Monday, June 15, 2009

What?! Last Post in January?! No Way...


Its a terrible thing when you start facebooking, first-grading and just getting caught up in the every daying of life. We have had a lot of fun in the past few months. We adopted AGAIN...this time a 3 year old Boston Terrier named Bitsy...who we love. We traveled to Sanibel for our yearly trip with Matt's family, we planned a first grade picnic with some wonderful friends from Maggie's school, ...oh my gosh I won't bore you all with it but I thought I would at least post a picture of the girls. I am on my way this week to Mexico with my friend Traci! I can't wait. We will try to have a little bit of fun some how, some way... take care all....check back soon! We are taking the girls to the American Girl Doll Store at the end of the month. I hope we have some great pictures from that trip!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year




Happy Chinese New Year everyone! To celebrate, our Taiwan adoption group got together for some wonderful food and fun. Sarah planted a big kiss on one of our newest members - Kai. The picture is so darn cute I wanted to post it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brrrr....




Its been so crazy cold here! One day we had -25 wind chill and they had to close the schools down. Then we have been getting a lot of snow on top of that. So, the kids (Matt is included in this category) are having fun going out to play in the snow while I hide inside. I am just not cut out for winter. Maybe I need to move to Phoenix. Here are a couple of pictures of the kids in the snow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wedding in Missouri

Maggie was a flower girl in my neices wedding last week. We had a great time and are doing well now after a case of strep (me) and a case of strep in Maggie's foot. Yes in her foot. So weird I know! Here are a few pictures.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Shewwww!

It's been an incredibly busy month. First of all, Sarah has really turned a corner - it seems almost overnight. We had a tough first couple of months but now she is such a happy baby. She still isn't napping very much, but she sleeps 12-13 hours a night without waking up...I know it is fabulous...please don't send me hate mail.

Maggie graduated from kindergarten on May 30th - they sang songs and were as adorable as could be. It's off to first grade for our little girl next year. She loves her school!

We also went to Sanibel Island in Florida for vacation - we were there for 10 days with Matt's family. We go almost every year and the cousins have such a good time - Maggie was in HEAVEN. She had so much fun. My sister-in-law Beth held Sarah a lot which was so nice - I think Beth is in competition for the best aunt award..:) Sarah loved the pool and Maggie is doing a great job with her swimming. Matt had to go to Europe for work (poor baby) so I had to travel back home alone. It was actually just fine -- although handling all the luggage was a little stressful.

This week my best friend and Maggie's fairy godmother came to town. It was girl talk the entire time. So much fun and great to see her. Another treat...my friend Angela was in town so I got to see her and pictures of her new ADORABLE baby. Father's Day was fun with a cookout with neighbors. Sheww. I think that's about it.

Next week my parents and aunt are coming for Sarah first birthday! Its been a really busy summer!



Monday, April 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Easter!





We have been home for 2 1/2 weeks - it so hard to believe. Sarah is doing well. She is a great sleeper - thank goodness but I may lose my hearing from all of the crying. She pretty much cries unless she is being played with or on a walk or at the mall. Her sleeping schedule is a little whacky - but I am going to give her more time to adjust before I change her schedule. Right now she is sleeping 7-7 then goes down for a long morning nap. No afternoon nap though. She pretty much eats everything...no issues there!

Here are a few pictures...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pictures!

We are finally home!


After years of waiting, one homestudy, one homestudy update, one addendum to the homestudy, 6 doctor letters, taxes since the day Matt and I were born, letters of reference, fingerprints, re-fingerprinting, applications, forms, authentication, certification, notarization, cashiers checks, police clearances, birth certificates, soul searching, message board chatting, adoption books, employment letters, tears and frustration, blogging, praying, excitement, disappointment...Sarah is finally home and boy are we tired! She is on Taiwan time so I am making breakfast at 12:00 am and watching a lot of late night TV. I have bought 3 sets of knives and dryer balls. Who knew?

Our trip was fabulous. My parents went with us which made it even better and easier on us. We met friends i have met on line who are also adopting - it was great to get to meet everyone. Katie and Alex even waited for us when we got off the plane. So nice! Their little Leo is so absolutely adorable. We went to some great places and saw some really beautiful sites. Its a beautiful place with truly the nicest people! The teenagers LOVED Maggie and she was often asked to pose for pictures with groups of high-school kids. Maggie has always wanted to be a rock star, so it was and early lesson in dealing with the paparazzi. :)

We were able to meet Sarah's foster mom but unfortunately we did not get to meet her birth mom. Meeting Sarah was completely surreal. They just handed her over to us - she was so brave. The foster mom obviously cared a great deal for Sarah. While we are so exhausted, its hard to imagine what little Sarah has had to endure.
OK - sorry to anyone that flew from San Franciso to Chicago Saturday morning. It was pretty ugly.

I will definately post more pictures later but wanted to share a few now...before I fall asleep on the keyboard (yes, its only 5:30 pm)

Monday, February 25, 2008

I left what ... where?

Clearly my brain has left the building. I consider myself a fairly smart person but ever since we got THE CALL, I have drain bamage. For instance, tonight I had dinner with friends, picked out the restaurant myself, then showed up at the wrong restaurant. I lost my sunglasses. Having to return a pair of shoes to Target has really gotten me perplexed. I restate the obvious on any conference call I have. I left my credit card at the restaurant. I see people's eyes glaze over when I speak. I think maybe I am not making and sense at all anymore. I am so preoccupied its not even funny. Honestly, its just like the days leading up to giving birth to Maggie - no brain, lots of shopping.

Not that I am counting but we are leaving in 52 hours (which is about as long as it will take us to get there..)

Monday, February 18, 2008

We are official!

We are meeting Sarah on March 3rd! It's so great to say and such a huge weight off of our shoulders - I can't even describe. We will be leaving for Taipei on February 28th. We leave at 6:00 am, fly to Dulles, then to San Francisco and get on a flight for Taiwan at 4pm! We get there on Friday night - late. Then we have two days to get ready, see some sights, and anticipate the arrival of our little girl. Two days we have AIT appointments to make it all official. What an overwhelming time. We are just so blessed.

We are leaving Taipei on Friday March 7th at midnight and getting into San Franciso on March 7th at 6pm. Crazy - we lose a day going but gain a day coming back.

We are all booked and ready! I wonder if the next 1 1/2 weeks will be slow or fast?! Its hard keeping focused on other things I need to do... Here we come Sarah!

Friday, February 15, 2008

THE CALL!!!

Yes, we finally received THE CALL. What a great Valentine's Day present! We are very happy and now are starting all the paperwork we need to get done. Of course, there is a small hitch. The agency is having a difficult time getting our AIT appointments. Tentatively, the appointments are for March 4th and March 5th - we would meet Sarah on the 3rd. But, we don't know for sure, so we can't start making travel arrangements or anything like that. Maybe we will hear today when our appointment will be, and then we can really start making plans. It doesn't seem real - she is ours now and any fear of her not being able to join our family is gone! She is officially a Damski-Dorfer! I wish there was great news for everyone waiting. It’s hard to celebrate when you know there are others waiting by the phone for their good news.

My sista- it's coming my friend! I will see you in Taiwan!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christmas Pageant Picture of Maggie



Maggie read a part for the Christmas Pageant at her school this year. She had memorized the entire part so was a little upset that her teacher had the words in front of her. It was so fun to be there. I have to say one of the most fun parts was watching all the parents as they video taped, photographed and hung on every word of these adorable 6 year-olds!

She did great and was such a cute angel...but we have always known that!

Is this GREAT or what?!

Well we have had a blog over by Blogovers with Love. Isn't it terrific? I love it - thank you Sarah (love that name by the way). I think that is just what we needed - a fresh look! We are really hoping that we hear somthing this week about Sarah. It has been such a difficult wait. I know, one of my friends, Katie, is in the same boat waiting for her little Leo. Its hard to wait. I suppose there are a great many things to be learned in having to wait. I am trying to be open to that but mostly I am just shopping. :)

I read a study that stated that people who are sad and feeling self-absorbed spend 4 times more money when they are shopping. I can attest to that.

Hopefully the next post will be announcing our travel! Or else watch out Williams Sonoma!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Updates are here!

It was a complete and wonderful surprise to see updates waiting in my In-Box today. I really wasn't expecting them until next week. Sarah has changed so much it is unbelievable! She is so adorable...I just can't wait to finally meet her....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here is the latest

The latest is not good news or bad news really. We received word that the final ruling will not be made on our case until after Chinese New Year. CNY is on February 7th and is a huge celebration in Taiwan. People take a few days off - I think the official off days are the 6th through the 10th. So what does that mean for Sarah? We most likely will not be able to travel until the end of February or early March. I am sending another care package this week - at 21 pds and 6 months old she is definitely in need of some new clothes! I had just hoped we would be getting her sooner. Next step? Hopefully updates next week. We did hear from the Taiwan agency that she "is a good eater and a good sleeper" - already taking after Matt and I! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bang Head Here.....

This has got to be one of the toughest few weeks of this adoption. I keep thinking we will be getting the call any day...waiting by the phone...calling my messages constantly (yes, much like a crazy person)...checking my e-mail...trying to figure out what in the heck is going on. The truth is that we are on week 6 since the last hearing and I think we will be waiting until mid-February to hear anything now because of Chinese New Year and just the way the court process is looking (its either 3 weeks or 2 months - we are in the 2 month wait obviously). This would mean travel at the end of February or early March. I would have never thought it would take so long. There really is no reason for the delay - its paperwork on someones desk that is just not getting done. Its so frustrating. But as a child welfare attorney, I know that sometimes these things don't make the most sense and the system can be impossibly slow.

I know that as soon as we get THE CALL, all of this frustration and pain will seem like nothing to us.

Yesterday, Maggie had a ceremony for her Daisy group - she is so grown up! It does go so fast. I am sure some day I will be telling Sarah how we waited and waited for her until it was the perfect time to bring her home. Right now though, I feel like sticking my head in a blender. I guess the next updates we will get will be her 7 month video and picture sometime in the first 2 weeks of February. I am hoping we will get them the first week - before Chinese New Year when everything sort of shuts down over there.

Now back to reality - I have to "help Maggie" make a hat that reflects light. Yes seriously.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Retail Therapy

I am going out of my mind waiting for THE CALL. It could come any day now. Yes ANY DAY. So, instead of working -like I should have been -- I did some serious retail therapy today. Any good therapy session begins with a little refreshment - say... Starbucks (what else?). Then I spent a good long time at Gymboree. Sarah will not be wearing the same outfit twice ..oops. Matt gets in on the retail therapy but he does it with a little more splash than I do - he went a little crazy at Hartstrings. It is a lot of fun to shop for Sarah but it would be more fun if we could actually put the clothes on her cute little self.

I bought diapers. Seriously - like there will be a run on diapers and I won't be able to get them when we get the call.

I have been circling the Babies-R-Us parking lot quite a bit :)

What else am I doing to fend off the crazies? Chatting with friends (I am quite certain my non-adopting friends have heard enough already), working (thank goodness I have that to keep me busy), organizing closets (the craziness must have slipped through). This weekend is my birthday, so we have some fun stuff planned. Best of all I will be sleeping in...

What else? Maggie is starting soccer this weekend with her dad as the assistant coach. She is very pleased with her soccer gear - pink pink pink.

That's all for now - I hope the next post is of our itinerary while in Taiwan! Thanks everyone for all of your support over the last few months. Taiwan or Bust!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WE SURVIVED!!!!



We made it through Maggie's High-School Musical Birthday party. It was actually great fun and I think all the 20+ kids had fun - face painting, crafts, disco ball, great decorations and cookie-cake (Mags doesn't like birthday cake). The kids were so good, Matt was hysterical and kept the party fun! What a great guy. Maggie's actual birthday is this weekend. We are taking her to the Nutcracker and anywhere she wants to go for dinner - probably "On the Border" which makes me GAGG. The sacrifices we make for our kids...

Tomorrow is Maggie's pageant at school. She is Narrator 2. And I am costume girl 1. Very exciting stuff.

I am so glad we are crazy-busy - hopefully time will pass quickly and we will find out our travel date for Sarah any day! Its so hard to believe it will be here any time and we will finally get to hold her! Maggie has been making presents for her, and has even packed 3 bags for the trip.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Civil Ruling - December 13th

We finally received news that they had our civil ruling on December 13th - so that means that we can travel in one month or up to 2 1/2 months. Clearly we are hoping for the shorter time. That would mean I could be spending my birthday in Taipei! What a great birthday present! The next time we hear anything from the courts, it should be a travel date! We are very happy...and anxious....

For right now we are getting ready for Maggie's 6th birthday party. We should have around 20 kids for a High School Musical Pep Rally! Thankfully Matt is great at these parties - he is even dressing up like Coach Bolton...:) You gotta love a guy that will do that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December Updates!!!



We are so happy that this month's updates are finally here. Update day is so bittersweet. We love to get any little tid-bit of information we can about Sarah, but it is so hard to see her getting so big without us.

She has got some serious hair (covered up in the video by that terrible hat). Enjoy the video - we certainly are!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The long and frustrating road

So Friday was sort of a low day for us around here. We contacted the person that heads the Taiwan program for our agency and he said he doubted we would travel before... February. UGH. Then our case worker called, and told us most of our paperwork had to be re-done as it has expired. After I pulled the pencil out of my eye and my hand out of the blender, I realized we did not get one of the fast judges unfortunately - then I re-inserted the pencil into my eye.

On a happier note we are looking for updates to come at the end of next week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tooth Fairy Alert!



Well, the Tooth Fairy came to our house... and left some spending money for Maggie and some glitter from her wings - all over Maggie's room! Messy Fairy!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November Updates are Here!!!

Well, I have been waiting by my computer for the latest updates of Sarah from Taiwan. I just can't believe how big she is getting - she has obviously even had her first haircut! She looks great and is wearing the clothes we sent. I think it is so nice of the foster mom to put her in clothes that we have sent. We have not heard anything about the court process since our first hearing. We are crossing our fingers that we can travel sometime around Christmas - a girl can dream!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Waiting is so hard to do

Its been some time since I last posted but really we have no news. We had some issues that our Doctor brought up about Sarah's head circumference but very impressively, the agency had an e-mail back to me within a week with a health check up - her measurements are fine and her foster mother says she has grown "much" this month! Matt and I bought a new stroller - so that was exciting. We are hoping to get an update next week.

Today is Halloween and Maggie is going to be Hannah Montana - I really wanted her to be Minnie Mouse but I guess those days are over....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chicago trip pictures...


So we told Maggie she was getting a surprise on Thursday. We picked her up early from school and told her that we were taking her to Chicago to the American Girl Doll Store. She cried - apparently she was hoping for a high school musical dance mat. Hey, we can't do it all I suppose. In Chicago we went to... Rain Forest Cafe (where she was scolding the gorillas), American Girl Store (she didn't want to get another doll because she didn't want to hurt Kit's feelings), horse carriage ride with a horse named Taco, the Museum of Science and Industry, the play Wicked (we have been singing the songs ever since), great restaurants, & Garretts popcorn. In two days. The pictures of our trip are below - if the music is annoying you can click the speaker to get rid of it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Video and Pictures of Sarah

Hi everyone - its been a happy few days! We heard about our first court hearing (October 25th) and today we received an updated video of Sarah, updated pictures, and medical information. This video was taken on September 28th - so she was three months old. At that time she weighed 14.6 pounds and was 22.6 inches long (tall?). She is clearly with her foster family now and is even wearing a little shirt that we sent her in a care package. It looks like her tummy needs more room to breathe so we will be sending another care package soon with some roomier clothes. She is really growing so quickly! I can't wait to finally meet her and kiss those adorable cheeks!

video

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First Hearing!

We found out today that our first hearing is scheduled for October 25th. There are 3 hearings until it is final and we can travel. We are hoping that we will be traveling around Christmas or early January. But it could always take much longer. You never know.... but we are thrilled!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My little kindergartner is a big girl!


Maggie read at Mass today! She did GREAT! I think I may have blinded father with my flash - but I got some great pictures of all the kids. Here is one of Maggie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dossier Documents

Our case worker sent me the Fed-Ex tracking number for our dossier and the first care package we sent to Sarah. Our dossier was received by the agency in Taiwan on Sept 10th and the care package was received on Sept. 11th. The good news is that everything got there last week - and we have not heard that there are any problems.

I am chanting fast judge, fast judge, fast judge! Maybe we could go to TW as early as the end of December or January. That would be the earliest. Fast judge, fast judge, fast judge!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Meaning of Hsin-Yi

Thanks to Jenny who figured out the meaning of Sarah's name. (欣)Hsin: means happy, joyous and delighted. (怡)Yi: means harmony or pleased. You can look these up on a website called mandarintools.com. You can copy and paste the Chinese words into the dictionary and the English meaning comes up. Thanks again Jenny!

Sarah means princess.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Its off to Taiwan


The dossier left Pittsburgh yesterday - along with a very hefty care package. We are so glad to have the paperwork done. We just wait now...

This is Sarah's name. (Wu is her last name). Hopefully someone out there can tell me how to translate it :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

TECRO

Matt really came through - he got all of our documents notarized on Wednesday, then drove to Harrisburg to have them certified, then FedEx'd them to TECRO in New York to be authenticated. There was much more drama in there, but I won't go into it - I am trying major positive thinking lately. We forgot to put in a copy of my passport, so they called on Thursday afternoon asking us to fax it. We talked to them today (Friday) and they said they would be FedEx'ing the documents back to us today. So we should be able to get all of our documents into our agency by Tuesday...then we wait.

We have a care package for Sarah all ready to go - a baby photo album, lots of clothes, a taggie blanket, and other blankets made by Catherine and Pam! Thanks girls! I also put a Seda candle in the care package for the foster mom.

My friend Jen has a shop with lots of adorable baby things - she put a Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag on hold for me (and gave me a GREAT deal). It is wonderful although Matt is refusing to carry it....hmmmmmm. It is sort of girlie BUT he is outnumbered now 3-1 so he better get used to pink. Thanks Jen!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First Day of Kindergarten


It was Maggie's first day of kindergarten on Wednesday! She seems to like it and I did OK too :) Here is a picture...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Teddy Bear Tea

Today we went to Maggie's school for a Teddy Bear Tea. It was great, and nice to meet other families sending their kids to St. Killian's. Maggie drew a picture for the teacher - definitely a hit. My mom and dad are flying in tomorrow so they can be here for her first day of school which will be next Wednesday... Our paperwork is here from Taiwan and ready to go. I just need to have Matt in town long enough so that we can get it notarized. I guess it will have to wait until Saturday.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Future Big Sister - Maggie!


Maggie already has her bag packed for Taiwan - Polly Pockets, Hello Kitty lip gloss, and a Belle necklace. My mom and dad will be going with us to Taiwan too!
Hard to believe this little one is starting kindergarten next week.

Meaning of Hsin-Yi

If anyone knows how to find out what Sarah's Taiwanese name (Hsin-Yi) means - can you leave a comment? I haven't been able to figure it out.

We went shopping this weekend for clothes and toys to send to Sarah. Matt had a little too much fun and it looks like we will be sending many care packages. We bought a "Little Einsteins" photo album that we are sending along with comfy pjs and some disposable cameras for the foster mom to take pictures of Sarah. I am trying to think of a little something for the foster mom - but am having some issues. Any ideas?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

City of True Love

Sarah was born in Chienchen District, Kaohsiung City Taiwan - which is known as "The City of True Love" .

Back...

When I returned from a conference this week in Colorado, I had over 500 e-mails! Most of them from Taiwan adoption message boards that I belong to. There were quite a few referrals this last week - twins, sibling groups, boys and girls. It is wonderful to watch people getting closer and closer to their dreams of a family. Its even better considering that referrals were VERY slow for the last 7 months. When we started this process in January, we were #3 for a little girl. And we just go our referral August 6th. But it seems there have been some changes and referrals are coming quickly. Its great to see.

Our next step is getting paperwork from Taiwan - basically (I believe) it is Power of Attorney paperwork so that representatives from the Taiwan program can appear in court. We will have to get that paperwork notarized, certified and authenticated. Then it goes to Taiwan and we wait for hearing dates...Right now we are trying to find pictures to send with our dossier to Taiwan. Its amazingly difficult to pick just the right pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sarah's Referral Video 4 Weeks Old (we think)

Referral

We accepted the referral of our little girl on August 8, 2007. I, of course, missed the call -- keep those cellphones with you! But, came home and Matt was waiting with pictures, and just a little tear in his eye. We were incredibly overcome and happy, excited, anxious, laughing, crying, celebrating. Our necks were so sore from looking at the video the agency sent us (it was sideways). Maggie said "I am a big sister...almost."

Her name is Sarah Hsin-Yi Emmendorfer. She was born on June 25th , 2007 - the same day as another little girl that was referred to a friend on a Taiwan adoption message board. And also the same day as her Godfather J.P.'s birthday. She was 8 1/4 pds and 21 inches long when she was born. A beautiful, healthy baby...we are truly blessed. I am going to post the video and pictures so that you can see her. Check out that hair - perfect for bows.

We celebrated at a local restaurant called Taipei - we thought that was pretty appropriate.

They say we will be traveling in 5-7 months, but I have seen 3 months and I have seen 7 months. We just don't know. Everything in this world seems to work out for a reason for us, so when its time, it will be the right time. But for right now I am going SHOPPING!

Welcome...

Matt, and I have been thinking about adoption for a long time. We have one wonderful little girl named Maggie who is 5 years old and starting kindergarten in August. This is sure to be harder on mom and dad then on little Maggie. She can't wait to go! She even cut all of her own hair off for the occasion. After much medication mom is fine - although I am weeping over her custom made bow collection. I know... "someday you'll laugh" ... not yet...:)

After completing all of the paperwork for China, we decided to change programs and adopt from Taiwan. We are very happy about the decision. The wait for a referral is fairly excruciating and much longer than what we were originally told to expect -- but MUCH shorter than China's wait.

So, welcome to our blog. We think this is a good way to keep everyone up to date about what is going on. We feel very blessed and appreciative of all of you that have listened to us throughout this process, are supporting us going forward and have been such great friends and family.