Saturday, August 20, 2011

Check this out!

My friend, Sonia, is working on bringing home her 3rd son in about 6ish months. I am still fathoming paying for 1 adoption and we've been working on this for coming up on 2 years. They are shaking out their piggy banks trying to bring Joshua home.

On top of that Joshua has a heart condition (and some other medical issues that you can read about on their blog) that means he needs to be home SOON! It's questionable whether or not his condition is operable so the plan is to get this boy home soon so he can know the love of a family. In the mean time we're praying that operations will be possible and healing will be complete. But getting him home is the first hurdle.

Please help them out by sharing this blog, praying for this family, and if possible chip in to their wonderful give-away! Those bracelets look awesome (I already bought one for E, hoping to win one for me!). :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 years ago today...

I married the most amazing man in the world (sorry to all of you who think you did, but I actually did)! :)

10 things I've learned in 10 years of marriage:

1. The first year of marriage is HARD. I think we do a disservice to young couples by calling it a "honeymoon period" b/c it gives the impression that it's downhill from there. Let me tell you, it's all been better since the first year. And it just keeps getting better!

2. Sometimes separation can help bring you closer.

3. Men and women communicated differently - I've learned to be blunt and not hint around at what I'm trying to talk about. It has helped a lot!

4. Lists are hard - even though you know you've learned a lot, it's hard to recall it when you're making a list.

5. Even though Brian is the love of my life, I still do need other friends. He can't be my everything. I needed to learn to rely on God for that.

6. We grow closer with time in all ways and enjoy time together more and more.

7. Kids can make marriage more interesting rather than putting it on a back burner.

8. Sometimes you have to work to make your marriage a priority over soccer practice, volunteer opportunities, work, and yes, even your children. Not saying your children's needs are ignored, just that you remember that your marriage really needs to be a priority! That helps our children feel secure.

9. Did I mention that I married the best man in the whole world? I've learned this more and more over the years.

10. I'm constantly learning and amazed at God's awesome work in our lives and how that really led us to where we are. We never would have gotten here on our own.

I want to share one last bit of news that has me celebrating and SO excited!!!! Read my friend, Becky's post here: Day by Day Just so happy for them!!! I can't wait to meet Joshua!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First day of school and 13 months!

So the two dates above were the same day. Yesterday my kids started school. Being from the northeast I find starting school in August slightly sacrilegious but it was actually a good thing. The kids needed a place to go make friends and all 3 of us were craving some routine after 7 weeks for abnormality (which also means my son only had 7 weeks of vacation, sssshhhhh - don't tell). I kept thinking we were traveling for longer than we were. I've lost all sense of time. Apparently we only traveled for 5 weeks and we got here 2 weeks ago.

How it went:

E's initial reaction was not quite positive. She packed up quickly the moment she saw me, ran over and said "Just like I thought, I didn't make any friends!" but much of her later report was more positive. She did play with one girl, her teacher is nice, and she liked a lot of things that they did. She is really struggling with this move and it's heartbreaking for me because I can't make it better.

B had a much more positive reaction. They went to the playground 3 times and he played with kids and had fun. He's feeling more comfortable than E but it takes time. He seems to remember that it took him time in VA and isn't getting too impatient. He did come home with a worksheet today where he wrote the following sentence that broke my heart: "I can trust my best friend, L, because he's nice and we play together." L lives in VA and I know B really misses him. Hopefully we can get skype up and running and skype with L soon.

13 months since HSTK. Hopefully only a few more left and we'll finally see our baby's sweet face. Plus I'm hoping a few of my friends and I will have similar timelines for traveling to Korea (K!) - how cool would be to finally meet there?!? Our home study is moving forward. Our interviews are next week and our home visit is fairly soon after (we think). Fortunately my amazing friend Becky came and helped me unpack today! We got the kids' toy room all set up and I am so thankful!!! Hopefully I'll get pictures up soon. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Random thoughts on Arizona, moving, and the adoption process

We're in AZ. We've been here for a week and a half. It's definitely a different area but we're mostly enjoying it. Though we miss VA a lot!

We have a house full of boxes. We're working on getting those unpacked. Next week when school starts I can probably get even more done. It seems like right now it's a lot of start and stops so having a couple of uninterrupted hours in a row will definitely help.

We had an obnoxious mover who thought it was his business to push and push about why we were adopting internationally instead of domestically. I find this so frustrating because it's rarely from someone who wants to sit down and listen to our reasons, it's just from someone who wants to judge us for not doing what they seem to think we should do. Thanks - did you adopt? No? Then why do you feel you know more about it than I do? Sorry, this really irritated me.

E was a huge help in unpacking the kitchen. She would take something out of the box, sit on the floor (in case the object was fragile), unwrap it and bring it to me. If it was kid dishes she would put them away herself. What a huge helper! :) Later both kids helped in this way, but E was the one who truly enjoyed it.

Did you know that some times here if you get a soda from the fountain it looks like it's running out. The soda part and syrup part come out separated. B thinks it looks like a candy cane. It tastes the same, just strange.

When you first arrive here you really notice the brown everywhere (this was especially true in May - this is definitely the "green" time of year) but after a bit you start to look out and see the beauty of the mountains and how awe-inspiring it is here.

B chose his school. We looked into different schools around here (local school, on post, and a brand new charter school). B learned about the schools and visited and chose where he wanted to go (even though he has to wear a uniform). He's really excited and thinks his school is going to be great! I love his enthusiasm. I wasn't sure it would be there this year. E is super excited about her preschool. Both kids can't wait to make new friends.

Speaking of new friends - we got together with Sandra's friend C and her 2 kids. Thank you so much Sandra! It is wonderful to have a friend here and the kids had a wonderful time. I miss you though!

Our home study is moving along. It's a bit frustrating that our agency is about 4 hours away but the plan right now is to go out on a Sunday and do our joint interview Monday and our individual interviews Tuesday. Still working on what to do with the kids during the joint interview. Hopefully we can figure something out. :)