November 29, 2009

On waiting


When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill
When the funds are low and the debts are high 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh

When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit. 
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns

And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit

- Author Unknown

November 23, 2009


"Bear one another's burdens..."  Galations 6:2

I keep trying to post about this weekend - about the Rummage Sale for Keira and the amazing effort that went into making it a wonderful success...about the tons of people that showed up to shop...or the amazing weather when we had feared rain would put a damper on our event...

It was amazing and it went so well!  We were able to put another 1/4 of what we needed to raise for Keira into her fund!!!  How awesome is that?!?

but I keep coming back to the friends - the servants hearts running around everywhere I looked.

Oh the people...the friendship...

I keep getting weepy in retrospect.  Like right now...I just had to stop and wipe my eyes. 

Trying to think of a time in my life when I felt so supported or loved or taken care of.  It was completely overwhelming and still is.

For the many, many friends and even strangers who donated amazing stuff for us to sell...I can't even begin to tell you - it filled an entire gymnasium.  FILLED it.  No room...walking room only. Two FULL 26 foot U-Haul trucks full and several personal trucks full as well...can you imagine?  We couldn't either until we saw it unfolding in front of us.

How can I thank you?  Those of you who sent items through others, or those who gave and gave again, and then called to say you had even more for us.  And then delivered it to me, when I could not find a way to get to you.  Those of you who actually showed up on Friday to donate more and more...just trying to get as much to us as you could - my Lord, how grateful I am for wouldn't believe how much your kindness meant to me.

Those of you who served our family this weekend.  And I mean truly served...  Every time I try to articulate what it meant to have you have you with us, supporting us, holding us up through all the work that had to be done - it humbles me deeply.  I look back over those two days of hard work and I can't believe how much you gave up to help me get the job done.

Friends who worked tirelessly pricing, sorting, organizing...until the wee hours on Friday night only to turn around and show up again Saturday morning...just two short hours later and work all day again.

Friends who made sure we had food - that we took rest breaks - that we had coffee to keep us awake - that Quint was taken care of and loved on while his parents were knee deep in donated items and a huge play production.

For those friends who hauled, loaded, unloaded, and loaded again.  Helped customers haul furniture to their homes, loaded their cars, carried their items, served and served and served...

Checked out long lines of people, one after the other - ran errands, made and hung signs, answered question after question about what we were doing and why we were doing it...

Who labored and labored out of love and friendship for our family...and who have each one cried and laughed with us over this whole process of adopting through China.

I have never felt so grateful for the friends that I have that would give so freely of themselves to help us and support us the way you all did.  That was a HURCULEAN effort of gigantic proportion- and you made it possible.  I could not have done it - not even close, without each of you being there, holding me up, and making sure every detail was in order...

Just so deepest gratitude and thanks for your love and kindness

Thank you for reaching out to us - all of you - for your gifts of donations, for your kindness, for giving of yourself to help another family, for your encouragement when we needed it so badly, for your tireless efforts to help make this a success, for your prayers, for your hard work.  For so much...

For your commitment to our family, showing us again what friendship between brothers and sisters looks like.

But most of all, for your dedication in seeing us get Keira home, for not giving up on us...

for not letting us give up either

Thank you for bearing our burden alongside us...

We are truly indebted...

November 19, 2009


Latest news tells us no referrals being sent out for November.

It appears "they" will be skipping another month, just like in September.

Some speculation on my part, but all signs point toward "not this time".  Again.  For the third month in a row.

Some talk around about referrals being held off for a while.

Don't know if or when we'll ever get this process behind us...

I just want to move on with my life.

And sadly, I'm starting to let the fear creep in that wonders if that life will include Keira Joy or not...

November 18, 2009

Professional Waiter

Person #1:  "What do you do for a living?"

Me:  "Huh?  Oh...I'm a...well's hard to explain."

Person #1:  "Oh, I get between jobs at the moment?  That's pretty common these days...bad economy and all"

Me:  "Yes. I mean no.  I mean ummm, yes it's a bad economy, but I'm a waiter.  A professional waiter"

Person #1:  "Really?  That's cool.  Like, you went to school for it or something?  Which restaurant?"

Me: "Errrr, ahem, sort of.  I don't think you've heard of it"

Person #1:  "I've eaten at almost every place in this town...hit me - I know I've heard of it"

Me:  "Yeah...actually...when I said I was a 'professional waiter', I actually didn't mean the food kind"

Person #1:  Blank stare

Me:  "It's kind of a long story...I've been a "waiter" for about 4 years.  Actually longer.  And I don't serve food.  I serve...umm, impatience.  Yeah.  To myself.  Along with a side of frustration and lack of communication and huge slice of rediculous life-on-hold pie."

I'm a professional waiter. 

We have learned that Keira's referral will not be coming to us this week.

Maybe not even next week.

I'm not actually sure when it will come at this point.  We're hearing rumors all over the place and they're not necessarily of the pleasant variety.  And while we don't particularly hold fast to any one rumor...we do feel somewhat leery of what appears to be a process potentially being put on hold for the moment due to some changes. And please note:  I hope we're wrong.  Dead wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than for those words to be dust in the wind next week while we stare at our little girl's picture.

I don't really know what else to say.  We are disappointed.  There's that.  And it is frustrating and difficult and tiring...after all this time to make it to the proverbial "front of the line" only to be told that we might be waiting a while longer.

Well...we're professional waiters.  So if there is one thing we have become exceedingly good at over these past four's certainly and most definitely...


Don't feel bad for us - please.  There are so many people waiting and waiting in this process.  We are anything but alone.  Certainly you have to be more than dedicated and DETERMINED to adopt from this country in particular.  (Leaving the name out intentionally)  It's the marathon that never ends.  (Again, hope I'm wrong there too)  But you know, it's no use to pity us or for us to pity ourselves.

We have a beautiful boy who is growing and changing before our eyes.  We have our faith in God - who cares over and handles every single thing we are going through and who is surprised by none of it.  Timing is in His hands, not ours.  We have solid friendships with people who support and love us.  We have our family, and our pets.  Life is good...

Just not quite complete...

Hi, my name is Christie...and I'll be your waiter today.

BTW - new post up over at Bringing Keira Home.  The Rummage Sale is THIS WEEKEND!  Whahoo!!

November 15, 2009

And suddenly, he's 2

Where did the time go...?

Happy Birthday, little man!  You are sunshine in our home and pure gold in your mama's heart...


November 7, 2009

Let's play a game, shall we?

Ok, so speaking hypothetically, because we still know nothing about a cutoff - nothing about an exact "when" - and no news about matching families with babies having even started yet...

BUT, I feel that referrals will arrive sometime the week of the 16th.  Just my personal opinion based on nothing.  And if I'm right, then we'll (and I speak loosely to include all of you, my big blog family) see Keira's little face for the first time in less than two weeks.

Scream!  Sorry, but after 3 years, seven months, and some change since log feel me on that scream?

I'd like to see all 200 + of you take my little poll to the right.  How old do you think Keira will be at referral?

Come on, it's anonymous and it's easy and requires only a slight movement of your wrist and your mouse, and a click.  (In the sidebar to the right, second one down)

Come on...move over there and humor me...I'd do it for you! (insert shameless guilt trip)

Also, sorry about the previous post.  AB said it was EPIC.  He actually used that word.  Said it was more of a short story.



I guess I'm just writing those posts for the people stuck at work with nothing but their computers and blogs to entertain them and help pass the time.

For the rest of you who had to skim it to make it through, I offer my hearty apologies...

Now vote! (please and thank you)  I'll post the results in a week.

November 3, 2009

On Horses and Motherhood

Some years ago, as a young woman - I had developed quite a deep crush for a cowboy I had met during a summer retreat.  A young man who had lived his life, along with his four siblings, on a ranch in the hills of California raising horses and cattle.

One summer in particular, he held a large get-together and I was invited. I don't recall too many details about that warm summer day, so many moons ago - but one thing that has always stuck with me was my entry into the world of horses.

Mr. Cowboy invited me to join him on a ride.  Not on two separate horses, mind you.  On one horse.  (I'm all aflutter...or I was back then)  What could be better?  Me and Mr. Cowboy...trotting along, wind in our hair, my arms wrapped tightly around him...

Everything about horses was so mysterious.  So beautiful it seemed.  So majestic.  Didn't everyone at some point want to ride one?  Didn't everyone want to "tame the beast" and feel the wind racing past them?  And when I had seen others riding horses, it was as if the two went together - horse and rider.  A perfect pair. 

But I had never been on a horse before.  Not in the literal sense.  Carnival tent horse chained up to ten others walking in a circle - not accounted for.  A real horse - a ranch horse.  Beautiful and tall and well groomed with a shiny coat.

Mr. Cowboy walked him over to me - leading him by the bridle.  The closer he came to me the more I began to see just how massive and regal he was.  He snorted and I jumped.  "whoa" came the reply from Mr. Cowboy.  "Whoa, boy...she's alright..."

I approached with my hand and arm extended.  Only a short distance to cover, my hand gently moved down his side.  He flinched slightly, but relaxed and allowed me my moment for fawning.

Mr. Cowboy assured me that he was a gentle giant.

After Mr. Cowboy aligned himself with the saddle and stirrups, I waited below in my white jeans and peach sweater to be valiantly lifted to the front of Mr. Cowboy.  Instead, I was unceremoniously hauled up by my right arm and scooted into place behind not just Mr. Cowboy, but the saddle as well.

Yes, I was sitting on the horses...well, ass.

I heard the click of Mr. Cowboy's tongue and suddenly we were in motion.  Sadly for me, there was nothing to hold on to, save the death clutch I had on Mr. Cowboy's t-shirt.  Nothing for my feet to secure, nothing for my seat to sit on but a bouncing horses bottom.  Nothing to later help me substantiate my claim of what should have been the most romantic moment of my life...

Before I could really get myself comfortable in my already awkward position, I heard the click -click of Mr. Cowboy's tongue again.  Being too proud to make a protest, I felt rather than saw that we were now moving much more quickly.  Galloping is the word I would use. 

My eyes began to focus on dirt and grass and it was unfortunate that the realization that I was sliding off the side of the horse was the reason for my downward viewpoint.  Yes, it was grass I was seeing coming at me much to quickly.  I had slid quite quickly down the left side of the horse and heard myself cry out.  It wasn't loud enough.  Mr. Cowboy didn't hear, or didn't notice that I was careening off the side of the "majestic" beast.  I screamed.  Now he looked back and down and saw me dangling, holding on to a shred of his t-shirt for my dear sorry little life and clinching my legs so tightly to the side of the horse, you could have mistaken me for a pair of pliers.

Wait!  I wanted to shout.  Hold on!  This isn't how it's supposed to go!  We're supposed to be riding gracefully, my arms around you, pointing out lovely things we spy, my hair...oh you know the rest.

Well honey, this wasn't it.

He reached down and extended his hand to me, which I grabbed with all the strength I had left in my city girl biceps.  Which is nothing.  I felt my legs giving out.

It was as if the horse knew and he seemed to pick up speed.

Mr. Cowboy pulled in the reins and the horse started to slow just slightly.  Meanwhile, I reached and reached until I was no longer looking at gravel.  As the horse slowed to a stop, Mr. Cowboy lost his grip at the same time I lost mine and I fell quite hard to the ground in a puff of dust and dirt.

I stood up and Mr. Cowboy had an annoying smirk on his face.  He dismounted and helped me up, but I could feel the bruises starting to swell on my legs and backside.  Stupid horses.

Who wants to ride a horse anyway?  Who it's big and perfect and "regal" and whatever...that was just about as fun as getting my hand slammed in the car door.  Romantic as a cold blanket.

Needless to say, my white jeans were now brown and worn down where I had held my thighs in such a tight grip.  My peach sweater was covered in sweat and dust.  My hair was a disaster and I was trying hard not to cry so that Mr. Cowboy wouldn't think me a baby.

More than anything, my pride was hurt.  How could I be such a miserable failure at something that seems so beautiful and natural?  How could I embarrass myself so spectacularly in front of the one person I was trying so hard to impress?

So my story with Mr. Cowboy ended and we both went on to marry wonderful people.  But my awe of horses was altered permanently.  Albeit, I had a bad ride.  Granted.  But I had so much more respect for the rider and the horse.  It wasn't effortless, as it appeared.  It was hard work and it took skills and patience and good timing.  It took practice and a love of riding...

And so here I sit, many years later - sort of giggling, sort of cringing over the memory of that summer day with Mr. Cowboy.

And here I ponder how much becoming a mother has mirrored that solo horse ride.  Yes, it's true - I've NEVER attempted to ride another horse.  Opportunity has yet to present itself.  But I am taken aback by the simple parallels that run between the two.  Horses and Motherhood.

So many times in my early married life, I looked on other women and their children and thought to myself "how perfect".  Wondering what it would be like and having romanticized visions floating in my head of how my own motherhood scenario would play out.

And infertility versus adoption aside, I can skip right to the parenting portion when I say that from the moment I approached my son, from that first time I tried to lift myself into the role of being someones Mother...I faltered.  My foot slipped and I was yanked up by my arm and into position.

I was still grasping for a good grip when the motion of parenting took over and I was forced to hold on with everything I had.  Just when I think I have my bearings, the ride speeds up and I find myself sliding off the side - nothing to do but hold on for my dear sorry little life and reaching out for whatever I can hold on to.

Sometimes I yelp and no one hears or seems to notice.  And sometimes I cry and scream "HELP ME!  I can't do this!!"  Suddenly I find warm hands reaching down to pull me back up into position, those of Anton, or friends and family. 

The ride is daunting sometimes.  Sometimes beautiful.  Sometimes majestic.  Sometimes painful.  But always worth it.  Always a wonderful adventure I would never have known had I only sat on the side and admired the other riders.

I now have so much more respect for the rider and the horse - the mother parenting the child.  It isn't as effortless as it appears.  It's such hard work and it takes skills and patience and good timing.  It takes practice and a love of riding...a love for your children that exceeds every emotion you've ever felt or ever will feel.

Soon I believe I'll find myself riding bareback, and reining in two little ones.  Could you pull me up if I start to lose my hold?

I knew you would...

November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun

It was awesome.  And by awesome I simply mean that we had a hurried day, with a sick and cranky little man, and deadlines to meet - not enough naptime, and daylight fading too quickly.

Having said that - Quint was AWESOME at Trick-or-Treating.  It was adorable to watch the way he went from door to door, used his little fist to knock-knock-knock and signed "thank you" to each and every person who opened the door and put goodies in his pumpkin.

Actually, we went with our good friends Val, Gary, and their kiddos A and K.  Seriously, how cute are these three?  Dorothy, Scarecrow, and our little Turkey...

Little A - isn't she a doll!?!  

After the scarecrow took off his "stage makeup", the boys posed for AB Sandwich

We did have a good time - and I think the beauty of parenthood for me is that even what feels like the "not so good" day, can still be washed away by the smallest thing that Quint does.  In this case, it was the way he was so excited over his candy, and his joy to keep going and knock on the doors.  Just precious!  I can't wait for Keira to join him next year...I've got her cute little flower costume ready to go!

Speaking of Keira:  What do you think...two weeks?  End of next week?  Week of the 16th?  I think it's safe to say we're down to "weeks" before we see her sweet little face. GASP!

How old will she be?  Any guesses?