Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

We are NOT going to be awake at midnight tonight to say it. I type this post at 5:30 AM on Sunday...what is up with that? I am still on holiday, my church only has one service to attend, no early we didn't need to be at church until 11 am. UGH. Something is not right in the world. I have slept in ONE day during this entire holiday. BLECH!

Well Happy New Year to all...barring major chaos THIS is the year we will get our Julia, and to many others who are waiting...celebrate that among the other blessings we have already planned by the One who has the timing of this year already ordained and planned out!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Toy box and other assembled items

Our IKEA toy box. It is a good size, the teddy bear is a HUGE one I gave to Cara on one of our first dates. I like the toy box as it has hinges that hold the lid up so it won't slam down on tiny fingers, and it has a buffer space when the lid is closed so fingers don't get pinched.

Asian Cabbage Patch kid. Toys R Us. Was told on a Yahoo group I am a part of that Walmart was carrying these, I scoured the place, with no luck. Found this just after Xmas at Toys R Us. The hair chages color in places when you touch it. I immediately had a Father reaction,"Will this make her think she can dye her hair? THAT is NOT gonna happen...". Then a spot of common sense hit me(or was that Cara?!) and I realized no need to worry yet about that :) .

Another IKEA purchase. The change table. It is in the book case/chest of drawers option here. I liked the versatility. The top folds down into the change table. When she outgrows that need, it will serve well as a chest of drawers.

REALLY early on in the adoption process, Cara purchased the very first outfit for Julia.

HERE is a pciture of the closet now. One the right there are a few adult things, but 75% of that which is hanging is baby stuff, plus all the stuff on the floor etc.

So with all this stuff where is there ROOM to put the baby?? :)

Too much excitement at Christmas

Sooooooooo much excitment stuff over the holidays. The visits with family were all wonderful, clear roads to drive on, wonderful fellowship, very blessed.

Cara "gave me" a very cool present. I quoted"gave me" because it really is a mutal decision. We HAD been of the mind set to wait until we got the referral before deciding on a baby name, however, we have discussed a numbe rof them during the wait. I had a name that was in my top 2. We played around with a few options and Cara was considering things, well, she sprung it on me on Dec 28. a day before her birthday. I had just bought the Third Day CD with the adoption Christmas song on it, we hadn't heard it before. Cara was at a scrapbooking store in Edmonton spending her Xmas and Bday funds, and she had a big "J" cut out for a scrapbook page. She then revealed to me she was set on a name...

We went out after that and I bought a baby duck that had her name on it(we have a rubber duck theme already going in our washroom). Our daughters name will be JULIA LYNNE BURTIS!!!!!!

Lynne is Cara's middle name. We may still add a second middle name, that being her Asian name, but that will depend on what that name is and if there is significane or reason to use it.

Julia is just a name I have really liked since I was like 17, and always thought it would be the name of my little girl. It sounds good, it flows well, the nicknames are cute "Jules","my little Jewel", "Jul"...can't wait to use them on her :).
Having our daughter named has impacted me more than I thought. It has made it seen so much more real and present. It is easier to pray for her now. We went to Wendy's for supper that night, and saying Grace and praying for her I JUST about lost it in the restaurant, hearing me say her name, in prayer, for the first time. I am such a softy :)!

Also took a few pics of things I said I would post, so those will be appearing soon. Well, must finish unpacking from the trip and settle in for the evening. Cara has her latest series of Gilmore Girls running(that HAS to earn me a few good husband points for gettign that for her, right?!),and the pizza is smelling good.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Matching and reviewing

Inside the CCAA

The link above takes you to a tour of the CCAA, where our file is logged in at and waiting to get processed.

As I understand it, there are a few steps and stages. First is the Review room. Once the file is LID(logged in) at some point it gets moved into the review stage. Some files from a certain month get reviewed before others. Each agency is given a reviewer, so if a certain agency has a low number of applications for a month(or whatever time frame they deem as the cut off date) the reviewer will be finished with them earlier than another. However the CCAA will not publish that reviews are done until ALL reviews of that time are done by all their reviewers. So we know that a family with a different agency and has an early April LID are in the review room. We hope that FOI's files are also close to being done so that we can know there are no issues with the file(we don't expect there will be), and then it moves to the next stage which is the the MATCHING room.

Here is where they take the files of the children that are available for adoption, see how many are there, compare that with the number of parents files for each agency and try to match the numbers. So if orphange A has 12 kids, and agency Q has 12 families they will match it that way. After that we are told they will use a variety of "processes" to match. The age requested is last on the list, they will look for similar face structures, common birthtimes of parent to child, zodiac stuff, so yeah, no real science here, just some person sitting in an office, unaware that God is moving them despite their odd system, to divinely match parent and child.

Once each reviewer gets their work done, the process waits until each reviewer is done the amount needed for the cutoff date. Don't ask how they determine cut off date(ie how many days in their month they will process at that time) I don't know how they do it,and I suspect THEY don't either as there is no rhyme or reason behind how many get processes at each time.

After that they publish that much anticipate little box on their website that says "files up to *whatever date* have been reviewed and referrals are matched for files received up to*enter another date here*".

Until we get to the review and then lathcing process I refuse to publish the box on my blog, I want the first box to be when WE have gotten past the step. Anal? yeah likely, but hey, you have to do SOMEthing as you wait, it is silly but gives a small sense of control in a process that is out of our contol right now, so allow me my silly indulgence in this issue :) heh!

Hope everyone had a wonderful CHRISTmas. for us, although hard in some respects, was blessed in others as my cousin, who just recently became a Christian, blew our socks off by his faith expressions and understanding of the real focus of this season. Having some family that is unsaved, makes this holiday one we have felt we have always had to fudge on the focus at times. Not this year, it was awesome. We praise God for His working in my cousins life and how that has allowed us to bring much more of a focus into this time of year. It was awesome!

and finally, Here is another tear jerker song. Saw it posted on a friends blog, so here is the link to the lyrics. MUST get this album!

There’s a little girl trembling on a cold December morn,
Crying for Mama’s arms,
At an orphanage just outside a little town,
With a forgotten heart,
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire,
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine.

It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home,
Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone,
So tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in His arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart, I wish you Merry Christmas.

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights,
I’m warmed by the fire’s glow,
And outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
And make angels in the snow.
But half a world away you try the best to fight your tears,
And hope that heaven’s angels come to carry you here.

Christmas is a time we celebrate the Holy Child,
And we celebrate his perfect gift of Love,
He came to us to give His life and prepare a place for us,
So we could have a home with Him.

It’s Christmas time again but now you’re home,
Your family is here and now you’ll never be alone,
So tonight before you go to sleep I’ll hold you in my arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart,
And I’ll tell you from my heart, I wish you Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Seven months LID

7 months into it. So likely(hopefully) that is the half way mark of THE WAIT.

Update- still haven't got my shots(NO, I am NOT scared of needles), or done the immigration papers(can't move the mountain of bills and other papers that have landed on top of it.)

I still need to take pics of some stuff to spice up the blog(don't hold your breath, way things are going it will be January, and I don't want you nice folks passing out :) )


I HAVE thought a lot about my daughter, kept up on posting or lurking at some great adoption blogger sites, I HAVE avoided the temptation to spend too much time at the Rumor Queen site(which is a reason for higher blood pressure waiting to happen).

I have kept busy at work. It has been just over a year, and I am feeling as blessed to be here as I was a year ago. The support and care for us as people has been amazing and the support of us as we wade through this adoption marathon has been very encouraging. Our church is as anxious and anticipating the arrival of our gift as we are(well not to the SAME degree of anxiety as us, but you get the idea). They are poised ready to celebrate with us at any step along the way. It is great to be in this kind of Christian fellowship.

Hang in there my precious little one, I suspect you are born now...your Heavenly Daddy will hold you untill the papertrail parts and I can get there for ya!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas and adoption song

All I really want video

We got this album, another wonderful one by SCC. The video is a heartfelt appeal for people to consider adoption(link above). And as you can see from the cover it shows the oldest of the 3 little girls he has adopted form China. The inside has a picture of all 3. Cute little Asian treasures.

The song All I Really Want, hits the heart. I have managed to hold it together a bit better than Cara, As waiting to adopt parents, we are on the "other side" of this song. We HAVE responded to the call to adopt, and now are waiting, knowing this Christmas we won't have her, but we better(CCAA are you reading this, push those papers faster and get families connected to these treasures!) by NEXT one! All we really want for Christmas is our Daughter!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December is here!

Well, it has been a bit of time since I posted last. got the camera fixed, or so they say, so I need to get those pics posted I mentioned.

Referrals came in for folks LID for the first bit of September. Congrats to them, they(CCAA) don't seem to be able to pump a month worth out, this means things continue to be slow. BAH!

My hope is we will get a referral mid to late summer, but at this point who knows. Bah HUMBUG!

Onto brighter news. We decorated the house and tree for the season, Cara is delighted, she loves Christmas and all the stuff that goes with it. She keeps saying with glee," It is snowing!" I growl. The white stuff can stop anytime, every day or second day, more shovelling. I haven't touched the deck, just got 3 words to say, "TOO MUCH SNOW!"

We are both over the nasty cold/flu bug that is circulating,and things should be almost at a slow down place at work, so hopefully I can get ahead on some stuff.Just have to keep busy, try to make the time fly by faster. Holiday is gonna be tough, wishing we had her, but surely by the NEXT one we will.

Well Amazing Race is on, can't wait for the snails pace of our race to get to the stage we are racing to China!

Friday, November 24, 2006

For our friends who have already received their gift

My Mum sent along another of these GREAT Marvin cartoons. We aren't at that place yet, but for those of you who are, and may not have seen it, here ya go!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Song of the Waiting Mother

I just recieved an email with this poem in it, from another family in our adoption travel group.
I had immediate tears and the welling of emotions welling up from lie deep within me.
This poem feels so true and speaks of what I am experiencing each day.
Thank you Brenda for sharing it with us.

I found this picture on the web and although our daughters will be Chinese...
it is a beautiful depiction of the embrace of adoption. Passed between mother, and caregiver, to adoptive parents. And all the while being held close by her heavenly Father.

I'm pregnant, but my tummy isn't growing,
And no one ever calls me "little mom".
The public simply isn't overflowing
With questions that I'd handle with aplomb.
There are no special clothes to mark my waiting,
Nobody stops and smiles as I pass by,
The absence of a due-date is frustrating
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.
When I'm overdue no one will worry.
The phone won't ring and ring as friends check in.
I can't induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.
Adoption is a worrisome endeavour,
And waiting all alone is not much fun,
To be "with child" a year seems like forever.
Dear God, we're ready! Please send us our child!
- Christine Futia, 1987

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

5 days to 6

Well 5 days to 6 month LID anniversary, time is flying, but hopefully the CCAA can pump out some major paper connections and get to our referral so we can look to late summer/early fall for our special gift.

Well, we got the entertainment unit assembled last night,man it makes a big difference in the room, so much tidier and smart looking. Once our digital camera returns from the shop I will post a bunch of pics.

During our short holiday, we had a wonderful and refreshing time with family and friends, as well as being pampered a tthe Fairmont Bannf Springs Hotel for 3 days as part of the Pastor/Spouse retreat hosted by the denomination I work under. Great speaker, wonderful food, bit rainy, but very refreshing. Had a lot of fun planning a surprise 60th party for my father-in-law. It went great. We were blessed with great roads to travel on, something that aided me in feeling refreshed, nothing more draining than whiteknuckling it on a snow filled hiway for hours...

We also had a chance to meet a family in Devon who just recently got back from China with their little girl, Lindy(for those who get the FOI newsletter her pic is in the most recent issue). As much as I love reading the blogs etc of folks, it was great to meet someone face to face and share.

Some hilights(beyond drooling at this precious little girl) was the affirmation that transition and attachment is tough. She is doing okay after 3 plus months here, but mom noted she is still displaying some stress and conditions that indicate total attachment isn't there yet. She noted it is hard with family, because they want to share in this gift, and you want to share her also, but when you see how it can set her back... well it is a stark reality that faces those of us who are adopting internationally...these precious treasures have lost their birth mom, and some lose their nanny/foster parent also, that is a lot of grief and loss for a little one to work through, survival instincts kick in and whose to blame them for saying with their actions and cries"don't get close, how will I know YOU won't leave me!". Heart wrenching, BUT with patience and using the resources for attachment and bonding that are available, and given time... the health and restored spirits of these little ones is possible. Each child will be on a different attachemnt timetable. It would be nice to say, "in X weeks folks can come and hold her". but it just isn't a reality.

It is a do you work baby showers(for example), our church is chomping at the bit to throw one for us. We know the trip will be jet lag and new parent exhaustion all bundled into one huge mound of UGH, toss in that you can't pass baby around due to attachment processing,it makes life interesting. You can't wait too long for the shower, because you count on some of the gifts to stock the needs you have.

The thing that hit me is I have to change some of the emotional pictures of what I see early stages of our family life being. I always wanted to be the kind of dad, that egardless of the kids age, they could come to be for the cuddles and nurture, as well as with their mom. It sucks that until baby attachs to the primary caregiver(mom), I have to take her to mom to ensure that bonding happens, after that it can transfer. I know it isn't as cold cut and dogmatic as that, but as a general principle of attachment, that is a sacrifice I need to make for a time. So, I will be content with occasional feedings, bathing her, and being Mr. Playmate because the cost is too great on her, if we don't do everything we can do, to ensure she works through the attachement process.

Oh, on a brighter note, since my nurturing side will be put on a bit of a hold for a time, it does free me up to function 100% in Protector role, to intercept the church grannie who simply "must" hold every child...or to swoop in and snatch my precious girl out of the arms of the well meaning lady who tries to comfort her when she is fire my force fieldblast to block the way of the nice person who just wants to give her a treat(knowing food is a big part of securing attachment, so only we give her food)...I will also stand in the gap and tiredlessly answer, with my power of diplomacy(a gift my wife says I have) ,all those with so called parenting advice who are without the knowledge of our circumstance, and don't realize we have to do somethings differently than others do...and if diplomacy don't work a good ol' get- in- their- face- and- tell- it- like- it- is sermon is in reserve and ready to be unleashed. :)
Watch out Super Dad is on a mission! heh, I wonder if my glasses will conceal my identity from the works for Clark Kent....

Sunday, November 05, 2006


IKEA- My wife's third love, behind Michaels, and I am repeatedly told, myself. I question my ranking some days compared to these other 2 parties ;) .

Pleased to announce we got the baby change table/converts to a dresser with book case as well as a toddler safe toy box(the lid stays open whever you leave it and there is space between the lid and the walls, so little fingers can't get squished). We also got MOST of the entertainment unit that will tuck away all the loose books, dvds, cords, cables and misc. stuff that inhabits our living room. I say most, because IKEA didn't have the legs for the unit. But we went ahead with the purchase anyway, and will get the legs at another time.

So that mission is complete(it may take me until the baby actually arrives to figure out how to put the things together,lol, but it is nice to get that done(although I am still choking on the money output for this, IKEA is not expensive stuff, but I just hate shelling out money, a few dollars here or there, fine, but house and car insurance is paid this month, Xmas gift buying is in full swing, etc. Bah, humbug, me pennypincher side rears it's ugly head.

But all is not stress, in typical Randy fashion, I try to keep a light mood, so I share with Cara, "it is all good, we may have only cheese and crackers to eat for meals from now til the new year, but at Christmas we will spurge and I will proudly announce to our little family of 2 xmas supper table...'Shall I carve the pickle now to go with our crackers and cheese this Christmas Day meal?'". It doesn't read as funy as it struck us, but it was a fun laugh...she is still least until Dec. 25 when the pickle is actually produced :).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

cuteness and kleenex alert

You bring me hope adoption video

Don't know anything about the agency that put it together, but a great " baby fix" of cute asian babies.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Well, in a short time(hey, us china adopter rarely get to say "short time" so I get more enjoyment out of that epxression than it should...but I digress) ...

We will begin a serious hunt for baby bed, dresser and toy box options, along with entertainment center. We have a crib, but in the effort to make it so we actually have room to get into our room, we need a smaller option because we are going to start with baby in the room with us, until enough bonding and attaching has happened that we can start to transition her to her own room.

The reason I said “short time”(man I like that expression) is that we have the chance in a short time, to go shopping in a place that has some more options that our current location, and we want to take advantage of that.

Winter is practically here, spent the last 2 plus days with a shovel bonded to my hands, so thoughts are turning inwards and so baby room again becomes the place of thoughts, talks and subtle longing stares. It will be nice to get some of these material things in place as we wait.

In a short time, we will have gone through another month of being LID, another month gone, another month closer. How close? Who knows, it is impossible to nail any pattern down at this point, anyone who tries will find that in a short time they will be insane.

In unrelated to adoption news…in a short time I will receive some new props I have ordered to being practicing some new tricks to perform at camp or other venues. I had the chance to perform at the Alliance church at their pumpkin patch party on Friday and it was nice to dust off some of the props and perform, it has been a long time since I have done a regular show, it was nice. I love performing. I was a little rusty with my audience management skills(hard to grab all their attention at the start, partially due to the sound guy not having the mic done properly despite a sound test, along with the fact it seemed like there were a ton of under 3 year olds around, oh well, it took a bit but got them hooked). Trick wise, it took only a short time of practice to remember some of my old favorites, tricks I have performed hundreds of times, it was great to share that with the large crowd there. Looking forward to developing these new tricks into some new favorites.

In a (relatively) short time, I look forward to getting my little girl involved in my act(if she is thusly inclined, and I haven’t driven her nuts with asking her to watch me try out a new trick on her by then J).

Well, in this short time of writing I have recalled some more things I need to add to my to do list for this week, and although it is Monday, time flies and I don’t want to be short time by the end, and maybe get the list done this week…or maybe not, heh, time will tell!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

number 5

well, today is 5 month LID. Woke up today with 2 trains of thought. First, I have been concerned that we would need to travel to China during camp season, making the logistics of minstry/work a strain(Who do I get to direct my camps???). I have had reassurances from my church, "we will just deal with it when it happens" which is reassuring, but I just have a feeling we will just end up getting our referral over the summer months,which would eliminate that issue. Who knows at this point, just Randy's rambling thoughts at this point. It would be much easier to coordinate people to fill in for me during the Fall stuff rather than camp, but hopefully come Februaryish we will be able to predict better what the time line will be.

Second train of thought was one of the few insecure moments I have had since starting the process."what if she doesn't bond to me?" Cara has expressed concern about that, and since she will be the primary care giver, I would imagine that is a common concern. I am not concerned about it. She is amazing with kids, has a wonderful nurturing heart. I know I am good with kids too, so the reality is, we will be fine. But trying not to be typically male, I thought it an interesting exercise to "engage and interact with my feelings" on these matters.....

*images of her not wanting to cuddle with me, ignoring me, feeling hurt, embarassed...

Okay, enough of that dumb exercise, feelings are overated. Facts is facts, there will be challenges, but she will love and attach to me, and I will be wrapped around her little finger...there. THAT feels better...Heh :)

Enough of this interacting with feelings stuff, how you women do that all the wonder you get so :)

What to do to celebrate 5 month LID? Hmmmm. Well yesterday we decided we will purchase the dresser, baby gate and confirm Snuggly options in the next month. I DON'T want to be one of those families that waits til the referral comes and then all of a sudden start to prep for baby. That is insanity, imo.

We have been discussing a baby name, that came, believe it or not, from a type of scrap booking paper Cara has... entertained it for a couple of weeks, it was a name we didn't have on either of "our lists". But we pretty much picked it apart yesterday, so we are back to not having any names we BOTH are sold on. Heh. Fun! Cara wants us to be tight lipped about the names thing, so I don't want to share out of turn, but one day I will fill in all the blanks for family and friends who are following us on this journey.Well, time for breakfast. I'm outta here . :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Strange Duck am I

I quite enjoy being the round peg in a square holed world, it has served me quite nicely in all the things I have done. Parenthood... Fatherhood is not going to be much different.

First off, from the time I was 15 years old I always wanted to be a stay home dad. That isn't going to happen sadly, but I am blessed that my position as a Pastor will allow me some freedom other dads don't get(although I will face other challenges to parenting other dads outside of pastoral ministry don't have to face).

Second, most men seem to shy away from the more nurturing type(or typically female) parts of raising kids. Me, I can't wait to be involved in the diaper changing(well,in context, it has to be done and certainly isn't to be just a mom's thing to do) , bathing, feeding, dressing, doing her hair, having tea parties with her, cuddles, helping her to learn how to read etc.

Third, I RARELY ever see a guy looking at baby things(unless their wife drags them along). Me, I had some free time last night and where did I end up. WALMART. Now most men head to the sports area, or the tools. I headed right to the baby area, looking at the clothes, the accessiores(saw a baby bag with dragonflies and ladybugs on it. $25, seems pricey, not sure of the quality, but theme wise it fits with her upcoming room design). Got some odd looks from ladies when they saw I was not there by force, I said Round peg, square hole...

Blogging, I think I have only found one other blog where a guy posts on stuff and it was more of a research type blog than personal ramblings etc...would love to read other guys thoughts on adopting processes etc.

Well, tonight is veg nite, picking up Wendy's, coming home to my wife,sweeping her off her feet(onto the couch...sorry no romance happening here, killed my back yesterday lugging wood from a farm to the house for the fireplace downstairs)..popping in Xmen 3 and hoping a relaxing night will help me feel more energy for another full weekend ahead.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gee, it is October

Man, time flies. Life is full and good...BUT I had a moment where I on earth would a child fit in this world I live in right now...then it struck me(yeah the following answer ain't that profound, and all that, and I did know it before but it just kinda twacked me upside the head today) ...

My world is gonna be turned upside down! That is a huge thing, one of lifes biggest transitions. I am ultra excited about adding the world of Daddy to my plate..but have no idea what all the other plates are gonna look like...other than they are gonna change radically...the way I do ministry, which is my life, my heart, as well as my job, will be turned upside down. When I got married there was some change a few bumps in the transistion, but it was basically subtle changes when it was all said and done...I just don't think it will be that subtle this time around..a screaming baby howling at the top of her lungs at 3 a.m. isn't subtle and will most definately effect how I view the world through bleary, sleep deprived eyes.

My hope is that the little one will be quite fond and comfy running around the church at odd times in the week, while I work, and will be a wonderful reason for me to take that few minute break away from the computer screen that every eye doctor recommends...hey a medical reason to hang with my little girl... sweet! Maybe this upside down world of work will be even, not maybe, it will be... all of life will be better when we are a family,not necessarily easier...but MOST definately better!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Revamped Blog

Welcome to the revamped blog!

As you can see there is a dragonfly theme. Prior to us even starting this blog, we had decided the first design of our daughters room would have an insect theme, mainly dragonflys. Once we get around to actually painting and decorating the room we will post pics to show all the dragonfly-ness there.

The banner at the top has the Chinese symbols for "wait", "gift", and "daughter". Our blog from the start has been "waiting for our gift", it was around time to have the banner show that also.

It also has a fresh,Spring like feel to it, so hopefully it will be refreshing to view as we head towards Fall and then Winter.

Monday, September 18, 2006

4th month LID

Well, tomorrow will mark the 4 month mark of being logged into China's system, so that means ,roughly, because when dealing with timeline it is always roughly until it turns rushedly ;), that our wait should be 8-10 months from now and we should receive our match and see who our daughter will be.

That means that around now, give or take, she should be close to being born, as the average age when you get her is anywhere from 6-11 months old. It is hard to know how to pray, when you aren't sure if she is born yet or not.

So on this celebration of month four... what does one do?


1. I still have to get her sponsorship papers done.
2.I still need to get my shots for the trip.
3.We need to decide on the type of Snuggly we think is best and get that purchased.
4.Nursery set up(paint plus getting a couple important pieces of furniture).
5.Decide on a bottle set up...which seems far more involved and nebulous than the Snuggly choice.

That would be the top 5 things for now to work towards.

Fall has hit quickly and I have found I have not had nearly the time to focus and think about this whole adoption thing nearly as much. Which isn't a bad thing at this point, considering the length of the race at this point. I have found I spend much less time surfing at blogs of families who are presently getting their child, and just sticking to a few familar blogs, most of which are in the same stage of waiting I am at. We have held back buying more baby stuff, you know the cute stuff, the clothes, the books, I think that part is satisfied, at least for a time(plus we are prepared to store much more of it at this point!!!). My mother in law just sent us some clothes for her that they found, another set of pink for the closet(it is VERY nice, top,pants and coat set...for friends and family reading this, pink is okay, but there ARE other colors to dress her in ;). We are just as bad, we have contributed waaaay too much to the pink pile!

Work is busy and that is good, it keeps me from drifting too far into baby daydream mode. And Fall brings a whole new list of tasks to do before it snows... winterizing the yard, getting chopping and storing firewood, preparing the bonsai for will be no time and month five and six will be gone, we will look to Christmas, that will, I am sure bring the baby longings back for a time, then 2007 will be here and having a better idea of the timeline and being able to speculate closer to which month it will be...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Patience... as a virtue...

Well I know that I am not unique in my desire for the time until my baby is in my arms, to be quicker. I am not fooled by that lie. What I do wonder is what is it about Patience, that I don't have it. I think it is Time... Time is what it takes to learn patience. So you can't learn it the first time around... it is not an easy virtue to attain, or that you always just have it.... it is a learned thing... a trial by fire type growth, that requires you to trust and know the one you trust... which takes time... and willingness to put your heart out into the hands of the one you are trusting. He is trustworthy... actually i really know that well, so i need to just connect the dots here... He is trustworthy, so i can patiently leave it in his hands.... trusting that he has the best timing... and has it all undercontrol. As well... He has a reason for the wait.

I remember a little song from which I began my learning as a child. It was a music machine tune... about a turtle who had to learn patience.
"Have patience, have patience,
don't be in such a hurry,
when you get impatient
you only start to worry
remember... remember...
that God is patient too
and think of all the times
when others have to wait for you...."

seems funny to say that God is patient... but it is true... As a gentleman, he never pushes his way in my face, and allows me to learn things at my pace.

even patience... hmmmmm

not that I like to admit to it, but there are many things i don't learn quickly enough.

so much in fact, that this topic is one I have been learning since early childhood... and still have yet to master. i guess that is why we are given another opportunity to learn it...

well that , and the process is on the slow train to China....

hee hee.

just thought i would ponder aloud....
thanks for listening.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Plugging Leaks

Okay, for those who don't know me, when it comes to home repairs I make Tim "the tool man" Taylor look like an utter genius. Well, yesterday was the day of leaks. Our eaves trough has had a leak in it since we bought the place, and of course it drips right over the entrance to the front door. When my in laws were here I had access to a trailer so I went and purchased a ladder to get up there. So that was the scheduled task for the day,however cruel fate had something else in mind...

"Honey, the bathroom sink isn't draining that well". Okay, fine, that is a 5 minute job to clean it out..right.... the plunger came apart and dropped down the drain...Okay, don't panic...just take the u-trap apart and get it...right.... well some *insert insulting word of your choice here* plumber who built the house glued the u-trap, so it cracked the pipe when I was trying to get it off. Normally it is just screwed to Home depot, have to buy not just the u-trap but the elbows, plus joiner pipe as I have to saw everything off and start with basically a pipe sticking out from the wall.

After assembling it, it had one small leak...of course. So I coated everything around it in ABS glue, so far so good...

Off to the roof, after 75 trips up and down the ladder, I got everything cleaned out, dried up and caulked...does it still leak...I didn't want to spoil my day, so I'll know next time it rains...

Plugging today is my 37th B-day, I take hopeful comfort in the hopeful reality that by my next birthday I should have my daughter, plugging the hole in my heart that longs to have her. I hope as she grows up she is handy, so she can do these house repairs... :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

More books

Got a few more books to add to her library. Shaoey and Dot is a book about adoption from Steven Curtis Chapman. It has the ladybug aspect which is such a part of Chinese Adoptions, but tells the story very simply, and with a Christian worldview. The other one is Shaoey dealing with fear of the dark, again with a clear teaching on God in the middle of all of this and how He is there to help.

Mulan is a Disney movie we enjoy and portrays Chinese culture as well as a positive strong female lead. Superstore had a moviebook version for sale for 94 cents!!! Can't beat that. I also got Jungle book. Again an adoption angle. I certainly am not gonna make ALL her books have this angle, but I figure now is the time to get these essential ones, and as time goes on, family, friends and Cara and I will add tons of other books and variety of book topics to her library. (I really hope she takes after her parents and likes to read!!!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Babies Crying

As summer continues to fly by, we had the joy of having Cara's sister and husband and 8 month old come for a couple day visit.

It was nice to just spend the time together, and seeing who could stare at the baby the longest :).

One of the thoughts that struck me, as the little one is in the midst of dealing with some kinda allergic reaction or something that has given her a nasty rash and itch over most of her body, is how alarming a babies cry sounds when they are distressed. It feels soooo bad to not be able to do anything to help.

It made me recall a time when I had just become a Christian and was involved in the preschool area of our church. It was a wonderful minstry to come on Sunday's with the simple mission of "just love on the kids". As much as I love my present ministry position, I think back to the days when that was what ministry was about, just that. But I rabbit track... onto the point... one of the little boys in that class back then I took a real liking to, and I recall vividly an incident when we went to the gym to play and he got clunked in the face with a ball and his nose started bleeding and he started crying. *I* started crying feeling so bad that I "let" something happen that he got hurt in, but it was a cool incident, in that from it, I learned one of many parental type lessons I have learned since then.

First, Asm the adult, I can't always stop the child from getting hurt, but I CAN always be there to provide love and comfort, and what a cool way to let someone know they are loved than in a time when they most need it.

Second, As the adult, I can take control of the situation and although you can't stop every hurt, but you can be in control and deal with the consequences, panicking isn't gonna help! I hope I remember this during the "up for 4 nites, baby screaming, tried everything we can and have no idea what to do next" moments to just stay calm and just do what you can.

Third, the protective parent role is sooo essential in todays' harsh world. With the abuse, kidnappings, bullying, violent exposures , dangerous environments(drugs, gangs etc) that kids are exposed to at such a young age, parents NEED to be more proactive in guarding children. I don't think I will have too much trouble with this role, the danger for me will be doing it too much.

*Story comes to mind of the time just a few years ago in Calgary at my Vietnamese church I served in, where, in the middle of me running a youth group service I stopped preaching part way through and ended up putting a 22 year old youth(who came in as a "visitor") in a headlock and "escorting" him out of the church because he kept hitting on one of my "kids" who was only 15 at the time. I need to mention the youth scoffed at my polite attempts to get him to back off that I tried earlier, so this wasn't a first response reaction. But my beloved Viet. flock knew they were safe and how much they were(and still are)loved.

Heh, anyhow, can't get too focussed on my "first" Asian kids too much, miss them too much, and man are they growing up quick!!!

Oh one final thought on babies crying and parental reactions... my wife is gonna be a wonderfully caring mother, the love, care and concern she has for ANY one who is hurting, but particularly babies, is amazing. She will provide a wonderful balance of love to my analytical response(What is making her cry, let's run through the possibilities...)and problem solving reaction(after all if you can figure out the problem you address WHY she is crying, and you solve the problem, thus showing concern and love). But sometimes you just need someone to give ya a hug...Cara will be amazing at that,along with so many other things!

Monday, August 14, 2006

An unexpected bonus to waiting- Playing the baby card

The Baby know it is probably the second most valid reason you have for wanting kids to start not only get the baby, but you get the baby card.

The baby card is able to be used in so many ways. Within your own home, the baby card gets used to explain why mom hasn't been able to do laundry, or clean up dishes(yet the phone was busy all day, so she was able to talk alright, or go out to visit friends....hmmmm) but the baby card saves the day, "With the baby around I just can't get anything done...". The baby card.

As a couple you look forward to playing the baby card at holidays, for years you have had to juggle your life, make the travel plans, and go to visit family, NOW you have leverage, the baby card, you can make family come to YOU. This works particularly well with the grandparents. Christmas rolls around, you drop a subtle "with baby around, travel is just so hard..." before the last word reaches across the phone line, your parents fingers do the walking and they have booked a plane ticket to come see the baby at Xmas time! NICE!

Now I knew that down the line we would have the chance to play the baby card, but, thanks, unwittingly, to my father-in-law, I have discovered that card is already in our possesion. We may not have baby yet, but we have the card, at least with limited power.

Here's how I discovered this. Our basement is cold, I agreed to get a fireplace put in, but lacking the skill to actually install it we knew we would have to ask my father-in-law to come and help. He is great at helping us with things like this, a real blessing. I am indebted to him as there is just no way stuff like this could happen without his willingness. In the past his willingness has been to bless us by doing it. However, he let it slip last night as we talked on the phone, in prep for him coming up today to install it, that his reason, was because baby was coming and he doesn't want her getting cold...I was dumbstruck, I had the baby card, and didn't know it, didn't even think of playing it at this time...

My mind went to work immediately...where else could this baby card be used right now, the rush of power was intoxicating...but then my childhood hero popped into mind...Spiderman, and his motto, "With great power comes great responsibility!"

RATS!!! I guess I will behave, besides, over half the thrill is knowing you have a card to play...(tucks card in back pocket, you just never know when it will be needed) :):)

The Long Ride-Resource Story book

In the quest to be prepared I am constantly looking for any thing out there that will help, looking for ethnic looking dolls, asian stories that aren't filled with superstition etc, adoption resources and so on.

In our local Christian Book store found "The Long Ride-A story of Adoption and the family of God by Don Regier". It is a hard cover book. It is a flip book, with the story of international adoption told from the parents view and the view of 2 little asian girls who are sisters and getting adopted.

Book Description
One side of this flip-book introduces two orphaned Chinese girls and the other tells the story of a family searching for two girls to adopt. In the middle, the two stories unite the two groups and they become one special family.

Christianity Today : "With its beautiful Asian-inspired illustrations, this book touches on themes common to anyone who's taken on the international adoption process the paperwork, the travel, the fatigue, that first meeting, and, most importantly, God's presence in the processoand explains them to your child in a gentle, uplifting way."

It is a book that will be good for when she is older, to compare it to "I love you like crazy cakes", this book is more advanced in its details, vocabulary, and is more "factual" based. By that I mean you read it and it seems "mater of fact" whereas "I love you like crazy cakes" hits you more in the heart, emotionally. I got the book for this reason, that combined it covers the complete picture, and this book has some differences, ie this family already had kids, the mom did all the paperwork, sisters are being adopted, the differences I think make it stronger and will provide opportunity to talk to our daughter about the similarities and differences between our story and the books, sometimes things get caught better when contrasted rather than compared.

Another very nice aspect of this book is it ties in coming into God's family and the parents desire for these little girls to do that, along with joining their family, so the teaching on spiritual matters is another thing I very much appreciate about this story also.

I also bought Steven Curtis Chapman's books that are story books dealing with adoption. Just waiting for Amazon to ship em, then I will post my 2 cents on those also.

As a bonus, here is anothe Marvin cartoon "downloaded" hehhee...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Daddy's ways to prepare for baby

It has been such a cool thing to watch Randy get connected to our Baby in so many different ways than I do. I love that there is a place where he is expressing his enthusiasm for preparing for the baby... (I'm talking about this Blog) and an outlet for him to learn and prepare as a parent through discussions and study... there have been many books that have found their way into his hands, and they are helping us to feel ready and to conjure up a plan for how to help our daughter to attach to us...

These and other learning forms will be such an asset for our parenting, and I feel like the prep is worth every moment it takes, and I pray that we will both absorb all of it, so that we will be an effective team in this journey with our treasure.

That was the unique part of what Randy is doing... now the rest is just like me... only... in Randy version.

When he arrived home a few days ago... he had done an errand and ended up in Walmart. There he discovered the baby section was having a sale... and came home with 2 adorable pieces to add to our daughters wardrobe. Humorously, one has pink on it....
so now he can't lecture me on our growing pink collection, and how it can't be the staple for what she owns.

I expect that it probably will be, no matter what we plan and purpose.

On his first day off, we wandered around Grande Prairie, exploring some stores and just enjoying the day together. On our journey, we pondered baby room decorations, and checked out a high end baby clothing store (in which we only looked. An ordinary day, turned baby focus... love it.

I see that sparkle in his eyes when he thinks about what it will be like to have her here. The other day we were watching some movie... oh yeah Mulan 2 and Randy piped up... "I can totally see us sitting here watching this with our daughter right here between us." yep... he's got it bad. my quiet introverted man... who gives very little of his personal thoughts away, is wrapped up in dreaming about baby.

cause I am too!


Friday, August 04, 2006

Fun Cartoon

My Mum emailed this to me. I have to surf the web now and see if there are others like it. :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Emotions Galore!

Does anyone else tear up when they see the baby section of the stores...?

I have been a bit emotional about everything that is linked to our baby, that we are eventually recieving, these days.

I catch myself staring at the beauty of an Asian woman's face, or even better a young childs. I am trying to imagine my little one, and what she will look like.

I catch myself tearing up when we walk into a store and I feel we have to go to the baby section just to see... when what has occured is always finding just one more item for her growing wardrobe... I think she will be the best dressed little one I have ever met! :)

Even more emotions emerge when the FOI Newsletter arrives at our home. It is Randy and my ritual that we wait to look at it until we are together, and then we read it to eachother, and look at each picture so carefully. It's like a treasured photo album of people we know and love dearly... so funny really.... I am sure that is not normal!

What I think ruins me the most is when we read parenting books together, or an insight into great bonding technique...which of course means cuddles and loves.... so that just sets me right over the edge.... so many tears...

I just wonder if there are extra hormones that kick in when you know you will have an adoption..... I feel and sound like a pregnant woman these days!

CRAZY is what I feel.

Am I loosing it?

I am sure it is just Love... intense love. I felt it similarily when I knew I loved Randy... but somehow I thought it would be more like this when we got closer to the reality of getting her.... like when we recieved the photo ....

I thought you might identify with my ...too real... sharing.. and I hope it will encourage some other mom or dad to be... that your at least not as crazy as me...


Bursting with Love,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lost Daughters- Review

Lost Daughters of China- DVD Review

Got this a bit ago, but life has been insane. This is worth having, if for NO other reason, it helps show others in your family etc. what you will experience.

Having read a ton of other families journey to “gotcha day” on blogs, this wasn’t new to me. In fact the blogs give much more detail. But families aren’t likely gonna surf the web and read other peoples blogs, sending them this to view and pass along will help them get a feel for it and can open doors to help then explain about how you need to parent differently to build attachment(ie meaning other family contact with the child will be radically reduced for some time until that bond is established between child and parents).

So I highly recommend it. Send it to family…oh and include some Kleenex, they’ll need it!

Parenting the Hurt Child- Book Review

Parenting the Hurt Child by Keck & Kupecky- Book Review

A Friend from church lent us this book. They have adopted a few children so they have pooled a number of resources over the time.

This is the second book by this writing team, and is a ”Next Stage” type book, mainly for those who have adopted older kids or their adopted kids are older and heading towards school age.

We are not at this stage, but the first few chapters are very good, imo.The first chapter goes into a good explanation of the attachment cycle and what has happened to the hurt child to disrupt it, and as a result what to expect from that. I liked that there are specifics listed.

The next chapter is titled” Dare to Parent:Claiming your role in the child’s life”. It is a chapter of balance, revealing the responsibility and role you face, and the stark realities of it. That is balanced by the encouragement that we all have had some parenting exposure and desire and have internalized many of the tools required, even for hurt children, and that we simply must step up and BE PARENTS(something I think a lot of “adults with children living in their home” need to learn. And I believe this, regardless of the fact I am writing this after my first week of directing Elementary camp and dealing with numerous discipline issues. Incidentally, one such case the child was from a foster home and showed ALL the symptoms of RAD. It was VERY helpful having done what research I have done, to be able to handle the kid better and help the foster parent and camp counselor.

The next 3 chapters are the best of the book. Parenting: What Doesn’t Work, Parenting: What Does Work, and Nurturing. What was valuable was the practical ness of it and the insight into the thought patterns of the hurt child. It helps you understand what they are thinking when, for example you try a “time out” and knowing that thought process helps you see that traditional time outs just won’t work as they are basically living in a state of “time out” (absence from parent anyhow). The nurture chapter gives some practical, common sense ideas of how to promote bonding. I don’t know about you, but lists help me, it is just reassuring to look at a list and go” Oh, I do that naturally!”, or ”What a cool idea, I will try that!” It makes it feel like you add a few tools to the parenting tool box and boosts confidence.

The rest of the book then looks at the school age time, and basically encourages you to inject yourself into that environment and make sure they know the needs your child will have, and exhorts you to persevere in resourcing those around you and the book countless times is telling you” You know your kids needs, fight to ensure those around them know and do it.”

A good book to borrow, but glad I never bought it

Friday, June 30, 2006

I dream of baby

June 30, 2006

Every day as I enter the special time with my Heavenly Father, I am coming to him to ask for so many specific things for my unknown daughter. I often weep as I dialogue with Him about what I am feeling, or what I am supposing must be occuring in the heart of her parents. There are so many variables to consider, and knowing that if I were in their situation, I would have such tearing in my heart to consider what I should do.

I am only "unbroken" because of the response that is so clearly spoken to my heart by my loving God. He knows the details of my heart wrenching prayers before I even speak them. He knows me so intimately. As I reflect on all that I bring to Him, I realize over and over again, that if He knows me so intimately, that He also knows and treasures them so intimately. That my lack of knowledge is not His lack.

He brings me peace.

I long to hold you my sweet girl. But until I can.... He will... and he will do it so much deeper than I ever can.

I long to comfort your broken hearts, you who have to give this precious child, this child whom you bore in your belly for 9 months of uncertianty of the future, or the danger that lurks just around the corner. You who have been brave enough to love her to live. Thank you... and know that I pray for your comfort and your peace as you grieve. That you will know His love in ways that you so desperately need to. That you will fall in to His loving arms.

Thank you Father for the immensity of your love and your deep deep love and compassion.

Lord, I treasure your graciousness.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Wish I could take credit for this poem, but found it while surfing... Going to collect poems like this for my daughter, so when she gets older she has a book of them to hopefully encourage and bless her.

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears
One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.
---- Unknown

Monday, June 26, 2006

Medication List- A Resource from FOI

Medications Packing Guide

The following is a guide drawn from a document provided by Dr Susan McNair.
Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
University of Western Ontario London, ON

Dr. McNair adopted a daughter from China in December, 2000 and shortly after prepared a guide intended to help adopting families with the planning of medical supplies for the child and traveling adults. Dr. McNair intends that this guide serve as a starting point for discussion with your family physician and is not intended to substitute for advice provided by your own family physician.

For Infants

Gastrointestinal Problems
Prune Juice, Glycerin infant suppositories (Over the Counter)
Your baby is apt to become constipated with the change in formula, food, routine, etc. If your baby does not have a bowel movement for 2-3 days, try prunes or prune juice. Failing that, consider a glycerin suppository.
Gastrolyte Rehydration Powder (Over the Counter)

If your baby should develop vomiting or diarrhea and becomes dehydrated, this product (mixed with bottled water as per directions) will provide the appropriate fluid replacement.

Gravol (Dimenhydrinate) Liquid, Pediatric Gravol Suppositories (Over the Counter)
These may help if your baby has an upset stomach and requires an anti-nauseant. If the child will not take Gravol Liquid consider using the suppositories.

Skin and Hair

Canestan topical (Clotrimazole) Cream (Over the Counter)
This will help with yeast/fungus skin infections which are common on damp body areas, often over the diaper area. It usually appears as reddened areas of skin, often with little white dots or "satellite lesions".

Hydrocortisone Cream .5% (Over the Counter)
This will help with eczema (reddened/dry patches of skin). It can also be useful if the skin is irritated from insect bites, soaps or new clothing. Apply it a couple of times a day for a few days but avoid prolonged use as it can contribute to skin thinning in the affected area. Do not use on areas that are oozing or have pus evident.

Antibiotic Cream (Over the Counter and Prescription)
There are many brands (Polysporin, Bactroban, Fucidin, etc.). Use on any areas of the skin that show localized signs of early skin infection (redness, soreness, pus, etc.) If the reddened area is large or is spreading or there is a fever, seek medical help.

Nix (Permethrin) Dermal Cream (Over the Counter)
This is a topical scabicide (it kills scabies). Scabies is quite common among institutionalized Chinese infants. It is characterized by very small dots or "tracks" often around the waist and diaper area as well as the underarms, hands and feet. It is intensely itchy, especially at night. This cream is applied to all areas of the skin below the neck and on the scalp, temples, and forehead. It is then washed off 12 hours later. To prevent reinfestations, all clothing and bed linens used within 2 days prior to treatment should be machine washed in hot water and dried in the dryer for at least 20 minutes.

Vaseline, etc. (Over the Counter)
Do not forget to take along a good preparation for your baby's bottom at the time of diaper changes. I favour Vaseline – others favour Zinc Oxide.


Children's Acetaminophen Drops or Syrup (Over the Counter)
This is most often sold as Tylenol but cheaper and equally effective brands are available. This is useful if your infant is fussy or running a fever over 38.5 c. Use a dose calculation of 10 to 15 milligrams per kilogram per dose. Some physicians recommend Motrin or children's Advil as an alternative.

Cough and Cold Preparations (Over the Counter)
Talk to your family physician about choices of preparations and about the proper dose for a child of your baby's age. It is not unusual for an infant moving out of the orphanage setting to get the "sniffles". However, if your child begins to have difficulty breathing and has a high temperature, you should seek medical attention.
Saline Nose Drops, Nasal Aspirator (Over the Counter)

If your baby is nasally congested it may be helpful to place one drop into each nostril with a dropper before the baby tries to sleep or feed. You may also find it helpful to then suction the nostrils once with a nasal aspirator.

Antibiotics (Prescription)
Take along a supply of an antibiotic. Some suggestions include Amoxil (Amoxicillin) or Zithromax (Azithromycin) or Septra (Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole). These can be useful for ear infections and chest infections. Some antibiotics come premixed while some come as a powder and require mixing with sterile water (ask the pharmacist to give you a little bottle of the required amount of sterile water). Ask your doctor to write dosage requirements based on weight. You should talk to your doctor before you leave about conditions under which she/he would feel comfortable that you begin an antibiotic (eg. fever, irritable and pulling at her ear, etc.) Of course, if your child has a high fever, is lethargic, etc. seek medical attention. Don't forget to ensure that the pharmacist has included a calibrated syringe to allow you easy measurement of the required amount of antibiotic.

Digital Rectal Thermometer (Over the Counter)
Place your infant on her tummy across your knees, place a little Vaseline on the end of the thermometer and insert the thermometer a couple of centimeters into your infant's rectum. If your child's temperature is over 38.5 C, and particularly if the infant is irritable or lethargic, or refuses to eat and drink, etc, seek medical advice.

For Adults

First, remember to pack all of your prescription medications into your carry-on bag. If you have a number of prescription medications with you (and particularly if these include narcotics) I suggest having your family physician provide you with a signed note listing these medications and stating that you require them for medical purposes.

Ensure that you have arranged medical health insurance while out of Canada.
Purchase a couple of sterile syringes in case you require an injection while in China. They are inexpensive, available at the pharmacy and worth the effort.
Many of the preparations packed for your daughter may also be useful for yourself (eg. Gastrolyte oral rehydration powder, antibiotic ointment, anti-yeast/fungal cream, etc). In addition, you may wish to consider the following:
Adult Acetaminophen (Over the Counter)
Most often sold as Tylenol. Useful for headaches, muscle aches and fever.
Adult Gravol (Dimenhydrinate) (Over the Counter)

If you develop gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea and vomiting, this could be very useful. If your symptoms persist despite the Gravol, seek medical advice.
Antibiotics (Prescription)

Talk to your physician about taking an antibiotic to combat a respiratory tract infection - common on these trips. Discuss with your physician the symptoms which would necessitate starting the antibiotic (eg. symptoms of a presumed bacterial bronchitis, pneumonia or sinusitis). A suggestion includes Zithromax (Azithromycin), which tends to be well tolerated, and is safe for individuals with a penicillin allergy.

In addition I strongly suggest taking along a five-day supply of Ciprofloxacin in case you develop infectious diarrhea. Talk to your doctor more about this.
Imodium (Loperamide Hydrochloride) (Prescription)

This is an anti-diarrhea medication used in addition to oral Rehydration for the symptomatic control of acute diarrhea. It comes in tablet form and could be a real asset if you find yourself so infected!

Things to PACK- TIPS

From a couple different blogs(forgot to save the link, they posted these items as part of "THE LIST"....

-Lots of clothes for the baby (kids are messy eaters – plan for at least 2-3 shirts /day)
- Some Canadian diapers. The Chinese ones are fine for the day, but the Canadian ones are more absorbent and better for overnight + the plane ride home
- Baby carrier (we had a sling and a Bjorn and used both)
- Small gift bags and tissue paper (was handy for gifts for guides + other people in our group…birthdays, thank-yous etc.). This is completely separate from the ‘group gifts’ that will be organized for your group.
- The exact amount of underwear (this is personal thing. Getting laundry done is easy, but I don’t like sending out my undies, nor do I like washing them in the sink)
- bar of laundry soap (Even if you do laundry, you can’t keep up with the kid’s mess. I washed some of her stuff in the sink)
- Baby meds We didn’t use anything but Advil/Dimetapp, but other people made use of our baby Gravol, Pedialyte, Tempra etc. Lots of people ran out, so bring larger size bottles.
- Laptop and webcam. This was essential for communicating with folks back home, and of course, blogging. Interestingly, the computer’s most frequent use was for downloading photos. We downloaded ours every day (as insurance so we didn’t lose any + had space on the card in the camera), and at least 5 or 6 other families in our group borrowed our computer to do the same thing and burn their photos on to a CD. Face it – you will be trapped in your room for afternoon nap for about 2 hours every day – you might as well do email….
- Thank-you notes. We brought a box and this came in handy for the guides, and other unexpected situations.
- Layers. Bring a couple light sweaters. The planes are freezing and the A/C in the hotels can get pretty chilly too. Especially bring sweaters for the baby – they are used to being bundled up.
- Feeding gear. We brought 2 bottles with disposable liners (this was perfect) + 6 nipples (not enough) + a plastic container that holds formula for 3 feedings (a MUST have) + a thermos (another MUST have). Would have liked to have a few more nipples because it takes a while to get the size of the hole just right. We completely trashed 3 (hole too big) and then had to do more washing than I would have liked.
- Gear to clean the feeding gear. I had packed the Cheerios/Baby MumMums in a square Tupperware container and this turned out to be a Godsend. It became our ‘sink’ for washing and sterilizing bottle stuff. Don’t forget dish soap!
- Cheerios (Nutrios actually) and Baby MumMum crackers. Both were a huge hit.
- Immodium (‘nuff said)
- Ziploc bags All 3 sizes. They are a traveler’s best friend!

*** forgot to add the 2 most important things (aside from Ziplocs)
#1 travel size Kleenex (LOTS) Toilet paper is not widely available
#2 Purell (2-3 small bottles because 1 will always be missing)

Things I wish we’d packed:

- Flashlight (it is hard to find stuff in the middle of the night when your kid is screaming but you don’t want to turn on the lights for fear of fully waking her up)
- A little bit of Canadian formula
- $USD in $20s (useful for tips for bus drivers and guides. All we had were $1s and $100s…you can see the problem there)
- More hot weather clothes, especially shirts (i.e. cool max running-type stuff). We underestimated the heat. If you are in southern China you will sweat like you have never sweated before. Bring breathable everything, and lots of shirts so you can change a couple times a day.
- More Canadiana stuff to give away…We had pins, pencils etc, but often wished we had something slightly more high-end.
- More bibs – we only had 2 and since one was always AWOL in our room somewhere, a couple extra would have been nice.
- More baby spoons. We took 3 and lost 2 of them. Charlotte, of course, refused to use them, but they are a great distraction during the meal.

Things we could have left at home:

-Traveler’s cheques. They are a pain to cash. I would bring more USD and use the bank machines there for the rest. OK – maybe bring some as emergency back-up – but they really are a pain.
- Peanut butter and other snacks (take some stuff for on the plane, but that is all you really need. There are lots of corner stores + the hotels all have shops to buy snacks. This is not a 3rd world country. Snack foods are readily available if you are in a big city.
- Work out stuff (Was I nuts to think that I would have time to go to the gym in the hotel? Yes, I was)
- All long-sleeved shirts (it is so friggin’ hot these are unnecessary)
- Jeans (again, never took them out of the suitcase because it was too hot)

Things we didn’t use but other people did:

- Sippy cups (Charlotte had never seen one and had no idea how to use one. NOW – other people found them quite useful. Probably a good idea to bring one)
- Gravol (adult)
- Feeding bowl with lid (Since Charlotte hated congee and all things runny, we never used it)

Things I wish we’d done before we left:
- Call VISA (yep, we forgot to do this and they tracked us down in Beijing to ask what the heck was going on. Luckily we spoke to them before they cut us off…)

Gear to get when you are there:

- A phone card. It is the cheapest way to make local and long distance calls. Our guide got these for us.
- Baby formula + extra to bring back (we brought one can, but I’m wishing we had more….)
- A stroller (why pack it when you can buy?

More to come

Travel Tips To China- MONEY

As I find tips that we hope to use, and collect from other soruces I will post them under the appropriate TIPS section as both a resource for us and anyone else preparing to travel...

Money tips
* Money beltS- Yes, plural. Have each person in your party carry some of the money, so that if the unthinkable happens, you don't lose it all.

* Convert money in your own country if at all possible. Holidays in China etc. can pose some real issues.

*Get NEW, CRISP USD for the gift for the orphanage and shopping. Older and used looking bills are not always accepted.

* You really can’t exchange Yuan once you are out of China, so you must either spend it all or convert it back before you leave.

* If you want to convert Yuan you only get USD in exchange.

* An important one: in order to exchange more than 500Yuan, you need a receipt showing when/where you converted it in the first place. Future travelers: keep at least one of the currency exchange receipts from your hotel/bank and take it with you to the airport.

More to come...

When Love Takes You In

I have been surfing other adoption blogs and heard this song by Steven Curtis Chapman. SCC is a huge advocate of international adoption, he and his wife have adopted a few children this way. This song was inspried by those experiences.

I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream
Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in
And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be
When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever
cause this love to lose its hold
When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good
When love takes you in

When Love Takes You In
By Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Love, Trees, and the Gazebo Saga

The week has flown by, filled with much study at work, for various topics, camp is FAST approaching. Had some fun and ordered a couple of magical effects that I want to use at camp when I am speaking. The theme is "Thirsty for God". There is a cool effect where you take an empty crushed pop can, and in front of the spectators eyes it restores itself to be unbent and then full, and you pour out the pop. I think it will be a great opener to start the theme off on(provided it gets delivered in time and I have the time to actually practice it)!

That was the fun part of the week, fought with anchoring the gazebo to the cement pad, after 4 attempts and 3 different methods my basic mind set is now... "if it blows away, FINE!!!". The next back yard challenge is getting grass growing where mud now blooms. Not likely gonna happen til late fall since summer is full with ministry. The good thing is it keeps me busy and from focussing too much on wait times.

I have been enjoying the "all about olivia" blog as they are now in China and have gotten their little girl. Reading the stories as they happen makes it more real,and fills the gap until we get to write that story for ourselves.

Waiting for the dvd I ordered to arrive, hopefully get a chance to watch it before Camp hits full gear.

Worked on my bonsai trees today. Here is one of them...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Post Father's Day Reflections

There is certainly a different feeliing and emotional connection for me to "this day" as contrasted to Cara when Mothers Day came by in May.

Cara commented that she very much felt like a mom(in waiting) and so there was an air of celebrating and connection to Moms Day for her. It seems that for women, adopting or pregnant, that at the moment of conception(when it happens naturally...well you know how that works...or adopted, when you are logged in and waiting) they consider themselves to be "Mom". Cara kids that with her, in light of the wait times for adopting, that it is world's longest gestation period that she is in! :)

For Dad's, I wonder how different it is. For me personally, I am ready to be Dad, but the "gestation time" is different for me in light of adopting. If we were having a child through natural child birth, I would consider myself Dad at the time conception was known. but now, it doesn't "feel" like I am yet. Expectant father....for sure...the thought rarely leaves my mind and heart these days, I think when we get the picture of her, THAT will be the time, for me, when I see and feel more in that role.

We had a wonderful focus on fathers in our church service. We had 4 families dedicating their children to the Lord. Two of the families it was through adoption, one local, another international (they have 3 in their quiver that way). Wonderful time.

Then our Senior Pastor talked about the glue that binds us together, and Fathers got a container of Krazy Glue as a gift.

I can relate to the Krazy aspect as I seek to not become unglued during the wait time ;)

Hmmm, "bonds skin instantly..." you know what...when MY true Fathers Day comes, there will be NO glue required to help me BOND. I think I will save this Bottle of glue, bring it to China, and throw it over the Great Wall the moment I see my Daughter :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Latest Resource

Snagged this on Ebay. The description of the story is,"At the start of the 21st century, Chinese society still lagged behind the rest of the world in its attitude towards women. Sadly, this has lead to an enormous amount of female babies being aborted, orphaned, or simply abandoned. Orphanages overflow with young girls, and many American couples looking to adopt have travelled to China to help alleviate the problem. This documentary takes a trip with some of the families hoping to adopt a child in China, while also casting a critical eye over the accepted mores of the country."

All I have to say is..."Bring on the Kleenex!"

Actually I have more to say... I was in Edmonton this week for a conference, and in down time went to Chapters(please Oh please let us get one in Grande Prairie!!!). I was disappointed in the lack of resources for adopting parents. There was one book on post adoption depression, and it was a book with flimsy content, more speculations than facts...and then a small hard cover book with some cute, and some meaningful one sentence answers to "I chose you because...". That was it. C'mon Chapters, you can do better than that!

Amazon has some good resources, if you know titles to look for, and getting some of those book used, is NOT a bad thing, it is just a shame in mainstream book shops there aren't better resources available.

Oh well, off to check out Amazon and find some more resources!!

Check back for the tearful review of the movie...coming soon! :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Far Away (My poem to my adopted daughter)

Far Away

I love you and I have loved you before you were born,
And I miss you, you’ve been far away for far too long.

I keep dreaming you'll be with me,
I will not stop trying, I will not give up,
Until I see you face to face,
Wash away your tears of pain with my tears of love and joy.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

I need you to hear me say, “I love you, I miss you.” Do you hear that even now?
Far away, far away, but in the closest part of my heart.
My heart aches to have you close and love you.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

One day there will be no distance, there will be no doubt,
And in your heart you will know you are wanted, needed, loved and cherished.
And the pain and loss you now feel will be far away, far away.
You’ve been far away, far away, for far too long.

I love you.
I have loved you before you were born,
And I miss you.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

June 2006 Randy Burtis

Thursday, June 08, 2006

To Name or not to Name...that is the question!

In looking at other blogs, as well as talking with other parents, there seems to be 2 schools of thought, one larger than the other, but both interesting,nevertheless.

Many adopting parents have already named their child. So too have parents who are having children through natural child birth.

Then there are some adopting parents, as well as some parents having children through natural child birth, who have NOT named their child.

We are in this later camp. Yes we have a list of names(it gets longer all the time). We know the gender will be a female, but at this point we are waiting til we see the referral picture, feeling that when we see her, a name will become clear.

Would love to hear from you how you came to name YOUR child, or why you are chosing to wait before naming them. So please feel free to post comments and share YOUR name game adventure :) !

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Our first post on our blog. Welcome to all who purposefully or by accident end up here :). Both Cara and myself will be adding posts as time progresses, it will become apparent who is typing what after you have read one of each of our writing styles :). Randy is writing this one.

Here is a snapshot of the dates that have been significant in our journey to adopt our little gift from China.
Oct 2005-Made the offical decision to adopt from China and begin the process.
Nov 2005 We picked FOI as our Facilitator after hearing NOTHING but amazing reviews of what they do and how they do it.
Jan 2006 Took the International Adoption Worshop.
Feb-Mar 2006 Got the paper work started and the home study done.
May 12 2006 DTC(Documents to China).
May 19 2005 LID(Login Date).

When we first began we were told the wait time would likely be one year from the START of the entire process. The reality is that it is around 14 months from LID, and it is speculation at this point. This has been the biggest fustration and disappointment. We have been blessed in how smooth the process has gone, how quickly we got forms back, how efficient the Alberta Government has been in getting our Home Study approved etc., now is the dreaded wait we have heard about :( .

Now is the time to work on getting projects done, getting all the future paperwork in hand and ready to launch(sponsorship, immigration, Canadian citizenship, medical etc. etc.) The stack of paper already involved is larger than our daughter will be when we get her!

We are excited about the destination of this journey, and there has been many blessings already in people we have met, in seeing others adoption stories played out through reading their websites and blogs, getting the quarterly newsletters from FOI with stories and pictures of families who have just returned with their children, and the excitement of knowing at the end of this road, at the end of the waiting is our gift. We can't wait!!