Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mailed to Colombia

In the middle of the hustle of the last days of school, and the other things going on, I forgot to post that our dossier was mailed to Colombia!!!! Yes, on December 17th it started its trek down there.

Thank you Lord that the day has finally come!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Top Ten

I was tagged for a Top 10. So here are some interesting things about me!

These are in no particular order.

1. Clothes that fit me. I love Gap. So far they're the only place that really truly fit. It's glorious to have them fit properly!

2. Clean Sheets. I don't know what it is, but I love getting into a bed with clean sheets. When I we go to hotels, I'm in heaven because I can have them clean every day!
3. Vera Bradley. I love color and patterns and fabric. And those purses are all 3.

4. Lipstick. Growing up watching my grandma reapply has turned me into a lipstick girl. If I wear any makeup at all, it's always lipstick.

5. Freshly vacuumed carpet...ok, a whole freshly cleaned house! It just makes me completely relax.

6. Starbucks Coffee. I looove it. Every morning I wake up to it brewing in the kitchen. S always makes it first thing.

7. Driving fun cars. This includes brand new ones as a rental or test drive, or vintage ones. I loved driving Grandpa's 50 Dodge Coronet. That's how I roll, yo. ;)

8. Sparkly earrings and necklaces. My kids at school have even noticed this and one girl gave me a faux special occasion necklace! It was so pretty!

9. Good books. Mmm, along with a cup of something warm to drink. I can curl up and imagine my way into another time or place.

10. Comfy, but cute jeans. I love jeans.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not sure if you can notarize this!?!?

That's what we said when the notary at the courthouse said "I don't think I can notarize this" in regards to our 171h. What? She had to call her supervisor to ask him.

But guess what? She could. She just didn't know it. And she did. We were able to go to the courthouse and Secretary of State and the post office within 1 1/2 hours! Woohoo! I'm thankful we live so close!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tomorrow is another day

I was a little upset yesterday (as if that wasn't obvious) but I think I'm feeling a little more gracious today. Though, we can't get the form done today because S is at class. And of course, both of us have to sign it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Ok, so we've been working on going through the 3 steps to get our I171H mailed off. We don't want to take off work, so it has to get done between 4 and 5 every day. Yesterday we took the copy to the bank. It was a different notary lady so we grilled her: "Are you licensed in Franklin County?" "Yes." Is your license filed at the courthouse?" "yes" "You are completely, positively recognized as a notary?" "yes."

You can see where this is going. Today we had just enough time to scoot downtown, and were hoping that we'd have enough time to go to the courthouse and Sec of State. Well I run into the courthouse ( was raining) and in to the clerk of courts. She says, "Have you used this notary before? She's not coming up."


Saturday, December 6, 2008


As I was cleaning today, and putting up Christmas decorations, I took a break to read my Better Homes and Gardens. I've loved that magazine since I can remember first reading it sometime around 9 years old. Anyway, the "letters to the editor" section was all about different Christmas traditions. There was one I absolutely loved. The reader said that they pile their family into their convertable with hot chocolate and blankets and drive around the city looking at all the lights.

Doesn't that just sound fabulous! I have done that once before when I lived in Florida. We were in the back of a truck. It was so much fun!

So anyway, I was thinking about how I would fit us and 4 kids in the convertable!? Ok, so I'd need to HAVE one in order to do it....
Maybe one like this...

Or this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

I don't know if I can handle 2 wonderful things in 1 week!

Oh wait, yes I can!

We received our updated I-171h today. And how many days did it take them?


From the day the Homestudy was mailed to them, to the day we got it in the mail. SEVEN DAYS. Is that not incredible or what??

Now it might have been so quick since we already have an "open" file with them. But whatever the reason, I'm thrilled!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's mailed, It's mailed, I can't believe it's mailed!

Yup, it's mailed! Wait- let me say it again. This time with more gusto:

It's mailed!!!

Ok, that ought to do it for now. :) I nearly burst into tears giving it to our nice postal worker. She told me all about the material the envelope was made of-Tyvek. The stuff they put on houses. It won't tear or leak.

Oh, I can't believe it's mailed!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dossier almost on its way

I wanted to get it mailed today, but after going to Staples to print off the ICBF picture page, it was already 4:55. No time to get to the post office! Not to mention the fact that I forgot to take the address with me! So I'll take it tomorrow.

After nearly 2 years, our paperwork is done. We've been doing it so long, it's hard to actually let it go! My stomach was in knots today as I was getting it ready. I kept thinking, "do I really have everything?" "Really?" I'm sure tomorrow I'll be the same way when I mail it. It seems surreal that the time has come. I just have to take peace in knowing that it still rests in God's hands.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stovetop or Homemade?

I always wondered why people would use stovetop dressing when the alternative is sooo much better. Now, I've helped make the dressing for years. But we were always making other things along with it. So I never knew just how much time it took to make the stuff. Well this year, we had Thanksgiving at our house since the Parents had just moved.

It took forever to make the stuffing. I was worried I woudn't get it made in time to stuff the turkey in time for dinner. And that's when I realized why people use stove top. It's much easier. :)

We had a great Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apostille? Check!!!!!!

I've always loved this song, although I laughed at myself as I watched the video. It's so cheesy. I used to belt it out when I was a kid. I loved it! *blush, blush* So what's it have to do with the apostille? I had to go downtown of course! I think I walked about 14 blocks, but the whole time I was smiling (but my ears were freezing)! Woohoo! Our documents are apostilled!

Update: I watched the video again and am laughing so hard I'm crying! Her voice is pretty, but her body movements are hysterical! I love the little hip bump in the beginning, and then the "hair sweep" at the end. Oh it's so funny!

Maybe Today

My plan for today is:
Organize and get documents ready for apostilling.
Take 1 doc to clerk of courts for verification
Take all docs to Sec. of State for apostilling
Go to grocery store
Make pumpkin pie, stuffing, sweet potato casserole
Clean whole house
Put another leaf in the dining room table
Probably go back to grocery store for something I forgot

But the most important thing is to get our documents apostilled! I don't have school today, so it's a great day to do it. No worries about beating 5 o'clock.

I'm kinda nervous. It's the last big thing we have to do...and then it's out of our hands. Ok, so the whole thing has been out of our hands the whole time and in God's...But this time it will literally be out of our hands. I don't know if I'll be able to hand it over to the Postal worker!

Oh, they did send us the corrected homestudy. Thankfully they hadn't sent it to CIS yet either, so they were able to correct that one too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh My Heavens

Yesterday we spent the day helping my parents and sisters move to their new house, just a few miles from their previous one. We took a break to come home and let our doggie out and check the mail. Well what should appear, but a homestudy envelope....the day is near! Maybe.

I opened it up and quickly read over it, looking for the "new" information that was added for 4 kids. But one sentence still said "2 children, birth to 6." The other 2 places had been changed, but this one hadn't.

Oh. My. Goodness.

And so I say again...Count it all joy when [I] have various trials. For the trying of [my] faith worketh patience.

On the way back to the moving, I just sat in the truck thinking, why has this been happening the past few weeks? Every single time we've gone to do the paperwork, something has gone awry. However, every single time, it's all worked out too. We found a place that could verify the notary (after driving all over town). We got the one doc renotarized, without any trouble from the person who'd orginally written, the other doc that had to be redone was in the mail the next day.

So it makes me wonder, Is this all one confirmation after another that God is King and Faithful? Is this yet another opportunity to proclaim His goodness and his Reign over my heart?

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble....
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All a jumble

My thoughts have all been a jumble lately. 2 things have contributed to this: adoption and school. First off, though, I have to rejoice in what the Lord is giving us.

On to school. College, in no way, prepared me for what I have dealt with over the past 6 years of teaching. Sure, I had excellent professors who guided us towards excellent teaching practices that serve a wide spectrum of learners. For that I am very, very thankful. We even had volunteer placements at gov housing, headstart, and afterschool care to develop our empathy for children of various backgrounds; different from our own probable middle class ones.

But all of that couldn't prepare me for the enormous amount of hurt my students, and the other 400, come to school with every day. And the hardest part of all is knowing that I can only do so much; and the rest I must leave up to the Lord. So day in and day out I cry with kids, listen to their heartbreaking stories, and encourage them to somehow make a "good" choice even though their life experiences give them no motivation to do so.

And when I go home, I wonder if I have it in me to endure the stories that my own children will tell, and listen to their cries as they react to the deep hurt they have inside them.

But my hope is this: God gives more strength. Daily I ask Him for wisdom on "what should I say to this little boy?" "What do I tell this little one who knows 'everything WON'T be alright'" And through the past 6 years He has sustained me and given me the wisdom I needed at the time I needed it.

And my passionate response to 'do I have it in me' is with Christ in me-Yes! Christ lives in me and is at work in my life. It will be His working through me that will give me the wisdom, patience and understanding I will need with our children. Apart from Him I don't have it in me.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Friday, November 14, 2008

And it happened again...

We went to Clerk of Courts #2 today. At the previous one, they had called this one to verify that they had the machine to look up the notaries. We got there, and their machine has been broken!!!! But we had enough time to drive downtown to the courthouse CoC. She looked up the notaries, and one of them was expired, but her stamp said 2012! I guess they can get the stamp, but have to apply in person to be verified in the system. Isn't that odd? So basically people can be notarizing without technically being a notary??!!

So unfortunately, we have to get that one redone....and drive back downtown.

We're still waiting for our homestudy to come too.

Monday, November 10, 2008 tape.

At this point I just have to laugh. Anyway, S had off today and I really wanted us to go to the Clerk of Courts together to get the docs verified (Not that it's unsafe in that area; but I AM carrying VERY important papers). I called to verify that the place we were going could indeed verify our notaries. They said they could. Well we get down there...make our way through the info desks (plural) and end up with a woman who actually knows what in the heck we're talking about. So then after discussing our "plight" with her coworker, informs us that "they" took their microfiche machine. Yeah, the one they need to look up the notaries.

Mercy! For real? So it didn't get done today either. :) Strike 2.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yippy Skippy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I came home to find a phone message that the agency got their approval today!!! Yay! We should have our homestudy next week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Building excitement

Since a year ago, my excitement of finally having children has wobbled. Not in a bad way, it just seemed sooooo far away. And of course with Sean's accident, issues at kinda fizzled out. But it's building back. I'm not sure when it happened...maybe when I was putting all the docs together to take to get apostilled and it hit me! Oh my goodness we will have children very soon! Maybe even before spring! I guess part of me wants that impending excitement feeling that other women get when they're pregnant (or what I always imagined it to be anyway). Since adoption has no time frames or timetables, the "air of expectancy" sometimes goes out of it the longer one has to wait.

But excitement is unfurling in my heart again. :)

It's a miraculous thing; being expectant and hopeful. A friend was talking about hope the same way. Hope doesn't stop; even when one is in the midst of trials, there is still a little ember of hope deep down. Thinking one day this trial won't affect me as much, or maybe next fall we'll be able to take our kids to get pumpkins, or maybe the next Mothers day I'll be crying tears of thankfulness and happiness instead.

And so I'm reminded of a poem by Emily Dickinson that I memorized in 6th grade:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard
And sore must be the storm,
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I called

I couldn't stand it anymore on Friday early evening. I had to call our SW. I know it had *only* been 5 days since the last time we'd gotten an update from her, but it was the deadline and I just wanted to know. I'm glad I did too. Evidently, on the 5th they are supposed to have their approval. Then it goes to Cincy to the main office, it's then sent to Columbus for approval, and then sent to the branches. At that point, the director will be able to sign off on our homestudy! So, we should, maybe, possibly, don't-hold-your-breath, have our homestudy mailed to us by the end of the week, or beginning of the 3rd week in Nov.

That would allow us to scoot our dossier in right before the courts go on break for Christmas. That's our prayer anyway.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Still nothing

Well, we still haven't heard if the agency is any closer. Tomorrow is the deadline...but it's Saturday. So we've passed the deadline. Honestly, it's hard to see why this has happened. We've been working on this adoption for 1 1/2 years and we still can't send in our dossier!!!! I just hope that one day when I look back, I'll be able to see just a little bit of why God has set this in our path.

On a lighter note, we were talking last night about the larger vehicle we'll need. Obviously we won't all be able to fit in my Jeep. We've decided that the best way to go would be to get a 2wd diesel excursion. What? you ask? A gas hog? Well technically no; it takes diesel fuel. But when you think about it, a vehicle large enough to haul 6 people and their stuff and a dog,...a minivan isn't going to cut it. And a minivan gets about 18 mpg UNloaded. So what happens when you load it to the max? Fuel economy goes down. That won't happen with the diesel. And we'll have room to grow. ;)

But my question for everyone reading is,

Do we get bucket seats in the middle or a bench seat?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Waiting, WAITing, WAITING

I'm trying to be patient, I really am. But it's hard!! And it doesn't help that every little hug I get from my precious kids at school just makes me think of my very own hijos....somewhere in Colombia.

And then today, I was clarifying where one of my 1st grader's parents were from and she said, Colombia. I nearly teared up right there. And then I almost told the whole group that I was going there! Don't want to do that yet! A little premature.

Please Lord, let it be soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008


Well Friday I was finally feeling better after being stuck home for 3 days. (Friday we didn't have school.) I was supposed to take our documents downtown to get apostilled, but as i was putting them in order I realized that one of them had been notarized incorrectly. "Oh my," I said. At that point, I knew I wouldn't be going downtown. I instead called to have the place send me a new paper with a correct notarization. The funny thing is, I don't know why I didn't catch that when I looked it over before, nor do I know why our "RIP" OH agency didn't catch it when they saw it too!

But as it turned out, I had planned way more for Friday than what was actually realistic. (But then again, I'd just done sub plans for 3 days where I'd planned more than what could actually be done in a I guess I was in a groove.)

We got all our stuff packed up to go camping. Oooooh, I was so excited! We were headed to WV to camp in the mountains. It was great fun...except that on Saturday night, the low was in the 20's. I was fuureeezing!!! We woke up to thick frost on the tent, and everywhere. We had good warm sleeping bags that were rated for even colder temps, but I guess I don't maintain heat well or something. It was a blast though. I sure do love camp cooking!

We took Veda the doggie too, and she did great. She'd wander around with us for a while, and then ask to get back in the truck. That's where she spent her time sleeping, and when we hiked up the mountain.

It was a great weekend to just get away and be refreshed. Ahhhhh, when can we do it again! ;)

We still haven't heard about the homestudy agency's approval. At this point, we know that it may well be spring before we get a referral. That's a little hard to think about, but then I remind myself that it probably WILL be spring and so I can look forward to it. I just feel like I'm in this state of emotional hibernation though. I want to be excited about finally having children, but yet I don't want my heart to be wrung out again. So I "hibernate" those emotions.

I have to say though, God has certainly taken care of us the past few years as we went through infertility and the hiccups with adopting. I look back at each struggle and remember, "God took care of us then, and He continues to." It is not easy, and there are lots of times that I just feel like giving into my sinful emotions and thoughts. And sometimes I do when I flat out refuse to turn from the sin.

Trusting God is a narrow path. I fall off a lot. But God is gracious, and all I have to do to get back on is turn my eyes to Him and confess that I can't do this without Him.

Ok, so this wasn't just about camping. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It was bound to happen

at some point this year. I usually get sick once or twice a year. And it hit me pretty good on Friday. I went to work on Monday, only to realize that I couldn't talk. So I stayed home yesterday and today...because I have no voice. Hopefully it comes back because I want to save my sick days for when I'm really going to need when we go to Colombia!!! But maybe since I"m sick now, I won't get sick in Colombia? A girl can only hope, right!

Friday I plan to bundle up all our documents and take them to the Clerk of Courts and then to the Sec. of State to get apostilled. Then as soon as the homestudy is done, I just have to run it down to the Sec. of State and we can send it all off. (Thankfully we live 10 min from downtown.) There's no school on Friday, so it works out just great. So if the homestudy agency could get approval by next week...maybe we could get the dossier sent to Colombia before November? It sure would be fun to have a referral by Christmas, but I think that would be pushing it a little. But I've always been good at dreaming......:)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

Friday, October 10, 2008


When people are truly honest with their feelings, it's uncomfortable. I guess that's why I like this blog. I can be honest, and if people are uncomfortable, I don't have to see it! Anyway, I was sharing with someone my frustration over the Homestudy taking so long with the agency not being able to operate right now. And they were uncomfortable with my frustration.

Of course I'm frustrated. Have I lost all hope? No! But I'm allowed to be frustrated! I think that's the uncomfortable part. People don't want to have to deal with the hurt they see. So they say something, hoping to just make it go away (which it won't) instead of just validating the other person's feelings.

That's hard to take over and over! So it makes me think about our kids. They're going to have a ton of feelings that we may not have dealt with before. And our job as parents will be to validate them and walk them through those feelings. Not just brush the feelings aside and say "God has a plan". (Which He does, but it becomes a trite saying sometimes.)

So I have to say, even though I don't like the waiting, I'm learning from it. I'm able to see how I react to people brushing off how I feel, and then think about how I'm going to react to my kids. And then I go try it out on the kids at school. :) And hey, what do you know? It works!! It's amazing to see how quickly a kid will calm down if you just speak what they're feeling and allow them to cry instead of telling them "it'll be ok" (which it might not) or saying, "1st graders don't cry, you're a big kid now" (come on! I cry!!)

Monday, October 6, 2008


So, it's been a while that we've been waiting for our homestudy update. Well, we just found out today that it's going to be even looooonnnnnggggeeer. AAAAhhhhh!!!!! Evidently the homestudy agency (not CHI) is audited every September and when they were this time, one piece of documentation was missing. They didn't get their approval. So our homestudy can't be completed now until they get reapproved.

Stink. Stink. Stink. Stink.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Right now we're trying to patiently wait for our homestudy to be updated. It's the only thing that we're waiting on now to take the stuff to be apostilled. As I look back at how long this has taken, one of 2 things happens. Either I see that the Lord has been faithful, or I fall into sin and get upset that it's taken so long. Which right now, that's what I'm trying to avoid.

It's easy for me to worry about when we'll be traveling because of the "perfect" scenario I can build in my head, but then I remember that with God in control, it will be perfect. It will be His perfect.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blessings never cease

So, we didn't have school Monday because of the ubiquitous power outages. But then we didn't have it Tuesday or Wednesday!! My school and one other still don't have power as of today.

So what have I done with all my found time? Worked on the dossier of course!! We have all the documents, but we needed to go back and edit so that they all reflect this new approval for 4. I wanted to take it to the clerk of courts today too, but then I realized that when i changed our letter, we also needed to have it notarized. So the Clerk will have to wait.

I also finished or photo pages. (Thanks Rene for the info!) I've been working and working on them, and then I realized that I had too many pages. So I had to go back and condense it. But they're done and look really nice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child

by Patty Cogen

This is a gem of a book I found at Half Price Books over the summer. I was browsing, like I always do, in the parenting section, when I saw the shiny binding. "Oooh, a new book!" I said. I pulled it out and checked the date. It was 2008!

I've only gotten through the first quarter of the book and it's EXCELLENT. It's thick (about like the blue Adoption Parenting) but the author covers issues from infancy through the teen years. And she gives very specific things to do with your kids. The best part is that it's completely geared toward international adoption.

I highly recommend it!

A hurricane in Ohio??

Evidently, the winds were strong enough that they would be classified a Level 1. All those years living in Florida, and I never experienced a hurricane...and now in Ohio I do.

It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. The most interesting part to me was that while it was super windy, the sky was still blue; cloudy, but blue. So it was very strange to have this wind ripping shingles off roofs, toppling huge trees, and blowing yard furniture and trampolines 20 feet into the air...and still see blue sky. We lost power for 5 hours, but evidently we're on a large "grid" so we got it back quickly. Some people won't have it back until Sat or Sun. All the school districts were closed yesterday, and most of them are today too. Somehow mine wrangled up enough manpower to get most of the schools back open....except mine!!!!!! Yippee!

So, I went to the grocery store yesterday because when I went Sunday they were all closed: no power. But Walmart was still closed, and Target was open but mostly dark! Meijer's parking lot was PACKED so I avoided it. Kroger was open but had no refrigerated items out yet. That was a little eerie to see all the empty shelves. Great time to clean! ;)

At Target I bought some items that made me smile all day. They were all on clearance for 1.50, and I figured I might as well start now! ;) (I'm still smiling about that. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008


As of Wednesday, we're approved for 4 siblings!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) You'll have to wait for more info. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swiffer Fixer

I like the Swiffer. I don't like how much those disposable cloths cost. Even with a coupon they're expensive. And the cheap ones really aren't worth it. But with the addition of our dear doggie, the floor needs washed more frequently. So I was trying to figure out how to use the Swiffer so I wasn't actually paying for new cloths all the time. And as I was laying in bed one night, it struck me. Why not use the wash cloth after I"m done doing the dishes? That way it can go right into the wash! So i tried it today, and it worked! it's a little too big and flops over the spots where you press it in, but it did the job!

I like little things like that. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

II Corinthians 4

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”[c] 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,[d] will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[e] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not the weekend we had hoped for...

Well, our plans for this labor day weekend suddenly changed when S called on Friday afternoon. He'd been switched to a different jobsite and that site is working 12's. Sooo, he wouldn't be home at 3:45 like usual. It would be more like 7. And, they are working on Saturday and Sunday too. So yesterday was a very loooong day for me. Around 3:30, I was so tired of being home by myself. However, I WAS glad that we now have a doggie to keep me company. The only thing is, she is used to S getting home around 4 too, and she started pacing and "grunting" by the front door then until he came home! It was pretty funny. Every time she'd hear a diesel like noise her ears would prick up and she'd stand motionless listening. And then when it wasn't S's truck, she'd go back to grunting and pacing.

We were supposed to go up to E-town today (Sunday), to visit with the family, but now that won't be happening. S will be wiped out tomorrow, so we probably will just be around home relaxing.

In other news, we filled out a grant application for Shoahannah's Hope and just recieved our last recommendation that we need to send in with it. Receiving a grant would be a blessing!

We've also been speaking with our SW to be reevaluated for 3/4 siblings. It's taking a long time though, so it's easy to get frustrated. I think the most frustrating thing is that this past year and a half we've already been doing things to prepare for that number of kids. So to have to do it all over again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just adds "emotionality" to the whole thing. Because of course we don't even know if she'll approve us. And at this point, short of actually getting a degree in social work, all the talking to families, a psychologist, and the multitude of books we've read has pretty well opened our eyes to what we could be "getting ourselves into". So as the attachement psychologist said, "There's no way to really prepare for this. Just be as knowledgeable as you can about the different issues that may come up."

I think the hardest thing now is that I second guess myself. It's as if by going through all this again, I sense doubt from others and then doubt myself. I mean it's things like, "Will I really be able to cook for that many kids?" and then I tell myself, "A, you never had a problem cooking for S's Bible study of 8-10 GUYS!" Or, will I really be able to get myself out of bed when the kids need me?" And then I say, "A, you get yourself out of bed even when S needs to go to work at 5 and wakes you up at 4:30!

We still trust the Lord for the family that He has for us. So if you would pray that we would stay strong in the Lord and be able to ignore the doubts that are thrown our way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to school

Today was the first day of school. It was good to see the kids again, but it rained all day due to Tropical Storm Fay. So that put a damper on outside recess. :(

Friday, August 22, 2008

USA Weightlifter visits Children's Hope foster home

Melanie Roach visited a foster home run by Children's Hope. I'm glad that the news station took the time to air that.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Saturday turned out to be quite a fun day. I got some great deals, namely a paper cutter for $8. I've wanted one for so long, and passed one up a year ago at a yard sale. But this time, I didn't hesitate and just bought it. I don't know exactly how much they are new, but I know they're $$$.

We went canoeing again, but this time it was at night! We went with some people from church and it was a blast. Sean swung onto a branch again, but this time I had a really hard time getting the canoe back under the branch. The current was stronger, the branch was higher off the water, and there were logs in the river I had to get around. Sooooo, as Sean was dropping down into the canoe, I couldn't keep the boat balanced, and we fell in. It was fun. I haven't tipped a canoe in a long time....

Oh, and I almost forgot! This place told us we didn't have to wear our life vests, we just had to have them in the boat! So I didn't wear it!! :) Walkin' on the wild side! Oooh.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Last Day of Summer

Today is my last "real" full day of summertime. Next week I have to go in to my classroom and unpack and set it up.

So hmm, what to do on my last day? Well, I need to clean up the living room from the painting. It looks sooo much better now! Then I think I'm going to go yardsaling. (sp? that looks funny)

I love going to yard sales. Love love love it. When I was little, mom would search through the paper, mark the yard sales on a map, and figure out her route. Then she'd load us up in the car and we'd head out. Mostly I remember us buying clothes, and maybe the occasional toy. Now, can you believe that Mom used to be able to get a brown bag full of clothes for $1? Maybe it was $2, but even still. Now, you can't even buy a pair of jeans for $2 at lots of yard sales. (It is possible that I am completely disremembering the actual price of the bag, and that it was actually higher.)

Anyway, that began my love of yardsaling. One of my favorite things to do, is to take a pocketful of quarters. I'll find something for between .50 and $1, and then offer a quarter for it. It's fun to see how many things I can buy for 1 quarter!

Ok, I'm off to plan my route!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yay for the Doctor!

I was worried about getting our medical letter notarized today. We had our appt, but couldn't get it notarized. I was going to ask the dr. to do it. Well evidently, the Doctor decided that having someone there in the office be a notary was a good idea! And they have a notary now!!! Yay!

That letter was the single most worrisome piece of paperwork out of all of it. And now, even if we have to have it done a 3rd time, I will not have to worry about it!

6 Days

I have 6 days of summer vacation left. In these 6 days I must transform the empty ugly family room into a livable family. It's slowly coming together, and I'm on the final stretch. I primed the brick wall yesterday, which took FOREVER, and today I'm going to paint it and prime the bay window. Maybe I'll even have time to repaint the bay window today too. Wouldn't that be nice! We also have our Dr. appt this afternoon to get our medical letter redone.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jeeping... or canoeing?

Yesterday we went canoeing. I've wanted to go for a long time, and we realized there is a place really close by that rents canoes and you can go down the Big Darby Creek. So we did! We got there a little after it opened, around 9:45 or so, and were some of the first down the river. We passed a group, who seemed to like going down the river backwards, and after that only saw a few fishermen along the way. It was a 6 mile trip. It was supposed to take 2-4 hours. It took us under 2. I guess they assume more floating than paddling? It was gorgeous weather and we never even tipped, even though I wanted to!

But, we did see a strange sight. One silly man mistook his Jeep for a canoe. I guess no one's told him that Jeeps don't float! Hee hee.

Sean disappeared from the canoe onto an overhanging branch.
I should have taken off my lifevest for the picture, but if you know me, you know I always follow the I left it on in.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


We took all our waiting docs to get notarized today! So now we only await the medical letters and employer letters. Then we can take them to the Clerk of Courts and then on to be apostilled! Yay!

I've been working on the photo pages and I think we're going to do a "photo shoot" this afternoon. We need more pictures of the 2 of us together.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Funny Story

In this month's newsletter from CHI, there was a book recommendation, Raising Nuestros Ninos. Well, I saw it and really wanted to read it. I immediately searched for it at the library and reserved it. Well today S and I went to the library and he went and got it off the reserve shelf for me while I was talking to a librarian. Well he comes back and is laughing and shaking his head at me! And then I realized what may have happened. It was the Spanish version. Oops! Well the library doesn't own an English version, so I had to order it off of Amazon. I just thought that was pretty funny. :) We know some Spanish, but not that much!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Like a wagon with square wheels

That's kind of what I feel like right now. We only have our medical letters and employer letters left along with finishing those annoying videos. (Which we haven't watched in a while because they're so painful to sit through. Oh why can't they turn it into a book??) And, I think we're close to having the dossier fee. The medical letter needs to be updated from last year and we have the appointment for that. The employer letters we'll get this next week when S goes back from vacation and i call my hr department. I guess I'm just feeling the crunch now that it's August and school will be starting at the end. We really hope we can have all the docs apostilled before I go back.

We got our 2nd set of FBI prints back yesterday; they only took 2 weeks from sending to receiving! I thought that was pretty good. And, they didn't have a problem with S's prints! We were concerned because the ridges on 2 of his fingers were completely missing, but I guess they thought it was fine.

So why do I feel like a wagon with square wheels? Because we are moving forward, but have to work seemingly so hard for each little turn. And because it's been so many months that we just want to have our children home.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Road Trip

We left OH and drove through IN to Chicago where we met some friends for lunch in Oak Park. I love the scenery in Chicago. The traffic stinks. Then we drove further West to Granny's house. It was wonderful to see her again. The next morning we drove to St. Cloud MN by way of Wisconsin. Ooohh. I had forgotten how pretty my birth state is! If I had to pick a place to live in based on terrain, it very well could be the W side of Wisconsin or East side of MN. After an hour in St. Cloud we drove to La Crosse WI to see my friend Liz. That was a long day! On Sunday we got up and drove all the way home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Maples Hotel...complete with color TV

Our hotel was vintage. It was started in the 1920's and has been going strong ever since. Aside from the trains that went by about 9 times during the night (the RR crossing was right across the street) it was great...and inexpensive. The owners are super nice too. I mentioned the trains and she acted stunned. I caught on she was joking and mentioned I'd bring earplugs the next time. She proceeded to pull out a huge container of them! Oh well, I'll remember to ask next time!

Gotta love color TV...
Our breakfast stop. LEMmys...Lake Eerie Monster. You could get a perch omelet. No thanks!
Our scrumptious dinner...probably the best dinner we've ever had. Mmmmm!

The Thrills and the Chills

Well, we had it all at Cedar Point yesterday. Fog, sprinkles, chilly breezes, rain, HAIL. Wait, hail? Yessiree. It hailed. Around lunchtime it started to sprinkle and then rain a little. It let up, but the rides all had to be test run before they'd let people on after the rain. Well we showed up to Mean Streak just as they were letting people in again. The line was short, and we were waiting underneath the covered walkway......when it began to sprinkle, then rain for about 15 minutes or so. Then the thunder and lightening cracked, the wind picked up and the hail came down!

First it was little hail; about a pencil eraser or so. Then there were hail pieces that ranged from a dime to a nickel. Thankfully we were under the covered walkway and stayed mostly dry. We waited about a total of 2 hours until the storm blew over and the ride was opened. Then the sunny sky came back!! (The middle picture shows a piece of hail)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Going to Cedar Point

Since we are on vacation, we figured we should take a vacation. So we're going to Cedar Point tomorrow! It's been a very long time since either of us has been there. I'm so excited!! I absolutely love roller coasters.

We'll stay in a little motel tomorrow night so we don't have to make the trip back all tired from going upside down over and over again. The motel is supposedly wonderful. It's a little piece of history left where the big hotel chains are trying to take over. I guess one of its amenities is a color TV. ;)

We got word that our agency still doesn't have Hague approval. So far it looks that we're still covered because we have an approved I600a. But it's unnerving a little.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wonderful Night

Friday night's Variety Show was so much fun! We had a great time talking with friends and family and feel so blessed to have you in our life! There were quite a few who drove hours and hours to come, and we are so appreciative of your support!! It means more than words can express.

In terms of raising funds, we came out with just over $1000! Thank you all for giving! We're one step closer to being able to submit the dossier.

Saturday was our anniversary and we were treated to a wonderful brunch at Der Dutchman with S' parents. It was great food....and a buffet! Yummmmy. Of course we ooohed and aahhhed over the newest Vera Bradley bags in the gift shop. (Why oh why are those bags so addicting???)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A little taste...

We have word on some of the things that will be in the silent auction. Our friend is part of the entertainment. He'll be doing a mini strongman show. And part of what he creates in his show will be in the silent auction! Hand bent steel art...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Glorious Summer

I absolutely adore summertime. I crave it actually. Well, Wednesday I started priming the bookshelves and made the mistake of not opening the windows when i started. It was hot and humid and I wanted to keep the ac on so that the primer would dry. Bad idea. After the headache set in, I opened the windows. And glory be! It had actually cooled off outside.

Yesterday I had the windows open all day. It was glorious. The breeze was streaming in, the white paint dried fabulously, and I reveled in the summeryness of it all. So today, I'll leave the windows open again. It's supposed to be near 90 today though, and humid, so hopefully I can get it done in the morning, air out the fumes, then turn the a/c back on in time for the heat wave.

The bookshelves are going to be white (Behr Sateen Lustre- great paint) and the walls are going to be a light sage green. The kitchen cabinets are going to be the same white as the bookshelves. I am not really looking forward to painting those...but I AM looking forward to how beautiful it will look when they're done!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The ticker started over

Some of our projects for the next couple of weeks are:
Remove the freestanding wood fireplace.
Prime the bookshelves...again. done
Paint the bookshelves.
Wash and paint the living room.
Wash and repaint the kitchen.
Tackle painting the kitchen cabinets.
Make a bunch of desserts for the show.
Sell stuff I don't want to look at anymore on Craigslist.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bike Ride...where's the camera?

At usual. When we turn in our dossier, we need to have photo pages of us and family. That way, ICBF (Colombia's Children and Families) can give the pictures to the kids after they are referred to us, so they can get to know our faces. Anyway, we're supposed to have pictures of fun things S and I like to do together. Well, I'm not one to remember the camera...and neither is S. So we do these fun things, and then I remember the camera. I think we need a fcamera fairy to follow us around...

We went to Battelle Darby Park yesterday to ride our bikes. The bike trail wasn't done yet, but we did get to see a small part of the park. It's beautiful! The ranger told us to go to Prairie Oaks Metro Park. They have bike trails. So we did. It was great! The trail is small gravel, so it's easy to ride on. It's a rolling terrain, and there's lots to look at. You even cross a big bridge over the creek. Anyone in cbus should check it out...
BTW, I didn't take those pictures because MY camera was at home....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Colombia's Stunning Hostage Rescue,8599,1819862,00.html

"...To be a hostage of Colombia's Marxist guerrillas is to be on the move. The rebels — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) — sequester their captives deep inside the country's mountainous jungle terrain, and they regularly lead them on long, arduous marches from one mosquito-infested camp to another to keep the Colombian military from detecting their whereabouts. But on one of those treks today, the FARC finally exposed itself long enough for the army to score one of the most stunning hostage rescues in the history of a country where human abduction is virtually a national pastime...."

This is awesome!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Benefit Variety Show

We have put together a fundraising show. It will be pretty exciting for sure! We've got some wonderful friends who are going to be performing. Thanks guys! Of course we'll have some yummy treats to eat as well.
You are invited to a benefit Variety Show!

Come for entertainment and dessert.
There will be several items up for silent auction.
All proceeds will benefit S & A's adoption from Colombia.

July 18, 2008

7:45 pm


Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, OH 43119
Shagbark Pavilion

There is a parking lot, but you may want to carpool. This will be a casual, outdoor event.

RSVP before July 15, 2008

Visit for news on the adoption.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The first book we read: Attaching in Adoption

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray
This is one of the books our SW recommended to us. It took a while to get through, as it was our first experience with attachment. There were so many terms to learn, and issues to ponder and discuss. Gray has a wonderful way of writing this technical information but conveying it in a warm way.

She defines attachment, how it happens, and different kinds of attachment. She discusses the impact of trauma, grief and loss. Also, she brings up how the parents' issues, ones we think we may have dealt with, can come suddenly bubbling to the surface in the middle of a situation with our children.

This book was very educational. Gray gives a thorough explanation of a myriad of subjects related to attachment, trauma, grief, and loss. She gives many suggestions for parents and the biological/psychological/physiological reasons for the behavior. I recommend this book as a "first read" or an at "least this book" for adoption.

(Gray also has a new book out: Nurturing Adoptions. I didn't buy it, so I don't have it here to review. :(

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Furniture and Fun

The past two days I've spent cleaning out the tan bedroom and actually setting up the beds that have been stored in there since last summer. Now the green room looks like a bedroom and the tan room is slowly looking like one.

And sis and I went on a mega shopping adventure today. The JCPenney outlet is on the other side of town. There is a regular outlet and a furniture outlet. The furniture outlet is awesome!!! Rock bottom prices for nearly perfect furniture. We oohed and ahhed.

Then we went over to the main outlet. It's huge and our big reason for going was shirts for 2.99. Also, sis needed to look for a sofa slipcover for mom. We found one that is perfect! We went to the back of the store, which happens to be my fav place: catalog returns. Now some of the stuff has been used (gross) but others are just waaaayyyy marked down. We found a 2 piece loveseat slipcover for 9.99 and a chair slipcover for 7.99. Pretty good! I don't actually have a loveseat, or a chair, but craigslist does! ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Book Reviews

I've decided I need to start doing book reviews. During our homestudy, many moons ago, our SW suggested 3 books. Well of course being the D family, we read them. And they were great. But, I wanted more. I felt like I had a surface understanding on attachment, trauma, neglect, and basic child brain development. However I knew that wasn't going to get me very far. And, at the same time, I was dealing with some pretty tough issues with kids at school. So I started reading more and more.

So that brings me to why I'm doing reviews. I've read some really great books (Thanks library! :) But a lot of them were quite a while ago and they've started to mush together. So when i think, "Where did I read about _?" I sometimes can't remember which book it was. Also, a few of the more "pop" books were pretty pointless to read after the "psychology/physiology" ones.

So the reviews will be my humble opinion; and my opinions are formed from what I've read and thought about. I'm no expert and just want to be prepared for whatever my children will need. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We received confirmation that the State Department had recieved our I-600a and was forwarding it to La Embajade de Los Estados Unidos, Visa Unit in Bogota. Ooh, that little paper nearly made me cry (and no, not because it was boring white). I thought, "we're getting so close". And yet we seem so far. It's hard to hope while at the same time reign myself in. But to think that something is in Colombia at least is exciting.

I spent yesterday driving back and forth to Advance Auto and Napa as S fixed an oil leak on his truck. He got it fixed, thankfully.

Friday, June 6, 2008

First day of summer...

Ah, the wonderful sunshine and heat! I packed up my classroom yesterday and today began summer. Yeehaw!

And, as a last day of school surprise, we received our I171-H form. Now if we could just get our dossier together. I keep praying for "everything" to work together, knowing it's really all in the Lord's hands. But now that I'm done working for the summer, I'm ready to do what needs done!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Since it's the end of the school year, I've been reflecting a little bit on the year. For me, the year starts when summer begins I guess. It's a time for renewal. :) So my "resolutions" begin when summer begins. So it's a natural time to reflect.

I've been thinking about how far my students have come this year. I only wish I could tell everything that's happened and how they've grown. It's amazing to see their little minds mature little by little. My 4th graders I've now had for 4 years. I know them very well now and it's incredible to what they've learned. What's really neat is to see the boys. They start school caring little about "school". They're active, antsy, and talkative. Year by year goes by and they begin to soak up more and more.

Ok, so that was school in a nutshell. On to our personal life. The beginning of summer last year kicked off a year of mishaps, and an avalanche of tears. We applied to CHI and started the adoption. Then our bank account was drained as someone "stole our identity". I think it was the TJ Max security breach, or else someone that sold my debit card info. The Lord was faithful and it was resolved.

Then August. S had a cab panel fall on his wrist and sever 2 tendons. That started off a 10 month onslaught of dr. visits. He did decide to have it repaired. The surgery was successful and the day of his last checkup to sign off on full duty at work again S was in the car accident.

Now, this being the 4th major blow, we were emotionally spent. We had just started to come to terms with the adoption taking longer due to only being approved for 2 siblings because of finances. Now it seemed like it would be forever away. Anything we were saving now had to pay the medical bills for the accident.

I have to say that those winter months were brutal. Life was NOT happy for us. I was frustrated about the adoption taking longer, mad that the Lord was allowing this pain in our life, hurting for the pain S was in, tired of the constant battle for happiness when things seemed so bleak, and of course desperately wanting the sun to shine.

About this time too, the Holy Spirit was working on me. I was having these thoughts of "maybe my whole mindset is wrong". You see, I refused to acknowledge the possibility that we might never have children. Absolutely refused. But I was sitting in Sunday School one day and realized that this refusal to acknowledge it was my attempt to control this little thing that I thought I had control over. Kinda like a kid who refuses to eat something because it's one of the few things they can control. I figured if I didn't acknowledge this thought it would never materialize AND I wouldn't have to confront the biggest fear of my life. (Actually it ties with the biggest fear of my life: losing S. But I'd already had to confront that, albeit momentarily, when he had his accident.) But of course, if I'm giving my life over to the Lord, I have to rejoice in His plan for my life. Even if it means never having children. The thought nearly brings me to tears even now. Deny myself and follow Jesus. To deny oneself is HARD!! and boy did the tears and anger flow when I was wrestling with this. But the more I gave it to the Lord, that fear was slowly replaced by peace. Little by little.

And now it's May. We still don't know when we'll be able to settle the insurance claim for the accident, and don't know when our finances will be to the point where we'll be approved for 3 or 4 siblings. But I praise the Lord for what He's brought us through and given us the strength to endure. I also praise the Lord for a husband who is committed to following the Lord in the midst of adversity.

While I can't say that these things have made me happy, I can say that I continue to learn the joy that comes from trusting the Lord.

Count it all joy when you have trials, for the trying of your faith works patience....and if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God....for he that wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Waiting for the next step.

Our homestudy is being sent to USCIS now. So, we'll be waiting for the document they send back to us.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Adoption Timeline

March 2007 Decided to adopt
3.27.07 Attended CHI info meeting
6.30.07 Mailed Application
7.10.07 Official Approval, mailed HS Application
11.00.07 Homestudy completed approved for 2 kids; decided to wait on sending dossier
3.30.08 Sent 1600a
4.19.08 USCIS Biometrics
6.5.08 I171-H received for 2 kids
9.10.08 Homestudy Approved for 4 siblings!!!
11.23.08 Recieved homestudy update for 4 kids
12.3.08 Mailed dossier to CHI
12.5.08 I 171-H received for 4 kids!!!!!
12.17.08 Dossier mailed to Colombia!!!!!!!! Finally!!!!
2.6.09 Colombia requests more info
2.18.09 Picked up psych letter addendum
2.20.09 (Fri) Apostilled docs and mailed to CHI
2.23.09 (Mon)Addendum mailed to Colombia!!!
3.24.09 Heard from CHI ICBF has approved our dossier!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fingerprinting done!

We showed up to the Department of Homeland Security bright and early this morning. The benefit of getting fingerprinted on Saturday, instead of the Thursday they had first appointed us, is that 1- We don't have to take off work, 2-there is no traffic took 15min to get there, 3-parking is FREE, and 4-there was no one else there!

This afternoon we put in a new toilet, and are going to make the raised garden beds for my veggies. Hopefully I can plant them all this weekend too!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Loose Ends

Do you ever have the feeling that your loose ends are being tied off? (In the good way.) I am getting that feeling, and can't figure it out. Some of my cherubs that I was really concerned about are now in better places, and no longer part of my class. It's sad they're not with me anymore, but better for them. So I feel like my purpose for this year is wrapping up.

I'm excited about getting fingerprinted as it's an important step. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Biometric Capturing

That sure sounds funny! I think I'm going to go around telling people that "my biometrics need capturing" just to see the looks on their faces! Ok, maybe I won't say that, but it would be funny! All it means is we are getting fingerprinted by The Department of Homeland Security. I loved the paper it came in. It had The United States of America in that dollar bill style font. It was cool!

Our appointment is next Saturday, April 26th. That is great because neither one of us have to take off work! The first appointment time was for this past Thursday and it was too close to OAT time. So I requested another time. The only drawback is once they've done the fingerprinting, it has an expiration date. We are allowed one free extension. Sooo, I am sure hoping that we can finish this adoption within that timeframe. (I forget how long the biometrics are good for.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I-600a sent!

We sent it off on Thursday! Now we just wait for the CIS's approval. It felt really good to actually send something in recently!