Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fire Trucks and Superheroes - Part 3

The final thing that I will say about raising boys can be summed up in two words: loud and active. From the get-go, my in-laws nicknamed the boys "Crash" and "Bang". And for a year after we adopted the boys, whenever I spoke to my mom on the phone she would ask if everything was alright because of the ruckus she heard in the background. My boys seem to have the philosophy that if it must be said...best that it is said loudly! Plus, all the aforementioned fire trucks and superhero toys have their own noises too.

As for being "active", I am convinced that we could solve this country's energy crisis if we could somehow harness the energy of our young children. My boys are in constant motion and I've had to adapt my parenting style to keep up with them, or ideally, one step ahead of them. Long ago we got rid of our living room coffee table so there was more room to build race tracks, hold tickle fights or chase our cousins around the house. And don't forget the wrestling -- whether it's because they are bored, their dad has come home from work or one of their uncles has come over for dinner -- wrestling is a default activity with boys.

But, I've come to the conclusion that all this noise and commotion is a good thing. At times it has acted as a built-in safety feature, allowing me to keep track of where they are in the house or the yard. I can take action on any suspicious noises I hear -- such as running water -- or worse yet, no noise at all (which of course is when the real trouble is taking place). And just as important, it makes our house feel more like a home.

Don't forget...if you are ready to bring a little extra commotion into your house, we have some terrific boys in our Hope Journey program that would love to be a part of your family. Check them out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fire Trucks and Superheroes - Part 2

While fire trucks will always be cool, superheroes currently reign supreme in our house. TV-viewing, action figures, comic books, birthday parties and even the bed sheets must feature mythical characters with super-human abilities. A typical dinner conversation at our house goes like this: "Momma, who can fly faster...Superman or Spider Man? Who is stronger...the Hulk or Wolverine? Who is smarter...Batman or Iron Man?" And it's not just the most popular superheroes that they want to know about, they ask about the second-string characters as well (e.g., Ultraman, Richochet and the Jackel). Plus the villians...can't forget them. My youngest son is fascinated by anyone labeled a "bad guy" and wants to understand what makes them "bad" (we usually use them as examples how one can make the wrong choices in life). So much so that my husband and I are a little worried that we are raising the next evil genius!

Fortunately, my husband has proven to be an extraordinary resource in this stage of their childhood. While I was more interested in Barbie dolls and Disney movies growing up, my husband spent his childhood memorizing stats about Marvel characters. Even today, he can recall the most obscure details. It's one of the latest things that has made me appreciate what a great dad he is.

Since superheroes have universal appeal, I would highly recommend that any mom out there adopting a boy from our Hope Journey program brush up on their comic book reading It will make you seem like Wonder Woman!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fire Trucks and Superheroes - Part 1

Hi! My name is Joy and I'm a colleague of Marci's. While she is taking some well-deserved vacation time, I will be your guest blogger.

A few years back my husband and I adopted 2 boys with special needs from Korea. With lots of love and great medical care, both of their medical conditions were resolved within 9 months of being home. Now they are a lively five- and seven-year old - similiar in age to many of the boys on our Hope's Journey program - so over the next couple of days I thought I would share some of the unexpected joys of raising boys.

From the moment we brought them home, our boys were fascinated by planes, trains and automobiles -- really anything with a motor and at least 2 wheels. Whether it was watching them, reading about them or playing with them, nothing could hold the attention of these wiggly boys like a book on construction vehicles or a ride on the local commuter train. At the Fourth of July parade every year, my kids are the ones cheering for the fancy sports cars, as well as the street sweeper. Even today, I often find them fast asleep in their beds with a Hot Wheels car or a book on monster trucks clutched in their hands. But what really gets their hearts a flutter are fire trucks. When the boys were younger, we lived down the street from a fire station. Oh! the look of joy on their faces whenever the ladder truck would go zooming by with their lights flashing and their sirens blasting. One summer, the fire department stopped by our block party with one of their engines and my boys were over the moon with excitement (and so were several of the adults, I noticed). In fact, our boys have us so trained to point out fire trucks while we are driving around town that the other night my husband and I caught ourselves shouting "fire truck" when there were no children in the car!

My boys have really opened my eyes to the wonders of the heavy equipment that's all around us. As a former girlie-girl, I admit that I never paid attention to the awesome power of a steam engine, or the cool technology contained within an emergency vehicle or the simple rythm of a front loader and dump truck working together at a construction site.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Miscellaneous Tidbits

My heart is in advocating for Mark and Chrissy since it sounds like we don't have families for them. But I can't help noticing that there are a bunch of children on the shared waiting child list that were posted this month that have pretty "minor" special needs like repaired heart disease or clefts, and this includes girls around age 2 years and under! This is strange to me because usually those kids get snatched off the list as soon as they are posted, so we must be entering a new era here. Has everyone been matched who wants a waiting child and has a dossier logged in? Are people now wanting older children or more minor special needs than that? I'm curious about why these children sit on the shared list. We don't have any families eligible for that type of match right now, but do other agencies? Curiosity killed the cat, I guess, but I would be interested in hearing from anyone with opinions on that.

Now on to Mark and Chrissy. I know I say this a lot, but Mark and Chrissy stole my heart right away! These two kids are sweet, sensitive, talented, smart, beautiful and charismatic. What more could you want in a child? These two are liked by all and I can see why. So why is it that they don't have families yet? It baffles my mind! I'm going on vacation today, but I'm going to spread the word about these adorable kids to anyone considering adoption. Can you do the same? Hopefully when I return next week, we'll have families pursuing more of the children.

Yesterday I got to visit with a family that came home recently with two newly adopted teenagers (one from our Hope Journey I program). What an adventure! But I must say, they are doing very well! I was truly impressed. Although the kids are still too shy to speak much to people they don't know, I could tell they are healthy, happy and comfortable in their new families. English is still a challenge for them to speak, but it has only been a few months, so that's completely understandable. It hasn't been entirely easy, but it gives me lots of hope that for families that are truly committed, it can work. So on that note, I leave you with that food for thought.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Now that this new Special Focus program is going into effect on September 1st, let me tell you about a couple of pairs of kids that I think would do well together. When we interviewed the kids, we asked whether they had a best friend and if they did, who was it? Mark said he is best friends with Henry. Cherry said she is best friends with Mark. Anna said she was best friends with Henry. Anna, Henry, Jimmy, Mark and Cherry all did several dances and performances together. I think they are all a pretty close group. I think if you were to adopt two children at once, a combination of those kids would do well together. Cherry is definitely a leader of the bunch and Mark is also very bright and seems to know his stuff. I think Henry and Jimmy are more of the followers in the group. I'm not sure where to fit Anna in there, but she's definitely a part of it:-) All of these kids are extremely sweet and lovable! I would be thrilled to see all of them find families! I think they all have a tremendous amount of potential!

Sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious to see the strengths of a child, but once you do, you can help that child thrive and that child will amaze you in ways you never thought possible! Parenting is truly an amazing privilege! If you're hesitating because of one of the special needs, please take a moment and look into that special need and ask about the child. You may find that it's not so scary after all.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Misty, Jillian and Gregory

This is a much better picture of Misty than I originally included--look at that beautiful joyous smile!

When she was on the stage introducing herself she talked really loud. And the nanny tried to take away her microphone and get her back to her seat. I had no clue what she was saying. Her dialect was very close to Cantonese, but not Cantonese. When we got a chance to talk during the interview, the nanny asked her why she was so loud on the stage and what she was saying up there. She said “that thing I was holding (microphone) make my voice really loud, I was wondering if my foster brother could hear me from there. I was calling him…” It turned out to be she was fascinated by the microphone. She did very well on the interview. She understood the questions and answered properly. She was outgoing, and very boyish.

Well, CCAA has asked which kids from our last Hope Journey program have families--we only have 3 that don't and it sounds like their files will be going back soon. So if you want to see the files of Misty, Jillian or Gregory, speak now!

I wish I had been there to meet these kids, but Fei and Sandra were there and met them if you have any questions about them. Don't wait if you have the slightest interest: marcisk@asiadopt.org
(These files have been sent back to CCAA.....September 2010)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Big Changes to the Waiting Child Program!

You may have heard amidst the rumor mill about the changes that CCAA announced to agencies this morning. There's some exciting things going on with the waiting child program! Here's a summary:

On September 1st, CCAA is creating a new category of waiting children called "Special Focus" children. These are children who have been on the shared waiting child list for more than 2 months. Considering that there are over 2100 children on the shared waiting child list right now, this is quite a lot of children! Agencies will now be able to request Special Focus children to be on their own agency individual waiting child list. This may enable families to take the appropriate time needed to decide if a child is a good fit for their family. Additionally, families pursuing a Special Focus child will have 6 months (instead of 3 months) to get their dossier into CCAA.

The big news is that families pursuing a Special Focus child will be allowed to adopt a second child, either at the same time or within a one year time frame! One of the children must be Special Focus, but the other can be either healthy, Special Focus or a regular special needs child. ASIA's current Hope Journey children will be considered Special Focus children. CCAA emphasized that families need to be well prepared for the adoption of two children or special needs children in general to avoid tragedies.

We hope this will be a great opportunity for the waiting children. More details will follow as they become available.

Friday, August 13, 2010


We are getting a final fix to our email issues today at 2:00pm, so we will be unreachable by email while our Tech guy makes that transition. Please plan on our email being down until Monday 12:00pm, although it's possible it could be up earlier and hopefully this will be the last time! We apologize for the inconvenience. We do want to hear from you, though, so if you're interested in one of these children, please feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook and I will contact you.

If you're interested in local events or happenings, please check our Facebook page!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lucy Needs A Miracle

Many of you remember Lucy and followed her story. Well, sadly, Lucy needs another Miracle. She has been evaluated and the results were not good. She literally needs a miracle. So for all of you out there, whether religious or not, please do whatever you do to send hope for a miracle to Lucy and her family. She has touched so many hearts--I wish we could heal hers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sad, but True

I don't like posting about who does not have a family; I would much rather post about who does. However, it must be done since there are still many without families. So if you have any interest about any of these children, please contact me right away. Many of the kids who took part in the "Best Future" song do not have families, so I'm posting a picture of them here as well as a reminder. The kids in the picture who still don't have any interest currently are Peter(8 years), Henry(7 years), Jimmy( 6 years) and Thomas(8 years old). Cherry(10 years) and Mark(6 years) are also in that picture and while they do have families looking at their files currently, no one has decided to adopt them yet(we often go through many families considering a child's file before we find the family that was meant to be theirs).
Other children whose files are currently available and not being considered by anyone right now (sadly) are:
Harley--11 years old
Gene--6 years old
Edward--6 years old
Gavin--6 years old
Kerry--7 years
Joel--5 years old
Wade--7 years old
Jeremy--4 years old
Bo--8 years old
Peter--8 years
Lilah--7 years old
Quentin--12 years old
Warner--8 years old
Fabian--9 years old
Michael--5 years old
CJ--7 years old
Harold--10 years old
Shawn--4 years old
Lisa--6 years old
Parker--10 years old
We also have Misty from our last Hope Journey program who is an 8 year old healthy girl who wants a family. She has seen her friends get adopted and would like a family of her own. Are there any families out there who feel like they might be a good fit for any of these children? Take a chance and contact me: marcisk@asiadopt.org

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hope Journey

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting several of the older children who have come home from the last Hope Journey program at our ASIA picnic last weekend. It was fun to see everyone and so neat to see how the kids and families are adjusting! August was the "drop dead month" for the last few kids that were aging out of our last Hope Journey program and they are all home with their families now! What a relief for us and for those families! Some of those adoptions were down to the wire, but they all made it!

I've also chatted with some of the families who don't live in Oregon. It sounds like the kids are doing great so far. I expected older child adoptions to be a bit challenging (and it hasn't been all honeymoon), but these kids seem to have really wanted families and seem to be thriving.

There are some great articles on rainbowkids about older child adoptions right now, so if you're pondering adopting an older child, check them out: http://www.rainbowkids.com/ One of the articles was written by an ASIA family! You get to experience a whole different kind of firsts with older child adoptions. And you know what? Older kids are lovable, too!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Steal Your Heart

This video shows what a little gentleman Mark is...he just stole my heart and I bet he will steal yours, too! Cherry is also in this video along with Jimmy, Peter, Henry, Thomas and Chrissy. They're all so sweet and such precious children! This is a sign language dance called "The Best Future." I hope we can help them find "The Best Future."

Unfortunately it shows up fuzzy on the blog and I had to cut it off because the photographers kept walking right in front of my camera. But you can get the idea and hear their sweet voices.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chicken Dance: Mark, Henry, Jimmy, Anna....oh and Lilah!

This is the most adorable video! The kids often took a "break" from the excitement of the camp with a bit of the chicken dance to get some energy out. Yes, the chicken dance has made it to China:-) So here are the kids who performed in the white suits and red hats doing a bit of the chicken dance for you. It's Anna, Mark, Jimmy, Henry and Chrissy. Then Lilah walks right by with a beautiful smile on her face:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kerry and Harold

Kerry is a very talented gymnast and dancer! You can see him enthusiastically participating in the games during the camp. He also did an impressive dance by himself that I wish I would have captured on video! At the end he did a move where he got on the floor arching backwards and touched his toes to his head! Quite impressive if you ask me! Ah, but since I don't have video of him, I'll just post a picture.
I have posted about Harold before, but since I found this great video about talented and reserved Harold, I thought he deserves another mention. There must be a family out there who would give this boy the opportunities he deserves. In China, he is treated as an outcast because of his condition:

Happy Video Fashion Show

I haven't posted any videos in a while, so here's one that has a lot of the kids who aren't yet being pursued. It's not great quality, so I apologize, but at least it will give you an idea. It was their idea of a fashion show. It was pretty cute! The kids weren't quite sure what to do, but caught on towards the end. This video clip includes Cherry, Thomas, Mark, Chrissy, Michael, Anna and Peter. You can see a bit of their personalities through this. Enjoy! Contact me if you would like to see any of their files: marcisk@asiadopt.org

Isn't there anyone that is drawn to Anna or Cherry? Anna has such a great personality--she's kind of tough, like she can keep up with the boys, yet she loves girlie things and is very affectionate. Cherry, too, can keep up with the best of the boys, she likes to be active, yet she also has a girlie streak:-) Both these girls would probably do great with some siblings--either boys or girls!

Stay tuned, because I found some more videos of the kids playing games and Harold playing the flute! I'll post those in the coming days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cherry and Quentin

I am dedicated to finding the children in our Hope Journey program their forever families. These two, especially, motivate me to work hard at this. I'm spreading the word everywhere and in every way that I know how. Yet these two sweet older children continue to sit here without families. Heartbreaking. Every time one of their files goes out, I feel myself getting hopeful. But as of yet, their families have not found them. These two have seen their friends get adopted. When will it be their turn? Will you help them find their forever families?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Exciting News for Cherry, I hope!

A very generous family who was moved by Cherry's story has provided a $1500 grant to help her get adopted--thank you to that family! We hope that this will help Cherry's family find her! This is the exciting information that I was waiting to announce. It is a difficult economic time for many families, so we're hoping that this donation will make a difference for a family wanting to adopt Cherry. She has touched the hearts of many!