Thursday, September 25, 2008

Changing names

Our dear daughter told her parents (that's us...) that she wanted to be called by her Chinese name.

Now, I know a lot of this stems from the fact that we are going to be giving her sister a choice as to which name she would like to be called - her Chinese name or her American name - and I've explained to Kenzie why we are doing it (after all, her sister has used the same name for the last 4.5 years). But I think Kenzie is wanting to have that choice, too.

But this isn't something I didn't expect. In fact, I've always told Kenzie if she ever decided to use her Chinese name instead of her American one, then we would do so. Now she's making a choice to do so.

I asked her last night if this was a permanent change or a temporary one. After answering her questions about what permanent and temporary meant, she gave it some serious thought and said, "I want it to be permanent. At least for one week."

Then last night, as we are getting ready for bed, she said, "You can call me YM, you can call me M-M, You can call me M..."

I've been trying to call her by her Chinese name - and when I goof and call her Kenzie, I correct myself. I'm trying to make the switch so she can see if she likes it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fingerprinted - the 3rd time

You know, there was a time during this adoption wait that Roy and I would look at each other and say, "Well, if we haven't gotten a referral by "this date", then we should just forget it." Or, "If we haven't adopted by "this date" we should just forget it. Those "dates" have changed as the wait has gone on. But as time went on, and the referral got closer and closer, we began to ignore the "forget it" attitude and started believing that everything would be alright. Then we got our referral... but it doesn't end there

Well, here it is late September, and we've been fingerprinted again for the 3rd time. We are being told that it will take 3-4 weeks to get our written approval back. That would mean we probably wouldn't be going until late November at the earliest. The good news was this fingerprinting didn't cost us anything...

In a week I will call the contact person I'd been given and ask her if she has received the approval from the FBI... and if she has, if she can send an email to our coordinator, so hopefully, we won't be Christmas going to get our daughter. I really don't want to wait any longer than necessary.

On the other hand, I am working on getting a nice picture book together for Jia. It will include pics of us, her extended family, and facts about us and where we live that she might like to know, plus places that we like (like the parks and places we like to go to). I hope to have that completed by Wednesday or Thursday, and then have friends interpret our words into Chinese. I hope to have it overnighted to her by no later than the second week of October. She needs time to get to "know" us and what her life might be like before she even meets us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Is there a budding musician in the family?

We were at Best Buy yesterday... I took in my computer to have them check it out and to upgrade the ram (it was on sale). While there, they had some kind of interactive computer game (I didn't think to check it out to find out what it was - if anyone knows, leave a comment!) It was for playing music - you could set it up to have guitars, drums and to sing... I don't know if it had the ability to be set up for anything else.

Anyway, Kenzie just HAD to try out playing the drums. For the first time, the clerk set it up for beginner status and chose a simple rock song for her to do. She didn't do too badly. She caught on real quick which drum she was supposed to hit (although rhythm is still an issue). Then when I got through doing some of the things I wanted to do, she was begging me to go back and let her play the drums again. The second time, there were two young men playing guitar... so I told her she'd have to wait. They asked her to sit with them (these were two young, late teens to early twenties guys, Tim and Tom - and guys, your moms would be proud of you!) but she at first refused. After they finished playing their tune, she went ahead and started playing with them. It was absolutely adorable! I couldn't stop giggling...

After she was done, she was begging once again to get a guitar so she could learn to play it. As much as she wants it right now, I think she'd lose interest when she'd find out how much work it is to learn how to play one. If she's still asking for one by the time she's about 8 or 9 year sold, we'll do what we can to get her one and to get her some lessons. I am a firm believer that learning to play an instrument is GOOD for kids and is also helpful with their math skills.

I wish I could thank Tim and Tom again for their kindness to a little girl who just wants to do what the big kids do.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


WOO HOOO! Ok, we're just that much closer to our beautiful little girl. I have GOT to get busy getting a picture book out to her and some little things she might enjoy. I really hope she's going to like girly-girl stuff and wearing dresses. I've only seen her in pants.

It's going to happen...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Too funny pictures.

Just had to share the following pics of Kenzie. She was "posing" her version of a model. Strong but cute.

Hey - Tyra! Pay attention!

Friday, September 05, 2008

I need to thank so many people...

How do I go about thanking all the people who have been supportive of our journey? A mere thanks couldn't go far enough. There are people coming out of the virtual woodwork to offer help, suggestions, and support.

I've had numerous people contact me in regards to what to expect when adopting an older child. Their advice is being absorbed into my very soul and being. It's great to hear from others who have adopted older children and to know what works... and doesn't work. Not understanding why a child does one thing or another makes it very difficult to know what the right thing to do is. It's hard enough when you have a child that is "normal" in their adjustment and then they act out of character or do something you don't approve of, and there are no instructions to being a parent (bio or adoptive) - so getting help from others is so very important to me. Keep all the information and suggestion coming. If anyone out there has a great book on attachment and methods to help an older child adjust to their adoptive family - I'm all ears!

I think overall, Roy and I do well with children... but we've never had to deal with a child that has been institutionalized for this long. We'll be presented with special challenges, I'm sure. But then, when the attachment begins to form and the bond grows - and it finally clicks with our little one that SHE IS HOME WITH HER FAMILY FOREVER - it will be all the sweeter for having gone through all the challenges.

I've had lots of people ask when we will be traveling. We aren't quite sure yet. However, our agency is hoping by the end of October through the first couple weeks of November. It will be chilly and probably snowing in Harbin at that time. Packing some warm coats, hats, and mittens will be a must. I hope to know something by mid to late September. In the meantime, we are redoing our fingerprints (got the request in to schedule an appointment) and are sending off to get our visas.

God bless you all for your help.
I don't take any of this for granted. I do believe that what goes around, comes around - so you will end up doubly blessed for all your efforts to shore me up and you've been such a good friend to someone who has done nothing to really deserve it... but is so grateful none-the-less.