Friday, February 26, 2010

Flashback Friday

Last week's flashback was of the Ladybug, snuggling on Daddy's lap, drinking from her bottle. That day was so special for all of us... including her two Nana's, who traveled with us to China to welcome the Bug into our family.

The photo below is so very special, the Ladybug, resting on the bed, being gently caressed by both of her Nana's. The Bug seemed so at ease, playing with her Nana's fingers, something so simple and yet comforting to a child who was suddenly placed in a room with people whom were so unfamiliar. These gentle touches really helped calm the Ladybug and brought a very tender, touching moment to the day.



~~Aloha!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, Love









~~Aloha

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

I remember this day like it was yesterday! Out little Ladybug was REALLY hungry and didn't want to wait for lunch. Before we knew it, she had gone into the pantry, grabbed a fruit cup, opened it (to this day we still are not sure how she opened that cup!), and poured the fruit on the floor. The floor became the perfect plate from which she could eat her mid-morning snack. A few minutes later, I caught her devouring her fruit and loving every single morsel.

As I look a this photo now, I remember how tiny she once was. She was wearing the special shoes we purchased for her from her province, as well as the adorable summer jacket. She also still had her natural curls that gave her awesome, wild hair. The curls have tamed through the years, but she is still a little girl with a great appetite. No longer a tiny girl... rather, she is long and lanky. I love the little girl that she once was and I love the big girl that she is becoming. Just don't grow up too quickly little Bug!


~~Aloha

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Journey - Sponsorship

As I am sure you can imagine, adoption is something that means everything to our family. The plight of orphans throughout the world is very dear to our hearts. Over the past few months I have been following a website that reaches out to orphaned children in several orphanages in China.


After reading about numerous children who have been helped throughout the years by everything this organization has done for them, I realized that it was our turn to do something as well. Today, I signed up to help one little baby girl in China, named Mia. She is located in Hengshan, Hunan, and was born on January 7 of this year. The organization that is the link between our sponsorship and this adorable little baby is Pearl River Outreach. "The Mission of Pearl River Outreach is to improve the lives of orphaned children in China through basic professional medical training of staff, volunteers, and foster parents who work in, and through, Chinese orphanages. It is our belief that simple, standardized professional training in basic infant and child care is the first step toward the healthy growth and development that every child deserves."

If you feel it in your heart that you can reach out your hand to one little child in China, please visit Pearl River Outreach. In the mean time, without further ado... here is the little girl that we are sponsoring, Mia.


~~Aloha

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

Sunday, February 14 is not only Valentine's Day, but also a wonderful day in our household... Chinese New Year. Goodbye year of the Ox, hello year of the Tiger!


Each year, a group of families get together to celebrate Chinese New Year together. All of the families adopted children from China through our adoption agency, Holt International. Watching each of these adorable little girls grow through the years is very special. I love watching our little Ladybug playing, talking, laughing, and enjoying her time with other little girls who share a very special past. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share each other's lives and listen to the ups and the downs that our children go through.

The biggest surprise for everyone at the party was when we shared our referral news for the baby Butterfly. Everyone in the room was so excited to hear that another Chinese baby girl was going to be coming home to our tiny town within the coming months. They all wanted to hear about the details, and were especially excited to see the photos I brought to share. I cannot wait until next year when the Butterfly will go with us to share in the celebration of Chinese New Year.

Below are two photos from the evening. The first is of all 10 girls, sitting on the couch together. The Ladybug is right in the middle of all the fun. The second photo is of the Ladybug in her beautiful Chinese dress, enjoying the celebration.




Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

~~Aloha

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday


Wow, I remember this day like it was yesterday.

Back in November of 2006, our first night with our little Ladybug. She was so itty-bitty at the time. Her tiny, fragile hands held the bottle close as she rested securely in daddy's lap. She was so unsure at that point, unable to make sense of what had happened to her that day. So many new faces, sounds, and smells. And, although she rested comfortably in the arms of her daddy and I that day, she was still scared and nervous. She did not know the incredible amount of love that we already had for her and planned to give her for the rest of her life. She was (and is) our tiny little treasure, our baby with, "...the wild hair, and the soulful stare." It was this day that we became a family. A day that is very dear to my heart, and will go down as the best birthday I ever celebrated. Thank you little Ladybug for lighting up my life!

~~Aloha

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Frustrated but...

First off, I am sorry that I didn't get a photo up for Wordless Wednesday. I had two days worth of meetings that took my mind away from the blog. But, I am back. Now, onto this post.

I am frustrated with a mail delivery company that shall go unnamed. Our adoption agency sent us our adoption paperwork last week, which we received on Wednesday through overnight mail. In it were some time sensitive items which needed to be returned within one week, some of which needed to be notarized. My husband and I got everything filled out, signed, and notarized, and even sent in our adoption payment of a gazillion dollars (only exaggerating by a couple of zeros here). We took it to the "delivery company" on Sunday afternoon for them to ship on Monday so that it would arrive at our agency in Oregon by Tuesday. We did our part so we should be free and clear... right?

Well, last night I decided to see if the check we sent had cleared yet. Nope! I then decided to track the envelope, figuring that I would see that it had been delivered on Tuesday. Nope! According to the website, the envelope arrived at the company's sorting facility in Memphis, TN in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday. By 6:30 a.m. Pacific time, the envelope had arrived at the "Destination Sorting Facility" in Portland, Oregon. And now, two days later (according to their website), that is where the envelope still sits.

I contacted the "delivery company" last night and received some interesting excuses. I say excuses because I was told the letter was stuck in Memphis, so I asked, "Why does your website state that the envelope arrive at the Portland, Oregon sorting facility?" To which the person replied, "Uhhhhhh, oh yes, I see that now. Yes it did make it to Oregon." She then stated that the envelope had not been delivered because of weather problems (I am guessing that this has been her fallback excuse this week because of the storms thta have plagued the east). I then mentioned that I checked the weather in Portland the last two days and other than a little bit of rain late Wednesday, the weather had been clear and near 50 degrees (by the way, this information was further supported by several friends who live in the area). Apparently, the customer service lady didn't like my last comment because she got very short with me, cut me off and stated that she had opened a case to find the envelope. She gave me the case number and said "Good-bye."

I am angry frustrated right now for two reasons. First is obvious, our letter with highly important, time-sensitive material did not make it to its destination when it was supposed to... it didn't even make it there the following day. Second, the customer service lady. She started off fairly pleasant, but the more I questioned her with valid questions like, "Why, according to your website, does it show that the letter has been sitting in Oregon since early morning on Tuesday?" The lady became very short with me, I believe, because I caught her trying to cover the issue with excuses little white-lies... lies that I was able to show were false. I was not trying to be rude to her with my questions, rather I just wanted to find out the answers, answers that she did not have so she instead gave me lies.

Fortunately, about an hour after that aggravating conversation, I received a phone call from a very pleasant customer-service lady who is now handling my case. She will be calling me today with more information. I will be asking for a refund on the "Next-Day" service that I paid for 4 days ago. In the mean time I need to contact the agency to let them know about the snafu and that we are trying to complete this adoption, WE are not being flakey. Sigh..... let's hope this all gets resolved today. I will update with good news (hopefully) soon.

~~Aloha

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sisters

As any adoptive mother knows, as soon as you receive the photo, you hold onto it with with everything you have got. The photo is the one piece of your child that is tangible for you. So, copies are hung up all over the house (next to your bed, on the fridge, in the living room, on the mirror, etc), a copy is placed in your purse, one possibly in your car, and of course there is a copy at work, which you can gaze upon all day while working. I am no exception to this rule. I did this with our first adoption before we brought home the Ladybug, and I have yet again found myself falling in love with a single image.

What I have done differently this time through the process is that I find myself looking at the photo of our new little Butterfly and comparing it to the photos of our Ladybug. I keep looking for similarities between the two girls, knowing full-well that they are not biological sisters, but sisters indeed. What I discovered in all of my looking is that these two little girls do like similar to each other. They have similar facial features, and in the photo below, they even have the same furrowed brow.


The Ladybug is so excited to become a big sister, to help take care of her, and love her with all her heart. I cannot wait to bring our little Butterfly home as well. She is already a member of our family, and we don't even have her yet to hold. In the mean time I will continue to gaze upon the photo, holding it close to my heart, hoping for a quick process and speedy travel. We love you baby Butterfly and we will be there as soon as we can.

~~Aloha!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Care Package


Now that the little Butterfly is on her way to becoming our daughter we are allowed to send her a little something from us. We are limited in what we can send because of shipping and import issues, so we kept it very simple. We also kept in mind that our Butterfly is only 9 1/2 months old right now. We included a small, baby photo album with photos of her new family, a nice teething toy (a dragonfly of course!), and a letter which explains who we are and that we will be there to bring her home soon. As you can imagine, the Ladybug is so excited, as are we all. The Bug's adorable face is the common thread through the photo album, and my favorite photo is shown below. The Ladybug, proudly holding the referral photo of her baby sister.


Here is the letter that we composed to our little Butterfly, half-way around the world, in China. We love you little girl!

Dearest Little Butterfly,

Welcome to our family! We are so excited for you to be our daughter and for you to join our family. We are looking forward to traveling to Guizhou to bring you home to the United States.

We are a family of three, your daddy, your mommy, and your big sister. Your parents are both teachers and enjoy working with kids every day. Your sister, the Ladybug, is almost 4 years old, and very excited to meet you. We live in the state of "Middle America," which is sunny and warm in the summer and cold and snowy in the winter, and very beautiful all year long. We love living here and cannot wait to bring you home.

We are all so excited for you to be our daughter. Your daddy cannot wait to give you lots of hugs and lots of tickles. Your mommy is looking forward to singing songs to you. Your big sister wants to play with you and give you lots of kisses. We think you two will be best friends.

You and your big sister have a lot in common. She is Chinese, just like you. She was born in Guizhou Province, just like you. We adopted her into our family, just like you. She is beautiful, smart, and fun, just like you. She is so excited to be your big sister. She wants to share her toys with you, go on walks with you, and teach you how to dress up like a princess. She talks about you all the time!

We love you little Butterfly, and dream about you always. We will be there as soon as we can so that we may be a forever family. Until then, look at these photos and know that you are loved.


Love Always from your family,

Daddy, Mommy, and your Big Sister Ladybug



~~Aloha!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flashback Friday


I looked through old photos of the Ladybug, and by old I mean anything within the last three years! I found these cute photos of her, wearing a "Smart Little Chick" t-shirt. I like these photos for a couple reasons.

First, she is definitely living up to the t-shirt's message. She is a smart little girl who keeps us on our toes all the time. She surprises us with her intelligent witticisms on a daily basis. For example, our little 3-3/4 year old girl was talking with her Nana S. last night on the phone when she asked, very articulately, "Nana, are you planning on traveling with us to China to bring the baby home?" Both my husband and I looked at each other in awe. She didn't ask, "Nana, you go China with me?" (The exact kind of inarticulate, choppy language I have heard from numerous children her age at school). No, instead she used a very mature, articulate question that surprised both of us. Way to go girl!

Second, you can see the Ladybug's personality seething through these photos. She is being so silly and giggly, two things about her that I love. There is not a day that goes by where our house isn't filled with joy and silliness. She knows how to brighten our days with her smile and laughter. She is a funny, affectionate, silly, loving, goofy, and amazing little girl with a heart of gold. I love you little girl!

~~Aloha!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010