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We are glad you stopped by, we hope you are blessed, and enjoy your stay. We discuss a little bit of everthing here, from homeschool, parenting, adoption, farming, our faith, and our plain lifestyle. May God Bless Your Day!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


We interrupt this blog of Taipei excitement to bring you the latest news!!

Tyler loves us!!

We get so many smiles, so many hugs, I just got a snuggle with him (and those are quite rare for anyone!)

Life has been going very well the last few days. There are still fits, there are still tantrums, but much less often, and much less severe. Praise God!!

I unfortunately had to give back the digital camera I borrowed from a friend (thanks Heidi) for the trip, so I can't post any new pictures, that will have to wait now for the old-fashioned film developing now-sigh!!

But, I will find a picture from our homecoming to post, just cuz we love seeing his smiley face and hearing his little voice say, "Momma, I go bye-bye!!" His english is improving each day, his comprehension is getting much better all the time, and life is good.
Love to all

Chris and family

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Adoption Time line

Adoption Timeline-WOW where does the time go????

Jan. 2007-hear about Sunshine Adoption,& attend their informational meeting inRichland Center
End of Jan 2007, choose Taiwan and startfilling out paperwork
Feb 14, 2007, TWCA approval
March-Homestudy meetingsDoctors' appointments for all 4,sending out background checks, etc
March fingerprinting appt rescheduled due to snowstorm
May fingerprinting
May-finally an approved homestudy
July 23,2007 USCIS approval arrives
end of July-contemplating changing programs to a waiting child/ren from another country
Aug. 3, 2007-referral of Chan Tzu-An age 3, DOB 7/31/04
Aug 6, accepted referralAug 10, received first update with birthday photos/video
Sept. 10, new updates
Sept 13-homestudy sent to be translated
Sept 26, 2007, dossier FINALLY sent to Taiwan
Oct 11, new updates
Oct 28, word of first hearing set for DEC 28, 2007
Nov 5, new updates
Dec 4, new updates
Dec 14, received photos of Tyler's bedroom/bed
Dec. 28, 2007-first hearing
Jan 4, 2008-new updates-he is wearing items from his Christmas care package
Jan 15-updated travel guide received
Jan 17-updated measurements
Jan 27-we find out our case manager is no longer with CAI and learn of new CW-Sarah H who is really a neat person too and we like her already
Feb 4, 2008 -new updates
Feb 21, 2008-FINAL RULING!!He is ours-Halleluah!
Feb 25. we begin travel plans-with plans to leave on March 6th!
March 6th-leave the farm-forgot Nick's suitcase
March 7th-fly from Minneapolis to Seattle
March 8th-fly from Seattle at 1am
March 9th-arrive in Taipei at 6:30 am
March 10, 2008--GOTCHA DAY
March 11-play time/visit the zooMarch 12-shopping/paperwork nightmare
March 13th-Keelung and National Park
March 14th-AIT, sightseeing, pack, leave Taipei at 11pmHOORRAY-now we are into life as a family of 5 on our side of the Pacific Ocean
March 15th-home-at last

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Taipei Zoo

We had fun on our outing to the Taipei Zoo, it is set into the mountains above Taipei, and is a lovely way to spend the afternoon when adjusting to a new family member-especially with the help of Mr Fong, who gladly kept the reins of our little man, who thought the entire zoo was his personal playground.

Tuesday morning around the Agora

Our first morning together did not start out too smoothly-we quickly found out sugar had been a main staple of Tyler's diet, as the ONLY foods he would eat at the bountiful Agora Gardens breakfast buffet consisted of mainly sugar, sugar, and more sugar.
While the fruit and juice and yogurt ate certainly good for him, we definitely need to find a way to include a few more things in his diet, and it will keep him from bouncing too high the rest of the morning.
We also discovered that if Nick and I head down early, pick out all the food for him ahead of time, and have it all
ready, he is much more compliant, and eager to begin
eating immediately when Kendell and Chuck bring him
down a few minutes later. But when he is done, look out
he is ALL DONE, and it is now time to leave, or the entire

hotel will hear him if we think about detaining him for a few more minutes.

After eating, we ventured outside with some bubbles, which he loved squashing and chasing, and we tried a short walk to a 7-11 for a few staples in the room, as Tyler is not always accommodating of our desire to go somewhere for food at meal times.
Here are a few more pictures of our first morning-after a night of not a whole lot of sleep for anyone-wow, was it hot in those rooms that night.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

First days' pictures


Ihave decided to go back and recreate our entire trip, as I have very little recollection of the entire time-it was such a blur due to the paperwork nightmares, and lack of sleep, and the little boy who turned our lives and plans upside-down. Mainly due to the stress of the paperwork, we feel that the trip was completely blurred in our minds, and hopefully by reliving it day-by-day here, we can really begin to feel like we were there, it did all happen, and we did really see and do a few things while there.
Starting with the airplane trip-which my children were so delighted to take part in, as you can see-they thought it was all quite grand at this time-even the meals were an adventure for them, and I really give both of them credit they did a very good job of staying busy and also sleeping while flying. Considering our flight left Seattle at 1am, I did not expect quite so many smiles from the children, but they are very resilient, and held up much better than expected.

Next is the gifts we took along for TWCA workers, for the foster family, for other babies at TWCA, for our drivers, and even one for little Leo! I was especially proud of the Wisconsin cutout frame which we gave to the foster family-we fit in photos of Tyler, of Wisconsin, and of our farm.

Next is our memories of our first night in Taipei, and we are all so thankful the Schaefers were there yet, and could show us around. We had supper at that yummy dumpling place(forgot to get photos there) and then went exploring for awhile. The children were very taken with Leo, he is such a happy little boy, and we really loved sharing our first night with Katie and Alex-I feel they will be kindred spirits all our life-and how much easier Chuck felt about everything after Alex showed him the ropes of getting around town. We are forever indebted to you guys-love ya!!

Next are the first few pictures of Taichung-the home of Tyler, his foster family, and TWCA. Our driver Mr. Yeh rolled back his roof window and encouraged me to take photos along the way. We have a few of downtown sites, and one of the baby store everyone else had to visit for formula and baby essentials. We never had to get there as we got everything from Tyler's foster mom that he was using, including bottles, formula, a nuk, all his clothes and underwear, and all his toys. Unlike a lot of other families, we did think he was very familiar with the toys-he wore many of the clothes we had sent over, and I still have 3 disposable cameras with photos to develop that will be really fun to see what is on them.

Next post will be more gotcha day photos!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Gotcha Day photos

I wanted to include some more photos

of our gotcha day time at TWCA!
We had so many good ones taken,
it is a shame to not include some more,
and it is kind of fun to look back and see
how things went that first meeting with

The first photo is of the outside of the
office building where TWCA is housed.
That is the Taiwan agency that works
with our US agency, and provides the foster
family care our children receive while
they await the court hearing to be completed.

Next is our first glimpse of Tyler. He did
not look like much of a tornado at that
time, he looked like a scared little 3 yr old
who did not know what to expect from the situation
he was about to enter into.

Then there is a fun picture of Daddy with his
3 children-I love candid photos of everyone
smiling and enjoying themselves. Tyler is
definitely a Daddy's Boy, too! But all the way

around, he prefers the men in his life over
the women, except for his big sister Kendell.
I think the sun rises and sets on her, as far
as Tyler is concerned.

Then we have a photo of Tyler and his foster mom.
I have yet to figure out her name, but will just call her
foster mom for now. She clearly cared for him,
and provided well for him. He seemed to be
well prepared for meeting us, and was
familiar with our faces from the photos we sent, and
our voices from the tape recordings we sent along.

Then, we have a photo of all of us with the foster
mom. Right after this photo was taken, we had a few
minutes to chat with her quietly(sort of) and ask a
few questions, which now I wish I had asked a whole
bunch more-and then she quietly slipped out of the
room before Ty had a chance to notice.

I feel for him, as I really think some of his pushing
me away has to do with his birth mom and foster mom
walking out of his life, and he really doesn't feel he
can trust a woman-so we are in for a long haul with
building trust in our little man, but I am thankful for
the prayers of the faithful who have kept pleading our
case before God, as I know that is where we will be
successful, as God opens doors, and brings healing
in his little heart.



Monday, March 17, 2008

An end to the paperwork nightmares

Well it is time to do a brief update on things that happened in Taipei. It is Monday morning in Wisconsin, and yes, we are home-it is so good to be here too, but I could skip the 12:30 am wakeup from our son. Oh well, it is now 2:30, hopefully he will be ready for a nap pretty soon-I know I am.

We are very confused about everything that happened in Taiwan concerning the paperwork. We have been told many different things, and none of the stories completely line-up, so I think to sum it all up, we will just say-for any adoptive parents who will be traveling, make very sure AIT has everything they need before you travel-I really would have rather left the states a week later, and that is what AIT told us they requested from TWCA-it is much easier, cheaper, and tons less pressure on you when paperchasing from this side of the Pacific, especially when it is elusive, evasive and unresponsive government agencies you are trying to tie down and get info from.

I am a bit saddened by the way things went, you really want to believe your government cares about you, but in the end, we are just feeling blessed to have only spent one extra day compared to the extra 5-6 they originally were telling us.

I will be posting more over the next few days about our time spent in Taiwan. For now, I will post a couple pictures, and hopefully get back to sleep for awhile.

Playing with new toys is just as much fun for the big kids and the little one

Tyler's first bath with us

Our first day in the hotel-someone likes his finger when he is tired


Chris and Family

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Long time in coming-but finally, here they are....

Holding hands already

Momma and her new son

Daddy and his new son

Our first family picture on gotcha day!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

We are now a family of 5

Hey everyone, it is finally here, the day we have been dreaming about for a very long time.
Tyler is with us, and wow, what a day it has been. He has a cold, but has lots of nervous energy, and we will be pretty tied up for a few hours tending to him, and still cleaning up the USCIS mess with our paperwork-AIT still does not have all our paperwork-which means overseas phone calls tonight, as it will be Monday morning back home. I will be posting pics on the blog as soon as I can get someone to show me how,but for now,just wanted to let everyone know we are back to Taipei with our son, we are a family of 5!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sitting in Seattle

Well, I wish I could say it has been totally effortless to get this far-however, the AIT in Taipei still does not have our I-171h form, we left Hillsboro without our son's luggage, and spent quite a bit of Thursday night consoling an inconsolable 9 yr old, we are now sitting in the Seattle terminal, the flight was a bit rought, my tummy is still flipping, and we have a 6 hour wait, with one place available for food!
OK, at least the flight is on time, we are on our way, and we should all sleep tonight, as we were awake between 4 and 6 this morning-but jeez-I was sure hoping for a better start than this!
However, the kids are really enjoying the flying-we hit Sears before we went to the airport and got Nick some clothes and a bag, we don't have a laptop, but do have a digital camera we are enjoying playing with-Life is good, God is good, and I am tired but feeling blessed!
But, a shower will really feel good Sunday morning!
I will post again when we get to Taiwan! Hopefully we will have word Monday morning that the paperwork is at AIT as it should have been long before this-
Chris and family

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Oh Happy Day!!

I could not believe how blessed we are-I opened up my email Friday night, and could not believe how long it was taking to receive mail-and all of a sudden, there was a large file from our caseworker with updated photos and videos of Tyler!!

He is such a gem, so smiley, happy, and full of energy! He must really like his
sweatshirt we sent him at Christmas time, this is the 2nd set of photos we have with him wearing it!!

Well, it is also our last update we will be
getting-can't believe we will be leaving to go and get him in less than a week now!!

What I am truly amazed at is how God has been knitting our hearts together through this process. With each set of updates we received, I have realized I just love him so much already, and marvel at how good God is to us.

Well, time to get on with the day, I just had to post a picture of our little ham!!

OK, I really only meant to post one picture, but it took 3 tries to find the one I really liked-the one at the top!! BUT, why not, he is just adorable, and everyone needs to see him in action, right?