Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday

My husband and I are joining a small group.  It's a few people in the community that are going through the same things you are for support and guidance.  Well, we found a group that just started today and we missed it finding out about it late but emailed them saying we could see them next week.  They are a diverse group that is going through adoption and/or cancer.  We are going through both.  (My mother-in-law is suffering from cancer.)  so we thought this would be a great support group. 

Well not one minute after I email them saying we'll join the group and see them next Tuesday, I see that Mr. T (our social worker) emailed me to resume our home study for... you guessed it next Tuesday.  So I quickly accept then email back the group saying we'll start the week after as we just scheduled our home study.

Funny how all that falls at the same time.

Anyway, I'm very excited that our home study is scheduled!  I hope i'm not swamped with work that day.

Speaking of work, I've got to go back and do just that.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Catching Up

Last night's Superbowl thing was so tiring.  I was hoping getting out and doing something would be fun, but I was pretty bored - so was my husband.  It just wasn't what we thought it would be.  We crashed when we got home.


But for today, I'm feeling a little bit better.  We got most of the medical stuff figured out.  We're switching to mine over my husband's which went up significantly this year.  We just have to find out when his company will "drop" us so mine can pick us up.


We also sat down and went through the adoption paper chase to see where we need to catch up.  I'm tweaking some documents that my agency said would help, I emailed Mr. T to resume our home study, and my husband is working on getting things notarized, authenticated, etc.


So we're jumping over the hurdles trying to keep China in our sights again.  Our hearts are constantly there, but sometimes it's easy to have it get out of sight.


We also have to work on photos again.  We need 3 of just us and 8 with other people I think.  So we're going to look over what we have saved on our computer tonight, to see if any of that works.


Our church activity is in an hour.  So not bad, squeezing in some essentials.  Hopefully, I can still fit in some more work tonight and some laundry and dishes, then i'll feel more accomplished.


Just whittling away what I can day at a time; just trying to make at least one more hurdle jump to get that much closer.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disconnect



I know that over time there are waves of feelings.  Times one feels like the can feel the tug of the red thread as if their little girl was literally on the other end saying, "I'm here".  Then there are times it feel like a fairy tale.  And everything is just an idea.


The fairy tale is where I've been the last few weeks.  And it makes sense, I lost a job, searched for a job and started a new job, and am now working late, taking work home, there's time for nothing else.


Thus the disconnect.  It doesn't feel real and I feel that everything we've gathered will just expire and we'll have to start over again anyhow.  That might not be so bad, but I don't have time to do any of it.  I worked until midnight last night, and I still have work to do.  Which i'll probably do all morning.  But then from 3-9pm there is a Superbowl promo thing I'm attending with my husband.  It's usually $50 a ticket, and we got free ones since my husband is working with the Superbowl.  So there goes a block of time.


Tomorrow is church and an after church activity.  We've committed our time.  And with what time we have left has to go into chores or sleeping, or for me - working.


Not to mention I still have to compare medical, dental, etc between what I'm getting offered and being on my husband's plan.


I really hope that work will "slow" down, but I'm planning MANY events for the year that will take significant time, not including the last minute interruptions that had to be done yesterday.  So I'm juggling many projects.  Love what I do, just want to do less of it.


So I asked my dear husband to help.  To see if he can move on this adoption for me as I don't have the time.  Unfortunately, he's stretched thin too.  Between building theater sets, to being on the board of directors, committee meetings, working overtime here and there for the Superbowl and just now getting over being sick... it's been crazy.  I haven't even seen my husband.


SIGH!  again, I don't want to complain, I want to keep a positive outlook, but I am very tired and want my daughter to feel real instead of this disconnect.


I am trying to feel like this is a tangle in the red thread, but it's hard not to see the days slipping away as if she is too.


I had a dream a few nights ago where I was in China with a group to get our children.  Everyone got a baby, but I got a living doll, like Pinocchio.  I didn't get a human, I got a doll that breathed.  What the heck does that mean?  What's funnier is that I was protective of this doll.  If this was the child i was given, doll or not she was my girl.  I had to explain to my husband that she belonged in a crib and not a toy box.  That doing that would suffocate her.  Strange dream.


Well, I can't spend time typing much more.  I must work.  I just hope that I find the time to get this adoption off the ground.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

So what does year of the dragon mean?  Well, I found a site that said a lot.  


I'm year of the dragon (why I'm called LadyBug Dragon).  So this is a special year for me.



The Dragon personality The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast - the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority. Therefore, those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected.

Years of the Dragon
Fifth in the cycle, Dragon Years follow the Rabbit and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Dragon Year actually begins
1904 * 1916 * 1928 * 1940 * 1952 * 1964 * 1976 * 1988 * 2000

THE SIGN OF THE DRAGON
The key to the Dragon personality is that Dragons are the free spirits of the Zodiac. Conformation is a Dragon's curse. Rules and regulations are made for other people. Restrictions blow out the creative spark that is ready to flame into life. Dragons must be free and uninhibited. The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale - big ideas, ornate gestures, extreme ambitions. However, this behavior is natural and isn't meant for show. Because they are confident, fearless in the face of challenge, they are almost inevitably successful. Dragons usually make it to the top. However, Dragon people be aware of their natures. Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled. Even though they are willing to aid when necessary, their pride can often impede them from accepting the same kind of help from others. Dragons' generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon's self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.

DRAGON FACTS:
People born in the Year of the Dragon share certain characteristics. The Dragon sign is an abbreviated way of characterizing that individual's personality. Following are features associated with the sign of the Dragon.
Fifth in order, Chinese name-LONG, sign of luckHour-7am-8:59 a.m. Month-AprilWestern Counterpart-Aries

CHARACTERISTICS
  • Innovative
  • Enterprising
  • Flexible
  • Self-assured
  • Brave
  • Passionate
  • Conceited
  • Tactless
  • Scrutinizing
  • Unanticipated
  • Quick-tempered

IN YOUR ELEMENT
The characteristics of the Dragon Sign are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.


THE METAL DRAGON 1940 AND 2000
Truthful but extreme, courageous but unyielding, Metal Dragons have a strength similar to the Dragon fire. Metal Dragons succeed through determination. They are mighty and respect people who stand up to them. In troubled times, these Dragons make great allies, but become ferocious challengers. Metal Dragons can often calm others through their forceful personalities. They seek action, and things are never better than when they are defending a thought or belief about which they have complete faith. Metal Dragons like to lead, and have an affect that makes others want to follow them. Yet even if they attract no support they will fight alone.


THE WATER DRAGON 1952 AND 2012
Water has a calming effect on the Dragon's fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another.

THE WOOD DRAGON 1904 AND 1964

Wood has a modifying influence and brings creativity to this sign. Questioning and liberal, Wood Dragons enjoy talking about original ideas and are open to other points of view. They are innovative, imaginative practical and appreciate art in each of its forms. Generally less pretentious than other Dragons, Wood Dragons have an ability to get along with other people. They have the essentials to build a prosperous and happy life for themselves. Still, Wood Dragons are outspoken and at times a bit pushy to quell everyone, even in the most friendly quarrel.

THE FIRE DRAGON 1916 AND 1976
The Fire Dragon is a powerful force to be reckoned with. This is a Dragon doubled! The Fire Dragon can move from calm and collected to combustible in a matter of seconds. In some ways the Fire Dragon is his or her own worst enemy. These Dragons cannot help feeling they are valuable and all-knowing. When they are right their vehemence and vigor is an asset to the cause, and though they value objectivity, they do not always employ the best decision-making measures, and sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion. They also suffer from recklessness and quick tempers. Yet, when they do keep their temper, emotions, and rivaling spirit under control, they emanate a commanding influence on other people.

THE EARTH DRAGON 1928 AND 1988
Earth Dragons make great managers because they are practical, levelheaded and demonstrate a knack for organizing. They still have the need to dictate and be admired, but they are affable, congenial and supportive. Compared to other Dragons, Earth Dragons are less likely to breathe fire at the least irritation. They will work diligently to complete their life goals. The Earth element adds a greater portion of self-control to the Dragon's personality and usually the Earth Dragon is deserving of the respect he or she desires. These Dragons take their life and romantic responsibilities quite seriously.

HEALTH AND HOME

HEALTH
Dragons take thrilling risks and burn the candle at both ends so they are fortunate to be blessed with good health. Among the most hearty of the Animal signs, they can suffer bad health as a result of stress. Symptoms of their personalities often stem from emotional outbursts and can range from tension headaches to depression to hypertension. Dragons can remedy these problems by maintaining their cool, implementing a routine in their daily lives, and utilizing exercises such as yoga or tai kwon do that soothe the mind and spirit as well as tone the body.

AT HOME WITH THE DRAGON
Not the most domesticated of the Animal signs, Dragons and may be more content out and about rather than at home. Nevertheless, with their imagination and artistic sense, they can enjoy decorating their home or anywhere else where their extravagance can be expressed. A Dragon's home should be as large and majestic as his personality, providing space for the fiery temperament or emotional eruptions that accompany their character.

CAREER AND FINANCE

THE DRAGON AT WORK
The Dragon's originality is the most impressive and outstanding of all his characteristics. The Dragon is quite imaginative and always able to see new paths where others may run into brick walls. Dragons are very adaptable and are fit for various occupations, especially if those occupations allow him to take the limelight. In any of these occupational situations, the Dragons will take a radical approach. Dragons work hard, but would rather give orders than receive them. They should avoid jobs that encompass too much routine, and should move toward jobs in which their self-reliance can be an asset.

FINANCE AND THE DRAGON
Dragons like to spend money and are charitable themselves as well as with others. They do not know the meaning of the word "accumulate," and making money does not intrigue them as it may others. Many Dragons will take big chances with their finances, sometimes betting on their shirt and losing it right off of their backs. Yet, they were born with the Midas Touch, and it very rare that a Dragon remains poor for long. Dragons will always be straightforward in financial dealings and can always be trusted.

DRAGON CAREERS
Those born in the Year of the Dragon also share the same kinds of goals and objectives in life. The occupations best suited for the Dragon are listed below:

DRAGONS MAKE EXCELLENT:

  • Computer analysts
  • Inventors
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Lawyers
  • Philosophers
  • Psychoanalysts
  • Brokers
  • Managers
  • Salepeople
  • PR People
  • Advertising agents
  • Officers in the armed forces
  • Campaigners
  • Politicians

CONGENIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS

Whether Dragons are compatible with their business partners depends on whether their signs are harmonious or antagonistic to each that of their partners. Considering the congruity of the components of their own characters and the characters of their business colleagues can also be very useful.
Dogs Ruled by: Benefit from: Are Antagonistic to:
Metal Earth Snakes Fire Tigers
Water Metal Monkeys Earth Sheep
Wood Water Roosters Metal Oxen
Fire Wood Rats Water Rabbits
Earth Fire Dragons Wood Horses

LIKES AND DISLIKES



Since Dragons are born under the same Animal sign, they often share likes and dislikes. Following are similar likes and dislikes of the Dragon personality:
Color Preference: Greenish-Blue
Gems and Stones: Opal, Sapphire, Amber
Suitable Gifts: Tarot cards, camera, a copy of the I Ching, mirror, a family crest, mobile phone
Hobbies and Pastimes: Computer programming, public speaking, fossil hunting, astrology
Dragons Dislike: Taking orders, unnecessary bureaucracy, discounted ideas, people who don't give 100%

THE DRAGON ON VACATION

Dragons are attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist's footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of gratification in finding hidden destinations, or, closer to home, locations off the beaten track. But Dragons also need thrills, which they might find by taking an unplanned winter break to go skiing or a spontaneous rock climbing trip in the spring. They may even test their bravery by daring to ride the highest roller coaster in the world. Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so conquering their childhood haunts, or taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.

FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

Dragons are usually popular people, but because of their personalities, they seem to gather as much criticism as they do esteem. Due to their tumultuous temperaments, Dragons are not the most sensitive friends to those in need of a shoulder to cry on. Those who truly know the Dragon know he is a loving soul who will become your best ally in times of need. Once the dynamic Dragon has given his friendship, he will not let his friends down and will never falter in his allegiance to his companions. To a Dragon, a friend is a friend for a lifetime. Incredibly honest, Dragons are known for sincerity and are trusting souls. Because of this honesty, Dragons don't realize others may not demonstrate or uphold the same codes of ethics. Making the discovery that they placed their trust in someone who is dishonest makes the Dragon person quite sad, yet much more perceptive for future encounters.
Compatible Friends
Best Friends: Rats and Monkeys
Mortal Enemy: Dogs

DRAGON PARENTS AND BABIES
Because people born in the year of the Dragon are so working on furthering their careers, they usually put off having and raising children until later than many of the other Chinese horoscope signs. Parenting doesn't come very naturally easily to the Dragon. However, when Dragons do become parents, they approach it with the same enthusiasm as other endeavors. They are proud parents and tend to boast about the accomplishments and good looks of their children.

Dragons, noted for their benevolence, tend to shower their children with toys and spending money. It has been remarked that they substitute material things for quality time with their children. Even so, Dragons take parenting seriously and are quite protective of their children's welfare. Should anything upset them, or should anyone wrong them, the Dragon will prepare to fight and avenge the people who have hurt or belittled their offspring.

DRAGON INFANT AND CHILD
Dragon children are creative, able to entertain themselves for hours on end. They don’t mind playing by themselves, often inventing games and puzzles while doing so. They are responsible children who love to take on and complete as many tasks as possible for it gives them a sense of accomplishment.

DRAGON PARENT/CHILD KINSHIPS
Like their adult counterparts, children born in the Year of the Dragon have vivid personalities and are independent from birth. Noisy and active, parents should stimulate their imaginations as soon as possible. Their imagination and inquisitive natures can be troublesome for the Dragon child and can often land them in a heap of trouble at school which can cause teachers and other parents to deem them troublemakers or naughty. Sometimes Dragon children are loners who daydream and drift to into their own world of make-believe. Either way, Dragon children demand careful attention and special handling in order to bring out the best in them. Their creativity and talents must be encouraged, even if it means spending extra time in certain school subjects in order to help them master the subject.

DRAGON PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS
Some parents immediately click with their children and others find they will never have a close relationship, no matter how hard they try to make it happen. Following are the compatibility ratings between Dragon parents and their children.


Dragons withUnder the same roofCompatibility Rating
Rattake pride in each other****
Oxnot much understanding*
TigerMany Thrills***
RabbitContesting Viewpoints*
DragonLike Mother like Daughter****
SnakeLittle problems****
HorseDifferent Attitudes**
SheepTo Delicate*
MonkeyMutually Satisfying****
Roosterfew clashes of temperament***
DogProblems arise*
Pigget along, but hard work**
* Uphill Struggle
**Some Complications
***easy bonding
****on the same wavelength

LOVERS AND SPOUSES

Negatively, Dragons are egotistical and love to be the center of attention. Modesty is not one of his assets. Add to that the Dragon temper and you have a bossy, dominating and authoritative being. They hate solicited advice and can be hopelessly tactless and insensitive to their lovers.

THE DRAGON IN LOVE
IRRESISTIBLE ATTRACTION
People love Dragons so much because they are generous, charismatic, irresistible, and so brave that standing beside them banishes fear. They generate excitement and turn heads anywhere they go. They are free-spirited and impulsive and can help others achieve their dreams. Others love to be around Dragons because they have a way of making people feel better. Dragons are quick to fall in love, but do not surrender their independence easily leaving most of them to live life by themselves. Yet, an smart, witty, and funny companion may intrigue the Dragon long enough to make him want to get married. And once the Dragon becomes committed, he is unlikely to ever leave.

THE DRAGON LOVE PARTNER
It takes someone with thick skin who is easygoing to be a Dragon's partner, because, despite their sentimental characters, they can be moody, and insensitive. Many people will want to run when the Dragon's temper is provoked. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships. Following is a brief description of how a Dragon will affect a relationship with other Animal signs.


PARTNERS IN LOVE
Dragon*Rat
A brilliant relationship-plenty of love, mental sensitivity and understanding. Tipped for happiness.
Dragon*Ox
When it comes to being obstinate, Dragons have met their match in the Ox. The give and take essential for a happy marriage is lacking in this partnership
Dragon*Tiger
A gutsy combination full of gusto to fuel passions
Dragon*Rabbit
Your obstacles will either unite or divide you
Dragon*Dragon
If you learn to share the spotlight, you can accomplish anything together
Dragon*Snake
Clever, crafty and quick-witted-you fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
Dragon*Horse
You share a powerful sexual chemistry.
Dragon*Sheep
Despite the sexual attraction, eventually you'll find too many differences to overcome.
Dragon*Monkey
You share opinions and goals that destine you for happiness.
Dragon*Dog
A truly tumultuous affair-not recommended for peace of mind.
Dragon*Pig
A caring and deeply affectionate relationship.
Dragon*Rooster
You make a beautiful couple, but your egotism blinds you.

EAST MEETS WEST

ARIES DRAGON
Aries Dragons tend to have good luck. With a passionate drive they fill their days to the brim with activity. They are upwardly mobile people so they usually get what they want.

LIBRAN DRAGON
The Libran Dragon is a chic creature, quite cultured and cultivated. Charm is this Dragon's greatest asset and is a magnetic force that causes people to flock to him. The Libran Dragon fair person and is a champion of the people.

TAUREAN DRAGON
Taurus brings the Dragon back down from the clouds and adds a purposeful strength to his character. Taurean Dragons will work consistently to achieve material comforts and high standards of living essential to their well-being.

SCORPIO DRAGON
Eccentric and exotic, Scorpio Dragons are mighty people with legendary zest and enthusiasm, and incredibly passionate emotions. They throw themselves into everything they do. When they fall in love it is completely and exclusively and they expect the same treatment of their partners.

GEMINI DRAGON
These are life's performers, taking pleasure in the company of others. Gemini Dragons can accomplish several tasks at once and are able to juggle many conversations successfully. However, taking on anything in depth is not really their style.

SAGITARRIAN DRAGON
Open and straightforward, the Sagittarian Dragon's honor is well-intentioned, although it can sometimes be insensitive. Extemporaneous and careless, this Dragon's abundant fervor sweeps everyone along. They have a charming outlook on life.

CANCERIAN DRAGON
Cancer Dragons have polished tastes and are generally an artist of some sort. Their homes act as show- cases of these artistic talents. These are less self-indulged characters and are caring, tender, individuals. For them a tight-knit relationship and established home are necessary for happiness.

CAPRICORN DRAGON
These Dragons are pragmatic, determined and modest, with a driving craving for achievement. They will work long hours to make a slow climb to the top. For them, passion and romance come second, but once committed, they are responsible partners.

LEONINE DRAGON
The Lion is King of the Western zodiac and the Dragon is the sign of the Emperor. Leo Dragons have an innate sense of royalty; thus they are born leaders. They are flashy and like to show-off, but their kindness and zest for life make them fascinating.

AQUARIAN DRAGON
Impractical and atypical, these Dragons are intrigued by the shock of the new. Most importantly, they are intellectuals, very individualistic and original, born ahead of their time. Receptive and open-minded, they are held in high regard by all.

VIRGO DRAGON
Status and title matter a lot to the Virgo Dragon, and he is prepared to work diligently to achieve them. These organized and productive people carefully plan each aspect of their lives and leave nothing to chance. The Dragon's capricious characteristics are calmed and the Virgo Dragon has a streamlined, efficient outlook on life.

PISCEAN DRAGON
With Piscean tenderness added to Dragon brashness, these individuals are still vivid and impassioned, but. less self-involved and more responsive to the needs of others. However, the Dragon motivation is still there, hidden underneath that seemingly tranquil surface.
 
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Found the following here: http://earthsky.org/human-world/chinese-new-year-2012-rings-in-year-of-the-dragon


At midnight tonight, on January 23, 2012, Chinese people around the world will welcome the new year, ushering in the Year of the Dragon.


Gong Xi Fa Ca! That’s the traditional Chinese New Year greeting that means “wishing you prosperity” in Mandarin. The first day of the Chinese New Year – which begins at midnight on January 23, 2012 – is the most important of Chinese holidays, celebrated by billions in China, and by millions of ethnic Chinese around the world. It’s a celebration that lasts for 15 days, culminating with the Lantern Festival. Each year is associated with one of twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. For 2012, it’s the Year of the Dragon.

There are several variations on the mythology behind Chinese New Year celebrations. Most are based on a ugly bloodthirsty monster named Nian that would emerge on the last night of each year to destroy villages and eat people. A wise elder advised villagers to scare the monster away with loud noises. That night, they set fire to bamboo, lit fireworks, and banged their drums. The monster, afraid of the loud noises and lights, ran away to hide in its cave. In another version of the myth, an old man persuaded Nian to turn its wrath on other monsters, not the villagers. Before he was seen riding away on Nian, the old man, actually a god, advised the people to hang red paper decorations in their homes and set off firecrackers on the last night of the year to keep Nian away. On the first day of the new year, the villagers celebrated, greeting each other with the words “Guo Nian” which means “survive the Nian”, a tradition that has continued to this day to mean “celebrate the new year.”
In China, the familiar Gregorian calendar is used for day-to-day life. But Chinese calendar dates continue to be used to mark traditional holidays such as the new year and the fall moon festival. It’s also used astrologically to select favorable dates for weddings and other special events.
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, in other words, a combination of solar and lunar calendars. It has a long history spanning several Chinese dynastic rules from as far back as the Shang Dynasty around fourteenth century B.C.. There are several different symbolic cycles within the calendar, used in Chinese astrology, that make it an intricate and complex measure of time.
A month in the Chinese calendar spans a single lunar cycle. The first day of the month begins during the new moon, when no sunlight falls on the lunar hemisphere that faces the Earth. A lunar cycle, on average, lasts 29.5 days, so a lunar month can last 29 or 30 days. Usually, there are 12 lunar months in a Chinese calendar year. In order to catch up with the solar calendar, which averages 365.25 days in a year, an extra month is added to the Chinese calendar every two or three years. As a result, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year (in the Gregorian calendar) between January 21 and February 21.
Each year of the Chinese lunar calendar is represented by one of twelve animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. For 2012, it’s the dragon’s turn. According to Chinese astrology, people born on the year of the dragon are said to be strong, self-assured, eccentric, intellectual, and passionate, among other things.
Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally lasts 15 days, from the first day (during a new moon) to the 15th day (a full moon). Each day holds a special significance that varies according to local traditions. But first, before the arrival of the new year, homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away ill fortune, and to welcome good luck. On new year’s eve, there are family gatherings to celebrate and enjoy sumptuous traditional feasts, and to greet the new year with fireworks at midnight.
In the days that follow, festive dance parades are held featuring colorful dragons or lions, ceremonies are held to pay homage to deities and ancestors, children receive money in red envelopes, gifts are exchanged, extended family members visit each other, and there’s more traditional feasting.
The celebration culminates on the 15th day with the Lantern festival; on this night of the full moon, families mingle in the streets carrying lighted lanterns, often creating a beautiful light display.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Indianapolis Celebrates the Chinese New Year


I really wish I could have gone, but without our daughter and not knowing anyone, we didn't.  I'd love to hear from anyone who did though.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Week is Over!

It's been a LONG week.  I feel terrible to complain, as I'm very GRATEFUL to have a job.  However, I'm burned out!


I've worked very hard and many long hours this week.  I feel I have so much to prove.  So much is behind and I have so much to plan and put in motion.  My head is spinning with things to do.  I feel like I have no time to think about adoption, let alone just veg at home.  I bring homework at home... eat lunch at my desk... and stay late too every day but one.  I hope it's just the initialization period and that it won't last.  I'd like some home time and some fun time.  I'm too exhausted to make the bed, do laundry, do dishes...


I don't even have time to eat dinner, I just scarf whatever I can down and move to my homework so I can try to fit in 1 hour of relaxing, veg time before I go to sleep.


I think once I have the directory updated, conferences planned, the retreats planned, the website overhauled, the anniversary parties planned and newsletter revised, I'll feel more caught up.  The rest should be maintenance.  I'll still have proposals to do and new software to promote.. but hopefully after all of this stuff, that will seem easy.  I love marketing and event planning.  I'm creative and have an eye.  I love to organize.  But man, I am tired!  I've only been there a week and I think I should have asked for a raise... ha ha!


I knew I'd have a lot on my plate, but I didn't know how little was planned before me.  So I have a lot to catch up on.


I also want to focus on getting back into the paperchase again.  I've been so busy this month with finding a job and starting a job, that I don't want to fall behind.  I want all this behind me.  With my new job though I think my husband may try and take a more active roll in helping me, which will be really nice.


So glad the weekend is here!
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Orientation

Today was my first day at work.  It was all orientation stuff.  401(k), key card, harassment video, getting pass codes and access to networks, etc.  Lots of stuff... 


I didn't start talking Marketing until 4:30pm, then stayed an hour later than I was planning.  So I worked 9 hours today.  Not a bad start.  I hope to get a leg up on some the stuff discussed today.  I'm very excited and eager.


What was "neat" was my desk was all cleared for me to take over.  And I have a huge desk and window... it's great.  But hanging on my wall was this...


Is it a sign for things to come?  Boy, do I hope so!!  I'll take a Maneki Neko any day!
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Adoption Tax Credit

The last Tax Credit extension was set to expire in December 2011. This is
disappointing as this benefit is so helpful in off-setting the costs incurred
throughout the adoption process.

At this time, The Senate Finance Committee is about to vote on "S. 82,
the Adoption Tax Credit Guarantee Act".  I encourage you to petition
for them to vote YES to save the adoption tax credit.

To help save the credit, it only takes a minute:


2. Please contact your Representative and/or Senator by clicking one of the links below:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mini Vacation Over

I can't believe I have to work tomorrow!!  I'm NOT complaining, believe me.  But after I landed the job on Monday, my mini-break flew by.  


It's been so long since I've had a "real" vacation.  I've taken a day off here or there, but not like a week in so long!  It was so nice.  


I got to enjoy some nice almost warm weather - then snow.  I got to read, I got to shop, I got to enjoy time with friends celebrating my new job.


It's been very fun mini vacation overall.  I just wish my poor husband wasn't sick.  He's still feeling very bad and has almost lost his voice.  I thought he was getting better, but alas no... not yet.  


I'm still paranoid I'm going to catch it on my first day at my new job.  But I've avoided him these last few days for the most part.  It's silly, but I kind of miss him.  He's "quarantined" downstairs, and I'm upstairs.


Luckily, the water heater only had a broken part, it only took $15 to replace.  Whew!!  I was worried there for a bit.


Today I am doing laundry and trying to relax.  I am shutting myself away from everyone and taking it easy before I start my new job with new stresses and I'm sure late hours.  I just hope I really love my new job and the people.


Well, since I'm relaxing today, I better start!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bound By Love

It's been so good to read again!

I'm so glad my concentration is back.



I just finished a book called, "Bound By Love" by Linda Droeger.  This was an important read as it is about the founders of the adoption agency I'm going through.

My husband and I chose Chinese Children Adoption International last Summer and have been happy with them.  There were many factors in choosing them and we looked over many adoption agencies.  In the beginning I was sure we wanted a local agency.

This book talks about their past, their religion, their fight to survive, to love, to educate and their fight to help the children in China.  None of it was easy!  It's an amazing read.  It only reaffirms everything I thought the agency was.

Anyone going through adoption, thinking about it or have used CCAI, I highly recommend the book!

It makes me wish I could just pick up and move out to Denver and ask to work there to make a difference in the lives of these children.

I wish it we're an audio book I could download on my iTunes... because that's the only way I could get my husband to read it.  He doesn't read books.  He's missing out on so much, and I can only read him passages of so much.

I just wish the book went on to now instead of 2009.  There's so much going on with their 20th anniversary and opening the doors to Haiti adoption etc.  also, they have every group that went to China's names of their children back of the book.  It'd be nice to know if someday my daughter's name were listed there.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Dave Thomas Adoption Act of 2011

Here is another bill in Congress that has not been moving:


H.R. 1576: Dave Thomas Adoption Act of 2011


"To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow penalty-free withdrawals from individual retirement plans for adoption expenses."


http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1576


Maybe this could piggy-back on the adoption tax credit reversal for 2012 and beyond.


Many withdrew from their retirement with major penalty.


Contact your senators and reps on this one.  Kudos for Dave Thomas Foundation!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wet, wet, wet!

It's raining outside and my poor husband is down with the flu of some kind.  He went to work but they sent him home.  I come downstairs to eat and hear water running.  I go to the basement and the water heater busted and water and steam are everywhere.

It seemed to be boiling over and spewing out.  It didn't seem to ruin anything we had stored in the basement other than cat food and cat boxes.  One storage box got ruined, but it wasn't anything major.

My husband is currently working on the problem.  Luckily he was home sick and that I didn't have work so I heard it, else I don't know how I would have turned it off or stopped it or how long it would have gone on without us knowing.

Let's hope it's an easy fix.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Worried Sick

My husband and I went out to dinner tonight to celebrate.  I had some amazing bruschetta chicken at Applebees.  the description was, "Grilled chicken breast seasoned with bruschetta, parsley and a blend of Italian cheeses stacked on top of crispy onion and red & green peppers with fried red potatoes. Topped with a duo of scampi sauce and bolognese sauce."  I however told them to 86 the scampi and bolognese sauce and give me Alfredo instead.  It was fantastic!!  The fried red potatoes were completely tasteless though.  They need more seasoning.


Afterwards we went to Redbox and rented a movie.  Well, we came home and my husband said he wanted to get a cold-eeze as his throat was a little scratchy.  And he was getting a little cold so he wanted to soak in a bath first before the movie.


We never made it to the movie.


Within 3 hours, he is down!  He is sick as a dog!






He and I are known for passing sicknesses back and forth to each other.  He's confiscated downstairs, but it seems I always end up with it or worse.


I'm terrified.  I have a new job and I'm afraid I'll catch it just before I start and will be miserable! 


I'm currently taking a cold-eeze now just in case.  I hope his sickness is only for 24 hours and it's not a sign of strep or anything!  He looks awful!


I don't know if he'll be able to go to work tomorrow.  He probably will, he is the type that always works through it even though he should stay home and rest.


I hope he gets better and I hope I don't get it.  I'm worried sick... ha ha!!
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Guess what?

Yesterday I got a call and was told I got the job!  They discussed me over lunch and decided I was it!  They just sent over the offer today (so now it's official!!) and I start on Monday!

A week ago, last Tuesday, I was let go.  I didn't know what my future held.  Wednesday: I applied for this job.  Thursday: I had an interview.  Friday: they called to schedule my 2nd interview the next business day.  Monday-yesterday: I got interviewed and asked to join their company!  Today is a new day!!  I have a new job!  (I should buy a lotto ticket!)


My Grampy (my Dad's Father) passed 2 years ago yesterday, and my father said he guided me to get this job yesterday.  It was so wonderful to be able to call my father with some happy news on a hard day for us all.


This doesn't happen, not in this economy, yet somehow it happened to me!  I'm telling ya, God did it all!  There's no way I could have planned this or tried to make this happen.  But it did!  He's uncanny that way, isn't He?


I now get to enjoy the rest of the week at my leisure!  I'm so excited!


After I'm at the job for a couple weeks, I'm going to call Mr. T, our social worker for our Home Study and start it back up!  I'm so, so, SO HAPPY that our adoption is still going forward.  Only delayed by a month or so?  Not a problem with me!


This job has adoption assistance!  And hopefully I can take the appropriate time off (with or without fmla).  I'll figure it out.  What matters is that I can still have Ashton.  That choice wasn't taken from me with all this unemployment mess.


You hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  It was so hard to face what the worst could mean.  I'm so glad we didn't have to make any of those hard decisions!


I can't wait to see what my new job has in store for me!
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Charmed

I hopefully charmed the owner and everyone I've interviewed with at this company.  I went in at 10am and left at noon.

Everything seemed to go really smoothly, and they seemed to appreciate my efforts of the presentation ideas I had for them.  They said I should hear back in a few days to a week, as there are other interviews.  They were actually going off to lunch to discuss me.

Now I've just got to be patient as they do all their interviews etc... 

Once I got home I immediately wrote thank you cards. 

Then I opened up my mail and saw that the Chinese name necklace arrived!  I'm so happy!

It came in a beautiful bag.  I think the pictures speak for themselves. 

The bag along with a card saying thank you and Happy New Year!  Necklace is inside.
Necklace wrapped in purple tissue paper.

My gorgeous Ashton necklace!!!!

Of course I'm wearing the necklace now!  It's not a charm necklace so to speak, but I'm charmed with the necklace as I hope I did with the interview... thus the title ;) of the blog. Love, love, love!!!  I'm sure the necklace will bring me comfort and "luck"!

I'm off to look up more jobs now!
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Monday Morning

I've been looking forward to today all weekend.  Most people dread Mondays, but for me it's a possible opportunity.

My interview is in just a couple of hours.  I got up around 7am.  Poor Kiara is having back problems and therefore barking all night, making it hard to sleep.  My husband could sleep through an earthquake.  So he didn't loose any sleep.  I don't feel any of the effects of lack of sleep yet, but I hope it doesn't hit in a couple of hours.

I've got everything ready.  But I just didn't have the stomach for breakfast.  I began eating, and felt icky.  Like it was too greasy or something.  So I just picked at it. 

Right now I've read blogs and done the bills.  I won't start job hunting again until I come back from the interview.

I hope this works out.  If not, we'll try and cut back more and my husband will work a part time job to get money in.  We've got a plan in place.  I just want to get hired somewhere quickly so we can start up on the adoption again.  But maybe this is some kind of message saying, slow down.  It all will come in due time.   Patience was never my strong suit.

Well, I'm sure I need to go over all the preperations for the interview again.  Make sure I'm not missing anything!  I'll feel better when it's all over and I know where I stand.  I'm trying to not make this interview a big deal.  If the job is meant to be mine, it will be and if not... not.  I'll be okay with that.  I've got to be. 

I just wish I knew if they were this encouraging to their other interviewees.  But if I'm meant to have this job, it's going to happen.  So I can't think that I missed the boat on something that was meant to be, if it doesn't happen.

It just seems like a good fit and everything seems too good to be true, it'd be a real disappointment if it was a no.  But I've got to think it's not really mine then.  It wasn't mine to begin with.  So no pressure.  If it's not mine to begin with I don't end up any worse off than when I started.

Don't think of the adoption assistance or of the close distance or the workout facility on the bottom floor or that it's the marketing I was doing before... just think it's talk.  Just talk about life and passions and what I've done.  It's all good.

I'll let you all know how it goes...
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speedy Gonzales

I got the call late yesterday.  I was so anxious, after everything else they did so quickly.  I mean , the wait wasn't hard, really; in normal life, none of this would happen this fast.  But going through the past events as quickly as I had, it's hard to truly wait when you're used to them being like Speedy Gonzales.

Trust me I'm not complaining.  I've very happy how quickly things are progressing.  I couldn't make any of this happen this fast if I tried.  I just hope it all works out.

So my 2nd interview is scheduled for Monday morning.  I'm excited and nervous!  I'll be very disappointed if things don't go through, but if they don't I'm sure there's a lesson in there.  Whether it's just to have hope, see my worth, or what not to do in an interview... I don't know yet.  But I will have to find a silver lining to know it was worth it and I grew from it.

I did finish "China Ghosts" by Jeff Gammage.  You can see a website dedicated to the book at chinaghosts.com.  There not too much there, other than FAQ and praise for the book.   But the best part, is seeing the dragon dances by his daughter in the video!  Of course he talks a bit about his book, but you see more with the small glimpses when you're seeing his daughters.

Now I'm onto another book.  It's harder to read right now, because i always feel I should be back up on the PC looking for jobs, improving my linkedin page and so on.  And I am doing those things, but it never feels like enough.  It's constantly in the back of my head.  I'm very distracted with finding a job, that it's hard to focus on anything else.

Today we're going to take down Christmas.  It's a beautiful day today, just like yesterday.  I was very lucky to go out and enjoy it with my pups yesterday.  We even took Dawson and Skylar out for a walk, which we haven't done in months.

I'm doing my best to look at all the positives in what is out there.  Enjoy the moments with my fur babies and so forth.  But I can't be truly in any moment yet, until I'm stabilized with employment.  But I'm doing my best.

Every night I've been waking up around 4am and don't fall asleep until 6am, just thinking of, did I fill that out, should I say this in an interview, is that power suit need to be defuzzed of animal hair again... just nagging thoughts. 

I was up last night, thinking of some presentation ideas to give in my second interview.  I spent all morning working on them.  That way I'll be a step ahead of my other interviewees.  It's one thing to interview about what you can do and another to prove it.  They mentioned that they wanted to update their posters of their services around the office.  So I mocked up 4 examples today for them.  Of course I didn't have any of their imagery or logo, but I replicated what I could just to show them I think on my feet and what I can offer.  Hopefully, it will wet their appetite for more and solidify employment.

But that isn't until Monday.  I don't need to be Speedy Gonzales myself and race to Monday.  It will come.  Today I need to live in the moment and enjoy the beautiful day, take down Christmas, and spend time with my family.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

You're Not Chinese

The search for a job is still on, and I'm still waiting for the call for that 2nd interview.

In the mean time, I thought I'd post again in more regards to adoption.

I follow blogs and get on forums etc. for China adoption.  I promised to keep her animosity, but this was posted.

"There were two Chinese families at the playground yesterday and their two little girls were playing. My youngest ventured over their way, and then this was the conversation that I overheard.

Chinese girl #1- "You need to go play somewhere else"
My girl- "WHY?"
Chinese girl #1- "Because you are not Chinese."
My girl- "Yes I am"
Chinese girl #1 and #2 in unison- "No you are not."
My girl- "Yes I am"
Chinese girl #1- "No you are not, I am Chinese, you are not."

By this time, all the regular playground moms are listening, as my youngest has quite a strong personality, so I decided to let her handle it without stepping in.

My girl- "I am Chinese, I look like I'm Chinese."
Chinese girl #1- "yes, but you are not from China."
My girl- "yes I am from China."
Chinese girl #2- "you don't speak Chinese"
My girl- Ni Hao, Gugu, Mei Mei, Jie Jie, see, I just spoke Chinese
Chinese girl #1 now looking a little perplexed- "Well, we still aren't going to play with you because you are not like us."
My girl- "You are right I am not like you, I was adopted by people who chose me, your parents didn't get to choose you, they just got stuck with you, and it looks like they got stuck with a couple of brats." then she happily skipped off in the other direction."

It so incredibly sad when your child is being segregated because of differences.  Differences should be celebrated... but more over, being adopted isn't a difference.  She is Chinese.  She is American.  It doesn't matter how much more Chinese or American she is.  She is an individual and is a wonderful kid. 

Looking to adoptive parents lives now and looking to my future, I know some Caucasian families won't accept her because she's not "American", and some Chinese families won't accept her because she's not "Chinese".

Everyone's identity is a million of different puzzle pieces.  Some external, some internal.  Some from birth, some from living conditions, some from experiences... and many just want to sum you up as one thing.  How boring would one puzzle piece be to an entire puzzle of yourself?

As a parent, and yes I'm not one yet, but trying to speak like one... as a parent you worry for your children.  You want them to be fair and stand up for themselves.  This is a perfect example.

Sometimes I wonder how much can be taught.  I mean, if I were in this situation as a child at her age, I think I would have just cried and ran to Mama.  I love how strong she is and quick on her feet.

When I was little I was an ARMY brat.  I moved from state to state, and once lived over seas.

When I moved from Holland to South Carolina, I was in 3rd grade.  I remember trying to make friends and I was asked, "Where do you come from?" 

I came from Holland to South Carolina.  So I answered, "Holland" to everyone.  Well, somehow weeks later there was a question, "Where were you born?"  I was born in the States.  When my classmates found out I was casted out as a liar.  I lied, I said I was from Holland... but I wasn't.  So I was segregated until as children do, they forget and move on.  But I remember feeling alone and wrong, but I wasn't sure for what, because to me I technically came from both Holland and the states.

Not that this is really comparable to this story, but I feel like this "identity" of where your from (whether it means born or live) will come up again and again.  Which defines you?  What do you want to hold on to?  Why not be both?

I really want to instill self worth, self identity that others won't shake her.  That is a hard thing to teach.  And every child is different. 

So if nothing else, this is a great example of a wonderful, bright, and strong child that has a bright future ahead of her.  Not saying there won't be tough times of identity and wanting to fit in, but this is a fabulous step.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Thank You Email

I mentioned I was anxious about the first interview.  Well, I wrote a thank you email.  I typically do thank you cards, but with their urgency of wanting to fill the position in 2 weeks, I decided an email would be better.

Thank God for the Thank you email!

5 minutes after I send it, HR wrote back! "Thanks for the kind note.  I enjoyed meeting with you and learning about your experience and interests.  I’m working on getting some open dates/times on our CEO’s calendar.  As soon as I get them I will send them to you and see if we can arrange for you to come back and meet with her.  I expect that will be within the next few days, not the two week time period that I mentioned this morning.  I expect to be in touch with you tomorrow about scheduling that meeting."

Wow!  I'm getting a call tomorrow!  (Let's just hope it's not a call at 6:30am like I had today, ha ha!)  A 2nd interview is guaranteed!  Yay! 

I'm so grateful!  Seriously, if this works out, only God could have planned something as perfectly timed as all of this!

Keep the prayers and kind thoughts coming!
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What a Day!

So I was sleeping, wanting to wake up at 7am for my interview.  However, a call woke me up at 6:30am!!  I'm half asleep and say "Hello?"  It's a staffing firm.  Who in their right mind calls at 6:30 in the morning?!?  This enthusiastic girl says she'd like me to interview with them this morning.  I told her I couldn't as I had a job interview, but I could this afternoon.  She asked if she woke me up... really?  Are you kidding me?  Whatever.  We scheduled our afternoon interview.  All good. 

Needless to say, I couldn't fall back to sleep. 

My first interview was 2 hours and 40 minutes.  I spoke to the VP and with HR.  It seemed to go rather well.  They are in a hurry to hire.  I'm the first person they've interviewed with and they are planning to interview 2 more or so.  They're hoping to hire in 2 weeks!

It would be such a blessing if I was employed again by then. 

They'll keep in touch to let me know about a 2nd interview with the owner.

After that interview, I scurried home to my pups, let them out and scarfed down lunch then went to my 2nd interview.  That one was a in and out, easy one.

Right when I got home, I mean the moment I got home, Mr. T called.  He was ready to reschedule the home study.  I told him I was unemployed, but actively looking for a job and just got back from 2 interviews.  He said we could hold off for maybe 6 months max, but whenever we wanted to continue we could.  So everything on the adoption front is on hold for the moment.  No problem starting over or paying more!  Yes!  As long as I'm employed in less than 6 months!

If only we didn't have to rely on 2 incomes.  It'd be nice to be a stay at home mom... maybe.  I do love to work though too.  I wonder how working mothers and fathers find that balance.  Something I'll learn I'm sure.

Now I'm back home, eager to hear about the first interview and ready to apply for more jobs out there.

It's been a busy and productive day.  I hope the right job is out there for me!
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Response

I put together my resume last night and working on my Linkedin page and references.

Today I started applying for jobs, some administrative and some marketing.  One of the jobs I applied for was a in the same field as my last job and was in marketing.  They posted the job today and I applied today. 

Then I got a call from them a couple hours later, and we're scheduled for an interview tomorrow!

Talk about fast!  I'm sure I won't get the first job I interview for, but I never thought I'd get a bite so fast!

If nothing else at least it's experience and a test run to get back in the interviewing mode.

But the great thing is, it's only 15 minutes from home... a lot closer than my last job.  And it has adoption assistance!  Marketing, close to home, adoption... sounds too good to be true!  If they're anything their website promotes them to be, this could be a dream job.  Let's hope it works out.

But if not, at least I know that I started out with a bang!  That's gotta speak for something!

I can't believe my first interview is tomorrow!
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