Hope my math is wrong!

So, apparently, Maryland didn't get the memo. You know the one, "I'm desperate for my clearance!". Not to mention my homestudy is not done being reviewed by a partnering agency's social worker. I'm hoping my calculations are wrong. However, even IF I were to get everything AND mail my I800a on Saturday, it would only leave a two week window to authenticate, go through Chinese embassy, translated, and into the waiting hands of the CCAA officer in China. U.S. immigration has been taking 45 days to process. Yeah, ummm, no. So, hopefully, the beginning of next week, my agency and I will come up with a plan. I love a plan A and a plan B as I have mentioned in the past. Just maybe there will be a way to prevent losing San'er.

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John & Kate MY ugly truth

Since I am in NO mood to discuss anything adoption.........

I realize the Jon and Kate thing has been so overwritten, but I'm putting my two cents in anyway. I honestly never could stand to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 when the show was a good, wholesome family show. I figured that if I put my little screaming monsters, I mean darlings, to bed and had peace and quiet, that I certainly didn't want to listen to someone else's darlings scream. (That includes Kate.) I found it unnerving. However, the gossip on the internet startled and intrigued me a bit. So I followed bits and pieces of the story. I didn't really believe it because it was all tabloid junk. But when things started really going sour, I caved to my carnal transgressions and watched the train wreck on tv. I kept thinking, "I can't believe these people are letting this happen to them, to their family!", "I should turn the channel now!", "I can't believe I'm letting myself watch their marriage fall apart". Yes, I felt guilty for watching. I should have left them alone, like we all should have, but I didn't. I remember seeing Kate sitting on the couch with tissue in hand and noticing the change in her demeanor. She was soooo sad, quiet, a bit shocked looking, shoulders slouched. She no longer appeared harsh, outspoken, demeaning, or demanding. She was no longer the "alpha dog".

I wondered what her life would be like now if she had that quiet demeanor before the train wreck ensued. I wonder what Jon's life would be like if he had acted like a man with a backbone and grew up, instead of deciding to live an immoral life away from the family he helped create. He has since made Kate look like a saint. Those hairplugs seems to have reinvigorated his youth as he is now attempting to relive his college years. How childish of them! How selfish of them! Do they not see their blessings and what they are doing to them? I was hoping it was indeed a publicity stunt, and I continued to feed into it. How wrong is it to actually watch someone's life self-destruct right in front of you? To watch their children's lives be negatively impacted?

So, will I watch when they return in August? I'd love to tell you definitely not. I don't think I'll sit with my popcorn and coke in hand hoping for a disaster or anything, but I may sneak in a peek or two and hope the intrigue wears off soon.

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Thing One and Thing Two....


Thing One and Thing Two
Tried to make a breakthrough
When helping mom find her review

They looked up
They looked down
They looked all over town
In hopes of finding the study



But wherever they went
They were totally spent
When all they could find was their buddy

They helped all they could
but barely withstood
All the grumbling that moms sometimes do

So they hung out with mom
And watched a sitcom
To avoid the bomb that would debut.

Here's to hoping the clearances come
Otherwise I'll be glum
And my thing one and thing two will just spew!
Here's to wishing, hoping, and praying that clearances and homestudy will be in my hands by Wednesday. That I800a has got to be sent soon! And, nope, I'm can't write a very good poem.

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Sleepovers, Swimming, and Sauces


Yup, that's a lot of feet! More summer fun for the kiddos. We had a sleep-over with "the cousins" as they are now called.
They have eaten, and eaten, went swimming, got changed, got changed again and went swimming, ate some more, and watched 1961s The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. Gotta love her! The girls attempted a project that included corn starch, but it didn't work. The good news is, I could make gravy on my dining room table without the use of a sauce pan. Seriously though, they are really good, easy going, obedient kids. Hats off to my cousin and her hubby. They have done a great job raising their kiddos!

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Confessions of a Rheumatoid Mother

I've had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was a senior in high school and have been in pain every day since. I've had numerous surgeries including 2 knee replacements. I only write this so a reader will cut me some slack. I parent differently than some.

My kids know how to make their own peanut butter sandwich and work the microwave earlier than most.....way earlier.

I ask my daughter to open things, unlock the house, help get her brother dressed occasionally, and open windows that I can't open.

I ask other people to tie my son's TKD belt before class and hope my husband comes home in time to undo it before little man has to go to bed.

My daughter has undone buttons and/or belts that I am wearing so I can go to the bathroom because my hands were on strike that day.

I realize that the days that I'm hurting, I better take Tylenol. Not only does it relieve some pain, but you also gain patience with that drug.

My kids know when I say, "I have a doctor's appt.", to automatically pack a bag of entertainment.

I have "watched" tv with my kids just so I can get a quick nap in on a "fatigue day".

Both my kids were taught early how to crawl up stairs and scoot back down so I wouldn't have to carry them.

I get cranky, and I do mean CA-RANK-Y when I am tired or in pain.
Better stop now. I could go on and on, but it could get ugly!


Okay, so I'm not going to win mother of the year, but I do try to make up for it as best I can. I go to every field trip they have. Unless I am in the hospital, I am at every soccer or t-ball game. I am at their school during the week helping out wherever I'm needed. I can still throw a pretty mean pitch with a wiffle ball. I'm a good reader to my kids. Believe it or not, I can whip up a good meal and cook a real dinner every night. Certainly not a "Wondermom" but getting the job done with the hand that has been dealt which, actually has turned out to be a pretty great "hand".

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Are you Smarter Than a 6 Year Old?


Evidently, I am NOT smarter than a 6 yr. old, at least, not MY 6 yr old. First of all, let me confess that I enjoy a good game of sudoko and find it very relaxing. However, when my mom bought him a Sudoko book a week or so ago, I wondered if it would disinterest him if he didn't understand it right away. I guess, as usual, I underestimated his ability. I should know by now! You could say he has taken to it, or more like obsessed with it. He is doing it quicker and quicker each time. He has to be coaxed into the pool when in one of his Sudoko stupors. I'm expecting at any time to find him under the shade umbrella, on the lounge chair, wearing khaki shorts, a button-up pocket shirt, white socks and sandals while Sudokoing it. Yes, I realize that is not actually a word!

To add insult to injury, we played Big Brain for the Wii. He beat me, even on the medium level. It is astounding to see just how quickly he adds, completes puzzles, and computes things in his BIG BRAIN! Oh how I wish I was that smart!

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Where ARE my Rose-Colored Glasses?

Ever had one of those days, you know, when your almost 10 yr. old daughter dishes out an attitude that a 16 yr old would?
Or when you took melatonin AND a tylenol PM and you still can't sleep, AND you have to be somewhere at 8:30 AM?

Or when you play rock, paper, scissors with your hubby to see who has to let the dog in for the 423rd time, and YOU LOSE because you have never won a rock, paper, scissors game in your life?

Or when you play said game and you use the "scissors" hoping to win and your hubby says "those are the "crookedest" scissors I've ever seen!"?


Oh, wait! There they are! Those wonderful rose-colored glasses! Oh yeah, now I see it!
That almost 10 yr old daughter still asks for a hug throughout the day, and she won't go to sleep until I sing her the lullaby she has had sung to her since day one.

Even though I lost my game, the hubby still got up to let the hairy mongrel in.

Even though my fingers are crooked and no longer in a joint, I'm close to getting the casting call for the witch in Hansel and Gretal or The Wizard of Oz, and I can pay off this adoption ever so quickly!

Yeah, even though there is no sleep for me, I can still overpay at DD tomorrow morning for that lovely caffeine induced drink.

These glasses are GRRR--REAT! Everything is well, rosy! Now if I could only make my daughter wear these and have an instant attitude adjustment.

NOTE TO SELF: REMOVE PICTURE OF UGLY HAND THAT ALL THE WORLD CAN SEE WHEN I COME TO MY SENSES!

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Underoos and Coffee Too



So bright and early Sunday morning, I found my kids outside, in the backyard in their "pah-jammies". Now, if my kids slept in something substantial, it would be no big deal.

BUT, they don't. Ally prefers a t-shirt. I totally agree with her on that one.






Grant now sleeps in a "manly" way......just briefs!
Hope the social worker doesn't hear about this.

On another note, since when did Dunkin' Donuts think their iced coffee or their service was as good as Starbucks? I went for an iced coffee at DD and had to pay 90 cents more than I used to. Seriously? I'd love to say that I'm putting my foot down, that I'm banning the creamy, iced stuff. However, my willpower is not strong enough. My impulse to turn into the drive-through to clear my tired, groggy head is too great. Maybe there is a support group or an coffee-aholic group that would be right for me. Then again, isn't the first step an admittance to dependency? Uhhhh, not quite ready to do that.

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A different perspective

I was reading an article in which the author was commenting on how wonderful it was for people to go overseas, spend a ton of money, and rescue an orphan. Okay, so it wasn't those exact words, but it was the gist of it. I am a bad blogger and can't seem to find the article again to link it. Sorry. Now, I try not to be one of those adoptive parents that is overly sensitive to things, but something kind of struck me. The author clearly was not an adoptive parent. I think maybe he just didn't "get it" like so many. Some people don't really understand why APs would be willing to go to the lengths they do to get their child. Yet, if their own bio child was stuck halfway across the world, they would mortgage the house and go wherever they needed to so that they could bring their child home. I guess what really struck me was the "orphan factor". As noble as it sounds, we weren't out to save an orphan. We set out to find our son. You see, in our eyes, Grant was never an orphan. When I hear that word, it conjures pictures of an unloved, dirty, shoeless, pathetic child. My son isn't any of those things. Our whole family saw him as "ours" before we even knew who he was. For example, before we ever started the adoption process, Ally used to pray every night at dinner,"Lord, please bring my baby brother home soon." For her, it was just an act of faith. "Ask and ye shall receive". She knew he was on his way, it was just a matter of when. When Eric first saw Grant sleeping in his crib, he said, "Well, there you are, Grant. We've been looking all over for you!". Once again, he was always "ours", not someone else's, and certainly not an orphan. When I saw Grant the first time, I was blessed to have the same overwhelming emotions that I had when I held Allyson the first time. He was never an orphan, always mine. There was no difference in my children, just how they came into the family.
I am in no way belittling the fact that my son did indeed have a very rough start to life, and it was without me. I'm just saying that for some reason, God allowed him to be in our family, so he just had to come a different way. I also recognize that the orphans in the world need our care and support. I have seen the pictures of the shoeless, homeless children in India mobbing cars to stick their hands out begging for money. It is heartbreaking and depressing to think that this is even happening. Yet, I do know, that it is very possible for another person to see one of those very same kids and see THEIR child, not an orphan. AP's are just creating their family in a different way than some by finding their child somewhere else.
Besides, most parents would say that they love their kids so much that they would go to the ends of the earth for their children. We just had the opportunity to prove that we would. ..........just a different perspective.

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I Found my Thrill on Blueberry Hill...When I Found You!

Today, I took the kids blueberry picking. Although I wasn't too sure if they would like it, I find it very relaxing.

Can you find her?

Grant was loving it. I do believe I heard him say, "This ones a Beaut!".


Hmmmm....What to do with all those blueberries? Blueberry smoothies, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry muffins....Any suggestions?


Many a thanks to Fats Domino for the use of his song title "Blueberry Hill"!

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Tonight's Special Is......


Allyson really enjoys cooking. I know, anyone who knows me is now wondering if she really is my child. Every so often, she cooks us dinner. She looks at her cookbook, makes a shopping list and gets cooking. I pretty much try to stay out of the kitchen and just answer any questions she has or help with getting hot things out of the oven. Tonight's special was ham steaks (sliced) and roasted new potatoes. We also had cantaloupe and fresh veggies. I didn't get a picture of dessert, but she gave us strawberries and cream. Great job, Chef Ally!

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Nascar, Here We Come!

On Mother's Day of this year, I put a team together to walk a 5K for the Arthritis Foundation. We walked on the Dover Downs Nascar track and raised $2500.00 for Arthritis research and support. My team won first place in fundraising, and I won first place in fundraising as well. As a result, I received a gift certificate to drive 10 laps in a Nascar car at Dover Downs! Being the good wife that I am, I bestowed my good will to my husband. Okay, so I was a tad fearful of driving 120mph.



Eric drove 10 laps at about 100 mph which was too slow for him. He had to follow a pace car. I however, was in for a fun surprise. A friend of mine works there and manages the pace car, etc. He told me to "suit up" and go for a ride. I rode 10 laps at 120 mph and then got to stay in the pace car while the novice drivers followed behind for another 10. Too cool! I loved it!


Here's a video of Eric making a lap:

video

As you can see, the pit team just LOVED us and wondered why in the world we weren't picked up by Hendrick Motor Sports!




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Cowboys and Indians

First, when your kids are asleep tonight or you get ten minutes to yourself, check out this video about a 4 yr old boy named David adopted from China. It is priceless.....grab a tissue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se7dkJdYCyA

On another note, I love it that Grant plays with these. The cowboys and Indians were Eric's when he was little so they are circa 1970 something. He spent quite some time making the tepee out of the empty granola box!



My mother in law saved everything from when her kids were younger. It's always fun to see what she brings down from the attic when we visit them. Remember the little chalk/magnetic board with the plastic letters? Yup! She's got it. I wonder if my husband realizes that his toys are now considered "antiques"?

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INTRODUCING.......



Here's our boy, San'er! We were so happy to receive our pre approval today! I think San'er is only two years in this picture. He is three now, so likely four yrs when he comes home. Isn't he adorable? I love the cheeks! When Grant came home, he barely had any hair and a very large forehead....all those brains, you know. San'er reminds me of Grant at this age. We will keep his Chinese name, but want to also give him an American name as well. Any suggestions?

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Eric! I love you tons. You are always full of surprises and nothing ever seems impossible to you. Thanks for 13 great years and looking forward to any adventure we have together in the future. I LOVE YOU!

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Happy 4th of July....a day late

We usually spend our Fourth watching fireworks in our small town. Considering the size of the town, the show is really very good. We hang out with some snacks and cokes and the kids play.



Gotta love my goofy girl! The kids had a love/hate relationship with those darn light sticks. The ones we got were supposed to make a lantern of sorts, but Grant had some difficulty. Plus, he won't let you help him make it. He finally ended up in tears because he was so frustrated. Maybe those weren't such a good idea!

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Razor blades and Bubble Gum

Fun times here in my household. Ever spend a breezy afternoon lying on your laundry room floor scraping gum off the inside of your dryer with a razor blade? No?? You should try it sometime. Just have your husband (or children) leave a few pieces in their pocket. Then wash AND dry your clothes. You'll have an hour or two of fun!
In other news......well, there is no news. My DH seems to think I'm worrying for nothing. However, we still have not heard anything on the pre approval for our boy. Looks like Tylenol PM again tonight! Hmmmm.....I wonder if my agency has a plan B.......

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Still no Pre Approval

Still no pre approval. Evidently, CCAA had some questions regarding my health. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I answered the questions, but we are still waiting for a decision. I just keep thinking that we would not have been put on this road, if it wasn't going somewhere! Right?

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