Friday, May 30, 2008

Homestudy Update #3

Hi Everyone!

Our social worker came this evening for our update visit. The visit was very uneventful and lasted about 20 minutes! She basically came to pick up the paperwork. She and her family were one their way out of town for the weekend. I really like the quick visits! :>)

My sister Lisa came to help me today get ready for the visit. We had a great time together! I treated her to Chinese take-out for lunch (the boys wanted Burger King!) and we worked on the tough chores like dusting kitchen cabinets, making sure ALL the laundry was done, packing up some yard sale stuff, etc. We also worked on general cleaning stuff as well. I am so tired! It was a great day!

My favorite part was when we were finished, we hugged and cried. It was a big love-fest! Both Lisa and my younger sister Robyn are so excited about having a new niece! In their honor, here is a little poem about sisters:


There's no better friend than a sister -
There's no one more loyal and true . . .
and even when sisters are different . . .
their likeness come shining through!

Perhaps it's a family resemblance that strengthens the bond they share . . .
or maybe it's just that sisters live life with a similar flair!
A sister remembers your collegehood -
knows more than you will admit
of times you were Little Miss Perfect . . .
and times you gave others a fit!
She's seen you in some situations
when silence just wouldn't suffice . . .
and managed somehow to get by with those sisterly words of advice!

And when some encouragement's needed . . .
a sister will always be there . . .
to listen . . .
to laugh . . .
or to lean on . . .
to comfort,
or simply to care.

There's no one who's more in your corner . . .
and no one you're more grateful to.
There's no better friend than a sister . . .
and no better sister than you.

from "There Is No Friend Like A Sister"
by Mary Engelbreit
Credit: Colleen's Corner

Karen, Robyn, Lisa (Thanksgiving, 2007)

Monday, May 26, 2008

WARNING: Blog Under Construction!

Hi Everyone!

I am once again in the process of playing around with my blog look. I was tired of the busy background and the lime-green colors, the blandness of the header, etc.

I've ordered a blog kit and now I've got to play around with it some to see if I can get it right. If not, I'll be paying for a blog makeover!

Pardon the construction work here...after a while, I'll get it right. Hopefully, this time I won't delete everything and have to start over, I think I've figured out that part!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Tragic Accident

I learned today that Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman, a strong proponent of international adoption, lost his youngest daughter in a tragic car accident.

I have had the privilege of seeing Steven in concert, back a couple of years ago at Wild Adventures. He is a talented artist who has a strong faith in God.

Steven and his wife have adopted three daughters from China. They run a non-profit organization which helps other families to experience the joy of adoption.

Little Maria was only five years old. My heart and prayers go out to this wonderful Christian family in their time of heartache and loss.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BUSTED!

David got BUSTED! for the Muscular Dystrophy Association last Thursday! I think he had a great time and he raised $919 for a great cause. Here are some pictures from his day:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Watch it buster!"
"Any last words, you low-down criminal you?" "AHHHHHH, HELP ME!!!

"You are charged with looking utterly ridiculous in that get-up!" Only kidding, David!
Thanks for being such a great guy and taking time to help others. It's why I love you so much!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!




You Are Somewhat Like Your Mom



Believe it or not, you and your mom are pretty darn similar.

It may not seem like it at times, but you and your mom have a lot of common ground.

Over time, you'll probably get closer ... especially if you emphasize the things you like about each other.

David and the Muscular Dystrophy Association

David is a grocery store manager at a local supermarket and every so often he volunteers to be "locked up" for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year his "bail" is a whopping $3,000! Wow!

So far David's raised $275 of his bail. He asked vendors to contribute, and the Pepsi supervisor got the dubious honor of shaving David's head! David's always worn his hair very short, but now you can see every curve and dent in his cranium.





Muscular dystrophy is a very serious and deadly disease. There are about 40 different types of MD, and the MDA does millions of dollars of research to try to find a cure for the disease. It affects kids as well as adults. During my teaching career, I've taught two students with this illness. It's saddening to see, in a year, how this disease can ravage a person's body.

To read the blog of a man living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, click here.

David participates in this wonderful event for two reasons: 1. his cousin died from this disease, and 2. he is so grateful to have healthy kids.

David often teases me that I spend more time with my internet friends than I do with him. Let's show him the power of the internet by supporting David and the MDA and to help David to post his bail. THE BIG EVENT IS THIS THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008! I've created a separate Chipin! widget to make it easy for you to support this cause.

Words cannot express how thankful I am in advance for your support! I will post some pictures of David when he participates in the event!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What dog breed are you?

What dog breed are you? I'm a Labrador Retriever! Find out at Dogster.com

Your family is what makes you tick, and you never "flea" from an opportunity to hang out with the whole gang. A family picnic complete with hot dogs, deviled eggs and a refreshing swim in the lake is hard for you to stray from. Your sparky temperament and dogged intelligence mean you are not only a blast to hang out with, but great to work with as well. Your close pals appreciate your patience and forgiveness, knowing you'd rather let sleeping dogs lie than dwell on the mishaps of the past. Your dashing good looks may one day lead to a modelling career, if only you can tame the unfortunate clumsiness that sometimes causes you to go flailing from the catwalk.

Septic Tanks and Ladybugs

I have this huge chore to do today. I have to expose the septic tank so that the environmentalist from the health department can see it and approve it as part of our homestudy update. David is working for part of the day today, so, as the saying goes: "If it's meant to be, it is up to me." Story of my life! Anyway...

I was just getting started and the most beautiful ladybug landed on my arm. She probably had a dozen spots and was a bright red. She stayed just long enough to give me a little inspiration.

Oh, there is a huge ant bed right on top of where I have to dig. I have about a dozen bites so far. I came in long enough to let them simmer down, now I've got to get back and stir them up again.

What we have to go through to bring our daughters home! Maybe I will post a pic when I get finished!

China Adoption Forecast

China Adoption Forecast's website was updated today. Here's what it said in regards to our LID:

"China has 36 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 5-7 days of dossiers each month.

If China did all future referrals at the exact same speed as they did this month: 2009-04-17

Our best guess - a weighted average of recent CCAA velocities, guessing that CCAA will perform about as well in the future as they are performing now, but might return to previous trends: 2008-09-08

That's our best guess for when you might receive your referral. Just at a guess, we can suppose that the CCAA either speeds up or slows down significantly, and show you those dates. If they speed up: 2008-07-03. And if they slow down: 2008-12-29.

Since China generally sends out referrals in a batch about once per month, your referral date could easily vary +/- one month depending on whether you just get included or just get missed in a particular batch."

What does this mean for our family? What I really think it means is not too much at all. It's just a prediction. I'm really leaning toward a referral anywhere between September and December. I still feel like the Olympics are, unfortunately, going to impact our wait time. With that being said, keep in mind that we have a week right before our LID where the CCAA did not process any LID's due to the holiday of Chinese New Year, 2006. SO, these two events could cancel each other out!

RQ said recently that she wasn't ready to put up a new poll, so it's really hard to predict past February 12, 2006. That's where RQ's poll ends. Are February 13, 14, 15, and 16 very heavy days? We could see a couple of 3-day batches. I'm just not sure and I'd love for her to go ahead and get a new poll up. She's usually posted a new poll when referrals get halfway through the current poll, which is now! Come on, RQ! The rest of February's families want to vote and predict!

Happy Graduation Day!

Yesterday morning my sister Lisa graduated from Valdosta State University. She earned her Master's Degree in Special Education, Interrelated/Early Childhood Education. She has accepted a position as a co-teacher in a first-grade classroom, where she will work closely with a regular education teacher to provide services for several students with special needs.

I am so proud of Lisa! She worked for three long years to achieve this dream!

CONGRATULATIONS!




Lisa with proud husband Steve and daughters Sara and Steffany



Proud and happy graduate!

Sisters share a special moment!