Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Mei-Mei

It's been over 2 weeks now since we've seen our sweet cat Mei-Mei.  She didn't come in after she had been outside for a few hours.  Our other cat, Duchess, was at the front door (along with a stray that sometimes hangs around)  waiting for me to let her inside.  When I called for Mei-Mei she did not come running like she normally does.  
We generally let the cats outside whenever they want to go.  We live on a cul-de-sac and have woods behind us that the cats love to play in; there are lots of things to climb on and is generally a cat playground.  I don't worry about cars as the only people who drive down our street live there and they all are very careful of the children and pets.  The cats have been very good at coming back to the house when I call, though they don't always want to go inside.  
One thing I make sure is that they are both in before I go to bed. The night Mei-Mei did not come home I awoke suddenly at 2:00 worried sick.  I asked Dave if he brought Mei-Mei in and he answered no.   I went outside to call and look for her.  For those of you who know me that is a HUGE feat as I am mostly afraid of being alone in the dark!   For the rest of the morning, until I left for work, I looked with no luck.
Since that night we've been out, all over the neighborhood, in and out of the woods with absolutely no sight of her.  There was one morning, driving out of the subdivision we saw a cat that looked like Mei-Mei.  Sarah screamed, "There's Mei-Mei"  I immediately put the car in park, in the middle of the street, jumped out and ran to her.  A neighbor, who had read our pleas for help from our neighborhood email list, was already calling to the cat and trying to get her to come to him.  He, too, thought it was our lost kitty.  But, to my disappointment, once the cat came to me it was obvious it was not my sweet kitty.  Saddened, I got back in the car with two very sad little girls.
I've tried to be positive with the girls but also trying to be honest.  I don't want to get their hopes up but I also don't want to upset them.  
We light a candle for Mei-Mei each night and say a prayer that she comes home safely.  I say my own, silent prayer, that Mei-Mei is safe wherever she is.   Last night, in honor of the Autumn Moon Festival we looked at the moon and then lit a candle, made our wish that Mei-Mei would come home and blew out the flame allowing the smoke to travel to Chang er, the lady who lives on the moon and who is supposed to grant wishes.  Tomorrow I will post signs around the neighborhood with an offer of a reward.  Maybe someone picked Mei-Mei up and because she didn't have a collar on (she loses them almost once a week) they took her home.  
I generally have good instincts about so many things.  Unfortunately because I am so emotionally charged I cannot tell how I feel.  Some days I'm convinced Mei-Mei was bitten by a snake and just didn't make it home or believe Dave when he says that maybe a fox got her.  But then I remember all the stories that have been shared with me about lost pets, especially cats, coming home after weeks away.
I pray for closure, especially for Sarah.  Like me she is very sensitive and attached to our pets.  She cries many nights when I tuck her in because Mei-Mei ALWAYS jumped into bed with her and lay with Sarah for a while before she came down to go outside.  It is hard for the other girls but they are not nearly as emotional.
Mei-Mei, we miss you and hope that wherever you are tonight, you are safe.  We'd like you to come home so you can share in the excitement of Matthew coming home.  Good night sweet kitty....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Our Chinese Cowgirl!

Dressing Up is so fun!
So beautiful!
I'm ready for the runway!
Just relaxing!

Analiese attended her friend MiMi's 5th birthday party.  It was a tea party and the girls were asked to dress up in their Chinese finery.  Our sweet Analiese chose her blue cowboy boots to finish her outfit!   Somehow the outfit worked for her; I'm not sure anyone else would have been able to pull it off!
Analiese is certainly comfortable in her skin and loves to just just do her own thing!  She certainly is not one to care what others are doing or what they think!  She is our free spirit.  The one thing I love about her is that she loves life from the moment she wakes up to the minute her eyes close for the night.  She has taught me so much about being an individual and enjoying the present.
Analiese, from the moment she joined our family, has fit perfectly.  She is the baby, the one who screams for attention and the one who is protected the most.  When Matthew arrives he will not upset that birth order and, hopefully, Analiese will have less frustration with the transition.  Our sweet little girl is blessing, an inspiration, and a true challenge!  We love you Analiese.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney Gifs Images

Disney Gifs Images 

Now that we are waiting for that LAST piece of paper to get on that plane to China, we are trying to plan our trip.  We know that we'd like to go somewhere other than Beijing for touring because we've done that twice already.  Dave and I discussed spending a day or two in Hong Kong (whew, the expense of it all!).  When I searched for hotels guess what popped up.....Disneyland Hollywood Hotel!  

Dave and I immediately thought "what a great idea!"  The kids would love to go to Disney and how many chances will we have to visit HONG KONG Disney?  So, right now we are looking into the possibility of going to Disney at the end of our trip.  In the past, we've spent two days in Beijing before going to the provincial capital to complete the adoption and then going straight home after our consulate appointment.  This time we will wait, do our touring after the consulate appointment so Matthew can enjoy Disneyland!

Of course there are so many variables and right now we don't have any specific dates.  If I were a betting person, I'd say we won't have our consulate appointment until November 13th.  That would mean we would leave the USA on or about Nov 1st.  I'm searching for fares and hoping to find something reasonable.  Traveling with 3 kids there and 4 on the way back won't be cheap! will be an adventure.

We can't wait to have Matthew join our family.  He just doesn't know how much fun awaits him!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Four years of LOVE!

Happy forever family day Gracie!  Today was the day, four years ago, that we put our fingerprints on the paper that said we wanted to be Wen Fei Zhen's forever family.  That same day  her name was officially changed to Grace Feizhen Evans.  What a difference four years of love has made!  We have been so blessed with Grace in our family.  Because of her, we now have sweet Analiese and are so close to bringing home Matthew.  All because of our wonderful Grace who has blossomed into this confident, loving, talented little girl.  She has brought so much into our lives.  We only hope that we have enriched her half as much as she has us.  We love you Gracie!

Friday, September 14, 2007


I got the call today that our LOA was received and is on our way to us.  All we have to do is check the box that we still want Matthew (OF COURSE WE DO!) sign it and send it back. A red thread?  Today is the 4th anniversary of Grace's gotcha day!  What better day to receive our LOA???
 In about 3 weeks we will have our TA--travel approval.  What we hope to do is travel to Hong Kong first for a day or two (since we've been to Beijing twice) then on to Fujian, Matthew's province.  Hopefully we'll be able to leave the 3rd week in October and be in China for Halloween!  We'll have to skip the actual trick or treating this year but we are all in agreement that we'd rather be in China!

Matthew we are so close now!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Happy Birthday my sweet little angel!  What a fun day we all had. We celebrated Analiese's day at "Pump It Up"; a play place full of inflatables that you jump on, slide on and plain old play on!  
This year Analiese knew what to expect for a birthday celebration and was eagerly looking forward to hers.  We had the right amount of kids and they all seemed to enjoy themselves; as did most of the adults!
Analiese had a little trouble blowing the candles out on her cake but big sister Sarah came to rescue and helped out by holding Analiese's nose!  Finally, success!
When we got home we opened family gifts....with everything she got; scooter, boom-box, watch, Sponge Bob CD, books with CD's and some fun math games, she said, "OH MY GOSH"!   She loved each and every present.
We just cannot believe that our sweet baby is now 5, she has made such great improvements over the past (almost) 2 years.  She has a way to go yet before she is developmentally on target but she'll get there.  She continues to say she is "mommy's baby" and loves being the youngest in the family.  Bringing Matthew into the mix won't upset our birth order!
Speaking of Matthew, we haven't heard a peep about our LOA this past week.  I thought for sure with the other LOA announcements that we would hear.  It just has to be this coming week.....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer is OFFICIALLY over

The Labor Day Weekend always marks the final days of summer for me.  Even though we've been back in school for a month, it really has still been summer.  Now the pool will be closing and it will get cooler (it will, won't it???)
I just cannot believe how fast our summer went.  It seems like only yesterday that we were driving to Michigan to celebrate Sarah's 9th birthday!  We enjoyed our time off with visiting family and going to the beach with our best friends, the Browns!  The girls each enjoyed a week at camp and I enjoyed not having a schedule.  Dave on the other hand, with his "traditional" job  really didn't see a difference!
This weekend we really didn't do anything spectacular; we went to the pool, relaxed and did some shopping.  Sarah and I were home on Friday from school so we took Saturday nice and slow.  The rest of the weekend Dave and I caught up on chores, worked in the yard and watched some football.  
We are ready to go to China to bring home Matthew.  Next week we are going to redo the bright pink bathroom---we are going with the fish theme--thanks to my "little" brother Antoni.  We found some great accessories at Kohl's, one that will allow us to keep the bright pink background.  We are going to paint different size "bubbles" of differing colors and also add fish.  The bubbles will be mainly purple and green.  It is going to look just great----I'll post before and after photos so you can be the judge!  
The bedroom situtation has changed AGAIN!  I think we are going to put the bunkbeds in Gracie's room and have she and Analiese share.  Moving the play room around  will be so much work...I'm not sure I'm up to it!
Anyway, good-bye to summer, it was really wonderful and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously!  We look forward to the school year and hope to get a few snowflakes this winter!  Enjoy the slide slow!