We all share the same moon no matter where we are in the world!

Jul 18, 2009

Remembering Taylor's Gotcha Moment

February 27, 2009
How wonderful to say we have been together four years! That moment when the first baby was carried in to the hotel's conference room(Hannah Lee, I think), and how we all just ooohed and ahhhed and moved closer and closer to the new baby is forever etched in my mind. I remember watching each one of you greet your new baby and thinking... we were next....little did I know we would be last of 13 families! Anticipation....we waited with my mom Milly and sister Sherry and Ken and Karen, waiting for Ella, for another 30 minutes after the last family left the conference room with their new little girl.
Talk about just hanging out! We were like castaways waiting for our ship to pass by so we could jump on and wave. Finally, a small group entered the room and Ella was first, then came Taylor. She was carried in the arms of one of the caretakers from the Social Welfare Institute. We met her as Luo Min Fang, nicknamed Fang fang (pronounced fong fong). I walked over and took her in my arms, not waiting for them to hand her over. She just looked so scared and her bottom lip trembled; a few tears escaped, but she really held it all in. When the nanny handed me her matching pink furry handbag, I remember Kip saying how perfect it all was. We started calling her Taytay-Fang fang so she would look at us when we said her name. We were able to call her Taytay by the time we left China for home.
After taking a few pictures we immediately went to our room with Taylor. The SWI Director and representatives then came to our room to answer any questions we had and to make sure we were okay with her. We were so high on life having her with us that we couldn't remember what we asked or what they said! We took off three layers of clothes and just held her for a while. So beautiful and tiny. We have always said we could tell Taylor was loved because she knew what it was when we offered our love to her.
A moment where time stood still for me was on our second night in the hotel with Taylor, and she walked herself along the wall to the room door and with a little cry said mama. Our hearts were so full for her sorrow and loss. We could only offer love and comfort to help her through those moments.
How special to have my mom and one of my sisters there to be witness to Taylor joining our family. Words can not describe how wonderful and important this was to me. My sister Sherry said she wouldn't have missed that life changing moment for anything and how wonderful it was to be a part of someone's dream coming true. Of course, getting out of Guiyang was also on her mind....she was not alone! The sunshine and brightness of Guangzhou was a welcome relief after a week of smoggy foggy cold weather!
Now...we have a five year old who loves to dance and make up songs, play teacher, read stories, color, and play with friends. She is excited about being a big sister and going to China to get her mei mei...still waiting for Kendy.
To our travel group #726, we are so fortunate to have met all of you and to have shared a moment in time that will always be special.
Thank you for letting me reminisce!
xox~The Altmans
Terry, Kip & Taylor
"Families are the rich soil from which we grow"

Jul 5, 2009

Bloom where you are Planted

Our tomato plants (they are a foot taller now)

Our backyard is huge! We have planters with beautiful plants so we planted pots with flowers to add color. We also planted three big barrels with tomatoes, green beans, and raspberries.

Adoption Match Update From China

This is the latest update on matches from China.
China Center for Adoption Affairs, (CCAA) Status:
Children matched through March 15 - March 20, 2006

We are LID 5-16-06

Happy 4th of July!

Getting Ready!

Taylor, Michelle, & Jaida

Walking the Route

Fun at the Pool

We began our day with the traditional 4th of July parade. This is our third year with Michelle's family. Taylor & Michelle have a blast riding the golf cart, and it is the hit of the parade! Patty had to miss it due to her recent knee operation, so Ron and I walked the route with the girls. A fun day was had by all with face painting, jumping castle, dunk tank, and swimming at the pool. We held our own fireworks at our house before heading out to see the big ones locally. Taylor decided is was pretty cool twirling with a sparkler! That is one of my favorite memories....running in the Rippee's backyard with a sparkler in each hand! I hope Taylor remembers these fun times too.

Did I mention it was cold?!

When will Kendy come Home?

Taylor is sitting on the floor next to me and singing..."why is this wait so hard, when my sister is in my heart, I need to know these answers, I need to find my way, seize my tomorrow, learn my yesterday....I need to know". She is always listening. The tune is taken from one of her Barbie movies but the bolded words are her own. So precious.

CCAI Q&A Update

A few weeks ago a large group of waiting families met with Josh & Lily, the directors of CCAI, to get some answers. It is easier to share the info this way directly from their written Q&A to help explain why we continue to wait so long for our second adoption. It is not something Kip and I feel we can~nor do we want to~quit.We are committed in this journey and want to share all of it with you, our family.
We understand you have written about the reasons behind the continued expansion of the child match wait time. Could you go through them again? Could you share with us any additional reasons you may have discovered?

There are multiple reasons behind the current slow-down. First, the popularity of China adoption, combined with the closure and problems with adoption programs in many other countries, had led to a dramatic increase of dossiers coming to the CCAA before May 2007. Second, China’s impressive economic success in recent years has led to transformation in many areas of society, including the gradual acceptance of a smaller family, having girls only in the family, and domestic adoption. These changes have naturally resulted in less abandonment, fewer children being reported to the CCAA, and an increase of domestic adoptions, or de facto adoptions, which are considered unlawful by the government. Third, some orphanages chose to keep many children in their newly-built fancy facilities funded by the government’s Blue Sky Project and put their own, as well as their caretaker staff’s, employment security above the interest of the children under their care. Last, but not the least, the Hunan baby trafficking incident occurred in late 2005 and the subsequent extreme legal punishment leveled upon the orphanage director involved sent a chilling message to all orphanages’ leadership and fundamentally dampened their enthusiasm for international adoption, fearing possible political and legal prosecution.

How viable is China's adoption program? Will they close their doors someday?

China adoption is experiencing tremendous difficulties and generating enormous complaints and anxieties, but all in all it is still one of the largest international adoption programs in the world. The China adoption program’s problems have nothing to do with the speculation that the Chinese government does not like international adoption any more, or there are no more children in the orphanages. It has everything to do with the economy, changes in people's attitudes, and the mind-set of orphanage leadership. In a country of 1.3 billion people where the One-child-policy is still vigorously promoted in many provinces, child abandonment will unfortunately remain part China’s problems for many years to come. The slow decline of female abandonment by rural communities has been quickly and unfortunately filled by the dramatic rise of abandonment due to rampant out-of-wedlock births. That partially explains the rise in the percentage of boys coming to orphanages now.

Jul 2, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Ahhh, Cotton Candy!

Dinger and Taylor

Taylor & daddy on father's Day; The Rockies won!

Taylor loves going to the Rockies baseball games! We took Taylor and her friend Michelle on Father's Day and they had a blast. We called it our junk food day: hot dogs, fries, pop, gummy fruits, peanuts, & cotton candy! We all had a great time and hope to do it again soon. Thanks to Kip's new job we get great seats :)
Taylor and mommy made it on to the jumbo tron one game. She was pretty excited to see herself on the BIG screen....Taylor, not me! Of course, we all sing Take me out to the ballgame...no, we yell it. Our singing isn't so refined yet. Big fun.