We sent a care package to Adam and he should get it this week. The lady who we ordered the care package from sent us a picture of what was sent to Adam. I am including the picture so you can see what we sent. We sent him a letter, a traditional Chinese outfit, a camera (so the caregivers can take photos of Adam at the orphanage), an envelope with our address (we're hoping he will send us a letter or draw a picture) and a photo album with pictures of our family, the kids, grandparents, the house, the back yard, and Adam's room.
We also got an update on Adam's height, he is 60 inches tall. That is much taller than I expected, but from what other parents have told me it is a normal height. I gues a 7 year old, 5 year old and a 3 year old didn't prepare me for the height of an 11 year old! :smile:
I have been trying to find out for several weeks if China has approved us to adopt two children at the same time. Today I spoke with our social worker and she said that she is under the impression that we would have to travel a second time to adopt Megan (if we were approved by China). I cannot stand the thought of traveling twice and leaving our young children twice within a short period of time. I also don't think this would be good for Adam to be adopted and then shortly either left at home with grandparents as caretakers or to travel to China to the same orphanage that he recently left. I anticipate that there would either be some attachment issues with having another set of caregivers for two weeks or issues with being in China again when he may not have attached to us yet.
I know that God can work this situation out if this is in his plan but in my human-ness I do not want to travel twice. Please keep us in your prayers.
Today we skipped church (which only happens once in a blue moon) to make sure we made it to a Chinese New Year Celebration at a local art museum. We saw a local Chinese school do a Lion Dance. It was amazing! I videoed it and wanted to share it but it is too big of a file to upload. We all had an amazing time. The kids did crafts, we saw the Lion dance, we saw a Chinese Yo Yo exhibition. Great time!!
Each year has an animal that is associated with it. This year is the Year of the Tiger. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. They are: The Rat, The Ox, The Tiger, The Rabbit, The Dragon, The Snake, The Horse, The Sheep, The Monkey, The Rooseter, The Dog and The Pig. Adam was born in the Year of the Tiger so this year will be very important to him. We believe Megan was born in the Year of the Ox, so last year would be important to her. (We don't know her birthdate yet, so we don't know exactly what year she was born in but we can guess)
Oranges are used as decoration or as gifts because they sound like the word for "good luck", they are round which symbolizes wholeness or completeness. Usually they are placed in a "pyramid" shape when used as a decoration.
Chinese New year lasts 15 days! Most families don't celebrate for all 15 days but traditionally each day had a specific function.
There are two "dances" that are pretty well known. The Lion dance is generally performed earlier in Chinese New Year. The Lion costume is worn by two people. The Lion will dance around the city/town and visit houses and businesses which gives them good luck, most people will leave red envelops(with money) in lettuce for the Lion.
There is also the Dragon dance. The dragon dance is usally seen at the end of the New Year celebration. The Dragon has more than two people, usually 9 people and usually is held on poles, rather than covering the people like the Lion.
Chinese New Year (also known as "Spring Festival" in China) is a lunar holiday which means it changes each year based on the moon. This year CNY starts on Feb 14th. There is alot of preparation for CNY, the house is completely cleaned prior to the first day, hair is cut before CNY starts and food is prepared. There is alot of "luck" associated with Chinese New Year. Once the house is cleaned the broom is put away until after Chinese New Year (sweeping dirt out of the house is associated with sweeping your luck away) If you use scissors, it is thought that you are cutting your luck short. (BTW, that is also why long noodles are eaten, if you bite them or cut them you cut your luck short) Decorations that are red with Chinese character of Luck, prosperity, wealth, etc are hung on the front door, usually in pairs.
The night before Chinese New Year starts (this year it would be Feb 13th) the children in the family stay up as late as possible becuase it means that the parents will live longer.
Everyone wears new clothes.
Children are given red envelopes with "lucky money" inside.
The food eaten also has lucky connotations: a whole steamed fish(complete with head, eyes, etc) means you will have plenty, chinese dumplings look like gold coins, Egg rolls or spring rolls bring weakth and of course the "long life" noodles.
I will try to finish telling about Chinese New Year tomorrow.
I wanted to put a video on our blog to see if everyone can see it. Well, today I videoed Brian so I thought I'd use this. If you can see the video can you put a comment letting me know? Thanks. Beth (Sorry the video isn't the best quality...I think the "cuteness" makes up for it!)
We just got the call from our agency that we have our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for Adam!!!! Yay!!! (That doesn't even do justice to the screaming that was going on!)
Tomorrow the LOA will be delivered to our house and Mark and I will sign it and overnight it back. This is the official acceptace of Adam as our son-to-be. We can now send a care package to Adam. Abby was more excited about the care package! I am so excited!! Once we sign it and send it back I can post a photo of Adam on the blog.
We started the adoption process Nov 2008. I figurd if I buy a few shirts and pants at a time I can get clothes for Adam (and now for Megan, too)without breaking the bank. So, I bought some clothes for Adam on clearance, I have bought some clothes at yard sales, I bought some matching shirts for Adam and Brian (3yrs old) and Goodwill had a 1/2 off sale on all clothes where I bought some shirts for Adam and shirts/dresses for Megan. We washed the clothes and this morning I was putting Adam's shirts away...his dressers are FULL! I think I need to stop buying him clothes! :smile: Now I need to concentrate on Megan's dresser! (Although I have alot of pants for her because of hand-me-downs for Abby and Emily)
Keep in mind that I'm not sure what size Adam and Megan will be so I'm buying in two sizes for each of them...so, they don't have as many clothes to wear as you might think!