Thursday, June 29, 2006

This post is related to China and it gives me an excuse to post a picture of a 40 foot tall Optimus Prime Statue.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm a geek. This isn't a recent ocurrence, I've been a geek as far back as I can remember. Growing up, one of my favorite cartoons was Transformers. (The original one, not all the lousy spinoffs that have come out lately)

At the blog Karate Party, they have posted a picture of a 40 foot tall Optimus Prime statue they came across in the Yunnan Province of China.

I've got to admit, it would be really neat if we were to adopt from that province and we got a chance to see this statue. Of course, the odds of that are really really slim.

Even armed with this information, I doubt Melissa is going to let me buy the Transformers Box set as a way of letting us learn more about Madelyn's Chinese heritage.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nanny 911

I listed myself on Matching Moms probably around the time Logan was one year old and I recently changed my address to our new location. I rarely get any messages but today this was sent to me...

Hi there,
My name is Deborah and I am a Casting Director for the show Nanny 911. I am coming to the Charlotte area in July and am looking for families that need a little help getting their kids under control. Our Nannies work with the parents and the children to help restore order and teach the tools necessary to having a happy home. This show may not be right for you, but could be incredibly helpful to someone that needs some assistance with their children. There is financial compensation and priceless help from the nannies for families who are chosen to participate. Hope this email wasn't a bother!
If you are interested, or know of anyone that is, please email me at for more information and to apply.
Thanks again,Deborah

I doubt I would qualify to be on their show with only one rowdy four year old b/c I doubt the babies count. I've seen the show a few times and realized my child is sane and calm compared to some of those kids. Hopefully when the babies and Madelyn are older we will not qualify either for this show.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Such a Nut

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Andrew relaxing in the pool

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Latest CCAA update

"The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before June 28, 2005."

My guess now is we'll get our referral in September since we have LID 9/9/05.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Madelyn's Finished Quilt

I don't have it in my possession yet but here's some photos of Madelyn's 100 Good Wishes Quilt.




Causes of a heart attack

One thing that everyone should know in order to look out for their health are the possible Causes of a Heart Attack.

They Include:

Emotional stress
Getting an email from Blogger when your wife titles a blog post "Pregnant Again???"

Look out for those you love, and always try to avoid putting them into a situation that could cause them to have a heart attack.

Pregnant Again???

Heck no!!!! But I have been asked this recently after Logan says "tomorrow I'll have a sister and her name is Madelyn."

Logan loves to tell strangers when we're out about his brothers and his sister. Just yesterday we were at the post office and two older women who were sisters came up googling over the twins and they ask Logan what their names are. Logan says his speech he does to everyone...

"The one with hair that looks like me is Nate and the one with no hair is Andrew and tomorrow we'll be getting Madelyn who's another baby that is going to live with us."

Logan uses "tomorrow" for any day after today. These two women look at me and say "are you pregnant again?" Of course I'm not so I had to explain we're adopting from China and then I'm asked (pointing at the twins) "are these your biological children?" There sure are some nosey people in this world. So, then I explain nicely yes they are and we started the adoption process before I knew I was pregnant and decided to continue through...blah, blah, blah...the same story I've told over and over now.

I haven't yet been asked if Logan is my biological child. I'm wondering when that will happen now.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Outing

I love my boys a lot but I gotta have a break sometimes. Tonight I got to see a musical for the first time. A friend of a friend got free tickets to the musical Chicago. I had never heard of it, but now I want to rent the movie and watch it. My first impression was "oh my, what am I watching?" when the first actress came out on stage. Many of the girls were dressed in black underwear and bras or little black dresses. The men had tight black pants on and most with see-through shirts. It was a great show- very entertaining. I definitely enjoyed it and I'd love to go to another musical if given the chance. I even got to see a celebrity live on stage...John O'Hurley (also known as J.Peterman on Seinfeld). Here it is 1am and I'm so hyped up from the show that I can't sleep. I wish I could sing and dance like these performers. Maybe my children will have this talent.

Quilt in Progress

I got another photo of Madelyn's quilt today.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Best Dressed Baby

May's theme for the August DTC swap was Best Dressed Baby. Madelyn got a cute red dress and a yellow jacket with animals all over it. They are both very cute.
Thanks again Secret Pal. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

So off Topic but so funny at the same time

Tony sent me this video of a man flying his model airplane. Watch the movie first and then look at how the not-so-professional's fly model airplanes.

See the yellow spot in the trees? That is the airplane that was flown by three friends who will remain nameless so as not to embarrass them. Good news - the plane was rescued. I don't remember if it still worked or not after that.

Back of Madelyn's Quilt

Cheryl sent me a photo of the fabric she chose for the back of Madelyn's Quilt. It's absolutely perfect! Madelyn's crib bedding is red and green with ladybugs. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Hah! We got this one beat!

Interracial Twins
bring a new dimension to the American family

Same age, same parents--born continents apart

By Nara Schoenberg
Tribune staff reporter

June 7, 2006

Jenna and Sam Goering are in the same grade in school, play with the same younger brother and sisters, and live in the same spacious farmhouse-style home in Bourbonnais.

Seven years ago, they entered their parents' lives on the same day.

And yet, Jenna and Sam aren't twins.

He was born in the U.S., the biological son of computer consultants Jody and Addison Goering. She was abandoned six months earlier in rural China, and first introduced to the Goerings through a string of urgent phone calls that started coming from their adoption agency just an hour after Sam's birth.

Together, Jenna, who is Asian, and Sam, who is white, are part of a phenomenon that would have been almost inconceivable a generation ago: the emergence of interracial adoptive "twins."

Born less than 9 months apart, such "virtual twins," as same-age siblings are sometimes called, are often the result of an unexpected pregnancy to a woman with fertility problems and an adoption that was already in the works when the woman got pregnant.

No one has published studies on such twin pairs, experts say. No one knows how many there are. But many veterans in the field have encountered a few examples.

"As a phenomenon, it's not that big, but it's real" and it reflects the increasingly interracial and intercultural nature of American adoption, says Adam Pertman, author of "Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America" (Basic Books) "Twins are historically, viscerally, in a dictionary sense, the same. And now we have twins that are, in all those senses, different.

"That's fascinating, and it raises some questions and issues and opportunities to learn. And I think it gives us some insight into just how profoundly adoption is affecting the American family."

The number of interracial adoptive twins remains very small for a number of reasons, experts say, perhaps chief among them that most parents don't seek out the challenge of raising two babies at the same time.

Some adoption agencies discourage virtual twinning on the grounds -- unsupported by research -- that adopted babies may fare better when they don't have to compete for attention with same-age siblings.

And even those parents who want virtual twins and find an agency supportive of that goal will face significant obstacles in trying to coordinate a biological birth with the arrival of an adopted child.

Still, when determination, inspiration and wild coincidence are present in the right proportions, children of different races can grow up side by side, engaging in the uncanny teamwork of twins.

That's what happened with Jenna and Sam.

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance," according to a Chinese proverb that Jody Goering quotes when she talks about the twists of fate that brought her two eldest children together.

"From [Sam's] conception on, they have just been intertwined," she says.

Before Sam and Jenna, Jody, now 42, and Addison, 44, struggled with infertility for three years. They tried fertility drugs, hormone shots and artificial insemination.

Emotionally exhausted

By late 1997, their only remaining option was in-vitro fertilization. They didn't like the cost of IVF, about $15,000 at the time, or the odds of its working, which they were told were only about 15 to 20 percent. But more than anything, they were emotionally exhausted. They had come to the realization that having a biological child, while highly desirable, wasn't essential to their dream of starting a family.

By the end of the year, the Goerings had joined the swelling ranks of American couples seeking to adopt internationally. In January 1998, they sent off their formal paperwork to China.

And on the day in January when their paperwork was officially logged in, Jody found out that she was pregnant.

"I guess we'll have . . . twins?" Addison said.

There was never any real discussion, Jody says: "In our heads, there was a little girl over there that was already ours, waiting for us, we just hadn't been matched to her yet. And how could we walk away from her?"

After a pregnancy marked by the potentially serious complication toxemia, Jody gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 1:30 p.m. on a sunny August day.

At 11 that night, Addison went home to let the dogs out and discovered that their adoption agency had frantically been trying to get ahold of them -- at home, at work, on their cell phones -- starting at about 2:30, or one hour after Sam's birth.

The Chinese government had chosen a baby for them, and a name and a face -- in the shape of a 2-inch square photo -- were available for their inspection.

At 11:30 p.m., Jody started making her second round of joyous phone calls.

"I'm a mom again!" she told friends and family.

At age 8, Jenna is thin and wiry; Sam, 7, is big-boned and broad-shouldered. He is focused and analytical. She is outgoing and intuitive. He is good at math. She is good at art.

Separated in school

And yet it's hard to imagine two children more united than the Goerings' 2nd graders who had to be placed in separate classes this year because, in the manner of many biological twins, they had reached a point where they were helping each other a bit too much.

"She would answer [when the teacher called on] him," says Jody, now a full-time homemaker. "He would answer for her, and it got to the point where it was almost disruptive for the classroom."

Jenna and Sam, who do not consider themselves twins -- "He's littler than me!" Jenna says -- are drawn to many of the same activities. Despite their parents' efforts to encourage separate interests, both take karate and swimming lessons. Last fall, they played on the same soccer team.

Until they were about 5, they didn't know that they looked different. When their preschool classmates tried to figure out who belonged to which racial group -- a well-meaning reaction to a Black History Month program -- they classified Sam as white and concluded that Jenna was white, too, because she was Sam's sister.

"Do you know you guys look different?" a classmate asked them around that time.

No, Jenna and Sam said. They didn't.

Their parents say that they didn't adopt to make a racial statement, but with Sam, Jenna, two younger daughters adopted from China -- Callie, 5, and Sydney, 3 -- and now a 21-month-old son, Benjamin, also from China, they've gotten used to strangers doing double-takes.

Sometimes the questions are insensitive: "How much did you pay for her?" someone will ask, referring to the cost of adoption.

Other queries are just bewildering. "Are they twins?" someone asked when Jenna, with her jet-black hair, and Sam, who was white-blond, were babies.

Another parent of interracial adoptive twins, who asked not to be named, told the Tribune that she has been asked, "Do they both have the same father?"

Ambassadors for adoption

Sometimes the Goerings don't have the energy or inclination to engage in detailed discussions with strangers, but overall, they say, they accept that they have chosen to be ambassadors for adoption.

"You're changing an awful lot of families, and it has ripple effects," Pertman says of interracial adoption, which is on the rise, with the Census Bureau reporting that almost 1 in 5 adopted children live in a home owned or rented by a person of a different race.

"There are Chinese cultural festivals in synagogues. That affects the whole community, [raising questions such as] who's a Jew? What do they look like?" Pertman says.

"The same can be said of a little Hispanic kid who's going to the St. Paddy's Day celebration with his parents. That affects the whole community, which has to start thinking about what it [means]."

Such questions seem a long way away on a typical weekday afternoon, when Jenna and Sam sprawl out on the living room floor, playing endless rounds of a Shrek board game, with Sam periodically brandishing a plastic sword and Jenna enthusiastically enforcing the rules: "You only have one turn, Samuel."


"No buts."

Asked about their relationship, Jenna says, "Sam and I like to do sleepovers" in his room, which has a bunk bed.

"And me too," chimes in their sister Callie.

"And I allow them," Sam says, adding, "[Jenna] likes to play games with me, and sometimes I'm annoying. She beats me at most of the games we play, but I beat her at Monopoly."

Later, as they dine with their family at a Mexican restaurant, Jenna rejoices over one of Sam's menu choices -- "I knew you were going to [get] that! You like cheese, don't you?" -- and Sam observes that "she really likes to kiss me a lot, and I like to run away from her a lot."

At this point, they don't seem to care about racial differences, their mother says.

"Maybe they will when they get older, [but] right now it's just, `This is my brother' and, `This is my sister.'"

Well, its good to know it can be done. We just got the Deluxe Version!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Three Sons

None of them were happy in this photo. Nate is crying, Andrew has the expression "just get this over with" and Logan wants to run inside because he is "Hun-ger-ree". Posted by Picasa

Info on Quilt

I was asked a few questions about Madelyn's quilt in a comment. Here are the sizes of the squares and measurements all around...

* Squares were cut to 6 inches. After being sewed together the squares are 5 1/2 inches ( 1/4 inch on each side for seam allowance).

* The black strips were cut 2 inches and after sewing are 1 1/2 inches.

* Total measurement is 63.5 inches wide and 90 inches long.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Super Saturday

Today I got a chance to get out with a bunch of Moms from my local Mom's Club - no kids and no hubbies. I had such a great time. We all met at a Japanese Restuarant. We played some games and even got a chance at door prizes. I won four meals to IHOP but the person that won 2 movie tickets said she would never get around to using them so I traded with her since I never go to IHOP. I'm not sure what we'll go see (guess it will depend on what's playing whenever we get a babysitter to watch all three kids).

One of the Moms that sat beside me also adopted from China. Her little girl is so cute and is the same age as Logan. She shared with me some of her travel arrangements while we waited for our food. She also told me about how her daughter just finished a Chinese language class. They learned how to sing Happy Birthday in Mandarin today.

I asked around while there if there were any other moms in the club that had four or more kids. I think I'll be the only one with four once Madelyn arrives.

Nate and Andrew turned three months old today. Wow! That time seems like it flew by. They now smile back at us and coo. Andrew is now taking reflux medication. His projectile vomiting after ever meal was getting old and he was miserable so I asked the doctor to place him on something. He still has some problems but at least he's not vomiting as much now. Nate weighs about 1 1/2 pounds more than Andrew. To be twins, they are completely different. Nate is more laid back while Andrew seems like he's always on the go. Andrew is always looking around and being nosey and kicking and moving his arms. Nate would cuddle with someone 24 hours a day if he had his way.

Logan and I have been enjoying the pool. A friend of mine lives in a development that has a pool and she's invited us twice to come with them. Logan loves the water as much as I do. One evening this week the two of us turned on the sprinkler in our front yard and played in the water with all our clothes on (no swimming suits). Neighbors and people walking by watched and laughed at us. We had the best time soaking each other. Logan completes the three year old preschool this week. In the Fall he'll start preschool at a new school closer to our home.

I'll end with a few photos of my cuties...

Madelyn's Quilt

The quilt top is finished. Isn't it beautiful?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Triple the Fun

We had single strollers with Logan and then double strollers for the twins. Now we are owners of a triple stroller. I bought this one used off another mom of twins who also had another younger child. Now we have room for the twins plus Madelyn in one stroller.