Friday, July 31, 2009

I Blew Off Your Opinion. Not Your Question

“So, why China? Lots of kids in America need homes.”

“That’s true. You’ve adopted domestically?”

“Uh, well no. Our kids aren’t adopted.”

“You’re planning to adopt?”

“No. I was just wondering why you adopted from China.”

“Yeah, I caught that.”

Touchy? Sure. Thin Skinned? Like Paper. Ready To Let It Pass?

Don't Count On It...



*OK, I'm a slow healer. Every now and then I do go off on a rant. I'm doing better... :) Sort of.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Easy To Judge - If That's All You Do

We like to feature families presently In China Now on our blog sidebar.
Forever Family Day and all that goes in to making it happen is an unforgettable experience.

You would hope that everyone could share the joy and excitement these families are experiencing. Unfortunately, those who have adopted Internationally and those presently in The Wait know this is not always the case. Publicly sharing your journey opens you to the loving support of many and the harsh, often times, vile criticism of others.

Axis of Beebles follows the journey of a family bringing their 6 year old daughter home. A beautiful little girl challenged with multiple surgeries but a beautiful little girl who will be surrounded by the love of her Forever Family each step of the way...

I hesitated on linking the NY Times story about their journey. It's not the story. It's the comments left by a select few readers of the article. They are disturbing.
Try as I may, it takes every ounce of my being to contain my anger when those who in all likelihood have not adopted, take those of us who have, to task. How many times have I read or listened to people chastising Madonna for adopting and in my mind I am thinking; I'm not a huge Madonna fan but what are you doing to help a child? Are you adopting a foster child in America? Have you or are you in the process of adopting a child, foreign or domestic? Why is Madonna's and my decision to adopt more open to your critical review and rebuke than your decision to not adopt?

I'll stop. As is plain to see, I have my issues when it comes to "judging" those who have open their hearts to little ones. Adoptive families deserve no special accolades but they do deserve to experience and savor the immeasurable joy that comes from loving and raising their children. And as no two families are the same, neither are all families born from a single mold.

And that is a beautiful thing...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fundraiser - Reminder - Tell Her This

Bumping this reminder to the top of our blog..... Fundraiser with HUGE Giveaway prizes ends August 9th!

Please read our earlier post.... Kris has wonderful prizes and is in need of additional funds. Please help her out if you can. Thank you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Giveaway - Ends 07/30/09

Not much time left for this giveaway and it is a beautiful prize!

Check out Atlantic Beachlife blog for a chance to win a unique piece of jewelry with pearls.
Leave a comment every day plus checkout the Etsy shop of Nicholas Landon. I was coveting many of the pieces and may do some Christmas shopping on Etsy again.
Here's one of my favorite earrings:


Three Word Sunday is Back!

Do you remember the "Three Word Sunday" posts? This lovely lady organized it by making a weekly video of everyone's photos, so hop over to her blog and sign up. We really enjoyed it as it helped us stay in contact with mostly other waiting families. We participated several times, here's a few past posts.

Here's her instructions (plus a few other rules you need to read on her blog):
If we have enough participants, lets start the first 3 Word Sunday NEXT Sunday. So it would be SUNDAY AUGUST 2nd. Let me know if you are going to play along, if we don’t have enough players, I can’t make the movies, and LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU POST THE PICTURE.

Join the fun! Share the news!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Daddy is Home!

Enjoyed some time swimming today. AA missed her Daddy!

All smiles!

Friday, July 24, 2009

AA's Week With Nana

It was a great week with Nana Ann here to help with AA. I was able to continue working (partial week) while DH was out of State with the grown kids, visiting family. Big hugs and love to my Mom!
I will say I missed DH way too much to let him do that again (did that sound right?)! I took AA to Maine in February so I had her with me to give DH a little vacation, but we have decided that we will go on trips together from now on. AA misses him too much! I love traveling too, so we will need to plan so that I can get the time off from work.

Here's more pictures that Nana took while keeping AA busy for three - 14 hour days!! I think Nana did a great job!
Nana braided some of AA's hair; I think it looks great!

If you read our post about losing our little GC cat, you may notice that the Leggos set that my Mom bought for AA has a little gray cat in it. She went to Target the day we decided to take GC to the vet and did not know that this set (it was the only one there in AA's age range) had this cat in it. We had no idea about these Leggo set; thought we were buying a basic set. Coincidence? I think not!

My Mom asked AA if she used her shorts pockets and AA began chattering away and stuck her hands in the pockets..... so cute!

And now for our Starbucks Queen! We went to the playground/park this morning and there is a Starbucks in our little town.... we were so hot and tired (and wanted a clean potty!) so we HAD to stop for a snack...... and Air conditioning! Thank goodness! It is just too hot in Florida! A passion shaken unsweet iced tea for AA and an oatmeal cookie. Yummy!

Saturday and Sunday with Daddy - he's on his way home; YEAH!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photos of AA July 2009

My Mom is visiting this week as a favor to help with AA while DH is out of town. She (Nana) will have some one on one time with her granddaughter.
We do not have many pictures of Mommy, Daddy and AA so had Nana take a few (one which is in this post). She took these pictures; I think they are all keepers!

Sitting at her L.L. Bean picnic table (inside!):

Family photo.....

AA practicing her ISR techniques!

Our bathing beauty!

Have a great week!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rest in Peace My Little Gray Cat

We adopted our little gray cat and named her "GC" which went right along with our other cat's names at the time of CB (b. 1988 Coon Bait) and M&M (b. 1990 Maine & Missouri).

Since having GC (b. approx. 1993), we adopted the neighbor's cat "Chester" and then along came "OJ" (b. Dec. 1999, our orange-yellow cat). All adopted into our family.

Over the past few years, our cats have grown old and we have now lost our GC today. She has been ill over the past few months and had become frail. We felt it was best not for her to suffer any longer. She was a very sweet cat, following us around the yard, purring up a storm when we played with her.
Always a very hard decision. My Mom concurred; she was kind and offered to take GC; and held GC until the last seconds.
Only OJ remains in our household. (We had one very beloved Salty Dog, who passed recently too). Sad times.......

This was AA's first look at GC when we arrived home from China last September.

We have had our share of loving pets and all are sadly missed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Say It Forward - Week 26!

Mom Blogs

I participated in this 5 Minutes For Mom "Say It Forward - Carnival of Loyal Commenters" one time before, in February when I selected Kim B. as my first "Loyal Commenter".
It is time to recognize more of our "Imagine Alyzabeth An" commenters that have been with us for many years and a few new ones. Since they are on Week 26, I am going to play catch up and name several loyal commenter's.

From 5 Minutes For Mom:
Say it Forward is a weekly carnival where bloggers feature their loyal commenters!

Each blogger will write a post featuring one, two or three of their loyal commenters and then add that link to the carnival Mr. Linky at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Leaving a comment is like walking up to a new friend in the playground and introducing yourself. It is how we make friends in the blogosphere.

As I was researching my most loyal commenter's, I took a trip down memory lane!
We began our blog in September 2005, then DH decided to check out Wordpress which totally hosed our existing blog and then began this one in September 2006 and here we have stayed put (on Blogspot).

We have bloggy friends from 2005:
Johnny at So, It's come down to this....
bbmomof2boys at Baseballs and Ballerinas (Carla)
m. (Marsha) at Yo Muthers blog
Melissa (yes, my sister, in Maine, who jumped in and supported us with excitement and love)
Kim & Joel at Ruby is Coming (now Ruby is Here!) Invitation only blog.

These loyal commenter's appeared in early 2006:
Don & Be at Pregnancy by Adoption - One Couple's Blog of the Adoption Adventure
Fliss and Mike at their Adventures
David, Ariel & Nina at Journey With Kavannah
Michelle, aka Scrappermg, Searching for Sophie

Others we cherish when we see their frequent comments:
Donna and Joe at Waiting for Lauren Elizabeth
Lisa & Tate at Tate R Bug
Tongginator's Momma
Amy Christopher (When Love Takes You In)
Catherine's Chatter at Waiting for Hannah
Vivian M at Life with Kerri
Connie, i-Con, PIPO (VaChina Monologues)
Sea Star, Simply t at Just Add One Chinese Sister
RedMaryJanes at The Seventh Diamond.
Kelly & Allison at Our Hunan Spicy Girls
Kris, at Tell Her This (used to be Mad Race for Macey) one of our local families soon to travel to China for her daughter!
OziMum at Australia to China
Half Gaelic, Half Garlic at The Long Road to China

Newest Bloggy loyal commenter's (2008):
Dita at Dita's Darlings
Cora at Waiting 4 Little Miss What's Her Name

One trip down memory lane was viewing Karen's referral day video (Gwen's Mom) - do you remember her driving in her car and the hysterics? We were crying with her each time we watched it! That was our measuring stick every time we thought of making our video (which ours was boring!! but our special day - just the video was a bit flat, not our emotions!!).

And one blogger who fell off the face of the earth, or we can't find her anymore - do you know where Lea of Oh My #6 went to? (here she is - thank you Linda!). We used to visit each others blog quite alot. Also, missing is "Georgia & Jeff": anyone know them? (we re-found them - thanks, Johnny!)

So you can see it is difficult to choose one to honor and award them the badge of "Say It Forward - Loyal Commenter". There are so many blogs we love and know many of you visit us. By including all these blogs, we are essentially excluding some of our other bloggy friends. We understand the lacking of time, with all our busy families, so do not like excluding some of our favorite blogs. This post is to honor and thank those who do leave comments that help support us and give us advice. We thank you all!

As I stated above, I am selecting all those I would have honored if I had posted one new loyal commenter each week; so all those named above are Loyal Commenter's! Please place your badge on your blog! Start honoring your loyal commenters!

If you are selected as a Loyal Commenter, either by my blog or another blog, please display this Loyal Commenter badge with pride. Also feel free to give the badge to the commenter's that you select each week.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ten Months - Forever Our Daughter

Today another month slips by, so quickly, ten months since Forever Family Day. Ten months since AA has had a Mommy, a Daddy, Brother and Sister. Plus all the loving family we have surrounding us, near and far.
We weren't the typical adoptive couple. We waited in the "referral/LID" line for 31 months; we weren't nervous holding AA for the first time, we were just so incredibly happy. We had "waited" 23 years to be exact; always talking about our next child, our first together; or about another child; when would the timing be right..... Somehow God had a sense of humor, waiting until we were both over 50.

I promised DH that after the 12 month mark, I would stop celebrating each month we have had AA; yes, it has been ten months to the day that we first held AA. Then I had to promise that after she turned 3 years old, I would stop counting her age in months (she's almost 34 months old now!). I thought that was what Mommy's did?

We will celebrate our Forever Family Day Anniversary's. Each one will be a new level of understanding for AA. Maybe we will talk about how much she means to us, to our family. Maybe we will ask family members to take one year of her life and be that special mentor, special connection to help her learn more about herself. Maybe we will help her write a journal of her favorite memories. Maybe we will ask her what she would like to learn about her homeland, her culture. Maybe we will light a candle for her birth parents and discuss that difficult subject.

We celebrate each day, in amazement that AA is our daughter, we celebrate each giggle, each new word, each successful step in her growth of language, we celebrate her laughter and how easy it is for her to love playing.
Daddy is home with her everyday, making sure she is cared for; fed, clothed, loved and hugged (and some dancing in the Publix aisles every other day, too).

We praise her each day, giving kisses and hugs and smiles.
We have such joy in our home.
All children deserve love and fun; a childhood.
We do know that having AA has given us less time to spend with our grown children and our granddaughters. We know that will change soon. But for now, it is all about AA's security, attachment, bonding, language development; it is her time to have all the attention and love she missed in the first 24 months of her life.

She deserves it.
Happy Ten Month Forever Family Day Anniversary AA!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome To St. Louis - Baseball Heaven

I realize this is a post that holds minimal interest for most but tonight's 80th Major League Baseball All-Star game is being played in St. Louis and as such, I must pay homage as a member of the Redbird faithful.

With all due respect to the countless legions of baseball fans across the nation, St. Louis is generally regarded as the top baseball city in America. Now before beating your chest and raising a bat over your head to protect the honor of your team, please make note, I said "baseball city." The argument over who has the best baseball team is one that lingers long before and after the World Series has been played and extends to the first spring training game of the upcoming season. If anything, baseball fans are loyal.

The distinctive characteristic of Cardinal fans is their innate knowledge and appreciation of how the game is played. As kids, we were schooled on this by our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles!

Opposing players are not surprised to witness St. Louis fans applauding a sterling defensive play that just snuffed a Cardinal rally or a Tony Glynn grand slam home run, while tying the game, inched Tony to just 2 hits shy of his 3000th hit. I'm not saying we're happy about it :) but as baseball fans we recognize and appreciate The Play. The Player. The Game's Traditions.
In 2004 the Boston Redsoxs swept the Cardinals in 4 games to win the World Series. Cardinal fans rose to their feet and congratulated the accomplishments of a champion. As fans, we hate losing as much as the next guy but we also appreciate an outstanding performance.
Upon arriving in St. Louis to join his new team after having just been traded, Jim Edmonds was met by his new Cardinal teammates with a simple greeting: "Welcome to baseball heaven."

San Fransisco Giants pitcher Randy Johnson, a shoo-in future Hall of Famer, recently pitched in what most believe to be the last time his incredible talents would be displayed in St. Louis. As he walked off the mound ending his night's outing he received a standing ovation from the fans of St. Louis. Johnson would later remark following the game that he was genuinely moved by the fans show of appreciation but as they were playing in St. Louis, he couldn't say he was surprised.

Such is the nature of baseball in Missouri. Tonight we host the game's best and hopefully showcase to the nation a respect and love for a game filled with traditions. As much as I love my Redbirds, my love for the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals is a source of pride and a reminder that sportsmanship is a true measure of greatness. On and off the field.

Enjoy tonight's game as Cardinal fans everywhere extend to you our Welcome!
And we extend that same welcome to all cub fans as well :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dry Milk Products Recall

Found this notice on ModernMom about the Plainview Milk Cooperative Ingredient Recall Product List. Go to the web site for the list of specific products that may have been distributed in your area. The recall began about July 2nd.
It includes cake mixes, drink mixes, oatmeal and other products with nonfat dry milk powder contained in it.Note: This list includes products subject to recall in the United States since June 2009 related to product manufactured by Plainview Milk Products Cooperative.

Here's one press release from Precision Foods of St. Louis.

Precision Foods, of St. Louis, is recalling its Madagascar Vanilla cocoa as a precaution since the potential exists that the product may be contaminated with salmonella.The company is conducting a voluntary recall because of a notification Precision Foods received from two of its suppliers, AMFOTEK and Plainview Milk Products Co-op, regarding Plainviews Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk recall. Although Precision Foods said the product has not been found to contain salmonella and no illnesses have been reported to date, production and distribution of the product have been suspended ..... etc.

The FDA web site has a "Public Health Focus" link that lists the most recent recalls and other notices.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Alyzabeth's Smiles

Happy Weekend!
I have been feeling better than ever (in about a year) so with renewed strength, hopefully will blog more often. We have been a bit sparse due to being very tired and having AA (remember the days when we would post every day? That was before AA!).

Here's today's photos of AA wearing a new top (from Nana of the North).
Yes, the tag is still on it; it has been removed.

Flower Power!

I should have put a clippie in her hair.....

Below is her usual pose when we are looking for a big smile for the camera!

More hair in the face.....

Here's the rest of the story.... After loading the above photos onto blogspot, I turned my attention to AA and realized the cute top is on backwards! So I may be healthy but I still need to pay attention! Here's the final photos!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Help "Tell Her This" Bring Ellis Home!

A local family (Kris and Garth), Tell Her This, are adopting the most adorable, beautiful child from China. We posted about her referral back in June.

We would like to ask all of you to please consider entering their raffle (fund raising blog) to help bring Ellis home. They have a Chip-In button to accept raffle donations. The grand prize is an Acer Laptop computer and a FLIP Ultra Camcorder! And don't forget to leave a comment too!
What a fun way to help bring Ellis home to her FOREVER Mommy and Daddy!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday Fun!

Went to the pool again today right after church, with friends, the Davis'.
Mr. K. and Dada (DH) talked and caught up on news; we all ate lunch and then Mommy snagged a few great photos!
We enjoyed the short visit with them but true to form, we ran home at the appointed nap time!
Miss P. had fun in the water with AA.

Have a good week!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Our first Fourth of July celebration with AA was very subdued. We knew she wouldn't stay up late enough for the nighttime fireworks so we stayed at home and put her to bed at her regular time. Maybe next year!
We hung out at the club pool, decorations were up for the 4th celebrations. We ate lunch of grilled hamburgers, shrimp salad, fruit, salad and even had one adult beverage while AA drank juice.

We always rush home for the mandatory afternoon nap, so when AA awoke, we had a little tea party with book readings, sipping homemade iced tea and snacked on appetizers (courtesy of Dada).

By 7:30 p.m. we lit some sparklers for AA. I don't know if she was very thrilled with the comotion but we had a few smiles.

And at times, a very serious look at the sparklers!

Hope you enjoyed your Fourth!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

More Fun Than You Can Imagine!

AA is such a happy child. After she learned about hugging and kissing, AA always did it on command. Recently, she is very aware of the love that is received with these actions and is now giving hugs and kisses to us; actually seeks us out; those are moments when your heart just melts! Life is grand!

We purchased a twirly skirt and bloomers for her (from Donna). The bloomers show up in just a few of the pictures.... look closely.
Too girlie-girl? Na... I don't think so! They are adorable!!

I think she likes the new clothes and having Elmo in tow on her new "Craig's list" tricycle! Elmo is "buckled" in for safety!

Checking out the new duds.....

At the end of our photo shoot, AA was quacking like a duck and having fun showing off the twirl skirt:

The bloomers are so cute and will be perfect under smock tops or a dress that is too short.
Guess who else in our family is getting new bloomers too?

Buy them here:

Chick a dee n zabi chu

Have a great weekend! Happy Fourth!