Friday, September 19, 2014

We're Not Dead Yay!

Sorry for my total absence of posting.  The VPN wouldn't work on my Kindle.  I tried downloading it over and over but it didn't want to work.  So the only VPN we have is on Mike's laptop.  But Mike was in Henan while I was in Guangdong.  Now we're finally back together, but the internet is spotty at best, so my updates might be a little sparse. 

Mike and I both picked up our assigned child on the 15th.  Jake, as might be expected considering his older age, came easy.  He and Mike were a little bit cautious with each other, as one would expect, but they bonded over swimming, which they did every second of every day until they came up to Guangdong on a VERY long train ride.  We only go once a day up here.  It's way too hot to go outside very often.  More on that later.  He came with a lot of super cute baby and little Jake pictures, which he likes to show very often.  The orphanage was super good about making sure he came with a past to remember, which we really love and appreciate! 

Gotcha with Finn was a little bit traumatic.  He was very excited.  Before the appointment, I went to the store and our guide, Judy, called the orphanage and asked what his favorite snacks were at my request.  He said over the phone that he was so excited he couldn't think about what he wanted lol.  However, when the reality came he was less excited.  He wouldn't look at me at all when they brought him out.  He was trying really hard to pretend we weren't there.  When I said hello to him he burst into tears.  I got pretty upset at that point and I think the nannies thought I was sad because he wasn't happy to see me, but that's not it at all.  I did try to explain that wasn't why I was tearing up.  Genuinely scared or hurting children make me very sad.  I cry when kids are undergoing painful medical procedures too.  I was just really sad that he was scared and hurting.  He wanted absolutely nothing to do with me for about three hours after we got back to the hotel, but he came around pretty quickly.  He did routinely refuse to hold my hand for another day or two and he always wanted to sit next to Judy.  But it's all going good now.

When we finally reconnected Finn was very tired and already in bed and he was NOT excited at the presence of Jake and Baba.  He kept shaking his head and saying no.  Then he shined a light in Mike's eyes and Mike pretended to scream and cover his eyes before falling on the floor and theatrically dying.  That was all it took for Finn.  He was won over.  Now he's a hard core baba's boy.  He wants Mike to carry him all the time and wants to snuggle with him.  Jake is interested in me, but since we can't really communicate very well, we're still not sure what to make of each other.  His body language cues aren't great, so I have a much harder time understanding what he wants.  Mike speaks some Mandarin and Jake speaks a very small amount of English, so they are working it out better than Jake and I do.

Jake is pretty much exactly as we expected.  He's 11 and that should be enough to explain it for most people who've ever had an 11 year old lol.  He is by turns excited by childish things and petulantly being dragged on family outings.  He rotates between enjoying his new taste of freedom and being annoyed at us because we make him do things like eat or take a shower instead of playing on the Kindle or watching TV.  Basically, as aforementioned, he's 11.  He acts just like our bio kids did at 11, but he's under a bit more stress.  He is quite annoyed that we aren't all able to communicate.  He speaks very well and he speaks a lot, and he's not happy that we aren't able to understand what he's saying.  I get frustrated in the store because I can't get any of my questions answered, so I can't imagine how he feels with parents who can't completely meet his needs because we just don't understand what they are.  His special need is pretty much exactly as expected.  Except since he stopped receiving physical therapy from Love Without Boundaries a few years ago it seems he's gotten a little lax.  He's realized that he doesn't have to use his left hand in most cases, and he's gotten lazy about working it out since he can do almost everything one handed. He's a smart, smart boy.  We were a little worried he might be slower to learn English as foreign languages are much harder the older you are, but communicating is so important to him, I think he'll come around pretty fast.

Finn is pure energy.  100% on all the time.  He's always running, always yelling, always jumping, always moving.  He's adorable.  Everyone loves him immediately.  I don't know what he's saying to people but evidently it's funny, because they always laugh, and the ones who also speak a bit of English almost inevitably tell me that he's funny.  He is certainly mischievous.  He is a straight up practical joker and a great lover of getting into trouble.  He dropped 400 Chinese Yuan in the toilet yesterday laughing the whole time.  He also likes to throw away important documents, hide the hotel room key, and run away as fast as he can when we are out in public.  In our family we call this 'a runner' and we had another one in our daughter Gillian, so we used a monkey backpack with a tail that served as a leash.  We wish we had it here!  Finn's condition is certainly serious.  The doctors here say they've never seen a worse case of Beta Thalassemia Major.  However, he's better off than we expected.  We thought he would need to be immediately hospitalized but we no longer believe that's true.

I will post about China in general later on today.  Right now we're headed off to do a little sightseeing with another American mom staying here in our hotel.  She is also adopting an older child with Thalassemia. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stop! Tally Time! Oh ohohoh ohohohoh!

I leave on Thursday night.  Ohmyheck!  Craziness!  Mike leaves on Friday afternoon.  We will both be picking up our assigned boy on early Monday morning, which will be Sunday night for most people in America.  Crazy that it's so soon!  It's still very surreal to me.   I don't know when it will sink in.  Maybe the day after we get home? ;)  We are starting today needing $4054 to be fully funded.  That may sound like a lot, but we are were at $5700 give or take at the beginning of yesterday!  God is working to help us bring these boys home right now!  We could not be more grateful to all who are sharing, praying, and donating!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Tally Ho

I thought it would be fun to do a tally when I wrote that the other day.  Turns out it's not so fun when the total doesn't change.  We are at $5704 needed to be fully funded.  Our fundraisers and donations have totalled less than $70 in three days.  Obviously, this is freaking us out since we have no other sources of money.  At this point it's a good time for a miracle.  Please pray for us, share our fundraisers, and donate if you feel so called.  We are grateful for all the help people have given!  Thank you!!!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Daily Tally

I think it might be fun to do a daily tally of where we are and where we need to be with our fundraising efforts.  We are starting today with a new Fully Funded total because of a PayPal donation. $21,591 is our new goal. Currently we need $5,772 to reach our goal. I know we've already fundraised a lot. 15k worth! But we're down to the wire. And we can't wait because of this sweet face. I got this picture this morning. Yes, he's adorable. Yes, he's smiling. But it doesn't take a lot to see how sick he is. Please consider our fundraisers or share!  You can follow along with our totals in the corner on the Reece's Rainbow bar.  Thank you so much for helping us go these last few miles!!  And prayers are always much appreciated!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Excitement and Stress!

Okay guys, exciting stuff and stressful stuff! Exciting stuff! We leave next Friday!!!!  One week!!!  We got our Chinese visas today. They look so cool! Maybe I'm just excited by simple stuff, but I dig it. I have a lot of trouble conceptualizing things before they happen and I always have. Until that baby comes out, I have a lot of trouble believing it's real lol. So getting my visa today was one of those moments. This is real! Stressful stuff... We need to be at $21,741 to be fully funded. That means that $6058 lies between us and complete funding. We can leave and hope for the best in about another $3000. We need 41 more donations before we can draw from tier one. Any donation of $15 or above will be entered into a drawing for gorgeous quilts. You can see more info on our blog or make your donations here If you own a business, the fiscal year is almost over. Consider making a tax deductible donation at this same address and have an instant write off! 

Because tier 2 has had no entries, I am disbanding tier two and selling each blanket individually.  Please consider a blanket for a loved one who just looks like they need some warming up, or please share!!

 Build a Bear Quilt $15

Do you have a daughter who loves to build herself some friends?  I have two of them!!  Check out this adorable toddler or crib sized blanket with licensed Build a Bear material.  Friends Furever!!  $15 plus $5 shipping.

Baby Bundle!! $25

Got a sweet little one, or one on the way?  This is a great deal and so sweet and perfect!!  Sweet yellow baby blanket, crib or toddler bed sized, with lovely flowers in each corner.  The matching hat is made for a newborn, so it won't last forever, but this blanket will have years of use in it and become a sweet family heirloom!  Small flannel car seat quilt.  Perfect for tucking around your little ladybug on a cold morning in the car!  Plus two bonus newborn sized hats, pink and green with an adorable flower.  This is so cute and a great baby shower present value, too!!  $25 plus $7 shipping.  

Thanks everyone for helping us get this far and helping us go the final miles to bring home our boys!!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Here We Come

  1. We will officially be traveling on Sept 12.  We will be splitting up in country.  Mike will be going after Jake and I will be going after Finn.  We will meet after two days in province.  We have money for tickets and probably most of hotels, but we are still short on travel funds.  Please look at our current fundraisers or ask about our 3-D fiber lash mascara party.  We need another 10k to be fully funded, but probably another 5k to be able to travel.  Thanks!

Monday, August 25, 2014

At this point the Travel Approval has been issued, but we have not yet received a hard copy. We in the adoption world like to call that 'soft'. So now we have soft approval. In a normal world that would mean it will be here in a day or two and then we will know when we will travel. But since our LOA got lost in the mail and took almost a month to get here, I am not holding my breath for prompt arrival lol. Still, this is it, y'all.

We have enough funds to buy tickets, not a dime for food, hotels and other in-country expenses.  So while I am excited, I'm also a little bit nervous.  I don't know what will happen with that, since we literally have no more sources of money.  But we're trusting God and making our arrangements anyway!  Eeeeep! Wish us luck and send us prayers for funds!