Tuesday, June 26

Nothing Exciting

Ugh, this is the part of working mid shift/overnights/graveyard that I truly detest, the weekend.  I'm really happy that I find it/have been finding it easy to slip into slumber when I get off my shift and crawl into bed upon arriving home.  What's not so easy is trying to *stay* asleep these past two nights.  I wake up a few hours after crashing and feel wide awake.  I force myself to just lie there and pray for the sandman to help a girl out, but that's not working too well :(  I then try very hard not to take a nap during the day because I'm afraid it will easily roll into a few hours, but yesterday I was successful with only a 20 min nap.  I just don't like feeling half dead and buzzy when I know there's so much I should be doing.  When your brain feels like it's not working on all cylinders though, you don't quite trust it with important things.  Like adoption decisions.  So glad this will be my last week of working that shift and I can get back to my normal day-functioning self by the end of next week or so, God willing!

I have been looking at some of the pics of some adorable little girls waiting that are sent to my inbox.  While they are cute, they don't quite speak to me, but reminds me there are other sweet ones out there (whether Lauren works out or not, or for down the road if a sister is in the grand scheme of things. . .but let's not get too ahead of ourselves!)

So for the moment I sit here and wait, with heavy eyelids ;)
Thanks for the prayers and thoughts, I know they are what has made me feel calm, albeit tired ;)

Sunday, June 24

"Mooommmmm...Crazy's at it again!"

Ok, I'm not crazy, but always looking for validation with what I'm doing.  I really don't want to mess up, and try not to.  Being one of those human beings though, I do.  So right now I'm just really trying to figure out what I'm suppose to be doing.  Now reading other's past posts I was always thinking to myself "why are you always second guessing and questioning yourself.  just do it, it's obvious God's behind you."  Until you're the one who is trying to figure out when and how to bring a whole other life into your own, you start seeing things differently.  Start wondering, what is the right thing and am I doing it.  Am I doing what I'm suppose to, or am I looking to hard for an easy answer that everyone else can see but me.  Like reading through random ado.ption blogs and each post I bring up talks about how God was there financially through their adoption.  Every time they needed the money, the exact amount was there at the exact time they needed it.  Or that they  just bucked up saved every penny they could and held their chin high and asked others for help.

Or when typing in "Lauren" and "Bible Verse" into go.ogle spit out this verse:
Philippians 4:19 () 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Or this one:
For with God nothing will be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

How about this one:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

And this one:
"But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." (Psalm 34:10)

I think I need Him to tell me just like He did about the whole adopting thing ;)
I know that this path is never going to be easy, but life isn't easy, right?!?  I can't be assured that everything will always work out, the way I want them too.  Plus I like to make things hard when they can really be super simple.

I do remember the same type of thing last year when I found "Angel" and just broke down sobbing and asking Him if I was her mommy and could he give me some sign.  If I was meant to I'd do what ever He needed to, but I just needed an answer.  Later that day I found through some other blogs that she had a family submitting PA for her and actually did adopt her.  I need that kind of a sign!  And you would probably like it to, so you can stop seeing these posts day after day - LOL! (or maybe not ;) )

This has really weighed heavily on me now for the past few days.  My heart just wants to know what it's suppose to be feeling and my body feels like I've worked out all day and night, while my mind feels hypervigilant.  I'm just so happy that I've been able to sleep a good 7-8 hours after my mid shift is over (I'm covering the mid shift for three weeks for a co-worker who lost his sister :(  Prayers are with him!)

So right now I'm going to ask you all for help.  If you so feel lead would you pray for me?  Pray that He will give me my answer, either way really.  While you are having a conversation with the Lord would you also ask that He looks over "Lauren" and helps her family, whoever that may be to find her and come get her, and for her health and blessings of comfort and His love.  Or if you feel more comfortable just some comforting thoughts, for both "Lauren" and I.  I would be ever so grateful!

The Waiting Child

Here is a video put together by Rainbow Kid's Advocacy Site.

P.S. do you like the music automatically playing (from the mixpod on the bottom of the page) or would you prefer that I disable that and you can turn it on to listen yourself ;)

P.P.S. should you feel like responding, you can do so at the bottom/end of each post.
Click on the "# Comments" (on the example below you would click on the gray "0 Comments")

what is going on in my head and heart.

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Saturday, June 23

Naked Honesty

I recently thanked another mom on another blog for being very real when it came to adopting her girls. It's not always rainbows and lollipops.  *Gasp*  It isn't?!  Yet sometimes bloggers can make it seem this way, only reporting on the positive things.  Maybe to scared to put out there what isn't easy or working well.  Not sure it's in our nature, or perhaps more so our society, to say what is hard or what you struggle with.  Especially I think when it comes to children.  Where parents seem to be frowned upon when they talk about what's not working right, what is hard, or needing help when it comes to their children.  Because obviously they wanted the kids, so it's their own fault.  They should just deal with it and not bring their problems to everyone else.  In this where is the village to raise the child, when the parents are too scared to bring anything up but what is going right.  We don't want to appear as a failure, especially when it comes to our children.  (ok, got a little off tangent there. . .let me get back to where I was originally going with this post. . .)

However, when everything looks like it's going to be the best day each and every day, how does that realistically help me to prepare what is on the other side of adoption.  It seems hard enough (emotionally, mentally and financially) to get to "Family Day" let alone after that moment you are untied with your child.  So some of the blogs that I come across and find that they seem "too good too be true" I stop reading.  Now I'm not expecting total strangers to share each and every detail of their lives with the rest of the world.  If they are going to be in blogland though, it helps to share the not so good with the good, a little honesty if you will.

In that vein I feel I should tell you what I'm going through right now.  It is probably just *big* to me and others may just roll their eyes, shake their heads and move on, but it's part of the process I'm going through.  It will help one day to look back and see where I was (and maybe even roll my eyes, shake my head and laugh at myself) and how far I've come.

I've been spending time looking at waiting children's photos again.  There is an agency that I really like, especially after looking at and requesting info from quite a few last year.  They get rave reviews and seem to be very affordable (well as affordable as you can be when adopting internationally ;) )  They are a non-profit organization based out of CA, but will work with any state for Waiting Children in China.  Of course I would have to go through an agency here locally (that they recommend) for the home study portion.  I joined a few ya.hoo groups last year at the start of this journey.  They are the only agency that I joined a group for as well.  There is also one for single moms and an advocating one as well.  I looked through the pics of children they are "spot lighting" for the time (an agency can advocate for special focus children for three months I believe before they are either sent back to the shared list or another agency can "pick them up" and then advocate for). I saw this cute little girl and the wall behind her was pink--the very color I want for my little girl's room.  It looked like an actual picture you might go get taken, and not just of her head like so many others' can be.  She looked cute, with actual growing hair ;), pretty pink dress, and even a pin head band (I think you know of whom I speaking ;) )  I put her in the back of my mind, because honestly I'm not sure how I'd financially even begin the process yet.  Then I started going through the advocates pictures, and by golly there she was again.  This time I actually looked at her sn's and tried to think what they might entail in day to day home life.

Then I was clicking through links on adoption blogs, and came across her yet again on another advocate blog.  I had mom come over and look at how cute she was.  Then I actually looked up the sn's (special needs), but still not sure how she is doing now. . .like can she walk, will she walk, what would need to be done about the hydro condition.  Then I watched the video.  And I fell in love with her giggles, I'm not sure who wouldn't though.  Then I stopped myself from any further attaching to her.  I can't prove the net worth, my brain says.  Is she the one for me?, my brain says.  Am I the one for her?, my heart says.  She's so precious!, my soul says.

So I go do the nitty gritty of everything that is owed to credit cards and loans.  Ugh!  Though by the same count I have NOT yet gone through everything I'm "worth" to see where I'm sitting in that area.  I think I know what I'll be doing this weekend.  Yes, I know that I have bills to pay down--bad debt, bad ;)  I also looked at my monthly budget and see where even with the debt as it is now, I could "afford" to have a child. Though it would help more to know a reasonable/ball park figure budget of costs for the sn's monthly.  I already figured in the jump in healthcare cost to my paycheck, but what would be beyond that?  I know no one can give me an exact amount or tell me her needs won't change, or any unexpected issues that she may come home with that may need medical or other attention.

There is also the part of me that thinks how much easier it would be to follow my original thought and have the procedure to try and become pregnant.  Heck, the psych consultation that usually precedes it sounds like a cake walk compared to a home study.  I also know that there is no guarantee as to whether or not it would work, that it would go full term, or not have complications afterwards.  I just seems easier in my mind to something I've wanted and don't want to wait for.  But I also know that this is not the plan for me (even if I sound like a crazy lady).  So I ask and pray what am I to do?  How will I know when (s)he's the one I was meant to be a family with?  I feel I could leap a whole better with no net if I knew I would at least "pass" the conditions to ad.opt from China as a single.  But then that's not really the definition of jumping without a net and just trusting Him.  Who knows if I got to that point I may think it's not wise to jump into it without having at least half in savings. . .and then maybe all in savings. . .I mean who'd want to help me, I should do this on my own (I do know I would have help and that I just feel this way sometimes).

Anyways, I went to the group that advocates and asked under her little pic if she was even special focus.  I mean shouldn't even attempt getting any types of hopes up if she wasn't, because then I wouldn't even qualify to adopt her (as a single).  I kind of hoped she wasn't, then I could just say "well it wasn't meant to be."  I went over to watch my nieces for a bit yesterday, and was playing with Sue.  I held her play kitty in my hand while she would scamper across the floor as the "mama kitty" to come get her.  And wouldn't you know it her "scampering" (though mom told me later that's how she pretends to be a kitty, but I'd never seen it before) looked like Lauren's crawling in her video.  Sue would also come over and say "Does Baby want her Mommy?"  Usually she refers to her kitty and herself as "Kitty" so it took me back a bit.  Of course I would answer yes and then she'd scamper on over to love on her and then crawl back across the room to do it all over again.  Now once again I could be looking into something to find answers, but really I was just playing with my niece.  It felt like someone, hmm hmm, maybe was trying to show/tell me something.  Then today when I checked for an answer to my special focus question the answer was "Why yes she is!!"
So this is where I'm at tonight (oh and I'm sure working the mid shift last week, this week and next week are helping me too ;) ):

In two years I feel that I would be in a much better place financially to finally get this ball rolling for real.
Or do I just trust in Him to go ahead and proceed?

I need to figure out my positives in my net worth to see where they balance out with the negatives.
So then I can just trust Him and proceed?

Is she even my daughter?
Do I overthink things or what?  Shouldn't I just know, if I have to ask for so much reassurance, surely she's not.

What exactly does her sn's require?
Duh, maybe you should ask another question on that advocate group.

How do I pay for the whole adoption?
I thought you said you wouldn't entirely worry about that.

I could wait the two painstaking years, but at the same time.  .  .
She's not just a picture, she's a real little girl living on the other side of the world without a Mommy taking care of her.  There is no way I would want her to wait for two more years, I would hope that another family would step forward and add her to their lives.  

Ugh, I just don't know and it's hard and I've got to go get ready for work now and set this to post tomorrow morning, when I'm still at work.  If you read this whole thing, thank you!  Sorry if I rambled on too long, but it's what is going on in my head and heart.

Friday, June 22


Awww. . .look at this little sweetheart!  The name they've given her to advocate for is "Lauren", this is not her Chinese name nor is it the name the AP would have to give to her either.  She just makes my heart melt :)

Thursday, June 21

Wednesday, June 20

What do you do over there?

     Different countries have different travel requirements for those adopting internationally.  They may require more than one visit, they may require a month visit, or you may not travel to child, but your child to you.  For China they require one parent (whew good thing, cause I'm it ;) ) to travel, and only one visit is necessary.  You are over there for around two weeks.  You may choose to do some sight seeing before the actual adoption process begins, adding a few days to the trip.  Now if you are traveling half way across the world to a country you've never been, you better go see some cool stuff right?!  Well I believe that usually depends on whether or not you are financially able to or not.
   So based on itineraries families have posted and sample ones you can find on the net, here is a very basic sample Adoption Travel Itinerary:

6/3:   Leave for China.  Possibly Hong Kong, Beijing or Guangzhou.  (<--how do you say that?)
6/4:   Arrive at your China destination and go to the hotel.
6/5:   Take a guided tour of the city and points of interest.
6/6:   More touring of the city.
6/7:   Fly to the capital city of your child's Province.  (You may still be physically hours away from your
6/8:   Gotcha/Family Day (still not sure how I'm going to refer to it)!  Meet your child and sign Guardianship            paperwork.
6/9:   Finalize the adoption by going to the Provincial government office for Adoption Registration and
6/10:  While waiting for the adoption paperwork to be completed you can tour the city, shop or rest.
6/11:  Still waiting for paperwork. . .so same as yesterday.  May even be able to visit your child's SWI
          (remember that's Social Welfare Institute or orphanage.)
6/12:  Receive your child's passport and fly/travel to Guangzhou, where the US Consulate is located, and go
          to the hotel.
6/13:  Medical exam for child's Visa and children over the age of 2 will also get a TB test.
6/14:  Rest day which can include touring of the city.
6/15:  TB test results are read.
6/16:  Go to the US Consulate to take the oath.
6/17:  Receive your child's Visa.
6/18:  Fly back home!  (And remember since your flying back you usually arrive the same day that you left
         China, even though it's been tens of hours ;)

You can always look at the blogs of people in China right now, or who have been to see what the trip actually entailed for them, and what our big trip might look like :)

Actually here's one I found of an actual one:

Wed – afternoon:  board a plane to China at 2 PM
Thur  – 11:20 PM: Land in Beijing.
Fri/Sat – Sight see.  Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, and Temple of Heaven
Sun – Fly to Nanning, Guangxi.  
Mon – Gotcha Day – Go to the Civil Affairs Department in the afternoon and meet our child.
Tues –Adoption Day – Go back to the Civil Affairs Department and fill out adoption registration (paperwork).
Wed/Thurs – :  Sight see in Nanning.  See location where child was found.  There is a small possibility we could spend some time with the foster mom .
Fri –   Pick up child’s passport and fly to Guangzhou
Sat –   Get medical exams done and visa photo taken for US consulate
Sun –   Free day
Mon –   Consulate appointment in morning.
Tues –:  Pick up child's visa in the afternoon
Wed –   Take a train to Hong Kong
Thurs –   Fly home.  One leg of our journey is 15 1/2 hrs on a plane.  

Tuesday, June 19

She's My Brown Eyed Girl

. . .and she's halfway across the world
. . .and I don't know who she is yet
. . .and I can't wait to meet her
. . .and I know God already know's the details and the plan
. . .but I do know her name!

Not her Chinese name, but the first name I will give her.

When I was younger my two favorite names I was going to name my children if they turned out to be daughters, were based off my two favorite characters, from my two favorite book series.  One of the names now seems so old-fashioned, but still dear and sweet.  The other, well it has taken a very cool place in my life.  My cousin has that name, and she is also my first Goddaughter.  My second niece has the name for her middle name, and she is my second Goddaughter.  So even though I'm not going to use it, both my "daughters" have that name and I find that so cool!!!

There have been many names that I've liked over the years, and two years back when I started this very real journey I committed myself to two names for each gender.  Both a first and middle name.  Now I have the same initials as my daddy, and Mimi and Grandma share the same middle name which has been passed down to Sue as well.  KK's name was picked out by Daddy.  So, we all have something very special that connects us as a family, well to me anyways.  As I was trying to narrow down the other three names (the first girl name I've liked for awhile), I decided that I would make sure both first and last names have the same amount of letters as mine does.  Seven for the first and five for the middle, so twelve all together.  And my first girl name did as well.  Perfect, I found the names that I truly liked and fit the bill.

Last year when I decided to adopt from China I started to wonder about that name.  I even faltered for a bit about going entirely different route with her name.  The middle name I had chose, I wasn't sure if it was right for a little girl from China.  Then as I did more reading, I decided that I should keep part of her Chinese name.  Whether it is her first, middle or both Chinese names, it will become her new middle name.  Her first name however will remain the original first name I'm in love with. I can't even tell you when, why or how I came to love it or why it became my first choice for a baby girl name.  Every other name choice I can tell you. . .the original middle name is of the country I've always wanted to visit.

When I was at a Christian Book Store looking for a Confirmation picture frame for my eldest Goddaughter I came across something so perfect for a certain nursery/toddler room that I had to buy it (along with said picture frame :) )  Now it was not meant as a name plaque or anything, but for my little one, it will be.  When I refer to her on the blog however I'm just going to use "G" (without the quotation marks) as I don't want her name (at this point) "out there", and I'm not even sure why exactly.  I just ask if you refer to her, as of right now for the crazy lady ;), just use G as well, thanks for indulging me :)
Without further ado (because let's face it, you've waited long enough.  unless you sneaked a peek first. . .ok, ok, this has been more ado--sorry!!!), G's first name:

Monday, June 18

What's in a Name?

Okay, so back in February I neglected to blog about something very big that will be happening in China in regards to the naming of orp.hans.  Up until now (and I guess until later this year) all orphans were given a very distinctive surname that would forever label them as having been an orphan.  It is hard enough for the children who are not adopted to create a life for themselves once they are on their own, let alone with a last name that tells everyone that you were abandoned.  The last names they were given would either have to do with the place they were found or political party.  Now a last name would be chosen from the top 100 common surnames in China and given to the found child.  You can read more about it here.  Or watch this clip from C.N.N.

Sunday, June 17

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

One of my favorite memories is when from when I was 8, I believe, and it was prom time.  We would watch the limos go by on the street behind the house and ask where all the fancy cars were going.  Mommy told us that they were high schoolers going to prom.  Shortly after that we were having our own prom.  Mommy and KK (all of 1 years old) made our dinner and manned the tunes.  Mimi and I got gussied up in Mommy's old bridesmaid dresses, and Daddy was all dressed up as our date.  We danced and had so much fun!  I even remember walking down the street to Grandma and Grandpa S's house, still in our dresses, to tell them of what fun we just had.

Thanks for being my prom date Daddy :)  And for the fun memory!!!

Tuesday, June 12

I'm baaack ;)

I figured since it had been a month since my last post I'd better get back to writing.

What a month it has been too. . .
...there was Mother's Day.  We were doing our Disney Nights, and so Mimi recreated the Ohanas dinner.  Super yummy dinner, and what a great daughter making it on her own Mother's Day.  Don't worry, she had volunteered to do it ;)  That night I went outside to look for my little one and my stars in the sky.  I found one of them, in the whole night sky. . .one!  I took that as my Mother's Day gift from a little one far away :)

Then there was Moo's 2nd Birthday.  Both Moo and Sue had their birthday party on her actual birthday.  I can't believe she is two already.  She's such a little cheese, very polite, and sweet girl.  She is at that age of 2 though. . .

Two days later was Sue's 4th Birthday.  As the eldest niece she'll be the hardest to believe how old she is, no matter what age she turns.  She loves to put on a show, kittens, and is oh so loveable!  She was so excited about knowing that shortly after her birthday we would be going on vacation.  After all, her mommy promised her!

Then the Saturday after the girls' birthdays we were on the road to Disney World.  Oh, what a wonderful trip!  I loved getting to do Disney with the little girls.  Especially Moo always running ahead saying, "come on!" on the paths at our resort.  We stayed at the beautiful and calming Polynesian Resort, and had seven nights of magical bliss!

Now that I'm back, I'm in between deciding how to write up a Trip Report from our trip, needing to read through e-mails from adoption online groups (since I'm very far behind), catching up on adoption blogs, and needing to write on my own.  There is also the need to start reading my books I've bought for adoption topics, conditioning so I can be ready to train for a half marathon (yeah, sooo not a runner. . .but Princesses and Pixie Dust can really make you think about it), work on losing weight, and work on a more detailed plan on how to get my little one home.

Even though I'm home from vacation and the magic, I feel like there is still so much to be excited about and to get ready for!!!  That surely helps with the post Disney Blues ;)