even if they are not consequently arrested or criminated);
have a history of taking narcotics like opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and etc, and medication for mental diseases, which are able to arouse addiction among human beings;
have a history of alcohol abuse and have given up drinking not more than 10 years ago.
Adoption application will be given consideration on a case by case basis when either the husband or the wife has less than 3 criminal records of slight severity with no severe outcomes, and the time for correction of wrong has reached 10 years, or has less than 5 records of traffic law violation with no severe outcomes.
Ⅷ. The adopters are able to have a correct cognition of adoption, and expect to provide a warm family for the orphaned children (or children with handicap and disability) via adoption and to meet the needs of the children adopted for the sake of a good development of them. They have a correct cognition of inter-country adoption as well, and are fully mentally-prepared for the potential risks within inter-country adoption and for the situations of children adopted as potential diseases, developmental delay, post-placement maladjustment, and etc.
Ⅸ. The adopters make in the adoption application letter clear promises of being able to accept post-placement follow-ups and offer post-placement reports as required.
Ⅹ. The fixed number of year or age that appears in this letter shall be dated from the day when the adoption application documents are logged in at the CCAA.
The CCAA expects sincerely to cooperate with you and to provide better services for the adopters and children adopted and to help the Chinese children adopted develop in a family full of happiness, love and understanding. Thank you very much for your understanding and assistance.
The CCAA is responsible for the interpretation of this letter. If you have any specific questions, please contact the Adopter’s Eligibility Review Department.
Monday, October 29, 2007
It will be some time before we get to go to the Pumpkin Patch with Norah, Still I know that day will come.
We all made cookies and got to carve our pumpkins that we got at the farm. It was Annie’s first time at the old carving table and I think she did a pretty good job. Boo decided to paint his black when he was done in hope that the carving will show up better. It’s supposed to be Dracula biting some lady on the neck. I look forward to Wednesday so we can see all the trickier treaters. Lori’s mom is going today to pick up Lori’s grandmother. We are all very excited to get to see her and love that she is going to get to stay for a couple of weeks.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
We all took a trip out to a local farm to get our pumpkins to carve for Halloween. There we were greeted by the farmer who was nice enough to give us a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch. They were not just some pumpkins set up in a field, he actually had grown them. So we stopped along the way to pet his horses and give them some feed. We are going to wait until next weekend to carve the pumpkins because it is still warm here.