This time tomorrow we will have been in the sky for 10 minutes, if our plane takes off on time, that is. We are packed, unpacked and repacked. I have determined that if Ben takes one pair of pants and a toothbrush, I can take a lot more stuff!!! We have packed everything from batteries to cheerios. We've also packed oodles and gobs of power bars (odwalla--they're pretty darn good), dried pineapple, crackers and peanut butter/cheese, cookies and some candy. From what I can tell, we are going to need those power bars because "duck blood soup" and "braised duck gizzards" are specialties in Nanjing. I'm just not so sure I can eat that. We will fly into Nanjing on Nov. 1 and get Maisy in the Civil Affairs Office at 2:30 the next afternoon. She must have to travel a ways since its so late in the afternoon before we finally get to hold her. I think yesterday was actually 48 hours long---it took forever. So, tomorrow we fly out of OKC and into Newark. I'm told there will be no breakfast---What? I might starve to death in 4.5 hours. GOOD THING I HAVE POWER BARS!! We fly from Newark to Beijing and then do the tours and stuff until Nov. 1, when I'll be singing "Stop, it's Maisy Time"!!! I am so thankful to God that this long journey is finally coming to a great and glorious conclusion. My precious girl is coming home!!! Everybody here is excited---Bobby and Abby are ready to "help", Aunt Laura can barely contain herself and Yaya and Pa are prepared with hugs, kisses and cookies. My mom insists that Maisy "looks like she likes cookies." Judging from those little cheekies, she definately likes something!! Our friend Paige mailed Maisy a book called "The White Swan Express." It's really cute. Abby loves it. She calls it the "China Book" and insists that one of the babies in it is "Sister". The White Swan is the hotel we'll be staying in when we are in Guanzhou. From Guanzhou we go to Hong Kong by train (about 2 hours) and then fly out of Hong Kong the next day at 11:30 AM. We will land in OKC at 6:20 PM on Saturday, Nov. 14!!! Please continue to pray for Ben and I as we travel, Maisy as we welcome her into the family (she already resides in our hearts), Bobby and Abby (I've never been away from them this long) and Katie (our super kid-watcher, who will be staying with Bobby and Abby), your prayers are wonderful, priceless gifts that we appreciate with all our hearts. I doubt I will be able to post to the blog while I am in China. We are not taking the laptop (more room for power bars). I'll post lots of pictures when we get back.
May God bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Joy Unspeakable and Full of His Glory,
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Today our pastor preached a sermon about how Joseph named his first son Manasseh because it means "The Lord causes me to forget." With Manasseh's birth Joseph was able to forget, through God's grace and mercy, the hate that Joseph's brothers had for him, his being sold as a slave to a caravan, being taken to Egypt, and being wrongfully accused and then imprisoned. With the birth of a child, God demonstrated, to Joseph, that His hand is always upon his people and that He has, and continues to, lead His people through tribulation to His Glory. As I anticipate holding Maisy for the first time, I cannot help but think that I will be like Joseph, and in the light of God's miracle of my child, forget all of the tribulation, tests, sadness, worry and fear that I experienced on the journey to Maisy. Children are such an amazing blessing from God. Children are often the center of many a parent's lesson from the hand of God. I think about Isaac and how Abraham and Sarah longed for that child and then Abraham's willingness to give him as a sacrifice to God. I love the verse where Abraham tells the servants to remain at the foot of the mountain because "we will return." Abraham obeyed God and expected God to make a way to keep Isaac, the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, alive. I think about the brilliance and death-defying faith that Jocabed, Moses' mother had when she hid her baby son in a basket and floated him into the heart of an Egyptian woman. Not only did Moses' mother save her son's life---she saved the life of the man who led God's people out of Egypt. And I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus, who loved and cared for the Prince of Peace, the Messiah. I'm sure that when the Bible says Mary "pondered these things in her heart", in reference to the wise men from the East visiting her son, that she remembered those moments of holding and loving her infant son when she was with him as he died on the cross of Calvary. Children are precious. Thank you, Jesus, for my Maisy, she may have been unwanted or maybe her birth mother just couldn't care for her, whatever the reason, she's mine and I love her beyond anything I can put to words. Help her Lord, to never doubt that she was wanted, an answer to my prayers. Help her, Lord, to forget, like Joseph, the fear and abandonment of her earliest days and to walk in her love all her days. Because I am certain that I will forget dates and moments in the weeks to come, here is a timeline of the milestones that brought us to Maisy:
March 23, 2007--started the adoption process
December 17, 2007---LID
May 10--2009--application to Waiting Child List
August 16, 2009--Maisy's referral
August 19, 2009--sent Letter of Intent to Adopt Maisy
August 25, 2009--PreApproval
September 8, 2009--Approval
September 14, 2009--Letter Seeking Confirmation received, signed and mailed
September 31, 2009---Travel Approval
We leave for China on October 29, 2009. Happy Maisy Day (aka: Gotcha Day) is November 2, 2009. We have all of the necessary paperwork ready to roll and are practicing packing. I'll probably fly off without socks or my toothbrush, but I'm working on it. Thanks to everyone who has prayed us through this. Please don't stop now!!
With much love and more joy than my heart can hold,
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Last Thursday we mailed our passports (gasp, choke, not in the least bit easy, Kids) to Great Wall so that they could mail them and the ever present paperwork to the Chinese consulate in Houston. I've been counquered by the suprise fee monster. I held out for as long as I could but now, if anybody says the word "adoption" to me I just hand them money. Please, don't try it. I have no defenses left. The VISA fee was $130 each, but by the time we paid for the courier and the mailing and GWs fee it was closer to $385. I just want my baby. We also have had to get an addendum to our home study, since I changed jobs in May. The bright side of that is that we received it in the mail the day after I called our social worker, Earlene Logan with Oklahoma Home Study. Earlene Rocks!!! Tomorrow Ben is mailing the addendum, a copy of our I-171H and the requisite cover letter to the orphan officer at USCIS so that our home study can be updated and mailed to Guangzhou. He's sending it registered mail even though it only has to go across town. At this point we are taking no chances. We are waiting for TA (Travel Approval) and hope to receive it around the first week of October. Of course, I think there are some holidays in China around the first week in October, so I hope that doesn't hold things up.
Cheryl, at Carter's, e-mailed me on Friday. They received the clothes that I returned and that whole scenario should be made right by the end of this week. Ben and I bought Maisy a fuzzy blanket at Target. I think he secretly wanted it for himself but it avoided a lot of sideways glances if he bought it for the baby. Our pharmacy received the prescriptions we paid for, from Dr. Jane Aronson in New York City, I don't think we got them all. I have to check on that.
I'm out of Ezekiel and in Daniel now. Bobby picked up a book for me at the public library, of his own volition, entitled Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven. I started reading it, and let's just say that I'm glad I'm going to China in 2009 and not 1986. It's not a dirty book by the way. Although, I was a little taken aback when I saw my son carrying a book with that title. Bobby is home from a Boy Scout trip. Abby is in cheer and loves it. She currently has a bad allergy cough and I've got to get Ben to have the carpets cleaned and to paint the main rooms before the baby comes. Call it "enforced nesting"!!
It was anticlimactic, but our dossier made it into Review this month. It took 21 months. I'm not sleeping very well lately. I think it must be anticipation.
Hold on Maisy, Mommy and Daddy are coming!!
Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory,
Sunday, September 13, 2009
All three of you,(okay, four counting my new pal, Robyn) already knew that we were on the WC List and that Maisy would have some sort of special little thing goin' on....but, for those of you who are new to this here blog, it's called a nevus. It's like a mole, only bigger. Sometimes, if a nevus is not removed it can become cancerous. We already have a doctor here in OKC prepared to remove MeiMei's nevus. His name is Dr. Hildebrand and I think he is an absolute gift from God. And, everyone knows how I feel about doctor's in general with a few notable exceptions: Holla! doctors Barki, Davey, Rayan (sp) and Haag!!! Anyway, Dr. Hildebrand actually goes to China every year to help babies and children there. He's so awesome!!
We just feel so fortunate to call Maisy our own. Despite the nevus, if you can't see all that cuteness going on then, well, you must be blind. I figure some folks will have something to say (please try to remember what your mama told you about "sayin' somethin' nice or sayin' nothin' at all) and then, I'll do my best to not tell them how insensitive and dumb they are. I'm just as proud as punch of my kids---all of them---they are the best kids for me and I pray that God makes me worthy to be their mama. I asked Abby the other day how she was going to help take care of her sister and she said, "Wif yuv!" You betcha, with love. You just can't beat that.
We should be going to China on or around the first of November. Maisy's Letter Seeking Confirmation will be here tomorrow and then we'll sign it and send it right back. My baby will be home for Christmas (and probably Thanksgiving). What a miraculous gift. We are so blessed!
Peace to You and Yours,
Here she is, our long awaited baby girl. Maisy currently weighs about 18 pounds and can stand for a moment by herself. She will be about 10.5 months old when we finally get to hold her in China. She's all we've dreamed of. Thank you, God.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Today we received approval for our adoption. I feel like shouting it from the rooftop---if only I could haul my rear up there!! We weren't expecting our approval until the end of October. Again, The Great I AM has sped things up. I had been praying that we would be able to hold Maisy before she turned 1 year old. Now we will be doing just that. We are slated to travel around November 1. I'm terrified and excited at the same time. We are now awaiting Travel Approval. Hold on MeiMei, here comes Mommy!!
I tried to take Maisy's stuff back to the Carter's outlet store and that didn't work too well. I ended up in tears. But, today I called the customer service line and Cheryl, the lady who answered my call, is going to help me tomorrow so that Maisy doesn't have to suck-in when I dress her. I'm back to loving Carters.
I'm so stoked. Everything is working out at work so that I can be gone (I'm telling you my job is a dang good gig. The folks I work with are great.). And our delightful and delovely Katie Pie is going to watch Bobby and Abby while we are in China. Katie is the best!!!
I am just praising God for all of the blessings He has given us during this long adoption journey. Thank you, Lord for my daughter and for loving me and my family so much.
Joy Unspeakable to and Full of Glory,
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Maisy's SWI sent us pictures taken the day before. That was seriously nice. We got several pictures and an update on her growth. She is brilliant, social, beautiful and very loved. In one of her pictures her Auntie is holding her. Maybe I will get to meet this lady and maybe I won't, but I will be eternally grateful to her for the care and compassion she has shown my daughter. Maisy already weighs 18 pounds and is 28 inches tall. Her foot is 4.5 inches long and she loves to eat but has no teeth. She is almost 8.5 months old.
Then there is the issue of my shopping for baby clothes. Houston, we have a problem. Most of the clothes I've bought are not going to fit. I called the Carter's Factory Outlet Store in Grapevine, Texas, where I bought the vast majority of the stuff, and asked if I could exchange it. I don't want my money back. I just want bigger clothes. I left all the tags on. I expected to get shot down. I was so wrong. They are going to let me exchange Maisy's stuff. I kind of explained the situation to the saleslady and she couldn't have been nicer. YEA!!! I love you, Carter's!!! So, guess where Ben and the kids and I are going on Saturday?
We also have a Britax carseat still in the box that MeiMei will not fit into by the time we get her. Hopefully, Babies R Us will let us return it and then pay the difference for a bigger one.
Please continue to pray for our little girl. We miss her so much.
Joy Unspeakable and Full of His Glory,
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Clearly, a word one is castigated for using in law school (check me out Professor C. "clearly, clearly, clearly...) my daughter is the most beautiful and important baby in China. I know this because we already have our Pre-Approval. Oh sure, most of the time it takes 2 to 4 weeks to get the PA, but the CCAA must know that our Maisy is a princess, so, we got ours in 4 business days. Can't beat that with a stick, Kids!!! I still can't post pics. It's killing me. She is so cute. Her little cheeks are so round it looks likes she's hiding nuts in them. Precious, I tell you, just precious!!!
Everyone knows I cannot do math. But, I did figure out that Maisy is only 8 months old last week contrary to the 9 months old previously posted (and reported to me by a wonderful person at GW who will remain nameless. Maybe she can't do math, either.) Count the months, though, December 21, 2008 to August 25, 2009 is 8 months and 4 days. I really am praying that we get to go to China and get her before her birthday. It would be such a gift if her first steps could be to her mama!!! Don't walk yet, Little Jolly, wait for Mommy, pretty please!!
Nothing else to report. The kids are back into the swing of things. I am not impressed with Bobby's Language Arts teacher's advised reading list. Who thinks 8th graders should be reading the life story of Gary Gilmore or It by Stephen King. Me either. I went through the reading list with a marker. I would be glad to discuss it with the teacher should she take issue with my editing of her list. The Grapes of Wrath didn't make the list. Nor did anything by O'Henry, Bret Hart, Flannery O'Connor, Jack London, Chaucer, the Bronte girls, Faulkner, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Alice Walker or Toni Morrison. I could go on, but you get the picture. If I want my kid to be obsessed with gore, sex and murder I'll just let him read whatever he wants and then get the movie. How about offering some actual literature at school? My daughter believes she has graduated to teacher status. I'm not sure where she got the idea, but she just tells me she has to go to work every morning and I buy it. She's pretty bossy. Maybe she took over.
God is amazingly good. Love to you and yours,
Bobby, Abby and Maisy's mama,
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I was going to try and fake people out that this post was no big deal....COULD NOT DO IT!!! We got our referral and have already sent in our LOI (letter of intent) and are waiting for our Pre-Approval!!! I can't post a pic or any identifying information until we get the pre-approval but---know this---she is one cute muffin. She is 9 months old and just perfect. Last night Ben and I sent all of our paperwork in for the official acceptance of our precious girl's referral and then this morning I got an e-mail from our referral counselor saying that we were "just in time" because someone had posted our baby's pic on www.rainbowkids.com this morning. Seriously, I am sick to think of the outcome if we hadn't been compelled to get it all done last night. That was definately God's timing. I cannot wait to share more info. Please pray for our darlin'. We can't wait to bring her home.
The rest of the family is totally stoked too. I am so tired I can barely see straight. I've worked the last 2 Saturdays so I'm happy to have a 2-day weekend this week! Bobby and Abby started back to school today. I cannot believe Bobby is in 8th grade. He came home talking about girls. I prefer to remember the time when he panicked because he realized he'd worn 2 pair of scooby doo underpants to school. He get's it from me----just last week I....oh, nevermind.
Here's my final thought. God is good. He keeps me from hurting myself all the time. Even though I think the light at Penn and 36th is confusing and completely arbitrary, I've yet to cause a wreck----even though I nearly have on 2, count 'em, 2 times. Who thinks green means go (not yield)? Yeah, me too!
Joy Unspeakable and full of HIS Glory to you and those you love,
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Nothing has happened. This post is obligatory---I try to post once a month----but if anything really exciting had happened all 3 of you would have known by now :-)
Last night I was checking my e-mail with Abby looking over my shoulder. I had ordered a rug from Wal-Mart.Com and had it delivered Site to Store. So, I get the e-mail that my order is in and I can go pick it up. I told Abby "Great, my order is in!" My sweet girl replies, "Yea! It's a baby!" If only. I'm not nearly as excited about that rug, now.
I've had a serious case of poison ivy since last Sunday. I always knew I hated nature and didn't want it on me. It took a shot and oral meds to make it stop, 'cause trust me I was covered in "nature". Bobby came home from Scout Camp and told me he got gaulded in "The Netherlands." Oh, holy cow, that kid is funny. I don't know where I acquired the poison ivy for sure---but, I know it wasn't in "The Netherlands".
I'm still loving my job. It's never the same thing twice.
Hopefully, we will get our referral for Maisy soon. Stephanie at Great Wall is watching diligently for our baby girl. The WC list came out a week or so ago and another one should come out sometime around the first week of August. Please keep our precious girl in your prayers. It is hard for me now that I know she is born and living in China without me to hold her. At times, that knowledge is completely overwhelming.
Remember, way back in a post long ago, (like 2007) when I said that I was going to spend my time waiting for Maisy by reading the Bible through. Well, I'm not a fast reader, and there are certain books that I read and then re-read because I wanted to and then there were some that (like Leviticus) that I had to force myself to read....Okay, you get the picture. All that to say, I'm in Ezekiel. I finished the New Testament a long time ago because I read it first and not in the order of the books. Jeremiah was long. And, strangely enough, I enjoyed Lamentations, but I'm just wondering, if I had read faster would I have the baby here? Maybe, I'll fly through Ezekiel and test that theory.
That's pretty much all the news that's fit to print.
Joy Unspeakable to You and Yours,
Bobby, Abby and Maisy's Mama
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Okay, It's been a while since I've posted. I have no excuse to give ya----I just haven't done it. I cannot even remember some of the stuff I said I'd post about in this post from the last post-----Here goes!
Bobby and Poppy (my dad) went turkey hunting over the Easter break. That seems funny to me, but anyway, Bobby killed a turkey and I was obligated to cook it. Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I'm a pretty kick-butt cook. HOWEVER I am not a carcass cleaner. Holy Crap, Batman! Bobby and Poppy show up with this little (maybe five pounds) turkey in one of my mom's tupperware bowls and just handed it to me. I took the turkey out and washed the bowl. My dad actually asked me "Why are you washing the bowl?" Note to Mom----Beware when Daddy says he's washed the dishes. I don't think he knows the proper application of the term.------Anyway, I tell Bobby I'll cook it that night. He asked me if it weighed about 20 pounds and could we invite the neighbors over. He's so cute. I just told him I didn't like the neighbors and we should keep it all to ourselves! So I take a stick of real butter and give the turkey a massage all over and under his skin. Then I put on the lemon pepper and and stick another stick of butter inside just for good measure. He baked in the oven for 20 minutes per pound and got nice and brown. It looked and smelled great. I'm the next Julia Childs of the great outdoors, right? Oh, so freakin' WRONG!!! So we put the turkey on my nice turkey platter and he takes center stage on the dining table. Ben starts to carve and everybody gets served. It tasted great. I'm serious. It was really good. Until----I see a little protrusion of "stuff" from the front of the turkey below the breast. I said something really lady-like along the lines of "Holy Crap, what is that?" Ben, come to find out, thought it was stuffing as did Bobby. But, OHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOO it was that danged turkey's craw. NASTY. I didn't eat anymore of it. Of course, after dinner Bobby had to take it out completely and cut it open and then make exclamations like "This turkey ate a lot of bugs!!" Oh joy. It's funny that Ben and Bobby still say it was the best turkey they've ever had. Do they think I stuff birds with bugs and weeds on a regular basis? I'm blaming this 100% on Poppy. He told me it was cleaned and all I had to do was cook it. Yeah right, Poppy.
Now I remember the other thing I said I would post about----Lent. Here's my take on Lent. If you feel strongly about Lent you probably shouldn't read this. Consider yourself warned. Lent is not scriptural. Fasting and praying is scriptural but giving up something like pop, chocolate or coffee just because you feel obligated based on the time of year is pointless. I heard a woman on the radio saying that she was going to stay up until midnight on the last night of Lent so that she could eat chocolate at 12:01. She learned nothing. My Savior went without food or water for 40 days in the desert and then was tempted by Satan to take the "easy way out" and let humanity suffer our much deserved consequences. Before His death on the cross, My Lord prayed until his sweat "was like great drops of blood" and asked his Father, in agony, to perfect His will in Jesus. He didn't jump up in the Garden of Gesthemene and exclaim about how glad He was that was over and then tell the disciples that sleeping while they were supposed to be praying was okay. Lent, cheapens the worth we put on Salvation because it is the mechanical following of a MANMADE tradition. When Jesus fasted, or Elijah fasted or Moses fasted they were seeking answers from Jehovah God. Waiting, in prayer and supplication, for an answer that only came from The Great I AM. God loves obedience over sacrifice. To obediently fast and pray in private until I receive an answer from God is scriptural. To give up candy for three weeks and whine about it the entire time is pointless and sacraligious. So, that's that.
Special Olympics has come and gone. Abby got a bronze in the wheelchair race and a bronze in the walker race. She should have done better in the walker race but she was competing in the pouring rain. Ben would say, "Yeah, but the other two kids in the race were ambulatory without walkers," it really doesn't matter because last year she got the gold competing against athletes who were also walkerless. My kid just hates getting rained on. We're proud of her. Please keep Abby in prayer. She is having surgery in a week and a half and will be in casts all summer. She is also going to be in the Special Olympics cheer squad and is very, very excited about that (so am I)!
Bobby had his first Trap Meet yesterday and beat his personal best and came in second in his group against a guy who was older and had been shooting longer. We are so proud of our son. He got a yearbook at school and all of the signatures but one are from girls. Not sure I like that!
I love, love, love my new job. I could not ask for a nicer, more brilliant or nurturing group of people to work with. Thank you, Meredith for praying that the Lord would prepare me for my job and my job for me. I'm sure you don't remember sending me that e-mail, but I remember it well! It's weird being "The Decider". I love the law and desire with all my heart to apply it fairly and with neutrality. Please pray that the Lord gives me wisdom and discernment in this job that he chose for me. And thank you Lord for delivering me from Eagle Ridge!!!
Mother's Day was great! Ben and the kids got me a diamond and marcasite panda pendant on a silver chain. I love it. Next Mother's Day I hope to have my precious little Maisy here! I believe that will happen We went to church and then ate at IHOP. Then my wonderful little family took me to the flea market. Yeah, I'm not sure about that either. I was scared. I asked to leave as soon as it seemed polite!
The weekend after Mother's Day we went to Laura and John's and everyone ate together. My sister probably would have found the turkey craw. I'm such an idiot. Anyway, Laura's lunch was fabulous and the kids played until they were out of breath. Abby's wheelchair is a great batmobile and so Brody, Zach and Aidan would take turns riding on the back and singing the batman theme song as they careened wildly around the house in capes and masks armed with various and sundry plastic weapons. The beat the heck out of Poppy and Bobby. I have the best nephews in the world. They are so kind and precious and accommodating to their cousin Abby. It makes me bawl. Aunt Amy loves you Muffins---more than you can know.
And now, for the moment you've been waiting for, the latest on ADOPTION NEWS. On Mother's Day night Ben and I filled out our Waiting Child application and received confirmation on Monday morning. We are so excited. The call could come at any time. We are blessed to live in a city where there are so many wonderful doctors, many of whom we already have relationships with. We went to USCIS on the 21st and got refingerprinted. The tech said mine weren't good. I asked her if they would pass and she said "no" so I asked if she could do them again and she said "no" so I asked if I could have the interview that I had to have LAST TIME and she said----"no." She told me I have to be rejected first. What the heck? Please pray that these prints will work and I don't have to go back for another trip into federal beaurocrat insanity land.
Have a Happy Memorial Day!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I know it's been some time since I have posted to this here blog----but the three of you have other things to do anyway. I'm not that exciting Kids. However, it is exciting (at least to me) that I have left Eagle Ridge Institute, flown the coop, ditched the nest, took to the skys...whatever....I'm outta there. I spent 33 months at ERI. I left in God's time by and through His provision and I am incredibly blessed!! I am now living the dream in a job that I've always wanted and just could not be happier. And that is all I have to say about Eagle Ridge Institute. Period. Forever. I'm DONE!!
I do still believe that being a foster parent is an incredibly wonderful and difficult job. Many, many children need parents and families to help them heal. If you are called to be a foster parent then you are a very special person.
In the adoption news arena...TAAAAAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! We have finally received our fingerprint appointments for our renewal. Sure, I think it's rediculous that it took our USCIS office 30 stinking days to send the appointments but at least they sent them. Ben and I were starting to wonder if they lost our file. The mere thought makes me hyperventilate. The other bummer thing about it is that our renewal is dated from the date our 171 expires (May 16) so if we don't get our new 171 for like three months, then those are three months that are spent just freakin' waiting. Dumb, very dumb. Maybe they will be fast. Sure, Amy---fast. I crack myself up.
Well, the final (number 5) chapter of Charles Dickens "Little Dorrit" is coming on Masterpiece Theatre and I need to go watch it. Yes, we are that boring. Next time I will talk about our recent Easter celebration, wild turkey (not the kind you drink, Laura), my feelings about Lent (probably going to offend someone with that post) and the number of fish we've had "run away to Lake Hefner". In fact, one ran away this evening but he's going to come back before Abby gets up in the morning (Must send Ben to Wal-mart).
Love to you and yours,
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Hmmm...I guess this is the month for timing things. On March 23rd we marked our 2nd year of being in the adoption process. On the 17th we marked LID month number 15. I recently went into Maisy's closet to look at her clothes and found stuff I'd forgotten that I purchased. I really do have good taste!!
A bit of housekeeping before I forget---The site where Ben and I discovered some seriously cutie cutesters is www.thestarfishfosterhome.org I left the "the" out last time I blogged about it. Go check out the starfish, you'll be glad you did.
I had a birthday on the 23rd and spent it on sick leave with something very, very bad. The jury is still out on what it was but it must have been the most perverse party favor ever because my entire family got it---all 11 of us. But, I had a great time before I puked my toenails off my toes. My mom fixed lunch for everybody including angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries, we flew kites with the kids and got to visit and just have a wonderful time. My nephew Aidan started playing with the phone so I let him call my home answering machine and just talk. I kept the message and every time I listen to it I just crack up!! My family got me some wonderful birthday gifts that I love so much and it was just a beautiful time----until everybody puked!
In case you didn't know this about me I'm a B-Ball fan and have been loving some March Madness. I do believe the Tar Heels (whom I love because they take their ball playing so dang seriously) are going to win it all----probably against U Conn. That's my prediction. I had Kansas and Pitt in the final four along with UNC and U Conn but, to me, Kansas just gave up and Pitt, well, Pitt was just suckin'. Sorry Pitt fans but Fields, as awesome as the dude is, cannot carry the entire game. Villanova played some exciting ball and I wish it could be them and UNC in the finals but, unfortunately for 'Nova, UNC is gonna whip them soundly on Saturday. I'm definately going to watch it!! Props to Blake Griffin of OU---gotta love him but he's no Tyler Hansbrough of UNC. Okay, enough of that.
We are still waiting for our homestudy update to be finished so that we can mail it off to USCIS and get our free renewal. Our agency has opened up to adoptions from Rwanda, Mexico and Ethiopia. I'm not sure how I feel about that but they didn't ask me so I don't suppose it matters. I am just ready to hold my baby and not put her down for a very long time. A little Chinese girl waved at me the other day in front of Super Cao Nguyen and I about cried. She was so beautiful and had such a sweet smile. I've been reading horror stories from people who have adopted babies and children from Asian countries about their experiences with rude comments, discrimination and racism. Seriously, do you believe I won't absolutely paste somebody for hurting my precious daughter's feelings? There will be no me trying to be diplomatic and educate you about international adoption because, clearly, you need to be slapped. And if I can't get to you----you'd better watch out for Aunt Laura! Sometimes I am truly astounded by stupidity and rudeness. That's why I am very, very, very perturbed with the Girl Scouts of America. In fact, I'm so mad I cannot even go into detail about it right now. That's for another post when I'm feeling more mediatoresque than I am at the moment.
Jeremiah 8 verse 7 says "Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons..." For the record I'd just like to say "Hey, Stork, it's Baby Season. Get to flyin'!"
Love to you and yours,
Friday, March 20, 2009
Spring Break is drawing to a close and I figured it was time to update all 3 of you (You know who you are:) ) regarding the latest news around the Root hacienda.
For starters, far be it from me to relax, or allow anyone else to do so, when there is cleaning to be done!! I cleaned the inside of the windows and Ben cleaned the outside. He got a brand new squeegee just for that purpose! Hey, dudes love tools, I was just being thoughtful!!
We took the kids to the zoo on the crazy busiest day of the year. There were more people than animals----and the people were pretty darn amusing. I saw a lady with no shoes on...just walking along. I didn't know that was allowed at the zoo. I love the zoo, but I love it more when I don't have to share it with so many people. The kids had fun though and the weather was beautiful.
We worked in the yard. Ben mowed our delightful crop of weeds and I weeded flower beds and planted some stuff. I get a real charge from being the first one to find shoots and buds coming up from the ground and, since nobody else gives a rat's hind end about shoots and such, I'm practically electrocuted from all that free excitement.
We cleaned some more.
Ben hung the letters spelling Maisy's name on her bedroom wall and we cleaned some more. Are you noticing a trend?
Today was our home study update and I think everything went just fine. Most of our paperwork is back (come on state of Oklahoma--you are slower than Kansas and Missouri) and we should have our updated version from our social worker, Earlene, in about three weeks. Then we mail it and a bunch of other stuff that we've mailed before to USCIS and wait to get refingerprinted (never know when your fingerprints might go bad, expire, suddenly change or, GASP, be stolen along with your library card and that Payday candy bar you think nobody knows is hidden in your sock drawer) and get that free renewal of our I-171H giving us permission to bring an unidentified orphan (or orphink, if you are Popeye) into the good ol' US of A. Mostly, we just want to get on with it!!
Tomorrow we will go see Yaya and Pa and visit with Laura, John and The Muffins. I haven't seen the babies since Christmas so I plan to kiss their faces off....
I leave you with these funnies from my kiddos---My friend Andy told me that Bobby called him to sell him Blue and Gold sausage and other products to benefit his BoyScout troop and when Andy chose to buy only one package of sausage Bobby chastised him by saying "Well, you should buy some bacon too because bacon is a Man's Meat!" I don't know where he got that---just laugh and go on... A couple of days ago Bobby brought Abby the spade to use in the flower bed and she looked him right in the eye and said "Thank you, Kind Sir." Kind Sir??? He did just turn 14, but Kind Sir??
Happy Spring and Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory to you and yours,
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I spent the day with my daughter doing everything she wanted to do. "How is that different from any other day" you may ask. It isn't. I would be kidding myself to think or state otherwise. I value honesty too much to try and hide the truth. I did learn several things today however. Allow me to share:
1.) My dad (aka "Papa") has been abducted by aliens. My mom ("Yaya") probably has been, too. I know this because in the entire time I have known these too people I have never been able to breathe into their faces the breath of 10,000 rotting possums and say "Will you buy me a Barbie pool?" and have either of them hand me twice the amount of money for toy. My Barbie (that I had to SHARE with my sister) swam in a plastic puke bin from the hospital and lived in a cardboard box----and she was grateful, dangit.
2.) Barbie pools aren't as fun after 4hrs of non-stop play at 37 as they would have been at say, 29!!
3.) I never got a canopy bed, either.
4.) My husband probably won't get me a canopy bed.
5.) I might be in need of counseling!!
6.) Barbies do not swim naked. Even if Ken is nowhere to be found all Barbies must wear swim suits.
7.) It is not easy to find a Barbie swim suit when people are screaming at you and everything is stuck together with tiny bits of velcro.
8.) Not all Barbies have the same bust size. Sometimes the top just will not go on.
9.) My kid may have some hidden anger. Her Barbies "played" in the pool like female wrestlers on crack.
10.) You cannot drown a Barbie. No matter how long you hold her little plastic butt underwater she'll just keep smiling.
11.) Barbie pools can leak enough to soak a new pair of Levis (also purchased by Alien Yaya) and a wheelchair seat---but never run out of enough water to avoid the fun of waterboarding good ol' Barbie.
12.) My kid is funny and lucky to have my parents as grandparents. I love seeing them together!
In other new---The CCAA referred 4 days worth of referrals this month--actually less than that because two of the four were weekend. That's 28 days short of 30. Not good. Please continue to pray for a speed-up.
Ben and I went to www.starfishfosterhome.org and fell in love. Go check out some adorable little muffins. Pray for us as we consider God's will regarding the Waiting Child List and whether that is where our little Maisy may be.
Survivor is back. I'm an addict. Right now I'm liking Taj and JT. Bobby says that I'm a curse. Usually, as soon as I start cheering someone on---They're voted off.
Bobby is doing very well shooting trap and skeet in 4H. He should have some competitions coming up soon.
Please continue to pray for Maisy and her birth mother. Please remember the Christians in China. They are called upon almost daily to defend their faith.
And know this, if I have told you that I will remember you in prayer---I'm on it.
With much love. May you know that PEACE that PASSES UNDERSTANDING.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I meant to write this post the day before Valentines Day. I didn't make it. We had a nice little holiday. Ben got me a dozen pink roses, a box of my favorite candy, a cookie cake, and two cards, one of which plays a Chicago classic. We have reached that age where we embarass our kids for kicks and they fall for it every time---SHEER GREATNESS!! All we have to do is kiss or do some of our 1980's dance moves and Bobby covers his eyes and screams "happy place, happy place." It's cheap entertainment! We also took the kids out to eat the traditional Valentines meal of pancakes. Yes it is. Check your tradition manual.
In the whole Valentine vein I keep going back to the 43rd chapter of Isaiah which says:
I just keep reading that passage (Isaiah 43: 1-13) over and over. It is my Valentine from the Lord. I know that He is working for my good and will bring our little Maisy home. He is unaffected by statistics (thanks for the reminder, Meredith) and I am so blessed to be a witness to His glory and grace.
Oh, I almost forgot---We also watched the movie FIREPROOF for Valentines Day. I must say it was awesome. I recommend it to all my friends----married or not.
The CCAA is currently matching babies to parents. Please join me in praying for 30+ days of referrals in this group. I believe that God is at work in the halls of the CCAA and across the nation of China.
We are currently in the process of renewing our I-171H for USCIS. Our first one will expire in May (they are only good for 18 months) and we don't want to miss our free renewal. We have new background checks, medical checks and references (had to be new ones---so don't feel slighted if we asked you last time you couldn't do it this time!) We have to have a new home visit as well. Everything has been mailed and now we're just waiting on stuff to come back so we can file the form with USCIS and get fingerprinted. For some people this is a hassle but I'm happy to have something to do that is adoption related.
This is LID month 14 for us. Please continue to pray that we will receive Maisy's referral soon.
And I leave you with this----On Monday, as we were waiting for Bobby to get out of Boy Scouts, Abby kept telling me that "Jesus loves me" I responded "Jesus loves everybody." Her response? "Why?" And truthfully, I don't know. I cannot comprehend the love that compelled my Savior to die for me on the cross and to absorb my sin. He paid my debt with his blood because I couldn't pay it. That is love.
Happy Valentines Day. May you know True Love. It will set you free.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I woke up this morning annoyed and determined to vent the reason for said annoyance on this blog. I was pretty convinced that I was fueled by righteous indignation (not jealousy, frustration, sadness or impatience-----yeah, right). See, this entire blog was going to be concerned with my feelings regarding those who already have two or three children adopted from China and are currently in the process of adopting another one. The families that I am aware of (and DO NOT know personally) often have debts left to pay on previous adoptions and are seeking financial assistance to facilitate their current adoption costs. My initial reaction was "How dare they! If they cannot afford to pay for their own previous adoption costs what gives them the right to ask others for assistance to adopt another child? How do they even take care of the children they have?" HMMMM....besides the obvious factor of this being absolutely NONE OF MY BUSINESS I have to ask myself "What difference does it make to me?" "Why am I so angry?"
It took some soul searching and I think it comes down to ego and jealousy. People make choices that I would not make. That's just a statement of fact. How other people manage their finances is none of my business. I can feel superior in my ability to pinch a penny until Lincoln sues for sexual harrassment but that is it. This then leads to the jealousy ( I knew I said it wasn't a motivating sentiment but, c'mon, I think we all know the truth...) Because some of the families who have multiple adopted children from China have adopted from the Waiting Child List many of them will have completed an adoption in less time than Ben and I have been in the process---BY A LONG SHOT. But, hey, the WCL is open to us too. It's our decision--- and just because we don't choose to go that route right now (we're not saying we would never consider the WCL) does not mean other people aren't choosing the journey that is right and blessed for them.
I'm just weary in the wait. On the 17th of this month we will have been LID for 14 months. On my birthday next month we will have been "in the process" for two years. I'm just feeling all two years of it right now. Would I change my mind? No way. Maisy is in China and we will WAIT FOR GOD TO BRING OUR BABY HOME.
Speaking of birthdays....The kids and I were waiting for Ben in the van outside of the grocery store the other day...just chillin' and listening to KLOVE. I'm sure I was singing along while Bobby was talking about various and sundry. Folks, I've gotta be able to multi-task because my darlin' son TALKS ALL THE TIME!! Anyway, He says "I've decided what to get you for your birthday, Mama. "Hmmmmm, okay" I reply with not enough enthusiasm I'm sure. "Can I use your name on the radio?" he asks. "What?" My son then tells me that for my b-day he wants to call my favorite Christian radio station and ask everyone to pray on his mama's birthday that God would bring his baby sister home from China. The baby asked me "Would that be a good present, Mama?" Once I got a grip and quit sucking snot I told my son that there is no better gift than to know that people are praying for you, especially when those people are your children. Now wasn't that precious?! And, FYI--If you believe in prayer and would consider lifting my precious Maisy up to the Lord on my birthday---well, it beats a Hallmark card! March 23rd is the day!
But now I shall write the DENOUMENT (term courtesy of my nerdy English major persona). Children, regardless of how you get them or who brings them into this world, are a blessing. The packaging may not always be what we expect or even what we think we want or are entitled to (entitlement, what a hoot) but I assure you, they are gift that can come only from God. Isn't it interesting that the Messiah could have come as an adult, a warrior, a king---but instead came as a baby. Isn't it interesting that people get pregnant every day but have no creative license in the baby they deliver. Isn't it interesting that I got angry over how God was leading someone else in the journey to find their child. What a gift children are. It isn't time for our gift to come yet. But I promise you I won't begrudge anyone else theirs----that's pretty hard to do when you aren't THE GIFT GIVER.
May God grant you the desires of your heart,
Dedicated with love to my son and daughter, Bobby and Abby and in great anticipation to my daughter, Maisy----Wonderful gifts from God.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Well, the rumors proved true. The CCAA referred only two days this time around. Folks with LIDs of 3/1/06 and 3/2/06 received pictures of their babies. They will most likely travel to China in 4 to 6 weeks. Hurrah!!! for all of those families even though this was a sickeningly small referral group. On the other hand (isn't there always another hand?) the CCAA has referred three times in 6.5 weeks. Thats 3 groups (not three days) worth of referrals. I think it works out to be somewhere around 12 days-----That's pretty good considering referrals began on 12/3/08. The most common feeling amongst posters on RQ is that the CCAA wanted to get one more group in before CNY (all of next week) and then the speed-up will come in February!!!! All I have to say to that is AMEN and set that stork to flying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had a wonderful visit from my friend, Meredith and her little boys this week---those are the sweetest little boys, and little TT can really put the graham crackers away!!!! Bobby and Abby had a great time playing with the little ones. I think they are going to make the best big brother and sister.
Bobby has already asked to "borrow" the baby because "babies are chick magnets!" What???? The child wears so much cologne the only girl that's going to be willing to come within 40 feet of him will have to be "smell blind" otherwise she may pass out. Every morning I'm thankful for the parakeet in Bobby's room----It's like the proverbial canary in the mine shaft. I know if I don't hear the parakeet sing I'd better haul a** because I'm about to be overcome by Axe fumes!!!
Abby just wants me to know that she will be in charge of changing the baby's clothes and pushing the stroller. I'm sure with Abby as a model Maisy's first word will be either "go" or "Wal-Mart". Abby also informed me that I should wash the baby's "head then butt"---Excellent Advice.
Please continue to pray for the speed-up as well as all of the children waiting for forever families---here and around the world.
May you be granted that Peace that Passes Understanding,
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I genuinely needed new furniture. Our green sofa had suffered through eleven years of kids, snacks, pets, spills, maybe the occasional diaper change and multitudinous other stuff---so the logical thing to do was get another one. We went to Bob Mills Furniture (no longer the "Working Man's Friend" like he was in the early 90s---now he's your "Home's Best Friend". My home doesn't need a "best friend", but anyway...) and walked through the entire store even though I had decided to get the sofa right inside the front door as soon as I laid eyes on it. It's red. In case you don't know, when adoptive parents take their new babies and children to the consulate in Guangzhou (had to stop and look up the spelling for that one) they often stay at the White Swan Hotel. One of the "must do" things at the White Swan is to have your baby's picture taken on one of the many RED COUCHES located around the hotel-----SOOOOOOOOOOOO, I figured every year on her Gotcha Day anniversary I'd take Maisy's picture on her very own red couch. Besides, I've always wanted a red sofa (got the love seat, too).
I got pretty teared up this evening upon reading Rumor Queen because rumor has it that the CCAA is going to refer only 2 days of LIDs this go around. That is devastating. If you believe in the power of prayer please join me in praying that the rumor is wrong and so many families just like mine will be joined with the babies they have waited years to hold. I just cannot imagine waiting another two or three years before I get to put our Maisy on her own red sofa. God help us all.
Spring Festival is coming up (known as Chinese New Year only to folks who are not Chinese). Maybe we will go down to the Golden Palace downtown and watch the dragon dance and eat some dumplings to celebrate----wait a minute, celebrate what?---Yeah, I don't know either.
I made Maisy another bonnet and a couple of baby blankets. Maybe I'll post pictures of them soon. One of the blankets is pink with pandas all over it. I couldn't bear to cut off any of the little pandas' heads---so it's a pretty big blankie!
Here's a funny I will sign off with (since I'm still pretty much reeling from the punch in the gut of the latest rumor)----Every adoptive family who stays at the White Swan gets a "Chinese Adoption Barbie". You can't buy them anywhere or get them at any other hotel---just the White Swan. Anyway, a woman I know who has two children from China was showing the Barbie with the Chinese baby (still in the box) to a group of folks interested in Chinese adoption (years ago, because Ben and I were in that group) and her daughter who was three at the time said "Hey, what's that?" Her mother explained the dolls origins and that she got it when the little girl was only eighteen months old. Of course, the child asked to play with it and her mother was aghast---(it's a keepsake, right?) Mom refused and told the little girl that she could have it when she was grown up. "Well fine" says the three year old, "But I'm taking it out of the box and THEN I'M GONNA PLAY WITH IT!!!"
Holding on to Hope----Because it's all we've got.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Last night I was reading Rumor Queen (I know, just let it go...Laura says it's my "crack". At least I can keep my teeth!) anyway, I was reading Rumor Queen and there was just a hint of a rumor that the referrals for March would possibly surpass 3/23 for a cut-off! This would be miraculous and an answer to my prayers (and the prayers of many others, I'm sure). See, last year the CCAA referred only 2 months worth of referrals--Jan. and Feb. 2006 to be exact. Some people have surmised that it would take all of 2009 to refer just the month of March 2006---Soooooooooo, to have most of March referred in one fell swoop would be akin to the Biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea! There was also a rumor that "attitudes" have changed around the halls of the CCAA and that couldn't hurt I don't suppose.
Some folks have suggested that referrals were held back until the mandatory donation went up from 3K to 5K. I don't know if that's true or not, and frankly, I don't care. The donation has never gone up in the history of Chinese adoption until now and with the weakening USD more money is needed to take care of the children in the orphanages who will never be adopted. I'm cool with it. I'd rather give 5 grand to Chinese orphans than say, Homeland Security....
Anyway, I'm still praying for that speed-up regardless of the motivation behind it. Of course, today on Rumor Queen the nay saying has begun and once again people are saying that they won't believe a speed-up is happening until they see it with their own eyes. What I know is this---"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I have faith that the speed-up will happen, either this month or next and then everyone will attribute the Miracle to the One who made it happen!
If you are marveling at how great this blog looks now--know this--I did not do it. It is all the work of my genius sister, Laura. Don't you love all of the links and stuff? Maybe more than two people will read my rants now!
Pretty soon there will be pictures. I wish they would be referral pics---but that will be awhile off yet. I'm confident that we will hit Review this year and that referrals in general will speed up, for sure. Our I171-H is due to be renewed by June, so we'll have to get the homestudy updated and get re-fingerprinted pretty soon. Sometime around June we'll start getting our necesssary shots for traveling since the Hepatitis series takes 6 months to complete. I'm not complaining about the wait yet for two reasons: 1.) I believe the CCAA is lighting a fire under its storks and 2.) I said in a previous post that I wouldn't start seriously complaining until we hit the 18 month LID mark (June), so, I have some time....
We had a great Christmas. Keep the Faith and pray for our Maisy as we grow closer to her Gotcha Day with the passing of every moment.