Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I almost had to pick a cellmate!

Marked up the detectives card so some dork couldn’t make copies at home on their computer.

Ok, not really, but I did get home the other day to find this card at my front door from the Criminal Investigation Division of the Cabot police department.
What could this be about? I hope someone didn’t try to break into my house I thought.
Seems someone had gotten one of my flyers that I have been passing out to try to raise the funds for our adoption with our full names, P.O. Box, and website on them. Well when they couldn’t find us in the phone book they called the Cabot Police on me. When I called the detective he asked if we had been doing some fund raising and asked for our adoption agency so they could call and check with them? I also told them I would be glad to come down to the office with our referral file we got for Norah so they could look through it and make copies of our PA to adopt her. I called Lori because she had not made it home from work yet.
She told me to pick a cellmate with small hands,
God I love that woman.

All the detectives were super nice. They looked at Norah's photos and information and knew I was on the up and up. I think one clue that I did live here was the photo on my blog of the Cabot police car all covered in Christmas lights, oh and my freaking house over the last three years. They closed the case and were going to call the lady to let her know they had investigated the fund raiser and it was legitimate so if she wanted to donate she could. They also suggested I run an add in the paper to get more exposure.

Thanks to everyone who has donated to our adoption from Cabot, and from around the world Thank you! It means so much to me, my family, and my daughter Norah….I love the fact that there are so many people willing to give of their time and hard earned money for my daughter. I will be making my blog into a keepsake book for my family sometime down the road. I will be able to look back through the book with my daughter when she is older and show her that there are people from Cabot, Dallas, China ,Guam, CA, all over the world, who cared about her, knew her life was special and wanted her to know it. Lori and I will definitely give back all the love and support we have received to the kids of China when we get home.

Fun day, Good memories.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Referral For Norah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the Referral Photo we got for Norah.

This photo we got in an update, the day after we sent in our letter of intent to adopt her.

Norah is now three years eight months old and just got into foster care a couple of months ago. She had heart surgery thanks to LWB when she was two and recovered well. She was born with severe congenital deafness. After she recovered from heart surgery she was fitted with hearing aids and for the first time she could hear. Having only been able to hear a couple of months her speech is behind, so LWB has her in foster care and a special language school. At last report she was just learning how to say Ba and Ma the first sounds of Baba (dad) and Mama (Mom). According to her report she can’t hear without her hearing aids. She will be deaf at night when we have to take her hearing aids out for bath time and to open them and put them in the hearing aid dryer to dry out over night. So Lori and I have been learning some sign language so we can teach it to Norah and be able to communicate with her after bath time and as a bridge for her to communicate with us until her speech is better. I am also pushing to learn some more Chinese so I can speak to and comfort her. Being older she may want to keep her Chinese name, if she does that would be fine with Lori and I, we will combined them so she can deceide what name she wishes to use over the years. The name she wishes to use may change, we don't know. I hope to find some people who have met her over the years or that have gone to Kaifeng so we can find out as much about our little girl as we can before we go to China. I just mailed off a care package to her. We had to wait for PA to send it, that came today, and we put her care package in the mail today, she should have it by 1-8-09. I wrote a letter to Norah, her orphanage and to her foster family and Annie and her uncle took each line of English and translated it into Chinese underneath. I can't thank them enough. We are so thrilled and working on getting to China to Norah as soon as possable.

Glen & Lori
Very Happy Parents!

Fundrasing Information below this line.

We hope to be in China in mid March so we are trying to raise the rest of the funds needed to bring our daughter home. I have already started the ground campaign here in our hometown. It is a wonderful place to live and I have seen our small community move mountains before.We are hoping to find that spirit again. Here is the break down of where we stand. I compiled this list with the help of someone who has recently traveled to complete their adoption.
Shipping Signed adoption papers back $25.00
Embassy of PRC Visas for passports $300.00
Visa Courier Fees $50.00
post adoption Fee $500.00

(Three over four back) Airline tickets $3,865.00

In- China Travel & Hotel Cost $3,795.00 I

n China food & Government Fees $2,610.00
Orphanage Donation Fee $5,000.00

Misc. Hotel Fees for three differen Hotels $546.00
Misc. things I didn’t think of $309.00 ___________________________________________________

Total Est. $17,000.00

We have already paid about $7,000.00 dollars for the first part of the adoption and we were well on our way to saving the $17,000.00 need to complete our adoption, when in April 2007 I had to have my spine fused in two places and was off work for three months.Thank God for good insurance and the savings we had set aside for this adoption, it saved our home. Still we were responsible for a huge chunk of the cost of surgery, and physical therapy afterwards to regain the strength in my legs and back. We just got done paying the neurosurgeon off two months ago. We stopped hemorrhaging savings in June when I went back to work and have managed to save $7,500 more dollars towards the adoption. That leaves us $9,500.00 short of the estimated $17,000.00 needed to bring Norah home. People who have had their paper work logged in in China as long as we have we think that it will take three months to get travel approval. I know we cannot save $9,500.00 in three months so we are left asking, begging, and praying for help. What we are hoping for is to find 1000 families that can donate $10.00 to help us bring our Norah home. $5,000.00 of the $9,500.00 needed will go to the Orphanage our daughter is from to help support the kids left behind. This fee went from $3000.00 to $5,000.00 at approximately the same moment we got our referral. I am going to be pounding the pavement here in my home town trying to work and save and trying get donations and I am going to be using a Chip-in wiget to try to raise the other $5,000.00 over the internet from this blog. I realize that this is a huge amount to raise in a good economy let long a recession, but I must try. If ANYONE is willing to put our chip-in widget on there blog to help us get noticed it will help, also if you can not donate to this adoption because you are in a pinch yourself, you can still help move mountains by emailing this post to a friend or family member. In order to find 1000 people who can/will donate $10.00 I think I need to get our story viewed by 100,000 people. If you have an extra Christmas card and stamps lying around Lori and I would love to here from you. Mail cards and donations no matter how small! If at night you pull the lint filled change out of your pocket and put it in the mail I will pick the lint out and put your first name and last initial in the thank you to the people that have helped us bring our daughter home. I am not kidding every little bit helps. Know that if you donate to our adoption we will continue to pay it forward to the orphans in China, for the rest of our lives.Please check back often to see and hear about our daughter, to follow our progress,

and to watch us go to China to finally bring Norah home!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glen & Lori Cook
P.O. Box 1114
Cabot AR, 72023-1114

Fund raisers updates will be posted in the side bar at the top right. This number will change as Lori and I save more funds and as people donate through the mail or over the internet. Thank you, Thank you Glen and Lori

We are greatful to the following Cabot Churches who are helping us bring Norah home this March.

I met with Senior Pastor Paul Luman of Grace Family Church today. His first words after I told him our situation were that he was excited about our daughter joining our family.
His next words were,"What can we do to help."
Grace Family Church
201 S.10th street
Cabot, AR &2023

Friday, December 26, 2008

A wonderful Christmas

The gift of a Child this Christmas is one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a family.
We are overjoyed with Norah coming into our family; we still have not gotten PA yet so you will have to wait till next week, the people that got there referral the week before us just got PA on Wednesday so we are next!
We did some of the usual traditions this Christmas.

Christmas eve we went around looking at all the lights at homes in Cabot. We also did some new things this Christmas….

Christmas day we went to our Church to help set up to give out Christmas dinner to people in the community that needed a little help with dinner this Christmas, some people were going to eat at the Church and some were going to take packages home so they could have Christmas dinner at there home. With so many people stepping up in the community to help out our family it was a small way to start paying there gift to us forward to our there families…….

After that we went home to let Brandon open his stocking, he has had it since his first Christmas…..

Oh yea that is what you think it is…..

Then it was over to Lori’s parent’s house to open gifts, Instead of canceling Christmas this year we as a family decide to give and get gifts that we needed, Lori and I fixed some slick steps at her parent’s back door with some tread strips, and hung a shop light so her dad can see in the garage. Her parents got us a gift certificate to chilies so Lori and I could have a date before we have a small child at home again, and they gave us a gift certificate to Wal-Mart to buy a Buster seat for the Car……
Annie is at her relatives this year we miss her but are happy she got to spend this Christmas with her relatives we had her the last three major holidays, we can’t be too selfish. She still managed to make us smile with this photo she sent us on Christmas morning. She also gave us a wonderful gift of by translating letters for us into Chinese to Norah and Norah’s orphanage and her foster family.
Annie’s parents also gave us a wonderful gift that will make our travel around China much more enjoyable.

So it was a wonderful Christmas next year when Norah is home it will be even better.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas Norah!

A friend of ours from Sunday school class gave us this CD two years ago for Christmas. After they decided to grow their family through adopting a child from China. I remember how three years ago they told us they were so excided we were adopting a little girl from China and that they had always wanted to grow their family through adoption but couldn’t see how they could possibly do it. After a year of soul searching and praying about it they signed on with the agency we are using and are currently waiting for their referral.
They gave us this CD from THIRD DAY titled Christmas Offerings. The song that I have posted on here for the week is very fitting. A band member from third day wrote it while waiting to travel to China to be with his daughter at Christmas time. It has already been a wonderful Christmas with the recent referral of Norah; we can’t wait until we travel so the whole family can be together.
Merry Christmas sweet girl we will be there soon,
Love Mom & Dad.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mailed off the post placement fee/depostit

I mailed off a $500.00 check to CCAI for our post placement homestudy reports. After we get back from China we have to do home study updates for the Chinese goverment at six months and one year so China knows we are taking good care of Norah and so the social worker can make sure that our family and Norah are bonding and attaching well. We have spent the last few years reading up on the subject and getting to know families that have adopted an older waiting child from China and their experiences. We are about as ready as a family can be with out actually experincing it at this point. Hopefully all the preperations we have done will help us and our daughter adjust to a new life together. We still don't have PA yet. We are still hoping for it by Christmas so I can share the photos we have of Norah. In one she is standing outside in the play area arms at her side looking at whoever is taking her photo with the most pittiful look on her face. Lori and I wish we could go to China today and be with her, but we have to wait on China to get some paperwork back to us, and for the U.S. consulate office in China to give us an appointment for Norahs visa to leave the country, and become a U.S. citizen. I still think that will happen and we will be on our way to Norah Grace around March 15th.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting Care Package together for Norah.

We had been buying small things for Norah for the first two years. After two years with no referral it became kind of painful for us so we stopped buying things alltogether. Last night we got down the boxed up things we had put away and went through them. Oh my it was fun to go through all the little treasures we got her. Most of the things in the boxes we will be able to use because we were buying clothes at yard sales that were in great shape. Most still had the tags on them. We thought Norah wouldn’t be able to wear many of them for awhile but at a dollar or two for the outfits it was worth putting them up for later. Who knew later was now. We also bought some special things like the doll and security blanket you see in the box.
We have to wait until PA to send them to her, with the photos I made up. COME ON PA! I will include a disposable camera and some chocolates for the orphanage and foster family, apparently chocolates are sweeter here in the U.S. I am also including some small beanies that definitely won’t fit Norah, maybe the orphanage can use them. Annie is going to translate some letters for us to the orphanage, foster family, and Norah telling her she has a family and we are on the way as soon as we can get there.
I am putting together a care package for my daughter, WOW!

This is what the photos I labeled look like.

I will put the things for Norah and her foster family in the box inside the box and the things for the orphanage around it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Norahs Room

Lori is trying to finish up with her artwork, I needed to make some photos to send to Norah so I just went ahead and shot some so we can have them developed.

Magazine fundraiser for our adoption of Norah.

We hope you will help support our adoption of Norah by ordering or renewing your favorite magazine subscriptions online and sharing our site with your friends and relatives. Our online fundraising store has over 650 of the most popular magazine titles at up to 85% off newsstands prices Purchase or renew your favorite magazine subscriptions and 40% of your purchase will go directly to our adoption of Norah. With your help, we are sure to earn the funds we need by March to travel to get Norah! We appreciate your support.
Glen, Lori,Brandon, & Norah.

If you had to explain your life to a child in photos what would it look like?

We are going to be sending Norah a care package with some things that we have collected for her over the years. Our agency has also suggested that because our daughter is an older child that we should send photos of our life, so the orphanage can start to prepare for the Idea she now has a forever family that is coming for her and what her family, her home, her room, and pets look like, what they do as a family ect. I will have Annie write in Chinese on the back of the photos so they can explain who every one is and different little bits of information that a child may understand. This is some of the Photos we are going to send of our families life.
Lori is almost done with Norah’s room and I will post the photos we are going to send Norah of her room soon.

We like to go camping when it is not extremely hot out side.

We like to read and go to the book stores.
Your grand parents and uncle have been waiting for you for a long time and are so excited you are coming.

We love to celebrate all the holidays and can’t wait to have you hear to celebrate them with us.

None of us takes them selves too serious and there is a lot of laughter in our home.

You mom and I try to take walks at the park together after work to relax and spend time together there is some play equipment at the park we can take you to play on.

We spend a lot of time in the back yard growing food in the garden or playing with the dogs or feeding the fish.

This is your house.

Your Mom and I with the kids like to have fun at family fun parks.

If we can’t get away for the whole weekend we will go have a picnic some where.

We like volunteering for different groups that interest us.

Your mom and I have been together since high school.

And some times we just don’t want to do anything but relax for awhile.