Thursday, September 27, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Another one of my favorites. This was taken of Grace a little over a year ago on her 4th birthday. As I was taking the photo, her "birthday girl" crown slid down over her eyes and she laughed so loud. Oh, about a week before this was taken Grace decided to give herself a haircut, so if you look under the top of the crown you can see some of her "handiwork." :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

10 months in and a long, long month

It's been 10 months since our dossier has been officially in China. In many ways the time has slowly crawled along. If you follow the world of China adoption there has been some interesting developments concerning an agency here in the U.S. getting preferential treatment with CCAA. Their clients have been getting referrals before folks in line and are basically cutting in the line. I have no words other than I am thoroughly disgusted. The reasons why Dan and I went with the China program to begin with were that it was transparent, stable, predictable and seemed to be ethical. Things seem to have changed a bit. It will be interesting to see how this whole situation pans out and if it affects the China program. I have always been a huge supporter of this program and I just don't know what to say right now. Over a year ago Dan and I sat with our social worker during some of the counseling for the home study and I stated that adoption isn't for the faint of's one of the most difficult things I have ever done and I've had more than a lifetime's worth of "growing" experiences, both good and not so good. You have to want this more than ANYTHING you've ever wanted in your entire life. Our daughter is in China and we will wait for her however long it may take. :)

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My favorite time of year.

Today's the first day of Autumn or Fall as we call it in the U.S. I believe the name "Fall" came from the phrase "fall of the leaves." This is my favorite time of the year with leaves changing color, cooler days and nights, pumpkins, going apple picking and Halloween. Fall also reminds me of the Autumn Moon Festival in China (also called Lantern Festival). When we were in China we were in Guangzhou during that time and it was wonderful. Welcome Fall...I'm so happy you've arrived! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Dan took this photo of me and Grace in Guangzhou in our room in the Old Victory. (Beautiful 1920's art deco style hotel.) The next day we left for home. The last 4 years have been amazing. I won't sugar coat it and say it's always been easy--life always has it's ups and downs and we all come through it somehow. The first year home with Grace was kind of a blur due to my sleep deprived self. We came through chronic ear infections, reactive airway disease, and sleep issues which all pretty much resolved at age 2. The 2's were trying. This girl has one of the strongest personalities I've ever come across and she could definitely test the most patient parent. (That's okay, strength is a good trait isn't it?) At ages 3, 4 and 5 Grace is a funny, kind and loving little girl who is probably one of the happiest children I've ever known. We have all come a long way and I wouldn't have my life any other way. :) Gail

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 17, 2007


Grace in NanChang-3 days after we got her.

Christmas Day 2003, her first Christmas with us.

Grace age 3, we had just moved to Wisconsin from Illinois.

Almost 3. The joy of our lives, I think of her birth parents so very often and the choices they made and thank them every single day for this precious gift. We are so very fortunate.

Molly and Jack

Last week was very exciting (not in a good way) around here. A week ago Sat. our 4 mo. old kitty got very, very sick and to make a long story short, narrowly avoided surgery to remove an object that was stuck in his stomach and causing a partial obstruction. The object was a red piece of yarn. I later figured out that the yarn was chewed off a chenille blanket in our family room. After about 5 trips back and forth to the vet and many tests and x-rays, Jack finally threw up the yarn, has started to eat and drink and is pretty much 100% now. Thanks for staying with us really had us worried with not eating in a week, sleeping way too much, not going in the kitty litter box, and losing over half of a pound! (Jack only weighs 6 lbs.) Oh, I took the above photo this morning of Jack and Molly sound asleep on the family room floor. We love you Jack and Molly. :)
I also want to thank our vet, Dr. Julie who helped Jack so much!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Guangzhou Sept. 11, 2003

It was 4 years ago that we returned from China with Grace. This is a photo of our travel group--taken at the White Swan the day before we left for home. When we started the process to adopt 6 years ago I really thought that when you adopt you basically get a child and become parents, and I was so wrong. Adoption has been such a gift to us in so many ways. Our travel group is made up of very exceptional people and we consider them all a part of our family. We would do anything for them...they are the best! :)
Oh, Dan, Grace and I are in the upper right back row of the group. Dan has a baseball hat on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A new look

I've got a new look now..I love the photo collage on the header. I chose the red/white/black colors because they remind me some of China. It's funny because I just realized that they are my high school colors too, so maybe that's why I like them. Here is the link to the very nice person (Verna) who added some life to my blog. Right now her fees are earmarked for a little boy named Ethan in China who is waiting for his family here in the U.S. to come and bring him home. I wish Ethan and his family only the very best and a safe trip. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some facts (quirky things) about me

1. I love candles...I mean LOVE. Dan says I have a candle addiction. Maybe I'll count them someday. I love jar candles, pillar candles, votive candles, any candle. They are hidden (uh stored) in cupboards and closets around the house--HEY, I do use them Dan!

2. I love a picked up house. It's certainly not all the time with a 5yr. old, a husband, and a 22yr. old that appears occasionally. Plus a giant dog and a cat. I can't say it's clean too much of the time.

3. I strongly dislike (hate) styrofoam peanuts or styrofoam packing material of any kind that come in boxes. The squeaky, horrible sound makes me cringe, I will doing anything possible not to deal with those packing peanuts.

4. I'm not a clown fan. As a child I was afraid of them, don't know why but I was--there's something creepy about them. I felt this way even before Stephen King's IT came out. My sister used to tease me before we got Grace that I should decorate Grace's room in a "clown theme." Absolutely NOT Betsy!

5. I have an ultra sensitive nose. I can smell stuff--stinky or sweet smelling from far away, and can pick up very subtle scents that most people cannot. I could be one of those sniffer dogs...if I was a dog. I know--kinda weird I guess.

Now you know a few of my quirks, I'm sure Dan could elaborate with some additional ones. If you are reading this feel free to put some of your own down on your blog. :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Favorite photo Friday

This isn't an original idea of mine, I've seen it on a few other blogs. Every Friday I will post a favorite photo. Some will be new, some old. Some really old ones of Dan and me too. For my first one, this is my new favorite of Grace-age 5. I love Grace's expression...the photographer so captured her personality. My little Gracie you are growing up so fast. I love you with all my heart and soul. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I was checking out some favorite blogs yesterday and found out that I was nominated by Angie (one of my fellow Nov. LID buddies) of A Mother's Place for 'The Nice Matters Award.' I'm completely surprised--hey I'm brand new to this blogging thing. Thank you Angie, I'm very flattered and you made my day!!! :)

Self Portrait

Today Grace brought home a picture from school that she had drawn on Tuesday. Her teacher had asked the class for each child to draw a picture of themselves. Grace drew a picture of herself holding her little sister Lily. Now Lily looks like a small baby there, and it is pretty unlikely that she will be that young, but I thought it was so sweet that Gracie included her. You can tell that Lily is very much in her she in our thoughts, prayers and hearts. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First day of school

Very excited about starting school. New backpack--it has kitties on it, and was a gift from Kevin and Joellen.

Today was Grace's first day of preschool. She is going 4 half days per week of a pre-K program. Grace has a new teacher this year--Miss Trish, and the school has moved to a brand new building. There were a few friends in her class from last year which was nice. We love her school, Grace learned so much last year and we are looking forward to a great school year!

Oh, today is Nick's first day of classes at Wisconsin. Study hard and good luck Nick! Go Badgers!

© Aging with Grace and strong Will
CoffeeShop Designs