Thursday, November 30, 2006

Latest from the CCAA

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before January 31, 2006.
The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before September 8, 2005.
Looks like the date for "The Review Room" hasn't changed.
The "Referral Room" has forged ahead about 3 weeks to Sept 8. Congratulations to the new parents who have some great news!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Preparing Doggie for Baby

We love our Diva Dog and we're not sure what to expect when Joanna arrives. "The Rumor Queen" blog has a good article which other dog lovers can find useful ---- here's the link:
Hit the item on the right sidebar titled "Preparing Your Dog for Baby".
A quote on doggie wisdom from - of all people - John O'Hurley (Mr Peterman from 'Seinfeld') -
"As humans, we tend to expose our goodness in glimpses. Dogs, however, live closer to their essence, and they are more constant in their goodness. Perhaps that is why God gave them to us - as teachers, to stay by our sides in quiet vigil, undisturbed by worry or regret, and to show us how to live each moment as it comes."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Creative Things to Do While In the Waiting Room - Go Hear "The Stradavarius Voice"

Shortly after we moved into our home in 1984, I was blessed with a case of insomnia (just like right now) and began surfing the channels. I came upon the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon and heard the most remarkable singing I'd ever heard. This gorgeous woman, with a voice like light in crystal, was singing an incredible jazz arrangement of "Tiptoe Trough the Tulips" and my ears couldn't believe themselves. The next morning I told Be about my discovery - "....and do you know who she was? I'll give you a hint .... (singing) ..... there's got to be a morning after, if we can hold on through the night ...... Maureen McGovern! The gal who sang the Poseidon Adventure song!"

At the time, I was singing with an acapella group at Disney, so I was way into exploring new singers amd expanding my CD collection with fine music.

This past Friday, we had the opportunity to hear this outstanding talent accompanied by piano, bass, drums and pops orchestra . We sat transfixed as she worked through songs from "The American Songbook" by Gershwin, Rogers, Hart, Hammerstein & Arlen, her multi-octave range in amazing form. At one point, she began scatting with one of the sax players, singing at lightening speed, duplicating and harmonizing, making my jaw drop into my lap. I listened closely, and she hit every note pitch perfect. I even got verclempt several times during the 90 minute set - especially as she interpreted "Over the Rainbow". Miss McGovern began the song on mic, stood up from her stool, held the mic behind her back, walked to the front of the stage and filled the auditorium with pure music - acapella! No sound reinforcement! The woman was in control no doubt!

We were rehearsing the music for our church's christmas cantata on the way home (a 2 1/2 hour drive from Palm Beach to Orlando) and had to laugh at ourselves as we sounded like geese in comparison. We will hear Maureen McGovern again next month, but alas, she won't be singing - she is the narrator for 3 nights at the "Christmas Candlelight Processional" at Disney's EPCOT Center. We'll reflect back on last Friday's concert and imagine her singing the script .....Well, I've depleted all of my superlatives ........ I'm outtahere ......

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Orlando Waiting Room - A Referral for Ruth & Steven

Monday, November 20 - Our Orlando area meeting of the Waiting Room Parents - We spent a good time with Ruth & Steven Holmes who will be traveling to China in early December to receive their new daughter, Yong Xiao Ling (Delicate Dawn). She is almost 11 months old with a birthday of December 15th 2005.

She is currently in the Province of Hunan in P.R. China, and they hope to be united with her shortly before Christmas!! They will be giving her the name Anaka Cerridwen Holmes.

We share in your joy Ruth, Steve & Anaka. We are thrilled for you!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Beautiful Labor of Love

Sunday, November 19 - we received a most wonderful gift from our friend Nancy Austin. She had been working on a beautiful quilt for our family and since the Austins live in France, we had no idea that she was preparing the quilt. Nancy told us that as she was sewing, she used the time to pray for our arrival from China, Joanna. Our hearts are touched by her thoughtfulness and love. We visited the family in France, about 30 miles outside Paris,
several times and we
have 2 photo albums
full of happy memories
of our visits. They are
stationed there
with Campus Crusade for Christ providing translation services for various projects.

The squares on the quilt:

for Joanna - a floral pattern in with Asian script and the traditional 'ladybug'.

for Be - the pink squares (on the border and the outer edge of the design) for breast cancer
awareness - purchase of the fabric included a
donation to breast cancer research. Be is a survivor.

for Don - the blue/green squares are named "All That Jazz" for Don's appreciation of good jazz. (He says "I was really jazzed" a whole lot.)

About the pictures:

(Top) The door to Joanna's room: We bought the door at a yard sale (for 20 bucks) when our home was being built inn 1983. It was probably used in an old farm house and dates to the early 1900s, if not earlier. It has carvings in each of the panels and the stained glass is a design we saw on a billboard in North Carolina when we were on vacation the same year. We fashioned original stained glass designs as a hobby in the early 80s and took the picture of the billboard and adapted it to the window opening in the door. It has been the 'welcome pineapple' to our guest room for the last 22 years. It will now welcome Joanna to her room each time she goes to bed with her new quilt.

(Center) Diva - the Multi-Ethnic Canine Love Sponge - says "Joanna, I'm waitin' for ya, baby! Like your new quilt?"

(Bottom) Aerial view of Nancy's Labor of Love.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Creative Things to Do While In the Waiting Room - The Osborne Family Light Show @ MGM Studios

Tuesday, November 14 - We broke out the Disney passes and headed over to MGM for a few hours to view the lights - Wow! What a power bill. This year, the tech staff upgraded the show with pulsing and dancing of the lights in synch with the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas selections. Their famous "Carol of the Bells" rocked as the lights dimmed and throbbed to the pounding of the music. It's quite the extravaganza and will put you right into the spirit of the Christmas season - there's even a snowfall at intervals throughout the evening.

In the pics........

---Be & Don on a side street. Don's wheelchair is out of the frame.

---Looks like the moon above the big ol' Christmas tree, no? It's really an artificial snow blob on my camera lens. The view is from a seated position in the wheelchair.

---Gargoyle on a stair post - with red eyes and if you look closely ---- Mickey ears.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Creative Things To Do While In the Waiting Room - Visit an "Open House" at a Winery

Sunday, November 12 - Lakeridge Winery, Clermont, Florida

We're not sure how many wineries there are in Florida, but we can only guess that this one is a bit different than those in Napa or Sonoma Wine Country in California. We visited back in the early 90s when there was no development, no tourism in Clermont (OK, there WAS the Citris Tower - it's still there) and the winery the was just starting to become a presence in the area (it opened in 1988). At that time, they were importing their wine from one of their other outlets, San Sebastian (up the road in St. Augustine - we escape Orlando for a weekend there annually), about the same time that Lakeridge opened.

Now, the winery produces their own product and it's quite good. We tasted about 7 different varieties and came back to my favorite ---- red. We're saving it for Thanksgiving ---- maybe.

We couldn't do the tour as Don was on crutches (the foot is coming along, but it's not even at 50% yet) but we had a fine afternoon.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

SCC Videos

One of our favorite singer/song writers, Steven Curtis Chapman, is quite the spokesperson for adoption. He is a gifted wordsmith. Here are 2 of his songs with the adoption theme ..... hit the link .......

"When Love Takes You In"

"All I Really Want for Christmas"

The 2nd video is available in full screen format at on their front page.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Creative Things to Do While In the Waiting Room - Sit On a Jury With Right Foot Elevated (See Oct 29 Item)

Looks like I need some "Creative Things to Do While In the Jury Waiting Room"
Taking suggestions until November 27.

Friday, November 03, 2006

CCAA - Update November 3, 2006

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before January 31, 2006.

Looking back ....... it was a year ago this month that our home study was completed. Next step ... dossier. Don was hospitalized during that period and had a lot of healing time at home. It was during recouperation that he was able to light the fire and get the dossier process going. Our documents were assembled in record time as Don was surgically attached to the telephone and handcuffed to our notary. By Christmas, the package was almost done with the exception of a copy of Don's birth certificate from the Great State of New Jersey. In fact, he informed some poor office worker at the Secretary of State's office that he would jump a plane to Philadelphia, rent a car and drive to Trenton and seek her out personally if the certificate was not in our mailbox by Friday of that week (this was after 6 weeks of dead end phone calls). We received the birth certificate on Thursday. After several adjustments and rewrites, the dossier was submitted to our agency in January, reviewed by the home office, tweaked some more and was on the way to China on March 9, 2006. We received our log-in-date (LID) of March 24, 2006 - and that's where we've been since - in the Waiting Room.

So - our documents were registered with the CCAA on March 24, 2006 and they have reviewed up until January 31, 2006. We are inching our way to our referral ...... 'scuse me while I wipe the eyes which are starting to fog up.

Congrats to all the families who are out of the review room - once again, we are envious.

God Bless Y'all,
Don & Be

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Preparing Doggie for Baby - or is that - Preparing Baby for Don?

We receive e-mails from on regular basis and we found this one appropriate ......

Preparing Doggie for Baby
November 2, 2006
Afraid you'll have to find a new home for your pooch when baby arrives? With a little preparation, you can create a comfortable home for the entire family.Start by making a list of the rules and routines your dog now follows, highlighting which ones will need to change once you have a baby in the house. Then, start introducing the changes and teaching any new rules before the baby comes. If your dog's a bit unruly, sign him up for an obedience class. And if possible, spend time around young children to slowly introduce your dog to kid noises and movements.