Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is WRONG with you Women!?!?

Thanks Jenny for the Congee!  Brown rice and beans!  Yum!

So my Congee Challenge has started today.  And maybe not a moment too soon... judging by the comments of some of my Chinese FEMALE co-workers and friends.

... a couple weeks ago...
Friend:  Hey, why you never shave?
Me:  I do shave.
Friend:  No you don't.
Me:  I do, I shaved today.  It grows back.
Friend:  I don't like it.  Cuz you look dirty.
Me:  Geeee, thanks.
Friend:  And fat.  Maybe old too.  Like my Dad.
Me:  What?  Why would you say that?!

... last week ...
Me:  Hey.
Co-Worker #1 (CW#1):  Hi.
Co-Worker #2 (CW#2):  (( something something in chineses ))
Me:  Whoah, slow down.  I coudln't follow that.
*CW1 + 2 laugh*
CW#2:  You no understand me?
Me:  No, say it again slower...
CW#1:  She say you look round.
Me:  Oh, is that some kinda of Chinese metaphor thing.  Like, fish represents extra or something like that.
CW#1:  No.  Uh, it mean, you fat.
Me:  What?!  Why would you say that?!
CW#1:  You should be happy!  She good friend.  She tell truth!
Me:  Oh she ain't my friend no more.

... yesterday ...
Co-Worker #3:  So I hear you are eating Congee for three days.
Me:  Yup.  Raise awareness for orphans in China and stuff.
CW#3:  Oh dat good.
Me:  Yea, I think its a really good fundraiser.  Good cause right.
CW#3:  Yea, and you know, good for you.  Maybe you know, you be less round.
Me:  Really?!  Round?!  What is WRONG with you WOMEN!

1 down, 8 more meals to go...
Apparently, there is something wrong with these Chinese women who think I'm "round".  It couldn't be that I'm actually... "round".  No no, it MUST be something wrong with them...
Okay, maybe I'm more round than I was 10 years ago... but c'mon!
This is Canada!  We don't tell people they are round.  Noooo, we LIE to them!  We're too polite to tell the truth!

Maybe it is a husband thing, but we learn there are times when you have to lie.  When you are expected to lie.  Where if you don't lie, you will be dead.

The typical questions like "Dose this dress make me look fat?"  Appropriate answers are "No", "Not at all", and "Oh heck no baby!  You look foxy!"  INappropriate answers are "Baby don't blame the dress", and taking more than 2 seconds to answer.

Yes, thats 217.5 pounds of Canadian Yeti on that scale... *siigh*

But coming back to the congee thing... we did weigh myself this morning before the congee diet started, and we will weigh myself when it ends.  Maybe this will be a good thing, and I can be less round.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Emotions: Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Up, Down, Sideways, Down, Up, ARGH!

So, after a very exciting afternoon... more to come later... we wound up almost no where new.

But I did get some GREAT news!
I've got a tonne more information on the Special Focus program China is running now.
I've got a tonne of wonderful information on how much easier China is making it to adopt children (stuff like your China dossier is good for multiple adoptions so long as all adoptions are within 12 months of each other, blah blah blah)
I've found out there are many boys in the system who need good homes.

But I've also found out the following NOT so great news.
All those wonderful China improvements in placing children mean almost nothing because:

  • our doctor did not check 4 little boxes in the wifes medical forms
  • our paperwork is NOT accepted by Ontario yet

So what dose that mean?

That even if today, my adoption agency found a child, which we COULD be a great family for, they are unable to place that child in our care because of ONTARIO rules and regulations which are now outdated, a little less than useless and cumbersome.  If China is trying to make it easier to adopt children, then so help me, our Government should follow suit.

So... after an emotional afternoon... where are we?  Back where we started, but a little more educated.

I did however have a wonderful afternoon with our Adoption Agency.  I mean, has YOUR adoption agency ever had their daughters cook you cup cakes while reviewing paperwork?!?!    :-)

Thanks Grace and Grace!  Yes, both their daughters names are Grace... I think we've covered how I feel about that.  :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Her 200$ Congee Challange

Look at your blog, now look back at mine.  Now your's, now hers.  Sadly, your blog isn't her blog.  But your blog could be as cool as her blog, if you linked to her blog for this Congee Fundraiser.

For those who have not been to Braided Tresses, you have got to check it out (  She is doing fund raising for Orphans in China, she is raising awareness in her local community for Adoption, and she is donating her hair thought Locks of Love for Cancer patients.

And now... she is willing to go on a Congee diet to help raise funds for an Orphange in China - by eating only Congee for three days IF they can raise 200$ or so by the 27th!

This little girl never ceases to amaze me!

So here is the thing, she dragged her Father into this... apparently by fluttering her eye lashes at him.  She has some pretty potent eye lashes, cuz now, I'm going to up the ante.

IF we can raise $500 (using the "ChipIn" button on the right side of your screen there) - then I will join her and her Dad on a congee diet for 3 days.

Ping (and you know who you are), I might need you to help me make 3 days worth of Congee... quick.   :-)

Check out her blog for more information.

Now look back at me, whats in my hand?  Look, its 9 bowls of congee.

The Yeti

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sink or Swim

Our daughter Ping has Spina Bifida.  Normally her Special Need doesn't impact her day to day activities.  There have been the odd emergency trip to the Spina Bifida Clinic... and the numerous check ups, and test, and MRIs, and neurology type things... but other than that... her Spina Bifida has not been on the forefront of our minds.

Her Spina Bifida affects some of our decisions of course... we learned the hard way that slapping her on a thin sheet of plastic and sending her shooting down a steep 40 foot hill covered in a thin layer of snow and ice with no protection for her massive head and back was, for lack of a better description, a "poor parenting choice".  Huh, who knew.  Go figure.

Getting ready for our 1st Swim
Anyway, one of the physical activities which she enjoys (and is good for her Special Need) is Swimming.  It is a great way for children with Spina Bifida to get physical activity with low risk of injury, and it is something which can help their mobility and strengthen their core muscles... and it can help attachment issues.  :-)

Lets travel back to Nov 2009 - courtesy of the Yeti Way Back Time Machine(tm) 

Me:  Why is she still glaring at me?
Wife:  She just doesn't trust you yet.
Me:  Really?  Why not?  She's been with us for like, 36 hours.  You think she would be OK with me by now.
Wife:  Ya, you'd think that.  I think you still scare her.  She doesn't seem to like your hair.
Me:  No, thats not it.  Its cuz you gave her the sucker when we 1st met her.  I only had Cheerios for her.
Wife:  Right.  4 years of "life" and "memories" are replaced instantly by 1 sucker.  It couldn't be that she is scared, terrified, and being chased by some huge lumbering hairy white man.
Me:  I'm pretty sure it's the sucker.
Wife:  You are such a moron...
Me:  Wait!  She's looking at me!  She's gonna say something!
Ping:  带我回家吓人的雪人我,我恨你。
Wife:  Do you think that was a happy thing she said?
Me:  Ummmm, no.
Wife:  Look, she will love you - she just needs to trust you.  Oh!  Take her swimming!
Me:  Really?  You think thats a good idea?
Wife:  Oh yea!  It will be brilliant!  She will be forced to hold onto you!  If she lets go, she will drown.  It will force her to bond with you.
Me:  Uh, I'm not sure that putting our newly adopted child into a life or death situation where she will be torn between the complete and abject fear of me and the troubling sensation of drowning is really the best way to create a wonderful loving bonding moment.  I'm not sure that will foster the spirit of trust and love of which we are seeking.  I'm pretty sure you can't force bonding...
Wife:  Oh what do you know about adopted children!  You didn't even read the books about attachment disorders!
Me:  Okay, we'll try it your way.  I'm sure it will be great.
Ping:  可有人递给我刀子,所以我可以杀死雪人

So me, our 10 year old son K and Ping all go to the swimming pool.  After the very confusing "swimming cap" experience, we find ourselves in the pool... which (un)fortunately did not have a shallow end.  It looks like my wifes cunning plan is going to work.

Me:  Ping Ping, come here!  Come to Ba ba!  I'll hold you in the water!
Ping:  没有
Me:  Look, water!  Swim?
Ping:  我会杀了你,你的立场
Me:  Alright, Ba ba is going to pick you up, and put you in the water now.

So, with her in my arms, facing out from me, we slipped into the water - and for 42 seconds, she clung to my arm while we started wading though the water.  Her little face lit up with a wide smile as she splashed her little delicate hands and feet in the water and giggled with joy!

It was around the 43rd second mark where she glanced over her shoulder and was reminded that I was holding her...

Ping:  我走
Me:  I can't let you go baby.  You will sink.
Ping:  我走!
Me:  I can't put you down!  You can't touch the bottom.
Ping:  我走!   我走!
Me:  Okay... I'll put you down.

It is around this time, as her little face slipped slowly below the surface of the water that I realized a couple of things...
  1. she wasn't reaching up for help, she made her decision - drowning was better than reaching out and taking my hand for help
  2. she has a bit of a stubborn streak to her
  3. maybe this attachment thing is going to take more than 36 hours
  4. those stupid swim caps are really uncomfortable
I reached into the water, took her gently under the arms and lifted her out of the water.  Thinking "surely now she realizes that she can not touch the bottom, that she needs me, that she will happily stay in my arms now and hold onto me and let me help her".  Boy... was I wrong...

Ping:  我走!!!
Me:  Really?!  You still want down?   Didn't you notice you just about drowned?
Ping:  我走!!!
Me:  Okay, here we go again...

And once more, my daughters beautiful face slipped silently below the surface...  I did get to hold her, eventually.  She stopped fighting me and let me lead her around the pool and had fun splashing her big brother.  :-)

Me:  Hey, we're back!
Wife:  How was swimming?
Me:  Oh great.  It went really well.
Wife:  See, I told you it would work!  And what are you wearing on your head?
Me:  Swimming cap.  Apparently, you need them if you want to swim in China.
Wife:  Good to know.
Me:  Yea.  Hey, quick question.  If you had to choose between drowning and being stuck with me... what would you choose?
Wife:  She will love you.  Eventually.
Me:  She would love me quicker if I gave her the sucker.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Those Travelling Soon

This post goes out to all you people who are travelling to pick up your adopted child soon...

To you Shelly, Patrica, and others, who in the true spirit of Adoption have decided to take the WHOLE family with them (yes I'm looking at you Mr + Mrs Our Family Is So Big They Had To Create a Travel Group Just For Us) to China... this post is for you...

... a little while ago...
Wife:  Did you know that Mr and Mrs So-and-So are travelling soon to pick up their child?
Me:  What?  Really?  Last time I heard I thought they were just going to send 1 parent like us.
Wife:  Yea.  They changed their mind.
Me:  So who is going now?  Both parents?
Wife:  Yea.  Their 4 kids will stay with the Grandparents.
Me:  Oh well, good for them then.

... a few days later...
Wife:  So-and-So are bringing their kids to China now too!
Me:  What?  Really.  Thats like, 6 people!
Wife:  Yea!
Me:  Crazy!  That would cost LOTS of money.
Wife:  I know.  We can barely send one of us... maybe one of the kids can come with me?
Me:  Lets just finish paying for things, and see how much money we have left over.

... a few days later still...
Wife:  So-and-So are bringing all the GRANDPARENTS too!
Me:  What?!
Wife:  Yea!  They are like, flying out 11 people!
Me:  How?!  How is that possible?
Wife:  I don't know.  I can't believe we're not all going.
Me:  It is expensive... ex... spen... sive!
Wife:  I know.  But... but how wonderful would that be!
Me:  EX.  SPEN.  SIVE!
Wife:  Can't you work a little more overtime?!
Me:  I am working "a little more overtime"!
Wife:  Maybe Mr. So-and-So just loves his wife more.
Me:  Thats like... 11 people times... uh... 2000$ for airfare per person... thats A LOT of money!
Wife:  That's OK, you can just say you don't love me.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to send even just ONE of us to China to bring home our new Son or Daughter.

The last thing I need is MY WIFE knowing that *some* of you guys, with 11 people in your family ALL FLYING to China!

So to all you crazy people out there talking about bringing the whole family with you to China... from the bottom of my heart... 


I can't afford for you all to travel to China...   :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

In my Defense...

Soooo, I noticed in the Blog Traffic report that many people were visiting from a China Adopt Talk website.  When I followed the link back, I saw a humorous thread of people dishing about their significant others quirks and odd habits.  Funny stuff.

Stuff like...

  • Some husband likes Reality TV
  • Some guy is still wearing black Wal-Mart jeans from 1997
  • Some husband who loved the Twilight series (trust me, he doesn't, he is just trying to earn brownie points with his wife)
  • etc...

Then, I see a post from my lovely... supportive... wonderful wife...

--- begin paste ---
Re: Tell your DH's (or DW's) secrets!

« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »

1) My DH attends Chinese Kindergarden (under the pretense of helping our DD) and actually feels competition from the other 4yr olds to bet them in their assignments and class performance.
2)I find pictures of him on the digital camera that he's taken himself, posing different hair styles!
3)He stays up till the wee hours of the morning watching Chinese cartoons.

But he does write the best blog ever
--- end paste ---

Me:  So hey, I was on the China Adopt Talk forum today.
Wife:  Oh, how did you get to the forums?
Me:  Uh, I just registered a user account... its open to anyone who registers.  Its a public website.
Wife:  Oh, I didn't know you were on there.
Me:  Ummm, you know I registered because you told me to, so I could tell someone how to blog in China.
Wife:  Oh.
Me:  Yea, and apparently... I "pose for hair pictures"?
Wife:  What?  You read my post?!
Me:  Uh-huh.  And I pose for pictures?!
Wife:  How DARE you read my post!
Me:  Uh, because you posted it.  And I POSE for pictures?!
Wife:  Those ARE PRIVATE messages!
Me:  No, no they aren't.  Its a public form.  Which you posted on.  To thousands of users.  That I pose for hair pictures.
Wife:  You can't READ MY POSTS!
Me:  Yes, I can.  And so can anyone else on the forums.  And I don't pose for hair pictures!
Wife:  I can't even LOOK at you right now!
Me:  What?!  What did I DO?!

Well, I think I DO write the best blog... next to this one of course.  :-)

Now, as for #1 above ... 
Yes, I do take JR. Kindergarten class with my adopted daughter.  And I would dare say that more adoptive parents should do the same!  Even our other daughter has started going to Chinese School to help support her sister.  Now, is there a little girl there in a Red Dress who is a snot nosed little know it all?!  Yes!  Absolutely!  Dose she need to be put in her place?  YES!  Oh she sits there all cute and innocent looking... but you can see it in the smirk of her smile... she loves being the smartest one in the class... :-)  Kidding, shes a lovely little teachers pe... er, little student.

As for #2 above...
Yes, I did take pictures of my hair.  Because I had long hair, and cut it all off for our daughter.  I think that is a fine reason to take pictures of my hair before I loose it all.  Did I have a big ceremony with the family, keep all the hair in a brown paper bag for weeks on end in my room and cry every night when I went to bed?  No.  Okay, maybe just a little... crying... but c'mon, my hair was gone!

As for #3 above...
Yes, I do watch Chinese cartoons until the wee hours of the morning.  But that's only because I don't have anything else to watch!  Actually I found a website where I can download Chinese TV.  So now I've got some Chinese A-TEAM type shows and other stuff, as well as some cheezy Kung-Fu shows!  So HA!  I'm not *just* watching Chinese Cartoons!

... hmmmm... maybe this isn't really helping any... I'm going to stop posting now.

Oh, but one last thing before I leave... notice that all 3 things are for my adopted child?  I guess that makes it OK then.  'Cuz after all, I think I'd do anything for my children... even going back to Kindergarten, cutting off my hair, and yes, watching foreign language cartoons.  :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011


I love computers.  I do.
They drive me crazy at times.
Sometimes I don't understand them.
They make me angry sometimes, and seldom do what I want.
I can spend hours with a computer, only to get "no where" if you know what I mean.
I guess I like computers, because they remind me of my wife. 

But I digress.

What I find funny about all our blogging, and posting, and rantings in forums about Ch*na and adoption, is that we ever so clever Westerns will use clever ways to avoid prying eyes.  Like, spelling China as Ch*na in a comment, or a post if we don't want the China officials to notice what we are talking about.

Lets think about that for a second.  :-)

1st off, if the Chinese government were smart enough to build a computer system to scan the thousands upon thousands of posts made about adoption each and every day, and IF they were smart enough to get around the log-in requests of these sites which are hosting the thousands and thousands of posts a day, and IF they were smart enough to track all that data back to the individual users who posted to comments getting though the security of our Internet Service Providers IP tracking systems, and IF the Chinese Government were smart enough to collate all that information into a statistically meaningful pile of data... I'm sure they are NOT going to be stumped by some clever use of the * character.  :-)

Better yet, I think we should substitute the words:

  • China -> Happy Happy Wonderland
  • Long Wait -> all of a sudden
  • Special Needs -> beautiful results
  • Stupid Paperwork -> glorious tax rebates
  • Annoying Family -> annoying family
  • Disappointment -> a lucky chance to do this all over again
  • Adopt -> claim what is ours
  • Adoption -> molecular realignment of physical bodies occupying a time and location in space non-adject to the desired location of similar yet distinctly different physical bodies occupying the same time yet different location

See, then, we could post what we really feel in a way which is non-offensive to anyone/everyone/Ch*na.
Take for example, the phrase:

  • "Oh my gosh, China is making us go though such a long wait because of our stupid paperwork to adopt our child with special needs, and it is such a disappointment that this adoption, which hopefully can be done this year, may not be!"

would become:

  • "Oh my gosh, Happy Happy Wonderland is making us go though, all of a sudden, glorious tax rebates to claim what is ours with beautiful results, and is such a lucky chance to do this all over again with this molecular realignment of physical bodies occupying a time and location in space non-adject to the desired location of similar yet distinctly different physical bodies occupying the same time yet different location, which hopefully can be done this year!"

See!  That is so much less offensive.  Its all about a tax rebate... or something.  I donno, I got lost around the molecules.

Smart Yeti:  + 1
Ch*na Spies: 0

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where does Adoption End and Family Begin?

Here is the question for the day:
Where does Adoption End and Family Begin?

Depending on the person I guess.  I mean, I still haven't figured it out yet.  Sometimes I think Ping is not adopted anymore - yet she will hit me with a "Are yew done wif me now?  I go back China?" or similar question when I'm not expecting it.  Sometimes I think we are so far along on the "family" process, I forget to consider where SHE is in the "family" process.  I loved her from Day #1... she thought I was a Yeti.

Anyway, enjoy the Family Photos... hopefully you see more Family than Adoption.

Oh, and it was a trick question... Adoption never ends.  ;-)  
Thankfully, neither does Family.  :-)

I blame my parents...

I blame my parents...
I do.
Thats my answer.
Now, what was the question?

See, my parents are awesome.
I was truly blessed to grow up with one of those childhoods people write about in books.
Dad worked.
Mom stayed home and raised us.
Dad coached our soccer team.
Brothers and sisters in the family all got along.
Grew up in the woods running in the forest wrestling bears wrapped in bacon.
Never saw Mom and Dad fight.
Had parents who trusted us to grow and make the right decisions.
Family vacations.
Drinking coffee cooked on an open fire while camping in the woods.
Building forts in the back yard.
... and the list goes on.

So... what was the question?
Ah right, "Why are we adopting?".

Growing up with a family like that, really messed me up (in a good way).  :-)
I ever-so-foolishly assumed that EVERYone had a chance to grow up in a home full of love and a wonderful family.  I didn't really understand conflict, or fighting, or that children could go their whole lives without hearing their parents (or someone) say "I Love you".

As a father, a son, a little brother and a big brother... I am choosing not to sit idly by while some children have to go though life without the loving family I had.  There are some 140million children in this world whose family may be sorely lacking... I've got enough love left for 1 more... if I can fill just 1 more child's life with the type of family and love that I had while I was growing up, then I will.  Not to save that child, but to give them a loving family...

I also learned from my parents that "there is always room for more"... now, they may have been talking about Jell-O at the time... I wasn't really paying attention.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grace is a Love-ly name...

Wife:  Soooooo, what did you do today?
Me:  Oh, not much.  You know, went to work... came home...
Wife:  Un-huh.
*awkward silence*
Me:  I've done something wrong again haven't I?
Wife:  Uh-huh.
Me:  Hmmmmm... can you give me a hint?
Wife:  Yea, I read your blog.
Me:  Okay.  So?
Wife:  Grace.
Me:  Yeah.  Grace.  Good post?
Wife:  You're an idiot.
Me:  You can't call me an idiot.
Wife:  Moron - I said I would stop calling you a moron.  I never said anything about idiot.
Me:  So you didn't like the Grace blog?  It isn't about the name Grace... you know it's about people who adopt for the wrong reasons.
Wife:  You do know that like, 6 of our good friends have daughters named Grace.
Me:  Yea.
Wife:  Do you know how many emails I got today?
Me:  Hmmmm... No.  But now that you mention it... I did get alot of emails too.
Wife:  You know that all those Moms are gonna hate you now.  Because they think you hate their daughters name.
Me:  But Grace is a lovely name!  The post was never about the "name"...
Wife:  You are such a moron...
Me:  Hey!

So, yea, apparently, I can blog about wrestling bears wrapped in bacon - no response.  But oh boy, pick on the name Grace, and the Momma Bear comes out in ALL the Mommies... I even had Mothers who DIDN'T have a child named Grace emailing me!  And there was a different mother who legally changed her daughters name from Lilly to Grace just so she COULD yell at me!  :-)

Anyway, just to me clear, and to make sure that I don't get a nasty email from my wife later...
I, Adrian (the Yeti), Love the name Grace!  It is a beautiful name!  A thoughtful name, a name which shall be echoed in the halls of heaven sung by the angels themselves.  My previous post was not meant to being shame or disrepute to this marvelous wonderful name - only to help paint a picture of where some parents may go astray in thinking that they can "fix" their children*.

* == All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saving a child doesn't work...

There were so many things I could have titled this post.  But this one title stuck "Saving a child doesn't work". I guess the title doesn't really matter... but it is an indicator of how much I struggled with this post.  There is much more I want to say on this... but didn't.  There are many things which I cut out after re-writing this post for the 3rd time in two days... but here it is, as it is.  This post has really been bugging me, which probably means there is a reason I need to post it, and can't get it out of my head.

Who saved who?
Me:  ... but if we ever did start an Adoption Agency, we would have to have a new rule.  No one can name their child Grace.
Wife:  Thats a silly rule.  What, because there are SO many Graces who have been adopted?  What about Hope or Faith?  Do we have to ban those names as well?
Me:  Yea, maybe.  I'm not sure yet.  But think about it, every disrupted adoption I know of, came at the expense of a child named Grace.
Friend:  Oh, thats an interesting observation.
Me:  I donno, maybe these parents going into Adoption thinking they are going to "save a child" are going into adoption for the wrong reasons.  Maybe they shouldn't be trying to "save a child".  How about they just start by loving that child, and seeing what happens.

She didn't need saving... Well, wait, she DID need saving, but not by me.
What did she need from me?

Which is a good thing.  Because, I can't save her.  I can't save anyone.  At best, I can try to not mess my children up sooooo badly that they wind up in therapy by the age of 12.  Besides, there is only one person who can save people... and it ain't me, probably ain't you either, and my wife might just think it is her... but she would be wrong as well.  :-)

But I can love them.
I can hold them.
I can dream for them.
I can provide them with a father.
And WE can provide them with a family.
I can do many things... but I can not save them (and what I AM able to provide is so very important for our children).

Call me crazy, but maybe if I spend more time loving my children for the way they are, rather than trying to fix them (or turn them into who I think they should be), we all might just wind up being "saved" after all.

So, as we enter Adoption #2, I'm not going to be focused on trying to save a child (that never was my intent or job anyway).  I'm just going to be focused on loving our child... and I'll let the saving part work itself out.

* == Love doesn't always replace knowledge though, you still have to be an educated and a smart parent (especially when adopting**).  Sometimes Love isn't always obvious... Love might be telling your children "No", when you want to say "Yes" and stuff like that.  I'm not saying "just love on them, and let them do whatever they want" ... you've still gotta be the parent and help guide them along the path of what is good... but we are called as parents to Love our children - let God do the fixing and saving...

** == I take that back.  Many horrible people in this world were NOT adopted, which proves biological children can be REALLY messed up too.  So you gotta be a smart, educated parent no matter what.