Friday, May 28, 2010

An Email I Rec'd May 18, 2008 - From a Mom Who'd Adopted from Emily's Orphanage

Vicki -
I think I *might* have photos of Mei Xia Ying(Emily).... at least I hope this is her!!!! There is a little girl who was in the small group of children with my Olivia who seems to fit the description, and I have just PRAYED she would find a family.... I hope it's her! The photos I have are about a year and a half old, but I know they are still treasures and a glimpse into your child's life. I am on my laptop right now and the photos are saved on my other PC, so I will have to transfer them over. I'll email you one and you can see if this might be her.... Oh I hope so!!!!!!!!


After joining the Meizhou, China Yahoo Group (for families adopting from that SWI - Social Welfare Institute), this precious mom, Angela, sent me an email. She'd read my posting to the group, introducing myself and telling about my soon-to-be daughter. After reading it and putting 2 plus 2 together, she began to think/realize that the little unidentified, older sweetheart who was hugging her little baby girl....could possibly be Emily, Mei Xia Ying.
Angela had already arrived home with her daughter, Olivia, but as you can tell from her message...her heart had been burdened for a little girl who showed Olivia love when she, as a mother, could not.
I know the feeling of appreciation for others who touched Emily's life before she landed safely in our family. I've got several concrete (photo, the item itself, knowledge of) "for instances" in my memory bank that are forever cherished:

-- A hug shared by China sisters at the orphanage
-- A candy cane and Santa hat given to Emily at a Christmas celebration (in a communist country)
-- A trip to eat ice cream at a local spot near the Meizhou SWI (b/c she'd NEVER have an opportunity to enjoy a treat like that!)
-- A visit in someone's home so Mei Xia Ying could "get away" and experience family life for a moment
-- A quilt given to her - made by the loving, older/elderly hands of Americans in a quilting group
-- A tender note secretly written by a caring, Chinese woman (on the back of a photograph in a photo book I sent to the orphanage) - stating that she was well loved and would be missed
-- A blue stuffed bunny rabbit that plays "Jesus Loves Me" (she had this with her when I met her)
-- An inquiry to the SWI director about Mei Xia Ying by parents who traveled to China and adopted a few weeks before me

Red Threads. Red Threads. Red Threads.
I am so thankful for the kind hearts and hands who reached out and loved my child when all I had was the hope of her finding her way into my life, our lives.

King David wrote in the Book of Psalms: "You knew me before...."
The Lord has known Emily all along.
And I'm so glad He used faithful, caring people to show His love.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No. You've Not Missed Out on 6 Months of Postings and Pictures

I just uploaded a haul of photos from the past few months.

Amy - my "the only vegetable I eat is cucumber" friend - decided I needed a card reader to be successful in getting images onto the computer and posted on the blog.

I had tried this before, but hey...I've only had the camera a year and a half. I EVENTUALLY get around to most things.

No lie. Before becoming a mom, I was pretty darn good at correspondence, thank you notes, and doing many things on time (thanks to the positive modeling of my mother).

With that being said....there's a BIG "however"...I've resorted to bank draft payments because I've let one or two bills sit right in front of my face and not get around to paying them on time.

Hmpf. $5.00 service charge.
THAT'S a dinner at Subway on Tuesday night. Not gonna lose cash that way.

I refuse to go into the perception mode that I'm bonafide goofy. I know about "Mommy Brain". If you're a friend of mine reading this you probably have it yourself.
Mom says I'm busy and pre-occupied with Emily...mediating for her when she doesn't understand something, clarifying to others what she is trying to communicate, and continuing to build on the foundation of having a daughter who knew absolutely no English when she arrived in the U.S. in the latter part of 2008.

I'm sure I'm on hyper-alert/awareness...but what parent ISN'T? I just often walk around and think, "Geesh. And I only have ONE child." What about Rina, Leigh, Janie, Betsy, Rebecca...what are their brains like with their tribes/clans of 4-ish kiddos?

Years back - to calm her brain - my mom would take us to the zoo and let us run hawg wild while she'd sit and read a book. You could do that kinda thing long ago.

Truly... she needs to be canonized as a saint.

What We Do to Learn, and Learn, and Learn, and Learn

Did I say learn?

I'm a huge believer that children need to "construct" their understanding of concepts -- about most anything. Seems like I've been on a geometric reasoning kick this past year.

Anyhoo, Emily and I took an empty grain bar box (exhibit A on the left - ha). I had her separate the seams where it was glued together and lay it out flat. Gee. Now she can see all the different sized faces/surfaces found on a rectangular prism.

It gets better. I promise.
THEN...I helped her re-fold the box opposite of the way it was intended. This gave her a cool, blank sided structure on which she could design.

Gotta get some creativity in there amongst the math.
SOOOO she designed an old fashioned t.v. with knobs, drew the screen with a picture on it, and inserted 2 plastic straws at the top for the antennae.

The soap box next to it (exhibit B on the right)...well she and I wrapped that (literally gift wrap style) with paper. She drew her own soap box cover. A further extension of a rectangular prism but done totally different than the first one.

Always looking for the fun ways to make learning interesting, constructive, hands on, & authentic, (not to mention c-h-e-a-p!)

Miss Mandy and Miss I've Got My Mama's Sunglasses On

Mandy is a sweetie pie.

I reckon the terms "homely" and "plain" don't exactly fit her description. She's amazing at remembering the names of EVERYone she meets. So helpful...just a real southern girl.

Thanks for the pics, Mandy.

Puddin a.k.a. O Feline Whom Emily Adores

Pool Time. See Those Audiologist Approved Earplugs Stickin' Out Her Ears?

We're mightily protecting that remodeled inner ear/titanium installed bone substitute. We even have a card to carry should she set off the security alarms at an airport. Ain't gonna let water gather in that ear canal "NO MO". Two ear surgeries later, we are good to go. There is another hearing test scheduled in July.

Now maybe she'll hear me more clearly when I say, "Emily. Hang up your clothes."

Yea. Right.

Emily and Aunt Topsy

Bubble Machine Birthday Present. LOVE It!

Elvis and Hello Kitty. Thank You Very Much!

Emily was writing notes/sending cards to her China sister, Myah.

This is the ONLY Way Emily has Soccer on the Brain. She's All Ballet.

Emily and Her Mooncake That's as Dense as a Brick

...but it's a "for real" mooncake.
As in from China Town in San Francisco.
It was a gift. We haven't been boarding any planes lately.

Emily and Miss Donna at the Theater

Donna is one of those precious people. You know. The kind that thinks the world revolves around them. Kidding.

She jokingly uses the mantra, "It's all about me!" but she's one of the most unselfish folks I know. She's spoiled Emily with gifts galore, painted the darling picture at the top of the blog - along with extension paintings of that pic (in Em's bathroom), painted Emily's bedroom, and has just been an all around good buddy through the years.

"Suzie" as she is affectionately called at times is quite talented: acting, comedic dialogues, painting, cooking, spending money, and now doting over her darling new Grand-Niece, Aubree.

We love you, Donna. It's your world. We just live in it!

Skipper: Our Blind Dog (Thus the Long Bangs)

Emily and Peanut Wiped Out on The Couch

Mother's Day Picture and Painting

Emily is quite a little artist. The painting in the bottom right is not typical of her work, but I think she was using water colors.

The face on the left is Emily because, as she says, "It has black hair."

"You da middle one. It shows....uh. I don't wanna explain, Mother."
** I was asking her this as I typed the posting...and she was preoccupied with "playing school". That was her nice way of saying, "Please leave me alone right now."

"The other heart is Nanny Carol" with her hair piled on top of her little heart head.


From Earlier in the Spring

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An "Agency" Friend Who Is In China NOW

The link above is to Tricia's blog. She left Wednesday of this week to adopt her little girl, Avery. Her LID (log in date) is/was 6/02/06. We were in the wait together for a pretty long time...about 2ish years. Since I've been home from China, she's still been waiting and waiting.

Tricia and I used the same adoption agency. We had an agency yahoo group where folks would post messages ALL the time, every day. It's dwindled to almost nothing since the wait times grew so long...but another "alternate" yahoo group was set up by adoptive parents with our agency. I think it's pretty active. I keep forgetting to get the link and join that group.

Somehow, I'd pay close attention to what Tricia was writing. She's a numbers person. Always knows the stats for % of referrals, length of time parent(s) waited -- the whole 9 yards. She lives in the upper Northeast U.S. She also seems to be a realist. She pretty much figured out from the get go, based on her constant/continuing statistical analyses (plural), that China was screeching to a halt on adoptions - except for those children with needs (medical, physical, cognitive...).

Anyhoo, we began to email "off list" as folks say. She was so supportive of my referral for Emily. She wrapped up & mailed me a big ole honkin' box and filled it with girly-girl items, a personalized scrapbook page, and the most darlin' little pink Boston Red Sox outfit. She's a die hard fan.

Well, all that happened back in 2008. A few weeks ago I had the honor of sending her a box of happies for Miss Avery:
-10x10 inch squares for her 100 Good Wishes Quilt, (if you want to read about the tradition of these quilts),
-2 little scrapbook inserts with wishes from Emily and me -- with swatches of our quilt squares,
-a children's book written by a local author,
-another children's book about spring (WHY do we not capitalize seasons? Hmmmm.),
-some famous chocolate and praline covered nuts (for the mom-to-be.........could've ONLY been mailed to the NE USA b/c of it being cooler there)
-and some little books Avery can use for her beginning reading practice (years down the road)

Chocolate, nuts, and books...sounds like a winner to me!

So, Tricia has now landed in China. She's got a blog going while she's in China to keep her friends and family informed. Go over and take a peek at her darling daughter. I canNOT wait for pictures soon!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Puzzle of Africa - We Put It Together

Adoption Videos - of 6 or 7 Kiddos Who Found Their Forever Families

Or shall I say "Who found their forever family/singular...all in one home". And there are bio kids as well.

I'll NEVER forget watching some of these videos of this family's earlier adoptions waaaaaaay back in 2006 when my paperwork was first logged in with the Chinese adoption officials. My log in date was May 19, 2006 -- a day that will live forever in my mind.

Because Chinese adoptions changed DRASTICALLY within a matter of a few months, everything became different. I fell within an LID (log in date) time frame that was SOOOO adversely affected by these new changes China was implementing -- this slowdown, the WAIT. Folks told us we were in the "Perfect Storm".

I was supposed to travel to China by December of 2006 - with a referral in my hand of my future daughter.

Sit down for this next line: MY TRAVEL GROUP/FELLOW MAY 19th, 2006 LOG IN DATE FOLKS HAVE NOT, NOT, NOT EVEN GOTTEN THEIR REFERRALS YET. They're still waiting...or they've dropped out, or they've found their daughters and sons on special listings - just like I did.

I cannot fathom that I could still be waiting. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that Mei Xia Ying/a.k.a. Emily could still be sitting in some pink building on the other side of the world. As she has told me, "without a pillow or blanket at night" and not brushing teeth or drinking milk or having her ear infections healed and her eyelids repaired. No. I can't even imagine it.

So, as I was waiting and waiting (did I say waiting?!) and waiting, I'd watch this family's videos of their first few adoptions (of their many). OMG. I'd cry. I'd cry. I'd cry.

Well, I've 're-found' their adoption movies with the newer ones added to the selection. If you're interested, here's the link. Hope you find some meaning and revelation by witnessing their journeys.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that really don't matter."

Tim Kizziar