An agency has reported to their clients that matching has begun.
No word on how far along, or when they may be mailed......
Posted by the mommy at 3:35 PM
Posted by the mommy at 1:46 PM
1. Were you named after anyone? Well, Kind of my mother wanted to name me after a NUN that she was close to but her name was Ramona so my father vetoed it and they named me Susan Marie and my maiden name starts with a R so technically I was named after Sister Mary Ramona. 2. When was the last time you cried? Earlier this week when i posted the letter from Amy Eldridge (Love without boundaries) to my blog 3. Do you like your handwriting? No 4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Salami 5.Do you have kids? Yes, a daughter in China 6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? Sure. 7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Yes 8. Do you still have your tonsils? No gone at 5 years old all the koolaid and jello I could eat yummy 9. Would you bungee jump? H*#@ NO 10. What is your favorite cereal? I love all cereal especially the stuff that is not good for you LOL 11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Sometimes 12. Do you think you are strong? Most of the time .13. What is your favorite ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip 14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Hmmmm Their attitude 15. Red or pink? Red 16. What is the thing that you like least about yourself? My weight 17. Who do you miss the most? My Dad 18.What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Both black 20. Have you ever re-gifted? Hmmm probably but I can't think of anything off hand .21. What are you listening to right now? The copy machine at work 22. If you were a crayon what colour would you be? Red 23. Favorite smells? That smell in the spring of being outside Oooo Rhonda I like those too but I really like anything baking Bread, Cookies, Cake any food smells... LOL you would not have guessed that right LOL 24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? A Client 25. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes! of course I do...She is a real Peach 26. Favorite sports to watch? If I am being forced to watch sports I will have to say Pro Basketball... Do Gymnastics and Figure skating count as sports? LOL 30. Favorite food? Chinese, Italian, Mexican... really not much I don't like though... 31. Scary movies or happy endings?Scary movies with Happy Endings... I love them both 32.Last movie you watched? The Zodiac 33. What color shirt are you wearing? Black with a white pattern 34. Summer or winter? Winter I live in central Florida for god sake LOL.. but summer is good for picnics at the beach or the springs too 35. Hugs or kisses? Depends on who is giving them Rhonda good answer i am going with that one LOL 36. Favorite dessert? Just about anything 39. What book are you reading now? Nothing 40. What is on your mouse pad? Do not have one 41. What did you watch on TV last night? It was on but I could not tell you what Riz was watching I think Antique Road show.. I was to busy replying to my e-mail LOL 42. Favorite sound? Laughter and Music 43. Rolling stones or Beatles?Both again love them both. 44. What is the furthest you have been from home? Don't laugh New Orleans oh and Maine once 45. Do you have a special talent? Kind of personal don't you think LOL 46. Where were you born? Willingboro New Jersey... Yeah I am a Jersey Girl LOL So the trend I see is I am either easy going or in decisive LOL What do you think.... and I am not going to tag anyone but if you want go ahead and play along....
Posted by the mommy at 9:20 AM
Posted by the mommy at 9:42 AM
Posted by the mommy at 8:48 AM
This is a wonderful, all be it hard to read letter written by Amy Eldridge, from Love Without Boundaries..I read it several months ago and it touched my heart. Today when I opened my friends Alyson and Ford's blog they had it posted and asked that we all spread it around to help raise awareness of the issues. So I gladly am posting it here today. It is long but very important to read, if you are adopting, are the family or friends of or are contemplating adopting a child. This issue is one near and dear to our hearts because we are adopting Sophia from China, but it should also be important to those of you who will be around us and her. The letter will help you to understand why we may do certain things a certain way. We hope that you will take the time to read it and ask us any questions you may be having. Thank you in advance for caring about us and Sophia to read this it means the world to us.
and here is the letter from Amy...
Friends and Family- Please read this.What to Expect When You're Expecting (from China)…….A MUST Read for Adopting ParentsBelow is a letter from Amy Eldridge, from Love Without Boundaries, addressing the recent adoption disruptions and parental preparedness. If you are reading this, think about posting it on your site - a waiting parent who reads your blog may benefit from it.*****I have been so saddened by this situation. I most definitely wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that there are just as many parents who are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are.There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage, and who head overseas to pick up their perfect child only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat….. and on and on and on.While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having. I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), "she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom). I guess since I live China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case.I talked to at least a dozen parents who didn't even know their child's orphanage name, and while I gently said "you might want to memorize that for your child's sake", at the same time I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues. It was sobering to me.Babies in the NSN (non special needs) as well as the SN (special needs) path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more. I think all of us on the WCC (Waiting Children China) list acknowledge that, while also acknowledging that all children (whether bio or not) can have these same issues. Living in an orphanage of course increases the odds.I think the easy out is to say that agencies have to do more, as well as social workers, but I do think that most of them do try to give information to the parents but often parents don't want to hear it or else think it won't happen to them. Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents leaving soon and to realize they are not prepared. One family was adopting from our foster care program, and when I told them that the child was DEEPLY attached to the mom, the father said, "guess she might cry for an hour or so then?" An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year! I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour. I told them to please remember the 72-hour rule.......that after 72 hours they would probably see her spark, but that she would probably grieve for a long time after that as well.I think for many adoptive parents, they just don't want to read the "bad stuff", and so I do think that ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves. There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues. I equate this to when I was pregnant with my kids and I would read "What to Expect When Expecting", and I would get to the C-section part and always skip it. Each and every time I would jump to the next chapter as "that wasn't going to happen to me". Well, on my fifth baby, when they were rushing me in for an emergency C-section, I sure was wishing I had read that section earlier! But at that point in the OR, while they were strapping my hands down to the table, it was too late, and so I felt complete panic when I could have been prepared. I think adoption from China is very similar to giving birth...it is much more rosy to only read the happy stories on APC, but I now encourage every family I meet to read the harder ones as well, because if you are the family who is handed a child that is limp and listless and who looks autistic, what you have learned in the past will help you make the right decision for your family during those very emotional first few days.I have been called many times in the last few years by parents in China worried about their children. I agree that having a support network to help you through the initial time is essential. Everyone should go to China with at least one phone number of someone they can call if they are panicked upon meeting their new child. I remember feeling so alone when I was handed my daughter and she was so tiny and limp. Because our foundation often helps with the kids who have been disrupted, I am aware that sometimes there are children who have much more serious issues than originally reported…. and that is such a hard thing for a parent to get to China and then discover their child is truly autistic or has serious mental delays. I think everyone on both the China and international side would agree that it is absolutely wrong of an orphanage to not be honest in their reports, and no one would excuse that, but I also know without a doubt that the majority of kids who are disrupted are just suffering from institutional issues and would catch up quickly in a loving home. It is always a very sad day for the orphanage and everyone involved when a child that they know is absolutely fine, but perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed".I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them. The truth is, and everyone must realize it….. a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China, and all of their experiences are shaping who they are. The vast majority of aunties that I have met in China are such kind and caring people, but it absolutely is not the same as having a mom and dad at your beck and call. I have had new parents call and say "we didn't think living in an orphanage would affect her at all", and those statements truly puzzle me. How could they not contemplate life in an orphanage?Walk through Babies R Us and you will see every gadget known to man to make our children's lives here as ideal as possible. Now Americans have two way video monitors, so that when baby awakens not only can mommy see when to immediately rush in and comfort him, but she can talk to baby so that he doesn't even have one single second where he feels alone. How many new parents would have a newborn and then put that baby in a crib 22 hours a day on their own? How many would only feed their baby, even if they were really crying hard, every 8 hours? Or prop the bottle in her crib and then not watch to see if she ever really ate?Of course no one would do that…... we feed newborns on demand, comfort on demand, love continuously…. and whether people want to recognize it or not, that is NOT the life of an orphan in an institution. .….. even when the aunties are as good as gold. I remember one night when I took some volunteers in for the night shift in an orphanage, when normally just a few aunties are working. One mom looked at me with tears in her eyes as she slowly realized that it was absolutely impossible with just two hands to feed every child, to comfort every child, to soothe every baby who was crying. She said her heart was aching to realize that her own daughter most likely had many, many times where she cried without someone to comfort her..... and she told me that for the first time she finally understood why her daughter had such a deep seated fear of being out of her mom's sight.The aunties are trying their absolute best, but that doesn't equal mother/child care. I remember being in an orphanage in the north this past winter and the aunties were so proud of how they had 6-8 layers of clothes and blankets on every baby to keep them warm. They were swaddled so tight that they couldn't move, but it was freezing in the orphanage and so the aunties wanted the babies to stay as warm as possible. What alternative did they have? It really was freezing there…... I was cold in my wool coat, so the babies couldn't be up and about with just 1-2 layers on, with the ability to move their arms and legs. To stay warm they had to be immobile, and so of course all of those kids have weak muscle tone. But the aunties were truly trying their best, and when a parent is given one of those beautiful children on adoption day, I am sure they will go back to their room with concern and say "she can't sit up by herself…. she can't put weight on her legs". That is absolutely the truth, but she also survived 10 degree weather in a very cold province and she will catch up soon enough with parents to encourage her.To not acknowledge that living in orphanage circumstances can cause lower body weights, low muscle tone, inability to make good eye contact is very sad to me. Can it be overcome? Most definitely! The one thing I have learned over and over again about the kids in China is that they are fighters and survivors. But for some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.Recently, one of our medical babies that we had met several times in person was adopted, and we all knew that this child was a "spitfire". When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt. She absolutely was not what they expected. When they called their agency, they were told they had two choices: adopt the child, bring her to the US, and change their expectations of what they were hoping for, or adopt the child, bring her to the US and the agency would have a family waiting at the airport to adopt her locally. Option three of leaving the child in China was never once given. I admire that agency so much, as they were thinking of the child and the child alone. The family followed through with the adoption and handed the little girl to a new family upon her arrival in the US. As horrible and tragic and emotional as it was for everyone involved...I still feel this was the right decision for the agency to make. It was done in the absolute best interest of the child, who had waited a long, long time for a family. I wish more agencies would advocate for the rights of the child, instead of always seeming to give in to the parents, especially in those cases when they know with absolute certainty that nothing is permanently wrong with the child. Recently with another disruption, the agency I spoke with told me that it was "easier" to just get the family a new baby.Sometimes easier does not equal right. The first baby who was rejected has now been labeled "mentally challenged" even though the agency knew the child was really going to be okay.I think all of us, who do realize that delays occur and that babies can usually overcome them, should be these children's advocates by continually trying to educate new parents on what to expect in China. By helping them be better prepared, we just might help stop a disruption in the future. I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart, and it is my life's work…. but I also want every family who goes to get their baby to go with their eyes open and to be as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake.Amy Eldridge, Love Without Boundaries
Posted by the mommy at 2:29 PM
Posted by the mommy at 6:59 PM
Posted by the mommy at 2:16 PM
Those of you who comment on our blog will notice that I have changed the setting so that I can moderate the comments. I only did this because I feel like I miss comments on old post some times. Nothing has happened, no one was mean or anything just wanted to be sure I see and respond to any comments you all leave. Thanks for taking the time to follow along and commenting. We love to know that you care and to read what you have to say. Many people go password protected on their blog after returning home from China to protect their children. You see anyone can click on the pictures on your blog and use them how ever they chose. Many people (us included) find it creepy to know that a stranger could be looking at their daughter. We Will be going password protected after China. I wanted to wait until after China because I want everyone to have the chance to follow our trip. Once we are home I will set our blog to password protected. I will send any of you who want to continue to follow Sophia's blog as she grows an invite to join. You will still be able to see and read everything that you do now, you will just have to sign in to do so. I will post an other message about a week before I do this so everyone has time to e-mail me their request and so I can send out the invites. Thanks again for caring enough about us and about Sophia to come here and read about what is going on...
Posted by the mommy at 10:15 AM
Posted by the mommy at 11:25 PM
We have waited so long to make this post. Now that we feel our time is drawing near we think it is time to start the guessing.... Where is Sophia?
Where do you think Sophia is from? Above is a map of China and all of it's provinces. Over on the side there is a poll, go click on where you think Sophia will be from. Remember that most of the Children adopted through international adoption come from the Southern Part of China. We have seen EAC go to Sichuan, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hubei, and several other provinces. Riz has always had a Hunan feeling, I have always thought Hubei..... We of course will be happy no matter where she is from...
Posted by the mommy at 2:00 AM
Posted by the mommy at 8:52 AM
Posted by the mommy at 6:11 PM
The message below is a letter sent to all members of Half the Sky asking for help. The blog entry is long but we ask that you take the time to read it and help all of the children in China if you can.
Thank you Susan and Riz
this one really hit home. In all likelihood, most of our daughters-to- be (INCLUDING SOPHIA) are experiencing something pretty horrific right now. Please read, and if your financial situation allows, help:
Welfare institutions in south and central China are having the hardest
time dealing with the weather disaster. This part of the country is
simply not equipped to deal with extreme cold or heavy snow and ice.
most common critical problems are power outages, lack of safe drinking
cooking water, lack of fuel, diapers and public transportation. In
places where buses have stopped running, our Half the Sky nannies have
been walking hours (in one case, 4 hours) along icy roads to get to
children. As conditions worsen, our nannies and teachers are
the institutions day and night. They have given up the idea of going
to their own families for the holidays. They need quilts. They need
clothing. They need coal, water, disposable diapers and food.
Here are the reports I have thus far, while in-flight. I will send
soon. Where you don't see a report, either all is well or I don't yet
have information. I will tell you when we've heard from everyone.
also given all the directors an emergency number to call when/if the
Hunan Province –
Chenzhou has had no electricity or water for six days. They are
on coal for heat and cooking. The supermarkets and banks are closed.
Staff is using personal money for baby food, diapers, coal and water.
Costs are rising due to shortages. They have a natural well which,
thankfully, is not frozen. Even the older children are helping to
water. They have perhaps six days of food remaining. The local
government is overwhelmed by the disaster and is unable to help much.
Shaoyang has seen heavy snow every day for 20 days. There is
water and, for the moment, there is power, so the children are warm.
However, 5 of 6 power poles have been downed by weather. Only one
and the institution fears it will fall as well, leaving them without
electricity. Much of the rest of the city is already dark. Children
caregivers continue to work and play together. High school students
cramming for exams and trying to ignore the cold. Everyone prays that
power pole will continue to stand.
Yueyang also has no electricity. The one functioning power generator
being used in the children's dormitory. They are relying on coal heat
the price has tripled in recent days. They are running out of food
have applied to the local Bureau of Civil Affairs for funds to buy
Our HTS nannies have been walking for hours to get to work, often
on the ice, "even though they try to be cautious."
Xiangtan has had snow for the past 10 days. The main water pipe is
"broken again." There is no water for cooking right now but they do
electricity, coal and blankets. They are still able to buy food but
prices have gone way up. Not all of the HTS nannies can get to work
day. They are keeping the programs going as well as they can and make
sure that at least five nurturing nannies are there with the babies
day, along with the institution' s caregivers.
Jiangsu Province –
Changzhou has seen some heavy snows but the director reports that the
children are fine. The director says that he's doing his best to
that the children do not suffer. Public transportation is crippled by
snow and HTS nannies and teachers are waiting for hours to catch a bus
home or even walking home in the snowy dark.
Nanjing reports no problems at all despite the heavy snows. I tried
fly into Nanjing yesterday but it was not possible.
Anhui Province -
Chuzhou has both water and power. Only public transportation has
HTS nannies and teachers are walking to work. They are leaving home
early to be there for the children.
Guangxi Province –
Guilin has two broken HTS heater/air conditioners in the Infant
rooms and they've asked us to replace. The rooms are very, very
They ask for more soft matting for the floors and also snow boots for
HTS nannies who've been slipping and falling in the ice and snow as
come to work. They are so ill-equipped to handle severe weather.
Jiangxi Province –
Fuzhou lost power for a few days but now it is back to normal. The
stopped a couple of days ago but now is falling again. The directors
HTS staff have gathered all the children into one big room to keep
warm. They've bought New Years clothes for the children and will have
party no matter how bad the weather. This year, however, the foster
parents will stay home to keep the children safe. The institution has
enough food and water. They want us to focus on those in more serious
trouble and ask us please not to worry.
Jiujiang says they've never faced such bitter weather. They
need disposable diapers. Washable diapers cannot be dried. They need
warm clothes, shoes, gloves hats quilts and warm mats for the floors.
They need medicine for infant coughs and colds.
Hubei Province –
Wuhan suffers heavy snows but they still have power. Heaters are
but there is no water for bathing. The local community has offered to
take children in for the Chinese New Year and the institution feels
may be the best decision to keep them safe.
Huangshi reports that the freeze is so severe that all heater/air
conditioners have stopped functioning. They need quilts and warm
for the children. They need disposable diapers. Several HTS nannies
fallen on the ice on their way to work and they need medicine to treat
cuts and bruises.
Gathering these reports together makes me think about how careful we
always been at Half the Sky to maintain our focus on nurture and
programs. Ours is not a medical or relief organization. There are
wonderful groups who do that work. Probably the primary reason we've
able to accomplish so much and reach so many children is because we've
maintained our focus on our core mission -- providing nurturing care
children who've lost their families..
But a moment like this really cannot be ignored. The tragedy of
Katrina in the US taught us that no matter how wealthy a country might
its vulnerable citizens (old, poor, ill, and orphaned children) are
ones who suffer most when disaster strikes. Even as China seems to be
entering the first world, a disaster like this is quite simply
We know that orphaned children will be among those who suffer the
I say this because I think we should break one of Half the Sky's rules
and, if there are sufficient funds raised in the Little Mouse
Fund, we should offer relief (water, food, diapers, quilts, clothing)
any orphanage where children need help. Let's see how this goes. If
people are as generous as I think they might be, we will work with the
provincial Bureaus of Civil Affairs in every hard-hit community, and
assistance to all welfare institutions where there is need.
Please lend a hand, however you can. You can donate to the Little
Emergency Fund by calling us in the US at +;1-510-525-3377 or in Asia
+852- 2520-5266 or by visiting us at http://www.halfthesky.org/. Once there,
can click on "Donate Now"
or go to http://www.halfthes ky.org/help/ docs/usdonation- orderform. pdf
download a form to mail or fax. Donations are tax-deductible in US,
Canada and Hong Kong.
Please forward this message and tell your friends and family
I will be back with an update very, very soon.
Thank you!JennyJenny Bowen
Executive DirectorHalf the Sky Foundation
Posted by the mommy at 9:46 AM