Sunday, August 31, 2008


Zach and Eliza start school on Tuesday.  Andrew starts on Friday.  I start Anatomy and Physiology on Wednesday.  Eliza starts Crew.  Zach's starts soccer (two teams).  Andrew's soccer started last week.  As you can tell we reach a fever pitch.  Buckle your seat belts because the school year begins with what can feel like whiplash.  

In addition to my Anatomy and Physiology class, I have signed up for a bible study class on Wednesday.  Yes, I have always done devotionals but never a true bible study.  I have been amazed at some of my friends' faith and knowledge of the bible.  I figured that would be a great place to start.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Today is officially the last day of the summer vacation.  I actually get really sad.  I love having the kids home for the summer.  I love not having a rigid schedule.  I love not having to "steal" time for the family.  I do love new beginnings.  What can we do differently?  How can we be better friends, students, parents, volunteers?  We get a "do-over".  The kids get a do-over.  Do it differently if you did not do it well.  

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.-Flavia Weedn  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adoption thoughts

Okay, this will be a little of a ranting. Apology upfront.

Most of my friends and family have been really supportive of our adopting. I have also made some new wonderful friends during the process. Thank you!!! We appreciate you.

Some background. I grew up over seas (Poland, India, Lebanon, Greece, and Germany). My parents have four biological children and one adopted from India. I grew up in a family that was multicultural, because of my sister. I would not change it for the world.

Some of our acquaintances have made comments that have left me thinking.

"I have heard some adoption stories that have turned out really badly."
What pressure this must be on an adopted child. I have heard so many wonderful adoption stories. I have also heard countless stories on bio kids that have been not so great :)

"What if they are not healthy?"  
This one I had to laugh.  I am fully expecting to spend a little time in the doctors office.  Luckily, he is a friend of mine.  Wow, I must have misplaced the warranty on my bio kids.  

"Why would you go back to the little kid stage when Andrew will be going to college soon?"
Oops, I guess I missed the memo that real life begins when the kids have moved on.  I really like my kids and their friends.  Yes, they can be naughty, trying, fresh, and just plain spoiled br_ts.  Most of the time though, they are wonderful.  

"What color will they be?"
Not sure, but I can guess.  They WILL be African.  (This one came from a stranger.)

These were just a few.  Most of the people are well meaning.  Most are wrapping their minds around something that we have had a little more time to process.

Last night Jason and I went to a pre-adoptive health seminar.  Dr. Miller went over many of the health situations found in int'l adoptions.  Scary but informative.  The most exciting thing was a couple we met who are also adopting from Ethiopia.  They were really nice.  Right before we were ready to leave... the husband said something about school... I asked what school.  He is a teacher at Andrew's high school.  Small world.  One of God's gifts.  A new friend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

40 and to do list done

Jason turned 40 yesterday.  I love this picture because it shows you a little what he is like.  The kids love being around him.  They are usually draped on him.  I am the stricter parent (usually).  He is really smart, humble, not given to anger, patient, and willing to not go along with the crowd.  If he does "not buy into something," he is more than willing to be alone rather than support something he sees as wrong.  He has a boyish sense of humor (sometimes annoyingly so).  I love that he still plays soccer even though he has had both knees reconstructed.  I love that he truly "sees" the kids.  I have known this man for over half of his life.  He still is my best friend and love of my life.  Happy Birthday Jason.

Adoption News:  We are done with everything that we have to do or fill out.  We had the 4th of 4 home study meetings yesterday.  SW thinks that it will take 1 week to get the hard copy to look over (we move to the top of the list because we have completed all our paperwork and training). At that point, the home study will be forwarded to Gladney, CIS, and KSB.  We will wait for Gladney approval and the I171 from CIS (we have already done our fingerprints for them).  When we receive the I171 we will send that to KSB.  At which point we will be finished.  Completely finished.  Waiting for the first look at our little peanut or peanuts.  For any of you who are new to the process, it can go quickly.  We made the decision to adopt on May 30, 2008.  Then we contacted Gladney.  It has been almost three months since we started the process.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Using what we are learning

For the past three months we have been reading and watching adoption books and videos. I took a nutrition class, too. (Okay, that was for the nursing degree that I am pursuing to add to my int'l relations and art history degree that I already have.) It is amazing how the nutrition info will be great for our adopted child. Well the adoption books/videos have been great for parenting the bio kids. When my 16 year old says something in less than a respectful way which seems to be way too frequently, I have been using the Karen Purvis (Connected Child), "Let's try that again and this time with respect." It is driving him crazy but it is working.

J has his SW visit tomorrow. Then we wait for the hard copy which she has promised won't be long. We have the Adoption Health Seminar at Floating Children's Hospital on Wednesday. Then, school starts for all of us the following week. I am grateful for the distractions.  My class for the fall will be Anatomy and Physiology.  Between the kids, my class, and my very part-time job at Williams-Sonoma, I should be sufficiently distracted.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Journal Writing

For a while now I have been writing in a journal. Sometimes it takes on a list quality and sometimes it is deeper. I have been doing yoga now for a while. i was diagnosed with osteopenia (beginning stages of osteoporosis) when I was 32. For a while my doctor wanted me to take a medication. after 6 months of taking it I asked him how many 30 year olds in his practice take it. None. I stopped taking it and took up yoga. A few months ago I was retested for a third time and I no longer am in that category. I am "normal." Yoga is the only thing that I added into my life. Beside the health benefits of it, I love that i have learned to quiet a busy mind.

Yesterday, I started to look at the 8 principles of yoga. They include, prayer, concentration, breathe, and the physical poses, One of the things that yoga tries to get you to recognize is experiencing the moment. I have often said, "we plan, and God laughs." With the exercise of yoga, I have been a bit better at recognizing the moment. Last night, while writing in my journal, Zach curled up with me reading, and I savored the moment. His small blond head. His tan back. He hates reading but was doing it anyway. I do not want to wish the time away. I want to commit moments like this my memory. The practice of yoga also frees my mind of all the "stuff" making me more able to concentrate on the big picture and His plan.

So while we are in the waiting phase, I will be relying heavily on yoga and prayer to keep me grounded and calm. Not necessarily in that order :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Home study, braces

Our SW came to our home today. We have one more meeting . Next week. Then we are done. I mean done. Then we are waiting on her paper report. We started this process at the beginning of the summer and we are closing it at the en of summer. Then we are simply waiting for the referral. It seems like we have been doing this forever but it really has gone quickly. She does not expect our written to take very long either. There have been times in this process that I have been truly terrified. That is when I have turned to Him. If this is not His plan, then close the door.

On a lighter note, Eliza got her braces off today! Right before school. We really did not care about the timing. It just worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fun Quiz. What color crayon would you be?

This was a cute quiz. Enjoy. I was black.

You are most like:


You are bold with a dark side. You make clear lines wherever you go, though you color outside of the lines. Many people may just see the surface of you and think you are merely plain, but you have a lot of depth to you as well.


Take this quiz: Which Crayola Box of 8 Color Are You?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


J and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend.  We had a quiet night out.  It goes without saying we had a great night.  I have the most fun when we are doing next to nothing and can talk and laugh.  We do love movies, fun activities, tours, and exploring, but when it comes right down to it, when we there is nothing but the two of us, we have just as much fun.  This next year will hold so much for us (love, adventure, healthy dose of fear of the unexpected and unknown, and faith).

The kids are predicting whether they will have a sister or a brother or both.  They all want and think that we will get siblings.  This is the breakout:

A:  8m girl and 2y boy
E:  10m girl and 2y boy
Z:  18m boy and 3y girl
mom: 10m boy and 3y girl
dad:  4m boy and 2y girl

So I pressed them for what they think the baby will be if it is just one.  This is the break out:
A:  6m girl
E:  8m girl
Z: 18m boy
mom:  6m boy
dad:  7m girl

Just dreaming!  

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back from Chicago

We are gearing up for school.  The kids start in two short weeks.  I start Anatomy and Physiology in the first week of September.  I love beginnings.  New friend.  New teacher.  New notebooks.  New information.  New teams.  New hope.  A do-over for anything that you would have done differently.

On the adoption front, I think that we are only waiting for the completion of our home study! We have the second meeting next week and the fourth and final on the 26th.  Then we wait for Debbie's report.  Then that will go to CIS, KSB (foreign dossier), and Gladney.  We have nothing else outstanding.

I have been dreaming of our little one.  It changes from a boy to a girl and back.  Zach thinks that means that it must be both.  We have also fielded some interesting questions.  Most people mean well.  Why not adopt from foster care?  Why adopt and not have a baby?  Why Ethiopia?  We are trying to formulate a tactful way of answering the questions and some of the statements.  Sometimes people look at us like we have two heads.  We are so excited and anxious to get this little one home.  What will be a magnificent day for us will mean something much different for our little one.  He/she will be scared, sad, and alone.  Trying to manage both of these perspectives will be a large job.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Martha's Vineyard 2008

We had such a nice time away.  We met up with good friends.  We made new friends (more on that in a minute).  We came back refreshed.  What a wonderful time.  We had to cut it a bit shot because we have an appt tomorrow morning for biometrics for our I600a!!!  So excited.

We met a woman on the ferry over who had two bio boys and an adopted daughter from (of all places) Ethiopia.  E was a doll!!!!  she has been "home" for a year.   The mom was so nice and I immediately felt like I had made a new friend.  I have always felt that new friends where such an amazing gift from God.  She lives relatively close and she was so helpful.  I can not wait to see her on the "mainland".