Monday, May 31, 2010

We have a crib up in our "crib"

Thanks to Wesley and Caroline for being awesome and wanting to clean out their house a little before their big move, we now have a crib. Greg slaved away sanding, primering and painting yesterday and wha la here it is...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Highights for Kids

I found some cool facts about Taiwan on this Highlight magazine website for kids.

I will have to show them to my 1st graders. They love this kind of stuff.

Q Where is Taiwan?

A Taiwan is an island in the Pacific Ocean just off the east coast of China. It is separated from China by the Taiwan Strait. The tropic of Cancer runs through the middle of Taiwan. This means that the southern part of Taiwan is in the “Tropics.”

Q Does Taiwan have any nicknames?

A Taiwan is sometimes called “Ilha Formosa,” which means “beautiful island” in Portuguese. Portuguese sailors gave Taiwan this name in the sixteenth century. Taiwan is also part of the Republic of China, which includes the islands Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and a number of smaller islands.

Q What is the land like?

A Taiwan has a diverse landscape. It has mountain ranges, foothills, tablelands (flat, elevated regions), and coastal plains and basins. The Chungyang Shanmo (Central Mountain Range) covers two-thirds of the country. The highest peak in this range is called Yu Shan (Mount Jade), which reaches 12,959 feet (3,950 meters).

Q What is the temperature like?

A There are two seasons in Taiwan: the hot season, which lasts from May to October; and the cool season, which lasts from November to March. During the summer (hot season), the temperature in low-lying coastal regions can rise to 95 degrees F (35 degree C). In winter, temperatures can go down to 41 degrees F (5 degrees C). Coastal regions are very humid, though, which can make the hot seem hotter and the cool seem cooler. In the mountains of Taiwan, temperatures stay a bit cooler year-round. In the coldest months, you might even find snow on the peaks of high mountains.

Q What is Taiwan’s most extreme weather?

A Taiwan has typhoons, violent tropical cyclones that begin in the ocean but can sweep across land. The typhoon season in Taiwan lasts from mid-August until early October, and up to six storms might hit Taiwan during that season each year. Hurricanes are another type of tropical cyclone. An intense tropical cyclone is named “typhoon” or “hurricane” depending on where on the globe it occurs.

Q What animals live in Taiwan?

A Mammals living in Taiwan include black bears, wild boars, rock-monkeys, mongooses, leopards, sambars (a type of large deer), dolphins, and whales. Amphibians include many types of tree frogs and salamanders. Reptiles include lizards, turtles, and snakes. There are also different types of insects, fishes, and birds.

Q How big is Taiwan?

A Taiwan is about 242 miles (390 km) long and 87 miles (140 km) wide at its widest point. Its total area is nearly 13,900 square miles (36,000 square km), which means its size is between that of Maine and Indiana.

Q What is the largest city in Taiwan?

A Taiwan’s largest city is Taipei, which is located on the northern tip of the island.

Q How many people live in Taiwan?

A The population of Taiwan is more than 22 million. That means that on average, there are 1,595 persons per square mile (616 persons per square kilometer). In Taipei, Taiwan's most crowded urban area, there are an average of 25,219 persons living in each square mile (9,737 per square km). So a space the size of a football field in Taipei would contain the homes of 44 people. Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, second only to Bangladesh.

Q What language do they speak?

A While Taiwan has more than one hundred actively spoken Chinese dialects, its national language is Mandarin, which is also the national language of the Chinese Mainland. Southern Fujianese (also called Taiwanese) and Hakka are two major dialects also spoken by many of the island’s inhabitants. Mandarin is used as a universal language so that everyone can communicate with one other. It is spoken in government, school, and other public functions. Less formal conversations are held in dialect.

Q What sort of government does Taiwan have?

A Like the United States, Taiwan is a democracy—a system in which government officials are elected by the people.

Q What sort of things does Taiwan produce?

A The making of electronic devices for computers and other machinery is the major industry in Taiwan. Most consumer electronics (computers, games, CD/DVD players, etc.) contain components manufactured in Taiwan. The other major industries include plastics, chemicals, machinery, and agriculture.


We can't wait to go visit and see our baby girl!

Home Study...

Yay! We have our first home study visit scheduled for June 1st at 5:30. I heard it is just a light 3 hour process of interview questions. Yikes!

We finally completed our I-600a form today with a little help on some confusing questions from Kim and Andrea. Two new friends I have met a long the way on our adoption journey who already have beautiful baby girls from the HOGL orphanage. Thank you both very much. We will be mailing the form out in the morning.

I talked to my 94 year old grandma, Bubbles, earlier this week who was in the hospital due to a panic attack. She's thankfully fine now, back to her old feisty self. I had heard from my sister Laura that when she was in the hospital she met an Asian nurse that was helping her. Apparently, she got so excited that the nurse was Asian that she told the whole hospital that she was going to have a granddaughter who would look like this nurse. The sweet nurse wasn't even Taiwanese but go figure,her new granddaughter will look just like her. I wish I could have been there for that. It made me smile.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting Things Together One Piece at a Time

I am fairly confident all our 5 references have been emailed to HOGL orphanage and our 3 references have been mailed to Nightlight adoption agency. Thanks to all our sweet and helpful referencers for helping with that.

We are still in the process of trying to figure out a few more answers for our I-600A form before it can be mailed off and processed. I will try emailing my new friend Kim for help with those. Apparently after that form is sent off and approved, we will receive a confirmation saying we can either travel to Charleston or Charlotte to get our fingerprints taken and sent off.

I just ordered that cute elephant bedding I posted last night. It should be here in a few weeks. Yay! We also signed up for our first adoption class on June 8th in Greenville. That will knock out 2 hours of the 10 hours of adoption educational hours we need. I also checked out an recommended parenting book from the Powdersville Library this afternoon. Every 50 pages equal an hour of credit. Knocking the little things out one step at a time and praying like crazy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Future Baby Girl's Room

So... I found the cutest bedding on the JcPenney website. It's trendy pink and brown elephants and I love it! I know it's a little early but I don't think I can resist. I also heard it may go out of print soon. I am going to have to get it and hope the cute accessories will still be around later on. This is what I hope our future nursery will look like.

Our Taiwanese Journey Begins...

After talking about adoption for many years now, God has finally brought a peace to both our hearts to go for it! We are so excited about our journey.

I know many of you are curious, "Why Taiwan?" There were lots of different reasons really.

#1- reason being- We really want to be parents!

#2- we want to do something more to prevent sex trafficking and potentially rescue a little girl who may have potentially ended up in the sex trade. (Many of you know about the non-profit organization Greg started called World Causes. Since World Causes' project Free Chains started 2 years ago in hopes to raise awareness, prevention and fight the issue of sex trafficking, God has given us a heart to adopt from Asia. This is the Free Chains site if you are interested:

#3-we want to love and raise a child to dream big dreams and do big things for God.

#4- Taiwan was the only Asian country that we met all the requirements for. How's that for a clear answer!

2010 Taiwan Adoption Requirements:

Parent Ages: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 20 years older than the child, and not older than 55.
Travel: Both parents must travel. Length of stay is approximately 1 week.
Marriage Requirements: A married person who adopts a child shall do so jointly with his/her spouse.
Income Requirements:
Prospective adoptive parents must have a stable residence, legitimate work and sufficient financial means.

Those are a few of our big reasons in a nutshell. As far as our time line goes, last week we turned in our application to start our home study process. We are going through Nightlight Christian Adoptions Agency. ( Our great neighbor Laura works with them and has been a huge help. She's been very patient with my hundreds of questions. Thanks Laura!!

This past Friday, Nightlight accepted our application and our first home study visit should be later on this week or early next week. Yay! The home study process takes 4-8 weeks.

From what we've read the on the country specifics for Taiwanese adoption, the time line is as follows:

The child may be adopted about 10 to 14 months from completion of paperwork to birthparent match or referral. From match or referral to travel, about 4 to 6 months

After our home study through Nightlight is completed, Greg and I have decided to go directly through Home of God's Love Orphanage in Taiwan. We have heard amazing things about this orphanage and are praying hard for our future baby girl.

We have turned in our application and 5 references to the HOGL orphanage. Mandee has been wonderful with her quick replies and confirmations of references. We are thankful for her. Apparently the HOGL orphange changed their polocies a few months back so we are not officially on the waiting list at the orphange until they receieve our completed home study. We are working hard on getting it done a.s.a.p.