Thursday, May 7, 2015

Guess I should blog more often!

Guess I should do a blog post more often! Today we finally have soft LOA!! My agency should have the hard LOA within a week and will scan and email me a copy so I can send in the 1800 packet that I have had ready for weeks! A huge step closer to David/Jonny!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Time flies (well really I am just a lousy blogger!)

Sorry so long in between updates. I try to update on FB and forget to write a new post here. We have been crazy busy since the last post. First we have a new vehicle as my 2006 Chevy Uplander decided to have some transmission issues a week before we were to go to Cincinnati for Bobby's medical appointments. So within a week I had to find, finance, purchase and pick up a wheelchair accessible van. As luck would have it they had one locally in Bobby's favorite! I picked it up the day before we left to drive up to Ohio.

We left for Bobby's medical appointments a day early because there was a chance of snow here and since Atlanta shutsdown when it snows, I wanted to be out of here before it hit. We left as soon as Bobby got home from school and drove until almost the Tennessee/Kentucky line before it started getting dark so we stopped for the night. We woke up to this....

And so we waited until around lucnch time when the sun had come out and the roads were treated to leave. The roads were great for a while and then we passed through some heavy snow, and ice and freezing rain. At the top of one mountain it was breathtaking as the freezing rain had coated the trees and the snow was so white and deep and the roads were... very slick and scary! Bobby did start singing Let it Go from Frozen as that is what he thought it looked like! We had great visits with our friends in Ohio. Bobby had a blast playing Minecraft with his friends and getting to spend time with them. I enjoyed an adult only outing to IKEA and to girls night out dinner!  We also did our usual mini reunion of the 3 kids who grew up together in China and this time did get to celebrate Chinese New Year together! We had some very interesting Chinese candy and some were braver than others in the ones they would try!

In March we did a couple of Shamrock events for MDA and the Muscle Walk. We always enjoy getting together with the MDA sponsors and MDA families.

Also in March we were finally DTC for David!!! My dossier was finally sent on 3/9/2015 and was logged in (LID) on 3/17/2015. Nice Saint Patrick's day surprise!

 Bobby's class had a wedding for Q and U and Bobby was an "Introducer" and had to wear his finest clothes. So he did....

Our friends from Ohio also went to China to pick up their son Pat (who also grew up with Bobby and David so our mini reunion will be bigger next time!) and took David some stickers from us to share with his friends. They also gave him some pictures we sent.

In April we visited Taylor at her college. We enjoyed going to the teaching zoo and we all went to Busch Gardens. Bobby was brave enough this time to ride the kiddie rides by himself!

Bobby also had 2 weeks of wearing casts for serial casting. The second set were very uncomfortable but we were able to get him a little past 90 degree flexion in his ankles so it was better than we had hoped for!

The house renovations are coming along slowly but surely. We hit a few snags and the sunroom had to be rebuilt, but that turned out to provide another opportunity to make the flow better for the house and allowed us to have a door that will provide almost immediate access to the ramp outside from the boys bedroom should there be an emergency. The roof goes up next week and once we pass inspection for the electrical and plumbing that has been installed the dry wall will go in. The kitchen cabinets are due to be installed in 2 weeks and the vertical lift is in place and they were installing the doors on the shaft yesterday. It will still be a while before we can move, but progress is being made!

As of today we are on day 50 of the LOA(Letter of Acceptance) wait. The average lately has been 45 to 50 days, so looks like our wait will be longer than average. I would love to hear something tomorrow or Monday as that would be a sweet Mother's Day gift!(but I am not holding my breath)

School is about over for the year here and so our summer travels will begin. We will be heading back to Ohio to visit our friends and help out after their youngest has heart surgery. I am sad to be missing the PPMD conference this year, but with the house renovations, MDA camp and the RR reunion in July and hopefully travel to China either end of July or August, I knew we needed to miss it this year. We need to work in time to go visit Taylor as her program contintues through the summer. The students help run the zoo and the animals never take a break so neither do the students!

I hope to do an update on David's wall soon as their are still numbers available!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Wall for David

   Adoption paperwork is on the way to DC for authentication and once my agency gets them back they will be off to China. This time around the process just seems to be dragging.
   The house renovations continue to move forward and I met with the interior designer (I need help or my colors will clash!! Not to mention she has experience with universal design and aging in place, so can help with placement of furniture and traffic flow.)  As we looked at Bobby's current room, she loved the "Little B's Super Hero Wall" I told her I wanted to put it up at the new house as well. Bobby often looks at the wall and he says "All those people wanted me to come home. They liked me!" So if Bobby has his wall, David needs one too. We certainly don't want David to think that Bobby gets a wall, but he doesn't. So I am introducing David's Disney Wall of Distinguished Character. This will be a fundraiser to help raise the funds for his airline ticket home. I have a number chart with 1 to 100 on it. I have a corresponding list of 100 Disney characters. For a $5 to David's FSP account on Reece's Rainbow  , your name will go on David's wall. You will pick one of the remaining numbers off of the chart and a charater will be revealed. That character will also be placed on David's wall There are a variety of Disney characters ranging from the most commonly known to some of the older and often forgotten characters. Some numbers may have more than one character behind them! So which Disney character will you get to add to the wall? I know that David will love looking at his wall just as Bobby does and he will know how many people were cheering him on and helping him home!
I will keep an updated chart on my FB page so check there to see what numbers are available!

So which character will be revealed first?

                                        Can't wait for these 2 boys to be together again!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Busy times!

Such a busy time of year for everyone and the Baird household is no exception! House renovations have begun on our other house and I look forward to the day that we can move in and I don't have to watch Bobby struggle up the stairs to his bedroom every night. He and David will share a bedroom and the bathroom will be accessible. The boys will also have a huge playroom/media room to house all the Lego and toys now and gaming devices and media devices they will want as pre-teens and teens. Here are some progress pictures.

These 2 rooms.....

have now become this huge play/media room for the boys.

 As for the adoption process. I have turned in the 1800a paperwork to USCIS and have had my fingerprints done. Still waiting for an officer to be assigned and to approve my application. I am working on my 3 book reports I need to do for my agency and hope to finish up at least 2 of them when we go on our annual Sanibel trip with my dad.

The holdays make it harder to wait, but I was blessed to see a picture of David in a newsletter for a school at his orphanage. He was at their Christmas party all decked out in a Santa hat with his face painted with holiday figures. Each child received a gift, so at least I know he had a fun time with his friends, teachers and caretakers. Still when we go out to eat our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my dad, there will be 3 empty seats at our table: 1- My mom will be watching over us from Heaven, 2- Taylor could not come home as she has zoo duty rotation at the teaching zoo and 3- David is far away across the ocean.
I know that: 1- I will see mom again one day as she greets me at those pearly gates.2-  We will travel on Christmas day to see Taylor with my dad in tow and share Christmas dinner with her after she gets off at the zoo and 3-David I hope to have in my arms this summer. Until then Bobby wanted to include David in his gingerbread house this year.

From the Baird household (as spread out as it may be) to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Moving right along!

Been a while, but it has been a busy time. My daughter Taylor is off to college and loves it!

 Bobby and I went on a Disney cruise and then to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom afterwards.

I have also been busy with the last of the paperwork and fingerprints for my Home Study. Today I was sent the draft of the Home Study and it is finished with the exception of one clearance form. Hopefully that will come in the next few days and then once my placing agency approves it, I can move on to the next step in the process for David, I800a approval. Hoping we can keep this rolling along as Bobby is NOT patiently waiting. I have explained the steps and that we have to wait for someone to say "OK" before we can go to the next step. He keeps asking why so many people have to say "OK" before we can go get David. He keeps saying "Too many okays. I go get him and bring him home and you say OK! We go now!"

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Big Brother for Bobby!

We have been busy, busy and I have not blogged like I should, but I will try to do better! I'll start it off an announcement. Bobby is getting a big brother! His name is David and he and Bobby grew up in the same orphanage. We went to a picnic this summer attended by some of Bobby friends from his orphanage who were being hosted for a few weeks here in the states in the summer. We spent some time with David and he and Bobby seemed to remember each other and played on the playground with a couple of other friends from the orphanage. David is such a sweet, tenderhearted child. I remembered meeting him when we visited Bobby's orphanage in March of 2013. I fell in love with him after spending just a little bit of time with him in July. He is a perfect fit for our family. He is almost exactly 3 years older than Bobby.
Bobby and David at the pool party (Bobby had stitches in his leg so he couldn't go swimming)
Bobby and David playing on the playground
David at the picnic
David loved the small slide, but did not want to go on the big one! Just the right amount of daredevil for this family!
David's host family sent this shot of him on a boat having fun!
Here is David greeting Bobby when we visited the orphanage in March 2013.
David seemed to like the friendship bracelets Bobby gave out when he was saying goodbye to all of his friends. Guess I will be ordering some more of them, so David can hand them out when he says his goodbyes!

I hope to keep up this blog so that those who would like can follow our journey to add David to our family. This sweet boy will complete our family and I look forward to having another wonderful son :) I currently have PA from his country and our home study is in process and many of the documents for the dossier are already in hand. We are moving right along!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bobby and Traveling TJ do the Disney Fantasy Part 1

Bobby is becoming quite the traveler. In June we traveled to Luray, Virginia for the Reece's Rainbow Reunion and then on to Baltimore, Maryland for the PPMD conference. He has also traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio for medical evaluations as well as Gainesville, Florida for and imaging study. In October we went to Orlando in order to visit Walt Disney World in preparation  for Bobby's first Disney Cruise.
A little background on our cruise, I had re-booked a cruise onboard the last cruise Taylor and I sailed and had to switch the date during the beginning of the adoption process. I chose Thanksgiving over the summer so that Bobby would hopefully be ready for such a trip. When I switched the date, I only knew his Chinese name and his date of birth. Since I knew that his name would be different (but hadn't decided exactly what yet), he was listed as TBD :) You will be glad to know that he was no longer TBD as we boarded "Mickey Boat" :)

So begins our story....
Bobby was bouncing as the school day ended. He knew that today was THE day! It was off to Walton to wait for his sister to get out of school. The Baird family had an extra member of their traveling party join at the last minute. Traveling TJ(aka Thomas Jefferson) was packed and ready to go! The Baird family would be showing Traveling TJ the wonders of the modern world via a Thanksgiving cruise on The Disney Fantasy.

Taylor jumped in the van and off they went! The family arrive a little after midnight at the Marriott Residence Inn at Port Canaveral. The trip was off to a great start with a free night at a great hotel through the Marriott Rewards program.

Bobby was the first one up and soon the family was eating a quick breakfast before driving to the port. The excitement was definitely building. Even Traveling TJ was bouncing!

The van pulled in to the port ahead of schedule. The passengers from the previous cruise were still disembarking. Luckily a great parking spot was secured and after all the luggage, totes, wheelchair, kitchen sink and stroller were unloaded, the excited Baird family joined the ever growing line waiting for the terminal to open for check-in.

Finally the porters start to arrive and they take the luggage to the loading area. The passengers were trying to wait patiently, saying Open!Open! Open!  (sorry, wrong commercial!) Finally the line begins moving forward, well at least a few yards. The group waits a bit longer on the breezeway, longingly looking at the Disney Fantasy and snapping pictures.

Then the line surges forward! Into the terminal, through security and there they are...the check in counters with those smiling, friendly DCL cast members just waiting to welcome everyone! Check in was smooth and easy. Taylor secured bench seating close to the bathroom as she knew her brother would most certainly have to go during the wait to board! Mommy and Bobby headed to the Kids Club check-in area and Bobby was given his wristband that was his all access key to the fun! They then rejoined Taylor (and all the carry-ons) As soon as they sat down, Taylor's choice of waiting area proved to be a success. She and Bobby were off to the bathroom, just as she predicted :) While they are gone, Traveling TJ checks out the Navigator to see todays activities and schedule.

Soon boarding numbers were starting to be announced. The Baird family had number 5, so they were among the first on board. Unfortunately due to the passengers being so excited, many did not listen to the announcement to stay back away from the boarding area until their number was called. The crowd in front of the queue area was impossible to pass through and there was a moment of frustration as the Baird family could not board! Well, mom decided to go all the way around and ask for help. After explaining that there was no way to get Bobby's wheelchair to the entrance through the crowd, the cast member unhooked the queue rope and the family was finally in line to board! The first stop was to scan the cards and then on to the Welcome On Board photo.

After finishing the photo op, it was on to actually cross the gangway onto the Disney Fantasy. "Disney Cruise Lines welcomes the Baird family!" Finally, on board the Fantasy!
First stop was Guest Services to turn in 2 pillowcases to be signed and for tickets to build a gingerbread house. With that done, let the feasting begin!  Up to deck 11 and Cabanas. What a better way to start off the cruise than shrimp, fresh pineapple and Asian stir fry (for Bobby!)
With full bellies, the family headed to visit the kids clubs while waiting for the cabin to be ready. Who did they run in to? Why Snow White! Now, Bobby is partial to Ariel and was not too sure of Snow White. He didn't want to make Ariel mad after all ;)

Bobby loved the Oceaneers Club. Who wouldn't love to crawl through slinky dog...

Or build a giant Mr Potato Head?

Or play computers, or dress like Captain Hook, or play on the magic light up floor or......Fun!!
Soon it was time for the cabins to be ready. Off to deck 7 and cabin 7596! A great location mid-ship. Awaiting Bobby as he entered the room was a basket from Jake and the Neverland Pirates :)

Taylor also had a basket waiting for her :)

Mom hung up the Fish Extender outside the door (but forgot to take a picture) and arranged some magnets on the door to make it a bit easier to find the room. After checking out everything in the room (with many "Awesome's!" from Bobby), the crew headed to the D lounge for the FB group kids meet. What a great way to kick off the cruise! The kids did a scavenger hunt type activity and won prizes that mom got to hand out! Bobby met several new friends as did Taylor. Mom loved being able to put real people with the FB names.

Then it was on to the Beuna Vista Theater for the lifeboat drill. Once everyone was checked in, they allowed those in wheelchairs to leave first, which was very helpful in order to be able to catch the elevator up to deck 11 for the Sail Away Party. Traveling TJ was so excited!

Once again Disney provided! There was an area reserved for wheelchairs that allowed bobby to be able to see the Sail Away Show without people standing in front of him. He decided to sit on the steps and really enjoyed the show.

Then it was back to the cabin to watch from the verandah as the Fantasy left the port.



The luggage arrived and the unpacking began. Soon it was time to head to Royal Court for the first dinner of the cruise. Food was wonderful and having another family share the table was so much fun! Bobby had his first ever Mickey Ice Cream bar. He loved every bite!


After dinner, the crew headed to King Triton's Tree Lighting Ceremony. Gotta love the holidays with Disney!
Once again the Baird's were on the move. This time they headed toward the Walt Disney Theater to see A Fantasy Come True. Bobby was enjoying the show, but after a long exciting day, he fell asleep before the end of the show. So after the show it was back to the cabin and off to sleep. Well, for mommy and Bobby it was off to sleep. Taylor was off to make new friends at the Vibe. Tomorrow would be a day at sea and a chance to explore the ship!