Sunday, July 31, 2011
After MUCH debate and discussion, I THINK we've settled the name debate. If you read our first blog, when we were adopting John and Ben, the name argument didn't end until the month before we went to China. However, this time, I think we've decided on both of their names already. Here are some of the names we have been considering: Tobias, Leo, Isaiah, Samuel, Isaac, Alexander, Maxwell, Logan, Elias, and Mark. I conceded to the name Logan, for KangChao, under the condition that son number six (Tong) is named Isaac. What do you think? Austin, John, Connor, Ben, Logan and Isaac. We also have Leah (age 28) and Katelyn (age 21), but we rarely see them anymore since they live out of state. Then, of course our extended family, our exchange student children, Camila (22), Xiao (19), Cheng (17). Whew!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I added the feedjit application (or whatever it's called) recently to this blog and I've been amazed that people actually read it. I write for Logan and Issac (??) because I'm going to make this into a book for them to read when they are old enough; however, I will admit that it's fun to see that others read my ramblings. Last year, I used a blog2print software and bound our first adoption blog (edited for content) http://petersadoption.blogspot.com. John is really motivated to read lately because he found our blog to book on our bookshelves. When he saw the book had photos of him, and lots of my thoughts and feelings, he decided to try to read in English, for a change. Anyway, please, if you read this blog, leave me some comments. I will NOT publish the comments in my future book for the boys. I'm just curious about your thoughts too. Also, I love to read others' blogs, so send me your links too!
This morning John (otherwise known as J.P.) wanted to know the height of his new brothers. Since arriving home 15 months ago, J.P. has been a bit preoccupied with height. He's grown over well over a foot this year (and gained 30 pounds), but he's still on the short side, at 5'3", at age 15. Soon, however, J.P. will be taller than I am, and that is his true goal. He always stands next to me and claims he's taller. The other day he had me stand next to him in the sun so that he could compare the size of our shadows, finally conceding that I am, in fact, still a smidge taller. Anyway, we grabbed a measuring tape, pulled up the medical records of Dang, Tong and Fu, KangChao, and compared their heights to Ben's height. Ben is 110 cm, KangChao (Logan or Leo) is 99cm, and Tong is 84 cm. All this was accomplished with a bit of teasing....J.P. teasing Ben that Logan will be taller than him, since the medical report on Logan is a year old already. Ben got all defensive, and told J.P. to stop picking on him for being small. All good stuff. Everyone is super excited about the new brothers, and we CONSTANTLY debate their names. Of course, Austin, the kill-joy, isn't home yet from camp.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Since May, I've been a member of two yahoo groups, Shangdongkids and JinanSWI. These two groups have been wonderful sources of information about traveling to get Leo (I'm trying out the name Leo, instead of Logan, to see if it sticks). In fact, I've been able to on-line chat with a few people who have children who know and remember Leo!! This has been invaluable to us! Leo currently lives in Jinan, which is a few hours south of Beijing (5 hours by car, I've heard). Now, I'm busily researching the home of Dang, Tong. He is from the Northernmost province in China, Hei Longjiang Province, in the city of Daqing. That means that when we travel to China, we will travel the entire west coast, North to South! It's like traveling from Maine to Florida. OY. I do hope that we can fly from one city to the next. Dang, Tong is the furthest north, several hours by plane north of Beijing, and KangChao (Leo? Logan?) is half way to Guangzhou. We have to spend at least the last week in Guangzhou at the end of the trip to complete the medical exam and the US swearing in ceremony. I wish I could find a yahoo group from Dang, Tong's orphanage, so that I could get more information about how we will travel from Jinan to Daqing. This is going to be quite the trip!
The Doctor called last night with wonderful news! Dang, Tong is perfect for our family! We found our sixth son! He's primarily healthy, and he's been growing steadily. He's extroverted, energetic, and talkative. He's a Peters for sure. SIX BOYS...WOW! So we're back to the name lists, trying to find a name we can all agree upon. I like Samuel, but John doesn't. David is still stuck on Logan (for son number 5), while I am resisting because it was the name of one of our foster children. How about Leo for our 6 year old, and Isaiah for our 4.5 year old? We all liked the name Elias, until John told us Eli in Chinese means lazy and won't work. We are all super excited! Austin is at camp though, so we can be enthusiastic now and deal with his discontent later. Life is funny. Austin simply adores Ben (calls him Xiao Ben--little Ben in Chinese) and he carries him around and spoils him. Yet, he'll be the one who will complain about the adoption of two boys. He just doesn't like change or transitions, while the rest of us roll with the punches. So we are celebrating this week, knowing next week we can listen to Austin complain.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
After making the decision to adopt two children, instead of one, I feel at peace finally. I know that Austin will have a fit when he finds out we are adopting two kids instead of one, but we will cross that bridge later. For now, I'm just searching websites for our sixth son. I asked WACAP to send us a file on a cute little 4.5 year old boy who lives in northern China, and I immediately sent the medical records to the Doctor to review. We also received medical records of another boy who is 5 years old and cute as a button. The pediatrician is an international adoption expert, and we trust her judgement implicitly. After she reviews the lab reports etc. she will tell us possible medical conditions. In December,when we met her to talk about KangChao, the doctor reviewed his file carefully and gave us the good news that KangChao appears to be healthy. KangChao is officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but we (and the doctor) saw no signs of CP in the 20 min. long video. We can't always know all the medical history of adoptees, of course, so we try to get ready to parent a child with any number of medical issues. I'm trying hard to be patient and wait for the doctor to call me about this 4.5 year old boy named Dang Tong and the 5 year old named Lian Mo. So..if the doctor would just hurry up and call me
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Yesterday, we finally received the video of the boy that our WACAP representative really, really liked. A month ago I sent her an email asking if she saw any "special" little guys when she was visiting Shandong last month because we are still toying with the idea of adopting two children again. Well, she was smitten by one little boy, who is missing a few fingers and toes, and probably needs casting for one foot. However, it takes awhile for the videos to be burned onto Cd etc. so we just received our copy of the boy's interview yesterday. The video was extremely disappointing. It's a 9 min. video, and half the time the camera is pointed at the kid's shoes, or at the IQ type test that he is taking. It's just not a good video. The face photo we received last month gave both David and John the impression that the child was cognitively delayed, and now the video did little to dispel that idea. The child never actually speaks on the video, at least that I can hear, and he doesn't even seem to know that he is supposed to answer the questions. Kang Chao, our almost 6 year old son-to-be, was definitely listening while the adults talked during his interview, and you could see a whole range of emotions on his face as he was being questioned. What struck the woman at WACAP about this particular 5 year old was his empathy for others. A 3 year old came in next, sobbing, and this little guy did everything he could to comfort the toddler, including giving up his new toy. While that is certainly a darling and admirable trait, our family is athletic and academic, and we all felt that this particular 5 year old will not be a good fit. What I did learn, however, is that we both felt let-down and disappointed. It was like an unexpected pregnancy, when you found out that you really weren't pregnant after all (or you miscarried), and then realized how upset you were about not being pregnant. Does that make any sense at all?? All along, we haven't been certain if we should play it "safe" and adopt one child, or go for broke and adopt two. The fact that this particular 5 year old boy wasn't "our sixth son" truly sent me the message that we are called to adopt two children again. We hate it that people think we're nuts. We hate it that our almost 16 year old is embarrassed to call us his family. I worry that our 16 year old will totally rebel, and move in with is aunt and uncle ( who totally think we're crazy and encourage him to live with them, play video games and watch TV). So..here we are...struggling through the day, wondering WHY us? Why are we the ones called to adopt?? OF course we know exactly why. We are called because we CAN. We have the money, the room in the house, the energy and the capacity to love and parent. And we are driven to give all we've got, 100%, all the time. I've run 7 marathons, our kids are ranked nationally in running and Taekwond0 (2 of the boys competed in Jr. Olympics in California this year) and we are doers. We are called because WE CAN. David and I often talk about how other people criticize us or call us crazy....and we've decided that people do that because we make their lives seem mediocre, so they criticize us to make themselves feel better. So, we are going to ignore everyone else and do what we know is right. With God's help, we are going to find another little boy, our sixth son.
Monday, July 25, 2011
On June 7, I posted that David said no. We were discussing (on our way to the fingerprint appointment) whether we should consider adopting two little guys this time too, and at that time David decided no. Yet, here it is, almost two months later, and we are still discussing the idea. David keeps renting movies that feature large families (Cheaper by the Dozen, Meet the Duggars etc.) and we are both excited about the idea of having a houseful of boys. Finances aside, the more children we have, the easier things seem. In fact, when Austin was at camp this month, having only three boys at home was strange. It was just too quiet. Now we know who the real instigator is, Austin, since there was minimal bickering when you were gone!!! Ha ha! We have been asking the kids regularly....one or two little guys? Just like us, their answer varies depending on the day. We all know that we have the room and the experience to parent six children. But should we? When we had the four foster children, we had 7 children in the house, plus 2 dogs and 11 puppies!!!! The 11 (unexpected) puppies did totally wear me out, since I had to bottle feed them every two hours, but the 7 kids wasn't too crazy. Yesterday, with four boys in the house, David and I somehow managed to take a 2 hour nap. Yes, 6 boys would be a blessing. If only Austin would get on board. He commented yesterday that he feels like the white minority in our house! Should we wait for him to graduate high school (in 3 years) and then pursue adoption again? I'll be 50 in three years....It's hard to know the right thing to do. We will be receiving a video soon of another little guy that is in the same province as Kang Chao. Hmm.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Yesterday, we received an email that our dossier was sent to China! Finally! It usually takes a few more weeks to receive a Log In Date. After that, we need to receive a letter of confirmation, and the I800 approval. What all this means is that we still have 6 months to wait, at least. We set a "wishful target date" of December 14 to travel. That would be exactly one year after we put in our application, and it would have us traveling over Christmas break. It will be tough to leave some of the kids home over Christmas, but if we travel over a school break time then we can at least take one or two of the kids with us. They can't afford to miss two weeks of school, but one week isn't too bad. Also, we have a cruise booked for February, and we booked a room for Logan, just in case we have him then too!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
We've been busy, busy, busy as usual and the time has flown. Connor and J.P. (John has adopted the nickname) and I went to California so that they could compete in the Junior Olympics in Taekwondo. We've also been at our cottage on Conesus Lake for the past three weeks on vacation. Even on vacation though, we continue to move towards our adoption of KangChao. When we were in the SanFrancisco airport we saw an adorable little travel suitcase with a panda bear on it, and I almost bought it for Logan. Yes, we are still calling KangChao Logan...we've toyed with the name Leo, but Logan has "stuck." In the end, I didn't end up buying the panda bag because it was a little too girly. Then yesterday I received an email from a parent who adopted a boy who is good friends with Logan!! The following is from an email I received.
"Luke told me that KangChao plays good and slides on the slide with him and runs and plays well. He told me The ladies in pink were teaching KungChao to write and cut and he was 5 when I left, and that is young! Luke said KangChao is nice and sweet and innocent. Hope this helps I will look through the pics the orphanage gave me of Luke growing up and see if we have any with your son in them. "