Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 of the Next Steps

We are deep in "nesting mode" around here. :)  J is building a stage area in the basement, I'm painting (and re-painting) a few rooms, and we're making a big IKEA trip tomorrow.  And today we had our "Next Steps" phone call with our Case Manager.

Here are the top 10 things I learned today... :)

1.  I need to figure out how to be two places at once.  The Created to Care Conference is in Atlanta the very same weekend that we fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (working on this one).

2.  We will hold our little girl for the first time on Tuesday, February 8. (wow...)

3.  We will appear before the Ethiopian Court that Thursday, right after the birth family (if they are able to make it).  Then, if the birth family was able to come, we will also have the humbling privilege of meeting them.

4.  If the all of the documents are ready at the courts, if the birth family passes and if we pass, there will be an official decree in Ethiopia that she is our daughter to raise as a forever part of our family.  If any of the above are missing the judge will continue to check off his list (after we have left) until all of the pieces are there--then the official decree will come. :)

5.  After the official decree has been made, paperwork will be sent to the US Embassy so that they can prepare her Visa.  This may take 4-8 weeks.  We'll be holding our breath for this date--we will finally get to bring her HOME.

6.  Nothing is for certain.  Dates can change at any time--so we need to make plans while at the same time guarding our expectations.

7.  We have homework.  We'll be creating a little photo album to leave with our little girl, putting together another photo album for her birth family and writing a letter to her birth family--(that one will be hard...).

8.  We need to start packing!

9.  T appears to be totally cool with us leaving for a week, "I'll be with Nana and Pop!"

10.  I can't believe this is really happening!  :)

Travelling to Africa in Just 6 Weeks!

We got the unexpected news yesterday (my birthday :), that we will be heading out for our first trip to Africa on February 5 for a February 10 court date.  We weren't expecting that date to be until March--but by some unusual circumstances we have a much earlier date.  We'll find out more this afternoon during our "Next Steps" call with our Case Manager.

Holding on for this crazy ride! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it really true what they say about Walgre*n's?

In our house we usually have our favorite radio station on 24-7 (Sound of Life--no commercials), but we've been listening to a few other stations for Christmas music.

So, today in the van, M asks, "Is it true what they say on my radio about Walgre*en's?  Is it really a place full of wonderful things like they say in the song?  Like chocolates and all kinds of good stuff?"

Oh. My. Word.  HILARIOUS! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

A glimpse of what we've been doing the past few weeks...

Decorating the tree...


NYC
The tree at Rockefeller Plaza.

Carriage ride through Central Park.

Times Square at Night.


M's Preschool Holiday Sing-a-Long.

Making "Gingerbread" Houses
M's pink confectionary creation.  Poor roof collapsed soon after from all of the icing.

T's masterpiece and the poor snowman who lost his smile.

Peanut-Butter Blossoms (Yum!)

Santa on a firetruck. (Who knew?)

Add in lots of Christmas music, tons of wrapping paper and tape (all being used exclusively by M--today she wrapped a box of granola bars and a pack of gum) and fun Christmas cards from friends and family and it's quite festive around here. :)

On a slightly different Christmas note, there are seven families who are planning to leave for Ethiopia within the next few days to bring HOME their little ones right over Christmas.  Today, though, they found out that the Embassy isn't yet confirming their appointments (they need to get their visas to bring the little ones back into the US) and all of the their plans are up in the air.  Praying tonight that tomorrow will bring good news and praying for peace in their hearts while their plans are unknown...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When the Coyote Comes

A slice of our real life...

We got our first snow today.  Hmmm...maybe an inch or two.  Because school was delayed (but the roads were fine), I decided that it would be "fun" to take M and T to Target to buy some gifts for a family in our community before school started.

Picking out the gifts was actually fun, but keeping T in the cart (the one with the two seats facing each other) was another story.  We got everything we needed and headed to the checkout.  I pulled out my wallet to pay and, hmmm...there was no wallet.  The very kind cashier said that she would set my bag aside so that I could come back later (Target is 30 minutes from my house).  I was thankful she could do that, but totally bummed that I had to come back.

We RAN out to the car empty-handed and after everyone was buckled in, guess what I found.  Yep--my wallet.  It was in another compartment of my bag...

I had no time to spare because today was M's Christmas Sing-Along at school and we couldn't be late--so off we rushed with plans to come back later. *sigh*

So, if you're curious about the coyotes in the title, here's where they come in.  With Christmas carols filling the car, M starts to tell me (for some reason) that if one of our cats got out on the roof of our house that she would call the fire department to come get it off.  (Sounds like a good plan.)  Then T jumps in with his idea that well if a coyote was at our house then the fire department would come to take care of it.  M firmly disagreed saying no way, they were not the right people for the job.  T replied that he would then call 911 (glad he knows the number just in case!) and the police would help with the coyote problem.  M still thought that wasn't quite right.  That made T quite angry.  He started to scream.

I do NOT like screaming in the car.  Feeling kind-of stressed about trying to be on time and upset about having to go back out later, I was not so happy about the whole discussion in the moment.  But looking back (at the end of the day and after a successful trip back to Target after preschool), that was a down-right hilarious conversation.  I mean really, an argument between a 2- and 5-year-old about policemen and coyotes!  Funny, funny kids! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

THE Referral Call!

Life is so full of times of waiting.  And if you haven't noticed ;), the adoption process provides one opportunity after another to wait well.  After 6 months of research, 6 months of paperwork and nearly 10 months on a waiting list--watching our numbers fall from Number 52 in February to Number 1 at the end of November--after 17 days of being Number 1--on December 8th, a little after 4:30pm, we got THE CALL.
 
It's a moment to never forget.

Here's how it all went down...

It started as just an ordinary day (an ordinary "waiting" day).  We had breakfast, I dropped M off at preschool, came home to order some Christmas gifts and to clean up a little (I've been in keep-the-house-clean-in-case-you-get-a-referral-today mode for a little while now), headed out to our Mommy-and-Me group with T, picked up M from preschool and went to Becca's house for crepes.

We came home, M took a bath to get the crepe syrup out of her hair, and I checked my email a bazillion times.  I saw that we had gotten our official monthly number (Number 1) email from our Case Worker (CW).  She had a few questions about future referral details and I emailed her back right away (you know, for the highly improbable chance that future meant in-a-few-hours future).

T woke up from his nap and we played some rousing rounds of "Guess Who."  I noted that it was getting quite late in the day and that today was probably not the day.  A lovely bonus to referral day would mean pizza.  Bummer--it looked like I would need to start making dinner soon.

T took a really long bath.  I knelt down to wash his hair.  The phone rang.

I ran to the office to check the caller id.  It was the caller id we had been waiting for.  Tears.

I looked at M and said, "M!  This could be Sister! This could be the call about Sister!"

M started jumping up and down and screaming, "It's Sister!"

Okay, I had to answer it.  I took a deep breath and said, "Hello?" as nonchalantly as possible. It was our CW and she said that she was just calling to follow up on our emails from earlier in the day.  I told myself, "Okay, this isn't it. This is just a checking-up-on-the-details call.  No big deal.  There's always tomorrow.  It will come soon."

Then she said, "And, actually, I do have a little girl I wanted to talk to you about."  NO-WAY!  I think I even said that out loud.

I asked if we could call back in about 20 minutes.  I needed to get T out of the tub and I was pretty sure that J would be able to come home so that we could see her together.  No problem.

I got T dressed, turned on Curious George and started making calls--fumbling the whole time with numbers :).

I called Becca to tell her that it was "PIZZA TIME" and that now she was NUMBER 2!  Called Emily.  Then I called my mom.  My mom asked me how her name was spelled so I quickly pulled up the email from our CW and then accidently saw it--a picture of the most gorgeous smiling little baby girl all dressed in pink.  "Mom--She. Is. Beautiful...  Wow..."  And then I called J's parents to let them know that this was it!

When J got home we called our CW back and opened our email.  We listened as she read through all of her documents and with tears we heard what little they know of her story...


Then there were more pictures.  Breathtaking...

After the call  M and T got to see Sister for the first time.  Then after pizza we gave them some special "Big Sister and Brother" gifts (a few books and one of those little baby hamster toys--the non-squeaking variety that they've been playing with ever since.)


We called our families again and then Becca and Eric and Keith and Emily and their families all came over to celebrate.  And to stare at her pictures. ;)

And that was our referral day!  YAY!  I can't post pictures of our sweet girl online--so you'll have to bear with this teaser photo.  I promise that just above that cute little belly there are bright sparkling eyes and a gorgeous gummy smile.


She's a little munchkin weighing just 9lbs at 5.5 months--but I know that in no time she will catch up with the amazing "special mothers" at Hannah's Hope" (where she's been since last Wednesday 12/1).  I am so thankful that I know with confidence that she is being loved so well while we all wait for her to come home (maybe in March?).  (The next steps are coming in a post soon).

Sweet girl, you have stolen our hearts.  We can not wait to get to you...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Processing...

Hmmm...today has been a day to process more of our little girl's life...

So, these details, might seem a bit tedious, but I know that someday I will want to look back to remember this part.

Today was a FULL day!  It started with dropping one of our cats off at the vet.  Well, first I had to get him into the cat carrier--a much more complicated task than I had anticipated. Then I had to get the carrier into the van--also more complex than I imagined.  All of these delays made me 30 minutes late to drop M off at preschool.

Then I went to Emily's to enjoy coffee and some delicious celebratory treats from Becca--real english muffins with jam, doughnut holes, death-by-chocolate cake from the bakery and flowers (we actually didn't eat the flowers ;).

I rushed from there to pick up M from preschool and to hurry to Walgreens to pick up the referral photos that I had ordered late last night.  I had one hour to get there and back for our afternoon Mommy & Me group at M's school.  When I got to Walgreen's I wasn't feeling so well and I had to re-put on both M & T's shoes in the freezing cold (NOT one of my favorite things to do) before we could go in.  We waited in line and then found out that I was at the wrong store...

We rushed back to the van and after some wrestling with seatbelts and big winter coats we went to the correct store.  After successfully navigating a meltdown by T because he didn't think it was quite right that M didn't have to hold my hand and he did, we waited for someone to help us.  Only to find out that the photo machine was broken and they didn't have my pictures.  Ugh...  I wanted pictures.

Fighting back tears, we rushed back out to the van and called M's preschool for the second time that day to tell them that we would be late (again).  45-minutes later (we had to stop at the long-lined drive-thru for lunch) we finally made it to our afternoon class.  Which was a really fun place to share our referral story and pictures printed off from the computer.

We finally got home and T took a nap.  An hour and half later the vet called to say that Riley was ready to come home.  M woke up T and we all bundled put to go back to the vet.

It was a very full day--but there was a lot of car time--a lot of car time to think (when I wasn't answering questions about vets and food ;).  What a twist of emotions.  In one moment I feel so at peace knowing that our little girl is being so well cared for at Hannah's Hope and in the next, when I consider all that I know about her, how irresistibly cute she is and how little she is I just want to get there as quickly as possible to scoop her up!  And her life story...  Still processing (and I'm sure it's a life-long process) what we know.

And that was our day.  Full, and good, and hard a bit.

It's a Girl!!

We are beyond excited and humbled to announce that tonight we received a referral for a 5 1/2 month old little girl!  What a precious and long-anticipated moment to finally see her beautiful face...  Our hearts are a jumble of joy and sadness as we process her story.  Oh, we can not wait to bring her home!



(I'll post our call and the next steps soon! :) 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Letter

Dear Sweet Girl,

Today I want you to know just how very much you are loved.  We have been waiting for you for such a very long time and not long from now we will see your face for the first time.  Sometimes this waiting seems like it will go on forever, but I am realizing that this part of the journey is just another part of our story.  I am wondering where you are and what is going on in your little life right now.  Know, that even though we may never know the details, you are so constantly in our hearts.  Our prayer for you when you are not with us is that you would know that you are so very loved--that you would feel a full belly and a cozy bed--but most of all that you would have warm arms that hold you tight and that let you know how beautiful and wonderful you are.

Longing for you...
Mommy

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Made It: Christmas Sign and Cookies

Last week while "waiting" I made a few signs using the scraps of wood from the deck project.



And today, to make the afternoon go by a little more quickly (and honestly, just because we love any reason to have some chocolate) M and I made some our "Super-Food" Cookies--made with oats, whole wheat flour, walnuts and dark chocolate.  M is about all things "Super-Food." :)

Sunday Funnies: There's a Christmas Song About THAT?

The other day we were just chilling at home listening to some Christmas music.  T was trying to sing along with Little Drummer Boy and he asked me, "Why do they keep saying, 'bum'?"

Feeling like I was stating the obvious, I said, "Because that's the sound a drum makes." 

Then I noticed that both M and T were laughing about it.  That made me start to think a little more.  Oh. My. Word.  Yeah, so at our house we call our bottoms, "bums."  They think it's a song about bottoms... 


And, this is where I found T one morning this past week when I came down to get breakfast ready.  He's getting a closer look at his cereal options.


(Bit of a tough parenting weekend at our house this weekend.  Here's to a fresh new week! :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Favorite: Catchy Little Tunes

Was just hanging with Emily the other day when this song popped up on TV (no, we weren't watching Sesame Street, but T was ;). 



Also, in a search for some new Christmas music I saw a suggestion for Family Force 5's Christmas Pageant. LOVING their sounds--fun modern twist on the classics. Check it out...



(There are more in my Tunes on the side of the blog. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

A little recap of last week.

Because we went to PA for "official" Thanksgiving festivities, I thought that it would be fun to have our own little feast at home.  A lovely, original smorgasbord of meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce and the "traditional" Thanksgiving Monkey Bread. ;)

We had a candlelit dinner at the big dining room table.  It was one of the sweetest nights--lots of precious memories tucked away from that one.  M and T were SO excited!  M set the table all by herself and was full of amazing Thanksgiving prayers.  And my picky eaters chowed down! Gotta love that!


So, our little Thanksgiving feast was on Monday ;), and then on Tuesday we celebrated J's birthday (which was actually on Friday--but, you know, you do what you have to do).  What better way to celebrate the big 3-3 than with an ice-cream sandwich cake?


On Wed we headed to PA and had a fun time hanging out with both of our families.  

The high creek at the cabin meant that the only way across was in the monstrous deuce.  M and T couldn't get enough of it.

And then we came back on Sunday with our Christmas tree from J's Grandparents' Tree Farm.  
Tree-hunting wheels.
(Yes, J is just that fast--making it quite hard to capture a picture of his face. ;)

Fun full week.  But, very glad to be home. :) 

(Adoption Update: No call yet, but today there were 3 referrals of little toddlers ages 3-4.  How cool is that?  Yay, for new forever families!)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Some Crazy Goals for 2015



Today is World Aids Day--a day to raise awareness about HIV and the AIDS pandemic.  The Lazarus Effect describes the amazing way that people living with HIV and AIDS come back from the brink of death when they start taking ARV's.  These medications can completely change a life, yet, they are all too often not available to the people who need them the most.  Above and below are some groups who are helping to change that.
 
ONE (among many other groups) has the goal of eradicating the spread of HIV from mothers to children by 2015.  You can watch the short video below and sign the petition.



You can also watch this short clip of Carolyn Twietmeyer talking about her family's story and Project HOPEFUL (a movement to make the adoption of children with HIV and AIDS easier). What an awesome family! They are also featured in the Dec. 6 issue of People Magazine.



For more information about HIV and AIDS in Africa you can go here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waiting for the story to unfold...

Hmmm...I wanted to write a quick post about being in this moment--this small (although it doesn't feel that way) moment in our lifetime when we're just waiting to see her face.  The moment when I watch the clock to see if our agency is open yet, when I jump every time the phone rings, and at the end of each day when I realize that today is not THE day--but maybe tomorrow.  

We've been sitting as number 1 for only ~7 days and a lot of that was the Thanksgiving holiday.  It's a really fun place to be and also an excruciating place.  On the surface it's totally awesome to be the next one to get "The Call."  But underneath there's so much more...

While pondering these thoughts has been a huge part of this process--wondering where she is--is she at Hannah's Hope, is she at another orphanage waiting to come to Hannah's Hope, is she still with her mother?  How old is she?  Is she hungry, cold, afraid?  What is her story?  These thoughts are such a huge reality now.  This is the time that she is living out a part of her life that we will never know.  And while I get that is completely a part of the process--it grieves me...

And so we wait--with great excitement, with humbled hearts, but also with peace.  Knowing that through this all, God has put a desire in our hearts for a little girl on the other side of the world.  Some day soon the pieces of the story will fall into place...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Makeover: Ugliest Bag Ever?

I was recently contemplating why by duffel bag is always so heavy, even when there's not really all that much in it.  It occurred to me that perhaps the culprit is my toiletries bag.  Just maybe those full bottles of shampoo, face wash, hairspray and contact solution weren't doing me any favors in my attempts to pack more lightly.

From a very practical standpoint, it's a great little (free with purchase) bag--quite roomy--but then, perhaps, a little too roomy.

If any of you have ever seen this lovely bag, I have often wondered what you have thought about it.  Why?  Because it is quite possibly one of the ugliest bags ever.  That is unless you love teal, peach, and a strange (but pretty) woman's face with encouraging words all over your bag.

Get ready for it...

Here it is...

Pretty cool, huh?  Yes, it is in fact so remarkably unattractive, that I took pictures to remember it by.  It has served me well these past 5 or 6 years.  Bon voyage big teal and peach bag...

Of course ;), I also took pictures of it's replacement.  A cute, yet conservative little number that tidily fits small refillable bottles.  And, can I just say, that my bag was actually lighter on our Thanksgiving trip to PA.  The new bag is a pleasure. :)


Ahh...the things you do when you're waiting for the phone to ring! :)  

Sunday Funnies: Fire Eyes

Funny week about red eyes around here (all besides the pink eye has made several unwelcome appearances--that's really not so funny). :)  

T has decided that he can be a "scary monster" if he squints his eyes shut really tight because then they turn into "fire eyes."  I'm just assuming, but I think that when he squints that maybe he sees red?


Really, how "scary" is this face?  Cracks me up!  He looks like a sweet, little old man. :)  That my T.

Today as we were running across a freezing parking lot, M was convinced that she was going to turn blue ("or whatever color the wind is") because it was blowing so hard.  I said not to worry--her cheeks might turn a little red, but it would quickly go away.  She said that she could tell that she was already turning red, because when she closed her eyes she could see that color.  Funny kids!


Here's looking forward to a new week! 

(Once again, off to find my phone--not quite sure where it ended up in the unpacking process....hmm...)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful and Brothers and Sisters Weeks

(Update--Our Agency is closed for Thanksgiving until Monday--so definitely no referral call until at least then.) :)

Time for some Theme Week catch-up! (Not to be mistaken with ketchup which is so not a hit to my tomato-loathing children.;)

Two weeks ago it was Thankful Week.  We started our "Thankful Tree" (an awesome idea from Andrea's blog) that is now covered with leaves naming lots of things that make us thankful.


We also learned how to say "I love you" in Amharic--"ewedeshalo."  That week we could say "Ewedeshalo, doro" or "I love you, chicken."  Because "doro" was the only other amharic word that we knew from Turkey Week the week before.

Last week was Brothers and Sister Weeks.  And we learned a few more words.  Now we can say, "Ewedeshalo, ehit (sister), wundim (brother), enat (mother), abat (father) and gwedenya (friend)."  That makes a lot more sense.

And what better week to visit the "City of Brotherly Love", Philadelphia.  Oh, early that Sunday morning I was up working on my good old CEU's when I thought that I should take a closer look at the fine print.  To my horror, I realized that I couldn't do them all online.  But here's the cool part--that night I could have been doing lots of other things, but I really felt like I had to get the CEU's done.  And  last week was the BIG speech-language pathologist conference.  Had I been doing anything else, I totally would have missed the conference.  And it wasn't in California or Texas or somewhere that I had to get a plane ticket for--nope it was in Philadelphia.  And J was game to take a day off to hang out in the city with the kids.  And I loved it!  There were seminars on language and international adoption, the relationship between poverty and literacy, and work that is being done in developing nations.  Good stuff!

And I have to give a shout out to Dr. Light at Penn State.  I had the privelege of doing research with her as a student.  I went to one of her 2 hour seminars on working with children with Down Syndrome.  It was so amazing that I had to stay for her second 2-hour lecture.  She is truly one of the most beautiful people that I know.

 (M & T at the Please Touch Museum with J while I was off learning. ;)


 Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  "Ewedeshalo, gwedenyas!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Number 1: Waiting...

So totally in awe of the moment when we meet the little girl who God has planned all along for our family.


Waiting from G Miller on Vimeo.

Sweet girl, praying tonight that you are feeling surrounded by love and praying that your mom has peace and hope in her heart.  Longing for you...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Number...

wow...just found out that we are Number 1!  Number 1!  Super-excited and calm.  That is until the phone starts ringing and then I can't even remember how to turn it on...  :)

Keeping the "Little" in Your Girl

When the world wants girls to grow up too fast, how do you help your daughter navigate boy craziness, modesty, body image, media, and Internet safety? The foundation for an emotionally healthy teen girl is built between the ages of 8 and 12. Mothers of tween girls can direct and guide their daughters by developing a close relationship with them. In Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl, Dannah Gresh shares six ways to help you grow confident, godly young women. Also included is a quiz to test your relationship, fun activities to do together, and Scriptures to use in prayer.

As the mom of a little girl who is not all that far away from 8--I thought it would be good to get a glimpse into what's to come. Yikes!  I must admit it's all a bit intimidating, but I LOVE that there are resources like this book to both give me creative, insightful and inspiring ideas to connect with my girls and to be proactive in guiding them through the tough questions/phase of life ahead.

I highly recommend this book to moms (and dads) of little girls.  For more information and books and cool  ideas head on over to Secret Keeper Girl (www.secretkeepergirl.com).  I  have a few more books from there in my pile to read.

[Now off to, first, find my phone and then to make sure that it is charged. ;) ]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Neck Candy :)

Oh, man--still keeping busy with those crafty ideas. :)

I recently made a few of these lovely pleated scarves (from www.youcanmakethis.com).



And, Becca made me this super fun, bunchy "ruffled" scarf (also of www.youcanmakethis.com).  I wore it ALL weekend in Philadelphia.


And, I love my "Hope for Orphans" necklace from The Vintage Pearl.  All of the proceeds go towards helping families bring children home through adoption.  (LOVE TVP!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Funnies: WHERE do you want to stop for lunch?

"Michael-Donald's"

(His middle name is Michael. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So, What's Next?

Thought it would be a good idea to share what's coming next.  :)

There is a ton that has to take place.  But I'll try my best to outline the basics.  Keeping in mind that time frames are extremely flexible in the adoption world (it's totally best to expect things to take a really long time so that if they don't you can be pleasantly surprised.).

So, at this point, I try to keep my phone with me (and ideally charged) at all times.  And when our home phone rings I run to find it (sometimes this can be a bit of a challenge) and then I rush to see the caller ID (which is a much appreciated, newly-added feature in our house.).  

1.  Because, sometime in the next day, week or month(s) we will get our referral phone call (Ahhhh!).  Our case manager at AGCI will call us to let us know about a little girl within our age parameters.  She'll email us all of the available information about her (her medical records and history--if anything is available).  And pictures!

Unfortunately, we won't be able to share those pictures online until the adoption is official.  But, trust me, if you see us in person you can definitely get a peek!  

2.  Okay, so then we have 10 days to complete the referral paperwork--including a report from an international pediatrician that we will contact and send all of her medical information to.

3.  Our paperwork is then sent to Ethiopia to be translated and we wait for a court date there.  Right now the families that received recent referrals have their first court dates near the end of January.  So for sure our court date would, at the earliest, be in ~February.

4.  J and I will fly to Ethiopia for the court date and we will meet our little girl.  We'll be there for about a week.  Then we will come home.  Without her.

5.  We'll be waiting for an embassy date where she will get a visa to come into the US.  That process takes at least a month.  Once we have that date, we'll fly back (again for about a week) to bring her home.

6.  That's when our life as a family of 5 just gets started...

Kind-of a complicated process.  M and T are definitely a bit confused about how this will all go down, so we spend a lot of time explaining that while we'll see her picture soon, she won't be living here until after St. Patrick's Day.  At this moment they can not wait to share a room with her and they argue about where she will sleep.  T is convinced that we need to rush order bunk beds (Which is a very sweet idea, but definitely not wise given his climbing history.). 

So can not wait to start celebrating!

On the Edge of Something BIG

We are unofficially Number 2.  NUMBER 2!  Wow...  What an amazing place to be...  It feels like we're sitting right on the edge of a moment that we have been longing for for such a long time--a HUGE moment.  The moment when we will see the face of our daughter. 

I alternate between wanting to (and even occasionally actually) screaming in great excitement, "Ahhhhhh!" To being in complete speechless awe of what's to come.

How cool that referral phone will be!  It's the conversation that will make us parents for the third time.  M will be a big sister again.  And T will be a big brother for the first time. 

Years of a heart's desire.  Years of reading and research.  Months of paperwork.  Classes.  Vaccines.  Waiting.  Numbers.  All culminating in the words, "I have a little girl I want to talk to you about."

Oh sweet girl, we can not wait to meet you!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Beware of the Volcanoes (and Scotch Tape)

The other day these "warning" signs appeared on M's door.  Apparently volcanoes have begun erupting in her room and as an act of goodwill, she has taken it upon herself to warn the inhabitants of our house to stay clear. 


The one below shows a very largely crossed out smoking volcano.


Shockingly enough, volcanoes have also sprung up in T's room.  The butterfly is a friendly way to tell you to "go home (as in fly home away from the volcano)."


So, how exactly is it okay for one to enter a room with a smoldering volcano?  Well, you have to don protective gear and a mask, of course.

Now, nearly every door (after strongly discouraging the use of tape on the walls) in our house boasts a scotched-taped sign or two--most of which have a crayon heavily taped onto them.  Some day I will miss this...  (For now, I try to sneak just a few of them down--you know, to make room for more!)  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leaf Mazes (and a new number!)

Today, while trying to keep my 2.5 year old from touching too many toys to limit his current pink-eye germ warfare capabilities, we took the fun outside.  :)

Gorgeous day!  (Didn't quite know that before stepping outside and actually rummaged through the basement bins for heavy winter coats, hats and gloves.  It was nearly 60* today.)

First M and T had a good tumble through a leaf pile.  

Love T's face in this picture--he is truly delighted. :)

And then on to my absolute most fun thing to do in the fall--leaf mazes.  My sisters and I loved to do this when we were kids!  We used to pretend that they were deep tunnels of mazes (we got the idea from hearing stories about Christians hiding in catacombs--can you tell what kind of elementary school I went to?)

Today, though, we were pretending to hide from wolves and skunks, of course.  I'm sure if anyone was watching from afar we probably looked pretty funny running to the one and only shaded room to hide from every bird and airplane that flew overhead (they are spies for the wolves and skunks, in case you were wondering.).   I have to say, the maze was easy to get lost in--luckily it's also quite easy to step over the walls. ;) ( And, yes, hoping that my kids don't have nightmares about bird espionage and ravenous wolves.)


Okay, and just saw the very exciting news that we are NUMBER 3!  M and T have been in bed for quite awhile, but were still very awake.  Here's their reaction when I told them the news...

How fun is that?!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Updates and Getting Ready

We got our monthly update call on Monday night--we are officially Number 5 (UNofficially NUMBER 4). :)

Number 6 for siblings.  
(We don't expect that we would get siblings because 
siblings are not as common and because 
our age parameters are so limited (0-15 months), 
they would have to almost be twins.) :)

J-Mill and I got our second round of vaccines last Thursday.  Take that Meningitis and Hepatitis A and B!  (We give it another go next month to take out Yellow Fever.)

And right after being vaccinated, we got to head over to the Children's Hospital to visit Tage.  And do you know what?  Tage got to come home on Saturday--crazy to imagine how much changed in one week for him.  (If you want to check in on the little guy you can go to www.littlewillard.blogspot.com).

Also, wanted to share some of the cute dolls that now reside in our house.  So, crazy story, but one day a few months ago, Becca met this random person at the soccer field who lives in Namibia, Africa (Where is Namibia you ask?  It's on the western coast right above South Africa.)  While she was back visiting in the states she was selling a few items including these BEAUTIFUL dolls of a big sister with her little sister in a sling on her back.


How beautiful are their faces?!  To hear Miriam's story go to www.mbgNamibia.blogspot.com.  Amazing...


Miss M got these cute dollhouse dolls for her birthday.  They hail from The Land Of Nod (via Nana).  :)


And, seriously, how fun are the next few months going to be--we are SO close! 

 (Okay, this picture was totally taken in awful fluorescent night-time lighting, but look at how far we've come!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Perspective

What money can buy...




Update: The Blair family sold all 650 CD's in ~24 hours that they needed  to keep their adoption file open! You can still pick one up at http://theblairfamily-dawn.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday Made It: Handbags and Just About Time for Christmas Music

Saw this totally fun pattern on www.thediydish.com (my latest obsession) and have been making some bags.

Favorite part of the bags--They easily fit 2 sippy cups and some assorted toys along with all of my essentials.


And, it's almost time for Christmas music. ;) Wanted to put a quick shout out for a way to help a family TODAY to raise the money they need to bring a little girl home from Ethiopia.  They are selling a Chrismas CD put together by the husband, a former member of Audio Adrenaline.  Find out more at their blog: http://theblairfamily-dawn.blogspot.com/