We didn't tell E we were going ANYWHERE because we knew he would obsess about going to Carson's house and not stop talking about it AND because we wanted to see the LOOK on his face when we actually GOT to Carson's house. But, obviously, as it got closer to time to go, he figured out that we were going somewhere. So, we told him we were going to GaGa's house. He was so excited! He packed a HUGE backpack of toys to take (including the white mouse puppet that 'hopped in his bag' the last time we were at her house), a few clothes, and we were off.
As we were loading the van Lyndal peeked his head in to ask Conner a question about a game controller that we might need at Aunt GiGi's house. When Lynbal went back into the house, Ethan said, "GaGa doesn't have a sister named Aunt GiGi?" I had to tell him that what he MEANT was Aunt Chrissy. So, we're all loaded into the van driving over to the vet to have Jasmine boarded (we usually take her to GaGa's with us). E was upset and asked why we couldn't take Jazzy with us to GaGa's? I just told him that we couldn't this time. Not another hint of confusion was spoken from his far corner of the backseat of the van for many hours. He pleasantly rode, reading books, and watching movies. He's only 4 so the MUCH looooooonger drive - 9 hours compared to about 4 - didn't seem to tip him off either. *SMILE*
When we were about an hour away he started whining because he was thirsty. So, I texted Angie to tell her to be waiting in her front yard with Carson holding a drink for Ethan. For the next hour he cried and whined because he was sooooo THIRSTY! Like he was going to DIE if he didn't get a drink RIGHT THEN!!! But when you are that close to your destination YOU JUST WANT TO KEEP GOING (not to mention the fact that we had some pop in the van, but he didn't want that, he wanted 'Bug Juice.' This "drink" that Lynbal buys the kids whenever we are on trips and have to stop at gas stations, it's quite lovely AND healthy I'm sure. We FINALLY pull up to their house and you can tell E is confused. He gets out, Carson hands him the drink, Ethan says, "Thanks Carson." I said, "OK, let's get back in the van we've got to get to GaGa's house!" Ethan says, "Bye, Carson." And gets back in the van!
We had a traditional Chinese lunch today at China Camp after the panel of doctors spoke (see that brown thing at the bottom of the bottom picture, in the center? That's tofu and it is yuck.) There were 6 doctors that have come from Gansu Province to learn at Baptist Hospital in OKC for 6 months. They were very fun to listen to and were very knowledgeable. Two of the doctors, Angel and Maria, happened to sit with us for lunch. They were very embarrassed about their English, which I didn't think was too bad, just a little broken. I'm just glad they didn't ask me to speak Chinese! They would've gotten a 'Ni-hao' a 'Tzai-chen' a 'Wo Ai Ni' or a 'Shay-shay' and I'm not even sure I'm spelling those right.
Maria wanted to know how many children we had and when we told her 4 and that we were waiting to adopt she was very surprised. She wondered how we have time for them. She said she was exhausted and she just had 1 child. Angel also has one child. They both miss their children very much and Maria was very interested in Carlie because Carlie and her daughter are about the same age. They will not see their children until October. I asked them what their children's names were. Maria said that she gave her daughter an American name, "Emma." Angel said that her son, who is 3 1/2, was named "Do Do" (said like doe-doe with sort of a 'th' sound mixed with the 'd'). Ethan laughed and said, "You mean Dum Dum!" Thankfully they didn't understand him!
I think having lunch with them was my favorite part of the whole day.
Every year they take a group photo. This is not everybody!
See Nicole in there?
One little group singing "London Bridges" in Chinese.
This week we had China Camp for three days. The kids are immersed in the Chinese culture and the adults can either volunteer or attend classes on various subjects. I did a little of both. Nicole was with her 'rabbit' group (that's her in the bottom picture on the left) and they performed a dance called 'Rice bowl' during closing ceremonies. The kids learn a little of the language, holidays, food, dance, videos, and kung fu. Nicole's favorites are the crafts and kung fu. My two little ones were in the nursery (E was not happy about that, he thinks he's too big for the nursery). I helped out the first two days, then Lyndal and I attended an adult adoptee panel and a panel that had doctors from China's Gansu Province. There are kids that come from all over the U.S. to attend China Camp! The first day there were 238 campers. My friend Kim said that she heard one of the little girls say, "They all have black hair just like me!" It's the little things we might not think about that makes a big difference.
I was looking back at some old blog posts from when we first started, and found one from 11-05-06:
The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before August 25, 2005.
The box at CCAA now says:
Placed through: March 20, 2006
That almost makes me want to throw up. They have moved 7 months in 2 and a half years. I am glad we are now on the special needs waiting list. But, I wonder if they are ever going to speed things up again. Why is it so hard to bring an orphan home?!! Get out of the way people!
We spent the 4th in Woodward at GaGa's house. It's nice there. Not much to do except play in the sprinkler, ride the golf cart and watch Jasmine (our dog) run after it, read, watch a little TV, and just chill. We did a lot of chillin' at GaGa's house! The city was going to do a fireworks show at 11pm. Call me a fuddy duddy, but I thought that was a little too late to be staying up with 5 kids (we brought an extra). So, we spent about $20 and bought our own. Lyndal bought 100 of these flower fireworks things because they were on sale - A HUNDRED! I just started lighting one right after the other to get them over with because I know the extras will be sitting in my laundry room above the cabinets until we remember them for some other fourth of July. Boys and fire and blowing things up = a lot of fun evidently!
I am a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother of five beautiful, healthy children. If I had time, I would get organized, read, research stuff, exercise (pressing on!), and take more naps. We live in the great state of Oklahoma. Life is good. God is great!
A List of Common Adoption World Abbreviations and Terms
SWI - Social Welfare Institution, the orphanage, but also sometimes an orphanage and a home for the elderly
SN - Special Need, some of the families request a child with a special need, we have chosen not to
LID - Log In Date, the date your dossier is officially logged in in China
Travel Group - All the other families who have the same DTC/LID date as we do and we will all travel together unless one of them chooses a child with a special need. Usually all the referrals in a group come from the same orphanage, which will be another thing we will have in common with our travel group.
I-171h - a PPP that we waited 6 weeks on so we could finish our dossier
USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Bethany - Our adoption case worker at Dillon who is very patient and has a great sense of humor
Dillon - Our adoption agency, which we love, is based in Tulsa, but serves many parts of the country, and it's Christian based
PPP - Pretty Peace of Paper, once you have received the pesky one it becomes the pretty one ;)
PPP - Pesky Piece of Paper, which is any piece of important paper you are waiting on
Referral - The first picture you see of the child you have been matched with and a brief medical history