This is the ongoing story of faith, love and family as we walk through this life with 3 sons, one daughter, one daughter in law and one grandson

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Redneck Yacht Club

I am back from Hawaii-had an absolutely fabulous time with my mom and the conference I attended was tremendous. In fact, the organization that sponsors this conference is going to make Maui the permanent meeting site! So once a year I will be able to go to Hawaii without alot of out of pocket expenses for me-Woo-Hoo!! We are already planning for next year's trip. I will be bringing the whole family and sure hope Koli can tolerate the long plane ride just a short time after we bring her home.

Now on to the topic of my heading. This weekend is Fourth of July. We recently purchased an old pontoon boat. We had a larger, nicer boat but L felt strongly that with Koli coming we needed to "right size" and purchase something that was more like a giant play pen. The boat is orange-not modern cool orange but circa 1970 shag carpet orange. It has brown indoor/outdoor carpet on it. We had to buy chairs to sit on so we searched and searched and finally had to settle on hunter green resin stackable chairs. Because it is close to the Fourth of July holiday most places that carry boat accessories are pretty low on supplies. We needed to have bouys to hang off the side of the boat. Could not find a white one to save our lives so we ended up with neon blue bouys. To add to the festivities L insisted on purchasing Tiki Torches for all four corners of the giant play pen. We have a tradition of pitching tents on an island friends of ours own for the weekend and watching the fire works off of our boat. L has decided that we do not need to pitch a tent on the island when we have the giant play pen. So we have purchased a tent that will fit on the deck of the boat and will be staying on board the ship. He also invested in the surround normally used for a solar shower which he has hung from the frame of the play pens canopy, thus giving me an instant bathroom with the port-a-potty safely tucked away inside the shower surround. He came up with the bright idea to permanently mount our charcoal grill to the front of the boat. Can anyone think of anything more redneck than our boat? I am going to try very hard to post a picture of the floating play pen sometime after the holiday. While searching for all of our classy accessories L spotted the teeniest tiniest life jacket that he begged to purchase for Koli. Very cute if you would like your daughter in camo color. I think not. So if anyone is on a certain large body of water that is really a river in Michigan and you see the floating play pen, give us a shout-we would love to meet you. Happy Holiday everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Mean People Suck


I am fairly new to this thing called the adoption community. Those of you that know me know that one thing I do well is research and plan. So although we have not been part of the adoption community for long I feel that I have done a fairly decent job of bringing myself and L up to speed on all of the important things regarding China and adoption. I am constantly amazed at the attitudes of other adoption community members. I used to be glued to the big board regarding China adoptions, now I can barely bring myself to view that board once a week. It is inexplicable to me how people who are traveling the same path can be so cruel and condescending to each other at times. I personally don't care if someone is searching for the perfect patriotic outfit to bring their new daughter home in. Doesn't matter to me. Not one iota. I don't care if they want their Coming Home Barbie or not. These things hold no relevance for me. That they are of importance to others is pretty evident on the big board. I try to live by the rule that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all. There are obviously lots of people out there whose Mama's never taught them that rule. Why the need to put someone else down? Beginning this process of international adoption has forced me to really examine what is important to me and I can tell you that how someone else is going to dress their baby is not on my radar. I have been shocked on more than one occasion by the remarks people make to me when they find out we are adopting from China. I think that everyone who has made this decision has been faced with the same kinds of questions. Things like-Why do we feel the need to buy our baby? How come we are not strong enough parents to take in a foster child or two and adopt them? What's wrong with a good ole American baby? Normally I try to deflect the questions and move on. I'm not sure how I am going to react once we have Kolaina home and someone makes a racist remark. I hope that I can remain calm while letting the person know how out of line the comment is but I am afraid that the Mama Bear in me will rear her ugly head and leave the person asking the question realing. I don't want to be a mean person so just play nice okay?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Expectant Mother Parking

Since we have made our decision to adopt I feel out of sorts at times. In my mind, I am an expectant mother. I giggle when I pull into a parking lot and see the reserved parking spots for expectant mothers. I have such a desire to utilize one of those spaces but am such a rule follower that I will not do it. But why shouldn't I? Although my ankles are not swollen (let's not talk about my belly) I am technically an expectant mother am I not? I have begun to hang out in baby stores, searching for furniture, bedding, etc. It is almost as if I am invisible at times. Those women who are obviously expecting are swooped upon by the store employees. I can wander aimlessly for 30 minutes without anyone coming up to ask me anything more than if I need help accessing someone's baby registry. I often wonder how they cannot tell that I am an expectant mother from the excited glow my cheeks exude whenever I am near baby gear.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm makin' a blankie

I should 'fess up right from the get go that I have this wonderful dream of receiving squares of fabric from people all over the world that will be lovingly sewn together by hand by me as I gaze dreamily at the fabric I am handling, creating a quilt for my daughter. In all actuality what is going to happen is I am going to put a shameless plea out to everyone reading this blog to send me two squares of fabric (8 x 8) along with a 3 x 5 card that has your wish for Kolaina written on it (on the card, not the fabric) and I will beg my mom to make the quilt for me. I alluded to this quilt in a previous post but wanted to give everyone some history behind this desire to make this blanket. The quilt is commonly known as a 100 wishes quilt or a Bai Jia Bei. I was initially going to ask for one square of fabric with the wish written directly on the fabric but have since read other people's ideas on how they are putting their baby quilts together and really like some of them! So, if you could be so kind as to send two squares of fabric I will use one to make a square on the quilt and the other one will be attached to the wish that was written on the 3 x 5 card and stored in a box for Kolaina to be able to read the wishes and feel the fabrics of her quilt. It is my understanding that this tradition started in Northern China as a way of welcoming a new baby. So for those of you that lurk here and know my address or see me in real life, bring on the squares! For those of you that just read the blog, please email me at hll_sz@yahoo.com and I will give you the address to send the squares too. Don't worry Aunties, I have forwarned my mom. :) What would be really cool is if I could convince all of my cousins (and I have a couple of ultra hip chic's I am proud to be related to) to get together to have an old fashioned quilting bee-and yes right now my ultra cool chic cousins are spitting diet coke out of their noses at the thought while my other cousins who are the craftiest things this side of Martha Stewart are probably seriously considering the idea. Darling way cool big sister of mine, can you please send me a couple o'squares of one of Dad's flannel shirts? Koli has to have a part of Pa-pa in her blankie don't ya think?

I am a chatter box tonight. Did I tell ya'll that my 72 year old father in law wants to go to China with us? I think that is the coolest thing ever. I am leaving for Hawaii in three days with my mom. I'm so over the top excited about this-can anyone think of a better place to chill with your mama? I am very thankful that this summer will be busy. It will help pass the time while we are waiting for our referral. I will be traveling in a few days for a week, will be out of town the week after the fourth and once again in August. Once school is back in session it will be a whirlwind because it will be D's senior year and he plays football. So by the time football is done Thanksgiving will be right around the corner, then December will be upon us. December will see us heading out to San Diego to watch W graduate from Boot Camp and hopefully bring us good news in the form of our referral. I have never wanted six months to pass so quickly before in my life. Here we go with that patience thing again, huh?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

More Ponderin'

I'm not quite sure when I became such a klutz but I did several things today that just reaffirmed the fact that yes I am indeed a klutz. I used to be a cheerleader. A flyer to be exact. I could scale many levels of people in a single bound, end up on top of a mount smiling and willingly jump/twist off and land on my feet. With a smile on my face. Somewhere along the way I seemed to have lost that grace and poise. Imagine if you will approaching the front of your all glass building where there is a meeting room filled with your colleagues looking out, you know they can see you but you can't see them through the smokey glass. You know the room is filled with people because you checked the schedule the day before, you walk tall as you are approaching the building, shoulders squared, head lifted, maybe even flipping your hair casually just to appear like you have it all together. You are wearing heels, feeling pretty good about yourself when IT happens. Just before the entrance your heel gets stuck in the crack in the sidewalk filled with goo. Your shoe sticks, the rest of your body does not. You end up propelling forward in an awkward hopping motion since you now only have one shoe. Shouting to yourself inside your head-do not fall, do not fall, do not f...... You end up not falling but not because of your cat like abilities but because your awkward hopping, forward propelling motion lands you in a bush instead. Leaves me to ponder-will Kolaina think I'm a cool mom if something like this happens while we are somewhere, like the mall, and she is hyperventilating because at the same time she spots the boy she has a crush on from math class he spots her and her mom is oh so gracefully hopping around on one foot because she just lost her heel?

If this was an isolated event it might not have got me pondering but many of you know the story of me losing the top to my swimming suit while at the completely packed pool in Hawaii and of me not having a pocket to carry a t*mpon in and ever so cooly tucking it into my pants waistband only to discover that it came out my pantleg while I was walking-that would be walking right in front of one of my male bosses. I probably don't have to remind anyone of the time I gave myself whiplash while wearing heels and having my heel sink into a hole in the floor at the office of my previous employer (in my defense I was walking REALLY fast to keep up with someone who had VERY long legs). I think I will take up ballet, or maybe yoga. I think I need to do something to help me get my coordination back. Or I need to hope that I have a really clumsy daughter.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Things to Ponder...

It is pretty incredible the way this adoption has kind of flowed right along with big moments in W's life. We received our corrected 171-H on W's graduation day, we received word that we were DTC the day before W's open house, we should receive our referral around the same time that W graduates from Boot Camp. I was talking to one of my friends about all of these coincidences when she made a startling observation. I have told people that I really believe that Kolaina was born in December. December just happens to be the month that W and M were born. December 2nd to be exact. She asked me if I had thought about the possibility that she could share a birthday with my boys. Huh? Nope, that thought never crossed my mind. Now it seems that that is all that I think about. The Chinese have a belief (I am paraphrasing here) that when someone is born there is an invisible red thread that connects that person to everyone who will be important in his/her life irregardless of time. The timing of all of these events does tend to make one go hmmmmm.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

We Are DTC!!!

We received word on Friday that our paperwork made it into the "China Box" and was being mailed to China that day. So we are officially DTC. What does DTC stand for you ask? It stands for "Dossier to China". It is the next major hurdle we had to cross. We now wait for word of our LID which is our "log in date". The log in date is the official start of the waiting. Typically speaking you can expect to receive your referral for your daughter six months after your log in date. Since we are June DTC our referral should come right before Christmas!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Okay so maybe it's not really me that's leaving....it is something even better. It is our dossier!! I paid the nice Fed Ex man this afternoon and sometime after 6:00 pm tonight our dossier will be making its way across the country to Texas to be delivered to our adoption agency by 10:00 am tomorrow morning. Woo-hoo!!! How happy can one family be? Well, our family is pretty dog gone happy tonight. I have no idea when our DTC date will be or what our LID will be (my understanding is you get your LID 7-15 days after your dossier is received by the Chinese government.) If this is true this is very good news. We could squeeze in under the wire for a June LID!! The paper chase has ended. Today is a very good day!

About Me

I am a Christian woman, the wife of an outdoorsman and mom to a computer loving twenty something guy, a Marine, a Sailor and a three year old Princess who rules the roost and has all of us wrapped around her little finger. Add into the mix a daughter in love and the cutest grandson in the world and you have our big old house of love