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!