Sunday, December 30, 2007

Excel spreadsheets are wonderful

The nice thing about having a laptop is that we were able to set up a spreadsheet. Yep, we are now counting wet, poopy and combo diapers. Plus, we are also keeping track of feeding times and how much he eats. We'll take it in to our first pedi appointment when we see how much he has grown. It is interesting to see how he is sort of starting to get into a schedule, and he's also eating more.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A quick pic

Just wanted to drop this off. I am currently feeding him with one hand and typing with the other. Mommyhood is awesome =)

Friday, December 28, 2007

First night went well

Our first night "home" in our hotel room went well. He's such a doll. We're doing fine adjusting to parenthood. Both Mike and I feel like we've been a family of three forever!

The blog entries are going to be a little short for a while as we bond with our little guy. But I am keeping a journal for him, chronicling our first few days as a family together, our experiences, etc. And I promise to share it soon...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Things are going well

He's eating and sleeping like a champ! We're having fun with him and enjoying our bonding time with our little guy! It's hard to believe he is almost 2 days old!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas



Yep, that is three stockings you see hanging up in our hotel room. We are pleased to announce that Mark Garrett made his arrival this morning bright and early. He's doing well, as is his birthmother. From the get-go he's been hungry and eating like a champ. Both my boys are sleeping right now, and I do believe I'm off to join them!

Merry Christmas everyone! We sure do appreciate everything and everyone who has been following our journey.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

No baby yet, nothing new to report. But we wanted to say Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!








Sunday, December 23, 2007

We're set!

We're set! We have representation here, and someone to help us navigate all the paperwork. Now, we just wait for the little guy to be born.

We're going to relax and enjoy today, tomorrow and Tuesday, spending time together and enjoying our time together. We bought some Christmas stockings and put them up in our room. And we bought some holiday treats, so we'll have a nice, low key Christmas here. There is talk that there might even be some snow flurries on Christmas eve or Christmas day. We're thinking of driving to Santa Claus, IN to check it out ;)

Happy holidays everyone! We'll let you know when the little guy is born!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

*Sat Update*

So, no baby yet. We are however very close to having an agency represent us (as the lawyer) which should be ok. They'll take over from where our facilitator has been and do the Indiana part of the adoption. Once we are set with them, then it's just waiting for the little one to be born. Each state has its own way as to how they handle adoptions, so we need to make sure we do it correctly. In the meantime, Mike and I will try our best to enjoy our (hopefully) last weekend "child free".

Baby Pool

We thought it would be fun to do a baby pool, where people can guess what day the little guy is going to be born and his height and weight.



Have fun guessing!



As for us, we're settling in nicely, enjoying our last "child free" weekend. One thing I am super excited to do is fold all the little baby clothes. My friend Rosanna, and my sisters Penny and Holly were SO SWEET to bring us some newborn and preemie clothes so that our little guy would have something to wear. And my mom bought him the cutest little outfit! We washed them before we came, but didn't get to fold them nicely (we were kind of in a rush to pack ;) ). So I'm going to fold them today. Other than that, not much going on right now. That's ok- the excitement is going to start soon enough! (And we need some down time after the excitement and rush of this past week!) We'll update if anything else happens!

Appreciation

We want to take this time to thank EVERYONE who has been helping us as we try to find a lawyer who can represent us over the holidays. We believe we have found someone who is going to be able to help us. We're firm believers that everything happens for a reason, and that everything is going to work out.

Wow is all I can say. We have always appreciated our friends and family, and today made us realize even more how spectacular and awesome they are. We are very fortunate to have such a strong network of family and friends, what a perfect circle to bring our future son into.

From phone calls to internet searches, emails and more. Calls from all over the United States, one end to the other. Not to mention all the emails sent out. I'm so thankful for this day and age and the technology that is able to be used to get something so important done in such a quick amount of time.

The little one has not made an appearance yet. Hopefully he stays put over the weekend. We've taken up residence at a gotel and are settling in.

I've told Mike to look at it this way, we can enjoy the weekend realizing that it's our last "child" free weekend. Wow. Our last "child free" weekend.

Thank you EVERYONE for all that you have done, be it helping us today or keeping us in your thoughts, prayers or whatever. We appreciate it more than you can possibly know.

And thanks for following along with our journey!

"No one said it was going to be easy, they just said it would be worth the wait!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No one said it was going to be easy, they just said it was going to be worth it.

That is a motto that we have been living by, and it is oh so true.

As for the road trip part, things are going well. We left a bit later than planned (but we wanted to tie up some loose ends, make sure the house was in ok enough order, and give Precious extra attention). We made it to West Memphis tonight, which is about 2/3 of the way. So we'll have a quick and easy day tomorrow.

Cell phone coverage was spotty sometimes, which didn't help much. We need to retain a lawyer in I for the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) portion of the adoption. And it's not as easy as we thought it was going to be.

We fully expect to probably have to stay in I until the beginning of the new year. And we are prepared to do that, have the vacation time, etc. (Lucky for Mike, he was using 2 weeks for this year, then in January his vacation starts over again). We made arrangements for the mail, deliveries, care of Precious, etc. We figured we'd probably stay in the hotel with the baby, gazing at him and pinching ourselves that he is ours! (It's cold and flu season, so we are going to be a bit particular as to where we take our newborn. We're not going to be overly protective parents, but that's just common sense).

However, we haven't been able to find a lawyer to help us. We were referred to two of them, but they are about 200 miles away from where we are headed and are unable to do it right now. One is going out of town, and the other can't do 200 miles on such short notice during the holidays (totally understandable!). They both recommended us to another one in town, but he's got too much on his plate as he ties up his activities for the year.

So we have the call out to one more and are waiting to hear from him. He runs an international adoption agency, but is a family lawyer and is familiar with the ICPC. So hopefully he can either 1. help represent us or 2. recommend someone local who might be able to.

As we are here in the hotel, one major project we have tonight is researching and looking to see if we can find any lawyers in town or the surrounding areas that might be educated in and able to work the ICPC for us. We purposely drove further today so that we'd be able to go meet someone tomorrow if we need to.

Baby boy has not been born yet. Now, we find out that potentially some steps need to be done (and one of the three involves some paperwork going before a judge) before we can leave the hospital with our son. That's not even leaving the state, but being able to have custody of him and take him to the hotel. The courts are open on Friday, but not all of them are open on Monday (some only half a day!) and of course they are not open on Tuesday. So, if baby boy doesn't make an appearance tonight for sure, or possibly this weekend (and also if we don't find a lawyer who will represent us) ifi he is born before Christmas he will spend it in the hospital. We should be able to visit him, just not take him back to the hotel with us.

So, we're a bit unsure if we want him to be born now, or to wait until Christmas, (where it'll be easier to get through the legal stuff in order to bring him to the hotel with us!)

We're keeping faith, as we know that everything happens for a reason. As well, things happen in due time. So, we are confident that things will work out the way they are supposed to.

Anyway, that's the update! We're keeping positive and can't wait to meet our son! As I packed his luggage I brought an outfit over to Mike, and we gazed at it, realizing that OUR SON is going to fit in this tiny little outfit. OUR SON. WOW.

Thanks for following along with us!

The best road trip ever

As many people know, Mike and I love to travel two ways. One is cruise ships (I introduced him to that ;) ). And the 2nd way is to road trip. I've been road tripping all my life, it wasn't unusual for my parent to toss us in the back of the car on a weekend and take off to explore somewhere. We got to see tons of stuff, from Redwood trees to Plymouth Rock. And my love for road trips started there. As an adult in my twenties, I embarked on longer road trips, sometimes involving moves, once a trip to Clemson to see my sister play volleyball, sometimes trips to New Orleans to visit my other sister. I had to get away at least once every other month- even if it was just to go to a neighboring state, get out on the open road and stretch my "legs". I once went to visit a coworker in Dover, DE just because I wanted to hit the road. Mike is the same way. Before me, trips to Colorado were starting to become an annual event. He loved to get out on the open road in the miata. As we grew to know each other, we discovered we shared that love of road trips. And we've taken quite a few. In my quest to go to every state before I turn 40 (3 more to go!), we've taken several road trips (sometimes hitting 10 states in a week) where we drive all day. We jokingly call our 1st anniversary the Holiday Inn tour because we stayed at Holiday Inns in many different states.

Now, we are about to embark on the biggest road trip of our lives. The best road trip of our lives so far. The road trip where we go to meet our son. Wow. Our son. It's so wonderful to say that! We can't wait to meet him. So, as we head off for the first leg, we're hoping to hit Memphis in time for dinner. We're going to maximize our daylight as much as possible. Thanks for joining us on our journey, we're glad to have you along!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

thoughts

While we are more than estatic and over the moon with our "Christmas miracle", there are a few people that we don't want to forget. We're sending lots of prayers to the birthmother (and her boyfriend) as she goes through the birth. I know some of her history (and won't divulge it) but even without knowing her I am proud she made the choice she did (not even to choose us, but to go through with the pregnancy and set up an adoption plan). I also am praying for the other couple that wasn't chosen that their little one arrives safely in their arms sometime soon. I know it's not easy to be the one not chosen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're hoping there's room at the (Holiday) Inn...

Yep, we're matched. We found out today. The birthmother is due tomorrow, and if the baby hasn't come by Christmas she'll be induced at 8 AM that day.

We're heading off on Thursday (we are driving) - because we need a day to get everything together. I suspect we'll be there longer than normal since there is a little thing called "the holidays" that may delay the ICPC (all the legal paperwork) and stuff.

The birthmother doesn't want us in the room, and that is ok with us. We'll be in the waiting room, then get to see our SON in the nursery =)

We hope to be back by the end of the year, though it might be 2008 by the time we bring our son home. For everyone local, be prepared for a cookout some weekend in January. We want EVERYONE to come meet our son and celebrate with us! We'll have more details when we get back.

Please send good thoughts and prayers, karma, whatever you can muster to our birthparents as they go through this, our son as he is born, and us as we travel to meet him.

We are cautiously optimistic (as sometimes things can go wrong) and will tell everyone (and shout it from the rooftops!) when the paperwork is done and we are headed home.

If we don't have your email address (or address for that matter) PLEASE send it to us at mikeandlizadopt @ yahoo.com . We want to make sure everyone is included!

Love, Mike and Liz

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tis the season

I was chatting with my adoption coordinator today, and she mentioned that they were in need of maternity jeans in all sizes for birthmothers. Now, we usually donate a portion of our profits from www.WorthTheWaitBoutique.com to an adoption related organization (usually them). So, I decided to spend that money on maternity jeans.

I'm now on the lookout for EUC, NWT or NWOT maternity jeans. I posted on several of my message boards, and am also bidding on some at ebay. On my message boards I told them that I'd be willing to pay (and have them ship to the office) or I'd be willing to trade some of my product we sell on our website. My goal is to get about 20 pairs of jeans. We'll see how that goes!

One of our favorite places, Dinner Creations, sent out in their weekly newsletter that they were doing the "adopt a family" for Christmas. They had a sibling set of 2 teenage boys and a preteen girl. Plus they are donating to the Friendswood police Blue Santa program and are doing "donate a dish" for a single mother with 4 children (she's expecting #5). We decided to get each of the kids a Walmart gift card and then donate a few Noah's Ark Animals (one to the preteen girl, one to the Blue Santa program). We'll donate a dish too.

It's something we want to do, and we are glad that we are able to help out in some small way this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Better today


I want to send out these virtual flowers (carnations of course, my favorite ;) ). To thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and emails the last few days. I don't know what hit me, it just did. And it made me very sad. But today is another day, and I am feeling oh so much better.

As someone said "the best way to approach the holidays is to enjoy your family as it is now". And yes, Mike and I will be doing that. If something "extra" comes along, well that's just lagniappe. We are very fortunate that we are able to spend the Christmas holidays together.

Mike only has one full week of work left for this year. Because we'd been saving his vacation until we got "the call", and it's "use it or lose it", next Monday is his last day of work this year. It'll be nice to have him around the house. He plans on relaxing, catching up on tv- and boy does he deserve it. He works hard!

Of course I don't plan on being 100% as productive as I usually am (how could I be with my sweet hubby in the same house), but I'll still be able to keep things going ;)

Well, off to do some work. Lots to do!

And Thank you.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Some days are harder than others

And tonight is one of those "harder" nights.

I've been doing pretty well. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it's another holiday season and Christmas without a kid.

But sometimes I wonder, what is wrong with me? Why haven't we been deemed "fit" to parent? Why hasn't anyone decided that I will be a good mother? People tell me "oh, you will be a good mom", "your child will be lucky to have you" etc. All I want is to know what I need to do to change so someone will pick us. What is wrong with me?

I was at a party last night, and a friend asked "not to get too personal, but what is it that is taking so long? You should be parents by now". And at the cookie party Mike, with the kids -melted my heart. And I had a blast playing with them all- from my 5 year old nephew to my 1 year old niece- I even wore her in a Moby to show how it works. She loved it, it was so much fun. A couple times when she cried I was closest to her and picked her up and comforted her, with her snuggling against me.

A little while after the party I started crying. Why? What is it about us that people read our profile or website and say "no. they aren't it". Why? What is wrong with me? I love kids, was born to be a mom, and mike was born to be a dad. Why do people think we aren't it?

Ok, I'm crying again.

What is wrong with us? It's been over 17 months. Why aren't we good enough, what do we have to do to be good enough to be parents?

I'll feel better tomorrow. Things will be ok. Mike comforted me, reminded me that I am a good person, we are a great family. And we will someday be blessed with a little one. He tells me not to be so hard on myself. He's frustrated too, but he makes sure that I am ok, that I don't beat up on myself too much. He says it's a supply issue- there are just too many people like us who are waiting to adopt, and not enough children to adopt. Someday...

Well, it's just a low on the roller coaster. There will be a high eventually, it's just not today. We will be blessed some day. For now. we just smile and enjoy life the way it is.

I am looking forward to Christmas with Mike. He's going to be Santa for our nieces and nephews. They will enjoy it. And he has a good time playing the role too. Though he can't wait until it's our little one, and our child who is discovering the wonders of a visit from Santa. The first year we have a child and our child is able to understand who Santa is, Mike is NOT going to play Santa- he'll get to enjoy our little one as he or she has their first visit with Santa.

It'll happen some day.

Friday, December 07, 2007

C is for cookie!

Ah, I love this time of year. It's time for the annual holiday cookie decorating party. Each year I make tons of cookies and invite friends and family (and the kids!) to come decorate them. I provide the cookies, decorations, a cookie tray and snacks. The kids even help decorate my tree (I bought plenty of shatterproof ornaments). It's a ton of fun.

The party is this weekend, Sat and Sun. It used to be just one day, but it's grown so much that I do it two days. I hope I got the evite to everyone local - I switched evite addresses recently and am afraid I might have missed some folks. So if you have been invited before (and you know who you are ;) ) or are local and didn't get an invite- please come!

I am looking forward to seeing everyone, and getting a baby fix ;) And everyone loves getting together and getting to see how much the babies grow, and have fun. It's a great time.

My house isn't 100% perfect- but it's ok. It's homey :) We have all our Christmas lights up, and a few decorations up. Mike is going to set up the tree in a bit so the kids can decorate it. I'll add the breakable ornaments after this weekend.

I planned to have all my Christmas gifts done and wrapped so I could give them to everyone this weekend when they come to the party, but I am not 100% sure I'll be done. We'll see!

Back to work!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Meet Up







So, I started this group on meetup.com. I figured it might be nice to meet some other folks who are adopting too. I haven't been a very good group leader yet, but that'll change. I am determined to get it going. I think it could be very beneficial to all of us to share our stories, experiences, etc.

Monday, December 03, 2007

December already?

Wow, where has this year gone? It seems to have just flown by. It hasn't turned out quite as we expected (we'd figured we would be parents by now) but then again, does life ever quite turn out the way you expect?

Overall, life is very good. We're missing one thing in our life, parenthood, but that is pretty much it. There is always a chance we could get the call sometime this month, but we're figuing it probably won't be until 2008 that we realize our dreams of parenthood.

You never know though, stranger things have happened. Here's to a happy and fun December for all, and that all dreams for everyone are realized this December.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

17 months

Wow, it's been 17 months since we contracted out. I didn't even realize it until I was chatting with someone today and she asked how it was going. I realized it's the 29th. I need to do a check in. We've been waiting 17 months. Not quite a whole year and a half, but still.

We got our homestudy update and we sent it in. So now we are good to go. We are still needing to see if it is valid for 6 months or a year, but it's in and good right now- so that is the most important thing.

17 months

wow a lot has happened since then...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Donate: Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

In celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month, Lifetime Adoption Foundation is offering special gifts for donations to the Lifetime Adoption Foundation.

For a gift of $35 or more, you can receive the For a Lifetime pendant. It's a pretty pendant that reminds us that adoption is for a lifetime. As they say, adoption provides a lifetime of love, support and the opportunity for a future.

For a donation of $50 or more, you can receive both the Fora a Lifetime necklace and an adoption mug. The mugs are custom made for Lifetime Adoption.

For a donation of $100 or more, both the mug and the necklace are sent along with the book AdoptingOnline.com - that is a great book that Mardie Caldwell (founder of Lifetime Adoption) wrote, and we found it to be very helpful when we were starting our adoption journey.

We obviously are big supporters of Lifetime Adoption Foundation. In fact, they are the primary organization that we donate to with our Worth The Wait Boutique. For this month, 10% of all profits are going to the Lifetime Adoption Foundation and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. So far this month we have donated over $50! It's nice to be able to give back, and to help out where we can.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A little sad

It's hard NOT to be a little sad during the holidays. We love spending time with family, and it really means a lot to us that we get to spend time with out nieces and nephews. Those "baby fixes" help a lot. But then they leave, and it's back to the holidays and gearing up for most likely another childless holiday season.

It was the most AMAZING feeling when we pulled up to Windy Hill on Thanksgiving day and got out of the car. Our niece came running across the grass and jumped up into our arms. What a wonderful feeling to have a child be so excited to see you. Then, she took our hands and led us to her big brother and the rest of the family. He was super excited to see us too.

We were fortunate enough to get to take our niece and nephew to see Santa on Friday. It was SO MUCH FUN. We were in the historic town of Greune, and the Santa was a real Texas type Santa. We got to wait in line with the kids, and be there when it was their turn to see Santa. Our niece was not as enthusiastic, but she did come around and sat on a hay bale next to Santa. Our nephew loved it because he got to sit on a real saddle (there was a saddle on a haystack next to Santa). While we were waiting for our name to be called our niece sat on my lap and watched Santa. We kept talking about going up to visit him, where she was going to sit, etc. She was really excited to see him.

After that we went back to Greune Hall to meet up with my parents and sister (her kids we were with). While we listened to the band play all the little kids there ran around, played on the back stage, and had fun. I watched my niece, and Mike played with our nephew. It was fun to follow after them and spend time with them.

They left yesterday, we stayed on for a few more days. While it's nice to enjoy the quiet, and sleeping in, there is still that little bit of your heart that is sad. Knowing someday it's going to be your little ones (and you will be missing those quiet times!), but for now, not so much. It's nice to fix dinner whenever you are hungry (we ate dinner at 830 tonight), go to sleep whenever you want (most likely we'll be up until midnight or so), and sleep in or take a nap whenever you want to. But there still is that little sadness. And sometimes you just need to excuse yourself so you can go be by yourself for a little cry.

As Mike says- bring it on, we're more than ready to be parents. I love that man, he is my rock, my strength, and our little one is going to be one lucky kid to have such an amazing father.

Relaxing weekend

We've been enjoying our relaxing weekend. We went to Windy Hill to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents, my sister and her family. Now, everyone is gone except Mike and I. We're still here, and will leave tomorrow. Mike has more vacation to use up, so he took Monday off. We'll have Thanksgiving dinner at his parent's place tomorrow night. We've enjoyed relaxing, spending time with family. It's been a nice holiday.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

We just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We are oh so grateful for our support system and those who are following along in our adoption journey. You don't know how much your thoughts and prayers mean to us - more than you can imagine.

Thank you

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do not be anxious

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

We received this in a Thanksgiving greetings email. And how true it is, it makes you stop and think for a minute. Continuing on:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Basically, it says don't worry, but have faith. Ask for what you need, and give thanks for what you have been given. By doing this, your heart and mind will experience peace.

In other words "don't worry, be happy". By giving thanks, and doing so, you will achieve peace as you wait for important changes in your life.

It's hard to remember to do this sometimes. But it is important to step back and think about it sometimes. Anxiousness won't get us anywhere, we're still going to have to wait as long as we have to wait. But by praying and relaxing, staying at peace we'll have a better time waiting.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

National Adoption Awareness Day

I am going to do a little bit of plugging here ;) Today is National Adoption Awareness Day and I decided to make a difference too. This is what I posted on our buisness website.


TODAY (Sat Nov 17) is National Adoption Awareness Day. Use code AdoptDay and receive free shipping on your order (no minimum). Also, an extra 5% of all profits today will go toward our two chosen charities for the month, Lifetime Foundation and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption .


Today is an at home day for us. I'm working on the website, Mike is watching football. We're just relaxing, enjoying the day. Tonight we'll go out to dinner to celebrate the day. Hopefully next year we'll be celebrating National Adoption Awareness Day with a child or two.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lots of babies come home this week

Quite a few of my friends and people I know who are adopting are lucky enough to bring their little ones home this week.

My friend Tracy and her husband Adam brought home Charlotte from China last night. And as I type this my friend Chrissy and her husband Gary are at the airport waiting for their son Garyt to arrive from Guatemala. The plane just landed a few minutes ago, and they will meet their son for the first time.

Cheryl's daughter Aubrey arrived home from Korea on Tuesday. And Annie and Greg are enroute right now to Guatemala to pick up thier son William.

Such exciting news, and such a great thing to see families coming together.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Escape

So, this week was a bit of a tough one for us. Physically, mentally, we're ok. It's just the ups and downs of adoption. We both felt it, the feeling of, "is it ever going to happen?" and "why can't it just happen already?" Not to mention the "we want to adopt more than one, but at the rate we are going, what are the chances?"

Just some of the low parts of the roller coaster ride of emotions. We're already putting into place (my business) the start to plan for adopting #2. We're going to have to move fast once we get our first, and as soon as we are able to we'll go ahead and start the process for #2. We'll be very lucky if we get to adopt #3 (it was in our plans) at the rate we are going, it might be doubtful.

But, anyway, on to happy things!

We decided to escape to Windy Hill for the weekend. We needed the break. We do have internet up here now, which is nice. Right now, as I type this, we are both on our laptops, but the doors are open and we are listening to the river rush by. It's a beautiful evening. The whole day has been wonderful. We truly are blessed. After sleeping in and getting some much deserved rest, we sat out on the balcony all day and enjoyed the weather, the river going by, and watching the kayakers.

It's hard to believe it's November already! It was 80 something degrees today, and tonight we have the a/c on. It sure doesn't feel like late fall!

We have to head back tomorrow, but we are going to enjoy as much of the day as we can before we head back. It truly is a nice relaxing, and well deserved weekend for us.

Tag

I was tagged earlier this week by Angie first, then Nia and LL. Thanks ladies :)

For those of you who are curious about tagging, this is how it goes:

Rules: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.


SO, here goes :)

1. I am left handed.
2. I was not going to get into the whole stamping thing (just do scrapbooking) but have found I really like to stamp. So much I joined a stamp club!
3. I'm counting down the days until my next cruise. (6 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
4. Of the 50 states, I only have 3 more to visit (Alaska, North Dakota and Montana)
5. I own a treadmill, and actually USE it.
6. I've been a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly since it first came out into circulation.
7. I listen to Christmas music 24/7 starting the day after Thanksgiving (it's because I used to work retail, and that was the only thing that kept me focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Working retail (especially toy stores!) management during Christmas can really get to you.)
8. My undergrad degree is in Recreation Park and Tourism Sciences, but my masters degree is a MBA. I actually found a job that tied both degrees together and enjoyed it while it lasted!

OK, a lot of my blog buddies have already been tagged, but I'moff to tag: Lawfrog, katd, Mae, Lani, Lesiw, Kim, Margaret, and Barely Sane . I can't wait to read more about them!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy week is over

Well, we have time to breathe a little now. We had a really busy week. But it sure was fun. It all ended last night with going out to dinner with both my sisters, Ella and Blake at Lupe Tortillas, a mexican place with a playground. Blake had so much fun on the playground! Ella did too - but then the draw of chips and salsa was too exciting for her.

I held a 1154Lill purse party. It was a lot of fun. While we "girls" were doing the party, Mike was in charge of the kids. Blake was easy, as he played video games and all Mike had to do was change games periodically for him on the super nintendo. Ella had free roam to check out the party, her brother, and Mike. Mike was on the computer and watching football.

When we got back home last night and were watching football, Mike mentioned how cute it was that Ella kept coming in to check up on him. She'd come in, play with him, bring him a cookie, or tickle him for a little while. Then she'd come back out to the "big girl" party. It was a cycle, and both he and Ella had a lot of fun.

It's so cute to hear him tell stories like that, and enjoy the kids.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November is Adoption Awareness Month



Every November is designated and recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. It actually was started in and effort to primarily focus on children in foster care, but it also is a great way to help build awareness of adoption in general. By recognizing it and creating an awareness, we are able to promote positive perceptions, debunk myths, and overall explain to people who are uneduacated about the adoption process.

Saturday, Nov 17 is National Adoption Day. On that day, many (much more than usual) adoptions are finalized. It's a great way to raise awareness about adoption.

There are many different events and activities that will be taking place throughout the month. We decided to participate as well, and are donating a percentage of our profits from www.worth-the-wait.com / www.MyAdoptionShop.com and www.AdoptionTees.com to the Lifetime Foundation and to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Martian Child

There is a new movie coming out on Nov 2. It's called Martian Child. The website is: http://www.martianchild.com/.

It's interesting, not your usual adoption story, or your typical movie. It's basically about a widowed science fiction writer who forms an unlikely family with a close friend and a young boy he adopts that claims to be from mars. As the tag line says, "It doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you discover where you belong".

It is in theaters this Friday, Nov 2nd.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oops, we forgot- 16 months already!

Well, you can certainly tell that we've been busy! 16 months came and went, and we forgot to post and to email in our monthly check in (that's next on the list!). It's hard to believe it's been 16 months since our contract was signed, that our journey is still going on.

The little one will come when the timing is right..... just hope the right time comes soon!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What to Expect While You Are Waiting To Adopt (some good info)

A friend on a message board I frequent shared this article with me. It's on iVillage, and is about the adoption process. More specifically what to expect while you are waiting to adopt. For someone who is starting to think about adoption, or someone who wants to know more about how an adoptive parent feels, it can be a really good article. A lot of it rings true for us, and it's a great way to share with others what we go and have gone through as we journey through this process to build our family. Here's the article, it's written by a woman who has children both biologically and through adoption:

WHAT TO EXPECT WHILE YOU ARE WAITING TO ADOPT

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I ran out to buy a beautiful journal. In it, I tracked the growth of my belly, doctor's visits, countdown to the due date, and of course the details of my labor and delivery.

When my husband and I began talking about having another child, I knew I wanted to keep another pregnancy journal. Our second child, however, did not come as planned. After secondary infertility and nearly seven years of trying to conceive we made the decision to adopt a baby. This "pregnancy" did not last nine months; it came without any what-to-expect guidelines. I was "expecting" all right, but certainly not in the conventional way. I could not relate to any of the available nine-month countdown journals. So, I decided to create my own.

Through my journaling and sharing with others in similar situations, I found that there are indeed somewhat predictable stages of an adoption pregnancy.



Stage One: Asking Yourself Questions
The first trimester, so to speak, of an adoption expectancy may take a few minutes or several years. Some men and women say that they always knew they would adopt; it was just a matter of when. I have also met couples who have been, and still are, thinking about adoption for 10 years. Still others, like my husband and me, make the decision easily to have a child and to try fertility treatments when unable to become pregnant. Pursuing adoption, however, was not as instantaneous for us.

My biggest fear throughout pregnancy with my first child was, Would I be a good mother? My biggest fear in my adoption expectancy was, Will I feel like this child's mother? Could I bond with a child not born to me? Would I treat my birth child differently, and would my adopted child grow up feeling injustice in our family? Worst of all, could I handle my emotions if and when my child wanted to meet the birth family? I feared my role as a mother would be short-lived.

Ask yourself what matters, a pregnancy or a child? Will I feel like less of a person if I cannot make a baby? Have I mourned the child we cannot conceive? Is adoption our last resort, or do we want it regardless of our ability to conceive?



Stage Two: Who Will This Child Be?
The second trimester of your expectancy resembles a physical pregnancy's: You imagine LIFE. You don't grow a belly, rather a mound of paperwork. You're through with doctors poking at your body, but social workers poke around your home. No more research into medical miracles; now it's finding how to build your family. You start to imagine what kind of parent you will be. You wonder, Who will this child be?

You are moving into unknown territory, and it is natural to be filled with questions, fears and even doubts. You will be judged if your home and marriage are fit for a child, if you will be a fit parent. You will be asked about your feelings on issues that you may never before have given a second thought. You might have no idea what race your child will be, or his heritage or what she might look like. You'll probably stare at every child on the street and wonder, Will mine look like that?

You might have nightmares about your baby being born with two heads, seven toes or polka dots. You'll have to come to terms with heart-wrenching questions like, Can I parent a disabled child? What about a baby born with AIDS? A birth defect? Of all the children born in this world, which will be mine to love and raise?

Somewhere out there a child waits for you. You have taken a huge step toward that child; now feel the movement in the universe that will connect you.



Stage Three: The Waiting Game
Try to think of this stage as your last hurrah to prepare for the moment when you will get that phone call, when the agency or attorney will match you, when the birth mother will go into labor. IT WILL HAPPEN.

Compose a letter to your waiting child during this time. If you have little ones, encourage them to write to their future sibling. Ask your parents also to write to their coming grandchild.

Welcome the child into your life and family before s/he arrives, just as you would if you carried her in your womb. Throw yourself a baby shower. Ready your home for your new bundle. Buy diapers, sprinkle baby powder around the room, wash some baby clothes with extra gentle soap. Do whatever it takes to make it feel real.



Stage Four: It's a Boy, a Girl, a Miracle!
No matter how ready you think you are, you're not ready for this. As many times as you have answered the telephone before the first ring ended, and thought, "This could be the call," it will be the time that you grab it running out the door when the voice on the other end breaks the news you've been waiting for. It will be the day that the mail sits on your counter for hours before you remember it when a picture or video of your child appears. Even if you are in the delivery room, watching the birth of your baby, once he or she is placed in your arms, your heart will skip a beat and you will wonder, "How did I get here?!"

How you got there is nothing short of a miracle. The miracle of childbirth. The miracle of adoption. And it will take your breath away.



Stage Five: Joyful Beginnings, Bittersweet Endings
After childbirth, many women go through postpartum blues. Though it may be hard to imagine feeling anything other than pure joy once your long-awaited adopted child is in your arms, don't be surprised when you shed tears the first few weeks. Hormones may not be causing the tears, but you will nonetheless feel mixed up.

The first time I saw my daughter, she was two days old, sleeping in a car seat, her two pink feet sticking out beneath a blanket. Sitting next to her, lovingly stroking those precious feet, was her birth mother. My heart went out not at first to this dear infant but to the incredibly courageous and loving woman who had just given birth. I was truly paralyzed for a moment at the magnitude of love surrounding the three of us, this adoption triad.

Don't be afraid to feel the loss and sadness for your child and the birth parents. Cry for joyful beginnings. And cry for bittersweet endings.

An adoption pregnancy is not obvious to everyone. Often without a due date, it is a pregnancy of the heart and soul. I hope that my book, Till There Was You: An Adoption Expectancy Journal, will inspire you to explore your own time of waiting that you will share one day with the child who grew in your heart.


--By Rebecca Lyn Gold

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

3 years yesterday

3 years ago on Oct 23 Mike and I got married :) It's been a fun 3 years, and we know there will be many more to come.

We took a mini vacation, headed up to Windy Hill, and had dinner at The Gristmill last night. They literally gave us the best seat in the house, we had the best view of the river. It was wonderful.

Now, we are relaxing, enjoying the beautiful day. We're watching the river go by, and enjoying spending time together.

Life is perfect. It can't get much better than this (except for the few little things we can't wait to have join our family), and we really are enjoying ourselves.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Unconditional love

Nothing melts your heart more than when a child shows you unconditional love. We've seen it quite a bit this weekend. It shows in her eyes as Mike changes her diaper. It's there in her smile when I walk in to the room to get her out of her crib from her nap. It's there as we sit at the table and eat a meal. And as she gives us a sneaky smile before trying to sneak a cookie.

So sweet.

Someday we'll see that unconditional love from our children too. How exciting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Upside

The upside to not having any kids yet- we can have a niece or nephew over for the weekend and spend the whole weekend doting on them.

Today is our youngest niece's birthday. She's 1 today- wow, time sure does fly! We are going to dinner at Carlton Woods to celebrate her special day.

Our older niece is going to come home with us tonight. She's going to stay through Sunday, we'll take her home Sunday evening. We are looking forward to it. She's a sweetheart. She has the biggest crush on Unka Mike, it's cute =) We know we are going to have a great time with her this weekend.

Now of course we'll have the nieces and nephews over when we have kids, they'll come to play with their cousins. But for now, we'll enjoy this special time we get with the kiddos and cherish their visits.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baby fix

I got to have a baby fix today. My friend had several doctors appointments today. She has a 6 week old, and knew most likely he'd not cooperate the whole time. So, I went with her to hang out, and watched him while she was doing her appointments.

It was nice to visit with her. New parenthood is stressful, but she looks great. I was glad to get to visit with her, and I know she probably felt the same way. We went to lunch after the appointments and then each headed home.

Her little guy is so cute! I hadn't seen him since the day he was born, in the hospital. He sure has grown a lot! And such a sweet little guy. He had his moments, but we (and sometimes it was I while she was in with the DR) got him calmed down. Nothing that couldn't be managed.

The poor little guy is lactose intolerant, and colicky as well. So he sure does give Mom and Dad a run for their money. Sometimes though, he just wants to be held, or just wants his pacifier. But you'd think he was super hungry or had a dirty diaper or something with all the hollering :) It was so sweet!

I really enjoyed spending time with her and getting to help with him. I needed that baby fix.

Mike hasn't seen him since the hospital either- and asked me to take pictures with my camera phone. My friend remarked, and I totally agree, it's so neat to see Mike so genuinely interested in babies and kids, even when they aren't his own. Mike really does care about the kids of our friends, and it's really a special to see.

I know he's going to be a great daddy when the timing is right! I just wish the time was soon!

Friday, October 12, 2007

slow week full of emotions

This week has been a slow adoption week. But it's been full of emotions. All of a sudden, a few days ago, it hit. Sadness that nothing has happened yet. It's common to have it happen. Adoption is a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are better than others. You just roll with it and know that the positives are coming soon. Just about all adoptive parents go through this, every so often you wonder "what is wrong with us, why haven't we been chosen yet?"

But then we remember to have faith, and know that everything happens for a reason. Our little one(s) will be here when they are supposed to join our family. It's just a matter of waiting for the right time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nothing new to report

Well, our profiles are being printed up (they will be done on Friday!), and that's about it. Nothing new to report. We're keeping busy trying to enjoy our "quiet" time while we have it. But that is about it. Thank goodness we have start up businesses and work to keep us busy. It helps.

Monday, October 08, 2007

They need more profiles!

We received an email tonight. They need 20 more profiles by Oct 22! Yay! So we're going to get them printed off asap and mailed out! How exciting!

Adoption prayer

A friend on a message board I am on shared this prayer with me. Yesterday was Respect Life Sunday at her church, and they had this prayer to share. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it.

Prayer to Conceive or Adopt

Lord God, my desire for a child grows stronger every day.
Cradle me in your love and calm all my anxieties.
I look to you for insight to make the dream of parenthood a reality.
Stir in my heart the desire to follow your will in all my decisions.

Give me courage to trust your guiding presence.
Deepen my faith in your plan for our family.
Shine your divine mercy and compassion upon me.
Amen

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Call Intercept


The positives and negatives of caller ID. It's great, because you can tell you is calling you. Unfortunately, some of those calls show up as "call intercept", not telling you who they are. You have to pick up the phone and it tells you who it is.

Lifetime comes up as call intercept. So every time we get a call intercept, a quick fleeting thought goes through my mind that "this could be it!" It happened again today, around 1045 AM. The phone rang. I checked the caller ID, and it said "call intercept". But no. It was just a recorded message from the post office, with an offer of some business products and services they want me to try.

Why can't that call intercept be someone we want to talk to? Why can't it be Lifetime with the call that our baby is being born, come pick him/her up? Why must it be the post office?

Ah, well. Someday that call intercept WILL be Lifetime with the news of our little one to be. For now, we'll just keep looking at caller ID and hoping the call will come soon!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

We learned something about websites tonight

Apparently, if you take a domain name and forward it to another; if you mask it, then your shopping cart won't work!

UGH.

And we've had it that way for several weeks =(

It's working now though, and we taught the godaddy.com tech guy something!

We're back in business!

So if you've tried to buy something from www.worth-the-wait.com, the site works now!

Friday, October 05, 2007

An Awesome Baby Book


I was in Barnes and Noble using up some birthday gift cards when I stumbled across this book in the adoption part of the parenting section. It's called My Family, My Journey: A Baby Book for Adoptive Families.

It is possibly the closest to the baby books that we had as children that we can find. We are estatic to have found it, and can't wait to use it.


We have Our Chosen Child, and it's a great book too. We look forward to filling it out along with My Family, My Journey.

Most baby books we have found either are related to 1. a pregnancy or 2. international adoption. Since we are adopting domestically, neither fits for us. We had thought about making a scrapbook, and not having a baby book, but we really wanted to just find a baby book too.

We love that it has pages for all the special "adoption related" moments, including "Why we chose to adopt", "How we found you", "people who helped us find you", "waiting", "matched" (when, how we found out, how we celebrated), "Our Journey to you" (it includes where you were, how we got to you and joyful memories- so it can be used internationally or domestically), "our very first meeting", "all about your name", and then traditional things about coming home, family, showers, introductions and celebrations, announcements, firsts and favorites, month by month the first year (height, weight and milestones), etc. It even has a page for "what we know about your birth family and where you came from". That is so cool!

We are looking forward to filling it out (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A nibble is better than nothing

For our check in this month, we did get some interesting news. Nothing major, but a nibble is nice.

We are busy here with birth mothers, adoptive families, projects, etc. Your name has come up a few times this past month regarding birth mother and their potential adoption plan. I hope that we call you soon with a great situation.

That's the first time we've had THAT happen, the first time it's been reported to us that someone is looking at or considering us. So that was cool!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Still Sick

Well, we're feeling a tad better. Mike had to call out another day today. Wow, he hasn't been this sick in a long time. Mostly, it's just feeling weak. I'm off to do a Girl Scout workshop in a little bit, and he'll stay and sleep.

He should be fine tomorrow. If not, he's going to the doctor!

Nothing new on the adoption front. We are hoping to hear about our update today, but that's about it. I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Support

It's nice to find a group of friends who understand what you are going through, especially when your life or family building is a bit outside the "norm" of the "traditional" way of building a family.

I found this recently on an adoption related message board. I have my Lifetime specific yahoo group, and it's great. I also have been active on the adoption board on The Nest, and the adoption section of babies.ourlittleuniverse. All three of them are wonderful, and I'm enjoying the folks and friendships I have received from them, not to mention the wonderful information I have gained. And I would be wrong not to mention my blogging circle, and those who are going through the same experiences. They are wonderful!

I recently found another one, and it feels like home. It's been growing in leaps and bounds, which is wonderful to see. And the folks there are so sweet. It's the perfect mix with the others. I feel like between them I now have a group where I belong.

Often in the adoption community, there are message boards that are not quite as positive. Some are a fairly decent mix, and some are more negative. There really is something out there for everyone.

It's hard when you are trying to figure out where you belong. Who you can identify with, and who your true friends are, be them online or in real life. Through something like infertility or adoption into the mix, and it's even harder.

I am very fortunate in that I have wonderful "non-adoption" friends as well. We mesh really well, and all are smart enough to recognize that we bring differences into our friendships. Differences that make us all unique, yet all get along so well. We know that we can turn to each other for support. And it's those friends that I am thankful for, for keeping me "sane". That keep me from thinking about or focusing on adoption all the time. Yet I know they will be some of the most excited when we finally do get the call.

Some of my friends have kids. In fact, when we have little ones. we'll already have several "playgroups". Our kids already have lots of "aunts" and "uncles" and friends, they just don't know it yet!

As we grow through our experiences, our lives change. Friendships come and go, and you realize who your true friends are, who is there for the long run. You figure out who you can turn to for support, and who can turn to you for support. Those people, and family, are the most important part of life. And you need to do what is best for you, make the decisions that are right for you.

We want to thank our support system.

Thank you.

sharing bugs

One thing that we are going to have to get used to is the sickness factor. I know typically when a family member gets sick, the rest of the household gets sick too.

Mike and I are experiencing that right now. We went to a birthday party yesterday for my nephew. And tonight we went out with Mike's parents for dinner to celebrate my birthday. On the way home, my sister called and asked if we were sick. Apparently she had a stomach virus all day. Nope. We weren't sick.

Notice I say "weren't". We are now :( . Mike started to get sick not too long after we'd gotten home. After his parents left, he told me that dinner had not sit well with him. I started to feel ill about an hour and a half later.

We split up- him in one bathroom and I in another - luckily we can do that right now! And we've been sick since then. Mike called his work about 1 or so, to tell them that he'd most likely not be coming in to work. We're doing a self imposed quarantine so that we don't make anyone else sick.

We sure hope that we didn't end up making Mike's parent's sick. I'll call them in the morning to let them know about our experience. And hope they don't get it too!

Ah, the joys of family hood. When Mike and I first started dating, he used to get "sick" every time he saw our nephew. He wasn't used to the germs that kids bring, and didn't have much of an immunity for it. He's getting better now, as we get more and more nieces and nephews, and they grow.

I can imagine that when we have kids, his immunity system will get even better. But every so often, a real doozy of a bug comes, and knocks the whole family out.

Gotta love it!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

15 months already


Yep, it's 15 months since being contracted out.

While realistically our profile has really only been shown about 13 months or so, either way- it's been a while. We're comfortable with it, but we are ready to move on to the next phase of our lives- parenthood.

Hopefully, someday in the near future!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Glad to be home

It's so nice to be home! I had a great time on the girls cruise, but am so glad to be home! Mike met me at the airport with carnations (my favorite flower!) and a kiss. I was so glad to see him :)

It was a great trip, all 4 of us are Lifetime adoptive families. Two had adopted already and it was nice to chat with them. We even got to meet one of the little babies :) We all meshed really well and had a wonderful time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

fun family reunion, now off on a girls cruise

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a lot of fun. I got to spend the day watching my nieces and nephews, which meant a lot to me. It was nice to be there with my sisters, their families, my brother, and my parents. Most of my cousins and both my aunts were also there. Some of my dad's cousins were also there. It was a ton of fun, and a very nice weekend.

Now, I am sitting at the airport waiting for a flight to Vancouver. Mike dropped me off at the airport in San Antonio, and I flew to Houston. I'm hanging out watching the Sunday Night Football game and waiting for the flight before mine to take off so I can sit at the gate until the flight is here. It's going to be a long flight, and I arrive at 1154 PM, which is 154 AM my time. Then, I get to find a taxi to my hotel :) Luckily they take US dollars for taxis from the airport!

I am going on a repositioning cruise with some friends tomorrow. I have not met them "in person" yet, but one I talk to on the phone occasionally, and the two of us IM with a third, and the fourth is in a yahoo group with us. We are all either adopting from Lifetime, or have adopted from Lifetime. Actually, it's split evenly- two of us have adopted already and two of us are still waiting.

We are looking forward to it, and having fun hanging out together. We leave Vancouver tomorrow, then end up in San Francisco on Wednesday. One girl and I are spending Wednesday night there, an flying out on Thursday. We are both on the same flight to Phoenix, where she will stay, and I'll fly on to Houston. Mike is going to pick me up at the airport when I arrive on Thursday night.

I've been wanting to do a girls cruise for years, so it's nice to be finally doing it. It's kind of neat that the folks who are going are all Lifetime folks. I am SO ready for a vacation, I can't wait to just relax.

Another cool thing about it is that this is my 5th cruise with Princess, which means I become platinum after this one and get even more benefits when I cruise with them. I can't wait :)

The only thing I am sad about is that we were hoping we'd have a little one at the reunion, and that Mike would be taking off part of this week to stay with our little one while I was on the cruise. Well, on the positive side, he gets to save his vacation for a later date....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

37


Growing up, I never thought that at 37 (hopefully!) I'd be a first time mom. I figured by now I'd have two or three (possibly even 4) kids. When my mom was my age, she had a 17 year old daughter, and 4 kids. I wanted to be like that too.

It's funny what life sends your way.

I wouldn't trade the path my life has taken, I am so very thankful that I met the man of my dreams, my soulmate. And I can't wait for him to be a daddy. While I wish we'd met when our paths most likely first crossed, we just weren't ready. But now we are, we have a solid family life, and it's time we became parents.

I am really looking forward to (hopefully!) becoming a mom at 37. It's going to be an exciting year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mike and our niece

Mike and I were chatting the other night about how much fun we had this weekend. And how, at the cookie party, our niece was so so cute. Mike was in the computer room, and a couple times she went in there to get him and bring him out with the rest of us. She wanted him to be there too.

He is so good with her, and you can tell that she loves him too. It's so cute to watch them together. He jokingly says he wants one like her. If we could be so lucky... she is a doll baby!

It's sweet to watch them together. I know he's going to be an awesome daddy to our little ones.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This weekend was fun

We had a great time this weekend. Mike and Blake got to have a lot of bonding time. It's fun to see him try to "reason" with a 5 year old. He learned to adapt pretty quickly though =) And they had a lot of fun. We all did.

Blake was a big help with the cookie parties we had. He loved showing people how to do things, decorate cookies, and playing with the little ones. He was so eager to eat the cookies, he couldn't wait until they were finished baking!

While he was here, he lost his third tooth. So the tooth fairy came and brought him a "ticket" ($1). He was super excited about that. But he was so funny as to who he would tell or not tell about his tooth being gone.

Mike got to learn a bit about five year old temper tantrums and how fast they can be happy and sad and moody. And how often a little one gets grumpy before they fall asleep.

It was a great bonding experience, and learning experience for all. And we can't wait to have those experiences with our little ones.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

warms my heart

As I sit here writing this - Mike is helping our 5 year old nephew get ready for bed. I love watching him help the little guy. They've been having fun this evening. I was running late for stamp club, and had to finish my "homework", so Mike had Blake for the evening. I was there, but not really, since I was doing my homework. Mike and Blake got Blake's room ready, made hot dogs (on the grill!) for dinner, and ate together at the kitchen table. It was nice for both of them. And fantastic for me to watch Uncle Mike and Blake eat, hang out, and communicate. Every so often Aunt Liz has to help interpret something, but other than that I pretty much left them on their own.

They went with me to stamp club (I was just going to drop off my homework, but the leader invited me to stay and work on the projects that club was doing tonight. So Blake was visiting with the other kids for a while. Then, Blake, Mike and the kids played Wii while I finished my last project. It was wonderful to see Mike and Blake "bowling" for the video game.

Mike put Blake to sleep tonight. Made sure he brushed his teeth, said his prayers, and read him a story. Now they are both about to go to sleep. They are both exhausted =)

I can't wait until it's our little one that Mike is helping to bed. I know he's going to be a great daddy!

Tomorrow Blake and I have a very busy day, but we are going to go see Uncle Mike and take him out to lunch for mexican food. It's going to be fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

preparing for a storm and keeping busy

Well, I guess a positive to not having a little one yet is that it's easier to prepare for a storm. We are supposed to get hit by a tropical storm that just sort of popped up in the Gulf of Mexico today. No biggie. We have food, water, groceries, cat supplies and today was laundry day- so we should be set. =)

When you have a little one, you need to think of making sure you have enough diapers (we're already stocking up on them, we use coupons when we have them!), formula (same thing- coupons are awesome) and clean clothes for baby. Plus all the other little extras to keep a little one entertained should the lights go out or you get stuck inside for a while.

Our nephew is coming over to visit this weekend. He's 5. I am going to pick him up tomorrow after school lets out, and bring him home. He and I are hosting a cookie decorating party this weekend. Since it's probably going to be rainy the rest of this week- baking cookies is the perfect thing to do with him.

We are also going to go visit day care centers. I put together some kits for Noah's Ark to drop off at day cares (there are about 8 within a 2 mile radius of my neighborhood alone!), and figured it would be something fun we could do. We'll just go down the one major road, and he can be my "helper" when we go in to the day cares and drop off a packet. I was at convention, so I was able to preorder (and have now received) 400 of the $5 promotional gift cards with mini catalogs. So I am taking them to all the schools in the area, along with a packet of information about Noah's Ark.

My Adoption Shop is taking off well. I added another name to it as well, bought the domain name Unique Baby and Parent Gifts. I was receiving some feedback that my shop was going to be too restrictive and not encourage everyone to shop there. So, I have both names now =) Though the official name is My Adoption Shop. I am really enjoying getting it together, and ordered my moby wraps today. My onesies are also on the way, as well as bath toys and some other goodies. But my lollipops are really popular right now. Which is cool. They are fun to make!

One thing is that it keeps me busy, which is really good- and takes the thinking of adoption constantly off my mind. The best way to let the time go by is to keep busy! But I do like that once I get up and running, both Noah's Ark and My Adoption Shop are both extremely family friendly. I will be able to work as little or as much as I want to, and can get together the My Adoption Shop orders at night, after our sweet little one has gone to bed. Yay for flexibility!

Well, off to scrounge up some dinner for Mike and I.

Friday, September 07, 2007

And another quiet weekend


We've got nothing planned this weekend. Which is probably a good thing. We've got some work to do on the website, and a few things we can do around the house. And of course, it's football season! We'll be watching tons of football too =)

It's been a busy week fortunately, with not a lot of time to really think. Sometimes thats a good thing. It's not always easy keeping up a positive attitude, sometimes you just want to cry. But it's ok, and in the end it will be worth it. The ultimate goal of building our family makes up for the heartache and all that is going on right now.

No one ever said it was going to be easy, they just said it was worth it.

So true.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday is an exciting day!

Two of my friends are in labor, and will become mommies today!

My friend didn't have her baby yesterday- so he'll most likely come today =) How exciting, I can't wait to hear that he is finally here =) Mike and I are going to visit when she'll let us, and we've bought him the cutest little outfit. She's going to be a great mommy, I'm so excited for her!

And, another friend of mine is adopting from China. Adam and Tracy find out find out TODAY who their baby is!!! They have been waiting for so long, they had a LID (log in date) of 11/22/05. And FINALLY, they are going to get to see a picture of their little one. And bring their child home in a few months. SO exciting! Though it's a different kind of labor, she's in labor too!

So send labor dust to my friends =)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day

We just wanted to say Happy Labor Day to everyone. Mike is off this holiday, and we're headed up to a dinner at my sister's house with the family later this afternoon. Other than that, there is not much going on in our household. We'll probably work some more on the website, we've added some new product recently.

An exciting thing, one of my friends went into labor today. Hopefully it'll be a short one, and her little guy will be here today. So exciting, and I know she is ready!

We were joking recently that it would be really neat to have both our little ones around the same time. Who knows, it might happen if we get the call soon.

Have a safe holiday everyone!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Slow weekends are ok, but...

Well, it's another slow weekend here in our household. We're enjoying it, sleeping in, catching up with TV, doing some Noah's Ark and My Adoption Shop work... but still. We are MORE than ready to give it up for a busy kid filled weekend.

We know, we'll look back fondly on these "quiet" times soon, but for now... I guess what they say is true "the grass is always greener on the other side".

Our turn will come in due time... for now, it's just another weekend for us as we wait...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Adoption Shop

I've been working on this for a little bit, and it's up and running. In addition to my growing Noah's Ark business, I'm also opened up a webstore for unique gifts.

www.MyAdoptionShop.com It's unique gifts and items that are helpful for folks who are adopting, but there are also things for new parents and parents to be =) . I'm adding more stuff daily as I find it and see that it fits.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

14 months

So, we hit the 14 month mark of being contracted out today.

Not too much to report, though things have been busy this past month, and some things are still pending. New profiles are out, we're featured on the website under the "featured families" on the birthmother pages, new home study is completed, etc.

We want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers, they really mean a lot to us! We know it's going to happen when it's supposed to happen.

Who knows, maybe #14 will be lucky for us!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Featured on the website

We received an email on Monday, and we are now one of the "featured families" on the Lifetime site. It's in the "it's your choice" section of the birthparents' pages, and we are in the rotation. It rotates several different families in random order. It's a picture of us boarding a cruise ship, and says we can't wait to plan family trips. =)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our profiles are in =)

We mailed off our profiles on Friday- and then took off for the weekend. We went to Windy Hill to relax, and had a great time.

We also received an email this weekend- our homestudy update is also completed. It looks good =)

That's all for now, but it feels good to have two things checked off the list!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More profiles almost done

Well, it took a little longer than expected, but we have more profiles to turn in. We are in the process of finishing them up, doing the binding tonight. We'll send them off for priority mail pick up tomorrow. They turned out nice (after a mess with one mass chain printer that couldn't do it right), but geez, profiles are expensive! This is fairly cheap, and it's $11.25 a profile! We've been quoted a lot more too. We're looking for somewhere cheaper to do it, we just haven't found one place that we've been satisfied with yet.

Anyway, they are very similar to our old profiles, just have a few pictures changes in them, and different ribbon. The colors, most of the words, and the basic set up are the same.

If you want to see one, let me know, we'd be happy to share!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We had several visitors this week

It was a wonderful week here in our household, with lots of visitors!

Sunday, our almost 5 year old nephew came over with my sister to bring our niece to visit. He had a great time hanging out with us, and telling us stories about what is going on in the world of a five year old.

We had our 18 month old niece visit us Sunday through Wednesday. It was a lot of fun, and great practice for Mike too. He was in charge of her and her needs every time that we were together. He is WONDERFUL with our niece. And she absoultely adored him. He changed poopy diapers, gave her a shower, fed her, played with her, dressed her, put her to bed, got her up in the morning... And he was fantastic.

I love that man! I can't wait until he's a daddy!

We were a bit spoiled too. She is such an easy kid, and tons of fun. We've been joking (sort of serious too) that we want one just like her. She's was at restaurants, very friendly, but not misbehaved. She listened, and when we told her no- she paid attention almost 100% of the time. She loves to people watch. She slept through the night. Went to bed easily, naps too. Woke up singing and happy- and played in her crib for a while. She ate everything we put in front of her, and has learned how to politely ask for "mo peas" and "tank du" and even "uuuu wehcome". She has really learned to talk quite a bit the last month or so- and she says Mike's name with the custest southern accent. Mine too. =) She is so cute when she toddles! And she loves to explore and wander. And, she started to tell us when she had a dirty diaper too. Too bad we can't clone her! We want one just like her!

Then, on Thursday, our other niece and our two year old nephew came over to visit. We went out to lunch, and Mike joined us. You should have seen the big huge smile my nephew got on his face when he saw "Unka Mike". His face lit up! And Our little niece, she's only eight months old, and had a great big smile when he gave her a kiss. I fed my niece guacamole, and she loved it. She had a great big grin. And my nephew had ice cream- one of his favorite treats =) They were so much fun.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

networking and spreading the word

I was searching for some cute adoption pictures, and came across these. What a cute way to network, and spread the word :)

We do business cards, giving them out to people, etc. One thing we do is leave an adoption card in every one of those "fish bowl" things where you can enter to win a free lunch/dinner. One more way to network =)



Monday, August 13, 2007

Our baby has a footprint























Even though this poem is geared toward international adoption, you could replace "oceans" with "rivers" and it could be relevant to us adopting domestically as well.

We do believe our baby has a foot print, and one day will be in our arms.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby Signs

One thing we've decided to do is teach our little ones how to sign. There have been many discussions on this, it's still slightly controversial. There are two schools of thought on this. One is that babies and toddlers who learn to sign are a bit slower to start speaking. Another is that babies and toddlers who learn to sign actually speak quicker because they learn the works as they are signing.

We've been doing some research on this, and have determined that it would be very beneficial for us. We are looking forward to learning along with our children, and communicating with them at an earlier age. Several friends of mine have done this successfully with their little ones, so I am confident it's going to work well for us. After quite a bit of research, we found a couple sets/kits that we are going to try. Babies do react a bit differently to the different styles of learning (even though they all tech the same thing), so we are looking at a few different sets. One thing we are going to do is learn a bit ourselves ahead of time, so we'll be a bit more knowledgeable when the time is right and have an easy transition into doing it.

We purchased one from Discovery Toys. It comes highly recommended because the babies in the books and dvd help the little one to easier comprehend how to sign. From those who have used it, and I've talked to a few people who have, it appeared to be the best for their little ones because they could relate to the other babies and toddlers in the program. We ordered it, and will be watching, teaching ourselves a bit as to how to do it before our little one comes.

We are also looking at Baby Einstein, My First Signs DVD. Mainly because we do like a lot of the Baby Einstein products, and expect that this one would probably be beneficial as well. It appears that an adult, not babies are signing, but many of the Baby Einstein products and dvds are educational and beneficial to babies, so I would expect that this one would have it's positives as well. Even if it's background noise, a little one will pick up on some stuff.

Anyway, our Discovery Toys one comes in any day now, so we can't wait to start learning it!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

What we've been up to this week...

I know we didn't post a lot last week. We were (and still are) working on our profile in order to get it done and turned in.

But, we also did TONS of work to the nursery. Here are pictures to enjoy!























We still have quite a bit to do, but for now we are more than prepared to bring our little one home. We want to get a chambry laundry basket, similar to this one from Toys R Us, and have a sailboat painted on it, similar to the one over the crib. And we need a diaper pail too. Right now, we are using ziplock bags and putting diapers in them, then in the trash can. We want to get the Graco Touch Free Diaper Pail. But for now, we are off to a good start!

Monday, July 30, 2007

monthly check in

We had our monthly check in today. Not much going on, nothing new to report. They know we need more profiles (and we are working on them), and asked about our home study, which is going to expire in a bit. We've had the home study update, so we're just waiting for it to be completed and sent in.

That is about it. we went out tonight to celebrate the fact that Mike's last scheduled on-call shift was yesterday. He'll be regular 8-5 days now for the most part. It's going to take a bit for him to get used to a regular sleep schedule- and hopefully by the time he does, we'll have a little one with a new sleep schedule to adjust to ;)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lucky # 13?




Well, we're at the 13 month mark. Will 13 be our lucky number? We shall see....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our plans this weekend

Well, this weekend will be an interesting and busy one for us. Mike is on call all weekend, but it's his last weekend to be on call (most likely). Starting Aug 1 he is scheduled to do an 8-5 M-F work week. It will be nice to have him not on call so much.

I'll be working on profiles. We got an email last night that they went to get some of our profiles to take on the US tour (where they give them to doctors and social workers, etc), and they only had our old ones left. So, they need about 30 new ones. My job this weekend is to update it a bit (some new pictures) and get it printed off.

So we'll be busy!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mike came home earlier this week

Mike came home earlier this week from work at his usual time. When he came into the office to kiss me, as he does every day, he had a list. Apparently, he'd had some time to think during the day, and work on a list of things we would need should we get the call soon.

He had it divided up into three columns. One was work. The other was house. The third was baby. And boy, did he put some thought into it.

The work one was mostly for him, and things that he might need to bring should we be delayed enough away from home and he'd need to log in some work hours. He also took into account my work, and had notes for things I would need to bring as well. It was a pretty extensive list.

The second was home. It included both things we would need to take (camera, clothes, nice outfits to wear before the judge, books, computer, paperwork, etc) as well as notes to call the lawyer, our home study coordinator, Lifetime, etc. He also included making sure Precious had enough food and water, and that we had someone reliable lined up to come stop in and visit with her while we were gone.

The last was baby. And with this he included things we would need, including diapers, clothing, age related toys, car seat, formula, etc. Everything we'd need to keep baby entertained while stuck in a hotel room for a few days or more.

It was so neat to see him do that, and put such thought into it. With his list, we'll have a fantastic start when we finally do get that call. He is such a sweetie, and will make a wonderful father.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Primetime: Beyond Love- the Road to Adoption

ABC Primetime is running a series on Family Secrets. Tonight's show is 'Beyond Love': The Road to Adoption. It should be interesting, as it is telling about the birth mother's perspective. It's following two teenage girls through their pregnancies and as they set up an adoption plan. These two happen to take place at The Gladney Center for Adoption, which has free dormitory style housing, counseling, medical care and more for birth mothers.

We looked in to Gladney, into their domestic program. It's actually the first one we applied to. After submitting the application, a few weeks later we received a letter from them. They told us that we were not selected for the domestic program (I guess their 'quota' of people like us was full), but that we were accepted into the international program. We talked about it, and decided that was not the route we wanted to go. When we asked about what it would take to get into the domestic program, they never really gave us a solid answer. And then, they were surprised that we did not want to go the international route. So, we parted ways.

We plan on watching the show, it should be interesting.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Life is good

No, we still don't have "the call" yet, but life in general is very good.

We've rid ourselves of some negative influences in our lives. We're both working out on the treadmill and losing weight. We're eating healthier, and are overall feeling better about ourselves. Both of us have wonderful things going on in our jobs. Elizabeth's Noah's Ark business is picking up, and Mike is about to go on an 8-5 regular schedule, with little OT and no weekends. The house is organized. The nursery is set up, and slowly being decorated. Our 14 year old cat, Precious, is doing well. And we have great friends and family. Things are really starting to fall into place.

So now, we're ready. Hopefully something will happen soon. That's all we are missing, and, as Mike says "bring it on". It's in our hearts, our minds, and our prayers every day, and hopefully soon, we'll be sharing good news.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Baby Fever

Baby fever has struck our household. Both Mike and I can't wait to be parents. We both long for that feeling of a child in our lives. Mike is so cute, and you can tell he wants to be a dad so bad. He is more than ready, and often says "bring it on". He asks if my friends will bring their little ones over, so he can see them. And everytime one of his coworkers' little ones stop by- Mike is one of the first ones to be there and play with the little one.

It's hard to be patient and wait, and hard to plan for the future. We talk about trips, upcoming plans. We need to figure out, should we plan on using some of his vacation now? Will we need to make arrangements when Mike has to work, and I am on my cruise with the girls? Can we both take the cruise that I (hopefully) will win through Noah's Ark? Should we plan on a babysitter? We've done everything right. There is nothing left to do but wait. But waiting leads to restlessness and wanting.

We are fortunate in that we have many children in our lives. And so when we do need our "baby fix" we can spend time with our nieces, nephews, and friend's children. It means the world to us when whe are able to spend time with these precious little ones, probably more than their parents realize. For now, it'll hold us, and help with our baby fever, until we are able to bring our own little one home.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Things you learn at baby showers

I was fortunate enough to cohost a baby shower for a good friend of mine yesterday. After a little scare (she went into preterm labor- but it was stopped) on Friday, she was more than ready to party on Sat. and celebrate her little one's upcoming arrival.

It was a lot of fun. There was a great mix of women there, and it was neat to see everyone, and how they reacted to different things. There was a good mix of non-moms (those not interested in being moms, or waiting to start trying), moms-in-waiting (those who are trying, pregnant, or waiting for the call), and moms (self explanatory). Plus 3 cute little ones ranging from less than 2 months to a toddler.

We played the game BabySmarts, and it was really interesting. It led to discussions on the various topics, and we all learned a little from it. Even if you just get the cards to read, it's worth it. There are four categories, Baby, Culture, Mom and Wild Card. And not only do they ask a question (typically true/false or multiple choice) and give the answer, but it also explains, going into further detail. Obviously some of the already moms were a bit more knoweldgeable in the subjects, but honestly, everyone learned something from it. It was fun to play.

The mom of the one month old pulled out a moby wrap when her little one was fussy, and just wanted to snuggle next to mom. At $39.95 and with protection from UV rays with the Rayoscan Process, it's a pretty neat thing. It's basically a long piece of cloth, and there are many different ways that you can wrap it around you, to snuggle baby in. It's a matter of finding the most comfortable fit for you and baby. You can even us it to carry baby on your back. It's very soft too. I am thinking of ordering one - It looks like it will come in handy.

One thing that the mom to be received was a changing pad, along with several changing pad covers. This led to a discussion as to how wonderful it is to have more than one cover - two at a minimum. And we totally agree- it makes a lot of sense, and it's necessary.

One of the things I gave the mom to be was a kozy pal cart cover. She is going to pick out the pattern she wants, and then I'll order it for her. I learned about this product several years ago, and have been giving it to friends and family since then. It's great! The covers not only fit in the carts, but also in most restuarnt high chairs. It does take a few weeks for them to come in (she goes by an order list). So I am probably going to go ahead and buy ours now. I love the turquoise chic stripe that I have pictured here.


Mom to be received a Diaper Champ. It's a diaper pail. Those really do come in handy. Mom to be mentioned that at another shower, someone said they didnt understand why she would regeister for a diaper pail, when a simple trash can with a foot pedal would work just as fine. That led to another fun discussion. Diaper pails are so handy now, and have so many features. They help eliminate smells, and overall make the room more pleasant. We are looking at the Graco Touch Free Pail ourselves. We actually could use one already- as right now, when we have a little one over and we change a diaper we just stick it in a gallon size zip lock bag and stick it in the trashcan. If the little one had a major diaper issue, this can sometimes stink up the pantry. I know many people who have used the Diaper Genie. Though I will say the new models out now are much easier to use than the older models from when my nephews were born.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste was also a popular, and very much discussed item. This product is awesome, and through the years I have found out through discussions with friends and family that it actually has many different uses for various rashes and ailments. It's also one of the best for baby's diaper rash.

One of the moms suggested to the mom to be that she invest in a few preemie outfits. Even if they are born on time, sometimes the newborn clothes swim on them. So it doesn't hurt to have a few preemie outfits just in case. Keep the tags on and you can always return them or give them to someone else.

A discussion on newborn diapers also took place, as the mom to be received Huggies Supreme Newborn Diapers and Pampers Swaddlers in size newborn. From the moms with experience, they all agreed that the Huggies newborn diapers were a bit smaller than the pampers newborn diapers. But that both were good. One of the moms insists though, that the Target brand of diapers is the absoulte best.

There were more things discussed, it was a lot of fun. It's neat to get together with women who are in various stages and interests in becoming (or not becoming) parents, and share thoughts and experiences.

I know that as our adoption progresses, I'm taking notes. And looking for things that will come in handy with out little one(s).