Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This makes me happy,,,,aren't I lucky that it makes all the kids happy too! I LOVE to pick strawberries in the spring, almost as much as I like to pick apples in the fall. I was so excited to take Mina, it is so fun to do all of our family favorite things with her. I love how she just joins right in. We would all probably enjoy our time a bit more if I would leave my camera at home but come on... check out these cute pics... Most every photo I took was of Mina chowing down on berries, she really had a blast, we all did. We are really loving that the weather is warming up, we are definitely outside people & Mina is too! We have a bunch of fun family things in the works for the summer. Check out the last photo of the 3 little ones... after school snack time.. Mina is so excited when they get home from preschool. They love each other so much... They are already inseparable, we do have other chairs, they just all want to sit together all the time. We now fight over car seats and dinner time seating, because everyone wants to sit next to Mina.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Ok, so you HAVE to read this article, the one posted here on the side, Yeah, the Haiti one... I read this article last week, and can not get over it. It is truly making me nutty.... Please read it (let me know if I didn't get the link right, I am not so great at all this computer stuff) anyhow, go ahead- read it... It breaks your heart right? How can this be happening? How? The kicker, the real kicker, is that there is a full fledged Hague accredited adoption "plan" in place with Haiti and there are tons of children available for adoption. The problem is that, adoption is not a priority with the Haitian government, seeing that most people in the government have bigger problems of their own, like their families starving to death. So you can get a referral for a child, almost instantly, but it will take the Haitian government around 2 years to process your paperwork!! You can even visit your child in Haiti as much as you want for the 2 years you are waiting.... This seems like complete craziness to me. When I was calling around trying to get info. on the adoption programs, I was told, "your working with a broken system, there is nothing you can do" . Really, I mean really.... these are kids, nothing we can do. I have been brainstorming... but am a little scared to make more phone calls with my ideas, because I don't want someone to tell me, that my ideas won't work... Wouldn't it be great to fix this... I am sure there are thousands of families that would be open to adopting from Haiti, but staring at your babies photo for 2 years, while they are starving to death is a bit much to sign up for.... I'll keep digging to get more info....Who's fired up???
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Yeah!!! What a great day yesterday... We had our bloom project Inaugural golf tournament and it was Great!!! Check out my awesome friends! I LOVE these girls. It has been so crazy around here and now we are done and we can't wait to get started on next years event. We had great weather ( I was so worried about that) and great sponsors, and great golfers, the BEST volunteers EVER, a great emcee.. do you recognize this guy...Brandon Russell from TLC's Trading Spaces, a great dinner sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, and Shane Williams singing and rocking out... What a great day.. Check out our cute little guy, I didn't expect him to hang out at the course, but he worked an 8 hour day, tooling around on the golf cart. He had so much fun! So when we got home I gave him an extra backpack that has all these logo's on it, I told him how proud I was that he was such a big boy and worked so hard all day... Now the backpack really isn't that cool, but I went in to check on him before I went to bed... That sweet child was sleeping with his backpack on... I took it off of him after snapping this photo, but without fail, he came downstairs this morning in his P.J.'s with his backpack on! I love this child so much it breaks my heart. Mina hung out most of the day, she LOVES the crowds, it actually said that in her referral information. The more attention the better for this one. We stood in front of the entire crowd with her playing peek-a-boo and blowing kisses. Our big girl was selling raffle tickets at the dinner which is so out of her element, because she is complete opposite of Mina, she hates attention, but she was great. I am the luckiest girl in the world!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I'm so proud of my girls. I'm so lucky to be able to call these girls friend... Tonight we have our last meeting about our big golf tournament tomorrow! This is big people! Months ago one of the most amazing girls I have ever known, well, we started talking about adoption, we started thinking about this project.. We thought it would be a great positive way to spend our time as we waited and waited and waited for our babies.... We both had no idea that God already had babies for us...and that by the time our little idea was a full fledged charity that was having a golf tournament, I would have my baby and she is only a few weeks away from holding her precious bundle... So tonight we celebrate, and stuff golfer goodie bags, and think of all the last every detail (with 2 other amazing women who have joined our efforts & share our passion) And tomorrow,,, well it will be a combination of a million things, Great, Amazing, Stressful, Crazy, Scary, Wonderful, Confusing, Busy, Proud and over..well for now,,,for a few months.. until we start planning our next big thing,,or next years tourney...
What a fun and busy week. Full of firsts for Mina. Our big girl had her 6th birthday!! I can't believe it. We did the family thing and she will be having her big girl friend party next week, this week was just craziness, and it is not over yet. Papa and the little guy needed some one on one time so they camped out in the backyard, of course we all got to join in on the roasting of marshmallows and playing in the tent.. Mina loved every second of this.. She even let
Grandpa give her a squeeze.. All the kids LOVE Grandpa, and Mina has taken awhile to warm up...maybe the fact that he had control of the marshmallow bag worked in his favor, but whatever it takes, cause we are lucky enough to have the best Grandpa in the world.....Yee-haw (sorry, family joke. I always shout, "I've got the best kids in the whole world" and they all reply by screaming, "Yee-haw" don't know why, we just do). Oh, and Mina also had her first powdered donut. this is big stuff people...she obviously liked it, and gave us one of our favorite cheesy smiles. This child is so full of joy, we are amazingly blessed. I got the best kids in the whole world.... YEE-HAW!!!!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I just had to share this... Ok, so several months ago when I was just staring holes in my babies photo and wishing and wanting to hold her and care for her so badly, I was about to drive myself mad counting down the days until I would be able to hold her... I think that it was around Halloween of last year,,, I just started thinking, when the tulips in the back yard are blooming...my baby should be here. Well, a few months later I saw them starting to bust through the ground and I got so excited that I had to take a photo.. Well guess what, the day we got home from China,,, our tulips were in full bloom.. I love that kinda stuff.. here is the before and after,,, Hope and Reality.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Ok, I know, I know.... all the sudden I am slacking on the posting.. It as been a really hectically wonderful week as you can imagine. It was so great to have all my kids home together. The moment I had dreamed of! I followed that up with 2 full days of extreme illness... which was actually a bit ironic as I prayed every meal while in China that my weak stomach would not get sick.. Well day 2 of being home, I had a big fat burrito from one of my favorite places and got full on food poisoning.. I was out for the count! but thankful the entire time that I was home in my own bed with my husband and in-laws around to take care of the kids.. We are also frantically working on the last minute details of the big golf tournament which is a kick-off fundraiser for the bloom project... check out the website at www.bloomproject.org. A few friends and I have been working our tails off on this for quite some time and now we are counting down the days to the big tournament. If you wait a day or two, I put a short movie together about adoption and our China trip to show at the event... it should be on the site in a day or two... We are really excited about this event, it is going to be great! Here are some photos of the last few days.... I thought the ones with Papa in the kitchen were funny,,, the power of a simple orange in our house... you can draw a crowd... I think he went through half a Sam's Club size box of oranges and was surrounded by kids. Poor guy just wanted a quick snack,,, not in this house... Check out how Mina just fits right in. Yeah, were food people and so is she..
Sunday, April 6, 2008
We made it!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it, we are home. Grandpa & Abui are on their way here with our 2 little ones, so in a few short hours we will all finally be together!!!! Amazing! Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life thus far. I cringe at the sight of my suitcase! Check out "C's" face in the photo of Mina's travelin' in style... His face says it all- how we felt about the Newark airport yesterday!..... When we finally got off the plane we were greated by a great group of friends with sign, smiles, and flowers. What a great homecoming!!!! Thanks guys! I wasn't expecting them so I didn't have my camera ready, I was just soaking in the long awaited moment. ( I am sure "H" has a photo she took sitting in my inbox already, she's great like that...I will have to post one later) it was a beautiful sight. Mina loved checking out her new "pad" and was having a blast playing with a few of the random toys laying around the house, it took her a while to check everything out...It was really like a dream. Last night, bedtime was ROUGH to put it mildly... we are feeling quite the jet-lag experience right now... I swear the flight is like labor (with no epidural) and the jet-lag is the sleepless nights of a new mama... If I had to choose between them I would take the labor... no lie. Check out our Stork,,, how sweet is that. What a great welcome... We couldn't be happier....Thanks for following our most amazing journey! We are truly blessed beyond words.
Friday, April 4, 2008
We are soooo close. So this was our day.... After about 24 hours in transit, including a 16 hour flight from HK, with a 15 month old child that decided to only take a few "cat naps", We got off the plane YIPPPEEE, Got through Customs, YEHAWWW,,,, only to learn that our connecting flight had been canceled and we could not catch the next 2 of the night as they were booked. So we are now living once again in a hotel or make that a super sketch motel, The airport HoJo's to be exact. I lost it... I was a crying mess at the airport, yeah, the ugly cry. A girl can only hold it together so long. And I am convinced that my sweet little girl believes we live in a strange variety of hotel rooms, where she can't touch or sit on anything. We are totally out of clean clothes, I had to search for our last outfits last night leaving HK, so when we show up at home tomorrow we will be looking great, dirty clothes. Maybe, at least that today's sleep deprivation helps with the major jet-lag. So hopefully Mina will sleep through the night tonight since she has only napped in the last day and a half. Yeah, she is almost as grouchy as me at this point.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
What I wouldn't pay for Dorothy's ruby slipper's right now. This is my last post from China, I would love to be able to click my heels together and chant, " There is no place like home" and magically be there with my entire family. Tomorrow is the big travel day. I am trying not to worry about how it will all play out. I am definitely over traveling. I am dreaming of being home with all my kids and getting back to our normal routine. Last night at dinner the 3 of us made a list of the things we missed the most about home. Of course our little kids topped the list by far, but I am amazed at the fact that I miss being able to do laundry and dishes. We really had a great time in China. I was pretty surprised at how great the trip was. I do have to admit that Hong Kong was a bit much for all of us, after such a long trip. We really enjoyed all of our main China stops, much more than HK. Although HK has a ton to see and do it is really more of a melting pot with a very fast pace. We really enjoyed the China culture a lot more. We tried to have a pretty mellow day, we went to a beautiful park, Mina loved it. She is going to have such a great time back home. It is so fun to watch her excitement when she sees new things. In the afternoon we took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong Island, I just can't believe how huge this place is. It is so different here. And I just couldn't leave without giving y'all a photo of the China bathrooms... they are referred to as "squatties" they are the reason for my self induced dehydration in China. I am sure to only drink liquids when we will be close to the hotel. I am proud to say that for 14 days I have been able to successfully avoid this! ( hopefully i will make it through the airport experience tomorrow). Good night for now. Thank everyone for your support and prayers. Please keep them up for tomorrow, as we will have a very long travel day. Can't wait to post from home.
(by the way, my email is not working in HK, but I just had to tell "E" great news girl on both!! Can't wait to hear all the details) & "H" get ready for a long & loud ride home from the airport, this girl has never seen a carseat, hates being buckle in, and is very crabby when she is tired. I am going to owe you big- I can feel it.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Hey all! I figured I would do a quick post, although I'm not going to add photo's right now because I just have a few minutes, Sorry, I know this is what you really want to see, I will post some neat HK shots tomorrow. We arrived in Hong Kong mid-morning and already I think you could spend a month here and not see all the amazing sights- that being said, we may have been pushing it a bit. I know I will appreciate this experience down the road, but I am dreaming of my own bed and familiar faces and food. My sketchy stomach is just now starting to give me issues, which I am surprised I have lasted this long. C & I both have really weak stomachs, but we love different food, so we have been trying a lot of new things. He wasn't feeling great yesterday and today is my yucky day. I think we are going to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. I know, a little too American for being on the other side of the world, but I am looking forward to it. After dinner we are going to go to a "night market", should be interesting. We haven't decided on our itinerary for tomorrow. I feel a bit lost in this huge city without the ease of one of our awesome guides. I am sure we will have lots to do. Then we will be leaving the following day for home!!!!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
ThePaperwork is DONE I kinda didn't even realize it until we had our "swearing-in" appointment today at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China. After we said our "oath" a man said congratulations and mentioned that all the paperwork was done. I can't believe it. I will always know that anyone who has ever adopted is a good person, with a sqeaky clean background, and very commited to their children. This is not a process for the faint-hearted, it takes commitment, patience, and nerves of steal, not to mention love. We had a free morning and then took a bus ride to the Consulate. We were not allowed to take our camera inside so the photo on the steps of the building is after the swearing in- with the notorious "brown evevelope" which contains precious legal documents. The last photo is the obligitory "red couch" photo. The other sweet baby is the only other one in our travel group, she is a beauty! We leave GZ early tomorrow morning and we are taking a train to Hong Kong. We are extending our stay a bit as we could leave for home tomorrow, but we decided to do a quick stop in Hong Kong. We are truly homesick, but a few months back we checked out hong kong on the trip advisor site (check out the travelers photo's) and we couldn't bear just passing through, we had to stop. So we will have a very busy day tomorrow. C isn't feeling well today, hopefully he will be back full strength tomorrow. Mina is a trooper when it comes to traveling, she is pretty lively and loves to walk (or run) herself, I am sure she is wondering what the heck is going on. Boy, will she be shocked when we get home and start back in on our boring routine ( which I actually love). I can't wait to have her running around our house! One thing for sure we will have to do a Target run A.S.A.P. to get baby proofing stuff, as she is into everything. Funny, my first 3 kids were mellow enough that I never had to do this. Can anyone say, baby gate! I may not post tomorrow as we will be soaking up the H.K. streets. Miss you all!