Sunday, 29 June 2008

Little Prince's Assessment

The private Occupational Therapist arrived yesterday morning to assess Little Prince for dyspraxia. She spent about three hours working with him on standardised tests. She has to check the results and write her report, but her initial impressions were that he isn't classically dyspraxic :-) He has good planning abilities, that dyspraxic kids typically don't have. But she did say that his fine motor control was immature and that he has concentration and attention issues. The trouble is these issues could be masking the fact that he is dyspraxic and until we have worked with him to address the concentration and attention issues, then we can't really know if he is dyspraxic or not. She did feel that there are lots of things we can do to help him, both at home and at school and will put these in her report. So, overall, I think it was a pretty positive outcome :-) And I was so proud of Little Prince and how he tried his best and co-operated with the things the therapist asked him to do - well done little man :-)

No Progress on the WALL!!!

Urgh!!! Our builder came again yesterday, and as soon as he was set up to start work it started raining!! Luckily it was only a short shower, and he was able to get some more bricks laid. However, he ended up leaving early as he didn't feel well. Today he was supposed to be back, but we've just had a phone call to say he still isn't feeling any better so he won't be able to come :-( Will my wall EVER get finished?!?! I was hoping it would be done in time to get the garden sorted back out again for the Summer holidays, but there's no chance :-(

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Sports Days and Goodbyes

Yesterday was mega busy. Fraulein was at college for half an hour in the morning to say goodbye to all her friends, when Mr Messy picked her up he said there was a lot of hugging and wailing going on :-( Then in the afternoon Little Prince had his Sports Day at school. He was so looking forward to it, as he loves running and being outdoors :-) He came an extremely close second in his running race, last in his egg and spoon race (to be expected if he has dyspraxia) and second in his obstacle race. I was disappointed for him as he LOVES to win, and Sports Day last year was his chance to shine. His academic work is alright, but not something he shines at, his behaviour can sometimes leave something to be desired, but Sports Day was his chance to publically wow everyone so it was sad that he didn't get his chance at the limelight this year :-( We had to whisk him straight from his last race, still in his PE kit straight into the car to take Fraulein to the airport. When me and LMS had left the house to go to school to watch the sports day we had left Mr Messy and Drama Teen "helping" Fraulein sort out her 10kgs over weight baggage!! I had told Fraulein to sort out her stuff and ship most of it back home to Germany, but after sending one parcel that cost her a fortune she refused to send any more!!
The journey to the airport was two hours of torture!! Little Prince wailed and cried and moaned and whinged the whole way there! Nothing we could do cheered him up for very long - he was upset that he was losing Fraulein and wanted his comfort blankie (which we had left at school with his uniform for LMS to bring home)!! We stopped at some services very close to the airport and fed him, which seemed to help a lot! Once we had all had something to eat and drink we went over to the airport and checked Fraulein in. Luckily after all the sorting out her bag was just under the strict baggage limit!! When she saw other passengers in the queue frantically taking stuff out of their suitcases and wearing it, she realised we weren't joking when we said the limits were STRICTLY imposed lol. We then went and sat in a coffee shop for another drink and chat before sending Fraulein through security. There were lots of tears and hugs before she would go through :-( She got held up in security as her rucksack (carry on baggage) was so full that it wouldn't x-ray properly and she had to get out every bit of electronic equipment and show them it all worked - imagine how much a teenage girl has lol. Laptop, iPod, PSP, alarm clock etc it took AGES for her to sort that out. All the time we were tearfully watching from outside the security area and waving like lunatics - she didn't even notice lol. Eventually she was allowed through and we lost sight of her. On the drive back home we got quite a few texts from Fraulein up until she boarded her plane and had to switch off her phone. Later that evening we got a call from her letting us know she was home safe and sound and that everything at home seemed different lol. I think she could find it difficult to settle back down at home, and her parents could find it hard to get used to the grown up and independant young lady she has become, but I am sure they will sort it all out eventually.
Goodbye Fraulein Auf Wiedersehen, we miss you already and you will always be part of our family xxxxx

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Continuing Saga of the WALL!!

Well we still don't have a wall :-( Our builder couldn't come last week as he'd hurt his hand and arm in an accident with a grinder, luckily it wasn't serious and he was only bruised! He couldn't come the week before due to bad weather. This week he could only come on Saturday as he had family commitments on Sunday. But as usual the weather didn't co-operate, and only about hour after starting he was rained off and went home. Trouble was an hour or so after that the rain cleared up!! I am so hoping we can get this bleeping wall finished before the Summer Holidays, and then we can get the garden sorted back out again so its safe for Little Prince to play out. Keep your fingers crossed, the way our luck is going we'll be lucky to get the wall finished for Christmas!!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Secret Pal Gift

I'm very late in blogging this Secret Pal Gift - I always promise myself that I'll get organised one day, but "one day" hasn't arrived yet lol. Anyway my Not So Secret Pal sent me this lovely jigsaw in the shape of a little girl from Vietnam, and also a silver necklace with a pendant that says love (ai) in Chinese characters and a little Ladybird Christmas ornament :-) Thank you ever so much Keri :-)

Surprise Pressie

These cute, teeny, tiny Nike trainers and matching bib were sent by my friend S, perhaps she is trying to make sure MeiMei will be a runner like her :-) I think they are absolutely gorgeous - thank you so much S xxx

Thursday, 19 June 2008

New Babies!!

Me and LMS have been busy the last few days sorting out the dining room and kitchen ready for their new inhabitants - our new Kittens!! Introducing Wolfie (the all black one) and Figaro (the black and white one). They are both asleep so you can't see their gorgeous eyes lol Wolfie has greenish eyes and Figaro has blue eyes :-) They didn't like their bed until we put it inside a cardboard box, and now they love it and have been sleeping in it ever since!! Arent' they CUTE :-)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Do you like it??

This was one of my birthday presents to myself!! I decided I'm addicted to blogging so I might as well have it prettified!! I've worked with the designer for ages now, and she has managed to put together this stunning design from my vague and eclectic ideas :-) Thank you ever so much Rebecca :-)

Monday, 16 June 2008

Finally heard from Social Worker!

We got an email from our social worker this evening, to say that everything is now sorted out with our Local Authority and we can start work on our new homestudy. Trouble is our social worker can't start working with us until the 7th July ANOTHER three weeks away!! I am going completely mental!! We first told our LA that we wanted to change our application from China to Ethiopia at the end of February - 3 1/2 months ago!!! Aaaargh!!!! Our social worker said she could work with us on Mondays or Saturdays, in our reply we asked if we could do both!! We are conscious of how much time has already passed, and that we are away for two weeks in early August - we don't want to waste any more time. I've been pressing "Send/Receive" on my emails ever since and I feel sick and my stomach is churning!! I guess that as it is now after 11pm I won't get a reply until tomorrow sometime - urgh!!!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Trip to London

Thankfully even after the abysmal start to our day yesterday, we still managed to have a lovely day in London. We met LMS at the London Train Station, as she had been staying with a friend at Friend's Southern University for a few days. We then took LMS and Drama Teen to a Photographic Studio where they were having a "model style" make over and then "model style" photographs done.
Well Mr Messy took them, me and Little Prince waited for them at the British Library where Little Prince was thrilled to find a cuddly Gruffalo that he played with for most of the day. Once Mr Messy had successfully dropped the Big Girls off we went to the restaurant where we had arranged to meet a group of prospective adopters. We had a lovely time chatting about where everyone was up to in the process, and moaning about our respective social workers lol. After the meal we walked back to the Photographic Studio to pick up the Big Girls. Unfortunately they weren't ready, so we wandered back to Starbucks and had a drink and cake and waited for them. When they arrived they told us that the photos wouldn't be ready for another hour and a half!! This didn't go down very well with Mr Messy as we only had a few hours left before our last train home, so he and LMS turned quite snappy and grumpy! We wandered around London yet again trying to find somewhere where all my fussy family would be happy to eat, and finally found a modern Italian place that suited everyone, phew! Little Prince was fascinated to watch his pizza dough being kneaded and thrown to make it into the pizza base - although he did ask if they could make it a triangle not a circle!!
When we had just finished eating we got a call from the Studio to say that the photos were ready, so we trundled back round there to view them. LMS was frantically filling in the list she had been asked to make of friends names and mobile numbers, if she could list 30 she was told she would get money off her photos! Alarm bells were ringing for me by now!! When she finished filling in her list, she was asked to pluck an envelope from a jar - which when opened said she could have £25 off any 'package deal' of photos. We were then taken downstairs to the Viewing Rooms - and shown the photos on a computer screen and asked to make our decision as to which ones to keep and which to discard. The girls whittled their choices down to 19 photos each - and then we were told the price!! I nearly fell off my chair - £900 for an album of 20 off 8" by 8" prints!!! You have GOT to be joking!!! In the end we paid £200 for 5 photos of each girl and one of them together, on CD not even for prints!!! Way over priced as the images are saved at a very low resolution and may not be big enough to have printed!!! However, the girls did have a great time having their hair and make up done and posing for the photographs, so we paid for the experience too!! I wish I could show you the photographs, as they both look stunning (as always) but if you know us personally you can check out the girls social networking pages and see them there :-)

The BEST thing about the whole day though, was coming home and finding an email from a friend with pictures of her referral from China :-) I am so so thrilled for them and friend's hubby is a daddy for Father's Day - what a present!!


Yesterday we had to set off fairly early to go to the train station for a day out in London. Mr Messy was taking the bags and coats to the car, and came in looking puzzled and asking where the old Discovery was?? Its outside I answered, irritated as he was interrupting me trying to get ready (again!!). No its not, he answered. I rushed out to look and all there was outside was a gap on the road where it should have been. Some utter SCUMBAGS have stolen my Discovery :-( I had to rush back into the house to report this to the Police, who I am sure will do their best, but I don't think we will ever see it again. We then had to pile into the car and go and get our train. I am so upset over this, I know we were selling it anyway and that I just wanted it gone, but WHY should some SCUMBAGS be able to just take it?? Mr Messy works very hard at a very stressful job so that we can buy the things we need, and some of the things we want. Why should some SCUMBAGS be able to just waltz around and take things that they haven't paid for?? Why should the SCUMBAGS have the things that we worked hard for, for nothing??? Its NOT FAIR!!! And now I have to try and work out how to cancel the Ebay listing - any ideas??

Thursday, 12 June 2008


Mr Messy has just set up a new photography business and is on the look out for willing models (or victims!!) to appear in his portfolio. His photographs are modern lifestyle pictures and even though I say so myself they are VERY good :-) If any of you, who know me personally want photographs taken of yourselves, your family, your pets or whatever else - just get in touch. Mr Messy will take the photographs for nothing, will provide you with a few prints of the photos and a CD of the rest if you want to have more prints done, all at no cost. All he asks is permission to use the images (just images no names or other identifying information) in his portfolio and on his website once that is set up and running. Just get in touch if you'd like any photographs taken :-)

Saturday, 7 June 2008


This week I've been researching dyspraxia, as Little Prince's school (and us) think he could have this. Many of his behaviours and reactions match the symptom list on the Dyspraxia Foundation website - eerily closely!! His school teacher and the school SENCO are being very supportive and helpful and are going to work with us and Little Prince to find the most suitable way to help him. Its been scary and overwhelming to find that Little Prince might have special needs. However as the week has gone on I've come to realise that both he and we have been coping with the effects of his probable dyspraxia for the whole time we've been together - and just because it might now have a name doesn't change who he is, it just gives us extra tools and ideas of how to cope and help him to cope.

My new baby!!!

Nope not that baby :-( Instead I've changed my rusty old petrol-guzzling Discovery for a much newer prettier more economic Freelander :-)

From this (only rustier):-
To THIS (only MUCH nicer):-
Neither of those are my actual car lol. But my new one is so pretty :-) We bought it a present of a snazzy new radio which I can plug my iPod into - a huge improvement on my old Discovery where the radio didn't even work!! Its full leather inside, its got air conditioning (I couldn't even open the drivers window on the old one!!). And I think its FAB :-) Trouble is its at the garage having a new back door, as before I bought it someone bumped into it in a carpark. So I haven't driven it much yet!!

Friday, 6 June 2008

China Adoption Forecast dot com

Our prediction for LID 2007-Aug-16

China has 571 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 6.3 days of dossiers each month.

Our best guess: 2015-June-10

Since China generally sends out referrals in a batch about once per month, your referral date could easily vary +/- one month depending on whether you just get included or just get missed in a particular batch.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


Yesterday we visited a family who adopted their child while they lived in Ethiopia. The family lived in Ethiopia for over 5 years so were able to tell us a lot about Ethiopian culture and the way of life over there, and its always much more interesting to be hear things directly like that instead of reading them from a book where you can't ask questions and clarify things. The family showed us pictures from their time in Ethiopia and were incredibly open and willing to discuss their adoption. They completed their adoption while living in Ethiopia under Ethiopian laws and rules, so the process would be different for us. However, they worked with the same orphanage/orphanage director that has been recommended to us and it was very useful to be able to discuss how the orphanage operates and the reasons that children end up there. Apparently there is no culture of adopting unrelated (stranger) children in Ethiopia, except if a child is placed in the doorway of a rich person's house and that family chose to take in the child (they see the child as a blessing) and raise him/her. Also extended family will take in a related child who's parents cannot raise them. So a child that ends up in an orphanage really has no-one at all, which is a stark and very upsetting thought.

We discussed at length the advice we had already been given from another Ethiopian adopter to ask to be referred a child where there is knowledge of the birthfamily. We found out that this is very unlikely to happen, due to the way the orphanage operates - the director will not take a child a birthparent wants to relinquish to her care. The children who end up in the care of this orphanage could have been abandoned in the street, left to be killed by wild animals in the countryside or abandoned in hospital soon after birth. We were assured that the orphange director is an honourable woman who would not knowingly take a trafficked child into the care of her orphanage, and as she only works with the UK and one or two other European countries there isn't a huge demand for babies for adoption, which can happen when large American agencies and their huge numbers of prospective adopters get involved. This eased my mind greatly as this was something that I had become increasingly worried about after speaking to the other adopter.

We also discussed hair and skin care, and I think I have a LOT to learn. Thankfully the mother of the family offered to help me learn how to care for our future daughter's hair and take me to a local African hair/skin care shop once we have our child to find out what products suit her best.

And in amongst all these other topics we also discussed correct etiquette for greetings and eating. It is considered polite to stand up when someone new enters a room and to shake hands with everyone in the room when you enter it. It is also considered polite to shake hands each time you meet someone, rather than the English, shake hands the first time sort of greeting. And if you get to know someone well you kiss them three times (or sometimes even more) on alternating cheeks. A married woman should be addressed as Waizero firstname, and a man as Ato firstname. When people get married they don't take the same surname, and surnames are fluid and changing as they tradition is to take the father's first name as the child's surname. When eating traditional Ethiopian food, you are served communally on a large table, which is then covered in injera (pancake shaped flat round "bread") the food is then placed on the injera and you use one hand to eat (mostly the right but can be the left if you are left handed). You tear a bit off your injera and dip it into the stew, red stew is very spicy and yellow is milder - I'll be going for yellow!! If each person has ordered a different flavour of stew it is perfectly acceptable to dip your injera in their's to share. However, it is not acceptable to lick your fingers or lips during the meal. You will be expected to wash your hands before and after the meal instead. There is also an elaborate coffee ceremony that if we were invited to would be rude of us to not accept, as I don't drink tea or coffee this could be tricky!! The first serving in the coffee ceremony is the strongest, as once the coffee is made no more beans are added, just more hot water. And it is perfectly acceptable to only drink "first serving." Or to do a quick switcheroo with Mr Messy that makes it look as though I've drunk my cupfull and means he has to drink two cups!!

Hubby also brought up the fact that he would like to see more of the country than just Addis Ababa when we go to adopt, and we were advised to do any tourist travelling and shopping before we pick up our child as then once we have her we can concentrate fully on meeting her needs. It will be difficult to fly to Addis Ababa knowing our daughter is there waiting for us, and then to travel to a different part of the country without seeing her. But I know that if I saw her I couldn't leave her behind and that it wouldn't be fair to drag her travelling round with us when she is adjusting to her new family. We were also advised that shopping could be difficult as most Ethiopians don't value their traditional culture and if we ask to be taken to shops we would more likely be taken to shops selling modern Western things than traditional Ethiopian things. Our best bet could be to give our driver some money and ask him to buy us things. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country, and most of the souvenirs I have seen available on line have had very elaborate cross motifs on. Due to the religious make up of our family, this doesn't appeal to me and when the family showed me their souvenirs I was relieved to see that it is possible to buy Ethiopian things without the cross motif.


25th May 2009 - See New Child again & Court Date

23rd May 2009 - Fly back to Ethiopia

26th March 2009 - Fly to Ethiopia :-)

3rd March 2009 - Dossier Arrived at Orphanage

26th February 2009 - Dossier sent to Ethiopia

22nd December 2008 - Dossier back at DCSF

28th November 2008 - Certificate of Eligibility ISSUED

6th October 2008 - PASSED Approval Panel

7th July 2008 - Homestudy Update Started

28th Feb 2008 - Told LA we wished to change country


Formally withdrew from the China Adoption Programme 17th July 2008

LID (Logged in Date) with CCAA 16th August 2007

Documents to China 10th August 2007

Passed Approval Panel 5th March 2007

Homestudy started 6th June 2006

First Contact with our LA 1st Jan 2006