Monday, June 30, 2008

Six Word Memoir-I've been tagged!

Lea of Oh My#6 was so kind to include me in some fun.I need to capture my life RIGHT NOW in 6 words!

So here they are: Elated, Thankful, Feeling Support, Waiting, Packing!

If you're up to the challenge (and fun) here are the need to describe your life in 6 words, link back to me, then tag another 5 people. Leave them a comment to let them know they are tagged. It's very fun. So I tag:

Steffie at Never Too Many. I think of her as a 'supermomma' and a beautiful woman with an enormous heart for children and adoption. I'm hoping to help her in some way with her next adoption if I can. Seriously. She makes me laugh a lot with life with her 'Things.'

Ashley at Waiting for Lilly. Ashley is one of my fellow Nov 06 LID buddies and has become a very good friend to me. She has supported me through our change to the SN tract, is always positive and so kind. We'll be forever friends. Ashley's the mom to 3 very handsome young men and is waiting for her Lilly from China.

Kerry at No Matter What. Kerry lives in the Chicago area and since I have such a fondness for what I consider my hometown we have that in common. She always leaves supportive and just plain sweet comments on the blog. She's also got the 2 most precious little girls named Grace and Maddie.

Denise at Tucked Inside my Heart. Possibly one of the kindest people out there in blogland. A beautiful person both inside and out. She always says just the right thing and I can tell she would do just about anything for a friend. She's got a gorgeous daughter too.

Gala at Story of Our Life. I see Gala usually once a week at Grace's swimming lessons. Gala has a great sense of humor, and is also brutally honest but in a good way. Which I do love! I'm hoping Gala will adopt and I'll be there for her to support her when she does.

Finally, I just want to say that I truly hope that I someday meet all these people I tagged, you all support me so much and I will continue to do the same for you!

Our TA is here!

It's here, it's's here!!!! The last official document that we've been waiting for before travel is here. It's been a long 30 days waiting for this piece of paper. I'll take good care of it as it goes to China with us. We'll be getting our itinerary this week, and are itching to get our tickets booked. William we'll be there soon! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More about our little guy...

I've received many questions about William Michael asking about what he's like personality wise, etc. so I wanted to share some things about him. First of all, he doesn't live in an orphanage (like Grace did). Will lives in a small foster home run by an American family. The couple that runs it has 3 children of their own and they've lived in China for 4 years. The foster home is similar I think to Amanda's Starfish foster home in Xi'an, China in that they care for medically fragile children that were previously in the Fuzhou orphanage in Fujian province. This family originally started caring for 5 children and it's grown to about 20-22 children. They have volunteers(some are American) that stay for extended periods of time and help, and local people (employees)who are caregivers to the children. We are incredibly blessed that William Michael has been there for 2 years and I know for sure that he's been well taken care of and loved very, very much. You can tell that by the pictures of him that I've posted. Last weekend I was able to email and send some pictures of us to the directors of the foster home, could introduce ourselves and ask a few questions about our son. I received an amazing, gracious and kind response back to me from the director. It was like speaking to an old friend. This is some of what she told me about Will.

William Michael has the most wonderful personality with a great sense of humor. He loves to sing and dance, and he immediately starts moving when he hears music. His facial expressions are a hoot as well!! He's truly full of joy.

William loves to play outside, go for walks, go to the park, and swim. He really enjoys peek-a-books where he can open the flaps by himself. He loves Donald Duck, Elmo, and the movie "Cars." He gets really excited over anything that has "Cars" stuff on it. He always says "Lightening McQueen" when he sees him in the movie. Very cute!! His favorite toys are cars and trucks. He likes toys that he can ride outside as well. He likes to fix things with tools...thinks he is such a big boy.

William speaks mainly English and understands Chinese. We also found out that his palate was repaired in the Spring of 2007, so that means his lip and palate have been repaired. He will be followed by the cleft team here at Univ. of Wisconsin. I'll have him evaluated for speech and they'll also evaluate the palate repair that was done in China.

There was much more information about him was all good. Today I sent by fed ex a small package that contained a photo album with some pics of us, our home and his room, a 'Cars' t-shirt, some stickers, 2 small toy cars, a book and a stuffed Elmo to William. He's supposed to receive it next week. We will be keeping in contact with these special people who have loved William first. We could never thank them enough for what they've done for him and the other children who live there. I have requested per our agency that we meet these amazing people and possibly can visit the foster home. I am quite aware that this situation is unusual (part of it being that he speaks English) and he is so fortunate to have been cared for and loved in this place.

BTW...don't know where that TA is but have heard from our agency that we may have a July 29 consulate date so that would mean we travel in mid July! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 23, 2008

In all my prayers for all of you,
I always pray with JOY.

Philippians 1-4

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Friday and my yard pics

Purple-blue salvia

Peony-probably my very favorite flower, the fragrance is heavenly.

Garden ornament, you can see my reflection as I was kind of leaning over taking the picture. ;)
The weekend is almost here again, have a wonderful one. We will be in Chicago with friends at a cookout and maybe go to the Shedd aquarium on Sunday....take care!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The calm before the storm...

Gosh there's a lot in my head right now...first one...where IS our TA???? I'm starting to get a little impatient about it. I've been thinking it would arrive by say maybe the end of this week, the beginning of next? Grace has been away this week in the Chicago area staying with friends. She's attending a half day art camp and just loves it. This is the longest amount of time that Dan and I have ever been away from her. Our house is so quiet, it's weird. Hasn't been this quiet for 5 years (we adopted her almost 5 years ago). I miss her terribly and speak to her on the phone twice a day. She's doing great and I'm proud of our big girl. I've used all this time to pack my things, Grace's and William's for China. Dan can be packed in about 15 minutes (seriously!). What has been very nice is that Dan and I have been able to be alone and spend some time together and even go out to dinner. I know this is the calm before the storm, the quiet lull before a 2yr.old little boy comes into our lives very soon. Which reminds me...even though I've been a mom for 23 yrs. it's like I have 2 'only' children with Nick(23yrs.) and Grace (soon to be 6 in August). Now I'll have 1 big and 2 littles. Grace and Will are 3 and a half years apart in age. I understand sibling rivalry quite well having grown up the oldest of 4 children and all of us being very close in age. I understand it...just don't have much experience dealing with it as a mom. Any of you experienced momma's to more than one child have any good tips or hints for me? I need them, boy do I ever! LOL. ;)

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 16, 2008

A little boy's room

Print hanging in his room.
Knit panda bear.

Another print.

Little red chair that was Dan's when he was a little boy.

Picture of Grace by his bed.


Grace hangin' out with Will's stuffed animals.

William's new bed.

Will's room is just about finished. He has a new bed, dresser and bookshelf. I still have to put some sides on the bed so he won't fall out. Either Dan or I will sleep with him for as long as it's necessary to help him transition. We're going to be very flexible. I switched some things around in his room that was formerly for a little girl and those girl things went into Grace's room. He has a new quilt with cars, trucks and other vehicles on it. He also has a cute little rug with a roadway on it for him to drive small cars on. Grace has already been playing on it. His clothes, a swimsuit, PJs and blankets are washed, folded and in the dresser drawers. I told my friend Ashley that the other night I was putting his clothes and things away in his dresser and had a flashback to doing that many years ago for Nicholas and 5 years ago for Grace. All things we do to get ready for our children. Somehow I feel his presence very close to me right now in his room, can't explain it but I do. I imagine hearing Will laugh, see him playing with his toys, holding him, tickling him and just loving him so much. We're all ready for his arrival.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Father's Day

Dan and Grace at Disney in May.

My Dad and little Grace (age 2).

I'm very blessed to have my own father still in my life. He's 78 and is relatively healthy, except for some arthritis and a bit of a hearing loss. He's active (he plays golf and swims often). I'm a Daddy's girl and Grace is too so I completely understand that wonderful relationship between a father and daughter. My Dad has been an example of how all fathers should be to their children, strong, loving, non judgemental, and always there for his children and Grandchildren. He's also one of the funniest people I know. My husband Dan is quite similar in many ways, so I suppose in a way I did marry a man very much like my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. Dan is my rock. He is a man of God, and a generous person with his time to everyone he meets. He's an amazing father to Nick and Grace and he will be the same to little Will. Both Dan and my father also have some of the biggest hearts of any person I've ever met. Happy Father's Day to the fathers in my life...I love you so much!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What a day!

What a handsome boy.

Goin' swimming.

Cool dude.

Let's see it started off with our visas arriving per UPS right about 10 AM. Grace and I were doing the happy dance about that. Now our TA just needs to arrive, but hey we can get into China now, Whoo hoo! Then I notice that babies are arriving which is just wonderful of course. Congrats to all the new moms and dads. Referral day is amazing and so happy. Lastly....I received updated photos of William today. The last photos I had of him were dated over a year ago and I had hoped that we'd get to see something more recent and we hit the jackpot! Here are 3 of him taken just a month ago, in May of 2008. He is one handsome dude is all I can say. He looks great, he looks happy, healthy and well taken care of and loved. When I saw the photos for the first time this afternoon it set me off in a series of crying jags...happy crying. Now I just want to go to China. Without further delay, let me upload these photos of our beautiful little boy William. I can't wait to hold him in my arms. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

3 Word Sunday - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Friday, June 6, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday....Jiangxi girls!

Almost 3 weeks ago we went to the Chicago area (Downer's Grove) for a brunch with Grace's travel group. Many of the families were able to attend ( I believe there were 4 missing), there will be another get together later in June where all the families will be there. We had a great time, lots of good food, catching up with friends and lots of giggling and 5 yr. old fun with the girls and their siblings. I know that I post a lot about this group of families, they are such an important part of our lives and will always be I hope. The weekend is almost here and I'm more than ready for it. It's been a long, busy week with so much going on. I'm ready to relax and I imagine everyone else is too! Come on weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The last day of school

Sitting on the front step, the last morning of preschool.

Grace and her teacher Miss Trish. Grace loves absolutely everything about school and adores her teacher.

Today is Miss Grace's last day of school. Her summer vacation officially starts. Grace has had an amazing year in preschool and is definitely ready for Kindergarten in the Fall. She's matured so much emotionally this year. What will she be doing this summer? Well, she has swimming lessons that continue. She's enrolled in a daytime mixed media art camp coming up in June, for 4 days. Also will be going to 'Camp Kindergarten' for half days that will go for 3 weeks. Lots of playing with friends, her 6th birthday party, swimming at the pool and 1 on 1 time with me before William's arrival. And then we should be traveling to China sometime this summer too . Lots of changes for Grace and our family and we welcome them all. Summertime is finally here! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What we did this weekend....

Relaxed on the deck with my 'cool girl.'

Took some silly photos of Grace.

Went to the nursery and bought more flowers.

Did lots of planting. Also moved some perennials and took out a few things that didn't survive our Winter.

The lovely Grace (Ariel) and her good friend Lydia ( the Bride) played a lot outside.

Got the visa applications finished and all ready to send in tomorrow with our passports to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. What else? Worked some more on William's room, grilled and ate outside a yummy dinner, it all went so fast. Weekends always seem to... don't they? :)

© Aging with Grace and strong Will
CoffeeShop Designs