August 30, 2007

Adventures in Tire Changing




Well folks, I knew the day would come when I'd least expected it. Today started as any other, working in the home office, making plans for my day. I knew I needed to drop a deposit by the bank, run to the lab for some blood work (dossier...sigh), and meet AB for an early dinner, before heading to church for practice. I got ready, I grabbed a bottled water, my purse and keys and out the door I went. As soon as the light from the outside world hit my car, as the garage door slowly rolled up, I saw it. IT. The dead tire. Passenger side, back end. Good Gawd! I stood there for a minute in shock. Frustrated, I quickly called A. I said "what am I supposed to do? I've never changed a tire, I'm home alone - I have stuff I have to do - I'm supposed to meet you for dinner!?!? What do I do?" He simply said "you could change the tire."

Ok, stop! Back the choo choo up.

I'm a girl. I don't do automotive repairs. I don't like grease or dirt, or sweating, or dirt (did I say that already?). So I said "what are you talking about? Me? Get under there and kill myself trying to change a tire? What if the car falls on me?" He said "don't put your body under the car, Love. It's a tire, not an engine. What other choice do you have? I can't leave work, you're gonna have to figure it out or call a friend to come and get you where you need to be". Well, that was just fine and dandy! Now I've got to change a tire? No, no - first, LEARN to change a tire, then change a tire. Never mind that I've been fasting for the blood work and I'm starving. Never mind that by the time I get to the lab, I'll be wasted away. (insert rediculous whine here).

Well, there was nothing to be done. I had to face the giant. So, see above for the hilarity that was my adventure in a tire changing experience.

After it was done, I actually felt proud of myself. I was kind of...beaming. I strolled into that tire joint and told the service man all proud like "I had a flat". He just stared at me. "I mean, I had to put the spare on, by myself, and I've never done that before, but what can you do, right? I mean, it's gotta be changed!" Stupid giggle here. A slight nod from the man. "That is to say, I hope I did it right" (giggle snort here). One side of his mouth slightly curves as he tries to give me a half-hearted "lady, please shut up" smile. I let out a nervous cough. "So, I'm hoping it'll be ok? I couldn't find a nail or anything obvious.." "We'll look at it", he tells me. A half hour later, I'm still beaming. It's like my whole day is better because I got to do something new and challenging and I'm proud of myself, which doesn't happen too often. (unfortunately)

I go back to the desk when my name is called and he hands me my keys. "You're all set", he tells me. I am? "Well, what was wrong? Nail? Glass? Hard metal object embedded in the side?" Now he smiles - the big kind. The kind that says "brace yourself, stupid". "Your air cap was loose". Eh?? Come again? "Your air cap...it was unscrewed...the air just drained out". Say what, now? "So there was nothing wrong. We checked it all over. The tire is fine and you're good to go". At which point he hands me the keys and says "no charge" and smiles that irritating smile again. I wanted to punch him in the face. But my hands were still tired from the tire changing episode. Talk about letting the "air" out of my tire! Well! I just smiled politely and said "wow...thanks then...I guess...for that...(cough)." And there you have it.

When I called AB and told him what had happened to the tire, he said "well, you could have just pumped it up in the garage. We have a compressor, you know?" Really? Do we??? What the frig is a compressor??? How would I know that? How could I have known that a flat tire, FLAT, was only the result of the air being let out and not a nail, etc. Well, now I know! And apparently, we have a compressor. Yeah.

I'm still proud of myself. I still think it was a good lesson to learn. Now I know what to do and yesterday I didn't. Now I wouldn't dread it as much if I were on the side of the road somewhere with a flat. Now I feel slightly more empowered than when I woke up this morning. Now I know to check the frigging air cap every now and then. And that we have a compressor (!*&$#(*&!*(&@(*&@!#!@@).

August 28, 2007

To Nursery or Not To Nursery - that is the question...


Well, I need help...
AB and I recently considered the question of what to do when our son comes home (early '08?) as far as "space". My friends - we are at an impasse. Granted, I'm not sure how steep the impasse actually is (sometimes I can win these by pouting a lot), but it's certainly been the object of some debate over here in our home. We cannot seem to agree on a nursery situation. No, no - not a nursery as in "which bedding should we choose" (though I would like it to be noted on the record that the set at left is the set I WANT!) - a nursery as in, should our son have a separate room from our little Keira?

Now, ladies out there - is this even a question? I don't know - am I so out of touch that I want him to have his own room? Is this strange that even though he will be little and, I admit, unable to grasp or appreciate that he has his own space at such a young age - surely it will matter eventually?

Here's the dilemma. We have a three bedroom home. Our master, our office (I work from home) and Keira's nursery. Upgrading to a bigger house within the next five years is not on the table. Building on - not gonna happen. My thought is, convert the office to his room and convert a portion of our overly sized master to the office area. Admittedly, it would be tight and a little bit cluttered. His thought is to let the two kids share a room (so what that Keira's room is PINK?!?!) and that it won't matter. By the time it does matter to them, say five years from now, we can move and get a bigger place.

People - work with me? I know you don't want to take sides, but I would like to enlist some help to settle this debate. I think we're all agreed that once you have kids - life changes, things get cramped, spaces get changed, stuff gets made baby-friendly, you put safety grips on doors and plugs, and you make overall sacrifices of time, sanity and space. Am I right? Well, I'm willing to sacrifice my office space so that he can have his own room. AB feels it's a waste of space when the baby boy could potentially pass Keira up by being home up to a year or more ahead of her - thus taking her room over for a while.

Ya'll - I can't be putting my boy in that pink girlie-girl room! I can't! It's KEIRA'S room in there. I've been waiting for her for two years. I have been planning and planning and all her little things are in there, and it's HER space. I can't stick a boy in there? Can I??? Well, AB thinks this is part of the sacrifice. The ideals in exchange for the reality - we live in a smaller house, I work from home and need an office, he won't know the difference, etc.

Help a sistah out? Take the poll above and tell me what you think we should do!

I'm counting on your response - we need to settle this the old fashioned way...via Blogger Poll...well, ok, that's not technically the old fashioned way, but just go with it! And if I'm right, I get to buy that bedding set and prepare to start decorating a bright and happy boy's room?!? Right, AB?

Should we create a 2nd nursery for Baby Boy?

A. Definitely Yes! He needs his own space!

B. Couldn't you just re-paint the nursery you have for Keira and make it a double?

C. Definitely No! Why waste the time and money?

I tried to do the poll on blogger and it's down, so if it ever comes back, I'll switch this to a real poll. Meanwhile, vote through comments!

August 26, 2007

Women of Faith Re-Cap

You have to hit the little volume icon to hear the lofty music I added to this little diddy...

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

August 25, 2007

If you pray...


...then please, please pray for this family.

A dear friend came to me a couple months ago and asked me to pray. She told me that her best friends, Christina and Drake were facing an unbelievable, unfathomable circumstance. Their sweet boy, Judson (2 1/2 years old) has been diagnosed with Krabbe disease, a leukodystrophy, which is a rare, genetic, incurable disease that has attacked his mobility, vision, speech, mind, and behavior. It is a vicious disease that will gradually impair all his capacities, leading to a vegetative state, and ultimately death. Before May of 2007 Jud had complete and normal function of his body.

You can find out more about Jud and their journey through this process at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/judson. You can also follow their posts about Jud on the family space here. They are both uplifting, and heartbreaking - but will also encourage you with their bravery and amazing love for their son.

Because of this precious two year olds rapid deterioration, he was granted a wish of going to Disneyl@nd with his family this week through the M@ke a Wish Found@tion. Their story is devastating, but is also an encouraging testimony to the body of Christ coming together from all over the world with the joint purpose to lift up little Jud to the Lord for healing.

Their story absolutely broke my heart. I cannot imagine facing what they are facing. More than anything we can offer to this family now, is the power of prayer. For Jud's healing and restoration. If you pray, would you please, please lift up this family?

August 24, 2007

Women of Faith and Did you Know

Hi ya'll! I’m off for the weekend to attend the WOF Conference with my M3 Posse, except my girl Valerie who is otherwise “engaged” in a huge life change at the moment (love you girl!!! Next time!!). I’m really looking forward to this weekend, because one of my FAVORITE artists, Nicole Nordeman is performing!! Yahoo! So, I’ll be going blogger silent for a few days, but I’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming by Sunday night, I’m sure, with pics to share from the event! We're even staying in a fancy schmancy hotel - how fun is that!?!

Meanwhile, to leave you with something to chew on…Kelley AND Erin said in my last “Did you know?” post that they “already knew all that”. Well! Is that a challenge I hear calling my name?

Did you know…

  • That in the 5th grade I insisted on dancing solo to “Holding Out for a Hero” from Footloose in front of the entire student body at the “Talent Show”. Oh yes, I did. For special affects, I hung magazine clips of Ralph Macchio on the back wall and danced around them. This went over very “well”. Unfortunately, my father was video-recorder happy and caught the entire unhappy incident on tape. Fabulouso!
  • That in the 7th grade I was invited to a sleepover as the grunt. You know; the one who gets all kinds of ungodly things done to her as soon as she goes to sleep. I was determined to stay up, but after we played “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” and I strained my fingertips trying to lift one of the girls, I had had enough and fell asleep. The next morning, I was told to look in the freezer, where I found my bra in solid form. Despite the fact I had my bra frozen…I am the only one in the 7th grade who could have claimed to have a C cup at that stupid party. Jerks.
  • That I was picked on relentlessly by an 8th grade cheerleader who threw dirty socks at me every day in gym. That is of course, until I had enough and lost my sanity for about five minutes. I threw her up against the lockers and told her some choice words that I blacked out on immediately following. Needless to say, she never bothered me again. Hey, I’m a lover, not a fighter, but I can only take so much. (But seriously, are you sensing a theme here? The school years were rough.)
  • That if I laugh too hard, I literally will pee my pants. It’s not just an expression for me. Knowing this, my family goes out of their way to bring about said peeing. Case in point: one night while watching a “Funniest H*me Videos” with my Mom, we got completely slap happy over a sequence of men getting hair removed from their backs. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Well, we laughed so hard we had to pause it and it took several minutes to stop crying and laughing. We ran it back and watched it again and this time we cried and I peed. No lie. Well, my little sister was capturing our laughter on video (unbeknownst to me or my Mom) and so after we had settled down and I had changed my underwear, little sis breaks out the video of us watching the show and laughing until you hear me scream on the tape “I’m peeing!!!! Stop…Stop…I’m peeing!!!” Well, watching this causes more extreme laughter and I pee again. Oh yes, I did. Now every time I go home, that video finds it’s way out and we all find ourselves in fits of laughter all over again, and me, of course, wetting myself.
  • That I was in the 6th grade and in school when the Space shuttle carrying Christa McCollough, the teacher, blew up on live TV. We were watching it in the classroom and were totally shocked. I went on to write a poem about it that won 2nd place in the school district. My mother graciously has referred to me as a “poet” from that moment on.
  • That my first job was at Miller’s Outpost – for those that are unaware, this was where you bought only the coolest of the cool jeans – Levi’s button-fly, tapered leg. It was 1989 – cut me some slacks! (Ha…I made a funny…I said “slacks”….) Straightening hangers one night, I heard “Smells Like Te*n Spirit” by Nirv@na for the first time in my life. I was brought on as seasonal help and let go in January.
  • That I once almost drowned in the ocean. Someone saw me get pulled under by the waves and didn’t see me come back up. Next thing I knew was getting yanked up to the surface by said onlooker and taking huge gulps of air mixed with salt water. Not the way I wanna go, I can tell you that.
  • That even though I graduated high school with a B average, I cut math class in the 9th grade 52 times. I hated math - still do. My poor Mom.
  • That I played the violin from 5th grade to high school and then gave it up. I couldn’t read music, but played by ear and eventually it caught up with me when we moved on to the serious orchestra style music – I couldn’t quite match the measures and rest, because I wasn’t reading them like the rest of the kids. I got found out and lost my first chair seat. What a crapper!
  • That I am the one who cold called and asked AB out for the first time and I am the one who kissed him first. A fortuitous behavior for which I was playfully mocked at my own wedding reception. To put an end to the guffaws running around the room as the joke was told by a well-wisher, I simply stood up from my table and pointed to my newly sparkling wedding band. Enough said!! Laughter ensued.
  • That when AB and I were dating, I threw him a surprise 30th Birthday party at a nice steakhouse. The theme? Scooby Doo, including hats, napkins, and party favor bags with the Mystery Machine mini-cars in them. If you’re gonna do it…do it tacky, that’s what my Aunt Alda always says…
  • That as an adult, I do not usually dress up for Halloween. But one year we were at a party and I decided to go as a witch. Not my preference, but it was a costume party and I had waited until the last minute to get a costume. So it was either that, or squeeze into a child’s size version of Holly Hobby. The ultimate crash at said party? When a small child approached me and asked why I hadn’t worn a costume. Excuse me while I get on my broom and fly home, little worm. This IS my costume! Am I that scary looking all the time? I thought the purple wig, pointed nose, and long flowing black cape would have given it away? I’ll get you, my pretty! And you’re little dog too!!
  • That when we moved to Texas, I pretty much cried for four months straight and went home to California three times in that four months. It was a rough transition to leave everything I had known and my family and just live somewhere else. Now I couldn’t imagine leaving Texas.
  • That I love peeling and picking. Don’t come around me if you’re peeling from a sunburn. It will literally take all my power not to reach over and help you off with that coat of skin. Seriously.

Now come on…did you really already know all that too?

Peace out peepers! See ya on the flip side ~

cb



August 23, 2007

Stop the Insanity...

Right, so just to prove that I'm no liar or exaggerator - I wanted to show you what happened when the hubby and I strolled through our local half price bookstore tonight. Uh-huh...you're seeing it right. That's 17...SEVENTEEN books to the left.

This is what I'm telling you people - we have a real problem. Now, mind you that the majority of these books were $1.00. Yep, that's all - so now you're probably thinking "but that's a steal!". The rest were half off the publishers listed price. Not too shabby! But still!!!! Let's focus on the real issue at hand...see below for the evident problem of "where to put them" now that we have them. I thought I was bad with baby clothes - maybe we're just "bad" in general with shoppy? This is for real, ya'll - we have eight bookshelves in our house - worse than my original estimate. We've tried to sell some here and there, and tried to donate some when we could bear to part with them, but we have a true book addiction. There is pretty much nothing that's separating us from the book collection. Short of a natural disaster, God forbid. Help me....this is a cry for book help...do they have a "self help book" for people who buy too many books or is that an oxy-moron???....stop laughing, that's not supposed to be funny!...ok, it is sorta funny..."Too Many Books Guide for Dummies". I can't make this stuff up people!

OBSERVE THE DILEMMA:










August 22, 2007

Did you know ...

...I love to read. But the older I get, the harder it is to see the small print (don't suggest glasses, it's falling on deaf ears), and I find myself avoiding it lately. I'm always too tired, too busy, or too pre-occupied with other addictive reading (that goes without saying out here in blogger world, ahem...) But the sad truth is that we are book hoarders. We have exactly eight FULL bookshelves in our home and the books are stacked all over them. We purchase books - not music or DVD's. And there is nothing better for us than sitting our rears in a cozy seat at the big chain books places, or even the half price book stores, coffee in hand, for hours. We are gluttons for books. However, I seem to have lost sight of the point. You are supposed to read them, once you buy them. Hmmm...what to do...



...Anton and I have only one type of "child" at this point in our life. They are our two dogs and our elderly kitty. We have only one gear when it comes to our pets "utter abandon". We love them beyond tomorrow and back, we love them in between us on the bed at night time, we love them sitting at our feet as we watch TV, we love them running amok between our legs as we prepare dinner. We go on vacation and we bring someone in to stay with them at the house. We call daily to make sure they're ok. We worry and fret over their little bodies, and we kiss and hug them many, many times a day. It is possible at random points in the day to hear us singing made up songs to them about how great they are. We are utterly wrecked on our animals. It cannot be helped. There is nothing to be done for us...


...Hi, my name is Christie and I'm an addict. No, no - not drugs or alcohol - gosh no! My problem? Oh, it's nothing...really...I mean, that is to say, it's small. I think. I mean, it's just this little habit I have of checking blogger and my e-mail accounts repetitively throughout the day. How often? Well, I don't know...I've never counted. 76 times. At least. What?!? It's not that bad! I have it on the best authority that Sally Jones-Caldwell checks her e-mail and blog lines at least 84 times a day and that's not including when she's up late at night. Oh, I'm not supposed to compare? I'm just supposed to look at my own problem? But that would mean that it would have to be a problem to me, right?...gulp...




...that I have a little buddy who comes to my house at least once a week and whose name is Keira? She calls me "auntie christie" and I just stinking love her! She is two and just the funniest sweetest girl! The other day she asked me for "macatoni and cheese". Ha! When I went to get into my back-pack she said "yeah...Auntie Christie's pack-pack!" Now I'm going to indefinitely refer to it as my pack pack, just because it's dang cuter. She also shares my deep, deep addiction to the Backyardig@ns. And buddy, I mean...ADDICTION. We have a blast together, and it can't be a half bad deal for either of us: she's got her name on the wall and I'm logging in several hundred "mommy training" hours.




...that I prefer facials to massages. I'm a tender gal - I can't usually find someone willing to do the "shallow-tissue" massage. It's always gotta be the "deep tissue". Well, my tissue ain't deep. And dang it - it hurts when someone goes grinding into my shoulder. I don't like it. I'm laying there thinking of ways to absorb my body into the table just to avoid one more agonizing knuckle rub. Meanwhile, I love me a good ol' facial! Bring it on! My face is so fair, I usually come out looking literally "peachy and rosy". It's amazing how soft your face can get after one of these!





...that AB and I are idiots. I mean, we literally sit at home sometimes and just crack each other up. People make jokes that they imagine us sitting around laughing all the time - and that's not quite true. But dang it if we're not best friends and it's so hard to imagine my life without him. I can't even go there! Needless to say, we upped our insurance policies on each other recently......see, that's a joke. You're supposed to laugh there...because we are!





...that I'm a closet cleaner. No, no...not a closet cleaner...as in clothes and shoes and old games. A "closet" cleaner, as in I secretly love to clean. I know - it's like breaking the girl code...I might need to turn in my "wife" card for this. It's just that, even though I'm supposed to hate cleaning and loathe all that it entails - I'm a neat freak and an organizational junkie, and I just LOVE that high that I get strolling through my newly cleaned home and knowing that I'm "caught up". Sometimes the best thinking, rationalizing, idea making, and scheme building time that I have is when I'm elbow deep into cleaning my toilets. Sorry...sad but true.





...that AB and I get chided (playfully) by family and friends for being a little too "mushy". Ok, and here's the second part of the confession - I didn't really ever think that at seven years going on eight together that we would still be getting into trouble for being all "kissy kissy face" with each other. Seriously, to be honest - it's just a habit that you make and you stick to. It's not because we're disgustingly in love every second of the day. It's because we decide every day all over again to choose to love the other person, no matter what. It really helps with the hand-holding and smoochie smoochie when you know you're both in it to win it, 110%, no matter what. It also helps when you have a gushy mushy personality, ha!! Love you babe!





...that I have gray hair. And buddy, I mean gray like as in a cloudy over cast day. So I had to find a stylist who could understand my pain at being gray so young and do something about it at a moment's notice. Someone who would cover it all, and never tell a soul. Someone who would not miss spots and not allow streaks. Someone who would promise to tell me if it was "time to hit the bottle". So you don't have to wonder for another annoying "someone" sentence, my amazing colorist is AB. He really hits it out of the park every time. He's been doing this since we were dating. And I love the crap out of him for being willing, let alone for doing such a kickin job every time. Meanwhile, part two of this shpeal is that I am horrible about getting my hair cut. I take these little hair scissors and go at my bangs with "shear" gusto. (Oh that was pretty bad...) and I'm telling you - I haven't had the same person cut my hair in 17 years. I just go so rarely that there's always a new girl when I go back. I do envy those that get their hair "did" every few weeks, but it ain't happenin up in here. I can't get my butt to the gym, the salon, heck - the post office, let alone the stylist. I'm a mess and my split ends tell on me all the time.

...that this pretty little kitty is almost as old as my grandmother in people years. That I've had her in my life since she was a screaming 8 week old and since I was a screaming teenager. That she's got the reputation of royalty and has rightly earned the nickname "Her Royal Highness, The Queen, Chloe". That if I even begin to think about her not being around I go into emotional orbit. That if I am up and about and she's not roaming around my legs or close by, then something is terribly wrong. That if when we go to bed, she doesn't find a way to climb up and lay between our heads, it's not really "time for bed". That she has affectionately gone from little terror as a baby, to my constant and darling girl that I would rather saw a limb off than see her hurt or in pain. That has decidedly moved into Keira's nursery and has no idea this "princess" room was not made specifically for her. And last but not least, that has quite literally, tamed two sixty pound dogs into her loyal subjects. Now, that's what I call a true royal!


If you didn't know - you do now...

Cheers!

August 20, 2007

Post Traumatic Post Disorder - A Post Recall

My blogger friends - it's time to issue a recall of sorts on a previous post:

Remember when I said that you should stay tuned because things in the adoption process twist and change along the way? Let's just say that the continued idea of "virtual triplets" has become a very traumatic vision for me. I have not slept well, I have not been able to cease the obsessive over-thinking, I cannot relax, I cannot take deep breaths...I am suffering from Post Traumatic Post Disorder.

We are knee deep in our Ethiopia dossier process, and it's going very well. But my apprehension has grown and grown and festered for the last few weeks about requesting two babies at once from Ethiopia. More than anything, I want a family. Everyone knows this - and in our anxiousness and haste to be parents, we have perhaps forgotten something really important: capability. In other words, just because you can ask for multiples, doesn't mean you should. Just because it's a carrot they hang in front of you and can pretty much assure you of, doesn't mean you necessarily will have made the best choice if you go for the gusto.

There is a persistent weakness in me to confess that I may not be able to handle three babies all the same age...the idea of virtual triplets has become overwhelming to the point of literal panic on a daily basis. I just don't think I can do it. Remember, the "triplets" come into play because we will have the twins from Ethiopia and then Keira, who will likely be the same age or very close to the babies age. Anton's parents are moving away. My entire family lives out of state. And while I have AMAZING friends in my M3 Posse, helping can only go so far. It's just many, many things (that I won't bore you all with) that direct my heart to say "stop...stop the madness while you still can". I realize that people have multiples all the time, but let's face it - it's not like they said "I'll take three, please!" And it's HARD WORK. I've been following several multiples blogs and I'm just amazed at what these incredible women can pull off. But you certainly take away that it is woefully difficult to pull it off well. That added to the fact that I do have a choice, and if we specify twins, they won't refer us anything but twins - it's a very specific process. The reality was, I was going to get EXACTLY what I asked for - and I'm speaking literally and figuratively.

When it really came time to put it in writing for the dossier and to say what we wanted for our family on paper - when the gavel fell and push came to shove - we both recognized and decided that we would only be asking for one baby, an infant as young as possible. More specifically, we are asking for a son, which we both want very much. So, no twins - no virtual triplets. Actually, if you rationalize that Keira and our baby boy will probably be very close in age anyhow, then we will still kind of have virtual twins. But no three amigos.

I am so ridiculously anxious to meet Keira and to have a daughter, and I know that our relationship will be so special. So I confess, in asking for only one child from Ethiopia, I feel like a huge burden has lifted and I feel like now I won't fear that I will be too tired, too weary, and too run down to love her and adore her in the way that she deserves. To give her that extra attention that she will invariably need from us. I feel that with one little guy toting around, I will have time to bond specifically with him and love him and give him all our attention for several months, if not a year and get him ready to be a big brother to Keira. They will be so different and it will be fun to explore their personalities as we become a family together. All this to say, somehow removing that 5th person from the mix helps me to relax, visualize a level of comfort and peace that I haven't been able to, and to take a deep sigh of relief.

That is not to say that there will never be a #3 for us, or that we might not adopt again in the future, but at this point we are at peace that that decision will come after Keira and not before. We are just going to take a chill pill and let God do the rest. If He has a #3 or even a #4 in store for us down the line, I'm sure He will reveal that in time. Right now, we're going to attempt to keep my sanity and take a little bit smaller steps towards creating our family.

I hope you can all appreciate our taking a step back and re-thinking what was best for us as a family and for me as a first time Mom. As I told my dear friends, have mercy on my tired motherless heart. We are a work in "adoption progress" and we are trying so hard to build our family the only way we know how to. Perhaps our ambition is outweighed by our reality on occasion, and we just had to take a step back and re-think before we bit off more than we could chew.

Ya with me? (gulp)

August 18, 2007

Young Love


I came across this picture of AB and I pre-marriage (2000). I had no idea how much we had aged in 7 years. I'm missing us when we looked like that - you know, like 12 year olds.

Sigh...

And so it goes...

August 16, 2007

Encouragement from Blogworld & A Testament of Faith

I read lots of blogs - and I love it. But with our new adoption through Ethiopia, I have been searching for other families with our, shall we say, predicament. The predicament being the "how are we going to do this?". I've been looking for someone to remind me how it's possible when we have no funds. And trust me, some people have been bold when they tell us that we have no business starting these adoptions (any of them!) without proper funds in place. They've avoided saying we were "irresponsible" , but I can see it's on the tip of their tongues - it's all there in the implication. And here I thought we might find ourselves knee deep defending the race card - instead we sometimes find ourselves defending the "what business do you have pursuing adoptions that you have no financial backing for?" Talk about a slap in the face. Sometimes you just have to get out of the boat during the raging storm and walk toward your King, you know? I know He can calm the storm, if only I believe He will. But if I'm too scared to get out of the boat and go to Him, how can He reveal Himself or His plans for my life to me?

Today, through the grace of God, I visited this blog, which caused me to stumble onto THIS....please go read this, it is a wonderful post.

All I can say, is "wow", and "yeah!", and "that's what I was gonna say!", and "I wish I had thought of that sooner".

I was literally in tears - it's just so nice to know we're not alone - I will not let my life be a pattern of "what ifs". I will take action and make it happen, one way or another. I will not sit by and watch the calendar change, and do nothing to get my children. They can't come to me, so I will find a way to them. I can't move mountains - financial or otherwise....But God Can!

A testament to my faith that I want to share that explains why this link above is so real in my life:

Saturday is our Home study for the new adoption. Saturday. We've been waiting for God to provide our 1st deposit for Ethiopia. Monday night, I laid it out in prayer. I said "Lord, you know I can't do this without You. I don't even want to try. And I believe that You put this new adoption on my heart for a REASON. People think we're crazy, and some people think we're irresponsible, but I know you called us to this place. But I need You to provide. I need You to provide before Saturday. We have to have this deposit for the agency and only You can provide it at this point. We have no resources to pull from. So I ask again, You must provide this by Saturday, or I feel we have to stop the process. I know You can, because You're God and nothing is too difficult for You. I know You can and I believe You will, because I know You set this course on our hearts. "

The next day, Anton was working on some projects. Someone that we know and love approached him and handed him a check for the exact amount due to the agency for the first deposit.

That's MY KING!

Three Little Words

3 Words Meme – You can only answer using three words…

Stolen, err…borrowed from Everyday Mommy….




1. Where is your cell phone? Sitting right here...
2. Your boyfriend? You mean husband?
3. Your hair? Blonde covered gray
4. Where is your father? He’s in California
5. Your favorite thing to do? Blog, Read, Games
6. Your dream last night? Can’t remember it.
7. Your dream car? The Honda Odyssey
8. The room you’re in? My little office
9. Who did you hang out with last night? Hubby, friends, animals
10. Your fears? Money to adopt
11. What are you good at? Singing, Writing, Gaming
12. Muffins? Blueberry, Banana, Chocolate
13. One of your wish list items? See number seven
14. The last thing you did? Eat my lunch
15. Your computer? Dell for me!
16. Your pet? Dogs and cat
17. You are wearing? Capri's, Chinese shirt
18. Your life? Dream come true.
19. Your mood? Hopeful, Calm, Happy
20. Missing? Cool autumn weather.
21. Your car? Little blue girl
22. What are you thinking about now? Money, Money, Money
23. Your work? It's neverending work
24. Your summer? Getting really hot
25. Your relationship status? Simply the best
26. Your favorite color(s)? Pink, Cream, Sage
27. When is the last time you cried? Friday, so sad…
28. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday I think
29. School? Oh, must I?
30. Favorite 90’s group? DC Talk, baby!

Now, I'm not going to tag any specific people, but if you'd like to play along - leave me a little comment letting me know, so that I can go read yours!

August 13, 2007

A little Q & A...


I promised a post to answer questions about our Ethiopian adoption, and I have received many comments and private e-mails asking questions. So here’s my attempt to answer:

******

Question:

Why do you want to adopt from Ethiopia? What made you choose this country? Why Africa? What led you to this decision?

Answer:

Ethiopia, because the program is growing but still new. Because the children are beautiful. The people are fascinating. The country is one of the oldest Christian nations in the world. Anton spent much of his life overseas and has a passion for different cultures and people. Because I have a little bit of soul sista in me. Ask anyone who knows me. Because I love the idea of changing a child’s life forever, and these children – like orphans everywhere – need loving parents and stability badly. Because we're healthy adults in our child raising years and we can. Because Ethiopia has a fairly stable process as well, and their referral timeframe is shorter than many other programs. Because long ago God placed a burden both on Anton's heart and my own for the people and children of Africa.

Question:

But what about Domestic Adoption?

Answer:

I fully recognize that there are thousands of children in the US available for adoption, but that is just not a roller coaster ride I’m willing to get on. There are just simply not enough laws that protect adoptive parents here in the US. I don’t want to debate about it – but just enough to say that it’s not for me. It’s a wonderful choice for many families, but not for us. My heart and children are not here – they are far away. Different people are called to do different things - our family was called to adopt international children.

Question:

What agency did you use that let you pursue two adoptions at once?

Answer:

Ok – so this was tricky – because we are pursuing our Chinese adoption with Great Wall and they are exclusively Chinese adoptions. So they are really not competition for our Ethiopian adoption agency, which is Dove Adoption International. There are only 7 or 8 agencies in the US allowed to handle Ethiopian adoptions, and so to find one that would let us pursue simultaneously was a challenge. We did have to get notarized documents that acknowledged that both agencies were aware of each other and the dual dossier process was going on. Once that part is done, you just pursue as you normally would with a dossier and paperchase.

Question:

Is the dossier process for Ethiopia as difficult as China’s?

Answer:

No, it does not appear to be nearly as daunting or time-consuming a task as our Chinese Dossier.

Question:

So what is the timeframe for this adoption? How long will you wait for your babies? How much longer/shorter is this process than China? How long until you get a referral?

Answer:

This answer would vary from agency to agency because it depends partially on the orphanage. With Ethiopia, you usually know the orphanage your child comes from in advance, because the agencies typically sponsor one orphanage and their referrals all come from that location. With our agency, we were told to expect a 4-7 month referral wait time once our dossier is logged in. Longer for twins potentially by a couple more months. Some agencies suggested to us as little as one week from the time your dossier is registered, but these agencies also did not allow simultaneous adoptions so we were attracted to the referral time, but were not allowed to work with them without abandoning our Chinese adoption.

Question:

Are the adoption costs the same for China and Africa? How much is this adoption costing you? Are you stressed about the financial burden of adding another adoption?

Answer:

No it’s not the same cost. It’s costing a lot. And yes we’re stressed out. I know that if you’re adopting from China you’re feeling like a caged animal. No where to run and no where to hide. Endless wait with no end in sight. And $$$$ going out while nothing is coming in. The thing about adoption is that it’s just a leap of faith and you have to hold on to the stories of others to make it through. You have to have that shred of hope in other families success stories to know that it can and will happen eventually. For us, the money was a big factor because we’re a middle class family making ends meet like anyone. The cost is different per agency, so I would suggest looking into each agencies fee schedule before you pursue anything. However, having said that, it is cheaper than the China program. Not oodles cheaper, but certainly more affordable than many programs out there. We are presently very stressed out about the $$ because when we started our adoption of Keira we did seek support from family and close friends and we don’t feel that’s an option this time. People were so generous to us that we just don’t feel we can continue asking for that kind of support. However, we are remaining hopeful that God will provide. He has to. A friend told me the other day “you just remind God that this is His problem, because He set this on your heart. So remind him of that…gently”. Ha ha…trying to remain sane at the moment because I know we’re on the right path but financially at this point – we have no way to see the ends come together. Holding on to hope of putting our family together some way, some how. I will not accept that we are not meant to be parents over money. I just cannot. . If you are a praying person, send some up for us. We are really struggling but trying to remain positive about this.

Question:

Why did you request twins with Keira coming home soon after? Isn’t that a lot to take on? Aren’t you afraid of virtual triplets? How can you handle so many the same age? Aren’t you worried as a first time adoptive mom that you might be biting off more than you can chew?

Answer:

Well, these are honest questions, so I’ll give you all nothing less than honest answers. I’m scared to death in some ways and totally calm in others. Been watching a lot of “John and Kate Plus E*ght” on Discov*ry Chann*l and that’s been making me feel a heck of a lot better. Let’s face it, in this day and age, I’m certainly not the first mom to have multiples and especially with all the in-vitro multiples that we see nowadays. There are a lot of tools and resources for moms with multiples and I am going to be taking advantage of those things as much as a I can.

I think it’s just the realization that for us, this is it. We have to just go for it and hope that God will get us through the nightmare of three children in diapers. I don’t have any fantasies about how wonderful it will be all the time, or how perfect the children will be, or how great I will be at listening to three crying children. I am not under a bunch of illusions about how it will be or will not be. I think it will be a chaos-fest. On the other hand, I’m trying to think beyond that. We always wanted a large family. We always wanted a lot of kids. We always wanted our kids to have siblings. We are staring down the barrel of an only child with Keira because of the time frame and we’re just not gonna take that lying down. It’s just not what we wanted for our family and so we’re going out guns blazing and doing everything we can to get our kids home and get on with our lives. This paper part and traveling, etc…this is all the easy part (ha…I have to laugh because it certainly hasn’t felt easy). It’s the raising them that’s going to be the true test of willpower and stamina.

Question:

Do you think this is fair to Keira? Do you think Keira will have a hard time adjusting/attaching to her new family and to you with two other little ones in the picture?

Answer:

Look, I would love to be Pollyanna about this and say “it’ll all be fine”. But reality protests and says that I must look at the possibility for any number of attachment issues with any of our children. The only thing I can do is move ahead. I can’t let myself get hung up on "what if’s". There are millions of people in the world who have kids in the same age bracket. Millions of people who have grown up within one year of their sibling(s). Anton is one of them and he and his sister were very close their growing up years. I am not pioneering a way of life. There are many who have come before me and will come after me with children close in age. You grow up with your family and you know nothing else but your family and that's the way it is. In our family, it will be three kids all in the same age category and potentially sharing similar likes and dislikes – clothes, toys, and space. You learn to adapt. These kids are going to be raised around hundreds of other children in the orphanage. If anything, I like to think that it will make their transition easier, knowing that they will have other “little” people running around to bond and commiserate with.

Question:

What made you decide to request a girl and boy, as opposed to two boys or two girls?

Answer:

Because Anton and I both wanted a son, but we also wanted three children total. So we thought it would be fun to request both.

Question:

Do you have names picked out for your new babies?

Answer:

Yes we do, but we’re holding on to that little piece of heaven for their referral pictures.

Question:

Where is your Ehtiopia blog? When are you starting a separate blog for the twins? What is the address for your new blog?

Answer:

No 2nd blog for now. We’ll just share. I can’t deal with keeping two going when all the info will be pretty much the same. Better to just hang out here, where people know where to find me and I’ll keep posting here as things occur and come up about both adoptions.

******

Hope this answers the loads of great questions we got – I couldn’t even get through all of them on this post, but I think this pretty much covers all the basics. We’re pressing onward and have our home study appointment this weekend. Once that’s done it’s really up to us to turn this dossier around and get it out the door!

Send good thoughts! We could really use them as we are apparently INSANE!

Meanwhile, many people took the poll I had posted asking if they would pursue two adoptions simultaneously. The results surprised me - most who responded said they would. Some e-mailed me and said it made them think. Some e-mailed me and said "I would if I had the money". So now my question is, for those that said yes, they would, what keeps you from taking the leap with this ever increasing wait in China?

Thoughts???

Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and "That Guy"

Ok - well first of all, you have to understand that Anton just has that "je ne se quois" when he's out and about - he's so gregarious and bright and people are just drawn to him like moths to the flame. This explains the wedding ring on my left hand. But when we were at Disn*y, this strange phenom happened. We went to the Monst*r's Inc. show at one of the parks and while we were there, they kept making references throughout the show like "well, we can see where you all get your talent from - except..." and these huge screens would flash a life size image of Anton sitting in his chair in the audience..."That Guy!" He became the brunt of every joke, etc. and up his picture would flash as they said "except for 'That Guy!". Well, as the show wore down, we were just in hysterics that he was sooooo picked on. It was great, and he loved it! Well, turns out as the story in the show takes a turn, AB (AKA "That Guy") ends up saving the day and the show and we all have to clap for him for saving us! It was a great time and we were so entertained! But as we walked out to move on to the next attraction a strange thing happened. AB got mobbed by children wanting his Autograph. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to snap them all but I did manage a couple shots and it was just hysterical! We were laughing and just thinking "what the heck!" So he signed things like "Be Good! - Signed, That Guy". Too funny! So in their little autograph books, these kids have Mickey M*use, Snow Wh*te, Buzz Lighty*ar, and "That Guy". And ladies and gentlemen..."That Guy" is my guy!




August 9, 2007

Adoption or bust?


Well, I guess I should have considered how eerily complicated it would be to start a new adoption process while renewing an old one. We're trying to renew our 171-H docs for Keira and re-do the homestudy, etc. all while filling out and completing the new dossier paperwork for the babies. For those not familiar with adoption processes that take years (I just wrote years...sigh), your paperwork does expire within the US and you do have to re-file, re-fingerprint, renew, and horror of horrors, re-pay. Such a deal, eh?!? Yikes and Yowsa! Somebody get me an bottle of headache medicine! This is nuts, trying to come up with all this $ - but we took the leap of faith and we're standing by it. Lord, please provide and fast!!!

AB had one of those "super-hubby" moments last night when I asked him how we were going to pull this off financially - and a super "UGH" question popped out of my mouth "why didn't we ever consider a surrogate?" He very eloquently said "because we decided a long time ago when we were staring down the path of our options, that if we were going to spend $40K, we weren't going to spend it on ourselves (i.e. fertility treatments, IVF, Surrogacy) but on children who have no family and are already born and need two parents and lots of love. We decided we were going to open up our home and our hearts to the 'whatever' God had in store for us".

Weepy...and a good reminder that I had temporarily forgotten in the midst of the struggle we now face. And please let me clarify that we are not at all opposed to those who seek the options we did not. Nor are we "anti" having babies the good old fashioned way. We're actually quite grateful to our parents for having us. (Now, I'm giggling..because I feel I have to say this for some who might take offense) In fact, many of our friends and family have relied on these avenues and have beautiful families because of it. Our dear friend just found out she is carrying twins through a successful IVF treatment. So no issues with that - but I think, for us, we knew...we just knew...way back when the problems surfaced that those really weren't options for us. We knew deep down that we were being led down a different road and so when we realized that God was directing us down the path of adoption, we committed to go the distance, though at the time I confess I had no idea just how far that would be.

Having said that, it is not easy to go the distance, as so many of you adoptive/adopting parents know all too well. Long ago someone wrote on their blog (after I had just become LID) that "adoption is not for the faint of heart - the process alone could emotionally fell a grown man or woman". I totally thought this seemed dramatic and over the top. I thought "how bad can it be?" But let me tell you - more roadblocks and stumbling points have been thrown up since we made the decision of adoption for our family, than I can count out in this post - but we willfully plug along and hope and pray that sooner rather than later we will have our babies home and at last loved and cherished as much in the flesh as they have been in spirit. There's a spot for all three, right between us on the bed - right under the fluffy down comforter and in between a mom and a dad who have worked oh so hard to bring them to that place.

Meanwhile, I'm losing hair daily by the handful. So, without further ado - we need to win the lottery, fast, and we need our babies home.

No giving up...no giving in - Mommy and Daddy will find a way to get to you...all of you.



August 6, 2007

A giftie!!!!

WOW! For the first time EVER I got a giftie from a fellow bloggie pal who I have never met and who out of the sheer and utter kindness of her heart sent me the most awesome package that she literally "hand-made" for me and my babies!

Today I received not one, not two, but THREE of the cutest, most adorable and soft, smell good little taggie blankies EVER!! Not only are there two baby girl blankies in both pastel pink and lavender - but there is also a DARLING baby blue blankie for a baby boy. You must, must, must visit KELLY at her blog and tell her how cute they are!!

Kelly, you are so sweet and thoughtful - this gift absolutely made my day and I was so humbled that you considered and included each of my babies that I'm longing and hoping for. This is the kind of stuff that re-assures my faith in people - good people do exist and it's so easy to forget that in the hustle and bustle of our lives. You asked for nothing in return, and have never even met me. Thank you for your kindness and for the TLC you put into these precious blankies. You are a dear, dear bloggy friend. Thank you so much! Please tell me if there is a way I can repay your kindness...

Can you stand how cute these are?!?!

August 4, 2007

Vacation Re-Cap

Hi all! Well, home sweet home, eh? We're resting a lot today as we left for the airport at 3:30 AM this morning, flew home @ 6am and actually arrived through our front door by 8:30am. Tired does not cover it! We're exhausted from vacation - how screwed up is that?!?! Hahha! Seriously, we had a wonderful time and saw so much and did tons of things - I have moved the slide show in the previous post out of the loop and created two below of our overall trip experience. I realize there are a lot of pictures, so peruse at your leisure or not at all - it's just that I have family and friends who will want to see these pics, so I did it in slide show format to make it quick and easy.

Anywhoo - lots to update on here and TONS of blog reading to do on all of your blogs to catch up on the latest in your lives. I still have a post coming about AB's autograph session at the "Kingdom" and more updates and answered questions about the new adoption.

I'll let the pics tell the story of vacation - they'll do it much better than I could by rambling on...but to clarify: We went with AB's sister (look alike is more like it) and our niece and nephew. Also with AB's parents. So those will the be the people you see in some of the pics. Also, there are two shows - one for the theme parks we went to, and one for the general pics from the trip. I included pics of the parks to make all you Disn*y die-hards feel closer to your beloved home away from home.

Enjoy!