Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slow train to China

What does a Daddy-in-waiting do at slow points in life? He daydreams about what the situation he is in would look like if Julia was with is a true account of one of those experiences!

Last night, on the way home from kids club, I encountered the train crossing,so I put the car in "park" and my mind wandered...

"What would I do if this was me a couple years from now? Julia would be with me, as she would have been part of club, and we would be waiting...I know... I would come up with some stupid, silly little game we would play. How about this, we would pick a letter of the alphabet and any time that letter appeared on one of the train cars we would shout it out, whoever shouted it out first gets a point."

Not surprizingly, I won that game, a shut out actually ;)! But I think that the game is a gooder, so I filed that away for a later use. Back to the day dream...

"Man, what a long train, we need another game...I got it, we predict how many cars will pass before the caboose. Julia and I would pick a number and then count them, one at a time, alternating back and forth... and we would use funny accents to up the entertainment aspect of the game."

"What is that? Sure, 15 cars sounds good Julia, I'll start 'One'-done in my robot voice...'Two' (No, I didn't actually here her voice, I am simply creative, not crazy ;). No need to call the social worker to reassess my viability to be a sound parent). 'Three'-done in my Scottish accent...'Five'-Aussie accent...'7'-English accent"...Despite what my wife says, I am SURE my doing those accents sound different...they do to me!

The count went on..."Well my precious daughter we were off on this one... 35 cars!" I take the car out of park, drive the rest of the way home, get in, have a quick shower...and despite the train, we still weren't too late to watch 'Kid Nation' on TV...

"Shhh, I know you are up past your bed time, but mum is downstairs running a craft class, she won't be upstairs for a while...we're safe!"

Opps, I fell asleep on the couch, with my little girl curled up next to me...we got caught... we all have a good laugh, and head off to bed.

Wonderful day dream...that will one day be reality!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Awesome creative ministry skit

Thanks to Chris P a friend from Winnipeg days from posting this on my Facebook, I love creative ministries, I do magic tricks, clowning, etc, messages set to music, are powerful... love this skit!

Monday, October 22, 2007

What moms go through-set to song :)

Well done and hilarious :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

LID 17

Seventeen months and counting... I am running out of fingers and toes...

Unmet desires suck. I have desired to be a father for over 20 years, I have loved on kids, other peoples kids for that long, poured into them, invested in their lives. God has used that desire, in a sense, to define my calling as a pastor. Nothing gets me more excited, and brings a smile to my face, than being around children.

I can be having the lousiest day, and if a kid comes by the church I can't help but be drawn out of my office, dark clouds disappear, and I can't help but smile. I love kids!

I don't begrudge that I have had 20 plus years of pouring into other peoples kids. I am so excited about doing that in my current church, still, after all he years of loving on others kids, but it doesn't satisfy the deeper desire to be a father.

Maybe my zeal for other peoples kids will diminish when I get my own? Nah, I just can't see it, in fact I think it will just make it grow as I will learn and experience even more about kids and be that much more excited about sharing it.

I would love to be able to start this fathering thing while I still have some energy left in my body, I ain't getting any younger! Running around with the kids on Wednesday night at our Kids club is a real rush...until about 9:00 that night, then this sneaky, but solid, wall creeps up and slams me down..."ugh what muscle is that, that is feeling like it is going to erupt out of my body...I didn't even know there were muscles there!"

I don't mind the concern others have as they see me hunched over trying to get my breath...I wasn't offended at all when the dear 97 year old saint of our church offered ME her, not at all, gotta love the love shown..right?!

I would just like to be able to run around in a park piggy backing my own child, pushing her on the swings, making goofy faces at her and doing stupid stuff to amuze her, rather than everyone elses kids...Let me be hunched over gasping for breath and totally elated that it was for JULIA... I have refined these actions down to an art, I don't need more practise, I WANT to do these things with my daughter.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yummy food

Yummy food click here

Came to this site by happy accident. Warning! don't click if you have a hungry tummy ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

A letter from CCAA

Got this from one of the yahoogroups I subscribe to:

A preface to the response to the FCC open letter from the CCAA from the
presidents of the FCC Chapters of Greater New York, New England, Northern
California and Southern California.

Dear FCC Members:
The Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs has responded to the open letter
sent from the FCC Chapters of Greater New York, New England, Northern California
and Southern California and subsequently co-signed by several other FCC
chapters representing over one thousand additional FCC members.

We are extremely pleased to have received any response at all. When we wrote
the letter, we hoped to receive an official response but did not
necessarily expect to receive one. Frequently a Chinese government agency would not
issue such a response except to a similar-level government agency. The fact
that the government felt our letter warranted a response at all appears to be an
indication of the respect and gratitude the CCAA holds for our community.
To the extent that you may disagree with the views of the Chinese government
or their analysis of appropriate placement guidelines, we do ask you to bear
in mind that there appears to be great reciprocal respect for our community
despite the differences of opinion between our community and that of the CCAA.

We have had the letter translated by two different people familiar with the
Chinese adoption program and also had those translation reviewed by others
who have extensive experience in the field. The translation( s) that we have
posted represent our best efforts to render a faithful translation. Any errors,
of course, belong to us.

A translation, however, can only go so far. When you read the letter we ask
you to consider the following points:

-Although the tone may strike many American readers as overly formal and
bureaucratic, this is normal for written communications from Chinese government

-Our goal was to provide feedback from the FCC community and to demonstrate
our concern about the children of families now considered ineligible for
adoption in China. From the CCAA a detailed response it is clear that our letter
was carefully read and considered.

-We had no expectation that FCC would affect a change in China's policy. The
letter confirms that the CCAA is comfortable at present with its
prioritization. While this is bad news for those who have lost eligibility, it is good
news for those who feared that any criticism, no matter how diplomatically
couched, would jeopardize adoptions already in process.

-We hoped to receive further detail on the rationale behind the policy
changes, and this letter does provide some greater explanation, especially with
respect to single parent eligibility. The explanation is unlikely to bring
comfort to those families no longer eligible for adoption and those of us who
support them, but it does explicitly put on the record some information that had
thus far been only speculative.

In closing we would like to thank those who have helped us to better
understand the CCAA's response. We are also deeply grateful to the many, many FCC
members who have emailed us. No other topic has engendered such a response
from our members. The constructive feedback provided a new window into the
diverse perspectives of our member families, yet underscored the true sense of
community that we share from coast to coast. Your heartfelt words have touched
and inspired us.

To all who have participated in this process, both in China and America, we
express our heartfelt gratitude. The Chinese adoption program is undergoing
one of its most profound changes since the program began. Over the last 15
years, we have seen many changes take place, and there may be other changes in
the future. Families with Children from China values all its children and all
its families - each and every one of them - and will continue to do so. Even
as these changes may occur, we will keep faith with the diversity of FCC
families all over the world.

Shanti Fry
FCC New England

Margie Berman
FCC Greater New York

Peggy Scott
FCC Northern California

Jeri Okamoto Floyd
FCC Southern California


Dear Shanti Fry,
Your letter was+ forwarded to us. First, I would like to thank you for
giving your attention to China's international adoption affairs. We are grateful
for the assistance and support you have given to the adoption families and
adopted children.

It's the universal truth that parents are the fundamental unit of a society.
They play a vital role in a child's growth and character development.
According to “Hague Convention, in order for children to develop their character
to their full potential, they should be raised in a family environment that
nurtures of happiness, love and with an emphasis on mutual respect for one
another. International adoption aims to help those orphans who have lost their
parents or family to establish a family that could ensure they have all the
rights they are entitled to. Therefore, China Center of Adoption Affairs has
been abiding by the principle of “ensuring childrens best benefits in
international adoption since the beginning. The mission of our center is“all for
the children. Through endless efforts and generations and generations of
devotion can we assist ten thousands of orphans to find homes that could provide
them with an environment that is contusive to establishing emotional
stability within the family unit. During the past 10 years, China Center of
Adoption Affairs has received the consent, support and collaboration of
American government, adoption associations, and large number of adoption families.

China Center of Adoption Affairs has gained a reputation of having
comprehensive policies, structured regulations, and transparency in the adoption
process. It has attracted large amount of international adoption applicants, which
resulted the increase of number of applications to China Center of Adoption
Affairs. At the same time, as the Chinese society progressed and people
become more aware of the issue, plus the rising of domestic adoption, the number
of children for international adoption has decreased, which can no longer meet
the demand of international adoption. Under the circumstance, in order to
ensure adopted childrens best interest, we also have to select the most
suitable adoption family for these children in all areas. This was realized by the
Hague Convention principle.

Your letter has mentioned the issue of single parent adopting children in
China. We would like to express our respect and understanding toward their
personal choices. Meanwhile, we believe 1) it is difficult to exclude homosexual
single parent to apply for adoption. The law of Chinese government doesn't
empower the rights of homosexuals. In addition, due to Chinese traditional
culture, it makes most Chinese families harder to accept this social phenomenon.
Because of the culture differences, social welfare organizations who act as
orphans guardians are not willing to send children to homosexual families. 2)
Due to the absence of mother or father in a single parent family, it can not
function completely; it is not beneficial to childrens psychological
development. Countries around the world have recognized this issue as well. 3) If
any accident were to happen to the parent of a single parent family, it is
likely that the adopted children would loose the family again.
Besides, the main purpose of adoption is to find a family for those children
and not to find a child for the family. Thus, under the circumstances that
international adoption can no longer satisfy the demand, we should consider
married couple as priority to ensure our adopted childrens mind and spirit can
be developed in a proper family oriented environment.

Of course, we must consider adopted families devotion and the desire of
having a child as we sincerely provide most sufficient and quality service.
Offering priority adoption process is one of the means to make sure the benefit
of adopting families. As of now, the wait for international adoption
applicants has been postponed to 17-18 months. It's expected that the waiting period
would be longer, which is not what everyone hope to see. Other foreign
adoption organization suggested that we should categorize adoption families
according to their different situations. As responsible as we are to adopted
families and organizations, we have taken the advice. Adoption families that have
as better qualifications will be placed under priority adoption process,
effective May 1, 2007. By doing so, it shortens the waiting period and eases the
anxiety. For adoption organizations, they could make adjustments according to
the actual situation and make further arrangement on the amount of
international adoption applications. Therefore, to select most qualified
adoption families is our job.

We all needs to be more versatile and make adjustments when we perform any
types of work based on its demand and current situation. It's the same for
international adoption process. In order to accommodate the large number of
applicants with limited number of available orphans, applying priority adoption
process is a practical solution China Center of Adoption Affairs had adopted
from international adoption. The policy of China's international adoption does
not change. As the work progresses and the actual situation changes, it is
possible there might be other adjustments on priority adoption process.

Hopefully you have a clear understanding of how China Center of Adoption
Affairs applies the priority adoption process. Other American families who are
preparing for adoption in China can know about this matter through your
organization. Should you have any question for China Center of Adoption Affairs and
international adoption, please contact us. Let's work together to maintain
the order of international adoption and the relationship we have built so
earnestly between China and America. Together we protect the interests of adopted
child and the adopted families.

With best regards.

Lu Ying (sig.)
China Centre of Adoption Affairs

What does priority placment mean? hmmm, in my mind it means those with a "better" dossier would get matched sooner, so then the whole LID would be less of a scheduled or dependable thing. Since the new regulations they brought in last December,which had all the crazy health, finance type restrictions are enforced in May 2007 , I suspect that would give some indicator as to what priority files would look like.

We still fit in those updated ones, with only a couple of issues, so I guess we would be considreed near priority, if they used that gauge...

So maybe this means by May 2007 they expect to process priority wise and quicker at least in the perspective of those who fit priority...but what does that do to the whole LID group thing... like always, it seems like some stuff gets answered, but generates more questions... so again left saying" I really don't know if this helps us, makes it faster, or doesn't really change too much: Gotta love it *eye roll*

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

November is Adoption Awareness month

Some cool ideas....

Monday, October 08, 2007

November 2005 finally done

They finished November, finally...another whooping 5 days of files done...gessh it could be 2009 easily before things happen for us at this rate, but still holding hope out that we will get some sort of speed up at some point.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Survival ritual...

Cara and I have settled into a survivor ritual as we wait, and mark weekly our time to watch Survivor China, that was threatened this week by a meeting, but lo and behold the meeting was canceled and Survivor China is back on! Yahoo!!!

I am glad Ashley got kicked off last week, not that she was a big pain like Dave?(the camp leader)...but it is awkward trying to watch the show with all the upper female anatomy flinging everywhere, and she is one of the big offenders. I have conditioned myself to look away when the Big B's start flopping and flashing, but I was spending more time counting the bird seeds our dove threw on the floor than actually watching the show, that just isn't that factor is now dramatically reduced thus increasing my enjoyment level(while I am sure a number of other male viewers will STOP watching now that she is off.)

I suspect we will see more of the culture of China shown once there is a few more challenges under their belt.

Frosti is standing out as an interesting guy... then there is the gay mormon... interesting mix there...Chicken was booted the first week, that was too bad, having the "character" character around makes for some fun interactions...

Adoption wise, sounds like a small batch, although nothing confirmed...well, let the Thursday show ritual begin!