Saturday, May 31, 2008

!!!! Baby Shower !!!!

Friends Carol & Stan threw down a wonderful baby shower for Joanna Mei today,
starting with a sumptuous brunch and providing our precious girl with so many
things she'll be needing. Having not done this parenting thing before, we are starting
from scratch with all the necessities. Our church choir as well as friends from our
previous church all gathered to help us out in getting a jump start on outfits, books, supplies,
a stroller & a car seat. We are blessed beyond words at their generosity.
Our friend, Dan, was snapping away with his camera and we'll hit him up for some pictures for the blog and post them later in the week.

Diva & Be amongst Joanna Mei's treasures.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wonderful Adoption Story!

Sorry about that Sharon Stone item, folks.
It ticked me off so much that I had to share the love.
Now, turn your attention to Ira Kaplan, a girl adopted from Siberia, who
does not let being armless stand in her way from accomplishing extraordinary things.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sharon Stone Calls China Quakes "Karma" for Tibetans it karma that this dingbat hasn't had a movie since ....... never mind.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Alyson's Birthday

The Schooner "Freedom"

St Augustine, a cool Saturday evening, the 72’ Schooner Freedom and really good friends made for a totally wonderful, blogworthy event. The occasion was Alyson’s @#th birthday -it’s a milestone year I should probably not reveal – perhaps she’ll do the deed over on “Imagine Alyzabeth An”.
The afternoon was a hot one and we had planned on arriving in St Augustine before noon and doing the sights before the event. We thought better of it as we would probably look a hot mess by sailing time, so we did our usual Saturday morning thing and started for St A at about 3 PM. We were right – the city had absorbed the heat of the day and we felt like Thanksgiving turkeys fresh out of the oven. At the marina, the temp was considerably lower with the breeze coming off the Intercoastal Waterway making the evening perfect for a 2 hour sail.
Aly & Ford’s family and friends boarded the schooner and took to the waters where we laughed, sang, posed for pictures and toasted the birthday girl as the sun set and provided the perfect backdrop for Aly’s special occasion. Happy Birthday, Aly! Your grace, beauty and kindness are a gift to us. Thank you for inviting us. What a blast!

Alyson, the Birthday Girl

On the Intercoastal Waterway with
the Old City of St Augustine in the background.
(Internet photo)

Exiting the Bridge of Lions
(Internet photo)

Aly & Ford

Ford hoists

Be hoists
(Note the delicate evening bag with Blackberry attached)

Ford & Be

Don & Ford

Up close at The Bridge of Lions reconstruction.

The Bridge of Lions @ Sunset

Temporary bridge during the restoration with original bridge in the background.
One of the few remaining ornamental bridges on the East Coast of the United States, the Bridge of Lions has become one of St. Augustine's most familiar features. Opened in 1927, it furthered the development of Anastasia Island and St. Augustine Beach and is guarded by its marble lions.

Be & Don @ sunset on the Schooner Freedom.
Don didn't look good in color and he doesn't look good in black & white.
Be always looks great - sometimes.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

26 Months

Check out
for the China Goody contest winner
later today.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Doggie Door

Diva, the multi ethnic canine love sponge, brings the term 'doggie door' to new heights.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two Days Left - Drawing for Treats from China on May 24

Celebrate our 27th LIDiversary - we have a drawing for some goodies from China over on
Drawing will be on May 24.
Come on over and check it out!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Please Continue to Pray for China

Please pray for the survivors of the earthquake, that the injured receive medical help quickly and the homeless receive urgent relief supplies.
Pray that the Chinese authorities respond effectively in Sichuan, one of the country’s poorest provinces.
Pray that God gives people in the affected areas a sense of his strength and that they will show unity in responding to this disaster.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fetch the 2 x 4, Diva

Just another day at the lake with Diva. Finding a game of "Fetch the Stick" a bit too blase, she began playing with a 2x4 on the beach. It soon became the object of her pursuit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New News

Check out "Joanna Mei, Bebe & HomeDaddy"
for an update on Joanna's growth.
We're happy she's doing so well.

If you can't get access to the site
zap us an e-mail at

and we'll send you an invite........

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake In China

A major earthquake hit central China with the epicenter at Sichuan Province - on the map below, right below "China"

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Central China causing extensive deaths and injuries.

The CNN News web page has been keeping news updates current.

The epicenter of the quake appears in red in the map above, in Sichuan Province.

The quake was "felt in most parts of China," Xinhua (Chinese news agency) reported, with the confirmed casualties in the provinces and municipality of Sichuan, Gansu, Chongqing and Yunnan.
Joanna's province, Hunan, is the next province east of Chongqing where serious effects of the quake were felt. The red star on the map below marks Joanna Mei's location.
We are confident that she is safe and request prayers for the people of the region -
- that the injured would be found and treated
- that the government of China would handle the situation appropriately
-that the families of those who lost loved ones would somehow find peace in the midst of chaos
-that our beloved children would be safe and united with their families at the appointed time

As of 1700 EDT May 12, CCAA has not issued any statement regarding the above event.

Other earthquake related news items:

National Public Radio

Associated Press



I post this with the sense of relief that the parent of a loved one in danger would feel.

An adoption agency here in the states reports that it is "life as usual" in Hunan, Joanna Mei's province. Please pray for the above prayer items - the situation is catastrophic.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours .... 2 Adoption Meet-Ups This Past Week +++++ Update

This has been a week of adoption activity for us ........
On Friday, our SW called and advised that we would be receiving our documents for our LOA
(see for more info)
on Monday morning. After signing it, we were instructed to bring it ASAP to UPS
for morning delivery to the agency's home office.
I'm thinking ..... For crying out loud! ...... almost 26 months since LID and all of a sudden ........ ASAP!?!?!?
I was SSOO good ....... Why yes! Whatever it takes! I'll be waiting for the package.
so, it arrives Monday (today) morning, and I do the required dance to get it back to the home office ASAP ....... so, $62.00 later, it's on the way ....... aaarrrggghhhh!
Really though, once I got over my temporary irritation, I must say .....
I'm happy as a puppy in a roomfull of rubber balls that we are this close to bringing our precious Joanna Mei home!!!!!!!
Let's back up now ........
Last Thursday evening, we were delighted to spend some time with Esther and Guy
of "Kid's Special Needs" and their cool kids. This remarkable couple has survived 2 incomplete Russian adoptions as well as processing of a domestic adoption of sibs. Our wait for Joanna Mei pales in comparison to their experiences on the adoption highway. I would have been tearing my hair out if I was going through their circumstances -
Sorry, Guy. From the looks of the pic below, you've already done that.
We were a captive couple as they related their experiences.
Click on the hyperlink for the recent chapters of their story.
Footnote: After 2 hours of exchanging stories on the adoption journey,
we gathered on the beach the Polynesian Resort @ WDW
(Where they were on vacation)
for the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. It was a true melding of reality and fantasy

Don, Be, Esther & Guy
(Guy didn't want to be in the picture, so we coaxed him with a corn dog)
After church yesterday, a group of prospective adoptive (blogster) parents from Central Florida assembled for lunch and conversation in Orlando.
We were jazzed to meet Amy and Michael and Ginny and Jay .
If you're out there on the blogster adoption highway, you're probably run across Amy & Michael.
They had just disembarked from their Disney cruise vacation and were on their way back to the Atlanta, Ga area. It was a hoot to meet this couple!
It was a hoot to meet Ginny & Jay as well. They are a blended family who adopted Ali recently.
The link on their names will take you to their blog.
We are blessed frequently with the presence of Dannye & Ray in our lives as we have the pleasure of sharing a table at our Florida Waiting Families gathering each month.
LOVE this pic!
Top: Mike & Don
Next Row from Top: Ray, Be, Amy, Ginny & Jay (holding Ali)
Front Row: Dannye (LayDFrog), Ellen (Dannye's mom) & Chase (Jay's son)

Expectant Adoptive Moms: Dannye, Ginny (Phillippines), Amy & Be.

Jay with Ali

"Uncle" Ray with Ali

Friday, May 02, 2008

Yesterday was a rather difficult day .....

......... as we had to put our cat, Skitt, to sleep. Over the last month, it became obvious that she was losing weight and behaving unlike she would normally. She began to sound weak and so it was time to take her to our vet and at least find out what was going on. It turned out that she had a large mass in her stomach, most probably cancer, which was likely causing an obstruction. We opted not to do all the heroics with surgery & chemo, and bring her home until it was evident that she was in discomfort, which a month ago was not the case.

Well, it was apparent that she was deteriorating quickly and yesterday was her final day.

We found Skitt in the fall of 2004, living in the storm pipes at houses in our neighborhood. She would have nothing to do with us when we approached her to try and offer food. After several months, we began to leave cat food in one of the pipes which runs under our driveway, so she adopted it as her home. As winter approached (yes, January of 2005 was quite cold here in Orlando), we did not want her to remain in her present environment, so we began leaving the food on our porch. She took the bait. As the temps dropped to the low 40s at night, we put a heating pad in a box with a blanket in the screened area, left food outside the box and cracked the door just enough so she dould get through. She took the bait again.

As spring came along, she began investigating the interior of our house when the weather permitted and we had the doors open. Soon, she was comfortable in her new digs and began eating in the kitchen - but STILL would not let us get near her. One evening, she exhibited some unusual behavior - she jumped up on the couch next to me and began purring. For the first time, we were able to see her charcoal fur with the beautiful silver undercoat, and we also discovered something startling - she had no front claws - she had been foraging for food, eating whatever she could without the benefit of her claws!

We later found out that a woman with 6 cats abandoned them when she moved out of the neighborhood. Nice gal!

We brought her to Diva's vet who estimated her age at 6 years and classified her as a "Domestic Longhair". But whenever asked "What kind of cat is she?" I responded with "A rare Italian breed called Tatiana Napoli." No one really knew the difference and it elevated her breed considerably.

She continued to be a very skittish cat (thus the name Skitt), running out of the room whenever we came in (I began to call her Skitt-zophrenic) and hiding out under the bed until it was time to eat or she needed some petting and stroking - on her terms. She was a comfort to Be, along with Diva, while she recovered from cancer surgery and when I retired last year, we began to develop a fondness for each other as I was at home quite a bit.

So, last month, when we realized that she was not going to improve after the vet visit, we had hoped that she would pass on her own, but unfortunately, that would not be the case. She'll be missed here at Chez Schaf.

Sorry if this post is a downer, but heck, blogging about it is theraputic.

A blogster friend once told me "Life isn't fluff. It's just life."