Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday Party and update

So Saturday we celebrated B and E's birthdays with their new friends. We went to the local park, had pizza and cake and played a lot. The kids had a blast and they have such nice friends. It was a great time. It was a good opportunity for me to get to know some of their friends' families and for them to play with friends outside of school. We're all still adjusting to this move. By far, this has been the hardest one on all 4 of us. Ben wrote to his friend, L, the other day and said that he wishes he still lived on the East Coast. :( Me too, buddy, me too. We do like AZ. The area is nice and there are lots of nice people. I don't want to spend all my time complaining, we just miss everyone out east and feel isolated here.

I talked to our agency today. It as a very upbeat, hopeful conversation and I felt good afterward. It sounds like referrals should be coming in soon (something they don't have control over) but the part that really helped is that she really seemed to have our back. She told me that we've been waiting longest (I knew this, but it was nice for her to say it out loud) and she said she fully intends to advocate for us (she started earlier this month by submitting a few families who have been waiting longest to them and asked SWS to consider how long we've been waiting. I am so thankful that they are trying all they can. This part is not in their hands, but they really seem to be doing all they can.

Not much news otherwise. Have a great day! Happy Thanksgiving week!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Years ago today...

We worked hard to get to Maryland (and not get lost). My husband had to take the metro into MD and I drove, picked him up there, and we made our way to this agency someone had randomly mentioned to us at a different agency's intro meeting. We went inside and waited. I remember looking at millions of pictures - babies and children who now are in families.

We went into an office and met a woman - a woman who went to the same Alma Mater as my husband and is from the same area of the country as me (completely unimportant, but a neat connection). A woman who spoke so warmly and calmly about a very confusing and overwhelming journey that we were about to embark on. (On a side note - a woman who assured us that a child would be in our arms in about 18 months...note the 2 years -but I know she had no control over the changes).

That day we signed a contract and wrote the first of many checks to OUR adoption agency! After 2 years (almost exactly - we first started looking more seriously into adoption in November of '06 when E was 11 months old) of talking about this possibility it was now happening. I was excited and completely overwhelmed, yet ready to dive in!

It's been 2 years since we started this journey and sometimes it feels like we're treading water. Not much has happened. But at the same time we have done so much - 2 home studies, multiple sets of fingerprints, had multiple things notarized, have USCIS approval (more than once), and are at a point where we can truly be ready to see our child's face any day. That is the biggest thing. We've been waiting, but the time should be here soon! I am in fact, overdue for an elephant, but I'm also thankful.

I am so thankful that we are close! I am thankful for the friends I've made! I'm thankful that God has used this time to grow me in so many ways. I am thankful for the child that is still to come into our family. I am thankful that my kids are (almost) as excited as Brian and I are to have this child in our family! I can't believe she was 2 when we started this and I worried about her being sad not to be the baby any more. Now I realize that she's about to turn 5 and she is SO READY to have a little sibling. She doesn't want to be the littlest (at least she doesn't think she wants that....) anymore. :) B is chomping at the bit to see a picture of his youngest sibling (and to know if he will, in fact, have a brother - both kids are hoping for what they don't already have, B, a brother, E, a sister - but they will both be thrilled with their sibling). :)

It's been a long 2 years in terms of the wait, but it has been an amazing 2 years in many other ways. E has started preschool. We had G, Jackie, and Hellen come stay with us, we moved, we've welcomed other family members (including the newest cousin in our family, born on 11/11/11 - how cool is that?!?), and we've grown as people, as family, with friends. What a blessing. Thank you, God, for all you've done. Thank you family and friends for your support - without it, we wouldn't be quite where we are now. I hope that soon I will have a very exciting post to share, but there may be some fun family times to share before then. Not sure what God's timing is, but I know it is perfect.

ETA: This post is really how I feel today, but know also that this process has been hard and I'm so thankful to friends who listen to my anxious thought each day as I try to leave them behind and trust. Sometimes I think I try hard not to sound negative that I don't share how hard it is. It. Is. HARD. I long to see my child's face EVERY day - all day. And it's hard to patiently explain to my children (AGAIN) about how we don't know when or who or anything really, but that it will be in God's timing. Thanks for listening. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

16 months and Blog Award

Hi! How are all of you on this beautiful Tuesday? I noticed that it is in fact the 8th and that means that it has now been 16 months since HSTK. There is a very real chance that we will not see 17 months without a referral! Though it's not guaranteed (the part that is very hard for me to deal with). I heard rumor yesterday that someone with SWS received a referral so it sounds like they definitely did resume! That means it could be any time!

My wonderful friend, Erin, over at Erin's Creative Energy gave me this blog award. I am so thankful to have her. Our husbands are actually close friends from college and we met in college as well and became good friends. We keep in touch better than our husbands usually. :) Miss you, Erin! Thank you for thinking of me. :)

The Liebster Award spotlights up and coming bloggers who generally have less than 200 followers.
Upon receipt of the Liebster Award, there are a few very simple rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog

2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you

3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

Now I will pass this award on to 5 other blogs that I truly enjoy.

Ok, this is the hard part. A couple of the ones I thought of have over 200 followers and it's hard to narrow down the ones who don't, so bear with me.

1. Gotta start with my waiting buddy, Kelly. She is next in "line" behind me with the same agency. She has been a wonderful source of support, prayer, and long distance friendship! Check out her blog: Minus 1 Project - right now you can guess the date of her referral! :)

2. Next is my amazing friend, Sandra. I miss her and her wonderful little boy, B (great name!) so much now that we don't live out east any more. Hoping to move back near her soon!

3. Next is Becky, from Day by Day (who I owe a phone call - sorry, I was so sick last week and all weekend). What a blessing God has given me in allowing us to move to the desert at the same time! We live an hour apart (door to door, we've both clocked it) so it's not too difficult to get together and we have a few times. Looking forward to seeing her soon! Her son, J, came home in September and he is absolutely adorable! I am smitten with him! :)

4. My friend, Kala, who brought her son Matthew home summer 2010 and is in process to bring home Nathan! Check out her blog, Together We Make a Family.

5. Our Dreaming Tree of Three is a wonderful blog by my friend Susan. Her spirit really shines through her writing and her photography. Please check it out.

6. Because I'm usually a complete rule follower and I feel like being a rebel I'm throwing in a 6th - Chois R Us is super close to 200 followers and since apparently (according to this award) at 200 you're not longer up and coming but you've arrived - help her "arrive" and go follow her blog if you don't already! :) Grace is another amazing friend and her blog will keep you laughing! :)

There are more I wish I could share, but I am going to get off of blogger for a bit, so have a great day and hopefully I'll be back here with amazing news VERY soon! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

M Family Happenings

So Sunday after church we decided to go to IH@P. That went like this: we arrive and E is antsy so Brian takes her outside to run around. They come back in, we sit, and E runs to the bathroom and pukes all over the bathroom floor (at least she made it that far- and avoided her clothes - impressive at 4). No IH@P for us. We go home, she spiked a fever and was sick for 2 days. Home all day Monday. Fever was gone by afternoon so we did take the kids out trick or treating for a little bit. I see Halloween as a silly day to dress up and eat candy. For the most part we try to down play it in our house, but still allow the fun parts of playing dress up and eating candy. :)

So - we're out trick or treating, having a grand old time, and B runs into a cactus! Little cactus spikes end up stuck in his leg and (because I was trying to help afterwards) stuck in my hand as well. We go home and pick them out with tweezers, what fun. Now I laugh though. Only my child is so oblivious that he runs into a cactus (maybe he can blame the mask?)!

So since E had a fever on Monday I keep her home from PWOC on Tuesday and we spend another day at home. Definitely ready to be out and about on Wednesday. I get a few things done but by Wednesday afternoon - stomach bug hits me. Quite sick all day on Thursday. Today is much better but not fantastic (still a bit nauseous and weak) so hopefully I'll be fully recovered by tonight/tomorrow.

So that's what's going on here. I am trying to focus on today and not on next week or sometime this month when our referral could come rolling in. But some days that is hard. :) It really SHOULD be soon, though there's no guarantee. Hopefully there will be very good, exciting news posted here soon! :)