Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lesson Learned - Sometimes It's Best to Stay on the Sidewalk

Friday was a busy day. We loaded everything in our car to head to Utah to take mom home and go to a wedding. We were ready to leave as soon as the boys were done with school. Christian was in a geography bee at the middle school and so we had made arrangements for the 2 elementary school boys to walk the 1 block to the middle school to meet us there. They were supposed to arrive around 3 p.m. When they didn't arrive I went outside to look for them. A few minutes later Gerry went out to look for them, but still now sign of them.
We concluded they must have forgotten to come to the middle school and had taken the bus. That would give us 20 minutes before they were home.
Unfortunately, Christian missed his question and was eliminated from the competition. We raced home, but the boys were not there. We left mom there to call us if they arrived. We headed back towards to the schools and called the elementary school - no sign of the boys. I began to panic. Had they been abducted?
As we passed by the middle school our friend Heather began honking and waving ferociously. Thank heavens she had the boys in her minivan. She explained what happened.
Apparently, the boys decided it would be more fun to walk off the sidewalk in the snow. Jeremiah's leg fell in a deep hole- possibly an animal den. He couldn't get out. He sent his little brother for help. Little brother flagged down our friend Heather who was driving past them. After a great struggle she was able to get Jeremiah's leg out, but had to go home to get a shovel to dig out the boot. Jeremiah's leg was pretty numb and we are lucky he didn't get frost bite.
So, my boys learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes the clear and straight path may not be as fun to travel, but in the end it may prove to be the safest way to go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

20 Months of Waiting for a Referral

Today marks 20 months of waiting for our baby girl referral. I find myself very emotional today. Mainly because I am very frustrated with how long this adoption process is taking. At the beginning of the month, we were given a new estimate of another 4 months until referral. It is hard to really trust this timeline as it has changed so many times. We have spent so much money and spent so much time getting paperwork redone, etc. due to the long process. It's exhausting. I think the holidays also bring out the longing to have our baby girl.
It also appears that I will most likely need to get a part-time job until our other house sells. That is killing me as I don't want to leave Parker. He is such a sweet boy. Gerry's work is not paying what they told us they would, so money is tight. I most likely will do substitute teaching as it is more flexible. This will allow me to be home when the other kids get out of school- as to not have to pay more daycare.
I realize we are more fortunate than most and so I don't want to appear ungrateful. I'm just a little down and discouraged. I've worked my tail off for the last 2 years trying to get Tall Clothing Mall to make a decent wage, but Internet marketing is really competitive and hard. I will continue to run it- as I still believe I offer a great service.
It has snowed a ton the last few days and will continue to snow the rest of the week. It is beautiful to have a white Christmas, but boy is it cold -12 degrees this morning. Brrr.
Today also marks my parent's anniversary. Mom is still visiting us. I know she is totally bored and ready to go home this weekend. I also miss my dad. I was such a daddy's girl. I miss his gentle yet wise advice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Started a new Online Deals Blog

Yes, you read that right, I started another blog. Don't tell my family (just kidding). Part of the way I am raising money for my adoption is through my websites. I come across some really great deals along the way and so I decided to start a new blog for general online deals. Introducing Krista's Deals.

Parker's Birthday

Yesterday Parker turned 3. Up until his birthday he kept telling us he didn't want a birthday and that he didn't want to get bigger. Neither do I. I was trying to get him excited about his birthday and I finally told him he was having a party and that Max, his cousin, would be coming over and maybe they would bring presents. That did the trick!
He started jumping up and down and going crazy. "Presents, presents, presents. I love presents." So he finally accepted that it was fine to be 3 as long as there are presents. Now on to potty training. (trying to control my excitement). Yippee Skippy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Adoption Phrases Scrapbook Deal of Day Deal

I thought I'd let you know about a great deal at GraveyardMall.com. On their home page they have the deal of the day and you can choose from 4 scrapbook assortments. Craft Assortment #2 has a piece in it called "Adoption Phrase Cafe Classic ". This might be good for our adoption scrapbooks. It is going today for $8.99 compare at $62.25

Update 4/1/09. This item is still available and is now only $6.99 search for (Craft Assortment #2) or (adoption).

Below are some other adoption scrapbook items you make like:

If anyone else knows any great places to get adoption scrapbooking supplies, please put it in the comments below.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I am Filled with Gratitude

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have Thanksgiving here in our new home. Gerry's sister and family came over and mom is now here for a month. I picked her up last week. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable this house is for entertaining. It was wonderful and I am patting myself on the back for pulling off my first Thanksgiving dinner. We have been married 14 years and I have never had to make it. On the years we stay in Colorado I have always been assigned the veggie tray. No brainer there. On the years we are in Utah, I usually just help my mom with her cooking. So it was actually quite fun for me to get in there and and have a nice dinner at home.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. Our health, family, good friends, nice home and just a great feeling of peace. As I sit here thinking about my boys, I am overcome with emotion. I love them so much and they seem to be growing up so much daily. Some days I feat they don't know how much I love them as life gets cruising along so fast that we need to learn to take pleasure in the simple moments. They are my life and I don't know what I'd do without them. Gerry is the most patient, loving husband anyone could ever want and I am so incredibly blessed to be married to him.
Tonight we put up the Christmas tree and it looks amazing! I'll see if I can take some pictures tomorrow. Next week Nickie is coming to help me decorate the banister and make bows. I think mom is enjoying her stay here. I do think she gets a tad bit bored as she lives in the fast paced city and life is a bit more leisurely here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Today Marks 19 Months of Waiting for a Baby Girl Referral

Today marks 19 months of waiting for referral of a baby girl. I can't believe how long it is taking. When we first started this process we thought it would be around 6-9 months. There's got to be a baby girl for us soon!
Both Gerry and I woke up today sick. We were in so much pain that we went to Instacare as it's the only place open on Sunday. Gerry has a raging ear infection and I have strep throat. Fun for us! I'm just glad it held out until today as we have been working so hard to get our old home on the market. Yesterday it was listed. What a relief!
I feel like I live in a whirlwind lately. Tonight we need to haul all our furniture in the main room into the garage. We are having the wood floor finished as the previous owners never did it. The wood floor guy can only work in the evenings so the great room will be blocked off for a week. I pick up my mom next weekend and bring her back her for a month, so we are trying to get the house ready for the holidays.
In the downstairs room where she will be staying, I peeled off the ugly wallpaper and underneath the drywall was never textured. Luckily I got someone in here yesterday to do that. Now I need to get that room painted so we can get it ready for her. We feel so blessed to be in this house, but I am ready for a long rest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Very Thankful for Boy Scouts Today

Wow, what a night! We are trying to get our old house listed on Friday and we still had the unsurmountable task of moving the entire food storage room. We have a ton of food storage. I spent the entire day moving as many canned goods and stuff out of the room as possible to make it easier to move tonight.
The boy scouts did a service project for our family and moved our food storage. We had a line from the basement room up the stairs and outside to the four-wheeler trailer. They worked like animals. It was so amazing. We had a half trailer full of 6 gallon buckets alone. I could not believe how fast it went. We ended up loading up the whole trailer.
Then we all loaded up and drove to the root celler at our new house. We backed in the trailer, opened the doors and lined up in a chain again and unloaded the whole thing in 10 minutes. Wow! If my family had to do this alone I think it would have taken us an entire week of working every evening. What a blessing this was for my family. They all earned the barbeque we are going to do for them!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jeremiah Made the Front Page of the Paper

This is my son Jeremiah walking with the color guard at yesterday's Veteran Day assembly at his school. This picture made the front page of the Vail Daily newspaper. Yesterday's program was one of the best Veteran's Day programs I have seen. Jeremiah is a cub scout and it was an honor for him to walk beside the Iraq war veteran and the Vietnam nurse. The assembly honored local veterans and helped spread patriotism. The children were very quiet and reverent the whole time - a tremendous accomplishment for our school!

Walking with the color guard was a huge privilege for Jeremiah and has special meaning to our family. My father was a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam. After he returned from duty he became a Utah Highway Patrolman and later a helicopter pilot for them. He died in the line of duty when his helicopter crashed on a search and rescue mission. Today is a day we can thank our Veteran's for the selfless service they do and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Moving is Hard Work

I am used to hard work- after all I grew up on a farm, am a Mother to 4 energetic boys, and have endless things to do each day. However, moving the last few days has about done me in. I am exhausted. We are about 75% moved. I have been busy running back and forth between houses trying to get the last few things in boxes. Tomorrow a painter comes to paint the upstairs as it needs it. Then next week the carpet cleaner will come in and then our old house will go on the market.

I still have to pack the food storage room, what a nightmare. Our church urges us to keep a 1 year food supply. I know some day I will be thankful for the food, but this week it is quite annoying to say the least. We also have not moved anything in the garage. Yuck!

I am loving the new house, "the teddy bear house" as Parker calls it, so much that I just don't want to leave it. The views are fantastic, it is nice to be on a quiet road and it is just so darn cozy and fun to be here. But, I guess I had better go finish cleaning out the last of the old house so the painter can have free reign tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Friendship Cycle

One terrific thing about living in a small town is the ability to meet lots of people and makes lots of friends. Most people living here stay for a few years and move else. It is pretty transient. At church everyone needs each other as most don't have family here and so close friends make us the extended family.

My husband's family is considered "locals". They have been here forever and have roots. They never leave.

Having said that, another one of my friends moved today and I am sad. Here is the moving cycle of my closest and dearest friends. Kim W. moved to Argentina. Heather moved to Washington. Angie moved to Utah. Carole moved to Washington. Annette moved to Utah. Kim M. moved on to heaven. LaRie moved to Utah. Amy moved to Idaho. And today Heidi moved to Washington.
Heaven help me as I am so sad. Heidi and I have sons born on the same day. We have been friends for about 8 years. We have been through so much together. What a talented lady! What would we do without or close friendships? Thank heavens I have Nickie to visit with every day!

Heidi's farewell party.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

18 Months of Waiting For a Referral

Today marks the 18th month of waiting for a referral of a little girl. What a long process! I am trying to hang in there, but it is discouraging at times. I can't stew about it too much today as I am busy packing up the house for the big move! Hopefully this will be the month for a referral.

Afternoon update- so I called my adoption social worker to schedule a new home visit for after we move. She told me that our I171-H expired today. Also, we need new yearly medical forms, financials, etc. I am so mad. I called 2 months ago to find out if we needed to do anything else and they told me no. I also had called our Tawaiian agency to make sure and they told me I was fine too- just as long as fingerprints are current. This is so frustrating. So I've spent the whole afternoon trying to fax forms to drs to have them sign them, etc.

The I171-H is the major form and for some people it can take 3 months to get back. I'm wondering what would happen if we now get our referral and all of the paperwork has expired. This is making me crazy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We Are Approved for the House

Yeah, we are getting our loan. It is nice to have a local banker! I still can't believe it. This home is going to be so nice for our family. Now, I have so much to do. I need to dejunk and start packing. Having lived in the same house for 12 years, it's amazing the junk that piles up.
Once we move in, we need to have a homestudy update as we are near the top of the waiting list!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Trying Week!

I guess maybe I posted too soon about the house. You would think that debt free people with some nice assets and an almost perfect credit score could get a loan for a house. But, with all the new regulations and craziness going on in the country, this has been a nightmare. I think we've gone through 6 different loans only to be told we would have to come up with 1/2 the price of the home. Monday we will find out if we get the loan through a bridge loan, which is a loan using our house as collateral while we sell our current home. It has been so stressful! Keep your fingers crossed for us. Also, we have the home inspection Monday.

The adoption wait is really getting to me. I am not a patient woman and I am really having to let go and trust God that it will happen in his timing. I am starting to get emotional as I want this process to get rolling. A few weeks ago I found out that there hasn't been any more girl referrals since May - so we are pushed back even further. I pray we will get our referral before the end of the year.

Another disappoint- I was almost a guest phone caller on "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch". The screener and I spent many conversations back and forth. One day she called and I wasn't home and left me a message to call her. I did several times, but now she won't call me back. Bummer! This would have been a huge break for my website Tall Clothing Mall.

Friday, September 26, 2008

We Bought a New Home!!!

With all the financial problems people are having, there are definitely some great deals on homes right now. Today we snagged up this log home and signed a contract to buy. I am so excited as this is my dream home (other than in Hawaii). It sits on 2 acres and has everything I have ever dreamed of. Look at that view from the deck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

17 Months of Waiting

Chinese symbol means patience! It's now been 17 months of waiting for a referral. Nothing to report. 17 was my volleyball number, so maybe it will be my lucky month. When I last spoke with my agency a few weeks ago, we really hadn't moved up the list due to no baby girl referrals last month. But, with International adoption anything is possible. Sometimes they get none and sometimes they get a bunch. I never dreamed it would take this long. I guess we are supposed to learn patience, but it is very trying at times. The longer I wait, the more broke I become as I just keep buying so many darling girl clothes. The boys think the adoption will never happen, so we try not to discuss it with them. So, we continue to wait and dream about getting our own little girl.

My mom was transferred out of the hospital to a rehab center yesterday. I don't think she'll be there long, but who knows? I am trying to get things in order so I can go back when she gets home. I will need to go and do some cleaning and other things for her.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stinky Skunk Problems

I made it home a few days ago. Mom is still in the hospital, but will probably be released soon. I am so happy she didn't suffer paralysis or other major problems from her stroke. I will visit her again after she is out of the hospital. It is so nice to be home. I missed my kids so much.

Switching gears: for the last couple of months, something has been getting into our garbage can. We try to keep it bungy corded shut so that this pesky animal won't get in it. We thought it was a racoon. Last night my husband and I went to see "Mama Mia." It was a much needed date night. When we came home, we saw the garbage can open. I started putting the bungy cord on it and thought I heard something. Both Gerry and I listened, but thought it was just us moving the can. Today when Gerry went to open the garbage can, there was a full size skunk in there. He closed the lid and didn't know what to do. Thankfully it didn't spray him. He devised a plan.
1. Get a long 2 x 4 and knock the garbage can over.
2. Let the skunk run away.
This is how the plan went.
1. Knocked the can over with the 2 x 4
2. The lid stayed on, but the skunk sprayed really bad.
3. Open the lid, wait 10 minutes and then the skunk confidently walks under our deck.
Last week Jeremiah said he saw a skunk run under the deck. He was right. It lives there. We called animal control and they don't handle skunks. If anyone has any ideas on how to get rid of this stinky problem, please let us know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mom's Update

Yesterday at noon I was headed out of my mom's hospital room when the cardiologist was headed in. So, I paused to listen to what he had to say. Bad news. My mom needed a pace maker due to heart stopping the night before 14 times for 4 seconds at a time. Then the heart would restart.
Needless to say I decided not to drive back to Colorado. Today she had a pacemaker installed. She also has a blood clot in her leg, so a special blood filter was installed in her groin to catch blood clots that originate in her legs. She also had a angiogram - which means dye injected into her veins near her head. Then a scope was put in to view if her brain is having spasms.
All of these procedures took about 5 hrs, so it has been a day!
So far everything went well and she is doing well. Keeping my fingers crossed! Goodnight.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Internal Struggle

The last few days have been really hard. I hate seeing my mom struggle so much. So far the news is pretty good. The CT scan shows a pretty significant brain bleed, but she doesn't have many symptoms. She has a bad headache, and gets confussed especially when trying to remember names. Her balance is good and she can talk. Pretty incredible for having had a stroke.
The dr. says she will probably recover almost fully. They think she will be in the hospital for about another week. After lots of contemplation, I think I will drive home tomorrow. Mom is in good hands in the hospital and I need to go take care of my family. My brothers live here and my mom has a wonderful support system through church, family and friends. I think I will be more useful if I come back after she is out of the hospital then sitting here staring at her. This is a hard decision as I feel so torn. I hate leaving her, but have a good feeling that she will recover from this episode. However, I am leary for what lies ahead as she still has a chest full of blood clots from previous problems, heart problems, and diabeties.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Mom's in the Hospital

What a scary turn of events. Yesterday morning my mom called about 8 a.m. I thought it was odd. I had just got 2 of my kids off to their first day of school and was trying to get Christian out the door. My mom called and just kept saying over and over how sick she was and what a terrible headache she had. I didn't know what I could do living so far away from her. I called Kameron, my brother to see if he could check on her, but couldn't get ahold of him.

So I called my mom's neighbor Linda to have her check on her. Pretty soon I got the phone call that Linda was taking my mom to the hospital because she was pretty incoherant. Then I got a call from Jenn my sister in law saying my mom was being life flighted.

I drove the 6 hour drive from Colorado to Utah in about 5 hours. So far she is stable and holding her own. She has had a stroke with blood on her brain.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun Weekend

Today I met an interesting woman at church. She came in and sat by me and I talked with her for a while after church. Somehow we starting talking about adoption and she had adopted all 4 of her children (now grown). I found her to be very interesting and she gave me her card to her blog. You've got to check it out - www.suzyshepard.com. This woman has had a lot of adversity in her life. Every day she looks for something good around her and blogs about it. The thoughts and pictures she comes up with are amazing!

On another note, we went to our church's camp out this weekend. We are fortunate to have a Winnebago. We love camping (luxury style). What a great time we had. Christian (age 11) went on his first hike as a Boy Scout and some hike it was. They went 5 miles in a straight line over mountains and cliffs. I was so proud of him. However, it's not to say that we didn't spy on him on our four wheelers. We came across them twice on the trail we went on. The second time we offered water to the party of 7 and they were very happy to have more water. It's exciting to see my boys growing up, but with new adventures come more worries. I was reassured to see one of the boy scout leaders on a ridge watching them with his binoculars to make sure they didn't get too off course, while another leader followed behind them in case of any problems. As I watched this, I thought about how God is also watching all of us and is there if we get off course. He sends different people into our lives along the way to give us wisdom, friendship and comfort when we need it the most. I'm thankful for all of my unlikely friends I have met along the way that have helped me when I have needed them most!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

16 Months of Waiting

Today is the 16th month of waiting for our referral. I am really starting to get antsy for any kind of news. I've been checking everyone's Taiwain adoption blogs to see if there has been any referrals. We should be receiving a monthly checkin call any day and I find myself staring at the phone, trying to make it ring. I think I've been pretty patient up until this point. Now, it's really starting to get to me. Perhaps watching the Olympics in China is really making me long for my darling daughter. Hopefully we will hear something soon.

So what have we done to pass the time away? Well, with 4 boys there is never a dull moment. Yesterday we spent the day at the pool and are sporting some nice sunburns. Today we are getting chores done around the house. Gerry and I have a business dinner tonight. For me, I find blogging to be such a distraction from wondering about the adoption. So, I work on my websites and I enjoy them so much that I sometimes have to tear myself away from them.

The kids have really figured out how to wrap grandma and grandpa around there fingers. Living next door has it's advantages. They sneak away to grandma's house once or twice a day for Popsicles. They get their sweet tooth fed and the grandparents get their bonding time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Taiwan Olympic Flag

I found it interesting during the Olympic opening ceremonies to see that the Taiwan delegation was not allowed to carry their own flag. Instead they were carrying the Olympic flag.
Here is a news article about the Taiwan delegation receiving a warm welcome at the Olympics.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Parker Makes the Move to a Big Boy Bed.

We decided it was time for Parker to move out of his crib. He is 2 1/2 years old now. We wanted him to have some transition time before we get the baby and before he moves into Ian's room. So, we spent Saturday afternoon taking down the crib. We also decided to take down the guest day bed in Parker's room. He is sleeping in the car bed (reluctantly). We tried to make a big deal out him being a big boy now. However, Saturday night when I was putting him to bed he begged for the crib. In the middle of the night he fell onto the floor. Luckily it was only about a 12 inch fall. Last night Gerry found Parker in our bedroom sleeping on the floor. He got up to go to the bathroom and almost stepped on him. Poor Kid! We hope he gets used to it soon! Lots of changes are coming his way. I really want to get him potty trained before we get the baby, but that will have to wait until the kids go back to school.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shopping at Target & Coupon

I own a couple of websites. One is for tall clothing and one is for Hawaiian furnishings. These are my two favorite hobbies - clothes shopping and turning my home into a tropical haven. I am using these websites to help fund our adoption. I come across some really great coupons and I thought I'd pass this one on to anyone that's interested.
With the price of gas, why not stay home and save money by shopping online? Here is a coupon to help you out. Take $7 Off orders of $70 or more at Target.com - 8/1-8/15 Only by clicking on this link. Discount is automatic when you click on the link. Only good at Target.com and does not apply when checking out throught Amazon.com.

Renewed Finger Prints

Did you know that fingerprints expire? Well, according to the goverment they do. They make you get your fingerprints redone every 15 months. Yesterday we drove to Grand Junction - about a 2 hour drive to get our fingerprints redone. Last time we went it was a disaster. The lady was so crabby. Yesterday when we walked into the office, the same lady remembered us, I was a bit worried as the comment card I had filled out was a little bit harsh. However, this time she was very pleasant and chit chatted with us. Hopefully last time she was just having a bad day.
So now I believe everything is good to go - now if I could just quit staring at the phone. I can't wait to get our referral.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!

Today is our 14th Anniversary. Where did the time go? In some ways it seems like it has flown by and when I think of all we've been through it seems as if I've known Gerry forever. What an amazing journey it has been! This past weekend I pulled off a great surprise. I booked a room - through Priceline at the Vail Cascade Resort. If anyone needs to know how to get great deals on Priceline visit this wonderful forum - http://www.biddingfortravel.com/ (It's my secret weapon.)
Gerry thought we were just going out to dinner, but I surprised him with a night away. I had my nephew babysit and we had a romantic dinner at the hotel restaurant. Then we strolled around Vail, and watched an in-room movie. What a fun time! We celebrated it early as Gerry has high council meeting tonight for our church. Thanks "Handsome Prince" for such a great journey! Love you forever!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Hermit Crab Funeral

A couple of days ago we came home from camping to find that JJ, Jeremiah's hermit crab, had died. It was a very tragic event. Jeremiah cried for a couple of hours. This is Jeremiah's first pet and he received it for his birthday.
So tonight we held the funeral. This is how it went.
Ian- age 6 "We are gathered here today for JJ's funeral. Now it's Christian's turn."
Christian age 11 " JJ was a good crab who always got scared when we came to look at him."
Mom "JJ was the biggest crab I have ever seen."
Dad "I gave him water every night."
Jeremiah age 9- pretty silent finally said "I loved him very much."
With that JJ was buried in the ground under an aspen tree. It was short but meaningful.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Within the 90 Day Period for a Referral

Great news! This afternoon I got a phone call from FEC that said we are now within the 90 day period of getting our referral. I am so excited! What a long journey this has been. I called Gerry and told him and then I called Glenda and my mom. The boys are excited, but not overly as it still seems so far away for them. We went out to celebrate at our favorite Chinese restaurant. My fortune cookie said, " Happiness is around the next corner, wealth down the street." Bring it on!

Earlier this week, my cousin Glenda got matched up with a 4 year old boy to adopt. She has one snag in that the father has to sign the paper to relinquish his parental rights. We are praying that it all works. She switched over to a US adoption after she encountered some huge snags with her Kazikstan adoption. It was a nightmare! Glenda's car is all packed and she is sitting by her phone ready to make the trip from the Midwest to the South to pick up her child. She can get the call any minute. This is her first child and she can't wait to become a mother.

We have enjoyed doing this adoption journey together and we are both elated.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

American Teen in Taiwan as Exchange Student - Interesting Articles

Over the past year, our Vail Daily newspaper has had a series of articles posted by a student that did a foreign exchange student program to Taiwan. Scott Harp is a 16-year-old Battle Mountain High School student who is traveling through Taipei, Taiwan and China as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. He has written a few articles about his travels. I have found the articles to be extremly interesting and though you may enjoy them also. So, here they are:
Student travels to the Far East
Chickens’ feet taste better than old eggs

Tremendous times in Taiwan for Battle Mountain teen
Local student witnesses China’s coming of age

Talking with our Friend about Taiwan

Tonight we had a special Family Home Evening night with Dustin. He just returned from serving a 2 year church mission to Taiwan. It was great to have him in our home as he loves Taiwan and was so excited to answer any question we have about the country. Here are some interesting things that we learned.
1. Most toilets are non-existent you squat and do your thing. You may want to take some toilet paper with you as it is sold in vending machines. Also many times men and women have joint public bathrooms. The men go to one side and the women the other. There may be a small wall separating you, but most of the time you can probably see each other. (Scary)
2. Taiwan is very safe. They have a low crime rate. No guns are allowed.
3. Most meals outside of McDonald's probably cost around $1 a meal. Most food is safe to eat, but purchase bottled water.
4. Kids are cherished in Taiwan. Kids go to school year round and are always studying for some large test. They have a lot of pressure to do well. If they do well in elementary they can get into a good middle school. If they get into a good middle school, that determines your future. If you do poorly, you probably won't go to college. Although they go to lots of school, they don't get a great education.
5. Banana spiders are huge, they catch birds and I really care to see any. Thank you, but no.
6. Sun Moon Lake is gorgeous and if able stop and visit it. It is the most beautiful place Dustin has ever seen. It is in the middle of the island in the mountains.
7. Most Americans have an odor coming out of us that the Taiwanese notice. We smell like rotten milk. That's just lovely!
8. Because we have white skin, a lot of children will come up to us point and say something. They are most likely saying "Foreigner". They will point and then run away. A lot of people may say "Hello" and that's all, because that may be all of the English they know. The tourist areas will have many people who speak English. Overall, people are friendly. My husband and I will really draw lots of attention because we are so tall.
9. The night markets are very safe and a must see. At times the crowds may feel like you are in Disneyworld.
Overall we had a great visit and it was fun for my children too. They are so excited to have a little sister. We can't wait!

Our Taiwan Adoption Journey

I figured it was time we start our adoption blog. My name is Krista and my husband and I are currently on the wait list for a Taiwan adoption of an infant girl. I remember having feelings that I would like to adopt someday starting about my first year of college. At one point in college, I almost went to Russia to work in an orphanage for 6 months. I was so close to going, but didn't go. While deciding to make that decision, I really began to have strong feelings towards adopting a child someday.
We have been blessed with 4 beautiful, healthy and amazing biological boys. However, we feel there is still one more child to come to our family. So, in January of 2007 we began the process of International Adoption. We have a cousin that adopted from Taiwan, so having watched their process, we prayed about adopting from Taiwan and have felt really good about it. So we began our journey. On April 16, 2007 we were officially placed on the Taiwan Adoption waiting list with For Every Child.
The last update we received said they estimate a referral around September. We are trying to be patient, but it is so hard. We are supposed to get an update when we are estimated to be within 90 days of receiving our referral. So far, no luck but hopefully soon!