Saturday, February 18, 2012

One more time

Late in 2011 John and I started discussing the prospect of one more adoption from China. I was the instigator but did not press hard. I waited patiently to see how John felt. It all started again when I saw a child's photo on the rainbow adoption network and actually made an inquiry to see her file. Long story short, she was selected by another family, but it brought the conversation around again. My agrument was that we still had so much to offer a child on the waiting list, that Luke and Lily would be such good siblings and help a child with special needs, that I no longer cared to spend my retirement days traveling and boasting that everyday felt like Saturday like my parents.
All it took was for John to hear one inspiring 8 minute commencement speech to tell me that it was time to adopt again. The speech was given by Shawn Askinosis and his final challenge was for everyone in the audience to go out and change the life of just one person for the better. Timing truly is everything.
Now we are into February of 2012 and most of the paperchasing is done for now. We have been through our three required home visits, each had a physical, wrote to the officials of the people's republic of China, gathered original birth certificates, marriage license, employment letters, back ground checks, reference letters. Funny, several of the people that are providing reference letters only had to make a few changes to the letters they wrote just a few years ago.
We chose AAC adoption agency out of Colorado this time. They are a smaller agency and came with good recommendations. I will probably never meet the folks I am dealing with but they have been good to communicate with so far. Once our dossier is finished and translated, it will be sent to China to be logged in. At that point our agency is eligible to pull waiting children files for us from the orphanges they work with directly in Jianxi or from the multi-agency list. We have told them we would like a daughter this time between 3-6. I would prefer closer to 3-4 range as that way they have time to spend in preschool and get the language down before jumping into kindergarten. It will be exciting to finally get logged in so we can wait for a referral. I am hoping that the dossier will be ready to go around April 1, but I realize any little discrepancy in our paperwork could set us back a month or two. Just to demonstrate how particular the paperwork is, we have to get most of the documents noterized and the notary must have at least one year left on their commission. It has to be noterized in just the right way, the notary must sign it exactly like their stamp. If there is any white out detected on the completed physical forms, they will be regected. I have been down this road twice and know it is just best to keep my head down and plunge right through, not to question why it must be done this way, it is China's way!
We are thinking of a name, should we continue with the running streak of names beginning with an L. Already I tend to morph our L names together such as Louk (Logan-Luke) or Luily (Luke-Lily), maybe another L will just add to the confusion of it all. Here are some to consider though: Lana, Lizzie, Liza, Libby.
I guess we have time to consider and I will wait to see her Chinese name and her face before making a final decision.
The kids are excited and I know it will be more work for me but I do see my work career ending in about 4 years. It is hard for me to believe I have been at the health department for 21 years now but I think 25 years will be plenty and a full retirement benefits will be available at that time. I am fortunate enough to have a great pension and a husband willing to hold the family health insurance and work for many more years to come.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

They made it to China

Cool school bus

Luke in the kindergarten classroom
John called me late Friday night to say they were now in Qing Dao with the professors. It was a grueling trip. Flight left Springfield at 2:30pm Thursday and after a 7 hr layover in Beijing airport from midnight-7am, they caught the flight to Qing Dao and arrived Saturday around 9am. Luckily he was not expected to teach on Saturday. His teaching began on Sunday. Because the Dragon Boat Festival takes place Monday-Wednesday, the kids were going to school on Saturday and Sunday. Luke met his kindergarten teacher on Saturday and John enjoyed all his favorite Chinese dishes prepared by the professors.
John said that Luke woke up at midnight but he was able to get him back to sleep and they got up at4:30a to start the day.
John dropped Luke off at school and said he jumped right into things, not a shy bone in that boy's body. His day went well and he said he was excited to go back. It is a Montessori school and it looks like they only have around 10 students and three teachers. He goes all day, has lunch provided all for $100 yuan ($7.8 USD) What a deal. Lily will join him next week. So with the festival this week there is no school until Thursday.
John wrote a quick note to say something did not settle well and he is sick, no details, just sick. I would not go into the specifics anyway but at least he is off for the festival and will have time to recuperate. Sun Li is taking Luke to an amusement park Monday. I'm sure he is having a ball with all this attention from the professors.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Close to China

We are just two days away from half of us leaving for China and the time is flying by. Passports, clothes,medicine, shot records, entertainment for Luke...what am I forgetting? Hopefully nothing we can't live without for three weeks. It's not like we can't get it in China if we do forget something. Luke is excited ands asks everyday if this is the day he leaves for China. I did ask him if he is going to miss his Mama for a week while we are apart and he said yes. It will be strange not to see his bubbely, smiling face each day. Lily, on the other hand is looking forward to having Mama all to herself. She has already asked if we can go to Incredible pizza together while Luke and Daddy are gone.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The test results came back from the MRI and everything is NORMAL! We were very happy to hear that bit of news.
Luke was back at school on Tuesday and seemed back to normal for Luke. John and I met his ELL teacher for next year, Sarah Henderson-Lee and we like the program. I am not breaking the news to Luke about the change of school and the return to kindergarten until probably the week before school starts, it would just be too much for him to dwell on all summer. We will sell the cool stuff about next year like the brand new school with a very cool playground and play down the repeat part. I think Lily will show some empathy for his situation (we can only hope) and not be a source of discontent.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Tomorrow will be a big day for Luke. He is having an MRI at the hospital on his brain. He had an EEG about 2 weeks ago which revealed that he has been having seizures off and on day and night, hardly noticeable but sharp waves on both the left and right side. He is now on medication to control the seizures but we have not really noticed a change since we were not aware of them before. The EEG was a sleep deprived test, they try to stress the body to see if it will seizure. This meant Daddy had to keep him awake until midnight and I had to wake him at 4am and keep him awake until the test was conducted. Luckily big brother Steven brought over Wii and we played that downstairs. Lily joined us at 4:30am much to my dismay. He did great at the testing but I could tell there were problems when the analyst said he would call the neurologist and had us wait around. The neurologist had us in his office at 7:15 the next morning. I really like the Dr. and he was optimistic that this is something Luke will grow out of. We will know more after the MRI. Suddenly we have to worry about Luke climbing up big slides and being in the bathtub without someone right next to him. Luke has been a trooper about taking the medicine and is working up to his full does over the next three weeks. He is such a sweet, sweet boy. We also have to make sure he keeps on a routine schedule for sleep as much as possible. Luke is the first one to jump into the middle of a bunch of kids playing and just join in, his laugh is contagious and he is always joking around. He loves to cuddle with Mommy and still begs for me to carry him even though that has slowed way down now that he is over 40#. I'm just glad we have the resources to get him the care he needs, not sure what would have happened in China.
Luke has also qualified for the English Language Learners program for next year. This means he will be at a different school than Lily and we have not explained that to him yet. He will repeat Kindergarten as he needs more work on his comprehension skills and writing. Of course the seizures were probably a hindrance in his learning. If once a minute your mind blanked out and came back missing part of a sentence, it may be hard to keep up. I'm so thankful he has the teacher he has this year. Mrs. Moran has been wonderful with Luke and keeps us posted on his progress. We will be meeting Sarah Henderson-Lee this week, his ELL teacher for next year. Luke will be in a regular class most of the day but for one hour he will be out in a small group with Sarah perfecting his English. I really want him to have a strong foundation before moving on to 1st grade. Since his birthday is in April, he is one of the younger ones in class.
I'm trying to remain optimistic about the MRI, kind of scary though. More later.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We say good-bye to Grandma Prescott

John, Logan and Grandma Prescott

Carol Prescott-Grandma
Last Monday morning John got the call that his Mom had passed on from this life. It had been expected at some point since her health had been so poor for the past four plus years but still came as a shock. Plans had already been made to transport her back to the North Carolina house in May to spend the summer in the coolness of the mountains just like she had done for years. John was worried that the summer weekends were quickly filling up and did not know how we would find the perfect time for all five of us to go visit Grandma and Grandfather mountain. Now the plans have all changed and we will be driving down to Fort Lauderdale to attend a memorial service. The kids will get to see their Florida cousins and we will get to stay at a hotel on the beach. John had to make a quick trip to Florida this past week to make the arrangements and he had been busy writing the obituary, practicing his speech and the music that he will perform. It has been a time for him to bring out all the old photos and reminisce about the time in Grandma's life when her body still let her live a full life, enjoying her Grandson Logan. How cruel it was that her body gave out just at the time when the next four grandchildren came along.....It is a time to celebrate her life and wish her well in the next.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Birthday Girl

This was Lily's week, her birthday was on Thursday. That meant cupcakes for the class. Saturday was the princess party at our house. We only invited the girls from her class and Jada, so in all we had 7 little girls. I had decorated the basement with a castle wall backdrop, a table with gold chargers and princess plates, pink table cloth, balloons and streamers hanging from the light fixture. The girls all got red buckets with suckers, lip gloss, pad of paper, chocolate kisses and princess gloves in a variety of colors. We ate lunch as everyone arrived. Fruit salad, cheese cut in the shape of hearts, turkey, peanut butter and jelly, cheese puffs and punch made with raspberry sherbet and 7-up. We practiced our extended pinkie technique while sipping punch, Lily made loud slurping sounds! I was proud of her though for playing the hostess, she helped fill everyones plate and was the last to sit down. After lunch we played good old fashioned games with a princess twist. Instead of musical chairs, we played "poison apple." The girls passed around an apple while the music played and when it stopped, who ever had it in their hands died a dramatic death in the middle of the circle of chairs. The last princess alive won. I had picked up great prizes at a 75% off sale at Penney's. Fancy purses and princess shirts that had been $20 were marked down to $5.00. We continued playing until everyone had a prize. Then it was time to open the gifts. That took all of 10 minutes as Lily anxiously tore through the wrapping to reveal three barbie dolls (one mermaid barbie), two zhou zhou pets, nail polish, Fancy Nancy book, princess clock for her room, hair bows and pocket Polly. She was thrilled with everything. We then sang Happy Birthday and cut the cake. Meanwhile the manicurist showed up to paint the princess nails. The girls took their turn getting their nails polished in bright colors and white flowers on the thumb. They all agreed that this was the best part. Mom's and Dad's started arriving as the party came to an end. I think everyone had a good time. Even my friend Jodi who dressed as Belle, seemed to enjoy herself. The girls all behaved very well and got along with each other. I certainly was ready for some rest after it was all over. Thanks goes out to Aunt Kim and Aunt Michelle for helping out as well, they had the mess in ship shape very quickly. Aunt Kim took 86 photos as I was too busy entertaining. Luke and Daddy escaped during the party but now it is time to focus on Luke's Chuck E. Cheese party next month.

In the meantime piles of stuff are collecting out in the garage for a garage sale. The kids are going to help and all proceeds will go to Lily's orphanage when we travel to China this summer. I told the kids they could set up a lemonade/cookie stand. Hopefully the health inspectors won't be looking!