Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tricks of the Trade or, Husbandry 101

Son #1 with and his friend picking
strawberries - hopefully I can teach
him much so he can have more of
a fighting chance in this thing called
At work we've got a sports day coming up soon... well, in late September/early October.  But as it is really one of the few "fun" things which happen at work, people are pretty excited about it.  One of the organizers was running around the other day getting "shirt sizes" for the different teams.

Organizer (Org):  *super excited*  SO ARE YOU GUYS ALL COMING TO THE FLY BALL DAY?!!??!
Female Co-Worker (CW):  Uuuuuh, I don't know.  I've got a lot of work to do.
Org:  Oh it will be FUN!
CW:  Oh, alright.  I'll come.
Org:  Great!  I just need you to sign this waiver form incase you get injured.
CW:  Un-huh.
Org:  Aaaaand, what meal do you want?  Burger?  Chicken?  Or Veggie burger?
CW:  I'll go with the chicken.
Org:  Great.  Okay... and what shirt size are you?
Me:  *uh-oh... you don't ASK a girl their shirt size... at least not that LOUDLY!  Pfffff... amateur.  He is gonna get eat'n alive!*
CW:  Uh, I don't know.  What size do you think I need?
Org:  Hmmmmmm... *looks the CW over*
Me:  *say small you moron!  say SMALL!*
Org:  I think we should get you a LARGE.
Me:  WHAT!??!?!  You can't tell a woman that!?  Oh you moron!
Org:  What?!  What did I do?!
Me:  Oh look, now she's crying!
Org:  I just said she needed a large shirt.
Me:  Yea.  Large.  Girl.  Large!  Are you getting it?!
Org:  No, I'm missing the point.
Me:  *siiiigh*  Okay, you don't have a wife.  I forgot.  Here, let me explain it to you.  Never call a woman... large.
Org:  ... oh.  OH!  Well what was I supposed to do?!
Me:  Here is how the conversation should have gone.  When she asked what size she was, you should have answered, "Well, you look like a small to me.  But with this stuff, you can never be sure.  So I'll put you down for a medium just to be safe."  THEN, you fill in LARGE in the form.  When the T-Shirt arrives, if the large fits, then everything is good and no one knows any different.  Our lovely co-worker here will be wearing what she thinks is a "medium" t-shirt and feeling good about herself.  But if the large is too big, then you can always shrug your shoulders and apologize that the "shirt company must have sent the incorrect sizes", or we "ran out of mediums".
Org:  Wow.  You are super smart! *
Me:  Yea, I know.  After you've been married for 15(ish) years, you learn a thing or two.  No need to thank me.
CW:  You are such a moron. **

Yes, there are tricks you pick up during life.  I wish I could find a trick to hurry up our LOA, alas, I have not figured that one out yet.  There are even parenting tricks which come in handy every now and again... like learning to get to the "heart" or "character" issues when bad behaviour arises.

Recently, Ping was colouring with a blue crayon and G really wanted it.
Ping said "no" and that G would have to "wait her turn".
So G did patiently wait.
Unfortunately, when Ping was done with said blue crayon, she threw it across the room.
After G had waited for it.
Purely for the sake of spite and being mean.
Don't get me wrong, there are times where Ping may throw something across the room just to have a good time.
But this was spite and meanness.
So, G, being the tender soul she is, hopped off her chair and went running after the crayon.
I quickly called G back, and sent Ping to go get the crayon.
Oh, she tried to say "no", and she tried to "argue" with me, get mad, she even started crying because I asked her to go pick up the crayon she rudely threw across the room when she knew her sister was waiting for it.
But firmly and patiently, I persisted with my stance, and she stopped crying, apologized to her sister and went and got the crayon for her.
More importantly, she had a change of heart.
You can see it when it happens with her.
Her whole demeanor changes and everything about her gets "softer".
I could have just dealt with the actual act of throwing the crayon.
But I needed her to know that what she did was wrong, and it was wrong because it was done in a mean spirit deliberately to hurt her sister.
She understood, and she grew a little that night picking up that blue crayon from across the room.
Such a good girl.

Now, do these tricks work every time?  Nope.  As a husband, I still get called a moron or idiot every once in a while.  As a father, sometimes I get things wrong.  I'm still figuring this whole husband/father/son thing out.

But some times, I get so proud 'cuz I think I'm so smrt... er, smArt.

Boys:  McDonalds!  Lets goto McDonalds!
Me:  *thinking fast on my feed*  Oh no, we don't want McDs.  I heard they use WORMs in their burgers.
Boys:  What?!  EWWWWW!  Worms?!
Me:  Yup.  Worms.
Boys: ... YAY!  LETS GO EAT WORMS!!!  McDonalds!  McDonalds!  McDonalds!

Oh well.  You win some, you loose some.  But this whole Parenting thing seems to get easier... well, maybe not easier... maybe we just get better at it.

* == Okay, maybe the Organizer didn't say EXACTLY that... but I know they were thinking it.
** == Sadly, yes, she actually DID say that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Updated Pictures of Lukai

Hey, here are some pictures of our (still awaiting LOA) son - Lukai.
Gotta LOVE those split pants!  Good to know that everything is A-OK down there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Accident, Mafia Style #2

NOTE:  This is a re-post from No Hands But Ours - sorry if it is a repeat for some readers.

Another "accident"
Me:  Uuuuuh, what was that crash?!
Wife:  Ummmm... I don't know.
Me:  What happened?  Was it something outside?
Wife:  Oh, uh, yea.  The table broke.
Me:  The table broke?  How?
Wife:  ... uuuuuuhhhhmmmm...
Me:  *looking outside*  I guess the wind caught it and tipped it over?
Wife:  Yea!  That's it!  I saw the whole thing!  The wind just picked it up, and threw it off the deck!
Me:  Well, I guess it is windy and raining outside... hey... how come you are all wet?
Wife:  I uh, I tried to save the table?  Oh well.  Hey, I guess I get to buy a new one now!
Me:  Uh-huh...

Oh well... I never did like that table...
Now, I'm not saying that my wife "threw" the table off the deck.  I mean, the table probably weighs about as much as she does.  But maybe she could get the edge up just a bit... you know, just enough for the wind to catch it and send it sailing off the edge of the deck.
Hey, how come my little light plans aren't tossed all over the place?
All I know, is that there have been a few too many "accidents" around the house lately when it comes to things the wife wants to have replaced.

She also ran out last night and bought some hair dye to dye her hair.  She is now a blonde.  Although I enjoy the new hair colour, she has been asking me some pretty silly questions lately... the same evening she dyed her hair, she could not figure out how to use her computer... and if you are on the FOI, Rumour Queern or ZhongShan forums, you would know that she uses her computer ALOT for messaging.  I'm not saying its the blond hair, all I'm saying is that when she was a brunette we didn't have this problem.

Okay, so what is this really all about?  Its all about day 87.  Or so.  Not that we're counting.
Okay, *someone* is counting... and she is trying to distract herself.

Oh well.  I don't think it's working... BUT, if you are adopting from the ShanXi CWI, you might want to check out this link:

It is the orphanages home page.  There is a bunch of stuff up there... one of them is the story of an "one armed" lady who came to the orphanage to help teach the children and to show that they can have a happy healthy life, even if they are missing an arm...   I think it is great that the orphanage is doing things like this... it is very forward thinking and a great example for the children.

There is also a letter from the director of the orphanage - dosn't say much, and its a couple years old... but at least you can see that face of the person running the place caring for your children (if you are adopting from ShanXi).

They even have stories of international adoptions from their orphanage...

So there you go all your adoptive parents waiting like us... for 87 days...  hit up the orphanage website and kill a few hours struggling through the poorly translated English Translations (via google translate) gleaming tidbits of information about your child.

... that should keep her busy for a bit.  :-)

I guess joking aside, it is so very hard to wait...  to keep ourselves distracted... to keep ourselves from going crazy waiting to hold our new children.  How are they waiting?  Is my little Lukai somewhere in China right now, aware he is being adopted and anxiously waiting for us?!  I know since we've been home, Ping (our 1st adopted daughter) has asked us many time "Why you take so long to come get me!".

We're coming little Lukai!  We may have all new furniture when you get here here... and your mother may be a red head by then... but we are coming!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't you worry about: Bonding

So Ping came running at me this morning, shouting something about me being a monster and trying to kill me with a plastic sword.  It was about this time when I remembered back to earlier in the adoption process, when people would ask "Are you sure you will feel the same about your new child as your biological ones?"
She was in the process of stabbing me here... cute eh?
Gotta kill the monster she yells while plunging the
play sword into my metaphorical father's heart
... flash back to a simpler place in time...
Dad:  Hey, kids, c'mon down stairs - I've got something to show you!  Now you boys are going to have to take care of the cat... feed him, pet him, play with him.
Much Younger Me:  WOW!  A cat!  Oh he is so cute!

And that was probably the last time that "cat" was ever called cute.  That cat would grow up to me a small mountain lion.  Living in Northern Manitoba, that cat had to contend with other cats, dogs, raccoon and bear just to get some food.  The quickly turned into the cat that everyone was scared of.  During one particular Friday night, three of my friends left bleeding from the head, ear and arms.  The cat had pee'd in someones shoe (normally a dog thing), and generally liked to stalk young children.  At one point, I remember seeing my youngest brother (who was just learning to walk) stagger through the living room (which apparently he is doing again, although now staggering for different reasons) with the "cat" crawling through the shag carpeting on his belly like a lion through the tall grass of the Serengeti.  All at once, the cat pounced!  Raced towards my little brother and leapt into the air with the full intention of taking down his prey.  At the last moment, the claws retracted, and he landed with a thump just behind my little brother, looking up at him with a look on his face as if to say "I could have eaten you just now.  Next time.  Next time."... and slowly walked away.

Now, I have a cat of my own.  Stupid cat.  He has tried to kill me several times.  Oh sure, there is the normal "wedging between your feet while you are walking down the stairs" stunt that many cats pull... I'm not talking about that.  No sir.  I'm talking pre-mediated, cunning plans to take me down.

A while ago, the cat "innocently" fell though part of our roof.  No big deal right?  Well, I'm out there trying to fix this silly roof panel that fell out.  What I could not understand, is that this is a big piece of steel paneling... how did my little 4 pound cat manage to cause it to fall off the roof?  I don't understand.  There were wind storms, and snow storms, and all sorts of forces of nature attempting to break this particular panel... but they all failed.  The cat though... he got it down.  As I'm standing awkwardly on the top of our ladder, trying to fix this 6 foot long piece of metal roofing, the children run out!  The wife has the idea that the kids should see me trying to fix stuff.  Why she wants the children to be around me while I'm swearing under my breath and frustrated beyond all reason is well beyond my understanding, but there you have it, she thinks its a good idea.  With the gaggle of children all crowded right at the base of the ladder chattering away with the typical "Whatcha doing Dad?  Why do you look angry Dad?  Did you fix it yet?  Mom said she could fix it by now.  Are you swearing Daddy?", the back piece starts to fall... right on top of the children.  Now, normally children should scatter when something big and heavy is going to fall on them.  Not my kids though.  No sir!  They all simply point up at the big heavy falling thing and say "Dad, that part is falling."  I reach around and catch the piece of metal falling, and stop it from lopping off one of the children's head, "damaging my rotator cup" in the process.  As I climb off the ladder, clutching my shoulder trying to figure out what happened... I see my cat sitting in the doorway... looking at me with an all too familiar look, as if to say "I could have killed you just now.  Next time.  Next time."

So, why all the ramblings of cats who have tried to kill me over the years?

Well, to simply say... if I could love and bond with those cats, and see all the tears shed when they passed away, then I am pretty confident that I can love and bond with any adopted child.  Oh, and it is not like biological children always endear themselves to your heart either... sometimes kids can be hard to love*.  But then that helps make the precious moments so much more precious... like when they are sleeping... they always look sweet and innocent when they are sleeping.

See?  Innocent and sweet looking.  Sleeping in the crib in the
hotel the 1st night together.  Who knew if a few short months
she would be calling me a monster and attacking me with a
sword and Irish Drum as a shield.

* == Not too often though.  Normally, they are just adorable when they are trying to be difficult.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coming Clean

Do I look like the scheming type?
Wife:  Hey, I've got an idea for your blog.
Me:  Oh yea, what's that?
Wife:  How about you actually post an accurate story?
Me:  What?
Wife:  I'm the one who wants another child?
Me:  Oh, is this about the last blog post?
Wife:  Un-huh.  I want another child?!
Me:  Is anything I posted in the previous blog inaccurate or untruthful?  Did you not have that conversation with me about adopting again?
Wife:  No, nothing was wrong, and yes, we were talking about adopting again.
Me:  Okay, so what's the problem then?
Wife:  What's the problem?  The problem is that you paint me in a certain light, and yet you ignore the fact that YOU have been talking about adopting again way more than I have!  That YOU were the one to first bring up the fact that with the adoption process taking so long, that we should start the paper work again the moment we get back with Lukai.  How about you post how YOU want to adopt again?
Me:  Well that wasn't really the point of the blo...
Wife: *giving me the eeeeevil eye*
Me:  ... riiiiight.  Okay, well, I can clarify that with the next blog post.

So there you have it.  Yes, my wife and I wanted to adopt, and we did.  She also wants me to let you all know that I want to adopt again as well.  Just so we're all clear on that.  :-)  Huh?  What... hold on... yes, un-huh... right.  Okay.  I'll point that out too.  The wife would also like you all to know that I am the one who brought up adopting again, not her.  That I am more excited about adopting than she is right now.  I'm sure there is more that I was supposed to come clean about... but I can't really remember them right now.  Ummmm, I'd like another girl, however, I'm guessing that a boy might be easier... if we had another girl, then we'd STILL need another boy, and then another girl... wait... didn't someone mention 10 children in a comment yesterday?  Oh well... at least if we keep getting boys, I won't need anymore shotguns.

So yes, I would love to adopt again - this whole adoption thing has been working out pretty well (Ping does love me now).  Are we going to be able to adopt again after Lukai?  I doubt it.  I think with the completion of our 2nd international adoption (which is very expensive) and the addition to the house to make room for the family (which is also very expensive), we are going to be all tapped out for cash.  It is an unfortunate reality that although we may desire to adopt again, that we may not be able too.

There is the whole financial aspect of adoption that people don't really talk about with non-adoptive parents.  It's a funny thing, because it gets very touchy and there are many different thoughts/opinions on it.  Some people blame China (or whatever country you are dealing with) for it being so expensive, some people relate it to child trafficking (buying/selling a child)  and for others its a racial issue (as "whiter" children cost more to adopt than "darker" children).

But for a quick summary (based on a China International adoption):

  • international adoption is expensive
    • approx 20,000$ ~ 60,000$+ depending on country of adoption and many other factors
  • 85% of the money goes to lawyers, social workers, hotels, airlines, etc. in Canada
    • less than 15% actually goes to the children
      • thats the hard part, I would gladly pay big $$$s if it was going to help the children, but to the pocket of lawyers and airlines?!?!  That is where it seems wrong...
    • If we want International Adoption to be easier to complete, afford, and be successful we should address the 85% (ie: Domestic expenses) and not worry so much about what China is doing with the meager 15%
  • no money goes to the hands of an individual in China
    • money may be "donated" to the orphanage
      • an official China receipt is issued for the payment
      • "cash only" is a reflection of the culture (which pays cash for just about everything)
      • not the signs of nefarious means to hide payment (as so many "under the table" payments in north american society)
  • Child trafficking is a horrible blight on society, which is why there are so many lawyers, police agencies, social workers, government agencies and oversight to help prevent against this
    • No system is perfect - there is always the chance for someone to abuse the system
      • this is not a valid reason to NOT support adoption
      • this IS a valid reason to fight against human trafficking

Although this is not a topic I wish to post about publicly (funny eh, I'll post about how my daughter would choose certain death over having me hold her, swearing  at me in Mandarin, the wife hiring a "hitman" to take out the old swing set, but finances... forget that!) - but if you are considering an international adoption, or if someone you know is adopting and you are looking for ways to help out, feel free to contact me and I can hook you up with all sorts of information.

If you are part of the "support" network for someone going through the adoption process and there are questions related to finances, race or accountability of those involved, and you feel as though you can not broach those subjects with the ones you are trying to support - ask us... use the comments, or contact us directly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That's NOT awesome for Daddy

I should have noticed, Bob (from FOI) and the wife planning child #6.
Oh why was I so blind!
Ping:  Why you and Mommy fighting?
Me:  Oh baby!  We're not fighting.  Daddy is laughing.
Ping:  Hmmmmm... Daddy laughing.  Mommy no laughing though.
*slight pause as she thinks*
Ping:  That's NOT awesome for Daddy.
Me:  *laughing*  No baby, you are probably right.  This is probably NOT awesome for Daddy.
Wife:  You are such a moron.
Me:  Look, all I'm saying is that we should finish THIS adoption before looking at the next.

Lets rewind the story about 5 minutes or so... see my lovely wife had started talking about adoption again.  And I don't mean "finishing" our current adoption.  Already looking ahead to the NEXT adoption.  Thats right, child #6.

But forget about Child #6 for a moment.  I mean, I did call this a while back, that the Wife would see little Lukai playing by himself in the corner of the basement, as the older boys ignore him because he is a "baby" while the girls ignore him because he is an "icky boy".  I can hear the conversation now... "but look at how lonely little Lukai is!  He NEEDS another brother!"  *siiiiiigh*

Room for 1 more brother... maybe 2?
But that is for another day, and not something I'm gonna be talking about now.  The decision to add to your family is never an easy decision.  It is easy enough to say "yes, we want to hear the pitter patter of little feet running around the house", or to dream about all the wonderful times we will share as family, laughing, playing, growing. The happy parts are easy to dream.

The hard part is the part that is scary.  For some parents, it is the first time they find out they are pregnant.  Then the fear of the first time parent pounces upon the unsuspecting to be parents.  The "am I ready for this?", or "am I going to be a good father/mother" question, the "can we afford a baby" questions, the "how do we feed/change/clothe/care for this little puking machine?" questions.  The self doubt of "am I going to mess this child up and have them stuck in therapy by the age of 7?!", or the "OH MY GOSH!  OH MY GOSH!  WHAT THE CRAP AM I DOING?!?!  I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING?!?  AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!" ... but maybe that was just me... yesterday.

As an adoptive parent, we go though those same questions, and then some.  Even though we already have 3 biological children, 1 adopted daughter and another adoption in progress... we still have those questions.  It never gets easier.  Oh wait, hold on, the wife is telling me something... um-huh, right... okay... I'll clarify that.  Apparently, it is only me who has those questions and concerns.  The wife is OK with everything.  Riiiiiiiiiigh.

She doesn't look worried dose she?
But the most amazing thing, is that even though logic and common sense may say "STOP HAVING KIDS"... there is something else which is even stronger and more powerful than common sense and logic.  The knowledge that there is still enough room and enough love for one more child to enter your family.  When you realize that, then all of a sudden the worries start to fade away, and panic subsides... and decisions become so much easier to make.

However, that is when YOU are going though it.  What about when others are going though it?

Maybe in the past I've been a little harsh on those who are "not adoptive" people (or those who just didn't seem to "get it") in how they support "adoptive" families.  I could not understand why some people could not just be happy for us adopting.  I didn't understand why people would be worried that we were going to "ruin our beautiful family by adopting".  However, we have good friends who are currently looking at adopting.  They are going though all the normal AAAAAAH type moments as they realize that their family is going to grow, that there may (or may not) be special needs attached to their new child, that this is going to change the way they do family forever.

And I'm torn.
Lost for words (hard to imagine I know).

I don't know what to say.  Everything inside me is jumping up and down screaming "DO IT!  Adopt that beautiful child!"  ... but at the same time, I don't know what they are thinking.  I don't want to sway their decision making or the "process" which they have to go though to come to the right decision for their family.

So I sit and wait, and no matter what decision they come to, I will support their decision.  Because as a friend, it is not my job to make a decision for them... it is not my job to change their minds... it is my job to love them, support them, keep them in prayer, encourage them and help them in which ever decision they do make.

One thing I do know is that despite what my daughter thinks, I'm pretty sure each child added to our family has been the "MOST AWESOMEST thing for Dad" ever.  :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Racism Sucks

I'd like everyone to take a quick moment and  look at my daughter.

She is beautiful right?  I mean, I think she is.  She looks perfect in every way.  So it breaks my heart when she doesn't think so... and it breaks my heart even more when others don't think so.

Me:  So how was the weekend while me and Kole were camping?
Wife:  Pretty good.  We spent a lot of time at the beach.
Me:  Oh cool.  Fun?
Wife:  Yup, we got ice cream from the Ice Cream Boat and the kids were even playing with other kids at the beach.
Me:  Did they make some new friends?
Wife:  Well, no, not really.  D was playing with G and Ping, giving them horse back rides in the water.  They were laughing and having a great time.
Me:  He's a great big brother.
Wife:  Yea, they were all playing so nice.  Then another group of 3 small girls, about the ages on Ping and G started making their way over.  Drawn by the laughter and everyone having a great time.  Ping called them over, and said that they could play with D, and help her "get him!".
Me:  Sounds fun.
Wife:  D and G eventually made their way back to the beach out of the water, and were playing in the sand.  Leaving Ping and the 3 other girls alone.  Quickly, I could see that something was wrong.  Ping started looking back towards the shore when I was sitting, and I could just tell something was wrong.  So I waved her in, and she came out of the water.  Immediately, I could see that she was starting to cry.  She then broke into a run once on the sand and stopped just in front of me.  She wanted to throw herself on me and cry, but she knew better than to climb on me when she is wet.  But I could tell she needed a cuddle so I told her to climb up on my lap.  She did, and then she started bawling.  Crying like we haven't heard in months.
Me:  Oh no, what happened?
Wife:  Well, it took a couple of minutes for her to calm down enough to even talk.  I was asking her what happened, did she get hurt, but all she could say was "I don't know what happen.  You have to talk to their Mommy."  But I couldn't talk to the other Moms until I knew what happened!  Finally she calmed down enough to say "They say my skin is brown, and dirty and that it is ugly.  They say I dirty and then splash me in the face."

My daughter!  Ugly?!  Dirty?!  Quick, scroll back up to the pictures... I can't see it.  
Now, pre-adoption, I would have probably though along the lines of "oh well, kids are just picking on her.  If there was something else more obvious, if she was fat, if she was wearing her glasses, they would have picked on that"... but no, this was racism, at a very young age.

Me:  Oh.  What did you do?
Wife:  Well, once I calmed down enough, I went over to the other three Moms and told them what their children said.
Me:  Did they do anything?
Wife:  Oh yes, they all jumped up and went to the water and grabbed their kids, and started giving them the gears.  Then then came back to clarify exactly who said what.  I was glad to see that they seemed to actually care.  Then,  they made their kids go and apologize to Ping.
Me:  Wow.  You handled that great.
Wife:  I know eh!  I mean, I've punched little old ladies in the back of the head because they said Kole was blocking their view during the circus.  I've yelled at that little boy at the beach when he was being mean to our kids last summer. I didn't event think of being mean to these kids or their Moms!
Me:  I know.  I'm so proud of you!  Look at you growing and becoming a better person.  You didn't think about accidently knocking the kids into the water and then holding them under for a minute or two.
Wife:  No, I didn't!  I really don't like stupid people, and I have no patience for them.  But I even thanked the other Moms for dealing with their children so quickly and properly.  But this was it.  I mean, we've had racist comments before from people, but this is the first one that Ping understood.
Me:  Yea, first step, first words, first racist comments... all great milestones in our children's lives.

There is no room for racism in our world.  It should not be tolerated, and people should not have to deal with it.  When the wife explained what happened to Ping to the other kids, both D + G wound up breaking down into tears and crying.  I think, I hope, I pray, our children understand it.  I know they will never "get it", not like Ping will.  I've mentioned before that she started asking why her skin is brown... so she is aware.

As parents, siblings, friends, and family of our internationally adopted... no wait, as parents, siblings, friends and family of ANY mixed family... no, wait again.  As humans... as people who love and respect Gods children, we have to stand up for and protect all peoples.  I don't care adopted, mixed family, visible minority, etc...  Racism sucks.

Even if you are a white family, living in rural Saskatchewan and you have never seen a visible minority walking down your dusty tumbleweed infested farming community, you can help stop racism so beautiful children (like mine) never have to collapse into the loving arms of their mother and cry while trying to come to terms with the fact that someone doesn't like them simply because of the colour of their skin.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 70something...

So we are still waiting for our LOA.  That's not great.
We were hoping to have it back around 30 or 40 days... ago.
Unfortunately, our adoption agency said that they spoke with China about our specific file, and it hasn't even been looked at yet!
Thats right.  We're at a 70 day wait... and our file is still sitting on a desk somewhere in China, without being looked at.

Lukai had just turned 2 when we got his referral (turned 2 in January) - and at this rate, I'll be thrilled to get him home by the time he turns 3.  Originally, we thought we could have him home by the time he was 2 1/2.  *siiigh* Oh well.  So goes international adoption.

But fear not!
And don't worry about us.
Or the delay!

The wife has found many things to keep her busy while waiting...  :-)

Wife:  You know, I was thinking.
Me:  That never ends well for me.
Wife:  You know what we need?
Me:  *stereo, stereo, please say stereo!*  Uh, no, what?
Wife:  A bed room fan.
Me:  *phew*  Oh yea, we could really use a new one.
Wife:  And since we're doing that, we could finish the bathroom.  The one that you and Steve tore out a while ago.
Me:  Uh, really?  Don't you want to wait until after the adoption to finish the bathroom?
Wife:  Oh yea, no, you're right.  We probably shouldn't spend any money until after the adoption is completed.  I'll just get a quote.
Me:  Okay, now we've talked about "quotes" already.  You do know what a quote means right?
Wife:  Oh stop it.  Its just a quote.
Me:  Okay, so the bathroom guy is NOT going to walk out of here with a cheque?
Wife:  No.  The bathroom guy is not going to walk out of here with a cheque.  *sticks out tongue at me*
Me:  Okay.  Great.  Carry on then.

... some time later in the week...

Me:  *ring* *ring* *ring*  Hello?
Wife:  Hey, it's me.  The bathroom guy just left, and I've got a quote.
Me:  Okay, great.  How much?
Wife:  Well, the total would be only around 2000$ to redo the bathroom.  Everything is on the cheap.
Me:  Oh, great.
Wife:  Yea.  Ummmm... do we have 1000$ in the bank right now?
Me:  What?  Why?  Why would you need 1000$ in the bank?  You didn't give the bathroom buy a cheque... riiiiight?
Wife:  Noooo, I didn't give the bathroom guy a cheque.
Me:  Phew.  Good.
Wife:  I have the construction guy a cheque.
Me:  WHAT?!
Wife:  And the architect.
Me:  WHAAAAT?!?!?!
Wife:  Well we have to add two new rooms on the house.  So the home builder guy came, and we got an architect to start drawing up the plans, and well... they wanted money!
Me:  But... but... no cheque!  NO CHEQUE!
Wife:  Right, the bathroom guy left with NO CHEQUE.  You didn't say anything about the architect or home builder.
Me:  Because I didn't KNOW about the architect or home builder!
Wife:  Well that's because you spend too much time at work, and don't listen to me.
Me:  WHAT?!  TO PAY FOR YOUR QUOTES!!!  That's why I'm at work and not home to listen to you.
Wife:  Do we have the money for the cheque, or not?  Cuz if we don't tell me now so I can call them and ask them not to cash it.
Me:  Yea, fine.  The money will be there.  I'll transfer some from the adoption fund I guess.
Wife:  Great.  Oh, and bring 1800$ cash home with you.
Me:  What?!  WHY?
Wife:  The bathroom guy starts tomorrow and needs to get paid.
Wife:  Ugh.  You are such a Drama Queen.  *click*

New bathroom for Baby Lukai...
cuz thats what every child needs.  :-)

Oh well... on the plus side, our bathroom looks lovely!  And I suppose we *could* use more room in the house with the ever expanding family.  And no, we don't really *have* the money to be doing the renovations, nor was it the 2000$ (it was more)... but I'm sure it will work out.

It looks like we might have a long wait to bring Lukai home anyway... so lots of time to try to re-coup the money.