Monday, August 31, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

I'm back at the theater.  This time it's for A Walk in the Woods.  It has a great cast.  I do not know much about it.  This is one of those times where I know very little about the film. I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

I saw the movie.  It was like Grumpy Old Men go Hiking.  It was a fun movie.  It's geared towards adults.  That is why they put the R rating, but it only has a little language.  It was a pretty tame movie to have an R.  Like I said the R is trying to attract adults.

Hong Kong Airport

I have had the luck of visiting many airports in the world.  I would say the airports in China are the nicest.  Each one of them is huge, the refurbished ones, and has big waiting areas.  I would say that I like the Hong Kong Airport the most.  I wish I had more time to explore.  The have lots of stores and eating places.  We only got to see a portion of that.  They have an IMAX theater, which we did not see.  If we return, I will try to search them out.  I even wanted to venture outside of the airport to explore HK.  The airport is some distance from the city.  They even have a train station at the airport.  I just wish there was a place to store your bags.  Shop around before you eat.  Some places are a lot more expensive than others.  You can find something. with the variety they offer.

In Tribute to Wes Craven

We lost a great director yesterday.  Wes Craven was one of my favorite horror directors.  I remember renting a lot of his movies and watching them with my father.  One movie that really stands out to me was  A Nightmare on Elm Street.  My dad took us to a movie theater in Raleigh, NC.  This theater no longer exists.  It was in Cameron Village.  It was a two screen theater.  During the day, this theater had its problems.  When you were in one of the theaters and someone opened a door, the light from the sun went right onto the screen.  At night, this theater had a certain spookiness to it.  That coupled with A Nightmare on Elm Street gave it a real horrific feel.  After seeing the movie, we left the theater.  It felt like you were on Elm Street.  As a filmmaker, he will be missed.

It's Only a Movie

I see another Republican is trying to appeal to their die hards in their party.  Scott Walker has proposed a wall between the US and Canada.  Is that the keep Canadians from sneaking into our country for our free healthcare?  Oh yeah, they already have that benefit.  Maybe he does not want them sneaking over the border for our cheap goods.  If he saw South Park or Canadian Bacon, he might think they are trying to attack us.  Someone needs to inform him that those are only movies.  They are using satire to show how ridiculous governments can be.  Now that he has one upped Trumps ridiculous Mexico wall, I wonder what the next candidate  will propose.  I know one, I think we should put walls around every state.  That way Floridians can not sneak into Georgia to enjoy all the benefits that state has to offer.  We surely don't want Californians sneaking into other states looking for water.  We need to put walls up now!  I think every wall should play music from Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Are you my Mother?

Angie wishes I would get this straight.  Everytime I go to call my mom, I end up calling her.  I did it again.  We were driving in the car.  She was talking to her father.  I go to call my mom.  Next thing you know she is asking me why I am calling her.  I guess I do it subconsciously.  To the girls, she is mom or mommy.  I might say mommy said to do this or that.

Kayla's Big Surprise

Today was our weekly visit to Kayla.  This week we had a surprise.  My aunt and uncle were visiting from up north.  They wanted to see Kayla.  We did not tell Kayla.  It was a big surprise to her.  It has been many years since they last saw each other.  They got to hang out for a couple of hours.  In the end, Kayla said she really appreciated the surprise.

Guide in China

When we went to get Harbin, we asked our guides if they knew Veronica.  It could have gone either way.  China is a big country.  Our first guide knew of her.  So, we tried in Guangzhou.  Our guide not only knew her, but they were friends.  She sent her a text and at first, she did not remember us.  Then she remembered.  We gave her our email, but we did not hear from her.  Maybe, next time.

Rain Rain Go Away

We have had a lot of rain this week. It is 90% for the week.  Last night, Angie had to bring Mia to the ER.  She is in the initial stages of pneumonia.  When they left, I checked Elana and she had leaked.  I had to clean that up.  Now, it is off to visit Kayla.  She may have a surprise today.  She could use that.  Her week has not been one of her best.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

During the Storm

When a hurricane goes up our coast, it tends to get dry out.  Sometimes it is windy and we get hit with bands of rain. We have some lightning and thunder.  After a hurricane moves on, it is really hope humid and hot.  One month to go.  October starts to cool down a little.  September is the worst month for hurricanes in Florida.

Hanging out in one of my Favorite Places

At the AMC theater again.  I had a free ticket that I did not want to waste.  Today's movie is American Ultra.  I liked Zombieland and this looks similar.  The storm keeps getting downgraded.  It will soon be listed as a bunch of clouds.  Movie review to follow.  It was funny with some action.  Showed a lot in the previews.

Still Waiting on the Storm

The storm keeps shifting.  It looks like it will hit us as a tropical storm.  They said we may get hit by the right side of the storm.  That is the wetter side of the storm.  We will keep seeing rain.  I will have to get gas today, before the gouging starts.  Even it does not hit us gas stations will come up with a reason to raise their prices.  I'm not too worried about food.  They'll still have plenty.  We do have a case of water.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Recreation of the trip from Harbin to Guangzhou

On our trip from Harbin to Guangzhou, Elana screamed for three hours.  Today, I just had that scene recreated for me.  Kiersten and I went to pick up dinner.  My car's air is not working and it is raining.  On coming back, Elana started screaming.  I was trying to keep it cool, but it was really coming down.  At one point, I was worried she was going to have a stroke.  As soon as we got home, she stopped.

Waiting on the Storm

First, we thought that Danny could hit Florida.  It was blown apart.  Now we are looking towards Erika.  Everyday, the path keeps shifting.  It started on the Atlantic side of the state.  Now it has shifted to the Gulf side of the state, with a path crossing the state.  Maybe, we will get lucky and it will head north and skip our area.  We have been lucky for about ten years.  We hope for a calm weekend.

A Day of Sickness

I woke up with a sore throat this morning.  It is still a little scratchy.  When I went into my room, we found that Mia is also sick.  I don't know if Elana has gotten any worse than the other day.  Last night, she did not seem to be having any problems.  She did keep wiping her nose on my arm and leg.  I think it was due to some dry blood.  That came from her picking her nose.  She has a bad habit of doing that.  We make sure to cut her nails down.  After this, I grab a wipe to wipe her nose.  She refuses to let me do it.  I am hoping the rest of the family escape the sickness.  Michelle and Kiersten try to maintain a perfect attendance.

Meet Andreus!

Andreas (1)

Meet Andreus.  I am displaying his picture because he has something in common with Kiersten.  That is Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS).  She also has this syndrome.  For her it affects her right leg.  It causes one leg to grow bigger than the other.  It also caused her leg to swell up.  To combat this, the doctor prescribed constriction hose.  Besides the fact she needs two different sized shoes, she is a normal child.  As for Andreus, you would have to look at the other disorders listed, but don't let the KTS scare you away from adopting him.  If you know someone who wants to adopt or if you'd like to give, please visit his site.

A Sinkhole Forms in China

I did not know this, but it is a regular occurrence in China.  Florida suffers from the same problem.  We had one sinkhole form in Tampa and it took a house and the person sleeping in that house.  His body was never recovered.  I was watching the news last night and they had a story about a sinkhole forming in Harbin, China.  I tried to see if it was somewhere we might have been, but it is only surveillance video.  I did see a patter in the bricks.  When I looked at our pictures, I see that same pattern.  That pattern could go throughout the city.  Harbin is pretty big.  Next time we are in China, we will have to be careful walking around.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kiersten and Farming

I found it interesting that Kiersten got into agriculture this year.  When I was in high school, they said I should be a farmer.  I did not have the patience.  It was driving to work the other day and I heard a story about Chinese moving to the country to get into farming.  I showed this to Kiersten.  She thought I was making fun of her.  Actually, I was trying to show her how people in China were going to the country to get away from city life and pressures.  It also reminded me of a Jay Chou song.  I don't know the words, but the video shows a man being fired and bringing his family back to the country. Check them out.

Tech Savvy

I got a comment from a reader.  They have suggested that I add the link to pages I want to share.  I have wanted to, but I did not know how.  I thought you had to right click and it would have create hyperlink.  I looked it up on Google and low and behold I found out how to create a link.  From now on, I will make sure it is a link.  I have added it to Audra's last post and Chelsea Qi's post.  Keep the comments coming.  I want to do the best that I can with this blog and if I can inspire adoptions, then I have done what I have set out to do.

Human Radar

After dinner, we had settled down in the living room.  Angie and the girls were watching something on TV.  Elana was walking around looking for light sources.  I decided to go back to Michelle's room and lay down and watch something on Netflix.  I told them if Elana notices that I am gone bring her to the room.  Usually, she will start screaming for me.  Later, Angie comes walking in the room with Elana.  She tells me that Elana had left the living room.  Angie got up to see where she had gone.  She had walked to our bedroom looking for me.  Most nights, I bring her in our room because it gets darker.  When it is dark, Elana tends to drift off to sleep.  In Michelle's room, it does not get dark until about 9:00.  She will continue getting off the futon to walk around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dual Edged Sword

Since China has turned us down, our agency is starting to advocate for Audra.  This might be good.  The agency might be able to hold her file for a couple of months.  If she cannot find a family, we will try again.  We will be happy either way, as long as she gets a family.

Meet Chelsea Qi!

Meet Chelsea Qi!  She is newly listed at Reece's Rainbow.  She has club feet and was listed as blind, but I think that has been changed.  They think it has something to do with visual processing.  She loves to sing, color and swim.  She was born in 2006.  She is really looking for that forever family.  Please visit her page and consider donating or share her information with a family looking for an older child to adopt.

Sleeping on the Futon

Elana is sleeping much better.  When we first got her, she would lay on the floor to sleep.  She did not like the crib.  Once home, I found that she liked Michelle's futon.  That came with a catch.  She wanted me to sleep next to her.  Eventually, I hope to ween her off of that.  It is easier to start here.  If not, I would have to wake in the middle of the night with her crying.  The only way to stop her would be to lay down next to her.  She does let me up in the morning.  Usually, she does not budge.  If she rolls over, she might let out a cry.  It does not last.  

There's a Baby in the Kitchen Sink!

Yesterday, I gave Elana or assisted Angie in giving her a bath.  When we first got her, I tried giving her a bath.  She screamed.  It got worse when I poured water over her head.  Since then, Angie has been using the kitchen sink to ease her into it.  It started with screaming, but it has shifted to an acceptance of getting a bath.  I started by washing her hair.  I put her on the counter and had her head over the sink.  I poured water on the hair.  She whimpered a little, but it stopped.  After the hair, I let the professional take over.  She placed Elana in the sink and finished the bath.  Eventually, she will move to the bathtub.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Audra at Reece's Rainbow

Although we are in a holding pattern, I still encourage people to go to her page at Reece's Rainbow.  Please give to her adoption.  Share her page and encourage others to give and share.  Our main goal is to get her a family.  If she finds one before we can adopt her, we will be happy for her.  We can always give another child a family if not her.

Korean Film Festival

Over the last couple of days, I have been watching some really good movies from Korea.  Those movies are:  Commitment, Memories of Murder, A Bittersweet Life, and Confessions of Murder.  They are really well done movies.  Granted they are all dark, I enjoyed them.  If you feel that Hollywood has forgotten to put stories in their films, you need to check some of these movies out.  They have brought back storytelling in a big way.

Keep On Fighting (Bad News for upcoming Adoption)

Today we received bad news and good news.  The bad news is that China is not letting us adopt Audra.  The good news is that we can wait a couple of months, turn in our six month report on Elana and then they might consider, if she is still available.  Odds are pretty good, but whose to say they won't change to one year.  Our agency said they will probably have to give her file back to the shared list.

The sad thing is we have done a great job raising our kids.  All of them have made progress in their health and in their education.  Now we are being questioned on these things.  Here is a family that wants to adopt a child.  They are making us jump through more hoops.  It looks like we will have to wait.  I told Angie that we need to continue to get the house ready.  If by some miracle, Audra gets a family, then we look to another child.  There are plenty of specials needs children out there.  It just would be hard to give up on Audra.  I would be happy as long as she finds a family.

Made it to Work

Today has started out better than yesterday.  My car got me to work with no issues.  I did get some work done.  I pulled lots of weeds.  I thought it would be a good idea.  It was overcast and not as hot as it has been.  It was humid.  After about thirty minutes, I was soaked.  I will have to do it some more.  We have been having rains everyday.  The weeds have gone crazy.

Anchors Aweigh

So, the Republicans are calling out Asians.  They should change their slogan to Republican:  When you just have to offend everyone in the room.   This election has had a hilarious start.  This party lost the presidency four years ago because they lost the minority vote.

So they start this election by attacking that same minority.  They could not stop there, they decided to bring women and Asians into the mix.  I wonder who will be on their chopping block next.  The funny thing is that the term Anchor Baby sounds like a family from another country coming to this country and having a child so that they can stay and take advantage of our benefits.  This is their way of thinking.  I understand why they are coming here.  Their homelands are much more dangerous and the opportunities are lacking.

To call out the Asians and say they are doing this.  It is very uninformed.  They are having children in America because they want to take advantage of our education system.  They are not trying to stay here and they have the money to do it.

The sad thing for the American people is that we have a year of this to go through.  You wonder where all the money comes from.  I don't think the middle-class/poor can support these campaigns.  Once this person gets elected, how will they pay these people/corporations back?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Car's Prognosis

Well, my car's prognosis: dead battery.  Luckily, it was under warranty.  So, the auto shop swapped out batteries.  Now to see if the car starts up.

Another Day, Another Letter

Another letter has gone to the CCCAA.  They are the officials we need to convince that we should be Audra's parents.  Angie explained our finances.  Hopefully, this will be the last hurdle before approval.

The First Day of School

Since I mentioned it, here it is.  Today is the first day of school.  I know Angie is happy.  I am happy to have them doing something productive.  This year should be an interesting year.  It is Michelle's senior year in elementary school, Mia is going to a main stream class, and Kiersten is going to do agriculture.  I think they are excited.  They just have a weird way of showing it.  They are not very enthusiastic about today.  I remember my first day of school.  I hated it.  After a couple of days, it was like any other day.  Elana is still a little sick.  She has been coughing.  We think it may be allergies.

My Car is a Little Under the Weather

The heading for today's blog was supposed to be The First Day of School.  But, I have other issues today.  I went to start my car this morning and all I got was clicks.  I should have known something was wrong when the doors did not all unlock.  I thought that we could jump the battery, but that did not do the trick.  Luckily, we have insurance to cover this.  I'll have to take off from work.  I guess, I could do some yard work.  That is if I am not stuck at the mechanics.  I'm glad it is today and not one of our busier days.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

And Sister Makes 6

We have been spending the day with Kayla.  Elana has been feeling a little under the weather.  Kayla had a fun visit with her family.  She showed us her notebook.  In it, she had a picture of her family.  She made me into a crazy eyed stick figure.  She had all of her sisters, including one we do not have.  She added Audra to our family.  Maybe, this will be a good luck omen.

Easter Egg Hunt in August

I was walking through the house the other day.  I kept finding little diapers rolled up.  I ask Angie about it.  I say "Are these supposed to be Easter Eggs?".  She says No.  Our eldest kept piling things in front of the garage.  It made it harder for her to get to the diaper pale.  Later that night, Elana was walking around with an Easter basket.  I started laughing.  "So, Angie, this is what you do during the day.  You place the diapers around the house like Easter Eggs and have Elana search them out?"  Her reply "Very funny!"

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Another Entry in the Cheapskates Book of Living

We are always looking for deals.  One of the best way to get one is at an open house.  Sam's opened this week in Apopka.  The store was littered with samples.  We were able to get some meats, vegetables, drinks, and deserts.  Now we are ready to settle down for the night.

I did forget to mention that it is fun going with my daughters.  The sample people need to see the parent.  So, we are constantly getting "are these your children?"  Angie said the other day she said"don't you see the resemblance?"  She did she then started to laugh because the person did not know if she was serious.

Dining at Ikea

If, by chance, you visit Orlando and want a cheap meal that is good, stop by Ikea.  It is like the Disney of furniture stores.  They have a place for the children.  The have an area with hot dogs and cinnamon rolls for a dollar.  Upstairs, they have a dining hall.  For 5.00, you can get Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes.  After, you can walk off your meal looking at all the neat things.  They also do specials like spend 100.00 on furniture and eat on the dining hall for free.  We did that once, but we do not have a need for anything.  In mid-September, they are having an all you can eat crawfish buffet.  We plan to attend.  Thr kids tickets were only 2.99.  We had to pay 15.00 per person.  The last time, we enjoyed it.

Whirling Dervishes

I walked into the living room today and was treated to a show.  My two daughters were giving us a Whirling Dervish show.  Both were spinning standing in place.  I don't know what it is with children with seeing disabilities, but they like to spin.  They don't get sick.  I'd get sick doing what they do.  I think we should get them the hats and skirts that Turkish Whirling Dervishes wear.  We could bring them out and public and seek tips for their show.

Friday, August 21, 2015

One Issue Down, One to go

Angie wrote the agency about Audra.  We wanted to know what was going on.  It seems that they are over the one issue and have gone to another.  The new issue is the one we were worried about during Elana's adoption.  They are looking at our finances.  I told Angie she should write a detailed letter about how we handle our finances.

Making Progress with Elana

It's been about two months with Elana.  She is as perfect fit to our family.  We are learning what she likes and dislikes.  She is starting to localize, besides screaming.  Sometimes it even sounds like she is saying words.  She falls asleep when it gets dark.  She sleeps late, even after I leave for work.  Soon, she will have Angie' s full attention.  She will be able to work one on one with Elana.  We hope to have her eyes checked by a specialist.  We'll see what happens next.

Under Representation in the Entertainment Industry

I was reading an article the other day on the computer.  It was from a woman who had adopted an African American Child.  She was going on about how Disney under represented African Americans and that they needed more characters that represent that minority.  Being a father of Chinese girls, I wonder why this author did not expand her story.  The Chinese are also under represented.  When I look at the music industry, I wonder where the Asian stars are.  When I look at films and television, I wonder where the Asian actors are.

African Americans have a whole lot more representation in film, music and television.  There are even networks like BET.  Where is the Asian network?  CCTV from China does not count.  This author went on to describe how African Americans were portrayed.  What about the other minorities?  Asians are always portrayed as studious.  Well, they have not met my daughters.  Maybe it's because of the parents pushing them.  I would say my daughters act a lot like every other child I've seen.  Unfortunately, they like to emulate a lot of what they see on Disney.

I would love for Disney to put out another Asian folk story in animation.  Maybe, one day they will.  It would help if people wrote these great stories and caught someones attention.  In the future, I am hoping to see more Asian representation.  With a market as big as China, the entertainment industry would be stupid to ignore it.  Not only that, I have watched many Asian films and these men and women can act.  Even their singers make great actors.  I just wish there were musicians, who sang in English, that my daughters could look up to.  I'd rather have them watch Kpop and Chinese music versus Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beijing Mobilizing people for WWII Parade

I just read an article about Beijing using anyone and everyone for security for the WWII parade.  It reminds me of when we went to adopt Kiersten.  We were in China right before they had a celebration of 60 years of communist rule.  You could definitely sense the extra security.  The article also showed vehicles driving down the road for practice.  I woke up one night and thought I had heard a freight train.  We were not near a railroad.  It turned out to be military vehicles practicing for the parade.

Encouraging your Daughters

With school quickly approaching, I am having trouble motivating my daughters.  There is a travel company giving away a trip to China.  All the girls have to do is write an essay.  When I brought it up to them, they declined.  I have the same problem trying to get them to push that extra mile.  I don't want them to be like me.  I was always happy with average grades.  If I had pushed harder, I could have got a scholarship.  I remember when I was in High School.  I went to see my guidance counselor about what direction I should go in.  I mentioned college.  He looked at my grades and said that I would not get scholarships.  Then he said that I should join the military.  Next thing I know, I am getting calls from recruiters.  Guess my counselor tipped them off.  I had to work harder and pay for my own college education.  I don't want that for them.

We have tried offering motivations things and money.  They did not care for either.  They want money, but they don't want to work for it.  I will just have to keep researching.  If I find that magical motivational tool, I will write about it.  

Live Singing on the Internet in China

I was listening to NPR the other day and they ran a story about people in China that live stream music and get paid for it.  One person sings for many hours until her fans tell her to take a break.  She does this because she likes to sing and her fans shower her with gifts and money.  They say it is really taking off in China.  I would do something like that, but you would not want to hear my singing.  If you feel entertained by my blog and want to shower me with gifts, give to Reece's Rainbow.  I promise not to post any videos of me singing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Journey Back to Oceanside

I went back to Oceanside yesterday.  I did this through Google Maps.  I checked out our old home:  1735 Alvarado Street, Oceanside, CA, if you'd like to visit.  The house is similar, but different.  I actually looked it up and it was built in 1948 and is worth over $500,000.  This is because of California real estate pricing and not the house.  I know I would not have paid that much for the house we lived in.  To me, it was worth more like $79,000.

The area around has changed.  The 7-11 is now a gas station.  It used to be a side store.  The auto garage has a different name.  The Winchell's doughnuts is now a generic doughnut store.  Some things are still the same.  The Angelo's burgers is still where it was.  The DAV where we used to dumpster dive as children still stands.  The Boys Club is still in the same building.  It is now a Boys and Girls Club.  I am proud to say I attended the same facility that Junior Seau attended.  I cannot say if we attended at the same time, but it is the facility.  There is a gym that he had built across the street.

My old schools are still standing.  South Oceanside Elementary has grown since I attended.  They used to have a big field and playground.  That has shrunk due to growth of the school.  Laurel Elementary has grown some, but from the front it looks like it did when I attended it.

The hotel/motels that my dad stayed at are still there.  They may have new names, but they are still there and in the same condition.  I even saw the Star movie theater that he used to take us to.  It is an old style movie theater.  From what I saw, it still is in business.

If Google has mapped areas that you used to live in, try it out.  You can take a street view journey through your area.  

Still Waiting on News about Audra

We are still waiting on news.  I want to just bombard them until they say yes, but I know it is all in China's court.  Hopefully the person in China will convey what these children mean to us.  We just want to give Audra a family.  Maybe we can turn heads by donating to Reece's Rainbow under her account.  If we could raise a lot of money, I could make this point to the agency and then to China about how serious we are about adopting her.  If you get a chance visit her site on Reece's Rainbow and make a donation.  I am hoping to hear something soon.  I hate waiting on answers that should not take so long to give.

The Farmer in the Dell

Kiersten went to her open house yesterday.  I am proud to say that she is in all advanced classes.  In addition to those classes, she has Art and Farming.  She likes the art, but I don't know how excited she is about the farming.  I think they mentioned getting in chickens and rabbits next week.  I told her that next summer, I can use her help on the garden.  I hope she has a fun year and keeps excelling.

Today is Mia's turn.  I asked if she was looking forward to meeting her teacher and going back.  Her response was: Nah.  This is her new word.  I ask about dinner:  nah.  I ask about bed: nah.  We'll have to warn the teacher that she has a favorite word.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Meet Bree Ann!

Meet Bree Ann!  She is newly listed on Reece's Rainbow.  She was born in September 2010.  She has Down Syndrome.  She currently does not have any money donated for the cost of her adoption.  Please take a look at her page and consider donating.  Donations are tax deductible in the US.  If you know someone who is adopting, share this information with them.

Volunteering at a Young Age

Looking back, I have volunteered for a lot of things.  One time I volunteered for something that I did not mean to volunteer for.  They were looking for people who wanted to join the chorus.  A friend of mine and I were counting the people.  The teacher thought I was raising my hand.  I "volunteered" to join chorus.  It was not a bad experience, but it was something I had not planned to do.  I even appeared in the school play.  I was in the chorus, not a major character.

One thing that I did actually volunteer for was in first grade.  We had a special needs class and they were looking for volunteers to assist the teachers.  I volunteered for this.  I wish I can remember all that I did, but old age and all.  I remember going to the class and playing with the children.  I found it to be a worth while experience.  I think I did it for part of a year, but I can't remember.

If it were not for the size of my family, I would probably volunteer my time to Special Olympics.  One day, I might be able to.  When Kayla comes home, we would want her to go back to the program.  At that time, her sisters can even volunteer to help the others.  If you have a program in your area, look them up.  They are always looking for volunteers.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Open House 2015

Another School year is approaching.  This week we have three different Open Houses to go to.  At least, Angie does.  If she wants me to go, I will.  I think she would rather take the daughter whose open house it is.  These things are a mad house.  They have limited parking and people tend to bring too many family members, that is if they bother to come.  Next Monday is the big day.  I can't wait for them to go back.

Music to Listen To

I have written in the past about music evoking memories.  I have been sitting here listen to my playlist.  12 Girl Band came on.  They are one of the first few Asian groups that I had started listening to.  If you get a chance, they are really good.  They are made up of 12 women that each play an instrument.  In addition to their music, they do renditions of American/British songs.  I have even added some of Janice.  She is one of the first Chinese singers I had listened to.  If you have access to Spotify, you can look up my playlist.  It is called Music to Listen To.  I had created it to listen to at work.  Feel free to follow.  I try to add things that I like, that is if they have the music.  With some of the Kpop, they have a limited amount of the groups.

From the Mouth of Babes

We had our weekly visit with Kayla yesterday.  She is doing good.  It will be nice when they move her to a closer location.  It will also be one step closer to bringing her home.  She was going through Angie's phone and she saw a picture of Audra.  She turns to Angie and says that she is cute and asked if we are trying to adopt her.  Angie said sort of.  Kayla says we should adopt her because she would be a great fit with our family.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Brush Off

Elana is now letting us brush her teeth everyday.  All we have to do is tell her it's time to brush and she opens her mouth.  Her sleeping has also improved.  She sleeps for about two hours after leaving for work.  She is getting away from having to be held all the time.  She tends to walk in circles, like Mia.  It must be a seeing impaired thing.  I can get up and move around.  She still gets upset, if she discovers me missing.

Star Wars in Orlando

They announced that the Hollywood Studios park will be getting a Star Wars themed land.  I guess we'll have to save some money to go back.  Hold on.  It looks like it may go to Disney World.  We'll have to wait for more information.  Hollywood Studios would be a natural fit.

We did go a couple of years ago.  It was during the Star Wars weekends.  We got to see some of the actors from the movies.  This was before Kayla went to the facility.  If you ever go during Star Wars Weekends, do the research.  If you want to get autographs from the actors, you have to arrive early at the park to get a ticket.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Casual Dining with a Mission

On the way to the movie this morning, I heard about a new eatery in Orlando.  It is called Teriyaki Madness.  It is like a Chipolte for Japanese foods. I would have tried this any way, but what I heard next makes me really want to try it and encourage others.  Brevard Action Committee is a non-profit that assists people with learning disabilities to get jobs.  Well, in Florida, our government likes to give rich people and corporations large tax cuts.  In turn, they like to take away the money from non-profits that help society.  So, the BAC has decided to go into the franchise business.  They say the profits will go back into the programs they run.  In addition, they plan to employ some of the people that they assist.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Review

Today, I got to see Mission Impossible.  It was a great movie.  This is probably the first movie this summer where important things were revealed in the trailer.  It was action packed.  If you liked Ghost Protocol, then you have to see this one.

Baseball a Love/Hate Relationship

When I was younger, I used to play baseball every spring.  It was fun.  I thought I was pretty good.  As I grew older, I learned I was okay.  That is getting a little ahead of the story.
In California, we played baseball all the time.  I collected baseball cards every chance I cold get.  We even had the opportunity to see live games.  Our team was the San Diego Padres.  I would say I preferred playing it versus watching it.  It could get boring.
One time, we went to a Padres game with the Boys Club.  I got to get autographs due to a person from the Club.  She ran the arts and crafts at the club.  She had become friends with one of the pitchers.  She was able to get me a signed ball.  I also got autographs on a program.  One of the highlights was Gary Carter.  He was playing for the Expos at the time.
As I grew older, I started to loose interest in the sport.  I tried out for my high school team.  I did not make the cut.  When I saw it was mainly a group of friends who had made it, I concluded that I would never make it.
After that, I kept hearing stories about drug abuse and how certain players wanted or deserved tons of money.  I just got tired of professional sports in general.  It just became a sport of athletes who make too much money doing what they do.  I will watch every once in a great awhile, but with all the money in professional sports, I just don't care for it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Letter is in the Mail

Angie wrote a letter clarifying our position.  It explains how much care we give our children.  She even became a stay at home mom for them.  The agency says they will forward the letter.  I just hope they hurry.  Audra is not getting any younger.

Making Progress

As I have mentioned, we have been turned down to adopt Audra.  The reason has to do with Kayla.  They have a belief that we will adopt Audra and dump her in a group home.  I don't know why they would even think that.  We are not going to go through all this trouble to drop her off in a home.  They say it's because of Kayla.  Well, she has special circumstances that must be looked at.  Even though she is in a facility, she is making great progress.  We visit her every Sunday and Angie makes all her team meetings and doctors appointments.

At this last meeting, they are discussing release to a smaller facility.  This is good.  It means she is doing what she has to do to get better and hopefully be coming home some day.  I hope we can present these facts to China and win approval to adopt Audra.  I will update with more information when it comes in.

Make sure to visit Reece's Rainbow.  Share the files with people you know who might want to adopt or just donate.  Every child deserves a family.

25 Years Later. . .

Looking back I realized I graduated from high school 25 years ago.  Believe me, that was the start of my life.  Some people say that high school is the best time of your life.  I'd say, not for everyone.  If your not in the "popular" group or a sports team, you're on the outside of things.  Being a shy teen during high school does not help.  I guess it's good that I was not one of those who goes off the deep end.

This is also the time that I started working at the movie theater and met Angie.  These were great times in my life.  I love movies.  I also go to experience my first relationship.  One that will last a lifetime.

For those of you wondering if I attended a reunion, the answer is no and I will never attend one.  Last time I checked, they were charging money per person to go to it.  Why would I want to go see a bunch of people I did not care for when I was in high school.   I can see the conversation.  "Remember the time when you guys had that big party that I was not invited to" or "Remember the Senior Prom that I did not go to".  It would be both a waste of time and money.

I had hoped to attend one when I was younger.  The only reason was because I was going to make something of my life and become bigger than any of them.  That did not happen and I am happy not really seeing any of those people.  I am happy with my life and I love my family.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Meet Alisha!

Alisha is one of the newly listed children on Reece's Rainbow.  If we had more room, I know Angie would be lining up to adopt her.  Please check out her file.  If you can donate money to assist with her adoption.  Every little bit helps.  If you know someone who might be interested in adopting her, there is a link on how to adopt.  She reminds me of Mia and Elana.

A Nice Drive in the Park

It is anything but in Orlando.  A tractor trailer turned over and is causing a driving nightmare.  Luckily, it is on the opposite side of Interstate 4.  Eventually, they will have an accident on the west bound side.  People can't help stopping and staring at the accident.  I made it through without a scratch.

We are still waiting on our outcome for Audra.  I have told Angie that I think we should write a letter detailing all they things we do for our kids.  When we got Kayla through fostering, she needed surgeries on her eyes and teeth, therapies to talk and motor skills, etc.  Angie did not give up on her.  I cannot see where they would think that we would adopt a child to put her in a group home.  Kayla had special issues that medicine could not fix.  We'll just have to write that letter and see what happens.

As of lunchtime, the accident is still causing a headache on I-4.  I can see the cars sitting on it from my office.  I hope they clear it by the time I go home or it's backroads for me.  Just remember if you ever visit Orlando, get a map and learn the backroads.  If not, you will experience traffic jams.  They are not as bad as Beijing, but we are a small fish in a big pond.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Falling Apart

As I write this, I am sitting in the dentist's office.  I was eating a doughnut and my crown fell out.  I wonder if I will need to start blending my foods?  I'm glad I noticed it while I was eating.  If not, I would have swallowed the crown.  I was supposed to get a massage at work.  Oh well! Hope your day is going better than mine.

Waiting is the hardest part!

I had a fun time with my daughters last night.  Elana actually let me brush her teeth.  This is a first.  It usually takes two people to do it.  She opened her mouth and let me brush.  It was a strange night for her.  Angie got back around 9:00 and Elana did not go to bed quickly.  She kept twisting and turning.  She also got in a couple of kicks to my face before finally falling asleep.

Angie and the girls said that Mission Impossible was a great movie.  I hope to see it this weekend, but it will depend on overtime.  If we do it, I will be working.  If not, I get to see the movie.

We are still waiting on Audra.  This is the part of adoption that is hard.  You send your information in and hope for a quick return.  That does not happen.  I just want Angie to bombard them with emails, but I know that will only upset people.  I think I will write a letter to try to add to our defense.  Now I sit and wait.  Even after we get approval, we will be rushing and waiting on the next part.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Alone with the wee folk!

Tonight, I get to spend time with Elana and Mia.  Angie and the girls are going to check out Mission Impossible.  I hope to see it.  I'm going to entertain the little ones.  Elana is entertained just by sitting on my lap or having me nearby.  Mia tends to be all over the place.  She spends time in her room, she visits us, and sometimes tries to muscle in on Elana's territory.  Hopefully, I can keep the peace.  They seem to be getting along, but we still get pinches and tantrums.  Guess I'll pull out a book.

Gone Hiking!

Yesterday, we started a stress program at work.  The first week, I have to exercise 30 minutes each day.  I have been thinking of things I can do with my daughters.  I can bring them to the pool, walking, riding bikes, running around the track or local park.  When I got home, it was a chaotic situation.  No one really wanted to do anything.  I changed.  All the while, Elana was screaming for me.  I had the situation under control.  My final touch was to grab the baby carrier.  I had Angie place a kicking and screaming Elana on my back and instantly there was calm in the world.  I had planned to walk up to a local church to look at some cranes (birds), but there is little shade and I did not want Elana to get too much sun.  We walked for about 30 minutes.  She was as happy as she could be.  I guess I will have to include her on future walks.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Art Imitating Life

Looking back on memories of my life that coincide with films, I have one that comes to mind:  The Blair Witch Project.  I follow film news all the time.  I had heard about this film scaring up lots of money.  It was one of those small projects that went on to make a lot of money.  No only that, but it introduced the world to 'found footage' films.  When it hit Orlando, it hit our local Art house theater.  We had never been to this theater and I have only gone back one time since.  That was due to a free screening of Birdman.

Angie and I went to the theater.  This theater is a dine in experience.  You can order food.  We looked at the menu and decided it was too expensive.  People who did order had to wait.  Most of their food came close to the end of the movie.  I guess they had a backup of orders.  I liked the movie.  Angie thought it was okay.  She does not like moving camera films.  When we left the theater, it was dark.  The parking lot has a lot of trees around it.  We got in the car to go home and pulled up to the driveway.  I was looking for traffic.  This guy is walking from our left.  He is wearing a hiking backpack and looked kind of scruffy.  Angie sees this and goes "hit the gas!"  I guess she was having a flashback from the film.

Typhoons in China

This has been a busy year for Typhoon's and Asia.  I'd say we have been lucky in Florida.  If we had gone a couple of weeks later to pick up Elana, we could have seen some of that activity.  One of the areas hit is Jaingxi.  That is Michelle's Province.  I hope the people are safe.  I don't know how to raise money for relief efforts, but I did see where the World Health Organization may be able to direct people.  I know when we were in Hong Kong, they were diverting flights to Shanghai.  That was due to extreme flooding.  I did see one article where over 100,000 had been displaced due to the storms.  

The Cat is out of the Bag!

If you have not read my posts in the last couple of days, you might have missed some news that I have announced.  It is low key right now, but we hope to make it official soon.  We are trying for a 6th child to adopt, 5th from China.  She is a beautiful 5 year old.  We are currently trying to present our story to China in the hopes of garnering their approval.  They had turned us down, but it is due to a reason that we cannot understand.  The agency is taking all of the facts to them.  After that, we hope they will see that we only want the best for our children.  Stay tuned!  Visit Reece's Rainbow.  The child we are trying for is named Audra.  There are plenty of children on that site that need parents or support.

The Crayola Experience and the Girls

Kiersten won two tickets to the Crayola Experience.  It is a new attraction in Orlando.  Is it worth the price of admission?  I cannot say.  We did not pay the $20 per adult to go in.  We let Michelle and Kiersten go by themselves.  I do wish they had a better waiting area for the parents.  They probably think that they would be walking around the mall it is attached to.  I can tell you Mia and Elana found it boring.  That is because they sat in our laps while waiting.

After about 2 hours, we did go into the attraction to get the girls.  They loved it.  They said there were lots of activities for them to do.  They even had a two story play area.  I wish they could have stayed longer, but everyone was tired and hungry.

As we were leaving, a worker asked about Mia and Elana.  She thought they were twins.  We told her that they were adopted.  That led into a conversation about adoption.  The woman hopes to one day adopt a child.  We were also able to pass on the Reece's Rainbow site to her.  She also had an interest in special needs children.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Born in East LA

Oceanside is close to San Diego.  San Diego is near Mexico.  I remember one time we staying at my father's motel.  He had a job with the YMCA.  We were walking home at night.  His place was right near the train tracks.  Suddenly, probably slower than that, a freight train appeared.  You could see people running up to the side to board the train.

Later in his life, my dad told me of an incident where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  A bunch of INS agents swarmed the area he was in.  They rounded up people and drove them back to the border.  My dad was one of them.  He was able to convince them that he was an American citizen.  They had picked him up because he had black hair and tanned skin.

That reminded me of Cheech Marin's Born in East LA.  If you have not seen it, it was a fun movie.  Because of my dad's story, you will know it can happen.

Elana, a month and so Many Days

Elana is getting along well with her new family.  She gets around the house with minimal accidents.  She is letting more people hold her.  She has no problem eating.  She even let me cook last night.  I did not have to hold her.  I was saying her name last night and she repeated it.  Elana and Mia are getting over their rivalry.  This next month, she will be visiting doctors and setting up programs to assist with her growth.

If you have my checked out the post, Guardian Angel, do so.  I have featured another child from Reece' s Rainbow that is looking for a forever family.  We hope it is ours, but that is up to China.  You can go over to the Reece' s Rainbow site and see other children.  Please pass their site to friends and family.  They need all the support we can give them.

Facebook TMI

When I first joined Facebook, I thought it was great.  I tried to friend as many people as I could.  Over the years, I have started to scale back those "friendships".  I realized that some people were just doing it to be courteous.  Then, they never posted.  If they did, it could not be seen by all.

Sometimes, I wish people would not share things.  I try not to go overboard with politics, but some out there are just too rabid about it.  You have be careful what you post or run the risk of being attacked, on  Facebook, by them.  As for party's, I wish people would not share so much.

I have friended many from our adoptions.  The main reason is so we can share the growth of our children.  When I see some of there posts, I just want to unfriendly them.  I have done so to a point.  Families from our second adoption have been dumped.  I don't know what I was thinking when I friended them.  They did not care for us in China.  They even would post yearly get togethers, that they would "forget" to invite us to.

I think that is one reason I do this blog.  No one is forced to read what I write.  If you have something to say, feel free to comment.  I know a bunch of my "friends" would not care for what I write.  I can tell when I get no likes.  On the blog, all I see is the number of readers.  I find it interesting to see all the views from around the world.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Guardian Angel, Possibly # 6

I have been writing about new that we are waiting on.  I'd like it to be good news, but so far, it is up in the air.  I was hoping to blog the great news, but now we don't know what is going to happen.  The news is this, we are trying to adopt one more child.  We had planned this when we found Elana.  The child we want to adopt is pictured above.  Even if we cannot adopt her, I want to try and help her situation and that of the other children.  I plan to introduce more children in the hopes that people will find it in their hearts to donate.
I would like to introduce you to Audra.  She is a special needs child that Reece's Rainbow is advocating for.  One way they advocate is to raise money to assist a family to adopt her.  Elana went through the same process.  I have decided that I would like to start sharing some of these children on my blog.  If you want to help them, go to the Reece's Rainbow site and see how you can help.  Any donations made are tax deductible, in the US.  You can use the link I provided on my site and look her up by Audra.  There are many other children that you can assist.  They also give other tips of how you can help.  You can also share this site with your family and friends.  Any money or awareness that is raised would be much appreciated.

Neighborly Love

We have been living in our house for over 10 years.  We were the first group of people to move into this community.  On our block there are about 10 or so houses.  We have always been friendly to our neighbors.  We say hello.  Our girls go trick or treating at their houses.  We have even shared our adoptions.  One even considered adopting, until her husband said he wanted a blood related child.  Of course, I have given my opinion on that one.  Slowly, our neighborhood has changed.  Families have moved out.  Most of the time, they leave without telling anyone.  We lost another one this week.  They have not said anything.  We see them drive back and forth.  You'd think they'd say something.  Maybe, my mind set is from a different day and age.

Another one of the families who left used to talk to us all the time.  I think they mentioned moving to Angie.  As Kayla and their children grew older, they did not want anything to do with our girls.  We used to call them by their first names.  One of them turned out to be a school teacher at my daughters school.  They made the mistake of calling them by their first name.  She got upset and told them they had to address her as Mrs. so and so.  She did not have to get rude about it.  She could have explained it to them, but I think it had more to do with the fact that she did not care much for our family.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The horror! The horror!

I am a big fan of horror movies.  During the 70's and 80's they had some really good ones.  As computer effects started getting into it, it started to loose the fright factor.  When I was a kid, I used to eat these movies up.  The thing was, they would cause me to have nightmares.  My house in Oceanside had three bedrooms.  My room had a sliding glass door.  There is nothing worse than waking from a nightmare and looking out a sliding glass door.  My imagination would make me see things that were not there.  I would end up sleeping in the hallway.  It didn't help that behind our house was the local newspaper.  I think there would be nighttime activity.  Getting the paper ready for delivery, etc.  

Besides the fact that I liked the movies, some horror movies were about other things.  An example would be the Birds by Alfred Hitchcock.  On one level it is about crazy birds attacking, but if you look deeply into the symbolism, it has another meaning.  Most hack directors leave out any special meaning.  Lately, the movies are not that scary.  There are some directors, like James Wan, that are trying to bring the scare factor back to horror movies.  If you see a preview and it looks like they are incorporating a lot of computer effects, stay away from it.  It will be a waste of money.  I saw Poltergeist earlier this year and they really did not have to remake it.  It really was not that different from the original.  The man responsible for the first one directed one of my favorite movies.  That movie is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  If you watch this, it looks like a found footage film.  They filmed it on a shoestring budget.  

As Time Goes By

As you get older, memories seem to disappear.  I can only remember some of my early times in California.  We lived there due to my father being stationed at Camp Pendleton.  We lived on the base.  From there, we went to the town/city of Oceanside.  When we were there it was small and quaint.  I don't think it was as expensive as it probably is now.  We have not gone back since we left.  I did travel there via Google Maps.  I can tell it has changed a lot.  Even the house we lived in is gone.  The new house would have been a nicer place to stay.  

I have always been a fan of horror movies.  One incident that I can remember happened before I got into movies.  We were living on the base and someone broke into our house.  They took some things and broke eggs on our floor.  From that, I came up with some kind of alternate story of a mythical animal breaking into our house and leaving its prints.  I would always say that "the foot" broke into our house.  Of course, it was probably young people with a dog.  When you are young, your mind plays tricks with the facts.  

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Music Invoking a Memory

Today, I was listening to discs from the library.  I had checked out Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing.  On it is the track Angel.  That gets me every time.  In the song, she talks about a lonely hotel room and going into the arms of an angel.  My dad died in a hotel room by himself.  He was trying to get from Macon, GA to North Carolina.  His wife said it was to see us.  He made it as far as some seedy hotel.  I guess he had a heart attack while he slept.  I would guess he put too much exertion on his body.  Years of drugs and not living a healthy lifestyle took its toll.  That song gets me every time.

It's Thursday!

For most people, it is one day till the weekend.  However, this is our busy time of year.  I am one day closer to my overtime day.  Two weeks and it will all be over.  My daughters will get to enjoy my presence on Saturdays.  Things are progressing.  We have insurance for Elana.  We are waiting on news for something that was denied.  They denied us for the craziest reason.  This will be something I can go into after we find out which way this event is going to swing.  I am still trying to come up with ways to advocate.  Remember, try to visit Reece's Rainbow.  All kids want a home.

When this OT is over, I plan to get back to selling posters and getting rid of things.  Maybe we can save for that next trip.  I know Angie wants to go on another cruise with the girls.  There might be a surprise trip in between.  Got to make sure that Passport stays current.  I would love to get more stamps, but not every country stamps.  When we went on a cruise, they were selling stamps in one of the countries.  I guess that was to show we had been there.  That is one thing I like about this blog, I am sort of trans-versing the world through my writing.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. R.E.V.I.E.W

I went into this not knowing what to expect.  I went to the theater to get into line.  I was about 5th or 6th.  Shortly, another two people joined the line.  They came up to me wonder how long the line was.  It was clear that there was only about 5 or 6 people in the line.  I actually thought they were being sarcastic, but came to realize that they were serious.  Then they went to the other extreme.  They started complaining about people going up in front with there friends.  They even said that if they did not get in they were going to blow up.  I'm thinking, even if 20 or so people get in front of us, we still will get in the theater.  When my movie experience begins like that, I start to worry.

The movie turned out to be pleasantly surprising.  I guess I should not have doubted that it would be a good movie.  It was directed by Guy Ritchie.  He directed the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels.  This had a great pairing of actors and actresses.  Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer did a great job.  Henry Cavill reminded me why they picked him to be Superman.  It was a great caper.  I'm glad I did not research it too closely.  I still bet the original shows are probably corny and not worth my time.  If you get a chance to see this movie, do so.  It will be worth your time and money.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Reason to Adopt

At lunch, I was looking at Facebook and I found this story about a girl from China.  She wrote a sad essay about her life that caught the attention of netizens.  When I see stories like this one, I just want to adopt more children.  I know that I can not.  We do not have the space or the money.  Please take a look at this story.  It just puts a face on why I adopt.  If I can not, I feel that I should advocate for adoption.  If this moves you, pass it on and think about all the children out there that just want a family.

Back and Forth

One day Elana has insurance and the next day she does not.  Well, she is back to having insurance.  This time, I think it might stick.  I hope so.  We are trying to line up referrals to doctors to have her checked out.  The main one will be an eye doctor.  I believe that doctor might be in Miami.  Mia already visits doctors down there.  They have been keeping a check on here.  Angie talked to a person at the insurance company and she explained all that she had gone through.  This person looked into it and realized they had the information that they needed.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Another movie.  I hope this is a good one.  I have not seen the show, nor do I care to.  I find shows from the 60's and 70's to be corny.  I seen why producers want to update them, but they run a risk.  I don't really care for it.  If it is an older crowd they are shooting for, I hope they see some return.  It's much like that movie Maverick.  I didn't see either the show or movie, but I do not think I was missing anything.  Another sign about this movie is that it is releasing in August.  September is worse, but August is sort of the remainder of the summer movies.  Families are doing one last vacation before sending kids back to school.  Stay tuned.  I'll let you know if I'd pay money for this one.  It does have good actors and a good director.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Abandoned on Mars!

I was reading about a man who is trying to figure out how life will be without his wife.  She is one of 100 people who have been picked to go to Mars.  It is based on whether the company can afford to send them there.  The ticket is a one way ticket.  They are also basing this on whether they can get funding through a reality show.  What if it turns out to be like Utopia?  They fly them up there and cancel the show after one airing.  I guess it would become like Armageddon.  They will have to get up a crack pot group of experts to fly to Mars to save the world or at least the lives of the colonists.  We will all be watching while listening to I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith.  Then, they will have a competing group of astronauts similar to the movie Deep Impact.  If you don't get it, they were both movies about astronauts trying to save the earth from villainous asteroids and not the Atari versions.    

Shooting (pictures of) Lions while in Harbin, China (Updated with pictures)

While we were in Harbin, China, we had the chance to visit the Tiger Preserve.  Not only do they cater to Siberian Tigers, but they also had Lions.  They even had a Liger.  It is a rare cross between a Lion and a Tiger.  While we did not pay $50,000 to shoot these animals, we did have to pay the price of admission.  They only weapons we were armed with was a cell phone and a Canon Rebel.  Michelle claimed the Rebel, so I was left with the Cell phone.  I also had Elana in my arms.  We did shoot some pictures of the Lions.  I don't know if we got one of the Liger.  It was in a cage with a lot of wire mesh.  If it was roaming on the grounds, then it would have been a simple shot.  Although we did shoot these animals, they did live another day for others to shoot pictures of them.  Please return and I will be adding some pictures of those lions.

Clean Bill of Health!

Elana got to see the doctor yesterday.  She did great.  The doctor said everything sounded great.  She did make a comment about the eyelid surgery.  I told Angie if/when we adopt again, she should contact the orphanage and tell them not to allow any surgeries on the child.  This is the second time where our child has had some kind of botched surgery.  Kiersten had one on her foot due to the size of her leg.  She will forever have scar tissue because of that.  Our next step will be an Eye doctor.  Elana did have to get two shots, but she handled it well.  In China, she did not care for the doctor's visit.  They tend to treat that visit in a very mechanical way.  It is sort of an assembly line of checks.

First, we will have to wait on the insurance.  We thought it was settled, but the whole name thing is still getting in the way.  They have her as two people.  One with a Chinese name and one with an English name.  Even thought it is the same child, the system can not handle that.  If you are adopting and trying to set up insurance, just use the Chinese name until you readopt him/her.  It will save you a lot of headaches.

Monday, August 3, 2015

China and the Game of Thrones

In 2009, we were in Beijing to adopt Kiersten.  While there, we got to walk around and shop at many stores.  One of which was a book store.  In the book store, I saw plenty of popular artists.  One book that stood out was The Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin.  We had recently started listening to it on disc.  I picked up the book and looked at it.  It was in Pinyin.  They had all the books he had written on display.

The other day, I went to the library and was lucky enough to find season 2 & 3 of the show.  If you have not read/listened/watched this series, you need to check it out.  The books are really well written.  There are lots of characters to keep track of, but I have enjoyed it.  The show is one of the better shows out there.  It is for adults, but it has really high production values.  The actors who portray the characters from the book are spot on.  I wonder if the show is available in China?  They probably will have a fan base.

Special Olympics

I was driving in to work today and heard a story about the World Games for Special Olympics.  It got me thinking about Kayla.  She got to be a part of Special Olympics before going into the hospital.  Most of the kids and adults there had Down Syndrome, but they accepted children and adults with other disorders.  Kayla has Autism.  She was able to join their Cheer leading squad. For that time period, when she would join in, Kayla had a ball.  They got to go to many events.  I wish she was still a part of it.  She may get to go back when she comes home.  Everyone was very nice.  We got to meet a lot of great kids and adults.  If you ever have a chance to volunteer or are looking for an opportunity to volunteer, look up Special Olympics in your area.  They are always looking for volunteers.  If you can't assist in that manner, than donate money.  They can not always hold certain things, like cheer leading due to low finances.

This will bring me to another cause that is near and dear to my heart.  That is Reece's Rainbow.  Their main focus is for children with Down Syndrome.  They also assist children with other special needs.  Please go to this site and see if there is something you can do.  Donations are tax deductible and you can give to the organization as a whole or donate to a certain child.  When you give to a specific child, it gives an incentive to families to adopt that child.  Hopefully, that child will find the forever family that they deserve.  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

711 App

When I was a kid, my brother and I would go to the 7-11 store all the time.  We'd go to play video games, get candy and baseball cards, and Slurpees.  When we moved, we lost out on 7-11's.  North Carolina does not have them.

Now, I live in Florida.  We have 7-11's here.  Recently, they did a free Slurpee day on 7-11, July 11.  At this time, I added the 7-11 app.  With the beginning of August, they started a freebie weekend.  This week it's medium Slurpee.  Next week, it will be gum and so on.  If you have a 7-11 nearby, get the app.

Prize in the Center

Elana ate lots of fruit in China.  When we got home, she forgot she liked fruits.  When we put, fruit or vegetables in her mouth, she will spit them out.  Today, I tried an experiment with her.  I started by putting broccoli in her mouth.  She pushed it out with her tongue.  I took some mashed potatoes and put it around the broccoli.  I put it in her mouth.  I waited to see if she would spit it out.  She did not.  She ate most of the broccoli.  If you are having problems with your child eating vegetables, break them down and mix them with something they do eat.

Bird is the Word

Elana is slowly starting to verbalize words, when she is not screaming for no reason.  She can say baby, mama, and popo.  Early on, she was saying uh oh.  We constantly talk to her.  Sometimes I think she might be saying things in Mandarin.  It sounds like she is saying ni hao. Tomorrow, she sees the doctor.  She'll love it, just like she did in China.  She screamed like most of the girls did when being checked in China.

Can't live with them, can't live without them!

Everyone probably has one.  Some people love them and some people hate them.  You have different appearances and styles.  They can be pulled out or folded.  We actually have two.  One is a couch with a pull out bed and the other is a futon.  I have had people sleep on the couch.  They did not like it due to the metal frame.  Michelle had to have the futon.  She likes to sleep on it.  Elana has taken a liking to it.  In turn, I get to experience it.  At first, it was comfortable.  I do feel the wood frame, but I am getting used to it.  Hopefully, Elana will get used to sleeping by herself.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Shamain Island, Guangzhou, China

Another rung on the Ladder!

After many months of trying to get Elana insurance, we have finally got her coverage.  Elana will see a doctor Monday.  We will be able to start her checkups and find out if anything can be done about her eyes.  Also, Angie can start lining up assistance from groups like Lighthouse.  We also plan to start advocating more for groups like Reece's Rainbow.  Don't be surprised if I start showing children that need donations.  We will probably also try more fundraisers and try to figure out ways to help the orphans and maybe even the orphanages.

Olympic Buildings

Sorry for the delay.  I had to work today.  Here are the pictures of the Olympic buildings: