Enjoy the Pictures!

Bei was a seal at his pre-school circus.   His Aunt Jeannine, Cousin Elizabeth and Grandma Sandy were all there to cheer him on.

Bei thought making the snow look like hot lava was fun!

Kai is eating up all the attention from his cousin Elizabeth and Aunt Jeannine


Here are some pictures of the kids with their cousin Elizabeth.   She showed us a fun website to jazz up our pictures.   We enjoyed playing with the functions and we even let Bei create his own picture.   Hope you enjoy! 


Blogs that I Read cont'd

I am ready to finish sharing with you the blogs that I go to most often.   I check a whole bunch but these are the ones that keep me coming back.
The above blog is probably the most honestly written blog that I have read.   Nicole writes about the good, the bad and the ugly.   When you are willing to write about the bad and the ugly you have to be open to people making comments and judgements.    They just adopted Ava in 2010 and they are going back for another child this year.  Nicole also writes about controversial things like "Adoption Revolution" which I am not sure I fully understand, except that these people are committed to adopting a ton of kids.   The blog is interesting and I don't agree with everything Nicole writes but I appreciate her willingness to be so honest on her blog.   You don't find that very often. 
I came across Cheri's blog on a China Forum called Rumour Queen.   She was quite upfront that she and her husband went to China in 2008 (?) to adopt, but terminated (called Disruption in the adoption community) the adoption while in China.   She was the first person that I had ever heard openly admit to disruption.   I was amazed at how courageously she answered people's questions and how open she was about it.   Disruption is a bad word in the adoption community.   They requested another child in 2009 and thought that the Chinese Government would turn them down, but instead they said yes.   So they went and got Ivy.   Okay, I am not one of those types that falls in love with children through a picture, but I have to say the minute that I saw Ivy's picture I wanted to make sure that she had a loving momma and family.   So I watched Cheri's blog as she went and got Ivy and knew that they were going to be a great family for her.   Cheri homeschools her kids, and appears to have a great relationship with her husband.   I enjoy her blog and hope you do too. 
Beth and Pamela both adopted in 2008 with us.  You may remember Lily from my blog because she was the one that we were so concerned about her health.   Pam and John went back again in 2010 and adopted another little girl from the same orphanage as Lily.   Her name is Anna and she was being passed over because of her serious medical condition.  I don't remember the name of it, but it is when your bladder is on the outside of your body.   Anna had already lived 4 years like that and desparately needed surgery along with a loving family.   I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Pam and John saved that little girls life.   One infection that would have gone systemic could have killed that little girl.   Anna underwent 15 hours of surgery.    Believe me when I tell you that Pam is a mountain mover.  She got Anna within 4 months of receiving her referral.   It is unheard of and only Pam could pull it off! 
Beth also adopted in 2008 and the little girls name is Chloe.  She is from the same orphanage as Bei and is about 9 months younger than him.   Beth and Matt also went in 2010 and got a beautiful little girl from Korea who is the same age as Kai.    I consider Beth my "adoption BFF".   When I was looking for our second little one, it wasn't Dan I was calling to read the medicals and check out the child, it was Beth!   The odd thing was that she was always one step ahead of me.  I would say there is a little boy on X's website and his name is Adam.   Then Beth would ramble off all his statistics, DOB, orphanage, when he was abandon, special need etc.   I would say to Beth, are you guys adopting too?  Nope, they definitely weren't Matt said no...ha!    A year later, they now have their beautiful Minah.   Adoption has a way of creeping up on you if you don't watch out!  Anyway, thanks Beth for being my "Adoption BFF".   I was glad I had someone to share the fun and excitement with.   Now Beth is my "go to" when I need to hear another adults voice during my child-centered days.   I just give her a call and what do we talk about, but the kids.
Lastly, I wanted to give you one of my favorite advocacy blogs.  Erin's blog is known by many and she does a great job advocating for children that are being passed over.   She advocated for Pam's Anna and for our Kai.    We had to ask her to stop advocating for him because we had already put in for Kai but China was punishing us for not signing our papers that we would take Kai.   We thought we had more time then we did to review his medicals and we were waiting for information from the orphanage before we committed to him.   In turn, China said that they would release Kai back onto the open list and if he was still their in 15 days we could then lock his file.   I left it to God and obviously Kai was meant to be ours.   I digressed, but I appreciate all the hard work that Erin puts into her blog to advocate for these kids.   She also has the most adorable family that she shares pictures on her blog.    



Here is a quick funny story about Dan.   Last Saturday I went to visit my dad who lives several hours away and Dan graciously stepped in to take care of the kids.  Throughout the day I would call and check in on Dan and the kids and they were doing great!  He had taken them bowling and invited his sister along with her two daughters and also included a friend of his, Cliff.   Okay, so the man is not stupid...he has to take care of the kids and surrounds himself with an army of caretakers.  As I am driving back to our house, I call Dan when I am about 10 minutes away and mention that I need to pick up Kai's medication.  Are things okay on the homefront?  Can I go run this errand now that I am back in the vicinity and the answer is "absolutely, everything is going great"   Mind you, Dan is now home alone with the kids.    So I run the errand, make a quick phone call to my mom and as I walk through the door of our house, Dan shouts "CODE RED! CODE RED!  GET OFF THE PHONE!  CODE RED!"  What?  What the heck is going on?   Dan shouts "KAI POOPED! AND IT IS ALL OVER EVERYTHING!"  Dan runs Kai over to me and throws him in my arms.  Ummmmm....he has not wiped this kid down...I now am a part of "everything" that has poop on it.    I wipe Kai down, take him upstairs and give him a bath.   When I come down Dan explains to me how the CODE RED transpired.   Dan had just gotten done feeding Kai.  Took him out of his high chair and thought he had food in his diaper...which by the way he does often.  He took his clothes off of him and when he took the diaper off it was full of POOP!   Dan was not prepared with any wet wipes or anything to wipe him down.  So he took paper towels and wiped him down...unsuccessfully I might add.   He said he turned away for a minute from Kai to turn back to see poop foot prints all over the kitchen floor.  Dan found Kai still walking around with a big chunk of poop stuck to the bottom of his foot!   CODE RED!  CODE RED!   Dan later said to me "Liz, you were like an Angel walking through that door." 

In the future I will have to implement the CODE RED and see who my angel is.   But I have to admit, it is nice to be needed, even if it is to wipe butts! 

The picture above is An exhausted Daddy and Kai after a CODE RED!


Fw: Whose Blog Are You Reading?

Most people who know me know that I love to read.  I love to know what other people are currently reading or what they have read in the past.   I love talking about books!   Well, it is kind of that way with blogs now.  I notice when I talk with people in the adoption community I love to know whose blog they are reading.   So, I have been thinking that I would share with you some of the blogs that I enjoy reading and what I enjoy about them.    
I was really surprised when I came across this family's blog because they adopted a child that I thought about asking for her file before we accepted Kai's file and they are from Minnesota.   So it was fun for me to see where she landed and how she is doing.   The blog has absolutely beautiful pictures because her mom is a photographer.  The pictures alone keep bringing me back to the blog.   I really think Diana, the mom, is extremely eloquent and really speaks from her heart in a very thoughtful and thought provoking way.   There have been so many times that I wanted to link her blog to mine and just write "yeah...what she said"  And then tell people to insert Bei and Kai's name where appropriate.   But I figure people would not only think that was very lazy on my part but insincere.  Oh well...read her blog anyway and insert Bei and Kai's name in where she talks about how blessed and rewarded she is etc. etc.   
There are 3 reasons why I enjoy reading these two blogs.  The first reason is that I love how youthful both these mom's look.  They look like they are one of the kids rather than the mom...I think I am envious.   Being the "old mom" is never fun, but looking like the "old mom" is even worse!   ISo these two young looking lady's are not that much younger than me, but you wouldn't know it.   Secondly, I am awed and amazed at how many kids they have and...how young they look!   Bei aged me at least 5 years and Kai...oh my gosh...I don't even look in the mirror anymore when I put on my make-up.  The funny thing is that Amy from 4 our kiddos just got back with her 6th child and Stephanie I think is going on number 10 or 11.  A friend once told me that you are only as happy as your most miserable kid!  Yikes, with 10 kids what does that mean?   I have two kids and I feel like I am chewed up and spit out at the end of the day.  I have had a 1 year old give me an arse whooping for the past 12 months, so I think these women are amazing!   The 3rd reason is that their blogs are usually happy and upbeat and both take beautiful pictures.
Both of these are non-adoption blogs that I enjoy.   If the Clover Lane woman wrote books I would buy every single one of them.   She has this practical sense about her that you just can't find anymore. At times I feel that she is speaking to me directly and so much of what she writes about parenting resonants with me.   One of my favorite lines that she said is that when  people think you are crying about the apples, they don't know it is really the oranges that have gotten to you.   I just love that saying because I have always felt that when I have cried I am really crying about things that have been bottled up for a long time and now I finally have a reason to cry and so I am going to let it all out.  Silly...I know!      Anyway, I enjoy her blog very much.
You all may have heard of the Pioneer Woman because she has been on the Food Network and has several cookbooks.   Most of you know that I love to cook and most recently I decided I would follow Ree's recipe's just to change things up a little bit.    I made the Shrimp Quesdilla's, which were to die for!  And then made the meatballs with pineapple and green peppers.  The meatballs were delicious but the sauce wasn't as good.   So I would make the meatballs again and use them in another dish.  
To be continued...