Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pictures from D.C.

There's No Place Like Home

I have survived and I love D.C. What an amazing city. Our agenda was so full that we didn't get to truly enjoy it, but at least we got a glimpse of things. I think my favorite was the National Cathedral. What an amazing place! Brady really liked the Capitol and The Archives. I think his favorite thing was the man in front of the White House who has been there since 1981 protesting nuclear weapons. He and his friends had to get a picture with him. Brady bought an Abraham Lincoln style hat on the first day and wore it the entire trip. At first I was against him looking like such a nerd, but it came in really handy trying to spot him in the crowds, and it was crowded with school groups. When there are thousands of teenagers around, they all start to look the same. Abe's hat came in handy!

Overall, there weren't any major problems. Some of the kids drove me crazy being so loud and at times disrespectful. I don't think many kids today appreciate our history and are so overindulged with stuff that they just become obnoxious. The constant texting one another also drove me nuts. I have to compliment my son. There are times that I want to beat him, but he was very well behaved on this trip and I realized by watching other kids, he really is a good kid. I heard some of the kids being rude to there parents, but he could not have been more polite and sweet. I really enjoyed being with him. With that being said, so did a lot of other "young ladies". He really has a following of girls. I had to keep a watch on that situation and some of these girls are more "advanced" than Brady when it comes to boy/girl relationships. I want to go on the record as saying, I am not looking forward to the dating scene!

Arlington Cemetery and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a humbling thing to see. When you are surrounded by rows of tombstones it really makes you stop and think.

Security was also the high point for some of the kids. When you see guards on the steps of the Capitol with machine guns, suddenly all that kidding around seems to change. The kids were warned not to even mutter the word bomb and as far as I know, they took it seriously!

No adoption news while I was gone. We are hoping referrals come this week, but with the earthquake it's hard to say. I'm afraid it may only become slower, if that's possible:)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Clone Me - PLEASE

Today is one of those days when there is just not enough of ME to go around. I know that most moms understand that statement (and dad's too:). Brady had to be at golf at 8 a.m., Ashton had to be at basketball camp at 9 a.m., I had to run several errands in between and have a hair apt. to boot. Luckily, Ashton has been rescued by Janelle and I was able to move my hair apt. back. On top all the errands, I need to get the laundry finished, run by the grocery, and get our bags packed for the Washington trip. We have to be at the airport at 4:30 a.m. Needless to say, I'm looking so forward to that early morning event! So today, cloning doesn't sound like such a bad thing.

Our weekend finished up uneventfully. I worked yesterday and luckily it was a good day in the ER. I'm convinced most people don't start their heavy partying until after noon, and I got to leave at 3 p.m.

I don't have much to write about today and am too pressed for time as well. I will be back in a few days and I'm sure that I will have several stories to tell after being on a trip with 14 year old boys and girls. The thought sends shivers of my spine:) Have a great week.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Okay, I'm exhausted and perhaps a little whiny. You've been warned.

I worked the last 2 nights and both of them were fairly rotten. Last night was one of those nights that makes me wonder why I chose the nursing profession. Working in an ER gives you the opportunity to deal with all types of people and I have really been trying to work on my attitude. I've been telling myself as I deal with people "they are a child of God". That's become my mantra, or at least I'm trying. However, when you deal with a belligerent drunk for about 4 hours who refuses to cooperate you tend to think he's the child that God wants to take out to the woodshed and give a good old fashioned beating. That pretty much sums of the night. At one point I just had to go outside and take a good deep cleansing breath and listen to the happy birds and wonder why I haven't won the lottery! Oh, that's right, I don't buy any tickets! Perhaps I should.

On the long ride home from work, while I could only think about what a rotten night I had and how tired I was, I was able to put things in perspective. My family was at home in bed sleeping. Everyone is well, safe, fed, and loved. I did not have to bury my child this week, I'm not living in a tent afraid of aftershocks, I have an abundance of food in my pantry, and I am a child of God. So I said a quick "I'm sorry Lord" for being a whiner and went on about my daily life. It's all in how you look at things.

I have been following Maria's blog and they have reached their destination and will meet their daughter tomorrow. How exciting. If you get a chance, check her out.

Melissa introduced me to a wonderful blog that I think anyone would enjoy reading. It has been so moving and it really touches on so many emotions. Check out Bring the Rain. It will humble you. Be prepared, have a box of tissues handy. You will find yourself crying and laughing at the same time.

Okay, that's all I have. I'm tired. 4 hours of sleep after working 2 nights just doesn't cut it. I'm calling it a day and curling up on the couch soon. I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day. Take time to think about our wonderful country, even with all it's faults, and the men and women who have sacrificed to make it what it is.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Today has been a good day. Dede and I took all of our boys to see the new Indiana Jones movie. The boys loved it, but I thought it was a little lame. Ashton was thrilled just to have refills on popcorn and coke. He never gets to drink soda because it makes him crazy. He managed to get 3 refills today, so he was a happy but wired child.

I attended the band meeting with Brady. I have to say I'm such an old school parent. It infuriates me to see teenagers talking while people are speaking. The band instructor was trying to talk to the group and there were 2 girls in front of me that just kept laughing and generally being disrespectful. I was just about to blow when another parent asked them to be quiet or step out. He was actually nicer than I would have been and I'm sure that I would have embarrassed Brady, but I don't care. I can't stand loud, obnoxious children or adults. Enough said.

Melissa came over and we had a late walk. We walked until it was dark and it was very nice and cool. I really enjoyed it and felt like I needed to spend some time exercising as well as venting about various subjects. She was a great sounding board and I hope that I was equally helpful to her.

My heart has been broken for the Chapman family today. I had such a great opportunity to talk with Mary Beth Chapman before we decided to adopt and she was so encouraging to me. That family has done so much for adoption funding and raising awareness. We were blessed with a grant from Shaohannah's Hope that will come in handy helping to cover adoption expenses. It is a wonderful organization and if you want to donate to a worthwhile cause, it is certainly one. The cost of adoption stops so many people from considering it. Although we don't have Emma yet, I am so glad that money concerns didn't stop us from beginning this journey. We are still trying to save money and there are many times that I worry about the cost, but I'm glad I didn't allow doubts to rob me of this blessing and I know when Emma is placed in our arms I will never even consider how much it cost. If God places it in your heart to consider adoption, pray about it and don't dwell on the money aspect of it. God will provide if it is His will for you to build your family through adoption.

Half the Sky Update

Dear Friends,
Our work in Sichuan is in full swing now and it’s becoming harder to find time to write. Yet I know how deeply concerned you are about the children, so will continue to grab all the moments I can to tell you what we've learned. Since earthquake statistics are so readily available now, I will no longer include them.You will see below that there are preparations being made in many institutions to receive newly orphaned and displaced children. There have been numerous media reports about the thousands of new orphans; we have received dozens of adoption inquiries here at Half the Sky (which has no involvement in adoption!) I really want to stress that many, many of these children you're hearing about will be reunited with family – if not parents, then living relatives. In rural China, especially, workers often leave their children with grandparents so that they can support their families by working in more prosperous areas. Many of the children do have parents – parents who are desperately trying to find their children. The government is keenly aware of this and, while there are many, many media reports of adoption programs and applications submitted for domestic adoption of the children, we don’t believe that any adoption procedures will be put into place before every means has been exhausted to find parents or other living relatives. We, along with Ministry officials, are meeting with the provincial Civil Affairs Bureau on Monday and may have more information about the plans for transitional care of orphaned and displaced children. We are exploring how we can, working with other NGOs, best help care for the children in the interim and assist the government in its efforts to provide for their future.
Here is the current situation:
Chengdu CWI has been notified to prepare to receive 100 children; they expect that more may follow. At the same time, the orphanage has moved the children out-of-doors out of concern for safety. (photos on ourwebsite Half the Sky is working with local government and erecting a giant tent that can serve as shelter for orphaned and displaced children for as long as necessary. More news on this early next week.
Chengdu 2nd SWI - 35 senior citizens and 10 preschool-age orphans have been transferred there from Dujiangyan City. 40~50 more orphans will be arriving soon. They are in need of 50 beds, sets of bedding, as well as the same number of clothes for children between 5 and 7 years old. Before the arrival of those 45, the institution had 100+ children and 500+ elderly people already. During aftershocks, they stayed in tents; but now, they have all moved back to the buildings.
Chengdu 3rd SWI – Caring for 30 children, all fine, not expecting new arrivals.
Wenjiang District SWI, Chengdu – Caring for only 4 children, all fine, not expecting new arrivals
Dujiangyan SWI – All of the children are under good care and there is no shortage of food or any daily necessity. 12 new children were recently brought in, but they’ve been having much success in locating surviving family members and have high hopes for these children as well.
Luojiang County SWI, Deyang City – The children are being cared for in a shelter, including 6 new arrivals. They are expecting a 2 year-old and have asked for a crib as well as diapers, powdered milk and rice.
Deyang SWI – Has prepared to receive new children per instructions.
Nanchong 2nd SWI – They are caring for 27 children and are expecting another 20. They are sleeping in tents due to concerns about aftershocks. They ask for 10 tents, tarps and beds. Cangxi SWI, Guangyuan City – They have some building damage. They have been advised that they may be receiving children from Qingchuan but this has not yet been confirmed by the provincial Civil Affairs Bureau.
I told you that 13 of the 24 children brought to the Zitong SWI had been reunited with family. Today I was told there were 12. Two signs hang at the institution. One says “There are only 20 children from Xiao BaPrimary School in An'Xian in our institution. There are no children from Beichuan. If you are looking for those from Beichuan, please go to (name) Hotel. If you are looking to adopt, please come in 3 months." The other, poignantly says, "Yan: only her mother was home; XianLin & LiGang are brothers: only their father was home: Cheng: her father is working in Xinjiang; Dan: her parents are working in Zhejiang; Jun: about 2 years old, parents whereabouts unknown; Zhou: about 1 year old, parents whereabouts unknown. Needs: Books to read; stable place to live. Emotional needs: their family...their relatives.
"Mianyang – The Jiuzhou Stadium that houses 20,000 refugees is now, considering the situation, well-organized and, beyond trash bags and disposable gloves, there seem to be no unmet material needs. While there were, at first, about 1,700 children staying in the “inner circle” of the stadium (on the first floor inside the building), most of those children have either been reunited with family or transferred to smaller shelters in Mianyang. There are only about 130 children remaining. There are volunteer counselors and psychologists for these children. The “innercircle” is strictly guarded by police, soldiers, and volunteers. Mr.Liang JianHua, a volunteer leader and veteran, has been supervising care of the children in the “inner circle” from the very beginning, with the help of about a dozen volunteers. According to Ma Lang, he seems to be an extremely competent, kind, and devoted person. Meanwhile, for children less well-served, Half the Sky is moving goods like crazy and working hard to initiate the next, and most important phase of our efforts – trauma counseling and care for displaced and orphaned children. Thanks to help from dozens of volunteers, we’ve delivered about 100 of the promised tents, cases of blankets, tarps, clothes, diapers, food and medicines to several institutions. There will be many more arrivals and deliveries over the coming days. We have received permits to enter and provide aid to one of the more inaccesible hard-hit areas tomorrow (AbaCounty) and are working on helping in Li and Mao counties, also hard-hit. We have begun the process of distributing to temporary children’s shelters. We give special thanks to the Sichuan employees of Silk Road Telecommunications, many of whom helped us load and unload trucks and have offered to aid in distribution and logistics all around the province.
I’ve got lots more to report but have run out of steam and time. I’ll be back tomorrow with more, I promise. If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fundyou can do so through Global Giving: Or directly to Half the Sky. You can donate by calling Half the Sky(+1-510-525-3377) or on our website:'s+Earthquake+Fund Many companies have announced they will match employee gifts for earthquake relief. Please note, the Ford Motor Company matching pledge has been met and is no longer in effect, but there are many others. Please check to see if your company will double your gift!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Urgent prayer request

Please pray for Steven Curtis Chapman's family in the tragic loss of their daughter. According to the news reports, his son accidentally ran over their youngest daughter, Maria, tonight. What a horrible tragedy for that family. Their family has been so inspiring for us and others involved in the adoption community. May God bless them and give them what they need to get through this horrible time in their lives.

Wednesday Afternoon

Okay, 9 holes of golf with my children was almost as fun as having a root canal. I'm not joking. Ashton is determined to not allow anyone to correct him or offer any advice, so he just does his own thing. Brady is my free thinking, flower child who takes nothing serious and I am a competitor. I don't want to joke around, I want to play and WIN. So although it had it's moments, for the most part they drove me nuts. Okay, enough complaining about my adorable teen and preteen boys.

I can't go into details, but today has been such an interesting day. God is so good and I can't say enough how he watches over every detail in our lives. The Internet is a wonderful tool when used properly and I am thankful for the adoption community and the "blog family" and the chance to come in contact with people that you might not otherwise ever meet.

I have a correction/retraction to make. My husband bought me a wonderful swing/glider for outside and I love it. It was late because I had told him not to buy me anything for mother's day and he also wanted me to pick it out. He is a wonderful husband and I'm sorry that I hurt his feelings by slighting him in anyway regarding my mother's day present. (Are you happy now?lol)

The boys are having a friend over tonight and hanging out. Tomorrow we have to do yard work if the weather allows. Brady has his first band meeting for high school tomorrow night, otherwise we have no big plans. Bo has an early morning doctor's apt. Of course, he is thrilled about that. We also want to go see the new Indiana Jones movie, so maybe that will be the highlight of the day. Well, that about wraps up all of the excitement from our house. I know you are glued to your seats reading about our lives!

School's Out for Summer - Let the Fun Begin

Okay, so I am only slightly sarcastic about the title of this post. The boys were actually supposed to go to school today, but it would have been a waste. They are not doing anything productive and Brady didn't think he would be receiving an award, so we are staying home. "Let the fun begin", fun being the boys arguing over just about everything! I have instructed them that I am not going to tolerate fussing all summer. I hope my scary voice and look convinced them that I am serious. We'll see.

Ashton received the AR award for his class room and an attendance award. He was pretty happy with that and couldn't wait to be checked out of school early. He came home and played with his Wii all afternoon. We may try to play 9 holes of golf today, but I'm not sure. Right now I'm just enjoying the peace and tranquility of being at the computer, coffee in hand, and no one around. I really enjoy morning for the most part.

We have a busy summer ahead of us. Ball camps, church camp, band camp, and my favorite, vacation! It will all come and go before I realize it. I am hoping the boys can take some golf lessons this summer, but from the looks of our already busy schedule, I am going to have to work it in.

I remember loving summer break so much. We never really went on vacations since my dad was a farmer and basically didn't want to go anywhere, but it was always nice to be home. Those are some really good memories and I hope my children can look back and say the same thing when they are older.

I had really hoped that this would be the summer that we went to China. It would have been perfect with the boys out of school, but I guess my timing is slightly off. However, God's timing is right on track. The minute I logged on the computer this morning I had a e-mail forwarded to me from Dede. It was a devotion from Crosswalk that I receive everyday and I had not read mine yet. The title of the devotion was "God, Can you Please Hurry?" I loved that. The verse used was Ecc. 3:11 and it was just what I needed to start my morning out. Isn't it great how God sends those moments into our lives to lift us up when we are feeling low. His timing is perfect and I keep reminding myself of that. He has our daughter picked out and timing is everything. Our time is coming.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The birthday party has come and gone - thank goodness. I think there were 15 boys here and the last one left at 10:15! They all seemed to have fun and some even braved the pool. Ashton's present finally came today, Nintendo Wii, so he's very happy about that. Now I get to listen to Brady and Ashton argue over the games. I think Bo likes the golf game more than the boys do. Great, now they will all be arguing over the controls.

Bo and I skipped golf today, but are hoping to play on Wednesday. We did some errands today and he broke down and bought me a mother's day present - late. We got a swing/glider for the pool. I think I will really enjoy that if I get to use it.

2 more official days of school. Ashton has awards tomorrow and he will be getting at least one. His teacher called and left me a message that it was a surprise, so I'm sure he will be thrilled. I made a huge e-mail mistake and told my mother-in-law that the awards program was today. Well, after she arrived and no one else did, she figured out that I goofed. I really hated that I messed up, but she has forgiven me (I hope).

Happy Birthday to my mom today! She is young, and that's all I will say. Although she did mention something about a certain type of check coming next year....

Will I survive my teenage son? 14 is not a fun age and I sometimes wonder if I am going to make it. Brady and I are oil and water at times! He just seems to KNOW everything and that drives me crazy. He doesn't think he needs any tutoring from Sylvan, but his math proves different. I have listened to him complain all afternoon about how it's a waste of time. Well, sorry. As long as I'm the parent and can pay for the class, he has to go until he has mastered the skills. It could be a long summer!!!

Ashton had golf tryouts this afternoon and he thinks he did well. I hope he makes the team. I'm not sure he could stand anymore rejection:)

Well, I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day for me. I have been on edge all day and I just can't seem to shake it. I am going to call it day really soon and hope for the best. In the words of Miss Scarlett, tomorrow is another day. (Let's hope it's less stressful).

Half the Sky Update

Dear Friends,
It’s Monday afternoon here in China. As I write this, the entire country just held 3 minutes of silence to commence a 3 day period of national mourning. It began at 2:28 pm, marking the very moment the massive quake struck in Wenchuan County, Sichuan. Flags flew at half-staff, the people wore white flowers and, heads bowed, held hands. Across the country, horns and sirens wailed in grief.There are 32,477 people confirmed dead, more than 35,000 still missing. Sadly and predictably, we are getting more information about children newly orphaned. We are now bringing together people and resources to prepare and train caregivers to help children through the next difficult phase of recovery. Unlike emergency relief (not our specialty but we're learning fast!), this is an area where HTS does have great expertise to offer. We will give all we can to these children who have many hard days ahead of them. I will be sharing our plans as they evolve. Meanwhile, we continue to focus our attention on the most urgent needs of affected children – children in institutions and children orphaned ordisplaced by the disaster. What follows is our most recent news. I’ve posted a few photos on ourwebsite: and will update as more arrive.

Ziyang Social Welfare Institution – Building sustained severe damage. They care for 48 children, 20 of them under four years-old. They request 50 cribs and cots, bandages, 10 milk pots, children’s clothes, 100 sets of bedding, bowls, spoons, chopsticks, toys and stationary supplies.

Deyang and Nanchong Social Welfare Institutions both have received notification that they should prepare immediately to receive newly orphaned children. All the children are living in tents. HTS will provide additional tents, beds and other requested items.

Guangyuan SWI – The children remain in tents. They were notified that they will be receiving several newly orphaned children (perhaps 50-60) very soon. Shifang saw many of its schools destroyed, hundreds of children and their teachers buried. They sent us this heartbreaking story during the rescue efforts at Hongbai Primary School:“‘We found him!’ Teacher Zhang Huibing’s body was finally discovered, frozen in a posture of pushing against the door frame. According to the students saved by him, when the earthquake happened, Teacher Zhang was on the platform of the classroom on the second floor, which was very near the door. He yelled to the students, ‘Run outside! Hurry!’ And he somehow held the door frame up with both arms as the children ran out, one by one. Just as all the students were safely evacuated, the building collapsed on him. Teacher Zhang, who was only 30 years-old, had a four-year-old child of his own.”

As I mentioned in my last note, Mianyang has become a major refugee center. Of the more than 20,000 refugees in the city’s Jiuzhou Stadium,“scores” of them are young children. We are told, but this is not confirmed, that the entire center area of the stadium is reserved for toddlers and infants. Most are said to be from Dujiangyang, Beichuan and Mianzhu. Ma Lang is on her way to Mianyang now, so we will learn more soon. Many children who have lost or become separated from their families arebeing brought to Chengdu, but not yet to the Chengdu Children’s Welfare Institution. Some have been taken to the Sichuan Children’s Center (an after-school and weekend activity center for children.) About 30 children, from Yingxiu and Dujiangyang, were taken a Chengdu city park, the Qingyang Sports Center, which has been converted to a refugee camp. Some children have been united with family members. We’re told that some from the media are actively trying to reunite families. Most of the children in this camp who survived were in their teens. They told us that many younger children in their town did not survive because those in the primary schools and kindergartens were napping when the quake hit and could not run. The youngest camp resident was 16 days-old. The military police made a special effort to bring her and her very young mother down to the camp from Yingxiu. The baby was only 11 days-old when her daddy perished in the earthquake.

Perhaps today's most heartbreaking story was about some of the 70 injured children who’d been carried down from the affected areas to Huaxi Hospital. Most of the children were reunited with parents or relatives; some were even well enough to leave the hospital after treatment. But a few children remained alone and unclaimed. They were required to sign their own consent forms so that the doctors could amputate their limbs to save their lives.

Half the Sky spent much of the weekend purchasing requested supplies andshelter, organizing distribution and continuing to assess needs. In addition to the much-needed and wonderfully generous monetary donations from our amazing community of supporters, we have been flooded with offers of in-country help from from volunteers. As you can imagine, many requested items are getting harder and harder to come by. Just today we doubled our refugee tent order to 200 – all that was available immediately – and already have requests for more. Shoppers in Chengdu have begun filling a no-longer-habitable room at the ChengduCWI (Children’s Welfare Institution) with everyday goods destined for hard-hit areas. Others around China are working on fulfilling our giant shopping list. Some are flying in to Chengdu, hand-carrying items from our medical wish-list. Our wonderful friends at Gung-Ho Films, a Beijing-based film production services company, are offering logistics support, including shopping, shipping and door-to-tent delivery!

I can’t really express how moved we are by your generosity and your trustin Half the Sky to ensure that the children benefit from your gifts. Today 3 more HTS Beijing staffers and 2 Gung-Ho staff traveled to Chengduto help facilitate our relief efforts. We all feel privileged to be able to help. If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving as (even though they take 10% for processing and we do not (100% to the kids but at cost to our programs) it allows HTS staff to focus on relief efforts while keeping our programs going. If you prefer to donate directly to Half the Sky, of course that’s fine. Here are the various ways: You can donate by calling Half the Sky (+1 510525 3377) or on our website:'s+Earthquake+Fund Many companies have announced they will match employee gifts for earthquake relief. Please check to see if your company will double your gift!

Thank you so much for your kindness and concern.

Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday and Update from HTS

Busy morning. Sams, Wal-mart (and if you know me, you know I hate to go to Wal-mart!), trying to get everything bought for the birthday party. I hope tonight will be a good, slow night at work since I have a feeling I am going to be exhausted.

I just read the Half the Sky update and wanted to share it. While we complain about gas prices, food prices, government, etc. (and I'm guilty too), these people want to find their families. Children newly orphaned, parents that have lost their only child. We have little to complain about.


I dearly wish I had more good news to report. The very best thing I can tell you is that we have not had a single report of injuries from the welfare institutions. As of this morning (Friday) there were 19,509 people confirmed dead. The State Council today said there will likely be more than 50,000. Today’s government report describes one terrible scene after another: thousands homeless, thousands missing, thousands injured, thousands trapped or buried alive. Hope for survivors is dimming. There is an urgent call for body bags to prevent the spread of disease. There have been over 4,400 aftershocks.

HTS Director, Child Development, Ma Lang has arrived in Chengdu and sends this note: I am deeply touched by your moral and emotional support. I only slept two of the past thirty hours. The first thing I did after landing was to donate some medicine to the Chengdu Red Cross. It was very much appreciated – exactly what was needed. They gave me a wish list for further donations: antibiotics for children and adults, medicine for diarrhea, cold capsules (not instant medicines that must be mixed in water), bandages, gauze, tape, iodine, cotton swabs, herbal medicine to stop bleeding and some for pain relief. Other much-needed donations include tents, tarpaulins, warm clothes and shoes. People in Chengdu are doing everything they can to help with the earthquake rescue. I saw al lsorts of vehicles carrying things to the donation centers. I registered for blood donation and was put on the waiting list – the blood center was overloaded with donated blood and it’s difficult to transport the blood to the hardest-hit areas. More to come… Lang
Here is the confirmed information we have regarding welfare institutions: The following institutions not mentioned in yesterday’s note suffered no serious damage:
Chengdu 2nd SWI, Chengdu 3rd SWI, Ziyang SWI, Neijing CWI, Chengdu SOS children’s village, Leshan SWI, Ganzi CWI, Guang’an SWI, Suining SWI
The following report damage, but, again, no injuries. Your generous donations will help meet all of these requests for assistance: Bazhon CWI – Severe damage to building; children are fine. Meishan SWI – Cracks in buildings, have evacuated all children (50+) to tents. They have adequate food, water and clothes but request 20 cribs and bedding. Guangyuan SWI – Damaged buildings, all children have been in tents for 4-5 days, often in the blazing sun. They request food, baby formula water, diapers, bedding and other daily necessities. They urgently need drugs and food supplements to protect against disease and heat stroke. Nanchong SWI – There was substantial damage to buildings, all children (100+, more than half under 6 years-old) are living in tents. They need more tents, disposable diapers, children’s clothing, wagons, cribs and bedding. Deyang CWI – Dormitory for school-age children was severely damaged. Although the other buildings seem fine, pending inspection, all children and staff have been moved to tents. There has been constant rain and much that was pulled from the buildings has been ruined. They request bedding and children’s clothing. They still have disposable diapers left from our assistance during the winter storms but will be running out of those as well as infant formula in the coming days. Mianyang Zitong CWI (update) – Children have been moved back from themilitary base to a safe building in the institution. There is adequate food and water but they request clothes, bedding, infant formula, diapers and medicine for colds. They are now caring for 66 children, 23 of them under 2 years. Sadly, 24 new orphans – earthquake survivors - arrived at the institution yesterday. We are still unable to reach these orphanages: Abazhou CWI (52 children)and Mianzhu SWI Please give what you can to help the children who survive go on with their lives. If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving. My apologies for giving incorrect information yesterday; the Ford Motor Company is generously matching EMPLOYEE gifts to Global Giving, not ALL! Still, it is an easy and convenient way to make a donation and helps HTS by handling processing of your gifts. Now maybe some other corporation would like to step up and match ALL donations?! If you prefer to donate directly to Half the Sky, of course that’s fine. Here are the various ways: You can donate by calling Half the Sky (+1 510525 3377) or on our website:'s+Earthquake+Fund
Thank you for your tremendous support. Although it is heartbreaking to write these reports, we are so honored to be in a position to help during this terrible time.
with love,
Jenny Bowen
Executive Director Half the Sky Foundation

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Well, Ashton survived ISS. He was really worried last night, but when I picked him up today he was all smiles and glad to get it behind him. His big concern last night was if this would be on his permanent record. His cutest comment of the evening was "I'll never work in this town again". The boy watches too much TV. He was quick to say he finished his busy work early today and when the ISS monitor asked him if he had completed it, he said yes. His older, wiser, BTDT, brother was quick to point out, "Never tell them that you are finished with your work, you'll just get more to do". Ashton learned that valuable lesson. I don't think he wants to spend any more time in the "slammer", so I'm hoping for really good behavior for the rest of his school years:)

I have had the privilege of staying home for the last 3 days and cleaning my house! Yes, I consider that a privilege, considering how messy the house has been. Now I have to get ready for a birthday party on Saturday. I just hope the pool water is slightly warm enough for the boys to swim, therefore keeping them out of the house.

Hopefully there will be more work on the pool fence tomorrow or Saturday before the party. I am hoping they get it finished and look forward to seeing the finished product. We have so many things to do around here. Does it ever stop? Bo is off all next week and with the exception of playing golf with me on Monday, I am hoping that he gets to do a lot of "honey do's". Our list just keeps getting longer.

No adoption news for us. I am very excited for my friend Maria who received a referral from Kyrgyzstan this week. Praise God. I know they are so excited. They have been looking so forward to the day and it finally came. I look forward to that day and the feelings that will surround it.

I had a devotion this morning about how waiting is really trusting. I couldn't agree more and thought it would be something to share. I'm not the greatest at waiting or trusting, but God continues to send me gentle reminders just when I need them:

Why Waiting is Really Trusting
Nobody hates waiting more than I do. At Wal-mart, I use the self-checkout, because there is usually no line. Unless, of course, I commit the unpardonable crime of putting the bread on the wrong plastic bag and the machine begins yelling at me. Then, of course, I have to wait for the human to come over and fix the machine. At the post office, I hate waiting an hour to mail a package. So I usually use the automated box that allows me to send anything slightly smaller than an elephant. I especially don't like sitting in traffic in the Chicago suburbs, where I believe they widen the roads once every 76 years. So I have a better chance of seeing Haley's Comet than getting into the turn lane on my local highways. Nice. So you can understand that I have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn't seem to fit His plans into my rushed, hurried, panicked world. And in reading the Scriptures, I've learned that He hasn't changed.
In fact, almost all of the great men in the Bible had to wait. Some agonizingly long. Let's look at three examples.

Your Prince is Ready
Though Moses grew up in the house of Pharaoh and was groomed to be the next in line for the throne, I believe he saw all of this as God raising him up to deliver his people, Israel. His mother probably had something to do with that. As the years passed and Moses looked from the window of his stately palace and saw the oppression of his brethren, he grew more and more impatient. Finally, he acted on impulse and killed an Egyptian taskmaster. So that meant 40 years in the wilderness. Here God's people were suffering and their future deliverer is leading sheep in the backside of the desert. Yet God wasn't delaying. He wasn't stalling. He wasn't anxious.
Finally, when Moses was broken and humble enough to be used as an instrument by God, God sent the 80-year old prince-turned-shepherd back to Egypt. But do you see what his happening? The headlines wouldn't read, "Prince leads coup. Prince leads revolt. Prince overtakes Pharaoh." No, I wouldn't be about Moses anymore. It would be about God. How about, "God Miraculously Delivers His People."?

Dreams of Greatness
As a young man, God spoke to Joseph through dreams. In these dreams, Joseph was leading and his brothers and even world leaders were bowing at his feet. Kind of heady stuff for a teenager, don't you think? And it didn't play too well with his brothers. But Joseph knew God was calling him to a special place. A place of impact and leadership and power. So that's why Joseph was probably stunned and shocked when he found himself in the bottom of a pit, praying his brothers wouldn't kill him. Or when he found himself sold into a strange country, Egypt. Or when he was thrust into prison on rape charges. Didn't seem like those dreams were panning out too well, did it? Didn't seem like God was working out His plan? Oh, but God was working out his plan. And Joseph, while he didn't know a lot, He knew He could trust God.

Running for King
Okay, so this prophet comes to his house, dumps some oil on his head, and then whispers in his ear, "Oh by the way, you're going to be Israel's next king." But then it was back to the shepherd's fields, back to being the forgotten son and brother, back to obscurity.
David was anointed king as a teenager, but he waited 14 long years to assume the throne. And those 14 years were hard years. He was Israel's next king, but there was his madman, Saul, who was determined to see David dead and buried. If you read the psalms you can experience David's angst. He scratched his head in wonder, "Why is God allowing Saul to do this?" "Why doesn't God just move Saul out of the way?" But again, like Moses, like Joseph, David had to learn to trust God. And waiting, is trusting. David had to be broken, humble, and read to lead God's people. Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives his people a dream, a desire, a calling and then puts them through a period of waiting. It is in this waiting where your real courage and character are forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you're life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God. You learn to lean on God. You learn what's important and what's not important. So if you're like me and you really hate to wait, know that waiting is trusting. Daniel Darling is the author of Teen People of the Bible. Visit him at

I really needed that devotion this morning and God knew that. As we continue to wait on our adoption and days seem to drag on forever, I have to really trust God. If that was hard for the great men of the Bible, I guess God understands that it's also hard for a woman like me.

Thursday's Update from Half the Sky

Here is the latest information from Half the Sky. The numbers are staggering and will probably get worse. Please continue to pray.

Dear Friends,
As word comes of the hundreds, maybe thousands of children lost in the earthquake, I am finding these emails almost too painful to write. When I think of so many parents who have lost their only child - so many children newly orphaned - so many families destroyed - there are no words….Still, I will continue to write daily with any new information that has been given to us and confirmed. Again, please do not contact us to inquire about individual institutions. We will give you all of the information we have. If you do not hear from us about a particular place, it likely is not affected. At any rate, we don’t have any information beyond what I am passing along to you. As of now, Thursday afternoon in China, there are 14,866 people confirmed dead, 14,463 in Sichuan Province. There are 22,438 people reported missing – 21,020 of them in Deyang alone. There have been 3,300 aftershocks and they continue.

Here is the confirmed information we have regarding children in welfare institutions:
Chengdu: The city continues to experience aftershocks and the institution director is afraid the water supply will be cut off again, so has requested disposable diapers. They are having trouble finding sufficient supplies of milk and formula. All children in foster care have been located and are fine. The institution has structural cracks but was built to current earthquake standards and is fundamentally solid. All the children remain on the first floor of the children’s building, mostly in the cafeteria, and, weather-permitting, outside while awake. We’ve posted a few photos on our website.
Chongqing and Yibin orphanages are fine – no building damage, no shortage of supplies. The orphanages below report problems. However, please note that not a single child has been injured; all are fine:- Zigong CWI needs bedding, powdered milk, crackers and disposable diapers- Neijiang CWI has suffered some structural damage; one or two children’s dormitories, office building and laundry room have cracked walls.
Nanchong 2nd SWI has cracks in walls, substantial damage to the ceiling of a staff building, needs tents- Mianyang Zitong CWI has severely damaged walls. Children have been moved to a military base. Urgent need for diapers, bedding, powdered milk and purified water
Hanzhong CWI (Shaanxi)- Quite a few water pipes burst, the water tower had cracks. Children have been evacuated and there is need for more tents, bedding and purified water. We’ve posted a few photos on our website.
Dujiangyan SWI has evacuated all children. They have no tap water or electricity in their temporary shelter. They urgently need food, purified water, diapers and powdered milk. We are still unable to reach these institutions: Deyang CWI (78 children), Abazhou CWI (52 children), Guangyuan SWI, Mianzhu SWI One of our HTS Beijing staff, Ma Lang, is a native of Mianyang, Sichuan, close to the epicenter. HTS’ Director of Child Development, Ma Lang is both a pediatrician and a child development specialist. She is on her way home right now to make use of her skills both medically and to help children traumatized by this disaster. We are so proud of Lang and wish her safe travels. She has promised to share her journey with all of us. So soon you’ll be hearing from us both!

Usually just before June 1, China’s Children’s Day, Half the Sky announces a special appeal to help us fund new orphanage programs in the fall. While we are committed to starting those new programs and know we will need help to make it happen, we just don’t feel we can ask for help improving lives while children in Sichuan are losing theirs. There must be a Children’s Day Challenge this year but not at this time. Please do what you can to help children in trouble now, and remember to help thekids of HTS a little later this year. Our hearts and prayers today are especially with the parents who have lost their children in the collapse of schools - Muyu, Xinjian, Juyuan, Liangping, and the rest. Please give what you can to help the children who survive go on with their lives.

If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving. The Ford Motor Company announced today that they will match every gift! If you prefer to donate directly to Half the Sky, of course that’s fine. Here are the various ways: You can donate by calling Half the Sky (+1 510 525 3377) or on our website: and click on "Join our Mailing List."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boys are so Weird

Ashton could never be a poker player. All you have to do is look at him to know when something is wrong. I knew when I picked him up today, even before he got in the car, that something was wrong. He immediately starts crying (another something that he never does) and hands me a piece of paper that informs me he has to be in ISS tomorrow for "threat of violence", at least that is what is marked on the paper. I asked him what happened and he didn't want to discuss it in front of his brother. He never said a word on the way home and immediately went to his room. I went to check on him and get the scoop and he told me that he was in trouble for throwing a rock and hitting another boy. He said it was not intentional, but he knew he shouldn't have been throwing rocks. His teacher (which he is not a huge fan of) asked the class who threw the rock and no one confessed. Finally, with the threat of no lunch, Ashton confessed, although he was not the lone rock thrower, but the other boys wouldn't confess. His teacher told him she was glad he was honest and then he found out at the end of the day he would have to go to ISS tomorrow. He has never been in ISS and he is really worried about it. I told him that I wasn't angry with him, although throwing rocks is dangerous and he obviously knows better. I told him I was proud that he confessed and that he did the right thing by being honest about it. So tomorrow, he gets to spend his day in solitude. Oh well, you do the crime, you do the time. I explained to him that I too wasn't always the best child, but the difference was when we were in trouble the teacher sent us to the hall and paddled us. Oh, for the good ole days!

Okay, so I've spent 30 minutes with him trying to get the full story and make him understand that he's not a criminal. I come downstairs, go into the bathroom and find a chicken strip in the toilet bowl. Why would you put a chicken strip in the toilet bowl? Well, Brady was the culprit and he had no good explanation. I think it was some lame attempt to make me think that he actually passed that somehow. I explained to him that if he was passing chicken strips whole, we needed to report to the doctor immediately. I then made him remove it from the toilet, and he, being a germ freak, was not impressed with that. So again I say, boys are so weird! Will Emma ever be able to compete with such antics?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Update from Half the Sky on Earthquake

I received this e-mail today from Half the Sky and wanted to post it for anyone who is interested in what is going on and how you and I can help. Please continue to pray for the Chinese people.

Hello again,
During the past several hours Half the Sky has been working hard to get more information about the children impacted by the Sichuan and Chongqing earthquake. We know that it is not only children in welfare institutions who are in trouble. We know that hundreds of children have been separated from their families, have lost their parents, are hurt, traumatized and in pain. We know we must help; we have been working to figure how best to do so.
We have just a little bit of news. There have been hundreds of aftershocks, one reported to be as strong as 6.0. Children have again been evacuated from the Chengdu institution. Relief workers have arrived in the epicenter, Wenchuan. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (this is the ministry that HTS works with and also the agency responsible for disaster relief) has been unable to reach orphanages in the most affected areas: Mianyang, Zitong, Deyang and Aba. There are other welfare institutions in the affected areas but no others that house children. Each of the four institutions above houses about 100 children. We believe they will need help. We will continue to watch and wait.
Many of you have asked us to set up an emergency relief fund, like we did during the winter storms. Given the nature of this disaster and the fact that help for children may well be needed outside welfare institutions (where we have a direct line) we have waited to set up such a fund until we had absolute assurance that we could put a system in place to deliver the aid where it is most desperately needed .Half the Sky takes the designation of a donor-restricted gift seriously –that’s our promise to you. We understand that when you make an emergency donation, you put your trust in us. We have spoken very carefully about this with our colleagues at the Ministry of Civil Affairs. We now have their promise as well.
In cooperation with the ministry, we have now set up the Half the Sky Children’s Earthquake Fund. Your donations to the fund will be used to provide emergency and long-term relief to children affected by thedisaster. Relief will include emergency shelter, food, and medical carefor children orphaned or separated from their families. It will includetemporary or long-term foster care or, when necessary, temporary institutional care. We have a commitment from the ministry that we will receive regular updates on the use of funds and, most important, the well-being of the children. Within a few hours we will have available a dedicated donation site. In the meantime, if you wish to make a gift to aid children in Sichuan and Chongqing affected by the quake, you may donate through our website, Please note that your gift is for earthquake relief. I will give you more information as I receive it. Please don’t write to ask about the situation in specific locations. I will tell you everything I know.
Thank you for caring so much about the children.
With love,

Jenny Bowen
Executive Director Half the Sky Foundation

My Baby Turns 12

Ashton turns 12 today and we have a tradition of breakfast in bed on his birthday. Of course, he is in my bed! He requested 6 cherry turnovers and I through in some bacon as well, which is his favorite. I always try to take a picture of the boys on the morning of their birthday while they are sleeping. I don't know why, I just think it's cute! Ashton is making his final plans for his birthday party this weekend and it looks like the weather may be nice. Of course, the pool water is going to be way too cold, but kids don't seem to notice things like that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake in China

I, like so many others, have been saddened to see the news coming out of China. It just seems unbelievable to think so many are dead and injured from this terrible disaster. I have thought all day about the people there and about the adoptive families that are over there now. Rumor Queen has done a great job today keeping people up to date with any news that became available and I had an e-mail from Half the Sky that gave updated information on three orphanages in the area that are all okay. All of the children had been evacuated and the buildings were stable. I know people who have recently received referrals from those areas are so thankful. I hope that there are no additional delays because of the earthquake, but I am afraid there will be. Let's all keep the wonderful people of China in our prayers and pray there will be fewer deaths than what has been reported. And remember all of the little ones who will have lost parents in this disaster. I think it's times like these that help us to see what an incredibly small world we live in and that it's still controlled by an awesome God.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


OK, if you have to choose who you want to make mad, I think choosing moms is one of the big no-no's. Well, Teleflora has stepped in it big time with America's Favorite Mom. What were they thinking when they listed adoptive moms as "non-moms". PLEASE! I realize that I don't have my daughter yet, but she is a part of our family in every sense of the word. We talk about her, we include her in our thoughts and plans, and above all, we love her just like we do the boys. Does that make me a "non mom" too? Well, I wear that badge with pride! I will be the non-mom that holds her at night when she cries, rocks her to sleep, cleans up after her when she has the stomach bug, wipes away those tears that will come, prays for her, supports her, and generally does all of the things that I do or have done for my boys. She will be ours, although not by genetics, but by a divine plan that God has designed to complete our family. Adoptive moms are no different than biological moms and how dare someone be so insensitive! From the looks of their "retraction", I think Teleflora figured it out!

Now, one of my big mistakes has been not teaching my children to do more around the house. It's my fault because I would just rather do it right and get it over with. When I was attempting to teach Brady to wash dishes and load the dishwasher earlier, I realized that I have failed in this area. Well, lucky for the boys, I plan on working on that. It's time for them to do more around here and I have to take a step back and let them do it. I don't want to look back someday and realize that my poor daughter-in-laws are the unlucky recipients of 2 men who can't wash a dish! They would never forgive me!

Work was a bear last night. I was so glad to come home this morning. Dede and I were both exhausted and even with all of the sawing and hammering going on outside of my room today, I slept good. The fence will require another Saturday to complete, so I get to look forward to another morning of noise. It is looking good and I will be glad to see it finished. Then all of the landscaping begins. I am not a flower/plant type person, so I'm not really looking forward to that.

Friday, May 9, 2008


At last the weekend is almost here. Of course that always means I have to work tonight, but overall it's not too bad. Just 1 1/2 more weeks of school too! Ashton had a field trip today and was excited about that. Well, excited might be stretching it a bit. At least it meant he was out of class. He's still a little on the down side right now. I let him sleep in my room last night and the last words I heard from him were "Life stinks". I agreed with him that sometimes it does and we just have to deal with it. He also told me that he knew God always has a plan about things, but he sure wished God's plans would have been different this time. I know what he means. After 2 years of waiting on an adoption, I completely understand.

The band concert was so good. Ashton plays percussion and did a great job and Brady, the lone bassoon player, also did a great job. I was very proud of them. I found out that marching band will cost $300 or we have the opportunity to work in the concession stand and make $5 an hour. Looks like I will be working an extra shift to pay for marching band. I've said it before and I will say it again for many years to come, kids are so expensive!

Weekend plans include the boys going to see a movie, yard work tomorrow, dinner with the family at one of our favorite places, Kobe's, to celebrate birthdays and mother's day, church on Sunday and lunch with my mom. A busy weekend, but I am looking forward to it. I have told Bo that I don't want any presents since we just had to buy a washing machine. We'll see if he abides by that.

I have gotten all of the sleep I am going to get today. Bo and my father-in-law are working to put a fence around our pool. That's something we have to have done before Emma gets here. We don't have any close neighbors so the only thing I have ever worried about are the deer getting in the pool. But since we will be having a little one, we have to have a fence. So that's the next big project. Then we have to start working on the basement. There is always something to do, just ask Bo!

I hope everyone reading this blog has a great weekend and a wonderful mother's day. If you are waiting on your baby to come home, let's just hope that by next year they are here and we get to enjoy mother's day with them.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Man's Invention

There is no doubt in my mind that a man invented the mammogram. No woman in the world would put another woman through that. I also had the pleasure of an ultrasound. Everything looked basically the same and I have to have it repeated again in 6 months. That just gives me something to look forward to around Christmas.

Ashton was still pretty down this morning. He did manage to remind me and himself that Micheal Jordan was also cut from a team when he was young. I'm sure that coach felt really goofy later in life. I'm anxious to see how his day goes. I told him to call me if he needed to come home since his "stomach hurts a little". So far, so good. It was so much easier when they were little and you could just kiss it and make it all better. As my mom always reminds me, it's one thing to have a baby and another thing to raise a child. Those are indeed words to live by.

A Very Sad Boy

Well, as parents we are always facing challenges. My challenge last night was trying to put some type of a positive spin on Ashton not making the basketball team. I had a hard time doing it. He was broken hearted and so was I. I know everyone thinks their child is the greatest and I am no exception, but Ashton is a really good basketball player and I couldn't believe he didn't make the team. He is also very stoic and doesn't do crying well. I knew the minute he walked in the house he hadn't made it just by the look on his face. I tried to be encouraging and I do believe that things happen for a reason, but when you are 12 and you have your heart set on something and you have practiced and given it your all, you don't want to hear anything positive from your parents. But I believe that loss builds character and I know he will come out okay. I just can't stand to see him so sad. I also have my own personal opinions of the situation which I will not share because that would not be the right thing to do. (Think mad momma bear type thoughts.)

Well, the highlight of my day will be having a diagnostic mammogram. Could it be more exciting? I had an abnormal one in the past and this is the 6 month follow up on that. I'm sure it will be fine and I am not worried.

The weather isn't looking too promising for an outside band concert tonight. I guess it will be moved inside and I know the boys will be glad to get it over with. There is this whole end of school year attitude going on. It happens every year. You can tell everyone is just ready for summer and that includes me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

18 Holes of Golf, No Known Injuries

I did it! I played 18 holes of golf with a group of very nice ladies and I actually didn't do as bad as I thought I would. Of course, my goal was to be able to hit the ball instead of swinging and missing. I think I may have done that only once! I actually made par on 1 hole and bogey on another hole. The other holes, I don't care to mention. Triple bogey seemed to be the theme for the day. Everyone puts in $3.50 to have prize money at the end of the day, and I won $4 for getting the closet to the hole after teeing off. I was pretty excited! It landed on the green and looked perfect. I now understand the reasons people play golf. You may stink it up big time on 17 holes, and then you hit one super shot and your are right back for more! I think I'm hooked on the game.

Today's agenda looks like I will be making up for lost time at home doing laundry and cleaning and trying to catch a nap so I can work tonight. Ashton has his tryouts and he is so nervous. I hope he doesn't let nerves mess him up.

Well, again, no earth shattering news at my house. I'm noticing a trend here! I guess there's something to be said for routine.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Doing my Part to Help the Economy

Well, just in time for the tax rebate, we had to buy a new washer. Ours died on Thursday night and we finally had one delivered today. You can guess what I've been doing since it arrived. I went all out and got the high efficiency type that can hold 3 baskets of clothes. I hadn't exactly budgeted for that expense, but as they say, it's always something.

We've had a pretty low key weekend. I worked Friday night as usual and then the boys had golf clinic yesterday and we went to a cookout for the young adults at our pastor's house. Yes, I realize we really don't qualify as young adults anymore, but so far no one has told us we can't attend. I pity the person who breaks it to me that I'm no longer a young adult:)

I worked 6 hours today and then came home to wait on my washer while the guys went and played golf. I'm thinking I may have gotten the better deal. Work was pretty easy this morning. I did have a little man who just kept telling me how bad his life was and that he couldn't get to the pharmacy to get his medicines (although he had managed to drive to the hospital), that he had no food and that his wife just wouldn't cook for him. I really felt sorry for him, but I've been a nurse long enough to know the routine as well. I fed him breakfast, watching him eat everything on his tray and then he told me "I don't have any appetite." I would have hated to see him with an appetite. I finally managed to get him discharged, but I wasn't sure if I would ever convince him that he had to leave.

I'm supposed to play an actual game of golf with a women's league tomorrow. Of course, I realize that I stink and it won't take long for them to realize it too. Oh well, I guess that's the only way that I'm ever going to learn. I may decide not to play just because I'm so far behind with house work and laundry and we have such a busy week this week. I'm on the fence about it, but I feel like I should give it a try.

Ashton tries out for middle school basketball this week. I really hope he makes it. Brady and Ashton have a band concert Thursday night that I'm looking forward too. I can't believe that it will be Brady's last middle school concert. Time has gone by so fast!

Well, enough boring "news". If you want to see some adorable babies from the recent referrals, check out Rumor Queen. There was even a set of twins! Bo thinks that would be the greatest thing ever, however, I'm not so sure. If we actually got a referral for twins, then I would be excited, but I'm not as hyped about that idea as he is.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Thoughts about our daughter

I went to visit Angel and new baby Mason on Wednesday. He's so adorable and so little. I think you forget exactly how little babies are when you have boys that weigh as much as you do. I have been thinking a lot about what it must be like for a birth mother to give up her baby for adoption. While I was holding Mason and he was snuggled up on my chest, I could only imagine whether anyone would ever snuggle my daughter that way or will she have been abandoned right away and left at an orphanage where she will hopefully be held and loved, but realize that there could be numerous babies that require attention and she may only get what the nannies can give. I have no idea how old she will be when we get the referral, but for at least the first 6 months she will not be ours (probably much longer), and I can only hope and pray that someone is loving her, holding her, and letting her know she is special. It's hard to think that there will be a huge amount of time that will be lost for us as parents. Having 2 biological children, I realize just how special and formative that time is and I hate that I will never share it with Emma. I think that we will have to work much harder as parents to make up for that lost time and I look forward to spending many hours with her. As for the birth mother, I can only imagine what it must feel like to leave her child. I may never know the reason behind her leaving Emma, but I will choose to believe that it was altruistic. A complete sacrifice for her child. I will choose to believe that because I know as a mom that would be the only reason I could leave mine. By her sacrifice, we become a complete family. I will never judge her for that.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"A New Sport"

It's always interesting to listen to my boys talking after picking them up from school. You can really learn a lot about what's going on and the general middle school news. On the way home today, Brady said "I learned about a new sport today." Of course I asked what that was and he said "cock wrestling". Being from the South, chicken fighting is something that you know goes on, but obviously we have never talked about it before, so hearing Brady phrase it that way was pretty humorous. I explained to him that it wasn't exactly a sport, that it was illegal, and that a lot of bad things go on at those "events". I think he saw it more clearly after my explanation. Of course, during that conversation I also used the word prostitution and then had to explain what that meant. Stupid me:) I just dug my hole a little deeper. The joys of parenting, public school, and good ole Southern sporting events.

Not a lot of news to write about. The adoption rumors are flying around that referrals may come next week. It is also looking like there will only be 3 days worth, AGAIN. If that is the case, our agency will receive no referrals. Right now that is only speculation, but most of the time the rumors are right.