Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who's Paranoid? Not Me. Who Said That???

Paranoid? Not me? Who's that?

So you post something on China one time. Just ONE TIME. And you log on to find this.

Referring Link No referring link
Host Name
IP Address
Country China
Region Liaoning
City Shenyang
ISP Cncgroup Liaoning Province Network
Returning Visits 0
Visit Length 3 mins 51 secs
Browser MSIE 5.0
Operating System Windows 98
Resolution 800x600
Javascript Enabled

Paranoid? Not me. I wonder what they wanted? How did they find me? Oh gee,,, we're in trouble now.....

The Stork is Flying

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before September 8, 2005

Congratulations to all the new families...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As China Emerges So Too Will Alyzabeth An's Parents

I was hesitant to post this. Not that my thoughts are breaking any new ground. Nothing that spectacular. Still, I hesitated.

A couple of reason for this. One, because it's somewhat personal and just my opinion. Two, because I'm not crazy about collecting flames back from those who somehow get whacked by what I write. And three, because I worry it may come true. However, I did email these thoughts to a friend of ours who is presently adopting their second child from China. His is a very popular blog and rightly so. I couched my thoughts as a mental dumping and offered an apology upfront for using him as my landfill. He's very tolerant that way. As always he provided an insight ladened with morsels of thoughts and considerations that helped me shape a collective grasp of what may and may not come to be. It's nice to have someone that can offer their opinion and leave you feeling comfortable as you peel the layers of their words back one at a time releasing every splendor of reasoning. All without feeling as though you have to defend your original thought.

So, at this friends suggestion and against my better judgement (always questionable) I share...

Greetings J,

One of the major motivations for choosing China as our adoption country of choice was the more circulated belief that biological parents from China would not/could not/will not suddenly appear on your doorstep requesting or demanding "their" child back. If not back, then at the very least, demanding an "open and acknowledged recognition" as my child's bio parents.

Let's be clear about something here. We do not want an open adoption. Note I said we. We, as in Alyson & Ford, speaking not only for ourselves but also for Alyzabeth An as well. It's what We want. I make this most obvious of points only to clearly acknowledge our understanding that Alyzabeth An may choose an entirely different perspective once she comes of age.

It would have to come as a complete surprise only to one who has cut off all ties to the outside world to not have witness the near phenomenal emergence of China into the everyday facet of modern world affairs. This emergence of China as one of the world's center stage players is easily seen accelerating as time moves forward. China's course towards its future is one of continued immense growth. A growth that will not be measured solely in the economic gains of its commerce. Nor limited to military might. A growth not limited only to the powers of a ruling party.

As China emerges so too will Alyzabeth An's parents…

The awakening and orchestrated march of China onto the world scene is destined to sweep up and carry the populace with it. More importantly, as it relates to this discussion, the people of China are changing as China changes. I know how dumb that last sentence sounds. Why would they not? Could the rulers of China stop its own people from interacting in a more open and free world? Of course they could. Still, with each passing calendar (and fiscal) year it becomes harder and harder for the leaders of China to maintain the iron grip of control. Not impossible to do but in doing so the powers would risk breaking the cycle of growth and emergence. Enacting the controls of old would force the West to throw up token sanctions demanding recognition of human rights while treading softly around military confrontations and ushering in economic trade chaos at home. The West and East each lose in that scenario. It now appears that each side cares more than ever in finding ways to accommodate rather than alienate. Time will tell.

So how does any of this relate to our adoption? This is where I reveal my simple way of thinking. It is also where I once again thank you for allowing me to subject you to my ramblings.

For now the IAP's of Chinese children have the Chinese government working on their behalf to ensure confidentiality. Laws are in place to "discourage" Chinese parents from having large families (if more than one qualifies as large) and with that comes an increase in the abandonment of children. One's gain, the others loss. The sweet & sour of IA we talk about but don't really want to think about. Add to the mix that abandonment is illegal and the Chinese culture is somewhat less than enthusiastic about adoption makes it all the more plain why the bio parents are reluctant to openly place or seek children for domestic adoption. It helps to explain why they purposefully do not seek out information or attempt to reclaim "their" children housed in the orphanage system. For the BP's - it's a door slammed shut. For the IAP's it's a door left ajar. A door for folks like Alyson & Ford to squeeze through…

This could change. I believe it will change. Not soon, as in real soon. But it will change… And when it does the key to bio discovery is already available.


Already worldwide agencies exist in helping biological parents and adopted children "find" one another. Someday the closed door of DNA science will be available to the people of China and when it does the BP's will register and many of our adopted children will register and many of those closed doors will be opened. What many IA parents thought to be a virtual impossibility will in fact become more of a probability. I want to understand that and be prepared for it. As best one can.

As China emerges so too will Alyzabeth An's parents…

Thanks for listening J. I didn't write this to sound all gloom and doom. A sentiment I acknowledge not shared by all. I'll still be Alyzabeth's dad. More importantly, I want to be Alyzabeth's dad. IA is an answer to a prayer for us. Alyson and I may never face the family challenge I've outlined. I just want to make sure my eyes are open to better prepare my heart for a potentially very large bump along this wild and wacky but totally rewarding road known as international adoption.

Later, Ford

Post Script: At a later time I may post some of J's insights he emailed back to me - with his approval of course. Better yet, maybe he will write more on this subject on his blog.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Significance of the Number

In science
The atomic number of neon
The number of carbon atoms in decane, a hydrocarbon.
The number of spacetime dimensions in superstring theory.

Messier object M10, a magnitude 7.5 globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus.
The New General Catalogue object NGC 10, a magnitude 12.5 spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor
The Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on -2467 February 28 and ended on -1169 April 18. The duration of Saros series 10 was 1298.1 years, and it contained 73 solar eclipses.
The Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on -2454 June 17 and ended on -1138 August 15. The duration of Saros series 10 was 1316.2 years, and it contained 74 lunar eclipses.

In religion
People traditionally tithed one-tenth of their produce. The practice of tithing is still common in Christian churches today, though it is disputed in some circles as to whether or not it is required of Christians.
In Deuteronomy 26:12, the Torah commands Jews to give one-tenth of their produce to the poor (Ma'aser Ani). The commentaries derive from this and from an earlier verse (Deut. 14:22) that a Jew is obliged to give one-tenth of all his earnings to the poor [1].
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Plagues
The Ten Days of Repentance
The Ten Martyrs
There are said to be Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (those other than Judah and Benjamin)
There are Ten Sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life
The Torah records 10 generations between Adam and Noah, and 10 generations between Noah and Abraham
It takes 10 men or boys over the age of 13 to make a minyan for communal prayer

In money
There are ten cents in a U.S. or Canadian dime, itself one tenth of a dollar. The word was shortened from decime.
The denomination of Canadian paper money bearing a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister.

In masonry
10° - Elu of the Fifteen (Illustrious Elect of the Fifteen)
This degree teaches us to be tolerant and respect the opinions of others. Freedoms of political and spiritual ideologies should be shared by all. The apron of the 10th degree is white, with a black flap, and with three arch-shaped gates - over each a head on a spike. The jewel of this degree is a dagger as in the 9th degree.

In music
The interval of a major or minor tenth is an octave plus a major or minor third.
Ten is the title of several albums:
10 (The Stranglers album), by punk rock band The Stranglers
Ten (Y&T album), by heavy metal band Y&T
10 (LL Cool J album), by hip hop artist LL Cool J
Ten (Pearl Jam album), by rock band Pearl Jam
Ten (cLOUDDEAD album), by rap group cLOUDDEAD
Ten (Astral Projection album), by goa trance group Astral Projection
10 (Kate Rusby album), by British folk musician Kate Rusby
The X Factor (album), by British metal band Iron Maiden
10 (Asleep at the Wheel album), by country band Asleep at the Wheel
#10 (The Guess Who album), by rock band The Guess Who
10 (Timbiriche album), by Latin pop group Timbiriche
10 (Wet Wet Wet album), by pop stars Wet Wet Wet
Ten (Blitzkrieg album), by heavy metal band Blitzkrieg
10 (Enuff Z'Nuff album), by power pop band Enuff Z'nuff
010 (Mad Capsule Markets album), by punk rock band The Mad Capsule Markets
Ten (Ten album), by British melodic rock/hard rock band Ten
10 (John Anderson album), by country musician John Anderson
Ten (DJ dB album), drum n bass artist DJ dB
X Def Leppard's tenth album, simply titled "X", was released in July 2002.
Ten Soul/R&B singer Brian McKnight

In sports
In chess, each side can promote all eight pawns to have a total of ten bishops, knights, or rooks.
In rugby union the fly-half wears the 10 shirt.
In blackjack, the Ten, Jack, Queen and King are all worth 10 points.
In a bowling alley 10 pins are arranged in a triangular pattern.
In soccer, the jersey number of many of the best players, especially players from South America. Soccer legend Pelé instilled great prestige in the number in the 1960s and 70s, and perhaps other greats such as Argentina's Diego Maradona, France's Zinedine Zidane and today's Brazilian star Ronaldinho chose the number for that reason. FIFA declined to retire the number at Argentina's request in 2001.
The highest score possible in Olympics competitions.
In cricket, 10 is the number of wickets required to be taken by the bowling side for the batting side to be bowled out
In Australian rules football, considered the break even amount of games won in a regular 22 game season, especially by Richmond coach Terry Wallace.

In technology
Driving a racing car at ten-tenths is driving as fast as possible, on the limit.
Ten-codes are commonly used on emergency service radio systems.
Ten refers to the "meter band" on the radio spectrum between 28 and 29.7 MHz, used by amateur radio.
ASCII and Unicode code point for line feed
In MIDI, Channel 10 is reserved for unpitched percussion instruments.
In the Rich Text Format specification, all language codes for regional variants of the Spanish language are congruent to 10 mod 256.
In Mac OS X, the F10 function key tiles all the windows of the current application and grays the windows of other applications.
The IP addresses in the range (meaning the interval between and is reserved for use by Private networks by RFC 1918.

In other fields
Increasing a quantity by one order of magnitude is most widely understood to mean multiplying the quantity by ten.
The number of theatrical Star Trek films that have been released so far.
A collection of ten items (most often ten years) is called a decade.
A decapod crustacean has ten limbs.
To reduce something by one-tenth is to decimate. (In ancient Rome, the killing of one in ten soldiers in a cohort was the punishment for cowardice or mutiny; or, one-tenth of the able-bodied men in a village as a form of retribution, thus causing a labor shortage and threat of starvation in agrarian societies.)
With ten being the base of the decimal system, a scale of 1 to 10 is often used to rank things, as a smaller version of a 1-to-100 scale (as is used in percentages and wine-tasting).
Blake Edwards' 1979 movie 10.
Something that scores perfectly is "a perfect ten". A person who is attractive and physically flawless is often said to be "a ten", from the idea of ranking that person's appearance and sex-appeal on a 1-to-10 scale. For example, in the movie 10 Bo Derek is supposedly a "10" on that scale.
Counting from one to ten before speaking is often done in order to cool one's temper.
In astrology, Capricorn is the 10th astrological sign of the Zodiac.
In Chinese astrology, the 10 Heavenly Stems, refer to a cyclic number system that is used also for time reckoning.
The ordinal adjective is denary.
An online show hosted by Microsoft [2]
Ben 10 is a show about a boy that can transform into 10 aliens.
There is a practical joke where you ask someone to spell: "I-D-ten-T". It comes out looking like the word idiot: ID10T.
In tarot, card no. 10 is "the Wheel of Fortune"

Ten is:
Number of kingdoms in Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
House number of 10 Downing Street
The number of Provinces in Canada
The designation of United States Interstate 10, a freeway that runs from California to Florida.
A Japanese comic: Ten
Number of dots in a tetractys.

In Adoption
The number of months since our LID.

Alyzabeth An, every parent to be says it and so shall we. Never doubt that we will be coming for you as soon as we can. Never Ever Doubt It...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

More family Photos

Just in case the family hasn't seen enough photos, here's the rest of the story......

We had several homemade pies from Christa (first time pie maker with homemade crust!), Angie, Charlotte and Leaa (DD) plus new desserts like "Cracker Candy", Rice Krispy Treats and a chocolate cake by DD. What a beautiful display and delicious too!

The bottom photo is my parents at their home in Maine with the newest great-grand-baby, Brandon (about 7 weeks old) and his parents Jamie (DN) & Ryan.

Family Photos

Can't get enough of the Thanksgiving photos. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Quilt Update - Solid Border Fabric Chosen

The color is honeydew, a light green with yellow undertones. The pictures aren't the best but Ford and I both like the color. I loved my mother's comment about trying to find her quilt square (hint: look in the lower right corner of the photos). That is part of the fun. I can't wait to have the completed quilt (thanks to my MIL Joy) and the scrapbook detailing the wishes that accompanied each fabric square. This project is a great pick me up after all the endless "waiting time". We will be also be making pillow shams with the additional squares we have.

OHGWQ - Arranging the Quilt Blocks

With MIL here this weekend (and she is an accomplished quilter), I began the arranging of the quilt blocks. You can see that the pool table "top" used for the dining table on Thanksgiving Day has become a useful working table!!
I really thought we would take off the pool top in order to play pool yesterday, but have decided to keep it on for Christmas tasks.
Working with MIL, I have many tasks to do just to get the fabric squares ready for the quilt.

The top picture shows the center of the quilt with an embroidered sign language that means "I love you". This square is from DH's sister who is a professional sign language interpreter and teacher. The lower two pictures are close ups of the bottom portion of the quilt (see other post for a couple more pictures looking from the top of the quilt down toward the center).

Most are 8 inch squares with about a dozen that are 7 inches. I will use all the 8" squares cut down to 7 1/2" for the quilt, then I will use the smaller squares to be pillows or pillow shams. We also decided on a plain, solid light green (with yellow undertones) for the border and "prairie points". My MIL makes lots of quilts and offered to assemble, quilt and add the prairie points (see separate post for pictures). What a gift!! Can't wait to see the final arrangement of squares.
If you are one of the family members who has not yet sent in a square and wishes card, please send as we will make two pillows (or shams) which will have all the remaining squares, so a few more would be great.

Thank you to all who sent me squares.
I do have some extra fabric and wishes, so would love to contribute to someone else's quilt. Just send an email.

Love to you all. Lizzy's quilt now seems like a reality.

More OHGWQ Pictures

Here's pictures looking from the top towards the bottom of the quilt layout. Let the sewing begin!!

Quilting - Prairie Points

Don't know if everyone knows what prairie points are on a quilt. Here is a picture of a quilt made and given to DH and I by MIL. She sews on the points all around the border!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 Family Photo

We gathered. We visited. We ate. We survived.

Happy Thanksgiving From Our Family To Yours...

Happy Thanksgiving (again)!!

M&D from Maine surprised us with a centerpiece for our table today. The flowers will be enjoyed and the candle lit for dinner.
Thank you!

From Our Family To Yours

Alyson & Ford

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Grand-Baby Girl Pictures! She has teeth!

Isn't she adorable?

This Says it All!! Waiting on China!

We love you Lizzy-girl.
Love, Mommy & Daddy

(thank you

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Starting To Take Shape...

We told you about our friends Larry & Charlotte who custom made us a top to fit over our pool table providing us with a way to comfortably seat 14 people. With our regular dining room table able to sit an additional 8 people we are pretty much set on seating. Aly bought fabric and made a new tablecloth for the pool table. One of the coolest things she had done is with the homemade name place settings using leaves she collected while visiting her parents in Maine. Tons more to do but slowly but surely things are coming together. We have 3 turkeys resting in the refrigerator waiting to be brined. Two will be smoked and the third will get a more traditional roasting.

Come on Thanksgiving. This should be fun. We only hope the weather cooperates allowing us to all go outside for a group hug photo and a few boat rides. We're expecting around 25 friends and family members all together... Too much fun.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cool But Sunny Day On The St Johns River

We ventured out to the end of the dock to sip some hot coffee and catch a few minutes of "reading" time. We snapped a couple of pictures to brush up on the self-timer to use on Thanksgiving Day. After viewing a couple of my efforts Alyson made me put the camera away...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations (Includes the Pool Table)

With over 20 guests expected for Thanksgiving Dinner, including our dear friends L&C, we asked them if we might borrow their ping pong table top to put on our pool table in order to transform it into a large dining table.

L&C used to do this each year on their pool table for large holiday dinners. They agreed and we were setting the date in which to fetch the huge and heavy top.

Low and behold, they went to retrieve it from their storage area and decided it would be way too much work to unearth it (another way of saying that after not using it for a few years, it had become an integral part of their working/storage area).

Enough said; so what did they do? They made us a new custom table top for our pool table in one weekend. The "genius" of the family (sorry CK!), bought the material, designed a three piece, light weight, locking top with supports and edging all in soft "bumper" material so no damage could possibly happen to the felt on the pool table. L even included shims to level the table top if needed. Can you believe this?

This is a huge gift that will be wonderful to use over and over again!! Merry Christmas to us!!

What a thoughtful and unbelievable gift!! Thank you all so much!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Aerial Tribe Video Party

Our SIL Jesse and his band Aerial Tribe just recently returned from touring the east coast and NYC. This past Sunday they held a Video Party at the recording studio playing to countless friends, family and supporters as they belted out 22 songs in making a new video/soundtrack DVD. Ah but to be that young. Have that much energy. To be that talented...

You sounded great Aerial Tribe!

Jesse's sister Cara did a little video taping of her own :)