September 30, 2009

Fringe Benefits of coming to Cali

Look who I got to hug today:

That's ma' girl Stephanie.  And I don't like Stephanie.  I LOVE ME SOME STEPHANIE.  We met through the blogging world back in '06.  I fell in love with her and her amazing artwork, and since we shared a very close LID (she's 3-27), we kind of hit it off from the get-go.  We've exchanged blog comments, and long e-mails...and even gifts.

But we never "met" until today.  And folks, can I tell you a secret?

She's the fizzle ma' mizzle fo' shizzle.  Love her.

I wanted to take her home to Texas with me.

Let me tell you another secret:

If she lived in Texas (I'm working on it) I think we would be freaking attached at the hip.

We talked for five (count em') FIVE hours.  Felt like 20 minutes.  Felt like I've known her since grade school.

Oh.  And we have some majorly weird things in common that most people would never relate to.  Like weird "distant thunder" (only she will get that) things in common.

Know what else?  We were both hanging onto the edge of our seats wondering if a certain package on its way from China would/could be our referrals today.  So this is how you take care of that when you're far from home and the internet:

Hahahahaha, I'm still laughing.  We called our husbands and had them check e-mails, Rumor Q, all that jazz.  And unfortunately, we couldn't get internet.  And more unfortunately, our referrals did not come today and now appear to be on hold until the second week of October.  Which stinks, but it was so cathartic to be with a friend, sharing almost the same LID, and being able to boo hoo (figuratively) together over that. 

Upshot?  We were together and totally relaxed on a gorgeous California day.  The temp was amazing and the breeze was divine.

And the company?  Don't get me started...See above.

Love me some Stephanie...

Here's praying we can travel at the same time - sweet Jesus, I would love that!

Never underestimate the powerful bonds and friendships that have begun through this long and arduous adoption process.  I'm not sure any of us would have found each other without the winding road to our girls.  I'm not sure I would want to do without all of you...

September 29, 2009

Too late to be Late

You know, I don't want to be a wise-acre.  I don't.

But it's time, you know?  I's been over four years since we started this process to adopt Keira.  It's been almost four years since we sent our paperwork to China to be logged in.  It's been exactly three years and six months since we were logged in.

And it's just time.

Not including those who will wait long after us, we have officially waited the longest period of time for a referral.

And when I read about the hurt it causes others waiting with us - with a similar or exact LID as we have - and when I see how much trauma it causes to be up and down and up and down...and think today is the day...and wait for rumors...and be told it could be this day and then that day.

It's just time.

And it's really hard on the families waiting.  Such an emotional journey to begin with, but then to be quite literally thrown around up and down right at the end.

Are they really trying to break us down before building us up?

Too late.

PS - New post up over at "Bringing Keira Home - stop by, por favor?

September 28, 2009

Happily Ever After

My baby brother got married today and it was beautiful and sweet, and teary, and all the things that weddings should be...

His bride is a wonderful addition to our family

and I miss him already, the way you do when you watch your younger siblings move into the next big phase of their lives. 


Love you, baby brother...xo

September 25, 2009

What's that you say? Next week?

An updated and upgraded rumor that we are in?!?  That the 29th is probably going to see a batch of referrals with their names on them?  That's us. 


Because I'm just sayin.


Little boy is feeling much better, but he did (erring on the side of caution and protection) stay home with his Daddy while mommy got on a plane without him.  It was hard, folks.  Can't lie.  Hated leaving him behind - he was supposed to come and have fun, and see everyone.  He was the star of the show.  I'm so sad...

But he's HEALTHY.  And that's what matters more than anything else.

Watch out for this people.  It's coming soon, to an area near you.  And it's nasty.

Children seem to be more susceptible.  How sad is that?

And lastly...

Ummm....are we next?  Are we actually seriously getting a referral next week?  What has happened that the world has gone upside down?  I'm still not sure...I guess I just can't believe it might actually happen.


Because I'm just sayin.


September 23, 2009

Helpless to help = Me

I'm not sure there's anything worse than a sick baby for whom you can do nothing but hug, and love on, and pray they feel better soon.  And for Quint, there is nothing I can do but give him his prescription, and hope this flu passes quickly.

Friends, I have to leave town tomorrow - and I am putting Quint into the very capable hands of his Daddy and his grandparents for the next seven days.  But he is sick.  Quite sick.  He was supposed to come along, and after a visit with his doctor today - we've all agreed it's not going to happen.

Would you mind sending a prayer up for his quick recovery and health?  All things happen for a reason and I'm confident he will be just fine.  But it's hard for me to leave my under-the-weather little hard.

September 21, 2009

Again with the head thing...

I don't know what it is - really, I don't.  I just know that he loves the bucket on his head.  Among other things.  Blankets, towels, clothes, cars...whatever he can put up there and then have it pulled off - or wait for it to tumble off.

I do know that it's amusing to watch.

Almost as much as his growing obsession with all things Backyardigan.  Including the band-aids we found under the sink the other day.  He insisted on wearing one - though I could find no "owie" with which to justify it.  Instead, we pretended he had a "boo boo" and stuck one on his arm where he could admire it for the next 30 seconds.  I found it on the floorboard of the car  later that day.  Again, no idea.

He loves toy cars.  His fascination with them is so very amusing.  He sits on the kitchen floor and says the following:

"doh" (translation: "ready")
"Doh" (translation "set" and a little bit louder than the first)
"DOOOH" (translation and the closest to sounding like the word he's imitating: "go" - quite loudly and with gusto!)

At which point he slides the hot wheels away from himself with zeal and watches them careen out of control across the tile floor.  He laughs and squeals with delight clapping his chubby little hands, only to round them up again and repeat the cadence.  doh.  Doh.  Doooooooohhhh.  Indeed!

You tell me what's more fun than that?

I can think of nothing...

Meanwhile, on the adoption front - we have received donations from several families - all of which we are beyond grateful and appreciative of.  Some have donated furniture, books, clothes - you name it.  Some have donated their time and efforts, keeping me organized and driven and full of ideas.  Some have given financially - and again, for all these things, we are profoundly touched.  We still have a great need to meet - and I know we will.  Spread the word for us, if you can!  I know it's hard - but sometimes just reaching the right audience is half the battle!

We had some discouraging news this weekend - in that what could have been a very productive and effective outlet we thought we would have to spread the word about our Rummage Sale and 100 for $100 Drive - well, it was squashed.  I cried.  But I do have to pick myself up and keep moving - for Keira's sake.  It was definitely a closed door - so Anton and I have committed to finding the door that is OPEN!

God is faithful!  Just today we got an opportunity to share our story in a way that could be HUGE.  More on that if it pans out - I don't want to kill it.  But I do want to ask for prayers about it.  Just know that it would be a tremendous platform for us to not only share Keira's story - but shed light on adoption in general.  Think how many kids we could give a hope and a future with the right outlet!  I could weep!

Rumors are somewhat quiet.  We know they are matching in China - but that's all we do know.  Not if we're included.  No info on a cut off date.  And I must remind all that we're perfectly ok with October, if that's what it will be.  No tears to shed here if we miss it this time.  We have enough friends due to get their referral that we'll be busy celebrating with.


September 19, 2009

Drive Responsibly...

Or not...

Nothing new to report...maybe more on Monday??

Remember - October is good, we're fine with October...

September would be a surprise, but I'm not holding my breath.

September 17, 2009

Donate Airline Miles!

One of the most expensive portions of our impending travel to China is the airline tickets.  They could run us upwards of $4000 total for Coach seating.  GULP!

Right now, American Airlines is running the following special for those giving the gift of donated miles:

The gift AAmilesSM program lets you give the gift of travel to your family and friends. And September 8th through September 30th, give miles as a gift and earn up to 15,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles for yourself. Bonus miles are earned on purchases as low as 2,000 miles and increase with the more you give.

So if you're an American Airlines frequent-flyer - or just have racked up quite a few miles through a credit card, etc., consider donating them to our family before September 30th, and get up to 15,000 miles for yourself! 

If you have American Express Miles to donate, that works just as well!  We can use those type of miles for any airline!  Additionally, I've learned from a fellow blogger that Northwest Airlines has a program for Adopting Families - i.e. discount!  Woot woot!  So if you've got NWA miles, send em' on over!  (if you can, that is)

E-mail me if you would be interested in gifting our family with airline miles at

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE DONATED ALREADY!  More at our Fundraising Blog "Bringing Keira Home". 

Boys are never too young...

 to learn to take out the garbage...

just sayin'...

(even if they are ridiculously cute and wanted to help Daddy take it out...)

Latest rumors are that China is matching.  We don't know if we're in or not - if we're being matched or not - we just don't know yet.  Another rumor has referrals arriving Monday and being distributed by mid-week.  

We're just keeping calm and relaxed (cough sputter).  My gut tells me it will be October before we see Keira's referral.  But you just never stinkin' know with this process...

More to come as we learn more ourselves...I will not leave you all hanging - PROMISE!

September 15, 2009

Laughter covers a multitude of suffering

We've had some difficult times lately.  Some hard things coming our way and some strained circumstances.  

But I have to say, that as we sit and play with our lovely boy...and his laughter permeates the air, there is something magical that happens.  The burdens seem lighter.  The grief seems easier to bear.  The difficulties are just a little easier to face.  He makes us brave.

Do you think God knew that when he blessed us with babies?

I do.

PS - Rumors are running around that 3/29 is "in" for this month's referrals.  That would mean, if it were true, that we would probably be seeing Keira's little face this week or next.  I'm still calm and matter of fact - because I know that rumors are just that until you have the proof in your hand.  On the other hand, my agency did contact us and tell us to be sort of..."prepared".  


No, I'm fine.  We're calm.  Collected.  Matter of fact... no problem

And truthfully, we really need to continue the fund-raising to make it happen.  So October would be ok too!  

Visit KEIRA'S FUNDRAISING BLOG to see how you can help us reach our goal to get Keira home!  Danka!

September 10, 2009

100 for 100


That's right, YOU!  (and any one else you can think of who might have a soft spot for adoption)  We're rolling out the "One Hundred for $100" drive - which in short terms is a goal to seek pledges from 100 families to donate $100 to see Keira get home.  

We can do this!  (that's what I'm telling myself when it feels hopeless)

Aside from the Massive Rummage Sale taking place locally, on November 7th, we're also reaching out to those able to help through financial provision.  If just 100 families can pledge $100 - we will have been able to reach over half our goal.  Seems so small in those terms...but it's a huge mountain right now.

We could not have predicted the financial circumstances that would have fallen our way - but I remind myself that God is bigger than all of that!  And I'm not going to let it get me down...I just can't!  It seems like we're getting pummeled from several sides right now - but I can't fall into believing that I have to give up on Keira.  We have not come this far just to give up now that we're in the final steps of such a long journey.

Will you help us?  I know it's a lot to ask, and a sacrifice in these times for any family.  We understand, fully!   

I'm amazed at the generosity of people - those I've met and those I haven't.  It humbles my heart, and makes me so grateful that people are still moved with compassion to make a difference for one little family...for one little girl.  A WHOPPING BIG HUGE thank you to those who have already contributed time/rummage items/ and even financial donations.  We are humbled deeply by your gracious generosity! (actually, there are no even that doesn't seem enough...)

Remember we have a "Donate" button for Keira's special paypal account in the top right of the blog.  It's safe and easy - and I must believe me...these funds will be used DIRECTLY to bring our little gal home.

There are not quite enough "thank you's" I could ever issue to make up for the support of others, no matter what form.  But I hope each of you know how much it means to us to know that people are rallying to help us get Keira out of that orphanage and home where she belongs.  

If you have a blog, would you consider copying this picture and linking it back to this website -  and helping us by spreading the word?  


E-mail me at for questions or leave a comment below.

See our fund-raising blog at Bringing Keira Home for more information!

Much love and thanks,

September 9, 2009

Living outside the line

It's not that I'm not glad we're heading to the front of the "line".  I'm actually glad.  I am!  

I'm just so perplexed as to how to live outside the line.  

I've been in it for so long...nothing else seems realistic.  

Nothing else seems like a reality.  I don't even think I've fully grasped how close we are.  In fact, let me clear up that statement.  I have not.  

Because I still get frustrated if I think too long about the wait.  

I still get annoyed having to re-itterate the wait and the reasons behind it to others.

I still get just a little weensy bit manic when I start thinking about how our new life of FOUR will look and feel.

I still get sad when I walk past her room and see....well, all of it.  The crib, the clothes, the dolls, books, toys...all of it.  Her things.  Her stuff. 

Tonight I said to a fellow adoptive mom - "no one can truly understand it, until they have walked it" and she shook her head in agreement.

And don't feel left out if you can't or haven't.  This isn't the road you necessarily want to relate to.  

Quint's adoption - completely different.

Keira's adoption?  An emotional drain and complete strain on us for the past four years.  Wish I could sugarcoat that for ya, but if you've been there...then you know.

And don't worry - I'm well versed in the melting affect.  I know that the "wait" and all that ails me, melts away.  That's not what I'm lamenting.  

I'm sure we'll love Keira upside down and around again.  She's not the issue.

The process is what has taken our youth...if you will.

The process.  The process.  The process.

Getting it off my chest and signing off for tonight,


September 7, 2009

The best season to sniff...

Autumn is the best season in which to sniff, and to sniff for pleasure, for this is the season of universal pungency. 
- Bertha Damon

I've said it a zillions times already - I know - but I think it's ok to repeat that which you love, and so I will...repeat it, that is:  I love Fall!

Just some fun stuff to get you going into your September (and your October, which is right around the corner to the tune of three weeks) - wherever you may roam...

Purge the three C's:  Closets, Counters, and Cabinets.  Time to donate to charity that which has not been used/seen/or even remembered within the last year.  Or have a yard-sale and get great tips on how to make the most of it here at  By the way, that big pile of paper on the counter?  Toss it.  Ahhh.  Doesn't it feel good?

Candles:  get em' out, ladies!  The thing is, it's so nice - right around 6:00 in the evening- to light up a couple of scented candles - and let the aroma fill the house.  I prefer scents like Apple, Brown Sugar, Warm Vanilla, and Cinnamon.  Mmmm mmmm good!

Clean your fireplace and get ready for the next four months.  Do you not love the smell of your neighborhood in the Fall - when you can sniff all those lovely fireplaces chugging away in the evenings?  Granted, wherever you live, it may not be time for a fire yet - but for many of us - it's right around the corner.  Here's a link to some great tips for keeping your fireplace clean and reducing hazards that can crop up.   Be safe!  Stockpile some great burning wood, or if you're a little bit "fire" lazy (like me) start looking for the easy burn logs at your grocery store.  You can never find them when it gets cold out.  If you don't have a fireplace...see "Candles" above.  Mmmm.

How To Keep Your Fireplace Clean.  

Get out the decor:  ...if you're a decor kinda gal, that is.  I am!  I love my collection of faux pumpkins, fall garland, and friendly scarecrows.  I've built my (ahem) "little" stash to three tubs full.  Oops.  But, I like to start slow - it is three months of Harvest, after all.  So, I begin by putting up a harvest colored wreath on the door to welcome guests, some garland around the fireplace, and some yummy scented candles.  Slowly, as the weeks fade into October - I add pumpkins, and then as we approach Halloween, we get all spooky.  November is a whole post unto itself full of soups, crafts, and more pumpkins...but that can wait.

Change up the routine:  We're already doing it - with going back to school, losing daylight, and getting cooler weather - might as well change things indoors as well.  Give your favorite throws and softest blankets a fresh wash, fold neatly, and place near the couch or your favorite comfy chairs.  Take out favorite family games and puzzles and put them in a basket by the fireplace - you're more prone to play if you see them sitting there!   Watch the perfect "old" movie with your family or honey after dinner - like "Singing in the Rain" or "Guys and Dolls".  (don't forget to light the candles!!)  Bliss! 

Prepare your Holiday Shopping List:  That's right, you heard me.  Might as well get a head start - a tougher economy calls for smarter shopping, coupon clipping, and sale finding.  Now's the time to make a list of must-haves and hard-to-find's.  You'll thank me.  You're welcome.

Halloween Costumes:  Get to it!  Don't wait until October 29th to start thinking about it (like I do).  You can find some great ones at the following sites:

and for more tips and tricks to create an awesome Halloween -  I highly recommend

Food:  Last but not least...I leave you with a nice (but short) Autumn Recipe:

Warm and Gooey Maple Butter (with a kick!)

Cream 1 stick of softened butter with 1/4 cup of maple syrup (we like the real stuff...)  Add in 1/2 tsp of Mexican hot pepper sauce (it's called Cholula in the grocery store).  Spread over your corn on the cob or cornbread - and I'm telling will FALL OVER from the mouth watering goodness. 


September 4, 2009

Everyone loves Daddy

We have a sayin' around our house.  Everyone loves Daddy.  

Daddy is a very popular person in our home - and I can't begrudge him that.  Because I'm right there in line with the rest of the crew, ready for attention and doting from AB.

Everyone wants AB's love, attention, hugs, kisses, cuddles, and sweet talk.  Quint.  Me.  Our two puppies, and even Chloe the cat - who swore off all people in the 90's.  

The minute he walks through the door, there's a line vying for his affection.  Quint practically loses his mind when he hears the garage door opening at the end of the day.  The dogs both go monkey - barking and whining, waiting for him to walk through the door.  The cat and I - being distinguished ladies and all - hover toward the back of the pack, trying not to elbow each other aside.

Know why?  Because he's SOOOO extraordinarily good at it.  It comes very easy for him to love people and to show his love for them in grand affectionate gestures.  His love language is touch - and so naturally, he loves to cuddle and give hugs, quick little kisses, and impromptu gestures that melt even the rickety-tickety heart of my 16 year old kitty.  None of us can resist him.  

He gives the best backrubs.  He cooks the most amazing food (every night.  yes, every night).  He loves spending time with us.  He makes us laugh.  He takes an interest in us.  There's almost never a time I can think of, that he hasn't come through the door at the end of the day with genuine excitement to see us and to love on us.  And when I say "us" - I do mean all of us - animals included.  

What's not to love?

Yes, everyone loves Daddy.  And he's got a permanent place as "man of the hour" over here.   And really, that's a warm and lovely thing, isn't it? 

Anabelle, our 8 year old puppy has a long standing love affair with Anton.  From the moment we rescued her as a tiny little thing, she fell hook, line, and sinker for him - and who could blame her?  He spoons with her!  What's not to love about that?  There is no doubt that she is Anton's dog.  Faithful and true to him - kind and loving - and excessively loyal, almost to a fault.

She might have NO IDEA that she's a dog, but truthfully, we just don't know married life without this little gal...since we got her just two short months into our new marital bliss.  Not sure we'd want to know life without her, to be honest. 

She definitely loves Daddy.  Can't really say we blame her...

Love you AB -xo

New post up at "Bringing Home Keira"!!


September 2, 2009

Sports were bound to take their place eventually...

We took Quint to his VERY FIRST BASEBALL GAME!  We were given tickets and free food (can you pass that up?  I think not!) Minor league - and a total blast.  He absolutely loved it!  And we actually had seats on the grassy knoll (not THE grassy knoll, but a grassy knoll) which worked out perfect - because with a's impossible to contain them for that long in a seat.  So we had a blanket and it was a perfect night...and he had a such a great time.  Can't wait to do it again...maybe as soon as next year.  Ahem.  (sorry...I'm a basketball kinda girl)
It's so much fun to have a little boy....WHO KNEW?