Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just to prove we're not really bad parents after all

You may not remember last year's snow pictures, but we sure do. We felt sure we had traumatized Lily forever, making her wear way-too-big latex gloves over her cloth gloves. This year, we were prepared, thanks to Julie's mom ... Lily has some nice waterproof mittens to wear as we played in this season's first snowfall.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Issues with Domestic Adoptions

Of course, we decided to adopt internationally. Click here to read an interesting article which describes current issues with domestic adoptions here in America.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Meet Our New Little Guy

Drum roll, please. Here are the pictures of Aidan Tianzhen that we received via email.
We went to see our pediatrician the day after the referral arrived to show her all the paperwork we received. Aidan seems to be small for his age and may need several surgeries over time for his cleft palate. As a result of this, he will probably need extra therapies and dental work over the years. We will also have to deal with more language issues since Aidan has had two years of hearing Chinese as opposed to the 10 months that Lily had. Also, with an older child we will have to be more sensitive about attachment and bonding issues.

We're overjoyed at the thought of Aidan joining our family. We ask for your prayers as we continue on this journey to get him, and prayers for Aidan as he waits for us.

It's Official

It's official. We received word today that we were approved by China to go ahead with the adoption of our new little guy. That means two things. First, we have to wait for the letter of acceptance and travel invitation from China. As soon as that all goes through the proper channels, then we will be traveling to get him. Second, it means that we are free to give more details about our son.

Our son. We weren't quite prepared for that. Not that we didn't think this was a possibility, since many more special needs children from China are boys. But we had a name for another girl picked out already and hadn't even been thinking about boys names. Not to mention that we've been saving all of Lily's clothes. Lily offered to share her clothes, but we explained that boys don't wear girl's clothes.

His name will be Aidan Tianzhen. His given name is Guan Tianzhen, and so we will use Tianzhen as his middle name. He is from Dongguan city in the Guangdong province. As far as we can tell, Tianzhen means "naive" or "innocent," but that's all we could find out by "googling" it. I'm sure we'll learn more later.

We've already been to the pediatrician to have her look at all the paperwork we received and for her to evaluate Aidan's condition as best as she is able. It looks like he has already had surgery to repair a cleft lip, but he will still need surgery for a cleft palate.

We don't know yet when we will travel. More than likely it will be after the new year, but there's a remote possibility it could be around Christmas time. That would figure...I was gone to get Lily during Holy Week and Easter. It would only be appropriate to be gone on another high feast day of the Church...not exactly easy times for a pastor to be gone from his congregation, but I'm sure God will work things out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We've Been Chosen!

We didn't think it would be happening this soon. It hasn't even been a month yet since our special needs paperwork was filed. But Julie about had a heart attack Thursday morning when our social worker called and said that a child has been assigned to us. Even our social worker was surprised that it was so fast. It's a 2-year old boy in China with special needs. He has a cleft palate. We will give you more information and pictures when we are able.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cheerios for Jesus

This past Sunday morning, Lily and I are having Cheerios with Reese's Puffs mixed in. We do this to cut the sugar content while still enjoying a little bit of "fun" cereal.

Then came the following exchange.

Lily: "I no like Cheerios. Why put Cheerios in, too?"

Me: "Because Cheerios are good for you."

Lily: "Why?"

Me: "Because they have oats in them. Oats are good for your heart."

Lily: "I eat Cheerios, go down into my heart, Jesus eat my Cheerios."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Paperwork for #2

This week we've been filling out and filing more paperwork for adoption #2. As you may already know, we have expressed our willingness to adopt a special needs child, or "Child of Promise" (COP) as our agency calls them. The process for adopting special needs children from China has been modified, so we needed to fill out some more paperwork for the new process. Rather than bore you with the details, suffice it to say that things are still in the works. As of now, our wait is about the same...about two years...but that could change if we are matched with a "COP."

And thank the Lord for scanners and email. That sure makes all the paper shuffling a lot easier.

Monday, September 08, 2008

More Pics from the Fair

Here's Lily and Daddy. That's Daddy putting on a good face...he was getting a bit queasy.

Lily learned how clothes were washed in the "olden days."

Finishing out the day with an ice cream dip all over the face.

We weren't even out of the parking lot before someone nodded off.

A Day at the Fair

Lily went to the Puyallup Fair with her Mom and Dad and Grandma and Papa Hepola. She got to sit in a miniature fire truck.

Then she picked out her very own "hog" to ride.

Here she is getting ready to ride the kiddie roller coaster. I think she's saying to the other girls, "Do you really think is such a good idea?"

Driving is one of Lily's favorite activities. This beats those cheesy fake cars with shopping cars attached at the grocery store.

At first, Lily and Papa were going to go down the giant slide together. They made it all the way up the stairs, and then started back down. She wanted to go down with Daddy instead.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

First Day of Preschool

Here's Lily (and her monkey backpack) all giddy about heading out to her first day of preschool ("Little Lambs" at our church).

First thing you do is hang up your backpack.

Next, you find your nametag and your box with your name on it.

Then, you finish your long, hard, busy day (well, okay, 2 hours) at preschool with a chocolate shake at Red Robin.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Best Thing Lily Ever Said

So we're watching a baseball game on TV the other day, and one of the announcer mentions the Yankees. Lily gets up, puts her hands on the counter, sticks out her bottom, and says...

"Show Yankees my bum."

I finally feel like I've succeeded as a parent.

(I had to post this one, just for posterity's sake...or should I say "posterior's sake")

Monday, June 23, 2008

First Trip to the Magic Kingdom

So ... can you tell what we did on our vacation? In addition to going to Grammy O's house in Rancho Cucamonga at the end of April (I know, I know...why didn't you post these pictures sooner?), we visited a certain amusement park in Anaheim, CA. I'll post some more fun pictures from our trip another time.

Notice that it was "Pup-pup's" (Lily's ever-present stuffed animal friend) first time there, too.

Good Bye Crib, Hello Big Girl Bed

Lily got her first "big girl" bed not long before her 3rd birthday a few weeks ago. Here she is waving good bye to her crib and "testing out" her new bed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


DTC means "Dossier to China." We were informed today that our paperwork has been mailed to China for our second adoption. This is an important milestone in the adoption process, and now the next date for which we wait is the LID ... "Log in Date" ... the day our dossier is logged in in China.

I also read this article today that says China is considering scrapping its one-child policy. I don't know how that will affect us at the moment. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. It's going to be a long wait no matter what.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Year of the Rat

Happy Chinese New Year!

2008 is the "Year of the Rat." For more fun information about the "Year of the Rat," click here.

We're not having as big of a shindig as we did last year. Not to mention the fact that you are supposed to have a feast on the eve of the New Year. Kind of hard for us to feast on Ash Wednesday. Today we're going to have lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Then tonight, the church youth group meets at our house, so we'll probably have them help us celebrate in some way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Plowing Right In

We had our first snow of 2008 yesterday. Unlike Lily's first excursion into the snow, when she was so tentative and skittish, this time she plowed right in. No fear. She plopped right down and even got on her belly several times and said she was "tend swim" (translation: "pretending to swim").

And then we made Lily's first snowman! Below is a picture of our masterpiece, complete with carrot for a nose and chopsticks for arms. That was not supposed to be any cultural reference to Lily's national was all mom found in a moment's notice.

By the way, please, no wise cracks about the kid's gloves. We still have not bought her any snow mittens or gloves. So we used the poor man's method...fleece mittens covered by surgical gloves. Hey, at least it's a step up from the last playtime in the snow. We used baggies and rubber bands then!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today did not start out well

Don't worry. It did get better. More about that in a moment.

We were on our way to Olympia to get all our our documents state-sealed so that we could finally get our dossier sent to our agency in Seattle, then off to China.

Our first stop was Bartel Drug Store to get a photocopy made. Copier was out of order.

Our next stop was Albertson's supermarket. Copier was out of order.

Julie then drove across the parking lot to Staples' to make the photocopy. Success.

Back to Albertson's and our credit union branch inside to get a couple of signatures notarized. The branch officer could not locate her stamp. After a futile search, she had to get another notary to do the job.

Before driving to Olympia, we needed some sustenance, so we went over to Starbuck's also inside Albertson's. Water supply not working. No coffee.

No problem. We bought a couple of bagels and drinks from Albertson's. Total price? $6.66. Freaky.

Now, I don't put any stock whatsoever in stuff like that, but the way things were going, you have to admit, it was a little weird.

Everything else went swimmingly. Weather and traffic were fine on the hour and forty-five minute drive to Olympia. Hardly had to touch my brakes even going through downtown Seattle. Same on the way back. And it took all of a half-hour at the state offices to get our paperwork completed.

Julie's putting the finishing touches on the dossier as I type this. Tomorrow she will deliver it to our agency in Seattle.