Our Sweet Angel

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life means all that it ever meant...

I wish it was this easy.   The writing below by Henry Scott Holland is helpful on this day but will never, ever take the place of just wanting to give you one more hug and hold you tight.

We love you so much Carmen Leolani,

Mommy, Daddy, Trevor and Jake

Death is nothing at all.  It does not count.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  Nothing has happened.  Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.  Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.  Call me by my name.   Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.  Put no difference into your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.  What is the death but a negligible time?  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.  All is well.

Henry Scott Holland, 1847-1918

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hello again....

Aloha everyone,

What a crazy few months.   I noticed our last post was back in February for the Team Carmen golf tournament on Saturday March 7th.  It is hard to even fathom how much has changed since March.

Coincidentally,  Saturday March 7th, was also the day I left to begin work at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, in Dana Point, California.   At that time, our intent was for me to travel back and forth from California to Hawaii while Trevor finished 1st grade.   He was doing so well at Parker and Jake was adjusting tremendously.   We felt that it would not be great to interrupt all this progress with a move.

The Lavaman 2016, took place this year on March 29th.  We had another strong showing from Team Carmen, with Carri, Darren and myself traveling from California to compete with the team.   As a team we raised over $25,000 for LLS and brought our three year Team Carmen total to $112,000.

It did not take Heather and I long to realize that being apart was really tough.  We made the decision to bump our family move to California up from early June to early May.

I was able to find us a nice home in a really great area of Laguna Niguel.  Close to everything, including work and the beach.

It has been terrific being so close to Carri, Darren and Jenny now.  We have had some fun family times, beach days and nice dinners.

It did not take us long to become Annual Pass Holders at Disneyland, which is only a 30 minute drive from our house.  Long Beach Aquarium, Science and Discovery Center and the Ocean Institute have all been big hits.

Heather was amazing in getting Trevor into some incredible camps to keep him busy all summer. Mad Science, Pirates Camp, Ocean Institute, Golf Camp, field trips to the San Diego Zoo were all on the agenda for Trevor.

Part of the tough decision in leaving Hawaii was to seek out improved health care options for little Jake.  We loved Parker School, but we also wanted to see if there were other options for education.   We are happy to report that we have been rewarded in making this tough decision.

Orange County and LA is full of great health care an education options.   We are so fortunate that Jake was accepted into the Los Angeles Children's Hospital world recognized Craniofacial program lead by Dr Magee, who has traveled the world with "Operation Smile".   He has even spoke at the Shanghai Hospital where Jake had his lip and cleft repairs done and may even know some of the Doctors who saw Jake.  It was so reassuring to hear from Dr. Magee that Jake's surgery was done extremely well and that there are no issues we need to worry about, in the near future.  #1 for Jake the next year is speech, speech, SPEECH!

We were also extremely lucky to literally of won the lottery in having Trevor accepted into a terrific Charter School called Community Roots Academy.   It has a unique way of teaching called "project based learning" that seems to work perfectly with how Trevor thinks and learns.  It has been so wonderful for Trevor to be accepted for who he is and have teachers who help him to soar to even greater heights.  We have seen such a positive change in him since he began this new school.

Jake is going to an amazing little preschool two days a week, called Community Seedlings (affiliated with Trevor's school).   Heather also has Jake busy with his Speech Therapy, Music Together and other fun activities!

Trevor is back into Soccer and doing really well.   He has also been doing great with ice skating and hockey.  He has only been on skates for a few month but is doing great!

I have got myself back into playing hockey as well.  It has been hit and miss trying to find a team but it should all work out soon.

Heather has found a Tap Dancing class, which is so cool!!!!

We have been fortunate to have a lot of out of town visitors since we arrived in May.   Wendy, Jack & Elle, Kelly, Jed and kids, Ally, Laurent and kids, Auntie Debbie, Jenn and Nick and Grandma & Grandpa White

Our family had some sad news this summer when Roxy become suddenly sick and passed over. Unfortunately, Roxy had been living with a few tumors on her liver but she showed no signs of any pain or discomfort right up until her last day with us.

We have a few important days coming up for our family.

Jake will be celebrating his third birthday on October 8th.

October 9th is Carmen's third angel day.

We are looking forward to celebrating these incredible days as a family.

I hope our next post will be a lot sooner!!

We love all of you.

Team White

Below....is a collection of images, in no particular order;

Family photo shoot before we left Hawaii

Brisebois family visit.  Day at Disneyland

Friends for Life

Uncle Darren and Auntie Carri

Elle and Jack - Aloha

Kelly, Jed and Family

Great friends!!!!

First baseball game.   Los Angeles Angels

More of the game with Dana Campbell

Incredible night with Dave Matthews

Trevor going to golf camp is a lot cooler than me back in a suit.   

Heather's recent visit to Portland

Grandma Sandy

Uncle Lance

Mountain top hike in Palm Springs.  

8,500 feet above Palm Springs.

Jake doing his hearing test

Trevor all geared up.   In Daddy's jersey from when he was 7 years old.  Thanks Mom for saving.

So many memories rushing back

Family pass holders!!!!

Jenn, Nick, Carri & Darren at the Long Beach Aquarium

Trevor and Nick

Carmen and Roxy together

Roxy girl

Jake is ready!!!!!

Trevor, Alex, Sebastian and Jake

Salt Creek Beach Day

No.......Thank You Jake!!!!!

An amazing visit with Auntie Debbie

A great visit.   A tough good-bye.  So great to be so close now.

Programming the Rover.  Thanks Auntie Debbie

Trevor on the Blue Sharks

Crazy Hair Day at Community Roots Academy

"The Bucket Bath".....big on fun....big on water saving. 

Bat Boy!!!!!  Amazing costume by Grandma White

I'm.....BAT MAN!!!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Team Carmen Charity Golf Event to benefit LLS

Hosting the first annual Team Carmen Charity Golf Event.


for a cause at 



                    Saturday, March 7th at 1 pm 


                      Donation of $275 per player

            Register online by - Space is limited


Donation includes:  18 holes of championship golf, 375ml bottle of the limited edition Beach Tree Wine by Palmina Wines and sleeve of balls. 


Enjoy your day of golf playing your own ball or best ball with your friends.  This is a shot gun start, non-tournament style event with amazing on-course raffles and prizes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jake is in the House!!!!

Aloha Everyone,

Where has the time gone.  Oh yeah....we went from not have a two year old to having one literally over night.  We have not had a moment since bringing Jake  back from China to give you an update and post more photo's.

What a strange, strange trip it has been.

The days of being in China, touring the Great Wall and seeing the sites of Beijing were blown into a million pieces the day we laid eyes on Jake.   He has rocked our world in all the right ways, making himself at home as a proud, new member of Team White.

It has almost been 4 months since Jake was drafted to the team and it feels like he has been with us forever.

Heather and I, did the best to prepare ourselves for the reality of welcoming a 21 month orphan into our family.  Advice from books and on-line, spend a lot of time focusing on the negative aspects of our situation.  Pointing out the disillusionment, confusion, abandonment issues that a situation like this could have understandably impacted a small child.   As they say....prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Well....I am so happy to report to all of you...that we are experiencing the "best" - big time.   Jake is such a little smoochy, snuggly, lovey boy.  He is quick to laugh and absolutely adores his big brother. He is sleeping, eating well and doing all the things you would expect from any 2 year old.

We are also happy to report that his health is excellent.   A recent full medical assessment of Jake revealed that the work on his cleft lip and pallet in China was excellent.  And..although we were told he was hearing impaired this has turned out to not be the case.  Jake certainly has a tough road ahead of him, including more surgeries and speech therapy but he is in excellent health.  As the doctor said to us....."He should focus on just being a happy little boy".

Below is series of images of the rest of our trip to China and more recent images of Jake and the family.  You will notice, there are not too many "tourist" pictures.  It just wasn't that sort of trip.  After meeting Jake, we embarked on a series of busy days of paperwork and official business combined with a lot of bonding as a new family;

Jake's first plane ride to Guangzhou. 

Hello Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou.   Took as little while to adjust to the floor to ceiling windows on the 91st floor

Did I mention 91st floor.   
Heather:  "Those windows aren't going to fall out are they??  Chris:  "NO!!!"

Incredible Buddhist Temple.  One of the oldest, and most important temple in South China 

A very special and rare chance to meet the leader of the temple and one of the most revered Monks in China.   Of course......he walked right up to Trevor out of hundreds of tourists.   That's how Trevor rolls.

It does not show it in the picture but many people were crowding around absolutely amazed that the leader was taking this rare time to reach out to boy.

Oh...and..an invitation to sit with him.  Our Chinese guides had never seen this before.  This was clearly an extremely special moment unfolding.

Oh Trevor.  You are one special boy.

Ancient art.  Stunning!!!

An ancient family temple.  One family built this in the 1300's to provide a fortress and place of worship for their entire family.  It was incredible and in perfect condition.


On a Pearl River Cruise with the entire Adoption Group


Beautiful Guangzhou Pearl River Front.   Our hotel is the 100 foot tower with the horizontal lights.  The hotel was from the 70th to 100th floor.

Pearl Tower

Trevor and other other two boys on the trip

 Walking to eat!

The group waiting for medical approval to travel

Happy Birthday Trevor.   You get a BROTHER for your birthday present

Happy Birthday

Getting a full night sleep has not been a problem for Jake since day 1.

We were definitely a "scene" at the Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou.  Trevor made friends with all the beautiful women.

Handsome dude

The full group and their new additions


Our first night out with Jake to a real "Food" Restaurant.   Do you call it Chinese Food when you are in China?????

All the kiddos

Exploring a cool Museum.  It is amazing just how old and significant China is.

This is the one toy that came with Jake.   A toy from 7/11..

Our room number in Guangzhou.  10/9.   

70th to 100th floor attrium

Very cool art in the lobby

Trevor saying farewell to our incredible Guangzhou guide

Our dear friend at the Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou.

Our last day.  Driving through Hong Kong

An amazing journey but definitely ready to get home