Saturday, January 31, 2015

Read Between the Lines: Not everything may be revealed

When you adopt, internationally or domestically, you have to expect surprises.  You get reports about the children.  If domestic, they might tell the history.  One thing they will not go into is the after effects of the trauma the child might have suffered.  Say they write that a child has been sexually abused.  You might think that child would just need love and protection and everything will be okay.  That child will need therapy.  They may be angry because they do not know how to deal with their feelings.  Not only that, but if they are older, they might do the same things to younger siblings or children in the neighborhood.

Even international adoptions can have issues that are not in the reports.  We were in Guangzhou when our guide was called to an emergency.  A child who was about to age out was getting a chance to be adopted.
When the parents got there to adopt the child, she did not want to be adopted.  Did the orphanage tell her she was being adopted?  I wonder.  Wouldn't they have known this situation existed or did they hope she would go with the parents when they arrived.  Well they could not force the child to go.  Since she was of a certain age, China let the child make that decision.  If I were adopting a child of that age, I'd want to know that they wanted to be adopted.  I would ask if she knew that she was up for adoption and she wanted to be adopted.

We had those questions with our 7 year old.  When we saw her picture, we knew she needed a family.  She looked sad and lonely.  We imagined a shy, quiet child  Were even told that by the agency.  They said she was a tomboy, quiet, etc.  As soon as we saw her, we knew that she was the opposite of what we were told.  She was not shy and definitely not a tomboy.  They even told us she did not like pools.  Well, she jumped right in at the hotel.  I had to jump in to help her because she did not know how to swim.  We even asked Veronica if she knew she was coming home with us.  She stayed with Veronica the whole time.  She stayed with us at night but was right at her side the next day.  It was probably because we did not speak Mandarin.  When it was time to go, she was ready to come home with us.

What I am trying to say is that you have to read between the lines.  Expect some issues.  It happens.  I don't think anyone is trying to trick anyone.  I think most are just trying to find good homes for the children.  Once they are in a new setting, they will need help.  It will either come from the family or it may need to come from a therapist.  Just don't give up on them.  They have been through things that most children will never have to. They deserve a loving family that will not give up on them.  

Friday, January 30, 2015

Down in the dumps . . .Feel like I was slapped in the face

Waiting can be really hard.  When you have lots of time to think and just figure out what you are going to do before introducing another child in your household.  One of the biggest shrug offs we have received has been from social media.  You go on Facebook and post because you are happy.  Then when no one seems enthusiastic it gets you down.  I see people get happy all the time at work when people announce they are pregnant or their wife is having a baby.  I'm sure if they posted they'd get tons of congratulations or likes.  Not many in my account.  I'm looking forward to my new daughter.  I guess that is why I share here.  I can tell people and think they are happy for us.  I don't really have to worry about comments, no one does it.  My "likes" come from the number of people who might read a post.  I can tell people are not big on the music I share.  That's okay.  I like it and tried to share it with my daughters.  I got the same response.  However, they do sing to it when I play it.

My day had started okay today.  It's Friday.  Then I had a meeting and got news that did not inspire me.  Through all my jobs, all I have hoped for is that my employer would be happy with my work.  This would hopefully lead to raises and promotions.  It just seems that I can't get a break.  Maybe I need to reevaluate my life.  I went into insurance because it seemed like a job I could do and it is in my family blood.  My grandfather owned his own insurance agency.  Wish I could have trained under him and followed in his footsteps.  Where I am is behind the scenes of insurance.  I just don't know.  At least I have an adoption to look forward to.  Wish we could raise more money.  I hate to think that I will have to depend on my job alone to pay back money we may borrow or sell off our stock and use up savings.

Weekend of Getting Ready

This weekend, I plan on beating this procrastination.  I am going to pull up my shirt sleeves and dive in.  I am going to take pictures for Ebay, gather things for the yard sale and just try to reduce all clutterage.  Ebay has been hit and miss.  I have looks on current posters, but only a couple of bids.  Next up, I will try baseball cards and comics.  The only problem I have with baseball cards is that the ones that sell high have been sent to a company to grade them.  I'm not wasting money to have some company tell people what they should be able to see in the pictures.  I have to try other things.  Posters can be a hard sell.

Even though we are in a waiting period, we have to get cracking.  When they do come back with our answer, time seems to speed up.  Then we will look back and wonder why we did not work harder and faster.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Waiting is the hardest part. . .What to do while waiting

When you are in this part of an adoption, waiting can be really hard.  Everyday Angie is stressing.  Not hearing anything makes you wonder.  I am not so worried.  We have been through three Chinese adoptions.  She reads stories of children that don't want to go and it creates even more stress.

At this point of an adoption, one must start preparing.  Get your rooms ready.  Make sure you have a bed/crib, accessories that might be needed, like baby bottles.  In our case, we are just looking at everything and wondering if we can sell it.  Ebay has been good.  I have over 50 posters listed.  So, if you see fahey6587, bid on it.  You will be helping us out.  I am starting out low on many of the posters.  Generally, about $5.00, unless the system prompts me to go higher.  Worse thing that could happen is I have to relist.

We are also preparing for a huge yard sale.  It will probably happen in February.  The only problem we are running into is where to store the items we are going to sell.

I also have to write my bood reports.  The agency gave us a list of questions to answer.  I have read 3 books, hopefully they are approved books.

Harbin looks like it is warming up.  The temps have been in the teens.  Wonder how could it will be?  That is another thing to prepare for.  If it's cold we have to make sure we are prepared.  Florida does not get that cold.  It does get around freezing, but does not stay that way for long.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Dollar a day keeps the . . .

You know the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  I'd like to challenge you, those who read this to donate a dollar to Reece's rainbow.  This dollar would go to a great cause and help a child in need.  We are going to do what we can, but it will take money.  Flying over and doing the adoption costs.  Even as cheap as we can be, we still need to eat while over there.  Not only that, but they expect us to pay tips when services are rendered.  The first adoption, we tried to scrimp on food, but Angie got sick.  Believe me, we're still not going to pay $20 for a hamburger and I think pizza will be of the list also.  If you can not give, I understand.  I just thought it would be fun to see the totals increase.

The Clinic: Gateway to the West

When you adopt from another country, part of your routine will be to take your child to a clinic.  The clinic in Guangzhou is on Shamian Island.  This is also where Lucy's and the White Swan are located.  Not all agencies use the White Swan, as we have found out from our travel records with the new agency.

The purpose of this visit is to give the child a checkup of sorts.  They check the hearing, sight, measurements, weight, etc.  Of our three adoptions, two of them were accompanied by lots of crying.  Our infants did not like the pulling and prodding.  Our seven year old did fine.  If they find something, they will inform you.  On our second adoption, they did find something.  When they told us, we began to worry.  If they do not clear the child, you can not take them home until they are stable.

In this case it was a contagious disorder.  Or it can be.  Once they find it, they have to determine if the child is contagious.  In her case, it was not.  Mainly in children it is not.  When we got home, we did have to contact the CDC and she was put on a years worth of an antibiotic.  These are things that happen.  In these areas, these diseases and syndromes are more prevalent.

Once your child is cleared, you will bring the information to your consulate.  At this point, they will clear the child for entry into your country.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Guides: Your lifeline in China

When you go to China or if you go, you have to have a guide.  Not only do they speak the language, but they are a wealth of information.  They know great places to eat, where the best shopping is, where to stay away from, etc.  In the case of an adoption, they are great with the children.  If you have an older child, you need someone who can translate between the family and the child.

On our three adoptions, we were fortunate to have the same guide.  The third adoption, she was not assigned to us, but she was there during critical times.  Words can not say enough about how great this person is to us.  She has verbally sparred with people at the airport, she helped us with our 7 year old, etc.  Even when she was not our guide, she and the family she was with helped us on the last trip.
I will say, not every guide is as great as Veronica.  Our last trip, we had three different guides.  One for each province.  The one in Chengdu was okay.  She seemed preoccupied with other things.  I understand that.  She was a working mother.  She still did her job.  She made sure we made it to our appointments and we did get to do some sightseeing.  I wish it could have been more.

Our third province, our guide came down with an illness.  Then, she had to break away from our group to assist another family that was not part of our group.  In the end, she had her sister assist us at the train station because the agency had her doing other things.  They still made sure we got where we need to be.

If you go, rely on your guide.  They are there for you.  I'd like to say we became friends with Veronica and consider her a part of our family.  She has been there for our special times.  She even got to meet Kayla.  Try to bring extra cash for your guide.  They work for tips.  I do not know how well the agencies pay them.  If you think they are worth it, tip them well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fundraising Update***********1/26/2015

Thanks to the person who donated $10.00.  Every dollar is appreciated.  Please keep giving, if you can.  This weekend was great for our Ebay sales.  We sold a signed comic book and a Shawshank Redemption poster.  I have other sales, but they do not look too promising.  I will just have to take more pictures.  These next couple of months are going to be busy.  We also found out that our Reece's Rainbow button will include Elana's picture.

Driving in China: An act I leave up to the Professionals

Driving in a new area can be a scary proposition.  When I first came down to Florida, I experienced that first hand.  My brother-in-law does not like driving down  here.  Orlando can be a scary place to drive.  We have a melting pot of drivers around here.    Drivers are from all around the world.  We have people that are lost all the time.  They forget that we have laws that are similar to their home towns, cities, countries.  As scary as this can be, driving in China is not for the weary.

When you go to China, they usually set up transportation or you can take cabs.  After experiencing the roads in China, I would not even want to try and drive on my own.  People do all kinds of crazy maneuvers.   We even saw a wedding party on the highway.  What made this interesting/dangerous was that the wedding group was in one vehicle, while another group was hanging from the back of a vehicle to videotape the trip.  As crazy as it is, it is an organized craziness.  They seem to work together.  We did not see that many accidents.

This even goes for walking.  I would not just walk into traffic in this country.  They may not stop.  We usually would cross with the locals in large groups.  That way there would be people to act as a buffer to the oncoming car.  The most the people in the cars would do is to honk their horns.

I will say one thing, they did a great job getting us to our locations.  We were always safe.  It was just a little jarring watching how others drove.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Countdown to Adoption: Chengdu

During this adoption, I thought it would be fun to do a countdown.  I started with the song Countdown by Lindsey Buckingham.  After that, I looked for a bunch of songs with China in them:  China Grove by the Doobie Brothers, Like China by Phil Collins, China Roses by Enya, Arrested in Shanghai by Rancid.  The way I'd do it is I'd wake up, grab my Kindle and look for the particular song.  Then I'd wake Angie for her song of the day.  Sometimes they were new songs that she had not heard before like Welcome to Beijing by a group of Chinese artists, including Jackie Chan.  I didn't even know that he was a singer.  They did this song for the Olympics, but it fit our travels.  Beijing was the first stop.

If you are preparing for a journey, this is a fun way to build up to it.  Today, I found a list on Wikipedia of songs with numbers in their titles.  I will be formulating them and seeing if I can do a playlist in Spotify.  If not, it will probably be a mixture of Spotify, Youtube, and just finding it on the Internet.  I will keep you updated.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Russian food: What's good to eat?

I have never had a chance to eat Russian foods.  What's good to eat  If there are any readers out there who might know, please leave a comment.  I like to know before I go places so that we can be on the lookout for good food.

No Comments?  Please help.  I don't know much about Russian food and would like to try it when we go to Harbin.

Things of Interest in Harbin, China

With our travel coming up, we have started to look at places to visit.  The agency said that we need to provide a list to the guide and he will set up what he can.  Looking at Harbin, there are a bunch of places to visit.  It depends on when we go.  If it were now, they have the snow and ice festival.  I did see some churches that I'd like to see.  Since Harbin is close to Russia, there is a Russian influence on the architecture.  There is also a Stalin Park, a holocaust museum, Sun Island and a Siberian Tiger Reserve.

For the food, I read that Harbin has many influences.  They include Russia, Korea, Mongolian and North China.  This might be an adventure for our palates.  One place I read that you can get a dinner for about 1.50 US.  They also warn you to carry small denominations of cash, so that you do not get counterfeit in return.  I know that we will definitely being eating local.  Angie will be interested in the shopping.  Central street sounds interesting.  They have Russian dolls, Vodka,  and other Russian made things.

Some other points of interest are Zhongyang Pedestrian Street, Sophia Square, Flood Control Memorial Tower, Temple of Bliss (Confucian Temple), Gogol Street, Sun Island, and the Unit 731 Museum.  With the exception of Temple of Bliss and Unit 731, I think they would be free of charge.  We'd go there mainly for taking pictures or shopping.  Temple of Bliss sounds a lot like the Temple of Heaven, so there probably will be a charge.  As will the Unit 731 museum.  I really would like to visit this museum.  It was created to show the atrocities the Japanese committed against Chinese citizens and POW's, even Americans.  I read a book about it.  Sounds like a Nazi death camp.  I'm surprised I did not learn about it in history.  It might be because the US granted immunity to the people committing the crimes for their "research".

Friday, January 23, 2015

Extreme Makeover: The Makeover that did not Happen

After Angie left her job, we had to stretch the money we were living on.  When summer came, the school systems were offering breakfast and lunches to children.  We would take the children in during the week for breakfast.  The women that ran the program got to know us and our children.  As June dissolved into July, the women told us that they would be leaving soon.  They were only scheduled through summer school, but the program would go for the rest of the summer.

The last few days approached, one of the women went up to Angie.  She told her that she hoped we would not get upset, but they had sent our story to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  They wanted a videotape of our family and house.  We both got choked up at this.  We agreed to have them come over to videotape.  The week ended and we never saw the women again.  They did not show and we did not have any way of contacting them.  I even emailed the principal of the school.  Looking into the program, I found out that it was cancelled.  They would be doing an episode for the holidays.  There was no way for us to get in contact with the producers.

I did find it weird that someone would tell someone a story like that and not follow through with what they started.  Maybe we were on an episode of Punked! or Hidden Video.

Ebay: The Road to Successful Selling

We started selling things in November.  We have sold about 10 posters or more, but we were able to get 10 great ratings.  At this point, we are still at 10 items a month or $1,000.  I had been investigating an increase in our limit.  The site says you can apply through a link to get it increased.  Every time we tried the system would say there was a system error.  I started digging a little deeper.  What I found was that you can call and request an increase.  Angie called them.  Unfortunately, she was not allowed to talk to them.  I found that weird because she set up the account.  I'm guessing she did so under my name and did not realize that she had to put her own name as a user of the account.  I had to call. 

While I sat waiting for a movie sneak of Mortdecai, great movie by the way, I called Ebay.  They asked me a series of questions and then agreed to increase the limit.  I would have been happy with 20 and really happy with 50, but they increased it to 100.  I will be taking full advantage of this opportunity.  

If you are going to try this route for fundraising, here is some advice.  When you begin, you have 45 day intro period.  During this time, try to sell things to get ratings.  Be very efficient and make sure you wrap your items so that they are safe.  Once you establish your great ratings and are passed the 45 day period, then you can request an increase.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting Acclimated to International Adoption

In the beginning of our first international adoption, we attended a meeting that was an intro to the process.  It was put on by the adoption agency.  At the meeting, there were other families and some adoptive parents.  They went through the process, requirements and fees.  Then the families got up and told their stories.  It was informative.  We also got information about groups in Florida.

Later that year, we attended a New Year luncheon.  It gave us a chance to be around adoptive children and listen to the parents stories.  This is where we picked up some of the phobias of the families.  After going through these, you'd think China was dirt poor.  To families that make a lot of money, it may feel that way to them.  It does give you information so that you can prepare.  That's another reason I am glad we went through the foster process.  We are prepared for children with issues, sort of.

One thing that was very apparent to us was how happy the children were.  It made us want to adopt and we looked forward to the day when we would be holding our daughter.  Little did I know it would lead to daughters.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bracelet Update: Still Plenty Available! Bloggers standing by for your order!!!!!!!!******************

With our impending adoption coming at us, I just wanted to let people know that we still have plenty of bracelets.  They are $8.00 plus shipping.  We will ship international.  Any help would be appreciated.  We need the money quick.  It may be two months before we go.  Not only that, but we have had these bracelets for a while.  They are either expecting the money we owe or the product back.  We would rather send the money instead of the product.  Remember, not only does it help us, but it helps someone in Haiti.  Email:  Angie at or Sean at  Just put bracelet in the subject.  Thanks again for reading this.  PS:  Feel free to donate to Reece's Rainbow via our link if you would like to donate something.  Any amount would be appreciated.  The bracelet's are all different.  They do not all have the same colors as the one pictured.  With Valentines coming up, it would make a great gift for a loved one!

Still have plenty.  Hopefully I will be putting up an ad at work.  Maybe I can see if my fellow employees want to help.

Stupid Human Tricks: Dumb Questions we are asked

One of the worst things people ask adoptive parents is How much did you pay for your child?  It's almost like they think we went to a store and picked them out.  My response would probably be How much did you pay for yours?  They will say that they did not have to.  But, if you give birth to a child, there is a cost.  Your insurance probably covers the brunt of it.  So, my answer would be Similar to the costs you encurr during pregnancy.  Only ours are in the form of fees to cover expenses.  Someone has to take care of the child.

Another one would be, Where is their real parents? Or why did their real parents get rid of them?  Then, we have to let them know that we are the real parents, if you are asking about the birth parents, do the research.  There are many reasons.  Why to people in America throw their babies in the garbage?

Usually, they asked these things in front of the children.  My children are old enough to understand the questions.  Then you have to explain things to them.

LID(Log In Date): 1/20/2015

Yesterday, we received our log in date.  Next up is translation.  We also received our travel information.  This company does things differently than the other company we have used.  We get to choose places to stay and tourist locations.  Of course, we will be paying for it.  At least, we can research and see if there are places that might be interesting to visit.  This company recommends different hotels.  It is going to be an adventure.  The information they sent us had a time table of what to expect.  LID was listed as taking from 1 to 3 weeks.  We got ours in two days.  We could be going quicker than we expected.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adoption Loans and Grants

I will start this post with some discussion, but I will revisit it when I know more information, like the names of the companies.  We are trying really hard not to spend all our savings and/or borrow against retirement funds.  It is really hard to do.  Angie has been researching grants and they don't look to promising.  They want to see that you have spent all your money and only then will they assist you.  My problem with this is if you spend all your money and get a grant, how are you supposed to live when you get back?  If you are that desperate for money, adoption should not be on the top of your lists of things to do.   The other issue is that a lot of these grants want you to pay money for the chance to get one.  Does that strike you as being a little off?  Your going after a grant for money, but they are saying they want some to give some.  More likely is that once you pay, then you wait and finally get rejected, but they got your money.

Angie emailed me today and she has found a low interest loan.  To me, this is the better route to go.  We can borrow what we need and pay it back as we go.  There is not penalty for early payment.  Not only that, but some of our stock may mature to a nice number where we can sell it.  I will provide the name of the company in due time.  Right now, I don't know if we are going to need it.  It's good to keep options open.

It looks like Angie found another company.  This one offeres low interest Adoption loans.  It is being offered through SunTrust.  Not only that, but they do not penalize early payments.

Not many out there: A song about an international adoption

An Overworked System: Reasons why we do not Adopt In-Country

In the past, I have mentioned that we were foster parents.  Fostering can lead to adoption or so we thought.  We stayed in the system for about three or four years before deciding we could not continue doing this.  Kids come and go at all times of the day.  When you accept a child at 3 in the afternoon, they may not show until 1 in the morning.  That creates havoc with your next day, especially when both parents work.  

When it comes to the Department of Children and Families, they are overworked.  Most social workers have around 100 kids per person.  They have to keep tabs on their children.  Not only that, but they have more coming in everyday.  Then, there are court appearances, keeping up with the birth parents to make sure they are trying to get their children back, etc.  Believe me, these kids go back and forth.  Depending on their parents, they may play games with the system.  They will stay away for awhile and right before they terminate their rights, the parents return and claim that the worker is not assisting them.  Then, they will do some classes and then stop.  This can go back and forth for awhile.  Just think what kind of an effect this has on their children.  Mentally, it breaks them down.  The only fix is years of therapy.  

Like I have said in past posts, they will do whatever they have to to get a child placed in a foster home.  That is why foster parents need to come up with a list of questions to ask.  If you don't ask, they don't tell.  Once the child is in your house, it takes an act of God to get them to move the child.  We have even had to drop a child or two at DCF for issues that were too unstable for us to deal with.  
Looking at this, you might see why fostering is a challenge.  These same issues exist for adoptive parents.  Unless you have lots of money, you are not going to be adopting healthy babies.  Most of the kids are older.  A lot of them have been molested physically and/or mentally.  They will need therapy and possibly therapies.  Some will have illnesses they are born with or contracted from their situations.  Once they are your adoptive child, the parents have to find all the help that will be needed.  After you sign those papers, that child is yours.  The system that helped place that adoption is on to the next child.  They do not have many programs that assist with post adoption.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fundraising the downside

Fundraising is turning out to be quite difficult.  Here I thought we had a noble cause with which we were trying to raise money.  I see these fly by night go fund me stories and think people give to these causes, so a special needs child is a shoo in for assistance.  I was wrong.  People like to voice there acceptance of what we do, but secretly, I think they are saying, Not me, I'd never do that.  Not only that, but I have talked with some people who probably say, Why are they bringing "those" children to our country?  They are taking up our insurance and taking away from all the children who need adoption over here!"  I can say that I have adopted from America and one day, I will share why we don't continue.  Just remember, when you are trying to adopt like we have, don't be surprised if you are unable to raise money.  At least, the online auctions have been bringing in some money.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Package Update****************

Angie just let me know that the package has left Hong Kong.  Maybe we will get logged in this week.  Today has been busy.  Going through things to get rid of for yard sale and Ebay.  Hopefully we can get more listings that people will want to buy.  Current posters not doing so much.  I am trying to sale Beverly Hills Cop 3 for $5, one looker and a Batman Forever for $10, 4 looks.  Don't think they will sell.  This is the second listing.  Next up, a signed The Chamber by John Grisham and a signed The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

Sunday morning update 1/18, Package is in Beijing!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Roll Call! A blogging Game!

I see where many people read this blog from, but it only covers the country.  I challenge you to comment on this blog!  Put the state, village or wherever in the country you are from.  It would be interesting to see where everyone is from.  You know my area.  If not:

Orlando, FL,  Home of Disney World

Just to let you know, the comment button does work.  Thanks NC.

Bullying: And so it begins!

My daughters recently joined Instagram.  They have had Facebook accounts for a couple of months.  I did not have too much of a problem.  As with Facebook, Angie has an account to monitor what they post.  They have been adding people left and right.  I guess it makes them feel special to have a lot of friends.  I know they like it when people respond to what they post. (sounds familiar)

The elder of the two post a picture of herself with a skateboard.  Well, this so called friend, posted something like she is not pretty, etc.  We have told her to ignore it and drop the friend.  If any other posts, we told her to let us know.  This is ridiculous!  As I think back, in my days, bullies did not have access to social media.  If it keeps up, we will go to the school.  We might even do this.  Who knows how many people this person has harassed.  Why can't kids just leave people they don't like alone?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ways to Make Money: Stocks

If you are looking into making money to pay for an adoption that is in the future, stocks can be a way of doing it.  If you do go into it, do your research.  I have been burned on "great stocks" that ended up going bankrupt.  You have to look at the companies financials.  Does the company have the money to pay off their debts, if it had to happen instantly?  Companies floating large debts without liquid income are a disaster waiting to happen.  Do not use the advice of TV spokespeople.  Most of them have a vested interest in people investing.  One host said the other day to invest in Disney and guess what that day the market went down.  When he says to sell, that is the point I have held onto the stock as the price rose.  Just be careful, it's rigged for small investors.  I think only the big ones truly make lots of money.

We have some stock, but it's not time to sell.  I feel this year will cause their prices to rise.  I have entertainment stock.  There are some good movies coming out.  These are the types that will benefit our shares, I hope.

Another piece of advice I will give about stocks is to follow the news.  If you are interested in a company, bookmark them on a business like Yahoo and follow their stock ticker, example DIS for Disney.  I look at it everyday.  I do this to keep up with trends for the company and anything that might sink the stock.

Celebration has subsided: Stress takes Over

We have had our little victory.  Now we are back to stressing.  We will be stressing about how the package will be received in China.  Being optimistic, I feel there should be no problems.  They have already allowed us to adopt three times.  Being pessimistic, Angie worries that they will turn us down.  After that, will come the Will She Love Us phase.  Money will always be a stressor.  Fees will have to be paid.  A big portion is out of the way.

The problem that we seem to have is when we are trying to gather money, something breaks.  Then money that should go to the adoption goes that direction.  Now you know why we are fundraising.  If you were in this situation how would you raise money?  We have tried Go Fund Me.  I thought there would be warm hearted donations flowing in.  I see people give to guys who want to make Chili or a woman who was made fun of by ten year old bullies on a bus.  It's funny or sad, but I don't see people raising money for children that get bullied in worse ways.  No takers.

We are at the point of selling on Ebay.  This has be somewhat successful.  We are trying to sell bracelets.  If you are interested, please email Angie at, put Bracelets of Love in the subject.  The cost is $8.00.  $4 goes to us and $4 goes to a person in Haiti.  You will have to pay shipping.  We will ship internationally.  As for Reece's Rainbow, Elana's account has under $20.00.  That's a start.  Maybe we could make those numbers go higher?  I feel like a host of a charity marathon.  People are standing by for your calls. . .

Back to what I was asking.  How would you do it?  What could I do that would make a person want to give?  Suggestions welcome.   Email me at: or comment on the page.  Put Fundraiser in subject.  I don't know if this comment field works because I have only had some a couple of years ago.

Wish us luck!  We will be tearing the house up to get rid of things.  This will be part of the Spring Yard Sale.  Hopefully it will be as successful as the last one.  I've also got book reports to write.  Our agency said they will be sending a detailed packet as to what will happen next.    

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DTC: Dossier to China

Today was the day.  We just got an email to let us know that our DTC date is 1/14/2015.  The next step is LID.  LID stands for Logged in Date.  Thus begins the process.  When logging in, translation will happen.  After translation, it will go to review.  Hopefully, it will go quickly.

Greetings from Apopka, FL!

Still waiting on the news that our dossier is headed to China.  Now comes another wait time.  So, I thought I'd say hello to all my North American readers.  I'd also like to say hello to the readers from other countries.  I never thought many people would be interested in my blog, but to have people from around the world read this.  I am amazed.  I have had people from South America, Europe, Asia.  I guess the poles will not be tuning in.  I don't think penguins have Wi-Fi.  The only other continent is Africa.  Maybe one day.  Feel free to share.  I have a button on the site or you can just spread the work.  I hope you find these postings interesting and stirs you into adoption or travelling.  If you can't do that, think about how you might help the facilities that house orphans.  They always need the help.  The more kids we help in this world, the better it will be.

Next up on our agenda, is to get ready.  We have to update passports, clean out the house, and get the bags prepared.  Hopefully, we will not bring as much as we always do.  But I doubt that will happen.  We bring this many things on a two day trip on the coast.  We live an hour away from it.  If we bring things, hopefully it will be going to the orphanage.

Also, the picture that I changed to is not a stock photo.  This picture was taken on our last adoption.  I thought it turned out pretty good.  Just remember, when away from home, take pictures of everything.  Review them when you get home.  You dont have to develop all of them.  Just delete it.  At least you can choose.  When you get home, it will be too late to get those shots.

Ebay: Rise of a Seller

Today was a good day.  We have hit 10 positive reviews.  If you don't know, Ebay bases your selling on your reviews.  The better you do, the more, hopefully, they will allow you to sell.  Right now, we are held to 10 items per month.  I think we may request a raise in the number.  Due to our rating, they might allow us.  I wish we could say we are doing this to raise money for a charity, but that is strictly against the rules.  They will take down your sale if you try.  Although we are not making great amounts of money, the good reviews will help future sales.  Just hope I don't run out of good posters to sell.

Found out today, that you have to wait 45 days before you can request an increase to the amount of things Ebay will allow you to sell.  As soon as that gets in, maybe we can increase to 20 or 30 things.  I hope so because this is the only outlet that I am actually getting sales.  (See poster text if interested).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Last Thing. . .Then off to China

We just got a call from our agency.  They were thrilled with Angie's organization.  But, we were missing one thing.  We need one more reference.  Our agency said if we could get it done tonight, it will be on its way to China tomorrow.  She is frantically on the phone getting that last reference.  Wish us luck!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reece's Rainbow: What it is all about.

Thanks for whoever gave to our Reece's Rainbow account.  If you don't know or were afraid to ask about the link on the left side of the blog, I have gone to their site and copied what they are about:

The mission of Reece’s Rainbow is to advocate and find families for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants and promoting awareness through an online community, media communications, and other events.

If you want to give, be assured that it is going to a good cause.  We are happy that they assisting us with our adoption.  

This is Mia Xia Que: Our fourth adoption

When we entered the process for our fourth, we knew we would be looking for a child with special needs.  We tried to stay away from leg ailments.  We did this after our last adoption.  If you consider a leg difference, you have to be prepared with shoe issues.  Qin Qin requires two different sized shoes.  Stores will not break a pair of shows up.  They expect you to buy two pairs.  It can become expensive really quick.

Day in and day out, Angie was glued to the waiting children.  Depending on the need, they would go quickly when added to the page.  One day, Angie saw Xia Que.  They probably used a made up western name, I guess they think Chinese names might scare the parents away.  She looked like a baby doll.  At first, we wondered what her issue was.  She did not have visible ailments.  We found out it was here eyes.  They were crossed, sort of.  We had been through that with Kayla.  She had surgery and it was fine.  Their response for her was "She may or may not be able to see".

Before travelling, we sent her a goodie bag and a cake.  The ophanage did not tell us she did not eat solid foods.  We even got pictures of her in front or her cake.  Once getting her, our first thought was that she was a baby.  Feeding was from a bottle only.  Our guide would ask us about what we are feeding her and then would flip out when we said formula.  She said we should feed her solid foods.  Mia was not allowing solid foods in her mouth.

We took a leap, adopted her and we are happy to say she can see.  Her eyes are underdeveloped and she is delayed.  She did not even know how to eat.  When drinking a bottle, she just let it go down her throat.  She could not even suck on the nipple.  Over time, she has gain that ability.  She now drinks with a straw and is taking in ground foods.  We are slowly making the food thicker.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day of the Manatee: Getting together with adoptive parents

Yesterday was a fun day.  January in Florida can be cold.  These cold temps bring the Manatees into the springs.  They do this to keep warm.  We met with our Families with Children from China group.  We meet up and do things once a month.  It lets our daughters play and meet with girls like themselves.  We find its a way for them to be around peers of their own.  We tried Chinese School, but they met once a week and the kids did not really get into it.  When it costs as much as it did, we did not have the money to continue.

Being a part of a group like this can be therapeutic.  You get to talk with adoptive parents and exchange ideas and resources.  Don't expect to jell with everyone.  We still have that problem.  It seems like some families do everything together.  That attitude even comes from their children.  When ours go up to them, it's like a high school clique.  We tell the girls not to worry.  Overall, I am glad they are a part of this.

We arrived at Blue Springs State Park at around 11:00.  There were a line of cars waiting to get in.  Every year, people come to the springs to see the Manatees.  Yesterday was a good day to do it.  Once we got in, we met up with our group and ate some lunch.  After eating, we went along the spring to see the Manatees.  There were many Manatees.  Mia kept saying that they were Pumpkins.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Dossier's trip to China! (Agency then to China)

Our package arrived today.  Angie got it, made copies on the new things and prepared the Dossier.  It probably included our fee.  It is now off the the agency to review and prepare to send to China.  Once there, they will register it and then translate.  After that, I don't know what will happen.  I hope it will be expedited.  We'll have to wait.  Guess we need to put everything into overdrive.  Need to get the house ready, sell things, etc.

The Westernizing of China. We'd like to introduce Donuts!

Saw another headline today.  It looks like Dunkin Donuts is going to China.  If its anything like Baskin Robbins, it will be expensive.  I guess it will be interesting.  I'd rather go to a Chinese bakery to get sweet breads.  Our last trip we bought two cakes that were really good.  I think its better to try local cuisine versus eating like I do at home.  I will tell you, not everything has the same taste.  They try to make it fit the Chinese tastes.  Sometimes that can be good and sometimes not.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What Sean Should Write about Posting

I am coming up with future posts.  I plan to give more Chinese tourist posts with pictures.  I will continue to add to my dream movie.  I already have some more actors that would fit additional adoption parents, as well as social workers.  Do you want to know more about foster care/domestic adoption?  I can give more reasons on why we do not do it anymore.  How about reasons on why I want to adopt so many kids?  Let me know.  I am writing this to be entertaining, but also informative.  If you go through some of these process, it helps to know what others went through.  When we started, we did not have many avenues to look for information.  We had books, but you can only read so many adoption books without rolling your eyes and saying "not this again".  If you want to see something, please let me know.  If not, I will continue with some parks we visited, etc.  Again, thanks for tuning in.  I will also cut some of the advertising.  It is mainly for Amazon, but most people do not care for much of that.  They are not paying much to me.  I will advertise for the other blogs.  Who knows, I might create one for movies!  It may not happen.  I see movies with film bloggers and I get tired of listening to them, so I can guess people may not care what I have to say about them.

Next Step Coming Fast. Tracking your package

Angie informed me that our package is on the way.  It should be here tomorrow.  So, we need to scrounge up our agency fee.  It will be one of the bigger payments to send with our package.  Sold some posters, but not as many as I hoped for.  Sometimes, it feels like a losing proposition.  I guess people don't care much for movie posters.  I don't think baseball cards, beanie babies or comics sell any better.  Word to the wise, collecting is for suckers.  I fell for it.  The only people that make money are the producers and early sellers.  At least the posters did not cost me anything.  I wish I had stayed away from beanie babies.  I, at least, thought baseball cards might have some values.  "Collectors" on a Facebook site said that cards during the 80's and 90's were over produced.  Well, I had the luck of growing up during that period.  Some of my better cards are for drug users or performance drug abusers.  Luckily, I do have some older cards.  The only problem is where to sell them.  Ebay is like a garage sale.  People want something for nothing.  Dealers are only looking to buy for the lowest amount and then sell at the highest.  Any suggestions?  I'm open to them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Show me the Money! Unexpected (or feared) Increases in Fees

This is the part of an adoption that I dread.  When you are in the waiting process, there is always a chance that one of the many players is going to change its rates.  Yesterday, we received an email from our agency that China or CCCWA has increased its fee for processing.  We now have to pay $500 more.  I wish the paperwork was in the process already.  Since it is still on its way, we have to scrounge yet again.  It's almost like they are trying to discourage people from adopting.  That's life.  Its happened before and it will happen again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It did what! An Orphan story that made me sad.

On the way home today, I heard a story about adoption in Korea.  It was on NPR.  They have created a law in Korea that says that parents giving kids up for an adoption must sign a registry.  Due to the stigma attached with the process, people are starting to abandon the children at a higher rate.  According to the story, people in Korea do not like to adopt children that they do not know their family history.  If they do adopt, the mother to be hides a pillow to look pregnant and then a few days later the adopted child is brought out.  Korea is really strict about adopting outside of the country.  I think it is sad.  It is the children who are punished the most.  The same thing happens in China.  I read a story where China was going to stop giving orphans certain sir names.  Those names identified the children as being an orphan through their life.

Why seek donations? Healthcare's effects on International Adoption

As I have written, adopting internationally can be expensive.  Unlike giving birth to a child, health care does not cover any of our costs.  We are responsible for fees, airfare, food, and donations.  We have paid for our last adoptions.  This time, we are down to one job.  We have the money in savings and the things we are trying to sell.  But, they are not selling as quickly as we had planned.  If this were a pregnancy situation, we'd have insurance to pay for a portion and we would be responsible for the rest.  The people we'd have to pay would probably work with us.  International adoption does not work that way.  I wish it did.

We even tried fundraisers for the past adoptions.  This time, I decided to sell my collectibles.  The child is more important than the items.  Plus, they will hopefully make someone happy.  I just keep them in a closet.  If you are reading this and feel in your heart that what we are doing is good, think about donating.  It really is going to make a difference in a child's life.  At the rate my wife is going, it may help more than one.  As for Elana, I plan to keep posting after we get back to show her progress.  Usually, these kids thrive when they have a family.

I know, you are probably thinking, why doesn't his wife go get a job?  She had one.  They did not like the fact that she wanted to raise a family.  They thought she should put her job first, then family.  If you agree with that sentiment, I'm sorry.  We feel family comes first.  I'd rather look back on all the good we have done for our children, than all the good I did for an employer.  If I had not said this before, my wife suffers from a rare disorder.  As she gets older, she gets tired.  By staying out of work, she can rest up to the time the children come home and then take care of their needs.

Talked to Angie about the adoption today.  It looks like it could be a turn around of about three months.  As soon as it goes to China, it depends on how quickly they review our file.  They are supposed to expedite our records.  Stress level just went up.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.  I would love to see something.  I wonder if people are really reading what I write or did you just stumble upon this and did not mean to be here.  Either way, let me know.  Feel free to click on the Amazon links.  Even if you don't buy anything, they may see the traffic I can send them.  I just want to see that people are on the other side of the click that is registered.  Right now, I feel that someone has programmed bots to click in.  I would not know why, I don't pay for this or get any revenue from clicks.  I have also added other blogs that might interest you.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Movie of Our Lives. The Unbelievable casting of a Made up Movie

Have you ever seen those movies that are based on someones life or exploits?  I would love for this blog to become something more.  What I am trying to do is educate people as well as entertain.  Our exploits have had drama, comedy and some adventure.  Who would I see doing this?  Adam Sandler.  Before you turn off and stop reading, let me explain.  I love his movies, especially The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, and Blended.  Not only do they exhibit comedy, but these movies have something more to them.  I could see Adam Sandler as myself and Drew Barrymore as Angie.  Once over in China, I would love to see an actress like Ziyi Zhang or Michelle Yeoh as our guide.  We were fortunate to have the same person around on all three adoptions.  As for the other families, they could have any actors.  This would be my dream.  Putting this concept into any ones hands in Hollywood is kind of impossible.  I guess if my exploits were published and made a splash, we could see it on the big or little screen.  Since this is written by a male, I guess I would not see a Lifetime movie.  That is unless they change to voice to Angie.  As for the children, I liked what Sandler does with children in his movies.  That would be my daughters.  They all have a sense of humor.

I saw Inherent Vice the other day.  I thought it was a great movie.  It is sort of a mix of The Big Lebowski meets Chinatown.  One actress really stood out.  If there was a movie of our story, Hong Chau would play the owner of the agency we used for our adoptions.  Even though we never met the owner, my movie could have that interaction.  In Inherent Vice, she plays Jade.  She really stands out in a cast of great actors.

Another casting in my make believe film.  Kevin James and Melissa McCarthy as one of the adoptive families that goes over  to China.  They remind me of a couple of the families.  Of course, I'd have to have Jackie Chan playing the guy I thought I saw in the elevator.

The music for my film can be a mixture of 80's music that Sandler likes to use in his films, but once in China, I think they should introduce audiences to Asian music.  Jay Chou would definitely be on that list, maybe Fiona Fung, and even some Kpop.  I mention that because on one of our trips, I saw a video or two that was actually a Kpop group.  That was one of the issues I had with the Karate Kid remake.  They did not play Chinese music.  It gives the impression that everyone in China listens to western music.  I can tell you, when we went into a store or mall, I do not remember hearing western music.  Of course, Neil Diamond's America will have to be in it.  They have played it on every plane we have gone on.

Casting for the Customs agent from the first adoption would be Eugene Levy.  He seems to fit the person perfectly.  At one point, the agent even tried to show me how cheap pirated things can be.  He bent the box and I guess was expecting it to snap.  However, it did not.  He tossed it aside and just told us it is cheap.  I think it would have been interesting to see what his reaction would have been if I had produced the receipt from Wal-Mart.  He would have told me that it is in Mandarin and that he could not read it, so pirated.

Patton Oswalt could play a person at the American Consulate.  If you don't know who he is, he is on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the voice of Remy on Ratatouille.  Mentioning Agents, I think the Ming Na-Wen should have a role in the movie, maybe one of the families.  Rob Schneider needs to be in this.  He should be at the airport for each departure saying "You can do it!"

I have to fit some more actors in this.  From Fresh off the Boat, Randall Park could play some kind of guide.  Preferably our third guide.  That adoption, we had three different guides, but we could roll all into one.  One thing we see when we have adopted and will be doing again, is that the families like to bring their children that they have adopted.  I think the kids from Fresh off the Boat could play some, but they would have to get some female children.  A lot of the adoptions are girls.  I figure my daughter would want a role in this.  I would have little power once my story sold.  I can make it a request.  She is a child people remember.

Exchanging Money. Banks in China

When you go to China, you have to change your money from Dollars to Yuan.  Most countries require an exchange.  You can do this in two to three places.  I think it can be done at the airport.  I can't remember.  It can be done at your hotel and finally there is the bank.  When you go in, you see a guard.  You have to stand in line or pull a number.  When you exchange, you need to bring your passport.  Just remember to keep up the with exchange rate, so that you will know how much you are spending in your dollar amount.  I remember seeing the totals of $100 and thinking that was a lot of money.  It ended up being $12.50 in US dollars.  But when we got the pizza, it really was around $17 dollars.  As well as the Hamburger that cost $20.  They were charging in HK.  Hong Kong has its own currency.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Elana's Page at Reece's Rainbow. Tax Deductible Donation Site

I have now placed a link to Elana's donation page.  If you are interested and want a tax deduction, please help.  Believe me, we want to help this child and many more.  I feel that after this adoption, I can probably talk Angie into starting some kind of charity that helps children in orphanages.  I joked about it last time.  I told Angie she should join AA (Adoptions Anonymous).  I look at my daughters and see them thrive.  I know we are doing the right thing.  Hopefully, we can pass that on to our children to help others.  They already say they would like to go to China to adopt when they get older.

Procrastination by a KO (Knockout)!

Yesterday, I was determined to get things started.  I pulled out boxes and went through them.  Some papers went to recycling, but others needed shredding.  Then I went through a box of books.  I managed to convince myself that I needed to get rid of some of them.  Slowly, I started slowing down.  I hung a group of pictures, moved some candles.  At this point, I hit the wall.  The computer called my name.  I kept checking Ebay, hoping for more of the posters to sell.  I even asked Angie if we had gotten any emails asking about posters or bracelets.  By the way, all posters still available and we have plenty of bracelets.  No replies.  We only had one bid.  The problem with Ebay is people wait until the last day to bid.  Sometimes, the last second.  I had a one poster sell for .99 due to that kind of bidding.  Word of advice, try to start your starting bid close to what you are willing to accept.  By this time, it was time to clean up for the day.

I did get some news yesterday.  I will be able to add our Reece's Rainbow donation page.  If you want to assist or think what we are doing, please give.  This money is going to our upcoming fees and travel.  I only wish there was a way to do all the paperwork and then fees in a no interest loan payoff.  Better yet, I wish that we were well off and money was not an issue.  Then, stress would not be making my hair go grey.  I looked at a picture in the beginning of the adoptions and it was black.  Now, it's 50% grey.  I'm not even that old.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Procrastination: The problems of a middle aged Man

I have been off for a couple of days.  I want to start getting rid of things.  When I gather things, something always seems to deter me.  Yesterday, I found a box of comics that I collected in the 90's.  I started looking them up on Ebay to see if there was any value.  By the time I was done with that, the day was ending.  Today, I will try again.  Procrastination is my worst enemy.  That and I refuse to get rid of things.  When you start this process, you try to think of everything you can sell to make money to pay for the fees.  To me, the child is more important than the things I have.  Now, we prepare for yard sale #2.  Things of value will be sold on Ebay and other sites.  Yard sales do not attract people wanting to spend money.  Wish me luck!  It's time to clear the house.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Pat Down. The joys of going through airport security on the other side of the world

When my wife goes through airport security, she always needs a pat down.  In America, they mainly do the pat down.  This is because she has to wear leg braces, due to her disorder.  In Chengdu, we did not have our guide.  This was a first.  Usually, on all the adoptions, we had a guide nearby.  If you go over expecting someone to know English, you will be surprised at how so few know it.

We checked our bags in at the front and started to head towards the security check.  Every airport has one.  We stood in line waiting.  When it came to be our turn, we put everything on the metal detector.  Kayla had to have her wheelchair check.  After things went through, I gathered everything.  I had to get Mia, Kayla and all of our luggage.  We are not the kind of family that travels light.  We keep saying we will one day do it, but I have as yet to see it.

Angie walks through.  Even with braces showing they started to look around for what to do next.  A couple of them speak and then a female guard comes up.  She escorts her towards another room.  I am left with all the belongings.  Angie says she will be back.

After about a half hour to 45 minutes, I her what sounds like my name over the intercom.  At this point, I am getting worried and frustrated.  To go up to someone meant that I had to move everything.  So, I started adding bags around my neck.  I give Mia to Kayla who is sitting in the wheelchair.  We slowly make our way to a guard.  I ask him if my name was called.  He had a blank look on his face.  I ask again.  Blank stare.

I guess it was not me they were calling.  We moved a little, but not far.  I had too much to go anywhere.  Finally, Angie calls out.  It turns out that she had to do a thorough search.  The went into a break room.  All the guys in the room had to leave.  The female guard did the search.  I don't know if things would have been different with a guide, but it happens.  No reason to get mad at anyone.  Angie just laughed it off.

Adopting Older Children. Is there a documentary about it?

When we were considering adopting an older child, I wish there had been a good documentary to watch on the subject.  We had read books and even talked to a therapist.  We knew about things to expect and maybe warnings about it.  I'm still glad we did it.  I want to do it again.  We had even asked about an 11 year old, but the agency did not think we made enough money.  Goes back to my last book talking about adopting internationally only being for the rich.

So, this morning I woke up and turned on the Kindle.  I wanted to watch something on Netflix.  I perused the titles looking for something new.  My eyes found "The Dark Matter of Love" directed by Sarah McCarthy.  I read what it was about and it struck my interest.  It is a documentary about a family who adopts a group of children from a Russian orphanage and learns what it is to be a family.  It is a really good film.  We have been there and done that.  Even if it took longer, we still have come together as a family.  I think watching  it would have helped.  I would suggest it to anyone thinking about adopting older children.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

This is Elana. The future Child of the Fahey Family

I would like to introduce you to Elana.  She is from Harbin, China.  We hope to go to China in the spring, but that will depend on how fast the paperwork goes through the system.  We believe that she is blind.  We will not know if it is correctable until she gets home.  We are willing to accept her the way she is.

How to create Fundraising by having a Blog Yard Sale!

Update**** These posters are still available.  So are the  bracelets.

Raising money for an adoption is hard work.  Donations are great and would be appreciated.  I will be trying to add a link for Reece's Rainbow.  They are a non profit that takes in donations that are tax deductible.  We have alternate ideas.  My wife and I worked ten years in movie theaters.  Over this time, we collected many posters from the 90's.  All are original movie posters.  The money that is raised is for our upcoming fees.  The posters I will list today will be $10 plus shipping.  We can ship international, also.  If you get multiple posters, we can ship them in the same container.

In addition to this, we are selling bracelets.  The cost is $8.00 plus the shipping.  These bracelets are made in Haiti.  $4.00 goes to the person who made the bracelet and $4.00 will go to us.  You will need to pay for shipping.  We accept Paypal.  We are hoping to sell some of these posters and bracelets.

Please contact Angie at:    if interested.