Friday, December 18, 2009

6 Months

I keep counting how long it's been since we met the carinitos, and said goodbye. I don't know why...sometimes it's to keep from thinking it was a cruel dream, and sometimes it's to remind myself that I've survived. Whatever it is, it's been 6 months since we first met them.

Sean and I went to Kroger last night. I needed some candy canes for school Friday, and some marshmallows. I was walking down the aisle and saw a familiar face. It was a student from last year. "Hi N!" I said. He turned and looked at me and smiled. "Hi Mrs. D!" and then the dreadful part, "How are your kids?"

We still get this. We will for a long time I suppose. Hundreds of people have been praying with us for the adoption for nearly 3 years--we are deeply grateful for the prayers.

I tried to snap out of my immediate flood of memories and sadness. "We couldn't adopt them." is my standard reply. Of course he asked why, but I just kinda ignore it. "So how come you're not teaching then?" "Well I am...I'm just not at PL anymore."

While the pain is different now, I never stop thinking of the carinitos.

Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
Psalm 73

Friday, October 16, 2009

Out of nowhere

It's now been 4 months since we went to Colombia. It sure doesn't seem like 4 months. I think the end of summer months/beginning of fall months go faster than the winter/ beginning of spring ones.

I started back to work 4 weeks ago. It was torture and still is hard. But while I was at home after returning from Colombia and working through my feelings and where my will was in relation to God's, I learned that the only way I'd be able to move through "this" was to actually set aside time to think on what's happened. So now, I've been practicing "turning off school" when I get in the car to go home. It was really difficult at first because the past 6 years I haven't done that. But I MUST do that now. Otherwise the weeked rolls around and I'm left in a very bad state. And that makes the weekend and next week even worse.

The moments of intese debilitating grief are lessening, but they do come out of nowhere. One of the many things we learned about adoption was that many things can trigger grief, anger, or reliving a bad situation. I didn't ever really know exactly what that meant, until now. Now I understand how birthdays, holidays are rough on children. I understand how a small comment no one else even notices triggers unrational rage inside. Going to the grocery store and seeing or hearing a child that sounds like H, S, N or E makes me freeze up and relive whatever memory of the kids I have at that moment.

I do miss them. Sometimes i stop for a minute while washing the dishes and imagine what the house would have sounded like with them there with me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tough

I went back to work on Monday. It. was. hard. I cried more than not. I didn't think that would really happen...me crying so much, but it did. Tuesday was slightly better, and today was slightly better. I continually pray all day long for the Lord to give me courage. I switch schools in the middle of the day, and yesterday I was sorely tempted to just go home when I got in my car.

This morning I had to go over to my previous school from last year, PL to get files and books I'd left there not thinking I'd need. The minute I entered the neighborhood, I started crying and was crying the whole time I was there. I love that staff. I really do. They are all so kind and caring. I wished with all my heart I could be back at "my" school. In my head I kept telling God that I'd "do this" if I could just be back at PL. But I don't think that's where He wants me. He would have put me there if He did.

One of my students looks exactly like H. I kept looking and looking at her because it's so uncanny. Then I started to get all choked up thinking about pushing her on the swing, playing finchas with her, talking with her....It doesn't take much at all and suddenly I'm watching those days in Colombia play out in front of me like it's a veil over the rest of the world.

I struggle every day with saying yes to the Lord and trusting Him. Yesterday, I didn't want to at all. I just wanted to tell God that I'm "done" and that I won't be at work, won't be at church and just cocoon or something. But I always come back to God is good and He has redeemed this and really, what would I do or be without Him?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why "God's plan" is often not comforting

That sounds harsh, doesn't it? But it's true, for me anyway. Oh, I'm sure it has roots in pride, somewhere, but if I look deep it's something else entirely: FEAR.

So why is being told, "God has a plan" not comforting? Because after experiencing this pain, there is no guarantee that God's plan will be void of more pain. It very well indeed could include more pain and more suffering. And the Bible even says that is what we should expect, and that we should count it all joy. Being told that the Lord will bless us carries the same feelings. Blessing from the Lord are not the "easy life" we are often fooled into thinking they are.

It could be that a blessing the Lord gives us is a deepened empathy for others experiencing pain. So from a selfish stanpoint, that's not comforting because it doesn't really benefit me. Maybe the blessing is the opportunity to minister to others because we aren't ministering to our children. Well, I can't see (with my human limitations) how that is a blessing when the Bible talks about children being a blessing! I want the latter one!

What carries me through right now is thinking about how God is worthy of my trust. It gets me through the next moment and the next, and the next. Thinking about what the "plan" might be only sabatoges my fragile emotions and ability to trust.

So for anyone who is wondering, God IS worthy of our trust. This pain has already been redeemed through God sacrificing his son for us. It's hard for me to wrap my head around, but it's a soft whisper to my battered soul. This pain has been redeemed and this struggle is not for naught; it points to God, the redeemer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spanish books and cool websites

I just have to share these websites. The first one is the International Childrens' Digital Library. This site has digital versions of books. The super cool thing is that you can search for books in all kinds of languages!! There are tons in Spanish! It's difficult to find Spanish children's books for a decent price, so this is really cool! The website is set up well and easy to navigate.

The other website is a list of literacy games and other such things that include activities in Spanish. GameGoo is by Earobics, a program my school district uses. The main page is a new bilingual publisher I guess.

http://www.bilingualreaders.com/resources/just-for-kids/

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It hurts when the neighbor kids ask what we're going to do with the toys.
It hurts when people go on to question why we weren't the right parents and say it must have been because there were 4.
It hurts when someone asks us we don't just "have our own."
Most of all it hurts because they were our own, but only for 10 days.

And right now it hurts because it's my birthday, and they aren't here to share it with me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not really reinstated after all....

Well, I got a call today and the director said there may be a problem. So he's going to call back Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reinstated

I found out I will be reinstated starting on Monday. I felt a little let down this morning when the director called and said they didn't have a beginning of the year position for me. But he asked how I'd feel about home instruction. I said I thought I'd enjoy it! An hour and a half later they called and offered me the position.

I don't know at all how it works, how many students I'll have, or what exactly I'll be teaching, but I'm thankful to be reinstated.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A few notes

It feels good to say this: I actually think we're starting to feel better. It kind of goes in waves and backtracks, but I can at least add the comparative "-er" now.

I requested reinstatement from leave, but have yet to hear if I have a position. School starts on the 24th, so hopefully I'll hear something this week?

Sean has been working nights for a few weeks now. It's been hard to have a "schedule" because of it. Evidently, when one is healing, one is supposed to have a "schedule." I guess we've done the best we can.

For the first time, I enjoyed playing with the neighbor kids over the weekend. That is good.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.”
- Henri Nouwen

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Drive to Illinois

This past weekend, we drove to IL to celebrate Granny's 90th Birthday. It was a difficult weekend. Right before we left for Colombia, we'd heard of the plans to have this party for her. Of course we wanted to go, but didn't know if we'd even be back from Colombia in time.

But we were. And to be there without our kids was really hard. Taking pictures without our kids was really hard. And I couldn't make it through the picture with Granny, Mom and my sisters...because H wasn't in the picture with me.

Sunday was our anniversary, and to our stunned surprise, the radio played the song we were supposed to have danced to at our wedding! (The music didn't work at the reception.) And then when we arrived home, there was a package from Em. Em, it is absolutely beautiful! I cut out the note on the envelope and put it inside. Very timely indeed. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Questions Unanswered

I know the thought going through everyone's mind is, "What happened down there?" And honestly, the same question goes through our mind, just in a a different context. How could the Lord, who'd provided everything for this adoption for nearly 2 1/2 years, ordain (or permit) this to happen? We have absolutely no idea...and we may never know.

What we do know is that this hurts to the depths of our very being. We are trying to go through the motions of life at least, even though we don't want to. Through it all, we know that the Lord is working in our life, and in the lives of the children and we trust Him in that. But that's pretty much all we've got.

We are so very thankful for everyone's prayers and offers to help. If you're in the area and want to stop by to say hi for a while, we'd like that. If you're wondering what to say to us, or anyone whose been through something like this, "I'm so sorry" is the best thing to say.

Though it's difficult to watch friends go through something painful and not know what happened, that is how this must be. While part of this is Sean's and my story, the other part belongs to our 4 children. In order to protect them and their future family, we will not be sharing the details of what happened.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Heartbroken

We were not able to complete the adoption. We were not the right parents for the children. We were parents for 10 days. There are no words to express how sad, sick, and devasted we are.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We are here!

We flew out of CMH on Sunday morning. We were there really early so that we could relax. Then we flew to ATL, were there early as well. We were able to request exit row seats! Yes! The woman who sat next to us was very helpful and kind. We arrived in Bogota a little after 9 pm (They're on EST, but don't do daylight savings, so they're an hour behind us.) We did fine at immigration and customs. We were picked up by our rep, and we went to the hotel for the night. Today we're meeting Lucia and heading over to the house we're staying at! We're pretty nervous....ah make that really nervous! It's hard to eat. :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Off we go!

We're eating breakfast, washing the last dishes and then heading to the airport at 8!! To say we're nervous is an understatement! Our poor dog could hardly sleep last night; I think we were giving off very anxious vibes. We depart CMH at 12, have a layover in ATL, and then arrive in Colombia at 9 pm. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!

We'll try to update at least once a week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The sizes we're taking...

we've asked lots of people (the kids at school were a great help!!), but I thought I'd put it out to everyone too. We have the height and weight of the kids from April.

H is 75lbs and 4'5"...we're taking a size 4 shoe, size 10 clothes
S is 42lbs and 3'6"...we're taking a size 1 shoe, size 4/5 clothes
N is 38.5lbs and 3'6"...we're take a 12 shoe, size 4/5 clothes
E is 30 lbs and 34.6"...we're taking a 7 shoe, size 2T maybe 3T

Suggestions are welcome! :)

Also, what brand of training undies would you recommend? I've seen some at JCP, but haven't seen them anywhere else. (Maybe I've just looked in the wrong spot?)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shopping Trip

There's still so many little things we need before we leave, so I headed out this afternoon to go to Kroger, Kohls and Target. Kroger was doing triple coupons, so I wanted to take advantage of that and get toothbrushes, pharmacy stuff, and other items we needed. Then I wanted to price check the mattress covers at Kohls, and price check a swimsuit for H. The mattress covers were buy one get one free! So I bought 4 waterproof ones. Then I headed to Target where I inially wanted to buy another shoe cubby for the front door. But they weren't on sale. So I just kept browsing. I finally found a swimsuit for H for a decent price, boys belts for 2.50 on clearance, and boys shoes on clearance. Our plan is to take a pair of shoes for each of the kids, and hope they fit. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

9 days until we leave!

Me oh my! Yesterday was the last day of school and today was the teacher workday. S came in to help me move all my boxes and furniture. Around 10 teachers were switching classrooms, so it was great to have his help. We had my classrom and 3/4 of another one moved within 3 hours! :0 It was strange to walk out of my classroom and know that I won't be unpacking it in the fall. Strange, but VERY welcome!!!

The race is on now to get everything on our checklist accomplished before next Saturday!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Little tidbits

So, in case anyone is interested, here's our organizational strategy. We'll have a binder with divider pockets to carry around all of our documents needed on a day-to-day basis. Then we'll have one of those expandable files to add whatever we receive while we're down there.
The bag that I chose has a section made just especially for documents to keep them wrinkle free. It also has a laptop compartment, accessible from a top zipper so you don't have to open the whole thing up. Sean's pack also has one; so either of us could carry the laptop. We debated getting true backbacks or the sling/messenger style packs. Basically it came down to which one is easiest to access. The sling/messengers won. The strap can go over the shoulder, or be buckled tight around the waist. Thanks again for all the suggestions!




Received the visas!

Yesterday when we returned home from my sister's graduation party, a FedEx evelope was laying on our doorstep. I'm not sure why the envelope wasn't inside the storm door...but oh well. It didn't get wet. Inside were our passports with visas...and they sent our original child offer letter back to us! How nice!

Thank you everyone for suggestions on what kind of carry-on and how to lug all our stuff around. With all of your suggestions I think we've figured it out! (And of course, I'll take any excuse I can get to buy a new bag!! :) )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

18 Days until we leave!

Oooooh buddy! Our weekend proved to be very productive. S did some maintenance on our cars, we drove to NW OH, came back and got to work on rearranging the house. We put up the shelving in H's closet, and sorted through the clothes and washed what needed to be washed. It's surreal folding their little clothes!! And they sure are little! We put the booster seats in the car so they're now out of the living room.

This week I'm bringing home my things from school; I'm not sure where I'll put it all yet though. I still have to paint the last bookshelf for the living room. There will be no shortage of books in this house!

Our travel phone call is on Friday. We're putting together what luggage we'll take, so that we can start packing and weighing. Suggestions on where to put the laptop/camcorder/camera are welcome...we don't know if we should get a laptop bag and put the other 2 in another carryon, or if we should look for a bag that is a carryon/laptop/clothes/camera all in one deal. (we've never flown with this much "technology" before. ;)

Friday, May 22, 2009

God's Grace

The past few weeks have been very, very hectic. S has been working "out of town" (the term they use when working outside of the metro area) and has been leaving at 5 am and returning around 6. School is wrapping up for the year, and that means report cards, assessments, paperwork, and packing up a classroom. Add to that the flying around we've been doing to get our plane tickets, visas, and adoption paperwork, accumulating furniture and clothes and toys, and it could be a recipe for disaster.

But it hasn't been. I've watched both of us accept the tasks with patience that must only come from God...because there's no way we could do all this on our own. The past 2 1/2 weeks I've felt peace in the midst of the whirlwind. Yes, there have been some tears in the middle of it all, but even then, I knew that the Lord is in control.

So as I think about it today ...I can begin to see the "joy" that comes from trials.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Visas sent off for!

After hurrying around downtown to get certifications and apostilles Monday, copying everything on Tuesday, we were able to send off for our visas yesterday. Now we need to send some paperwork to CHI to prepare for Colombia. Our appointment at Children's is on Friday, we're driving to see S's family on Saturday, Sunday we're finishing H's closet, putting the newly received dressers in bedrooms, sorting through kids clothing and building a shed for the backyard. Monday we're probably still working on the shed and organizing clothes, toys, books and furniture in the house.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Okay I'll see about the pictures :)

I don't know when we're allowed to post them! So I'll find out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Plane Tickets

We bought our plane tickets today, and all of the paperwork on the kids came! With new pictures!!! Oh they are so beautiful! Of course they look older since the first picture, which is from at least 18 months ago. We're figuring out where we'll be staying in Bogota as well. It's just all so exciting and it feels so good to finally be at this point.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We meet our kids on June 16th!!!

We plan to fly down to Bogota on June 14th. We've been working on getting our plane tickets purchased, and then we'll be able to send off for our visas. We're finishing up the kids' rooms, and all the other odds and ends home things that need to get done. It feels so absolutely wonderful to finally be at this place in the adoption! We will meet with a Doctor at the International Adoption Clinic at our Children's Hospital next week to go over what first aid to take, the medical info we have on the kids, and what we need to get ready to do for medicals once we return.

It's so exciting!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yard Sale Season

I headed out to shop the yard sales this morning. There was a neighborhood yard sale going on, and I was hoping to find some clothes for the kids. I was able to find clothes for H and E and a booster seat that I REALLY wanted.


It's foam, so it's really easy to clean, lightweight, and sticks to the chair by friction.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our Darlings...

...are H 10, S 7, N 6, E3 (on Sun.) (girl, boy, boy, boy) I know I had everyone on the edge of their seat, but it's been a crazy week. We received the referral, but were having a little trouble coming up with a travel date due to S's job. We got that straightened out, but were still waiting on the detailed info on the kids. Finally, last night we were able to send our letter of acceptance. Oh, in the meantime, my sister graduated from college last weekend. So it's been a fun-filled week!

Anyway, more about the kids. Oh, they are so cute! Of course we've had a picture of them now since August, since they were on the agency's waiting list, but to actually be able to say that they are our daughter and son and son and son is just fantastic! They are from Bogota, and we're hoping to travel the weekend of June 13th.

We've received some clothing from friends, which is such a blessing. The children are all pretty small for their age, but we think we've got their sizes figured out.

More to come soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh the beautiful sunshine!

I seriously miss my Florida sunshine. So when we get it here in Ohio, I just soak it up! The 4th graders finished their state achievement tests today, so when my testing group finished early, I took them outside for a little "recess makeup" (some of them missed it due to taking the test ALL day long) Oh it was glorious! Bright blue sky, sun and a stiff breeze made for a wonderful 80 degree day!

Tonight we're going to a baseball game in the brand new baseball stadium. It's a lot smaller than usual, but it has that small, heritagey feel. (heritagey is a new word :0 )

Ahhhh, sunshine!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dairy Queen

Last Friday was a beautiful sunny, mildy warm day. I needed to get my classroom ready for the achievement test and didn't want to tackle it by myself. It's easier to hang paper over all the posters and charts and things if I have help. So I asked one of my 4th graders if she wanted to stay and help me. Of course she wanted to, and we asked her mom at dismissal.

This girl is so sweet. She helped me for about 45 minutes and then I asked if she wanted to go to Dairy Queen. She was so excited! So we called her mom to make sure and then we went. We sat and talked and then i took her back home. It was fun, and the whole time I kept thinking..soon I will have a daughter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

So I'm trying...

not to count the days since we heard that our dossier was approved...really trying. But another week down, and nothing. Maybe next week? Next week will be the fifth week after.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sneaky Chef Cookies

I finally decided to make this recipe with the "purple puree". I've held off since a whole year ago because I didn't want to take the time to make the puree first. But since it's spring break I decided to go for it!

Her recipe calls for 3 c fresh spinach, but since I only had frozen spinach, I used 1 c of that instead. I also added some of S's whey protein to the flour mix. (Since these cookies are for him anyway)

They turned out pretty good. They aren't something where I'd say, "Wow! These are delicious!" but they're nutrient-rich cookies that will be great for breakfast.

Power Breakfast Cookies
by Missy Chase Lapine

Makes 18 cookies
1 large egg
6 tablespoons walnut, almond, or canola oil
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead, below)
11⁄4 cup Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe, below)
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Ground Walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with oil).
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, and Purple Puree. In another large bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, ground walnuts, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Drop large tablespoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each cookie. Flatten the cookies with the back of a fork. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack. Dust with a little powdered sugar and serve!


Flour Blend Make-Ahead Recipe
1 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ, unsweetened
Makes 3 cups of flour blend

Combine the flours and wheat germ in a large bowl.
This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


Purple Puree Make-Ahead Recipe
3 cups raw baby spinach leaves
11⁄2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, no syrup or sugar added
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Makes about 1 cup of puree
Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.
Fill the bowl of your food processor with the spinach, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.


From
http://www.education.com/magazine/column/entry/Power_Breakfast_Cookies/

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Break!

Let the rest-of-the-school-year-planning and house-prep-for-children begin! I need to make a list of what needs to be accomplished this week:

1. closet organizer in "green" room
2. closet organizer in front hall closet
3. find dressers for the kids...I guess they do need somewhere to put their clothes
4. toy storage
5.plan for the rest of the year and plan plans for a sub...if I end up needing one (there's that planning for planning again. ;)
6. Maybe organize the basement (yuck...it has spideys)
7. plant some peas and spinach

So here's a funny tidbit. I was at Target the other day and saw those dollar bins. They had rubber squish balls there. I thought "Hey these would be great, packable, light toys to take"...and then I procedeed to only buy two. "Hello!! You're going to have four children!

Oh, and someone is coming to look at our Jeep for sale. Please pray that it sells soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Untitled

Lover passed away yesterday. My mom and I had both gone to the hospital right after work to be with her. Other family had visited throughout the day, and I don't think she was ever alone her last hours. On Wednesday, nearly all the family was there in the evening to be with her. I was able to tell her that she was finally going to be a great-grandma. I have looked forward to telling her that for years now; and in fact, the last true conversation I had with her a week or so before she went in the hospital, was about how she was excited for us and she knew we'd been waiting for a long time to become parents.

Even though she couldn't see them, I took the pictures with me yesterday to show her the pictures of the kids; trusting in faith that we would indeed be matched with them.

I love you, Lover and will miss you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

:) Guess what? ;)

We just found out today that our dossier is APPROVED!!!!!! It's being sent to the Bogota office where they'll get updated info on the kids we've requested and hopefully match us with them!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back in the hospital

My grandma was discharged on Thursday, but was again taken to the ER today with congestive heart failure. Since she has more advanced dementia, it's hard to know if the last time I see her will be the last time she remembers who I am, or if she really remembers who I am and just knows she recognizes me.

I guess that's all I have to say...I continue to pray for our children and their future life with us and that I will continue to honor God with my life; amidst the pain of waiting for our kids and knowing Lover is most likely not going to be with us for very long.

"count it all joy when you have various trials, for the trying of your faith works patience..."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

UnBeef Stroganoff

I've recently tried out some ground turkey from Aldi. It's super cheap at about 1.25 a pound or something. I used it in tacos....and it made for a more tender taco meat. Tonight, I used it in Beef Stroganoff...but I guess I can't call it "Beef" anymore! It had a little different flavor of course, but was still very good.

But it's all top secret! None of the people eating knew! ( tee hee hee).

In other news, there is no news. :( I am now shamelessly checking my email every time my groups switch at school. I don't even know if the "you're approved" notice will come by email!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lover

That's what I've called my grandma since I can remember. It came about because she'd call me up on the phone and say "Hello little lover" and I'd reply back "Hi Lover". I was probably 3 or something. As I got older, it's what all of my brothers and sisters call her. Now to some, it might sound odd, but to us it is her name.

Sadly, Lover was admitted to the hospital last Friday with breathing problems. They've since found out that her heart is having great difficulty.

We don't know if she's put her trust in Jesus or not, so it makes it all the more difficult.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pilin' it up!

No, not because I think there's going to be a "run" on toilet paper anytime soon. But, I figure in the first month we're home with the kids we may go through at least a roll of tp a day...30 rolls in a month is a lot more tp than now!! I'm buying it now (some of it was free with coupons!) so that i can hopefully keep buying it on sale and not pay $$$ cause we have a tp shortage! I'm doing that with bandaids, shampoo, toothpaste, soap and anything else I think we'll use a lot more of. It's so fun!

My Momma taught me well!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Greening

My most favorite moment of the late winter is the day the greening starts. At first, when you look out over the grassy yard or playground the grass is just a dull, lifeless, snow-trampled, sickly almond colored brown. But wait? Is that a fleck of green I see? The next day, there are more flecks of green. Right now, there's enough green showing that the green flourescence is just a few days away. Soon the yards will look so green that they'll nearly look fake. I love it!

I emailed CHI yesterday because I just couldn't stand it anymore. We didn't learn anything new about our paperwork, only the timeframe that it falls into. According to that, ICBF should be reviewing our dossier here within the next month. My only question is, since they've already looked at it, does that mean they'll make a decision sooner since they have already looked at it?

Friday, March 6, 2009

A small connection

So as I've been having trouble with the wait this week, I realized that with the warmer temps today and this weekend, they could be near what it's like in Colombia. So I decided to check it out. Weather.com had "mytown" Ohio at 55 with 88% humidity. Bogota had...55 with 88% humidity! Wait, can that be right? I click "back" and "forward" to check if the page reloads with different numbers. Nope! We have the same weather as our kids!! Yeah, I may be a little too excited about it, but it's a connection...and right now I'll take anything. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I can hardly stand the wait...

I wanna go to Colombia!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wikki Stix


How did I not know about these things??? The girls were talking about them at lunch one day, saying how they're great for having the kids make the letter formations with them and then they have something tactile they can trace with their finger. And of course it's fun to do it.
I looked them up today. They are awesome! And they're totally going to Colombia with us.

Evidently they are wax covered pieces of string. They stick to nearly everything, and come off without a problem. So one can make all sorts of 3 D things with them.

So cool!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Addendum on its way to Colombia!!!

Yes! Awesome! Superb! Fantastic!

We got an email that our addendum was mailed today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Addendum Mailed


We were finally able to get our addendum mailed to CHI yesterday. It's been a week of running around with it though. Tuesday I realized that when I gave the psychologist the CHI address, I didn't specify that he needed to mail it to us so we could get it apostilled. So I called. They said they would mail it. Well, that wouldn't give us time to receive it this week and get it mailed off again. So I went to pick it up on Wednesday.


Thursday I headed downtown to certify and apostille and mail it. But, I ended up taking a wrong turn, which put me headed on one way streets back out of downtown. After driving around for 25 minutes trying to get back to the parking garage (downtown disables L or R turns after 4 pm to empty the area...very frustrating) I finally got there only to realize that my car may be too tall to enter the parking garage! I went home.


Friday, S called and said, wonder of wonders, he was working at the courthouse! Right where we needed to go! We got it certified and apostilled in record time for a downtown jaunt, and mailed off. (we measured the car prior and it fits, with 4 inches to spare.)


Now hopefully we only have to do that one more time for our updated medical letter and fingerprints!!



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yes!

Our psychologist will have our letter ready by the beginning of next week! Yay!!

Wishin' and Hopin'....

seem to be 2 things I frequently do! We're still waiting for the letter from the psychologist. I had been hoping to have everything sent by yesterday (Friday) but now I'm hoping to have it all sent by the end of NEXT week. All in all, 2 weeks is a pretty realistic timetable of getting an addendum sent back in. Will I be disappointed if it's not sent in by next Friday? Probably a little bit, but then I'll set my sights on the week after that.

I realized yesterday that I have had over 150 weeks of hoping week by week. So hey, what's another week? Oh, and it only takes 3 weeks to build a habit...so I guess I'm in the habit of hoping!

On a completely different topic, yesterday marked my 6th year participating in Valentine's Day School Parties. I LOVE IT! Maybe it's because I love pink so much, or my happy memories of those parties, but I love how excited the kids get too. And, I love the little thoughful valentines some of the kids make! One of my students made me a Valentine Bag...complete with my first name on the front...in cut out bubble letters. Quite skillful! I proudly used it...and insisted everyone still had to call me Mrs. D, while dispelling rumors that I had "real name". (As if the one they call me is fake!!? Gotta love overgeneralizations)

It suddenly struck me yesterday though, that my days with these students will probably be ending soon. And I got a little sad. Especially since I heard these remarks yesterday: " I just love coming to your class and learning all about writing! During recess I was thinking about how I could add some more details to my article." During outside recess!!! What more could a teacher ask for?

Oh, and one day I'm going to write a book about all the kid misconceptions I've heard over the years...starting with the one from yesterday:

me: What do you think you know about butterflies?
boy: They suck your blood!
me: Laughing...Oh really? Lets add that to our "think we know" list. ;0

Monday, February 9, 2009

Figured out

Well, we think it's figured out. Our psych report mentioned children up to 7. So we're going to write a letter explaining our decision to go from 2 under 7 years to 4 under 11 years. Then the psychologist is going to need to write an addendum. Thanfully, he's local, really nice and SPEEDY!! :)

So hopefully we can get this all sent out by the end of the week. I was a little worried today as the emails were flyin', but all seems to be in order.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time to fess up...

I haven't said anything about this because, well, giving voice (words) to hopes can be scary if they don't materialize. There's something about writing things down...anyway, in August 2008, we sent a letter to ICBF requesting a sibling group of 4 we saw on the waiting list. The oldest turned 10, so not only did our homestudy need to be changed to to show approval for 4 (the couple month long saga) it also needed to have the age range raised to include her age. That was the impetus in suddenly having our homestudy updated. (Though not surprising, because it's what we've desired since the start.)

Currently, our homestudy approves us for 4 children ages 0-11. Somewhere, there was something that stated we previously were intending to adopt children up to age 7, so ICBF wants to see the preparation and how we came to the decision to go older. I am worried they'll think we haven't done enough.

Since August we've been thinking about these 4 little children, but as of yet, haven't heard if they still need a home. So we wait with great expectation, and continually pray for the Lord's will in our life and these kids' life. With the closing of our homestudy agency looming, it's very easy for me to start worrying about how long the requested info could take and the problems that could arise.

God has been in control, is in control, and will be in control.

So that's the story. :) If you get the noticiero and keep the old ones, I'm sure you'll figure it out. ;) Unfortunately everyone else will have to wait until it's official and we can post pictures....unless you come over to our house.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Colombia wants more info for our file

so we're gonna get right on that. Evidently there wasn't enough about our decision to move the upper age from 7 to 11 years.

But it was exciting to hear that they're actually reading our paperwork now!!! Our dossier was mailed Dec. 17th, so it probably wasn't even given to a translator until Jan. 1 or so at the end of the Colombian holidays.

I hope hope hope hope we can get the addendum sent mas rapido! Mas prisa, menos hablar! Arriba, arriba!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Reason #9 why I"m praying we're in Colombia by April

Our homestudy agency is closing!!!!!

Good grief, I never figured we'd be on the hunt for a 3rd agency...

I haven't said anything about the other reasons, so here they are (not in any order):

1. Brother's college graduation
2. Sister's college graduation
3. Sister's high school graduation
4. Sister's grand finale theater production
5. Birth of friends' baby
6. Wedding in May
7. Cousin's wedding beginning of June (visit Grandma too...a 2-3x a year occurance)
8. Cuz we want to be with our kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9. Homestudy agency closing end of April

All of these things are important events I'd really like to be a part of. I know it's in God's hands, and has always been, and that's where I need to keep it.

I feel selfish praying for what I want- to travel to Colombia in March. I also know it's getting kinda close for that to even happen.

The Lord knows, has his plan, and I'm just going to rest in that!! (But I'm steeeel gonna hope! ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A little disappointed

I've read both books I bought-Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control. They didn't turn out to be what I thought they'd be. I guess I was looking for them to be more specific and definitive in regards to the "Beyond" part, but they weren't. There also wasn't any new information if one has already read Attaching in Adoption, Weaver's Craft, and Ghosts from the Nursery or Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child.

The format of the book is to give the "traditional view" on handling situations, and the "new view". The traditional view seems to come from quite a few years ago, as nothing I've read so far fits in with the "traditional view" (except Love is Not Enough. That followed the traditional view and was a little extreme. It was really good for getting an idea of the "worst case scenarios" though. She didn't sugar coat) The new view is simply based on attachment theory and brain and trauma research.

I think the author gave some good examples of what not to do, and what to do that will facilitate the parent child connection instead of erode it. I just didn't feel it was concrete and transferable enough to really be helpful as a stand alone resource.

So, I like this book, but I think it would be a good idea to read something a little more technical along with it.

Snow Day!

This has been a great winter so far. We've had snow on the ground nearly the whole month of January! And, except for 2 days in the high 60's, it's been below freezing. That's the kind of winter I like. No mud, no freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw.

We received about an 1/2" of solid ice early this morning, and then about 6" of snow. So I think we have about 10" or so.

S came home early, so we went out to de-ice the truck and shovel. Well, he shoveled. The other shovel broke so I played with the dog in the snow.

In other news, the Governor gave his speech today, and unveiled his new plan for Ohio's education system. Evidently we're going to be the 1st state to have 200 days of school within 10 years. That's 20 more than now. And, he's enacting mandatory all day Kindergarten, and a new 4 year teacher residency program before one can get their professional license. And he's overhauling the state achievement test along with adding a bunch of requirements for graduating seniors.

It's a LOT of change. Almost a little too much to take in at one time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't tell....but...

I really dislike teaching reading. I don't hate it, but I really would rather not have to teach it. I LOVE to read though. I just don't "get" why kids can't use strategies on their own, or why they don't remember the sound the letter makes, or why they can't put the onset and rime together when they finally figure them out! I just don't get it!! So I get a little frustrated. Kind of a random fact about me.

I am looking forward to reading with my own kids though. I can hardly wait actually, but then I can hardly wait to do a lot of things with them! Show them how to dust, play blocks, build with Lincoln Logs, go to the park, ride in the car, go sledding, show them the lambs at lambing time......

I put my bags in the backseat after work and got all choked up thinking that those seats will soon have squirmy little ones in them!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I need a little help.....

I've been looking at carseats. A few of our kids will most likely need a carseat, if not all. Here's my dilemma: They may be using the carseats for quite some time. Do we use "preowned" carseats which may expire (thus leading us to find another one) and which may have unknown age defects, or do we just buy brand new ones from the get go?

Second, I've looked at some recommendations, and the "good" ones are very expensive. Are they really that much better at protecting the child than the ones half the price?

Third, carseats brought up the question of airplane travel. What did you do? Did you take a seat with you for your little one to ride back in?

I figure I have the time to think about these things now, why not?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Book

Over Christmas Break, I realized that I had no more books to read. I finished the Patty Cogen book, which was excellent, and was ready for a new one. But I didn't know what else to read. Problem solved today! I saw someone mention Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control and it sounded just like the thing I needed to read.

So I'm going to. :) And as it turns out, the author is University of Florida alum (alumna?...I never get that word right.)

Any other recommendations?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Reality TV

There's something intriguing about other people's lives. I don't know if it's because it lets us forget about our own, or if it highlights all the things in our life that we actally are content with. But reality tv is certainly prolific. I have to say that I'm a fan of some of the shows. Since there are so many now, I kinda waver in and out between series. I'm not an American Idol fan. I prefer shows where there is more of a rising and falling plot to follow.

Anyway, my DVR is full of shows this month. I might as well enjoy it, cause when the kids come it'll be shut off!

Speaking of kids, we haven't heard anything yet. I'm hoping that the dossier has been translated now. Of course I hope that it's been submitted too, but that may be a little unrealistic. But each day, I literally imagine where it could be, and if someone is working away translating it, or if it's en route, or if it's resting on a desk somewhere.

It could be that I think about it way too much, but then again, those papers were a part of our life for a loooooong time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heavyhearted

We found out yesterday that a friend's brother has passed away; an untimely death as he was young and a husband and father. And then today, I received notice at school that my dear custodian, who needed to go on disability this year, only has a few days to live.

So as I sit here, I am very sad for these families. Please pray for them all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I love Goodwill!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always loved that store. Some more than others. When I was in 6th grade and living in Waukesha, WI, the Goodwill was just close enough to walk or ride bikes to. It was probably a couple miles away. But friends and I would go there and spend hours trying stuff on...especially the beautiful prom and bridesmaid dresses. Oh, the sweetheart necklines and puffy sleeves! I thought they were spectacular!

Ok, back to the present. There is a new Goodwill close by (well 25 min. away). Every time I've gone, I have found a great little item...or 2 or 3. The last 2 times I went I found brand new Eddie Bauer pants for S...$3.49, a boy's toddler jacket $1.99, a rolling suitcase $3.49, and pair of new tab-top curtains, $3.49. I love paying less than $5 for stuff!! Honestly, Goodwill prices a lot of their things cheaper than one can find at a yardsale!

Now, if Goodwill would put in a store a little closer...