Wei Jian Tong is in the Jinghai foster care program. Jinghai is a program that has about 200+ kids, split up into 3 kids per family. They are in a suburb of Tianjin, about an hour away by bus from the CWI.What blessed news. Our Micah is living in a family setting getting love and care. We hope that will help his transition to our family.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
We've been tagged!!! Here are our answers:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Usually paper, but use gift bags when the present calls for one.
2. Real tree or artificial? We have an artificial tree because we leave it up so long a real one would be a fire hazard. (Though tree-cutting with Micah has been recommended for next year).
3. When do you put up your tree? The day after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? MLK weekend
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, please. With rum. :)
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hubby: electric football game (the kind that vibrates and the men move) Wifey: Close-N-play phonograph (played 45's)
7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Several. We have a large wooden set, a ceramic Bumpkins Nativity and a crystal nativity set.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My brother cuz if he wants it, he buys it himself.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Mom, the only problem is that I see so much I know she'd like, I want to buy out the store!
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Basket of partially used hotel shampoos and soaps.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail Christmas cards!!!!
12. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life, Muppet Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn (it's impossible to chose just one).
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December 26
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep. But not *your* gift, of course.
15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies, Mom K's white chocolate covered pretzels.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored
17. Favorite Christmas song? Merry Christmas by Third Day; Mary Did you Know
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel. I've almost never woken up in my own bed on Christmas morning.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes, more eggnog, please!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This year we have a bow.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We usually exchange gifts with each other before we travel and have various exchanges with family and friends whenever we are together..
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crowds and crabby salespeople in the stores.
23. What is the "corniest" family tradition you do, or miss doing? We pose for one big family picture along with pictures of each family with all assorted children.
24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Overkill on the lighted Christmas statuary (you know the house -- there's one in every town -- with 87 lighted elves, Santas and reindeer!)
25. Which looks the best, theme trees or homey trees? Theme trees are beautiful, but we prefer homey trees with all kinds of things collected through the years.
26. What does Christmas mean to you? It's a love story that began in Genesis, was revealed in the Nativity and continues to this day.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Wei Jian Tong. This is our son's Mandarin name. The Chinese form names differently than Americans. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name (surname or last name) first and the given name next, therefore "John Smith" as a Chinese name would be "Smith John". For instance, the basketball player who is commonly called Yao Ming would be addressed as "Mr. Yao", not "Mr. Ming".
Wei is his surname. Often children in Chinese orphanages are named after the orphanage, the region or the orphanage director. The director submitting Tong Tong's file is named Wei, so we suspect this in where his surname comes from.
Jian is his generational name. Jian means strong, healthy. In a two character given name, one of the two characters in the personal name is shared by all members of a generation. We've noticed that all of the boys referred recently from the the Tianjin Children's Welfare Institute share this generational name.
Tong is his first name. Tong means to connect or understand. Often the first name is repeated twice to form a nickname. His nickname in the orphanage is Tong Tong.
When generational names are used as part of a two-character given name, it is highly inappropriate and confusing to refer to someone by the first part of their given name only which will generally be their generation name. Instead, the entire given name should be used. In China our son would be called Jian Tong or Tong Tong.
When he comes home to us, his name will become......
Micah Jiantong Ladman
The evening started with dinner shared by the Straights, the Christophers, the Perrys, the Hoffmans and the Nolans. As matches have occurred and children come home, our quiet dinner group has progressed to loud gathering with mulitple children. We must be quite a site for other diners to see.
The speaker for the evening was Amy Eldridge from Love Without Boundaries. It was amazing to hear her stories of children in China. She shared what she has learned about the abandonment of children in China. It's not as simple as the one child per family policy that's in place. Many children with obvious physical differences are abandoned because they are considered to bring bad luck. Parents who cannot afford surgeries to correct problems may feel they have no choice but to abandon the child. Sometimes there is pressure from extended family to be rid of a child with a difference. It's a very sad situation that has led our son to us and us to our son. It's amazing that God can make something beautiful out of such an ugly situation. If you feel a pull toward these orphaned children, please consider a holiday donation to Love Without Boundaries.
We were able to share the news of our match with Tong Tong. It was incredible being the ones with the referral after so many months of seeing others being matched and coming home. Shelby and her family were back from China and it was amazing seeing her in real life. (And I understand she wasn't at her best. When she's well, she's gonna be something!) We got to hang out with Sheridan, who is just a couple of months older than Tong Tong. We kinda got to "try him out for size." What a gift. It will be awesome that the boys will be able to play with each other. Sophia was there for her first First Friday visit. She's beyond cute.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
What happens next for us?
- Today we submitted our Letter of Intent (a letter to the CCAA in China expressing our desire to adopt Wei Jian Tong) to our agency.
- Our agency will translate and forward our LOI to China.
- Several weeks later we may receive a pre-approval (PA) or they may skip that step. They will move our dossier to the SN section (I can only imagine finding it could be a challenge with so many dossiers waiting).
- Then we wait. At least we have practice at waiting! LOL! They will review our dossier and if we're approved, issue a Letter Seeking Confirmation, commonly referred to as a letter of acceptance (LOA). The wait to LOA seems to vary greatly and according to variables only known to the CCAA. It could take anywhere from 2-6 months. We hope to be on the shorter end of that timeline since our file has already passed review in China.
- Once we sign and return the LOA, three weeks later we'll get our Travel Authorization (TA).
- After TA we can schedule consulate appointment and request our visas.
He's in the Tianjin Children's Welfare Institute, in Tianjin City. Home to 300 children, roughly 90% with disabilities, this is one of the better-maintained government orphanages. It is located in the city of Tianjin, roughly two hours southeast of Beijing by train. The children range in age from newborn babies to late teenagers. They live in comparatively good conditions and have access to facilities such as a performance hall, musical instruments, a children's playground, and a small yard for sports.
We've come across two other families who received referrals from Tianjin this week. They both have been matched with sons with repaired cleft lip and cleft palate. Could the boys all be buddies in the orphanage? Could we all travel together? Stay tuned and check out their blogs: Ladybugs, Motherhood and Other Musings and The Barry Family. And forging the way for all of us, the Lewises leave tomorrow morning to pick up their son from Tianjin. He also has repaired cleft lip and cleft palate. I think it's cool that the boys all share surnames and generational names.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sorry to be so totally random, but I was afraid if I didn't get all these thoughts out of my head and onto the page, they'd be lost forever.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Sounds of Waiting
The baby reaches for the metal rungs of the crib to pull herself to her knees. The bamboo mat on which she sleeps slips and scratches against the plywood bottom of the crib. From this new position, her dark brown eyes scan the room with its peeling paint and dingy white walls. In a few hours, the babies will wander the playroom in misshapen and dented walkers, now and then jostling into each other like bumper cars, plastic wheels clattering on the floor. Some of the babies will sit still and sway from their walker seats to the tinny music from the small radio atop the counter.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
That leaves only 252 log-in days until they get to us. We are more and more confident that we will be matched with a waiting child long before China would get to us.
Monday, October 01, 2007
"My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do!" Remember that song? Usually we use that song to illustrate the awesome power of God. He can move mountains and fell huge armies. But so often I forget that he can also solve the mundane problems in my life. And he cares about the smallest details of my life - even the number of hairs on my head. On Saturday we asked God to help with housebreaking of Libby. We had suffered a setback since she began heartworm treatment. By Sunday we had already seen improvement.
- Friends, Irene and Brian, who were recently deployed. Pray for all service men and women stationed around the world.
- Families hoping to be included in this next batch of referrals.
- First Fridays, version 2.0, beginning this Friday at North Metro Church.
- Libby seems to be doing well with her heartworm treatment. She is also making progress on housebreaking.
- The wonderful friends we have met along this journey. We love you all!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Today was Fall Festival at church. The day started early as I rang with the handbell choir for the both traditional services. Our contemporary service was filled will all kinds of wonderful music and stories of faith, thankfulness and grace. Then came a delicious barbecue dinner. HunnyB joined the youth group on their golf cart scavenger hunt and I wandered through the front lawn, watching the kids in the jumpy things (whatever are they really called, anyways?), and eating cotton candy. I talked to a friend who is leaving for China to get her little girl in 10 days. All in all, it was a day where God felt very close.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
As noted in the last post, we expect to be matched with a waiting child through our agency long before a referral would be forthcoming from the traditional program. Our dossier remains in place with CCAA so if for any reason that we opt out of the waiting child program or if a traditional referral comes first (yeah, right!), we won't lose our spot.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Children in China who have something out of the ordinary are usually treated harshly. For instance, a child with a cleft lip and palate is seen as defective or bad luck. They are teased (or worse) by even adults. An abandoned special needs child in China, who does not get adopted, faces a very uncertain future.
Children with extensive needs, like those requiring surgery, are often unable to receive the kind of care and treatment that they need because of the cost involved. Families usually just can’t afford these expenses. This is the main reason why so many children with special needs are abandoned in China.
Our agency receives lists of Waiting Children every 2-3 months, and they received their latest one about a month ago. There are as many boys as girls available on the lists, so we are preparing ourselves for snips and snails and puppy dog tails as well as sugar and spice. They have told us the average time to being matched is 8-10 months.
Monday, September 24, 2007
- My friends at Journey to Shelby as they prepare to travel to China to meet Shelby.
- Libby Belle as she gets her second series of heartworm shots this week.
- The child who will someday be ours. We don't know if you're a boy or girl, how old or where you are, but we pray for you and that you may be a blessing to those with whom you come in contact. May your needs be met daily.
- GraceFlock as we prepare for our Fall mini-tour!
- Visit Somewhere Over the Rainbow to congratulate them on being matched with Ricky.
- The learning and growth happening in our lives during this time.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
3. YOUR "FLY Guy/Girl" NAME: (first initial of first name, first threeletters of your last name)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Det. Burgundy Dog
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Michaele Mount Pleasant
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2letters of your first)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Green Margarita
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent,favorite candy)
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names )
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher's last name, a majorcity that starts with the same letter)
Nieghbarger New York
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you're wearingright now + "ie" or "y")
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Special K Willow
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: ("The" + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + "Tour")
The Knitting Sunshine Tour
Sunday, September 16, 2007
During this time, China reviews our application to be sure we would be acceptable parents to an adopted child. If they need clarification of anything, they would send questions to our agency. For once, I'm hoping to not hear anything from our agency!
The next thing we hope to see is a post that August 2006 is out of review.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
- Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
- where there is hatred, let me sow love;
- where there is injury, pardon;
- where there is doubt, faith;
- where there is despair, hope;
- where there is darkness, light;
- and where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love;
- for it is in giving that we receive,
- it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Last night was our monthly First Friday adoption journey group. It's a groups of people who have, are or are considering adopting from China. It has been the most amazing experience. It's the place where this adoption feels real. There's no having to explain why it's taking so long or what LID means.
The place was crawling (or rather scampering) with adopted and bio children. We got to meet Laney and Sheridan both of whom recently joined their parents. We caught up on the lives of those who have been back for a while and celebrated the journeys of prospective parents. We were able to visit with the little angel who has opened my heart to a waiting child.
We have been meeting in the home of Dan and Susan who have adopted once from China and are logged in for another child. Beginning next month we will be moving to North Metro Church. If you are in the Metro Atlanta area, you should consider joining us on the First Friday in October.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
The best Labor Day present for any prospective China adoptive parent would be a referral! Congrats to my friend Tracy who made the cut. Referrals cover through November 25, 2005. This leaves only 258 log in days ahead of us.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
1. You know which laundry detergents can be used on the new ACUs.
2. You call people sir or ma'am without being snarky.
3. Your dusting rags are old brown t-shirts.
4. When you walk before sunrise, you wear hubby's reflector belt.
5. You smile in disbelief when the show Army Wives depicts a close friendship between a COL(p)'s wife and a PFC's wife.
6. You know what the (p) in COL(p) means.
7. You got smacked on the backside with a sabre when you got married.
8. The world stops at 1700 for retreat.
9. You know the military alphabet - alpha, bravo, charlie, etc.
10. When hubbys asks if you're OK, you reply hooah!.
11. Outstanding is better than excellent.
12. All mechanical things in the house break when hubby is deployed.
13. You have to hit the Class VI before the weekend.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Amy's Random Thoughts
2. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Of course it was one of the hottest days of the year, but we had to go to the dog park. We adopted a section of fence in memory of Lady. It was a little sad, but her sign looked so perfect and it will be there forever - a lasting tribute to the best dog that ever lived. I still miss her every day.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
- I'm married to a wonderful man - B is a caring, considerate and God-fearing man who I am blessed to know and love.
- Libby is recovering from her surgeries. She gets her stitches out today and seems to be healing well. I've seen no signs of new tumors since the first one was removed.
- When I moved to Georgia, I knew no one. It was tough to pack up and move away from friends I'd had for years. But since I've been here, I have met some of the most wonderful people. I'm thankful for special friends like Janet and Irene who keep me sane and love me the way I am.
What are YOU thankful for? (Answer in the comments)
Monday, August 13, 2007
She's such a sweetie and everyone she meets falls in love with her. She has a couple of medical issues we are treating. Please say a prayer she can beat these and grow strong and healthy. Libby has bonded to me so strongly she practically panics if I leave her sight. So we continue to work on her confidence that Mommy won't leave her. I do wonder if God is preparing us for adopting a child who's afraid of being abandoned.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Top 10 Ways You Know You've Waited Too Long For a Referral From China:
10. You've stopped telling people you're adopting from China because chances are the next time you run into them you'll still be waiting.
9. When someone tells you a far off date in the future as 12-18 months you think to yourself "wow, that's coming up so soon!"
8. You know people who have had two kids in the time you've been waiting for a referral from China.
7. The last Olympics were happening when you started trying for a family and there's a good chance you'll be in China for the '08 Olympics there.
6. You know couples who have gotten engaged, married and had a baby all while you've been trying to start a family.
5. You try out all the baby stuff on the cat to "practice"-- and you take pictures to post on your website because there's no other news to report.
4. You automatically convert the time to Beijing time in your head because you think maybe the CCAA is working on referrals.
3. Your nursery bedding has been discontinued.
2. You've had to dust cobwebs off the changing table in the nursery.
1. You've gone on your last childless vacation.....5 times!!!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I have acquired no fewer than 14 pair of shoes since our dossier was logged in. 'Nuff said!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Did I mention that gerber daisies are my favorite flower?
It's easy to be excited for those who are receving that precious little picture and the news of their child match. It's hard to be excited for ourselves. At the rate of one week of LIDs per month, our match is 39 months away. Pray for the process to pick up.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
It's been busy transitioning back to day-to-day life and getting the blog back up to date, but I'm trying.