Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Han Li Rong. A day never forgotten

She came to us with a simple yellow bottle tied around her neck with a blue string, her layered clothing, and the Panda we had sent in a care package. Elizabeth and all her worldly possessions were suddenly in my arms 3 years ago.

One of our wonderful travel mates had a beautiful post about how brave these little girls are. I have to agree totally. They are taken from everything they have ever known (good and bad) and suddenly find themselves in the arms of total strangers who look different, smell different, talk different, and hold them differently.

Elizabeth my sweetheart, words simply won't come this evening as I reflect on how far you have come and how proud we are of you. We love you with all our hearts and you have made our home complete. My prayer is that I can be the Mother that God wants me to be .. for you. Your Daddy and I will always be here for you until God calls us home. Even in the absence of an earthly Mother and Father you might face someday (hopefully a very long time from now), we will teach you that you have a Heavenly Father that wants to live in your heart forever.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wuhan Hubei PRC

And we were off. We boarded the plane that would take us to Elizabeths province and even though it was a reasonably short flight, it seemed like eternity. We landed and followed the mass of parents to be and other travel companions through the Wuhan airport terminal to meet up with our new guide/s. There he stood with the only English words in sight printed in bold red letters, so he would have been hard to miss.

Once again, after retrieving our luggage (keep in mind 22+ families packed for a +/- 3-4 week adoption trip to a foreign country) so you can imagine this was no small feat! :) .. we were ushered off to another large nice AIR CONDITIONED bus. Our new guide was amazing. She had ice cold bottled water for all of us and proceeded to give us information on the schedule from here on out. She handed each family updates on their children which included feeding schedules, sleeping schedules, and other small bits of info about our children. It was like Christmas Eve. Each little tiny bit of information was like a peek under the tree. We learned if all went well, the babies would be brought to our hotel the next morning. We would attempt to get a good nights rest (yeah right..) and be 'ready' to go early in the a.m.

It was about an hours ride from the airport to our hotel in downtown Wuhan, so all this information was given during the ride. What a blurr! Wuhan was a very different city than what we had just left. Situated along the Yangtze River, Wuhan is a more industrial area, I would say much like Detroit or Pittsburg, only MUCH more polluted. I think if you ask anyone in our travel group, they would agree the pollution is indescribable. What we thought was fog, was smog. It never seemed to leave. We were glued to the window of the bus as we traversed the city and attempted to soak the culture in despite the barrier of the bus walls between us.

We later learned that parts of the Yangtze River are so polluted that there are cities along it where the men won't choose a wife that was born there due to the very high cancer rates (and thinking she will die young). I can believe this after seeing some of these areas as we passed. Very sad.

Finally, our big bus chugged into the Wuhan White Rose Hotel parking lot and we all piled out marching behind Johanna (our new guide) like little soldiers. She was our security blanket for the next week. She truly knew her stuff. Obviously she had been there done this before.

We took the elevator to the 18th floor and stepped out, turned the corner, walked down the hallway, found our room, opened the door, and saw the crib. Suddenly, we knew this was it. It was real.

to be continued..

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Madame Pearl

Three years ago tonight Dave and I were walking the streets of Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong enjoying a brief few days of R + R before traveling to Wuhan Hubei ( central China) to be united with our new daughter. We were excited, nervous, exhausted from the trip over and trying to soak each moment in.

Each night we would walk back to our incredible hotel room and you could take a hot bath in the glass walled bathroom and look out over the Hong Kong skyline. It was magnificent. We were so glad to have arrived a few days early as it gave us both a chance to unwind and reflect on the changes and new directions our lives were about to take. Not that we hadn't fully understood the magnitude of the journey, but with all the preparations leading up to traveling and making arrangements for our son John during our trip across the globe, there simply wasn't much time to really absorb it. Now, we were only days away from meeting our Elizabeth.

We were to meet up with our travel group of approx. 22 families who were also adopting and the night before we were to unite, I came down with a very nasty bug. I was running a high fever, coughing, vomiting, sore throat, etc.. Dave went out on foot in an attempt to find some cough syrup that was strong enough to muffle it during our flight into mainland China. He succeeded and came back with some pretty putrid stuff called "Madame Pearls". After I took 2 tablespoons, I felt I needed to see the ingredients. On 2nd thought, I decided not to find out :)

Finally the day arrived where we were to have our luggage in the hallway and our guide gathered all 22 families and their travel companions together, piled us on a big bus and took us back to the Hong Kong airport. Our flight would depart from Hong Kong to Wuhan Hubei in the mid morning hours putting us at the destination where we would get Elizabeth sometime that afternoon.

There were indescribable anticipations.

To be continued.

Did you know?

I started to entitle this post "The Audacity of Obama", but have decided to keep this simple and to the point.

Did you know...

Mr. Barack Obama is a very articulate, well dressed, poised individual.

He also :

sponsored S.CON.RES.53: A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that any effort to impose photo identification requirements for voting should be rejected.

In 1999 Obama was the only Illinois State Senator to vote against a bill barring early release for (criminal) sex offenders.

He voted against filtering pornography on school and library computers and he voted for sex education for kindergarten children through the 5th grade.

Also, in 2001, Obama voted “present” on a bill to keep pornographic book and video stores and strip clubs from setting up within 1,000 feet of schools and churches.

He voted "present" 129 times instead of a yes or no during his term in Illinois. You won't be able to do this in the Oval office.

The Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was legislation that would require hospitals to care for infants who "mistakenly" survive an abortion. Obama spoke against the legislation in 2001 and 2002 and single-handedly defeated it in committee in 2003.

A friend stood in Obama’s path and said, “Senator, we are going to pass Born Alive here in Illinois this year.”

Obama smiled smoothly and agreed, “I think you will,” adding, “I would have voted for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois had it been worded the same as the federal bill. I think that’s the position the Democrats should take.”

There’s just one thing he forgot to mention: Obama had stopped his committee from adding the federal wording.

With Obama no longer in the Illinois state Senate, the Born Alive legislation passed in 2005.

Mr. Barack Obama was ranked our nations #1 most Liberal Senator this past year.

Mr. Joe Biden was ranked # 3.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A simple click to see if there are any registered Sex Offenders in YOUR neighborhood

HERE'S a link where you simply enter your zip code and you will see a map of offenders that might be in your neighborhood, or nearby. With Halloween just around the corner, this is a great site to bookmark. You can also click on the offense and see the details. I was shocked at the number of these "individuals" that came up on the map surrounding our vicinity.

Any ideas on how to clean off spider droppings?

No Mom, please don't kill it! So, John named it Zig Zag (quite clever IMHO). We watched Zig Zag for several weeks. Zig had babies and that was it. Mom and Dad decided it was time to break the cycle of life. Now we have spider poop that is nearly impossible to get off our window sill. Any experts on this topic out there?


One of our incredible travel mates who happened to have the hotel room right next to us when we traveled to China for Elizabeth has tagged me. Patricia had to put up with lots of crying and noise from our room since we didn't have air conditioning and it was at times over 90 degrees inside even with our window open as far as it would go! Thanks Patricia for still being our friends despite the loss of sleep we probably caused you in China!

Ok, seven random/ weird facts..
1. I love starbucks pike place coffee after it sits in the pot and gets cold.
2. I try to call my Mom each day, several times a day sometimes just to say hello.
3. My husband and I went to the same high school during the same years, but didn't meet until college w/ 26,000 students.
4. Clara Barton (founder of the Red Cross) was my Great Great Grandmother's cousin.
5. My Dad played football with Buzz Aldrin (2nd man on the moon) and then went on to be invited to the Chicago Bears, and Cleveland Browns training camps.
6. God blessed us immeasurably with a son seven years ago despite many odds.
7. God blessed us a 2nd time with a beautiful daughter from China 3 years ago.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there, so please consider yourself tagged to all of you who have read this far! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ever heard of

Beautiful Downtown Short Pump is just outside Richmond Va. and when I lived there many moons ago it was simply a small little gas station/ general store at the end of a 2 lane road just before you hopped on Interstate 64. Now, it is one of the 'thriving' areas of our country despite the current housing situation and realestate is actually doing very well. You would think you were in a suburb of Washington D.C. Well, actually I guess it is these days.

Anyway, last year we stopped at the Short Pump Town Center. Don't let the name fool you, it a very impressive outdoor mall with many interesting things to do besides shop if you know what I mean. One of the things John and E'beth fell in love with was a little house just their size. It was a simply constructed miniature version of what I remembered the old Short Pump gas station/ store to look like. The children had a ball with the pint sized furniture, desk, old adding machine, table etc.. E'beth was the waitress, and John was the customer. They played in this sweet little store for over an hour.

Wish we could build one in the back yard ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One of my favorite places to 'be' is Williamsburg Va. I love everything about it. I love the history, the architecture, the ambiance, etc.. A few years ago, Dave's sister and her husband moved there just minutes away from the historic area. Elizabeth doesn't remember much about it from our visit last year, but this year it will be so exciting to watch the wonder in little eyes as we 'step back in time'.

John is most excited about THIS though :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Set aside Liberal vs. Conservative for a moment

I find this image and many more like this taken recently very disturbing. You obviously notice that Mr. Obama refused to honor the US Flag Code while everyone else depicted is respectful. Wouldn't you think someone running for the highest office in our nation would welcome this chance to honor our nation in such a way? According to Obama's campaign staff he "sometimes" salutes the flag and sometimes he doesn't... WHAT?? If prior to the election he is this disrespectful to our nation, its founding, and those that gave their lives for our freedom, what comes after if he is elected?

Then, you have THIS going on in Ohio which is a key state.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm hooked.

I found this idea for hanging all the backpack stuff I usually hang on my kitchen cab. knobs.. I think this might be a better option :) The thought is a big first initial letter for each child and the "M" will be mine (for Mommy). Above each hook, I'm going to tweak the idea a bit and put a single black and white portrait of each student.

Mommy will have her picture up as well as I still have SO much to learn!

Friday, October 3, 2008

This answers lots of questions..

Here is an article from the New York Times dated September 30, 1999. How did our country get into this economic mess in the first place? - Here's the reason.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Got these from friends B+B. Had to share...

Fabulous Middle Eastern Eggplant dip

This dip is easy to prepare, delicious and has only about 40 calories per 1/4 cup. What more could you ask? It can be served warm or cold. It's yummy served with baked whole wheat pita chips. (from
Here IT is:
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs) peeled and chopped
1 cup red onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste.
Combine first 5 ingredients, making sure everything is evenly coated in the olive oil. Cook on baking sheet for one hour at 350 or until roasted.
Transfer veggies into food processor and add tomato paste, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute)