Part 2: A Grandparent Worthy Post (picture heavy)

 The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland was really pretty. We went to an orchid garden in Guangzhou in 2010 that looked very similar to this. The festivities for Chinese New Year were so much fun. There are several Chinese schools in the area so plenty of kiddos participated in entertaining. We also stopped in the tea house for a snack while waiting for one of the performances. We had a  black tea that had a very "woody" scent and was really yummy. Eric isn't a big fan of the Chrysanthemum teas we were offered in China so this tea was perfect. We were served tea in single gaiwans which requires you to tilt the top to prevent drinking the tea leaves and holding a couple of pieces of porcelain together. The lady in the shop said she was very impressed with Jake's tea drinking skills. Who knew? We also enjoyed a red bean moon cake and a puffed rice bar (think Chinese rice crispy treat). 

Those boys really aren't too far away from each other height wise. No wonder people asking if they're twins. 


The kids made paper lanterns and colored dragons







Waiting for tea!




And waiting for the show.....









I thought this little guy was adorable! 


This little girl was showing our kiddos how to do the Chinese yo-yo. 


Little did we know that we have a pro on our hands. We have a couple of these, but they hadn't been very interested in them (and Jake lost parts to them). But Jake just went to town on this thing! 



Grant and Ally got the hang of it too.






















We finished the afternoon with a local Chinese restaurant that served pigeon and garlic dishes and a $90 bowl of shark fin soup. Nope, we didn't get it. Ally said the only thing she liked about the pigeon dish in China was dissecting the head. We stuck with Mongolian beef, crispy pork, beef noodle soup, and cashew chicken......really yummy! And no, I did not take a peek in the kitchen. There are some things you just don't want to know.  

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Part 1: Lan Su Chinese Garden (Picture Heavy)














































































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Wasatch International Adoptions and Carson

I don't think I've ever really posted about Wasatch International. This is the adoption agency we used for our second adoption. If my seal of approval means anything, then you've got it. Our adoptions were like night and day. Wasatch handled everything in a timely manner and knew when paperwork should be completed by government agencies. If it wasn't completed on time, they had usually already called the government agency before I even called Wasatch! They knew the dossier process incredibly well so that we were "smooth sailing" by the time we sent it. I really couldn't say enough about them. 

So why rave about them almost two years after the fact? Well, a couple of reasons. Shhh..... don't tell Eric, but I still head on over to their website and look at the WAITING CHILDREN posted there. There are at least two I recognize from when we were looking for our second son that are still on the list. 

Another reason is Carson. Carson is aging out this coming December. He is described as smart, clever, helpful and obedient. His thirteenth birthday is nearing and if a family is going to adopt him, they need to get going on all that paperwork! There is an $11,000 waiver to help a family complete his adoption. If you know of anyone or would like more information, contact Kathy@wiaa.org. You can also click his name above or click on the picture to read more information about him. 


Another reason is that I frequently get emails from prospective adoptive parents who would like to hear of my experience with Wasatch. They are a smaller agency who truly sees the need of creating forever families and helping children find their way into loving homes. You can still label them a business, but we never felt that way with them. Our adoption didn't seem like a business transaction while using them at all. They were intent on helping us create the family God had intended for us. 

And the last reason is that Wasatch has a blog with pictures and information of waiting children. You can find it at Wasatch Waiting Children. I'm reminded of my first conversation with Kathy, their intake referral person, when I called to tell her that we were interested in finding a little boy around the ages of 5-8 years old. Her response was, "Heather, my desk is covered with them. How many would you like to see?".  Sadly, I know this to be true. So many children waiting...... 

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Long-Long's New Year

My mom bought us Long-Long's New Year last year,  I believe. We read it today as part of school. If you haven't checked it out before, you should! It's a sweet, sweet story with absolutely amazing graphic work. The pages are full of all things you'd love about China right down to Yeh-Yeh's old wrinkled face. Jake enjoys studying the pictures. Love it! Check it out! 





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Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year!)

On Sunday, we added a few Chinese yummies to our dinner to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. Now, it's no surprise to anyone that knows me, that I love Chinese food. Okay, so I love Vietnamese, Korean, Thai,  American.....yep, pretty much love food. But Jake and I made a trip to our local Asian market which has a sushi bar, bakery, grocery, very Asian seafood market, Thai food stall, jewelry store, and even furniture. Well, pretty much everything from the toilet seat (fancy ones too) to green bean popsicles.  Oh! And they have those delicious Chinese crullers too. We love them dipped in a good vinegar. But this was really more of having some time with Jake as he picked out some of his favorite things.  

(the writing on the packages is in Korean)

He loves Yu Choy cooked in garlic and soy sauce. He also picked out Pocky, plum candy, dumplings that were still hot, and a red bean paste donut. I love taking him because every single time, he picks things out with the intent of taking the treats home to share with Ally and Grant. Once home, he cut his  donut to share. Of course, Grant had no interest, but Ally does like the taste of red bean paste. The dumplings were gone in no time flat! 



Now, Nauryz the  Kazakh New Year, is coming up in March. Although we recognize the day, I don't cook for that one. Boiled goat's head, horse sausage, Shubat (fermented camal's milk), and Beshbarmak (meat and noodles usually horse meat) are on the menu. Considering Grant is the pickiest eater EVER and I'm not a big horse meat eater, the delicacies won't be made. We'll just recognize it for what it is as part of his Kazakh-American heritage. 

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Only Gray....

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Sunny











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