All of our hard work over the last few months is finally on it's way to China as of yesterday! Yea! I am so happy. We are waiting to hear our LID (log-in-date of dossier) and then we will be officially waiting for LOA from the Chinese government (FINAL approval to adopt our baby). LOA is taking an average of 51 days right now but I think it will be slowed down by the holidays, especially Chinese New Year which happens at the beginning of February, so we will see how long it actually takes. Pray for a speedy LOA for us! Merry Christmas!
So you remember how I said I went to get fingerprinted and I have no prints and they were going to fail and we have been waiting for a MONTH to find out so we can send our dossier to China? I prayed and prayed that my prints would pass because this is taking longer than usual anyway and we don't want to wait to get re-fingerprinted. Well, prayers are answered!
I got the letter in the mail today and everything passed! I am so grateful and happy! Next step: Dossier to China! Woo Hoo!
On a side note:
A woman just barged into my house and sold me a box of steak meat for for a large chunk of change. She should get saleswoman of the year! There was never a question, I was taking that meat!
One thing I have learned in researching adoption for the past 3 years is that there are a lot of ethical concerns in adoption. At least for me there are. I guess that is one of the reasons it has taken us so long to adopt. We probably could have had a baby 3 years ago if I didn't research everything so much and question everything so much and worry about the rightness or the wrongness of everything so much. But at what cost? I can only guess, but I am so glad that I took time to learn about the "issues" and then make an educated decision. (None of this is to say that I am by any means an expert on the topic. I still have so much to learn.) I really feel like we are going into this with our eyes wide open and with a willingness to learn all that we need to so we can be good adoptive parents.
There are a lot of things that go on in adoption that Steve and I are just not comfortable with. We spent a lot of time talking and deciding what we would be OK with or not. The following are some ethical concerns I have read about and my feelings about them. (PLEASE do not be offended if you have adopted or are planning on adopting and any of these things are a part of your adoption story, I am NOT judging you if this is the case. We all have to do what we feel best about and that is different for everyone. Also, some things that we don't feel comfortable with right now, could later change if we developed more knowledge or experience on that subject. You just never know.)
1. Open adoption 2. Race based adoption fees 3. Utah adoption laws 4. International adoption 5. Trans-racial adoption
I will break these issues down into separate posts, starting tomorrow.
The person who wrote the post was at a conference where a talk was given on the subject and she recounts what she remembers about the talk. The person who gave the talk is Amy Eldridge who works to help "orphans" in China. She comments at the end of the article and adds some more information which is really good, so scroll down to see the comments if you are interested.
I wasn't sure if I could post the entire article or not so I just copied the link. I like the whole article except the last part rubbed me wrong. Here are the misconceptions, you can read what she wrote if you go to the article. My comments are in parenthesis below.
1. Birth mothers are all teenagers. (We were surprised to learn that the average age of birth mothers who place through LDS Family Services is 25 years old.)
2. Open adoption is confusing to kids. (I have done a lot of reading on this and I wholeheartedly agree that open adoption is best for everyone involved. I am really sad that our baby from China will not have ANY info on her birth family.)
3. They hate girls in China. (The issue of abandonment of babies in China is a very complex one, I will post more on this later.)
4. Black babies are the latest trend among celebrities.
5. Adoptive parents are saintly for adopting.
6. Adopted kids are lucky. (I have heard people say that adopted kids should be more grateful to their parents, etc. It makes me so mad! Have you ever met a kid who is grateful for their parents? At least not until they have kids of their own!)
7. Adoption costs a lot of money and only rich people can afford it.
8. There is a high level of risk that once adopted, a child will be given back to/taken back by biological family members.
9. Birth mothers are saintly for placing their children in adoption. OR Birth mothers are demons for getting pregnant unintentionally/being “unfit”/not loving their children enough to raise them.
10. Adoption is the opposite of abortion. As long as we have one, we don’t need the other. (Well, I'll just say that I don't agree with abortion except in extreme circumstances and then it is a very personal decision that I would not judge.)
Australia - cried Baby Mama - laughed Benjamin Button - enjoyed Juno - cried and laughed Martian Child - loved it The Blind Side - inspiring August Rush - looooved the music Meet the Robisons - need to see it About a boy - need to see it Despicable Me - does this count? They did get adopted. :)
So on Monday we got our invitation in the mail from US immigration (USICS) to be fingerprinted. They gave us an appointment for Nov. 24th. Do you actually think we could sit around waiting over 2 weeks to be fingerprinted? No way! So on Tuesday Steve and I drove across the valley, waltzed into the local fingerprinting office and nicely asked if we could be fingerprinted. They didn't bat an eye or mention anything about our appointment being later in the month. I was very relieved as I have heard of people being yelled at in certain offices for trying this. It also helped that there were no other "customers" in the office and the government employees were all just watching TV.
So Steve goes first, they fingerprint him and he sits down. Smooth sailing. Then it's my turn, she takes my hand, gets my fingers wet and presses them to the screen (it's all digital). Then she says: "Hmmm, you don't have fingerprints." Excuse me, what?
It turns out, I have plumb worn off my fingerprints. The credit goes to my impeccable hand washing for which Steve is constantly telling me I do too much of. I also have a theory that the hand sanitizer we use at work is completely toxic and has melted the prints right off my fingers. I have to wonder what else it is doing to me. I wonder if I could get workers comp for this. ??
Long story short, I now have to wait to see if the prints pass muster (which I am sure they won't), wait for the letter saying I failed and to come get fingerprinted again, which I will fail again, then wait for the letter saying they failed again, and then I will have to go get a letter from Sandy City saying I am not a troublemaker, and send that in. Then we will get our I-800A approval.
Don't you love the logic of the government? Like do they really think I am just going to grow new prints in the next few weeks?
Isn't she darling?! We sure think so. We have not picked out a name yet but are getting close. She is 7 months old right now. We figure she will be a little over one year old when she joins our family.
We are so excited and wish we could go to China right now but we are trying to be patient and have lots to do in the meantime to get ready.
We appreciate every one's excitement and support for us. We would love prayers for her and for our paper work to get done speedily. Thank you so much!
Adopting through the China special needs program is different than the original program where you put all your paperwork in and then are given a referral for a healthy, baby girl. In the special needs program there are, as far as I can tell, just as many boys as girls. They are from about 7 months all the way to 13 years old, when they reach age 14 they are no longer allowed to be adopted. They have problems ranging from an unsightly birthmark, missing digits, cleft lip/palate all the way to HIV+ and severe heart defects. Any kind of medical condition or "abnormality" that you can imagine would fall under the SN category. Also, sometimes just the fact that they are older kids is considered a special need.
In July, we received a packet from Wasatch with pages and pages of contracts to sign before we could get started. It took us a few weeks to get through the contracts and for Steve to feel good about signing them. We checked around and made sure they were standard adoption contracts and we also made sure there were no red flags in the contracts like a gag clause (something that would prevent us from saying anything about the agency if anything went wrong.)
When we were done with those, they had to be notarized and then sent in with a big chunk of change. At this time we also filled out a form with about 100 different medical conditions, and we checked off a box if we were open to adopting a child with that condition. I wrote up a thing with an explanation of all the conditions and a basic description of what they were and then Steve and I filled out separate forms individually. Then we got together to see which conditions we were together on. It was interesting to see how we were mostly on the same page but there were a few conditions that we each had that the other did not have. For example Steve put deafness was OK and I was floored! He thought it would be cool if we all learned sign language. I said no thanks to that! (Although I would do it if I had to, I just think we will have enough on our plates without having to learn sign language!) I thought a missing limb was OK but Steve wasn't too comfortable with that. We came up with all the conditions we both agreed on and made a master which we sent into the agency so they could start looking for a child who fit into our criteria of age and special need.
In this program, you can be matched with a child before you pick an agency and start the process, or at any stage in the process. Our plan was to not match with a child until we were DTC (dossier to China) because we knew it would be hard to wait so long having a name and a face to put with our child.
After the contracts were signed, we were sent a CD with 2 manuals on it. One manual was to explain the entire paperwork process, it was 200 pages long! The other manual was our mandatory 10 hours of education that every international adopting family is required to do, it was also 200 pages. In addition to reading the 200 pages of education we had to answer questions that turned out to be about 10 pages worth of answers. It took us way longer than 10 hours but was all very good information and we are glad we had to do it. We learned a lot!
At this stage we were gathering all of our life's history of documents, doing our education and having our home study visits completed. The home study was finally written up and completed the first week of October, and then had to be notarized. Then, it was sent to us and we mailed it with a bunch of documentation to the US immigration service, called USCIS, who will give us permission to bring an "orphan" into the US. Before we can get that permission we have to be fingerprinted. We are going to get fingerprinted this week and hopefully will have our approval soon after. That is the stage we are in right now. In the meantime, while we are waiting for our approval, a whole packet of our documents is at the state capital and Chinese embassy getting authenticated by each. As soon as we get our approval, we will send all those authenticated documents, called our dossier, to China. Then we will be DTC!
After we are DTC, we wait for our LOA (letter of acceptance), then we have to file some other stuff with the US government, then we have to wait for another approval from China, then we will get an invitation to travel (TA) and pick up our child! Travel is usually 2-3 weeks after TA so we won't have much time to book our travel arrangements. This is it in a nutshell and I have not researched it all that far ahead so I might be over simplifying it. Also, it seems like it will only be a short while from DTC until TA but it can be 6-8 months. Bummer. We hope it goes faster but we don't want to be disappointed so we are trying not to be overly optimistic.
Coming tomorrow... pictures! And our story of being matched before DTC.
The rest of 2009 was pretty uneventful. We had a few calls from our case worker about some possible situations but nothing ever came of them. We are really grateful to our case worker, we really feel that she was trying pretty hard to find a situation that would work for us. At the beginning of this year (2010), we had a home study update and our case worker came to our house to talk to us. I told her that I really felt like we were done, this was not how we were going to grow our family. She asked if we wanted to stay in the system and I told her sure, why not, but I wasn't holding my breath.
In January I received an email from my cousin's wife Allison, they live in Shanghai, China. She expressed that she had been thinking of us and told me about some people she knew who did foster care for Chinese babies who had special needs or medical conditions. She said that many of the babies special needs were very mild, some were more serious, but that they were all eventually going to be adopted through the special needs program. She gave me a name of someone who works at an agency here in Utah and her email and told me if we were interested, we should contact her for more information.
I thought I had nothing to loose so I sent the contact person an email requesting more information about the special needs China program. She immediately sent me the information for the program and told me the program would take about 1 year, start to finish. Steve and I talked about it and that was it.
Around May I was feeling really frustrated. It was time to do something or just move on. After all, we have Zack and he is great and life is sooo much easier the older he gets. Just think of all the fun we could have traveling! I decided to write up all of our options and then Steve and I sat down and wrote out all the pro's and con's together. Some of our options were: -quit everything and move on -stay on with LDSFS -use a private domestic adoption agency -go through an international agency (then I listed all the country programs we had considered like Africa, China, Korea, Haiti, Taiwan).
I told Steve since I had researched everything for the last 3 years and I was comfortable with all of the options in one way or another, that he needed to decide which one he was most comfortable with. Then we would "think on it". If that option didn't seem to be good, we would move on to his 2nd choice and on down the list.
Steve was quick to say that he liked the idea of adopting from China, since that had been our original desire 3 years ago anyway. I liked his reasoning. After thinking about it for some time, we decided to do it!
I started to research a few agencies, and by June I had it narrowed down to two, one of which was Wasatch International, the agency my cousin had recommended. In July we decided to go with Wasatch and signed up with them officially. We decided to keep it a secret because it takes so blasted long and we were tired of talking about adoption with people. We decided we would tell everyone when we were matched with a child! (Kind of like when you are pregnant and you don't tell anyone until you are far enough along to be comfortable telling people.)
So, why am I telling you this story if we weren't going to tell until we were matched?
At first we got some emails from potential birth parents, but mostly they were scammers looking for trouble and money. It wasn't too hard to spot them. Of those who seemed more legit we would never hear back from them after their initial contact. In May of 2009 our caseworker called us and told us she had a situation to present and were we interested. The details were that the birthmother was in prison, she was due to deliver in July and had no family that could take the baby until she finished her minimum 5 years. She had two older pre-teen children and she was 38 years old. She was in prison for having drugs in the house with her children. Our local LDSFS agency has a program where they go out to the prison to help expectant mothers decide what to do. She approached them about placing her baby boy through their program even though she wasn't of the LDS faith. Our caseworker told us that when she talked to her and heard what kind of family she wanted, she immediately thought of us.
What did we think? We thought about it and we let her know we were interested in having our profile shown to this mother, we'll call her Sally. Our caseworker took a stack of profiles in and gave them to her to look over. She ended up choosing us and said she wanted to meet us in about one month.
So, we started preparing for a baby to come to our home. I did a little shopping and picked out colors for the nursery.
The day we were supposed to meet her at the prison I got an early morning call from our caseworker that Sally had changed her mind and didn't want to meet us. She was confused and wanted to look at other non-denominational agencies. (The word on the street is that private agencies somehow "pay" birthmothers when they place and that she wanted money. I don't know how an agency would be able to pay someone in prison but I am sure they could find a way.) Our caseworker (who was no longer our caseworker because she was Sally's caseworker and couldn't represent us both) talked her into meeting us. I was sick inside and had a really bad feeling.
We showed up at the prison, got checked in, got treated rudely by some guards and waited. She walked into the room and sat down at the table with her prison liaison and we with the caseworkers. We asked her if we could buy her a soda and she accepted. She was pretty and large with child and clearly very nervous, as were we. We had a nice chat and got to know each other a little. She told us she had our profile in her "room" and looked at it often, imagining what we were like. It wasn't a long visit, maybe 30 minutes and at the end she basically told us she was going to place her baby with us. I don't remember everything that was said, but she acted very interested in us and very sincere the whole time. We felt sorry for her.
When we left we felt better than we had that morning but we were still nervous. We decided to stop all preparations, we wouldn't paint the nursery or buy anything else until he was born. He was due in about one month. We planned to name him Samuel. Zack was VERY excited to be getting a brother and had helped pick his name.
Our old caseworker assured us that she didn't have time to switch agencies at that point as it was very hard to even get a phone call out of the prison let alone arrange meetings with other agencies. I prayed that she would deliver early so that she wouldn't have time to switch. I also prayed that if this wasn't meant to be our baby, that it wouldn't work out but that I sure did hope he was meant to be ours and that it would work out. I left it completely up to Heavenly Father and was hope full.
She didn't deliver early. That month was so hard! I was on pins and needles waiting for the call that would come 12 hours after he was born. Prison rules say the mother can only stay in the hospital for 12 hours and then has to go back to the prison and only then can they call the adoptive parents. Then we would have to go out to the prison for her to sign the papers 24 hours after birth and THEN, we could go get the baby at the hospital.
One week before his due date, Steve called our old caseworker to see if she had heard anything. She told him she was just about to call him with the news. Sally had switched agencies. We would not be getting the baby, some other family would. I was helping at a funeral when Steve called to tell me. I went in a room and cried and then I had to go back and spend the rest of the day feeding grieving people, while I silently grieved for the baby we would not have. I had dreams for weeks that she still wanted us to be the parents and the new agency was trying to find us! We were all very sad and Zack cried when I told him.
I feel peace about it now, even though it still makes me sad to think of it. I still think of that little baby boy and wonder how he is. I hope he got a really great family that Heavenly Father picked out for him.
I really want to start documenting our adoption journey and since this is the only journaling I do, it will be done here on this blog. I hope it is not too boring, but if it is you are welcome not to read it!
Almost exactly three years ago in 2007, we came to the conclusion that getting pregnant again was not going to happen easily. We had both been through tests, tried Clomid for four months (what a hormonal disaster: hot flashes and a feeling of psychosis), had artificial insemination at least 4 times, maybe 6 and been to an infertility specialist. The specialist met with us briefly, did no exam or tests and told us our only chance would be In-Vitro. Oh, and it would cost $12,000. We were not exited at that prospect and I figured the hormones required with In-Vitro would kill us all.
I immediately started looking into adopting from China. I mentioned it to Steve and he was interested too. After all my research I learned that the process was taking about 4 years and that we were not eligible anyway because you had to have been off of any anti-depressants for at least 2 years before you could apply. I was still taking those meds for extreme PMS (which has since been cured believe it or not) so we knew we would have to look elsewhere. It was disappointing.
Next I researched all the private adoption agencies in our area and called the ones that came recommended by friends. I was uneasy. None of them felt right but I figured I needed to do more research. Steve suggested we check out LDS Family Services. We called at the first of November and were told there was an information meeting on the 9th of that month. We showed up on the 9th and were given all the details of how the program worked. We felt like we should sign up with them and were told that we would have to take a two day class and pay $1000 and give a letter from our Bishop before we could proceed. It turns out the classes were offered 3 times per year and they happened to be that night and the next day, and they had room for us. We wrote out a check, called our bishop and cleared our schedules.
The classes were very informational and a great start to our journey. They had panels with adoptees, birth mothers, and adoptive parents. They had group sessions to talk about infertility and our grieving process. Steve and I both thought it was weird (not in a judgemental way) when the people in our groups cried when talking about their infertility. We just were not that devastated about it. We thought maybe it was because we had been blessed with having Zack, we really can't complain too much, even though we want more, we feel so lucky to have him!
With the classes completed, we began filling out form after form after form, telling everything about ourselves and our lives. Then we met with our case worker several times, she inspected our home and completed our home study. We choose pictures of ourselves and wrote a Dear Birth parent letter. The 1st of March 2008, our profile was published on LDSFS website for birth parents to view. We were ready and we waited.
One of the first things we learned in our adoption classes is that it's important to use proper adoption language which does not demean anyone in the adoption triad. Using the "negative" terms perpetuates the myth that adoption is second best. Using positive language shows that building a family through adoption is as valid as giving birth. (Nothing irks me more than when someone says: "her REAL mother...". What exactly is a REAL mother anyway?)
Negative Terms ***** Preferred Terms
Gave up her child for adoption ***** Placed her child for adoption Real parent/Natural parent ***** Birth parent/Biological parent Adoptive parent ***** Parent His adopted child ***** His child Illegitimate ***** Born to unmarried parents Adoptee ***** Child who was adopted To keep ***** To parent Adoptable child/Available child ***** Waiting child Foreign adoption ***** International adoption Track down parents ***** Search Unwanted child ***** Child placed for adoption Is adopted ***** Was adopted Birth Mother (before she has placed a baby) ***** Expectant Mother Reunion ***** Made contact with Give up/away the baby ***** Make an adoption plan or place the child
Did you know that November is national adoption awareness month? Well, it is. I am going to try and do a different post on adoption every day. Shoot for the stars right? (I'll be lucky if I get 4 posts, but I'm not going to let myself know I'm so pessimistic.)
As you may know, we have been trying to adopt for almost 3 years now, and during that time I have learned a lot about it, except for the part where you actually do it. I will try to share with you some of what I have learned in this months posts. Also stay tuned for some exciting news! I can't wait!
We remodeled our main bathroom last year and I am just getting around to posting pictures. Steve did all the work, demolishment, tile, re-textured the walls, paint, etc. Then we had a friend who custom built the cabinets. I think it turned out really well and I LOVE all the storage! Before: (1970's dark cabinets, golden counter, ugly wallpaper, linoleum floor, with NO storage and a long counter running the length of the room)
After: Updated for the year 2010! It might be my favorite room in the house.
Z: Mom, do you know one thing I am never going to do? Mom: What's that? Z: (Dramatically) MOUTH TO MOUTH RE-SOURCE-A-TATION!
Zack got home from school one day and he was having a snack and I was eating my breakfast (having just awoken from sleeping after my night shift.) I poured some cereal into a bowl and then poured what I thought was milk onto the cereal. Oops, I actually poured orange juice! I exclaimed loudly and lamented my lack of paying attention and went and poured it into the sink. Zack started laughing hysterically and said: "This is the best day of my life!" I was confused and asked why it was the best day? He replied: "Because this is the first time I have ever seen you make a mistake!" It really made me think how I would have reacted if the tables had been turned and also how I need to make absolutely sure that he sees me make mistakes more often. It was a really good lesson.
I probably shouldn't share this one but....
Eating dinner at McDonalds:
Z: Mom, you have a mustache! (Loud enough for everyone to hear. I think Steve almost choked on a nugget.)
Mom: speechless and mortified.
(Don't worry, I paid someone handsomely to smear really hot wax on my face and rip it out the next day. He will not be given the chance to say that again.)
Zack's school had their yearly spell-a-thon fundraiser. He asked some family members to pledge an amount per word that he got right. I pledged $1 per word. He was given a list of 25 2nd grade words and 25 3rd grade words. We practiced them for 3 weeks. The night before the test I gave him a pre-test and he got 6 wrong. The same 6 he had been getting wrong from the beginning. I told him not to worry, he would do great but I feared 100% would not be attained this year. He came home after the test and proudly announced that he got all 50 words correct! We are so proud of him and his diligent studying. What a smartie! He raised $100 total for his school.
Zack played flag football this year for the first time. I have to say it was my favorite sport so far. Just the right amount of action for Zack to stay interested but not be overstimulated. He was quite the little player and got more than a couple of touchdowns. It was awesome! I guess I am going to have to figure out the game if he's going to be playing it again.
He has also been taking golf lessons at school. Hopefully he and Steve can hit the "links" together soon! (Is that the right word?)
So we got back from our vacation late last night and I have a cold and have been taking it easy today. Zack and a friend wanted to have a lemonade stand so I told them to have at it and stayed out of the process.
Since this is Zack's first ever lemonade stand (he keeps telling me "it's not lemonade, it's Koolaid!") I thought I had better go take a picture. This is what I discovered when I went out there...
(Note the pitchers in laps and the stirring spoon in Zack's mouth)
I asked Zack's friend if he had been slurping Koolaid from his spoon too and he admitted he "might have". Trying not to laugh, I kindly let them know that they couldn't sell the "contaminated" juice but they could sure drink it themselves, to which they sadly replied that it tasted like water. I made them a new pitcher of Koolaid according to Health Department Standards and not too watered down and told them they could sell that batch. They tasted it (with a cup!) and found it to be delish and were excited for their first customer, who just happened to be the friends sister and her pal. The only other person I have seen out there has been the ice cream man. Probably checking out the competition!
**One night before baseball practice Steve was giving Zack the talk he gives him before every game or practice. It goes something like this: "Now I don't want any misbehavin' tonight at baseball. You need to listen to coach and no talking back. You need to pay attention and no goofing off." Then he added a new twist: "I want you to be a leader. Do you know what a leader is?" Zack's eyes got bright and he excitedly said: "Oh, you mean like Darth Vader?!" Hmmm.
Is it too late to bring him back from the dark side?
**Zack has been busy drawing his pet guinea pig Oreo. He got him for Christmas and he is sooo cute!
**Zack spent the other day with my mom. He usually cons her out of a lot of treats. This particular night he was invited by our next door neighbors to walk over to Dairy Queen with their family and the missionaries. I told him not to get anything too big, knowing he had eaten a lot of sweets that day. When he got home he was just finishing off an ice cream cone and then went out jump on the tramp. Later he came in looking very distressed. He told me he had a tummy ache and started crying. Then he started blubbering and confessed to eating 50 jelly beans at my moms and that he asked for a small ice cream cone but it was huge and covered in chocolate and he ate the whole thing and the cone too and he doesn't usually eat the cone but this time he did! The whole episode reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies Goonies. Remember when Chunk was crying and confessing to the Fratelli's? You can watch the clip here. Classic. I tried not to laugh, got him a bucket and a tums and put him to bed. He kept saying his stomach felt like it was "this big" and it was shrinking. I'm not sure what that means...
**The other day Zack's teacher sent home a note that said the kids were going to have a math store and they needed to bring 18 items to sell. I asked Zack what he wanted to sell and he just shrugged. I figured I would have to come up with something. Later we went to the new Hobby Lobby by our house (yea!) and he was inspired to make puffles and monster mice. He told me exactly what they would look like and be made of and chose the craft supplies all by himself. When I made some suggestions he said: "yeah, that's cool, but no thanks." We got home and he proceeded to hot glue 18 of these creatures all by himself without any prompting from me. They turned out really cute! I was able to help in his class the day of the math store and it was hilarious! Most of those kids had no concept of how to use money. I was the change giver and they would come give me a dollar and ask for a quarter. When I said they could have 4 quarters they looked at me like I was Santa. Some kids would come and give me the last of their money, say 4 pennies and ask for a quarter! They looked at me like I was really mean when I told them that wasn't going to work! Zack's creatures were a hit, he sold out really quickly and came running over to me and said: "I'm in business now! I'm all sold out!"
This is what the puffles and monster mice look like smooshed into my scanner - I can't find my camera
I have lost the blogging zest lately but I had a small collection of things Zack has said lately so I thought I would post them.
Z: Dad, you know my black hoodie? Dad: Yes? Z: Emma said she was attracted to it. ----------------------------
Mom: Zack have you washed your hair? (I have to remind him of every step in the shower or he just comes out wet, not clean and wet.) Z: (yelling) I hate that new shampoo! It stinks! It smells like daddy when he's been working! ----------------------------
Steve went out of town on business for one night. Zack was quite upset that he was gone and cried that he would miss him. Then at bedtime I tucked him in and he started crying again and said "he didn't leave me anything to remember him by!" So I asked if he would like to sleep with his dads pillow and he quite happily went to sleep after that. ----------------------------
Zack struggles with things that are hard. He would rather not try to do something if it's at all difficult. We have been working on this and it is very frustrating for both of us. One day he was crying and said "why does life have to be so hard?" Good question buddy. ----------------------------
Zack is always telling me about the girls at school. They like to chase him at recess and he told me one girl almost kissed him one day and he showed me how close she was to his face. On his birthday the whole class made cards for him. When he came home that day we read them together and it was all I could do not to laugh so hard. He told the class his favorite colors were red and blue, so everyone colored with red and blue. Then he told them his favorite animal was a manatee (who knew?) and a lot of them drew manatee's on their cards. One girl wrote: Emma likes you, Skyley likes you - te he. Another girl drew hearts all over and wrote: I love Zack. One boy wrote: Zack I like you. Pleeise be nise to me. We had a long talk about how we have to be nice to everyone, even if we think they are a little annoying. Zack loves school and his social interactions. ----------------------------
Zack has been playing on a basketball team for the last few weeks. All I can say is I need to start taking Valium before I go to the games. I have never had so much anxiety! Only one boy on their team has ever played before so they basically get creamed every game. Zack starts out really into it and seems to enjoy playing but by the second half he has given up and is just running around the court not paying attention to where the ball is. These kids on his team twirl around a lot and so he started doing it too. After his game this week Steve and I told him if he wants to sign up for ballet we would be happy to. He was not amused. Hopefully that will take care of it. (Not that there's anything wrong with male ballerinas!) -----------------------------
Zack had his 7th birthday a week ago. We do a big party every other year on the even years so this year I told him he could go to Classic with a friend or two and then we would have a family party. He invited his good friends Dresden and Logan and they spent a good 4 hours playing at classic and had a good time. The night before our family party he was saying his prayers and he prayed that he would get lots of good presents. I didn't say anything, when you're a kid it's OK to pray for that kind of stuff, right? -----------------------------
Zack just lost his 3rd tooth. Loosing teeth around here is traumatic. Eating is difficult. Pulling it is out of the question and the mere mention of it sends waves of fear and tears. Bribery doesn't work. We offered large sums of money to be done with it, but no amount was tempting enough. For a week it would bleed several times a day, causing panic and tears. On Thursday it was bad. According to Zack it was "squirting" blood. I think seeping would be more accurate. I kept finding bloody tissues around the house. I worried that he wouldn't be able to play in his basketball game that night. When I took him to theater class he refused to get out of the car and wouldn't stop crying. I said a silent prayer, at wits end. (Why is it that I only think to pray when I'm at wits end?) That evening, the tooth just fell out. Right before the game. Excitedly he exclaimed "my tooth fell out and I didn't even cry!" He repeats this line to everyone he tells the story too. I kindly leave out the part about how he cried for a whole week over that blasted tooth. Isn't the anticipation always worse than the actual event? -----------------------------
We love this little guy! Our lives would be so boring and meaningless without him. I have to remind myself to enjoy every minute because it is going by so fast and before we know it he's going to be all grown up.
"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy you". Dr. Wayne Dyer
Daisy - 15 months old
She loves the bath!
Daisy Yu Chen
Referral Picture - about 5 months old
Our Adoption Timeline
January 2010 - Cousin suggested China SN program, contacted Wasatch International, got info pack
May 2010 - Decided to start China SN adoption
July 2010 - Signed contracts with WIA (Wasatch)
August and September 2010 - Homestudy visits and education done
October 20, 2010 - Mailed I-800A October 27, 2010 - Received our referral October 28, 2010 - LOI sent November 2, 2010 - PA November 9, 2010 - Fingerprints done December 3, 2010 - I800A approval December 21, 2010 - Mailed Dossier Jan 10, 2011 - LID February 24, 2011 - LOA (45 days) March 3, 2011 - Sent I-800 March 21, 2011 - I-800 approval April 4, 2011 - NVC cabled April 20, 2011 - Article 5