Sunday, May 25, 2008


Yesterday was a wild weather day in our part of Oklahoma. Supercell thunderstorms developed in the area and were dropping tornadoes frequently. Thankfully, they didn't do too much damage and no one was hurt. A hog farm was hit and several of the barns there were destroyed or damaged. A home got damaged and a small church was destroyed.

I took this picture out in our pasture looking to the east. If you look past the tree in the middle you will see one of the tornadoes. It was about 7 miles away and moving away from me. You could see it better in person, but I didn't want to get any closer. LOL. It actually was the first tornado I had ever seen live with my own eyes. I always wanted to see one, preferably not coming right at me (LOL again) and out in an empty field causing no damage. As far as I can tell, this one was not one of the ones that caused damage.

Now Violet can't hold it over me for her having seen tornadoes before when I hadn't. :)


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Starting over again

Kevin and I have been on the road to adoption for a while now, and when the opportunity to adopt from China arose, it seemed so right (and it still does!) but things started to slow dramatically, so we opted to explore the waiting child program through our agency, Great Wall China Adoption.
We originally got in line for a non-special needs daughter, but our thinking behind adopting a daughter only was because we were told to not do anything unusual (like request a boy) to make the line longer. Well, the line grew without our help. We decided there were some special needs children whom we could offer a stable, caring home and decided to pursue that option.
Just before we accepted Jacob's referral there were a few couples, we saw, who said you could adopt special needs children and still wait in line with your non-special needs log-in-date (yes, the line is that long). That excited us, (we've always wanted more than one child) but our agency said it could not be done, and shortly thereafter the agencies allowing it (I think there were 2 at the most) said the CCAA no longer allowed it (if they ever did).
We had to give up our original LID to accept Jacob's referral, but it is something we don't regret, because we love our little boy already. If something should happen in the interim and CCAA does not officially approve the adoption (they are review our dossier now) then we still would be in line with our original LID of 4-4-07.
Someday we plan to pursue another adoption for a daughter (we couldn't bring ourselves to take the ticker down, so we altered it without the LID), hopefully from China. But for now, we are focused on bringing Jacob home.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Orphanage update

We received an e-mail from Great Wall China Adoption today. They have heard some news from their Beijing staff about Jacob's orphanage. There was no damage reported to the orphanage, and everyone seems to be OK, but because of the fear of aftershocks "all staff and orphans are living out of the building and temporarily living in the tents ..."

Maybe being a little boy he's treating it as a big adventure. Oh boy! Living in a tent! I hope so.

I feel pretty helpless sitting here with a roof over my head. I am very grateful he's safe, and I just have to keep believing and trust things will work out.

Please keep us, especially Jacob, in your prayers.


Monday, May 19, 2008

In review ... and some quake news

We received word from Great Wall China Adoption our dossier is in review now. Hopefully, CCAA won't have too many questions. But, we figure they will have some since our home study we had to submit with our dossier originally was submitted for non-special needs.

That's OK, though, because we need to update our home study for USCIS anyway.

We also saw on Rumor Queen a parent has posted that Jiangzhang SWI was not damaged by the earthquake, so that's great news. We still would like to hear for ourselves, but GWCA is working on that.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still ... no news is good news ...

But it also is very stressful. We have heard nothing from Jacob's orphanage, which in itself is worrisome that it is so difficult to contact this orphanage. But, we have heard another orphanage in the city, Baoji, did sustain minor damage from the earthquake but the children are fine and are able to live in the orphanage. We don't know why it is so hard to get information about or from this orphanage, but it is frustrating, and we hope to hear something soon. We did hear that 30 people in Baoji have died as the result of the earthquake, but it is a city of millions, so the odds are good Jacob is fine.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another update

We heard from our agency this morning, and there is still no concrete news from Baoji City about Jacob's orphanage, but Leigh Anne from Great Wall China Adoption did say there was no report to China Center of Adoption Affairs of any damage, which is probably the only information they are going to get at this time. So, no news is good news, as it is said.
Most of the efforts are being concentrated in the harder hit areas south of Shaanxi province. And while there were close to 100 deaths (so far) in Shaanxi, it does not sound as if it was hit so hard that there would not be any contact with CCAA if there was a problem. We did hear an orphanage a couple of hours south of Jacob's in Baoji was OK.
Leigh Anne said all of the orphanages in the area of the quake are accounted for, with the exception of one that is in the hardest hit area, and there has not been any contact. GWCA does have a family with a waiting child at that orphanage.
Continued prayers are needed.
Kevin and Violet

Monday, May 12, 2008

Helpless feeling

It's a pretty helpless feeling when you hear about the earthquake in China and your son is there and you can't reach out to him, hold him and comfort him.

Jacob is in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, which, if my measuring on the map (thanks National Geographic) is right, is about 325 miles or so from the epicenter of that awful earthquake. If thequake was felt in Beijing, which is around 900 miles away (not to mention Thailand, Pakistan and other countries) I would assume it was felt in Baoji. We've contacted our agency, Great Wall China Adoption, and they are trying to get information. Obviously, there are quite a few anxious people hoping to hear something. They said they would let us know if and when they hear anything.

Great Wall also told me a couple of families from the agency had left Chongqing Saturday for Guangzhou after being united with their children. I'm glad they got out of there beforehand.

This is such a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.


Monday, May 5, 2008

God bless you little one

Ballou, one of our two dogs, passed away around 1:30 a.m. Monday. She started having trouble breathing around 1 a.m. or so and went downhill quickly. She's been with us for 11 years (she would have been 12 in September). She was Violet's dog first (she brought her into our marriage), but I was with Violet when she picked her out, so she's been my dog all that time, too.

She was what we term a "pressage dog," meaning if you were laying down and she hopped up on the bed and pressed against you it was the best feeling in the world. She would stretch out and press against you with just the right amount of force to make it irresistible.

Since we don't have any children yet, Ballou and Hot Rod have been our children, so her passing has been pretty hard. We will miss her terribly.


UPDATE: Thank you all for your kind words. What Kevin wrote was wonderful. I always said I would take the death of my dog hard, and I even outdid my expectations. I have changed the photo with my favorite photo of Ballou. Bless you all. Violet

Friday, May 2, 2008

Oh myyyy gooodnnnessss!

Someone with the same referral and PA (pre-approval) date as ours, whose child is from the same orphanage, received their LOA (letter of acceptance) today!! I'm wondering if they were already through review (which we are not) and how they ever got referred that fast. As exciting as this is, we don't even have Jake's room cleared out yet!!!!

Oh myyyy gooodnnnessss!!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I saw God today ...

Our Sunset

Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. — Author unknown