lala_yayaWe are in the process of adopting an 8 year old girl from China. She will be our 2nd international adoption- our 6th child. We had the pleasure of hosting her over Christmas when she stayed with us for a month in December-January. Xiao Ya (Xiao, like shower), teamed up nicely with our Haitian-born 9 year, Landie (Lon-zee). Xiao Ya has down syndrome like our Ashty.  We were surprised at her independence during her visit and happy to see her doing so many things on her own without fear, being in a strange new place.

The process for international adoptions is of course a bit more daunting than domestic, but we find them all rewarding after the long waiting period and stacks and stacks of paper. My wife and I just dropped close to $900 getting fingerprints done down in Detroit. Ugh! The building was new, we were in and out quickly and so was our money. But again, all rewarding in the end. Xiao Ya wanted the nickname Ya-Ya, which was perfect because we have a ZayZay who calls Landie, LaLa. She fit right in perfectly! My wife had fun using Google Translate to communicate with her, being that she didn't speak english. It was not as big of a problem as we thought it would be. We understood each other through gestures and pointing mostly. We were able to get her some glasses while she was here and sent her a birthday cake back in China recently. We are looking forward to welcoming her back home, for good.

asty-sweetestToday is World Down Syndrome Day and we are celebrating it with our little "Ashty". We adopted him when he was 3 months old and have an open adoption with his birth mom. We see her once a year on his birthday. He needed heart surgery when he first came to us but recovered very fast. Ashty's other nickname is "Tiny" because he is so small. He will be 2 years old in June but still wears 12 month sized clothes. He amazes us every day and is sooo much fun. He has no shortage of hugs and kisses!

For the most part I am responsible for feeding the fam. I am getting the hang of planning ahead and try to follow this simple guideline (in no particular order):

  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • breakfast for dinner
  • Chicken dish
  • crock pot dish
  • Pizza Friday

Plus, leftovers are good any day and a good way to prevent wasting food.

Zayism: "I'm hown-geee!"

zay-classAll of our kids have nicknames. "Zay" (or ZayZay) He is our first boy, 2nd adopted child, 3 years old and 4th in the family line. He is also super cute. I call him our baby model, although we would never subject him to that life 🙂 And of course at that age he says some pretty funny stuff. His vocabulary has grown like crazy in the past few weeks and he talks and talks. Still developing words, we have him repeat things and sometimes still don't know what he's talking about. He just learned to say "banana" properly, calling it "Obanna" before. When he wants an orange he asks for an "ojay".

I am Adventure Dad. Ever since the kids were little, (all of them), I would take them on trips around town, sometimes not knowing where we were going, sometimes not wanting to tell them. When they would ask about our destination, I would say we were going on "an aaadvennntuurrre!", which I would like to think made the outing a little more fun. Sometimes it would be a visit to Eastern Market or just a bunch of little stops while running errands.

I am a stay-at-home dad since August 2014. I never thought it would be easy and I find myself as busy as I was working an IT Help Desk position at my old gig. It takes a lot of patience, time management, all the skills your boss would expect you to have. And let me tell you, "my boss" expects me to have 'em too! She is the bread winner now after being the default stay-at-home mom since we decided to have kids. But we have a great situation because she works from home too.