Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp Ox- The scoop

Hi all! Hope everyone is well! There is a lot to tell you about but Im sorry- it seems like there is never any time to post!!!!

The main thing is that we found out today that day 2 of our camp was cancelled. It seems that there have been many swine flu outbreaks in Guangdong, and so the Civil Affairs decided to halt all the camps effective immediately. (This goes for the adoption camps as well as regular summer children's camps). Since there are 2 adoption agencies already here in China (their camps were scheduled for next week), a compromise was made and they allowed the one agency to meet with their group of kids this afternoon, and the second agency will meet with their kids tomorrow morning. As of tomorrow afternoon, all camps are totally done. We are thrilled for the kids (and the agencies) that they will get to see these kids face to face. I think the first hand description of these kids really helps in finding them a home!!!

So, on that note, I am sad that we didn't get to do all we had planned and further "bond" with our kids, but I feel very blessed that we had a full day with them. On that note, I am happy to tell you how WONDERFUL they all are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been uploading pictures ALL DAY.... Lots more to go too!

Please check them out at www.oxcamp.shutterfly.com password is maaoxcamp

There are so many special kids here.... We will be writing up summaries on all the kids, but please look at Eric... He is a 13 year old boy and is VERY VERY VERY special. In addition to be strikingly handsome and sweet, he has the best attitude in the world. He is brilliant, and honestly, the boy never stopped smiling. He wants a family more than anything in the world and we are 100% committed to finding his... He is totally healthy and simply amazing.

I will be posting more soon, but right now my priority is getting the pics up for you. More soon!

Blessings,
Diana

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tech probs again!!!





Hi! More probs again... Wont bore you with details, but my last message (taking over an hour) didnt post. I will give you update tomorrow, I promise. But please know, kids are great, we are great, camp is great, and we cant wait to get busy placing these angels!!!!

More tomorrow~

Camp Ox 2

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tomorrow is the day!!!

Hi!!!

We got to our new hotel, Yan Ling at about 5 pm. For those of you familiar with the city, it is abouot 30 minutes north of Shamian island. We met the orphanage officials, Civil Affairs officers and the CCAA and had a nice dinner at the hotel.


After a fun evening, we met with CCAA to go over the plans for the next 2 days. It is already 12 am and we begin at 7! YIKES! I will keep this quick, but they have added 5 kids, but we found out 1, maybe 2 from our original list, have already been placed. Louis definitely has a family, and we are checking on Dana. If they do, that is great! This whole project is about these kids getting families... It doesn't have to be through our agency necessarily! We are hoping all these angels will soon be in the same position!!! ;)


All files have been received by CCAA and are currently in translation. We should have them posted in about 2 weeks. In the meantime, we will collect as much information as possible about each of these wonderful angels so we can match them asap when we get the info.


Tomorrow will be a late day, but I know that I will be so excited to share it with all of you, so definitely stay tuned!!!

Wish us all luck and please pray for a successful camp and families for these kiddos!


Love to all,

Diana

Monday, July 20, 2009

PS to last post

We have about 300 pictures and 100 video clips of each child. I only posted a few that were on Ming's camera. I will download/updload/whatever (lol) mine tonight. THANKS!

Monday





Monday was a great day, but exhausting!!!!!!!!!!

We have been with Connie, a local guide who helps lots of MAA families. She took us to "Safari Park" in the morning. In addition to having wildlife within reach, we got to feed a baby white tiger!!!

After we left and headed to lunch, Ming (our China coordinator) called and said that plans had changed, and we needed to leave immediately to visit Dongguan orphanage (2 hours away!) to meet a group of children from the shared list, or who would soon be on the shared list. We have a great relationship with this orphanage and started sponsoring them a while ago with donations. It was great that we were going to meet them!!!
We thought we were going to meet 10 children, then they called and told us there would be 18. When we got there, we ended up meeting 30 kids!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!! Thank God Aleda is a packrat and brought enough gifts for everyone!
Here are some pictures of these angels! Rachel, a MAA social worker who is now doing some office work for us, is sorting through the shared list and finding which of these children are currently available. When Sara or Rachel has a chance (HA HA), they will also be posting information about these children.

We got back after 2 am and I slept in (PRAISE GOD) this morning. Time now to shower as we are leaving here in 30 minutes to transfer to new hotel to meet with CCAA. Tomorrow is our Guangzhou camp! YAY!!! We can't wait!!!
I will try to upload more pics tonight.

Thanks everyone for your prayers. We are tired, but happy, and having a great time. It is such a blessing to be here and doing this work!

Love, Diana

Boys will be boys!

Alec
Bryan

Dean

Eric

Jeremy

Lance

Louis

Matt

Oscar

Roman
Tyson

Girls are first!

Vanessa
Rhonda
Paula

Natalie

Misty


Melanie


Maryanne


Libby


Judy


Jenny


Heather


Gina


Dana

Claire

Chelsea

Becky

Bridget

Beth

Abby


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hi all! Hope everyone is well! Things are great here but we have run into
several little glitches....

The good news is we are happy, well and VERY, VERY EXCITED to meet our new group of waiting children. I apologize for my lack of communication. At first I thought my
computer was melting (it was above 110 degrees in Hong Kong), but I found out I
just had connectivity issues. We missed a typhoon that was supposed to hit us
(they reported it to hit Hong Kong and Guangdong province, but my husband said it was just Guangdong according to CNN). Anyway, we did not know what to expect though, as we kept hearing mixed information. In the end, there was some wind and rain,
but nothing big. If anything, the temperatures cooled off about 20 degrees so
we are happy!

Internet in our Hong Kong hotel was intermittent at best. I was not able to
access the blog at all and thought it could be just because of the bad
connectivity! Now we are in Guangzhou at Victory hotel and I STILL cannot get
on the blog!!! Sara will be posting information as I send it to her via email.

Tomorrow we will go to the Safari Park, a popular Guangzhou tour for MAA
families! Then we will have lunch and Ming is due to fly in from Beijing.
Tuesday, we will travel to Guangdong orphanage and meet with several kids that
are on (or soon will be on) the shared list. Then on Wednesday and Thursday we
meet our kids in Guangzhou SWI. We have photos but no medicals yet. Sara
will start posting them as soon as we have info. They are simply beautiful kids and we can't wait to hug them like crazy!!! You all are going to love them when you see them!!!

Love and hugs from China,
Diana

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting ready to leave for China...

Hi all! We are final phases of getting ready to head off. The last two weeks since we found out we were going have just flown by! We are excited beyond words, but absolutely exhausted at the same time! It will be nice to rest a bit before we meet the kids. I filmed a little video today that I am posting for everyone to see. Every time we go, we always take as many donations as we can carry. I have had several VERY generous donors of late and we have more clothing and toys than we can carry in 10 trips! Hope you enjoy the clip of my little Dani and I sorting and packing. She is such a girly girl and had so much fun trying on all the clothes, and of course testing out all the toys!!! The camp will be next Wednesday and Thursday, the 22nd and 23rd. I will be working remotely from China and will post the kids as soon as I have them. We will have 30 children this time... The age range is from 3-14. I am told that 19 of these children are girls, and 12 of the 30 are healthy!!!! We are so excited and hope you are as well! We are going to try to take a lot more video on this trip. Our goal is LOTS of short clips so it wont be too cumbersome to share files with families. Please everyone pray for us that all will go well and this camp will be a success like the original Camp Ox. We had hoped to stop in Tianjin on the way home to see our babies (we are flying through Beijing) but unfortunately, we will already be gone so long, and it will not be possible on this trip. They are always with us in spirit and our constant thoughts!!! Thus, this will be my final post until we are in China. I wish all of you a great week and can't wait to talk to all of you about our kids when we get home! Love, Diana
video

Monday, June 1, 2009

Garage sale fundraiser!!!










Hi all! Hope you all had a great weekend! I know my family did as we were camped out with the Schwartz family this weekend for the MAA yard sale. Both days could not have been more beautiful and the kids had a ball! My daughter Dani, had fun shopping for all her toys that I had just cleaned out, and I think my son, Charlie, and Tessa Schwartz have developed quite the love affair! (Nate and I were talking arranged marriage!!! lol) Most importantly, I am proud to report that we raised almost $800 for Camp Ox 2!!!!

First of all, I want to give a heartfelt thanks to Donna and Nate Schwartz and their wonderful family for making this possible. I cannot even tell you how tirelessly they worked to put this all together. Thanks to our wonderful families' generosity, there was a ton of stuff, and going through it all was no small feat! They were so wonderful in not only spending the entire weekend "working" the sale. but also organizing, pricing, picking stuff up, searching out donors, making signs, etc etc etc. Late yesterday afternoon, in addition to feeding MY kids, Donna was taking calls from other families, advocating for other SN children in China. I think they make coffee tired with all the wonderful things they do to help children and families. I thank them so much for everything and am so lucky to call them my friends! God bless you guys!!!

To all our wonderful families, Marie, Kathryn, Nikki and everyone else who donated (forgive me for not knowing all the names!!!), THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO HELP US OUT! We appreciate you more than you know!!!

Finally, because we have so much leftover stuff, the Schwartzs have graciously offered to host another sale next month!!! (Yes, they are unbelievable, aren't they???) That means for all of you that wanted to donate but didn't have time to go through everything, please consider doing so for next month's sale. We can provide write offs for taxes and I am happy to pick up if I can. Also, personally speaking, I head out with my 3 year old almost every weekend to garage sales. A lot of the sales we have gone to, we have told them we would be happy to pick up their leftovers if they would like to donate them for our sale. If you are a "garage sale junkie" like me, and would like to offer this option to local sellers, please let them know I can arrange for pickup.

Again, thank you so much for all your help! Between this sale, the sale of the Ox camp videos, and the direct mail campaign, we have made over $3000!!!! We are trying hard to keep going! Please keep us in your thoughts if you know of a good fundraising opportunity! We are determined to do what needs to be done to get back to China!

Thank you and God bless!Diana

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update on Ox Children




Dear Friends- It has been quite a while since I have made a post. It seems there are so many things happening, our heads are spinning! I just want to give an update on our children. As of today, May 5th, 20 of our Ox children are matched or on hold! We are so excited!!! BUT- it is not enough! In going over there, we made promises to these children that we would do whatever we could to help them find a family. We HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH! We literally lie awake at night and wonder what we can do to help get these kids a home... We did establish an agency grant program, but we are realizing that the possibility of a grant is not enough to make people look. THUS, we have decided, that MAA will offer an addition $2000 grant for all remaining waiting children. This is in addition to our automatic $1000 grant/fee reduction for all waiting children. Additional grants may also be available for our 12 and 13 year old boys...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ADVOCATE AND SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE FOLLOWING CHILDREN WHO ARE STILL AVAILABLE!
Here is a little blurb from me about our still waiting angels...

Wayne- 12 years old- Awesome singer! Kind and handsome! Very sweet- Bilateral Cataracts

Gary- Just turned 13 on Saturday!!!! Let's give him a present!- Loves to swim and make new friends. Gary is the type of kid you can always count on~- Left eye cornea blockage

Kenny- 10 years- Loves sports- A true angel- This is the boy that asked me to adopt him... Oh how I wish I could! He is SO SWEET AND KIND!- Cerebral Palsy

Jimmy- 9 years- Smart, active, loves outdoors and Operas.. 5 kids said HE was their best friend- meningocele- post surgery

Toby- Just turned 11- LOVE HIM! Incredible friend- loves to share- very witty and friendly. ADORABLE BOY!- Cerebral Palsy

Michael (aka Tim) -10 years- A true class clown! Loves to goof around and laugh- Lights up a room with his laughter and bubbly personality- Cerebral Palsy

Brad- 8 years- Serious and intense- Loves sports and helping others- spinal meningocele

Trent- 8 years- Beautiful, sweet child!!! Quiet and timid, but lots of friends! We ALL fell in love with Trent!- Repaired Hydrocephalus

Josh- 11 years- A true performer! Very talented and outgoing. Incredible singer. He and Dottie are the regular emcees at performances- Cerebral Palsy

George- 11 years- Shy and sweet. Very artistic. Loves meat and trying new foods! (A boy after my own heart!)- Meningocele- post surgery

Chet- 11 years- Loves to draw and read comics. A true animal lover- Gentle and kind, smart, mature and creative- Deaf/non-speaking

Marty (HOLD)- 12 years- Shy, sweet and gentle. True intellectual- loves chess!- Repaired imperforate anus

Alan- 13 years- Kind, honest, loves to sing and perform. Very polite and gentle- Sequelae (Cerebral Palsy I believe?)

Eddie- 13- TURNS 14 IN NOVEMBER- PLEASE LOOK AT EDDIE- Intelligent, kind-hearted, has a "grateful heart"...- Deaf/non-speaking

Patsy- Turned 12 last week- Artistic, happy, kind, beautiful- LOVE THIS KID!- Cerebral Palsy

Tammy- 9 years- Extroverted, helpful, kind and honest. Loves to dance and sing- Sequelae from brain injury

Emmy- 12 years- Quiet, sweet and shy, but loves people- Smile that lights a room- Spinal meningocele- post surgery

Carrie- Turned 11 YESTERDAY!- VERY SPECIAL CHILD!!!!- Smart, incredible artist, beautiful. Kind and very special.- CCAA and the Civil Affairs Director has personally requested we find an incredible home for Carrie. Please look at her- See for yourself how special she is! Cerebral Palsy

Lynn- 7 years- Had surgery during Ox camp so we did not get to meet her. We hear that she is doing great though and that she is WALKING! We have requested new medical and photos- She loves dolls and games- Meningocele- post surgery

Kristy (HOLD)- Kind, active, lots of friends. Loves basketball and team sports. An adorable tomboy!!!!- Neural cystostomy- post surgery

Derrick- 5 years- Sweet, tiny, adorable! Active and polite- The photos of this little guy do not do him justice! HE IS ADORABLE!- cl/cp repaired

Hank- 11 years- SO SWEET! Loves hugs and affection! He was always hugging and loving on our group. Has lots of friends and is very well liked by all. Again, the photos do not do justice to this child. He is a total love bug!- Delayed mental abilities.

Please take a look! We are Madison are committed to finding homes for our children. If you are interested in a child but something is holding you back, please call us to discuss. We make no promises, but will help with anything in our power.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!




Also, we are still selling our DVDs and books from Camp Ox for a reduced price of $30 to fundraise for our next trip this summer. Please consider purchasing a DVD. It will make an incredible gift. The fee is fully tax deductible and will help kids such as these in Tianjin find a family! Please help our cause! Donations can be made through paypal at http://www.paypal.com/ . Just enter the email address donate.maa@comcast.net to make your donation. THANK YOU!



God bless! Diana