Thursday, June 30, 2011

Continuation of switching agencies

  Remember back when we switched from Gladney.  We really were tortured by the decision to not go with Gladney.  We made a call to an agency that we had heard great things about, Children's House International-CHI (not to be confused with Children's Hope) and specifically the YWAM program within CHI.  This time we asked even harder questions, because we were more familiar with the process and the pitfalls.  Care of the kids.  Family preservation programs.  Yes, timeline questions.  But, also, waiting kids questions, just to name a few.  In the end, we applied to CHI/YWAM.   I have to tell you I LOVE CHI.  I have never gotten an "out of office" reply to my email.  For the first three months that I was talking and emailing my case worker, she was actually out of the country.  My calls, and emails were answered in real time.  She has always been patient, accessible, and super helpful.  She sends us an update on how the process is moving in Ethiopia weekly.  I love that CHI explains the process in detail, there by holding themselves accountable.  I love the care the kids are getting in the orphanage.  I love the family preservation programs.   I love the passion and the heart that the people working for our agency in the US and in ET have for the poor, widowed, and orphaned.  Most of all, I love that my case worker is an adoptive mom of two grown children.  She totally understand the mind of a pre-adoptive mom.  She called me after taking a red eye home.  She has been gone from her home for over a month.  She could not go to sleep before giving us the news that our referral would be coming at some point that night.  She had just emailed it to the office, and the lead social worker was going over it.  She would be emailing it directly to us.  Yes, it came in at 1:30am my time.  There is no 9-5 for her.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

When it rains it pours....

Some days you just know its gong to be one of those days.  

Where do I begin?  I chose this picture of my sweet Bella because I can't help but smile when I see it.  The first time I discovered that this little girl had dimples, my heart just soared.  I don't know if you can tell but she has several dimples.  Love them.  Love her.  I just look at her and I want to just pinch her to make sure she is real.  I think God does this on purpose.  I remember this with the older kids.  I still feel it with a teenager...where they can drive you crazy and then give you an "Aw shucks, mom" smile and you just melt.  Have I mentioned that Bella is incredibly capable.  Sometimes she forgets that she is 4.  Sometimes I think she thinks that she could grab the keys to the car and run a quick errand for me....

Yesterday was a crummy, cold, and rain day.  The day started off with a doggy accident on a white rug that thankfully was not too bad.  I should have known that  it was going to be that kind of day, a day of serving on my knees.  By mid afternoon, I had all the kids home plus a couple of extras.  I also was gearing up to go into work (at Williams Sonoma) that evening.  It was a book reading, movie watching, and game playing kind of day.  All the kids were spread out around the house, upstairs, downstairs, basement.  Bella was playing off and on with all of them at some time.  So about an hour before I have to leave for work, I discover my sweet baby had used a whole roll  (one of those triple rolls) of toilet paper to wipe her bum...and let me just reiterate that bum is TINY.  So I start to tackle that "problem."  At some point I realize that Eliza must be showering (she worked a horse camp).  And then I am, I need to talk to her about her 45 minute shower!!!  So I started getting a little heated about how long of a shower she was taking and was going to go knock on her bathroom door.  I must have been really stewing because I walked up the stairs not even noticing water on the floor.  Once upstairs...I find that it is in fact Bella who has decided "to become Ariel of little mermaid" and in fact flooded the bathroom and had added a waterfall element to our first floor.  So I spent the rest of the time before, drying, and cutting the ceiling open so that it will dry and we can fix it...   It sounds like the house was chaotic.  It actually wasn't.  Chaos might have been better.   All this to remind my cherub in that picture above...that she still needs mommy's help doing some things.  

**** all our paperwork is out of our hands.  Now we wait to hear that it is in fact in ET.  And bring on that referral.  What's one more sweet baby to clean up after? :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

The grandfathers with Andrew

Happy Father's Day to my father!  You have always been larger than life to me.    You have been a great father to 6 children.  Through you I first learned of adoption.  You adopted two children.  Thank you!  Happy Birthday Poppy (Jason's father)!  You are such a sweet man.  Thank you for raising my soul mate.  Thank you for helping to shape him into the man he is today.
Jason and Zach

Jason studying in law school
Jason and Andrew
Jason and Bella

Jason and Eliza

Happy Father's Day to my sweet husband!  I can't imagine being on this adventure with anyone else!  Thank you for being such a kind, strong, smart, and compassionate man.  You are a treasure of this world.  I am lucky to be married to you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So you would think that I would know what the 171 looks like.  You would think that second time around, this should be "old hat."  Not the case.  I had to call Emily and ask her...."Do you remember what the 171 looks like?  Why isn't it printed on that official looking green paper?"  Yes, she remembered what it looked like.  So all this to say ..."check."  Next step, finish dossier and then send off......

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You know you are a PAP when....

Bella 5/2011

How do you know that you are preparing to adopt:
1.  Like Pavlov's dog you have been trained to respond to the sound of the mailman's truck.  Your hearing has become so acute that you can hear the halted hum from a half mile away.
2.  Your calender is broken into segments...we could get our referral, we could be traveling for court (no planning a trip to Disney), we could be traveling to pick up (no planning a trip to Disney), we will be home for one month (no planning a trip to Disney.)
3.  You start planning your 20th anniversary get away and start wondering if Ethiopia would be a perfect fit :)
4.  You spend way too much time on blogs....time sucker!
5.  You start to dream about holding a little body that has to learn your sound and smell as much as you need to learn theirs.  But for some reason, it will feel right.

What have we been doing.....

Popsicles on the front steps with BFF.

End of year concert for CBS

Graduation parties are so much fun when there are other little girls!

My BFF turns 6!

End of year dance recital.  

School is coming to a close.  Today, for Eliza.  Then, Eliza volunteers at a therapeutic riding camp.  In two weeks for Zach.  Not sure what he will be doing...ugh.  Andrew has been home for over a month.  He is working, four different jobs.  No kidding.  He is up before 6.  Heads to the golf course.  The he fits in the other jobs around that.  It is so nice to have him home, though. 

I love summer.  I have read a couple great books this week...Someone Knows My Name (a must read...riveting) and Choosing to See (by MaryBeth Chapman, grab a box or two of tissues).  I sign up for nursing classes next week.  Letting God work out the timing.  I will take time off when Teddy Bear gets home.  And after that...we will figure it out where Jason or I will have him, taking night classes, etc.  I ended up getting more transfer credit than I expected.  I thought that I would have to re-take chemistry and calculus.  Not so.  Yeah!  I am in no hurry.  The seminar class that everyone has to take...Understanding HIV.  I am so excited about that one!  I have Bella on the wait list for a preschool in Boston.  I could not be more excited for her.  The diversity of the staff and students is AWESOME!  So we put one step in front of the other.  Trusting.

Meanwhile...I stalk the mailman.  Waiting for our CIS approval.  Waiting to move forward on the adoption.  Waiting, trusting, and reading:)

***I do have three other kids...who won't let me take pictures... I may try and sneak a few in :)