Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I SO happy to see a bloggy visitor from Down Under. I had been wanting to see a visitor from Australia and viola' when I checked today, there you were!!
So, Kevin's off at a Solid Waste conference. Don't you KNOW that is a really exciting place to be? How can you talk about that for three days? Oh well.
I'm now really respecting those of you who are single parents. I don't know how I would ever have clean clothes. I can't seem to make any progress with anything while Kevin is away from home.
Today Josh visited the middle school he will go to next year. We had to go buy a combination lock for his locker--TODAY. He needs to practice, he said. He's got to know how to get to his stuff. *smile* He now has mastered the art of the combination lock and we had timed events in the car -- four seconds flat was his record. How did he get to be in 5th grade???
AND NOW.... American Idol. I admit it -- I cried. I liked Brooke White and all, but when she started crying, I did. Josh thought I had lost my mind. I tried to explain to him about compassion, about feeling sad with other's are sad and about how much work she had put into this and how is was her DREAM and that this was the end of her time on American Idol and how hard that must be for her. I still think he thinks I'm a bit left of center right now for crying over American Idol. All that being said, Oh My, her first song was YUK! And even thought I'm not a huge David Archiletta fan (he's ok, but he needs some more stage personality), I though he did a fantastic job. I also was surprised at the judge's reactions to DreadBoy, Jason Castro. I thought he sounded a whole lot like Neil Diamond. I guess, however, the point was to take those songs and make them applicable for today's market. None to worry, Jason "ain't gonna'" win anyway. David Cook is my choice for the #1 slot, and apparently Paula Abdul's as well. Of course, since she doesn't know what world she's in, it's hard to count her opinion for much.
On the adoption front -- No News -- nothing, nada, zip, zilch, nary a word. The families that are due to leave Friday are still planning to go. Families due to pick up their babies in a few days (for Trip 2) are still scheduled to go. My hope is that our agency and coordinator has been busy with those details and the restructuring issues and that she hasn't had time to get our referral together. Nothing I can do, so I'm just waiting and going on with life. My new mantra is "maybe next week."
Heart contents by Maria at 9:24 PM
Monday, April 28, 2008
I was reminded by a friend today, who commented on my post about wanting to travel during our "preferred time" that God has the perfect time already mapped out. Sometimes, I need that reminder as I try to be God's appointment secretary and tell Him how it should work instead of praying that His will be done for our family.
I sent an email to our agency and feel, based on his answer, that we do not have to worry about missing Joshua's graduation. I think, but of course could be wrong, that our referral will not come this week. Not because of problems, but really because God's appointed time for Ellie to enter our lives has not yet come. And, because I trust Him to do things much better than I ever could, I will continue to wait until He says it's time. I probably won't be patient about it *smile* but I will wait. And, while we wait -- here's you a funny to enjoy ... It took me a minute to understand that the cat is in a bird cage (hey, it's late).
We did receive a copied set of our dossier in the mail today. It is the copy we will take with us when we travel. That seems like progress to me.
I am reminded to go to God's word when I need a reminder of how He wants me to live my life. In His word, I found the following reassurances for me tonight. I suspect if I were to look back on my blog, I would find these same verses somewhere else. Somehow, it's a lesson I have to have repeated from time to time. I think the message to me is clear: Wait.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:35 PM
We were recently informed that we have made it through the Review Room. This a small piece of progress. Our dossier has been reviewed and we have been approved by the CCAA to adopt.
China's last batch of referrals were through January 9, 2006 with the CCAA only referring four days worth of LIDs.
According to a website called China Adoption Forecast:
China has 350 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 5-7 days of dossiers each month.
If China did all future referrals at the exact same speed as they did this month our referral would come JULY 30, 2014 (6 more years)
Our best guess - a weighted average of recent CCAA velocities, guessing that CCAA will perform about as well in the future as they are performing now, but might return to previous trends: JUNE 7, 2011 (three more years).
I'm going to be real honest here and say that I'm not willing to wait that long. After Ellie is home, we are required to wait a year before we would even be able to adopt from China. I think, at that point, we have to make a decision. As I explain to everyone who asks, including our social worker: God has led us this far. I'm sure He will provide the direction we need at that time. But, as of right now, He has not led us to do anything about our China adoption.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:15 PM
I have tried to think how I would feel had I found out as an adult that my family did not want to give me up but instead had lost me due to some story like the one above. How do you manage to reconcile that loss? Even as a happy adult who has a great life with wonderful parents, would you not mourn the loss of the life that should have been yours? Are you able to reconcile that this is the life that God meant for you to have? I don't know. I think it would be devastating to anyone. I don't think adoptive parents ever go into adoption wanting this situation to happen. I surely hope not. There are so many layers in the adoptive process that ultimately, there is no true way to be certain that it doesn't happen. We, as adoptive parents, do a lot in faith. We, personally, have tried to look for the red flags with agencies that indicate their might be corruption. And while we are very satisfied that this is not happening with our agency, can one ever be 100% certain? It's very scary.
I hope that the families and individuals who are affected by this situation in Vietnam are ultimately able to find their children and that the orphans in Vietnam are not left behind and forgotten.
My prayers go out to all involved in this situation. It could have been us.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:03 PM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I am also thinking that this just might be the week. I could be SO wrong, but I'm going to think it anyway. We have "friends" (online friends, anyway) who are with our agency who are leaving this week to go meet their babies for the first time. I am SO excited as I'm going to pick their brains to pieces when they get home!!! I've already probably worn myself out with them asking tons of questions already. It helps so much to have someone to tell you what to expect, so to A. and M., THANK YOU very much for being patient and answering questions!!! I hope you guys have a wonderful trip!!
Ironically, I'm not at all as anxious as I thought I might be. If you could see our calendars, you might understand why. Two nights this week there are ballgames and one on Saturday. Kevin has to be at a conference for three days. Joshua has a school musical on Thursday night (assuming the ballgame gets cancelled due to so many kids being in the musical). There is church Wednesday night. We work the concession stands for our baseball team on Monday night. Our friend is having cancer surgery tomorrow so I'm going to run to the hospital for a while to sit with his wife, my friend. I need to work in the field at least two days this week and catch up some 125 QA review jobs the rest of the week. Ahh... who has time to be anxious??? Once I see her face, though, all bets are off!
We have looked at our calendars and we have a perfect two week window to travel that would not interfere with too much so we are going to begin praying for a referral this week and subsequent travel during that two week window.
And, for those of you who've read this far, one last cute story for you to end the night. I've been reading another adoptive family's blog, Hoping to Adopt with God Holding our Hands. They just recently returned with their daughter from Kyrgyzstan. While they were there, they recounted a story of seeing a goat slaughtered, skinned and cooked over a fire -- right outside their hotel window. On the way home from Wal-mart on Saturday evening, Josh and I were talking about what he might expect on his trip. I was telling him the story about the goat. He said, "Don't they have food over there??" I said that it was not as plentiful as it was here and that they ate what they had to. He said, "Don't the churches help them out?" I said, "Well, this country doesn't have nearly as many Christian churches as we do." He thought and said, "What about the missionaries?" I told him there were only a few and they couldn't feed everyone. He thought some more and then said, "Well! I'm just going to have to talk to Brother David about this!" Brother David is our preacher!! I shared the story with Brother David this morning at church and he and I had a great laugh over it. I love that my son is concerned about this and in his heart wants to do something about it. I hope he always has a passion for helping those in need. Granted, I'm sure the goat folks didn't think a thing of it -- this is routine for them.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:31 PM
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Heart contents by Maria at 8:09 PM
Heart contents by Maria at 7:55 PM
Friday, April 25, 2008
I hope we will see our Ellie's face sometime in the next 10-14 days. WOW!!!
Sorry I'm not posting much. We are deep in the midst of clearing out the garage/office, putting down the flooring, sorting through the stuff stored in there and getting what can go to the storage building for the upcoming yard sale. We've managed to get 95% of the stuff out of the room and tonight there is a small path through the house. I just can barely stand it. I don't know where anything is and I can't get to the kitchen. There is just clutter everywhere. Tomorrow, we should finish the flooring, maybe get some cabinets put together and sort through more stuff. I have several piles through the house that need to go to yard sale storage so we'll get that taken there as well. That will help a lot.
The good news? The house will be a bit more decluttered and organized when Ellie gets here!! I wonder what she looks like.
Welcome to blog readers from the Netherlands, Indonesia, Cambodia, Slovenia, Belguim, Nigeria and Brazil as well as all of you "local" US and Canadian readers. I appreciate the time you take to stop by and read a little.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:02 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
He also indicates he doesn't think this restructuring will last long -- maybe two weeks or so. I'm so hopeful this is true and that our Ellie has been born and we might see her face soon!
Heart contents by Maria at 7:34 PM
Little Faith + Big God = Huge Results
by Rick Warren
[The boy’s father said,] “. . . If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!” Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!” (Mark 9:22-24, MSG)
*** *** *** ***
Is it possible to be filled with faith and doubt at the same time? Yes!
You can have faith that God wants you to do something and still be scared to death. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is going ahead and doing what you’re called to do in spite of your fear. [Wow!!]
You have to begin with the faith you already have: it may be just a little, but you start there. A beautiful example of this is the story of the man who brought his sick son to Jesus in Mark 9. Jesus looked at the man and said, “I can heal your son. If you will believe, I will heal him.”
The father then makes a classic statement: “Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.”
Have you ever felt like that? “Lord, I have some faith. But I also have some doubts.” This man was filled with faith and doubt, yet despite his honest doubts, he went ahead and asked Jesus for a miracle. And he got his miracle – Jesus healed his son.
No matter how weak or how frail you think your faith is, it’s enough. It’s enough to get you through what you’re facing, and it’s enough to complete the vision God has planted in your heart. [Double WOW!]
Matthew 17:20 says, “If you have faith as small as the mustard seed . . . nothing will be impossible to you.” (NIV) That’s not a lot of faith; in fact, it’s just a little faith. But what else does that verse teach? “If you have faith as the mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, ‘Move’ and it will be moved.”
Mustard seed faith moves mountains. Don’t get this reversed. We like to read this verse backward. We want it to say, “If you have faith like a mountain you can move a mustard seed” – as if it takes enormous faith to do a very little task.
God wants you to start with the faith you have, and based on the example of the mustard seed, you don’t need a whole lot of faith to do great things for God. You just need a little.
Heart contents by Maria at 5:30 AM
Monday, April 21, 2008
Apparently, an individual who was over adoptions in Kyrgyzstan has resigned his position. Because of this, and probably some other things we might not be privy to, the country is taking some time to look at its adoption process, determine if any changes need to occur and try to make this process better for the children in orphanages. Because of this, the Kyrgyzstan Embassy is not currently processing any dossiers.
We are told this process is a positive step for the country and for adoptions but that it might delay adoptions. I've heard numbers mentioned of between two to six weeks. This has happened twice before in Kyrgyzstan without negative impact at all. We have no reason to think it will be a problem this time.
So, you are asking, just like I did, how this will affect our adoption. We don't know exactly yet. We are still number one on the list for a referral. We do not know if referrals will continue during the restructuring time or not. I am going to make a call tomorrow to find out if they will still be receiving referrals. I have heard from two other families with our agency that they were told referrals will continue. HOWEVER, with that being said, I'm 50/50 about whether I want my referral right now. Granted, I most definitely won't turn it down, but it will be more difficult, I think, to have a photo of my Ellie and not be able to travel for an undetermined amount of time. The good news with that is that if we do get a referral, she will continue to get closer to her three month age (which is how old she will have to be to go to court) which will reduce the amount of time we might have to wait to return to pick her up. We still do not have our I171H, though, and now our dossier might have to have additional processing work done on it. I’m not worried; that’s what our agency’s job is.
We have looked for the blessings in this. We really wanted to travel after school was out so that Josh wouldn't have to miss the last (fun) weeks of school. We will have just a bit more time to raise funds -- that's always a plus.
We do not know, nor does our agency, what sorts of changes might come out of this, but we don't feel concerned about it affecting us in a negative way. It might affect us financially (it seems to always affect us that way), or change our timing a bit, but it also might not change anything. I think speculation at this point is fruitless. Our agency is communicating very well what little information they have.
The thing we know is that God knew this was going to happen and He is already there and handling it. I am reminded over and over of the verse in Genesis 50:20 that Joseph says when talking to the brothers who sold him into slavery about what they meant for evil against him, God meant for good, to save others. While my situation is not like Joseph's and I know no one means this for evil, I know that God can and does turn bad things to good. I've seen it many times during our llllooooonnnnnggggggg adoption process. I trust Him. I know He will take care of us. I know He did not bring us to this next-in-line spot to disappoint us. So, I will wait, again.
I had some sort of crazy dream about getting our referral last night. I've tried really hard to remember what it was, but I can't. I suppose it's just been on my mind a lot. We've not let this stop us from continuing to prepare for her arrival. My heart continues to tell me it won't be long.
We appreciate your continued prayers for this process to move along quickly so that we can get on with Bringing Home Ellie.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:08 PM
Apparently, he had gone into my bathroom and put on "makeup" to cover his freckles. He doesn't have very many and they are terribly cute sprinkled across his nose. I don't know if someone said something to him about it or if it was just something he got on his mind, but, nonetheless, it was bothering him and seeing that mom put on makeup, he thought he would try it.
If I'm not mistaken, there's some glitter on there as well -- who knows??? BUT, you can't see any freckles, can you?
I had to take a rag and lots of soap to get it off his face. He said, "So why don't you look like this when you put makeup on?" I told him he had used the bronzer and that makeup was not for boys. He told me, "Well, you look the same all the time -- night and day." I'm not sure that was a compliment -- possibly, but probably not. I'm not sure it was even relevant.
Needless to say, I told him how wonderful I thought his freckles looked. I'm sure he's officially mortified now. Apparently, I'm entering his "dumb mama" phase as I'm not to tell him he looks handsome or cute or anything of that nature.
A few nights later, I was cleaning his bathroom and so I told him to take a shower in mine. Kevin ended up taking over cleaning the bathroom and I went downstairs. A few minutes later Joshua comes downstairs and says he needs a band-aid. This is nothing new -- he needs minimum one or two a day. I told him he knew where they were and he could get one. He comes over to me and starts to cry. "I cut my hand on your razor." ARGHHH! So, we wrap some tissue around it to stop the bleeding with me assuring him he will not bleed to death (he utters these words as he has a kleenex wrapped around his finger -- he's so into drama) over and over. Finally, I explain to him that he really should NEVER touch a razor; they are sharp and cut you. He thinks he has learned this, he says.
Never a dull moment at our house.
Welcome blog readers from South Africa and India!!
Heart contents by Maria at 8:30 PM
There is something soothing to the soul about weeding and raking. The tiredness you feel and the accomplishment you can see afterwards is just refreshing. Now, if you are ten, it's just hard work, but, I'm not ten anymore and it's a nice change of pace from working on the computer, cleaning house, inspecting houses and being at the ballpark.
I'll share some "after" photos in a few days.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:18 PM
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Josh and I went to the Dollar General tonight to rent a Rug Doctor. We don't have carpet in our house (we have Pergo wood floors), but we do have two couches that were embarrassing to look at and sit on. Poor Josh, he has really gotten stains all over our oldest couch from eating snacks and just being a boy. I have photos of him using the Rug Doctor (he begged to!) that I'll post later, but I just don't have time to download them right now. One and a "half" couches are done. I had to sit on the other half of one of the couches. They will finish up tomorrow after church. I know the completed one looks a thousand times better. The other is still too wet to tell, but it has to be an improvement!
Each trip to Wally World (aka Walmart) finds me buying a few more small items to slip into our travel cache. Tonight I picked up a power adapter, a box of and a plastic pouch of antibacterial wipes, two packs of toilet paper type wet wipes and a pack of inexpensive wash clothes that we can just throw away if we need to. In recent weeks I've picked up individual packets of Kleenex, travel size Lysol, and travel pouches to hold our passports, tickets and other important papers . We have looked at luggage as we don't have any large suitcases, only smaller ones that are fine for work trips but not to leave the country for two weeks. Tonight we looked at those space saver bags. They look like something I think we are going to need.
Kevin found a really inexpensive Wenger video camera case last night at TJ Maxx. We are trying to figure how to carry a video camera, regular camera, laptop, changes of clothes for two or three days (in case our luggage is lost), needed snacks, video games, books, etc. etc. and still have them allow us on the plane calling all that "carry-on". Haha. I'm personally having a bit of a breakdown thinking about returning by myself ONLY because I'm trying to figure how to put a baby in a sling, carry a backpack with laptop, camera, video camera, diapers, formula, bottles, wipes, changes of clothes, bibs, toys, necessary papers/documents/money, etc. AND pull a large piece of luggage without flat out falling out from exhaustion during the 24 hours it will take to get home. Boy, I hope she doesn't weigh a lot. I've been thinking I need to break out the treadmill and build up some stamina.
So we continue, in little ways, to prepare for her entrance into our lives -- even though we know it will be at least August before she actually comes home. The time will fly -- just like it has so far.
Welcome Spain, British Columbia and Mexico blog readers! Nice to have you visit my corner of the world!
Heart contents by Maria at 10:08 PM
Friday, April 18, 2008
I've spent a lot of time talking to whoever will listen about the work of John over in Kyrgyzstan. I'm trying to find those who are willing to go in with me to raise the $320 to send to buy slippers/flip-flops for folks living in a home for the elderly and disabled. In addition, I've been trying to determine what else I might could gather to take to the orphanage when we travel.
I got a call on Wednesday from a friend whose daughter is involved in 4-H. This friend had been talking to her daughter about the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan. Her daughter and her friends have decided to start a project, pending teacher and school approval, to gather items for the orphanages so that we can take them when we go. These girls are 12. They have taken the initiative to help children in a country where they know no one. Is this not what Christianity is all about?
Ellie, my sweet baby, is already having her impact on the world, on helping her homeland -- her country.
I hope these girls are so incredibly successful in their efforts that we have to pay extra to ship it all there with our luggage. I hope they get the emotional blessing from giving to these children. I want to take plenty of photos of the places and people they helped so that they can understand the implications of their help. I want them to see what a difference they are making in the world. I want them to be a generation of helpers and givers instead of a generation of takers and wanters. I hope that while we are there that Joshua's life is changed as well -- that he comes to understand the reality of poverty and the blessing of living in our country and the need to give, to support and love others, just like Jesus would do and how he has been called at an early age for a reason and that this might just be part of that reason -- so he can help.
So, we continue to wait. The uncertainty of it all right now is hard. It will be as it is supposed to be and nothing I can do will change anything so I continue to pray for Ellie and all the other children there who want and need families.
Welcome to blog visitors from Korea!
Heart contents by Maria at 11:42 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tonight as Kristy Lee Cook watched her time on AI and they played the song, I thought about how appropriate it would be for a photo/video song for Ellie as she comes home and then I began to tear up remembering that when I first found my birth family, I made them a CD of songs that were about me and my adoption. One of the ones on there was Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins. It's a song about coming home at Christmas -- my birthday. It has just made me all emotional. This is not surprising because if you look at me the wrong way lately, I cry. My emotions are just all in turmoil -- the waiting and knowing how close we are is hard.
I got teared up today thinking of when I had Joshua and how special a time that was to me and knowing that a woman is going through the same thing and is going to make a decision to give her daughter up for adoption. It just breaks my heart to know she has to hurt so badly for our family to be so happy. This referral needs to come soon or I'm going to dehydrate from tears.
My Ellie has been born. My heart knows this. I know because of the constant ache I feel at knowing she is in a hospital on the other side of the world -- without me. I know because of the constant need I have to pray for her -- for God to keep her safe until I can come. I know because I am torn into about knowing I have to leave her there after the first trip. I don't know if I can do it and I know I have to. How will I? Darn it, the tears again. No one warned me I'd cry so much. I'd claim hormones if I were pregnant. What do I get to claim if I'm not?
Welcome to visitors from Portugal, Brazil and Australia! Awesome to have visitors from other countries.
Stay tuned later tonight for a post about how Ellie is already helping her country.
Heart contents by Maria at 2:10 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
For those of you who have ever purchased things at Gymboree, you will understand why I prefer to get my Gymboree from OUAC. This little one piece playsuit would have been $22.99 at Gymboree. I got it for $8.50. The hairbow above matches it -- double use! :-) I thought of my friend, Jeff Land, when I got this -- he loves frogs! The two frogs on this outfit are too cute! I'll have Ellie wear this when she meets Reed.
This is also a Gymboree one-piece outfit. For some reason, it was only $6.50. It has some cute smocking type work across the top.
Is this little outfit too cute or what? I'm calling it the 101 Dalmatians outfit, or maybe the Cruella DeVille look. Either way -- too cute!!! Best part of it all, it was 50% off, so it was $2.25.
Another 50% off item, this is a Baby Gap burgundy velour dress. I'm thinking it will be really cute with a little shirt underneath. Final price: $3.75.
This was my favorite purchase. It's a cotton dress with pink "Ellie-phants" (on roller skates?) smocked around the collar. Add a pink hair bow to match and she is set. This was my most expensive purchase at $8.50. It would have definitely retailed for more than that, I think.
And, while I'm not a huge Carter's fan, I loved this little one-piece outfit that also had "Ellie-phants" on it and says, "Living Life in Peace". I was particularly fond of the 50% off price tag which made it $1.75.
Loved this little dress and cardigan sweater, especially at 50% off, final cost $2.75.
And the final purchase of the day was for Kevin. Kevin and Joshua are huge UK fans (University of Kentucky). Josh had a UK shirt when he was tiny. I found this three piece set that still had tags on it (apparently someone else was NOT such a UK fan). $7.50 for a cutey-patootey cheerleader outfit. So cute!!!
So, I was very pleased with my purchases. All the items look new -- babies so quickly grow out of things that they rarely ruin them. I am always very impressed with the quality of clothes at OUAC. I'm more impressed with getting really nice clothes so inexpensively.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:55 PM
So, do you think he's going to rip Kitty's eyeballs out -- or is he in love?
Heart contents by Maria at 8:28 PM
Monday, April 14, 2008
Heart contents by Maria at 7:40 PM
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Our pastor had an excellent message today at church. Of course, I managed to turn it into a message just for me -- when I'm certain it was not intended that way by him. The message was on opportunity and how it can lead to success or failure depending on how we respond to the opportunity. The story he used was the one of Joshua, Caleb and the other ten spies who went to Canaan and reported back to the Israelites about what they saw in Canaan. Ten of the spies reported that it was too dangerous and that this Israelites were doomed if they tried to take the land. They reported that the Israelites should go back to Egypt and even suggested that Caleb and Joshua be killed for even indicating that they try to take the land. Caleb and Joshua, however, knew that God had called them to this land and had promised them possession. They knew that no matter what happened, God was in control and would not leave them and that there were no people or circumstances He could not overcome. Where God guides, He provides.
So, imagine me, sitting in my pew with this wide range of emotions and doubts and fears about how close we are in this process and how we are going to have to travel to a strange land -- a place where God called us and from where God promised us our daughter. How can I not know that He has guided us there and will provide both financially, emotionally and for our safety? We do not have to fear the "Canaanites" or the "giants" that are in front of us, because He has called us and will protect us in this journey.
Ironically, the ten who doubted God died. Their families continued to wander in the wilderness and also died before seeing the promised land. Moses, because of his disobedience also did not see the promised land. But Joshua and Caleb? They believed in God; they had faith in His abilities. The received the blessing of the possession of Canaan. They received the promise of God. I believe and I cannot wait to receive the promise.
How wonderfully timely this message was for me.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:23 PM
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I looked at our counter today and was surprised to see that likely tomorrow, we will have our 10,000th visitor! I'm amazed! Granted, that doesn't mean 10,000 individual visitors as each time someone visits the site (be it daily if you do), it counts a "hit", but still, it seems monumental to me. :-)
Thanks for reading and following along with our life.
To honor that momentous number, I'd like to announce that we found out yesterday that we have moved up to the number one spot with our agency. The family in front of us has received their referral. We could receive "the call" any time.
BE SURE TO POST A COMMENT IF YOU NOTICE THAT YOU ARE VISITOR NUMBER 10,000!!!!
Heart contents by Maria at 7:03 PM
So, we were just led blindly right on into purchasing a bunch of pictures. *sigh* I know better, but they had some specials for Mother's Day and I got both moms and me (also a mom!!) three framed and matted 5x7s -- The Trio, he called it. There is one of all three of us, one of just Josh and one of Kevin and I. I also got a few 5x7s of just Josh and just Kevin and I so that we could share with the extended family. It probably will BE Christmas before I remember to get them mailed off. We are told we should get them in about three weeks, so I'll scan and post them here when we get them.
He tried to talk us into buying Christmas cards with our photos and I told him, "Oh no! We will have another member in our family by then and we'll want to include her." That's when it hit me that this will be our last family photo without Ellie. So, now, we have these great family photos and will have to have them all RE-DONE!!! before Christmas to include our newest little angel. Oh well... I'm not going to complain.
I wonder what she is going to look like? My friend who got her referral yesterday said her baby's photo is one of her wrapped so tightly that all you can see is her face and her eyes were closed. Man! I hope Ellie has her eyes open in her photo. I wonder what her given name will be? We are so close now. There is so much to do. As my mom says, "Take one day at a time and let God handle the rest." Man, that's what I'm going to have to do. The phone could ring any day. I'm not READY!!! Of course, my mom also pointed out that I'm never ready and that I'll be on the way to the airport and remember that I left Joshua at home. HAHA! She's got my number, doesn't she. What she doesn't realize is that Joshua won't be left behind. I might leave my passport, but that boy is going to be super glued in his seat ready to go!
Heart contents by Maria at 6:26 AM
Friday, April 11, 2008
I thought I would share the lyrics, after having looked them up online. Taking the melody out and simply reading it as a poem makes it somehow even more beautiful. I think I sometimes become so accustomed to just singing the words without thinking about them. This song was written by Carl Gustav Boberg in Sweden in 1885. He wrote it after a two mile walk home from a church meeting in a thunderstorm. I LOVE knowing the stories behind why songs were written. It makes the songs so much more personal.
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Heart contents by Maria at 10:45 PM
United States [85%]
United Kingdom [<1%]
Is that awesome? I can't imagine WHY anyone in Singapore would be reading my blog, but I've had readers/viewers from all over the world. This is very exciting to me. Thank you to whichever family is currently in Kyrgyzstan visiting their baby or picking them up for visiting my site!!!
Heart contents by Maria at 2:36 PM
Heart contents by Maria at 9:34 AM
If you haven't voted, vote now to be able to claim "bragging rights" later!
Heart contents by Maria at 8:41 AM
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
It appears we have moved up a couple more spots on our agency list making us number 2 on the list for a referral. WHOO HOO!
I have been pondering, for a while, how to handle the issue of our referral, sharing information/photos, etc. Unfortunately, in the world of international adoption, much about the referral/matching and subsequent period of time until the adoption is complete has to be kept private. We are allowed, at our discretion, to share this information with family and close friends, but there are laws prohibiting sharing this information with, basically, "The World". To that end, I am setting up a password protected blog that will run concurrently with this blog. It will have the details for family and very close friends that we will not be allowed to share until the adoption is final. I'm sorry that it has to be that way, but it is just the way it is. I will continue to blog information that I am allowed to -- including when we get our referral, but I will not be able, on this blog, to reveal detailed information. After the adoption is complete, I will find some way to "merge" the two -- even if it means "copy/paste" from one into another so we will continue to have a log of journey so we can share all of it one day with Ellie.
Today when we told Joshua that we could possibly get our referral within the next two weeks, he said, "I'll be so happy; I'll finally be able to see my sister and give her a hug." Doesn't that make you want to MELT??? I asked him was he really serious and he said, "Yes!" I said, "Well, we'll only have a picture at first." He said, "I get it and I'm putting it in my room to look at." AWWWW!!!! I told him we'd make him a copy and he could take it and show it to his friends at school. He said, "Why?" Ok... well, um, because I thought you might want to. He said, "I'll show it to my teacher." I think he really is excited.
I was at a consignment store today and came across an embroidered sippy cup with the name ELLIE on it. How coincidental! I asked if I could buy it (it was a sample, of course) and they let me!!! Josh thinks it's too cool, but his favorite thing was a pair of shoes I found. He looked at them and said, "They are LITTLE." Then he measured them and said, "My finger is as long as her shoes." I told him that at one point his feet were that little. He was like, "No way!" I showed him the picture of him when he was about three months old -- that sits on our dresser -- and told him that this was him when he was small. It's just all amazing to him!
I spent some time on the phone tonight with another adoptive mother who is with the same agency as I am. She has adopted a daughter from China and is also still "in line" for China. We both were talking about the fact that we've gotten so good at waiting that we can't quite wrap our minds around not waiting anymore. It was great to talk to someone who understands the "loss of joy and excitement" that occurs in adoption when you wait a long time. Initially, you are SO excited about the adoption and can't imagine that it's not going to just happen very quickly because you decide to do it. Then you wait, and wait and wait some more. You experience one failure or set-back after another and your heart just becomes a bit jaded and hardened. It's a defense mechanism to more hurt, I think, to shut off the excitement. And then, when it's almost time, it seems like it's impossible to turn it back on again. It's probably something that someone who has not adopted can't quite comprehend. I've struggled with it a lot these past few months. I want to just be giddy with excitement that we are so close, but there is a strange detachment right now -- one that I really want to go away. I'm sure, once I see that photo, that it will become much more real! I'm just glad that God managed to connect my life with others who experience the same feelings so that I don't feel so "off" and "wrong". It's nice to have others to validate that what you are feeling is something they have felt as well.
And, so as not to end one some downer of a post, know that I am excited that we are near the end. I think our entire family is ready to meet this little girl of whom we have prayed for, cried over, sacrificed for, loved and laughed about for these past three years. We are ready to move on to developing what will be our "new normal" as a family of four. We are ready to experience the next phase God has to offer us as a family -- to welcome her home to her community, her family and her friends -- the ones who truly brought her home!
Heart contents by Maria at 8:11 PM
Monday, April 7, 2008
Oh well, no time for whining. Maybe tomorrow I'll stay home, enter the work I did in the field today and try to rest a little more. I'm such a wimp!
Heart contents by Maria at 8:14 PM
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I'm certain I am on the "uphill swing" now as opposed to the downhill slide. Hugs to my friend Terri who is also battling the funk at her house.
I had several people comment on my AMERICAN IDOL post yesterday (it's about time Heather came out of the woodwork!!). I was about 66% right with my predictions. Brooke White was a shocker for me. I know she's not going to win, but I was surprised, at this point she was already in the bottom three.
I was not surprised to see Ramiele go home. She just never found her niche. She also was a bit immature, it seemed. Interestingly enough, she was born in Saudia Arabia where her parents worked. She is Filipino-American. She is a nursing student in Florida and sites Sushi Bar Waitress as one of her occupations. For those interested, her official website is here.
I liked Dolly's comment about Simon when she said something like, "Someone has to tell them the truth." AMEN. Randy tries to be politically correct. Paula tries to be motherly and nice. Simon, for all his faults, is not afraid to bring on the tough love and tell them when they really stink. He was right on target, as far as I was concerned about Carly's wardrobe. Good grief, someone tell the girl that those tight pants with boots went out in the 90s! Granted, I'm in NO position to be the fashion police, but I'm not young, cute and strutting it around on stage for millions of viewers. Don't they have a wardrobe department??
Speaking of Dolly, I'm sure she's had more nipped and tucked and fluffed and stuff in her life than one woman ought to, but darn, doesn't she look good for her age? I don't know what her age is. Why yes, good ole Wikipedia states that as of January 19, 2008, she was 62. WOW!! Her outfit was a bit over the top for me, but I'm betting my mom would have liked it what that "slingy" thing in the back.
So, I'm reality show free until next week. I really wish they had not had Big Brother and American Idol overlapping so often. Poor me, right? I should be doing something more constructive with my time anyway -- like getting ready for Ellie!
Along those lines, today I saw closet online that I liked so I "clipped" the photo to save to see if we can rebuild the closet we have to be more function for Ellie's stuff. Here's the closet I saw. It just looks very organized. I'd like that in a closet. It did not, however, seem to have enough room to hang clothes. My girl seems to have a nice collection going. I have stopped, however.
Best news of all today is that Fed-Ex attempted to deliver my camera back to me. They need an "in person" signature and I was gone to the doc. Tomorrow, for sure I'll be home -- on the couch -- and will be able to sign for it and try it out to see if they fixed it back up. I'm very excited as our first baseball game is April 6 and I want to be ready. Plus, there is a tailless squirrel in my yard that had better watch out when I get my good camera back.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:08 PM
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I will say that I'm terribly surprised that Kristy Lee Cook (Kevin says she's a true Southerner because she has two first names, but in reality she is from Oregon) is still there. She must have a huge fan base because as far as I'm concerned, she just can't sing too well. She's cute though and has a good complexion. Of course, this isn't a beauty pageant.
I'm also a little surprised that Ramiele Malubay is still around -- she just can't seem to pick the right song. She's cute, too though, so maybe that's it. And, as Paula says, "She's got great pipes." She CAN sing, but just hasn't seem to find herself yet.
Now, one of my favorites was Amanda Overmyer. She was different. Man, I wanted to get to that hair and make it all one color or one color with some highlights -- whew, didn't she look like a skunk? I think she had a beautiful face but her hair was always distracting me. I think the thing that got her was that she got a bit overconfident. Her sound was pretty much always the same. But I liked her -- a lot! And I'm not a rock fan, overall. I hate that she didn't make the tour -- especially over Kristy Lee.
Another of my favs who will definitely not win is Brooke White. She seems so wholesome and real -- the kind of person you'd be friends with. And I love her folksy, piano/guitar style. She seems so talented. The night she did, "Let It Be" I was so moved -- it was beautiful. But then, the next week she flits out looking a bit like a flower in this yellow flouncy *ugly* dress and sang, "Here Comes the Sun" -- huh?
My two male favs are Buckhead, Georgia's Michael Johns (he already has a great sounding stage name, doesn't he?) and Blue Springs, Missouri's David Cook. I think two of the performances I will remember from this year are when Johns performed We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions -- it rocked! -- and when Cook performed Michael Jackson's former hit Billie Jean to his own remix. Incredible!!
Unfortunatey, I just can't "click" with Carly Smithson. I think it's the tattoo running down her arm. I get so engrossed trying to figure it all out that I lose track. I will say, however, that I loved her rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart a former Bonnie Tyler song. I gave her far more kudos on that one than the judges did.
I liked Chickeze too; he had personality and his mom was fun to watch when the judges were commenting. :-)
I'm just "ok" with Jason Castro (whom the tweens seem to love), Syesha Mercado, and David Archuleta. I think David Archuleta will have a great future in music if he chooses, but he just doesn't do anything spectacular for me, personally.
So, my guess for tonight as to is in the bottom three: Kristy Lee (she always is), Syesha and Ramiele. I think Kristy Lee will be safe (again, but why??) and one of the other two will leave. We'll see how close I get in a few hours.
Heart contents by Maria at 5:08 PM