This blog covers our wait, travel, and adjustment to our 4 year old adopted Chinese daughter Sarah Shui Qing from Nanjing. There are over 1000 posts. I have moved my blog to Catching Butterflies 2. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog. It has alot of information on Special needs adoption. Follow us to our new address Catching Butterflies 2! Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You have until Thursday night to get your summer fun ideas posted on my Amy's adoption forum. The best idea post gets a custom made care package from Germany. I don't really know what I'm going to put in the package. I think I will ask the winner how many people they have in their family, what age their kids or grand kids are...and just gear the package just for the winner. So far Fran is the only one who has posted ideas. Fran has some great ideas and I'll be very happy to send the care package to her or her 2 adopted Chinese grand daughters! If you want to give her some have a few more days to post your ideas! The adoption forum is on the top of the side bar.

Ice cream!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sarah fell asleep in the living room. She wore herself out following her brothers around all morning. It makes me wonder if I'm making the right decision to keep her out of kindergarten this fall. I think I should at least be looking for a January kindergarten place. She really needs to play with other kids. It's so good for her!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here is a KFC Chinese ad. There were KFC's everywhere in China. When Juergen and I went out for lunch together in Shanghai (before we got Sarah) we ended up at a KFC. Juergen was jet lagged and wanted what was more western to eat. We were not alone in the restaurant. The place was packed! Juergen went to the counter to order food to take back to the hotel for the kids and my Mom. It was so funny to see the giggling school girls standing in line behind him. Juergen is tall even for a German (6 feet 5 inches). I wanted to take a picture of this, but a mean looking security guard comes up to me and says no pictures. Here I was in China, and I could not take a picture of my own husband. On the one hand China was so western, and on the other hand so controlled. It was weird.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A friend of mine asked me about adoption. I wanted to write something about the special needs process. All 3 of our adopted kids were found on special needs waiting lists. I don't have any experience with the "normal" adoption process. I don't think I would ever really want to sign up with an agency and wait for that agency to give me a referral for a child. Juergen and I both preferred to look at lists of kids and choose a child based on what we felt was right for our family at the time (let me explain that statement). When we adopted Philip, we wanted a boy who was as young as possible. We already had two daughters. His SN was 2 holes in his heart (ASD and VSD). He already had surgery to correct his heart condition. Jessica also had heart surgery when she was a baby, so the heart thing didn't bother us or scare us. When we adopted Thomas, we wanted a Thai brother for Philip. We had already met Thomas in Thailand. His SN had also been corrected in Thailand. This is why we adopted Thomas. Sarah was adopted because I had always wanted to adopt from China, we wanted a girl and we didn't want a baby. Her SN is minor and we felt her strong personality would fit well into our family (and it now does). My point is, we choose them. The Special needs process is generally shorter then the regular process. Some times the SN process is less expensive. Also nearly 80% of the kids now waiting in orphanages are considered SN kids. Most have very small SN's, many have already been corrected. The SN places them in the category of being harder to place. So many of them will never find a family. We figured most people only want the healthy young babies. We are use to handling more (because Jessica has autism), we might as well go for the harder to place kids. To be honest with you, boys are the hardest to place of all kids. Even "healthy and normal" boys never get adopted just because most people only want a girl. I personally think girls are easier. I think Sarah's transition was the hardest, but the boys are harder to raise. Still, I love them all so much! I'm so happy we have our boys and our girl!

When you adopt internationally you generally don't have much information about the child's family. Some people find this a good thing because you don't face birth parents trying to come and take the child back. Right now Philip is having some real hard challenges learning. Some background about his birth and family history would be nice to have. Jessica my fist born daughter is very disabled. I did everything "perfectly". No smoking, drugs, or alcohol. I never missed a Doctors appointment. She had a safe birth. She had every advantage, but still she was very sick. I figure there are no guarantees with birth children, or adopted kids. Some birth children get sick, and some adopted kids get sick. Some birth kids have learning problems, and some adopted kids do too. Having kids is risky business. The real question is will you be willing to fight for your children.

If you adopt, your life needs to be an open book. You lay your finance’s, health records, and relationships down in writing for a social worker to read. You put up with a small mountain of paper work, and you pay a pretty pile of change (between $10,000 and $30,000). You wait, and once you get your child you may need to work to earn their trust and love. It is no small mater. But being blessed to raise a child you did not physically have is also no small matter. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the gift I have been given. Everything I've gone through to actually get my kids and even the difficult transition I had with Sarah (and it really was difficult) seem small to me. They call me Mom, and I'm blessed beyond reason to be their Mom! Right now Philip is having some real problems learning. It's breaking my heart. I think we have to send him to a special school for learning disabled kids in the fall. We are also spending a great deal of time researching what may be the cause for his problems. We are seeing allot of Doctors. My Dad asked me over the phone if I regretted adopting Philip. I said no, no way. He is my son. I love him. I'm just worried about him. I'm fighting for his future. There are millions of kids in orphanages around the world. Someone needs to step forward and fight for them. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it isn't! But someone needs to fight for them. I'm so glad God has given me the honor of being their Mom! It is a calling, and they are a gift! I guess the real question is "can you fight"?

I like to look at Photo lists because it makes me really aware of the fact that there are hundreds of kids waiting for families. Especially for our first adoption, when I was afraid I might not be good enough to be allowed to adopt, the fact that there were waiting kids gave me the courage to try to adopt. If the kid was on a list and he did not have 100 families competing to be their parent, maybe we might be considered “good enough”. Here are a few addresses to photo lists of waiting kids. Other agencies allow you to look at their lists of waiting kids if you fill out a short application. I warn you, photo lists can be harmful…and could lead to an adoption! You may find yourself looking into the eyes of a child you will never be able to forget! As Sebastian the crab in the movie “the little mermaid” once said, “looking leads to wanting, and that leads to trouble”! Americans are allowed to select a child from a photo list. German families are not allowed to choose a child from a list. Germans have to wait for a referral. I don't know the process in Canada or any other country. We went through the US process for all 3 of our adoptions.


Adoption Advocates International
AAI does not photo list, but if you fill out an application you can see their waiting list, and they are my favorite agency.

Harrah's Adoption International Mission
I think you need to join their yahoo group to see the photo list.

Lifeline Children's Services

you have to fill out application to see their photo list.

Chinese Children Adoption International

you need a password to see their list

Children's Home Society of Minnesota
you e-mail them for the pass word to see their list

Holt International
I think you just need to ask for their password

Children's House International
You need to fill out a small application to look at their list.

I got my first summer fun post on the adoption forum. It came from Fran who has 2 Chinese grand kids. She wrote about making mandalas with her grand kids. We like making mandalas too. It's very good for hand strength. Philip's Occupational Therapist used mandalas. Kids need good coloring skills for school. It makes them better writers. We have a book of mandalas, but Fran said there is a web site called the mandala project. Thank you for the great post Fran! I'm so glad you are enjoying your grand daughters! If you want to share your summer fun ideas, leave a post on my adoption forum on the side bar. The best post will get a care package from Germany!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

This is from today. We picked flowers in a field.
Don't forget to post your summer fun ideas on my adoption forum (on the side bar). The best post will get a care package from Germany.

Thomas took these fun foto's a few days ago. They include a few of him close up! My kids are loving to get their hands on the camera. I hope you will also hand the camera to one of your kids...and add your blog link to my Mr Linky. I want to say Thank you to Beverly for posting her daughter Glenys photos. I'm going to keep posting my kids photo's each week because they just love taking pictures. I hope you will join me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hi, I just posted a question on my adoption forum. Tell me your best Summer fun ideas. What do you do with the kids during the summer vacation? I will give you one week to post your great ideas. The winner gets a German care package! Good posting! I'm sure my kids will love to give your great ideas a try! The adoption forum is on the side bar.

Have you seen this? CNN has a whole page of stories about China.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The 6 week summer vacation begins today. We have lots of great stuff planned. For me, the best part is just staying up really late, and sleeping in. Maybe I'll put a tent up in the garden so we can camp? Sarah is going to be happy to have her brothers and sisters home. We will play with water and eat lots of ice cream and watermelon. What fun stuff do you do with your kids in the summer? Leave me a comment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Did I tell you Sarah has gained 5 pounds, 2 1/2 kilos since we got her in April! She has already out grown all her shoes. I need to measure her height. The kid keeps growing like a weed! She is one happy kid! She is a very bright spot in my life right now. I just put her to bed with zero effort, and many hugs and kisses.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Did I tell you it's raining? Well it is. It's pouring. I hope we don't get the same flooding England is facing right now! The kids are watching a DVD. We had some fun earlier taking a few photos. This was my favorite. Jessica is sick. Poor baby. School finally gets out for us on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to getting some extra sleep.

Last month, a doctor was arrested on suspicion of illegally aborting 260 female foetuses after police recovered bones from the septic tank in the basement of his maternity clinic in the outskirts of New Delhi.

In India & China millions of females are either aborted or abandoned each year because of the preference for boys. In India this need is driven by the economics of the poor. Traditionally a family must pay a bride price of nearly 3 years wages to honorably marry off a daughter. It's not legal, but still widely practised. In China it is the one child policy that drives this preference for boys. When a boy must care for his parents in their old age, but a girl traditionally cares for her husbands parents, and you only have one child you are going to want a boy. Sarah was left on a stone bench on the day of her birth. She was probably the victim of this "need" for a boy.We will never know for sure why she was left on a bench. I thank God for the life she was given. I'm grateful she is now ours.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I have no real news for you today. I'm wasting allot of my energy trying to find my son Philip a school to go to next fall. It really does worry me he gets the education he needs to address his special needs (we believe he has both auditory and visual processing problems). Any way, I am looking at some of my favorite blogs. The Cline family posted this video of their son Ethan. I was blessed to meet this wonderful family in Guangzhou. One of the sad things about traveling during the trade fair was traveling without a travel group. I never expected to meet any other families. The Cline family had a medical emergency with Ethan. They flew quickly through the whole process so they could bring Ethan home. I cried when I saw this video. Just look at him run! He could not even hold his own head up when I saw him! Oh thank you God! What a sweetheart this amazing little boy is...and what a great family he has!

I also want to point out that Karen from Always in my heart just got her daughter Elaine. Elaine is their 4Th Chinese daughter and 5Th Chinese adoption. They also have two beautiful biological children. Elaine has the special need of CP, Cerebral Palsy. She has an amazing smile. Go see!

Friday, July 20, 2007

One of the first times I ever thought about adopting was as a University Student. I was a communications major, and had to make speeches on controversial issues. I often chose to speak out against abortion and for life. Of course the whole issue of the quality of life (both the mothers and the potentially disabled child) came up. At this point I took the attitude of mother Teresa, if you don't want the children then give them to me. I have a disabled first born child, and 3 adopted special needs children, as well as a healthy biological child. I can say with absolute conviction all life (healthy, disabled, or adopted) has worth! I also know if more people would be willing to adopt, there would probably not be so many abortions. Now I am going to preach to the choir, but adoption is a declaration of life! Every child has value... but not every child has a family. If we would commit ourselves to adoption, perhaps we would not see abortion so widely practiced. I found this cool counter on Cindy's blog. If you are "pro-life" you must be "pro-adoption". Perhaps you personally can not adopt. If you can not adopt, maybe you can help other families that do adopt. There are organizations like Love with out boundaries, AAI, and Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries that have scholarship programs to help families adopt. Everyone can participate in the miracle of adoption! Every child needs a family!
Something for the body and Spirit-
Dare to detox, it is a form of fasting for your health. I'm hoping to teach a seminar based on the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Fasting is one of the classic spiritual disciplines. A good book to help you is God's Chosen Fast. In this CNN article you read that Detoxing your body is good for the system. It is also good spiritually. It is hard to do at first, but it does help you think more clearly, and pray with more faith and focus. It is a spiritual discipline I have not practised for awhile, but I'm feeling like it is again what I need to do. I challenge and in courage you to detox for your health, and better yet practise the spiritual discipline of fasting for both your health and spirit.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm going to have to buy her a camera. Sarah was like, "let me have that thing"!!! Boy did she have a good time taking her 5 photos this week. She was taking pictures of her nose, mouth, and feet. She tried to take pictures of her diaper, but they were all a Burr. Mickey, Mama, and Nicole were also her favorite models besides herself.
Feel free to add your child's photos to my link below. Give it a try, and you might be surprised how much fun it is to see the world from their perspective.

Well, we are in the middle of a major melt down. Philip had a book that Sarah decided she wanted. She screamed for it. He did have it first, and I felt it's not right to just take it away from him. So she is having the biggest fit! Philip offered to swap with her (I had given her another book). She would not swap, she wanted both. I forced the one book from her hands, and gave her the book she had made such a fit over. Not good enough, she demanded both. I said stop this or you go to bed. So she is in bed screaming for Juergen. I am the bad guy. She started screaming again, I don't want Mama in Chinese. It's been awhile since I've heard those hateful words. I can not let her act like this. Imagine my spoiled rotten princess pulling this number in kindergarten. No...I can not let this continue. It hurts to sit here, but she has to act like a civil human being. She can not demand everyone give up their toys just because she wants them!'s later. She screamed for over 20 minutes. She stubornly cried for Juergen. He isn't home. He is at a buisness meeting tonight (lucky man). I stood my ground. She finally calmed down and began to cry for me. I immidiately picked her up. She did her best to say she was sorry. I told her again what she had done wrong, and that she can not take toys away from other kids. Then I gave her a shower. She had worked up a big sweat. She LOVES her shower. Then we had some watermelon. This melon has allot of seeds in it. It is super sweet, and the best we have had this summer. It made me think that you lose allot of flavore with a seedless watermelon. I guess my life would be much easier if it did not have all these pits, but I don't think it would be so sweet!

Sarah cut Barbies hair so I decided to color it. She looks like a German Rock star.Poor Barbie never gets much respect in our house. Nicole use to pull her head off, and Jessica would toss her out the window of our 4TH floor apartment. Poor Barbie!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sarah looks at Juergen's shoes.

Sarah fell asleep on Juergens lap while we were looking at hotels. We are spending a weekend by Juergens parents. His mom has her 70Th birthday party in a few weeks. It should be a pretty nice party with the whole family. We look forward to seeing everyone. We got a super hotel with a swimming pool and sauna, and buffet breakfast. It should be a little mini vacation. I'm going to America in September so I'm not sure we will be taking another vacation. The kids have Vacation Bible School, and a few other things lined up. Juergen will take a week off too. Next week is the last week of school. The kids get 6 weeks of vacation.
The 20 minute power play!

Sarah didn't get enough sleep last night. She woke up moody and demanding. Juergen bought these sweet snacks(milschnitte). Philip wanted to take one of these cakes to school. I said OK but first he had to eat his breakfast. Sarah saw the cakes and demanded to eat one NOW! We said not until after breakfast. She screamed for 20 minutes. I just love to get a good temper tantrum first thing in the morning (not)! But we stood firm! Finally Juergen had to go to work. Sarah kissed Papa and made up with us both. She eat her breakfast, then got her snack. I probably need a few hours to get over the stress of her tantrum. But I won! The terrorist did not win...I WON!!!Never negotiate with a terrorist...NEVER!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

We are making some real progress putting Sarah to bed. Juergen does it one night, then I do it the next. She goes to bed very sweetly now. I read her a story tonight. When she is good she gets a sticker. The morning is our new challenge. We are working on making her get out of bed alone. She was trained to stay in bed until someone got her out of bed. She will scream and cry each morning until Juergen gets her out of bed. Today I said "Sarah you can get up now. Come give me a kiss", and she did! Then instead of crying for Juergen, she went to him. That's very big progress!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Sarah has been with us for 3 months now...and it's so nice to see her finally feeling at home!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Loving Lydia does the old Friday photo challenge. Her theme this week is play ball. I love this photo of Sarah. I could not resist posting it again! Sarah has been a real sweet heart for me today. Juergen took Philip and Thomas to Holiday Park (a big roller coaster park in the South of Germany). I was afraid Sarah would be really sad to be left behind. She was instead very loving and huggy to me. I just got her to bed. No tears...and a dozen hugs and kisses! Thank God for the growth! I also added Sarah's referral picture. She is holding a ball in her hand that has butterflies on it. This is partly why I named my blog catching butterflies.