Sunday, October 30, 2011

Update Questions

Tonight I was able to send a request for an update on my children, which would include updates on their weight, height, shoe size, etc., along with pictures. I was also allowed to ask ten questions, and prayerfully they will be answered within a week or two!! Yay! (I will post the answers the minute I get them.) So here is the list of questions I asked:

1. Do they speak any English?
2. Who are their friends? (What are their names?)
3. What are their favorite foods?
4. What are their personalities like? (Are they talkers, etc.)
5. What are their favorite toys they like to play with?
6. What comforts them when upset?
7. What causes them to become upset?
8. What makes them happy?
9. Do they know they're being adopted?
10. Is there a possibility of getting a video of them as well as pictures?

I thought these were some pretty good questions, and hopefully will tide me over until I see them in a few months!

One huge thing about this update request is that I ordered it all on my own, without my nerd-sister's help!! Yay me!! Yes, I know, you're probably rolling your eyes like I'm an incompetent idiot. I'll own up to it. My sister has done all my on-line ordering for me for years. YEARS!! I will get five minutes into an order and start yelling at the computer for asking me so many questions. So tonight was a milestone. I called her and told her I was all grown up now and didn't need her help anymore. Keep in mind she's ten years younger than me. Well, maybe just this one time I won't need her help...I do have to order some bedding for my son...hmmm...Andrea? A little help?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turtles and X-Box

Just a little Mom hint: When you're trying to bond with your 12 year old son, perhaps don't do it while he's playing x-box. I came in to his man-cave and sat next to him. I was reading some woman's blog and she had a picture of one of the teeniest, tiniest turtles I had ever seen (say that 3 times fast.)  I said, "Look at this tiny turtle, Josiah!" He turned his head, looked, looked back at the screen and his character was already dead...because he turned for a SPLIT second to look at my computer screen. I was promptly kicked out of his man-cave. I left in shame.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Did I Do Before...

I have been pondering this question today...what did I do before I began my adoption journey?  I can't remember.  What did I talk about before?  What did I THINK about?  People talk and blah, blah, blah all around me, but my brain is on adoption and little orphan's (which I secretly want to go know...ALL of them.)  It has become my life and kind of HAD to because the process is like a part-time job, honestly.  

But then there's another question I'm pondering...what will I do AFTER adoption, what will I talk about, think about?   Hmmm.  I'm not sure I want to go back to the old "norm."  My life has been changed, not just by my own journey, but by the journey of others, books I've read, children's faces I've seen.  My eyes are wide open.  If I turn into a happy little camper who turns her eyes away once I get back from China, then I think I would have failed the purpose of this journey. The old me was just ignorant of the plight of the orphan (which isn't good either), but if I willingly choose to close my eyes and turn away AFTER I know the truth, well, that's the worst thing a person could do, in my opinion. 

So how can a person help after their adoption is complete? Pay it forward.  Sponsor an orphan, or their surgery, or help someone financially who's adopting.  Or email encouraging words to the one adopting.  Do anything. Just don't ever forget your journey, or the purpose behind that journey.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What If?

Last week or so, I joined a Yahoo group concerning adoption.  This particular group has pictures of children who are waiting to be adopted.  I love looking through those kinds of pictures, as I often see these kiddos later on in someone's blog after they've been adopted.  Well, I was sitting in my chair just lazily browsing through the pictures when one pic caught my was my son.  I just stared at it.  I had no idea he was on a photo listing sight somewhere.  

Then I began to go over all the info listed about him.  The agency that he was listed with at that time was not my agency.  It was an agency that has an odd name, but for some reason (I now know why) I had been drawn to their photo page over and over since I began this process about a year ago.  Sometimes I would go to their photo page daily. I kept thinking I would find my son on that page...little did I know he was with that agency the whole time, but I needed a passcode to see his particular photo.   

Next, I looked at the date my little guy's pic was posted...April.  I remember doing EVERYTHING I could to get to China by spring.  I did everything I could in my power to move my adoption faster, but the process would not budge and I couldn't figure out I little boy was not listed with my agency yet.  I had to receive my little girl's referral first to give his file time to make it's way to my agency.  I remember people asking me why I was asking for my little girl's referral first and I remember saying, "I don't know why, I just feel led to get a referral for a girl first and then wait for a referral for a boy."  That's called your inner witness, your gut instinct.  It's a knowing that you have in your heart, and you're led by peace. 

Had I tried to force "the timing door," I would have missed out on my son...that cute little treasure at the top of this page.  I now understand the waiting "game" with adoption and with life.  Now that I understand why that process took so long, it makes the memory sweeter in my heart, rather than the bitter feeling that was there...the lingering "why."   These are the little bread crumbs; the trail God drops in front of me to lead me on to China.  

Some people may call it pure coincidence.  There's no such thing.  If you have not seen the hand of God in your life, then perhaps your ignoring the bread crumbs.  They are there, whether you acknowledge them or not.  We will all stand before God one day and give an account of all the signs He posted along the way...and whether we followed them, or ignored them.  

Friday, October 21, 2011


Guess what happens when you spend your whole entire ever-lovin' minute of your week doing adoption paperwork, reading about how to do your paperwork, consulting and emailing people concerning your paperwork...and then you take your pre-teen daughter shopping where all you hear is, "I want, I want, I want!"....your brain FRIES!!! Not french fries people, I mean it's fried, gone, hasta la vista, bye-bye, see-ya-later, adios, sianara. It's gone. My hubby keeps coming in and out of the room and talking and I swear I feel like I'm in some Twilight Zone episode. 

I thought the forms for my LOA were bad...I met my match with that Visa form. Are you sick of me still ranting about this paperwork? I don't care, it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.  Just an update...yes, I did dream about paperwork again last night. The horror is still fresh in my brain. 

But tomorrow is a new day, no paperwork awaits me, just my hubby and kiddos. I plan to make the most of it. Even if it means laying in a fetal position because I had more nightmares about the dreaded Visa app. I shutter when I even type that word. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Visa App...another paperwork nightmare!

Oh yeah, BABY...I sent that thing packing today!!!! Out.the.door. GONE.  (Please, oh please, God, let everything be right on that thing!!!!!)  Of all the paperwork I've done, that was THE.WORST.THING.EVER!!!!!! 

Understatement.  Want the low-down?  Briefly...I hand-wrote four Visa applications (duh, for all four of us), then messed mine up, so re-wrote it...found out there's a new rule, has to be typed, so, typed four apps, printer cut off tops of ALL of them.  Re-typed  one, computer erased all info, re-typed again, four more.  Something was messed up on mine.  Brianna's had an hers.  When I was all done, I wanted to address it to 666 Satan Avenue.  I just could NOT believe how that dumb thing kept coming back to haunt me!!! 

At the end of it all, I was begging God for mercy.  Brianna came out of her room and said, "Who are you talking to Mom?" "I'm begging God to have mercy on me before I check myself into the psych ward." 

So, it's all done.  I hope.  Pray that thing doesn't have anything wrong on it, people...PLEEEEEEEZE!!!!  Or they will send it back to me....I REALLY do not want to post one more paperwork nightmare.  Btw, you DO know, I've dreamt about paperwork all this week, right?  I'm soooo not making this up when I say I have an issue with paperwork.

Want to know what else I have an issue with?  Words that get on my nerves.  Want to know what words I despise?

Scamper, scrumptious (haaaaate that word!!), delicious (makes me cringe)...ok, I REALLY hate the word scrumptious. Want to know one more? Paperwork, I hate the word paperwork. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Celebration and Melt-Down

Yesterday I mailed out my adoption paperwork which includes all the forms with "titles", titles like LOA, I800A, blah, blah, blah...more like title of NIGHTMARE!!   To just say, "Oh yeah, I mailed out my LOA and all the forms that go with it", well, that's an understatement.  I would rather have fire ants eat my face off than ever do that again. I took a picture of it all laid out on the floor because I knew I would someday forget, and I want to make sure I always get a pit in my stomach if I look at it 10 years down the road.  I am not a paperwork kind of person...I will post more on that when I'm in a more serious mood, because, honestly, it's not funny anymore.  Which leads me to today.  

My paperwork nightmare wasn't over...I have to send in our Visa applications, which would have gone out today, except no one told me I needed 20 passport photos to complete an adoption, so we headed off to Wal-Green's to take more stupid pics and I ran out of time to get it all in the mail.  So my nightmare awaits me tomorrow.

In other news, last night after sending out my LOA, I forced my husband to celebrate at my favorite steakhouse.  How did I force him, you ask?  I threatened bodily harm, of course!!!  So, we all went out as a family of four to celebrate becoming a family of six!!  Wow, that sounds weird!!  (Hubby doesn't know I'm already concocting a scheme in my brain to become a family of eight!!)  Tee hee. Don't know if it'll work; it's easier to get a thumbs up from God than it is my husband...remember the cheap thing?  Apparently kids cost money, who knew???   

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Here!!!!

11:30 on the nose...Fed-Ex truck pulled up and I took pics out the window while screaming, "It's here, it's here!!!" I'm going to go over all my paperwork now to make sure it's complete, sign the LOA and get it out the door. Pray that I have everything filled out correctly!!! I'm not kidding; pray people!! I will post later when it's all done.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pinch Me

I am still in shock that I finally received the call that our LOA is here.  It will arrive tomorrow by Fed-Ex, and the minute it does, I need to get it signed and sent right back out the door!!  

So currently, I'm numb.  I think the whole process just wears a person down emotionally...and with the LOA wait being double what it normally is, well, it can mess with a person.  Honestly, Friday was an amazing emotional high...the CALL...and then, right at about 8:00 p.m. I got sooooo tired.  I have gone on one year straight of a massive adrenaline rush, with very little sleep, and it took it's toll.  I normally go to bed at about midnight and get up anywhere between 3:00 -7:00 a.m.  (Yes, I get up that early because my brain is ALWAYS going...because of adopting).  So for me to be done, and I mean ready-to-tip-over tired, that's saying something.

I have decided the celebration does not happen with the LOA phone happens when I send that LOA back out the door along with all the paperwork required.  I am NOT a paperwork kind of person.  Adoption paperwork about put me in the nut-house.  So tomorrow night, I intend on celebrating (and NO, it will NOT be McD's)!!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Celebrating Our LOA

So, I know you're all wondering how our family celebrated our LOA.  Did we go to a fancy steakhouse?  Nope. How about a Chinese restaurant in honor of our new children?  Nope.  My dirt cheap hubby said, "Let's do McDonald's drive-thru."  I told him he's the cheapest man alive, which back-fires on me, because he takes that as a compliment.  Then he goes off about how he's such a genius when it comes to finances, blah, blah, blah. (Honestly, he's right, but I'll never tell him that.)

The thing is, somehow or another, most of our major events in our life are celebrated with McDonald's.  After our own wedding twenty years ago, we left after the church service and swung in to get a cone.  Last year, when my husband said yes to adoption, we celebrated with a McD's cone.  Perhaps we should just have weddings at McDonald's and instead of cake, everyone gets ice cream.
I wonder if that would work for funerals as well.  
Probably not.

Friday, October 14, 2011

LOA #2...IT'S HERE!!!!

OH.MY.GOSH!!!!  Freaking out here, people!!  Yes, it's here!!  My mind is swimming.  My agency called...I saw the number on caller ID and thought...nothing...because I'm in the land of make-believe with this LOA wait.  I started to wonder if they really even exist and if Chinese children are just a figment of my imagination.  So I answered the phone and she said, "Guess what?"  That was all it took.  I lost it bawling.  I was done.  All that pressure that I did NOT even realize was there....broke.  I.was.a.mess...I told her to keep talking because I could not speak.  She said both LOA's would be here by Monday (they were holding the other one for me).  My mind is racing...I'll post more when my brain re-boots, k?  Thanks for all the prayers guys!!!! God is faithful, always!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Bad News Is...There's No News

I went as high up as I could without getting on a plane to China, and I have NO answer.  My agency has inquired probably four times in three weeks on my LOA and they cannot get a response.  I don't get it.  I hear of others who press their agencies to get an update, and they finally call China AND GET AN ANSWER!!!!  Ugh! 

I would say I've passed the patience test.  I'm pretty much a pro at the waiting game here.  It's just the silence... 
 it's deafening.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

48 Hours Is Up

My agency rep said to give it 48 more hours to see if we can get an update on my little girl's LOA...that ends at 4:00 today.  I have less than four hours until that deadline; if I don't have an answer by then, I'm going to get on the phone with every person I can think of until I get a response!!

 It's quite concerning to me that I received her referral first (by almost a month), but her LOA is lagging this far behind his. I just want answers. So, prayerfully, I will have an answer by tonight or tomorrow morning. 

In other news, the two children who are currently in my life are driving me wacko. Last night as I was trying to get them to just chill and go to bed, they decided it was confession/whine/acrobat time. Brianna, who is a talker (understatement) went on an hour long play-by-play of who said what, blah, blah, blah. She used remote controls to show the positions of her friends in the room and then pretended like the remote controls were talking. All I absorbed was, "And then she I said...and do YOU know what SHE said? I was like, blah, blah, blah." 

After she was done babbling, it was Josiah's turn. He came in and started complaining about how he's sick of people modifying their x-box, their games...something or another, and how it's all a conspiracy, and people are cheating. 

The whole time he was ranting, Brianna was doing jumping jacks in hyper mode and practicing Tae Kwon Do forms in such a fast pace she looked like someone put her on fast forward. 

I told her she looked like Jane Fonda doing her work out. She asked if Jane Fonda was a super hero. What??

I told them they were both psycho and to go to bed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

So along with some bloggy buddies, my kids want to know who I was referring to in my last post.  I made them play twenty questions and they still couldn't guess!  So, as tempted as I am to keep it a secret, here goes: I was already in a good mood last night just because of an adoption forum that I'm on.  Some of the threads were funny, referring to Barbie, being...umm...well endowed, some were heated...those in particular I find amusing; I just can't help but laugh at the bantering.  But then I received a random email from someone (NO, I will not say who, silly!) with info on international adoption.  This person tries to be sincere, I'm sure, but they are mis-informed as to the whole process.  I cannot get into the details, but I thought their email was hilarious.  It describes "what could go wrong," etc. concerning international adoption.  Will I see this person this week, most likely, will I have a smile on my face when I see them?  Definitely.  Why?  Because, although some people are afraid for me because of the unknowns of THEIR hearts, I have peace about adoption. I.JUST.DO!!

Now, about those dumber than a doorknob people...who IS that type of person?  Glad you asked:

The person who pulls out in front of you and then goes 10 miles under the speed limit...dumber than a doorknob.

The person who pulls out in front of you and then turns one block later...dumber than a doorknob.

The person who emails me random emails about the HORRORS of international adoption and thinks it may RUIN my life!!  OH NO!!  Yes, that person...dumber than a doorknob!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why I'm So Happy

No, I have no answers on my LOA. But I am LOSING it stupid people....MEAN, stupid people. I know some people don't use that word, but what else are they? Dumber than a doorknob? No sense of humor, born without a personality, born without a brain...mad when they don't get their way...mad when someone disagrees with them...I could go on and on. But I can't, I'm laughing so hard I can't finish this post. If you know me really well, you'll get the scoop; I promise I'll fill you in. There are two China moms who are "in-the-know"...tee know who you are!!

No Answers

Today I'm supposed to receive answers about my LOA...and 500 other questions I have about where I'm at in this adoption process.  I have to speak with two different people concerning this.  The problem?  These two people NEVER answer their phone.  Do they have caller ID?  Do they see that it's me and roll their eyes and refuse to answer the phone?  Do I have fungus?  I don't get the avoidance. Oh, and one other thing...I've PAID THESE PEOPLE!!!! What's funny (or pathetically sad) is that I've come to expect an answering machine rather than the person.  I even announce to my kids, "I'm taking bets...who thinks I'll get a live, breathing person today?"  Even my kids won't play the game...they look at me and say, "Mom, you know she never answers the phone."  It's not like I call everyday. Maybe once every two weeks, and it's a miracle if I even get a call back.  I get better service at McDonald's people. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lazy Saturdays

We have a rule in our house, Saturdays are for staying home and chilling.  We can clean, pick up, etc, but for the most part, there is no company and no leaving to run errands.  This is my one day to actually cook (I could post a whole blog dedicated to my cooking antics and what always seems to go wrong in my kitchen.) What's funny is I get ticked off if there's good weather on a Saturday...I want rain storms or even a snow storm.  So far this entire summer and fall I haven't had one ugly weather Saturday, and it's really starting to irritate me.  Is it so much to ask for one gosh darn almost-tornado day?  Or how about a blizzard in's happened before!!  So here I sit, rebelling against a beautiful day.  I can guarantee one thing, if I were to give in and start actually enjoying the warm weather, it would change the minute I go outside...or those stupid wasps (that croak and magically come back to life) would be attacking me again.  I'm just one of those people who goes outside and is attacked by bugs and birds...yes birds.  And don't forget rabid squirrels that throw acorns at my head.  What else?  Oh yes, if I were to sit out on my front steps, I can guarantee a group of angry Girl Scouts would be hounding me to buy their cookies.  It happens all the time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What If They Hate Star Wars?

Oh my gosh...I'm panicking...what if my new little kiddos don't like Star Wars?  This just dawned on me...Josiah has action figures, we have all the movies (even the stupid Jar Jar ones).  My family quotes from them (nerdy, I know). My hubby preaches and references Yoda.  Yeah, it's that bad.  So...what if they don't like it?  What am I going to do?  I know, I'll bring action figures to China...I'll begin indoctrinating them IMMEDIATELY.  I wonder if they sell the movies with the characters speaking Mandarin.  That would be hilarious to watch!  That will be my shopping mission in China...forget the jade bracelets or the pearl market...I want to hear Vader go off on some rant in Chinese, and hear burnt-bacon Anakin say, "I hate you!" in Mandarin. As long as everything else is the same, (Vader's oxygen tank sounds for his crispified know...heavy breathing) I'm game for it!! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Still No Answer

For two and a half weeks I have heard NOTHING concerning my little girl's LOA. This week is a holiday in China, so my agency rep said I probably won't hear anything until Monday now. My travel month went from "guaranteed" November to December...and now January. I will NEVER think of the word "guarantee" the same way again! I am currently double the wait time that was "guaranteed" for my LOA. It was 60 days originally...I'm at 120. It is what it is. Some things in life do not have a guarantee on them. God never promised He would cater to our demands. He is not my personal genie that I order around. And while it is VERY difficult to watch others have a super fast adoption, with smooth sailing, I have to swallow my pride (and the lump in my throat) and congratulate them. There are several adoptive moms that I have gotten to know through this process and all of them have received their LOA's. And I still wait. And my son and daughter across the ocean still wait. Is it hard? Yes. But I keep myself busy so my mind doesn't have time to dwell on the negative. The Bible talks about "an appointed time"...there is an appointed time for my little boy and girl to meet us. It's just not today!! But it's soon! So in the mean time, I PRAY, I BELIEVE, and I SPEAK good things over them, over their lives, and over their futures...and I know that God is preparing THEIR hearts, just as much as He is preparing mine. Believe me, do not think for a MINUTE that I get depressed about this non-sense. I nipped that a while ago...I just won't have it...I HATE rotten, bad attitudes; a bad attitude never fixed anything or made time go faster. So if you're thinking of me today, don't think, "Oh, poor her." Give me a massive break, don't sulk for me...I'll probably be shopping and how can a person shop and be depressed at the same time? It's not humanly possible!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Polar Bear Disorder

Yesterday my husband was reading something out loud and one of the words in this article said bi-polar disorder. Of course, Brianna doesn't know what that is so she heard it wrong and asked, "What is polar bear disorder?"  That's one of those cute things our kids say that we swear we're always going to remember.  Well, now I have a blog so I can ensure I never forget!  I'm looking forward to more of these moments with my little ones from China.  It seems like when they're young, those moments happen all the time...not so much when they're Josiah's age...he's the age where he thinks he knows everything and he's too cool to act like he doesn't!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Here's What My Daughter Learned in Children's Church

I know...just by the title you're on the edge of your seat with excitement, right? So, Brianna says to me, "Mom, how old are people when they start wearing diapers again?" "Huh? What are you talking about?" "Well, I'm wondering when people start to rot." Ok, this is a bizarre line of questioning coming from my 10 year old, even for Brianna.  She seems horrified so I begin to ask her why she's asking me these creepy questions. She begins to explain that in Children's Church they were learning about how the body eventually gives out and there is life after death. The children all have very vivid imaginations and began to ask questions (ahem...Brianna) and one thing led to another and now I have to explain to my daughter that not everyone over 60 is wearing a diaper, they are not currently rotting, and their eyes are not turning into ash...well, that I know of anyway. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Bigger Picture

Last night my family went to a fall party with hay rides, etc at our church. It was a ton of fun and I REALLY enjoyed myself, more than in previous years, for the mere fact that I stayed in doors almost the entire time...and I talked adoption...the entire time. I just freeze to death in anything under 72 degrees. Ok, I'm off topic...anyway, something in one of my adoption conversations hit me like a ton of bricks. We were discussing the adoption tax credit and how so many people NEED it, truly NEED it. And I was in the middle of speaking when I realized what I said...I DON'T need it...others do. Then I realized, maybe that's why I don't have my LOA yet. Is it possible there are a few others who desperately need that refund right away, and God is putting them ahead of me in line so they will be able to pay their bills, or maybe even be able to adopt again because of the refund?

 All of a sudden, I felt so selfish for begging God to get me to China by the end of the year. Do I still want to go in December? Yes, but not because of the money. I never even knew about the tax refund when I began the adoption process, and it won't effect us adopting again. If five or ten more families can adopt again because of this refund, by all means, they can go before me, I'll just travel in January, NO BIGGIE!! I never want to stand before God some day, and Him show me how I pouted while someone else received their LOA and they needed it more than me at the time. Believe me, I'm not trying to be Mother Teresa here, I'm just opening myself up to the possibility that there might be a bigger picture here. Adoption was never about me anyway. Refund or no refund, I have two adorable kiddos at the top of this page that WILL BE added to my family soon; they might just be joining us a little later than I had anticipated!