Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ice Cream Buddies

Free ice cream, in your pajamas, with your doesn't get much better than this!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

I am reminded today about all of the "unknowns" in the adoption world. Actually, I think I should change that to all of the unknowns in the "parenting" world. Once you become a parent you have no idea how and what your children will get you into.

Take for example, my friend Ellen. Ellen has adopted two special needs kiddos just like I have. Her newest daughter, Grace, is cleft affected like my Shelby. Grace just had her palate repaired about a week or 2 ago. Now I thought that I had it "rough" with Shelby's surgeries...uh NO, nothing compared to what Ellen has been through with Grace. Grace had some bleeding troubles from the start and now after being home from the hospital, she is now right back in there with more bleeding problems. Hop on over to her blog and give her some love as she surely needs it right now. I have followed a lot of others through their kiddos palate surgeries and have never seen these kinds of problems! I am in awe of Ellen with her strength and courage she is showing her daughter through this very tough time. I guess it just goes to show that we always have to expect the unexpected.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Not to Say to an Adoptee

Go check out Melissa's post here about this subject. I had the priviledge of meeting her in person a few weeks ago. She has recently been reunited with both of her birth parents. She has a very interesting story to tell. I hope to learn more and more from other adult adoptees like Melissa. I am so very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from others how my daughters lives have been impacted by adoption. I hope that I have all the right answers to their questions, but more importantly, I hope I am brave enough to tell them that I DON'T have all the answers to their questions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Life is Good

When you have a bean bag to lay on, an apple to eat, and Dora to watch...YES, life is good!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

$13K Rebate for Adopting!

That's right, did you know that you will receive a check from the IRS for $13,170 when you file your taxes for the year that your adoption was finalized! This is just like a $13K grant for you to adopt a child. How cool is that. So NOW what is stopping you?!?

Adoption Tax Credit Extended and Improved
Joint Council is pleased to confirm that the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC), which was scheduled to expire in 2010, was extended for one-year (through December 31, 2011). The highlights of the ATC are;

-The maximum credit was increased from $12,150 to $13,170,
-The ATC was made refundable. If a family has no tax liability, the IRS will refund the amount due.
-The extension of the ATC through 2011, was passed as part of the health care reform bill which was signed into law by President Obama on Monday, March 22, 2010. There was some concern that the ATC would be included in the reconciliation process, however we have confirmed that it is not part of reconciliation which means the ATC is law until December 31, 2011.

Joint Council along with many other advocates and adoptive families have long advocated for making the ATC permanent. We applaud Congress and the Obama administration for the extension and continue to call for a permanent tax credit.

The ATC is a critically important element in finding permanent families for children in the U.S. foster care system and the children of our world, who live without permanent parental care. The ATC makes adoption a viable option for many families who may otherwise be unable to afford to adopt. We again applaud the extension and improvements to the Adoption Tax Credit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Birthday Fun

We went to see that big mouse this past weekend for LynnMarie's birthday party. Of course my kids love this place, so everyone had a great time. I even had a great time visiting with some of my fellow adoptive parent friends that I haven't seen in a really long time. Fortunately with the help of Bloglines, I still feel "connected" to them by getting to watch their little ones grow via the internet. But nothing beats a good face to face reunion :) So fun was had by all, and little LynnMarie turned the big TWO years old!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One More Coming Home

Happy to say that one more little one will soon be on her way home! I met Kim a long time ago at an adoption function not thinking much about our encounter. You know I was just running off at the mouth about all the beautiful SN kids currently available, and that you know you don't have to wait in that agency's really LONG line if you don't want to...

Well it turns out she took some of my advice that day and well the rest is history. Sure keeps me going watching each and every one of these precious little ones coming home. I may not be able to bring another little home to MY home, but I sure can keep helping others bring one home to THEIR home :) Wow, how did I ever get so lucky!!

BTW: If your agency is telling you that you need to wait longer than 3 months for a special needs match, and you don't want to me. Right now there are over 1500 kids available on the shared list. Oh and if your agency doesn't match off the shared list, then email me for other options you may have available ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Readoption Paperwork Resource

I have had a few people ask me about how to file for their readoption here in Georgia. My friend, Michael Perry, has decided to start offering some help to adoptive families in getting all their paperwork ready to be able to file for readoption themselves. Michael is not an attorney and doesn't even play one on TV; however, he has successfully navigated several families through the readoption process in the past. If you wish to talk to him more about what he can do for you, then please email him at for more information.

If you are like me, by the time you finally get home with your child, you are sick and TIRED of all the paperwork and would just like to have someone else worry with all that stuff for you. Michael can be that paperwork life-saver you have been looking for!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

Baby Faith waiting for us in the orphanage. She looked so sad :(

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Car Races

We had a great time at our church's pine car derby race the other night. It was the first time the boys have done the race at our new church, so I wasn't sure how it would go. It went great! Both boys walked away with trophies and the girls had fun too. The boys had been working on their cars every Wednesday night at church for a long time, so their hardwork paid off. A BIG thank you to the men who teach their RA class and helped them with their cars. Since CJ is not home during the week to help the boys, this really was a big help for us. The boys weren't rushed in making their cars and they looked forward to going to church each Wednesday night to work on them, win-win!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Perfect Pic

Some pictures just really make you SMILE!
Shelby and her Papa :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Did You Get the Memo

You should take the time to drop over and read Linny's post for today. WOW! really makes you think...

'Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rusts destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.' -Matthew 6:19-21

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flashback Friday

Pics courtesy of my friend Shelly :) What about our little ball player...anyone remember this little guy?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Amazing Today

This pretty much sums up some things I got the pleasure of being a witness to today!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tough Stuff

Just read some very "tough" posts on another blog. You can go here to read her third post, but it does have links in there for her first and second post in this particular series. If you are adopting soon, it will be well worth your time to read some of her posts. She is just being VERY honest in her posts. Unfortunately, we never know how our new child will react when we meet them. Unfortunately, until that very moment, we don't know how WE will react in that very moment either.
So even if this is your first, second, or third adoption. Step on over there and read about what might happen in those first few weeks. I too remember my little Shelby doing a whole LOT of this those first few weeks (or was it months)!!

Chinese New Year

I completely forgot to post some pics of our little Chinese New Year celebration we did a few weeks back. We had a simple dinner hanging out with some friends. Thanks to Lucy for organizing everyone together. It was fun :)
The girls and I will be attending the FCCA Spring Celebration this Saturday, so let me know if you are going to be there too!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Changes in Waiting Child Program

I warned everyone here that some big changes were coming for the China Special Needs Program. Looks like the changes have arrived. Basically what this means is that you will need to already have all your paperwork completed and have an LID (logged in date) before you can be matched with a minor special needs child from the shared list. This is a great thing for the children and really it is for the parents too. Everyone won't have to wait as long for their child once matched.

Now here is the tricky part. Since I help a lot of people get out of the ridiculous SLOW waiting child line over at CCAI (granted they are an upstanding, ethical agency, that is why they have a lot of people already in their SN line), I think it will be harder to convince those people to switch agencies and hop over into the super speedy express line at BAAS. You see once you have seen your child's face, I don't have to do anymore "convincing". People see their child and they do whatever in the world they have to in order to get to their child in China. Closed case, they switch.

Now with this new process in place, it is going to make my advocating a little tougher since they won't get to see their child's face until they have committed themselves to a new agency that matches from the shared list. I suppose just another challenge for me right! Oh well, I know it is a good change for the kids and that is what matters the most- the waiting kids :)

March 8, 2010
Government departments and adoption agencies in receiving countries,
With the development of China's economy and society, inter-country adoption is faced with new situation. At present, feedback from adoption agencies shows that some adoptive families who have already sent their adoption files to CCAA intend to adopt a special needs child, but these families have to wait for a long time because their agency fails to lock suitable children for them in time, which caused a backlog of adoption files and influenced the placement of adoptable children. It is thus suggested by adoption agencies that CCAA improve relevant measures for special needs program and expedite the process for adoption of special needs children. Considering that a great number of special needs children have had surgeries through the "Tomorrow Plan" and mostly recovered in physical and mental conditions, CCAA decides that for each multiple list (shared list) released on and after this date, adoption agencies shall recommend families whose application files are already logged in with CCAA in order to shorten the waiting time for adoptive families and help special needs children back to families as soon as possible. When locking the file of a special needs child, agencies are required to truthfully fill in the log-in date and serial number of the application file, and agencies which put in false information will be suspended in working with the special needs online system. For special needs children who have been on the list for over one month, CCAA will reset the time limit for families to send application files, so adoption agencies are recommended to pay attention to the time limit of paper preparation for each special needs child. In addition, the time limit for inputting family information after locking is extended from 48 hours to 72 hours.

China Center of Adoption Affairs

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another Little Miracle

God is good all the time! All the time, God is good!! One more baby girl coming home to her mommy and daddy. I am SO happy for the Radicchis Team who has just grown by one new member. They have finally found their long awaited Claire waiting for them in China. Hop over to their blog to take a look at this gorgeous baby.

I have been "working" on them for a while torturing them with my endless emails of waiting child lists. I knew they were ready when they picked up the phone and called. I get so giddy every time someone finally gets up the nerve to pick up the phone to talk to me :) I am SO blessed to get to help others get their little ones from China. I truly get to witness God's miracles, one baby at a time!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flashback Friday

Anyone remember who this sweet and innocent baby boy is?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Looking for Your Child

Or maybe just an advocate for waiting children like me?? If so, I would highly recommend that you join this new group that features children currently on the shared list. Join the group then go to the photos section on the left side to see some gorgeous little ones waiting on their mommy and daddy! Come on, I dare you ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yeah for Daddy

Today is CJ's 29th birthday, again. Shelby insisted that you have to have a "party" when it is your birthday, so yesterday she picked out a cookie cake to help Daddy celebrate! The kids enjoyed singing and of course eating all the frosting and cookie(hey Faith even ate some frosting- no cookie of course, but lots of frosting). We went out for dinner and had a great family birthday "party".

Oh and considering that I am still in the running for wife-of-the-year, I gave CJ the Rookie Rush package to drive a real live Nascar car. Yes, I did give it to him on Valentines Day, but it was such a great present, I am using it for his birthday too :) I am sure he will have a blast, and my dad is even signed up to get to go drive one too. Can't wait to be on the sidelines cheering them on!!