Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Announcements and Invitations WITH LOVE

I'm now creating designs for adoption and birth announcements as well as invitations at Blogovers with Love. I make the design, e-mail you the graphic, you order 4" x 6" prints from a photo printer, you order the envelopes, and you'll have yourself some very personalized announcements! Through May 1, 2008, funds raised by Blogovers with Love will go towards furnishing and decorating a new group home for teenagers with Chung Yi in Taiwan, a project organized by my adoption agency Families for Children. Thanks for your support!

Adoption Physicals - Take 2

Well, we had our second set of adoption physicals this morning. Thankfully they didn't test us for cooties as our adoption physical forms didn't ask for the results. According to Kevin's sister, Kevin is likely to be a carrier of cooties. I'm fortunate, as I was vaccinated at a young age to prevent catching this horrible disease. We'll go back later this week to have the TB test results read, then we'll be all done with our part of the previously grumbled about newly required adoption homestudy update. (Sigh of relief.)

A Public Service Announcement

Please, don't let your family be victims!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas

I just finished read a novel written for 8-12 year old children called Peiling and the Chicken-fried Christmas. The story is about an eleven-year-old Taiwanese American girl that desperately wants to celebrate a "real American Christmas" but is met with resistance from her parents. It is a nice little book that focuses on a struggle for identity as a young Asian American. It's can be enjoyed by adults too, and I read it in one sitting in about the time it takes to watch a movie.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Today's post was brought to you by the number 2.

FBI fingerprinting at state police post. Check, check.
Local background check from former town. Check, check.
Local background check from current town. Check, check.
Appointments scheduled for annual physicals for next week. Check, check.

And... the washing machine broke. The appliance repair guy that was supposed to come to fix it while we were visiting 3 police stations (not 2) didn't come. He left a message at 4:55pm on our answering machine that he was too busy today and would have to come Monday. Darn it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

HOMESTUDY MEGA UPDATE DUE 3/7/08: And I thought I had the day off tomorrow!

I'm sooooooo not happy. We got a letter today from our homestudy agency.

"The state of Indiana has mandated new requirements for adoption. They are asking the following information be updated every 12 months until the adoption finalization. Because of this new requirement, we need to ask you to update the following information to keep your file current for your adoption. We realize this is an inconvenience but unfortunately it is necessary in order to keep your home study valid. Per Indiana regulations, your homestudy will be suspended on 3-7-08 if this update is not completed. For international adoptions, this means your home study will be revoked from CIS. (Not only will your child not be able to enter the United States, but also you will be required to start the CIS process over including the application fee.) In order for your Indiana Review to be completed, we must have received all the documents as well as the background checks back from the state-these can take up to a month to process to start working on the immediately."

Here's a list of what we'll have to RE-DO:
  • FBI National Criminal Check (includes fingerprinting once again on blue FBI fingerprint cards at $28.25 each
  • Indiana State Limited Criminal Check at $7 each
  • Local criminal checks – going back to two police departments... and the town that we used to live in charges for local criminal checks!
  • Child Protective Services – National Criminal Check
  • Physician Update Letter – Great! We get to pay for physicals again!
  • Updated tax record copies and pay stubs
  • Pet vaccination records. Got shots, Sedona???
  • Complete a questionnaire and pay the homestudy agency another $150 to update our file.

Well, I guess I know what I’m going to be doing on my day off tomorrow. I'll be getting fingerprinted by the state police, and going back to the city we used to live in for background checks AGAIN. ARG!!! I had no idea that we'd have to go through this all over again so quickly. We jump through hoop after hoop to be able to adopt, but we see total losers that are so-called parents to kids every day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

11 months

Ack! I really don't want to even think about making one of these to mark 12 months...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)

It's cold today... really cold. We stayed inside, took down the Christmas tree (don't laugh!), and did a little cleaning and laundry. I decided to try and be a little creative in the kitchen tonight.

I started off looking for traditional things people would eat to celebrate the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. I found that some will make Tang Tuan (glutinous rice balls) for Winter Solstice and the Lantern Festival, so I searched online for a recipe that I could make. I had the ingredients: glutinous rice flower leftover from a previous shopping trip to an Asian grocery, brown sugar, water, and red food coloring. Here's a link to the recipe that I used.

I used the glutinous rice flower and water to make a dough. Sometimes people color their balls pink, so I used food coloring to color half of my dough pink.

I made a syrup with brown sugar and water, and cooked marble sized dough balls until they floated to the top of the syrup.

And here they are. My recipe said that you can serve them in the syrup hot or cold. Of course, I had to try one right away (drum roll please).... Tastes like goo with a little brown sugar flavor. The smaller balls taste better because they had more of the sugary syrup go into them. Still, not good. Not bad, but definitely not good. You can fill the balls with pastes like black sesame seeds and red beans... but I give up. I can't imagine making these things taste really good.

I think I'll stick to making reservations from now on and leave the cooking up to the professionals! I really want to find someplace relatively local that serves Dim Sum. If anyone local reading this knows of a restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where one can order Dim Sum, please let me know. I'd like to try some closer to home rather than driving all of the way to Indianapolis. Maybe I'll meet some people at the Fort Wayne Chinese Families and Friends Association's Spring Festival (aka New Year) Party that can point me in the direction of some local Dim Sum.

Okay, time to clean up the kitchen, throw out my glutinous rice flower dough, and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk. I'm hungry after kneading all of that dough!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Had to share... just for laughs! Click on the graphic and you can view a larger image... if it doesn't frighten you too much.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No News

Kevin talked to our adoption agency yesterday. There was no news. Sigh. I think I'll go back to bed and pull the covers over my head.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back to Blogovers

I'm back to doing blog designs now that Christmas and our travels are over. I finished a design for Amy and family last night that I'm really pleased with, the Blogovers with Love site has a fresh look, I have one client finalizing her design, and one shopping for her digital scrapbooking kit for her design. Let me know if you'd like a new look for your blog to celebrate a new year.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Taiwan's nationalist KMT party wins control of legislature

I've been reading a little about the results in Taiwan's elections yesterday. I'm no global political guru, but this is how I understand it.

Voters went to the poles yesterday in Taiwan, and they changed control of their legislature from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the KMT, Taiwan's nationalist party. The Nationalists won 81 seats of the 113 seat Legislature, where the DPP won only 27. President Chen Shui-bian with the DPP has been pushing for policies finalize independence from China, and has planned a referendum to help Taiwan gain membership into the United Nations. Some say that Taiwan has lost economic competitiveness because of recent tensions with China. The KMT nationalist party favors more active engagement with China and doesn't rule out reunification in the future. Taiwan's presidential election is coming up on March 22nd to choose a successor to President Chen who is stepping down after 8 years in office. Opinion polls give the KMT's candidate Ma Ying-jeou a 20-point lead over the DDP's Frank Hsieh.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

finger update - 6 days later

I took my own stitches out tonight. I called my sister, an intensive care nurse, before I took them out to make sure that all I needed to do was snip them and pull out the thread. I only had two stitches, and they weren't holding anything together anymore as the Dermabond superglue had all flaked off today the stitches hung loose.

Well folks, I think I have nerve damage. I was hoping that the loss of sensation was due to the Dermabond over the area, but the glue is gone and it doesn't feel right. I know it's still healing, so we'll see what happens and how permanent this will be. Luckily I still have all of the sensation on the very end of my finger to help me type, pick things up off the ground, etc. It's a dime sized area on the side of my finger that feels numb.

Sigh. Let this be a lesson. Always use a cutting board in the kitchen, no matter how small the job. Or just eat out or let your husband do all of the cooking and food preparation. That sounds like an even better idea. I haven't cooked a thing this week that didn't involve opening a box and putting it in a microwave!

Oh my gosh! I'm looking at my finger and just realized that I'm most likely going to have a scar and this changes my fingerprint. My brain frantically searches... does this mean that I need to be fingerprinted again by immigration for the adoption? Surely not. I'll have to ask my adoption agency representative next time we talk, but surely not. That would be craziness, but there's a whole bunch of things that you have to do to adopt that are just crazy.

Get ready to TIVO! Here comes "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan!"

"Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" premiers on Nick Jr. on Thursday, February 7th at 11am. I've been especially excited about this. If this show is popular like Dora the Explorer, my child's peers will grow up watching a cartoon child as an Asian American role model and it may influence them to be more accepting of Asian Americans and Chinese culture.

The show's web site describes the curriculum: Ni Hao, Kai-lan is the next generation of preschool television programming that introduces the psychology of biculturalism. If Dora and Diego popularized bilingualism, Kai-lan will weave together being bilingual and bicultural. Ni Hao, Kai-lan reinforces the idea that being bicultural and bilingual is being American.

The show will familiarize the viewing audience with elements of Chinese and Chinese American cultures to promote multicultural understanding in the next generation and goes beyond featuring "culture" as only ethnic food and festivals. Instead, it celebrates growing up in an intergenerational family, having friends from diverse backgrounds, and "habits of the heart" that are Chinese American. These values include:

Mind-body connection Typically, television portrays excitement as the good emotion to feel. In many Chinese-American communities, the good thing to feel is often calmness and contentment. Feeling excited and feeling calm can both be happy feelings, but they differ in how aroused the body is.

Perspective-taking In many Chinese and other East Asian families, children are encouraged to take the perspective of others to maintain harmony in relationships with other people.

Being a good member of the group Ni Hao, Kai-lan also emphasizes the Chinese and Chinese American value of being a good member of a group.

Social & Emotional Goals Highlight cause-and-effect thinking about social and emotional issues germane to preschoolers and to support preschooler's social and emotional development.

Friday, January 11, 2008

prayer request

Dear blog readers,

I don't ask many favors for you, but I'm asking one tonight. I'm asking for prayers for an online friend and her family. Today they learned that the infant they hoped to adopt passed away unexpectedly. God answered their prayers to heal the child by bringing the baby home to him, but obviously this is not what they expected and they are devastated. Please pray for this adopting family as well as the birth family as their hearts need healing, and they'll need guidance as they search for direction of how to go on from here. The family reads this blog. If you'd like to leave them a message... you can do so in the comments of this post.

I’m just been sobbing tonight for this little one and the two families, birth family and another family that loved the baby so very much... even though they never had the opportunity to physically hold their child of their hearts.

Thank you.

Updated Sunday, January 13th:

Rebecca and I have chosen to send $100 of our Blogovers with Love donations to help cover the cost of a funeral for an infant that unexpectedly passed away at an orphanage in Taiwan. The birth family does not have the funds to pay for a proper funeral. Please e-mail me if you would like to have an address where you can send funds to help with the funeral expenses.

ladybug, ladybug retail therapy

Hey, it's retail therapy or Xanax... and baby clothes are a lot cuter than anti-anxiety medications! I have socks and pink and navy striped pants to match. This was enough to last me until at least Valentine's Day, I think.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

buy a little girl a dress, and help make a family!

Here's a link to buy some beautiful handmade dresses to help bring little Faith home from China. These little dresses are sooo cute, and very reasonable. I loooooove that Kimberly dress!

Fort Wayne Chinese New Year Party

I just leaned that the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family Association is having a Chinese New Year Party at IPFW on Sunday, February 3rd. We're going! What fun! Thanks to Lisa for the invite! If anyone else wants to come too, they "kindly request" to return your reservation by TOMORROW, January 10th for catering and seating arrangements.

long waits for precious blessings

My inspirational thought for the week!

Monday, January 7, 2008

what not to do with new Cutco knives

Kevin and I didn't buy eachother Christmas presents... and purchased a new small set of Cutco knives instead. I used one for the first time last night to slice an apple, and apparently tried to take off a piece of my left pointer finger too. My kitchen floor had blood drops all over it. I kept calm, applied pressure and put my hand over my head, and when it didn't stop after five minutes I called my dad to take me to the ER. Kevin's still in FL so he missed out on the action. The ER doctor and a nurse (sweet sorority sister of mine... thank you!) Dermabonded (superglued) my finger. I went home with a pain level of 2 but embarrassment level of 11. Those new knives just got $100 more expensive, too. But... when I woke up this morning I was bleeding through the Dermabond, and got to go BACK TO THE ER for stitches in the part that didn't hold. I've never had to call a coworker before today and wake them up at 6:30am before to say, "Uh... I'm going to the ER and won't be able to open up work at 8am... can you help me out?" Now I've gotta get ready to go into work, as I swapped shifts with my coworker to go back to the ER. I can still kinda type. Thank goodness for spell check!

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Family Vacation in Florida

I returned home today from a week in Florida with Kevin's family. It's back to work for me, but Kevin's still down there enjoying some more time with his mom and dad. Sedona the babydog was well taken care of by our terriffic neighbors, but she's really missed her mommy and daddy. When I walked in the door tonight and sat on the couch she jumped up and loved all over me for nearly ten minutes. I've never seen her so excited to see me before!
No adopton news, so all I have to share is a few of the 220 pictures I took on our trip this past week. There's so many that I'm not sure where to begin with the scrapbooking! Here are just a handful of my favorites that help tell a story.
We started off our family vacation with a trip to St. Augustine, Florida. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European established city in the United States. We toured the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, admired the Spanish styled architecture while wandering the streets, ate al fresco, and took in a "ghost tour." Pictured above are Kevin and his brother and sister at Castillo de San Marcos.

While in St. Augustine, we were approached by a fierce looking pirate captain carrying a fascinating glowing sword.

Here's the pirate captain and her crew. Kevin's brother-in-law, his brother, and Kevin are in the background.

Feeding ice cream to pirate captains makes them less likely to make you walk the plank. I love this picture. I think it's my favorite from the week.

Happiness is being an aunt!

Kevin makes a pretty cool uncle. He brought our Rock Band gear to Florida, of course. There was a lot of rockin' going on at grandma's house this week.
Kevin's newest "toy" is a PSP (Portable PlayStation). He's been playing a lot of Loco Roco lately, and I have too. It's a pretty cute game, especially for kids. I love the music to the game!

We ate entirely too much really good food.

We ate entirely too many amazing desserts as well. These photos are from Boma, my favorite Disney restaurant. It is an African themed buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's back to Lean Cuisine meals, salads, and yogurt for me next week!

Of course, we visited the happiest place on earth... Disney World!
For Florida, it was really cold! If it reached 50 degrees yesterday, I'd be really surprised.

Kevin's a much better photographer than I am.

I'm a lucky girl, aren't I?

But I still look at the fairy tale castle and wish for Hannah Claire to make our family complete.

Still waiting! Still smiling!