Monday, June 30, 2008

Mommy goes back to work

I loved staying home with my daughters, and having the time to take them to Mommy & Me classes, the park, the library, or just be home together on a cold winter day. The time has come for me to return to work. Big Sister will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and Little Sister will accompany me to school every day as we have our own on-site daycare center. I will be working as a reading specialist for grades 6-8 at a nearby school district. My new job officially begins at the end of August. Everything has been arranged, including before-school and after-school care for Big Sister. Still, it will be a huge change for us all. I wonder if any of the other working moms out there have any advice for me. Can you offer any tips on making the transition smooth or how to get everyone up dressed, fed, and out the door by a very early hour? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Three Word Sunday

Potty Training Blues

Just as round 2 of our potty training session begins, so does Little Sister's ability to clearly say her new favorite word, "NO!" Despite the "No's," she is peeing in her potty pretty consistently. More updates to follow.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hummingbirds and Faith

When we adopt our child, the painful memories of waiting seem to melt away like snow basking in the sun. Life becomes busy. Responsibilities change, and our patience is tested in a new way. In my October LID group, there is still one couple who have not yet received their baby. After all this time, they are still in the waiting phase due to a complication with their paperwork. Theresa (not her real name) has sat back and watched members of our group joyfully announce their referrals, share baby pictures and travel plans, post Gotcha Day videos, and even complain about the hardships of being a new mother. She has done all of this with grace, but she is suffering. Her arms are still empty. Another member of our group posted this beautiful psalm offering Theresa courage. I thought it was perfect and wanted to share it with all of my readers who may also still be waiting. Where does the hummingbird come into play? It doesn't really. Only that they are one of my favorite birds, delicate and extraordinary gifts from God. I want to tell Theresa that God will grant her wish. He's listening.

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things yet unseen."
Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Last Friday, I took Big Sister and her friend to see the movie, Kung Fu Panda. The girls hadn't seen each other since preschool ended a few weeks earlier so they were eager to get together. Little Sister was home with a babysitter. She is still too young for the movie theater. The movie which features the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, and Angelina Jolie, was well-done. I think I laughed even more than the kids. I especially enjoyed the scenery of China, and seeing the animals perform their martial arts. Who knew that a praying mantis could fight so well? The film does include two obvious cases of adoption, but they are not addressed, only assumed by the adult viewer. When I asked Big Sister later on if the panda could really be the bird's son, she said, "No, it's just pretend for the movie."

Monday, June 16, 2008

It was a great week

Last week couldn't have been better. I finally found a full-time teaching position only 30 minutes from my home. It's for a middle school reading intervention specialist. I am excited about happy to stop working on those tedious and time-consuming teaching applications. On Saturday, my girls and I met with my single mom's group. We all share the common bond of having a little girl from China, or waiting for one. Big Sister immediately became fast friends with one of the girls. They were like two peas in a pod, holding hands and inseparable during our time together. It was a great week. The icing on the cake came last night when I finally got to see Kenny Loggins perform live at an outdoor concert. After all these years, he still looks and sounds great. It was a great week. I wish they could all be like that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Middle Children

Middle children are used to giving
In to the younger and the older.

Middle children are used to turning
Soft, mild cheeks to the child
who's bolder.

Middle children make cheer
their talent
Smiling even through hand-me-downs.

Middle children will play a
willing audience for the other's

Middle children are open-hearted.

Middle children will fetch
and carry.

Middle children don't need

Middle children are nice to marry.

Author unknown

Friday, June 13, 2008

No Veggies Please

When I brought Little Sister home last year at 13 months, she had never eaten food before. I know it's hard to believe, but she had only been given bottles for nourishment in her orphanage. Since she missed the infant stages of eating, I started her out on mostly soft foods, including those Gerber jars of fruits and vegetables. No matter what was in the jar, she loved it, including peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn. I also gave her regular table food, but continued with the fruits and veggies until about 19 months. Once I stopped the Gerber jars, she refused ALL vegetables. I still try to give her vegetables with every meal. I've even boiled, mashed and mushed them down, but she still hates them all. Can anyone out there give me some advice?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Favorites from China

With so many families still waiting for their referrals from China, including one good friend, I thought I would share some highlights from both of my trips. In 2003, I traveled to Guangxi Province, staying in Nanning and Guilin, to adopt my first baby girl. The trip was magical. We flew into Hong Kong and toured the magnificant city one day, and then took another plane to Nanning, where are babies were waiting for us. We spent a few days in Nanning, finalizing the adoption, and then traveled by bus to Guilin, the birthplace of Big Sister. Guilin was incredibly beautiful.

Last May (2007), I traveled again to China to adopt my second baby, beginning my trip once again in Hong Kong. My best friend and I decided to leave a few days early so that we could further explore Hong Kong. She loves jade and enjoyed visiting some of the jewelry stores in the city. I especially enjoyed touring Po Lin Monestary on Lantau Island. It was lovely. Unlike the first trip in 2003, our travel group only went from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, giving us two full weeks at the White Swan and plenty of time to shop.

Here are a few highlights from each of my trips. I hope my readers enjoy them.

FAVORITE SPOT #1 (Guilin countryside in Guangxi Province, birthplace of Big Sister.)

FAVORITE SPOT #2 (Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island in Hong Kong). You can get there by car or cable. If you are afraid of heights, I don't recommend the cable because the cars are very small and they travel very high up in the mountain. We opted for the taxi which was a harrowing experience too with drivers who speed like lightening through the winding roads. Once we got there, we were happy to have made the journey, but we looked for an older, calmer driver for the way back down.

BEST LUNCH CHOICE #1: (If you are craving American food, try the club sandwich and French fries from the White Swan Hotel cafe. If you don't mind a little hard-boiled egg on your sandwich, it is delicious! You can sit by the pool if the weather is nice and order it there too.)

BEST LUNCH CHOICE #2: (From the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong, my traveling companion and I enjoyed a delicious vegetarian meal of fresh steamed vegetables, mushroom soup, and spring rolls. The spring rolls were some of the best I have ever had.)


SQUEAKY SHOES (They come in every color and are extremely cheap so buy as many as you can. They make great gifts for friends too!)

Hello Kitty Utensil Sets (includes chopsticks)


(PEARL FACTORY) - Guangzhou has many pearl factories where they will hand string beautiful pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings while you wait, all reasonably priced.

Japanese wooden dolls


Gotcha Day (February 11, 2003 with my ex-husband)

Adoption Day: (May 16, 2007)

Now that I have shared my favorite memories from China, I would like to invite (tag) some of my friends to share highlights of their adoption journey.

Meredith Teagarden



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Remembering Mei Mei's Arrival

Zhi Bin's referral photo, holding the puzzle piece.

On March 7, 2007, the Fed Ex truck arrived carrying the most precious 'package' imaginable, Little Sister's photo and referral information. "She's here, she's here," cried her big sister, anxious to see what was inside. The package was opened. Inside lay three photos of beautiful Zhi-Bin, appropriately named to suit her "gracefulness and intelligence." Suddenly, the dream became a reality. Little Sister went from being a possibility to a real child, 11 months old. Her paperwork revealed that she became excited when the nannies brought in her bottle, and that she was known to steal toys from the other children. We later found out that both were indeed very true. Two months later, the woman boarded a plane to China. She was happy and knew that in a few, short days, she would hold her new baby daughter.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Just one more. . .

When the woman returned home with her baby girl from China, she praised God for giving her such a sweet, loving child. Each day was filled with wonderment as she watched her little girl enjoy the simplicities of life, walking barefoot on the grass, picking flowers, chasing butterflies, or playing with an empty bucket which she creatively used as a hat. Mother and child were happy and content. Just one more baby girl thought the mother. One more daughter to love. One little sister to join our family. With that thought, the paperwork was completed and her dossier was sent off to China. Then, the waiting began. One year trickled by and still no baby. The next year arrived, and the waiting continued. Will I ever see the face of my second daughter cried the woman one night? Is this ever going to happen she asked herself. It didn't seem to help either that celebrities Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt were building their own family at rapid speed, seemingly bringing home a new baby on a yearly basis while the woman waited for one more. The wait was intense, but miraculously, the day finally arrived when a Fed Ex truck pulled up to her front door and handed her a package containing information about her new baby.

To be continued . . .