Going to China for Chyna

Our legal assistant, Dannye, has made all of the final preparations and will be leaving for China in two days to pick up her baby girl, whom Dannye is adopting.

For those of you just tuning in, Dannye and her husband began the odyssey to adopt a child internationally almost six years ago because it was sold to them as a quicker, easier process than adopting stateside. It has been a journey fraught with interminable waits and thumb twiddling, but will finally pay off within the next few weeks.

From here, Dannye and her husband will make their way to China and meet with government officials for there and here, clearing the last few obstacles that mill make Chyna Dia Thompson an American citizen, but also, more importantly, a beloved daughter to a wonderful family.

Although it required the patience of a saint, and the process was undoubtedly heartbreaking at times, we’re sure Dannye views the past as prologue to a wonderful life full of birthday parties, Christmases, Halloweens, and belly noodles sure to produce smiles.

Everyone here wishes Dannye God’s speed on her journey, and we can’t wait to greet Chyna when she arrives home next month.

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SoftRock is Holding a Community Yard Sale

Yard Sale Northern California May 2005. This i...

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Hi guys! SoftRock will be collecting donations from empoyees for a yard sale to be held on Saturday, Oct. 15th starting at 8:00 a.m. All of the proceeds from the sale will be used to create and send care packages to 300 American troops presently serving in the Middle East.

Donations will be accepted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Oct 14th across the street from our offices. Donations will be collected and stored in a temporary storage unit behind the Life Worth Living Pharmacy, which is located at 6488 Currin Drive, Orlando, 32835, where the sale will also be held. Outreach committee volunteers will be present Monday and Friday mornings from 8:00 to 8:15 a.m. and on Wednesday afternoons from 6:00 until 6:15 p.m. to accept donations.

We will be accepting any household items that are appropriate for resale, as well as any cash donations employees wish to make. If you have large items such as furniture you would like to donate to the sale, but are unable to move the items themselves, volunteers with trucks will be available to collect those donations.

For more information about the sale, or to arrange pick-up of large items, please see Heather Klein.

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An update on Dannye’s adoption process

We outlined last week our very own Dannye’s extraordinary journey adopting a young girl from China. In short, the process began five years ago and is now only beginning to reach a conclusion now that she and her husband have received their referral for a little girl in the Jiangxi province. With most of the clearances, well, cleared, she’s moving on to the next phase in the adoption.

Recently she received notification from her adoption agency congratulating her on completing the referral stage of the adoption. This was the most arduous step that involved all sorts of paperwork and the far-too-long wait for an appropriate baby to become available. Now Dannye and her husband are well within the travel stage.

This involves getting travel clearances to visit the communist country from both our government and theirs, and then making the proper arrangements.

For those who may not know, traveling to a communist country isn’t as simple as traveling to Europe. The Chinese government is very protective of their way of life, and don’t appreciate too many westerners toiling around the countryside poisoning the pot, so to speak, and are therefore selective of who can travel and when.

On our side of the Pacific, our own State Department wants to ensure that our citizens are protected and safe when traveling as well. This is just a long way to say that being awarded a travel visa to China takes a few weeks.

Once they receive their travel visas, Dannye and her husband must make a consulate appointment. The adoption of a foreign national must be handled carefully so that little Chynna is afforded all the rights and protections of an American citizen as the legal child of her American parents.

After they travel to the orphanage in China, Dannye and her husband get to spend 24 hours with the little angel to get to know her, and for the baby to become comfortable with what will be her new parents. If, for whatever reason, the match doesn’t seem right for either the parents or the child, then the adoption does not go forward. However, if everything clicks, then Dannye must take her child to the American consulate to get all the paperwork in order for Chynna’s citizenship.

While this is happening, Chynna is technically in a limbo state where she’s not a citizen of either country. The Chinese government have absolved her of her citizenship in that country, and the American government have yet to recognize her as one of their own.

But after the consulate has approved the adoption, they will recognize Chynna as an American, provide her with an American passport, and her parents can bring her home.

Obviously, the expectant couple would like to travel to China as soon as possible, but the requisite paperwork — and a trade show in China that will delay travel another week — will keep them from their plans until the first week in November, or thereabouts.

But, so long as there are no more hitches in the process, Dannye will have her new baby girl home in time for Thanksgiving, and we imagine that her family will have a beautiful little girl to be thankful for this year. We can’t wait to meet her!

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A Special Labor Day Post

One of our employees is in labor. Well, not actual labor, more like “metaphorical labor”. You see, since 2005 our legal assistant Dannye Mello-Thompson has been trying to adopt a child, and recently she’s gotten word that she will be soon rewarded with a baby girl.

Why such a long “labor” you ask? Well, you see, that’s a bit of a story. Continue reading

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Scott Harris, Local Newsman, Passes Away

We’d like to take a moment to pass along our condolences to the family of local news anchor Scott Harris who passed away earlier today after a battle with kidney cancer. He was 64.

For those of us who grew up in Central Florida, Scott Harris has graced the airwaves in some capacity for decades, most recently with Central Florida News 13 since 1997, an at the time risky endeavor of 24 hour local news.

He was a legend among local journalists and his influence in the Orlando community will be felt for years to come. You can read more about him at the Orlando Sentinel.

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A Letter from the FLDR

We wanted to share with everyone a very nice letter from the FLDR that highlights some of the dogs our fantastic employees saved with their generosity and compassionate spirit.

The Florida Little Dog Rescue is a fantastic organization that needs help from concerned citizens all year long. Please, if you’re able, donate either some money or time to these folks so they can continue to rescue dogs from death row!

You can read the email we received after the break. Continue reading

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Some of the Dogs SoftRock Saved from Death Row

We thought you might like to see some of the adorable faces we saved from Death Row with the fantastic support of our employees. We saved 13 dogs in total from Death Row–3 with special needs—donating a total of $675.00

Continue reading

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SoftRock Employees Save 13 Dogs

We’d just like to take a moment to thank all of our employees who donated money and supplies to help save thirteen dogs from being put to sleep.

Through their generosity we not only spared those dogs from death row, but raised $675 and hundreds of dollars of supplies for SPCA, Candy’s Cats and Greyhounds of America.

Although the organized drive has ended, if you would like you can still help out. These organization are always in need of supplies and financial help. You can call them to arrange the donations.

Also, they are always looking for volunteers. Charitable organizations are always accepting caring souls into their fold, and you could help out tremendously by donating a little of your time each week.

Volunteers save hundreds of little lives each year with their generosity. It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community.

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So…she’s coming back.

Nancy Grace at her book party for her new book...

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It looks like Casey Anthony might be headed back to Central Florida. Joy. If any of you who are reading this are sick about hearing about her, imagine those of us who live in Orlando — we feel the same way times about a gazillion. I’m sure the prospect of this news has Nancy Grace sharpening her claws for a few more weeks of “coverage”, but it’s not the most exciting prospect to have all of this top the headlines again.

So, instead of focusing on her, I thought we’d focus on a smaller side of this story that is known but often not put into perspective. Upon the conclusion of the trial the people behind Equusearch announced they’d be suing Ms. Anthony to recoup the costs associated with the search they performed for her daughter. You see, at trial Ms. Anthony admitted that her child was never missing, and had been dead the entire time. She allowed the non-profit organization to search anyway, spending close to $100,000 on it. That’s the sum the organization is looking to be repaid.

But that’s the sensational side. The real good side is that the money spent was all provided by donations, and the crew who searched through the fields for the “missing child” was an all-volunteer force.

If you remember the particulars of the case (who doesn’t?) you’ll know that none of it was made public until after the 31 days Ms. Anthony waited to inform police her child was “missing”. The first pangs of the story broke with the expected cynicism. People were accusing her of killing her child almost instantly.

But that still didn’t stop Equusearch from providing their services to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, and hundreds of local citizens putting aside their prejudices and devote hours to finding a missing child on the off chance this woman was telling the truth. To us, that’s an extraordinary story of how this community will do what’s right. We’re proud to live and work in a community that chooses to do the right thing, even if our media outlets prefer to dwell on the worst.

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Another Dog off of Death Row

A white Greyhound puppy.

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The SoftRock outreach committee has been holding a charity drive with proceeds going directly to the no-kill Humane Society in Orlando Little Dog Rescue, Candy’s Cats and Greyhound Pets of America–Orlando division.

They have been accepting donations of pet care products such as food, treats, cleaning products, and blankets; but most of all cash donations to keep dogs from being put to sleep.

For between $45 and $75 (depending on medical needs) SoftRock can save a dog from death row and put it in foster care where it will be cared for until it finds a forever home.

More info on that program can be found at the Florida Little Dog Rescue  site if you would like to offer assistance.

As of today, donations from SoftRock have been able to save nine dogs and place them in foster care, two of which had special needs. As donations continue to come in, more dogs will be saved in the weeks to come.

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