Posts tagged ‘Reece’

The Space Between

We’re still waiting for this home study to be complete and I’m feeling discouraged. There’s still many hurdles to overcome.  Why does the system have to make this so difficult?  I understand we’re dealing with children and it’s best to error on the side of caution in regards to background checks and the like, but the longer this takes, the longer some little one goes without a loving home.  It’s one thing when it’s your child, but we’re talking millions of kids here.  The orphanages in China are literally bursting with abandoned children. Why isn’t a better system in place?    

abandoned

Nobody wants to hear me whine so I’ll stop and instead fill you in on what else is going on (numbered in no order of importance).

1) Finding a place for our party:  We need a spacious venue for my 40th birthday party/silent auction. We investigated a few grade schools, churches, colleges and our neighborhood club but all are out of our price range.  Any ideas? If we can’t find an affordable place, then the auction will not be possible. (Insert frowny emoticon here)

2) Set up donations: We decided to get all our funding options in line before asking for donations. Services will include the chrome buffalo T-shirt drive, silent auction and a website for tax-free donations.  The idea is to get our party set up (sometime in February), then launch everything at once.  It’s a cool idea since the alternative is chaotic emails, letters, Facebook prompts, etc.   This way you get one letter explaining it all.

3) Ordering buttons or a red wrist band: This idea came from Geoffrey Shaw, former CEO of the Asian Bridge http://theasianbridge.org   Shaw discussed his journey (adopting a daughter from China) with me and mentioned an old Chinese legend called “The Red Thread of Destiny.” 

An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.

This proverb is commonly used for passionate love (like the Westerners idea of soul mates) however the thread may also symbolize a connection between parent and child.  When a baby is born, he or she is already connected to the important people in their life.  As each year passes, the thread tightens, bringing each destined soul closer to this child.  The Red Thread is popular among families adopting from China with red bands or bracelets worn to symbolize the eternal bond between child and parent. Here’s one good example of the idea that I found online.

http://www.deerpathtrail.com/china/redthread.htm

Rather than red bands, Geoffrey’s idea was to create buttons symbolizing your adoption journey. 

logo-w-ribbon-small

He suggested distributing the buttons to family and friends and saw it as a simple way of sharing your story with others.  “You’ll be amazed at how quickly the word spreads,” he said. “It’s the best fund-raising strategy that I know.”   

4) Opening up: When it comes to our personal lives, Reece and I are not very open. Being therapists, we are better at asking questions and listening than sharing our views with others.  But the truth is, we need to share this story. Not to boast or try to convince others that adoption is the way to go, but to fulfill a basic human need…the need for reassurance.  When you look at adoption stories online you see friends and family rally around the cause, giving their support.  Reece and I plan to build this support by reaching out more in 2014. 

So when we start talking about this scary, life changing process…ask questions, look in our eyes and tell us it will be okay.  We need that more than you’ll ever know.

What’s in a name?

So here we are…waiting on a few documents (our homestudy report and child abuse clearance form) before the mass notarizing process begins. Although I’m anxious about getting through all of this, the waiting is easier than expected.  Why?  Because we haven’t been matched yet.  Once that happens, this waiting-around becomes much more difficult.

As soon as we’re matched (and I hope it’s soon) CCAI  http://www.ccaifamily.org/ will call us to share our child’s medical history.  At that time we have the option to accept the proposed match, or wait for another alternative. It’s a good process since it enables the adoptive parents to make an educated decision rather than keeping it purely emotional. Obviously, there is no guarantee your kid will be an exact match, but gathering evidence is the best defense against future strife.  As much as I hate to say this, some kids don’t belong with certain families and vice versa.

During this waiting time, Reece and I continue to knock around names for Little Panda.  Here’s a short list of our favorites:

Whats-In-A-Name1Aliviababy girl

Madoline

Grace

Izzy

Zoey

Lu Lu

 

 

Okay the last three are my idea and have zero possibility of being Panda’s name but I still love em.  Alivia looks like the real deal but the rest are still contenders.  I’m sure once we meet our little one, her name will naturally fall into place.  Whatever we call her, Panda’s middle name will remain Chinese.  Since China is her birth place, Reece and I feel this will keep our youngest daughter close to her roots. 

Now that the dossier is in motion and there’s time to breathe, we are seriously brainstorming ways to fund this adoption.  Reece and I agree that asking for donations is difficult. Nobody was holding a gun to our head when we made the decision to adopt internationally.  As Theresa said, “Couples go through all sorts of expensive procedures (i.e. in vitro fertilization)  in order to have kids and you don’t see them asking for donations.”  So how do you ask friends, family and others to give their hard-earned money to such a cause?  There’s no easy answer here, but we both agree that whoever gives, should get something in return.

The question is what?  What would be a good thing for people to get back for helping Reece and I out with this adoption?  One idea came from this website: http://chromebuffalo.com/pages/how-it-works  Basically, Chrome Buffalo allows us (or anyone) to sell designer T-shirts with part of the proceeds going directly to the adoption.  Once in place, we will have eleven days to get as many sponsors as possible with each sold T-shirt providing eleven bucks towards our cause.  I think it’s a cool idea, especially since sponsors get something in return other than just gushy feelings. Since I’m writing this blog and have a Facebook account we figured, “why not reach out into cyberspace for help?”

Another idea we’re kicking around is using my birthday to help springboard donations.  Since I’m turning forty this year, why not bring Little P into the celebration? There’s a couple ways we could tackle this (simple party, silent auction, clown rodeo, etc.) Silent auctions are great, but for that to happen, we would need to find a lot of cool stuff to bid on. 

Nick LacheyDid I mention I know Nick Lachey?  No kidding.  The only problem is…I haven’t seen or talked to him in over thirty years. If I could somehow remind Nick of our friendship, then perhaps a silent auction would work.  Heck—one pair of his boxer-briefs alone would bankroll our fare to China!

Speaking of fundraising, one heart-warming donation occurred this week…

Our kiddos attend Immaculate Heart of Mary http://ihm-ky.org/ where fundraising is commonplace.  This week the entire school took part in Tag Day where kids can spend a day out of uniform for twenty-five cents.  All the money from Tag Day went straight  towards our adoption. 

How awesome is that?

 

 

Whenever I hear “this world is full of evil,” humans are parasites,” “people aren’t like they used to be,”  I’m reminded of things like Tag Day, and guess what?  All of those negative, miserable voices lose their power.  I believe that people are generally good.  Do you agree?  If not, take a look here: (Be patient—it takes awhile to load)

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/cincinnati/Volunteers-distribute-86-000-Thanksgiving-meals/-/13549970/23137764/-/x465xr/-/index.html

Amazing what one group can do when joined by a common purpose!

We all have the ability to change lives. Some (like Gandi or Nelson Manela) change nations while others provide hope in the little things.

Nelson-Mandela

In my humble opinion (IMHO for those who text) the meaning of life is to use your gifts for the benefit of others.  Even one pair of undies can make a difference.

You getting this Nick?

We begin the process

We just got back from vacation and our home looks like a refugee camp.  My son’s underwear are laying in a bowl of half-eaten cereal but I don’t care, because ever since this adoption thing started I know everything is going to turn out. Like most people, I stress about small stuff and the adoption process has a lot of small stuff sticking to it.  But whenever my mind goes to freak-out-mode, it’s as though God is intercepting the worries and channeling them through His peaceful voice.

Theresa and I began filling out our application to adopt last night. Since we are adopting a special needs child, we first had to fill out a medical checklist. This intimidating form includes all of the possible medical issues that we would be willing to deal with.  Both Reece (my wife again) and I are therapists (She is a speech therapist and I am an occupational therapist) so we felt confident in our ability to understand each diagnosis and make educated decisions.  That being said—it wasn’t all “cut and dry” and we had to investigate certain medical conditions online.

It was scary.

With each click, we were willingly accepting a challenging issue.  Not only that, but until we meet our child, there is no way of knowing how much their medical issues will affect them.  The Chinese government provides a written evaluation outlining any developmental issues of the matched child, but once there’s a match, how could we refuse a little one in need? Since Reece has experience with deaf children, we decided to accept a girl with possible deafness. Congenital deafness could be a symptom of numerous other issues, but even as I write this, God‘s peaceful voice is telling me “It’s all going to be alright.”  I am thankful for that voice.

We already told our parents about the adoption, but last night, Reece decided to tell her three sisters. Since her youngest sibling (Sara) is in town from Alaska, it was the perfect opportunity.  We’re not pregnant so the etiquette on adoption is a little hazy. How would they react?  Would they stare like zombies, unaffected by the news?  Laugh at us?  Tell us horror stories of other adoptions?  We didn’t know what to expect.  But as soon as I blurted out, “We’re adopting a little girl from China!” all of these concerns vanished. I am very thankful for her family’s warm response. It was humbling to say the least. Sara surprised us by sharing her visions of a little Chinese girl being in our family.  “For some reason I saw a little Chinese girl in my mind,”  she said.  “I don’t know if I’m called for this or not but that’s what I saw.”  Chills washed over me as I listened to her words.

What the heck is God doing here?  I had long given up on the notion that God is personal.  I’ve never doubted the presence of a higher power, but the idea that He (or She) cares about my life is ridiculous.  Why would a being who created EVERYTHING care about my actions?  We are a speck of nothing that is gone in the blink of an eye, yet I can’t deny that something is pushing us forward.  Something is leading us through all of this…something exuding calm excitement and urgency that doesn’t make sense.

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