The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yes, I did say "mobile uploads" of our visit to the water park hotel, because I forgot my camera and Christina had to take them with her cell phone. Boo :( I hate when I forget my camera! However, the quality of pictures with the cell phone about equal the quality of the "resort" we stayed at on Monday and Tuesday.... LOL! We did wait to the last minute to plan a little get-away because we were working around our work schedule and were able to plan a couple days off. We first thought to go to the beach, but trying to get a somewhat affordable room just days before spring break was next to impossible. So then we thought, let's find a fun resort where we can relax and the kids can have fun. We found rooms available at the Clarion WaterPark Resort in Kissimmee online with good reviews and we headed out. When we arrived and drove up, I was thinking, "oh no, this is NOT AT ALL like the pictures online". Needless to say, they did a great job presenting the "resort" online, but it was bare and uninviting at first glance. Well, we decided we were going to stay and have fun no matter what, and you know what??? We had a great time!!! The water park included a couple of big slides, which was a hit for Matthew, a couple of baby slides and waterfalls, which Joshua loved and a lazy river for all of us. Jacob and I enjoyed some fruity cocktails and we all relaxed in the sun a got sunburns! We had burgers at the poolside, pizza in our room in the evening, the kids played in the arcade, and we enjoyed family time away. This was not the exotic resort of my dreams, but we made it work and it turned out to be the perfect getaway.

The slides were a lot of fun!

Matthew and Joshua in the lazy river and the big slide, even Jacob and I did the slides

Matthew and Josh on the lazy river

Christina and Joshua

Mom and Josh relaxing- he said he was my "tour guide" on the lazy river

Look dad, I can walk all the way around the river!

Joshua in the Frog slide- hows these two slides can give hours of fun, I will never know!

I love these slides, Mom

Ni-night tired baby

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Christina and Matthew were baptized today, Sunday. Many of you may ask, why were they not baptized as babies? Well, in some Christian denominations, the babies are "dedicated" to the Lord in a ceremony, but when they grow to an age of reason, they may make the decision to be baptized into their Christian faith and make their commitment to follow Christ on their own timing. Christina and Matthew made that decision and came to us independently, without our urging, and asked to be baptized. There are many different forms of baptism; to be "sprinkled" with water as an infant, as my husband Jacob was into the United Methodist church as a baby. I was "sprinkled" as a young teen into the Lutheran church, and there is also the good old fashioned "immersion", which is what Christina and Matthew chose, because we all now attend a non-denominational church where people of different denominational background can worship and learn together. So here are a couple of pictures. Our Pastor's father, Bill, did the ceremony. There were about 10 people getting baptized today, ranging from ages 8 - 68. It was a very heartfelt and beautiful ceremony!
Now we are off to enjoy a couple of days at a WaterPark Hotel since we are on spring break this week! Should be fun! I'll post pictures when we return. Have a great week and blessings to you all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


< Well, here we are 4 months into our wait for referral. It's hard to think too much about it. I try to only think about the wait once a month...... which is nearly impossible to do!!! I have been working on my Mandarin still. I have been enjoying blogs to encourage me. I follow a few yahoo groups to get info on the process and travel and other things. I try to keep myself occupied with other activities to help pass the time. I know this is the first of 2 waiting periods. The next one will be between referral, court process and travel, which also seems to be getting longer for people. We originally were told about 5 months until travel after referral. Now according to the yahoo groups I follow, it is more like 8 months!!!??? That's a crazy amount of time to wait AFTER you have a child referred to you!! Meanwhile SHE waits and grows and wonders when we are coming. Or she doesn't wonder at all and gets too used to her life as it is in an orphanage or a foster home, not even knowing it is temporary situation until she has a forever home. Then we come and disrupt her little life. But, if we don't, what possible future will she have? What can we do? It will all be worth it in the end for all of us. We will have someone to love, teach, grow, and she will have a family to depend on forever. We look forward to our little girl arriving, but for now, we wait......

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The wait for referral is becoming longer and longer the more I read about people's status in their Taiwan adoption journey. A 3 year wait is what we are looking at if we are wanting to adopt a "healthy" baby girl under 2. A couple years ago, the China adoption processes became backed up due to SARS, the Beijing Olympics, and other issues. In addition to that, Vietnam and Cambodia adoption programs closed due to corruption. So, many people began pouring into the Taiwan adoption programs. As we know Taiwan is TINY compared to mainland China, so suddenly Taiwan became overrun with applications and families hoping to adopt. Thus, the long wait for referrals from Taiwan currently. However, a possible hope according to my agency- she told me that as of a year ago, Taiwan's placing agencies quickly put a limit on each agency's applications from families. So my agency is hopeful that the referrals will start speeding up again here in the next year or so as everything balances out.
Nevertheless, we have decided to make a couple changes on our application. We have decided to increase our child's desired age from 0-24 months, to 0-48 months. We have also added some minor/correctable special needs that we would be willing to accept. Since our youngest, Joshua, will be 5 in Sept., we thought an older toddler would fit in just fine to the birth order! Our agency also believe this should speed up our wait time a bit. I'm hoping this will take a year off the wait.. or am I dreaming??

Monday, March 8, 2010


I haven't been updating very much lately because I have been training into new roles and taking extra hours at work. I am so thankful that, although I can work extra hours, I am only obligated to work part time. Sometimes that is all I can do when the kids' activity schedules are packed. The fall is definitely a time when I have to work less and be home/chauffeuring more! Right now, however, I have been working extra hours because Jacob and I have been able to juggle our schedules with the kids and make it work without too much stress. When I can make some extra money, it is really helpful and of course helps me save more for the adoption! I haven't talked about my work on this blog at all, but since I have a lot of time on my hands until our adoption referral comes in, I may as well share a little. I have been working for Walt Disney World for 20 years as an actor/singer/dancer. I have done many many shows throughout the years and am still going strong (well maybe not quite as strong as 15 years ago!). I've done everything from dinner shows, park shows, street theatre, to hosting and animated voices. I also free lance outside of Disney as a commercial actor and spokes person. Now with all of that said, after all these years, I really enjoy just doing my part time schedule now and "subbing" into other shows when needed. My family is where most of my time and energy goes.
I am blessed everyday I walk into my work and look at all of the guests' excitement at being at the "Happiest Place on Earth". I have a great time with my funny friends and enjoy entertaining.

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo