Just For Fun

       

OK.  Since I am over my upset regarding what I was asked yesterday.  I thought it would be fun to keep a list of the funny things that people have asked or said to me.  Again, the reason I am not posting this to my adoption blog is because I would really like to keep it positive.  I like to soapbox here on my family blog, so here is another post.  Some of the things people have asked me I have found humorous.  Some things they have said were in very poor taste, pervasive, personal and downright rude.  I try to determine why someone wants the information about our adoption.  Is it because they are considering adoption?  Or are they asking me these questions because they are about to educate me on how they would have done it? Anyway…here is a list of my favorite questions and comments that I have ACTUALLY had to listen to.  My first instinct is to be gracious and try to help them understand the process, or understand our decision.  However, most of the people who ask these questions are so socially inept and they don’t realize how stupid, rude or unnerving their questions are.  Steven says there is no fix for stupid.  So, here are the questions. If I hear ANY of them again, I will simply walk away.

1. Why aren’t you having your “own” children?  (this one bears no comment)

2. Do you have enough money to pay for that?  It is expensive!  (DUH)

3. Why are you adopting a child so old, don’t they have any babies? (we asked for that age)

4. My friend applied and it took her five years to get a baby from China, so there is no way you could have gotten  a match that quick. (Um, yes there is.  We applied for a special needs, waiting child.  Your friend applied to adopt a baby that had not even been born yet)

5. Why are you adopting from a communist country?  (I am sorry, I didn’t realize they issued communist memberships to two year olds, I will have to make sure his card is revoked before coming back to the US)

6. Why can’t you have anymore?  You had Vivian.  (This assumes that fertility is the issue, which it is not.  We decided to adopt.  Do we really have to explain our reasons other than we wanted to adopt? China’s program fit our family’s criteria at this time in our life.  It is a possibility as our children get older, that we will look at other countries/programs/ways to adopt)

7. Don’t you think you can find a doctor who will help you have more children? (Sigh…why does everyone want to “fix” me.  I don’t want to be fixed…hehe.  I am not a dog, nor a cat or an animal.  Why do you ask this question?  How will the knowledge of how my body works benefit your life?  I am not sad about it.  I am fine.  Again, fertility is not the issue. I have always wanted to adopt and am glad to have the opportunity at this time in my life to be able to adopt).

8. Do you speak Chinese?  How will you talk to him?  (Yes, I speak Chinese, I can say Ni Hao=hello.  Bu=No. and Xie Xie=Thank you.  What else do I need to know?  I am pretty certain at 2.5 he does not speak very good Chinese either…hehe)

9. It is so much cheaper to adopt in America, why have you not done that?  Or found a surrogate mother? 

(Who told you it was cheaper to adopt here?  Many children available for adoption in the US are above Vivian’s age.  If I adopt, I always want to adopt younger than the oldest child in the house.  You do not want to upset the birth order in the house.  As my kids age, adopting in the US may become a reality, it is not for us at this time.  I have checked into adopting from mother’s who are looking for families to adopt their babies.  I contacted some firms here in Louisiana.  Did you know that it costs $30,000 to adopt from a birth mother or surrogate mother????  Sometimes it is even more if you have to pay for housing or extensive medical bills.  The lawyer charges a very large fee and recruits young mothers to give up their babies.  I am not comfortable with that.  I would prefer to give a waiting child a home.  A child already in the orphanage who just needs a family to give him/her a better life.  I know people who have done the birth mother thing and I do not question their reasons and I perfectly understand that this was a good fit for their families.  That is cool!  It just simply was not our choice.)

10. It takes such a SPECIAL person to adopt a SPECIAL child.  God bless you. 

(Rolling my eyes…..I am soooo sorry, but this does grate my nerves.  It doesn’t take a special person, it just takes a person to love these babies.  Someone told me that the next time someone tells me that I should say:  Well, if he had to wait for people like you, then he would never be adopted.  But, alas, that would be a little rude and I have not gotten that tough yet.  In our church, school and places that I frequent everyday, I see people that have kids with “special” needs but you would never know it.  What China deems special needs and what we deem special needs are night and day.  Our baby has a limb difference.  In China, he will never be able to get good employment or have a good fulfilling life, he is marked by his limb difference.  In America, he is just another kid.  I am so thankful to live in America!)

OK, now that all of my friends are reading this and are now scared half to death to say anything to us about our adoption…hehehe…I will assure you that none of you have been insensitive or rude.  You have been kind, caring, supportive and loving.  I am aiming for the stupid people who will probably never read this.  Sigh…probably a futile task.  But, it did make me feel better and gave me some laughs this afternoon…remembering some of the silly things people have come up with to ask me.  I have not even brought our son into our home yet and I can only shrink to think about all the dumb things people are going to say to his face once he gets here.  Beware, it will be mama bear protecting her cub!

Oh well…Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you enjoyed it with your family or however you wanted to celebrate it!  I thank all of the men and women who died to protect our rights and to protect our great nation.  I pray for all the loved ones who have lost family members and friends in the recent wars.  May God’s peace rest in your life and may you know that your fellow Americans are thankful for your family or friend’s sacrifice.  It will not go unnoticed.  It will not go un-thanked.  God bless America!

Andrea

Advertisements

Thoughtless People

**Warning:  this is a soap box post, so if you do not like reading those, my advice is to stop reading now.  🙂 ***

This morning, I was so proud to be able to bring a picture of my son to church and show some of my friends who our new son is going to be.  I cannot post any pictures or information online until we get permission.  So, I printed out a small photo and was just giddy with excitement regarding the new addition to our family….Alex.  My friends and family are so happy for me and I am so glad they are.  I guess it is the random  nosy person who happens to be close or hears our conversation and wants to get in on what is going on — that has been the thorn in my side.  Don’t get me wrong, these people are few and far between.  But when they pop up, it totally catches me off guard.  This morning, I was showing my picture to someone else and a lady sitting close to me looked at it and then proceeded to question me about why we chose an older child, why can’t we have anymore kids?  Why aren’t we going to try to have any more of our ‘own’ kids.  Why did you choose adoption?  I do not mind answering questions about our adoption.  I have talked to several people who are curious about  it.  I certainly don’t mind talking about the process or our decision. I certainly didn’t enter into adoption lightly or without thought.  This has been almost a year in the making.  What irritates me, I guess, is the know-it-all, (inject sarcasm here) you know the who has been with me during this whole  process and helped me fill out the paperwork, compile the dossier.  Yeah, the one who was right by my side last Auguest when we made the decision to adopt and started planning.  Whatever!  She just found out about it today and she is questioning whether we made the right decision and questioning our choice of country, our choice of age.  I was struggling to find something to say.  I was trying to answer her questions, but offended that I had to.  She was holding a picture of MY SON in her hands and she was already making me feel like I made an inferior choice and that if I would have asked her sooner (she has NEVER adopted) that she could have given me some sage advice on the subject…despite all the research I have done, books I have read and adoptive families I have interviewed…yeah…I definitely should have asked HER first.  I almost made that sarcastic remark.  That next time I decided to adopt, that I will call her first to get her permission.  But, thankfully, the gracious lady that was buried waaaaaaaaay deep in me somewhere came out and was kind to her.  It was hard.  Real hard.

Do I have to answer those questions?  Is it rude not to? I think it is rude for someone to ask me about my reproductive plans and question my adoption plans.  Is it not ok anymore to adopt because you just wanted to adopt?  What is the alternative?  That this little boy stay in an orphanage without a mom or dad?  Without someone to love him?  He is well taken care of at the orphanage and seems to be well adjusted and happy.  I am so thankful for that.  I am so thankful that I have the honor to adopt Alex and that he will call me mom.  I am so thankful to God for allowing everything to work out the way it did.  I am so thankful for a husband and daughter who shared the same vision of one day adopting.

So, just for fun, what should I have said?  Help me formulate some answers for nosy people.  Please keep it rated G.  I welcome any humorous responses too and if I really like it, I will use it!  I need a laugh!

Andrea

PS. I posted this here and not on my adoption blog.  I am trying to keep my adoption blog upbeat, positive and happy.  So, I am soapboxing here… 🙂

Nut Jobs

Oh my, I had a good laugh this afternoon.  I found a letter that I received in June of 2008 at my place of employment.  I received a phone call from a young man and he was wanting to set up interest free loans for our clients.  As many of you know, I worked for Charles Charrier for a couple years and did up until last week.  Anyway, I very kindly told him that we did not need interest free loans for our clients.  He was persistent and started asking nosy questions about our business, how we handle our client files, etc. and I basically told him that it was none of his business how we operated and that I hoped he had a good day and since he was still arguing, I just hung up.  We received numerous phone calls of that particular nature, he was not the first. 

Anyway, the next day, my boss got a letter in the mail from this dude calling for my resignation.  Since my blog is rated G, I blacked out the name he called me.  But what cracks me up most about this letter is him telling us how much money he is going to make.  I don’t know what takes the wind out of his sails more: 1) the fact that he calls me an inappropriate, unbusiness-like name; or 2) that he is writing his very strongly worded letter, in pencil, on notebook paper.  Really?  He has yet to send me those check stubs, by the way.  I ran his name on Google and he graduated LSUA in December 2008 with an Associates in Art degree.  I was nice enough to black his name out.

My Little Klepto

Sparky and Vivian

My dog has a habit.  Yes, he does.  He likes to pilfer small objects, most notoriously, pens.  I just caught him scoping out a fuzzy topped green pen of Vivian’s.  I saw it when it caught his eye.  He stood under the desk contemplating how to get to it.  I moved her chair away from the desk.  I have found three pens in his kennel this week!  He loves pens.  There’s just something about them.  But, his pilfering is not limited to pens.  Generally, whatever he finds on the floor will end up in his kennel.  If you set something down and are looking for it, chances are you will find it in his kennel.  When we were sheetrocking the laundry room addition, he came in and out the kitchen taking sheetrock screws. 

I had a friend of mine come by and wire up some outlets and also to work on the laundry room addition.  He happens to be deaf.  I was not in the kitchen when he was working, I was elsewhere and I forgot to warn him of Sparky’s habit.  Anyway, he set his screwdriver down on the floor and he could not hear the dogs.  Sparky sneaked up behind him and stole the screwdriver.  He buried it in his kennel. I found out later that my friend looked all over for it, inside the house, outside the house, in his truck…he finally found it in the kennel (I forgot to ask him if he purposely looked there, or just happened to glance in the kennel and saw it).  I laughed so hard.  Oh, that dog!

I have found barbie shoes, sheetrock bits, many pens, lids to hair spray bottles, plastic bits, socks, you name it!  Whatever he takes a fancy in that day, or whatever he finds on the floor, ends up in his kennel.  What am I going to do with that dog?

Ok, I couldn’t help but coming back and amending post to include some hilarious videos of other klepto dogs.  It seems that Sparky is not alone in the world, nor are other dog owners.  The first one is a poodle who goes to great lengths to pilfer items, this definitely is Sparky.  The thing is, I usualy don’t catch him and I wonder how he got such and such from on top the desk or counter.  I always fussed at my daughter for leaving things on the floor and it turned out that he actually retrieved them himself.

Hahaha…and this dog is serious about his stealing…

Andrea

Letter of Intent, Dossier Review, DTC and LID

If you have been following my other blog, you know that we are adopting.  We also made the announcement here a few months back.

What does it all mean?  Everyone has been asking me about the process.  So, in order to keep myself sane during the long wait we have ahead of us (waiting on paperwork), I will take some time and explain the process here.

As of last night, our Letter of Intent was translated and submitted to China.  It basically said we found our son on the waiting child list and these are the reasons we want to adopt him.  It takes anywhere from a couple days to two weeks in order to get a Preapproval back from China. 

In the meantime, we have 6 months to complete our dossier and submit it to China to adopt him.  The good thing is, our dossier is 99% complete (see our Adoption Timeline page).  The only one piece of paper I am lacking is the I 797 from USCIS.  We were fingerprinted over a week ago and it takes about 2 weeks from the fingerprinting appointment to receive the I 797 (Approval of Immigrant Visa Petition).  This is giving us approval to apply for a Visa for our son.  We have to send a copy of this with our dossier.

When I receive the I 797, I am going to send our entire dossier (there is picture posted a few posts down of our dossier documents, they are extensive), to our adoption agency for review to make sure we have everything and did it properly.  Once they Ok our dossier, they will submit it to China (DTC = Documents to China).  Since we are adopting a waiting child, our dossier will be put on the expedited fast track.  China takes about a month to review our dossier and once approved gives us a lock in date (LID). 

When we get our LID and our official approval that we can adopt our son, we are able to take that document and Petition the USCIS with an I800 (Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative) to bring our son back to the USA.  We also file for our son’s US Visa.  The I800, from what I understand, takes about 6 months to completely go its rounds.  It has to go to the USCIS, then to the National Benefits Center, then to the National Visa Center, then to China (it may go to the US Consulate, then to China…this process is somewhat new to me, I am still reading the paperwork on it.)  Then China issues us an appointment with the Consulate there.  All of these things have to be done because China is a Hague Convention Country.  Non Hague countries take about 2-4 months before travel.

So, once they issue our consulate appointments, China will invite us to travel and we will go and pick up our son.  The above does not sound like a lot, but the paperwork takes a while to process.  This is going to be the part that drives me nuts.  There is nothing I can do but wait.

Once we get our preapproval from China and get permission to post pictures and information, I will share more information about our new son.  Until then…..

Yours waiting,

Andrea

Smart Couponing

1,100 boxes of cereal? 20 jars of pickles?  Who needs all that?  To hoard it?  To give it away?  Neither of these are good reasons to spend 6 hours of my precious time planning for a strategic strike.  Multiple transactions?  NO WAY!  Not only would that make me grumpy, it would make the sales clerk and the people behind me grumpy too. 

Some people enjoy the challenge of finding items and working the system to get it at the lowest cost possible by checking out in multiple transactions.  While many say there is nothing wrong with this, I for one do not have the time to check out at the register in multiple transactions, nor do I care to store all the stuff that I got for “free” or for next to nothing.  Not to mention, I know this statement will probably have people up in arms, but why buy so many items? Your are depriving other people from enjoying a sale too.  Nothing annoys me more than seeing people clear the shelves.  I had coupons too that I wanted to use, but now that you bought 100 boxes of the same cereal, I cannot use my coupon. More and more stores are starting to limit multiple coupons and just last week, Kroger posted a sign at each register that said that they will NOT do multiple transactions.  I think that this will be a continued trend by stores.  I also noted that many coupons say: Limit one per transaction, per person.  Or, not subject to doubling, etc.

I think the funniest thing I hear extreme couponers say is: “Well, when it gets close to expiration or if I bought a lot, then I just ‘bless’ someone else with it, or donate it to a food bank.”  While this is admirable, how can this be a savings to you if you are not consuming it personally?  I would prefer to focus on brands I normally buy and things I normally eat and buy somewhat normal quantities.  For me, this system works a lot better for me.

I was going to write a longer post on this subject, but I found that so many others have already beaten me to it.  So, without further ado, visit these great bloggers for their take on the extreme coupon craze.  I will give you a hint, they think the same thing that I do:

Extreme Couponing, Is It Worth It?

Response to TLC’s Extreme Couponing

I love this quote: “In regards to the show, for many that watched this will be their first taste of couponing and will only cement their fears: that couponing is an overindulgent, irresponsible, and rude practice.”

Extreme Couponing: Not A Reality

A quote from the above link:

“First pretty much everything you saw tonight can’t be done in most grocery stores.

  • They will not let you check out for 5 hours and do 18 transactions back to back, and nor should they.
  • The lady shopping in the Kroger store in Houston lives in an area that will actually no longer double coupons starting next Wednesday.
  • Most stores have a limit on the number of like item coupons they will accept or a limit on the number of like coupons they will double.  (We will see Bi-Lo break their own policy for this in a few weeks on another episode).
  • Many coupons are starting to have limits written on them “per transaction” and “per customer”.
  • Very few stores double items past their value (i.e. you buy a 60¢ product but they double to $1).  The one big store in the south that has done this, Publix, is even updating their systems to no longer allow it.  Remember stores pay for the doubling on coupons so there is no reason for them to do this.”

Forget extreme couponing, let’s just talk about using coupons and using them wisely.  The very last link I posted above, the woman gives sound advice.  It is something I do already: Pick one store you are comfortable with, start small and once you get used to it, you can expand to buying more than 2 weeks to a month’s worth of groceries at a time.  The strategy is very simple and does not take hours of preparation.  By being loyal to one store, you start seeing the pattern of sales and will know when things will come up for sale.  If you sign up for a loyalty card, I use Kroger for example, they send you weekly emails about what is on sale and you can also load digital coupons right on to your card.  How easy is that?  That is a little less clipping to do.  I log in online, add coupons that I know I will use.  It will also let you make a grocery list based on the sales paper, then you can print it at the end and it will print your grocery list, as well as a list of what coupons you have pre-loaded so you won’t forget.  Easy as pie.

Another thing, Kroger sends me coupons based on products I buy frequently and they also send coupons for store brand items.  SAVINGS!  I buy a lot of Kroger store brand items…with an added coupon…this makes it worthwhile to shop there.  I also get $10 off of $100 purchase coupons, $3 off $15 from the meat department and you can use all of them in a single transaction.  I went to Kroger last week and I bought two weeks worth of groceries.  Granted we are a small family of three.  My total was $138.  I used several paper coupons, as well as my pre-loaded digital coupons.  I also bought as much as I could on sale.  Some of my items were not on sale, but I am brand loyal to a couple things due to allergies, so I did pay full price.  But, the savings from other items evened it out.  Also P&G sends saver coupons and Kroger has a buy 10 participating items and you get $5 off.  After using a combination of my Kroger card, digital coupons, paper coupons and store coupons, my total was $84.63 and $10 was Historical Association lemonade stuff (lemon, limes, frozen lemonade and gallos of water) that I got reimbursed for.  You can see that I bought pretty much normal items in normal quantities.  Here is my receipt:

Kroger Receipt Andrea

I will point out my favorite savings:  

The steak, pork chops and chicken were all on sale.  I bought all three, they were already half off, then I used a $3.00 off coupon that Kroger sent me for the meat department and I had an extra coupon specifically for $1.00 off the chicken.  I saved $4.00 on top of the sale prices.

I had a coupon that printed at the register the last time I was at the store that if I bought 4 Pilsbury, General Mills or (can’t remember other brand), items, that I would get $2 off.  So I bought 3 cans of Pilsbury biscuits (we eat the like crazy), they were on SALE for $1 each, and I bought one box of instant potatoes, also on sale for $1.69.  So my total was $4.69. And I got a $2.00 off coupon good for my next grocery visit.  Which I used last night to buy dog food, which NEVER goes on sale.  I am not going to say it was “like” paying $2.69 because that phrase irritates me.  I did pay $4.69 and took my bonus coupon and used it on another item that I know never goes on sale but I have to buy anyway.

I bought some Herbal essence spray gel which also usually doesn’t go on sale.  It was $2.94.  I forgot I loaded an ecoupon on my card for it about a month ago, so it was a bonus to get the .60 off!  A nice surprise.  That is why it is good to go and load the new coupons on things you normally buy every week when they send the email even if you do not need it immediately, still load it.  They usually do not expire for 60 days.

CLOSE YOUR EYES MEN!  Playtex, which normally is $4.99 a box, went on sale for $2.53 a box.  I had a $1.00 coupon and only paid $1.53!  Also, at register, it gave me a $2.00 coupon on my next purchase of 2 boxes of Playtex.  I will hold on to this until they go on sale again.

Arm and Hammer Detergent (the perfume and dye free, the ONLY one I can use) went on sale for $3.99, normally $5.99.  I had a $1 coupon, so my final price was $2.99.  I also had coupons for Tide, but Tide was not on sale.  It does go on sale at a deep discount twice a year.  I will hold on to this coupon until it does.  These are the only two detergents that I can use.

You don’t have to sacrifice little things that you like either.  I like Haribo gummy bears.  MY FAVORITE!  I noticed they were on sale 10 for $10 (you don’t have to buy 10 by the way, they are still only a dollar each if you elect to buy lesser quantities).  They were $1, which is .39 off.  I also had a coupon for .30 off and my final price was .70.  Those were some good gummy bears!

Due to my allergies and Vivian’s slight lactose intolerance (she still drinks some milk), we generally buy a lot of soy milk or almond milk.  Whatever is cheapest at the time.  The Almond Breeze was on sale for $2.99, normally $3.59 and I had a $1 off coupon that I saved waiting on it to go on sale.  My finally cost was $1.99 for a gallon.  Not shabby.

You will notice that a  lot of the items were not on sale and those items I generally buy anyway.  A common misperception is that people who use coupons buy brands they do not normally buy.  This is not true in my case.  I do buy some of the better brands because of allergies.  And sometimes, if it is cheaper to buy the better brand over the store brand, heck yeah!  I will buy the better brand. 

I like to drink Folgers Colombian Dark Roast.  I know that it is hard to get a coupon for Folgers products.  So, I generally hold on to Folgers coupons when I get them and wait for Kroger to put it on sale (which they do once a month, you better check the sales paper!!!).  Any other brands that I normally buy, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, check their websites or the coupon websites to see if they have any coupons for those items.  I have to buy them anyway, it doesn’t hurt to search for corresponding coupons.  I also am signed up to receive manufacturer coupons from CouponMom.com and I get an email weekly with new coupons.  I print the ones I will most likely use and leave the rest.  I do not get the sales paper, I do not get the Sunday paper.  I do not get coupons from the paper.  I am able to save money without a subscription to the paper.  I more likely than not, didn’t get my paper.  Someone would pick it up because the lady was always late delivering it.  So, it was not worth the money for the subscription.  Also, I count the $15 for the subscription into the final cost of the items.  Was it worth paying $15 for the coupons?  In my case it generally was not because I could get the same coupons through other means.  If you live in a bigger city with a bigger market, this would probably benefit you.  It does not benefit me in Alexandria, Louisiana. 🙂

I have lots more to say, but will maybe continue in another post later.  I will be having a coupon class soon and will announce the date and location.  I have another friend who coupons a completely different way.  She has a larger family and she has subscriptions to paper coupons.  She has a great way of saving money and knows all the rules about doubling and tripling coupons.  I am going to get her to tell her strategy.  The bottom line regarding couponing is:  You have to find what works for YOU.