Friday, February 27, 2009

From our Agency, a bit of humor during the wait.

You Might Be Adopting From China If...... 

You know that I-600 & I-171 aren't highways....
You've been expecting a baby for over 3 years....
You understand that it's 2006 in some parts of the world....
You've "paid for" 3 citizenships, but never brought anyone into the U.S....
You know that waiting for China has nothing to do with Dillard’s or dishes..
Your home study is followed by a number (i.e. #3 or #4)...
You never know how many days next month will have...
You know that babies come in batches...
You've been fingerprinted four times, but never committed a crime...
You automatically assume everyone who is expecting is having a girl...
You own new clothing in 3 little sizes for all 4 seasons (because you don't know when or how big)...
You look twice when you see a lady bug...
You're more interested in what will happen in March 2006 than in March 2009...
You know people who understand when you talk about 2 day months & 5 day months...
Your due date hasn't changed by days, but by years...
You know who the Rumor Queen is ... AND ... you don't know who she is...
You know that forecast doesn't have anything to do with the weather...
You've waited so long, they re-checked your fingerprints to see if they changed...
Trying to understand why they're printing you again, you study your own fingerprints and wonder

if fingerprints grow wrinkles...
When you speak of "that time of month" you're talking about CCAA updates & referrals...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No news is NOT good news

but at least it's not BAD news.

We're still waiting, my cell phone is my constant companion, but it refuses to ring with the correct number on caller ID.


Keep the prayers up folks, we know we're close.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

A boy full of Joy Part II

I was going to upload this the other night, but ....

In the Drum Store Acer went from one set to another, happily trying them out.  It was a bit like Goldilocks, except MUCH LOUDER!

Here he is trying out his second set.  Notice the constant grin, and the fast that his glasses are slipping way down onto the tip of his nose in his concentration.  You also get to hear a little more of his unique raspy voice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

With tears in my eyes

I was going to write about Acer's trip to the drum store, and post another video, but I have to post this now.

God is good and greatly to be praised.

Bill just came home with an anonymous donation of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS towards Little Miss's adoption.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A boy full of Joy part I

Acer and I were at the drum store for almost 2 hours, and he was perfectly behaved.  I don't think there has been a time in the past, aside from when he was sleeping, that I could truly say about.  He's not a bad kid, he just has a lot of energy and thinks of things to do that perhaps he shouldn't.  Here, he was FOCUSED, he went from one drum set to another trying them out and dropping some beats as he went.  I think he could have stayed there all day and still been as well behaved, he was entranced by all the different drums and cymbals and thrones and sticks, the list goes on.

Sorry the video's funky, I left the camera in the car and took this with my phone.  Here's Acer on the first drum set we came to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big day coming for Acer, I promise to post pictures.

Yes, today  is the day we're going to Acer's  (and my) first DRUM STORE.  We're going with the guys from band who are going for musical reasons of their own, and are kindly letting us tag along.  Oddly enough I can speak to hundreds of people at a time giving seminars, but the thought of going to the drum store on my own is a fearsome thing.

Acer's been very excited at the thought of going to a drum store ever since he heard the words. He's taken lately to sitting in my rocking chair, rocking madly back and forth and telling me he's driving to the drum store.  He's been going other places too, Cost-co, Kro-gers, his two favorite parks, but mainly he's going to the drum store.  Yesterday he was especially adventurous and went to six or seven drum stores, telling me he was picking up different parts at each one.  I believe he'd assembled the world's biggest drum set by the time he was through driving.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sweet 16 and never been Kicked!

Our Alex is 16 today, and we couldn't be prouder of her.  Kind, helpful, funny, musical, athletic, polite, good with Acer, smart, we're so proud of her.
Yesterday we drove out to Grand Rapids for her family party, today is really her birthday and she'll have friends over to celebrate.
Alex is now officially my travel partner when I go to China.  After much discussion, thought and prayer, Alex will go and Bill and Acer will stay and wait.
We told her by giving her a purse and slipping a note in it that said  "Pack this and your luggage, you're going to China!"  She couldn't believe it,  she looked at her Grandma and said, really, really?' and then she finally believed it.
I pray we have a good trip, it'll just be all us girls, Calliandra, Alexandra, and me - Look out China, you won't know what hit you!.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Check one thing off my reasons to be a Mom list.

and it's not even a reason I knew about until it happened.

Yesterday Acer and I trekked across the metro area to Seedlings Books, a bookstore for Blind Children.  As we travelled Acer asked to sing.  Generally when Acer asks to sing, it means he wants to listen to me sing.  So he asked me to sing Down by the bay, our family's traveling song from way back before I was born.  I have sung this song so many times in my life that I'm surprised that I don't automatically start singing it when I close my car door.  I've taught it to my nephew, our Alex, and my youth group down in St Louis.  This time was different because as I started, Acer's raspy voice joined me.  It was the coolest thing to hear him sing his slightly garbled version of the words as I sang.

BTW for all of those who sing the words, "where the water 'melons' grow" - you've got it WAY wrong.  Watermelons don't grow in a bay - water LILIES grow in a bay.  I know I'm bucking popular culture, but it's just wrong; please sing it the way our family has been singing it for longer than there have been recordings of it.  It just makes sense.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

For my friends, who help me even more than we knew.


By Gale Berkowitz

A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.

Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research---most of it on men---upside down. "Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible," explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study's authors. "It's an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers.

Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just "fight or flight." "In fact," says Dr. Klein,"it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the "fight or flight" response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men", says Dr. Klein, "because testosterone---which men produce in high levels when they're under stress---seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen", she adds, "seems to enhance it."

The discovery that women respond t o stress differently than men was made in a classic "aha!" moment shared by two women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. "There was this joke that when the women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee, and bonded", says Dr. Klein. "When the men were stressed, they holed up somewhere on their own. I commented one day to fellow researcher Shelley Taylor that nearly 90% of the stress research is on males. I showed her the data from my lab, and the two of us knew instantly that we were onto something."

The women cleared their schedules and started meeting with one scientist after another from various research specialties. Very quickly, Drs. Klein and Taylor discovered that by not including women in stress research, scientists had made a huge mistake: The fact that women respond to stress differently than men has significant implications for our health.

It may take some time for new studies to reveal all the ways that oxytocin encourages us to care for children and hang out with other women, but the "tend and befriend" notion developed by Drs. Klein and Taylor may explain why women consistently outlive men. Study after study has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. "There's no doubt," says Dr. Klein, "that friends are helping us live." In one study, for example, researchers found that people who had no friends increase d their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another study, those who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%.

Friends are also helping us live better. The famed Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight! And that's not all! When the researchers looked at how well the women functioned after the death of their spouse, they found that even in the face of this biggest stressor of all, those women who had a close friend confidante were more likely to survive the experience without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. Those without friends were not always so fortunate. 

Yet if friends counter the stress that seems to swallow up so much of our life these days, if they keep us healthy and even add years to our life, why is it so hard to find time to be with them? That's a question that also troubles researcher Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D., co-author of "Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships (Three Rivers Press, 1998). "Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women," explains Dr. Josselson."We push them right to the back burner. That's really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they're with other women. It's a very healing experience."

Taylor, S. E., Klein, L.C., Lewis, B. P., Gruenewald, T. L., Gurung, R. A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. Female Responses to Stress: Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or Flight

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Acer's latest musical collaboration

Yesterday Acer had a good ole piano jam fest with - himself. This is heading off into a new direction for him, as he'd just been playing the piano toy with his drums. Now he's trying to sound out the songs on the (horribly out of tune) big piano as they play on the little piano.