Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm so trendy-- who knew???

According to Mike Seate, a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune, I'm trendy.

Who knew? What makes me so trendy you ask? ('Cause this is definitely news to my kids!)

Yes, that would be my newest "accessory" Emma. Mr. Seate (although I'm not so sure he desires the designation "Mr.") says that adopting internationally, especially an Asian child, is making a fashion statement and equates the child to a fashion accessory:

"Call me cynical, but since when did Asian children become “must have” fashion accessories for upper middle-class Americans?

Along with Calloway golf clubs and season tickets to football games, paying $30,000 to $40,000 to adopt an exotic baby is suddenly viewed as the most chic purchase this side of a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps."

First of all, Mr. Seate got his facts wrong. Most international adoptions cost far less than $30,000-$40,000. But the accusation is totally preposterous. Who in their right mind would spend hours, and hours and hours preparing paperwork to adopt a child when they could simply walk into a pet store and buy a small toy dog to stick in their purse? The amount of hours and money I have spent on this latest adoption of Ryan alone I could have traveled to New York city, stayed in the Plaza and bought several pairs of Milano Blahnik pumps. All 3 of my adoptions put together I could have a nice Lexus! Obviously my priorities are in a different place.

What Mr. Seate fails to realize, maybe because his intellect is incapable of grasping the facts, is that a family adopting their "exotic baby" is scrutinized by a social worker, an adoption agency and the United States government USCIS-- the new name for Homeland Security. Its far easier to adopt that small dog than to adopt an exotic baby. Oh, which reminds me-- the family is also scrutinized by the country the family is adopting from. Too bad that some fools having babies the good old fashioned way aren't subject to such scrutiny.

But I'm not just trendy, I must be a trend setter. We all know that trends have to start somewhere and if its trendy now then someone had to start the trend.

Wow! TWO Asian fashion accessories! I'm really trendy! Obviously when we started our "paper chase" to adopt our precious baby girl Jenna the only thing we had on our minds were starting a trend. Now I'm so greedy I'm going for THREE! But where and how will I wear my newest one?

But even before I had any of these three accessories, because it's not like I actually wanted to have a child to add to my family, I was trendy before even Paris Hilton or Brittney Spears were setting their newest trend:

Who says you can't have it all?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Update on Ryan!

Today I received an email from my wonderful agency, CCAI-- Chinese Children Adoption International, that they had an update on Ryan.

On June 17 Ryan was healthy. He was 33 1/2 inches tall and weighs 26 pounds. I think Emma weighs about 20 pounds! At least if I carry one on each hip I'll be pretty well balanced. I also got some head, chest and feet measurements. His feet are 14 cm, which is 5.5 inches which I think corresponds to a size 6 1/2 children's shoe.

So I think he will wear 2T and size 6 1/2 to 7 shoes. Time to go shopping!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Best Buy-- best buy?

When we moved in I knew I needed a new refrigerator and I decided to get a new dishwasher too. I had gotten used to the really quiet one I had an rumor had it my newly inherited dishwasher was quite noisy. It was hard to face going back to the sound of the "swish, swish, clonk, clonk, swish"multiple times a day.

When I got into KC one of the very first things I did was look for new appliances. I went to Best Buy first and never went anywhere else. I knew I wanted Stainless Steel and if you've shopped for appliances lately then you know if the appliance has the words "stainless steel" attached to it in any combination you can automatically add a hefty percentage to the price. But Best Buy had a stainless steel LG refrigerator with French doors, ice and water in the door and a bottom freezer with a tilt down freezer door.

I was in lust.

It had been returned because it had 3 dents in the door and was marked down $900 to reflect the damage.

No, this wasn't lust, it was love.

Anyone with kids knows that with 6 kids in my house dents in the doors are inevitable. My doors now had a head start on the dentage to come. The refrigerator was mine.

Of course the dishwasher had to match brands and it just so happened that they had a floor model they were discontinuing that was Stainless Steel and had the controls on the top of the door. It didn't have a manual so it was marked down $200. Could this get any better????

It did-- 0% interest for 18 months! Oh happy day!

The following Thursday my new dishwasher is installed by Mike the Plumber. Mike is eager to finish my install because he has just finished a job at a local winery and was given 2 bottles of wine. Mike can't wait to get home to open his new wine! In fact, Mike wishes he had a cork screw so that he could open his bottles now. But he stays long enough to pontificate on the inferiority of other big chain stores that hire trained monkeys to install their dishwashers and that is why the big chain stores are often stuck with multi thousand dollar bills when the dishwasher floods.

Obviously Mike the Plumber has never read my blog and learned that we NEVER put ourselves in a position to regret what we have said.

Thursday night I used my new dishwasher with great joy and to my amazement it was even quieter than my old one!

Friday morning I woke up and and there was a large puddle of water on my kitchen floor. The inside of my sink cabinet was soaked with water. Water was dripping through the sub floor onto my unfinished basement floor. After I had the sense to turn the water off at the dishwasher valve (water was dripping from the connection at a steady drip) I spent the day dealing with Best Buy, who re-sent Mike the Plumber to fix the leak, and water extraction companies who were all to busy from recent storms to come look at my house.

Mike the Plumber shows up and tells me there is calcification build up. He extracts it and goes on his merry way. I refrained from inquiring about his wine.

Later that day my wood floor around the sink cabinet begins to buckle and become warped. I ask Best Buy how they plan to handle this. Their solution is to send someone to look at the damage because Mike the Plumber said there wasn't any damage. My reply to them? "Yeah, I bet that's what he said. Of course that's what he said. He doesn't want to be held responsible for this."

Fast forward a couple of days and I get a call from Mike the Contractor. Mike the Contractor, who is actually Mike the Plumber, is on his way to see my floor. (I guess he became a contractor over the weekend -- good for him! Its always good to improve oneself!) I tell him fine but I'm at the post office so my son can let him in.

{I'm at the post office because living with a water leak and damage isn't enough to deal with. No I'm also dealing with an adoption and its accompanying paperwork that needs to be done NOW. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I had just moved in???}

Mike the Contractor calls when when he leaves my house and tells me that my wood floor is warped but that it should settle down in a few months. What he told my son is that its not Mike the Plumber's fault because it wasn't from the installation or the dishwasher, it was from OUR line.

Its times like this I wish I had a man to deal with these kinds of things. I just get tired of fighting so many battles.

But I don't have a man and you know what, I'm not doing so bad without one. So my plan is to have a flooring company give me an estimate to fix the floor and present the estimate to Best Buy.

I wonder if Mike the Contractor will become Mike the Claims Adjuster?

Monday, June 9, 2008

We Have LOA!!!!

"What is LOA?" you ask. Why its merely China's OFFICIAL approval for our adoption of Ryan! We have been officially approved and now we wait for for them to send us our TA-- Travel Approval. Our agency says that travel is usually 5-7 weeks from LOA so we could travel in July which means that we should travel in July before the kids go back to school.

I can't believe it!!!!!

I had just taken Julia and Emma to get their passports. I didn't want to apply until we moved because I didn't know if I could apply in Tennessee and have them sent to Missouri. Julia has a passport that expires in January. Your passport has to have 6 months left on it for China to issue a visa. Emma only has her Vietnamese passport.

I was going home and checked my Blackberry at a stoplight and saw an email that said I had my LOA! I couldn't believe it! I didn't expect it yet for one thing, and the other was that I was scared to death I would be turned down. I don't meet China's new requirements on a couple of rules and although I had beaten the May 1st deadline I was still worried. But worry no more!!!

But when I saw that email I started crying "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!" scaring the girls half to death. (First of all I would like to apologize to my readers and to the Lord for taking His name in vain; this is not a usual habit of mine.) Then I started crying because I DID have approval and I had been so worried. The girls were completely silent the rest of the short trip home-- I don't think they knew how to handle Emotionally Out of Control Mommy.

So tommorrow I get official paperwork, from China, that I must sign stating that I accept Ling De Long as my child and then I Fed-Ex if off to my agency the same day. And then I kick it into high gear preparing for my second adoption and second international trip in less than a year!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A House Full of Boxes (Part 2)

I'm back. Finally.

The moving van took away my furniture from my old house last Wednesday and delivered it to my new house yesterday and I was surrounded by boxes again. But this is the picture I took earlier this evening:

I suppose if your house HAS to be full of boxes then empty boxes are better than full boxes. So basically the move is going pretty well. My house isn't put together yet, but its not looking so bad. We can actually move around.

Its so good that I'm allowing myself a chance to watch Lost on My plans for last Thursday did not go according to plan. We did not get out of town by my planned 1-2 p.m. Instead we left around 3:45 and left a pile of trash in the driveway to have hauled away since we just ran out of time to run it to the dumpster. The delay in our departure meant that we did not get to St. Louis in time but instead got checked into our hotel around 9:30 instead. Which meant I was an hour and a half into a 2 hour show. I've lived in fear since last Thursday that someone would slip something but so far so good.

But this means that this post must be short and sweet so I can hopefully watch both parts of the two hours before I pass out from exhaustion.