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This just made me LAUGH outloud today!!!

Delaware Adoption Story

Check it out!!! Click HERE!


Let me just say that it was an HONOR to be your Secret Pal. Donna, you're a girl after my own heart! You are sweet, kind, loving, crafty, bloggy, and TOTALLY talented!!! I love all those things about you! I wasn't just picking out gifts for a fellow adopter, I felt like I was picking out gifts for a forever friend. It was FATE that I was matched with you, my JAN-DTCer, my EAST COAST PANDA, and my AHH TRAVEL BUDDY! It seems our paths just keep crossing!! Maybe our daughters paths are crossing halfway around the world? Wouldn't that be amazing!

Just to let you know, for every gift I picked out for you, I had to get one for myself and it KILLED me not to put it on my blog!!! Ha. Ha. It was worth it! Trust me when I tell you I enjoyed every minute of the shopping or creating. And yes, I am CRAZY!! (but in a good way)

Love ya lots!!!

Stephe & Pirate

LOVE Onsie

One of the things that us ECG Pandas wanted to do on our PHILLY Adventure was to paint onsies. We were having so much fun and cramming so much stuff in two days that we didn't have time to do our craft project. I had purchased three Asian stencils for us to use. So me, Donna, and Susan decided to make the onsies for the girls that came to my house for dinner and crafts. We each picked a stencil and ran with it! This onsie is the one that Donna made for me!! Isn't it just adorable!!! Look at the little ladybug!!! Too cute. I will upload a photo of one of the ones that I did and hopefully someone will send a photo of one of the ones that Susan created!
I told you Donna does GREAT work!! Thanks Donna...I LOVE IT!


Finally, my wonderful Secret Pal has been revealed!!!
It's Jodie, Brian, Madison & Dalton Rencher!
I want to thank you for making these past months just so much fun and something to look forward to. I knew that if I had my gifts sent to my office that it would just make it even more fun. (plus, I would never get them if they were sent to my home...seriously) Anyway, I have been the envy of my company! (the girls..that is) I would get a call when the box came in and I had to open them right there. They had a hard time at first grasping the concept of someone that you don't know would send you presents. They get it now and "we've" all had a blast. I'm so glad to have had you as my Secret Pal and I have just LOVED ALL of the special things that you've sent to me!!!
Below are photos of some of the super cool stuff that I got on this last month of our Secret Pal Swap! Look at this AMAZING CHINA DOLL.

She's beautiful and I LOVE her outfit! This will be one of those "look but don't touch" kind of dolls. Giorgi will just have to admire from a far. (Not as far as China, so hurry up referrals!)

Along with the doll came this little snow globe! It's just the CUTEST! It's so precious! It reminds me of my latest addiction....the mommy and baby panda at the Atlanta Zoo. I am addicted to their WEBCAM!!
I also received this BEAUTIFUL Asian Photo Album. Photos are my life so I will definately have this filled with photos of Giorgi! Now look at this totally cute jacket and hat!! LOVE IT...LOVE THE FLOWERS. You definately know what I love!!!Plus my SP sent me more red envelopes!! Now I think I have enough for my trip to CHINA!!!! Yippee!
Honorable mention (not pictured) is another HUGE Chinese Takeout Box of Candy!!!! I have a candy addiction too....they were gone within the hour...and it was a LOT of candy!!!!
Here is a stroll down memory lane... (click on the months to see my SP gifts)

  • Jodie, Brian, Madison & Dalton... You've been the BEST SECRET PAL EVER!!!!

    (((BIG HUGS)))

    Ellen Burstyn

    So I’m at work listening to “The View” on the radio and Ellen Burstyn is on.

    She wrote a book and was talking about how something she had done in her past had caused her to be infertile. The View girls were voicing their sympathies but Ellen was like, no don’t, because it brought me to my son. (adopted) She told of how, in the beginning, she didn’t know if she could be a mother to an adopted child and she struggled with it. Then her little dog became pregnant. (not sure if the little dog lost the puppy or it was a pseudo pregnancy) anyway, the day the dog was to deliver, she (the dog) went into another room and just started barking. Ellen followed her and finally figured out that it was a little stuffed tiger on the top shelf that she wanted. Ellen gave have her the little tiger and her dog nursed it and took care of it for almost two weeks as if it was her own. Ellen was like, OKAY, I get it!!! She would be able to love a child. She then looked up Mother in the dictionary and the first thing she read was that it was a verb; to mother and once you did that, you could become a noun…A Mother.

    Loved her story

    Madonna on Oprah

    See the transcripts from the Oprah show regarding Madonna's adoption of David.

    Calling Cards for China

    Here is some info that I've found when researching Calling Cards for China. There are lots of different ways to go!
    Don’t call straight to China from your phone unless you want those couple of minutes to be $300.

    ►Bring a calling card from the states. One person bought one from Sprint, and also purchased a cheap one from their guide. The Chinese card had complicated instructions and she never got it to work. The sprint card worked great and it was so easy. She says, If you want a really good deal, go with a Panda Phone. Its a cell phone provided by Lotus travel, very cheap, and works great.

    ►Don’t bother getting a panda phone unless people HAVE to be able to get a hold of you (like if you have children at home).

    ►Buy IP cards in China (Your guide will help you) and it is much cheaper.

    ►One bought 2 ASIA calling cards at SEARS and they were $10 each. All their family members called them while in China and there are lots of minutes left on them.

    ►Callingcardplus.com. $25 for about 500 minutes.

    ►Onesuite.com. Another says this is the best. They say, “You go to the website, and follow the directions--I don't remember what you do, but I think you have to state where you are calling from and to--though I could be wrong. You simply purchase minutes, kind of like buying minutes on a calling card. They give you a number to call before you call the number you are trying to reach--exactly like a calling card. The rates are *extremely* low--I'm talking CHEAP. I think China is maybe three cents a minute???? Something like that. For instance, I bought ten dollars worth of minutes when my friend went to China last March. I called her at least four times that I can recall--and, I still have minutes left. When you run out, you just buy more. Simple.”

    ►Someone used and AT&T card and had this to say… “AT&T prepaid card before we left for China in December. Every time we used it we were charged a huge fee by all the hotels we stayed in (sorry I don't know the exact amount) even though it was a toll-free number to use the card. Our agency tells everyone to buy calling cards in China however when we stayed in Nanchang, Jiangxi, our agency guide told us that the hotel blocks the use of Chinese calling cards because they can then charge for long distance charges instead. I don't know how widespread this is in China and it may have just as well been the hotel.”

    ►Some suggest also taking a US bought calling card just in case. Check first that you can use it from China before you leave. Some think most of the well-known ones you can.

    ►One more purchased phone cards in China. They were very inexpensive like $5.00 US for 30 min. Their guide in Beijing had a few we could purchase and then they were able to purchased several at local stores in our child's province and then one at the 7-11 in GZ. They were easy to use and they did not get charged extra for using the phone like several travel mates were for using US phone cards.


    Check out those BLUE eyes!!! He's gonna be one heartbreaker when he gets older!

    M Adopts Part 2

    "Anonymous said...
    just randomed by. You are missing a few crucial facts. The child HAS a family, his father is alive and aware of his whereabouts, his extended family visited the child regularily in the orphanage. Malawi does not allow international adoption - the normal criteria is that people have to have been resident in the country for one year. She has circumnavigated all of the normal procedures, and thats what is annoying everyone. The money she will spend on this one child could be spent better. Perhaps had she adopted a true orphan there would have been less of a hoo hah. I'm not adopting, nor planning to adopt, nor give two figs for Madonna, I just thought I ought to put you more in the picture. (oh and I also don't have a blog sorry. "
    Stephe says...
    Dear anonymous, first off, why won't you post your name. I hear what you are saying but I have to disagree...

    I think you are obviously missing a few crucial facts. You say Malawi does not allow international adoption unless you reside in the country for a year. That's funny...I know of one that just happened!!! "She DIDN'T circumnavigate" the system, Malawi allowed her to adopt. Maybe it's Malawi that you should have a problem with.
    Oh, and if there is such an extended family who regularily visits the orphange, couldn't one of them have taken the child.

    It's a complicated issue when parents abandon their children or "leave" them and I'm not judging their reasons. But I do know that it's complicated. Doesn't this little boy deserve a family that will never "leave" him, love and take care of him?

    Lastly, which I know will tweak people...

    Money and Status does come with priveledges. Hell, isn't it the American way! (actually, it seems to be the way of the world) I don't have money nor status but I know a few that do and you know what, they are just like me with a few extra perks.

    Listen, all you out their adopting from Wherever, let say you hit the lottery tomorrow, say 214 Million dollars. Your agency then calls you and says that they are now offering to "expedited" your paperwork for $10,000. Would you do it?

    I know I would, but some of you would say, "Oh no, my goodness, I would never want to jump a head of all these waiting parents, I'll just let my little girl wait for me in an orphanage until it's my turn. (maybe 10 more months)" Okay...sure! Not me. I'd jump on the first plane out and scoop her up!
    Just something to think about!

    Madonna Adopts

    Why are people so judgmental? Geesh. Why is everyone so up in arms about Madonna Adopting? Give me a break.

    Madonna did get her criminal reports done.
    She got her immigration done.
    Had a homestudy too.
    The particular area in Africa has NO waiting list.
    Hasn’t she appeared to have raised her Bio children well?
    Hasn’t she attempted to keep them out of the spotlight?
    Doesn’t this little boy deserve to have a family adopt him?

    Oh, I know, it would be better for him to stay in an orphanage for a year or so before he can be adopted…because that would be better?

    Oh, I get it, if you are rich that must mean you would be a horrible parent and should never; never create your family through adoption.

    Oh, I guess that if you are a celebrity, you couldn’t possibly give love to anyone but yourself so how could adoption be a possibility.

    Why are some of you sooo pissed? Seriously. Are you just pissed because she got her baby quicker than you? Go to Malawi and adopt.

    There are so many people in this world that make a lot of money/celebrity status but you don’t see lots of them actually trying to make a difference. She donated that money for an orphanage and she has opened up her heart to give a little boy a family. This is ONE LESS ORPHAN in the world. Open up your hearts people and stop being so GOD DAMN judgmental

    Oh, and to anyone getting ready to hit that little comment button and leave me an ignorant or negative email..."BITE ME"


    I'm Addicted to the Panda Cam!!

    Isn't the baby just too cute. Mom is a good mom too. She is always cuddling and nursing her. It's so addictive!!

    Chinese Fortune Outfit

    Laundry Tip

    (ie. Desitin or Zincofax)
    If you have a baby prone to diaper rash, you have inevitably gotten zinc oxide cream (aka diaper rash cream) on your clothing or your baby's clothing. Fortunately, many of the zinc oxide creams, such as Desitin and Zincofax can be removed with special washing care.

    Fill a sink with hot water and laundry detergent, and soak the garment. Then gently rub the fabric together over the spot to remove the oil in the cream. Next, empty the sink and refill with white vinegar, soaking the garment for 15 minutes to remove the zinc oxide. Then wash as normal. The diaper rash cream will be gone!

    Did anyone SEE??

    Did anyone SEE?? Not only is Sophie Lu getting a sister, Isabella, but she will also have a little brother, OLIVER!! Congrat's Shana!!!! How amazing!!

    Hi Lily

    Hi Lily, I just told my little dog that I met a new family on one of my groups and they have a daughter named Lily! Pirate got all excited and wanted to send little puppy schmooch and a ruff! :)

    Philadelphia Fun

    Wow, what a weekend!!! I created a blog just for the event. Pandas take Philly...go check it out and see all of the photos.

    When a few of us East Coast Girls decided to get together, we never thought that so many would join us. (some from pretty far away) It became more than I ever imagined it would be! I knew that I was creating bonds with a bunch of great girls (women, but I like to say girls) that I've been chatting with online. I just didn't realize how truely amazing each and every one was until I spent this weekend with them. We all had a story and a different perspective. Different but the same. Our Children from China will be our bond and I see all of us growing old together. It was a weekend with lots of touring, shopping, eating, and drinking. But in the end, what I'll remember the most was all of the fun, laughter, craziness, sharing, and tears. Thank you to all of you that came from near and far! This was just the BEST WEEKEND! I miss you all!!!!!

    Pirate's Philly Fun

    This is how Pirate was dressed to greet Donna and Susan at the Airport. He had on his tough skull & crossbone t-shirt and some bling in his hair. (Stolen loot from his pirating days). He was trying to get all the girls attention at the airport! What a cutie!

    Shopping in Chinatown was very prosperous for Pirate. I found him his official Mascot Outfit. He's my little Asian Pooch!

    Thank You Susan, Donna & Cheryl

    Susan, Donna & Cheryl gave me this ADORABLE little outfit for GIORGIA! Could this be any cuter!! Look at the Fur Collar and the animal print. Girls, you totally know what I LOVE!!! It is just so cute and I can't wait for her to be home struttin' her stuff in her new SPECIAL duds!!! They also gave me this georgous Panda Candle!!! It's so beautiful and detailed. I told them that this will be the new candle that I light on a full moon! Thank you girls! You are SO THOUGHTFUL! It was a pleasure for you to stay at my house. Bless you Cheryl for you slept on the couch! I hope that is was comfortable enough!!

    It was like CHRISTMAS!!!

    Look at all the fun stuff!!!

    Above: I made Precious Panda Welcome Gift bags for everyone. They included info on the weekend event and Philly stuff, Water, Snacks, Precious Panda Chocolate bars and a 4 pack of Precious Panda Thank You Cards. Hope, Sheryl and Jenna brought lots and lots of Tiara's for everyone. We had them in Pink, Purple, and Diamond Colors! Gotta love the sparkly stuff!!!

    Above: Kim brought me an awesome Hostess gift, a Mulled Apple Candle. It smells wonderful!!!! Kim also brought Chopsticks for everyone. Melissa brought us all Asian inspired Journals. I think that I will definately bring this to China with me for my China Travel Diary! Next is my Sparkly Wand! As Friday night hostess, Sheryl thought I needed a Wand to go with my Tiara! (Totally works for me!!!)

    Above: After our day running around Philly when we were having our slumber party, Wanda gave us this book, IMPERIAL CHINA. It's an awesome book and she even personalized it for each of us! Next we have a little taste of Texas!!! Cheryl brought 4 big jars of Texas Salsa, Raspberry, Chipolte, Blackbean and Black Bean and Corn! Yummy Stuff!

    Friday night at during our dinner, Lori presented us each with a little Asian Bear and a little Asian Take-out box. Inside the Takeout box was a Fan Magnet and an itty bitty Asian Duckie. Well, could you get anymore perfect!! It fits right in to Giorgia's Duckie Bathroom theme! Now, I just have to find a way to keep it from Pirate. Something about those duckies just drives him wild!! lol. Next is one of the three bottles of wine Cheryl managed to sneak on the plane! Yippee! Kathy wasn't so lucky...they confiscated hers!!!

    Above: Whoopie Pies! Yahoo! These are yummmmy!!! It's like a soft chocolate caked cookie with a whipped creamy inside! They are awesome. The infamous "Magic Cone"! Leave it to Sheryl. I know I've always wanted to pee standing up! ha. ha. For fun, I just might have to try it but darn you for defacing our Precious Panda Logo! ha. ha.
    Believe it or not...There is even more to come...I just haven't gotten photos yet!!!

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