Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Up, Up, and Away!

I just don't dedicate enough blog space to our amazing Mei Mei community in South Florida. We have this group of about ten beautiful little gals (Daniel was our little guy:) who will grow up together knowing that they share this common uniqueness of being adopted from China. We were fortunate to join this group about three years ago, and we are so blessed every day to have them. They are wonderfully kind and terrific parents. We are so proud to be among this group of special people.

This weekend was Kai's birthday. Kai turned five two days after Madi. She had a really fun gymnastics party to celebrate. At the end of her party, she handed each guest a goody bag and a balloon. As we walked out the door, Madi asked me if she could send her balloon up to Daniel in Heaven. Of course, I said yes (sorry environmentalists) and asked if she wanted her friends to help too. Every Mei Mei wanted to be included and came outside to help release the balloon to Daniel. It was very touching, especially because some of them only met him a time or two, but his little spirit stuck with them. They are such sweet, sweet girls. Happy birthday, Kai! Thank you for making sure Daniel was part of your celebration too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep an eye out, Mama

We had a strange experience in our neighborhood on Saturday. As Madi and I were walking home from Sherril's house, we passed two very unsavory looking characters. They were walking on the street. We were walking on the sidewalk. Actually, Madi was on her scooter. I gave them a nod and a "how do you do". One of them responded. The other just keep looking straight ahead with a strange grin on his face. Something inside me didn't feel quite right about this.

Madi and I proceeded down the street towards our house, quickly, as they proceeded the other way. As we looked both ways to cross the street, I looked back and noticed that they were now at the corner of the street and they began to argue over something. They were very loud, and they were using crazy body language, flailing their arms. Panic set in. I turned around and they were now heading toward us. I hurried Madi along on her scooter and as we approached the driveway, I was seriously almost dragging her and her scooter. She ended up losing her shoes in the front yard and I had thrown her scooter in the yard too. She scraped her feet. We ran in the house and locked the door. Poor Madi. I had absolutely terrified my daughter. I looked out the front window, and there they were at the corner of our street in front of our house. They still appeared to be arguing. Then they disappeared. I crept out into the backyard and through the fence I could see they had gone down the street near a friend's house. If I'm not mistaken, I think they may have been at the neighbor's house. I also think I heard them get in a car and drive away.

Madi curled up on my lap for a good twenty minutes. After we both calmed down, the following conversation took place:

Mommy: I am really sorry, Madi. I really think that Mommy may have over-reacted.

Madi: No you didn't overact Mama. They were weird, and they were fighting. If they would hurt each other, than they might hurt us too. They looked like they didn't belong here. They looked like they belong in another country.

I couldn't believe how wise she was about the whole situation. I used it as the perfect time for a safety lesson and explained how we need to be cautious and keep our eyes open. She wanted to put on some 'karate clothes', so we went in her room to find something suitable for fighting bad guys. Initially, she picked out an adorable shirt with her name on it. She said, "Yes! That's perfect! It has my name on it!" Then without hesitation she said, "No! I can't wear that! It has my name on it!!! She then told me that I wasn't allowed to wear a Juice Plus shirt because they might try to get samples from me and then they'd be healthy!!!

We went to bed that night thankful that Daddy was finally home after a trip away all week. The next day, the only thing Madi mentioned was, "Remember Mama...keep an eye out!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tired Day

Don't we all wish we could take a 'tired day' sometimes? Today was Madi's day. I think the hustle and bustle of the new school year, along with the excitement of her birthday this weekend just plain wore her out.

She woke up saying that she was still tired and didn't want to go to school. I knew she wasn't sick, and Madi clearly loves school, so I was starting to believe that she really was tired...or was she just pulling my leg? Ah, the tricks your mind plays on you!

I called Daddy on the phone to see if he could get through to her. She was laying on my bed sobbing and hugging her new beloved pillow pet and wouldn't even stop crying to speak to Daddy. I seriously couldn't get her to stop crying. I know some you are probably questioning my parenting skills right now, and quite honestly, so was I!

I decided to call the school and speak with the Director about the situation. She was awesome. She reminded me of everything that Madi's been through and that maybe Madi just needed some Mommy time. She advised me to give it to her. She also wanted me to tell Madi what fun activities are planned for Friday.

We had a great day together running errands and hanging out. I must admit that I loved her 'tired day' too. It made me realize how much I miss my little sidekick now that she's such a big girl.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our dossier is going to China

Finally! After quite the runaround, our dossier was approved and sent back to Holt from the Chinese Embassy. They will FedEx our dossier to China on Friday, and it will be received on Monday!

This is where it gets interesting. Some families have been waiting weeks for log in dates. Holt is going to see if China will expedite our log in date, based on our circumstances. If, and only if, our dossier is logged in sometime next week, it is possible that we could be matched with a child in the next group of referrals, which will be released next week! This is clearly a long shot, and we realize that. It is more likely that our dossier will be logged in and we'll be set for the next group of referrals in October.

This is when we truly have to believe that what is meant to be will happen. If our perfect match is in this group, we will get our log in date by some miracle. If not, then we will know that our paperwork was stuck at the State Department for a reason--because our baby needed more time to get to us. We just know Daniel has his little hand in this for us.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Murphy's Law of Adoption

Our wonderful social worker and adoption agency have done everything they can to expedite our case so far. We seemed to be way ahead of the game...

Then our dossier went to the State Department. It took over three weeks for them to do their job. This was way longer than it took last time. Oh well, I guess procedures change from time to time. Our adoption agency decided it was time to take action on August 23rd and sent in a courier on foot to the State Department. Wouldn't you know that was the very day the dossier had finally been transferred to the Chinese Embassy!

Two weeks later, our dossier is still there. According to our contact at Holt, the Embassy actually changed their regulations while our dossier was stuck at the State Department, and now they require an extra set of paperwork for each case!! Can you believe it? Thank goodness, Holt once again acted expeditiously and sent another copy via FedEx. It arrived safely yesterday.

At this point, our hope is that our dossier will make it back to Holt by next week and will be sent to China and logged in before the next batch of referrals is released. Referrals are usually released to the agency on the third week of each month. We hope our perfect match is among those babies. Please pray with us!

Get busy, Daniel!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Will she, or won't she?

Shortly after Daniel passed, I was in Madi's bedroom folding laundry while she was playing. In the midst of the quietness, I asked, "Madi...do you think you'd want another baby?"


After about a minute but seemed like an hour, she turned to me--finger pointed--and very sternly replied, "I wanna go to China this time!" Guess we'll take that as a 'Yes'.

Then Madi found out she needs shots to go to China. She immediately began caving on the idea and suggesting that someone needs to stay behind and plan the party.

It took a while to get past that one, but we did. As we examined Daniel's courage and everything that he so bravely endured here on Earth, she became willing to take a few shots in order to make the trip to China to bring home a sibling.

This morning on the way to school, she asked if Bubba would be here when we go to China. I told her yes, Bubba would probably be here. "Someone should stay here with Bubba. I better stay here and keep her company!" I told her that would be just fine if that's what she really wants to do and explained that a trip to China is very expensive, so we want to be sure she really wants to go.

By the end of our conversation, she was asking questions about the airplane and making sure that we will pack plenty of lollipops in her carry on case.

Friday, September 3, 2010

4 Years with Madi

We celebrate her birthday
for God put her on this Earth

We celebrate her Gotcha day
for God put her in our arms

Wo Ai Ni, Xiaoyuan
Happy Gotcha Day