Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doing, not waiting

I've finally gotten myself out of the waiting funk that I was in. I was spending energy waiting! How crazy is that? Now I'm trying to spend it on much more productive things and it actually makes the wait much more bearable!

So what did I do?
~Our bedroom and bedroom closet are the most organized they've been since we moved in. It's been on my to do list since October. Hurray! ;)

~The baby's room is all cleared out! We have a guest/storage room downstairs. Our parents don't mind that we store things in the guest room (I have some curtains and blankets covering up most of the storage, but it's not a beautiful room, but it's private so they don't mind). When Gift, Jackie, and Hellen were coming from Uganda I wanted to make it feel more like a nice room and less like storage with a bed, so we moved most of the storage into the baby's room. FINALLY I have cleared it out - which only entailed moving a few boxes back to storage and the rest we got rid of or is actually baby stuff that is staying in the baby's room! ;) I vacuumed in there and put some of the baby things away. The nursery isn't decorated or all done - that will wait for a referral but it will be much less overwhelming now! ;)

~I STARTED going through baby clothes - getting rid of 0-6 month completely, getting rid of all but the absolute cutest 9 month, and culling out all sizes down to what I'd actually want to re-use (I mean, come one - who doesn't want to do a little shopping?!?). We're making progress and soon B and E will be able to use their closet for it's intended purpose, not storing baby clothes! ;)

~ This is something I've wanted to do for a while, but I'm BAD at it. I want to memorize scripture. Last week, my friend, J (our boys are in Taekwondo together), told me she was memorizing 2 scriptures per month. That's not too daunting. Even 1 per month is more than I'm doing. But I didn't do anything to change that right away - I did keep thinking about it though (thank you J for challenging me!). Yesterday I read Brandi's blog and finally did something. I copied down 4 of the verses that really struck me onto index cards and I'm going to memorize them. I have 1 memorized already! ;) Thank you Brandi for that extra push!!!

So I'm focusing much less on waiting and more on doing things. Our snow days have been productive! Wow! We've built forts, done some baking, played lots of board games (Ben learned to play Risk!), played in the snow, built a snowman (that I'm trying to upload pictures of but failing), cleaned out some closets, and memorized at least 1 scripture. We've song songs and read books! I'm feeling good. On top of that we all had some downtime and we're ALL excited to get out of the house today!!! YAY!!! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thanks for the ideas! Great day!

Today has been a good day. I woke up in a better mood, not anxious, just ready for a fun day with the kids.
First of all - to everyone who recommended fort making - thank you! That's something my kids love and I hadn't thought of it. So for your viewing pleasure:
You actually can't see all of it in the picture - there's more on each side and this is what my living room is going to look like for the rest of the day. But I have 2 happy kids! ;)

We also made blueberry muffins from scratch this morning for breakfast. Lots of fun. Of course, I ate them, but it was fun. I have not been very successful with healthy eating this week, oh well.

After the fort was built we went outside to shovel/play. Ended up seeing friends from the neighborhood and B is now on over there playing and E is napping! Getting out in the fresh air was good for all of us!

I'm thankful that I feel much less anxious. I know I mentioned this before but I'm not waiting for the phone to ring (though I still wonder for a second when I answer it and get very unhappy when it's telemarketers on the other end!!!). I've prayed and feel like God has given me a sense of peace. I know it will happen in His perfect timing! Thanks for bearing with me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zingo!, Mancala, and Trouble, Oh my!

We are snowed in. Oh wow - it JUST started to snow for real. We had a snow day today (who knows why - it was slush) and we are almost guaranteed one tomorrow. We have played several games of Zingo! and Mancala as well as a game of Trouble. I have vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen and all the bathrooms and I'm working on the closets upstairs (a bit of nesting...come on referral!). The kids have been spies with their walkie-talkies and B's cool Spy Gear (spying on me while I was cleaning upstairs - very stealthy!), played Wii, and basically exhausted my creativity at this point.

HELP! I need ideas for tomorrow to keep 2 kids and 1 Mommy busy and happy tomorrow. Today it was raining all day during our "snow" day so going outside was not a possibility. Hoping for real snow tomorrow (if we're going to have the day off) so that we can play in it and get outside for a bit!

Stay warm!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

We did it, we did it, we did it, Hurray! :)

OK, other than the shout out to Dora, we told our kids that we're adopting! I'm so happy that they know!

I really think it's good that B knows ahead of time. He's my child that needs processing time on things. He does better when he has time to wrap his head around things and I think now when we show him our new child's picture he'll be excited rather than processing then. He can do that now. Initially he had a lot of questions (good ones that we were happy to answer). Then we let him be for a bit (I guess Brian talked to him about it while I took E to a birthday party but then it was dropped for a bit). This evening he brought it up on his own asking about naming our child. He had a couple of suggestions (Fritz is one - we're reading Swiss Family Robinson right now - lol). It was fun to see him starting to get excited. Also, B is REALLY hoping it's a boy. We told him that we'll be happy either way with the child that God chooses to make a part of our family. He agreed readily and said he'd be happy either way. We did not tell him our child is likely to be a boy because on the very remote chance that we have a referral for a girl we don't want him to feel disappointed.

E is currently designing the nursery in her head, coming up with every single way she can help and be the second Mommy to our child. She is fully excited. No hesitations. Only a couple of questions. Overall just thrilled. She did state that she'd like a sister (she has a brother and thinks it would be fun to have both) but seems pretty ready to accept another brother too (afterall she LOVES the brother she has). Thankful for this since our child is likely to be a boy. ;)

That's the excitement here. I loved the idea of Big Brother/Big Sister shirts and wanted to do this, but I haven't ordered any yet and I didn't want to wait another week to tell them. I think I need to get on that so that when we actually have a referral and are ready to show the kids, we can give them their big sister/big brother shirts. Although I don't want them to wear the shirts too much b/c I want them clean and in good condition to wear to the airport! :) I think it actually worked out well to make this part a discussion and they'll be ready for a more creative celebration type of announcement when there's an actual picture of a child. Thanks for all of your support!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

To tell or not to tell....

that's the question for a few things right now. But one is whether or not to tell our kids. We're leaning more in the "let's do it" direction so I was wondering - any fun ideas of how to tell a 4 and 7 year old that they're getting a little sibling?!? The adoption part is definitely going to be an ongoing conversation but hoping for a fun way to initially tell them. :)

I've ordered our first children's book on adoption and I'm sure there will be many more to follow (there are several in my cart on amazon right now). ;)

The other to tell or not to tell is about our referral (NO we don't have one). I'm hesitant to tell too many people that we have one before seeing the info. I'm trying to decide who to tell until we've definitely decided to accept. I can't for the life of me imagine turning down a referral (my husband said the other day that this would kill me - he's only off by a bit) but I know that theoretically there could be circumstances that would cause that to happen and I would need support, not judgment. I know that only my husband and I can make that decision, just posting thoughts here.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! :) TGIF!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wooo-Hooo (and link to a give away)

I just have to share this quick shout of joy! Hurray!!! 3 friends got TC's today! Count them - not 1, not 2...3!!! More good news that I heard too! I'm just celebrating and thanking God! He is awesome! He has a plan and will see it through!!!

Also, check out this new blog. There's a very funny story and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Our exciting weekend

To kick off our exciting weekend, my baby is becoming a big girl. She moved into a "Big Girl Car Seat". I was torn. She was ready for it more than I was. Isn't that usually the case? Well, all weekend the 4 of us have been enjoying the excitement of having 2 kids that can get in and out of their car seats by themselves! :) E exclaims over it every time and I'm happy to give her accolades.

It's very strange to me that we have reached this place of independence between kids this time. When E was born it was 2 days after B turned 3. He was bigger, but still relied on Mommy for a LOT (probably more than E did at the same age, honestly). When we bring Little One home eventually we will have 2 kids that can get in and out of carseats by themselves, we're essentially done with diapers (so going back into them will be a shock), we have kids who entertain themselves for short periods of time, who can go to a restaurant and usually behave well - it's going to be different to have our 3rd monkey home. But we can't wait. There are so many things I love about those younger years that I'm looking forward to. I'm just trying to remind myself not to rush it and to enjoy these "easy" days. :)

Also we got to go to the mall this weekend and gift cards/Christmas money came with us. B got a greatly coveted remote control helicopter that he's slowly getting better at flying. Very cool and grown up! E had a gift card to Build A Bear which she was very happy to do. I knew she would LOVE this opportunity! She did not disappoint. She was thoroughly excited and had a great time. Our new bear is named Sherbet Bear (pronounced the crazy American way - Sherbert - don't know why we add the extra r?). It's an adorable pink and orange bear so the name (inspired by B) was quite appropriate. We also got there for their clearance sale so Sherbet Bear has an adorable striped sweater. OK, Mommy loved doing this with her a LOT! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Update

There's not a lot of news here but I did call our agency this week. Bascially she said that we'll have a referral within the next 6 months. She said that referrals have been coming in. It *could* be sooner, but she doesn't really want to get our hopes up. No real news - but she's willing to give us some hope. That went a long way to bringing me some peace and for some reason hearing that gave me the ability to spend less time obsessing and more time enjoying life here - exactly what I needed!

The good news I got is that we don't have to update our home study yet. Home studies in VA are good for 3 years as long as the agency you are working with is based (or somewhat based) in VA (ours is in MD w/satellite offices in VA). However, USCIS requires an update when your I-171H needs to be renewed (18 months). So since that isn't until January, we're hoping we have a child home before that's necessary (so we may have to update before finalization, not sure how that works).

Just thought I'd share the quick update. Hope you're all enjoying this long weekend! More on car seats and Build A Bear soon!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thankful for YOU!

My emotions have been running a bit high since Christmas and today I'm waiting to hear back from our agency with a couple of questions and hoping for an update so I'm a bit more on edge. I'm taking this time to tell you all how THANKFUL I am for the support I've received.

Yesterday I was able to see Grace and Sandra and their amazing boys. That was a blessing. Unfortunately Ella did not show her sweet self to them, hopefully next time. She's having a difficult couple of days. Hoping that ends soon! Let me tell you, it was hard to handle all the cuteness in that room Carson and Ben are just adorable and Piper wanted to be in the middle of the action. It was terrific to see! :) And I am so thankful to be building friendships with these two amazing women!

I've gotten emails, talked to some of you on facebook, and messages on my blog that have just warmed my heart! Michelle left a great one with encouragement and saying that I can lean on all of you which was a great reminder of how wonderful you all are!

Elisabeth, Sandra, Jane, Debra, Janelle, Brandi, Heather, Kelly, and Kelly, Dena, Amy, Susan, Holly - I don't know what I'd do without you guys, what an amazing support you've been!

Kelly Y - you rock! Thanks for calling! I can't begin to say how thankful I am for your friendship.

And of course, my friends and family IRL - especially H who listens to me daily! Thanks!

There are so many more that I haven't mentioned (the Elizabeths - sorry you two get stuck together, Kala, etc., etc.) - I feel bad but this post would go on forever if I named each of you individually! You all rock!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Magic (Edited with accurate lyrics)

***Thank you Ana and Heather for remembering the lyrics and filling me in! I knew I could count on you 2 but didn't expect I would hear from you while you're traveling! Thanks! Miss you and thinking of you a lot! Can't wait to see pictures of the trip when Heather gets home!

I was singing to my kids today in the car (Ella really likes for me to sing to her and when her constant barrage of questions gets to be a bit much in the car I offer to sing her a song) and after a couple of songs that are familiar I sang a couple fun ones from the camp I used to work at that I remember much of (but need help remembering the rest of the lyrics). This one really struck me:


When I was young I thought the stars were made for wishing on
And every hole deep in the tree must hide a leprechaun.
Old houses all had secret rooms if one could find the key
I do believe in magic I believe

Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again.
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave.
I do believe in the magic, I believe.

Growing up the grown-ups said one day I'd wake to find
Magic's just a childhood dream I'd have to leave behind.
Like clothes that would no longer fit and toys that I'd ignore,
I'd not believe in magic anymore.


When I grew up I woke to find that much to my surprise
Magic did not fade away, it took a new disguise.
A child, a friend, a smile, a song
The courage to stand tall,
I do believe in magic after all.

Chorus then:
I do believe in magic
For love's the greatest magic
I do believe in magic, I believe.

OK, many parts of this strike me. Especially as I watch my kids grow. But the part that hit me today is the part bolded and italicized above. We're not trying again and again, but each day I have to renew my faith in waiting and that this will all be done in God's perfect timing. I also thought of my friend, J, who shared their journey to domestic adoption on her blog. They did have to try and try again which I can only begin to imagine. I think God puts this "magic" inside of us and gives us this supernatural strength to make it through the unknown and difficult parts of life in general, and specifically adoption. We're on a little bit of a bumpy path right now. I know that God is in control and when I start to get discouraged or frustrated, I pray for more of this "magic" in my life. And God always provides!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

6 Months Today

Our ticker turned over. We've been waiting 6 months for a referral. It's been a wonderful, long, agonizing, quick 6 months. Yes, lots of contradictions. My emotions are all over. We also got good/bad news yesterday that plays into this. Nothing definitely but some likely scenarios that don't make waiting easier! Grrr!

I've also been wondering something, maybe some of you can help me. I looked at our agencies info and it says that Home Studies are good for 1 year. Is that 1 year from agency approval? Or 1 year from USCIS approval? Big difference in when we need to get things done. Also, I was trying to remember when fingerprints expire. Is that 1 year, 18 months, 15 months - I remember there were a few different USCIS expiration dates. I should look it up.

Sorry, I'm surprised at how hard this 6 month mark is hitting me. I want to be expecting a referral soon, but I know I shouldn't. I'm watching time lines and currently it looks like 8ish months, but will it be longer by the time it gets to us? Who knows. I shouldn't speculate. It's hard not to.

If you listened this long, you deserve a cookie! Thanks for letting me whine. I think my kids may be rubbing off on me. There's been a fair amount of whining since returning from Christmas. ;)


OK, I generally don't believe in making resolutions but I'm going to work on a few things this year. I'm blogging so that they're out there and maybe I'll have some accountability.

1. Keep in better touch with friends that I love but don't live near me. I have a few friends (S, S, E, L just to name a few) that I love dearly, we keep in touch on facebook but I don't call them nearly enough. I want to change that.

2. Really trust in God's perfect timing and plan. This got a major test yesterday. It's not something I'm willing to write about now but I'm struggling a bit. I know that God is in control and He is awesome. I know that He has a plan even if it doesn't match mine - and that His is better! I just have to stop stressing about it.

OK, just the two for now - they're good ones, they're (mostly) attainable. I'm going to work on it.

I did go back to Weight W@tchers yesterday. I tried to go to meetings when we first moved here but never found a time I could consistently attend. Without the consistency I lose the advantage of the meetings. Now I'm going during preschool on Friday mornings! It'll work for a few months anyway. Hopefully only a few.... ;) The new program is different and I'm withholding judgment until I've given it a good try for a couple of weeks. The up side - most fruits are 0 points!!! :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Telling older siblings that you're adopting...?

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a blessed holiday season! We are so excited to enter 2011 - the year we find out about and meet our baby (hopefully!!!). I also have to say that yesterday was a FANTASTIC day with lots of wonderful news and I'm so thankful and I praise God for all of that happy news! Sorry I can't share it - not mine to share! ;)

I've been thinking a lot about telling older kids that you're adopting. For those that don't know this, we haven't told B and E yet that we're adopting. We've taken many wonderful opportunities to talk about adoption in general with them. We've also discussed adding a sibling "one day" but we haven't gotten specific yet because adoption is a bumpy road and our children's concept of time is a bit lacking (especially E). The kids LOVE the idea of a younger sibling. B is starting to understand adoption a bit, and E is just starting to as well (her Cabbage Patch doll was a great instrument in discussing adoption with both of them).

B told me (in October) that the best birthday gift would be to have another sibling. Brian and I were planning on telling the kids for their birthdays (in December) that we were adopting. Our initial timeline was 4-6 months and even when it moved to 4-8 that didn't seem so bad (we were at the 5 month mark for their birthdays). In November we were told to expect 12 months (I'm still thinking that our agency is a bit pessimistic and giving very conservative time lines but I digress). That was enough for us to decide to wait on telling them. We realized that this was a blow to us and that we needed to wait for a bit. It's driving me crazy not telling them though. I told Brian that what I want for my birthday is to tell the kids. My birthday is in March and we'll be at about the 8 1/2 month mark since HSTK. I know that we have to evaluate if this is best for our family when it gets closer but we're thinking about it. We're really hoping we'll have a referral by then and won't have to make this decision.

So my question to those of you with older kids, whether through birth or adoption, is this: How did you go about telling your older child(ren) that you're adopting? When did you do it? How did they deal with the wait?

Don't forget to check out the giveaways that I posted about in yesterday's post. Also check out the wonderful post Tracy wrote today about the support they're receiving - makes me excited to see everyone rally around them! Continued prayers to bring Emi Faith Home!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bring Emi Faith Home

Many of you have probably read that Tracy is almost ready to bring Emi home! Hurray! But there is one last barrier. I would write it but I think others have explained it well so I'm copying part of Kala's post (sorry, Kala - thanks!).

Emi is three years old and has special needs that she will need therapy for. To me adopting a three year old who has special needs is pretty brave. By brave I mean bringing home a three year old who has lived her whole life in Korea would have to be a BIG adjustment. And when Tracy wanted to start the adoption process on Emi she was told to reconsider. Wow they would really say that? I would have been scared but Tracy and her family knew that this was their little girl and that God would be with through this whole process. They took a leap of faith not knowing how they were going to do this.

Now after many hiccups and bumps in the road the time has finally come to start packing for her trip. They have decided that it is best for her husband to stay and take care of their four kids due to circumstances. That means that not only does Tracy needs to find funds for her ticket but must also pay for a ticket for Emi and because of Emi's special needs and age the agency said that someone needs to accompany her. She has found someone to travel with her and to be her moral support but can't afford the airfare. The price of a ticket is around $1200.

Kala wrote an amazing post about giving and I'd encourage you to read it. Very inspiring! Help bring Emi Faith home!

My friend Elizabeth is having a raffle to help raise funds. Check it out! Definitely some great things being raffled off.
Daily Dose of Mama is also doing a raffle to raise funds. Please check these out!