Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ebay Auction

I am trying to raise a little money. Have you all ever heard of Brian Stuy?

He was the gentleman who found Lizzie's finding ad for us and as a result, the youngest picture we have of her.

He and his wife travel to China frequently and has started a small business of locating finding ads, police reports, orphanage info and so much more.

You can check out his website, here.

Anyway, I am trying to raise a little money to hire him to search for Lizzie's Police report. Lizzie was not found with a note and we really have no info about what she was wearing or what she may have been found with. We know she was left at the entrance to a building on a very busy street, but that is all.

It may be futile, but I am hoping for something, anything, so...

I am raising money. Brian does not charge much but it is still more than I have in my paypal account right now - sigh!!

I am selling this adorable Berenguer, Asian doll on Ebay.



It is brand new, in the box and the item number is 270601074348 and is listed under Berenguer baby dolls. If you are in the market for a really cute doll for your little one, please check it out!!

Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giveaway



I would like do a small giveaway to celebrate my blog's year anniversary and as a small thank you to all who have followed along this year and to all those who have commented and encouraged.

In the long wait for Lizzie, I accumulated many wonderful books on adoption - a lot of books on adoption.

I would like to pass along some of these wonderful books, so...

all you have to do is leave me a comment on last week's Waiting Kids post, here. I will assign each comment a number and randomly draw to pick a winner. TM and Maggie have already commented. I will go ahead and place their numbers in the drawing. I will leave the giveaway up for one week! The winner can choose 2 books out of the list below:










not a book about adoption, but an inspirational book about Motherhood

Thank you again to everyone!! Looking forward to a whole new year!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Pets

I love dogs!! I have loved animals every since I can remember. We always had at least 2 dogs and a cat when I was growing up and I can tell ya that my dog, Molly, got me through some of that rough "teenage angst" when nothing else could.

Thank goodness we have 3 dogs and a cat right now, considering we are getting ready to have an official teenager in our house come October!! Yikes!

When I was all grown up and able to have a fenced back yard, the first thing I did was to get a dog! Maggie was her name and she was just the cutest little thing!!



After a while a long came Gracie (rescued from the pound)



and I was hooked - hooked on dog rescue!

I have fostered many needy dogs over the years. Check out a Blog Hop I participated in that was All About Pets. I had a lot of fun with that blog hop and was shocked when I actually saw (in one blog post) just how many pups we had fostered and I didn't even include the kittens!!

Many of the dogs came to us from really sad situations and many of them simply came to us.

One of my first fosters was Homer.



Homer was an old hunting dog who either was let go or had gotten lost on a hunt. It was obvious that he had been in the woods for a long time and never been in a house or been loved on at all. He was a beat up old fellow but still very sweet and trusting.

Homer actually led me right to an older gentleman whose family had for whatever reason, abandoned him. Mr. H loved dogs and was looking for a 4 legged friend to keep him company. His wife was in a nursing home and his grown children just didn't have much to do with him. He had many medical needs and was sick a lot but had so much love to give to sweet Homer. I visited Mr. H just about every week and had great fun hearing about and sharing in his life. I felt blessed to have known him.

I will never forget smuggling (we had cleared it with his nurses first) our littlest dog into the hospital to visit Mr. H when he was at the point that we knew he was not leaving the hospital. Cricket sat on the bed with him as he stroked her and talked to her. I hope that visit brought him a bit of happiness that day. He passed away shortly after.

There was Smiley Girl who spent her life in the median of a very busy 4 lane highway.



Everyone assumed she had been dumped and was watching and waiting for her family to return. It took many weeks of treats and dog food to try and rescue this little one. She was scared and very leary of anyone who came too close. I was finally able to catch her and slowly but surely rehabilitate her so that she could be adopted. Even though Smiley passed away three years ago, her wonderful family still sends me a Christmas card every year.

There was also Kendal, a 10 year old Golden Retriever.



Kendal was one of our latest fosters who came to us because his elderly owner died. This gentleman's family could not be bothered with caring for the companion who had, more than likely, been his ever faithful companion for many years. Kendal was not only old but also had seizures and yet we were still able to find him a wonderful elderly couple who are now spoiling him rotten!!!!

Today, we have sweet Lily. Lily has 3 legs and tons of love!! I don't know Lily's history but I do know that she will have a wonderful future. She is a "follow you around" kind of dog. Not intrusive but always there patiently waiting for some love or attention. I really hope to find a wonderful family for her soon, or...



she may never leave!!

Just recently I have learned of another sweet little pup whose elderly owner can no longer walk her. So...



his family is forcing him to give her up. What is wrong with people??? They are both heartbroken but a sweet friend of mine is desperately trying to find her a home. She offered several suggestions to the family to keep them together but the family just wants this sweet pup gone.

Then there are the constant litter of puppies.



This cutie is from a litter of 12! Sigh!! Spay and neuter people!!!!

Every single one of these dogs have added so much to my life and now to our kids' lives. They have learned compassion and responsibility and a desire to help those in need, even if those in need are animals.

Sorry this Sunday Snapshot is so short on pics. My !@#$%^&* computer is still down and I don't have access to many of my pictures. Again, you can go here to check out the pics of all of our fosters and hear a bit about how my love of dogs have shaped my life.

As always go to

Ni Hao Y'all


to read more great Sunday Snapshots

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

We were at the pool today - again! The pool is my lifesaver in the summer and now...

I don't have to swim every time we go! I can actually sit in a rocking chair and watch!! Wow!



Sooo, we are spending a lot of time at the pool!! Hehe!!

One of the kids actually had the nerve one day to tell me that he was getting tired of the pool!!!! Um excuse me!!! I don't think so!! You can get tired at the pool, but you are not allowed to get tired of the pool!! Heh!



Anyway, while we were getting tired at the pool today, I noticed a little girl (maybe 6 or 7) looking at Lizzie, a little girl of obvious Asian descent looking at Lizzie, a very outspoken little girl of obvious Asian descent looking at Lizzie. Sigh!!

I think every Momma of a special needs child knows this "looking" look and dreads this "looking" look. As she inched closer to Lizzie, I watched a little more closely and steeled myself as I waited for it.

The "it" is the inquiry, "What is wrong with your hands?"

I knew it was coming because I have seen that "look" so many times before - so many times. I saw it with my brother and now I see it with my Lizzie. So I know!! Why, I am what you might call a "look" expert!!! Thank you very much!

So anyway, as I held my breath (because even an expert like me looses a tiny piece of my heart every time it happens) and waited for "it." I got ready to jump in (the conversation - not the water) and help but only if Lizzie needed help - yeah right!!

As this little girl reached her destination, I heard her ask Lizzie if she wanted to play with her!! What??? Really???

OK, exhaling now!

I then heard her say to Emmeline, "Is she your sister?"

Em gave her an affirmative nod!

Little girl, "She is your sister?"

Again the nod!!

Little girl, "Well, she looks Chinese to me!!!!!"

OK, exhaling and laughing out loud now!!

Kids! Ya gotta love 'em!

So yeah Lizzie has a visible "difference" and yeah some kids notice (and then usually go on with their play), but so many more kids either don't notice or notice and just simply accept.

Sometimes I forget, because you do tend to get bogged down in the ones who do say something.

So here's to you beautiful, outspoken, little girl of Asian descent!

Thank you for reminding me that Lizzie is so much more than just her hands and feet. She is Chinese. She is 4 years old. She is a great soccer player. She is tender hearted, yet strong. She is a great sister and she is one terrific daughter!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gift Idea

With this week's Sunday Snapshot about my Dad and the wonderful graduation gift idea over at TM's blog (seriously great blog), I started thinking about the Christmas gift that we gave my Mom this year. I have to admit that I saw this idea in an issue of Southern Living magazine and loved it, so not an original idea but still great and I wanted to pass it along!

Because this was Mom's first Christmas without My Dad, I wanted to give her something special. In the weeks after we lost Dad, my Mom and I found comfort in looking through old letters and pictures and such. We came across some postcards that Dad had sent to Mom on several of his fishing trips. There was one in particular that just sounded so much like my Dad. You see, he was a man of few words and wasn't particularly sentimental, preferring to show his love in his doing rather than his words.

This postcard simply said, "Dear June, Weather perfect. Fishing great. See you soon. Love Luke."

I decided to steal (I mean borrow) this one and have it blown up and framed as our Christmas gift to Mom!

Hubby took it to our local Kinkos and had it enlarged. He had to play with the color a bit but when it was done, it was wonderful.



Finances being the way they are for us right now, I just went to Target, bought a cheap frame and that was that!

My Mom loved it, especially after she re framed it!! Hehe!!



I also did the same thing with one of her parents wedding invitations!!! So cool!!

I just don't know how I will top it, this Christmas - and yes I am already stressing!!! Hehe!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Orphan's Wish

My friend Stefanie over at Ni Hao Y'all is celebrating her 1000th post (wow) by doing a really cool giveaway.

She has been working with and volunteering for a wonderful organization in China called, An Orphan's Wish. This organization takes care of special needs orphans in China, not only physically but emotionally as well.

Please go check out Stefanie's giveaway, here and leave a comment, because...

for every comment, Stefanie will donate one dollar to this wonderful program,

An Orphan'sWish


and if you know Stefanie, you know just HOW many comments she usually gets!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - My Dad



This is my first Father's Day without my Dad. We lost him in September of this year after a long struggle with back pain resulting in a long struggle with pain meds and more recently, glaucoma that resulted in total blindness and finally Alzheimer's, which was like loosing a little bit of him every single day. To say that his final days were difficult would be a huge understatement. It was heart wrenching for me to watch this tall, strong, handsome, outdoorsy man, my Daddy, slowly fade away.

My Mom was a rock. I have always been impressed by her true southern lady strength, but had no idea just how incredibly strong she really is. She had to transition from being cared for to being caretaker and she handled it all without complaint, because she loved him and it was just what she had to do.

Last night, I was reading a beautiful post by Coleen over at, The Crazy Eight. She talked about her own Mother's current struggle with Alzheimer's and as I wrote my comment, I remembered something that happened a week before my Dad's death.

I had come in to help Mom that weekend and on that Sunday, my Dad was in and out of clarity. However, the one thing he kept repeating over and over again was that he wanted to go home. We tried desperately to understand what "home" he was talking about. We thought maybe it was his one of his childhood homes, but it was not.

After a long while, it finally occurred to us which "home" he was talking about. He wanted to go back to the first home that they had purchased together. The house that they brought myself and brother home from the hospital to.



He was so weak, but we somehow managed to get him in the car. We drove him to this house, his "home", knowing that he could not see it, but hoping that just going there would somehow give him some peace.

I will never forget pulling in front of the house and what I heard him say as I told him that we were there. My Dad, with his beautiful, clouded eyes and total lack of vision said, "I knew it would be bright here!"

I still cry every time I remember that day and I am so thankful that we were able to give him that little bit of peace. He passed away a few days later.

I will never forget my Dad and find myself remembering the good times and slowly forgetting the bad. He loved with his whole heart and felt things so deeply that I believe it sometimes hurt. He was a husband, a father and a doctor and he loved being them all and was devoted to them all. He was passionate about the things that he believed in and didn't waste much time on the things that he did not. He was smart and compassionate and reserved, unless you knew him well. He saved all his funnies for us:)

He was an avid fisherman,



a frustrated weatherman, whose little weather radio was never far from reach,



a devoted husband,



the absolute BEST Gada,



and my Dad.





I miss you terribly, but am comforted by the fact that you are now and always watching over us.

Happy Father's Day to my Dad and to all the great Dads out there, especially the one who happens to live here,



who coaches soccer,



and attends tea parties!!!

See, I haven't forgotten about you, honey!!! XOXOXOXOXO Hehe!!!

Click here to join in on this week's Sunday Snapshot or to read others!

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One Year Old!!!




My blog is a year old!!! Whoo Hoo!! I started this blog in June of last year when Lizzie had been home a year and when I decided that the website I had started for her and our journey to her was done. I had poured my heart and soul into that website. It was a labor of love for my sweet girl and I wanted it to be the baby book that Lizzie never had.

After a year of being home, however, I thought it was time to move on. I had learned so much by reading the beautiful blogs of other adoptive families and I wanted to reach out to more people, to share our family with all of our ups and downs and craziness and love. I had never thought about using this blog to advocate as well, but it somehow seems right. I love the support and encouragement and prayers that I have received from all of the wonderful people who follow along. Thank you all so much for commenting and encouraging and supporting me and my little blog!!

I would like to do something to commemorate the occasion and I am thinking maybe a small (emphasis on the word small - sigh) giveaway. I will post details next week. My !@#$%^&* computer is broken AGAIN and I am having to sort everything out on my borrowed one!!!!! UGH!!!! So look for some details next week!!!

Again, THANK YOU to all who read and follow and especially for all your wonderful comments!!! I bet this next year will be even more fun! We will have our first official teenager in the house!!! YIKES!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cool T and Fundraiser

Remember Tim?? I advocated for him a while back, here and then was able to share the great news that he has a family!!

Well, his family is trying to raise money to be able to bring him home. They are selling some really cool shirts on their blog .



Please go check it out and help bring sweet Tim (now Michael) home!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Finger!!

This is what I heard from the back seat:

"Mom!! I can do my middle finger!!!"



Say what?????

Just as I was about to blame those shady big brothers, re: this post , or perhaps riding one too many times in the car while her father was driving (Just kidding - hehe)...



I realized that Lizzie was really just excited to be able to hold that middle finger up. She works with her little fingers a lot and this was just one more accomplishment, or...



maybe, she and those crafty brothers of hers have got me totally duped!! It would be easy to do. I mean just look at that face!



Naw, I think I will stick with accomplishment - that is what I am going to tell myself anyway!! Hehe!

Wordless Wednesday











Love this girlie!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sisters!!

Since this week's Sunday Snapshot was all about big brothers (check out previous post), I just had to post about sisters!

My girls are what is commonly referred to (in the adoption community anyway) as "virtual twins."

Em and Lizzie are only 2 months apart...



although you wouldn't know it by looking at them.



Em is a whole head taller than Lizzie...



but it has worked out well for my "virtual twins."

You see, Em is baby CRAZY and had it in her head that she was getting a baby sister!!



Well, Lizzie is not a baby, but she definitely needed to be babyed for a while and is small enough to be picked up,



and lead to safety,



and taken care of by her big sister,



but only when Lizzie lets her!!! Hehe!

Like here:

video

However, Lizzie will sometimes get tired of being the "baby" for her big sissy!

video

I must say, though, that it really seems to work for them



I never had a sister and I have dearly love watching this sister relationship grow and flourish and evolve!

This was our last day in China. Should have had an inkling...



don't they just look like trouble??? Hehe!!