A rough storm came up one night and left a sandy beach strewn with starfish. The next morning, a child walked along the shore, stopping every few feet to pick up a starfish and flinging it out into the sea. An old man watched the child and finally shouted at him, "Why bother, son? There's too many starfish to make a difference!". With that, the boy picked up another starfish and looked at it intently before heaving out into the sea. He then turned to the old man and said...

"It Makes A Difference To This One"...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Travel Plans

We have confirmation that we will be leaving for China on July 30th!!! Hooray!!! We will leave Kansas City at 0610, fly to Newark, NJ, have a 2 1/2 hour layover, then fly to Beijing. The Newark-BJ flight is 13 hours, 45 minutes (yikes!)! The sightseeing in Beijing on Saturday includes Tianamen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. We'll then fly to Guangzhou on Sunday, and get Brody on Monday, August 3rd! Not soon enough in my opinion, but I'll take what I can get!

I keep thinking about how that sweet little boy has no idea what is about to happen to him! It's a good thing in the long run, but I can't imagine what it would be like to be taken from everything and everyone you have ever known and be given to total strangers who look, smell, and sound unlike anything you have ever seen before, not to mention the hotel(s), airline flights, restauraunt food, and living in a new country! He'll need lots of love and TLC! I think that having Makenna around will help ease his transition into our family. She is excited beyond words!

We'll have about 1 1/2 weeks of sightseeing, government appointments, and a medical exam. At the very end of the trip, we have to go to the American Consulate and take an oath, get Brody's visa, then jump on the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. We'll spend our last night in Hong Kong, then get up the next morning, take a shuttle to the airport, then fly from HK to Newark to KC. We can't wait to go get our little boy!

We still have lots to do. We never did get Brody's room painted last weekend. I was just too danged tired after having our garage sale in the heat we have been having! The heat and humidity have just been awful last weekend and all this past week-it just sucks the life out of you! Bernie and I plan on getting the painting done tomorrow, and I'll post pictures once it all gets put together.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Daddies out there! Makenna and I took Dad out to breakfast this morning, then we did a little shopping- looking at things to take to China with us like umbrella strollers and medications! Not exactly relaxing, but necessary! We also went to visit Bernie's parents and wished his Dad a Happy Father's day. He'll be 89 in 2 weeks and is still going strong! My Dad passed away in September of 2003, and I really miss him so much. He would have loved Makenna with all his heart! I know he sees her and us, though.

Makenna has a great Daddy! Bernie adores her and in his opinion she can do no wrong. Which, of course, means that I do more of the disciplining and have to be the "bad guy"! That little girl has him tied around her little finger! But that is how it's supposed to be, right?!?! Here's a Daddy who loves his kids!

Daddy receives his Father's Day gift from Makenna- a complimentary makeover

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Hi everyone! Welcome to our blog! I have been working on it for the past few weeks, and I think it turned out pretty good considering I am essentially computer illiterate! I have made this blog so you can follow our trip to go to China to get our son, Brody. I hope to post on it a few times before we go, then frequently when we travel. This is so much easier than sending out e-mails! Since it is easier, I am much more likely to actually do it!

For anyone who is new to our journey, my name is Monica and my husband is Bernie. We live in Kansas with our daughter, Makenna, who was adopted from China 9/06. She will be 4 on August 21st, and is the absolute joy of our lives. Bernie and I often wonder what we did and what we laughed about before she came along! Makenna is a very funny, independent, headstrong, precocious and loving little girl. She comes from Nanning, China, which is in Guangxi province. Nanning is in the southernmost part of China-when we travelled to get her we were only about 100 miles from the Vietnam border. She has now been with us almost 3 years, and I don't know what we would do without her!!!

We filed the paperwork to adopt a second child on November 30th, 2007. At that time, I think the wait was around 2 1/2 years and growing. The wait is now 3 yrs, 3 months, with no speed-up in sight. Since Bernie and I are not exactly "spring chickens", we decided that we really didn't want to wait the projected 5-6 years it would take for our paperwork to make it to the top of the stack. I started perusing the "waiting children" list that our adoption agency receives from the CCAA (Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs) from time to time, hoping to see the face of our dreams, then one night around 10pm I happened to go to the WC list and there he was! Our little guy is named Sun Jian and his birthday is 10/22/07, so he is a little over 1 1/2 yrs old. We are going to name him Brody Allen. He has an extremely minor and correctable special need that will cause him no problems in the future. He is at Dongguan Children's Welfare Institute in Guangdong Province (yes, we are going to Dongguan, Guangdong!).

We got extremely good news yesterday that we have been waiting for: we have Travel Approval! We are projected to leave for China on July 30th. It is too coincidental to be mere coincidence that we received our referral for Makenna on July 30th, 2006!!! Isn't that weird? Brody is definitely meant to be a member of our family!! The countdown begins! We have LOTS to do! I'd better start making lists! (Only kidding- I already have lots of lists made ;) !). Today we had a garage sale (thank heavens that is over!) and tomorrow we will paint Brody's room and try to get some decorating done. I'll post some pictures when it is finished. I just LOVE to have an excuse to decorate!