Thursday, May 27, 2010

Third Time's Charm?

Not knowing any better, I sent our original notarized Employment Verification letters to our social worker, thinking that the home study would require originals.

By the time I realized my mistake and contacted her to get them back for the dossier for China, she'd made notes on them and circled particular information.

Fortunately, Brock and I work in the same office building, so it wasn't too much trouble to request new ones from personnel for both of us.

Unfortunately, someone different is now the supervisor over the person who types up the letters. Instead of signing them like the previous supervisor, she simply initialed them. I was a little surprised when the notary notarized them anyway, but didn't say anything.

Apparently I should have spoken up, because not surprisingly the Secretary of State would not certify them. We need the Secretary of State to authenticate all of the documents that go to China.

So, now, I'm requesting these letters for the THIRD time.

It's amazing how much this adoption thing is a "learn-as-you-go" experience.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Document Certification & Final Two Trivia Categories

We have a group of 15 documents that we have to send to China (once we get USCIS approval). Ten of those documents have to be notarized (already done) AND certified by the Secretary of State's office. For most of the documents, that seems like it will be simple enough...fill out a form and pay $2 per page to the Illinois Secretary of State.

However, Brock was born in Minnesota. So, we have to send a letter and a $5 check to Minnesota (or go in person) in order to get certification from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Yes, the birth certificate we have is CERTIFIED, but it's not the same kind of certification.

The certification we're getting for all of these documents is "Authentication or Apostille Certifying Documents for Foreign Use".

I never cease to learn something new with all of this.


Our final two trivia categories are "Sibling Rivalry" and "Generally Speaking".

Sibling Rivalry

1. In Little House On The Prairie, Laura Ingalls had an older sister that became blind at young adulthood. What was her first name?

2. John F. Kennedy had three brothers. How many sisters did he have?

3. Mark McGwire’s brother Dan was a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins. He was teammates with Marshall Faulk at what Mountain West university?

4. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey put his younger brother through college; what was his brother’s first name?

5. John Pankow portrayed “cousin Ira” on NBC’s Mad About You. He has an older brother, Jimmy Pankow, who is a founding member of what rock band?

6. In Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903, the Wright Brothers launched the first successful “heavier-than-air” flight. What was the younger brother’s first name?

7. Warren Beatty has a sister who has won an Oscar for Best Actress. What is her name?

8. What Disney Channel cartoon features two stepbrothers with a pet platypus? The boys often create new inventions that annoy their sister, Candace.

9. Felipe, Matty, and Jesus Alou became known as Major League Baseball’s first all-brother outfield while playing for the San Francisco Giants. From what nation do the brothers hail?

10. In Roman mythology, Rome was founded by identical twins. Which one of them became the first king of Rome?

Generally Speaking

1. What professional basketball team is the arch rival of the Washington Generals?

2. Who was the first female Attorney General of the United States?

3. Which inventor formed General Electric in 1890?

4. To which Civil War general was Abraham Lincoln referring when he said, if he "does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time"?

5. What was the last name of the cousins who drove the car known as the “General Lee”?

6. General Custer’s Last Stand also has another name, derived from the name of the river near which it was fought. What is it?

7. Which legendary film actress portrayed a widow who cursed General Hospital’s Luke and Laura?

8. What radio and television show set in the Wild West was sponsored by General Mills from 1941 to 1961? The Green Hornet was a spin-off of the show.

9. Due to his high standards and harsh treatment of cadets, General John J. Pershing earned what nickname?

10. What retired U.S. Army General’s father was a lead investigator in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping?

Answers Below:

Sibling Rivalry
1. Mary
2. 5
3. San Diego State
4. Harry
5. Chicago (or Chicago Transit Authority)
6. Orville
7. Shirley MacLaine
8. Phineas & Ferb
9. Dominican Republic
10. Romulus

Generally Speaking
1. Harlem Globetrotters
2. Janet Reno
3. Thomas Edison
4. George McClellan
5. Duke
6. Battle of Little Bighorn
7. Elizabeth Taylor
8. The Lone Ranger
9. “Black Jack”
10. Norman Schwarzkopf

Monday, May 24, 2010

Behavior & Mental Disorders

The second class that Brock and I took via was on Behavor & Mental Disorders. I didn’t find it to be quite as helpful as the one on Attachment & Bonding, but I did find some interesting and relevant tidbits.

In the 1960s, it was reported that adoptees made up a disproportionate number of patients seeking mental health care. At face value, this supported the notion that adoptees tend to suffer from mental illness often.

On the flip side, adoptees are underrepresented in juvenile court and as adult mental health patients, making it probable that the real reason for their prevalence as juvenile mental health patients is because their parents are more aware of social service options and more likely to actually see help.

Also, many children who have been institutionalized exhibit abnormal behaviors, especially during the time just following the adoption. These behaviors should be considered differently than if the same behaviors (or other abnormal behavior) is persistent beyond typical period of adoption adjustment. Symptoms of depression, autism, and aggression are typical during the transition period, but if they persist, they may signal Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Brock and I have discussed at length the fact that we have no specific expectations for how Shaling might react to being adopted. We both realize that psychologically, we are “kidnapping” her. We realize it could take her months or even years before she feels entirely comfortable with us. However, seeing her in the videos (see previous blog entries) gives us much optimism that she will eventually be loving and happy.

Via some Yahoo parenting groups, I have made contact with two mid-Western families also adopting children from Shaling’s “simulated family”. Combined with the two boys also coming to Rochester, that is now five of her group of eight “siblings” that we are likely to be able to reunite her with occasionally. We are hopeful that this will help her as well.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Trivia Categories 6, 7, & 8

Nothing new to report today, so I'll make it another trivia category post. Category 7 was an audio category. I haven't taken the time to figure out how I can post the audio clips here, so I'll just report on how it worked. The title was "Children Songs". We played brief audio clips of the following 10 songs. The trivia players had to provide the artist(s), not the song titles.

1. Isn’t She Lovely?
2. Wouldn’t It Be Nice?
3. To Zion
4. Thank God for Kids
5. Teach Your Children Well
6. Forever Young
7. In My Daughter’s Eyes
8. Beautiful Boy
9. Growin’ Up
10. You’re Gonna Miss This

1. Stevie Wonder
2. The Beach Boys
3. Lauryn Hill
4. The Oak Ridge Boys
5. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
6. Rod Stewart
7. Martina McBride
8. John Lennon
9. Bruce Springsteen
10. Trace Adkins

Category #6 was "Stuck in the Middle". Questions are as follows:

1. South America has two land-locked countries. One of them is Bolivia. What is the other one?

2. Before becoming the voice of the Chicago Cubs, Harry Caray was the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1945-1969 and the voice of the White Sox from 1971-1981. For which team did he broadcast in 1970?

3. Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Who served the term in between (1889-1893)?

4. Which state contains the geographic center of the continental United States?

5. For what does the ‘G’ in MGM Studios stand?

6. What is the subtitle of the second film in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series?

7. Of the three Jonas Brothers who perform in the pop band, which one is the middle child?

8. There are four U.S. presidents carved into Mount Rushmore. Of the two of them in the middle, one is Teddy Roosevelt. Who is the other?

9. In the opening credits of the television series, The Brady Bunch, each family member appears in a square. Who or what appears in the middle square?

10. Using the twelve signs of the zodiac, what sign comes between Aries and Gemini?

Category #8 was "Famous Illinoisans". Questions are as follows:

1. Name the famous movie critic born in Urbana on June 18, 1942.

2. What sitcom actor was born on October 17, 1948 in Chicago? He was best known for hanging out in a bar "where everybody knew his name".

3. Born December 5, 1901 in Chicago, this famous Illinoisan has received the most Oscar awards (26) and nominations (59). The company he founded still earns roughly $35 billion annually.

4. Name the model born February 20, 1966 in DeKalb. She earned a scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University, but only stayed one semester.

5. Name Doris Day's famous co-star who was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. on November 17, 1925 in Winnetka and graduated from New Trier High School.

6. This key figure in the American Old West was born May 27, 1837 in Homer, Illinois, which is now known as Troy Grove. He was rumored to be romantically involved with Calamity Jane.

7. Born June 14, 1909 in Hunt City, this American folk singer was responsible for the song, "A Holly Jolly Christmas".

8. Named the "Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century", this Olympian was born March 3, 1963 in East St. Louis.

9. This Saturday Night Live veteran was seen prominently rooting for the Fighting Illini during their 2005 NCAA tournament run. He was born September 21, 1950 in Wilmette, Illinois.

10. Known as "The Velvet Fog" and also as Judge Harry Stone's favorite musician, this jazz singer was born September 13, 1925 in Chicago.

Answers Below:

Stuck in the Middle
1. Paraguay
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Benjamin Harrison
4. Kansas
5. Goldwyn
6. Dead Man’s Chest
7. Joe (or Joseph)
8. Thomas Jefferson
9. Alice (the housekeeper)
10. Taurus

Famous Illinoisans
1. Roger Ebert
2. George Wendt
3. Walt Disney
4. Cindy Crawford
5. Rock Hudson
6. Wild Bill Hickok
7. Burl Ives
8. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
9. Bill Murray
10. Mel Torme

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DCFS - "Hurry Up & Wait Stage"

Our adoption agency FexEx'd our home study to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services on May 10th. It was signed for last Wednesday, May 12th. We've been told that it has been taking roughly six to eight weeks for DCFS to sign off on it.

Our next step is to submit an I-800A, "Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country" to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. However, 10 documents need to accompany it, including the Home Study, so we are currently in a "hurry up and wait" stage, at the mercy of DCFS.

Hopefully, we will be able to proceed by the end of June! Lord, give me patience.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Helpful Advice About Attaching With Shaling

One of the parenting/adoption training courses that Brock and I took over the internet ( was on "Attachment and Bonding". Bonding is defined as the process and attachment as the result by which the child obtains a "feeling of entitlement to family life, love, responsibility and a variety of other emotions".

This is sort of a summary and conglomeration of random ideas that I gleaned from the course. The first few paragraphs describe some of the challenges we may face, while the latter half actually gives some practical pointers.

For us and Shaling, this process will be complicated due to her advanced age and also by the fact that she is being asked to leave everything she knows behind (those who look like her, those who talk like her, and part of her culture). We are unsure of how often she's had to deal with caregiver turnover, or even how many caregivers she's had.

Infants raised by a loving family tend to learn that they will be cared for, loved, and nurtured, therefore developing a bond and sense of trust very early on. Children adopted in infancy or early toddlerhood tend to form their sense of attachment quicker than older children.

Photos, biographical information, and videos promote a sense of attachment for parents adopting older children even before meeting the child. This makes the moment when they meet their child a memorable time. Due to the importance of this meeting, both adopting parents should be present. However, to avoid overwhelming the child, it is recommended that extended family members meet the child later.

Most children who are separated from a caregiver exhibit a predictable pattern of feelings, from protest to despair to detachment. Some develop an attachment disorder. Attachment disorder manifests itself in several ways. Some children display a superficial friendliness, accompanied by cheerfulness and affection, yet deep down no longer care for anyone. Some have little empathy or concern for the rest of the family, not knowing how to trust parents to do what is best for them, they feel they have to take care of themselves. They don't know how to form reciprocal relationships or accept responsibility. They may display attention-seeking behavior.

In order to foster a positive and effective bond with an older child, it is suggested that we share activities with Shaling such as teaching her how to cook or taking her shopping. We should let the her choose the pace at which she will accept displays of affection and not force it on her. It is recommended that we encourage frequent and prolonged periods of eye contact. It is advised that we participate in an adoption support group. We should have pictures including Shaling quickly and hang them up. It is recommended that I dab a bit of my perfume on her so she gets used to my smell. We should start out giving her limited choices.

One plus that we have in our favor is a strong, supportive family on all sides. The extended family can cause challenges to the bonding process if they have any negativity towards the adoption. We feel so blessed that this is NOT an issue for us.

It is also advised NOT to let an older adopted child simply cry themselves to sleep if they awaken during the night. This is considered an opportunity to show the child that her parents will be there as a source of support and security.

In the early months of adoption, extra caregivers (day care, babysitters, etc.) should be minimized, as the parents direct involvement is critical to the attachment process. As her mom, I should be the primary caregiver at first -- forging a strong bond, and then we can let her branch out to others.

Although many international adoptees develop some level of attachment disorder, the vast majority eventually develop good attachment to their families.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We've got videos!

I'm in tears again...this time happy ones. It's so awesome to be able to see Shaling's movements, facial expressions, and personality just jump to life in these videos. She is the one in the white shirt. I just think her smile radiates.

Shaling 1 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 2 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 3 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 4 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 5 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 6 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 7 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Shaling 8 from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Heartache for Another Family

I've never met this family, but today my heart is aching for them. They were in the midst of making their travel arrangements to go to China to pick up their beautiful daughter, McKenna, when they received news of her unexpected death.

Knowing how connected we already feel to Shaling, I can only imagine how much they already loved their daughter. They initiated their process last October.

What an unusual way to have to grieve too, considering they never got to actually meet her in person and they won't be able to go through a traditional funeral and burial.

For my friends and family who are so inclined, please take a moment and stop by their blog: ladybugmakes4 and leave a word of kindness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Categories 4 & 5

No word yet about Shaling receiving her care package. No update on our Home Study being submitted to DCFS yet either.

Here are two more of the categories from our trivia night fundraiser.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

1. She portrayed Velma in Chicago and Elena in The Mask of Zorro.
2. The better known nickname of third baseman Larry Wayne Jones, Jr.
3. The former Arkansas state employee who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994.
4. He provides lead vocals for the song, “Daydream Believer”.
5. He lived across the hall from Al Gore as a freshman at Harvard.
6. He is known as the “Father of the American Navy”.
7. Her debut album, “Come Away With Me”, earned five Grammy Awards.
8. NFL Hall of Fame defensive end known as the “Secretary of Defense”.
9. Thoroughbred race horse who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
10. He founded the Peoples Temple, the cult responsible for the 1978 mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.

Fine China

1. David Bowie rerecorded “China Girl” for his “Let’s Dance” album in 1983. However, he originally co-wrote it in 1977 for the album “The Idiot”, released by what other recording artist?
2. What U.S. president is credited with being the first to travel to China?
3. Dana Delany starred in what dramatic television series that ran from 1988-1991?
4. Beijing is the capital of China. What city, with a name meaning “above the sea”, is the largest?
5. Chynna Phillips, daughter of John & Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, was a member of a successful vocal trio herself. Her partners were the two daughters of a founding member of what other popular 1960s music group?
6. The Chinese New Year began on February 14, 2010. What animal represents the current Chinese year?
7. Four different U.S. states have towns named “China”. Name one of them.
8. In 1989, students in China protested in favor of freedom of speech and other democratic rights. What was the name of the square in Beijing in which the protests took place?
9. Jane Fonda was nominated for a Best Actress award for “The China Syndrome”. Who was nominated for a Best Actor award for the same film?
10. Standing at 7 foot, 6 inches, the tallest player in the NBA plays for the Houston Rockets and is a native of China. What is his name?

Answers Below:

Keeping Up With the Joneses
1. Catherine Zeta-
2. Chipper
3. Paula
4. Davy
5. Tommy Lee
6. John Paul
7. Norah
8. Deacon
9. Smarty
10. Jim (or James)

Fine China
1. Iggy Pop
2. Richard Nixon
3. China Beach
4. Shanghai
5. The Beach Boys
6. Tiger
7. Indiana, Maine, Michigan, or Texas
8. Tiananmen
9. Jack Lemmon
10. Yao Ming

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Special

I just finished my second book report. It was on the book, Cross-Cultural Adoption, by Amy Coughlin & Caryn Abramowitz. I borrowed it from my friends Seth & Sarah, who have already been though a multi-cultural adoption.

The book had great information about preparing the extended family for the adoption, especially younger members of the family. There was also a "Cliff Notes" version of the history and culture of China.

One paragraph that really stood out to me was encouraging us to treat Shaling "like any other kid." When she first gets home, we will be tempted to treat her as special to try and make-up for lost time. That is strongly discouraged.

From the book:
"It may be difficult and take a long time for adopted children to feel like they belong within their families. Often, treating these children like they're "nothing special" can go a long way toward making them feel at home and comfortable within the group. Avoid the temptation to spoil her because she didn't have everything that the other kids had in the first months or years of her life. (Grandma and Grandpa, we're talking to you here.) That means the rules and privileges apply to everyone equally: just like her sisters, brothers, and cousins, she doesn't get a cookie until she finishes her dinner; it's lights out promptly after two (okay, maybe three) bedtime stories; "please" and "thank you" must be said; and "no" means "no". Garden-variety expressions of affection and gentle discipline help a child feel safe and loved."

That makes so much sense, but I can imagine it will not be an easy challenge!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shaling should receive her care package today. I'm not sure how long it will be until we see or receive a response from her, but it warms my heart to know that today is a special day.

Not much of an update on the paperwork front. We are currently in a "hurry up and wait" stage. We have met all of the requirements of our Home Study. Our adoption agency is wrapping up the final touches on it right now and will be submitting it to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for review.

From talking to other parents from Illinois who are adopting, I've learned that DCFS is sort of a "black hole"...that our paperwork will probably take well over a month or more to process. Even our social worker told me that she's not even allowed to call DCFS to check on it for 3 weeks.

Our next step is to submit a request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for permission to adopt a foreign child. Our request must be accompanied by roughly 10 documents, including the Home Study.

In the mean time, we are each wrapping up our final two book reports a piece (part of the Hague regulations).

I figured today might be a good day to post the next category from our trivia night.

Famous Homes
Based on the picture and the address given, name the fictional character or family who lived there.

565 North Clinton Drive

9674 Jeopardy Lane

4222 Clinton Ave

518 Crestview Drive

704 Hauser Street

742 Evergreen Terrace

1313 Mockingbird Lane

4 Privet Drive

3700 Hogge Road, Southfork Ranch

1313 Webfoot Walk

Friday, May 7, 2010

Updated Pictures!!!

By the way, the "vee" sign she is making, that we would probably refer to as a peace sign, is actually how they wave "Hello" in China. So, she is saying Hello in several of her pictures. My favorite is the one with her sitting backwards in the chair, hamming it up for the camera while the other three kids are paying attention to the speaker.

This is the orphanage:

This is her school:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Care Package Picture

The five picture books are story books in Chinese and English. They are supposedly girly books and have beautiful pictures inside.

The pink fluffy book is the photo album, with ten pictures inside of our home, us, and Preston. The goat on the front of the book is supposed to be a character from a popular Chinese cartoon, "Happy Goat With Big, Big Wolf".

She is also getting a bakery cake to share with the other kids. It will have a message about celebrating that she has a family. I'm supposed to receive pictures of that; I'll definitely share them.

Two blog entries today, so please don't miss the one describing Shaling's current living arrangements.

Shaling's Living Arrangements

I am a member of a Yahoo group that is all parents adopting children from the LongGang Welfare District (where Shaling currently resides). Thanks to a description shared by one of the other parents, I know have a little clearer understanding about the housing set-up.

They live in a "simulated family" environment. There are 24 kids in each group, but they are then sub-divided into three groups of 8. Each small group has their own building, but the buildings are grouped together. A pair of "aunties/uncles" oversees each small group, while the entire group of 24 has a pair that the kids refer to as mom and dad, as well as what appears to be an involved set of grandparents.

I have not been able to confirm this part, but I believe these houses are relatively close to the orphanage and that they do still spend some time there as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Care Package

Thanks to some of the parents on one of my Yahoo groups, I've discovered a couple of trustworthy sites for sending care packages. We've decided to use "Ladybugs n love from above" for this first care package, but plan to use another site to send her one more care package after our dossier is officially logged in by the Chinese government.

We are sending her a letter (contents posted below) that will be translated into Chinese for her, plus a return postage paid envelope so she may write back to us. Both of these will go through a translator first. We are also sending her a disposable camera, a stuffed panda, some books, and a photo album of 10 pictures of us and our house. Finally, she will also receive a birthday cake to share with her housemates. We should receive some photos of them enjoying the cake.

I still have not received the pictures from Sara, but rest assured, I'll be sharing them when I do!

The letter to accompany the care package:

Dear Shaling,

We are so happy that you will soon be joining our family. We believe that God has bestowed a great blessing upon us by choosing us to be your parents.

You have so many people here who already love you and think about you often. You have parents and a brother and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Your brother, Preston, is 9-years-old. He is so anxious to be a big brother and get to know you.

Your bedroom is ready for you and you already have some clothes here. We are looking forward to you joining us as we go to movies, play games, and go on visits to see Grandma and Grandpa.

We would like to start learning as much as we can about you. Do you have a favorite color, a favorite food, a best friend, or a favorite subject in school? Do you like to be called Shaling or do you have a nickname, such as Ling?

We are sending you an envelope so that you can send us a letter back to us to help us start learning about you. Please share as much as you can with us.

We know it’s going to be hard for you to learn how to speak another language. We are going to be learning to speak some Chinese so we can help you.

We want to come get you as soon as possible, but we have a lot of paperwork we have to complete in order for us to have permission to come.

Preston wants to tell you that we have two cats as pets. He thinks they are cute and playful.

We’re sending you a few special things – a panda to keep you company, some pictures so you can get to know us and what we look like, a camera because we heard from Sara that you like to take pictures, and some books to pass thetime. We are also sending a cake that you can share with your friends.

We have seen pictures of you, Shaling, and we think you have a beautiful smile. We can’t wait to see that smile in person.

Mom & Dad
(and Preston)

Monday, May 3, 2010

She Knows She Has A Family!!!

So excited!!! Shaling has been told about us! She knows she's wanted. That is so huge to me. I kept thinking here is this family doing so much to prepare for her...grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins thinking about her so much and she has no idea. I'm in a celebratory mood just knowing that is no longer true.

There is an intern with In His Hands Orphans (the local adoption outreach group) named Sara. She is working on her graduate degree in social work. She has been to the house a couple of times to participate in our Home Study.

She just got back from an impromptu trip to China and while she was there, got to spend some time with many kids, including Shaling. She said Shaling kept confiscating her digital camera because she wanted to take pictures herself. Sounds like we may have a daughter with a vibrant personality.

Sara says she has updated pictures of Shaling and will be emailing them to me. I can't wait to see them and post them here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Impromptu Small Group Meeting

Thank you so much to our friends Seth & Sarah Engelbrecht, her mother Donna, her sister Diana, and our friends Barry & Nikki O'Dell. They were willing to spend their nearly entire Sunday evening with us so we could have an adoption support group meeting. This counts as part of our four hours of in-person training that we need.

Brock and I came armed with some questions from the internet classes and books that we've already read. It was awesome to get some personal perspectives to go along with the "canned information".

We had a wide variety of adoption experiences present:
* a 19-year-old who was adopted at the age of 6
* the 60ish mother of the 19-year-old (and some biological children)
* parents of an adopted daughter from Vietnam plus a biological son
* parents of two biological children plus a soon-to-be adopted foster daughter
* a woman in her mid 30s who was adopted

We discussed attachment & bonding, especially the challenges presented when adopting an older child. We also discussed multi-culturalism and how to maintain culture and identity. We discussed malnutrition, travel, and transitioning upon return. We also got advice on "blended" families...having both biological and adopted children.

The children had a great time playing while we had our discussions. The hamburgers were delicious, the fruit salad was good (despite my son's rejection), and the ice cream cake was a sweet ending.

Thanks again, everyone (and Seth & Sarah, I hope we didn't leave too much of a mess).

Saturday, May 1, 2010