Thursday, October 22, 2009


Katie at Free comic book day a few months ago.
Well 41 months logged in, we know it will be at least 48 months, 4 years until we are close to a referral. We are getting close!

Life has been BUSY. Katie is 8 months old, she started crawling a month ago and after a week of that decided to try walking so she is hanging onto anything she can find and trying to walk. We have had a couple of colds etc to deal with with her, but she is good natured even when sick, just clingy and whines when not held. She has such an amazing smile and gets tons of attention anytime she is out. Here hair is growing lots, and having a "fro" is a fun look for her(and us to see). We are sadly waiting for the time her hair turns hard and we have to deal with it differently.

I have been swamped with magic shows since September started, which has been great, but figured Xmas would be the busy time, but it is slow right now. We will see. It has been fun to get back into that and I am slowly getting to the stage of creating new stuff, which is quite exciting and has a whole new level to it than the stuff I have fine tuned over the years and have been my trademark tricks.

Cara has pulled back, sales wise with her studio and is diversifying what she is doing in that realm, and after some initial stress in working that out, is back to enjoying it fully.

We lost my grandfather "Pop" Sept 28. That has been hard, but we are thankful he was around and got to enjoy Katie, some of our last memories of him is with Katie in his arms and a huge smile on BOTH of their faces.

My mom is done with Chemo and is doing well, we praise God for that and look forward to MANY years of her hugging and loving on both Katie and Julia.

The only complaint I have about my dear daughter is she loves grabbing my glasses, gets this innocent look, "what do you mean let go?" and I have to pry her strong
little fingers off them, then she gets this sly little smile on her face...8 months and she is already trying to play me... not looking forward to the Teen years!!! LOL

Friday, September 18, 2009


This is a picture from a few months ago. We were taking shots in prep for me officially launching my magic business again, and I couldn't resist :)

Well my girl is 7 months old, she is crawling and is still a delight. Cara is gone for a retreat for 6 days so I am doing the single parent thing. Enjoying the time with her, but it is NICE to not have to always do it on your own. I was blessed with an amazing mom who raised me most of my life on her own.

Been thinking more of China these days, knowing, that at this point Julia is conceived and being carried by her birth mom. In another month the CCAA should be done matching March LIDS, so then we are a month and 19 days away(referral wise). I am speculating that Feb-May 2010 we should get a referral. Who knows, but that is my guess at this point.

6 months old shot, she loves the chicken shirt(it is all cracked, so there is a texture thing as well as a visual thing). And we found a superhero shirt for her, so basically it is the perfect shirts picture. :)

We got the court date to finalize things with Katie's adoption. I need to start citizenship/sponsorship papers for both my girls, UGH government paper work...

It has been a tremendous blessing the way Katie has been so loved and accepted by the people around us. My church is awesome, there is never a shortage of folks who want to love on her. That sure helps when we need to leave her with a sitter.

Speaking of which, yes, we have entered that stage...and yes someone has been having trouble with the separation...and no it is not Katie, it is her mom LOL!It is natural and one of those stages, not easy, but being a guy, and seeing the love the sitters have for her, I can relax. We have to leave her when we zip down to the States, that won't be fun, separation wise :(

Monday, August 03, 2009

wow time flies

Here is Katie at 5 and a half months. It has been pure joy getting to know her. She is starting solid foods, rolling over on her own, telling stories, smiling all the time(unless she is hungry) is sleeping around 8 hours a night plus a couple naps during the day, is the center of attention anywhere we go.

We spent a week at family and getting them to have their Katie fix, that was awesome, although our girl got a little too used to the attention and on the drive home and for a couple days after that she demanded face to face attention all her waking hours, but she is normalized now, heh, if I didn't know better I would be tempted to say you can be "loved too much" LOL.

On the China front they have finished March 22, we are speculating that by April 2010 we should be close. I think we can safely say that Julia is conceived and is being carried by her birthmom at this point, so we are praying she will feel loved, nourished, and guarded during this time. When we get her, it will seem almost like having twins as their ages should only be 4-5 months apart, we think!

We are still awaiting court date times to zip back down to South Carolina to finalize the adoption of Katie. We have been told to NOT bring her, due to passport regulations changing, and the risk we might not be able to re-enter Canada.

We are still thinking through whether we should(or will even be able) to bring Katie to China. Her passport and citizenship stuff may not be done, so it could be a moot point, and there are pros and cons on either side. It would be great for Katie to meet her sister right away, and her presence could be a soothing thing for Julia, on the other hand it is a trip and a half and to have a baby one way and 2 on the way back is intimidating. Having Julia just have us for the first 2 weeks will be good for us to be able to handle whatever issues may come attachment wise without having to worry about caring for Katie. Keeping Katie away from extra germs etc. while in a foreign country isn't a bad thing either. Then it seems sad to not have Katie in pics with us in China,back and forth, back and forth LOL!

On a dad front, it is sooo wonderful to be a dad, I can't wait each day to have that spot of drool or little bit of spit up on my shirt, to me it is a badge I proudly get that smile when she first wakes up and sees me, is indescribable, or when she hugs or reaches out and touches my face(that moment is often broken with her making a grab for the glasses, or at the least wiping a drool covered finger across the lenses). It was tough being at camp and not seeing her each day(and yes I missed you too Cara :) )but camp was awesome, and it will be great when she is able to be out there.

My goal had been to post at least once a month on the blog, but summer camp, and work and holidays has limited that, but hopefully remedy that here on in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We are at LID 36

Quite a day yesterday. We decided to have a couple date and left Katie with friends for the first time. We had a nice meal at Boston Pizza(Love pasta Tuesdays!)

Katie is just over 3 months old, she is growing well and continues to be a good sleeper(We are sooo blessed with that!)

I realized AFTER we had gone out that it was also the 19th of May, marking 3 years we have been logged in to China.

Recent rumors state that they should have done 6 days of matching this month to bring us to March 14 2006. It has been a crazy month due to the swine flu thing, lots of conflicting info on whether TA's(travel Arrangements) will be sent, if people are being told to change their plans etc, but hopefully that storm will pass and folks can go get their precious treasures after such a wait...

We are waiting to hear word about going down to South Carolina to our final court date to make everything official with Katie, we will also hang out there for a bit so we can take in some of the place, take pictures, tour Katie around so we have some pictures and memories with her in the place she was born. I am hoping it come in the Fall, only so that it isn't so hot, Cara hopes it is in the height of the heat,LOL!

One of the things still up in the air is whether we would bring Katie to China. Whatever we decide we may not be able to if we don't get paperwork(citizenship/passport etc done). We don't get a birth certificate for her until a month and a half AFTER the court date, then time to process citizenship, then a passport... we have no idea how much time that will take.

Presently Cara is struggling with how to reshape her business in light of having baby, wanting to potentially drop the company she is demonstrating for, but trying to figure out how it will all work. I am kicking off my magic show business more and getting a few shows already, which is nice, we will see where that goes.

Summer stuff is in the air as we don't know if SC will be put in there, as well my mom is dealing with cancer, so there are some surgeries etc ahead that we will head down to be a support etc. I am speaking only one week at camp this year(that is a radical change), and there are 2 weddings I am officiating and another we want to head to Calgary it appears it will be a full summer(once the snow fall quits, we just got a huge spring dump of the stuff, gotta love Alberta!)

Monday, April 20, 2009


This is the first smile of hers(nongas) we have gotten caught on camera.She is growing good,gained 13 oz of weight the last 2 weeks, and a pound and a half in the 3 weeks before then.

She is sleeping 6.5-7.5 hours each night. We are delighted!

This last Sunday we had our baby dedication ceremony, which is more like a parent dedication ceremony, where we offered ourselves to God in the raising of Katie in Christian values, etc.We had lots of family up, so that was very nice.

She was wearing the dress Cara wore at her christening,a beautiful necklace from her great grandparents(on my side) and a lovely bracelet some friends gave her(who are currently adopting from Haiti, and are close to going to get their second daughter from there!). My mom gave her a bible and Cara's folks prayed a blessing over her.

Katie really locks onto her mom, staring lovingly into each others eyes, their bond is developing well.I am enjoying doing anything with her, bathe her, hold her, change her, feed her, it is all good!!!

We have been blessed beyond belief with shower gifts from friends, family, and folks we barely know. it is quite overwhelming trying to put it all in its right spot,but we are so grateful! We still are adjusting to having a baby in our world, but it is a fairly easy move, and we are both almost healthy again, which will be good to get all there(one sore throat from me to go).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life as 3

Man, I thought I would blog more than I have. We found Facebook was our main means of communicating while on the road, but definitely wanted to add some thoughts here.

Katie, is awesome. She sleep and eats well, good natured, she only fusses if something needs attention. We are learning the ropes on some of the special care required for black babies, such as Vaseline on the body to moisturize her skin or she gets dry really quick, and on her face she gets little pimples if she isn't moisturized enough. She has a few there now as we are still trying to figure that out the best. Their hair gets brittle if it isn't cared for so right now we are using baby oil on it to keep it curly and soft, apparently you can use pink oil when they get a bit older. She came to us with a slight sinus thing and with the trip, stress of getting to know her parents etc it got quite a bit stuffy the last little while. We hit the saline drops and snot sucker device hard and added a slight incline on the mattress and a humidifier plus some herbal remedies and today she is doing quite a bit better.

She is just about 6 weeks old. She was born Feb 13 2009.

I had bronchitis for a week or so before we got the call and hadn't gotten to a doctor yet, so it set in REALLLL good while we were in the States. Today marks day 8 on antibiotics and I think we are turning the bend. After weeks of coughing my ribs are sooo sore, it has made it hard to even hold her at times, and burping her has been impossible. She isn't an easy burp-er, something she will have to work on to be a true Burtis(LOL)! Along with the lung stuff I got an ear infection ,and since I am deaf in one ear already, resulted in me having about 10-15% hearing, NOT fun in a plane nor trying to hear your wife or newborn. As a result Cara has had to shoulder a lot more than we planned, and she has done awesome, I knew she would be a good mommy and she has proven me right :)!

Katie was in cradle care for the 20 odd days before we got her, an she was well cared, for. We have been diligent in working on attachment, not letting anyone else feed or comfort her, and we have only let others hold her when she is fully awake or fully asleep. It has been nice to be able to bless our family and friends with being able to do that. With Julia, from China, we won't be able to do that as the attachment work will need to be much more focused and intentional. She is seeking mom out with her eyes now and looking longingly into them, cuddling in, it is great. Due to my coughing etc I have not had as much holding time or feeding time with her, so we still have a ways to go.

We have been blessed by friends who have cleaned up the house for us, brought us hot suppers, been very thoughtful not to invade, have(mostly) understood our attachment rituals and their need, and have been SOOOO excited, prayed for us tons and celebrated greatly with us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kate(Katie) Joy is HERE!!!!

There are no words...

Monday morning we got the call, Monday by 3:30 we were traveling to Calgary to get a flight in the early morning to fly to South Carolina. Wednesday at noon SC time we were holding Katie Joy!!!!!

What an adventure...we JUST made 2 of the 3 connecting flights... our luggage got lost, but did end up in our hotel when we got in with Katie, thank the Lord! Cara has been amazing with dealing with stuff as I have been almost out of commission as I have been nonstop coughing the last week, I have aches in places I didn't know had muscle. Most of the muscles between my ribs have been inflamed by the coughing, so it is hard to have strength or much depth of breath. So I am not much help, but I have never been happier. I just had my daughter fall asleep in my arms, I had enough strength in my arms for that!!!! :)

WE are just waiting for the official paperwork to get done in the next couple days then we fly home. Enjoy the 2 pics we already have like 200 and have only had her 4 hours LOL!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Interesting solutions to lifes issues

Got this in an email, some interesting options here :)

A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a
Knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.
Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them
Neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put
Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't
Refreeze. (wish I had known this for the
last 40 years!)
To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for
a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The
Wax will fall out.
Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped
In baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).
Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt
BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of
Scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw
Away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would
Be much more economical. Now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely!
In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get 'sharpened'' this way!
Blood stains on Clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen
peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works
every time!
Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal
For inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks.
Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows
On a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely
light scent in each room when the light is turned on.
Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks

to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.
Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.
To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the

salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough

water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.
Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring In tomato based sauces and

there won't be any stains.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's' natural sweetness.
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces

......... left over wine? What's that?
To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So, get your chalk

out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle.

Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most

splinters painlessly and easily.
Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer........ Clean a toilet.
Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes,! Brush and flush.
The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.
Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water
and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
Polish Jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the
jewelry for two minutes.
Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak
for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the
drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.
Do your friends a favor. Pass this timely (and some not-so-timely) information on to a friend! I just did.
Makes you wonder about ingesting Alka Seltzer, doesn't it