Saturday, September 29, 2007

Daddy and I

Periodically, I find myself surfing in the wee hours of the morning (I have trashed several posts in my 'drafts' folder which were composed in a similiar state of semi-consciousness) - mostly in search of enlightenment to my unusual adoption journey - that of the older adoptive stay-at-home-dad. On one cyber trip, the highway led to a site which left me a bit unsettled - I'm not judging the photographer's motives nor the relationships of her subjects (and there were no references to her work on the internet with the exception of her own site) - so, here are my thoughts on "Daddy & I" .......

Photographer O. Zhang's look at Chinese Daughters
of American Fathers is an eye opener. Her agenda in setting up the photographs is obvious in her mission statement for the series

and as I read it, pictures of myself and Joanna Mei came to mind. Being mindful of the scrutiny that a pasty old white man and a beautiful young Asian girl will be the subject of, I found the photos to be sobering and lacking the bond that, hopefully, is present with the father/daughter models. If anything, they represent the agenda of Ms Zhang quite well. She says ..... What is the nature of this complex relationship, especially when different ethnic and cultural backgrounds are introduced? Through the relationship of the emerging feminine power of the adolescent girl to the mature father, each image explores the relation of the two often divided cultures: East and West. As the girls grow up, will they remain innocent adoptees under the tutelage of their western patriarchs? Or will their progression to maturity disturb the relationship’s equilibrium? Perhaps I'm a bit sensitive as I will be a SAHD and I would hope that I would naturally have a lot more joy in my expression as I pose with my daughter. Photos appear to be enhanced or colorized (Photo Shopped?) as the contrast is extreme in many of them and the lighting is consistant throughout this series and is present in some of the other galleries on the site.

Here is the link to the "Daddy & I" gallery - once in, link up to the "Horizon" gallery for some pics of beautiful Chinese kids - photographed in much the same style

This post actually sat in my drafts folder for 8 weeks. Since I entered the above, I found a string on the internet discussing O. Zhang's work - she actually joins the conversation mid-way. In all fairness to the photographer, here is the link

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fuel for the Adoptionista Fire

Click on the graphic to enlarge.....

....another tidbit found during a bout of insomnia as we

merrily skip our way down the adoption highway.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Gift from Aunt Jojo

Joanna Mei's Aunt Joanne presented us with this beautiful nightlight for our daughter. Colors change and provide a peaceful visual for the nursery. Thank you Aunt Joanne!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sing Along ...... 18 --- I Don't Like It

Alice baby ..... I'm not believing the "18" thing anymore with that turkey neck thing you got goin'.

But the reality is ....... it's been



since our LID

Gosh - hope I'm not lookin' as bad as 'ol Alice by the time Joanna Mei arrives.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

SN Update

Well, you can only imagine what's going on in our hearts and heads for the past few days ... do we or don't we ... boy or girl ... SN or NSN ... as we prayed, the answer became obvious ... "You have prayed for Joanna Mei for the last 2 years. If you adopt a boy, he will be most unhappy with that name!" No ... it wasn't the voice of God. It was Be talking.

Our SW had sent us the pics of several SN boys who did not get referred on the last go-around. I was ready to scoop up a little guy who had a deformed left hand. Here was a kid who was equally as deserving as Joanna Mei to be adopted. It seems that the boys with correctable impairments are staying in the orphanages longer than the girls with similar impairments. It was not easy to say "Let's wait for the next batch of SN kids to come to our attention."

So, that's where we stand. We're waiting for Joanna Mei to be revealed to us in His perfect time, not ours. This is our ONLY shot at adop;tioln given our advanced ages, so we're confident that we're on the right track. When one sees the pictures of the kids who need homes, it puts flesh on a thought and it is quite hard to say no to a prospective new member of one's family.
We are blessed beyond words at the number of folks in blogland (and not) who have given us
their support and encouragement during this stressful time of decision. Thank you and ... we'll keep y'all posted.
Blessings, Don & Be
...and so, we merrily skip down the pathway of adoption ...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Still In the Race

....the picture could be captioned Our Time .....
God's Time ....... as much as we wanted to be parents to one of the SN children our SW called to our attention, it appears that they are not Joanna Mei. There are other prospective parents with a higher LID than ours in the SN queue, so we are still wishin' & hopin' & thinkin' & prayin' that God reveals Joanna Mei to us soon. Of course, He identified her right from the beginning. So thank you blogsters and friends for your prayers and encouragement. We're disappointed, but we rest in His perfect will.
Blessings ....... Don & Be
Update ----- 3 hours after we did this post ------
Our SW gave us a call and asked if we would consider several of the remaining children who were not referred out in this last round. We are praying this weekend for a change of heart in the event that He directs us to adopt a little boy - 3 have been brought to our attention, one has a deformity of the left hand and the other 2 have correctable cleft lip/palate. Is God calling us to adopt a boy? Is he redirecting the course we are currently on? Please continue to be in prayer with us.
.......and so, we merrily skip on the pathway toward adoption .......

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Diva Through A Pinhole

When Cousin Ellen was visiting in July, we took in an exhibit at the Orlando Science Center. On the way out, we stopped in the gift shop and a Pinhole Camera caught her eye. The photographer in her reached out and bought it. When she got back to the house and assembled it, our Diva became her first subject.

How a Pinhole Camera Works

Link to Cousin Ellen's Photography

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday - Double Support Day

After a weekend of high anxiety to meet the deadlines for the 'Special Needs' adoption items, Monday came and everything was status-quo --------- except that we got a double dose of support from 2 couples who have been walking through this whole journey with us. The first dose came from our wonderful friends, Ford and Alyson, with whom we share similar adoption stories. We met for lunch in Sanford, FL and we had a bonus ...... the pounding heat of the Florida summer is breaking and we were able to eat outside for the first time since probably May. It has been a grueling summer and it was a delightful day ..... and with Ford & Alyson to share it with ...... we were jazzed. Take a look at these entries on our blogs for more info on how we came to know each other ......

Here's the link to Ford & Alyson's Blog
Later this evening, we met with our Waiting Families Group where we shared some Chinese food and also our stories of our adoption journey. It was an evening of celebration as our friends Ray & Dannye were released from the Review Room on the last round.
Link to Dannye's blog
Ray, Dannye, Be & Don

So, after the events of the weekend, it was an encouragement to be surrounded by friends who are travellers on the same highway. Thank you Aly, Ford, Dannye & Ray for sharing the journey with us.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Storm the Heavens, Blogsters - We Need Your Prayers

Our SW has made us aware of several
"Children of Promise" who are ready for adoption. When we began our journey in April, 2005, we indicated that we would consider a child with a correctable impairment such as a club foot/hand or cleft lip/palate. Today, we have written letters of intent to adopt 1 of a possible 3 children with cleft lip/palate. We will forward them to our agency's home office on Monday. The deadline is Wednesday, September 19 and we could know as soon as Thursday the 20th if our agency's Asia department approves our request.

Then, we are 'unofficially' offered a referral from the agency after which the CCAA Department for Special Needs Children would then make the final determination. The time line for this segment of the process is as unsure as the referrals for non-special needs children.

So, friends in Blogville. Please pray for our family. Needless to say, we want God's will and we need to be open to it.
Update ....... we have sent out 2 letters of Desire to Adopt (today, Sunday, September 16) 2 of the SN children which have been brought to our attention. One beautiful little girl has a cleft lip and palate and the other lovely girl has a cleft palate with repaired cleft lip. Thank you for your prayers for our family. We are praying that God reveals who Joanna Mei is in His perfect time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Matching Room or "Can We Talk 'Staffing Concerns?"'

The piles of dossiers shown here on the shelves of the Matching Room @ CCAA pretty much explain the slowdown in referrals ...... the popular explanation puts the blame on a shortage of available orphans - but hopefully, short staffing does not enter into the mix.

Congratulations to our friends Ray & Dannye who have made it out of the review room according to the latest CCAA posting. Stop by their blog and offer your good wishes.....
....and here is a page (from of all places .... the Netherlands) with more photos and explanations of the 'rooms' @ CCAA.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Night of Joy

Each year, on the first weekend in September, in the height of thunderstorm and hurricane season, Disney World opens the doors to Christian musical artists for the annual Night of Joy event. Originally a 1 night happening, it was expanded to 2 nights when the Disney bean counters realized that they could cram lots of sweating bodies into a small area like sanctified sardines, up the ticket price and let the cash registers ring their joyful noise to whatever god they worship. Oy! I think that was sarcastic. Sorry. Not really.
We really had no intentions of going this year - we had experienced one of the events about 20 years back - I think Amy Grant was still single back then - and it was one hot, muggy, loud night in a place where I had already played countless times before. When I worked there, we used to call it The Tragic Kingdom. But, about a month ago, we received a letter from Z88.3, a Christian radio station in town, inviting us to the event (with a few VIP perks attached) as a thank you for having been supporters from the beginning. How cool is that?! The station caters to the young people of the Central Florida area and can also be heard anywhere via the www by going to their site at
I find that it is a wonderful alternative to the gnarly lyrics that are being pumped into the heads of our youth by the greedy filth monger fat cats. So, give them a listen........
Chris Tomlin (center)
One of my favorite praise and worship types is Chris Tomlin. He writes and chooses music which is rich in scriptural truth and poetry. His lyrics flow in an organized fashion giving order and sequence to his music. Tomlin leads the audience in a vertical worship of God, taking focus off of himself and directing it to the One being worshiped. It will be interesting to take part in such an event given the environment of the Magic Kingdom with spaceships hovering and shreiks coming from the Haunted Mansion. It is evident from his work that Tomlin truly has his heart in the right place ..... I just wish he didn't sing so dang high.

Third Day

I will look forward to hearing Third Day do their thing. Along with writing the bulk of their music themselves, the group has produced 2 projects using hymns of the church (in a rock format). "Your Love O Lord" & "Mountain of God" receive extensive airplay on "The Z" and YLOL is sung frequently in church services which incorporate contemporary music.

About 5 other bands are being featured as well including the David Crowder Band (freaky lookin' guy) and Leeland along with Jaci Valezquez who annually celebrates her 17th birthday.
Well ... I got my earplugs and dang it - I'm gonna have a good time!
Update - it's 1:15 AM and we've just returned from the event and we had a real hoot!
What a gift! Thank you Z88.3 - We could not have been closer to the bands
(I'm talking front row! ) and it was jazzing to talk to some of the staff of
the station.
The weather was great and the crowds were orderly and well behaved.
The bands were super - what can I say - we had a GREAT time!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Dalai Lama says he won't reincarnate in Tibet

By Matthew Philips


Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue

In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation." But beyond the irony lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it's under Chinese control. Assuming he's able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks. "It will be a very hot issue," says Paul Harrison, a Buddhism scholar at Stanford. "The Dalai Lama has been the prime symbol of unity and national identity in Tibet, and so it's quite likely the battle for his incarnation will be a lot more important than the others."
So where in the world will the next Dalai Lama be born? Harrison and other Buddhism scholars agree that it will likely be from within the 130,000 Tibetan exiles spread throughout India, Europe and North America. With an estimated 8,000 Tibetans living in the United States, could the next Dalai Lama be American-born? "You'll have to ask him," says Harrison. If so, he'll likely be welcomed into a culture that has increasingly embraced reincarnation over the years. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 20 percent of all U.S. adults believe in reincarnation. Recent surveys by the Barna Group, a Christian research nonprofit, have found that a quarter of U.S. Christians, including 10 percent of all born-again Christians, embrace it as their favored end-of-life view. A non-Tibetan Dalai Lama, experts say, is probably out of the question.

Here's the link, folks........

........another tidbit found while surfing during a bout with inomnia......

........and so, we merrily skip down the adoption highway......

Monday, September 03, 2007

4 more days......

122 Log in Dates remaining to be matched before we receive Joanna Mei's Referral

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pupils Fined for Breaking Wind

Here's a little tidbit I found while surfing during a bout with insomnia .....
how would this fly in the States ?...

Under new hygiene rules a primary school in Pinggu District, Beijing, now fines students RMB5 each time they break wind. The rule was instituted as part of measures to improve hygiene.