Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yes, Maria. I'm Here - God.

Last night I felt a calling to read the book of Ruth. I kept wondering as I read it, "why" I was called to read it. I'm still not sure, but it did lead me into the introductory pages of I and II Samuel where I felt chastised by God for my recent childish like petulance at having to wait some more for my little one to come home.

All through our adoption, I have been reminded of Hannah's desire to have a child and how she prayed to God for this child. The verse I am (still) stenciling on Ellie's wall is I Sam. 1:25. So, as I read the introductory passage to this book, I was moved to repentance. It says (I'm paraphrasing much of it for space),

Four lives dominate the two-volume narrative: Hannah, Samuel, Saul and David. Many of us need to be reminded that these stories are not exemplary in the sense that we stand back and admire them, like statues in a gallery, knowing all the while that we will never be able to live either that gloriously or that tragically ourselves. Rather, they are immersions into the actual business of living itself: this is what it means to be human. There is surprisingly little talk about God here. But as the narrative develops, we realize God is the commanding and accompanying presence, that provides both plot and texture to every sentence. The stories train us in perceptions of ourselves, our sheer humanity, that cannot be reduced to personal feelings or ideas or circumstances. If we want a life other than mere biology, we must deal with God. There is no other way.

The biblical way is not so much to present us with a moral code and tell us "Live this way" nor is it to set out a system of doctrine and say "Think like this and you will live well". The biblical way is to tell a story and invite us to "Live into this. This is what it is like to be human. This is what is involved in maturing as human beings." We should not use Biblical revelation for what we can get out of it or what we think will provide color and spice to our otherwise bland lives. As we submit our lives to what we read, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories, but to see our stories in God's. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find ourselves. Such reading will necessarily be a prayerful reading - a God-listening, God-answering reading.

So, as I spent my time wallowing and wondering WHY we continue to wait to bring Ellie home, I failed to remember that it is God that is orchestrating this miracle and that I am but a player. By calling myself Christian, I am relinquishing my life to God for His use. There is a reason for our wait and my (Israelite-like) whining and moaning will not glorify God nor make others want to seek to find His way of life. My continuing to praise His name and remind others that He is in charge and that I am willing to wait until His time does glorify Him. (But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31). I want to soar like an eagle instead of wallow like a pig, you know?

As I awoke this morning after having read that last night, I felt led to Book 8, Chapter 8, Verse 8 due to the fact that we think our court date will be 08/08/08. Ruth (surprise) was the eighth book of the Old Testament, but did not have an 8th chapter. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians is the 8th book. There is an 8th Chapter and 8th verse which I read, but didn't seem to find much relevance. BUT... then I read on a few more verses down I was reading from The Message this time and found the following verses to be very comforting:

So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your hearts have been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands.

In order to see what the translation what in another version, I went online to one of my favorite sites, to see what they said and I learned that these verses were originally written about the contributions for the relief of the saints at Jerusalem, but how beautiful to read it just when I needed this reminder from God to persevere, to praise and to do what I can and not what I can't.

I am so glad that He continues to remind me, when I am so far out of His will, that I am His and that He is in charge and I can rest and let Him handle it. It's a hard task for someone made like I am to "let go and let God" but He is kind to remind and gentle in His calling me back to the path He wants me on. I am hard to hear and slow to turn, but He is patient and loving. What a wonderful God I serve.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zoo and Adoption Update

Today we went to the zoo and got to meet our friends Kat, Charlie and Jia, who we first met in Kyrgyzstan. Ironic that we went half way around the world to meet people who live in our backyard. We took Josh's friends, Emily and Braiden as well.

It was SUCH a hot day at the zoo. The kids had water just running down them they were so hot, but it was SO nice to have time to talk and visit with Kat, see Charlie and Jia again -- in our country. Jia was so loving and would run up, hug me, hold my hand and let me carry her around. Charlie is always happy. He's doing well in motor skills, pulling up, crawling, walking with mama's help. He is very attached to his mama and it was SO CUTE.

I have some photos on my phone -- the batteries on my camera were dead -- of the kids petting a baby goat and of Charlie and Kat. I'll try to post them later.

We all agreed it was too hot to spend too much time outside so we let the kids play on the Jungle Gym, went to eat lunch, visited the petting zoo, went into to see the snakes and frogs and such (air conditioned) and then quickly saw the Meercats before calling it a day. We've promised to do it again when it is MUCH cooler.

Today was enough to convince me that we cannot go to Kentucky Kingdom this week. It's too hot here. I don't want to drive all the way there, pay for admission and then find out the boys are too hot to stay. So, I've told Josh we will go one day when he is out of school.

On the adoption front, here's what I know. Most of this is subject to change, but is pretty certain:
  • Court will be held August 8 (maybe)
  • She will be ours after that (except for the fact that there is a 30 day "waiting period" where a birth family member could come back and stop the process; while we do not expect this to happen, we know it is a possibility)
  • We will get a passport for her to leave the country around 2 months after our court date (October 8).
  • We will travel back sometime around then to pick her up (this will partially coincide with Fall Break here -- this really STINKS)
  • The probability of my traveling with the families that I had hoped to are pretty much nil at this point, per my agency. We are trying to work out the details on my not traveling alone. I have a long-time, very good friend who has offered to travel with me (what an offer, let me tell you!!) and help me take care of things like luggage, taking care of Ellie when I have to go to the Embassy, watching Ellie while I shower (this is an important item), and generally keep me from losing my mind (this is a HUGE requirement that I'm certain she is most afraid of). She has basically offered to help and care for me while I spend time loving this sweet little baby, adjusting to her, and caring for her. Is this not the biggest favor in the world???

So, while I would give anything for all things to be different, I was reminded tonight at church that God's timing is perfect, even when we don't think so. I still haven't seen the perfection, but know that it exists.

Bargain Time

My friend Michelle was telling me about a local consignment sale. Then I was reading A's site and saw information about it. I have shopped it before and think I might actually have some Gymboree items to consign and might do that.

If you guys want to find out more about a local sale coming to the Goodlettsville area, click on this link for Encores and More!

Those who know what a huge bargain shopper I am know that I am EXCITED about this one. I might even find a stroller!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Thanks to A. over at Holding on for the Ride, I have a new cool "thing" - Wordle. Here are the words that appear most on my blog. You will have to click on it to see it at a size that is readable. Pretty cool. Try it yourself.

Keep Singing

I posted earlier about a song by Mercy Me. It's actually called "Keep Singing". I found it long ago, but it seems nice for how I feel today. I'm particularly fond of the image of climbing up into His lap and having Jesus sing over me is so comforting. The lyrics follow. Enjoy the video. I've chosen to end my "wallow" period and will focus on the positive news that on August 8 Ellie will be our daughter. Two months after that, we will pick her up. Anything that comes along to improve that timeframe will be a blessing. I will continue to ask God to bless us with a quicker pick up time, but will be thankful to know that we have a date to count down to. I've gotta' keep singing. Thank you, Betsy, for a reality check.

Another rainy day
I can't recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
All I wanna do is walk out of this place
But when I am stuck and I can't move
When I don't know what I should do
When I wonder if I'll ever make it through

I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
Your the one that's keeping my heart beating
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
That's the only way that I'll find healing

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing

Oh You're everything I need
And I gotta keep singing

Are You There God? It's Me, Maria.

One of my favorite books growing up was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret". Today, the title just popped into my head and I have decided that when I become (in)famous, I will write my memoirs and title it, "Are You There God? It's Me, Maria". I have to find some humor in the FUNK that I'm calling today.

After receiving the news that our court date did not happen with the other four families, we received word that now passports are taking 2 months instead 6 weeks, thereby delaying the process another two weeks. I'm tired of saying, "Well, what's another week?" It's seven more days of good nutrition, seven more days of kisses and hugs and rocking. And after one more week and one more week and one more week -- we are four months from the first visit and she's six months old, when we believed she'd be home before she was five months old.

I've given myself today to be sad, angry, frustrated, and so on. Tomorrow, I will, as my friend Mayme says, pick myself up, dust myself off, climb out of the pit and move forward. The good news? I'll be here when Mayme brings her daughter Emma home from China and will get to go to the airport!!

I was told by the agency that they will check on expediting passports, but after a general update, I think that's not likely going to happen -- the expediting, not the checking. I have also asked if there is any possibility we can travel with the other families. They are checking on that and will let me know by week's end. I am asking those of you who pray, please do that -- hard. I need to travel with the other families, not only just because I want to get Ellie, but because of the costs associated with not traveling/sharing with them. We have all agreed that Josh needs one of us at home and that having someone here and on the "right" schedule when we return with Ellie is what we need. The vacation time for Kevin would be an issue. If he takes it to travel, then he's back at work when we get back. I'd rather have his help when we get home. The price difference to have me not travel with the other group - $3500.

The other good news for today, we have secured a pediatrician who specializes in seeing children who are international adoptees. We have talked on the phone and I like him a lot. I think he will do a great job of caring for Ellie.

Pray -- hard. Good advice from my mom.

Are you there God? It's me, Maria ... This reminds me of a song by Mercy Me called I Gotta' Keep Singing where he talks about climbing up into Jesus' lap. That's where I need to be rigjht now.

How to "Spin" Bad News

So.... I got the email; it just wasn't the one I wanted. It stated that court indeed did happen but that we were not included. The good news (I suppose) is that we have a court date set for August 8. Projecting six weeks out from that, we will return to get her around September 19.

I will tell you, in the spirit of honesty, that when I read this email, I was on the phone with Elizabeth, our travel partner from the last trip and I'm certain she thought something horrible had happened. My email popped up with an email titled, "Court Update". I told her, "Hey, wait, I just got an email." I was reading it aloud to her when I got the part that told me that we were not included in this group, I burst into tears. I finally got out what the deal was and she tried (really hard) to be consoling, but I really didn't want to be consoled. Yes, it is only 9 days, but, we had already made so many plans about my traveling with a couple of others picking up their daughters and this just blew all that out of the water. And, we know that Kevin needs to be home to take care of Josh because of all the things going on in his life (starting middle school, football, homework, etc.) right now. And, of course, financially, we had everything planned out so that I could stay home for a while and not have to worry about going right back out to work right after we returned with Ellie. All that ... shot. And I just don't understand WHY.

I'm not sure how to put the positive "spin" on this one right now. I'm still in the process of "wallowing" in it. It's nine more days my baby has to be there without us.

Maybe tomorrow, after a lot of prayer and calming down, I'll get there, but, today, I'm not.

The Princess Turns 4 Months Old Today

Another birthday for The Princess. Another day we don't get to celebrate with her. It makes me sad, but there is nothing I can do to rush the process along. I remember us holding her when she turned two months and singing "Happy Birthday" to her. I thought with absolute certainty she would be home before the number "5" pops up on the screen, but I know now she won't. It breaks my heart every day to think of her lying in a crib -- existing, her basic needs being met, but not her emotional and social needs. It's 4:55 in the afternoon there. I'm sure no one mentioned it, no one sang to her. It would be a perfect birthday gift for her today if the judge has heard our cases today.

Happy birthday little princess girl, our wee little one. I know you have likely forgotten about the people who talked funny, who held you for two hours a day and made funny faces, kissed you, rocked you and sang to you. We are here. We love you. We will be back for you.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Nada, Nothing, Zero, Zilch -- Information That Is

No information on court today. I know of five other families who are feeling a little disappointed and anxious today as well. Honestly, I didn't expect to have news today. I think it will be at least Wednesday before there is news. I'm hoping we fully SKIP the email telling us what day we'll have court and go straight to the email that says, "Congratulations, your case has cleared the Kyrgyzstan court system." I don't need anticipation; I just want to start counting backwards from 40.

On to other things.

Those of you who read regularly might have seen a post I wrote about and the products they carry. APPARENTLY, they were offended by my opinion and thought that I was bashing them, something I never intended. I think the owner's comment was it wasn't very Christian-like to say bad things about them and she wished I knew more about them before I said bad things about them. So... 1) I removed the post and 2) I sent her an email both explaining my position and the fact that I feel people are often quick to throw out the "You aren't acting like a Christian" when our opinions differ from theirs. I was most certainly not bashing their company. I even commented on how cute many of the things they sell are and added a link. I was offering my opinion on my blog. However, let's all be honest here and answer would we pay $175 for a sippy cup that you can't use? No. That was my point. It was never about the quality of their company or their products. None of the comments were offered in a mean spirit. Regular readers will understand the "contents of my heart" and the spirit in which they were offered. The stuff is expensive and I'm a bargain-shopper. End of story. So, again, in an offer of goodwill, I offer readers another link to the site in hopes that maybe you will find items that you want to purchase.

On to better things.

I am experiencing some horrible headaches today along with just a feeling of exhaustion. I am SO tired. I still have around 175 jobs to enter from my project and I need to have those done by Thursday. I want to leave this computer (and yet, here I am typing, huh?) and do something different. I am excited that we are going to the zoo on Wednesday with some of Joshua's friends and we are going to meet up with another family who recently returned from Kryg with their son!! Ironically, we were in Kryg at the same time so it will be SO good to see them again. Josh "took" to both the children and is very excited to see them again. After I clear it with them, I'll post names and photos after our visit!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Possibly a Big Week

It is currently 9:22 a.m. in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The judge who went on vacation is due back at work today. At this point, he should be back in his office. Possibly, our in-country coordinator has already talked with him to determine if our cases will be heard before him this week.

Somewhere, on the other side of the world, decisions are being made that will change our lives forever. Papers will be reviewed -- all those documents we put together months ago for our dossier will be reviewed by one man who holds the power to put his signature on a document approving our adoption, or not. And my heart feels very calm this time -- reassured in some inner way that the surprises have ended and that things will move forward as slated and that in about 40 days +/- from court date I will walk out of the gates of the Tokmok orphanage with a precious little child, our blessing straight from God, and will breathe a sigh of relief that the wait is finally over, that our daughter is finally home.

This week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Every once in a while Josh comes out with something profound or funny. Sometimes, it's both. We call these Josh-isms, and I try to remember to post them as soon as he says it because I want to remember them.

Today, he walked by and poked me with something and I saw it was silver. I thought it was a fork and I asked why he was taking a fork to his bedroom. He said, "It's not a fork. It's my backscratcher." On the way up the stairs he added his, "And, anyway, it has six things, and a fork has four. That's why they are called forks (ie "four-ks"). Well, there you have it, why they are called forks, according to Joshua.

Joshua Learns to Put a Worm on a Hook

This post is by a "guest" poster -- my mom. She wrote this and took the photos of Joshua's day with them on Friday. I will tell you, she told me this story on the phone and it was pretty funny, but when I opened the pictures, it was hilarious. Check out the rubber gloves and sweat band!!

When he came in the door this morning it was raining, and I could tell he was disappointed. He had his new rod and reel he had won at the church fishing tournament back in the summer. He was ready to go. DeeDee told him he would check the weather on the computer and we would see what it was going to do on up in the day. He ate his favorite thing to eat when he comes to our house: sausage and biscuit. Then he and I watched a movie, and every once in a while he would say, "It's quit raining."

I fixed lunch, and it had quit raining so I got everything ready. He and DeeDee uncovered the boat and got it hooked up to the truck. He knows how to hook and unhook everything on the boat -- including getting ready and loading of the boat as he has watched his DeeDee since he was little. I remember telling him a few years ago to watch DeeDee hook and unhook the boat so if DeeDee should hurt himself he would know how to get us back to the loading dock. Then I could drive us home.

He has been driving the boat since he was four years old sitting in DeeDee's lap. We finally decided the boat was too small for us and then went boat hunting to Bass Pro Shop. We let him go with us so he could pick out certain things on the boat he liked. He picked out the one that had three seats all the way across the boat so he could sit in the middle and that has always been his seat until today. I asked him where were we going to put Ellie when she gets here, and he said, "She can have my seat, and I can sit up front." He's such caring little man.

He had a real problem putting the worm on the fishing hook. He asked me before we left the house if I had any rubber gloves. I asked him what for, and he said he might could handle a fishing worm if he had on gloves. I knew exactly how he felt because I can't touch one either. I stuck a pair in my bag jn case he got brave and wanted to try to put one on the hook. You can see by his pictures he was having a real problem with this whole thing, but he was a real trooper and tried.

I asked him if he had a good time and he said, "Yes." I know DeeDee and I did.

Gift from Diane

OH!!! I almost forgot. Diane gave Ellie and I a present that she had made for us. Ellie got a lovely beaded bracelet to wear at her baby dedication. Then, creative Diane, told me that she could take it to a jeweler when she gets married and have them incorporate it into something new and it could become her "something old". Isn't that a wonderful idea?? Of course, I refuse to think about her growing up and getting married!!

And for me, she gave me prayer beads. As she pointed out, "They are not rosary beads, but along the same lines." They are to help you focus (ADHD!!) while you are praying be allowing each bead to stand for something or someone that you want to pray for. The most beautiful part of the brochure she gave me states, "It is suggested you pray ... in an unhurried pace, allowing the repitition to become a sort of lullaby of love and praise that enables your mind to rest and your heart to become quiet and still." Can you tell she "gets" me??? It was exactly what I need -- to focus, calm and be still.
I love both of them!!

Met Diane!!!

Yay!! It was so good to get to meet with Diane for a little while on my way home yesterday. She was at a homeschool conference and they had a food court and we were able to have a snack and coffee. I needed the coffee, for sure as I was starting to wane and still have several hours to drive home.

I was going to write this wonderful post about how we were kindred spirits and how great it was to have an intellectual conversation with someone who "gets" me. But, then I read her post and decided to plagiarize and just copy her post here. Diane did go on a little too much about me, but it captures the essence of our friendship in such a wonderfully written way that nothing I could write would compare. So, "Ditto" to you too!

I am blessed to have her as a friend -- forever!!

PS -- Hope the cake made it ok without being eaten by the cat and that you guys had a great time today!!


Maria and I got to meet up today!! What fun that was. What makes it great is that it didn't seem like we haven't seen each other in nearly 9 years (!). I've kept up with her doings on her blog and she with me here. Before that, is was e-mails and Christmas cards. But today, it was like we haven't missed a beat. I got more details on things that have been going on but it wasn't like I had to be filled in on 9 years of news. That is so neat to me. I am disappointed that I got so excited seeing her that I forgot to take a picture. *sigh* But I have the pictures in my head. :-)

Huh, funny....I just read Maria's post from this morning and she was musing about how she and I met. It was way back before the advent of blogs and e-mail lists or loops (as they are now known as) were know as list serves...and we were on one called Cybercat (now known as Cyberkat) for cat owners. It was (is) a great group of folks who came to be good friends. I have met several over the years. That is how I met Maria. We would have gatherings and someone would offer up their home as a central gathering place in a geographically central location, then everyone who could, would come there and we would spend a weekend or longer just having a fun party - at times it would be like a pajama party. One year Maria offered up her house. She was a gracious hostess with so many descending on her house to stay the weekend. We had a ball. Between her and another Cybercatter, Becky, I don't think I have ever laughed so much for so long a period. :-) Maria would come to Atlanta every now and then for "mini" gatherings and we could always pick right back up like no time had passed and still just have a great time.

Folks will talk about God putting people in your lives for a reason. Some folks pass through quickly, others, thankfully, linger a little longer. I often wonder why some folks come into my life; so, so many of them I am abundantly grateful for. Maria is one of those I often wonder (happily) why? I mean we have only laid eyes on each other a handful of times, but I still count her among my good friends. But then, as I was talking to her today I realized, she is another strong Christian woman I "click" with.

I find it so fun to be able to talk of my faith, and to discuss theological theories with someone who can have a deep and abiding faith, yet still be able to laugh in the midst of such a conversation. So many Christian women have that pinched up, up tight, holier than thou, pious woman attitude. I hate that and it is one of those things that turns me off to the fellowship of Christian women so fast. (Please notice I said Christian women...not God!) To me, that is not real, and the way I am is as real and as right as the most pious person. God made me the way I am, He knows my heart and when He looks in it He sees my faith but He also sees my joy and laughter. He put that laughter there and because of that I know it is good. Maria has that same sense of joy and laughter and God put her in my life to bless me. To give me another kindred soul that is devout, but celebrates her faith with joy, laughter and humor.

These traits are gifts from God and worthy as offerings of praise just as much as any hymn or prayer. I like to think that God gets a good chuckle when he sees His children laughing and having a good time. Who among you, who are parents, can resist a big grin or chuckle yourself when you see the sparkling eyes and toothless grin of your baby, or the belly laugh of a toddler? I think God is like that, enjoying our pleasure and joy in his gifts of laughter and humor.

So with that, I leave you with a quiet chuckle and a good night. Hope you made it home safely Maria!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Going to Meet Diane

I'm very excited and have motivation to get through the day (other than going home to my boys!!). I am going to get to meet up with my friend Diane. She is going to be at a homeschool fair in Atlanta today and as I go through we are going to visit!! YAY!!!

I got to thinking last night about when the last time I saw her might have been. You have to keep in mind most of my brain cells are dead, so .... I think it might have been as long as 8 or 9 years ago. And yet, we've still remained friends.

We met online -- way back when that was a novelty idea. I remember my parents thinking Kevin and I were crazy when we would trot off her and yon to meet people I had met on the Cybercat group. It was, as the named implied, a list for cat owners. What a FUN FUN group is was -- much like my new Kryg adoption group, only for people with cats, not people who are adopting.

They even had me a shower with a litterbox cake when I was pregnant with Josh (yes, it was gross).

So, I'm very excited to see Diane and her daughter Kathryn. She was a little thing the last time I saw her and now she is, *gasp*, dating (don't tell her daddy though!). I think it's technically not dating, but I think she's got a real crush on a boy I see her mom write about a lot. Feel free to correct me, Kathryn! *smile*

So, I'll try to remember to get photos. Hopefully, it won't be another 8-9 years, but, just in case!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

19 Months

Just because I will not likely be posting tomorrow, I wanted to go ahead and post that tomorrow is our 19 month anniversary of our Log-In Date (LID) to China. Will we continue to wait there? We still don't have answers about that. Fortunately, we don't have to make that decision today.

"Macon" Tracks

Here's some funnies about Macon:
  • Their baseball team is called Macon Music.
  • Their swim team is called Macon Waves.
  • Their former ice hockey team was called Macon Whoopee
  • Another ice hockey team here was called Macon Tracks

All this research is Macon me tired. Yes, I know, GROAN.

I'm in the last stages of finishing up this project and I'm glad. The last couple of days have not been bad. I've been working in Warner Robins, home of Robins Airforce Base. It's HUGE!!! Granted, I haven't been there, but I've driven by it. It's amazing to think of all the people that have to be employed to keep that place running.

I met a person who had retired from there. I stopped to take photos of his house. He is a 73 year old widower. I came by this information as he was airing up my tire. He noticed it was low and got out his air pump to fill it up for me. He checked all four for me, all the while telling me all about his life. I think he was lonely. It was very nice of him to do that for me, though.

I am very sad today for my friends, Bryan and Betsy, who are in Kyrgyzstan right now. I will leave it up to their blog (link on their names) to tell you what is going on with them, but I will say, having been where they are right now is not a place I would wish for any family to be in. It's a gut-wrenching place to be and there are no good answers for anyone. The guilt-level is huge; the uncertainty is so hard. It's a decision that will never leave you. It's a place that hurts and I am so sorry that they are hurting right now. They are very strong in their faith and I know God will see them through this process.

I am excited that I will be going home tomorrow. I miss my husband and son, my kitties and doggies, my bed and home cooking. I hate eating out lately. I just want to get back home to some healthy food.

I'm still awaiting photos of The Princess. I just got word that I should see some tomorrow. I'm so excited. I just looked at her last photos that Suzanne took while she was there (thank you, again, Suzanne!!) and it just seems unreal that this is my daughter, for goodness sakes. Shouldn't she be with me??? When I get back home, I need to call the pediatrician's office again and set up a phone consult to see if he will see us when she comes home. We are still very hopeful that court will happen next week and then 40 days later (30 day wait, 10 days for document prep) she will be HOME. Can you believe that? It just doesn't seem real. After all these years, we are bringing home our daughter. And, I will say that we are really all glad to have this part near over. We are so ready to find our new normal and to move forward with our lives and not be consumed with "all adoption, all the time".

I have promised Josh to take him to Six Flags KY Kingdom before school starts back. Somehow, early in the summer, I said we'd go early and stay all day and they could play in the water park and ride all the rides. WHY???? He reminds me of this DAILY. So, if there's anyone close by who wants to go with us and make it a day, let us know. I surely could use someone adult to talk to. *smile* Josh was seen by his doctor today and was given the "All Clear" on resuming normal activities. He is fine and fully recovered from his surgery. Thank you, God. We are glad to have all of that behind us.

So, I need to go, pack and get ready for check out in the morning.

Ok, so I interrupt this blog for a commercial. I was flipping through the TV channels. QVC is selling -- get this: 50gth Anniversary Speical Edition Plush Smurf with The Surfette DVD. Press his hand and, "La-la-lalalala." If you are interested, it's T-27401 for $19.45. AND, it comes in a collector's box. NOW, I remember the Smurfs and I am NOT 50 years old. So.... how did they come out when I was little and be 50 years old? I'm going to slip over to QVC and get a photo for you. Oh, so now they are telling me that the Smurfs started in BELGIUM 50 years ago. Anyway, the photo, for some reason, won't copy or save, so I can't upload it, but here's the link for the rest of you "80's kids" who remember watching it on TV.

I MUST change the channel -- quickly -- as they are now selling four 13" Classic character storybook pillows. They are pillows that unfold and are then a book. They are Babar, Arthur, Clifford and Franklin. They are each 10 pages and contain different stories. Too cute!!

Post update:
Shhhhh..... don't tell Kevin, I just ordered the pillow books. I think I will "give" it to Ellie this year as a Christmas present. (Can you believe it???) She won't know it, but it will be cool to have as she gets older. The pages won't rip; they'll double as entertainment AND a pillow. They are machine washable too. Another, yay! Here's the link if you want to see them yourself. They have now sold out. I'm glad I got them in time!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Updated Measurements

Oh!! And during my wee hours of the morning post, I forgot to add that we got new measurements for Ellie yesterday. She has gained 1.5 pounds since last month and is now up to 9 pounds. You grow, girl!! Based on these numbers, I anticipate when we pick her up, she'll be about 12 pounds.

Can't Sleep

It's 4:30 a.m. and I am awake -- AGAIN. I woke up at 2 and stayed awake until around 2:45. I can't sleep for some reason. I'm tired, so I should be able to sleep. Maybe it's the excitement of knowing that soon I will have new pictures of The Princess. The families who are there did take photos and my understanding is there might be a short video of The Princess sleeping. The internet isn't great where they are and so she will send that when it is better. One family's baby is not feeling well either, so her hands are full right now and I'm sure she is very concerned about making sure he gets better. That, of course, has freaked me out, because my biggest worry is that The Princess will get sick and I'll never know and won't be there. I keep reminding myself that God is there with her and will take care of her.

Today (which is now yesterday, I suppose) was not AS hot because a storm passed through the night before. My temperature gauge never read over 109 so it must have been cooler (ha ha). I did manage to complete a few more jobs -- up to 85 today. I think with the heat, I'm ok with that number. I'm moving down to Warner Robbins to work tomorrow in hopes that a "change will do me good".

Usually it takes a day or so for me to figure out why I'm here and why the company is auditing an agent's books. Sometimes it's retirement, a new agent, storm damages - you name it. This time it appears that it is because of a tornado that came through Macon on May 11 (Mother's Day). There has been quite a bit of damage to homes, lots of fallen trees, roof damage, etc. Several people that I have talked to have told me about their experiences. One elderly man told me he was home alone, asleep, and a tree fell on the back of the house. He said, "If I hadn't already had a weak heart, I would have after that. I've never experienced anything like that before. It was scary." I imagine it truly was. In a place where pine trees soar upwards of 100', you can imagine what kind of damage their falling can do. I've looked through photos of the storms' damage at this site. It gives me new perspective for what I am still seeing now.

The only notable photo from today was the car I saw at this man's home. He was an older man and he and his family had come outside as I was finishing and we talked about how he still had a Plymouth Fury. It was like my first car. He says it still runs great. Imagine. Here's a photo of his. We got mine painted. It was white and the roof part was blue. Takes you back.

I also saw the following photo of a store front here. I thought it was cute.

And, finally, many congratulations to April, Michele and Dominique who picked their babies up. I've created a link to Michele's blog for those who would like to see photos of their baby's Gotcha Days. And, also a big congratulations to Charley and Heather who just had the Giving and Receiving Ceremony for Samantha, making her legally theirs. I'm so happy for all these families who have been put together.

On the way down here, I was thinking about how much our adopting Ellie is like God adopting us into his family. We have worked so hard to bring this child into our family, actively seeking her out, completing all the work needed to make her ours, loving her long before she knew we were there for her, loving her before she loved us. Is this not a picture of our God who woos us to become part of his family? Is He actively seeking you right now? If you want more information, please feel free to email me. I'd love to share with you how much He loves you and how He wants to adopt you into His family.

And, with that, I'm going to try to go back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am in Macon, Georgia, which must be code word for the Hottest Place in the World.

Normally, I can do well over 100 inspections in a day on a project, but today, I only managed to get 75 done.

At one point today, I looked up to the thermometer in the car and it read 126*! Now, I know that this number is elevated probably from the vehicle being on the asphalt, but I know the forecast indicated the heat index here would be 107*.

I don't want to sound like a whiner, but I am going to anyway -- I just can't walk around houses quickly in this kind of heat.

Our AO friends are in Kyrgyzstan and are picking up their babies TOMORROW!!! I am so excited for them. As my friend (and hopeful travel mate) A. says, If I'm this excited for them, I can't imagine how excited I'll be when it's my time. Amen, sister!!

The judge in Tokmok will be back at work in one week. I am hopeful he will have court for our babies next week. As I was experiencing this incredibly hard heat, I got to wondering what the heat is like at the orphanage. I'm hopeful to get a report from some of the folks who are currently there as to the temperatures.

Josh and Kevin played golf on Sunday after church, so Josh was very excited. Kevin said he did really well doing something that Kevin has never been able to do -- something to do with chipping. Can you tell I don't golf? Today, Josh went to my friend Iris' house to play with Jesse and Ben. Apparently, Ben was very excited to have Josh come over so he could have someone to ride bikes with. I know Josh had a good time because he is all about playing. Tonight is his first football practice for the season -- without pads. He goes back to the doctor for his follow-up on his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy on Thursday. I just spoke with Kevin who gave me the updates on who is playing football this year. There were some new surprising players, but every year there are. It is always fun to watch the boys start out as individuals and then come together as a team before the season is over. I think Kevin said their are 27 players. We have a new head coach this year. I loved our last coach and I love our new coach, so I just can't complain at all. I think it's so important that Josh's coaches be people who are going to expect a lot from him and motivate him. His coaching staff this year will definitely do that.

So.... I'm off to do some paperwork. I'd like to shower and go to sleep early tonight. I went to bed late, got up really early (as I had to make a Wal-mart run to get a printer cable) and started working at 8. The heat made me tired too, so....

I'm terribly excited that tomorrow I might have new photos of Ellie-belly!! YAYAYAY.

So, has anyone ever watched Shear Genius? I'm in a hotel room and there's a million channels and I'm stuck watching some reality hairdressing show. It's pretty funny. Coupled with the Jon and Kate Plus 8 shows that are coming up, I'm set.

Here's a photo of a dog I saw today. I kept telling him to give me the ball (which I THOUGHT he had in his mouth). Turns out, when he finally dropped it, that it was a green apple, one which he promptly ATE. He had several while I was at his home taking photos. Crazy!

It's 8:45 in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday. Families are likely waiting on their drivers and are heading to pick up babies. What a wonderful feeling that has to be!!! I'm so excited for them. I'm going to sleep so that when I wake up I'll be able to read about their exciting times!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Leaving for Macon and Bargains!

Ahhhh... faithful readers will remember my "famous" last words about project work and how that last one in Georgia was absolutely the last one. Never say never as I am departing tomorrow for a week in Macon, Georgia to work on my last project (yah, right). I hated to leave with school still out but the due date on the work is too close to school starting back. Josh is staying with several friends through the week and going to MeeMee and DeeDee's house on Friday so he probably won't miss me at all. There is also a lot of talk about a golf game, a trip to the zoo and other daddy outings so I'm thinking they won't even know I'm gone.

If my friend Diane M. is reading, email me if you have free time this week. I might can squeeze in dinner one night. I would love to see you!!

Oh, and my good purchases for the day. I found a Bumbo chair, a Boppy pillow and cover and a Baby Einstein play mat on Craigslist. As it turned out, I was going to be working in the area where the girl lives and was able to meet her today to get them. All three items, $30. Those of you who have been pricing baby items lately will know that the Bumbo is around $40, the Boppy pillow runs between $35-$40, and the Baby Einstein play mat goes for $36 at Walmart. I was concerned about what shape they might be in, but they are in perfect condition. The lady had her baby with her and she was only seven months old so the items are pretty much new. YAY Craigslist!!
And, YAY!!! to my friend M. who is a HUGE Freecycler in another state. She managed to get not one, but TWO Baby Bjorn carriers and was kind enough to send one to me. WHOO HOO!!! As you know, these are also a high dollar baby item (are there any that aren't???). She jokingly told me on the phone, "Good luck figuring out how to put it together". I told her that I was certain I wouldn't be able to figure it out and would have to get Kevin to do it. SURPRISE, I couldn't. I worked and worked and worked on all those straps and buckles to no avail. Josh tried it too and got just a frustrated with it. Kevin picks is up, puts it together and puts it right on. HOW???? I'm so glad God gave me a husband who understands how to put things together or I'd be in some serious trouble. Now, for those of you who have actually used these, are they supposed to ride high up -- about chest height? We tried adjusting it down a little, but think we had it as low as it would go.

Speaking of Josh, he has "tested" the play gym by putting it on the couch, sticking his head up in the center of it and playing with the toys and musical part. He is now our official baby product tester. I'm certain when Ellie is "finished" with the Boppy pillow, he'll commandeer it for his bed. The boy has WAY too many pillows on his bed -- but then, I don't have a lot of room to talk there.
And, last but not least. As I was running spell check just now, I realized. Not five years ago I would guess that none of us had heard the following words: Bumbo, Boppy (possibly this one was around because it seems like I remember having one with Josh), Freecyle, Craigslist. Imagine what new words we'll have in five more years!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Car Seat - Check

One of the things that has really bothered me is not having a car seat for Ellie. Now, granted, I knew we would have one before she came home. That was never the question. I just couldn't make up my mind what kind was "right". For those of you who haven't walked into a baby superstore, like Babies R Us, in a while - WHOA!!! -- baby product overload. And then there is Target and Walmart who carry totally different products and online there are a million more -- and that's just the car seats.

So, imagine my surprise when I was at Target this week and found they had put their Britax car seats on clearance. I've never seen them on sale, much less clearance. They only go one sale a few times a year online. So then the "great debate" came. I'm telling you people I cannot make a decision. Did I want a convertible kind or would an infant carrier be better? Did I like the color? Was it too boy-ish or too girl-ish? Was the price low enough to justify? Should I wait? If I wait they'll run out? On and on it went. I just stood there with a dumb look on my face. I tried to call Kevin (who was in the store) and his phone rang in the cart. Well, that was helpful.

So, I continued with the questions in my mind. Finally, I thought, well, if they only had it in the pink girl pattern, I suppose I would get it, but it doesn't look like they do. AND THEN, I found one in the Brooke pattern and it just seemed like it was the one I was supposed to get.

Kevin hates to shop with me -- do you understand why now?

So, here's a stock photo of the car seat that Ellie will be sporting around town in. It's safe, soft and, best of all, pink.

Now, the questions are: Do I use this on in my car or in Kevin's? What if she falls asleep in it? If I had an infant carrier, she could just stay asleep in it? Should I get an infant carrier for the other car? If so, which person gets which car seat? Which car seat should I get if I get an infant carrier? Does the color matter? Which is the safest one? Which is the most user friendly? Which one is softest and the most comfortable for her? OY!!! See, it starts all over again. *sigh* This is hard stuff. Clothes are easier.

For some reason, walking by this sitting in the living room floor has made it seem so real all of a sudden -- not that it hasn't been before. But, somehow, even now, after having met her, a lot of time it still seems vague, more like a concept than a reality. It's hard to explain. Other adoptive parents I've talked to seemed to understand it. And, even with a nursery ready, buying clothes and stuff, it hasn't been until the purchase of the car seat that it felt real. I've also started putting items into the diaper bag I'm going to carry -- some bottles, some toys, the Hotsling carrier, pacifiers -- items purchased over several years and gently put into a closet to wait for the right baby to arrive. And now, opening the packages, removing the tags, it has become a little more real to me.

The judge is due back at work on July 28 -- only 10 more days. If I had to guess, I'd say he might be able to hear our cases (again, assuming we are included in the first group to be heard) that Wednesday, July 30. I've stopped praying specifically for that, because I have a peaceful calm about her impending arrival. I have a date in mind and I'm counting the days until that day. I think my guess might be close to being correct -- pending any surprises. I am hopeful that we might get new pictures on Tuesday. There are several families travelling to pick up their little ones who are going to diligently try to get photos of her for us. They are also taking her some little presents for us. We are so thankful to them for taking them over for us and for taking time to think of us and take pictures. What a wonderful community of families the Kyrgyzstan adoption community is. We have been blessed in getting to know each family that we have so far.

Ellie, we are coming -- soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guitar Heroes

Today Josh had some entertainment over, er, had a friend over. *smile* Josh has really missed playing with kids because of his recuperating time, but he is SO healed up (based on his behavior) and needed a friend to come to play.

One of my favorite things to watch is Joshua playing with his friends. Today, they were rock stars. Keep in mind, Braiden has been Joshua's best friend FOREVER. I kept Braiden and his older sister, Kirstin for several years and they became inseparable then. That same brother-like familiarity comes out every time they are together. I remember how when they were little bitty ones, they were going to be firemen and live in the firehouse together. "We're never getting married; we are going to be firemen." Now, not so much. I'm seeing their future adult personalities reveal themselves while they play in how they talk and think and act. I hope they can still be friends for the rest of their lives.

Here they are as "Guitar Heroes" today.

Happy 5 Year Birthday Seryozha

Seryozha is a little boy in a Bishkek orphanage. I belong to a yahoo group with his mom. During recent conversations, she shared her pain that her son was still in the orphanage and they would celebrate another birthday apart. She thought he would be home long before now, but due to problems in Bishkek with the court systems, he is not. There is rumor that the courts in Bishkek (we are in Tokmok) will begin reviewing dossiers and having court again after July 22. I pray for this every single day so that little boys like Seryozha don't have to spend another birthday without his forever family, so that moms like his don't have to eat cake by themselves to celebrate a birthday.

During our online conversations, I indicated that we would celebrate Seryozha's birthday today. We would remember him and his family through a virtual party. Josh had a mini cupcake; his friend Braiden had sugared strawberries and I, well, I took photos and wrote in the blog because I'm trying REALLY hard to drop some pounds. I wanted the cupcake. I explained to the boys that we were celebrating the birthday of a little boy in Kyrgyzstan who had just turned five. Ironically, neither asked questions. I think they were just happy for treats -- much like kids at any birthday party, huh?

It's very sad to me to have to post this post. Seryozha should be home

Here are photos from our virtual party.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trip to the Zoo

Yesterday I took Josh, Sarah and Caitlin (my nieces) to the zoo. We got there around 10 and didn't leave until well after 4:00. I was SO tired last night.

Josh and two of his cousins.

This is the STORK. I looked everywhere and didn't see him packing Ellie. *smile*

I LOVE the tigers and they seemed to be posing today.
This is Sarah at the petting zoo. I thought this goat really liked me -- turned out he was trying to get to my map to eat it.

This is in Lorikeet Landing. Josh, Caitlin and Sarah all got to fee the birds some nectar.

This is Josh holding Sarah up so the bird could get to her nectar.

Sarah is FASCINATED with catching butterflies. This is her attempt to catch on for me!

Crouching Sarah, Fearless Butterfly

Oh well, she came up empty handed on this one.

These are my FAVORITE animals at the zoo - the Meercats.

Here is Joshua pushing Sarah in her stroller. I'm going to let you use your imagination BUT... at one point there was a small, um, accident. It involved Josh with his Heelys on, pushing a stroller and a big hill. Sarah was laughing afterwards and Josh thought it was fun. I almost had a coronary.

We were glad to get to go to "C's Zoo". We had a great time.

Ellie's Artwork

Back in March, you regular readers will remember me posting about working on some artwork for Ellie's room.

Since that time I have FINALLY finished it. I haven't hung it up yet because I'm not REALLY sure I'm finished yet. I'm thinking it needs a frame or something done to the edges. Maybe I can get that on the "honey-do" list. Suggestions welcome!!

But, I promised back then that I'd post when I finished it. Since this is pretty close, here you go!

Also, here is a mobile I found a while back (yes, on clearance) at the local Babies 'R Us. Yes, it is a tiara -- fit for a princess.

Clothes Clothes Everywhere

My friend Carla told me a long time ago that she had gotten some clothes for me at her sister's yard sale. Her sister has two little girls. She told me it was two boxes, but mentally, I was unprepared for what she really meant by that. Today, I had to drop a check off at her house and she told me she'd left the boxes in her trunk and I could get them. They were two large
diaper boxes FULL of clothes!

I was working so I didn't get home until after 7 tonight. After we ate, I brought in the boxes and started going through it. HOLY SMOKES. There were 51 outfits in those boxes, ranging from 0-3 months up to some size 2s. They are absolutely the cutest things too. I wore Kevin out showing them all to him.

On the top of the box was my favorite little onesie. It says, "I'm the Princess. We'll do things my way." I have NO DOUBT that this statement will be true.

I've realized that I should go ahead and begin washing all her clothes and getting them ready. It's another thing I can check off my list.

So, here are some of my favorites. It's impossible to post all my favorites because there are SO many. Thank you Carla and Carlyona!

This is a cutie that I'm hoping she won't grow out of before Christmas. It has a velvet top. TOO cute!

These are socks that have a velvet bottom. They would be darling with the dress above.

This is a cute little cordorouy jumper that has little bows at the waist. Darling!!

I LOVE this one!!! It's a 0-3 month outfit and you can be assured little bit will be wearing this one. Of course, Chik Fil A just recently had "Dress up as a cow and eat free" day last Friday. Had she been home, we'd have been sporting ourselves there -- not necessarily for the free food, but for the CUTE factor!!!

Love this little denim jumper and bottoms. There were a couple of denium jumpers in there in different sizes. There is nothing cuter than a little one in a denim jumper, is there?

This last one was not in the bag, but a onesie I got on clearance at Target. I thought my dad would like to see it. It says, "Grandpa's Little Princess".

Monday, July 14, 2008

Answered Prayer

Last night I spent some time asking God to please allow the families who needed papers signed by the judge to get those done and be allowed to travel to pick up their babies. I am SO HAPPY to report that God said, "Yes." I think many times, we spend time asking God for something, getting it and just blowing off the important part -- the thank you. As parents, we expect our children to say, "please" and "thank you" but as children of God, we sometimes miss that part. I think He has to feel just as happy to hear an unsolicited thank you as we do. So, "Thank you" for answering this prayer request. Thank you for allowing these families to be reunited and those babies to come home.

Psalm 107:31
Let them give thanks to the LORD for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for the human race.
Psalm 13:5
I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Martian Child

Seems like I am watching a WHOLE lot of movies lately, but with little man spending more time indoors the past few weeks than normal, that's pretty much all we've had to do. And, with Red Box being only a dollar a night, it's not an expensive thing to do.

Anyway, I overslept church today. We've managed to get in a BAD routine of sleeping terribly late in the mornings and we HAVE to break it. Tomorrow morning, two of my nieces are coming before 7 a.m., so I'm certain to be up early tomorrow. We are going to the zoo. A. be sure to tell C. we are going to "his" zoo tomorrow. *smile*

I had the movie Martian Child rented and while I worked on paperwork, I started watching it. Before the movie was over, all three of us were watching it. And, of course, I cried at the end. It was when the child asked the age old question all adoptees ask, "Why did they leave me?" If you are adopting or have adopted, take the time and watch it. It was very clean so it would be appropriate for most every age. I'm not going to spoil it, like I did Kung Fu Panda, but it was a beautiful movie and I encourage you to rent it.

In other areas, I am in prayer tonight for four families and their babies who will learn if the judge signed the papers they need to go pick up their babies. They had to postpone the trip last week after learning the judge was on vacation. Word has it that there is a possibility the papers will be signed Monday morning. It is currently Monday morning in Bishkek and possibly that decision is being made as I type. I surely hope those papers get signed for them!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coming Along

Our craft room/office is coming along nicely. Today Kevin ran the final wires for our wireless internet and printer servers and we hooked up all the electronics. I emptied two more tubs of "stuff" and went through it, trying to organize it and find its new home. Josh got his "office" desk area situated pretty much. It still looks like a tornado came through, but I'm seeing glimmers of what the finished product will look like now. It's SO amazing to just walk straight out now instead of having to step down. This area was once our garage and we always had to step down into it. Now it's the same level as the house. I feel like I got a whole new house with just a room!! Kevin has put a lot of the things we needed to put up in the attic. We've taken more loads to the storage building for the yard sale. Because of our delays in picking up Ellie, we are going to postpone the yard sale until August 15-16. School will be back in and we'll have more traffic then I think. My mom's (which is where we have it) is about two blocks from the schools and she has LOTS of traffic from that. It will give us time to collect more things as well.

Josh is feeling MUCH better. He got out his Slip 'n Slide today and had fun sliding down the hill with that. I made sure he wasn't over exerting himself. He says he wants to go back to church tomorrow so we are all going to be in church tomorrow. I'm glad; I need to be there, to be refreshed and revived.

I need to make his follow-up appointment for next week to see how he's coming along and when we'll be off any restrictions. He's eating really well again and talking better, although he still has this weird lisp that he didn't have before. Odd, I know, but I keep thinking it will go away. He didn't have it before the surgery.

We signed him up for football today. It will be his third year. He took off his seven-year-old year to play soccer. Football practices start July 21 so really soon we'll have that to throw into the mix.

We are really trying hard to get things organized and re-arranged like we want it before Ellie comes -- we are nesting, aren't we? Hopefully, this extra few weeks we'll have will allow us to get a little more done. I'm trying to enjoy things like reading a book occasionally, too, because I don't think there will be time for that for a while. I miss her a lot. I look at her photos every day and wonder if she's ok. She's a beautiful little one. I'm so amazed that God chose her for our family. We are so lucky to be a part of her life. I guess I know how short that time really is, which is why I don't want to miss any of it.

And, finally, I have finished his team's baseball book. For those of you who are curious and would like a preview, you can visit a few pages of it HERE. While I was uploading the book, I did a quick search of Kyrgyzstan on the site and there are some books that people have put together on the country. There is one I might like to buy that has black and white photos of the country and the people. It's much like what I would have LOVED to do for Ellie.

While Josh was slipping and sliding, I took some pictures of some sort of butterfly or moth thing that was sucking nectar from my purple flowers out front. They have some terribly large eyes, don't they? I enjoyed watching them do their work. They were very intent.

And speaking of outdoorsy, wildlife stuff (which we sort of were, right?), when Josh and I worked on Thursday, I saw a deer standing in some one's back yard. She didn't run off for a long time and I took a few photos of her.

These were in Old Hickory (for those of you who read from around here) and so it wasn't a remote place, but right in the city subdivision). I guess she was hungry. Some of the folks had a few garden plants out in their backyards.