Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Becoming Home

My posts are very boring these days sans photos, but in our current state of disarray, I have no idea where in the world our download thingy is. I guess I could go to Walmart and get a new one, but it's still taking my brain a while to adjust to the fact that I can easily go get the things I need. It also seems that our computer and our friend's computer (who also lives in HK and is home for the summer) have contracted some Big Brother China virus that won't allow us to connect to the internet in America. And finally, I'm having a blog identity crisis. I started this blog as a way to keep our friends and family updated on our lives half a world away. We're just down the street now, and there aren't quite as many blog worthy moments when you're living the American life that we all know and love. Hopefully we will soon be somewhat more "settled", and I can revamp the blog. Our adoption agency has asked us to advocate on our blog once a month for various issues related to orphans and adoption, so I'm excited about that.

And onto the house, which we have lovingly dubbed "Pandora." It seems that the more we try to fix, the more we uncover that needs to be done. The electrical issue that we thought would be an easy fix turned into "Pay $8000 to bury the wires or tear down your deck." So we are currently sitting on that little problem waiting for money to start growing on trees. I started ripping down wallpaper in the bathrooms on a whim one night, and that turned into Jon ripping out the old vanity, installing a pedestal sink, installing new bathtub hardware, ripping out the old shower doors, and hopefully getting the tub resurfaced. The painter has finished the walls and started on the trim. Unfortunately, when we went over to look at the fantastic job that was promised us, we saw paint dripping from the crown molding, paint puddles on the window sills, and drips running down the window frames. I was less than happy, to put it mildly, and our contractor promises us that it will be fixed. It makes me sick, to be honest, but I'm trying to get over it and tell myself that it's "just paint." The colors are gorgeous and I love them. Our stuff is supposed to arrive in Cincinnati this Thursday where it will then clear customs, be released, and be picked up by a moving crew to be delivered to our house. We got word that our container was singled out for "screening". Not sure what that means, and we're hoping hoping hoping to be moved in before school starts on Aug. 13. Until then, we are filling our days with soccer camp, pool days, friends, family, trips to the park, and marvelling at the beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds that we will never take for granted again!

Love Without Boundaries $1 Challenge

I'm copying and pasting an email from Love Without Boundaries below. This is an interesting topic to me because I often wonder and get asked why Maddie Rae was abandonned by her birth family. Was it because of her cleft lip? Was it because she was a girl? Was it for medical reasons or superstitious reasons? I would like to believe it was because her birth family loved her enough to try to get her the medical attention she needed in the only way available to them. So that's why this LWB $1 challenge sounded good to me. If they can help even one family keep their child, my dollar is well spent!

Love Without Boundaries Foundation has set a goal to raise $5,000 by August 27.----------------Goal: $1 challenge to save a child's life!LWB is launching a $1 challenge to kick off our new Unity Fund for impoverished, rural families in China. So many times over the years, we have met families who have had to make the painful decision to abandon their child in the hopes of getting them the medical care they need. It has been a dream of ours for many years to begin such a fund, so that when we learn of families in true crisis, we can provide their children with the surgeries they need so that such a painful decision does not have to be made. We have met so many of these families in person, and they love their children completely, but they simply could never afford a $5000 heart surgery to save their child's life when their family is living on less than $50 per month. Our Unity Fund was created to keep these families united and to give a second chance of a healthy life to at-risk children living in poverty. Join with us on this dream, and actually help prevent children from being orphaned. We challenge everyone to send just ONE DOLLAR during this challenge period to LWB's Unity Fund. Is it possible to find 5000 people to donate $1? With your help, we believe it is. If we meet that goal, then together we can impact a child's life forever. Pass on this message to everyone you know! Pop just $1 in the mail to Love Without Boundaries and help change the world, one child at a time. Love Without Boundaries P.O. Box 25016 Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0016 or donate $1 online at or donate through Facebook by clicking "donate" and then choosing "other" and putting in $1. Together we can continue our work of bringing hope to those truly in need! ----------------To learn more about the goal or donate, follow the link below:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We have been home for 2 weeks tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind, and my sister suggested that I give a play by play of all our drama on the blog. Let me set the scene for you: we are staying in a relocation apartment absent of toys and safe furniture. We took all the glass furniture out and are now eating on a card table. That being said, we are very thankful to have a place to stay because if we had to move into our house right now, it would be ugly.

My house. My beautiful, charming, longed for house. It is still all those things, but it is in a state of major renovation right now. Unfortunately, it's not the fun kind of renovation such as a brand new kitchen or bathroom. It all started with a thorough "deep" clean that took 2 professionals 16 hours. I then called in a contractor to fix the cracked ceilings, water damage, and clogged gutters that we thought were causing the water damage. Unfortunately, when he went up to fix the gutters, he noted that they were perfectly fine. Uh oh. He started to investigate and it went from bad to worse. First it was a hole in the roof above the water damage, then it was water damage throughout the house, then it was "you need a new roof." Then the electric guy showed up at the same time to tell me that our wires weren't up to code. And at the same time, a moving van showed up with our stuff that's been in storage for 3 years. As it stands now, there are new shingles in the driveway ready to go on the roof. The electric wires will be fixed at the time of roofing. The ceilings are all getting re-skimmed, sanded, and painted. The sunroom is being redrywalled. The water damage is repaired. And every single square inch of the entire house, ceilings and all, are getting painted starting Monday. I think then it will be inhabitable and we can save our money for gutting the kitchen! I will post before and after photos when our computer arrives.

Amidst all of this we have managed to also buy 2 cars, get Jonah's stitches out, set up meetings for Maddie Rae's speech therapy, visit with friends, make doctor's appointments, pick out paint colors, get car insurance, feed the kids, and go to Walmart twice! There's no place like home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

911, We have an EMERGENCY!!!

We are back in the USA, and we got back to our hometown one night ago. The next morning Jon left for Boston, and I was preparing for the boys to go to their grandparent's house so that I could stay here and work on the house. The apartment we are staying in had glass top tables in it, and Jon thought to remove the coffee table from the room before he left. We had just had lunch when Jonah sat down on the end table to pick up a toy and it immediately shattered and he fell through the glass. I screamed, picked him up, and quickly realized that the left side of his face was basically hanging open. I ran for my phone, dialed 911, screamed for them to send an ambulance, and then tried to stay calm so that Jack, Jonah, and Maddie Rae wouldn't be more panicked. My sister came to get Jack and Maddie Rae, and Jonah and I had an exciting ride to the hospital. He had surgery at the hospital to close the laceration, and he did amazing. He never cried one time. They put in his IV, picked up his skin, cleaned the wound, and messed with him all over and he never even shed one tear. They were able to stitch together the muscle internally and the skin externally, but he will probably have one heck of a scar for a while. Ah, parenting is not for the faint of heart!! I'm attaching the "after" picture because the before would probably make you completely sick!