Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lia Kate's Gotcha Day Movie

Finally, here is Lia Kate's Gotcha Day movie! It took a while to get uploaded ... so without further ado ... here it is:

Lia Kate's Gotcha Day from on Vimeo.

A few comments ...
* I chose not to upload at the highest quality to make the process faster, so it probably will not look good if you try to expand to full screen.

* Thanks to Brandon Blanch for all the great Gotcha Day photos. They are truly treasures!

* You may notice in the movie that our airplane seats aren't exactly of the "economy" variety. It is only because two wonderful, generous women decided to help us book our flights and in the process, and before we knew it, they booked us business class seats and paid for them. It was an amazing gift.

* If we look distracted or unemotional on the actual Gotcha Day ... it is only because the scene is pure chaos! There are babies screaming in the background, people speaking loudly in Chinese to each other, and people talking to us non-stop. Things happen so fast in that room, it is surreal.

* Those of you in the adoption world may have seen a similar Gotcha Day video. Yes, a few things in my video come straight from hers. This was my first iMovie project and I didn't know what I was doing. And ultimately couldn't think of a better way to do it. So, if she ever runs across this, I hope she believes that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

* The movie is kind of long! When I wanted to cut chunks out, I had to remind myself that I was doing this for Lia Kate. And she and Britton both love to watch the movie in its entirety.

* And, lastly, watching this video makes me want to jump on a plane and go adopt all over again!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lia Kate's 100th Day!

Updated: The video is done, but I underestimated how long it would take to finalize and upload to a sharing site. It is a large file. I am working on it!

Today marks Lia Kate's 100th day of being in our family! In China and other Asian countries, a baby's 100th day of life is celebrated. Likewise, we are celebrating Lia Kate's first 100 days of being in our family. In honor of today, I will be posting Lia Kate's Gotcha Day video tonight. I am working fast and furiously to get it finished. So, unless something catastrophic happens, her video will be posted later tonight. Be sure to check back in ...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Older Child Adoption

While there are many babies and toddlers available for adoption in China, there are just as many older children also waiting for a forever home ... many will never have the chance to be adopted. and of those who do, many will never be chosen. The heartbreaking reality is that a child in China ages out of the orphanage at age 14. They are either turned out onto the streets, or stay on at the orphanage as a worker. Of the children who are turned loose, I have no idea what happens to them, but I can only imagine.

When we traveled, we became very good friends with a family who were adopting a precious little 7-year-old. The couple were younger than us, and let me tell you, they will be the coolest parents a 7-year-old could have. We also became friends with a couple adopting a 12-year-old. This family lives in Hawaii, and I just thought it was the coolest thing for this 12-year-old ... to go from being abandoned at the age of 5 (yes 5), to living in an orphanage for a number of years, to being adopted by a family who lives in Maui and who already have two children from China. I check in on their blog and that sweet child is adjusting just fine to her new life. What redemption?!?

Anyway, this week I stumbled upon an adoption blog of a family who were in the process of adopting a two-year-old little girl from China, when they got a letter from an older child at the same orphanage. This brave girl expresses the reality of life in an orphanage for an older child and how much she desires a family ... it is deeply moving. Hope you will go read it here.

The family is also raising money for their adoption, so you can scroll down on their blog to find out more about that, if you feel so led. Hope you will go and read their story!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things To Come

So, I've been a wee bit busy lately. These two active kiddos are giving me a run for my money. I haven't exactly had a lot of time to blog, however, I have a lot of things to blog about. I thought I'd write to tell you about the posts that will be coming ... soon I hope.

* A Lia Kate update -- she is exploding with personality these days and is so smart and funny and adorable. Can't wait to share the latest on her.

* Videos of Britton and Lia Kate "singing" the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle, Twinkle.

* Lia Kate's Gotcha Day movie! I am using iMovie to make a video of our footage and pictures from China. I can't wait to finish it. It's been so fun to document our trip this way. Can't wait to share.

* I will soon be writing the final post on this blog and will then only post on our family blog. I will, of course, be leaving this site up for anyone who wants to go back and read Lia Kate's journey.

Now, telling you these things will make me *have* to follow through. That's the plan at least.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Panda Bears in China

This is a video from the safari zoo we went to when we were in China. They had so many pandas and it was really amazing to see so many of them together. They are really fascinating to watch.

This video is a solo panda. Danny likes to joke that pandas look like fat men in costumes, chowing down and scratching their bellies. Not far from the truth!

Here is a clip of the panda "yard" ...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Girly Girl

Lia Kate is becoming a little girly girl. She loves to carry "purses" on her arms. Anytime she sees something with handles she slips her arm through it and hoists it on her shoulder and carries it around. No one taught her to do this (though she sees me do it every day). This is one of the first significant differences I have seen between raising a girl and raising a boy. Britton would never do this! It is cute to see her toddling around with a "purse" on her shoulder.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life With Two

At first, I thought we wouldn't need a double stroller with these too. What was I thinking? I am so glad Danny's parents gave us this stroller for Christmas! If I didn't have it, I'd be pushing Lia Kate in a single and spending all my time chasing Britton down. He is yet to be trusted to walk alongside us. Someday, though. For now, these two are riding side-by-side in style, and, for the most part, really enjoying it.