Sunday, December 19, 2010

I don't even know how to start this post! (In a good way, I promise)

Obviously my last update rocked our world about losing our little girl. We then made the decision that we were going to move forward with our little boy only. We called the agency and said that we felt the best decision was to get our little boy home the fastest way possible, and that meant not waiting for another girl referral.

That night we laid in bed and talked about how upset I was that we wouldn't have both of our children crawling around the house, and tried to process the loss of the little girl and what that meant. I will admit I was emotionally a wreck. Chris did a great job trying to comfort me, and we talked about what the future would be like with our son home, and tried to think of only positive things about the situation.

Fast forward to the next day. I got a call around 10 am from our caseworker. She said that she was completely stunned, but that we had passed court for BOTH of our children, and that the little girls' mother had signed the new additional paperwork that our country is requiring stating that she was giving up her little girl for adoption, etc., etc.

I asked what did this mean, and our caseworker told us that the kids were ours and that we would be moving foward with the adoption of both of the kids! Of course I started to cry and had to call Chris immediately. In less than 24 hours we went from losing our little girl, to being her legal parents (provided nothing happens in the 30 day non-appeal time)

We are completely stunned, and excited. I am nervous given the flip flopping of the mother that she might come back in the 30 day period and change her mind again, but I am trying to trust that this is it.

We do know that our little girl was removed from the orphanage by her mother and spent some time with her, although we do not know how long she was with her. We are also nervous about what she ate while she was gone, and her current health status, as we do not know this information. I can only suspect that after she was removed from the orphanage the mother did not have a smooth time with her, why else would she bring her back? I remember wondering if my other children would ever stop crying- if I was a 13 year old girl would I have been able to handle it?

We are praying for anything that may have happened while she was with her very young mother, and that somehow if her physical needs were not met, that her emotional needs were.

We are so excited to have finally passed court- about 14 weeks later, and are praying for a very fast 30 day non-appeal period!

Thank you so much for your prayers. We ask that you would continue to pray for our adoption. I have recently heard that getting the exit letter from the government could take quite awhile in the future, and that appts. at the embassy are not coming as fast as they used to as well. We continue to pray for our adoption, and Gods' will in all of this. It has been a crazy last few days, but we are excited to be moving forward with both of our children!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We have lost our little girl referral.

Her mother has come back. My heart is hurting on so many different levels. We have dreamed about her being in our family for 3 months. Everyday the kids pray for her and our little boy. We though that we were going to lose her once before, and my kids took it so hard. I haven't told them yet that we really won't be able to bring her home. I have no idea what Ava will say- she has been so excited about the though of a sister.

I would never want to bring a child home that the parent still wants, but a part of me just wonders what will happen to our little girl. Her mother is around 13 or 14 years old, and lets face it, this is not a wonderful country for women and girls. I have to trust that God is in control of both our little girl, and her young mother who is still just a child herself.

Now we have to make a decision- do we wait for another referral, or do we decide to just bring our little boy home? 12 weeks and counting for court, how much time do we have to get another referral but not affect the adoption of our son? Is two still even what we are supposed to do? I want no more delays in bringing our son home.

I would appreciate your prayers. We are searching for clarity on what to do at this point.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I think I made the worst meal ever in my history of cooking- including the cooking after I was newly married and had no idea how to cook.

After a very long of day of trying to finish up some shopping, I had zero plans for supper so in desperation I looked into my pantry to see what was different than what we had eaten the last few nights. I came up with one can of collard greens, and one can of hominy.

Truly, I have no idea what possessed me to buy those two items. The only experience with collard greens that I have ever had was horrible, I must have been not looking when I grabbed that can. The hominy I do remember buying for a recipe, but then I lost the recipe and never made it. But I did have to google just what the heck hominy was. Just so you all know, it is corn that is soaked in caustic stuff (I don't know what stuff, but doesn't it just already sound healthy for you!) and it takes off the tough outer layers.

Anyway, I added half a can of cream of mushroom soup, half a jalapeno and a bunch of cheddar cheese to the hominy along with some red pepper sprinkled on top. I was following a recipe that was listed as being delicious on all recipes. I am not sure who the people are that like that recipe but they are quite clearly delirious.

For the collard greens, I cooked them in chicken broth, added spicy pepper and garlic. That was marginally okay, Ava even liked it when she dumped parmesan cheese on top and ate it on french bread. The only saving grace to the meal was the venison that we had to go with it.

Needless to say, we did not save the leftovers and my husband LOVES leftover anything.

That was one disgusting meal.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Apparently our furnace is on the blitz. Yesterday Ava came up and told me that there was a funny noise downstairs, could I come and figure it out. Last time this happened the carbon monoxide detector battery was low. This time it was loud and obnoxious noises emanating from the furnace.

This could present a huge problem as it is -14 degrees right now where I live. And it is not going to get warm any time soon. (Good thing I have my everest boots!- see previous post if you have no idea what I am talking about!)

The good news is, we still have heat, we just get the bonus noise. The bad news is the fan could go at any time and then we would not have heat. Chris is going to try and order the part today, but if he can't find it locally, it will have to come via snail mail, and obviously we really can't have it take too long. Of course, we can always pay for expedited shipping, which will cost us an arm and a leg, so now the debate is do we spring for the extra moola, or risk it? Probably we will risk it, we have good friends where we can stay at their house in a worst case scenario!

Of course, last night I had a Scensty party for my girlfriend who is just starting her business, and we were having a grand old time laughing and being silly and smelling a million (okay 80) scents for the home. It was so much fun. Until Chris came up and said "I think I broke the furnace" It was a good thing it was towards the end of the party because it put a damper on my mood just a tad. I started running around the house and putting extra blankets on the kids and trying to find the spacer heaters to be prepared. Well, turns out Chris thought it was broken because it hadn't kicked on since he opened it up to look inside, but upstairs, with all of us women laughing and having a good time, we created all of this extra heat and the furnace had no need to turn on! Funny story, and I am so glad we didn't have to go the night without heat.

Now if the furnace can only hang in there a few more days....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bummer of an update

Well, we finally have an update. And we have not gone through court yet, 12 weeks and the wait continues. Apparently, a family from our agency had run into some issues over in Congo in trying to bring their son home. Our country coordinator and lawyer had to focus pretty much exclusively on them and were unable to do anything else. So no court for us. The good news is is that family is now home. But of course I am hugely bummed that things have not moved forward for us. Can't you hear me chanting "all in God's timing?"- both from necessity of how very true that is, but also to keep myself from breaking down into tears.

I have tried to do some tentative time schedules on when I think we might travel. It goes something like this:

Hopefully in 4 weeks we will have passed court
30 day non-objection period
30-45 days to get non-appeal letter
file I600- take about 6 weeks to get approval (current time frame by others waiting)
apply to embassy for appt. 3-4 weeks
not sure if there is a second appt. after this, or if that is when we would travel
get exit letter from DGM 2-3 weeks

So in my theoretical scenario, we are looking at possibly traveling by June. Our agency does not allow travel until all of the documents and things are ready to go. (new policy) This will have us stay very minimally once we are there to pick up our kids.

June. Our children will be almost a year old by that point, and we knew about our son at 5 days old. This time frame, I will admit, makes me sad. So much time is passing and we know about our kids but cannot get to them.

Truthfully, I am trying to keep it as realistic as possible with time frames it is currently taking for all of those things to happen. Of course, we could move faster, but we could also move slower. I try not to think about the idea of moving slower. I am already feeling like things could not move at any slower of a pace than this.

The bummer thing is that adoptions were moving at a very quick pace just 6 months ago. But I know that the program has grown by leaps and bounds, and the fact that it is new for the country and all of these things add up into more time. Also, when I consider even if we do travel in June, we still would only have been in this program for 13 months, still pretty quick when it comes to adoptions. (Total time including a country switch and waiting to see if another country would re-open, would be almost 2 years pursuing adoption) Of course, certain people in my life have more than once said "you could have had your own baby in that time" I honestly don't have the energy to respond to that question. Mostly I just want to say something not nice in return, and I know that will not help anybody.

Our kids ARE worth all of this.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I think that I might be starting to have nesting problems. You know the kind, where you fret about how your house is and clean everything in sight. Even though we have no new information on our kids and if we have passed court, I have started to think more about the bedroom they will have and what I need to do with it.

Right now, Owen is in it and will be until we actually pass court and get close to traveling and all of that fun stuff. But I am trying to get things ready as much as I can, without actually getting the room ready. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but gives me something to do to keep myself from going crazy. (Although one could argue that by doing things for the babies without having them I might just make myself crazier!)

His room has a white chair rail running along the wall, the bottom half is black, and the top half is gray. All of his accents are red and it looks pretty cool. I plan on keeping the black and gray, and then for the babies have an accent color of teal. I have seen all sorts of neat, cheap ideas to decorate with. This past week I made a wreath out of coffee filters and a straw wreath form I got at the good will for cheap. It turned out awesome. Google them to see what I am talking about. Anyway, you can do the same with paper mache balls and hang them from the ceiling. I plan on dyeing the coffee filters teal, and having several different sizes grouped together in the corner.

I also have this huge amazing frame from one of those old family photos taken a hundred years or so ago. Someone dontated the frame to our garage sale and I couldn't let it go. Right now it is just hanging out in our basement, but I am going to spray paint it black, hang it on the wall, and then put up our kids' names in wood letters inside of it. I would love to say that I am creative enough to come up with these ideas on my own, but I am not. I googled black and white nurseries and all sorts of awesome stuff came up.

Plus, we are fortunate enough to have an IKEA about an hour away, and I must admit I am obsessed. People generally have a love/hate relationship with that store, and I am not ashamed to admit that I love it! They have super cool fabric to make curtains, if I don't find anything already, and I love that their plastic stuff doesn't have BPA in it. There will be plenty of things to help with the nursery.

Of course, moving Owen in with his sister is going to present some challenges. Lately, they have not been the best of friends. Our plan is to set up the adjoining area to Ava's room with his toys, so he can spend most of his time in there, and basically only have to sleep in her room at night. (Where the egress window is.) Unfortunately, we can't build Owen's new room until the ground thaws again and that is going to be a loooong time from now. They will just have to get along!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You know it is time to stop showering with your children when your son looks at you and says "Mom, your stomach is huge! Especially when you lean back!" We were in a hurry to get somewhere so I told my 3 year old that he could just shower with me, and the above blow to my confidence came from that!

Of course he did follow up quite nicely with "But your stomach doesn't always look big, Mom." How sweet of him! I believe the term for that is constructive criticism (sort of, I am not sure if that is the correct term, but it sounds pretty good!)

I have to laugh at him in general when it comes to baths and the like, because he absolutely LOVES them. As in he will come up to me and tell me he has "stink butt" so he needs to take a bath. Which involves bunches of bubbles, toys, and about an hour long in the tub. I will walk in and he will be laying down so his ears are in the water and he will be saying things and listening to how his voice sounds. This used to make me panic because of the whole fear of drowning in the tub my mom instilled in me as a child, but I just obsessively check on him.

Then he has to wait until all of the water is drained out before he gets out, but the very last thing he does is flip over onto his stomach and do his "exercises". This involves him sliding back and forth in the tub and using his feet to push off the one end to get speed and distance. Please note that this is done in a regular size bathtub, so I am not quite sure what "distance" he is talking about. But at this point it has become a ritual and one that he cannot stray from!

I asked him why he couldn't just stay 3 and little forever, and he told me "God didn't plan it that way mom". I guess I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December already

I cannot believe it is December already! Where has the time gone? We have officially been pursuing adoption for 13 months now. Not all of that time was in our current country. We had a country switch, an agency switch, and about 4 months where we spent time looking at other countries and waiting for one to open. What a journey. Still no real end in sight. We continue to wait on court, and haven't heard much recently as far as updates. There are a couple of families in country, and they have been tied up with them. Apparently there is some new paperwork that the consular is requesting. This waiting game as time ticks by has been hard. And our children just grow older, each day without us. I am still trying to patiently wait and trust that God's plan is the best, but I will admit that my heart breaks when I look at their pictures and know that I am missing them. Still, there is some reason for them not coming to us now, even though we don't know what it is.

Our girls weekend was so much fun. We went to a thrift store where this little old woman asked us if we were college students! Very sweet of her, but we had to laugh because some of us have children that are almost half way to college themselves! She said "I think I am going to just quit today and hang out with you girls the rest of the weekend! I have money!" It was very adorable. And defintely a much needed break- it seems that all of us have been bogged down by things in our lives recently, and so it was a good rejuvination for us.

The husbands did well with the kids. I am always half hesitant/half excited to hear what happens when I am gone. Chris and another hubby of a wife on the weekend, took all of our kids sledding. Apparently it was a fun-filled event, that wound up with two kids face plowing into the snow and bleeding. When I saw the pictures it looked like one little boy had jam on his face- nope blood! Plus Ava "sort of" slid off the side of a hill (which she called a cliff) and into the woods. And then there was the time when one of the boys was going too fast so Chris tried to grab him to keep him from "falling of the side", when he grabbed the sled instead and the boy kept going! You have to love winter!