Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You can't make this stuff up

So.....I hugged my girl, took my walk, giggled while she sang "Best of Both World's" at the top of her lungs listening to our ipod on top of Daddy's shoulders, completely oblivious to the world. I was even feeling better as I'm watching Leah play in the sand by the playground. Life goes on.

A sweet little boy decided I looked interesting enough to stop what he was doing and come over, so I smiled and he took that as an invitation to sit down next to me. I noticed that his nose was running pretty bad, so I inched myself a little farther away from him but thought nothing of it. A few minutes later, as I was getting up to leave, he leaned over and WIPED HIS NOSE ALL OVER MY SHIRT.

I got slimed.

I mean seriously.

Now, I'm sure the reason of why this is happening to us...I'm going to come down with the pig flu.

Since it soaked through my shirt, I had to take it off in the car in the parking lot, while Shawn slathered my back in hand santizer, and I wore a dish towel home.

Yep, it was the cherry on top.

So I did get to take my bath, but I was quarantined immediately upon arrival. And since we've been all "healthy living" for a year now, the worst thing to eat in my house is this:

A big ol' whoppin' 260 calories. It's pretty darn awesome though.

I can't stop laughing. Whatever will be, will be.


We've been expecting our travel approval from the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) for weeks now. We were told we would travel within the next two weeks to go get Kate, but it looks like we've hit a roadblock, and I don't know if it's minor or major yet.

Our agency can neither confirm nor deny a report that CCAA is not sending TA's or referrals indefinitely until the swine flu outbreak subsides.

I'm going to hug my girl, go for a walk, take a bath and eat something really, really bad for me now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Go now, and live.

Seven and a half years of waiting and wishing is coming to a close in just weeks. It’s been an uphill battle from the word go. I dreamed of being a mommy, Shawn needed to be a dad. A painful chapter that lasted several years included multiple heartbreaking miscarriages and countless medical procedures.

We were left broken, battered and exhausted….trying to put a round peg into a square hole….meant for a different path. Hard to accept, and a difficult chapter to close. Not realizing that these dark days were getting us ready to be the parents God needed us to be.

Just days after a lonely Christmas in 2004, we threw in the towel on having a biological child, I was done, it was time to move on. The decision was made to pursue adoption from China and immediately I started to perk up and feel God’s hand on my life again, though I know now he had never left, and in fact, guided us to this new path.

We jumped through numerous hoops, produced mounds of paperwork, opened our home to a social worker barely out of school to judge whether we were fit to be parents. Bring it on. I had a new surge of energy and was made of steel after all the battles in my life.

Eighteen long months later, Leah was placed in my arms in May of 2006. What an amazing child she is! We are absolutely crazy about her. I humbly thank God every single day for allowing us to be her forever family.

When we started the process to adopt again in October 2006, a year before Kate was born; the wait times were climbing fast. For several years, I had been promoting adoption at educational seminars which gave me the chance to learn about the waiting child program which included special needs orphans, China’s ultimate underdogs. These children needs referred would be considered relatively minor issues in the United States, but not so there, so we opened our hearts to consider a child with a special need.

In October of 2007, the same week Kate was born, we submitted our medical checklist to our agency. We were told 8-10 months until a referral from that point, but waited another 17 months. It seemed endless at times and I did have moments when I felt like it wasn’t meant to be.

Then I saw her photo for the first time.

Oh my. Her soulful eyes and beautiful smile has captured my heart and wrung it dry. But God was clearly asking us to step up to the plate and stretch ourselves again, to risk, to have faith. Kate has a visible special need, missing most of her fingers on her right hand and a few on her left.

I’ve had a top doctor recently tell me that she was a reject, that she should have been left in a field to die, to not pursue this adoption. The horror of his statements gave me extra strength that I needed to take on this new challenge.

More than ever, the adversity, the darkness and the light, Shawn and I have had in our lives makes us the perfect parents to raise her. I have peace. Yes, this precious little girl does have a noticable need, but I absolutely refuse to let it define who she is, because she is so much more than that.

She will face harsh adversity and climb mountains daily, but I know she also will show more courage and determination than anyone I’ve ever met. She is going to touch lives, and not just a few, many. She will inspire, she will teach compassion, she will do something amazing for this world.

Just wait and see.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The World's a Better Place...

I'm surrounded by some amazing friends that I've met within the adoption community that I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Two perfect examples...

Felicia--Uber talented, artistic, beautiful and classy...adjectives that come to mind when I think of this lovely lady. A local instant friend that I met a few years ago at an adoption seminar that I was presenting information about and I actually got to share in their joy of deciding to adopt that day! Since then, we've been on plenty of walks and lunches and talked endlessly about decorating, photography, or "what we want to be when we grow up" over the past few years. I just love this sassy chic.

A few weeks ago, she grabbed my bedding from both the girl's rooms and said she had an idea of what she wanted to do. That sure did sound like fun to me! So look what Leah, Kate and I were surprised with!

She loves her print that matches her new bedding!

Poor thing, whether she wanted it or not, by posting these prints, I might have created her a little side business! Thank you so so much, Felicia!!

Sara--I "met" this wonderful, funny chic with the best smile I've ever seen, about 2 years ago. I had this blog that I feel like only 5 people looked at outside of my family! She was one of them and would leave just the sweetest comments. A virtual friendship was created and we have sent countless emails and packages back and forth, celebrated both referrals of her beautiful Mya and our Kate. We just "get" each other. Distance has prevented us from actually meeting in real life so far, but I feel so blessed to have her in my life. When I looked in the mailbox and pulled out a package from Sara and Miss Mya...well, I was so touched by her thoughtfulness and joy for our family.

Oh, thank you Sara...for your kindness, for sharing our happiness, and for your faithful friendship through blogland. I truly do hope we get to meet and hang out together in real life...your a gem!

When you first decide to adopt, you tend to only think about the child finally having a forever family and a family finally having that much wanted child. You don't really realize until you are in it, that the journey will lead you down a road where you will be touched by genuine, compassionate people that you become a much better person for having them in your life.

Last night, I got to spend a little time with just the sweetest family I've met years ago who are local, and celebrating their 2nd referral (Yea!) and are traveling to China within weeks of us...and this afternoon, my good friend Carolin and her girls stopped over for a playdate. Oh, I just love it! I could fill up my calendar easily every week with get-together's with all these incredible people we have met because of our unique connection.

Adopting sure does have it's perks, doesn't it?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

La tee da

CUTE! Got Leah a couple of things from this etsy shop, including her Easter dress. The fabric combinations are adorable, and the clothing is well made.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Before the Great Wall Kicks My Hiney...

Since finding out we are heading to China in a few weeks, we are amping up our workouts because, if I'm going to see the Great Wall of China (which I LOVE to be our port city since I saw Hong Kong last time), then I want to really cover some ground. And Shawn, well...he just wants to be able to breath over there!

So I had to share this...anyone seen Slumdog Millionaire yet? Rent it, if you haven't, it should not be missed. This movie easily fell into my top 10 favorite of all time. It wows you with so much heart and soul and within minutes, you are INVOLVED. Who doesn't love movies like that?

At the end of the movie, there is a fun dance scene with the now academy-award winning song, Jai-Ho, by A.R. Rahman. I can't tell you how many times I have listened to this song and a few other of his songs on my ipod during my workouts since seeing the movie. I literally have to stop myself from breaking out into the dance number at the gym when I listen to this song!

Check it out and turn your speakers up really high and see if you don't feel like dancing:! It's a craze on Youtube right now with a lot of people taping themselves doing the moves to the music, it's hilarious! Seriously though, dancing is one the ways I lost weight last year and still use it to stay in shape--a couple of nights a week I will let loose in my basement with some fun songs. It's easy, releases the stresses of the day, it doesn't feel like exercise and the best part, no rules! And I love it best when I have my little sidekick dancing right along with me.

Um...should I be admitting this? I guess I might as well, it's only a matter of time before Leah "outs" me. ;)

Happy Easter!

Which now begs the debate...fresh or stale?

As for me and my house, at least a few days of open air for our peeps.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Last Friday we received our Letter of Acceptance from the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) and expect to travel in a month. It's so funny it took years to get to this point and now it's happening with lightning fast speed!

We will be in China almost exactly the same time that we traveled to get Leah in 2006, I had my first Mother's day there and wouldn't it be the coolest if I was there again with both my girls? Seriously, how's that for timing?

We were also fortunate to receive updated photos of our little cutie-patootie....check out that twinkle in her eye!

Her love for the camera just makes my heart sing too, she's a little ham bone! It's so rare to have referral photos with the children actually smiling. In almost every photo we have received so far, our girl is cheezin' it big time! I have no idea what that means, but it sure sounds like fun. I'll keep you posted on that.

I was in the mood for a new blog to document the journey to China to get Kate and life thereafter. Hope you like it and sorry I've made you change your blog links for the third time! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Babypalooza Weekend

My brother Rich and his beautiful wife, Rachel, are expecting their first child in early June...around the same time we are likely to fly to China to get Kate. In one way, it's so neat that we both will be blessed at the same another, I want to be there for them during this exciting time in their life. In the meantime, we are both nesting together and preparing for our little ones to arrive in the next two short months.

We had a fabulous little shower for the radiant mom-to-be this weekend, it was such fun to share in the happiness with friends and family.

Rachel and I had been planning for months for me to take some baby bump pictures for them, and wouldn't you know it...the day we had planned turned out to be a miserable 30 degrees and rainy! I think the pictures still turned out great even though we were frozen and I lost all feeling in my fingers while clicking away.

Aren't they just the cutest couple? And that bump...oh, so adorable! I'm sooooo looking forward to spoiling my little nephew rotten in a few months and of course, have the chance to keep practicing my photography skills on all my new subjects. I can hardly wait!