Sunday, October 31, 2010

We got a new picture of our son yesterday! He looks so adorable, and seems to be getting food whenever he wants it! I stared at his picture for a really long time. He has these huge, expressive eyes and he is looking right into the camera. I so just want to go there and scoop him up and bring him and his sister home!

I talked with another woman adopting from our country, and she heard that time for court was more typical of around 6 weeks- exactly the week we are starting, so I am praying that this is our week, and we will pass court. This mama wants her babies home!

Every meal and at nighttime, Owen prays that his brother and sister come home safe and are getting big. It must be so hard for him to undersand, he sees the pictures, and we talk about them, and yet they are not here. How does a 3 year old make sense of that?

We did decide to take the kids out around for candy tonight. A friend of mine gave us a wolf costume for Owen to wear, so I went and bought some red fabric that can be used for decoration at Christmas, for Ava to wear over one of her dresses and be Little Red Riding Hood. We will head over to a friend's house for supper and to watch the football game, and then will just go to a couple of houses in their neighborhood. Pretty low key.

Except Owen keeps saying that it is a "bad" wolf costume. We have this really old Little Red Riding Hood book courtesy of Chris' parents. I don't know how often you get access to old children's stories, but sometimes they aren't all that appropriate for children. In this story it basically talks about how bad this wolf is, and then he gets chopped into pieces by the woodcutter. No wonder kids get nightmares! We don't actually read it to them, but Ava can read, and we think she found it and "accidentally" told her brother what it said. I think newer versions of the same story are similair, but this one went above and beyond what it typically says.

We told the kids that Chris and I got all things chocolate that they received tonight, that didn't go over too well with the kids. Have to admit, sometimes it is so fun to tease your kids! (I mean in a loving, and appropriate way!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

We got the medicals back on our baby girl- healthy! Super happy, because we had to proceed forward with her adoption without knowing her medicals so we didn't run the risk of missing our opportunity to add her to court and complete as one adoption. She also weighs 15.6 lbs. at 3 months old! A family that is leaving next week is bringing some blankets and clothes to our children, but I hope she will be able to fit in what we sent her!

Today is the day that Ava's hat is due. After running around the house like crazy trying to find a hat to use (there was no way I was spending money on a hat for a one day project!), we finally found a cute one. I wrapped a scarf around it and shoved some little stuff animals into it. But, that one got nixed by Ava who said she didn't want to look "dumb". She then brought me a butterfly and a seashell, which was her idea of looking cool apparently, but we didn't have a good way to fix the shell to the hat, and I was not going to super glue the shell on. Ava started crying because she didn't know how she was going to do a hat. I got frustrated and said let's wait until your dad comes home.

About 10 minutes later she came upstairs with a winter hat that has millions of stripes running around it. She then cut out small pieces of paper and taped them to her hat, along with the word "striped". And you know what? That totally works for me!

I know we are probably walking that fine line between doing an assignment and pushing the limits of being lazy, but I talked to a couple other moms and they all agreed that this had to be one of the silliest things ever. Plus they were all just as horrified of the vocab. list as I was. (And no, striped was not one of the words, but it is way better than annihilate!) It is one of those things where if they grade them, I absolutely will not care if she doesn't get a good grade on it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So my daughter is supposed to make a hat at home and then be able to wear it to school on Friday in lieu of a costume, because our schools don't allow "holiday" things. I am actually neutral about Halloween, so this doesn't really bother me. However, last year when they had to bring socks to school around Christmas to fill with items, I was more than a little annoyed that they were specifically told not to bring Chistmas stockings. Really? Because Christ is just so hard to associate with? Because someone who died for this whole entire world is so threatening to you?

Anyway, I digress.

The decorative hats idea came on an orange sheet of paper, with a bunch of vocabulary words to use in a "fun and interesting way". They are to pick one of the words and then build a theme and decorate the hat in that theme.

Keep in mind that Ava is in second grade as you read the following list of vocabulary words that are supposed to spark a creative hat making idea.

1. Annihilate- probably a good Halloween themed word
2. Closefisted- lets teach our children this one so they can all be Scrooges
3. Knothole- can't really say much about this one other then it seems a little weird
4. Useless- my hat would probably have this word on it, followed by "what this activity is"
(I probably seem like a huge grouch right now, but seriously, this just isn't that fun
for kids!)
5. Killjoy- enough said
6. Writhe- not sure how a kid would work with this one
7. Blockhead- do they really want us to explain the meanings of these words?

These are just several of the vocabulary word options they have for their hat. Then there are a few that tug at my memory, but I can't honestly tell you what exactly they are at the moment.

1. proboscis (I keep thinking nose, but I have no idea why)
2. xylem - pretty sure it has to do with plants

And then there is the word that I read wrong, and freaked out that they would have it on their list, but thankfully I calmed down enough to realize I was way off. I read "fornication", actual word: fortification. I was so ready to call the school!

Can't believe they are using the above words as second grade vocab. words. In second grade, I seem to recall trying to memorize my address correctly. Times have changed!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last week I chaperoned our youth group trip to a convention. We had 4o students that then joined 4,000 other high schoolers. We had an awesome time, but I am still trying to recover! I am an in bed at 9:00 type of person. The first night we were up till 1 which was better than I thought it would be, and the second until 3. Which was just as hard as it sounds!

Because of that, I haven't had any time to update on the blog. Unfortunately, there really isn't anything to update. But I thought I would post something so you all didn't think I fell off the planet.

No word on if we have gone to court. Today starts week 5 of waiting, but I am not sure if adding our daughter to the court papers changed anything or not. I struggle with how often I should contact our caseworker. I try to go at least a week between any contacts to give the poor woman a break! There were times where I felt I was stalking her I emailed so frequently.

We are "planning" on April to go and get the kids. That is six months from now. We are really praying that we are close to that time. Anything sooner would just be a blessing, anything later would be a huge bummer. At this point, this seems a relatively reasonable amount of time as far as guessing when we will go. But who knows!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, we received the referral of a gorgeous 3 month old! Her picture just makes me want to squeeze her! She appears to be very healthy, with little fat rolls on her arms and bright eyes. She also already has a fro about 3 inches tall! Our son has zero hair, but she is more than making up for it!

It is so amazing how life works out, and I am so thankful that God is in control and I am not. Just two posts ago, I had written about how it really didn't look like a girl may work out for us. And I was truly fine with that, but God blessed us anyways!

Yesterday I contacted the director of our agency since I did not know if our caseworker was back yet. I basically explained that we were urgently trying to figure out if we had gone to court, so we could know if a little girl was a possibility. That we ultimately wanted a little girl, but we did not want court to be put on hold to wait for her for any reason, and that we just wanted to get our son home. Chris and I had a conversation on the phone shortly after that email, and I basically said that I did not want to do all of this over again at a separate time for a little girl if she did not come together with our son. Traveling twice by myself wasn't hugely appealing, and there have been some changes to filing the I600 after you pass court, where now you do it in the states if you are not at the embassy appt. in country. Rumors have said that it can possily add as much as 2 months to the system, although I have heard that they don't expect it to add too much as well. But, if you go to the embassy appt. in country with your child, you can file in the country and avoid a possible two month delay. However, this comes with a lenghty stay in country, around 2-3 weeks, and I definitely didn't want to be there by myself for that length of time.

So anyway, hubby and I are discussing all of this on the phone at about 9:30 yesterday morning. I get on the computer two hours later after raking leaves, and I have an email from the director, who has a referral for us! Amazing, I had written a little girl basically off, but God had not! She told us that we had not gone to court yet, but expected us to very shortly. We had to kick it in high gear!

My husband works about 45 minutes away, be we needed to get a notarized tribunal letter signed for our daughter and back so they can translate it and add her to our court date. I drove down to the cities to meet my husband, scan all documents and email back to our agency, plus overnight the hard copies! Our director confirmed with her contacts that we would still be able to add our little girl to court and move through the system as one adoption!

I truly am surprised and amazed. I really did not think that we would get a little girl in time. Chris and I hung up her picture next to our son on the fridge and stared at them. Then we turned and stared at each other. Two! two babies! A 2 month and a 3 month old! The Nelson world is going to be rocked!! I may be panicking slightly now, because we have nothing for a little girl. We got rid of Ava's stuff like 5 years ago because "We weren't having any more children!"

I am so excited I think I might have to breathe into a paper bag!

Monday, October 18, 2010

We have been up at my parents house for the last four days. It is never dull there.

The excitement of the weekend is when my brother and his wife came up and brought their two tiny dogs. My kids love those things. They probably way 3 lbs. each and they are cute, but mostly annoying. (Ryan- I know you sometimes read this, so please don't tell your wife I said her dogs were annoying!)

Anyway, she had put them outside so they could go to the bathroom right away in the morning. My parents live on 200 acres, so they are able to not worry that they are going to get hit by a car. Someone looked out the window for who knows what reason, and noticed that there were white chicken feathers all over the yard. LOTS of chicken feathers, scattered in piles. You got it. Their 3 lb. dog attacked one of my parents chickens, and basically bit the butt off it!

Owen said "I didn't know that dogs could bite the tails off chickens". My poor sister in law felt terrible, but I pretty much had to laugh. Plus, one of the chickens is a psycho and will come and peck at your legs, I am hoping that was the one. My dad ended up having to catch the chicken and kill it because it hadn't died yet. My son said "We should eat it". He is exactly like his father, who when we told the incident over the phone said "Did you eat it?" Um no. We don't eat chickens that have been mangled by a dog!

Needless to say, I see years of teasing my brother and his wife about their dogs and the chicken. This is the stuff legends are made of!

In adoption news, still nothing. The last family that came out of court happened in 3 weeks, we are at the start of week 4. But things could have happened and we are not aware of it. Plus, our caseworker's sister died, and I am not sure when she will be back, so there could be news that we don't know yet.

I feel the frustration starting to kick in. Visa appointments have been taking a long time to get as well. One person said it took 5 months from the time they filed their orphan petition after passing court to get their visa. I know they had some problems and miscommunications along the way, but still. It is not the kind of news you want to here. For now, I am thinking the ultimate best case scenario to get our son is the end of January, worst case, maybe April or longer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That's a bummer

We have planned on adopting two children at the same time. We have known about our son for almost 2 months, and still no referral for a little girl has come in. This morning we learned that if they do not process through court and the system at the same time then we would have to pay the full price for our second referrral.

We were not aware of that fact. We don't have the money currently for a second set of full price fees.

It is an interesting scenario for us. Originally, we intended to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. We had considered twins, but decided against it. Then we traveled to Uganda where we fell in love with a set of twins. The countries legal guardianship shut down, and we ultimately went with another country. Because of our experience with the twins, we decided that wherever we ended up choosing we would do two at a time. We always knew we wanted to do two, we just didn't always consider the idea of two at a time.

Fast forward several months, when we signed up with our new agency we requested two children. One boy and One girl. The referral for our son came in and we were so ecstatic. We just assumed that a girl would follow shortly. Only she hasn't.

Now we are considering several different options. Perhaps we are not meant to adopt a little girl. This would be full circle for me since I was the one who originally wanted to adopt just a daughter in the beginning. Or perhaps we are meant to adopt a girl older that what we had planned. We requested two children under the age of 12 months at the time of referral. Our agency has had several little girls over our age range that have been referred since we received our son.

The tricky part in all of this, aside from discerning what we are supposed to do, is the fact that the last couple of families that have come out of court through our agency came out when the agency didn't even know they had gone in! It is sort of this mad rush against time and the possibility that we may not know when we go to court. How can we add a child to a court date if we may not know when that is?

I do feel peaceful about it though, surprisingly. God is in control and we will end up with the children we are meant to have. Chris is a little more apprehensive. He leans more to the thought that we are ecstatic about our son, and all of our energy is going into him, but once he is home, are we going to mourn the fact that we didn't try for a girl?

I don't have the answer to that question.

We would appreciate your prayers as we move through the next week or two. Truly, we have no idea how much time we may have to get a referral for a little girl. Court is estimated at 1-2 months. We are on approximately week 3 1/2.

Ah, this crazy thing called International adoption!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last night we got a new picture of our son. He looked so different from the first picture, that I would have sworn up and down it was a different baby. So much so, that I emailed our caseworker, and basically said, thanks for the new picture, but are you sure this is our son? She assured us that yes, it was our son.

We had friends over that are in a bible study on Tuesday nights with us. I busted out the two pictures and had them try and decide if they thought it was the same boy. Both of them said they really feel like it is the same child. In the first picture he is looking straight at the camera, and is making a face like he is about ready to cry. In the second, he has his head turned slightly and is puckering his lips. I am going to trust their thoughts because A. they both have more children than I do, and B. they are not as emotionally freaked out about it as I am.

Regardless of how different he looks in the pictures, he is absolutely adorable in both of them. In the second, his cheeks are filling out nicely and I still just want to kiss those gorgeous lips of his! It appears that he is very healthy and getting food whenever he wants it.

The pictures are so much fun to get, but it is so hard knowing he is growing and changing so fast that I can't even believe it is the same child, and yet, I have not held him or seen him. It makes my heart hurt to know that he will be at least 6 months old before I even get to see him. All that time away from me.

I just pray that he is being well taken care of and loved, and that he is able to somehow know that God loves him so much, and that he has a family that is coming. We are coming, slowly, but as fast as we can.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like supermom. I managed to get an extraordinary amount of things done in one day. I impressed myself!

We have 8 huge trees in our backyards that the leaves fall off every year. Because we live in town, the city comes around and will suck up our leaves with this neat truck if we can get them to the curb in time. Yesterday I decided to call city hall and see when our leaf pickup date was because I was starting to see a lot of piles around the neighborhood. Turns out it is today.

So the kids and I quick went outside and started raking, and raking and raking. We actually had to break it up, but managed to rake the entire yard in one day. My hands have blisters all over them. Ava and Owen did a pretty good job as well. They could stay focused for about 15 minutes, and then they realized that it was way more fun to jump into the leaves then rake them. Still we got it done.

Then I decided to clean out half of the garage. Only half because on the other side is all of Chris' fishing junk- I mean super important stuff. We are trying to get the garage clean so we can actually park in the garage during winter. I hate having to go some place and wiping mounds of snow off the car when it is -15 outside. Not my idea of fun. In general, I am not a winter person. Of course, why I reside in a state with winter practically 6 months of the year is beyond me.

Anyway, I was sweeping the garage and noticed something weird on the ground. I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Got up close and it was a completely flat, basically mummified mouse. Disgusting. I have no idea how long it takes a mouse to go completely flat and turn into a mummy. But I am going to guess a long time. I did get half the garage looking absolutely beautiful.

And finally, when we were done with all of the outside work, I went inside and baked an apple pie from scratch.

Now the only problem is, I may have set the bar too high for myself!

PS- Nothing on the adoption front regarding news for those of you who read this for info. on adoptions. Believe me, when I know something new- you will too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday it was 84 degrees. So naturally, we decided (that would be my hubby) that it would be the perfect "last chance" to go fishing before it got nasty and we had to fish on the ice in a shack. I didn't actually mind this idea because it allows for me to sit in a boat and read magazines, and not have to worry about the dishes or the laundry getting done, which is what happens at home when I sit and read magazines.

My daughter wanted to go swimming. I told her that this probably wasn't a good idea, because although it feels like summer, the water isn't summer temperature, but Chris backed her up and said that it sounded like a good idea to him. Keep in mind we didn't get out on the lake until a little after 5, and the sun wasn't exactly shining like a beacon.

Being the brave man that he is, Chris jumped into the water first. He really had to do it by default because both Ava and Owen don't like being the first one in. He basically had a heart attack the moment he got all the way in. Then Ava and Owen quickly followed, and almost just as quickly tried to get back out again. The good news is, Chris had the foresight to bring clothes for them to change into. They lasted in the water about 3 minutes. After I hauled them back in and changed them into warm clothes, Chris admitted that it was probably the coldest water he had ever been in. Um, duh. Any moderately smart person would know that you don't go swimming in the lake in the Northern US in October. Ever heard of hypothermia?

No dull moments here at the Nelson house.

They were warm in their clothes, so Chris continued to fish, I continued to read, and the kids played with worms the rest of the evening. They put them all over their arms and legs and down each other's clothes. Gross. But at least I am not raising sissies!

I also finished the top of my quilt this weekend. Quilt in a day took a week. But to be fair, it wasn't seven days of constant quilting. I wouldn't be able to sit that still for my life. The picture is below. it turned out fairly decent, although I ended up messing up the corners quite a bit. Oh well, it is only my second attempt at a real quilt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To keep myself from going insane regarding the fact that we are totally just waiting on court to happen, and the fact that we DON'T have a referral for a little girl yet, and I am starting to get paranoid about the whole process and that we will end up with zero babies, I have decided to sew a quilt. Yes, I need a hobby.

I hoofed it down to JoAnn Fabrics with a quilt in a day book for the type of quilt called Boston Common. I spent a long time in front of the fabric section trying to be artistic and all that stuff while my son built a fort in the cart with all of the bolts of fabric I kept adding. Finally, I got what I figured would be a decent looking color scheme. (Later my husband would tell me that it was retro, which really wasn't what I was going for, but he didn't say it in a mean way, so I can't get too upset).

Anyway, this book says "quilt in a day". I have put approximately 3 days into this quilt, and so far, I have the middle section done, and a couple of fancy ends. After 3 days. Hmmm. The book says "quilt in a day". Then I open it to the back, where this older granny looking lady who created the book stated that she sewed the top in 15 hours. It took a professional 15 HOURS. Not exactly quilt in a day. Now I am hoping to make "quilt in a week", but we will have to see. I am not really all that artsy fartsy. (I hate that term, but what else do you use?) But it has been a good diversion from obsessing about everything adoption related. Of course, my checkbook can't keep handling me making a quilt a week until we can go and get our children home, so after this, I will need to find a new, less expensive hobby. I will post a picture in the event I ever finish the darn thing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

He needs his brother......

I think this picture pretty much sums up the fact that Owen needs his brother home, like right now! Someday I am sure he will be mad at me for posting this picture. But he was actually feeling pretty cool that he and his sister were matching in "dresses".

I do believe that our house needs a little more maleness to it!

We did get the toilet fixed. Chris went hunting and I panicked because I had two kids looking at me that I knew were just going to have to go number 2. So I did what any person who doesn't want to pay weekend plumber prices: google it. You would be amazed at the advice found for clogged toilet. I was actually quite impressed. (For some reason, every time I use the word "quite" it makes me feel British! Don't know why that is...) Anyways, I found the advice to dump a box of baking soda in the toilet, then slowly adding a medium size bottle of vinegar. It's like a science experiment right there in the toilet, your kids will think its awesome- I promise! Then add a gallon of hot water and let sit overnight if you can. I couldn't, but I did let it sit for several hours, and it worked! I think our problem was that I have been buying toilet paper that is 3-ply, great for the bottom, apparently not so great for the pipes. So now I have to go back to boring old, sandpaper 2 ply. Oh well. At least my toilet will work then!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My toilet is broken.

We are a one bathroom household.

Not even my husband can fix it, and he can fix almost anything.

I think I can start panicking now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Getting Old

I distinctly remember looking at my mom's Better Homes and Garden magazine when I was around 10 or so, and thinking what a stupid magazine. Why would anyone ever want a magazine on gardening and house stuff and recipes?

Flash forward almost 20 years, and now I know why. (Even just typing that sentence makes me feel old!)

My Better Homes and Garden magazine came yesterday and I was super pumped. I love it! All the recipes and the house decorating ideas and the clothes tips! I might as well be secretly working for them! Regardless, it is official, I am old. Well, older than I used to be.

I am one of the adults at our youth group for church. The graduating seniors this year look like babies. I am astounded at how young they look, and in another year we are going to turn them loose in the world and basically say good luck. A friend of mine, both older and wiser than me, said one day when I was pondering at how young they look and do I look old to them, "You know how young they look to you? That's how old you look to them." Nice, and great for the ego. I happen to think that I look fairly decent for 29, hopefully younger than my age, but then I got it all dashed away with that comment!

Perhaps though, I am old in my thinking. I can't count how many times people have said when hearing that we were adopting "But you can have your own! Why would you want to spend that kind of money on kids when you can have them?" Of course, I patiently (well, try to be, sometimes I just want to smack them, which would be my non-oldness coming through!) try to explain our reasons. But most of the time, they just stare at us with their mouth slightly open and a look of disbelief on their face.

I have learned that I cannot make people understand why we are adopting. (that's older person wisdom for you!) People just understand it, or they don't. I realize that a lot of people in my generation are still all about the things they can acquire and the money they can make. We have chosen children, and it is right for our family. No one else needs to understand that but us.

So, today, I am going to sit down and read my Better Homes and Garden and enjoy the fact that I may be older, but I am loving my life!