Saturday, June 30, 2012


So Kailei woke up thinking we had a few more days until we leave for China and was surprised to find out that we were actually leaving tomorrow morning.  She is beyond excited.  Keara is a little nervous.  She worries.  Worries about getting lost, worries about getting sick, worries about it all.  I'm trying to keep her close and help her through it all.  Zeb and I are excited but it is shadowed by the items will still need to get accomplished - namely packing.  Nothing like leaving it until the last minute.  Thank goodness we have today.  I'm probably looking more forward to the fact that Zeb and I will be unable to work and that is a good thing.  It will be nice to be unplugged and just focused on the adventure before us.  We wish we could take family and friends with us on our journey but will be thinking of you all often.  Say a prayer that we return safely. 

Kailei's Adoption Video

Since this is all trip has so much to do with Kailei it only seemed right to view her adoption video again.  I watched it with her and it brought tears to both our eyes. 

See the video here again if you want.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

China Hype

We received the following emails regarding our trip.  We are kind of a big deal apparently.

Dear 2012 Heritage Tour Families,

As the 2012 Heritage Tour is the largest ever it is becoming a huge news event in China even before it begins!

We've just received notice from the CCCWA that China Central Television (CCTV), People’s Daily, Daily News and several other national Chinese news media will cover the entire trip and broadcast your journey to an audience of 1.3 billion Chinese people! 

The CCTV would like to interview some brave families and adopted children, especially those children who have achieved an amazing accomplishment in any fields.  If possible, please bring any awards, certificates, pictures, newspaper reports, or TV footage your child has received to show them off to the reporters. 

Also, CCTV would like to talk to families who adopted children with special needs.  They are interested in doing reports on children who achieve excellence despite their physical conditions (those who were adopted as a child with special needs).

In addition, CCTV would love to talk to you if your family or adopted children have been keeping regular communication with his or her orphanage.  We presume they would like to showcase the role of orphanages in supporting adopted children.

If you are interested in being interviewed, please let us know so we can forward your information to China.

Thank you!!!

CCAI Travel Team


We have just learned that Mr. Li Liguo, the Minister of China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, wants to personally welcome all of you at the famous Great Hall of the People, the Chinese Capital Hills, in the afternoon of July 4, 2012.

Minister Li is a cabinet member of the Chinese central government and is in charge, besides many of his other national responsibilities, of China’s international adoption.  He has been a strong supporter and advocate for international adoption.  Minister Li will give each visiting adopted child a gift at the welcome ceremony.

We are very honored to have him welcome us and we hope you will enjoy this very special moment!


CCAI Travel Team

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Countdown to China

In a few short days we will be leaving for China.  I'm excited, anxious, nervous and numerous other emotions.  Somehow this snuck up on us but ready or not we leave Sunday morning.

Our itinerary is as follows....

July 2. MONDAY
  • Arrival day in Beijing.
  • Visit the Great Wall  
  • Visit a Jade Factory on the way.
  • Tian’an Men Square
  • Optional: visit Forbidden City on own
  • Visit China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption, and Chinese Culture classes there
  • Visit Temple of Heaven
  • Visit a Silk Factory
  • Take Hutong tour by rickshaw with dinner at a local family house
  • Take flight to Xi’an
  • Visit Terra Cotta Soldiers
  • Enjoy Tang Dynasty Show
July 6. FRIDAY
  • Ride bicycle at Ancient Wall
  • Take flight to Chengdu
  • Enjoy Sichuan Opera (mask-changing show)
July 7. SATURDAY  
  • Visit famous Panda Reserve
  • Enjoy tea at a local park and experience local people’s life
July 8. SUNDAY
  • Take flight to Guilin
  • Learn Chinese Painting at a local park
  • Visit Elephant Trunk Hill
July 9. MONDAY
  • Li River Cruise to Yangshuo
  • Enjoy the magical folk tale performance the “Impressive Liu Sanjie”
July 10. TUESDAY
  • Learn to make Chinese food at a Cooking school
  • Visit a Pearl factory
  • Farewell dinner
  • Take flight to Guangzhou to connect flight to Changsha
  • Drive to Hengyang
July 13. FRIDAY
  • Visit the orphanage
  • Drive back to Changsha
  • Take flight to Beijing to connect flight home


Conversation overhead on a bike ride with the girls...

Kailei: Why do you keep passing me up Keara?
Keara: Because you are so slow.
Kailei: Well...that is true.
Keara: Where are we going anyway?
Kailei: I think the middle of nowhere.


At the beauty salon I told Kailei that her hair looked nice.  She said, "Yeah, people do love me." 


Kailei was talking was wearing a tradition Vietnamese outfit today and was taking about her belly showing through it. Zeb told her it would be a mistake if his belly every showed.  She replied in a sing-song voice, "Cuz' you're too hairy!"

Mom: Would you like some soup Kailei?
Kailei: Yes, I believe it would help my spirit soar.

"I'm drinking a Capri Sun because I think it makes you good at sports.  See? There is a guy on here playing soccer."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zeb's Anniversary Card to Me

Happy Anniversary!

Today Zeb and celebrate 19 years of marriage.  I love this man more than anything.  There is nothing else to say but that. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fun at the Museum

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Date!

Thank goodness we have theatre tickets or Zeb and I would never get out.  Today we went and saw The Addam's Family at the Buelle Theatre.  Wasn't too sure about it at first but we laughed a lot and would recommend it to anyone. 

Kailei's Dragon Dance

Heritage Camp

This weekend was Chinese Heritage Camp.  Originally this was not in the plan since we were going to China but Zeb and I both feel that the positive Asian role models that she gets to interact with is so important and so we made it work.  The theme was the Year of the Dragon and Kailei got to do lots of  neat activities.  We missed having many members of the MWCC group but Diana and I represented. 

Ethan's Birthday

Since the boys are still in town we got to celebrate Ethan's birthday as a family.  Can hardly believe he is 10 years old!  Ethan is a great kid (as are the other boys).  It was wonderful to have him here.  Mom made chicken, beans, potato salad, corn and other yummies and then we topped it off with some avenger cake.  I have to say that I think Aunt Chris and Uncle Zeb rocked the gift giving with socker boppers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Gift for Kailei's Social Welfare Institute

You'll love Shutterfly's award-winning photo books. Try it today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Express Yourself

We are very fortunate to be tied to an organization that does so much to help us and Kailei embrace her Chinese Heritage.  Today she participated in a small group workshop called Express Yourself.  It is basically designed to provide a safe place for children to talk about being Chinese in a white family in a white community.  Depending on the nature of the child, this can be no big deal or weigh heavy on their heart.  Regardless, I decided to send Kailei.  As expressive as she is, she tends to internalize many feelings and  does not like to talk about them.  She was not happy that I signed her up for this.  In fact, she stated she did not want to go and that I should know she doesn't like to talk about her feelings.  :)  After overcoming the small hurdle of getting her there without the comfort of friends or family nearby, it turned out to be a great experience for her and she "loved it!"  I felt certain it would be OK and was grateful that things went well.

I hope she doesn't mind me sharing some of the activities but I'm thinking it is OK since she gave the papers to me to look at.

What I like about being American is...we don't have to eat snake.  We have real toilets.

What I don't like about being American is...once I went to Mcdonald's and a guy with yellow teeth told a not very funny joke.  I was wearing my fairy dust and he said, are you trying to poison me?  And the thunder storms.

What I like about being Chinese...I can go to China and talk to the people in Chinese.

What I don't like about being have to eat rice every day.  You have to eat pig with its head on or not.  You eat chicken with its eyes on or not and with feathers and head or not.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Keara is Cantering!

Finally got to go to another riding lesson after a long winter.  Keara is doing so great.  I love watching her.  Here is a little glimpse into her lesson.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


And we wonder why the single ladies aren't just banging down the doors for this hunk.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The boys are in town and we are so excited.  They just arrived but Uncle Mark decided he needed to take them to a Rockies game.  He invited Zeb and the girls and so they headed out and had a great time.  The kids got along amazing well considering they haven't seen each other in three years.  I'm not sure if they enjoyed the game or the junk food more but it was a great start to their vacation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

End of the School Year

Well, we made it through another school year.  Kailei will move into 3rd grade and Keara into 6th (gulp).  They both did very well and we are very proud of them.  There was quite a bit of hoopla towards the end of the year with field trips to the Butterfly Pavilion, park picnics, and presentations.  It gets kind of crazy but the kids seem to enjoy it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kailei's First Communion

Reconciliation was a bear but first communion was a whole other story.  Kailei was very excited about the whole idea.  Naturally the white dress was a bonus and made Kailei feel like a princess.  After practicing a number of times Kailei announced, "I got this Mom."

We got there early for pictures and then proceeded to wait until the rest of the family showed up for the 9:30 mass.  It was good we got there early so we could reserve a row.  Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Mitch and family, Ms. Britt, Grammy, Poppy, Uncle Gary and family as well as Uncle Mark all attended the service which meant a great deal to her.

She sat next to the CCD coordinator who came to us after mass and told us that Kailei leaned over to her at one point and told her she was "so excited she just wanted to scream".  Fortunately, she didn't.

After mass we came back to the house for brunch and some more celebration.  We are very happy for Kailei for we know it was God that brought her into our family and it is God who will continue to look after her.