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13 posts from May 2007

May 18, 2007

Can anyone translate this? (please)

Qinzhoujianshan_town_birth_contro_3

This is a family planning poster from the city Maddy was born/abandoned/found.  I'd like to include it in her lifebook and would also like to include a translation.

Can anyone help?  I'm very curious to know what it says.  You can post the translation as a comment or email me privately, if you like.  Thanks in advance!

UPDATE:  Many thanks to Anita for this translation! "The growth of population must be in accordance with the developments of the society, economy and material resources".

My Mother's Baby

Family FotoFun Friday Challenge #32 
Post your pictures on your blog and leave a link and a comment here before 5/25/2007.

This week's photo challenge is "My baby photo".  Want to play? 
Here are the very simple rules.

Last week was Mother's Day and that gave me one more wonderful reason to think about my mom.  Now that I'm a mom (for the last 19 years), I find that I'm constantly comparing myself to my mother in ways I never did before motherhood.  For example, as a young girl, I wanted hair like mom and bright red fingernails.   I wanted a gold mini-dress and matching shoes!

As a pre-teen, I hoped to have breasts and curves like my mother.  But, now that I'm a mom, I've put aside those trivial things in the single hope that I'd just have patience and grace like my mother.

Donna_1961 When my son was born in 1988, Mom took care of both of us until I was back on my feet and confident enough to go back to my own home with my new little person.  Mom was so good with Michael -- so incredibly natural -- that, at some point, I wondered if everyone would be better off if I just gave him to her!  Of course, I didn't do that and the sound of him sitting behind me here in the office pounding away at his computer is a reminder of that.  Some day, he'll have a wife and kids and I hope he'll appreciate my Grandma skills as much as I appreciate my mom back "in the day" when he was a baby. 

Of course, Mom had experience because she'd already had a baby or two.  Now I have experience too!

The photo you see is me -- my Mother's baby -- and the source of probably too much of that hard earned experience!

Please don't enter your link until you've completed the Foto challenge and posted it on your blog.  If you enter your link early, it might get deleted!  Also, Instead of your name, please enter your blog's name.  After the challenge is over, many people like to go back and look at old challenges so please help them find that specific post on your blog by entering the link that goes directly to it ( How do I do that?).

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. The Boy & The Bulldog
2. k2
3. season star
4. Nobody said there\'d be days
5. Journey with AnnaClaire
6. MississippiZen
7. Smith Family\'s Adventures
8. Cross-eyed
9. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
10. Just Keep Swimming
11. Journey to Chloe

May 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Happy_birthday_daddy39 years ago, in a beautiful country far away (smelling faintly of clotted cream and marmite), a little baby was born to two very wonderful people.  It was their first child and he grew up to be my husband.

He's my best friend.
My deepest love.
Father of my children.

I feel extremely fortunate that he picked me as the person with whom he'd share all the rest of his birthdays (and all the days between).

On Andrew's birthday I'm forced to admit, once again, that I got the best present:  I got Andrew.

PS:  Gwen and Maddy picked the balloons.  :)

May 15, 2007

Readoption of Maddy

Today was Maddy's re adoption.  I tried to get excited about it but it was hard.  Seriously, my friends, (to us) this re adoption stuff is just a formality arranged around a single, simple purpose:  Getting a California Birth Certificate that lists us as Maddy's Mom and Dad.

Why do we do it?  We do it because we want that piece of paper -- that birth certificate.  Not because we want to trick anyone into believing that we provided the DNA that eventually became this little girl we call Maddy, but because we don't want her to have to go through life hauling around a half dozen Chinese documents with akward translations that announce to the world that she was abandoned by an unknown birth family and born on a non-specific day in a country called China.  Somehow, that seems like a tad too much personal information to share with the 22 year old clerk at the registration desk when we sign up for Junior League soccer.  We think a simple birth certificate would be much easier to manage under those circumstances.

We also want to have something official that is easily replaced if lost.  Maddy's Chinese documents could probably NEVER be replaced.   We keep copies of them in two separate places "just in case" but I'm always reminded that I've had to request copies of my original birth records twice for our adoptions.  What would Maddy do if she ever decided to adopt?  How would she get copies of those Chinese adoption/abandoment papers?

So, I dressed the girls in matching outfits and put on some makeup and went down to the local Courthouse to "finalize" what was really final last August:  Maddy's adoption.

The Judge sat there in his official looking black robe while the court reporter typed away and he announced that it was in the best interest of the child (Maddy) for us to be her parents.  I held back the urge to roll my eyes and I think I must have succeeded since there was no warning that I was in contempt of court. 

We left the room with our adoption documents in hand and took them to the registrar to have them certified.  She asked how many copies we wanted and I told her two would be enough.  She asked if we wanted more and offered that we'd need them when we applied for Maddy's Social Security Card (already have it. Didn't need the readoption to get it) or when we travel outside the country with her (got Gwen's new USA passport before her re adoption so that wasn't necessary either).

Obviously, these nice people don't realize how unnecessary this whole process is.  How much easier it would be to just mail them a bunch of forms and a check and get the California birth cert in the mail some time later?

Okay, it might have been "semi significant" since we took a picture of it.  But I have to admit that I'm really glad this part of adoption is over. 

This is the third time I've been in this building and had our picture taken.  It's the third time I've paid for a meaningless home study and struggled with parking and thrown a bunch of money at a process that only produces a birth certificate at the end.  We already had the child.

Adopt_ceremonies_sm

The first time was Michael.  He's my child from birth and Andrew adopted him after we were married long enough for the court to allow it.  Funny how the court didn't require that I be married to his bio father for any particular period of time, huh?

Then there was Gwen's re adoption.  She as already, legally, our daughter for nearly a year when our Santa Clara County Superior Court put their seal on our "done deal".

Now there's our little sweetie, Maddy.  Here she is just before the Judge declared that she would be ours.  She was already ours.  Does she even look a little bit like she's not been ours for nearly 9 months?

Finally, with some new legislation, it's possible for adoptive parents to undertake this re adoption process without help (and expense) from their agency).  The post-placement report and forms they already have from China are sufficient to meet the Court's needs. 

Prior to the new legislation, when we readopted Gwen, we paid our $300 to our agency and they gave us a bunch of forms and a new home study. 

With Maddy, we did the exact same thing - since we didn't want to fuss with a new process - but our agency they must have realized that their role was less necessary so they provided MUCH less services for the same price.  For example.  Both re-adoptions cost $300 but Gwen's re adoption package from our agency contained forms and instructions.  Maddy's cost the same but contained no forms or instructions.  If we'd not already been down this road with Michael and Gwen, we really wouldn't have had the first clue about how to get the forms on-line and fill them out.  As it turned out, we did manage to miss some essential forms for Maddy's adoption and had to fill them out at the court house.  The court was surprised that our agency didn't provide them but we weren't.   

Maybe I should just re-name this post:  Re-adoption is Lame.  But we're still thrilled to have yet another government entity declare that Madeline Abigail is our daughter!  Forever!

May 12, 2007

Mothers

Family FotoFun Friday Challenge #31 
Post your pictures on your blog and leave a link and a comment here before 5/18/2007.

This week's photo challenge, in honor of Mother's Day, is "Mothers".  Want to play?  Here are the very simple rules.

Mom_smaller

(My week has been so screwed up that I didn't even realize that today was Saturday!  I thought it was only Friday!  So, I'm not really prepared to do this week's challenge.  I'll add Andrew's Mother to this post after the kids are down for their naps and not driving me straight up the wall).

Granny_vermeer

So, let's see... today is Tuesday, right?  And it's taken me this long to (finally) get around to adding this wonderful woman to my Mother's Day FFFF challenge. 

This is Andrew's mom and she's a truly wonderful woman!    This picture is one of my semi-recent favorites and was taken at Christmas 2005 in Santa Fe.  Mom is showing off her new Vermeer calendar (which is, obviously, no longer relevant since it was a 2006 calendar -- oh well.)

I'm very fortunate to have the personal life experience of having two mothers who are so kind and giving.   My mother in law is such a joy to know.  Most of all, I'm blessed to be loved by the man who was raised by such a woman because everyone knows that a husband will treat his wife the way he treats his mother.  I'm humbled and honored to be near the very center of my man's universe -- a place his mother earned and deserves and I spot I often don't feel worthy to occupy but humbly do.  As a mom to two daughters, I have wonderful role models for my chidren.  I wish with all my heart that my mother was still here to share these amazing mother/daughter moments but I'm happy that the girls have Nana on speed dial and she's just a push of a button away!

Happy Mother's Day to all present and future moms!

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. Just Keep Swimming
2. No More Work Than One
3. Journey with AnnaClaire
4. Smith Family\'s Adventures
5. zella
6. In My Eyes
7. The Ghelerter Twins
8. Rachel Grace Li
9. Chopsticks & Tabouli
10. Zoe\'s Place
11. Oohs and Aahs
12. Teague Adventures
13. And Miles To Go...
14. MississippiZen
15. Davis Days
16. AlyzabethAn
17. The Princess and the Pea
18. Our Three Daughters
19. 4 3=chaos
20. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
21. Journey to Sarah Lu
22. Sophie and Sage
23. Stephani
24. Now We Are Six
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