Monday, April 27, 2009

I caught a fish & it was this big!

Ok, I didn't catch it personally, except maybe on my camera!

The above picture is my little fisherman getting ready to put the pole in. (yes, it's pink...what else would a princess use?) See her pal J in the back ground. The worm bucket was by where Simone was standing - so she was steering clear of the area...too cute.

And even the most avid fishers need a little sand-play break! The playground/sandbox was just too tempting...

Here's my brave little girl getting Daddy a worm. Eew & Uck!!

What a team! Good thing Daddy was there to help with the pole, and they switched to a real pole (the one she won at last years tournament-for catching the smallest fish!)

Because they reeled in a nice size fishy, woohoo!

And our friends won a pole this year, for biggest fish in the 6 year olds & under category! She and her Dad reeled in a huge and rather unattractive catfish

Ahhh, a day at the fishing hole.....
Hope your weekends were grand and fun filled and none of your fishies got away!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hear ye, hear ye

Yep, we got our 1st hearing scheduled for May 20, 2009!

OK, for review...

This is where the Judge in Taiwan is presented all of the information in order to rule on the case. Wei-Che's birth mother will be present to state her intentions, and as far as I can tell our POA will be there to submit our intent to adopt him.
The next step will be the First Ruling, where the Judge states his/her decision, that is said to happen 1-3 months from the hearing, with the Final Ruling shortly after.

I wasn't expecting to hear this news so soon for some reason - so this was a delightful surprise yesterday!

I am hoping all of you have wonderful weekends!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mom, can I cut my hair with scissors???

You see, we had some friends over for dinner Saturday night, and the adults were all outside relaxing beside the fire-pit. The girls were playing inside so nicely and quietly...maybe too quietly.

Because then that little phrase came out of my dear child's mouth. "Mom, can I cut my hair with scissors???" My first thought was "no, she wouldn't dare...she's too smart to do that". Then I thought, "son of a gun, she better not have cut her own hair!"

I yelled up to her " absolutely NOT, missy". And she replied "Uh...uh...Oh.... OK".

My pal & I looked at each other and ran up to the house. The girls were playing on the back porch, and there were the infamous scissors on the ground next to them. No hair was floating around, and so at first glance all appeared OK.

Then I go into the bathroom and find...

Well, well, well. Looks like somebody thought to ask if it was OK after they actually cut it! I ran back to the porch and asked "did you cut your hair?" She responded "will you be mad at me if I say yes?" Guess I got my answer.

Thankfully she just cut a little bit on front, giving her almost a layered bangs look. Could have been much worse I suppose. I don't think she'll be playing hairdresser any time again soon least I hope not!

To my Mom!

Birthday wishes to my wonderful Mom! Wish we were up there to share some of your yummy cake with you! Have a great day and make sure Dad pampers you a bit!

We love you Mom aka Grammie!!!!!
Jen, Adam & Simone

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hopping Chocolate Bunnies!

Finally I am getting a chance to post some pictures of our Sunday bunny fun!
We celebrated a wonderful Passover Seder with some family and friends on Saturday. And well, although possibly my favorite holiday to celebrate, not exactly lots of "photo ops". So I took some of the egg hunt we attended on Sunday.

Here's Simone all ready to go! We call the hair style "The Princess Cinderella" and she has blue sparkling gel in her hair (although you can't really see it-as long as she knows its in there). And yep, that's how I get my child's hair brushed and out of her face, by naming the hairstyles...the girlier the name the better!

Ohh, still my cuddle bunny! Amazing how sweet a hug from your "baby" can feel!

(But OY! look at that gray in my hair! I am not kidding when I say this adoption is aging me quickly! I'm dialing my hair dresser as I type! )

Aren't they so cute! Simone's BFF and, as I overheard her informing the poor boy on Sunday, her boyfriend. He is a big kindergarten'er...

And just look at her go! She will stop at nothing to get the good eggs!
And this just about sums it up! She's almost too tired to even eat that gigantic chocolate egg!'s some flowers from our garden. Simone has been begging me to pick the bulbs, and since we have so many blooming right now, and they smell so sweet I couldn't resist letting her!

I hope all of your Egg Hunts were fun and your weekend was sunny!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 package is on it's way

Yep. I got Wei-Che's little care package put together and sent via priority overnight service from my local post office.
I asked the very kind mail clerk a few times if she was sure it would make it safe and sound, and she assured me it would. And then she asked again if there were perishable items I needed to make her aware of. Nope, just a snuggly blanket my little boy needs. And his big sis has been "gettin her smell all over it" for the last few nights, "so's he'll know her when he meets her again" so we don't want those scents to dissipate in the mail.

I kept it small for the first package, I figure since he's not in his foster home yet, I don't want to overwhelm his caretakers with too much. So I just sent some onsies, two cute little outfits, a snuggly and a rattle. Oh and I threw in a pacifier, just because I have it. Pictured below...

I do feel great and a bit more connected to him now that I know he'll have some stuff from us that I picked out just for him. It was fun too, buying boy clothes! Now I'll start working on the next package and include some more soft toys and a photo album with a few pictures of us and the dogs. Now that I've gotten one off I have a better idea of what I want to send next, and as he gets bigger he'll need more toys to shake and play with.

And my friend reminded me again of the wonderful care he is getting in Taiwan, and of how much love and affection the person changing/bathing/feeding him is giving to him. For that I am so grateful. So even though it's not me caring for him he'll have a few items to know I am constantly thinking of him and he is here in my heart until I can finally meet him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Strange dreams and care packages

So I've been having the strangest dreams the last few months.
Now I normally do have very vivid dreams, and as both my family and closest friends can attest, I do have a habit of sleep walking/talking.

But lately it has gotten worse - or odder maybe. I wake up in this panic and I just know I have totally forgotten something. Or that something terrible is sure to happen or even has happened. So I've been trying to keep track of these dreams, but I can never really remember what has me so panicked or what it is that I have forgotten or why it's so bad even that I've forgotten it.

I do know it is something about the nursery, the baby that I was supposed to put in there and forgot's never anything I can put my finger on, just vague feelings. All I do know is that I always end up in either Simone's room or the "babies room" and have a sense of relief when I do "wake up" and realize it was just a dream. But still my heart is pounding and I am short of breath and shaky all over. I always have to sit in Simone's room for a minute to make sure she's OK. And I am left still with that feeling that I've forgotten something hugely important or that something bad occurred.

So, after laying awake a lot last night (yes, after another one of those dreams) I think I've maybe got an explanation. I think it could be anxiety over this adoption. Yes, I know Duh, what else, but I don't normally get this way. I guess my heart knows Wei-Che SHOULD be in that room, but he isn't yet so I'm getting a bit anxious. At least in my dreams. On the surface I've been cucumber cool.
And I really am not getting worried or upset, gosh we just got logged into the courts so I haven't been hanging on here for ages, I have no reason to worry. But I think just the knowledge that he is so far away, and here we go on with our daily lives, not even sure whether to call him our son (because technically he's not officially our son yet) or our referral or what... and we're just waiting for the powers that be over in Taiwan to send us through the courts, with no ability to push it along or oversee the process or even advocate for our own case. (I do know our agency is doing all of that, but Hello... type A over here is not pleased with relinquishing that control)

I think it's also part of the reason I've been having such a hard time with Wei-Che's first care package. I just can't seem to get it together and out to him. I guess partly because of the implications in the name..."care package". I mean don't get me wrong, I adore our little guy, and want to feel this connection to him that sending it will maybe provide. But once I start caring for him it's so much more real, and I have that much more to lose.

Plus I'm not really caring for him, he's half way around the world with somebody else who is feeding/burping/changing him. A someone who will not be his Mama for the rest of his life, and yet here I am, Mama...sending onsies and a rattle via the united states postal service to help care for him.
Crazy thoughts, I know. To go with my crazy dreams.

BUT I promise I am not venting or ranting or even upset at all. I just am putting all of the odd ball thoughts rolling around in my head down on "paper". I'm doing it to help me remember all of these emotions of waiting for my baby #2 to come home, because I know once he is in my arms I will forget all these feelings of insecurity and helplessness. Yet these feelings are part of his story, the story of how he came to be my son.

So often I forget all of the very same feelings I did have during Simone's adoption. I forget those pangs of wanting her in my arms so desperately it caused many nights of tears and sleeplessness, of the needing to believe she was safe and loved so far away, even if not by me. I forget the fears and anxiety during those months of waiting to travel to China to be united with her, to become her Mama. I forget because of the immense joy and feelings of love that I have for her now.

And so I know we will find our way to little Wei-Che and then I will forget about these sleepless nights and these desperate yearnings for him to be home. Because our little man will be right where he belongs. With his family...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And just for a chuckle

I just needed a chuckle and this, well this makes me laugh!
OK, so we all know about the family puppies, Emma and Oliver. Both great doggies in their own right but Ollie has this huge problem. You see, he is related to Chewbacca...from Star Wars. He gets that furry. I mean the boy brings leaves and dirt in with him every day, but he also brings in sticks and branches-whole flippin branches from trees!
So here is a photo of Chewie - we'll call it "the before".

Do you see all of the fur, he has enough on him to make another dog! And he's probably hiding enough dirty items on his belly and tail to fill a small trash can. I swear I sweep and vacuum every day!
And below we have the photos we'll call "the after"...

Who knew he had so much Dachshund in him. And I know it is somewhat mean to laugh at his expense, but he looks like a different dog!

Simone has been calling him cuddle buns and keeps saying how pretty he is! He didn't seem too embarrassed at the park this morning, I think he actually likes his new doo!

So JOH got updates on Thursday, but we didn't get one for Wei-Che. I think probably because we are just under the one month mark since the time of referral, and they really need to get the updates to those who are waiting for so long. A bit sad, yes, but think about how much he'll have grown when we next lay eyes on him!

Care package complete and I will be sending it out on Monday! I'll post a picture of the items before I send it!

Happy Passover to all my family and friends who celebrate that holiday and also Happy Easter to my family and friends celebrating that!

Shalom! J

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring is in the air

Yep, spring has arrived here in East Tennessee and I have been singing that song...Spring is in the air...all week.
All of the trees and tulips and daffodils and all sorts of other bulbs are in full bloom. I think it's my favorite time of year here. When we decided to leave Florida, my one request was that we go far enough North that we'd have a change of seasons (and no alligators). And although mild seasonal changes, we do have them.

Below is a tree on my street. This yard has 3 or 4 trees in bloom right now. So pretty!
Here's a tulip in our front garden, it just looked so pretty I had to take a picture!

Miss Simone and friend hunted for flowers to adorn themselves with. I wish I had gotten the back of their heads, their hair was covered in flowers.

Here's a view at the end of the evening. Apparently the girls found a mud puddle and I walked in to my big girl cleaning up in the sink! Look at the bouquet she's got in her hair!

Ah, and with spring comes wildlife! This bunny was brave to venture into our, ahem- I mean Emma's yard. I reminded thumper here of the bird Emma had caught and then delivered to us last week. He scampered off into the woods pretty quickly.

And lovely spring rainbows...

And dogwood trees. This is one with a pretty red maple next to it!

And we are in East Tenn... so two days after I took all of these spring photos we woke up to this!

Just a little bit of snow, but how crazy! It was in the upper 70's the day before...
And some good news, we are logged in to the courts and waiting for our first hearing (1-3 months). I am just happy the court process has begun.
We will be getting a care package sent to him this weekend, which is exciting to me because I feel like I am doing something for him even though we are so far apart.
Well I hope wherever you are that spring is in the air for you too!
I am enjoying the season and patiently waiting for some updated photos of my little Wei-Che.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kindergarten Round-up

Yee Haw and call me a cowgirl... last night Simone & I went to the Kindergarten Round-Up!

OK, so Simone was not really yee haw-ing about visiting her new school.

In fact I was told by my soon to be big girl
" I will NOT be going to that school. I am staying at my real school and never ever going here."

I almost didn't even get her in the front door, and I'm slightly ashamed to admit to McD's bribery just to get her to walk in.

Oh the woes of growing up!
I wonder if she is truly frightened or if she is getting cues from me. I tried to be brave and act happy about the whole visit, but deep down I am terrified of sending my sweet little baby to "the big school".

Well, the first day of school this August should prove interesting. I think I'll make Adam take her....

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Price of Children

My friend Heather sent this to me in an email and I thought it was just too nice to not pass on! This sums up many of the reasons I think of when I comment on how great it is to be a parent and all of the rewards of this awesome "job".

"The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.
But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down.

It translates into: * $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month,
* $171.08 a week.
* A mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is: don't have children if you want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up.
You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs,
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck.
You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and

* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:

* First step,
* First word,
* First bra,
* First date,
* First time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match...

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren! It's the best investment you'll ever make!"

Hope you enjoyed this!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So we had a family fun weekend in Pennsylvania.
We went for Adam's Aunts birthday and it turned into a weekend full of cousin fun for Simone, and catching up with some family we haven't seen in a while for us! Needless to say, Simone had an absolutely wonderful time and so loved seeing and meeting so many family members. I took a lot of pictures, so I did a slide show of all of the fun! Unfortunately I cannot figure out how to put both the slide show and the words in the same post (Help Lisa???!!!) so they are in separate posts! I am still "bloggy challenged"!

I just can't wait until our next family gathering and hope that our little Wei-Che will be home for it to meet everyone! Although he was not actually with us he was in our thoughts. All of our family is so excited to finally meet him and he is sure to have an awesome homecoming!

Family Fun Weekend in PA