Monday, February 22, 2010

They Have Arrived

After 11 weeks of waiting our FBI fingerprints and background check have come back. This means we can continue with the Home Study process. On to the next batch of paperwork and then we hurry up and wait some more. We are thankful and excited to see forward progress today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese New Year Ideas and Web Sites

I had a couple people e-mail and ask me where I found some of the printables and crafts for our Chinese New Year celebration. Hope you enjoy!

Dragon Puppet

Chinese Lantern

Lucky Money Envelopes - I printed the tiger one on red paper to make it a red envelope

Chinese Number Symbols

Chinese Symbols or Character Cards

Coloring Printables

This web site had tons of fun ideas

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

Eric and I are so excited about our trip to China to get our little boy. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him, pray for him, wonder what he is doing, what he looks like and all those things that are a great mystery to us but not to our Heavenly Father who has orchestrated this whole process. The kids continue to embrace this journey we are on. They daily ask questions and pray for him. It is fun to see them process and ask questions. Eric and I are excited to bring various Chinese customs and traditions into our home. We hope in time we can share some of these with family and friends as well.

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday to the people of China. It is a 15 day celebration of a lot of food, parades, fireworks and special gifts. This year the Chinese New Year started on February 14. The date of the Chinese New Year changes every since it is based on the lunar year. The Chinese calender follows a 12-year pattern and each year it is named after an animal. This year it is the Year of the Tiger.

Since the kids didn't have school today we spent a good chunk of the day reading books, making crafts and preparing for our first Chinese New Year Celebration.

The girls had fun coloring a variety of different printables that I found.

We also made some red envelops which I will explain later in the post.

The kids had fun making a dragon puppet. The Chinese dragon comes out and dances and weaves through the streets during the parade. The dragon brings wisdom, wealth and happiness.

The kids then were busy making Chinese lanterns to decorate the table. Alexa wanted to draw Chinese symbols on her lantern so we found some to print off.

Shane got busy drawing a picture of his brother on his lantern.

Emma added some Chinese number symbols to her lantern.

The kids were very excited how they turned out. The quickly ran upstairs to put them on the table.

We got the tea pot and the tea cups out for dinner. Shane could hardly wait for Eric to get home to have some tea. He took one sip and decided it wasn't what he expected.

Oranges and tangerines are a big part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Since oranges are China's most plentiful fruit, food prepared with oranges symbolizes wealth and good fortune. So oranges were part of our dinner.
We also had Chinese Orange Chicken, Shrimp and Orange skewers, carrots and rice. We were going to have Chinese long noodles which represent longevity in life but I couldn't find the recipe I had found earlier in the day for them.

The kids had so much fun trying to figure out how to use chop sticks. Alexa kept giggling!

Eric was giving us all lessons.

Emma trying to figure it out with a big smile!

Shane thought if he had his mouth wide open it just might help him. The kids were a riot to watch but I have to admit I was the first one to put the chop sticks down and use my fork.

After dinner the kids were excited to open their fortune cookies and read them.

We finished the evening with the kids opening their red envelopes. The kids are all given red envelopes, or hong baos. They are filled with "lucky money" for a rich New Year.

Inside were some yummy chocolate coins.

We had a fun day learning about the Chinese culture, reading books, making crafts, eating yummy food but most of all laughing and enjoying our dinner as a family. We talked about how we hope next Chinese New Year we will have one more sweet little boy at our table celebrating with us! It will make our celebration so much sweeter!

Gung hay fat choy
Happy Chinese New Year

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Are Taking Baby Steps

It seem like we have been busy filling out paperwork, getting finger prints done and sent off, visiting doctors for physicals and filling out more paperwork only to hurry up and wait! I think that is what the name of game is going to be in the months to come. We put something in the mail and then patiently wait. We mailed off 42 pages of paperwork to our agency last week. It was the rest of our paperwork that was needed to do our Home Study. So the only thing we were waiting on was our references and our FBI background check. We knew that the FBI background check could take 6 -14 weeks to get back. We were hoping for the shorter of course but also knew the holiday's would play into the processing. So this week I called the FBI office to see if they would give me any information. I had confirmed that they had received them on December 4 and after being on hold for 45 minutes I got word that they should be in the mail back to our agency at the beginning of next week. YIPPEE we are moving forward.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Some Fun Additions

We had a couple of fun items that we received for Christmas that will help us prepare for our little boy or will come in handy for our trip to China.

The first things we got was from my parents. It is this little hand held video recorder. It records in HD and takes an amazing video. It is the size of a cell phone so we figured it would be super handy on our trip to pull out and tape different things. We hope it will also be any easy way to help stay connected with us as we travel.

My brother and sister-in-law got us this neat CD of Chinese Lullabies. I thought it was so neat that my sister-in-law took the time to contact a family that had adopted 2 little girls from China and asked her what some of her favorite resources were.

These were two other books that were recommend to my sister-in-law for us. We have had fun learning about China and it's culture. I look forward to devouring this book about being an adoptive parent after a couple of other books on my night stand are finished.

My other brother and sister-in-law gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble at Christmas. If any of you know me you know that one of my greatest weaknesses is Children's books. When we were in our Parent's and Process class they talked about having Children's books about adoption and also about the Chinese culture readily available. Eric looked at me like "great just what you need, an excuse to buy books!" So needless to say it was not difficult for me to go to the bookstore with gift card in hand to pick out some books.

We are so thankful for the support of our family through this process!
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