Thursday, October 6, 2011

We have TRAVEL dates!!

We are going to Taiwan to meet our new son, Kyle!  Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day!!

We have our Forever Family Day on November 16th and 
our AIT appt on the 17th!!!  

We are up to finding a hotel which has proven to be a bit of a challenge.  All of the hotels I previously looked at will not work for us as a traveling family of four!  (that sounded like a circus??   LOL)  We need a hotel room that has two double beds in it.  This sounds pretty reasonable right?  No.  Double beds so far have been two twin beds in a room!  Nope, that's not going to work.   Double beds aren't as common as you would think.  I'm being a bit cheap here, but two rooms wasn't in the budget. But THANKS to several other families who have traveled this journey before us, and a post on Facebook, those endlessly supportive and always there for you families, have given me a list of about ten possibilities that I plan on checking tonight!  I'm not on Facebook alot, but after my panic set in, I needed help!  They were there for me.   I am very grateful for all the families and friends I have made there as part of this adoption!!!  

I am also checking with two travel agents for comparison pricing on airfare.  As the traveling family (circus) of four, this is not going to be cheap!  So to get the most for my money, shopping for this is a must!    Now I just need the planets to align once more for the prices to come back fair, the hotels to have big beds and good western style breakfast (eggs bacon, bread, fruit and lots of carbs) and then we will book it all!

We are so excited here!!  After finishing this huge task of circus trip planning, I'm will be finishing Kyle's room, cleaning the rest of the basement and starting to pack.  Pictures will follow of his room.  Can't wait for that!

And I know I've mentioned this before, but I still have a few dolls ( Kids (dolls) need a Good Home ) that still need a new family to love them if anyone is still interested.  There were a few people interested but I was having trouble responding to them, emails and Google weren't cooperating.  So if you were interested and I didn't get back to you, I'm sorry.  Due to technology and myself not always getting along, please try to reach me again!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Pictures :)

We received new pictures of Kyle!!   He is wearing one of the tee shirts we sent to him in our first care package.  So exciting!!!  What do you think he's thinking here...?    :)

It might just be me, but he looks taller here.  Maybe it's just the angle of the camera, I don't know....
It doesn't really matter, we just can't wait to meet him and bring him home!  We have been building his library and are looking forward to reading all the books to him, just before tucking him into bed, after giving him a fun bath, making a mess all over the bathroom floor and covering him with lots and lots of good night KISSES!!!!  Keep your fingers crossed for travel date confirmations SOON!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Summer to Fall and Adoption News

I can't believe that summer is over and we are now comng into Fall.  I enjoy Fall, but I think I love summer more!  Our summer was pretty uneventful.  We received our final decree, that was the best & most exciting thing to happen.   We covered & closed up the pool for the summer.  :(  Kinda sad, but we are looking forward to next summer chasing a little one around.
Adam & Emily  September 2011

Adam started a new job and will continue to work part time while in college.  We moved him into his dorm, met his roommate, and stocked the cabinet with plenty of munchies fit for a college freshman.  He has a pretty full schedule but he is excited.  I think he is most excited about being on his own.   He is close enough to come home on weekends or for dinner if he wanted to.  It's enough distance to be out from Mom's
watchful eye, but yet close enough to home if he needs anything.  He has been home a few times already and it's only been three weeks, which makes me happy.  Yesterday he came home to help cover the pool, brought his laundry (which HE did!) and then everyone went to dinner.  A very nice day!!

Emily was in a local youth theater group this summer as well as her AP classes in school, so she kept us busy too.  Her AP Bio teacher gave them a test the first "offical" day of school, which I thought was kinda mean.  All the kids are excited the first day of school, and I thought it would be really hard to concentrate that day.  Haven't seen the test score yet, but I'm sure she did fine.  Her theater group put on the show The Sound of Music this year and Emily was Lesil, 16 going on 17.  Saturday was the last show night and all the kids did wonderful!!!  I wasn't able to sit and watch from the audience this year because I helped backstage changing all the kids with their costumes!  There are 7 Von Trapp children and I am thankful I don't have to keep up after that many children every day!  God Bless the Big families in the world.   I was soooo tired after this year's play.  But it was worth all the sticky hair spray, every pin prick, bruise and aching muscle - I wouldn't change a thing!!!!  We will have a movie night when the DVD's are released.

My sister-in-law and mother-in-law threw Kyle a Celebration of his (hopefully soon) homecoming!  It was an M&M themed party, our favorite candy!  All in primary colors, and I thought that was a really cute idea since the "baby" shower theme didn't seem to fit because he is 2yo now.  A clever idea!  There were loads of good wishes, food, snacks and bundles of Love that day.  Kyle received a lot of cute clothes, and many fun toys to play with.  I got to wear the funny hat full of bow and ribbons.  Sorry, no pictures available.  Kyle received a big wagon for pulling or riding in which Chris was looking forward to putting together.  Actually, haven't seen it since it came home, I think it's in the garage.  Will definitely check on that today.  :)  Now I can sit and look through all the packages enjoying that day all over again.  Then put it all away in his room, reclaiming my dining, catch all, room.

On our adoption, I'm sad to say that we are still waiting on our travel dates to meet Kyle.  Seems there is another document and signature required that is taking some time to obtain but necessary for the Visa & Passport application.  I think this is the sadest and HARDEST wait EVER!!!!  I haven't done too much in his room or even gone shopping. To be honest, I'm afraid to.  For Adam & Emily's adoptions I wasn't so worried about them coming home, I knew it would happen.  But for this little guy, I can't say I have that confindent feeling now.  Too many bumps, and none of the timelines we were given have been on "target" so I'm afraid to get my hopes up.  I think our co-ordinator has noticed my "worry" and hasn't given me a timeframe for this latest bump.  It's been a month since we received our final decree, and yet it feels like so much longer.  I was afraid of the possible timing conflicts for our travel would happen right at the same time as school starting and then the show dates. Since that is all behind us now, maybe, just maybe, with a dash of hope, and lots of prayers, all the cosmic forces will come together for our travel dates soon!!!!!    We are so ready to travel, met him and bring him HOME!!

Gotta get back to doing "work" things this morning!  I've also tried to post a comment on my friends blogs, but I keep getting a message that tells me "this Google account doesn't have access" ??  Very weird.  Any one else have similar troubles with Blogger?  Maybe because Google knows I'm at work and not doing "my work"     :)  Makes me wonder if the computer guys here are up to their sneaky things again??   I will try again from home.  Please know that I stop by often and enjoy reading the happenings of my Blogger friends, and reading about progress each family is making.  I just can't post it right now...?    :)
Blogger = 1      Terry = 0

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yes, I said it, out loud for the world to hear and read!!  We finally received our final decree from the Taiwan courts!  He is legally our here is the cute little face we fell in LOVE with, to go with his spikey hair

This was one of our first pictures of Kyle   :)

This was our second update photo

This was our last update photo - He wants the camera I guess or I like to think he is saying HI  :)

This is our newest son - Kyle Patrick.  We haven't received our travel dates yet, but I am hoping, praying and wishing that we receive them soon!  I am soooo ready to meet him!!

To try an pass the waiting (again) time, we are going to finish getting things ready for Adam as he prepares to head off to college.  But he will be back soon, both kids will be traveling with us to meet Kyle!  Our "priceless" Mastercard moment I call it, and it will be worth it.  Emily will be starting school also, but she isn't worried about anything.  She is ready to meet her new brother too.  Both of them will do fine traveling, (I'm the nervous one) and I'm not worried about them catching up missed classwork.  This coming weekend will be devoted to school prep and then we are going to finish Kyle's room.  I'm soooo excited - it finally happened!!  Can't wait to meet him!!!!

Off to update Facebook next!  I'm soooo far behind on "telling the world"  our news :)  Please forgive me!  I have a check list ten pages long, and I wanted to start here.    C'mom travel dates!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our summer, so far & Adoption Update

Our house is always busy.  Most households with children, no matter their ages, are busy!   Here is what has been keeping us busy.......

PROM!  Everyone looked amazing!  And the dresses, boy have they changed since I went to prom.  I think the styles and colors are much, much more beautiful!!  Here are Adam and his friends.....

A gentlemen.....

Peter, Waling, Sarah, Adam

Miss Emily had her annual Dance recital again - as usual a fun time!!
Emily really gets some height here.... 

Her Dance Class

Adam also graduated high school this year.  Many different emotions come with this milestone, excitement, happiness, sadness, loads of worry, and a LOT of Pride!  We are so proud of him!!  There were many times we struggled, we didn't agree, and assignments were rough....high school is hard, even from a parents point of view.  But he accomplished it and very well too,  graduated in the top 20% of the class, Member of the Nat. Honor Society and several other clubs/activities.

This is HALF of the Class....I couldn't get them all in one shot.

Receiving his Diploma!!  He did it!!

Traditional Cap Toss - Adam is front row, center

Bianca - another "friend"

Adam & Peter goofing again

One Very PROUD Mom  <3

Tiffany & Emily
And yes, we had another birthday for Adam.  Boy, I wish I could slow that aging process down a bit!  He is now a legal adult!!  Yikes.  He's 18 years old.  And we threw him a party, for both his birthday and graduation.   And True to form.....never dull here...........

 Here's the chuckle because my life always has one.......The party planning.  Of course all of our family was invited.  Big families on both sides.  I asked him if he wanted to include any of his friends.....we added a few to the list and sent invites to them too.  He then said "let me check Facebook".  Ok, I didn't think any more about it, cleaned up the table, got the stack of invites ready for the mail in the morning and moved on to the next project, laundry I think.  The next day Emily comes to me and explains that her friend B received an invitation to Adam's party.  What is she talking about??  I didn't see her name in the pile??  After seeing the puzzled look I had to be showing, Emily then explained that Adam created an Event on Facebook.   Awww, crap!!  Now I'm not a Facebook person, only when time permits,  maybe I check my page once a week.  I have no idea the details and the real workings of Facebook, so imagine the thoughts going on in my head at this point.  I asked Emily if she was invited on Facebook and she wasn't !!?!?!  What?  I checked my page, and I wasn't invited either.  OK, what the he11(o) is going on here???  Emily then added that B saw the list, (apparently its on the event page) and  he invited  138 people on Facebook.   A D A M !!!!!!!   (I think our friends in PA could hear me at that point)  He strolls into the kitchen with his typical Adam-ish laid back look he is sporting today, with not a care in the world.  Of course not, he's not feeding all these people, right??  After catching my breath again, and drinking about a gallon of water, I casually asked him if he had a list of friends for the party.  "Oh, yea", was his reply, cool as a cucumber.  He told me he sent invites out on FB and made sure to include that there would be no alcohol, plenty of food, the pool is open so bring your appetite and  towel.   When I asked just how many people did he invite, he shrugged his shoulders, (totally Adam-ish here), said he wasn't sure, but "don't worry Mom, they don't all come anyway".  Oh. My. Heavens.  Trying to contain myself, I asked him to please check FB, RIGHT NOW!!!!  Panicked, he ran to the computer.  He confirmed the number, and I thought I was going to pass out, right there, in the kitchen,  on the hard, cold, tile floor.   Ahhhh, teenagers.

Now there are many things wrong with this picture.  First, I take a lot of the blame because as a parent I should have set a limit here.  But, he's not 12 yo anymore and I had NO idea that he would do this.  Reality check for parents, set limits for everything!!   I normally do and I have no idea where my Mom mind was when this happened.   Next, it's the techno age, kids today need a computer for just about everything, and they use it for everything.   Tidbit.... Many places do not even have paper job applications anymore, you need to fill it out online, so you need a computer.  Back to the party.  Where in the world were we going to park cars for that many people?  We have a decent sized back yard, but this is a LOT of people!!  Our pool, can it hold that many people?  Oh heavens, what about food for this many people?????

For about a week after this day, I stressed ALOT about this!  Adam offered to cancel it but I couldn't do that to him.  It wasn't totally his fault, although he did get an ear full after the real panic set in.  Chris, my calming husband, tells me,  "don't worry, we will make it work".  And we did.  Our neighbor is building a house next door and said we could use the yard for parking, done.  Shopping, we went the next weekend and stocked up on all the paper products we needed, done.  Food, family offered to make things to bring, and I took them up on their offer, salads & veggies, done.  My brother in law, who loves to cook, owns this huge, professional grill, offered to cook for us, done.  Chris & Brother went to Sams Club, picked up all the meat for burgers, hot dogs and chicken, done. We planned for 80 people, thought that would cover it.  I borrowed extra tables, chairs and coolers from the local fire company, done.  My brother in law also works for a rental place (side job) so a tent was rented, shade was taken care of, done.  I put on my hard hat, had lists for everyone.  It was all washed, cleaned, put away or set up.  By Friday night, we were ready, I think.  Saturday, the day of the party, Emily &  I head off to my niece's dance recital at noon, of course, because it can't be just one event today, right?  The guys have their To Do List, I will be back in an hour.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Party time rolls around, the places looks great.  Balloons, sunshine and food is cooking.  At the end of the day, about 50+/- family members showed up and about 15 of the FB friends.  Yes, 15.  I think there are still hamburgers in the freezer in the basement.  We will be having them for the next month.  Rolls, I have plenty, still.  Salads, I had to give them away, I couldn't eat them all.  The deer, squirrels and birds, got the veggies.  And I had no place to store it all.  We had soooo much food left over, I could've had two more parties!

The lesson, set limits.  And the worst part, Bad Parent Award here,  I only took one picture for the whole day..... of the cake. It was good too, ice cream cake!!!
Fresh from the Freezer to the Table
That's our summer so far...........

On our adoption, well it's moving, I think,  I hope!!  Our dossier was submitted into the courts in early April and we are waiting on our final decree!!  I wish, I wish, I wish  it comes soon!!!!  Our agency explained that this wait could be 90-120 days, ugg.  This week brings us to the 90 day mark of our paperwork going to Taiwan, so lets hope that is a  good sign.  Wouldn't be wonderful to hear of our final decree any day now???   I think so!!!!

Package #1
We have sent three care packages to Kyle so far, not very exciting, but its not easy to send things in a gallon zipper bag.....I think we did ok....

Thanks to my friend Cindy for the idea of sending a Build A Bear!  We added a recorded message too....Emily said 'I love you' in English and Chinese.  And Yes, he did fit into the bag!
Under wraps Teddy Bear
He looks better out of the bag  :)

Package #3 

Oh, remember Aunt Jemima?  (State over charging clerk)  Well guess who came through for us?  She did!!  About a month ago, (I know I'm behind) we received a check from the state for $140.00 !!  Can you believe it!!?!?  I didn't think we would ever see that refund, especially not for the full amount!!!  I put that check right back in the bank - it will cover some shopping in Taiwan!  :)

I've been cleaning and sorting and shipping things to friends and family......check the previous post!  There are still a few dolls that need to be adopted!!!!!

I haven't done too much in our Little Man's room, I'm kinda afraid to.  Please don't hate me for this, but I don't want to jinx anything.  All the "what if's" keep popping in my head, delays, problems, etc.  We did paint and clean the carpets.  Chris is ready to set up the crib, me, I'm chicken.  But I think we will set it up this weekend.  Here's a peek so far.......Chris picked the color, it's BLUE!   His first choice was Texas Longhorn's burnt orange, so I'm happy with the blue.

Work in progress
I have to be honest, this wait is hard!!  Most days I can get by with just walking by and peeking in his room, so far, for now.  But soon, I hope and pray for SOON, he will be here so I read to him and cuddle!  For now, we will keeping working on his room.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our summer!  Don't forget to think about the dolls!   A BIG THANK YOU to those that have adopted several of the dolls !!  You are all very special friends!!  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

These Kids Need a New Home!

OK, first, let me clarify.....these are NOT real kids!  But to my Mom they were her KIDS!  While cleaning out & "nesting" as waiting Mom's do, I have been cleaning everything that I can.  My cabinets are covered with Post-It Notes as my To-Do list and I hope my friends and family can help me with this note.

This guy has wire to make him bendable! 
My mom LOVED Cabbage Patch Kids and had a good collection of them.  I would like to find homes for them.  Some of them are not in their original boxes but some are.  They are all clean.  They have been loved and well taken care of all their little lives.  I am NOT looking to sell them, they are for FREE TO A GOOD HOME!!!  I will ask for about $5 or $10 for shipping.  I don't know what it will cost, but that is the only money I will ask for.  My biggest request is that you promise to LOVE them just like my Mom did!!  She would want "her babies" to go a special little girl or boy who will love them too and she would be soooo happy knowing they were loved and cuddled each day.  This is a picture heavy they are
His tongue is sticking out - Mom did that all the time!  :) 

This girlie has a lot of hair! Not a flattering picture - I think I will have my photographer re-do this shot
this young chap reminded me of Elvis ?

Mom loved his little glasses!  

Mom loved all her blonde hair and dimples! 

15th Anniversary
I love her green dress

I also some Boyd's Bears too....same thing - just need lots of LOVE in a good home.....

Holding her Ice Cream

Bunny- very soft

Ballerina Bear 
Not Boyds but Cute anyway
  Please feel free to send me a note if you are interested in any of these for yourself or your children.  You can email directly at  It will be first come first choice.  Please feel free to share the link with your friends and family.  I really would like them to find good homes.  We already have so many dolls here we really can not keep them all.   Please help share my Mom's love !!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's a BOY!!! We have a referral!

Wow, there, I said it.  Yes, it happened!  Shew, I have been holding that in for waaaayy too long!   But I had to bring the blog "current" to be fair.   And a bit for the suspense!  :)   The OCD email checking paid off huge in February.  We received a referral of a baby boy!  He is super cute but due to privacy reasons I cannot post any pictures, yet.  But believe me, he is CUTE!!  We have decided to name him Kyle Patrick.   The name game was a huge debate here....I liked Kyle Matthew, but I was vetoed.  Chris wanted Kyle Dillon, but I wasn't liking that.  We decided, just yesterday that it will be Kyle Patrick.   I can tell you this, he is now 20 months old and we just received a couple new pictures since his referral  and he is changing so much already.  Let's see, what else....besides the obvious, that we can't wait to bring him home, we think he's cute, our family loves his hair and he has a cute smile.  One of his baby-ish younger pictures has him with a good amount of thin, baby fine hair growing in, very adorable.  The next picture shows he got a hair cut and it's all spikey on top, he doesn't even need any hair gel for that look.  The recent pictures show his hair looking alot thicker.
The Spikey look-no gel required  :)
Not sure if this counts as a picture, but it's some serious hair.    I think his smile is the best, you can even see a few teeth especially when you zoom in about a zillion percent.  Chris saw me doing that and couldn't figure out what I was doing, or why, then walked away shaking his head after I told him.  He thought I was nuts, but a mom needs to check these things.    In one of  his more recent pictures, he looks like he is just going to take off running.  I have a feeling there will be a lot of cardio in our future chasing him!  And our dog will be pretty tired running with him too.

We received his referral on a Friday, and I had a few questions.  So it was scrambling to reach a couple of doctors so they could read his paperwork.  What a looooong weekend that was.  Lots of talking and discussions, but I think we already knew, he was for us!  We contacted the agency, we ACCEPT and let's get things started.  We had to update our home study, quick one page update, and we waited for orphanage approval.  We received approval, and then more agency paperwork and dossier certifications.  This is where is got a bit crazy and it was another adventure, again.  

Those familiar with international adoption know that you must apostle (certify) your notary's signature.
We put together all of our documents, 21 of them, to be certified.  Off to Trenton, NJ's state capital we head.  I tried to call ahead, to confirm amounts, method of payment, hours, etc.; no one answered the phone.  I checked on line to the website for this government office and, it changed since I looked before.  Since no one answered the phone I couldn't confirm the change.  After an hour of driving, with cash in hand, we arrive and take a number.  There were only two 'customers'  there, us and another man, taking care of similar things.  Big glass window, little peep hole to talk through, and a couple of women behind the counter.  It's 9:25 am and I'm thinking, we are good so far, this shouldn't take long.  The other gentleman takes care of things and off he goes.  Feeling a bit better I relax a minute.  Bad idea.   Both women walk away from the counter...?  Can't be break already could it?  Ten minutes later, one woman, Miss J returns and call us to the window, no number checked or needed apparently.  I explain what we are doing, what is needed and how many documents we have.  She politely asked when we would like to pick them up, I immediately want to say, in 30 minutes, but that wasn't an option.  These were our hour service was the regular fee of $5.00 per document plus the "rush" fee of $1,000.00 per document totaling $1,005.00 per document.  Go ahead read it again, slowly, yes, $1,005.00 PER DOCUMENT!!  I can not repeat or post the thoughts that were going through my head at this point, it is NOT G-rated!!   I'm sure anyone with sticker shock could relate.  But if that's too much you could pay $500.00 for the two hour service plus the initial $5.00 per document for the bargain price of $505.00 per document.  Holy Smokes, people, are they serious????  Yes, they were.  We opted for the basic $5.00 per document with a 24 hour turn around.  Miss J must have noticed the color draining from my face because she promised that if we come back tomorrow morning, at about the same time, she would have them finished.  We agreed, paid the regular fee, and still in shock, we left. Upon reaching the car and thinking and debating if was really strong enough to take on Miss J, but realizing that's why the glass window with only a peep hole was installed, I thought better of that plan.  She was nice enough and reminded me of Aunt Jemima.  Then as if I was slapped upside the head, (thanks mom) I realized she over charged me by $100.00!!!!  Driving home I'm going down the check list and knew the amount was wrong.  I don't have my documents so I can't double check each one, so I had to wait.  Oh, man, it's gonna be a loooonnnggg night for me.  Every imaginable thought, scenario, or natural disaster went through my mind.  I really did check the news that night for anything happening.  Overload worry and panic was an understatement.  Boy, have things changed since the last time I was in that office. Processing Emily's paperwork was $5 per document, but they did it in a couple of hours.  We waited. Oh, and the phones, they didn't have voice mail to leave a message.  They were part of the recent cut backs for the state.  What??  A couple of people paying those outrageous prices could have covered the cost of voice mail for I guess six months, right?  And the web site updates happened on February 1st, 2011.  Figures.  Conceding to the fact that this could only happen to me and only in New Jersey, I went to bed.

Next morning, up bright and early like a normal day, kids off to school, we set off, back to Trenton.  Our plan was to go to Trenton, pick up the papers, fight for our $100, find a Kinkos in that city (I had to have copies before these documents leave my hands again), and head to New York City for our local TECO office.   What's that saying about the best set plans???   What a true saying......