Monday, December 28, 2009

Xmas Photo-Palooza!!!

Christmas has come and gone... I think I am still recovering. Looking back through all the mess of pictures and seeing all the family and friends that we are fortunate to have in our lives is humbling. I am a very grateful person.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dossier en route to Ethiopia

Just wanted to share that my coordinator emailed me and let me know that my dossier is on its way to Ethiopia and they expect it to arrive before Christmas. Yay... one more step closer to meeting my sweet boy. Once it arrives the staff will translate it, and it will wait to be matched with our child.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Trip (part deux)

I was looking back through the pictures this morning from our trip and I wanted to recap some of my favorite moments. As I mentioned before I love our vacations... and I really love watching my kids interact with each other in a place where the daily routine is gone and they can just be together and have fun.
Some of the things I noticed on this trip are...
Captain Crazy is getting more comfortable in front of crowds and other people. He actually was letting loose and having fun on the trip telling jokes and dancing around. In fact he won a dance contest in the kids club. Plus, this was the first trip he actually went to the kids activities without us. Although, I don't think he would have if his younger brother wasn't with him.

Cuddlebear ensures there is never a dull moment. He is funny and witty... one of my favorite comments he made on the cruise was "so, dad... how's it goin' with the ladies?" Aside from the humor he is also such a caring thoughtful little guy. He would go with Captain to the kids club so Captain wasn't scared. He made sure that Belle saw all her favorite princesses and he was even concerned with how we would thank our servers on the cruise.

Belle is all of our princess. The girl knows how to work us (and everyone else), and with those big blue eyes and dimples it doesn't take much. My favorite moment with her on this trip was how she took the Disney employee's literally when they called her princess and she went to her dad and asked him if he would like to take a picture with the princess (being her) and if wanted to sit on her lap so she could sign his book (get her autograph). I laughed so hard. Belle was also quite adventurous, she went on her first roller coaster on this trip and when it was over I asked her if she liked it and she responded, "yes... I can go faster."
I can only imagine what my little Ethiopian man is going to add. I am excited and thrilled to find out. The waiting is going good... the thing that is hard for me is not knowing when we will get the call, how old he is going to be, or when he will actually be home. I can't plan and I kind of feel like I am just "on hold" for awhile. As the holidays creep in I can't help but think maybe this is our last Christmas without him. Maybe next year he will be home and we will be complete. I truly hope so!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kreativ Blogger

Yay... I was given a Kreativ Blogger Award from my Sweet Friend H(thanks). I am honored, although I don't know that I deserve it. But, I am not one to turn away from the spotlight... wink wink!!!
The official rules state that I need to...
thank the person who awarded me and link their blog onto mine- Check!
Identify 7 things about myself, award 7 other bloggers with the Kreativ Blogger Award, post links to their blogs, and leave a comment on their blog letting them know of the honor. I just drank my two cups of coffee, so lets get started.

7 Things About Me

1.) I am having a real hard time with Christmas this year. After my eyes have been opened to all the things I used to take for granted the only "gifts" I want are sponsorships to help others. This makes it difficult when people still only want to buy me material gifts.
2.) I look forward to my daily grateful living quote every morning. Try it for yourself at
3.) I am married to my very best friend.
4.) Both my husband and I are from families of 3 and our siblings are much older or younger than us (Mike's are all older and mine younger). This is why I think we were so set on having 4 and having them all close together. I am also pretty sure that they are going to do the exact opposite of us once they are grown. Isn't that how it works?
5.) I love my kids and I LOVE being a mom. But, I also love a clean house and alone time... Ha!!! If someone knows how to find a good balance let me know.
6.) I had my first son at 20, I was the first to get married in my circle of friends, and I started my own business when I was 21. I think that this put me in a unique place. I never had anyone to compare myself to so there has never been any need to try to fit in. I think this has allowed me to really be true to myself and I am very thankful for that.
7.) I try not to take life too seriously... it is just way too short.

Whew... okay now moving on I would like to award the following 7 bloggers.
1.) Embracing Ethiopia- I started following this blog when I was with my first agency and I continued to watch Rachael through her entire process. I felt privileged to watch her bring her son home. And, her detailed posts of Ethiopia were a treat.
2.) Googins Adoption Journey- I enjoy reading this blog to see a glimpse of toddler adoption. The writer is honest and her son is adorable.
3.) Robertswitmer + Ethiopia- Another blog I have followed through the process. Their daughter is adorable and Julie writes candidly about what life is like now that Naomi is home. She also posted details about ET.
4.) Ethiopia- Here we come- I love the pictures on this blog and this was one of the first blogs that mentioned how hard the trip can be picking up your baby. It makes perfect sense that they (your future child) would be scared to death of you (a stranger) coming and taking them away from everything they know. But, I hadn't thought about it until I read on of Rebecca's posts.
5.) Easties & Co.- They just came home (like a week ago) with their sweet little girl and they are also a blog that I followed through the process. I am very appreciative of her journal posting from her trip to Ethiopia. It really helps with the wait to watch others complete the process.
6.) ...Ethiopia or Bust...- this was the very first blog I came across. Is it creepy that I started at one of her early entries and then read through her whole blog in 3 nights and was nearly in tears after I watched the video of her bringing her son home? Yup... to creepy. I am sorry Amy. But, her blog for whatever reason really resonated with me and from that moment on I knew I was adopting from Ethiopia. I think it was Spring of '08 and I can't believe it is now actually happening... AMAZING. ( update- I went to copy her blog address and Amy just received a referral for her baby girl- YAY).
7.) The A Team- I love the beautiful pictures in this blog. Her Ethiopian son has been home for while and I enjoy seeing the dynamics between her children. I think I relate since I will also have 3 biological children. Did I mention she is a great photographer?

H you were right... this really does take a chunk of time. I apologize if you are still reading. You must be a real friend. Or you drank too much coffee... anyhoo Thank You!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009!!!

Last Year I posted about World AIDS Day, but even though I meant the words it still felt distant. This year as our adoption process has progressed and I have researched and educated myself about AIDS and its devastating effects on Africa I feel much different. I feel like it is my responsibility to spread the word about AIDS and its myths.

When I first talked to my family about our plans to adopt from Africa one of the first things that everyone was concerned about was what if my new son ended up having AIDS. It bothered me then, but it enrages me now to think about peoples misconception of the disease. And, I know it is simply ignorance. So, here is a link to the CDC's website. They have some wonderful information about HIV and AIDS there. You can also check out Lisa's blog here she is a adoptive mom who has listed a few ways YOU can help. And, watch the video below to see what medicine can do to combat this disease... the proof is astounding.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, I finally have some adoption news to report. I found out today that I am number 49 on the overall waitlist and 16 people are ahead of me with overlapping or similar child requests. Just to recap we are open to a little boy ages 0-36 months.
Out of that 16 people some are open to the same request as us but others will accept a boy or a girl and some will only accept under 12, 18 or 24 months. So, it still really doesn't mean much. However, in this process I will take what info I can get.
If you look on the right side of my blog my ticker says we have been officially waiting for two months today and my agency quotes a 1-10 month wait which is really broad so it doesn't really help. Someone from my agency posted that our agency told her they are giving referrals to mid June/July waiters now. That means they have waited around 4-5 months. Ideally, I am hoping that we receive a referral in enough time to get through court before they close for rainy season (typically Aug.- Oct.). But, I am trying to just relax and be patient. I would rather be pleasantly surprised than devastated. And, I have been stalking peoples blogs that were going through this process since summer of '07 so you can bet that I know how fast things can change in international adoption.
But, today I am happy to be lucky number 16!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7 and 5... How did that happen???

When you are a new mom everyone always tells you that your kids are going to grow up fast. And, when they are in the phase of tantrums and meltdowns sometimes you think (to yourself) yeah... they couldn't grow fast enough. Judge me all you want but you know you've at least thought it at one time or another :) But, really once they enter kindergarten something happens. Time takes off and your baby grows like a weed.

Captain Crazy turns 7 this week and Cuddlebear turns 5 next week and I think I may have shed a tear when I wrote those numbers on their cakes this past weekend. For some reason the odd years always seem like they are a bigger jump to me.
This year their birthday was a little quieter than most... but they did get a gift that is pretty awesome. We surprised them the morning of their party with a Disney Cruise. We set sail real soon and they are so excited they can't even stand it. And, I am thrilled that I get to slow down and spend a few weeks with them without a care in the world. Vacationing with my kids makes me feel like I can make time stand still so I can relish in their sweet youthfulness before they are all grown. I think that I learn so much about them as individuals and it really brings our family closer together when we can just be together without all the hussle and bussle of our busy lives.

On the adoption front we mailed our first big check (ha... bc we have been paying lots of checks here and there already) and the two passport pics for each of us that were missing from our file so we are still chugging along. There won't be much to report as the waiting is basically just that... waiting. Hubby and I will need to start getting some shots for our travel. Hubby still goes back and forth on whether he thinks we can both really travel together. I can't imagine doing it any other way. I really want us to experience Ethiopia together. We will see I suppose.
Now that I have talked about adoption it just reminded me that this could be our last family vacation without our missing link. Referrals have been coming in my request range at about 6 months of waiting, so maybe by the next trip we will be complete.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Belated Halloween & Merry X-Mas!!!

Okay... I am a complete slacker lately. But, this time of year is CRAZY always. Since I posted last my super star big kid Captain Crazy won a math award at school that sure made me proud. He gets his math smarts from his daddy.
Then I spent my Halloween with Princess Belle...

The worlds cutest chicken
(note that he refused to say cheese and would only cluck for his pictures)

And, a very handsome football player.
We had a lot of fun going trick or treating.

I especially loved the Halloween Themed Pumpkin Cheesecake made by this wonderful blogger

The kids were fortunate enough to have fantastic friends along for the candy crusade!

Who said too much sugar is a bad thing. Doesn't every parent take their kids to the donut shop the morning after Halloween??
(note the completely full candy buckets in the background)
And, what day after Halloween is not filled with everything Holly & Jolly.
Say what? I know. But, I am married to Mr. Christmas and in our house Nov. 1st marks the holiday season.
So, I bid you adieu and Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

171 Approval & Welcome to the Program Phone Meeting!!!

I am happy to say that I finally have moved on to a new stage in my adoption process and we are now an official waiting family. Our agency uses the date on our 171 (ours was 9/30/09) so I have in fact been waiting 1 whole month today.
Mike and I had a phone meeting yesterday with our case manager at WACAP. We discussed details about the program (nothing really new), and we gave her our preference on gender and age. We decided to request a boy 12-30 months and that we would like to be considered for a boy up to 36 months. I was hoping to get something out of her as far as where we fall on the infamous list... but alas I got nothing. I have to call in 4 weeks and then I will be given some kind of an idea. So, here it is. I am waiting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adorable Ethiopia Products!!!

How adorable are those cute shirts and these notecards??? Pretty darn cute right... well then go check out my friend's site and help a fellow blogger out. She is in the process of adopting a sweet baby girl from Ethiopia and there are some great products including an uber cute tote bag. The image is the shape of Ethiopia and all the words that fill it in are words her family (including her 2 year old- see the word "Roar") came up with when they thought about the adoption process. So, what are you waiting for... Go!!!