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"...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Hi everyone! There has been a flurry of activity around this house for the last 2 months or so, and it has intensified in the last 3 weeks. We have had 2 garage sales, made 3 trips to the good will, had the air ducts and the carpets cleaned, gotten Brody's room ready, redecorated the dining room and upstairs bathroom, gotten new furniture for Makenna's bedroom and the living room, completely cleaned the basement, did some touch-up painting, re-covered the chairs in the breakfast area, and I have gone room by room cleaning closets, baseboards, mirrors, knick-knacks, etc. Whew! No wonder I'm so tired! I mentioned how much I have gotten accomplished these last few weeks to someone, and they said "You're nesting!" I hadn't thought about it, but she was absolutely right! Through both of our waits for our children I have joked that although I may not be physically pregnant, I am definitely emotionally pregnant! In some ways, I am similar to women I have known who are in the last few weeks of pregnancy- I am definitely nesting, I have gained weight (stress related!), I am extremely excited but nervous about how painful the process is going to be, I dream about my child all the time, and I am very ready to get it over with! Next thing you know, I'll be parking in the spot reserved for "expectant mothers" at the grocery store!!!! This time next week, we'll be in the air on our way to China. Just a little longer, Brody!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Makenna is very funny...

Hi all! Last evening we were snooping around the clothing department at Target, and Makenna was looking at the bikinis. She pulled one off the rack, showed it to me and said, "Mommy, when my boobies grow up can I wear this?". I said "Sure!" and she said, "otay!", and Bernie and I just looked at each other and laughed. I just love the way her mind works and the way she sees the world-she says such funny things!

The weather here is going to be beautiful this weekend- a high of 79 today, which is completely unheard of this time of year. Last night's low was in the 50's- reminds you of fall. Good sleeping weather!

Not much going on here this weekend- I need to do some cleaning and some more packing. I have already gotten started on the packing, and I just can't believe how much stuff we need to take. The bad thing is that we'll bring even more stuff home (not to mention the wonderful thing we'll bring home- Brody!!)!!! Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Trip to the Dentist

Today was a big day-Makenna had her first dental appointment! We talked about going to the dentist for several days before hand. I spent a lot of time telling Makenna what to expect and that it wouldn't hurt, and that she would get a toy and a toothbrush at the dentist's office afterwards. She did really fantastic, I was very proud of her! She let them count her teeth, scrape the tartar off, and clean and floss her teeth! She even let them take an x-ray! Not too bad for a 3-year-old. Unfortunately, she has to go back after we return from China because she has 2 cavities on some baby teeth. Hopefully this doesn't mean she has teeth like her mom and dad! Makenna really does a good job brushing-she likes to do it and really goes for it!
We have to go through several silly poses before I actually get what I want....

What gorgeous pearly whites! That's my girl!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Closer

Hello everyone! Sorry it has taken me so long to post to our blog, but I have had a lot on my plate the last few weeks! It seems like we have gotten a lot accomplished, but I still feel overwhelmed by things that I would still like to get done before I have 2 "helpers" around- I can barely handle one helper!

We have purchased airline tickets for our flights. We will be flying Continental from KC to Beijing, then the return trip will be from Hong Kong to KC, with layovers in Newark, NJ to and from. Can you believe it costs us more to fly Brody one way from China to the US than it does for me or Bernie to fly round trip? In retrospect, we should have just purchased a round trip ticket for him and we would have an extra seat to stretch out in on the way over! I wish we would have thought of it at the time! Oh well, c'est la vie!!! We also sent our passports to the Chinese consulate in Chicago to get visas to enter the country. We should get those back next week.

Before the weekend of the 4th, we had the pleasure of a visit from the Bolingers, a family that we went to China with in 2006. Their daughter, Amanda, and Makenna are from the same city and orphanage and are only 2 weeks apart in age. They also have an older daughter, Sarah, also adopted from China. The girls had a blast playing with each other, and Bernie and I really enjoyed visiting with Steve and Debra and re-hashing old times! That is one of the many true blessings of adopting from China- you meet wonderful people that become life-long friends.
Sarah in the back, Makenna and Amanda in front

We have been doing lots of shopping for our up-coming trip: clothes, shoes, prescription and non-prescription medications, things for Makenna to play with on the plane, toys and clothes for Brody, gifts for the nannies at the orphanage and government officials, the list seems to go on and on! You have to try to think of everything that you might need during a two week time period where you don't have access to things you take for granted in your own home. Even very minor things like safety pins, scotch tape, or bandaids can become a major inconvenience! Of course, there are stores like Wal-Mart and grocery stores all over China, but it's not like you can just jump in your car and buzz down there-you have to get a taxi, have a way of telling the driver where you want to go (usually a note written for you by the hotel staff), go there, find what you want (Chinese packaging on everything!), then get back to the hotel! It can become a major hassle. Therefore, I am throwing things in a pile and making lists as things occur to me so I can stay organized. I know that when we get really close to going, I'll have too much to think about to remember the little things!

We finally got Brody's room finished! It turned out SO cute! I've never had the opportunity to buy "boy stuff", so I have had a really great time decorating. We went with a blue and red theme with firetrucks and dalmatians. We've had a great time painting, organizing, and putting the baby bed back together! It's been so much fun watching it all come together See for yourself:

Yes, I know the firetrucks on the bumper pad are supposed to face inward! Too bad! I'm not redoing it!
Our miniature version of Vanna White!

It's kind of dark, but the wall is red. Vanna is showing off the firetrucks on the nightstand!
So cute!
My favorite part!!! I spray-painted the fan blades to match the room (hee hee!).

Makenna got a new "big girl" bed because we confiscated the mattress from her toddler bed. No big deal, because we had gotten into the bad habit of her sleeping with us in our bed. Not recommended! Now, Makenna loves her bed and we are all sleeping much more peacefully! She also is getting a new dresser and nightstand which hasn't come in yet, so I'll post pictures when I get it all put together. Prepare yourself: it looks like all the Disney princess movies got together and exploded in her room against a backdrop of pink and lavender! She absolutely loves it and calls it "my pincess loom"!

This past weekend Bernie and I put out the rest of the stuff that didn't sell at our garage sale a few weeks ago and had another impromtu garage sale! I had meant to call a charity pick-up service and had never gotten around to it, so we figured what the heck?! At first, it looked like we were going to have about a $3 day, but things picked up and we ended up getting rid of a lot more stuff and made a decent profit! All in all, totally worth losing a Saturday and sitting in 90+ degree heat with humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife!!

Well, we are truly down to the wire! After two years of planning, preparing, and waiting, it is wonderful to finally see light at the end of the tunnel! Three weeks from today (Monday) we will have our sweet baby boy in our arms!!!!! I hope he won't be screaming! We can't wait to see his smile- in every picture we've seen of him so far he has such a serious look on his face. Makenna has been such a blessing to us in every way- we are so excited to have the opportunity to adopt again! Bernie and I talk all the time about how we are soon going to have another little one in our lives, and how much fun it is going to be getting to know him. Challenging, too! We are looking forward to it! Bring it on!!!!!
Hey, little guy, Mommy and Daddy are coming!!

Handsome little man!

You'll be smiling soon! We love you, Brody!