Monday, December 31, 2012

Still Waiting



Our tree, pre-St. Nick's visit!
Well, when you hear people talk about all the waiting that goes with adoption, they sure aren't kidding! It has been 1 year now since we first saw information about the number of orphaned girls in Ind*a-and learned the fates many of the face when they age out of the orphanage system at the age of 14.

Can you imagine?


Ready for dinner after Christmas Eve Mass; we clean up quite nicely, eh? 









Leaving food for Santa's reindeer!





So, 1 year of reading, researching agencies, talking to people, and ALMOST getting scammed by another agency that claimed for $20000 up front we could have a healthy little girl in 6 months-ha! (don't worry, I turned them in to the BBB)

But, we are here, with an amazing agency, our home study done, our education training done, a ridiculous amount of international adoption books read, and an ever growing list of local professionals that deal with international adoption therapy, support and medical care
Reading The Night Before Christmas

And so, we wait to hear if we are approved by Ind*a.

After that, we THEN start the hopeful fundraising to grant applications, more yard sales, and spaghetti dinners and hope that we can raise enough money to make that big chunk payment that is  due when we send our dossier. I've started a little on gathering the dossier stuff, but since most of it must be notarized, I'm holding off a bit until we get approved.
I Think St. Nick has been here!

The months after we get approved will be crazy, with me sending off for grants like crazy, and trying to fund raise like crazy (and chasing the boys around in there, too!) and getting our 11 lbs of dossier all set to mail to our agency-and then to Ind*a for our guardianship and official matching to our Princess.

I am praying harder than I ever have before, but I must admit, my faith is lacking. I'm really scared and actually a bit angry that money could hold us back from making her adoption happen. I just can't accept that money could keep us from giving a child a home and family, and keep us from having the daughter we dreamed of for a year now. Sigh, money .

I had really hoped we could tell everyone at Christmas that we are adopting-as we have kept everything pretty quiet, awaiting that approval status of our home study. (So for anyone reading this that knows me on facebook, don't say anything yet!) So far, any mention of adoption as been met with great skepticism from our family members, so I long SO MUCH to tell them all about our sweet girl, and show them her photos, and let the real connection start for them.

And once we have the approval, and we start full steam ahead with grants and fundraising, I am just so excited to share the news, and print her photo out for everyone. I know special needs-especially physical AND mental ones-can be so scary, but I also just know that once they see her little waiting photo, and read about her, that everyone will fall as much in love with her as we are.

And in the meantime, we have some presents under our tree, that will wait for our Princess to get home and open them. I hope that Christmas 2013 sees us with her guardianship, and even better, sees us with her here, opening these sweet gifts.

A gift for the Princess! 

My favorite bible verse right now:
I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. -John 14:18.

Somehow, someway, we are coming to her.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Somehow, the 21st is already here! Thankfully, the end of the world ended up not occurring, haha! Though that does remind me that I need to get back to couponing so I can restock my pantry; I have been trying hard to cut back our budget as much as possible and putting every little bit extra into our adoption fund. So, I guess that can be my new years resolution-hunt down grocery sales! Because, you know, these boys just keep eating and eating and eating.....and making me wish I had their metabolism! It must be all the super hero fighting they do:

In other news, the school year is half over! Crazy! I have to register JR for kindergarten the second week of January; that just blows my mind. Didn't I JUST sign him up for preschool? And he is already writing his letters, starting to read sight words, and becoming just the most wonderful, sweet little man.

The other night he mentioned he wanted to dye his hair blonde like AJ's. It hurt my heart a bit to think he hated his hair, and I don't know if I handled it well or not, but I told him. that if he wanted his hair blonde, that when he got old enough to have it dyed I'd take him to do it-and I told him that I would probably dye my hair his red color, because I think it is such an awesome color like fire. He seemed quite pleased with that. Did I handle that OK? I have no idea, but at least he seemed pretty happy his hair was like fire-and he seemed happy thinking that he could change the color if he wanted. Maybe just knowing he could change it, will make him not as unhappy with the color he has? I know that some people have called him "ginger" and he hates that so much, so I am thinking that might be the source of why he wants to be blonde...but I don't know; next week he may decide red is the most awesome ever.

Little Dude is certainly a little dude now. He just seems so much like a little man these days. He is wise and sweet and so incredibly smart. We hung some ornaments on our Christmas Tree from India, in honor of Princess, and Little Dude asked if she would be scared or sad to leave her friends there and come here. We told him yes, since that is the truth, and explained that we would have to show her that she can trust us and love us, and that we will be her family forever-because right now, even though she has her friends and knows everyone, she doesn't have parents to take care of her, and look after her, or brothers to play legos with. He cried saying he didn't want her to be scared and that he would help make her feel peace.

Is he not the sweetest? Oh that broke my heart to hear him express concern for Princess's transition to our home.

Champ is growing by leaps and bounds. He loves Bill's truck, and says 'Daddy truck vroom vroom all the time" SO cute! I keep trying to catch him on video, but every time he stops talking and just looks at me. Eventually I'll catch him talking!

In overall news, last week there as a school shooting in Newtown CT-20 kindergarteners were killed my a crazy guy with a gun. On the Friday it happen, as soon as I learned about it, I took Little Dude out of school at 2 and we all got icecream. My heart broke watching all my boys play and thinking of the families who were running to that school looking for their children. This morning, there were police guarding his school with guns outside. The sight made my heart stop and I had to take some deep breaths to brightly and calmly tell Little Dude I loved him and have a great day. Seeing those police made me want to do nothing else but drive back home with all my boys and just cry. It is terrifying to realize I can't keep them safe, 24/7. And, playing on that fear, there was a radio ad I heard while driving back home, for a backpack company now selling bullet proof backpacks for kids.

But, enough sad stuff. This year, overall has been amazing. It is hard to realize that we started our research into adopting from Princess's country more than a year ago-and this coming March it will be an official year since we started the first of our adoption paper work. My, a year is going by quickly! And hopefully, the next year brings us lots of grant money, lots of blessings, and somehow, gets me through all the paperwork gathering for our dossier.

I'm really NOT looking forward to getting all those documents gathered and notarized and apostilled. But I am SO MUCH looking forward to using my passport, which came in the mail today.

My nice, new, UPDATED to married name, passport is now here. I'm ready to travel and go get our Princess. I'm so excited to see if we are blessed with her in 2013!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Somehow God Knows

So this blog is turning more into an adoption blog rather than a family blog-I promise to fix that soon. I need to download some photos from my camera and get them on here to share, along with sweet stories of what the boys are up to now.

Everyday is amazing, yet simple and mundane. We go to school, we do chores, we eat, we do homework...and somehow in that mix, amazing things are happening as our children grown and we grow watching them. It is the everyday, but it is wonderful.

For our adoption news, Bill and I are still waiting to hear if our homestudy has been approved-I'm really hoping we hear soon, but I'll let go of that.

In other adoption news, I wrote recently how nervous Bill and I were after reading and studying up on the "worst case" issues of attachment, mental health, and all that such stuff that is just so up in the air with any adoption.

And we have been really talking about if we are ready-can we do this? What if she is a worst case, what do we do?

And we prayed, and I spent hours finding local therapists with experience in international toddler adoption (though sadly I couldn't find any with specific India experience, but international toddler adoption mental health issues at least have to be somewhat similar, I guess).

So armed with those, we have just been praying that we don't ever need to use them, or call them for help. And then, a couple we met through our adoption agency, who are also adopting a sweet little girl from India-and from the same orphanage our sweet Princess is at, had the opportunity to come over for dinner.

And they have actually been to India, and met our sweet Princess many times, and they showed us some videos of her that had me working really REALLY hard not to cry.

Because watching her, made me SO BADLY want to scoop her out of the orphanage, out of the mass of kids there, and bring her here to our home, to her room, and celebrate Halloween with us. It hit us so hard, watching her, that we are doing the right thing and that everything is going to be fine. Hearing stories about her at least help to indicate there aren't any blatant issues to be worried about-and that her attachment to her caregiver is strong. Which is good, since is shows she can trust and places trust, but also sad, since she will be devastated to lose her caregiver.

Thank goodness for the internet, right? We will always be able to look up the orphanage, or maybe even skype, and send photos and letters, and keep in touch. And I have hundreds of photos already of her orphanage, caregivers there, and of her and her friends that I plan to put into a detailed book for her, so she can see them any time. I also plan to print out and frame the photo of her and her caregiver for Princess's room.

But somehow, God knew, we needed a little help keeping motivated, and to keep going forward and shake off our fears. To just TRUST that we are doing the right thing and that we can handle it. He knew, and he let our path cross this sweet couple's path, and I am so grateful we got to see her, and hear her giggles (she is certainly the giggle machine I can turn into at a lame joke; I'm so excited about that!)

The boys got to see her and hear her too, and it looked like love at first sight. JR was completely smitten and has since been pointing out toys in the big catalog that came for Christmas what we need to get for Princess. Champ started smiling so huge when we watched Princess laughing, and Little Dude actually seems pretty wise about the situation she is in and points out that we could put two more kids in our home, since the empty room could easily have bunkbeds, so maybe we need to bring two kids home. I love him and his sweet heart so much.

We had not shared much yet with them about her, since we still were so unsure about getting matched to her, but now, it looks like we should be good, with almost certain chance of getting matched to her because of her special needs, the area she is in, and our amazing agency.

And apparently our Princess LOVES tickles, which made Bill super happy, since he is always trying to tickle me and the boys and we all hate it. Bill will finally have a kid that loves to be tickled :)

Every time we have felt defeated, scare, or questioning by the whole adoption process, God has put someone in our paths that keeps our hearts focused on bringing our Princess home.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

For The Ups and Downs

Life is full of ups and downs, but to be honest, we have been so blessed with so many ups. Even the downs, in reality, are first world problems that wen reflected upon, don't really matter for our happiness.

This adoption journey though, while still in the begining, has brought a lot of ups and downs.

Downs that we are scared about what we could face with an adopted child. Things that we never though about, that are heavily addressed in the reading materials and videos we are doing. Reactive Attachment Disorder has me severely scared.  I'm terrified we will go through all this WORK, EFFORT, MONEY and TIME from our kids, only to bring in a huge bundle of extreme trouble, terror and disorder to our family.

Our family is SO perfect. I love our boys, and they love each other so much. They play so well together, they play so well with others....we have GREAT kids.

And in one moment, I want our little Princess here RIGHT NOW, so she can feel this love and enjoy the fun of siblings, and know the love of three brothers that will always look after her and two parents that will help her become a strong, independent, proud woman. And I go buy Barbies.

And then in the next minute, we are talking about race issues from our "Inside Transracial Adoption" book, and talking about how we can handle preparing her for racism, since she sadly, will certainly  face it in some form at some time in her life. And we talk about Attachment Disorders and what we will do if she has a mental disorder and becomes violent.

How to reach the kid that doesn't want to be reached. The kid that wants to create chaos, anger and turmoil  because that is what she knows best and love will scare her.

And do we put the boys through that?

I don't know. We go back and forth so much. I want her here, and I want to adopt a child so badly, and I specifically am in complete love with HER. But what if we can't have her? What if we get a match to a different child, and that child has one or more of these disorders?

Honestly, it scares me to death. I don't know that I'm a good enough mom to help. What if I make it worse? And then, we will always have the comments that we already are facing.

"Why don't you just have your own?"

But people don't get it. It isn't about just having a child, it is about listening to God. There are SO MANY CHILDREN that die without having had a person to keep them safe. Without having parents to hug them and kiss away boo boos. Children that have to dig through the trash to find something to eat, ALL OVER THE WORLD.

And I'm here lamenting that our master bathroom is tiny.

We want another child very much, but that is a huge calling to us that we should bring an orphan into out home and grow our family that way. And it is scary to study and read everything that can be wrong. And it could all end up being very wrong, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it, or that we still aren't the right family. We might fail miserably at helping our child cope with the losses and pain and abuse she has endured in her short amount of time on Earth, but certainly not trying out of those fears seems almost as bad and inflicting the pain ourselves.

Who are we to worry about the questions and stares and inconsiderate comments, when we have plenty of food, space and love to share with a child that may otherwise never, ever know them?

There are just so many ups and downs to face-excitement and fear all at the same time. I pray we can do OK at this task, and that we can be the family she needs and deserves to have. That we can help her to overcome everything she has been through, that we can parent in the ways she needs and deserves, so she can become everything God has for her.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Bought Our Daughter A Doll

AHHHHH! I bought our sweet princess a doll off ebay awhile ago, and ever since I've been crazy looking out for the ups truck.

And TODAY the doll came! AHHHHH! Her first doll!


Isn't the doll lovely? It is a "Barbie in India", new in the box. The Sari is SO very lovely. And I can't get over the beautiful jewelry details and the little detailed shoes. I really hope our little Princess loves it.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that only recently have I realized that there are very few dolls that reflect the features our princess will have. Being white, I never really noticed or thought about how the lack of dark skin  and medium shaded dolls might impact the way a little girl's self esteem grows.  And I really want her to be so very proud to be an Indian, and to see Indian women the way I do-as some of the most intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful women I have ever met.

And I have tried to find an "Indian heritage" doll, and so far the only close thing I have found that I could also afford was the Jasmine baby doll from Disney, and that just wasn't going to cut it, because frankly the doll looks white.

I am excited to buy her dolls, and I know she will end up with some white and black dolls, but I so very much wanted to find at least one that had her Indian features and showcased the beauty of her heritage. So I hunted some Indian themed dolls down on ebay and finally won a bid. I'm so in love with the Sari this Barbie is wearing, too!

I found more on ebay too, (yippiee!) but I'll have to wait out for good deals on them, as I guess this series is a bit of a collector doll more than a "play doll", and the prices are a bit too  high from something I need to be OK with letting Princess color on, haha :)

I can't wait to get down on the floor with our Princess and play dolls.

And in the meantime, we are just waiting to hear back that our homestudy has been approved. Then it is off to beg for grants and fund-raise! We are getting closer!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And We Are OFF!

So much has been going on lately, that I have really just found no time or energy to get on my own blog and update. But, I know that I need to keep up some of this stuff because I'll want to reflect and look through photos later! Here is what is currently going on in our world:

Little Dude is loving school. He is obsessed with Ninjago and reading The Magic Tree House series. He is also loving soccer, so we will probably be signing up for the spring season here soon. He is really into Egyptian stuff right now and we went to the art museum to learn more-he was totally in his element talking to the art guide there! It was so cute, as soon as I get my camera back from my father in law I will share photos. He is growing into such a little man and I try to remember every little hug now, as I am noticing that his head now reaches my chest...he is just growing up so quickly!

JR is loving preschool and comes home talking about all his friends. He is obsessed with Scooby Doo and Batman and I have gotten him more obsessed with reading by finding every single book possible on both subjects. He is also really enjoying soccer, though I absolutely hate his coach this yer, so we will be looking for a different group if we can't get a different coach in the spring. Let's just say the coach is horrible for little kids. Simply horrible. Enough said.

Champ is starting to talk and often walks around speaking gibberish all day. I love it. Lately at bedtime he runs around giving out HUGE hugs and patting us all on the back. Cutest hugs ever! The other night we were eating soup and I let him have some of the liquid from my bowl-he slurped it and said "ahhh" after. THAT was so cute! Bill and I couldn't stop laughing.

I am still watching HOss, and he is quite a joy. He and Champ have tons of fun playing together.

As for our Princess, we FINALLY have our homestudy OFF to be reviewed/approved for India! YIPPIEEE!!! I am anxious to hear back, BUT I have been told it will be 4 weeks til the review is done, at the soonest. -And please pray that is the soonest I REALLY want to have this all done for the Show Hope Dec. deadline for adoption grant money. Anyways, from this point, I am working on getting grant applicaitons ready to send off as soon as we get the homestudy back (approved!) and then from there, we start all the immigration stuff for our little Princess. If things keep going on track, and we get grant money in a timely fashion (or win the lottery....haha) then MAYBE we might have our Princess home by this summer. And wouldn't that just be the BIGGEST blessing ever to have her here before her 3rd birthday? Oh I am hoping so much!

As for Bill and Me, we just got back from my brother in law's wedding at the beach. It was so nice to catch up with so many of our friends, some that now live far away and we miss very much! We did all kinds of fun side trips with the kids to see the Wright Brothers Memorial and the Aquarium, and it was just so a wonderful week with all our family, but I will be glad when I have finally cleaned all the sand out of my car! I think I am finally caught up on laundry.

So, for now, I am working as much as I can to save extra money for our Princess to come home, and starting on all the grant stuff. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers-we could use some help to find the ways to afford everything we have to do to get her here to us!

Overall, life is amazing and wonderful and we are just so very very blessed to have each other and our amazing kids.
My little scientists, Champ and JR, at Marbles Kid's Museum








Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Education


I'm so excited, our education stuff from our agency came yesterday! And while I was pretty depressed to be spending more money on more classes, after we already did classes for our homestudy, I have to say....these are AWESOME.

This whole education packet is HUGE and has TONS of stuff-and there are 6 dvds and so much paperwork that even in my excitement I didn't make it through reading all the questions we need to respond to and send back.

There is SO MUCH GREAT STUFF here, that I'm really actually happy we ended up needing to do these.

Our other classes were a bit of a joke (for example, one exerciser was to listen to a recording of a child cry for 30 seconds and imagine how a whole day of that might be. For one, that is silly for anyone who is a parent, we KNOW what hours of crying can be like to your nerves...and for anyone NOT a parent, that "on your nerves, I'm going crazy" non stop crying and tantrums from a toddler just can't be imagined from 30 seconds of what sounded to me like  newborn cry. My kids have NEVER cried that softly before...)

So, anyways, Bill and I didn't think tons of the "teaching" part of the last classes we did, and maybe that is because we have been there done that for 3 kids AND I used to work in a daycare AND I taught preschool AND I have provided daycare for kids that cried and whined non stop all day.

But this packet of stuff-there is MEAT here. Like "how are you going to handle racism being directed toward your child? Toward you for adopting out of the country?". "How much of your child's story will you share? How much will you let be private and just for her/him to choose to share?"

Whoa, AWESOME. THAT is what we need to know how to handle. That is what I want to be prepared for, so we can guide her and help her through rough patches as she grows. I want to be ready and able to support her through everything.

So thrilled with all of this and I'm excited to sit down tonight and tomorrow and really work on watching the dvds and finding answers to these awesome thoughts. And having them written down I think will help us even more to go back and review them as time passes between now and when we can go get her and later down the road when some of these issues come up.


Certainly blessings coming, even when I whine and fight against them :)

We are STILL waiting on the TN background check to come back, but otherwise we are done with that part, and I am so eager to get grants going, but hey, it is all fine. And as my husband so wonderfully says, if this is really what we are meant to do, and our little girl is meant to be our little princess, then everything will keep working out as it has been.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Set Backs

We  have  had a few set backs already on our adoption journey, the most recent of which is that our education hours we did for our homestudy WON'T be counted towards our hours for India, like we had previously been told and thought would.

So that is a huge bummer, since we had gone ahead and done the homestudy education reccomended classes here so we could get them done quickly and have them count for both.

But, alas, quickness on our part didn't help, as we are STILL waiting for a background check from TN to be sent in, so no, our homestudy was NOT sent when our i800a form was, even though I had thought the homestudy was done when our last reference finally trickled in.

Alas, no, our social worker had forgotten TN's background check was still missing until she went over the file for a final check before sending to our agency.

Good, I guess? Though, since TN was a place we lived for only 9 months in corporate housing, with no bills in our name and only a library card in my name, AND we kept our residency and home/bills here, I don't know that TN will have any record of us having lived there. So I"m a bit frustrated that one bit is holding up our homestudy from being sent to our agency and then to India.

But, overall, I guess, God is showing me that all is going on his timeline, because as much as I was trying to control things by speeding up the process, and killing two birds with quick step, it ends up that we do actually have to do the second set of hours, as our homestudy agency gives more hours than Hauge will allow for the certain courses we took.

So there is more money to spend.

And videos to watch and write essays on.

and we really don't feel any closer to having our daughter home. Thinking of all the things still to do-the grant applications are the most daunting, it is seriously like being back in college to look at all the essays I need to write-and the dossier forms I must order (but can't order too soon, as they expire too...SIGH) So I can't get a head jump and start ordering notarized forms and appellation and all that fun stuff for fear I'll only have to pay to have it all done again.

Sigh. Just Sigh.

Finding out I need to spend $300 more dollars on MORE parenting classes has me pretty bummed. I think I'm just going to curl up and read a book now and just take a break from even thinking about all the massive writing ahead of me.

I really wish I had a magic ball that could tell me this will be worth it. That I'm actually meant to do this instead of taking the boys to Disney. That bringing in a little girl with special needs to our family will be OK, and we aren't going to face RAD or mental health issues, or all the other scary things I'm trying to prepare for from all the adoption books I have read.

Is this what God wants me to do? Or is this me selfishly pushing my family to do this with me, because I selfishly want a daughter. There a part of me that is doing this because it feels good to think I'm saving a little girl from a future of life on the streets, even though, logically, I realize that "saving" her is not what this is about.

That isn't how she will ever see it, and that isn't how I should view it. But I would be lying if that isn't a tiny part of my brain and heart that feels good thinking that we are providing her a better life.

But are we? Are we really a good family for an adopted child to merge with? Am I a good enough parent? Or do I just selfishly want to have a daughter to bond with and do girl things with, especially as I see the boys do more and more guy things with Bill?

I just don't know. Sigh.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kindergarten Is Here

Two Days until Little Dude starts Kindergarten.

He is suddenly not so little, and makes me so proud. He is such an awesome little guy and I know he is going to have so much fun at school. He has been excited about it all week, but today drove me a bit batty asking if it was time to go yet. I kept having to say Two More Days. 

Finally I really do understand now all those sweet old women who would smile and tell me not to blink, while I pushed a crying baby in a stroller and through sleep deprived eyes searched for a place to nurse privately.


And usually just ended up in my car, looking forward to when I wouldn't have to interrupt grocery shopping with a stop for nursing.





And now that time has come and I'm choked up realizing

I blinked.














Monday, August 27, 2012

Frustrated And Annoyed

Hi, I'm Frustrated and Annoyed. Nice to meet you.

Our homestudy isn't done yet ONLY because of references waiting to come in. We need my boss, my husband's boss, and one more friend. I've sent my boss THREE forms for the reference. I am pretty sure all they have to do is say I'm a real person working there and don't seem crazy. And the office is across the street from our social worker's office, so the very fact that I'm waiting on them, along with other people is killing me.

That is holding us back from having our homestudy ready to apply for the two big grants.

And Bill doesn't even want to talk about some of the smaller grant applications until our homestudy is done, reviewed and approved.

I want to start filling out grant applications now.

But, I can't if Bill isn't on board to move forward.

He doesn't seem to care about it going slow. And honestly, it just pisses me off.

I am so mad right now.

We are missing two big grant deadlines, and won't have the chance to apply again for them until Christmas time.

Which means we won't get any funds, if we get any, until spring.

Which means, that we won't send in our dossier, or even order the id forms we need for our dossier, until those funds come in.

Because Bill wants to go slow and do one step at a time.

Which means, we don't have even a small hope of getting our little girl here before her third birthday.

And he is mad I want to go fast.

We haven't done a real vacation since our honeymoon. And this year our vacation is getting sucked up by a socially awkward family wedding in the middle of a week in the middle of the school year and I'm annoyed about that too. Because between the tension of the at odds family members and doing school work with Little Dude that he is missing, and the money we had to pay to pitch in for the beach house a gazillion drunks will be staying at, it just isn't going to be a relaxing, fun time.

I'm just overall annoyed and pissed off with everything.

And today I forgot soccer practice, so when Bill got home, he ACTUALLY asked me what I did today as he raced the boys out to practice 15 minutes late. HE ACTUALLY ASKED ME THAT.

I don't watch another child all day and keep safe.
I don't have 3 kids anyways to watch
I don't work from home and spend more time than I want stuck to a computer screen
I don't have school stuff to sort out this week
I don't have dinner to make
I don't have laundry to do
I don't have EVERY LITTLE BIT of paper work/applications/grants/information for this adoption to do all by myself, because he doesn't want to stress about it.

I just eat bon bons. ALL DAY.

Did I mention I'm annoyed?

I'M ANNOYED.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nesting And Adoption

In the big scheme of things, we are still super early in our adoption process, much to my annoyance. BUT, we have also gotten A LOT done, much to my joy.

The entire homestudy process has been huge to get through and as of now we are still waiting for my boss to send in his reference, and or our social worker to finish typing everything up, THEN we are ready to apply for grants.

I'm praying so hard we can make the Show Hope grant deadline this month, but if not, then we will be ready for the next one in Oct. And there are tons of little grants I want to apply for as well, so those will keep me busy if we miss Show Hope.

My greatest hope IS in the Show Hope one-they could end up giving us a large enough amount to fund everything we need that our savings isn't going to be able to cover-how amazing would that be? And getting that big chunk so soon would enable us to speed through the final steps, with our dossier, our passports, travel flights, and the huge contract fees and the huge government fees for Visas, official documents (a birth certificate with OUR last name, yay!) and other such very important things that are all due in big chunks and can't be financed.

I am hoping and praying so hard that God will keep her safe until we can get to her. A couple of children in her orphanage have died from simple (here) illnesses and a part of me is so scared she will catch something, like just a cold, or heat exhaustion, too.  I know, it is silly, but still, I probably have such fears just because I can't be there to hold her and take care of her.

I'm so scared she will die before she has a parent to kiss her goodnight and hug her tight.

When I had learned about another little girl's death from the orphanage, and this little girl I happen to know was in the process of being adopted by such a wonderful family, it just increased my fear. I want our little Princess to know that there are people out there working hard to bring her to our family, that we want HER and love her so very much.

But, on a more positive note, I have been doing a tiny bit of "nesting". It makes the long waits between any feedback from our agency (and like now we are just in stand still waiting on a reference letter and the report to be finished...sigh) So, while there is little to do, I have been searching out cute things for her bedroom. I found these:





I was so super excited to find them in dark haired/dark skinned versions as well. I got them on zulily.com, so the prices were fantastic. I also got a few other similar photos of dark haired little princesses in various fairy tale settings. They are 8 by 11, so they will be perfect to frame and hang around her room, maybe over her little bed or over the reading area.  Since she and Champ will share a room until they get older, I also found some similar ones of little boys with puppies, playing in mud, and reading a story, and a cute subway tile looking one like this top one that says "Our Dream Came True, All Wrapped In Blue" with a little rocket ship on it.

I have them saved as favorites on etsy, so when I have the money saved I'll scoop those up and start working on the shared room space layout, with a little boy side and a little girl side. I'm excited to bring that to life in the next year, but I did promise Bill I wouldn't buy anything else until we get our official referral.

Sigh, that will be hard :)

AND in great news, I found an Indian grocery store near us and had a great conversation about classic recipes and ingredients and how to use them. He is also ordering a cookbook for me in English, since all of his on the shelves were not. I'm super excited and thankful for his help! He also told me about a clothing store that was in the same shopping area that has traditional Indian outfits-I had SO much fun looking at the little outfits and bangles and bindis....And I as so thankful the lady there was so kind to explain to me how the bindi worked, how it should be placed and what it meant-along with the bangles. They also did ear and nose piercing there, so that would be super fun to take our daughter, if she wants, and let her pick out a traditional looking earring to put in her ears. They were much more ornate than the simple studs you get at the mall, and I just loved them. They also had some wedding outfits and the lovely shades of red, the head dresses...wow, they were just STUNNING.

I can see going back there a lot! Though the prices were high enough I will probably only be able to get one or two a year as she grows, but certainly not much more expensive than a Disney Store costume and accessories, so it will certainly be something we get for her to dress up in and one for special holidays, like the Festival of Lights I want to start celebrating as a family.

And I am excited to have found such close resources right here, so now I don't feel as stressed to save up money to buy outfits for her when we travel over (though I certainly will buy some things for her) At least now though, I know I can always get new gowns for her as she grows and as I have the extra money to splurge. And we can now hunt down her favorite colors and let her pick things out as well. I am excited about the thought of picking out bangles and dresses and traditional meal ingredients with my daughter at these stores someday.

So, those are my little nesting things, and the excitement and thoughts they give me keeps me trucking on along through the massive grant paper work, adoption paper work, careful budgeting and other such tedious tasks we must accomplish to bring her home to us.

So worth it, but I do wish I could win just a portion of the lottery and just pay everything right this minute.

I can't wait to say I have three sons AND a daughter!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last Home Study Meeting

Summer fun goofing off with neighbors
Oh goodness, we have been SO super busy. Even though it is summer, the boys have all been busy with activities-and on days we haven't had to leave the house, it has been ridiculously hot here, so we have been searching ways to stay cool by playing in the kiddie pools and taking up invites from friends to crash their neighborhood pools.

Next year, we are joining our neighborhood pool. I already have the money set aside for it, because I can't handle another year of crazy summer heat and constantly searching for places to take the kids that won't induce heat stroke. I'm so excited about summing in the nice cool water next year.

And on that note, Little Dude and JR are swimming now! Little Dude is much further along, as he can actually tread water, dive, and swim the length of the pool a few times. JR is doing great as well, as he can dive, climb out of the pool, and swim the short distance of the pool, but he still needs floaties on his arms for a bit longer. He is almost there though, so I would be after getting in the pool for a week consistently next summer he will have it down.

For the last month I have started watching a sweet little baby boy, whom I will refer to as Hoss on here because he is a cute, yet extremely chunky little guy. I hope the boys stay close friends with him, he is going to be the big guy in school that no one is going to dare mess with. He is actually younger than Champ, but looks older because he is just all around proportionally bigger. The two of them together are keeping my arms in shape! So far, Champ is loving to have someone his size to play with, so I hope he has the same enthusiasm for his sister.

Little Dude, Cole, JR, Champ, Keely. 

Hoss is super sweet though and I am SO lucky to have found him to watch. The money I'm getting from keeping him is going into a little envelope with our little girl's name on it. It feel so good to put more money in it each Friday. We are slowly getting there, though still so far away at the same time. Sigh. Her orphange is doing a "sponsor" drive right now and earlier this year, I had sent money as a partcial sponsorship of her, but now, since we have started the adoption process, we aren't allowed to send any money to help care for her.

That is seriously killing me, to have to sit and watch the orphanage beg for donations and sponsorship, and to see my sweet daughter's little face on the list of kids needing sponsors to cover food and clothes and such. I want so badly to start providing for her.

And I wish so badly that we could have her here now, it kills me realizing that we are going to miss the next few years of her life as we keep chugging along on this adoption paperwork and government involvement stuff.

As for our adoption, we have our LAST homestudy meeting tonight, at our house. Yippieeee! One huge part down!

I have been a crazy woman cleaning and dusting and triple checking childproofing and hoping everything looks great. It is a bit disconcerting to realize that I have three children, and no one has ever come to judge my parenting skills or home skills,but now, wanting to give a family to an orphan, someone is going to come judge my skills. And sanity. And I totally understand why the process is what it is, but still, it is just a bit odd to be on the receiving end of the judgement, even when the social worker is as awesome as ours is.

On that note, I have gotten the house all straight, organized the toys back to the bins they should be in (but never are actually in..haha) and then today we are going to spend ALL DAY at the most awesome science museum near our home and see Lemurs, Wolf pups, dig for dino bones and watch butterflies. We might even take a ride in a space ship! I love the science museum we have here; it is awesome. And it will keep the kids from tearing up the house before Sue gets here to inspect and talk to us one last time.

And all this out an about with 4 kids 6 and under is good practice for me, since once our little girl gets to come home, I'll have 4 kids ages 8, 7, 5 and 4....oh goodness. :)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Home Study Number 2

This isn't really the amount of paperwork
 I have to go through, but  this photo made me laugh,
because this IS what it feels like we have ahead of us.
 

We have gone through two home study meetings and so far they have been great! I love our social worker and I know she has our best interests at heart.

So far, to get this part of our adoption process done, we have 2 more meetings, wait for reference letters to come in, get our physicals done (and we already have them scheduled, yay!) and get our education classes done. Bill and I are going to sit down tonight to look over our choices and figure out what we want to do for the classes.

I know our agency has specified classes, but since we haven't signed the contract yet, we can't get the videos. Bummer. BUT a friend of mine did a fundraiser for us that raised enough to cover our agency's educational fees, so as soon as we can get them it is on.

We are waiting for the home study to be done and approved before paying to many big chunks of money out, so that once our home study is done we can apply like crazy for grants. I'm praying so much that some grants can come through to help us.

But otherwise, we will be done with the initial home study part soon! Yay! Then we will send our home study to our agency to be reviewed, and then at that point, hopefully, we either have some grants or I have the money saved to hen sign the contract , get their education videos and get on the official waiting list for a referral.

From there we start getting our dossier and immigration paperwork done, some of which I am already working on now, since all my stuff has to come from Texas, and I don't want to be waiting on them at the last minute.

I also need to update my passport,and get tons of paperwork notarized.

So much to do, but little chunks are getting checked off, so I am feeling super happy.

And it is funny, but last night, as we were talking about all this adoption stuff, I felt a very strong calm come over me, telling me that everything was going to work out, and to just keep chugging along.

I think that might be as close as I have ever come to feeling like God was talking to me. Seriously, up until that moment last night, I have truly have very little faith.

But last night, I just felt calm. It is going to work, we are going to get there. It might be slow, it might not be the little girl we are trying for, but there is some little girl or boy out there that needs a home, and we are that home for her or him.

God is going to take care of everything, just the way it should be, and we just need to keep doing what we can to keep following the path he has laid out.

And now I sound like a crazy Jesus person, so I guess I should stop writing. In any case, all things are good and I am so excited to be just a little bit further down the path to our daughter!




Monday, July 2, 2012

Homestudy Meeting Number 1

Our first homestudy meeting is tonight! I'm really excited to meet our social worker and see how all this goes-it is a little intimidated to know someone you don't know at all is judging all your parenting skills and lifestyle off a few short meetings-BUT I also know it will go just fine.

Because we are awesome.

Or, at least until I hear otherwise from the social worker, I will think we are awesome :) hahaha!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Brave


Adopting is a sign of bravery-there are so many unknowns-and so many things our family has to just accept and pray for the best.

Our meeting with Summit Church's Orphancare was AMAZING. We loved meeting all the people and talking about the process-and even learning about Foster Care here in the US-we learned so much about all aspects of Orphancare that we had not thought about-it was fantastic.

Everything is so slow-and yet at the same time, I am scared of it going quickly. We don't have the money right this minute-and while so many people we talked to to night said things like "God will provide", it is so very hard to trust that.

I know, horrible to admit, but for me, as such a budget conscious, money wise person, I have such a hard time trusting that the money will come available as we need it-I guess a big part of me is scared that yes, God seems to provide for others, but will He truly provide for us? Are we worthy of His attention and help?

I don't know, it is so hard to trust in this, and I am a bit ashamed to admit my lack of faith.

But, I will continue to pray, and hope, and beg, that our plans are truly the plans He has for us, and this is truly what he is calling our hearts to do, and that somehow, we will be able to make this happen with His help.

Like praying that her special needs are actually as minor as her medical file says and are the things we feel comfortable taking on with our other children.

Or that somehow, someway, the money will fall into place for us, as is has for so many other adoptive families we have met.

That somehow Bill and I will be able to give our Princess what she needs to heal and settle after her adoption-and to know how to help her grieve and keep alive the beautiful culture she has left behind by coming here.

Or that some of our friends and family that are very much against an adopted child, because of general fears they have about physical and mental health, and 'what that kid has been through' will have a wonderfully soft and changed heart once our Princess is here, and learn how powerful the calling to care for orphans is on our hearts.

And especially, that our Princess will be able to love us and trust us, and know that we will always, forever be her family and she will never have to face the world alone ever again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summit

Tonight Bill and I are going to an adoptive parents support group at Summit Church in Durham. I'm really excited to meet some parents in real life that have been through the international route and are now on the "our child is home" side.

I know we will hear some scary stories and some awesome stories about what kind of behavoir our little Princess might display when she gets home. I've already have read quite a few books on adoption and feel pretty OK with the extreme Reactive Attachment Disorder that can occur because of complete neglect.

That breaks my heart.

Honestly, those thoughts make me want to do this even more. Can you imagine a child so neglected and unloved that it has to build a huge wall around it's heart so it can no longer feel pain? That is what the RAD kids have done-and to a certain extent, most internationally adopted children or older domestically adopted children. That, sadly, comes with the territory of abandonment, abuse, and neglect that these sweet orphans face. They would go crazy if they didn't build walls, but it makes it hard for adoptive parents to build a gate through those walls.

So, tonight we meet some new comrades and hear stories and just keep chugging along through the hurry hurry HURRY...wait wait wait wait....hurry hurry hurry.. wait wait WAIT......cycle that seems to be adoption.


Monday, June 25, 2012

The Avengers

My boys are completely into super heros right now. Lego has the super hero Legos right now, so the boys are busy doing chores to earn money for them; it is so cute to seem them counting their dollars to see how close they are.







Bill and I stuffed a few extra dollars into their piggy banks so they aren't completely discouraged-that and we told them they had to raise $20, even though most of the sets they want are close to $60...Bill and I figured we can help them cover the last little bit if they come up with $40 between the two of them.


I love it.


Friday, June 22, 2012

On The Adoption Home Front

On Adoption, we are still trucking along, though in reality if feels as though we have made no progress at all. I still have a stack of paperwork to get through filling out, birth certificates that SHOULD be coming in the mail SOON I HOPE! And I have to get Bill and me to a doctor for a physical.


But, in the meantime, I have FINALLY gotten everything together for our homestudy, and our first meeting is July 2nd! YAY! We had to delay doing the homestudy until we had clear answers to some of the contract items with our agency-for example, there was a huge part of our contract that required and infertility specialist to sign up saying we were infertile....and, um, we are actually extremely fertile. We had our three sons the first try each time, right when we wanted.


Yea, I know, we are pretty blessed. But, that did pose a problem because our agency had assumed we had infertility issues, I guess because most people adopting DO have some issue, whether age, infertility, or miscarriages, that make them consider adoption. We don't have those issues though, we just really love our little Princess and want to give her our last name.


So, for the last month we have been waiting to hear that our approval to adopt from her country had not been based on assumed infertility. Since we are already pushing the child limit by having 3-their limit is usually 2 but in our case, because of Princess's special needs, the child limit got waved AND the infertility got waved. HOORAY!!


I'm SO glad to finally be able to get the homestudy done-and I'm praying so hard that we can get all the required visits/meetings done in time to apply for the Show Hope grant. Though I feel so behind, since we wasted so much time just waiting to hear that everything was OK to keep going, but hey, it is what it is and I'm trying to catch up now.


The Show Hope grant is HUGE. It could cover half our costs....which would make this adoption TOTALLY doable for us and our small bank account. The deadline is early this fall, to hear anything back and get funds by early spring....which would time up perfect with when a huge chunk of our bills for our Princess's adoption. I'm praying so hard and hoping and crossing every finger I have.


But, if not, I have found a ton of smaller grants to also apply to, and I'll be doing those as well along the way, so if we don't get the Show Hope grant, we can still see if small grants will add up. We will see. All of this really rests on if we get grants or not...because we just don't have the money to get our Princess here otherwise. So, we will see and I'm just letting it rest in my heart that what is meant to be will be.


We will just continue to chug along as well as we can.


So, for now, that is all. We won't be doing too much more until our homestudy is done, though I am slowly working on collecting all the forms and paper work needed for the dossier. I want to have that ready to go as soon as our homestudy is approved (and hopefully at that point we will hear back that we got funds from some grants!)



AND if you feel so inclined to help us out a bit, you can help us out with a donation:









Or Buy a T-shirt for our fundraiser






Thursday, June 14, 2012

Labor Pains of Paper



We got our adoption contract packet yesterday, as well as our homestudy packet.

WOW, it is so much PAPER. I don't even think it all qualifies as a "packet"-it is more like "War and Peace".

Well, not really, but you get the idea.

There is SO much paperwork to filter through, so many things to get in order. Notarized recommendation letters to get friends and neighbors to sign (and hoping that none of my said friends or neighbors forget to do them in their own chaos of little kids).

And I'm still waiting on my birth certificates to arrive from Texas. I'm a bit nervous to order more until the others get here, just to make sure they are right. I also only ordered two copies, and I need 3 just for my agency needs, then 2 for the home study, and then 1 for our passport and 1 just to make sure I have one.

The two I ordered cost $50. And with these numbers, I will need to order Bill's certificates, too. Sigh. I think getting all this paper work will be expensive. Luckily, our sons were all born here, so I can run downtown and save time and money getting those right away.

I need to get me and Bill to the Dr. too, for all kinds of crazy checkups. We haven't been since our insurance changed and we had to find a new Dr....obviously I never did. Soooo, I need to get a new Dr. and go in for a check up and I guess have whatever files sent. I wonder if my OB counts, since I'm going to see him in a few weeks, and he has seen me more often in the last few years than any other Dr.

I also need to get all of us to the dentist, but that is beside the point of the dossier, but still just more money we need to spend now, since our dental insurance sucks.

Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork we have to get through. AND I need to get through all of it in the next three months, so I can have our homestudy DONE and our dossier DONE within the timeline for our agency so we don't have to then redo anything, at least not for awhile. Apparently, the homestudy can't be more than six months old when the dossier is sent to our Princess' country...so I need to get on everything RIGHT NOW to make sure we have time and don't have to do anything (and pay for anything) again.

Oh, thinking about it makes my head hurt.

And yesterday my neighbor told me I was crazy for wanting a fourth child through adoption. I cried when I got home. I'm so overwhelmed by all of this right now, and there is a tiny part of me that is scared about what we are trying to take on. And I'm terrified about where we will find the money.

And my head just hurts, but I'm going to just keep swimming.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Four Years


Four Years ago, Bill and I were having maternity photos taken. They were my birthday present and I was so excited. Little Dude; however, was not, but we did finally get some really wonderful photos of the three of us and my growing belly.

And soon after, this little guy decided to come WAY early:

My water had broken, and we were scared. After a stay in the NICU though, with some super awesome nurses, our JR came home at 5lbs 15 oz. He was so super tiny, that the newborn clothes his brother had never been small enough to wear were too big on him. We got his tiny tiny hands and feet printed on a framed card that still hangs in my office.

JR's birth had scared me so badly, but in the end, we were lucky for everything to turn OK and  perfect. And now, JR is a strong, tough, smart, inventive guy with a shy streak and the biggest hugs and greatest smiles:



We blinked and four years went by. JR is such  joy and I love hearing his little voice asking for an apple, even if it is right after dinner has been eaten. You can see some of my favorite photos of JR during years one, two and three, too!

Happy Birthday, my little pumpkin.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's My Birthday!

It is my birthday!! I'm 31!! I love birthdays!!

Decorating, parties, and cake! With LOTS of icing!!! Yippiee! My husband and I are going to rent a non-kid movie and watch it after the kids go to bed tonight; I'm crazy excited for a "home date night" with him! Yay!

Today, we are going to a neighborhood bible study for the kids. One of my neighbors on the other end of my neighborhood organized it, so that was super sweet! She is organizing snacks, bible songs to teach, and reading a bible story and talking about a moral. Cool, eh? I'm in charge of bringing baby wipes to help with snack clean up. Awesomely simple for me! Nice!

Today I am also putting out signs for our yard sale. I have purged our entire house (except my clothes, which I plan on doing later today) of excess items to sell. I'm hoping we can raise a few hundred dollars to put towards our adoption costs! Fingers crossed lots of people like our stuff this weekend!

Today, I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new camera. The old one's lens broke, so for the past month I haven't had a camera. It is driving me crazy to not take photos! My flip video camera has become my side companion lately, much to my kids' and husband's annoyance. The new camera's tracking code says it should arrive today, so I am super excited for my birthday present! Yay!

and today, I might just go out see if I can find a store that carries some traditional outfits for our daughter. I am pretty sure there is a store close to downtown that does, and I am excited to take a look at the outfits and see the prices. If they aren't too bad, I'll get one as an extra present to me, if they are a bit pricey, then I'll know what to save for!

It is going to be an awesome day!






PS We turned in our home study with the first payment and got the inter-agency agreement signed between our adoption agency and our home study agency. Now to get the home study completed! And my awesome friend Cassandra is donating proceeds from her Initials, Inc sales to our adoption funds-how amazingly sweet and awesome is she? I am crazy humbled by all the help and support we have gotten from random strangers. You can also shop cute bags, bibs, backpacks, storage bins and more and help us out here: http://www.myinitials-inc.com/shop/eventhome.aspx?eventId=E42358&from=DIRECTLINK Yay!

Monday, June 4, 2012

To Fly

JR played soccer for the first time this spring and he LOVED it. His big bro Little Dude also plays, but they ended up on different teams in different divisions by mistake (the head coach thought that Little Dude was older than he is because his skill level was high)....but it ended up being the BEST mistake.

Even though having them on different teams in different divisions meant that Bill and I spent all day Saturday at two games, and all evening Fridays at two practices (and of course all the times were spread out), we are SO glad we didn't insist they be on the same team. We REALLY saw JR blossom having his own thing, his own team, and not having any comparison/competition with Little Dude. We work really hard to avoid comparisons, but just out of default, since Little Dude is older and a pretty competitive first born (like seriously, he practices for soccer to the point I have to tell him to stop...) we often see JR get a bit discouraged and give up.

So, this ended up being a GREAT way to encourage JR to keep trying and do his thing. He loved it and is already talking about playing next year. I'm so glad! I love soccer, so it makes me super happy to see the boys enjoying an activity that fosters team work and keeps me entertained, too! So, here is a video from JR's "intro" for his team before one of their games:


PS, Our little Champ is now a full time walker AND I just mailed our home study info off for Princess' adoption. We are just chugging on along!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wishing On a Wishing Star

My husband and I have excitedly started this journey to adopting a daughter, but after talking to a neighbor today about our good news, I realize I have probably shared too much too early.

For one, we still haven't figured out the money part. I really have no idea how we will make it work at all. Like seriously, NO IDEA. Because we don't have even $20000 to spend, let alone the full $40000. Prayers we get grants, please!

And too, we are still early in this journey, and things could still fall apart. We could reach a point where we have to stop, and say we can't spend anymore money. We can't afford it. And we might have to walk away. Our hearts will break, but that will be a reality that could happen.

If that worst case happens, and we can't afford to finish this journey, then we certainly don't want to be judged, or hounded with questions, while our hearts are breaking. Mostly I don't want to be judged. We have sadly already gotten enough of that just by starting the adoption process-I can't imagine what reactions we would get from people if we have to stop and can't afford to finish.

We've had most people tell us to just try again for a girl. Or say that we have too many kids already. Or ask why we don't want a white baby, because you know, out adopted child, lord forbid, won't look like us. Or why we aren't doing foster care instead. Or even people saying that we have three healthy sons, we shouldn't want the headache of a girl.

And while some of the comments are well intended, others just make me mad. In answer to the neighbor that was so concerned with our child not looking like anyone else, well, I don't look like anyone else in my family. My mom and sisters all have beautiful brown eyes, black hair, and great tan skin from their Native American genes that I just didn't get much of. My dad's Irish genes come through in me, but even he has brown eyes and black hair. I got the pasty skin and auburn hair and freckles that no one else has. Oh, and the random hazel eyes. Yea, I don't look like them at all.

We want to adopt, we don't have any infertility problems, and I want a daughter. India draws me because it is a country that doesn't value girl children. As simple as that. My daughter is going to be the answer to so many prayers of mine, and the completion of her adoption will be the completion of a dream I've held since I was a child and first learned about abortion. That is how long I have wanted to adopt.

But if we can't finish this, if we get to a point where we just don't have the money to go any further and grants aren't coming in for us, then I want to try to "walk" way without the judging stares from people that think us jerks for not going forward with it.

Even though the people that would judge, or say things to us, are probably the same that have already said slightly hurtful and judgmental things about our desire to adopt at all; let alone adopt outside the USA.

I know I sound defensive now, but after talking with Bill, I realize he is right. We need to go forward privately with all of this-go with the next step of our home study and make sure that is approved, and then go to the next step and the next, without having to worry about what others think if something goes wrong and it doesn't work out like we are dreaming.

This is going to be a really long, hard, full of waiting and full of government interaction, paperwork running around, S-L-O-W journey. And if we do get the adoption finished, it will be THEN that the truly hard part starts; helping a child that doesn't know us learn to trust us and move on from past abuse and neglect she faced. So please, be kind to us if things don't work. We are doing our very best to make it happen. Until we reach a point where it feels comfortable to share that our journey is going successfully, then there won't be much adoption updating going on here.

PS I bought a beautiful dress today. I can't wait for the day I dress MY daughter in it.

Adoption Status: Approved

We got an exciting email today-our application has been officially approved!!! We are eligible to adopt a little girl aged 0-4, and our agency thinks we have a super great chance of getting the little girl we are trying to get.

OMG. WE GOT APPROVED!

But there is that little chance that we won't be able to get her......but we will get someone. There is a little girl out there that will be a part of our family.

OMG. I'M GOING TO HAVE A DAUGHTER.

I want to go do shopping right this minute. She is going to need princess dresses. And a pink soccer ball. PINK!

OMG. THIS IS GOING TO BE CRAZY EXPENSIVE AND I NEED TO FINALLY UPDATE MY NAME ON MY PASSPORT.

Where do you even do that? Oh goodness, there is so much to do. I feel thrilled beyond all else and panicked at the same time. A part of me thought we wouldn't actually get approved. A part of me thought we would hear no yet again. We have some huge payments to dish out very soon to really cement our place "in line" for a referral- for the little girl God is going to lead us to.

Do we take the chance of not getting her? Are we ready to do this now? Do we have the money? I have no idea how we will afford all of this. When it is all said and done, it will be around $40,000.....OMG. That makes my stomach hurt....but at the same time, I would pay millions to keep my sons safe, so thinking of it that way, why would I not make sure I found a way to pay the money to get my daughter safely to us?

We will have a daughter. A DAUGHTER.

I need to learn Hindi, stat

OMG!!!!

And even cooler? We got the best news ever on our 8th wedding anniversary.

I'm totally ordering this Tinkerbell hair clip for our Princess:

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to have a DAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!