cherry blossom baby

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 Join the joyous journey to my baby in China!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Top of the Class

I am currently reading Top of the Class, How Asian Parents Rasie High Achievers - and How You Can Too. It's really helped me to understand some of the things I've encountered with Asian parents and students in my class. There are some principles that I want to promote and others that I want to avoid, but now I understand the culture behind them a little bit better. It's funny, but some of it reminded me of the way my parents raised me. They did a great job promoting the value of education. College was never a question, but rather a given. In my family other interests were promoted as well, and I want to do the same for my daughter.Posted by Picasa

Attachment and Bonding Class

On Saturday I attended a workshop at UCLA sponsored by my home study agency. The focus was on the adjustments our children may go through in this process. One activity that was very helpful was taken from this book: Eyes Wide Open. We were asked to close our eyes and visualize going home for the evening. We walk into our familiar home with all it's landmarks, sites, sounds and smells. We make a favorite snack, put on our jammies, and go to the coziest spot in the house to relax. We will sleep peacefully tonight in our own beds. This will be the last night that will ever happen. Tomorrow we will be given over to the custody of strangers we have never met. We will understand nothing of their language. Their smell, appearance, and ways of communicating will be completely foreign. We will be put on a 26 hour flight, our first time flying ever. We will be taken somewhere we have never seen and nothing will be familiar, all our landmarks will be gone. We will be held and talked to constantly by those we do not know. We will be given food and clothing totally different than what we have ever known. We will be touched and kissed repeatedly by these new caretakers and then placed alone in a dark room.
It was really helpful to put ourselves in our child's place and think of things from their perspective. A friend of mine recently gave me a great tip. She kept the outfit her daughter came from the orphange in and did not wash it. She placed it in the crib for her daughter to sleep with and smell. I thought that was a great idea! Posted by Picasa

Chinese Class

Tonight my niece and I went to our first Chinese class. It was so much fun! We had two excellent teachers. Because it's an adult/child class it's very "hands on". We were eating Chinese candies and foods, making paper lanterns, learning about the Lunar New Year, and learning basic words and phrases. There were some very nice people there. "A" mentioned that we were two of only a few people who weren't Chinese, and I told her that it was good for us because we can get a feel for how it might be for my daughter to be surrounded by caucasians all the time. There were several children that were there to learn Chinese so that they could communicate more with their grandparents or who were preparing for trips to China. There was a doctor who is going to be working in various orphanages. There was a mom who adopted her daughter 8 yrs ago and they are preparing for a pilgrimage back to her orphanage. We had a wonderful time! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My Secret Pal Rocks!

I also came home Thursday to a Chinese New Year gift from my July Dragonflies secret pal. It was all wrapped in pretty red paper. There are chopsticks and pretty lanterns and a wonderful book and hippo. Families are Forever is the story of a child being adopted from China by a single mommy in the US. "Bo" is her special hippo friend that her mom brings to China. My secret pal is so clever! How did she ever find the hippo to go with the book?! The illustrations are so sweet that I had to share a few below... Posted by Picasa

My Ayi

The Ayis (Aunties) are taking care of me at the orphanage until my mommy comes to get me! Posted by Picasa

Flying to My New Home

China will always be in my heart. Posted by Picasa


Thursday evening I came home to my first two contributions to my One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt. It was so fun to get these beautiful fabrics and the lovely wishes for my daughter's scrapbook! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Now on VH 1 - Chinese BSB

They've made it big now! Yes, my favorite music video (see previous post if you have not viewed this yet) has now been aired on VH1. Posted by Picasa

Her Workout Wear

Since we don't know how old she will be, or what size she will be, I've only bought this little sweat suit and a few pairs of PJ's. I bought 18 and 24 months so that she could grow into them and tried to go multi-seasonal. There are so many cute things out there that if I knew more of what to expect I could really get carried away. So in this regard not knowing could be a good thing.
This little outfit for our walks says "Once Upon a Time" and "Fairyland". The houses look like little mushrooms in Munchkin land. Posted by Picasa

My Mandarin

Well believe me when I say that I have no grandiose ideas that I will be speaking Mandarin anytime soon, however I am going to do my best to learn some basic words and phrases. Everyone has to start somewhere and I am starting at the beginning. Next Monday my niece and I are joining a parent/child class and then on Wednesdays I will go to an adult class as well. Culture and language are so inextricably related and I would love for my daughter to learn Chinese. If money were no object I would see to it that she went to a Chinese preschool. Anyway, I wanted to share about these fantastic Follow Jade DVD's. I watched one the other day and was so encouraged that I really can learn some simple things. They are great because you see the words in Pinyin and hear them repeated. She uses songs and games to reinforce. Although these are for children, and I bought them for my daughter, I am excited about using them for myself. I also bought the companion "Let's Go To Market in China". They are on sale right now as a set at Culture for Kids. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Favorite Music Video

I love these Chinese Back Street Boys!! You really have to see this. Avoid all imitations, the video you want is down at the bottom - on the fourth row - in the middle - and is titled :
BSB - I Want It That Way
Two Chinese Students 3 min 35 sec - July 8, 2005.
It gets better as it goes and they get more worked up. Note the cast, but still able to suit up, and note the roommate in the background online the whole time and seemingly oblivious to the performance. If you need something to smile about, this is it. And I Want It That Way.

Baby Girls and Dump Trucks

I may be the one of a few, but I want my daughter to get to play with cement mixers, cranes, and dump trucks. Construction work runs in my family. We're starting off with plastic for the baby stage, but if she likes them like I think she will, we will graduate to Tonka. I'd love to eventually get her some Hot Wheels too.
Not to worry, she will have plenty of dollies and kitchen stuff too.
It's so wonderful that we are in an age of freedom for women, may it spread throughout the world. Please don't flame me, but I'm one of those that's hoping to see Condolezza and Oprah together on a presidential ticket. Okay, I've said it now. Posted by Picasa

It's Not Just Angelina Anymore....

A gal from my July Dragonflies group is currently in China getting her baby. Although her paperwork went in July she got to travel early because she requested a specific child with special needs and does not need to go through the matching process. She posted that Hollywood was all over her Hotel in Hefei because Meg Ryan was there adopting her baby. If you want the scoop click here. Several celebreties are choosing adoption. Diane Keaton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nicole Kidman, Barbara Walters, I could go on but I won't. Some people see this as a fashion statement, but from all that I read these parents want a child and want to make a difference in the world. Angelina has made my life easier by blazing the trail. Most people don't bat an eye at a single person choosing to adopt now. We still have a ways to go, but I'm cheering these ladies on. Go Meg!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Some Babies Come By Plane

Please take a peek at the photos by David J. Clapp. After the prologue click on the words "Some Babies Come By Plane". These babies are beautiful!!

Book Close Up

Here's a close up of Zoe from Devotions for Preschoolers. Posted by Picasa

Baby Bible Lessons

I bought this little devotional book for my daughter and I to read each day as soon as she's big enough. For every day of the year there is a little message along with a simple Bible verse and prayer. There are four main characters and one of them is Zoe, a beautiful little asian girl. The artist has done many books in this "Little Blessings" series that feature this cute child. I want my daughter to see faces like hers each day in real life and in books. I know that my greatest priviledge as a parent will be nuturing her spirit and relationship with God, and I intend to make that part of everything we do. Posted by Picasa

Next Christmas

My friends Helen M. and her daughter Nana have given me several outfits for the baby. I have special plans for this one. A few years ago my sister and I started a Gingerbread Day at our church. We invite every child we can find to come and make gingergread houses (okay, they are really graham cracker). It is So Much Fun! One of the wonderful things is that everyone in our church volunteers and we donate everything so it's all free. We have such a great time. Anyhow, I am planning on my daughter wearing this to our next big day. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lucky Ladybug Book

My secret pal from the July Dragonflies sent this little cloth book. The package says Hug It, Read It, Love It!
We will. And thank you SP, the lullaby CD is beautiful too. Posted by Picasa

One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt

One of the things I did on MLK day was get ready for a fabric exchange. To welcome and celebrate a new life there is a tradition in Northern China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or "One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt". Traditionally the 100 squares of fabric are donated for the quilt by family and friends. Much of the time the squares were scraps from their worn clothing in hopes that their love and wishes for the baby would surround the child when they are wrapped in the quilt. The quilt would then be passed down through the family.
A group of ladies from my agency who all had their paperwork sent to China around the same time decided to swap fabrics as a start to the quilt. We will then be able to add to this as friends and family contribute. We also made cards with our wishes for the children and a swatch of the fabric to be placed in a scrapbook. These little girls will be wrapped in love and prayers. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I've been tagged by Ruby Cate and her Momma. If Ruby were not so adorable I might not do this...

What were you doing ten years ago: Ten years ago I moved from Southern California to Northern California --culture shock!! I was a preschool director at a large Christian school and I was taking night and weekend classes to finish my teaching credential. I was very busy!

What were you doing one year ago: One year ago I was contemplating adopting a baby from China. I had found an agency that I loved but learned that all their single slots were full for the year. In February I attended a workshop to find out more about how to write a good essay in hopes of being selected in the fall. Low and behold, someone was losing their spot and I was in the right place at the right time and got to fax in my application the next day!

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Pirtate's Booty from Trader Joes
2. Mandarin oranges
3. Fudgsicles
4. Fat Free Kettle Korn
5. Good Earth cinammon tea

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Buy a nice home for family members
2. Adopt another baby from China
3. Stay home from work until my daughter is old enough for school
4. Buy some real furniture
5. Give to and through my church

Five bad habits:
1. Always seeing what's wrong instead of what's right
2. Working too hard, not playing enough
3. Procrastinting
4. Agonizing over decisions
5. SNACKING WHILE WORKING OUT!! Yes, I've actually done this a few times lately.

Five things I like doing:
1. Reading
2. Crafts
3. Time with friends
4. Baby shopping
5. My Yahoo Groups

Five things I would never wear, buy or get new again:
1. Green eye shadow
2. Real animal fur
3. Acrylic nails
4. Canned Slim Fast
5. Teacher clothes

Five favorite toys/games:
1. My new Dell Computer
2. My Bonjour Primo Latte (froths milk for your coffee)
3. Senseo coffee maker ( quite caffine last year but still sometimes have a decaf)
4. My Martha Stewart Label Maker - it's wonderful!
5. My HP flat bed scanner
So, here's the deal; remove the blog in the TOP SPOT from the following list and then add YOUR BLOG to the bottom spot.
GwenblogWaiting for Lauren Elizabethtate r bugRuby In Her Own TimeCherryBlossomBaby

Then select FIVE PEOPLE to TAG!!! =*evilgrin*Joannah Julie
Tiffany Nina

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Trusting God

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to an all knowing God"
Martin Luther
It's so comforting to know that He knows our future and we can trust Him completely!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quote of the Day

In my July DTC group (that's Dossiers to China) we have secret pals. My secret pal has sent me many great things but one thing that I wanted to share right now. There was a book of quotes for mothers and I loved this one...

"There lies in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." Washington Irving

Those of us who were DTC in July have a website called the July Dragonflies that you are welcome to visit.

The Red Thread Blanket

This beautiful blanket was crocheted by Helen B., who is also the mom of my dear friend Amanda. When she asked Mandy what color of blanket she should make she got the answer "it has to be red!" This is because the Chinese adoption community has a popular saying from an ancient Chinese belief.
"There is an invisible red thread that connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break."
Helen even stitched a little ladybug down in the right corner. Many who have adopted from China view the ladybug as a symbol of good luck and lots of people have reported unusal sightings of ladybugs right before they are referred a child.
During my paperchase and homestudy Amanda had a dream that the people from China brought the baby over to meet me and to watch and evaluate how we interacted. We took the baby to the beach and were laughing and playing with her and not were not intimidated by our onlookers. She said that in her dream the baby had big red cheeks. Even though I did not have the dream I can picture it all. I'll be taking this blanket to China with me and wrapping her up in it. Thank you Helen for the love that you put into this. I am so grateful to have you all in my life. Posted by Picasa

Babies R Us

Around the time I sent my documents to China I went to Babies R Us for the first time ever. I wanted to celebrate by shopping a little. About an hour later I walked out of there dazed and in a fog, overwhelmed by all the items they carry. As I left I had realized I had purchased one three dollar bib and that's all I had to show for my efforts. I didn't return until I went to buy a shower gift for a friend, and even with a registry to walk around with I was still pretty baffled by the choices. Fortunately my dear niece has been telling me that she would go with me and help. We finally had the chance to go recently and let me tell you, help she did. She's 10 yrs. old and loves to help with babies and children (Yay for me and the baby!). As we started to look at items I would scan the first thing I looked at and a few minutes later she would show me a few more choices that were 10x better than what I had found. I pretty much had to let her take over because she really knew all about this stuff. She kept telling me "Auntie, the babies love this, trust me, I know!" She was so cute and made it so fun. I still couldn't do it all, we just made a start, but without her I would have wandered out with nothing again. I am so thankful for my sweet niece, whose sharp wits help me and whose delightful personality makes everything so enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bring Me Hope

If you haven't yet seen the video from Bring Me Hope please take a few moments and watch it now. The 7 minute version is wonderful and you can find it here. It's beautiful and will really paint a picture of what adopting a child from China is all about.

The State of the Nursery

Well, some of you have been asking me how the nursery is going. The picture tells all. Upon removing all the furniture that had been in the room I noticed a very uneven flooring situation. After the carpet was pulled back we found that at some point someone had been looking for a pipe or vent and had cut through all the floor boards. Over the years things have settled and it has turned into quite a bumpy situation. I am so fortunate that a friend from church is willing to come over and make repairs. Hopefully the floor will not have to be replaced. For a baby just learning to walk we will need a good surface to stand on. So, other than painting the room, not a lot has been done. But it will, and I am looking forward to the parts that are more fun. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Silver Fortune Cookies

My friend Amanda gave my these beautiful hinged silver fortune cookies from Lenox. They come with little slips that you can write individual notes on to slip inside and put at each place setting for a special dinner. I'm looking forward to using these at special celebrations. Thank you Mandy! Posted by Picasa

A Special Gift

This beautiful bun cover headpiece was given to me by my dear friend Rebecca. Her grandparents brought it here many years ago from their travels to China. There are little butterfies on springs around the top. I love having this little piece of my daughters culture! Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 06, 2006

This is fun!

For Christmas lots of fun gifts arrived. The beautiful mandarin style outfit was from Auntie Cynthia and Uncle Bob, as was the darling ladybug backpack! The I'm Choosen bear came from Ms. Carolyn. And the little teddy with the minature blankie came from my friend Cathy. This child has alot of people that are excited about her. It's hard to believe that right now she is in an orphanage in China. Maybe she is blessed to be in a good foster care program. Posted by Picasa