Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Getting ready to go Trick or Treating

"The Loot"

One Tired Power Ranger

This year was Erin's first time going out to Trick or Treat. Last year, Erin was sick but didn't want to go out. The previous years, Erin was too scared of all the costumes to even consider it. This year she went out to see what all the fuss has been about. Each time she got to a door, David had to pick her up & hold her, but she did it. When they came home, Erin was so excited about her experience. I asked her how many houses she went to, & she told me "a hundred momma." After going through her goodies & letting her have 2 small treats, she got to answer the door to the children who came knocking. Bedtime came, & she fell fast asleep. Happy Halloween!! Hope everyone had a blast tonight!!

Halloween Party

Arts & Crafts Fun

Decorating Cupcakes

Erin & Jonathan
The Pink & Blue Power Rangers

This past Saturday night, my friends Debbie & Ed braved 40+ kids under the age of 12 to have a Halloween party. Absolutely nuts is how I describe it. I've promised to have them commited if they even consider it again next year. The weather didn't allow the party to be outdoors the whole time. Then again, it is Florida so what did they expect? Imagine having 40+ children & a number of adults parading through your house all dressed up wanting to do activities that all need to be done outside.
Erin had a total blast at the party. She got to be with her buddy Jonathan, decorate cupcakes, do an arts & crafts project & have a chance to break open a pinata for more candy than she will need in a lifetime.
Not only was Erin a happy child, but she was an exhausted child. Bedtime was easy that night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Do You Say?

What do you say to the people who are waiting? & waiting & waiting.

Can you say that the end result is worth it? Can you say that your child is just not ready to show him/herself to you yet? Can you say that once your child is in your arms the wait time goes away?

Yes. You can say all that & certainly more. However, the person who is waiting doesn't want to hear any of this. At the moment in time when you're hoping & praying for a referral, you don't want to hear the usual platitudes. You just want to know who your child is & when you can travel to them so you can hold him/her in your arms. You want to put a stop to the questions people are asking. The questions that you have no answer to.

How do I know this?

Easy. (Ha!) David & I started our journey October 15, 2000. Being the person that I am, I knew that I needed no help - from anyone (even our agency SW). Duh! Big mistake. I did all of our paperwork perfectly. Just backwards. And because I did it all backwards, I ended up having to do much of it over again because it expired. Our official DTC (Dossier to China) date was February 28, 2002. Do you see a problem with the dates here? Oh yes. My pride got in the way.
I was lucky enough to have that referral date though. Why? Because I managed to make the most amazing friends. The February Waiting Hearts group had the longest DTC to referral date at that time - 13/14 months depending upon whether you got your referral on March 31st or April 1st. My dear friend Sandra got her referral for Jazzie on march 31st. I opened my email to see Jazzie's face & hear "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed. (Now when I hear that song, I cry in remembrance of that special day.) I also met my dear friend Susan who lives in FL also. Without these 2 special women I wouldn't have made it.

My call came on April 1st a/k/a April Fool's Day. I had been so upset crying for days that we weren't getting our referral. I thought for sure that our agency was waiting to tell us that we had been declined although my brain knew that this wasn't possible. When the call finally came at 2:45 pm I was at work. When Emily told me it was my turn, I screamed at her that her joke was not funny & hung up. Yes. I hung up on my agency. Thank G-d she called back seconds later. As I sat in the bank crying, all of my co-workers & clients came over & sat to wait while I received the information about Chun HuaXu soon to be known as Erin Chelsie. And then I proceeded to call David with the news.

What do you say?

You say that the wait is horrible. You say that the tears are worth it. You say that you will be there for the waiting families to cry with them as they continue to wait.

And you say that you will cry tears of absolute joy when their turn comes.

Monday, October 29th, my dear friends Lori & Marc will celebrate as their son Ethan joins their family in China. Here in the United States, I will wait to see their email & then cry. Tears of joy.

And I will cry when I hear of more families being united with their children. Because that is what we do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Fun With Our FCC Family!

Thinking about all the fun she's having!

Trick or Treat!

Shari & Myke of Extreme Halloween
Erin got her Pink Power Ranger costume at their amazing store.
Thanks for putting a smile on my girl's face guys!

This past Sunday was the FCC-SFL Halloween luncheon. The children had so much fun dressing up & going around trick or treating. We had a Pink Power Ranger, a bride, a few kittens & ladybugs, Snow White, Mulan, Raggedy Ann, Dora, a storm trooper among many other costumes. I don't know who had more fun - the children, their parents or their grandparents.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Photo Shoot? Model for a Day?

My friend Kim came up with the idea of having pictures taken of her gorgeous children by local childrens' photographer Karen Alcalde.
Kim opened her home today to her FCC family for the photo shoot. Of course, Erin was the first one set to have her photos taken. BIG MISTAKE!!!! When I scheduled her session, I set it for the first thing forgetting that Erin needs time to warm up to people when she doesn't know them. Needless to say, I threw the whole schedule off, but Kim was totally okay with that. karen is amazing! She is so open to the children & seemed to pull from them what she wanted. The parents were asked to stay inside while Karen worked her special magic with the children. It seems that Erin did really well when her turn came. Erin picked out the outfits (with parental guidance of course) she wanted to have her photos taken in this morning.
I brought along about 6 outfits for Karen to look at. I was so thrilled that Erin wanted to wear the outfit my friend Susan brought home from China. Before today, Erin had no interest in her Chinese clothing other than to scream that she didn't want to wear any of it. Of course, it's a pant set in blue silk with red & gold trim. I wasn't even sure the outfit would fit, but it was perfect. Then she wore her black leggings with a red shirt that has black polka dots on it & of course her matching black boots. My oh my! Erin certainly didn't look like she was a 5 year old! The third outfit Erin wore was her Madi Adi outfit that my friend Michelle made for her birthday.
While Karen was snapping away, I got to sit inside & chat with Kim & Lori about "stuff." It was just a lovely morning! Now I can't wait to see the photos of my girl!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Man in My Life Night

This past Monday Erin's school hosted their annual "Man in My Life" night. David was feeling horrible after a hard day at work & his hand was bothering him so I went in his place. Erin & I joked around that I was going to be both mommy & daddy for the evening. I was glad to find that I wasn't the only mother attending the evening's event.
The children got to make "junk sculptures" using recyclable items. You'd be amazed what can be done with plastic cupcake containers! The children sure have vivid imaginations. After completing their sculptures, their teacher Miss Cindy read a story to them. We ended the evening with cookies & a drink.
When we got home, Erin was so excited to tell her daddy what she made. Then she conked out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great Harry

Last night as Erin & I went to bed, she asked what we would be doing tomorrow. I told her that we would be doing tons of fun stuff but first we need to go to Great Grandpa Harry's apartment to take home the things we want to keep as memories.

Lately when I talk about my grandfather, she refers to him as "Great Harry." Erin decided that she wanted another explanation of who Great Harry was. I reminded her that Zaydie is my daddy. Then I explained that Great Harry was Zaydie's daddy so he's my Zaydie. Then she said "So Great Harry is Great Zaydie?" Wow! Leave it to my girl to think of it in those terms!

Since we've been talking a lot about my grandfather lately, he's been a topic of interest for Erin. I asked Erin what she wants to call him since Great Grandpa Harry is a mouthful. She's decided to keep referring to him as "Great Harry."

The fact is that my grandfather was not the grandfather that we all want to have. His life was hard, & he was a hard parent & grandfather to have.

When I told him that we were adopting a child from China, his only question - amazingly enough - was would she be Jewish. Had he not been so ill at the time, he never would have asked that question since I'm the most observant of his grandchildren - not that I'm so religious, but it matters to me. David & I really expected a battle from him.

When Erin came from China, he didn't get to see too much of her. I was concerned that he'd say something nasty, & I knew that I wouldn't hold back. The few times that he did see her, he would have to be reminded that she was his great granddaughter because he had a hard time recognizing people he didn't know well. Not once did my grandfather say anything wrong to her or even me which was a shock.

My grandfather died Christmas Eve 2004 with my dad by his side. The following morning I flew to NY for his funeral. It has been the only week in Erin's life that we've been seperated since her adoption.

Even though Erin didn't know Great Harry, he's still a presence in our life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Today is my friend Sandra's special day. I hope you have a wonderful birthday dear friend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Conversations With a 5 Year Old

My friend Viv is a great blogger. She's always writing about her conversations with her daughter Kerri. It's always interesting to me that Kerri & Erin seem to have the same things on their minds at the same time. Even though they're 2 years apart in age!
In the last few months, I've been starting the conversation that her Bubbe Nancy is not my mother. She has a real hard time with that since she knows that a bubbe is a grandma which means the parent of a parent. I've started telling her some things about her Grandma Enid who was my mother. I've been discussing the fact that she is named for her Grandma Enid.
Not long ago, Erin asked me where her Grandma Enid was. I had to explain that my mother had died a long time before Erin was born. This is a topic that has been getting a lot of attention lately. My dad & stepmother had to put their dog Henry down this year. Since Erin always asks to hear Henry bark over the phone, I had to tell her that Henry had gone to sleep. It was a fairly easy conversation since our fish Dory had died also. (BTW, I don't think she really understood that until the Henry talk.) We've also had to go to my grandfather's condo to meet my brother & his wife while they were taking care of things. Erin wanted to know where we were going & why. I told her we were going to Great-Grandpa Harry's old house. Uh, where is he momma? I explained that Great-Grandpa Harry had died when she was just a little baby.
Next I had to explain that Grandma Enid, Great-Grandpa Harry, Dory the Fish & Henry the Dog were all in heaven with G-d. Uh oh! Next conversation!
Thunder & lightening are recent problems for Erin. She has started to be upset by the noise & light flashes. I have done my best to explain that when it thunders, G-d is bowling, & when it's lightening, G-d has gotten a strike. This week, G-d is spending a lot of time at the bowling alley!
Now Erin wants to know if Grandma Enid & Great-Grandpa Harry are bowling too! And do they play with Dory the Fish & Henry the Dog.