Saturday, June 27, 2009

The week from hell

This past week sucked! We started hearing reports of travelers to China being quarantined due to swine flu. Then we read a Department of State notice that in some cases minors were being separated from parents and quarantined. Parents could not oversee what meds were being administered to their children. Before you leave the plane in Beijing your temperature will be taken. You must give the authorities notice of where you are staying. If anyone seated in the 3 rows in front or in back of you has a temperature then all those rows go into quarantine. They will track you down at your hotel. Once in quarantine you will be checked twice daily and have your throats swabbed. If any test comes back negative on someone then ONLY the negative person goes to the quarantine hospital leaving the rest still at the quarantine hotel. The American Embassy in Beijing can speak on your behalf to keep the family together but can not promise that this will be allowed. Bottom line, we decided after much thought that we couldn't chance taking M. This is heartbreaking. She has been studying China, she talks about going and what she wants to do and see and even more, she wants to be a part of welcoming her new sister to our family. She is such a sensitive little girl that I worry she will have feelings of left behind and not part of it all.....

A couple days after this news we got the word that our Adoption Agency was closing. At this point we were just awaiting word of our TA - travel approval from China needed for us to go get K. Our agency was basically a China Adoption only agency. Due to the Hague agreement and the time lengthening between submitting paperwork and receiving a referral, financially our agency couldn't stay afloat. They informed us that if we receive our TA before the end of June they would still handle our adoption trip but if it came after our files would be shipped off to another agency.

A day after this Captain (hubby) received word from his boss that his co-worker, who he has known and was friends with for years, was shot and killed. I never met Joe but Captain came home from work one day with a baby gift for K. When he had heard about our adoption he bought her a gift. I'm sorry I never met this sweet man and thanked him personally.

And finally, before Friday while running around getting last minute supplies for M's birthday party, we received our TA. We will be in China on July 15th or 16th, touring Beijing and heading to Changsha on July 19th. On the morning of July 20th we will be holding K in our arms for the first time. (K's one year birthday was on Friday also!) We stay in Changsha until July 25 when we fly to Guangzhou. Finish up paperwork there and fly back to the U.S. on July 31st.

Flu or no flu, we are coming!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

While we are waiting...

The big question is: When are you going to China? Answer: we are currently awaiting our TA (travel approval) and then our CA (consulate appt) and that's when we will know. Of course with WHO updating the flu to a pandemic level the real question is: Will China hold TA's until this is over? Your guess is as good as ours. But, while we are waiting.... Let's give an update on our gardening efforts. I can feel your anticipation!

We discovered Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew at our last Home and Garden Show and immediately thought Hey, this is something that even we could do! After all Mel promised it was easy and we wanted to extend ourselves beyond our every year tomato and basil bounty. Two crops guaranteed to make even the most inexperienced farmer (hey, that's us) feel proud.

So it started: Early April

3 x 3 box to hold 9 sq ft sections

Three equal parts of compost/vermiculite/peat moss

Mix Well

Dirt in Boxes and add grids

Oh, and then plant stuff, you know, the stuff that's good for you... veggies

Wow, a few weeks later...

Is it ready yet?

A Radish !!!!

We have planted 4 different kinds of lettuce, peas, broccoli, edamame, edible marigolds, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, carrots (two kinds), eggplant, spinach, beets, radishes, strawberries, green beans, peppers, and...... tomatoes.

That Mel! What a genius! So easy! If you'd like to know more about Square Foot Gardening check this out: or go to YouTube and search on Mel Bartholomew!

Happy Gardening!