Friday, September 30, 2005

Crib Bedding

Madelyn now has crib bedding.

I've been bidding on this for a while and kept loosing but this last bid I actually got a 2nd chance at. Before I got the 2nd chance, I bid on another listing just like it from the same seller but then once I got overbid on again, I decided to buy with the 2nd chance offer from the last one. We didn't want anything too "girlie". We're not that big on Pinks and Purples. A boy could even sleep here but we might reconsider if we did get referred a boy. It's not going to get unpacked until we move into our new home anyway so we should know what our China baby looks like before I pull it out of the packaging. Now I'll focus on other decorations that are reds and greens with lady bugs.

I'll probably deliver before Madelyn arrives so I'll be searching more ebay soon for more crib bedding. Gotta love ebay. We'll wait until we know what gender we're having first before I buy, and that will probably be in just a few weeks. Thank goodness I don't have to buy cribs. We have Logan's crib and I have friends that want to loan me theirs.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

2 Nights to Go

We only have 2 nights left in our home. Last night we saw the dogs off. I hope they are adjusting well to their new home. I think Lacey scared them b/c she was trying to protect her property when they got there and I wasn't home yet. I was afraid they wouldn't take her. She later jumped right into the man's truck like she had done it many times before. Kayla saw the leash and she didn't care who had the other end as long as she was going somewhere. Logan took it better than I did. I sure did miss them last night since it was just the two of us here alone.

Not only was I spooked without the dogs here and no husband here, the fire alarm starts beeping before 1am this morning. It just beeped, no constant beep as if it did detect smoke. It did this several times with a few minutes in between each beep. This alarm doesn't take batteries so it wasn't that. I have some friends married to firemen that I'm going to ask about today to see if they know why it did this.

I also saw my current OB office for the last time yesterday. They ticked me off a little b/c I got stuck seeing the nurse practitioner instead of the doctor and I had specifically requested this doctor for my last visit. The excuse was that he was running behind. She couldn't locate the heartbeat so she sent me to ultrasound. Everything was fine and actually measure 3 days ahead. In four weeks I should be having a level II ultrasound to check for birth defects and from there we'll decide if an amnio will be performed since I have a history with carrying a baby with Triploidy.

Logan is now enrolled into a new preschool that starts next Tuesday but he'll only get to go two days instead of three. We're both going to miss his old school.

My days are to be spent packing more and more boxes. I'm tired of packing. It's getting to the point that I'm just throwing it in a box and not even thinking about if it's junk, if it goes with us, or if it goes to storage. We don't know the plans for all the moving this weekend b/c some help can come early, some had to cancel, some can't come until the afternoon, but at least we do have the moving truck until Monday. I want to take Logan to the Dixie Classic Fair before we leave the area also and it starts tomorrow night. We've got to try to fit that in sometime this weekend.

Still no news on our brown envelope or LID.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


This was posted on the HFS group and I wanted to post it on my blog....

Now the Chinese have a strict one child policy for humans.But for pandas they are getting sex-ed. Hard to believe they are serious.

This article is funny.

This one is even funnier.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm Gonna Be An Expert Quilter

Maybe.....but I am going to learn the basics. Last year before Christmas I learned the basics of crochet and now this year I'm going to learn how to quilt. I signed up to take classes starting next Monday night. It's for four weeks on Mondays at Sew Much Fun in Concord. I met someone on the 100 GWQ yahoo group that lives in Concord and she recommended this place. It will be my night out each week for October. It will be "sew" much fun!!!

Happy Anniversary to Us

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. This morning we forgot to even say Happy Annivesary to each other. I remembered after Tony left for work. We've been so busy with packing and moving and living in two different places that we can't even remember our own anniversary. We have no big plans to celebrate. This past Saturday Logan's 16 year old girlfriend babysat him so we could see a movie and eat out. Our only plans today are to meet with our home builder at 1:00 for a preconstruction meeting. Then I'll travel back home and Tony goes back to work but he his coming home tonight.

Here's what we were doing 8 years ago today....
At this time early in the morning I think I maybe had slept a few hours at my mom's house but that was it and I spent the morning outside with my dog Lady (beautiful collie) talking to her and petting her. Tony spent the night at a hotel. He stayed up writing a poem to be read at our wedding that he surprised me with during the ceremony. We spent the morning getting ready, making sure everything was packed, my dress was at the right place and I'll never forget one of my bridesmaids loosing her shoes. I don't remember exactly what happened but there was some confusion of who picked them up and who had them. I was so stressed out that I was ready for this day to be over and done with. We had an afternoon ceremony with 7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 2 jr. bridesmaids, ring bearer and flower girl. It rained after our ceremony the rest of the evening. We spent our first night married in Charlotte (b/c our plane wasn't leaving until the next day from Charlotte Douglas Airport). The hotel had a class reunion going on that night and all we heard all night was a bunch of drunk old people running the halls. The next day we got on the plane to FL to find out the travel agent had us separated but we were able to switch seats with someone. Our rental car blew up on us before we ever made it to our hotel. We spent the week in Orlando and had a great time at Walt Disney World and Daytona Beach.

Eight years later we're still together. We've lived in 2 apartments together and owned a home together for 6 years and now moving again to hopefully settle into a home soon for a very long time into a place we're we will raise our children until they move out. We've been blessed with a son and now more children on the way. We're just your typical old married couple.

Happy Annivesary to Us!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Another Logan Funny

For several weeks now we've been discussing with Logan what he wants Santa to bring him. He's a big train fanatic and wants just Thomas stuff and Geo Trax. We've been telling him lately that if he's not good then Santa is only going to bring him a lump of coal. Well, he turned that around and likes that idea b/c TRAINS use COAL. Last night while we were finally looking through the Sunday paper, I gave Logan the Toys R Us sales paper and tell him to look and see if there's anything in there he wants for Christmas. First thing out of his mouth after his eyes set at the toys on the paper, "Where's the lump of coal at?" I guess now we'll have to tell him he's getting a bag of rocks if he's not good, but then again, he'd probably turn that into something good trains use them for.

I Met Gwen Today

She is soooooo CUTE and ADORABLE!!! I was late getting to Karen's house but just in time or I would have missed them. Karen was leaving to take Gwen back to the doctor's office. I got to hold her and she smiled for me. She's so little and weighs nothing compared to Logan. I want to go back soon and actually play with her. I've been waiting to hear what the doctor told them today. Watch Karen's blog (link on my blog page). I didn't get any pictures since they were in a hurry to leave. I wanted Logan to meet her but he konked out on the way to their house.

After leaving we traveled down to Charlotte with a load. I finally got to see Karen and Scott's "Metcha Day". My laptop at home doesn't have sound anymore so I waited until I could use Tony's pc. Logan watched it too. He kept saying "who's that baby" and "why's the baby crying". I think he would have enjoyed seeing her today if he had been awake.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sad Goodbye's

This weekend we have been busy packing and moving boxes into storage. It's really sad to be leaving our first home. We went to church this morning for the last time for a while (we'll be visiting off and on especially while I continue to play in our little band at church). Many came up to us and wished us luck on our move and told us how much they'll miss us. Even one person in church asked for a special prayer request for "The Hooker's" during their move and said she was really going to miss us and we even got an "Amen" from the crowd. I'm going to miss that church. The people there have been really good to us and we've made so many friends since we joined there.

One thing I am going to miss the most about that church is our daughter's gravesite. Love's has been so wonderful to us since we lost Reagan. We've had lots of support from many of the members there. Even though we don't visit her grave as often as we did at first, I still make sure I drive by and blow a kiss towards her grave every time I go by. Right now there are plots reserved beside her for me and Tony but who knows where we'll be when that time comes.

We also will be saying good bye to our dogs Wednesday. A man answered my newspaper ad today and finally for the first time I got someone actually looking for an older, big dog. Everyone else was wanting a small dog or a puppy. He brought his wife and two kids and another girl (friend of their daughter) to our home to see Lacey. The man really liked Lacey and the kids really liked Kayla. They are going to take both dogs Wednesday. I'm really glad we found them a home. They said they have lots of room and a wooded area for them to run around and play. I'm glad the two get to stay together. Even though the two dogs fight a lot, they also take care of each other. It's going to be hard saying good bye to them. Even Logan doesn't want them to go and it's hard to explain to a 3 year old "why" we are not taking them with us.

I'm going to miss some of my neighbors also. I'm sure Stephanie and I will not lose contact. Logan is really going to miss going to her house practically anytime he wants and walking in and get all kinds of sweets to eat and even having a toy box at her house to get into.

We'll find a new church and start over and we'll make new friends with our neighbors eventually and life will go on, but we'll never forget what we left behind either.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sleeping "Triple" in a Double Bed

I had to post about our interesting sleeping arrangement last night. Tony wasn't coming home so Logan and I decided to drive to our apartment in Charlotte to see him last night. Our apartment right now only has one bed which is Logan's double bed. I took Logan's sleeping bag with us. Logan falls asleep on the way down and so when we get to the apartment, we lay him in the floor on the sleeping bag while still sound asleep. The first time I got up during the night to go to the bathroom, Logan sneaks into the bed and lays on my pillow. Well, I wasn't going to move to the sleeping way. So we all crunch together in this bed. I wish a camera had been on the ceiling b/c I'm sure we looked pretty darn funny especially when Logan discovered he had more room at the bottom of the bed where our feet were. We ain't little people so this bed was quite full. I had the song going through my head "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" and wishing I was the one single in it b/c it sure would have been more comfortable that way. This was as much family time as we are going to get this week b/c Logan and I will go back home this afternoon and hope to see Tony this weekend if he's not working so much overtime. Once we get completely moved, we might feel like a family again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Kricket sent me an email this morning and said she was making this for us. This will be so pretty in our new house. I'll have to find a special place to hang it up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Brown Envelope

We might be one of those that does not get the famous "brown envelope". Some get it before they are DTC depending on when the I-171H is sent to Guangzhou. I inquired today through some of the yahoo groups I'm on and I've had replies that either they didn't get one, got it before DTC date or it took about 1 1/2 months to get it. We got our I-171H on 8/5 so it's been over 1 1/2 months for us. HFS needs the GUZ# if we get it but I have been told there is no need to worry if it doesn't come.

Time to Start Building our House

I got the call to meet with the builders on 9/27, next Tuesday. They will have our lot ready and footers out by then and we will have a pre-construction meeting that day. YEAH!!! That's our anniversary so this is how we get to spend out 8th anniversary. Maybe I can get a sitter (hint, hint, Kricket) that day and after Tony gets off work we might can enjoy our anniversary and also go to the meeting without Logan.

Oh, How I HATE Packing and Moving

Let me just vent a little....I hate packing and moving. We've been in this house for 6 years come November and have accumulated lots of Junk....ok, stuff (that might sound a little better since it's not all junk). Trying to pack around a 3 year old isn't easy either. Also, we're trying to pack for what goes to our apartment and what goes to storage. I've discovered also some places will not give up their boxes. At first I was able to get boxes from the ABC store. I had to take Logan with me and he just loves telling others that he's been to the ABC store and they sell boxes. I stopped going here afraid he was going to start telling his preschool friends and teachers he's been going to the ABC store. I've left Wal-Mart and K-mart both with two buggies, one with my items I bought and one filled with boxes.

I should be an expert mover by now. I've lived in at least 12 different places my life but of course most of them I didn't do the moving and packing since it was my younger years. During my college years, I lived in 4 different suites, 1 highrise dorm room and one apartment. Tony has only lived in 5 places (not counting college years) and 3 of those were with me. This is Logan's first move and hopefully last before he moves out or goes off to college.

Not only is the packing a pain in the neck, but also calling around to change addresses on bills, stopping utilities and starting new ones up.

We've thrown so much stuff away that we got a notice from the garbage service that we were going to be fined. We were putting out 4 trash cans instead of the 2 we pay for so I had to pay extra for a 3rd can and if a neighbor only has out one can at pickup, we're putting our 4th at their house. Now, how do you get them to throw away the trash can itself since we don't need them anymore?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Time to Pick out the Costumes

This year is Logan's first year on his own picking out his costume and he has decided on Superman. This was definitely not Daddy's choice b/c Superman is a DC Comic and he's more of a Marvel comic fan (like Spiderman). I tried to talk him into the Star Wars costumes to make Daddy happy but that didn't work and then Daddy tries to get him to go for Spiderman but Logan has been Spiderman before (first Halloween). I went through all the costumes for his age/size on so he could see all the different kinds out there. He's very big into superheros now and since Superman doesn't have a hat or mask, this is what he's chosen. Logan actually mentioned being Thomas the Train again which is what he wore last year and we still have it and it still fits so if he decides not to wear Superman, we have a backup. Next year I'll get to look at costumes for Girls...YIPPEE!!


Out of curiousity I decided to add up FedEx charges occurred during our paperchase. However, I am missing one charge which is the one where out dossier was sent to China completed (DTC date 8/26). I'm sure that's a biggie but as for now, total charges are $272.47. That's a lot of money just to ship envelopes back and forth. Here's one fee that can be avoided or at least the majority of it if you use an agency close by instead of like us using one that is in another state. Harrah's is worth it though. I wouldn't trade them for another agency.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Quilt Squares

I got a little carried away with Quilt Square Swaps. I've now sent out a total of 308 squares and have only received 154 which is more than I need but only half of what I've sent out. Some are still due to come to me. I'm not going to join anymore swaps but I might still swap with someone individually but no more group swaps. I'll have too many as is. It was fun swapping but it sure does take lots of time to get the fabric, wash, measure, cut, iron, fill out envelopes, make up wishes, and insert it into the envelopes. I still need to learn how to actually sew and make this quilt. I might have enough for 2-3 quilts now.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Update on Gwen

Karen IM'd me tonight (morning for her). I was so excited to hear from her and Gwen. Gwen was bouncing up and down on the chair. She's finally getting better. They had pedialyte shipped from her agency that should arrive very soon. Gwen was eating some toast. I was so happy to hear she was eating and smiling. She is so beautiful in the pictures. I can't wait to meet her. Seems like she has turned into a Daddy's girl. They already have an appt lined up with her pediatrician when they get back. I'm hoping to meet her on the 26th if she's up to company. I've been sick all day myself and in the bed most of the day so I told her Gwen and I could hang out together if they were here. Karen has broke a fever herself while taking care of Gwen.

She has posted lots of pictures of the village and surroundings of where they are right now on her blog. Check them out. It's sad to see how poor some of the people are. Gwen is a lucky little girl to have great parents like the Petty's.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Leia is even interested in seeing Baby Gwen's photos. She hogs the monitor and I can't see the pictures. Posted by Picasa

Our New Place to Live

Yesterday we signed a lease for our apartment. It's really a nice apartment complex, nicer than any other apartment I've ever lived in. While trying to unpack some things into our tiny kitchen, I realized again how much I'll miss my house. My current house doesn't have the biggest kitchen but it is 4 times (at least) bigger than this apartment. The other rooms are of good size but they sure did slack on the kitchen. One of the bathrooms is bigger than the kitchen. I have to keep reminding myself "it's only temporary." We did get new carpet and it's nice. The fresh coat of paint was making me feel sick the entire time I was there. Logan got a kick out of the TV being set up on the floor temporarily and he got to watch cartoons eye level with it.

The cable man was late showing up b/c he said he got pulled over for not wearing his seat belt on the way. As he is telling me this story, Logan decided to play around this man's legs. The cable man was wearing shorts and he was a very tall, slim man with long legs and Logan decided he was going to crawl between his legs. I was so embarassed. I stop Logan from that and he walks back over and does it again. After pulling him away the 2nd time, Logan decides to sit behind this man and he pulls a hair on his legs. It WAS funny but I was so embarassed. We didn't know this person and here he is taking up to him like we've known him for years. I apoligized over and over and the cable man just said "It's okay. I have a 9 month old." Are girls like this?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A Secret I've Kept

It's time to come out with it. I've been keeping a secret. I haven't mentioned it because I know there are going to be comments made that I don't want to hear. There are going to be questions asked that I don't want to answer. And the biggest question of all that really disturbs me is "Are you still going to adopt?"

I'm PREGNANT 10weeks 3days as of today.

Some questions I've already been asked I'll post.

Are we excited? YES, Of course!
Was this planned? Oh, don't even ask me this one. I hate this question. It's no one's business whether or not a child I'm carrying is "planned."
How did this happen? Duh, dumb question
Did you take fertility drugs? (This one will be asked b/c many know my history)Again, this one is no one's business

Are we still going to adopt? This is the biggest question everyone is going to ask. Of course. I'm attached to this baby from China just like the days I found out I was pregnant with Logan and with the babies I've lost. Stopping the adoption to me would be like having another miscarriage. We've put lots of time and effort into all the paperwork and reading up on Chinese children that there's no way I can just call it quits. The only thing that could keep us from bringing Madelyn home would be if China refused to give her to us and so far they have no reason to do this.

Two days ago I finally got up the nerve to tell Harrah's. I've worried, panicked, shed tears all over the fact I was afraid they would tell me we couldn't adopt now. I felt it would be easier to write an email b/c that way I could at least review my words to them and not leave anything out. Here's what I sent....

Recently I inquired about having a change of address, moving within NC. I have sent my temporary address to you and will send our new address as soon as I know the street number. It is a new development and only has road names at this time. I will get an updated homestudy once our home is completed. We expect this to be in either February or early March. We were DTC 8/26 so March is what I'm estimating referrel at the earliest would occur so we should have it completed before traveling to China.

We have now encountered another hurdle in our adoption process. I am now expecting and due in March. This was a surprise to us and by no means do we want to give up our adoption for our daughter in China. I have hesitated about saying anything b/c of my history with pregnancies but since we did sign during the application process we would notify Harrah's if this was to occur I wanted to let you know now. I have lost 2 pregnancies, one at 8 weeks and another at 19 weeks. I have been told by doctors I have a higher chance at pregnancy loss so it's no gaurantee that we will be adding to our family this way. However, if we do have a successful pregnancy, we will be so excited to have our baby from China as well.

We do not want to postpone the adoption nor give it up. If China will allow us to adopt one of their babies with another baby in our home we would still love to add to our family this way. My husband will probably travel to China alone, and since China only requires one parent to travel I would think this would be okay.

I have spoken to a few other parents that this has happened to and have been told we would need to update our financial statement and homestudy which we already have to do with the move we are making. If there is anything else, please let me know.

I really hope this does not cause a problem with our adoption. We really have our hearts set on adopting from China and can't wait to meet our newest family member.

Melissa and Tony Hooker

I waited all day for a response and never heard back so I sent it again to one other contact at Harrah's. I finally got a response (a few sentences were taken out b/c it was personal information)

Congratulations on your pregnancy. No need to worry, this doesn't affect your ability to continue with your adoption. I pray that youwill have a healthy pregnancy and that you will be able to experiencepeace of mind throughout. I hope you are able to relax and enjoy this pregnancy withoutworry. When you are closer to referral time, please contact us so we can discuss your plans and needs at that time. Some families who become pregnant during the wait, opt to put their referral on hold for a couple of months to give momma a time to heal and recover before bringing the second baby home. That will be completely up to you.Again, just contact us closer to referral time and we can discuss what you want to do at that time. Again, congratulations!Erin, HFS

I feel so much better now just finally coming clean with this. We signed an agreement during the application process that said we would notify them of any changes such as pregnancy, divorce, separation, etc so we HAD to tell them. We have to have an updated homestudy when we move and I think it would be noticeable to a social worker that I'm either pregnant or we have two nurseries. We couldn't keep it a secret.

I actually already knew the answer but I guess it just didn't sink in that everything would be okay until I saw these words myself. I had a friend do a little investigating for me. She called Harrah's twice and spoke to two different people asking some questions including what happens when a pregnancy occurs during the paperchase or after DTC. One person said "Pregnancy is no guarantee of a baby." Don't I know that!!!! Been there, TWICE. Another one mentioned that we would need to show proof we could financially afford more children in China's terms which is a salary of $10,000 per member in the household and would need an updated homestudy which we already have to do anyway for the new house.

This changes a lot of things. Unfortunately I may deliver before moving into our new house but we'll make do. Tony will probably be traveling to China by himself. China only requires that one parent travel anyway. We offerred to pay an ex-coworker of his her airfare if she could travel with him and help out. She adopted two daughters from China herself and wants to take her oldest back to visit so it would be a perfect opportunity for them to go back and Tony would have some help.

As for this pregnancy, so far everything is good. My last visit I was told by my OB (the one that delivered Reagan) that I'm not out of the loop yet. He said if we make it to 12 weeks, we'll discuss genetic testing. Since Reagan died from chromosome abnormality, my chances are slightly higher of this occurring again. I have one more visit with my current OB office. I get to see the dr that delivered Logan. I've already made an appt with a new OB for a consultation the first week we officially move away from this area. I made it as a consultation so I could learn more about the office and also get an idea of what these new doctors feel about my situation and also I need to get referred to fetal medicine doctors shortly after that for genetic testing.

As for how I am doing mentally, thank goodness I have the move to focus on right now. I'm not constantly thinking about making it to the end of the pregnancy and coming home with a healthy child. It's not been that long ago that I was burying Reagan. I miss her everyday.

Logan is going to be a really big brother to more than one baby now. We tell him stories about all the babies coming home trying to get him prepared that he will not be an only child anymore. I also don't want to hear "Logan is going to be jealous." Well, what child isn't jealous of their new brother or sister at first. There's going to be brother/sister, love/hate relationship in every house with more than one child. We will deal with it when that time comes.

As for now, we're just taking it one day at a time. Next year our new home will be full of dirty laundry everywhere, toys scattered, stink of dirty diapers, food found in places you never thought of finding it, bottles and sippy cups with old milk hidden under furniture, etc but it will also be full of LOVE.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thought this was cute Posted by Picasa

Karen and Scott are in China
As soon as I saw the first picture, the tears flowed down my face.

First Trip to a Dentist

I know this is Madelyn's site but I wanted to post about Logan's trip to the dentist. She'll be able to see one day what we were doing while waiting on her arrival.

Logan had his very first dentist appt yesterday. He got to see Dr. Duck. The assistant told him she was going to count his teeth first. He didn't want to lay in the chair until she bribed him with a toy. I think if he'd know then how cheap the toy was he wouldn't have done it but it did work. She touched all his fingers first with the instrument she used and then counted his teeth with it. She introduced the water sprayer as her water gun and the pipe that sucks up the water as Mr. Thirsty. He had fun putting water in his mouth and then sucking it back up. She was only able to clean the front teeth b/c he wouldn't open his mouth but she and the dentist said they all looked good. He made me so proud. They told him not to be eating a lot of candy, so what did I do when we left? I told him since he was a good boy, I'd buy him some M&M's (his favorite) and then bit my tounge b/c I had just forgotten what the dentist said....too late then. The cheap toy he got broke as soon as we got in the van.

Car Seats Checked off the List

Madelyn now has car seats. She's getting hand-me-downs. Logan has outgrown his current car seats so I bought a new high-back booster, 5-point harness for him yesterday. His current carseats can be turned around for rear-facing so Madelyn will get these. She'll probably be too big for the infant carriers anyway or will be shortly after.

Our Dogs

I've been stressing over finding a place for my dogs to stay while we are temporarily living in an apartment waiting on our new home. It's driving me nuts. Below are two pictures of our dogs. We adopted them from a shelter in 2001 after I had my first miscarriage. If I couldn't have children, I was going to have pets.

I found one place near our current house that will board for $300/month which is the cheapest I've found so far. This will really get expensive over 6 months. I've tried to find new homes for them also b/c if they can find a new home where they can be loved these 6 months, that would be better for them than being put up in a kennel. I wanted to post their pictures here in case any readers are interested. SPCA will post their pictures on as soon as I get their photos to them (mailing today).

Lacey is 4 year old, spayed female, mixed breed. She is about 80lbs. She loves to run after the ball when you throw it but doesn't want you to have it back.

Kayla is 4 year old, spayed female, mixed breed also and weighs about 30-40lbs. She wants to constantly be rubbed and sit in your lap. Notice she is not looking at the camera b/c she gets a bit scared sometimes at objects and will not let me get a good picture of her. She also likes to stay under my feet or on top of them making it even harder to get a photo.

Why aren't we taking them? Both dogs are used to the outdoors which I can't have an outdoor pet at an apartment. Even if they were to stay inside, the apartment would only allow 2 pets anyway and we are taking Leia, our kitten, with us. It cost $200 just to take her with us.

I'll miss them but if they can find new homes, we'll be happy to let them go. We're going to have our hands full after we move anyway with adjusting to a new city and waiting on Madelyn.

Lacey Posted by Picasa

Kayla Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Why China?

Someone on the HFS yahoo group posted a good reply that he uses when people ask "Why China?". I wanted to share this on my blog.

When I told you I am in the process of adopting a child from China, did you notice I was a little delirious with joy? Did my eyes shine brighter? Did my step seem lighter?Did it raise questions in your mind? Those questions are natural. For example, you might wonder why we and 20,000 other US families per year would travel to China and other countries to adopt a child. After all, aren't there kids here in the US who need a home? The good news is some families have success stories of domestic adoption. The bad news is for every success story there are too many horror stories. The US public system of foster care and adoption often resembles a trainwreck that traps many kids and traumatizes them just when they need lovingcare the most.

The foster care system, average age 10.6 years, and about 126,000 await adoption. Kids are placed in foster care when they are abused or the parentsare unable or judged unfit to care for them. The US Dept. of Health & Human Services reports around 550,000 kids are inthe foster care system, average age 10.6 years, and about 126,000 await adoption. Kids are placed in foster care when they are abused or the parents are unable or judged unfit to care for them. Substance abuse is a factor in75% of cases according to HHS.Abusive and frequently addicted parents are given "one more last chance"again and again, with the child torn to and fro in their very own nightmare. In a few cases they are abused in the foster home intended to protect them. Legal decisions to terminate parental rights and place the child foradoption come only after a long and torturous struggle. By then the unfortunate child is likely to have serious behavioral problems of their own. Like most who seek adoption, we just want children, and we aren't prepared to bring difficulties into our family. What about private adoption of a newborn from a willing birth mother? That works for some but has its own challenges. Because we are older, our wait would be uncertain and could be, well, forever. Couples must compete for the birth mother to select them and pay as much as $30,000 or more. Furthermore, state laws treat children a bit like property, protecting therights of biological parents at the expense of adoptive parents and thechild. The birth mother can reverse her decision to give up the child, and long after the adoption a birth father can surface to claim parental rights in a legal battle he just might win. We've all seen high profile cases on TVwith families torn apart. While the US systems tend to discourage adoption, things are different in China. Population control measures and cultural practices fill Chinese orphanages with infants, mostly girls, birth parents unknown. The Chinese adoption system works very well for their citizens and foreigners alike. The corruption in some other countries and the children are healthy and wellcared for in the orphanages. Adoption procedures are well established andexpenses compare favorably to other countries. The adoption is legally complete and irrevocable during our two weeks in China; the chance of birthparent challenge is virtually zero. Finally, it doesn't hurt that Chinese children are beautiful. As part of a China adoption we must obtain BCIS (INS) approval to bring aforeign adopted child into the country. Many others who preceded us report that during their China adoption our own BCIS gave them the same shabbytreatment and poor service they give to immigrants. By contrast, theofficials they dealt with in China treated them with efficiency and courtesy and respect at every juncture.What is wrong with this picture? Our US system discourages adoption while other "less developed" countries break down barriers and streamline the process. Is there any wonder so many travel to other countries to adopt? Some believe adoption is "easier" than childbirth, and that genetics make you love a biological child differently than an adopted child. They are wrong on both counts. Just like pregnancy, the adoption process has its' very own emotional roller coaster ride into and out of the clouds, so please understand if I am a little tense as I wait. And I promise you, just as thousands have discovered before me, I will love my child more than my own life. "Adoption" will not define her, it will merely be the way she joined the family. As one friend puts it "Some of my children are adopted, but Iforget which ones."I am thankful for all the families who have and will adopt from China. Nevertheless, I wish we would break down the barriers in our own country.

My hope is that some day our foster care train wreck and imperfect laws willbe cleaned up so families who want a child and children who need a home havea better chance of finding one another, right here in the US. Until that happens, a growing number of American families will reach across national boundaries to adopt because they don't want problems, they just want a child. It is natural to wonder why we would adopt from China, and we wanted to helpy ou understand. While I am waiting for my turn to travel to China I might be a little crazy with nerves on edge. When I return I will be crazy in love with my child

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Big to Little

I'm by no means bashing apartment living, but I'm really dreading these next 6 months. It would be the same if we were moving into a smaller house. We're going from living in 2000 sq ft to 1260 sq ft. I've been trying to think of the positive side to moving out of a house temporarily into an apartment. Here's what I come up with....

1. Less money spent on utilities
2. Less space to clean
3. It has a pool, playground, fitness center, and a few other amenities we don't currently have.
4. Within a mile from Tony's work so less gas
5. Very convenient to grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping (Tony probably sees this as a downside unlike me)

This is all I can think of. Please comment if you can think of any more positives. I know we are blessed to have a home unlike may people right now due to the Hurricane so I am thankful for that. And I am thankful we are able to have another home ready for us in March. It is a nice apartment, nicer than any other apartments we've rented but I still dread it. Logan will be moving away from his friends and he has more than we do but on the bright side he can make friends farely easy. I just have to take him to a McDonald's and he starts telling others his age his name and starts following them around. There are so many other things I'm going to miss as well.

Failed Yard Sale

We decided last minute Friday night to have a yard sale Saturday morning. I had already set aside lots of things we didn't want or need so all we had to do was get it outside, price it and make signs. Our yard sale was a complete flop. Tony took the signs out that morning and while he was putting up the signs, we had one person come, then nothing for another 1-1/2 hours. Tony decided to go out and check the signs thinking maybe they blew off. As it turned out, there was a bad car accident at the top of our development and traffic was being directed OVER our sign. I hope someone wasn't reading our sign and that's what caused the accident. Tony then put up another sign at the other entrance but by then it was probably too late. The best shoppers would have came early. We ended up making only $43. Instead of trying that again, The Salvation Army got the remainder of the stuff except for some things I decided to keep.

Friday we were told also that we could have our apartment on the 15th now and if we moved in on the 15th vs. the 22nd then we don't pay anything for September. Well, needless to say we said yes and now Tony will have a free place to stay after Thursday instead of commuting back and forth. Logan and I will stay at the house since he is enrolled in preschool until end of this month.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Well, not really. I spent most of today in Concord and Charlotte, NC looking for a temporary housing arrangement only to find out most people don't want to rent to someone for 6 months or less. After I finally found one place that had something available at the time we needed it and would rent for 6 months, we took it. We can start moving into our apartment September 22. As for our house the dates are to close on October 7th if all goes well with the inspection on the 23rd of September and of course the appraisal too goes well. Currently Tony drives 160 miles a day to work and back. His new commute, maybe one mile. Once we move into our house, the commute will be about 12 miles. We are going to feel rich with all the gas money we are not spending anymore.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The verdict is....

The contract on our house should be signed tomorrow. Woohoo!!! Will I miss this house? Sure, but I'm ready to go. We bought this house Nov. 1999. It was our first house together and we've had some good times and some really bad times here. I hate to leave the good memories but can't wait to get away from the bad ones. This is Logan's first home. I hope after we move into our temporary, back out, and then into our new one that we are there for a very long time. I'd like for Logan to stay at the same school system and keep the same friends. Same goes for Madelyn. I went to several schools and lost friends changing schools and don't have any life long friends like some people I know.

Tomorrow I start searching for our temporary home. We're going to sign a 6 month lease and hopefully move into our new home in March. I'm working on two places that might possibly board our dogs for those months....really hate to do that but at least I know they'll be taken care of. I've also got to figure out where to store a lot of our furniture b/c there's no use in putting it all into an apartment that is smaller than our current house. We wouldn't fit if all this stuff was crammed into an apartment. Our buyer's agent that helped us find the new home said we could back out if we didn't want to wait that long but we do lose our deposit. I'm not into looking for a house right now with trying to get everything out of this. We might still end up homeless for a little while going this route.

Harrah's told me today to wait for the updated home study until we move but if it is close to time to travel to China, then we need to get the social worker over to look at the house we'll move into even before it is finished. We'll have to get a different social worker but can use the same home study agency. Fortunately the agency we are using for this is nearby so that shouldn't be a problem.

Today was Logan's first day back at Preschool. This is his 2nd year of preschool. His class had 13 kids and two teachers. If the sell of our house goes through, then he will not be continuing at this preschool after the end of September. I really like his school and hope I can find one like it or better after we move.  Posted by Picasa

Another Sleepless Night

Logan and I are both up these early hours of the morning. I don't know why he can't sleep but I'm restless.

We got some good news and some bad news yesterday evening. The good news is our house is probably sold. The final deal will be completed today later on. The bad news is we originally expected our house to take 4-5 months to sell like all the others around here in our neighborhood. Now we're homeless. I emailed our new homebuilder to find out if we were on time for completion for Dec or Jan as originally told to us and was emailed back that it is going to be March. This is not good for many reasons. We need a temporary home longer, longer storage, don't know what we'll do with our dogs, when do we fit in an updated home study if referrel's may be here in March or April, etc. We're waiting to find out from our buyer's agent if there is anything else we can do. We're locked into a contract now and have put money down we might loose if we back out of the house. We have really messed up (I admit it) and now wish we had waited to find a home after ours sold.

I'm trying to think of the bright side. If we rent an apartment temporarily, less to clean, utilities lower than at our house, no grass to cut, no maintenance (except keeping it clean), and we'll be closer to Tony's work so less gas money needed. On the down side that's 5-6 months of less space and that's not good for three Hard-Headed Hooker's living together.

Madelyn's nursery will not get put together until the last minute. That really breaks my heart b/c I wanted time to really make her room special. She'll be coming from an orphanage or maybe foster care where she may not have had her own space, comfortable bed, and new clothes and toys. I guess her nursery really doesn't matter in the long run as long as she is given a wonderful home and family for the rest of her life. I need to contact Harrah's and find out when the updated home study would need to be done. I'm hoping they wouldn't want one while we're living in a temporary apartment.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

When You Were Born in China

I received this book today by Sara Dorow and of course I read it as soon as I opened the package. It was sent from Harrah's AIM as a gift to our child. The author tells the story to the children about how they came to live with their current parents. It talks a little about China and why there are so many children that need homes. There are beautiful black and white photos throughout the book of pictures of Chinese children, orphanages, places in China and even some of groups that traveled together and the adopting parents. I know Madelyn will definitely treasure this book. I cried reading it to myself so I know I'll be emotional reading it to her one day.

I've been Tagged

I was tagged and didn't know it until I started reading up on blogs I haven't read lately. Here goes, Kendra.

10 Years Ago:
1995 - I was beginning my 3rd year of college at UNCC and had the absolute worst roommate anyone could ever have. Almost every night her drunk boyfriend would call over and over all night long and they would argue while the rest of us were trying to sleep. She loved herself and was proud to always walk around the rest of us girls completely naked. My other two roomies didn't like her either and one of them told a teacher on her about the fact she was forging some signatures. They were studying education and had to review teachers at local schools and she wasn't showing up and instead forging their names. Needless to say she was kicked out of the University and no longer able to attend any other State college. I was also dating Tony at this time too. He was starting his last year of College at Wake Forest.

5 Years Ago:
2000 - We had already been living in our current house for almost a year by now and had began all the tests for infertility. I wasn't diagnosed with PCOS until end of this year even though I had it all along but no doctors ever officially called it that. Who knew how this would end up then? I had also been working for Aetna over 3 years by then. I never knew that later I'd be a stay-home mom.

1 Year Ago:
2004 - At this time last year I was still recovering from Ovarian Drilling Surgery. My step-brother was in the hospital with Cancer. He passed away 9/11/04.

September 5, 2005 - We started out the day with a big breakfast since no one had to rush off anywhere (which made me feel sick afterwards). I already wrote we got our first offer on our house. I took Logan to a park to play and then to McDonald's. He threw a tantrum b/c the Happy Meal toy was Mickey Mouse and not Buzz Lightyear.

5 Snacks I Enjoy:
Chocolate Ice Cream, Chips and Dip, About any junk food my neighbor Stephanie makes, Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Songs I Know All The Words To:
Old McDonald Had a Farm, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hot Cross Buns, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Um-Ack Went the Little Green Frog One Day (Children's songs are about all the music I ever get to listen too)

5 Things I Would Do With $100 Million:
Get out of Debt first, Donate some to Church, Charities and the Orphanages in China, Take a romantic vacation somewhere (somebody will babysit if I have the money to pay well), I might let Tony stop working (Ha, ha, ha), and Take the kids to Disney World after Madelyn is here of course (and we can even stay as long as we want).

5 Places I Would Run Away To: I don't need to pick 5, I'd take anywhere some days.

5 Things I Would Never Wear: A bikini, (Gotta save the last four for later. I'm a boring dresser as seen in one of my previous posts)

5 Favorite TV Shows: Lost, That 70's Show, Everybody Loves Raymond (before it ended), and lately Design on a Dime and any other "sell this house" type of show since I'm looking for ideas.

5 Favorite Toys: Mine or Logan's??? I don't think I have any so I'll list the favorite toys of Logan's I like....Thomas the Tank Engine, Geo Trax, and according to him this is all that exists.

Yeah, I finished....sort of. I'll tag anyone that hasn't already made this list.

Chinese Zodiac

It's another sleepless night so I've been catching up on other adoption blogs and saw something interesting I wanted to add to my blog...Chinese Zodiac.

Years ago I can remember going to Chinese restaurants sitting down at tables and looking over the placemats on the table that show the Chinese Zodiac. I knew I was born in the Year of the Rabbit but wasn't sure what everyone else in my household was.

First off, here's the Rabbit...

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

Logan was born in the Year of the Horse...

People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much. The are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep. (Logan's is right on the dot for IMPATIENT)

Tony was born in the Year of the Tiger...
(That's an easy one to remember - Tony the Tiger LOL!!!)

Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, however. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority. sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs

And Madelyn is more and likely born this year in the Year of the Rooster...

People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, capable, and talented. They like to be busy and are devoted beyond their capabilities and are deeply disappointed if they fail. People born in the Rooster Year are often a bit eccentric, and often have rather difficult relationship with others. They always think they are right and usually are! They frequently are loners and though they give the outward impression of being adventurous, they are timid. Rooster people¡¦s emotions like their fortunes, swing very high to very low. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.

Some of these are true about me, Tony and Logan but I disagree with a lot also. We'll just have to see how true this is for Madelyn.

Information copied from Chinese Zodiac.

Monday, September 05, 2005

First Offer

Today we got our first offer to buy our house. Unfortunately it was about $9000 less so we counter-offerred back. If we work out a deal, then we have to be out of our house by 9/30.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Current Events

I want to include in the blog some National Current Events occurring in Madelyn's soon-to-be country that happened during our adoption process. Here's some information regarding Hurricane Katrina. This information is from

Hurricane Katrina was a hurricane that caused extensive and severe damage over the Gulf Coast region of southeastern United States, including Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans, on August 29, 2005. Federal disaster declarations blanketed 90,000 square miles (233,000 km²) of the United States, an area almost as large as the United Kingdom.
The hurricane left an estimated five million people without power, and it may be up to two months before all power is restored.
Disaster relief plans are in operation in the affected areas.
On September 3, 2005
US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes" in the country's history.
The breaching of two
levees protecting New Orleans caused water to flow unabated into the city. Many homes are underwater in New Orleans and it is expected to take months to pump all the water out of the city. There remains a humanitarian disaster, with many people stranded due to flooding. Lawlessness persists. [1] The federal disaster area has been placed under the control of FEMA (under Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff) and the National Guard; despite numerous reports in the media, there is no declaration of martial law [2], because no such term exists in Louisiana state law[3]. Rather, a state of emergency has been declared, which does give some powers similar to that of martial law. On the evening of August 31, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared "martial law" in the city and said that "officers don't have to worry about civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters." [4] although he lacks any such legal authority.
Katrina may be the deadliest hurricane in the United States since the
Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed around 8,000 (possibly up to 12,000) people. As of 7 PM CDT September 1, 2005, more than 20,000 are still reported missing. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin stated on August 31 that the death toll of Katrina may be "in the thousands", which was confirmed by emergency responders through a statement by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on September 1. Accurate numbers are not known. Damage was reported in at least 12 states.

I've been watching the news and it's so sad to see all of these people that are now homeless and to hear about all the deaths that have occurred. I pray that they all get the help they need and can get back on their feet soon and the mess is cleared up but I know this will take some time.

Gosh I'm OLD

Well, today I got insulted by a consignment store. Lately I've been cleaning out closets since we're moving and decided today to take some clothes of mine to a consignment store. Most of it was dresses I haven't worn in a while but within the past few years. I leave the clothes in there and return later to find out they would not take any of them. The excuse was "they are too mature." In other words, my clothes were no "Hip" enough for their store. Tony joked with me that we were closer to needing "hip" replacements than we were "Hip". That store made me feel like an old lady. I guess I need to go shopping and find more clothes that make me younger and less mature so I can fit in and then used clothing stores will take my clothes. I guess now these clothes will go to Goodwill or another charity.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another Referrel Day

Today was another amazing referrel day. Little girls were finally matched with their forever homes and their mothers, fathers, and siblings got to see their pictures for the first time today. We still have at least 6 months before we see a picture of Madelyn. At least for now I get to enjoy the excitement through families that completed their dossier's before us.