Sunday, August 29, 2010

Going Private

After a fair amount of deliberation, I have decided to go private with this blog. I want to protect the adoption program in the country we are pursuing, and I want to protect our children. We will not be posting any pictures of them, or any in depth information about them, even when going private. But we just want to be careful.

I know this makes it less easy to read the blog, and unfortunately, it means that new people trying to learn about our process will not be able to view it. But, we feel that it is the right decision.

It will officially go private this coming Friday, September 3. If you send me an email and let me know who you are, I will add you to the list and give you a password so you can still follow along and see how things are going for us. My address is:

I probably won't be posting anything until Friday to allow for everyone to see this message. But I promise to be back right away Friday morning. Hopefully with all sorts of interesting and intelligent things to say!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Serious Cleaning

Usually on Saturdays I like to have the no cleaning rule. I spend all week cleaning and picking up after the kids, so I don't want to do it on the weekend. However, both Chris and I got the oh-my-goodness-we-have-a-baby-we-need-to-clean-the-basement heeby jeebies. I know I have written about the sense of how overwhelming it is to make our basement all fixed up and pretty, and trying to figure out the best way to organize everything. Today I have to admit, I was impressed by all of the things we got done. You know how sometimes to do some serious cleaning you need to be in that mood? Today was the mother of all cleaning mood days.

Chris got a closet built, while I straightened and organized and threw things away. I am amazed at all of the things we own, but were never aware of it. We took two van loads of items to the goodwill. And I am sure we will find more as we progress. It feels awesome to get all of that stuff out of my house. Then we headed to get some of those big plastic totes to put all the things that we need in. They happened to have those ginormous ones on sale for $5. A big steal. The kicker was the only colors available were neon green, orange, pink and blue. I love it. Chris, not so much. But in the end, who cares what colors your plastic containers are?

We literally worked from about 9 this morning until 7:30 tonight. Hopefully we can maintain this cleaning streak and get it all taken care of soon. I will be so proud of ourselves. Then we will have to somehow convince the kids to not make messes. Or to clean up after themselves. Hmmm. This might be a problem!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Late last night we received our first picture of our baby boy! He was laying on a woman's lap, totally asleep, and we only got a profile picture. But even so, he is the cutest little boy we have seen! Our kids are loving him already. Ava said "He's adorable". Owen said "He's cute, but they need to take that blanket off of him!" Hopefully we will get a full picture of his face soon. Owen keeps saying, let's go get him. And I keep trying to explain how it all works, that it takes a lot of time to become his parents, but it just doesn't make sense to a 3 year old. And honestly, it is a lot to take in for adults! In the end, we tell him that Africa is really far away, and that it just takes a long time. He seems to sort of understand that, but keeps asking when he will come home about a million times a day.

Chris sent me an email this morning from work telling me to not forget to send him the picture of his baby boy. It was a very sweet moment for me, to see that in an email. So fun to see Chris emotionally attached. In the beginning, it was I who one day said "let's adopt from Africa". And Chris went huh? After some serious prayer, he was totally ready to adopt as well. Still, it is so sweet to see men melt when they see their children.

So, for now, we will wait for updates on our little boy, and continue to pray for a referral for our baby girl.

In the meantime, I have 8 million things to get ready. When we were up visiting my niece, my mom decided that it was time to put bunk beds in the one guest room they have. And it was time, poor Owen has been sleeping on the floor whenever we visited them. So, off to the store we went to get a bed. We got it all the way home, I unpacked all of the pieces and put them into piles according to their letter, when I realized that all of the hardware was missing. We called the store, and the repsonse was, are you sure? Um, yes. I am sure. So we had to repack all of the wooden pieces and lug the thing to the car and back to the store. They didn't have another one, so we had to go to a different store where we paid more, but all of the pieces were there.

Let me just say that it is not easy to build a set of bunk beds by yourself. I have to admit when I first took it out of the box I got that overwhelming feeling of who is going to put this together? And then I realized, oh yeah. That would be me. The grown up. I have blisters on my hand from the teeny little allen wrench that I had to use to assemble the thing. But, it is together, and looks very nice, if I do say so myself. The only bummer thing is, I have to do it again at my house, because we will need bunk beds for Ava and Owen to share until we can get the other bedroom built. At least I am the master bunk bed builder now. I should get it together in no time flat- provided all of the parts are there!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

REFERRAL #1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It has finally happened! We received a referral for a precious baby boy, yesterday August 25th, at about 2:45. I still cannot believe it. The kids and I were up visiting my brother's new baby girl. We stopped by my grandparents house about 2, and I decided to leave my phone in the car because "no one is going to call me at 2 on a wednesday afternoon." Wrong! When I got back in the car, I checked to see if anyone called. Something I usually don't remember to do. There was a message from our caseworker telling us to call her back. When she told us she had a son for us, I started crying. Of course, I wasn't able to reach my husband at work for almost an hour to let him know. It was one of the longest hours of my life.

We should be receiving a picture of him this week. Another long wait to see his face! Now I feel like I really need to kick it in gear and get ready. He was born in the opposite season as my son, so most of the little boy clothes we have will not work for him. I need to get bottles, pacifiers, diapers, oh my goodness! I need to plan! I need a list! I need to remember that I have done this before and if I take the time to stop and settle down, it will all come back to me!!

Funny, how just one day, you get a call out of the blue and it changes everything.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wedding Number 2

For our second wedding this past weekend we had to go to Iowa. It wasn't until Friday that we really thought to look at where exactly in Iowa we were going. It ended up being the middle of nowhere Iowa, 6 hours from our house. Good thing we didn't just decide to look at the map Saturday morning and go or we would have missed it. Our hotel was called "A Hole in the Wall", and no one ever answered the phone when we called to see if we could check in early to change for the wedding. We were getting a not so great feeling about our accomodations. We literally were in the middle of nowhere. The roads had weeds growing out of the middle of them. It was endless corn as far as our eyes could see. We could not figure out how a hotel could survive in circumstances like this. We called a friend of ours to make sure we weren't lost in Iowa, and he said just trust the road signs and that we were almost there. Sure enough, about 5 minutes later we found the hotel. Which turned out to be an $8 million hunting lodge that people rent the whole thing for events. Not expecting that. It was amazingly gorgeous. We truly could not believe it. The above picture is from us at the reception. They had the skull of an American lion, when we used to have them. It was probably one of the most unexpected and best surprises we have ever had.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. The bride and groom waited a long time for each other and it was so neat to witness them getting married. And to top it all off, my niece was born on the same day, a little early, but perfectly healthy. What a great weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have to admit, this past week without kids has been good for me. It has helped me recharge my system. I am super grateful for my parents' willingness to want to take our children for some time during the summer. My friends constantly remind me how lucky I am that they do this. And believe me, I do realize it.

This morning I got to sleep in until 7:00 with no interruptions. Plus I slept like a rock, which is something I don't typically do. Heaven. I came home from a Bead for Life party my friend's mom hosted for me, and had one of those big reflection moments. I paused for a moment, (because no one was asking for me!), and I realized, my life is pretty darn amazing. Do you know how glad I am that I can say that? I am not trying to make it sound like I am some totally spectacular woman who has it all together, because I don't, but my life is good. I have a husband who loves me, great kids, we have work and a house (not huge at all, but I like it and it fits our needs), food, and anything else we could ever need. Note I said need, not want. There are definitely things in my life that I want, but more than likely will never get. And you know what? I am okay with that.

LOVE it that I can type all of the above stuff and mean it.

So, in honor of loving life, I am going to list 10 things I am loving right now. (In no particular order.)

1. That I can go to a movie by myself.

2. Brussel sprouts for supper with no complaining (man I love them!)

3. No children fighting (maybe at Grandma's but not here!)

4. Reading book after book after book....

5. Taking a shower without a little head popping in the curtain wondering what I am doing, hmm, I thought it was self evident.

6. free date nights with hubby, no childcare to pay for

7. okay, this one might be flaunting it a little bit- watching my friends deal with their naughty children and knowing I don't have to!

8. eating candy and chocolate without trying to hide the fact from my kids that I am doing so

9. trying on clothes in a dressing room- by myself!

10. staying in my jammies because I have zero obligations but myself. And if I want to watch movies all day I can, I don't, but I could!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This past weekend we went to a wedding in my hometown. My brother and his wife still live there. She is due in 2 weeks to have their second child- a little girl. My sister in law is one of those impossibly nauseating pregnant people. You know the ones that I am talking about. She looks amazing and about 6 months pregnant, not due-soon pregnant. The kind where she will probably walk home in her pre-pregnancy jeans. I have to admit that I am slightly jealous. I was the huge kind of pregnancy where I waddled along and puffed up with so much water I was almost unrecognizable! Anyway, we got to see the nursery for our niece. So adorable. Then we got to see the little outfits for her to come home in. Oh my goodness. They were impossibly tiny! Itty bitty pants and a onesie with flowers on them. Have you recently looked at a size 1 diaper? It could fit a doll! I am so excited for my niece to get here!

I have to admit though, seeing all of the little things make my heart long for our own babies. It was a bittersweet moment. I am beyond the moon for my brother and his wife, but it also made the ache inside of me for our kids worse. We will not be able to see our children so tiny and new. We may not know what their circumstances are. Their mom's do not have beautiful nurseries all ready with adorable baby things laid out for them, just waiting for them to come into this world. Something horrible is going to happen to them, and to their family. That is the thing about adoption that we don't think about enough. We will be blessed by them, but somebody has more hurt than we can possibly imagine that will lead them to give up their child.

Being "next" on the list has been very hard. I have all the questions of why it has been so long and we have not had our referrals. I know there are so many children in need, so why is it taking so long? Everyday is a day with anticipation and hoping to receive our referral. Every night that passes ends with a little bit of sadness that we didn't recieve them yet. People continue to move forward with adoptions from our country. I get the updates on those who have just finished their homestudy, or filed some govt. papework of some sort. And still we stay in a holding position. I think that my level of anxiety would be way less if we knew that we were on the list but not next. Next carries so much weight with it. I follow other blogs where people post the number they are as they move down through the waiting list. We have no where to move. I know people may say for me to quit whining, that next isn't bad, it is where everyone wants to be. And you are so right. But the pressure is a lot. Next means that the very next babies are ours if we so choose. And yet, they have not come. I don't know the reason. And that is hard too. It makes my mind have all sorts of questions. I wonder if the country is going to shut down (there is NO evidence for this at all, but I panic anyways), maybe God doesn't want us to adopt and so we are not receiving our referrals- Although, we really felt the call to adopt.

It does help to see families still moving forward in our program. To see their excitement helps me remember that this should be an exciting time. That I cannot let fear and worry overcome my life. I am fighting it. Most of the time I do fairly well. But seeing all of the brand new baby things got me thinking, and that can be a dangerous thing! I don't know how other families cope with the wait and all of the questions. But they must do it too. Just like I must do it, and I will.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three and a half months

The title pretty much sums it up- three and half months waiting. Sigh.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here is a look into the next week or so in my life:

Yesterday I helped a friend get ready for a garage sale. Today I was helping at the garage sale. Tonight we have to drive 1 1/2 hours to meet with our financial advisor for our yearly check-up. I am not thrilled about going for several reasons. 1. the distance 2. the stock market tanked this week 3. they are preaching gloom and doom because more people have asked for unemployment this month than any other time in the past 6 months. Fun. We should get home about 10 tonight. Tomorrow the kids and I get to go into work with Chris because his company party is tomorrow afternoon, so we have to spend half a day in the metro killing time, after which we have to drive 4 hours to go to a wedding and a school reunion on Saturday. Sunday we drive 4 hours back. Monday I have a meeting at 10. In the afternoon I have to go and get all my garage sale stuff that didn't sell. Wednesday I have a kick off meeting for our community mother's group. Thursday I have two Bead for Life Parties. Friday I am going to IKEA with a friend. Saturday we have to drive to Iowa for a wedding. Sunday we drive back. Monday I have to go and get my kids from their grandparents. Just when I thought August would be relaxing, I am looking at quite possibly, the two busiest weeks of summer. Wouldn't it be amazing if amongst all the craziness our referrals came in?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mac n' Cheese forever

Why is it that no matter how good of a cook you are, or all the options of food in this world, my kids will enevitably ask for mac n' cheese? I consider myself a decent cook. I try to find new recipes and make yummy things and go out on a limb. I can't really create things from scratch very well, but I can follow a recipe like an expert. With all of the different things I have made, and believe me, there have been a lot, my children's favorite food is mac n' cheese. You know when you go to the well child checkups and your kids are old enough to answer for themselves so the doctors ask them the questions? I am half in dread of what they are going to say, and half in awe of the things they come up with. Both my daughter and my son responded that they love mac n' cheese more than anything. Of course it makes me think that the doctor thinks I am the worst mom in the world because my kids love overprocessed, orange food, loaded with butter and calories. I always feel the need to have my kids say the other thing they like too so the doctor can see that I, in fact, do serve them well-balanced meals. My kids think that our babies are going to love mac n' cheese. They are trying to decide if they will like the regular mac n' cheese better, or the kind that is shaped like sea shells. I told them that they probably will be too young for mac n' cheese when they come home, but when they got bigger it would be okay. I can't even imagine what they are going to think about it. Or most of our foods for that matter. They are probably eating cornmeal mush and beans. That is what the kids in the Ugandan orphanage mostly ate. Our American food options are going to rock their world. What an adjustment to make. When we were at the orphanage we brought jolly ranchers for the kids. They kept taking it out of their mouth and looking at it in wonder and then putting it back in. They even let the younger children have some. The mother in me panicked to see 18 month olds with hard jolly ranchers. It will be interesting to see how our children respond to the meals we have; especially if our children are older and used to eating solid foods already. If I am totally honest, I like mac n' cheese too. Definitely not as much as my children do. When I was little my mom made it without the butter and we loved it. Then I grew up, and because we never put the butter in when I was young, by golly, I was going to put the butter in as an adult. Oh man, it became totally different. Different in that delicious-but-way-worse-for-you kind of way. If you haven't put the butter in yet, DON'T! You will never go back to cooking it without butter!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby Clothes

I have done so well with my resolution to not buy anything for our children until we received our referrals and knew about how big they are. Then my friend decided to have a garage sale. This particular friend has twin little girls, and the cutest dressed boy you ever saw. Talk about double trouble. Can you imagine the most adorable outfits ever, then double it and have two in different colors? That's what I am talking about. I guess I technically didn't break my resolution because she was wonderful and gave them all to me. What a blessing. I have a range of sizes from 6-9 months up to 2 years. I figure there is a good chance that they will fit somewhere in that spectrum. I brought them home and showed my hubby, who oohed and aahed over them almost as much as I did. Super fun to see him react like that.

Still no news about our referrals. I really do feel like my patience has gotten better waiting though. I think that I had to move through the stages of waiting. The first month I obsessively checked my email a million times a day. Even into the second month. The third month came and went. I have to admit I did deal with feelings of despair that it was never going to happen. And I occasionally feel that way now. However, I seem to be managing it much better. I am not sure what happened to make me change in my thinking. But, I am going to roll with it. It has to happen at some time (God willing), and when it does I will be ready. The kids are still very impatient. They keep saying the cutest things like, when I grow out of these shoes my brother can have them. And talking about how there will be 6 of us at the supper table. And how we won't be able to take the little car anywhere because we can't all fit in it together once they are home. They are very excited for their brother and sister to come home. They pretty much talk about them on and off throughout the day. Ava understands that it could be a very long time, but Owen is having a little more trouble with it. He doesn't understand why we just don't go over now and get them. When we traveled to Africa this past January he thought we were going to get them then. Cute, but so hard to explain to a three year old. Once they are home they will be two of the most loved kids ever. I can't wait to see how Ava and Owen love up on them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So the Bead for Life party ROCKED! I was thrilled with all of the women that showed up and supported this organization. We had an awesome night trying on the paper jewelry and just hanging out. Perfect girl time, which every girl needs, especially this girl because it helps me focus on something not adoption related. My hand-mopped floor looked amazing until someone spilled juice on it. I probably should have known that this was going to happen and not mopped in the first place. Oh well. Live and learn. (Plus it really needed it.)

One of my friends that stopped by made the comment that her daughter wants to redo her room. My crazy decorating internal alarm went off. Funny that her daughter was thinking hot pink or perhaps lime green. Hmmmm. Exactly the colors of my daughter's room. The Dilemma: Ava's room is downstairs. Which doesn't really sound like a dilemma until I admit that we are less OCD with the organization down there. So. Do I take her downstairs so she can see that the illusion of cleanliness upstairs is false, or show her anyways because she needs inspiration? I opted for taking her, along with 4 others downstairs. Perhaps you are not like me, perhaps you are uber organized and have everything in its place at all times. God bless you. (And I really do mean that.) Deep down inside of me I want to be that person. Problem is, I don't know how to get that person out. Hubby keeps saying that part of the process of getting ready for the babies is thoroughly cleaning and sorting out all the things (read junk) downstairs. Of course, a huge part of the problem downstairs is Hubby's fault. We have tools and camping equipment and hunting gear up the wazoo. What I probably should do is just buy a bunch of those organizing shelves and drawers and sing like Mary Poppens and everything will go back into place. Wouldn't that be amazing?! The problem with that scenario, aside from items magically moving, is that organization stuff is expensive. Prohibitively expensive given the quantities needed to make our downstairs look organized. Plus, where all of the aforementioned gear is stored is where we need to build another bedroom. So it doesn't really make sense to make it all spiffy, just to have to take it out again and knock out part of a wall to put a window in and all the other stuff that goes along with building things.

The good news is my friend is having a garage sale this weekend, where hopefully I will be able to unload a bunch of stuff that we once thought necessary but now is just taking up space and collecting dust. This should be freeing. I have already started this process with both of my kids to pair down all of the things we own that are unnecessary, and that has gone okay with them. Of course, it is always much harder to do this with yourself. I never really thought of myself as attached to things or clothes, but I am finding it a little bit harder then I thought it would be to get rid of things that we don't use/need.

Would absolutely love it if anyone out there has any great ideas for organizing/cleaning/facing all of the "stuff". It really has been so much easier just to ignore it every time we go down there. Now it's time to buck up and deal with it. I know I will feel better afterwards. It's just that the process in getting to the end is so painful!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Tonight is my first bead party for the non-profit Bead for Life. So yesterday, I spent almost all day cleaning. The kind of cleaning where you could then eat off the floor. Normally I would not go to such great lengths of that kind. However, the local priest saw my Ugandan bead fundraiser when a friend posted it on her facebook site. He then wondered if I would be willing to have it posted in their bulletin. I was super pumped. It is exciting to see a community get excited over something like this! Especially considering I do not attend that church, but he was willing to cross through denominations and post something in their bulletin. That I am excited about even more. Anyway, considering that I have the potential for complete strangers coming to my home, I thought perhaps I should up the anty. Of course, I can't remember the last time I mopped my floor with an actual mop and not the swiffer I normally use. The swiffer almost feels like cheating, because I don't think it gets it as clean as a regular mop. Well, I couldn't find the mop, and my swiffer cleaning juice was all gone. So I got a bucket and a rag and got down on my knees and mopped the kitchen AND the bathroom floor. Does anybody do that anymore? I didn't even clean my floor that well when we had our home study and I was certain that we would be denied for something that I overlooked! I woke up this morning with a fairly sore back. Apparently mopping=good workout. (Mopping like that is not for the faint of heart. You will see things on that floor that you would not imagine!) For the rest of today, I have to figure out what to do with my kids so they don't make the house a disaster. Normally I would put them outside, but the humidity is crazy here lately, and the mosquitoes will drive you bonkers. Usually they start to die down around this time of the year, but it has been so wet our grass hasn't even turned brown, so we grow fresh mosquito crops weekly. Good thing we have a couple of "Go Diego Go" movies. Even my daughter will watch them if that is the only choice. We haven't watched tv in 7 years, but the kids do get to watch movies. It is the perfect day for that.