Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Complete Book of International Adoption, My new reading material

Angie informed me that some of the books I read were for fun.  I wish I could say they were fun reading, but it just seems like watching the same show over and over.  Sure I might find a shred of information that I did not know, but it does not happen often.  I really don't like it when the author gets judgemental about domestic over international adoption.

The Complete Book of International Adoption by Dawn Davenport is different.  At least from the introduction, the author is trying to assure me that it is this way.  I like that.  She says that she is not going to vilify one form of adoption over another.  She feels that all adoption is good and that it is a win win situation.  The child gets a family and the parents get a child.  I agree with that.  I will update this one in future blogs.  I hoped to be impressed with what she has to offer.  Hopefully, this will be the last book I have to read.

Friday, February 27, 2015

10,000 Views and Counting

I hit a milestone today.  I have had over 10,000 views.  I'd like to thank everyone.  I hope to continue providing information and entertainment as my journey continues.  Please feel free to continue reading, make comments, share with your family and friends and if possible donate to Elana's Reece's Rainbow page or use our Amazon link to buy something.  Even though it seems like I am running out of things to talk about, I always seem to come up with something.  I have not even started in on movie reviews.  I could, but I attend movie sneaks with "movie bloggers".  I don't want to sound like them.  If you'd like me to say things about upcoming movies let me know.  If not, I won't go there.

Also,  I have started another adoption book.  Our agency wants three books read.  I found one on their list.  I will introduce this weekend.  So far, the intro has my intrigued.

Elana The Birthday Girl

Elana's birthday is coming up.  She will be in China.  Like Mia, we are going to send her a care package and cake.  Hopefully, she will be able to eat it.  Mia was not eating solid foods.  As far as we know, Elana does.  The agency also warned us that anything we send could become community property.  That is something you should consider when adopting internationally.  If you send things to your child, they may not have it when the adoption finalizes.  I know Qin Qin did not come with much.  Michelle only had the clothes on her back and they asked for those, also.  We try to bring extra things with us, but due to the airlines, we are limited to what we can bring.  If you exceed the weight limit, you will pay.  Not only that, but the weight/bag limits are smalling in country.  Check your countries limits before travelling.

During Mia's celebration, we did give them a camera to take pictures.  That was neat.  We have pictures of her caretaker and some of the children.  Maybe one day she will ask to see them.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Living in China

I just saw a story on Facebook from CCTV or another Chinese affiliate.  The story concerned a family from Tennessee who moved to China.  They both found jobs and they have two kids.  I have always thought that would be a neat idea.  Moving to a new country, learning the language, experiencing the culture and travelling to new places.  It all sounds great, but Angie would never go for it.  One can dream.

Another Weekend Approaches with no news

We are nearing the end of another month.  We have not heard anything.  We might get some news soon.  I don't know how long it takes for them to translate a dossier.  We are still gathering things for the yard sale.  Our house looks like a hoarder house.  The good part of this is that it will be going to the yard sale and then donated.  I will be taking pictures of posters so that I can be ready when Ebay allows me to list without insertion fee.  I will list the best of the best.  That is kind of hard because posters I think should sale are not and ones that I don't do.

Ebay. . .Don't overlook things due to a Minor Blemish

I have been selling Shawshank Redemption posters.  The demand has been high.  A couple of weeks ago, I was going through the remaining posters and I noticed that I had one damaged poster.  The edges were worn and there was a minor tear in the side.  I was not going to sell it.  I kept selling the others for a decent price.  So, I decided I would try, but I would list the defects.  If you do try to sell something with damage, make sure to spell out the damage and/or takes pictures.  I would have been happy with $10 or $20.  I listed the poster and even started it at .99.  I did not have much hope.  Within a day or two, I had a bid of $14.00.  Yesterday the bidding ended.  It went for above $50.00.  If you think something with a little damage will not sell due to that damage, try anyway.  You won't know until you try.  You might be pleasantly surprised.  Just remember to spell out the damage.  You do not want a complaint that you were trying to deceive the customers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What do you mean my daughters don't look like Me?

It's funny when I go to stores with my daughters.  The other day we went to Sam's.  They give out samples to encourage buying pre-made food items.  We went up to the person.  My daughters were in the lead.  They asked the woman for a sample.  I was right behind them.  She says that she can not give them a sample without their parent and turns to me to give me a sample.  I say, I am their father.  I think it's funny.  If they knew them, they'd see the resemblance by how they act.

It's sort of like when I go car shopping.  I look, but I let Angie deal with the haggling.  The salesmen always turn to me when it is time to talk business.  I just throw up my hands to say talk to here, she controls the money.  I don't like dealing with it and it's fun to see them squirm.

That would make a great set up for a scene from the non-produced movie.  The girls could be accompanying us on one of the adoptions.  When we get off the plane to go through customs, they could stop them and demand to see their parents.  When we say we are their parents, they say no you aren't.  We'd show them pictures and other items.  In real life, they'd probably need even more proof, like our adoption papers.

Elana's Fund and Ebay advice

We were sitting down to Fresh off the Boat, a very funny show, and Angie happened to look up Elana's fund.  It has been around 29.00 for a couple of months.  We had all but given up hope that people would give to this.  Low and behold, it had gone up to $223.40.  Since we do not know who gave, I'd just like to thank whoever did.  It really means a lot to us.  Like I have written international adoptions are currency intensive.  Not only that, but she will need medical assistance when she gets home.  Feel free to use the link off to the left if you'd like to assist.  Every dollar will help.  Thanks again.

Getting back to Ebay.  We sent out our third poster.  Hopefully, this one will not get damaged.  I double tubed the poster.  The outer tube is stronger than the inner one.  I have learned another thing that I would like to share.  The post office does not refund shipping.  Why?  They damage the package, but keep their fees.  I just don't get it.  I think from now on, we will value our posters or whatever we sell with the shipping.  Then, we will offer "free shipping".  Instead of $5.00 for the poster and $7.00 for the shipping, in the US, we will just say $12.00 with "free shipping".  That way, if the PO damages the poster, we can get the value of the posters back through the claim.  If you do sell on Ebay and use the PO, you might want to consider this approach.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Post Office Shell Game

The other day, we got an email from an Ebay customer.  Their poster had been damaged in shipping.  We had to file a claim and send another.  The claim was paid, minus the shipping.  We eagerly waited for a reply that the customer received their poster.  It came yesterday.  Another poster was damaged in shipping.  This time it looks like the post office stamped it shipped damaged.  That poster went to the PO undamaged.  If it was shipped damaged, it was done after the clerk brought the package in the back.  Now, we have to send another and file another claim.  This time we are going to check if the shipping is going to cost.  The way it looks is I ship the poster, they damage it and refund some of the money.  If this happens again, we are going to be out the value of one poster due to the shipping.  Stay tuned.

More news.  The post office paid for the claim.  We shipped out another, at our cost, but at least we were compensated for it.  Hopefully, the customer gets an undamaged poster.  We'll know in a day or so.

Cheng Du Orphanage . . . Our first time in an Orphanage

Orphanages have not always been on our list of places to visit.  We had an opportunity to visit on our first adoption.  I think there was a cost involved or/and a two hour drive over bumpy roads.  Our daughter had just gone through that journey.  We did not not think it would be right to make her go through it again.  We declined.  I wish we had gone.  It would have given us the chance to see the town/village my daughter came from.  It would have been more rural than the city.

The second adoption gave us a chance to see the orphanage from the outside.  It was in the city.  Due to swine flu, they did not want outsiders coming into the orphanage.  They were scared we would bring swine flu in and infect the children.  The orphanage looked like a mix between a dorm and medical facility with a big fence surrounding the building and a guard post to let people in and out.  To the side of the building was a canal.

The third adoption gave us our first visit inside an orphanage.  We were the only family in our group.  We got in our van and headed to the orphanage.  This building was not as secured as the one in Beijing.  They must have had reasons for the security at that one.  We pulled in the driveway.  Again it looked like a dorm/medical building.  We saw a playground to the right or where we were parked.

In the building, we noticed it was cold.  We did not see any of the children.  We did see where they slept as we made our way to the director's office.  In the office, it was warm.  I would guess that the heat is probably only in the rooms where people are.  That way they can save on expenses.  Once there, she asked us some questions and answered ours.  At the same time they were getting Mia.  We were expecting a three year old to come walking up with a nanny.  Instead, the nanny had what looked like a baby.  It was Mia.  She was small and scared.  She was crying.  I think that is a given for the young ones.

When we left the building, we saw our old guide with another family.  We said hello and walked on to our van.  As we were getting in, a group of kids walked out of the building to go play on the playground.  We waved to them and they did the same smiling.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Celebrating Chinese New Year Florida style

This is one of the big holidays in China.  On our last adoption, we got to see some of the decorations before they came down.

 From what I have read, it is celebrated for 15 days in China.  Some areas are doing that in snow.  Guess Elana is playing in the cold weather, that is if they allow the children to go out when it is cold.  I know when we had Michelle as a baby, we were constantly told that she was not covered enough.  It was not even that cold.

Today, we celebrated with our Family with Children from China group.  They rented a hall and we had a buffet with music.  We like for the girls to do these activities because it give them a chance to be with girls like themselves.  I only wish they would try to make friends.  As they get older, they seem to be getting bored and don't really care to make friends.  It's kind of funny, they always start out shy and quiet.  In the end, they are running around and playing with the other kids.  Our littlest was not feeling good.  She stayed in mommy's lap.  Hopefully, she is not coming down with anything serious.

The festivities usually include karaoke, dancing to music like the Chicken Dance and other line dance music.  Near the end, they do a dragon dance with the children.  I feel like the girls had some fun.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ebay: Size does matter and the little things

We got a message from someone about one of the posters.  I had forgotten to place the size on the posting.  When you use Ebay to sell things, make sure you include all pertinent facts.  I usually would include the size as part of the heading, but overlooked it.  I also have a Shawshank that I am selling.  I could not just list this one as new.  The poster had a little wear and a tear mark.  I included pictures and explained that.  If you try to pass something off as new, you will pay for it in the end.  They buyer can demand a refund, put negative feedback, etc.  You don't want negative feedback.  Sometimes, you can counter their complaint, but it could go down to he said she said.  Who will be believed?  Probably the person with the higher status.  I try to treat people the way I want to be treated.  When I wrap my posters, I take care to wrap it.  I know what shipping can do to these posters.  We had many a poster get damaged in shipping.  That was not just USPS.  It happened with all the carriers.

I also have hit a limit.  I started with 10 and was upped to 100.  The only catch is the the first 100 listings are free.  After that it is .30 per listing.  You'd think that would only be for posters that sell.  It is for all listings and relistings.  I thought they would not count relistings.  Now I have to wait until Sunday March 1 to list again.  Guess I will gather posters that have greater chances of selling first.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Visting a Buddist Temple in Guangzhou (Now with Pictures!)

In Guangzhou, there are multiple Buddhist Temples.  On our second adoption, our guide set up a visit to one of them.  I believe the name is Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.  I might be wrong, but the pictures on the web look familiar.  We has already seen one in Beijing, but this time, we were to receive a blessing from one of the monks.

We loaded up our bus/minivan and drove to the temple.  Guangzhou is a big city.  They have multi level highways that cut through the city.  If a city had problems with transportation due to growth, they should go visit to see how this populated city handles its transportation needs.

We pulled up to a walled in compound.  Around the outside of the temple are various shops.  Our guide took care of our entrance fees, while we waited at the opening.  Once done, we entered the compound.

Inside we see a well kept garden and lots of statues.  People are going around with incense and giving offerings of food, money, etc.  It was interesting to watch.

This day was not one of Kayla's better days.  She was keyed up.  She was not listening.  We had placed her Elmo leash on her to make sure she did not run off.  She did not want anyone to hold it.  At this point, she starts swinging the leash at the plants.  We told her to stop.  Then, she went after a tree.  She started pulling down branches.  At this point, a woman starts yelling at her in Mandarin or Cantonese.  Angie and I pull her away from the try.  We try to explain to Kayla that the tree could represent a past life.  I don't think she cared.

After this encounter, we go to one of the temples and sit.  A monk starts to say a prayer an blesses our children.  Some did not participate.  I did not mind.  We ended with pictures with the monk.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ebay: When do I get charged to list something?

I told you I'd keep you up to date on our Ebay selling adventure.  Today/yesterday, I started seeing insertion fees of .30.  Why am I being charged?  I thought it was up to 100 items sold.  I found out that they only allow 50 to 100 free listings.  That is whether it sells or not.  I have hit my limit.  I have to wait until March or pay .30 per listing.  That could add up quickly.  Now I have to wait.  We do get evaluated in about 2 days.  I don't think much will happen.  Not many of our sales have left feedback.  We are going to try and encourage our customers to leave feedback.  The more you get the better it is.

To be a top seller, I have to sell 100 things in a month and have great feedback, etc.  So the evaluation did not change anything.  Now its time to take lots of pictures and prepare for the next listing of posters.

Chinese School. . .Keep up with your child's heritage and language

When out daughters were 7 and 4, we decided it was time to start Mandarin lessons.  We found a Chinese school in the Orlando area and asked if our children could attend or more like if they were old enough to attend.  Kayla loved it.  She would participate and would try to retain what she learned.  Michelle, on the other hand, would have good days and bad days.  On the bad days, she did not want to participate.

Every Saturday, they would go for a couple of hours.  The pace of learning was slow.  It was gaged to the younger children.  So, there was a lot of repetition.  They mainly went over numbers, colors and other words.

Unfortunately, the school was not free.  We had to pay $100 per child per semester.  When we got Qin Qin, it was just too much.  Then, they expected the parents to go over the material during the week with the children.  That is easier said then done.  What you see in Mandarin is not how you pronounce it.  An example would be Qin dynasty.  In America, we'd say the Q with a kw sound.  In Mandarin it sounds more like ch, I'd say tch but that is hard to sound out.  We heard it in China, since our daughter's name is Qin Qin.  At this point, we could not continue.  So, we stopped.

Going off on a tangent, Ping Pong Playa is a great film set around a Chinese school.  My daughters love it.

Now we have Rosetta Stone.  I have listened to it.  I sort of like it.  It's a lot of repetition.  They computer grades how you say it.  I have to go back, but I think I may retain it if I do it every day.  I just wish I could do like the Matrix and plug the language into my brain and instantly know it.  Maybe one day!

As for heritage, we did some things in the school.  We now just try to find events around our city.  This week, they will be celebrating the New Year.  Later in the year, they have a dragon boat festival.  Of course, we have the Chinese group we still do things with.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Youth Gone Wild . . A look Back while looking at our Current Situation

My daughters wanted to go out to ride scooters/bikes.  We hesitantly let them but told them to stay near the house.  As I am saying this, my mind goes back to when I was a child in California.  My brother and I were latchkey kids.  Our mom worked to support us.  We had gone through most of the babysitters in town.  They didn't like it when we would just take off and go home or elsewhere.

Growing up in Southern California was fun.  During summers and days off from school, we'd go all over the town.  One thing I'd love to do was see movies.  I'd catch a bus or walk to the theater.  It was 10 to 15 miles away, but I wanted the money.  I remember going to see Indian Jones, Star Wars, Top Secret, Poltergeist, etc.  They were all great.  At least it was to a child.  When I rent some of these nowadays, I wonder what I was thinking.  I stand corrected. I have been informed it was more like 5 miles, but to child 5 miles is more like 10 to 15 miles.

We were also close to the beach.  I don't remember swimming by ourselves, but we'd ride our bikes there.  Near the beach were the train tracks. I'd put money on the tracks for the train to run over.  Along the track, there was a bridge with a catwalk.  We climb on the catwalk and wait for a train to pass over.

Sometimes, we'd go to the Boy's Club.  It gave us a safe place to go, when we'd stay.  We were able to go on field trips to theme parks and baseball games.  It was a fun place.  I wish I had that for my girls.  In our area, they are limited to certain communities and always are too full to take in more children.

I know now I would not let my girls do what we did then.  I even think we were pretty lucky.  This was the same time when Adam disappeared in Florida.  I remember seeing a movie called Without a Trace about a missing child.  There were sick individuals out there.  Not only that, but the downtown area had X-rated movie theaters.  We'd pass these places as we journeyed around the town.  In our current times, its hard to trust anyone.  I guess it was like that back then too.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Amazon Link . . .Click on the link at the top of the page to buy through Amazon

You have seen it.  The Amazon link at the top of the page and bottom is part of our fundraiser.  You don't have to buy what is showing, but if you have something to buy, please use this link to do it.  If you buy something, a small percentage does go to us.  All you have to do is click on the link and the find what you want to buy.  I did it just last week.  We bought Infernal Affairs on Blu ray.  This is the film The Departed was remade from.  I did just what I explained.  Clicked on the link and went to the movie I wanted.  I wish it were a per click payment, but they do not pay for that.

The Walking Dead. . .A Parable of Life?

Watched an episode of the Walking Dead last night.  Great show.  The main character talks to another that he realizes the they too are the walking dead.  If you look at it, it could be true.  We  all have this same routine.  On the show the the dead just wander the earth looking for things to eats.  We do the same everyday.  Of course, we sleep and have children(some do) and we don't eat them.  It's interesting to think of life like that.  I guess that is why we adopt.  If not for adoption, our lives would be boring.  We'd sleep, eat and work everyday until we are dead.  What would we have to show for it?  Nice house, car you can't take with you when you die, and possessions.  I'd rather get rid of things and start living.  I don't want to be tied down to things.  I'd rather be helping out children.  At least, I would able to look at them with my old eyes and know I made a difference in someones life.

Just remmber this as your days go by.  What kind of legacy will you leave and will your life just be a set of mundane routines, repeated over and over until you die?  I'd rather take the road less travelled.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ebay: What happens when your package gets Damaged by the Post Office?

Today, we got an email that one of the posters we sold was damaged in shipment.  Since we shipped priority, it has insurance coverage.  We did a little research and guess who has to file the claim, the shipper.  Luckily, the person will be able to get another, but I can't do this every time.  It looks like we have to file the claim and wait for the PO to pay it.  That is unless they find some fault with the packing.  If the tube was damaged, it's not our fault.  Stay tuned, I will keep you updated.

So, the person sent us a picture.  It looks like the post office stepped on or put a heavy item on top of it.  The poster has a little scarring.  We have agreed to send them another.  This time I will use something to make sure it does not get damaged.  I am thinking about getting some PVC piping and cutting it down to poster size and rolling the poster to insert it.  Then placing the plastic tube in the poster tube.  That way if it gets damaged, it will only affect the outer tube.  We will have to file a claim to get or money back for the damaged poster.  Hopefully, this will not happen all the time.

We had a customer from Australia who was worried about his poster.  We packaged it as careful as we could and held our breath.  He got his poster and it was not damaged.  Thank goodness!  I don't have many of the posters they bought.

We have filed a claim on line.  Don't know what to expect, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.  Sent out a replacement for the damaged poster.  I won't be able to do that every time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Norway Photography/Blog Contest

Yesterday, I was checking my email.  Something caught my attention from Visit Norway.  The email asked if like travelling, taking pictures and writing about it.  From this blog, what would you think my answer is?  It hit me instantly.  But the downside.  It's a popularity contest.  You have to do a minute video, post it on their site and encourage your friends to vote for you.  I have not decided if I will do it.  If I do, I will try to post the URL  here.  I'd love to do this.  It's two weeks in Norway.  You have to take pictures and write about your experience.  I hope you will have my back if I decide to got through with this.  Stay Tuned!

This is such a great opportunity.  Unfortunately, it is also during my renewal season at work.  We are really not allowed to take off.  If the adoption happens, I can't help that.  It's like being pregnant.  When the baby is ready, you have to welcome them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When life is like Office Space, Life Imitating art?

As I have written, my luck with jobs and adoptions has not been great.  So the scene I envision would come after the third adoption.  The character, who would be loosely modeled after yours truly, will have been working a couple of years doing some kind of mundane tasks.  His hopes are that one day, he will be promoted to management.  So, after these many years of dedication, a job opens.  Going into his next adoption, he sees this as his golden opportunity.

He applies.  The interview is a disaster.  Instead of being high on their list, he is not even on it.  They tell him that he is not qualified, even thought he has been doing this kind of work for 10 years.  They go on to say that he really needs to prove himself if he wants to move up.  Promotions are not just going to be given to him, if that is what he thinks.

So, the employer decides to go outside for an unproven candidate.  Cut to our hero watching Office Space with his eldest daughter cuddling up to him.  She goes "Daddy, is this what work is like?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Keeping up with the children

We are in the translation phase, with New Years approaching.  Hopefully by next month we will be in the review stage.  The house is a mess, but it is an organized mess.  I had to clear one room to move one child into it.  Angie has to go through those things for our super yard sale.  Ebay doing good.  We will sell a couple by tomorrow.  The rest end up in 4 days.  So, check out those sales (I provided a link in another post).  We do ship internationally, depending if Ebay ships to your country.  If not, we can work something out.

Angie has found a child she has been looking for.  This child is about 4 to 5 and has some malformed arms, I believe.  The child belongs to another agency.  We can't do anything until this one is over.  Right now, we don't know if China will accept us.  If they do with no questions, then we may be heading back.  I would say one last time, but I won't.  We are running out of space.  Too bad we could not get that Extreme Makeover.

We watched Fresh off the Boat again.  It is a funny show.  It really does remind me of our family.  Not just because we both live in Orlando.  If you have not seen it, give it a chance.  They have a great cast of actors.

Finally, we do have the Reece's Rainbow link if you'd like to help us with some of the costs.  It is going to a good cause:  To Bring Elana Home.  We can't wait to make that happen.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Adopting Domestically: Do so at your own risk!

I have talked about international vs domestic in past posts.  I have not really gone into why international is our preferred method.  I would say that I don't like it when people think just because we are adopting, we should do it from America.  Sure there are plenty of children out there.  If they are so concerned to make that comment, maybe they should adopt domestically.  We can say been there done that.

I did not want to rush into this.  We have wounds that are healing.  We were foster parents for a couple of years.  We had plenty of children come in and out of our house.  When they just come in and take them to a new place, it is like your child has died.  That is unless you have not bonded with the child.  Some disorders may make you happy when they move on.  They can be destructive.  If you are looking towards social services to fix what they destroyed, keep looking.  From what we heard, once you take in the child they are your responsibility.

Our last child turned out to be our first child adopted.  She came to us a child in need of care.  We did the best we could with the disorders she has.  As she grew older, she became more aggressive.  Doctors gave her medicine.  They worked for a while.  But as her body grew, the meds seem to wear off.  We went to the doctors because she was becoming violent.  At first, they decided to change her meds.  When you play with these kinds of meds, you have to be careful.  The doctor should ween the child off one med to switch to another.

The biggest problem is that your child will be off a med that controls her aggressiveness.  We would have to deal with issues.  Then, the meds they would put her on, may or may not work.  One med would give her nightmares, another med had the opposite effect.  Instead of calming her down, it would make her super aggressive.  These meds would also create things that were not there, like tics and picking at fingers.

As it got worse, we started to look for outside help.  Then, our doctor decided that they did not want to see her.  We had to find a psychiatrist who could dispense psychotropic drugs.  Luckily, we found one.  Another issue she had was her insurance.  Since she was from fostering, she had Medcaid coverage.  It is really hard to find doctors that accept this insurance.  If they do, there is a waiting list to get in.

The violence started to get worse.  We had police and emergency services visiting about every other day.  This would usually be followed up with a Baker Act.  She would end up in a behavioral facility for a couple of days.  They would monitor her, but they would not alter her meds.  We kept going back and forth.

One time, she had been taken to the hospital after a violent outburst.  The nurse at the emergency room tells Angie "Why don't we just give her back to the state?"  Angie gave her a piece of her mind.  I think the nurse was even written up.  A couple of weeks later, this nurse and a doctor friend of hers call DCF (Department of Children and Families) and filed a complaint on us.  At around 3:00 am, we get a knock on our door.  It was an investigator.  She starts questioning us.  As I listened, I felt she was asking leading questions.  These questions were trying to paint us as having Munchhausen disorder.  I don't see how they could assume this when it was our daughter who was beating everyone up.

We did get a subunit of DCF to assist us, but they were no help.  They talked us into changing her insurance and when we did, we found out that the insurance was not accepted at the behavioral hospital.  They did not offer much assistance.  I even questioned why they were "helping" us.  Everywhere we looked, we could not find help.

Wouldn't you think that the state would have some kind of program that helps children in these situations?  They did not.  We did not get the help we sought after until our child attacked Angie and almost killed her.  Then she went on to tell people that that was what she was doing.  She wanted mommy to take care of our dog in Heaven.  She did not understand that if she did that, she would not be coming back.

Finally, the DCF declared an emergency.  They found her a hospital and are paying for it.  We could not afford that kind of care.  We still visit her every week and call her all the time.  She is still our child.  We love her.  The DCF felt she was a danger to herself and others.

This is what can happen.  It's not just domestically.  My main issue is that the system did nothing to help us until someone got hurt.  They even tried to blame us for our daughters aggressiveness.  Our international adoptions have not had these types of issues.  Sure we have some hiccups, but we are getting them therapy.

Given a choice of adopting internationally or domestically, I go with international.  That is our choice.  I am not preaching that everyone should do it.  But, if you do adopt, do the homework.  You will save yourself from the surprises that might accompany.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Attending a dance with your Children

We had the luck of bringing our daughters to a dance.  I wish I could say that I look forward to these events, but we do not have many friends among the parents.  Angie does bring the girls to church, but it is not something we are forcing on the kids.  If they want to learn, I don't mind.  Getting back to the dance, it was loud and annoying.  I got up for a plate of food and before I got back a person was already sitting where I was.  My jacket was even there.

At one point they called up the fathers, but my daughters would not be caught dead dancing with me.  They were too busy running around with their friends.  When you see some of these families, you can probably guess that they know each other from church or/and sporting events.  When I have to bring my daughters to birthdays, they are always talking about games.  We tried some things, but our daughters aren't motivated enough to keep up with the commitment.  My nine year old has stuck with dance.

If you have not been to a school event or if you have, please forgive me.  I know your sorrow about attending.  If you enjoy, I am sorry.  These events are just not for us.  The girls like to attend and its a small sacrifice to make.

One last thing, when we go to China, you can look around and see that you are the minority.  That goes the same for a school event.  We can look around and feel like a minority there too.  Usually there are not that many Asian students.  Maybe Fresh off the Boat will have an episode dealing with that.

Wedding Singer . . .Deja Vu!

Recently, I wrote a post about the troubles with getting ahead.  Now I just realize it was not to be.  I feel like Adam Sandler's character in The Wedding Singer.  To be successful he quits music and tries to get a job at a bank to make more money.  That's the way I feel.  I feel I need to move up and for what?  Of course, more money.  I don't want it so I can buy things or name brands.  The more I make, the less I will want things.  I think I'd rather make a difference in a child's life.  That to me seems more important.  I am just going to have to be content with were I am.

I found out the other day that I'm not ready for more responsibility.  If find that strange.  I was a manager at a movie theater, I have a college degree, but I have even gone one step further.  I have a Masters.  Why?  Revert back to The Wedding Singer.  I guess I thought that once I had that, I'd just be whisked into the upper chambers of my workplace.  Not where I am.  I don't think it even matters.  I know at my other job, my supervisor seemed proud that people she moved up did not have as much education.  Maybe it's insurance.

Word of advice.  If you are going for higher learning, make sure it's going to pay off.  I feel like I wasted about 4 years and a little bit of money.  I do have a nice sheet of paper I can frame.  I don't think it would impress many at the position I am at.  They might even wonder why I am at this level.  A masters degree might impress a few, but I have not found those people.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ebay Poster Sales

I have been doing okay with these sales.  If interested look up fahey6587.  I have added a bunch today.  Some are from popular movies.  Not only that, but I have already sold some like it.  If you'd like to help.  I have added posters like Aladdin, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Lethal Weapon 4, Payback, Toy Story, Star Trek: First Contact, Rudy, Anastasia, The Waterboy, Psycho, Grease, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Wayne's World, Shawshank Redemption, etc.  Go check it out.  02/09/2015  Auction only lasts a couple of days.

You can use this link to check out our posters.  Just copy and paste under URL,

Tomorrow, February 15, I will be listing more posters.  The current batch is running out today and tomorrow.  If your interested check it out.

New posters are up.  I added:  Darkman, Excorcist III, Private Parts, Wolf, Speed, Independence Day, Stargate, 8 1/2 Women, Sleepless in Seattle, Jurassic Park, I'll Do Anything, etc.  Keep checking, you might find something you like.  Not everything is selling, but all helps fund some of the adoption fees/travel.  Thanks.

Preparing for your new Child

Just like any family preparing for a child, I was busy preparing the rooms yesterday.  Elana will be going with Mia.  Michelle will be moving in with Kayla.  I had to do a lot of packing to make that happen.  Lately, I have not been very motivated.  Maybe its because I think there is plenty of time or I'm just lazy.  Anyway, I spent the day packing up things to bring them to our center room.  Once cleared, I move some beds around.  Now, Angie has a crib to build.  I leave the building to her.  She likes doing it and gets angry if I try to do it.  At least, she has the space to do it.  Not only that, but she also has to go through the boxes in the center room to decide if we keep or sale.  Next up, the grand yard sale.

This is what it's like preparing your house.  You have to decide where your child is going to go and start the arrangements.  In our case, we have to also get rid of things to make the space.  I think it is worth it.  A lot of the things are just sitting there.  We have finally realized that we have too many things.  I think the girls have also realized this.  Well, except Mia.  She still wants all her toys.  If she sees us trying to get rid of things she may start playing with it again.  At least, I have made a contribution to getting ready.  Now, if we could get on to this yard sale.

Parting with things can be hard.  Angie looks at the toys and all have memories.  By all means, do not play the song from Toy Story 2 by Sarah McLachlan.  I do that every once in awhile, but not now.  I need her to get rid of some of the toys.  I have attached the URL if you'd like to see the video.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Unit 731 in the News

As I have mentioned in another post, Unit 731 museum is a place of interest in Harbin.  Yesterday, I read an article about it from the AP (;_ylt=AwrTWfxgCtZU7U8A6QTQtDMD).  Interesting article, but it left out two things.  US POW's may have been victims of the atrocities and that the US granted immunity to people involved.   The article even said that Japan's courts admitted that it existed, but that compensation is up the the government.  Everyone acknowledges what happened to the Jews in Germany, so I don't see why these atrocities should not get the same acknowledgement from the world.  I did not even know about this until I found out my daughter came from this province.  I think we owe it to history to put this in the books.  It should tell the whole story.  What the Japanese did and what the US did in the end.  It probably would not happen, but how are we to stop things like this when we cover it up or pretend we did not do it.  Of course, people will point out, as this article did, that China needs to own up to what it has done.  Someone needs to start.  If not them. . .

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fresh off the Boat. . .What did you think?

I watched it last night with my family.  I liked it.  It sort of reminded me of my family.  The kids were like my kids.  Not just because they are Chinese.  Just the way they say and do things.  The wife reminded me of Angie.  She would probably say that I am like the father.  It's a funny show and it is great for the girls to see a show where Chinese actors are the main subject.  Watch it if you can.  Let's keep the ratings high so that ABC will renew it.

Ebay. . .A Valuable Lesson

Today, I learned a valuable lesson.  When you have multiple things to sale, make sure you keep up with what you sell.  I thought I had done that.  I found out when I went to ship a certain poster that I had already sold it.  Now I am going to group the posters I am selling together.  I have over 800 posters I am trying to keep track of.  I have offered the customer a replacement or said that I could cancel which would give him a refund.  Hopefully, this will be the last time I do that.

Another thing, when a customer misses out on a poster and requests that you relist it, it's okay to add a buy now, but don't reduce the bid price.  I did just that.  I lowered it to .99.  Well you can guess what happened.  At least they have to pay for the shipping.  I can't keep giving these away.  The point is to raise money, even though I can not advertise about the adoption.

First Time in a Chinese Hotel, Duck your head if your tall!

After our long and exhausting flight, we found our guide and waited.  We had to wait for another family to arrive.  As we did, we looked around, but there was not much to see.  It was around 10:00pm.  We got into our passenger van and headed to the hotel.  The hotel was only a couple of blocks from the airport.  The hotel we stayed at was the Sino-Swiss Hotel.  It is a European style hotel in Beijing.

We all checked in and headed for our rooms.  Once off the elevator, I noticed how low the ceiling was in the hallway.  I could reach up and touch it.  I wondered what would happen if a basketball player came here.  They would probably have to bend their heads.  The room was okay.  I was just glad to be off the airplane.  We put up our things and went to bed.  The next morning was going to be a busy one.

3:00 am.  That was the time on the clock when I woke up.  It was not just a go the the bathroom wake up, I was fully awake.  It was like I had slept.  My body would not allow me to go back to sleep.  Angie and I turned on the television and waited for morning.

The hotel had a great buffet.  They had bacon, eggs, toast, cereals, etc.  They also had some Chinese things like steamed buns and dumplings.  Behind the cook station, a chef was making omelets.  Everything looked good, but I made sure not to eat a lot of greasy foods.  I did not want to use the bathroom in public.  If I did, it was probably going to be a squat pot.

For a short stay, I would say this was a nice hotel.  All I really need is a nice bed, bathroom and I will be fine.  Some people complained about it, but that always happens.  No matter where people go, not everyone will be happy with their accommodations.  It always makes me wonder what they are used to staying in.

I have attached pictures, but did not take any inside the hotel.  Once again, I stress take as many pictures as you can.  You can always delete, but you can't just go back to retake them.  They do have a website.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Translation - Next step in the Process

Today we got an email.  We are now in the translation stage.  I thought we were in that stage, but it is now official.  Guess after logging it in, it sits until they pick it up for translating.  Angie says she has seen this stage last about two weeks, but we are nearing a major Chinese holiday.  It may take a little longer.

As days go by. . .Waiting can seem like forever

This is the time period that I should be going into hyper drive.  I need to clean, sell and just get ready.  A mixture of cool weather, bad news and overall laziness has slowed me down.  I start thinking I have plenty of time.  Then the email comes that says you are approved and will be going within a week.

The sales part has been okay.  I lost some money for not putting weight on an item, but we have sold a couple of our smaller value posters.  Yesterday, we got an email from Serbia asking if we would send an item there.  As long as Ebay covers it, I have no problem.  Remember that if you see fahey658.  Right now I have about 36 things listed, but they are coming up quick.  I will have to take more pictures.  We are just trying to sell things to raise money.  Only, Ebay will not let you put that in your description.

As for cleaning.  Looks like I will be able to start doing more tomorrow.  I have the day off due to the dental visit, but my emergency this week cleared that day.  I am going to force myself to do some things tomorrow.  I know that we are running out of time, even though it is quiet.  Angie did get a crib, so we have a bed for Elana.  No I just have to switch around the rooms, clean the garage and get ready for Yard Sale #2.  This one should be big.  Wish you could come down to Florida to look for sales.

Lastly, we are entering a dead period.  I think I saw that it is a 40 day period of down time for the New Years.  I might have read that incorrectly, but there will be a slow down.  This give the weather time to warm up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Books about Adoption

Angie informed me today that I may have to read more.  It seems two of the three I have read are not on the list or one is for entertainment.  I can't believe I have to read more.  They all say the same things.  I have been through the process.  Guess I have some more reading to do, but I don't think I am going to learn anything new.

New Countries Checking in

I have been pleasantly surprised these last couple of weeks.  I had some new countries check in.  Countries like Slovakia, China (I didn't know they could access blogs, but welcome!), Taiwan, Ireland, Netherlands, etc.  Keep coming back.  Share with your friends and family.  I will continue to post thoughts and stories about adoption.  If you want to give back after reading, please go to a local facility, (group home, orphanage, fostering) and help.  Volunteer time or even supplies they might be short on.  Maybe you could even volunteer to go in and hold children.  

Post #200 Miscellaneous Thoughts as I wait for my Adoption

Well, I have hit 200 posts.  Is this a magic number?  I don't think so.  You might say that it really is not 200.  That is due to the fundraising and music video posts.  I think they are all important.  Not everyone is going to like what I post.  I wanted to share the music and I am hoping someday to make our fundraising numbers go up.

This weekend I learned another valuable lesson from Ebay.  When you sell something and choose calculate shipping, make sure to add the weight of the package you will be sending out.  The reason is that I just sold 85 buttons.  I did not add the correct weight.  Ebay calculates the weight at about 3 ounces.  It was actually 2 pounds.  We made $5.00 off the buttons and charged $2.00 for shipping.  Once we shipped, we made $1.00.  Lesson learned.  We are selling some posters, but the number is not high.  Soon, I will be trying out baseball cards and comics.

I also took a look at another adoption blog.  This person was ranting and raving about the checks we have to go through for adoption.  I think it's a necessary evil.  Most are good people, but there are some bad eggs out there.  They ruin it for the rest of us.  When China hears of these bad eggs, they show their concern by keeping stricter checks on the children that are adopted out.  I applaud them for this.  I have nothing to hide.  Just don't charge extra for it.  We are just trying to build our family.

Another post talked about Re-homing.  This is a practice I would never do or even think about doing.  Like I have said in a previous post, when you adopt, prepare and educate.  You have to go into this preparing for the worst.  Have doctors and therapists waiting.  All kids that are adopted out are going to need some kind of help.  Even if it is to deal with being abandoned.  But, by re-homing, you add another level of rejection to this child.  Not only that, but you also could put this child at risk.  The same levels of checks do not exist in some states.  This makes it easier for bad people to get these children.  I saw a Law and Order SVU dealing with this.  The parent gave the child up for a re-homing and he ended up with a pedophile.  Once again, I must stress, do you studying.  Prepare for rough times in the beginning.  It will get better, but you are going to have to prove your love to this child.  They have already had their trust broken when they were given up.