Sunday, March 30, 2008

3 Words Week 5

Picture the woman in this photo brunette and looking much worse.
Damn! My benefits kick in on Thursday and I didn't make it. Oh well. Had a fever, it's broken, now I'm just coughing and sneezing. Good thing I have my own office, because, oh yes, I must go to work tomorrow, and Tuesday, etc. (no PTO yet either!)

We had such fun plans to celebrate our 2nd anniversary as a family. Oh well, there's always next weekend. Kurt's been looking after Kelsey all weekend and is exhausted himself...what a gyp!

This is such a lame post that I invite everyone to go back and read yesterday's post about our trip to that was a (long!) post!

Hope YOUR weekend was better ....ahh....choo!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy 2nd Family Day!

I have the opportunity to blog about our lives with Kelsey everyday. Today, I want to take you back to the first time we met our Angel Face in China. These are the first photos of her and us as a family. Enjoy!

I don't want to ever forget a single second of our stay in China. Our journey started out with a few challenges en route to Beijing, but once we got there...all was exciting and fascinating! We toured, shopped and were treated like royalty. The guides were wonderful and the travel group was a large mix of great folks who were so excited to be having their children!

It was cold in Beijing, and in my quest not to be over weight on luggage, I didn't pack warm coats for us. However, the layers of sweats got us through. I joked a few times that the touring in 2 days in Beijing (Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Silk Market, Pearl Markets) was a test that if you could pass without dropping from the cold/exhaustion, you got to go onto Changsha and have your baby.

Every day I counted down to the day we'd met our girl. Finally it was time to get on the plane to go Changsha, which is further south in China. It was warmer there. We only had one evening left before finally becoming a family.

Finally, our day arrived! We were supposed to meet at 8:30 in the lobby of our hotel to go for the short ride to the Civil Affairs Bureau. You never saw so many prompt families in your life! I sat with Kerry and Richard and made small talk...I was nervous...but mostly about not crying. I really didn't want to bawl in front of Kelsey and frighten her.

We got to the building and parked. We walked into the room and were told that one of the groups of babies had a hold-up due to a bus breakdown and would be delayed. We all cried about that because we all wanted to receive our kids together...but it wasn't Kelsey's group. We were told that all the babies from Huai Hua (Kelsey's orphanage) had arrived and were ready to meet us. We were supposed to go one at a time and we'd have to give our passports and TA to the Head Nanny to confirm our identity. I mentally prepared for a wait because there were about 11 families with babies in Huai Hua. We all promised to take photos/movies for each other.

To my suprise, the doors opened and they immediately called Huai Shuang! I stepped up with the passports/documents and they reviewed them and returned them to me. The Orphanage Director himself was holding Kelsey. She had been crying and her eyes were wet with tears and she was congested. While I took back the passports, Kurt stepped forward and took Kelsey. I was happy for this because I wanted to get a good look at her and see her face and could do this while he was holding her. She didn't cry and didn't seem upset, but when I see photos of her now, I can see that she wasn't happy. However, I did have a couple of toys in our diaper bag that I pulled out for her. She loved the ducky with the plastic keys and clung to that for most of the time. To my great shock she had 4 pearly teeth, 2 upper and 2 lower. She did smile for us a few times.

We waited and watched smiling as the rest of our group received their children. Then we left for a short time (not sure if we went shopping for formula/diapers then or later) and went back to the hotel to get acquainted. We were to return back later to complete the adoption and sign everything and transfer the money.

When we got back to the hotel, I laid Kelsey on the bed, and tried to undress her to see if she was okay or if she had scabies or I wanted to dress her in an outfit I'd brought, but she was frightened and cried, so I let it be. Kurt and I played with her and tried to get some smiles out of her. She was much tinier than I realized she'd be and she couldn't sit up or roll over yet. Kelsey really seemed to like the toys we brought her so we spent a lot of time showing them to her and letting her hold them...Other than a cold, Kelsey was fine, no scabies, rashes or anything.

Pretty soon it was back to the Civil Affairs Bureau. We spent a long time waiting in the waiting room. I remember other families there, waiting to receive their children and one little girl in particular, who was older and sobbing dreadfully about being separated from the nanny.

Finally we were led into the large room where we first met our daughters. The Nannies were there and the Orphanage Director (who was a man) they all answered questions about the babies and their routines. To my amusement, Kelsey was one of 3 babies that were eating table food (at 8.5 months!) and only took 2 bottles per day. She was also labeled the worst sleeper in the group! (HA!)

Eventually, we moved into the Adoption room, where we promised to love our daughter forever and never to abandon her (as if!). We signed on the dotted lines, stamped our fingerprints and Kelsey stamped her foot print on the files. Every single worker commented about Kelsey's big eyes and said how pretty she is. One of the workers called her name "Shuang Shuang" and Kelsey whipped her head around in answer to her name...this suprised me because first...I thought they might have called her Shu-Shu and second that people used her name to speak to her. This made me feel happy and we did call her Shuang while we were in China.

Eventually, we did get to a few stores to buy diapers, formula and a stroller.
Kurt went to a "paperwork party" while I stayed with Kelsey. She kept making these clicking noises with her tongue and seemed distressed when I didn't respond. When I questioned our guide Helen, she said that this was a tease that the nannies did to the babies. Kelsey was trying to communicate with me! We did a lot of clicking after that!

One more thing...while still in the US, I bought some biter biscuits as a lark. I packed them thinking she might like them...well, these were a god send. Every day about 3-5pm she'd be in meltdown mode...not happy and crying. These things calmed her down and she could gum her way through one in about half an hour. I hoarded these like gold while in China!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Three Words, but a little late

Happy Belated Easter to Everyone!

Kelsey had a wonderful weekend except the girl has no love of the big white bunny.

Yesterday marked 2 years to the day that we left for China to embark on the voyage to become parents. This Friday, 3/28, is the BIG DAY that we met Kelsey and officially became a family.

Enjoy the photos!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Three Words

This is an old photo of Kelsey's first birthday, but it feels like this past week. I'm all over the place emotionally. The house is a mess and I do not have a second to do anything about it. Heck, I can't even find time to go to the dry cleaners...I have pants that need to be hemmed and I bought them in December!
Add to this a daughter who won't friggin' go to sleep and you have one grumpy Mama! (it's 10:30 PM!)
I need a day that I can kick back and take care of life...but it ain't going to be soon...

Friday, March 14, 2008


Hey All,
I usually don't mix my personal blog with my professional life, but I am going to make an exception to this today...

I'd like each of you to check out my non-profit's website The LEAGUE . We are an organization that helps schools through web based curriculum do service learning (teach volunteerism) to kids in grades K-12. I believe in this org's mission with my whole heart...learning that doing good gives you "the warm fuzzy" that giving back to your community gives you.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that if each of us could experience this on a regular basis, it would change the world.

As a Development Professional, I'm looking for a grass-roots way to raise some funds for some amazing projects we have coming up. We work mainly in urban environments. You cannot believe the spirit of some of these kids...and some of them have so little by the circumstances of their births. They are trying to rise above the circumstances of their families, their environments, their schools and their communities to better themselves.

The real heros in this scenario are their teachers...all very enthusiastic, passionate and inspirational.

So, I am asking two things....
1) Check us out at the link above or at If you are a teacher or know a teacher...please join us as we try to change the world. We are currently in 38 states and are working to obtain all 50. It's free for all teachers, schools and districts to join.
2) I would like you to become a Fan of the NJ LEAGUE. Even if you are in live in another state, please check out the good things we do all over the country. You can become a fan by donating money....$5.00 will make a difference in the life of our children. You can do this via the Chip-In widget on the left side of my nav bar.

The passion I have to work in the non-profit world started 8 years Liberty Science Center where I felt I was working for the first time for a higher purpose.

The position I have now at The LEAGUE is the culmination of years of planning and working on my career to go back to non profit life.

Join me as I help make NJ a better place for children. Our future leaders. Because it is all about us after all :)
Thank you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Three Words

As you can see our Princess felt like, well, a Princess in her new Easter Dress.
Three more words ...thank you Target! For helping her look like a million for $17.99 plus shoes

Sunday, March 02, 2008

3 Words....

Continuing from last week...
You can find the original rules here

Unconventional 3 words are:




here are some of the things we did this week:

Played in snow.

Hung with Friends

Alyce's Retirement Party

Celebrated Chinese Style

Church Soup Luncheon

Hopefully YOUR week was as fun...oh yes, we worked and did house chores too!