Friday, December 19

Snow Day!

Luca spent the night with Nonna and Papa Tom. This meant that I had Adrian all to myself today.... and it was a SNOW DAY!!!

I refused to clean or do any of the stuff around the house than needs to get done. Adrian and I ate and watched movies in my bed until around noon. Then we got up and headed outside to play in the snow. We made an igloo and then took a walk around the neighborhood to see if any of his friends were home (I couldn't get out of my driveway with my car!). Adrian's friend Zac was home and we brought him back to our house. We made and decorated some Christmas cookies. It was so much fun. I can't tell you how much I love spending time with Adrian. We rarely get one on one time anymore so today was such a treat... an early Christmas gift!




Wednesday, December 10

Swimming Across A Lake

You start off and it doesn't look that far. You see the land... hey, I can do that. I'm young and strong... I have never swum across a lake before... but I think I can handle it. Plus, that land across the lake is really beautiful and you have wanted to go there for so very long. You jump in and start swimming, really swimming... and it feels good. You are moving, headed towards the shore. You can practically feel the sand between your toes as you swim toward your destination. After a while you start to tire, so you try not to think about it. You start to think about other things but are still moving... automatic pilot. You are able to keep your mind busy but all the while you are fighting to keep that nagging pain that is beginning to develop, out of your head. You have been in the water a while now and have come to the realization that there is a pretty strong current. One that was not seen from the shore before you dove in. For every stroke you make you are pushed back three times the distance. You keep swimming... who knows... maybe the current will let up? It doesn't. In fact it gets stronger the longer you are out there. Your head is just bobbing above the water... barely a glimmer of land ahead. You start to panic... will I make it? How long can I go on like this? You keep swimming but slower now... you are getting very tired. Negative thoughts and fears enter your mind and start to circle you like a shark. You are not swimming anymore. You are just being taken by the current. You realize that this lake is a whole lot bigger than you thought it was. The sliver of land in front of you has long disappeared. You begin to wonder if you are even headed in the right direction.

Tuesday, December 2

Need A Break

Have not felt much like posting. The holidays are the toughest time when waiting.

WAITING SUUUUUUUCKS.

Saturday, November 22

little angel

I have not purchased anything for Eden in quite a while. I used to buy her all kind of things. It used to be fun. Now it just feels empty. Piles of cute pink clothes, dolls, shoes... all tucked away in a closet upstairs. However, today I just couldn't resist this sweet book for my little angel....

little angel
by Sandra Magsamen

You are a blessing and a gift to me.

An angel is what you are and what I see.

I waited for you for so very long

to hum you a lullaby and sing you a song.

I have loved you right from the start.

I believe you have always been here in my heart.

You are perfect just as you are.

You are a precious shining star.

Yes, you are an angel sent from above.

A miracle to hug and forever love.

Monday, November 17

19 Months

Yesterday marked 19 months since we were logged in.

Sunday, November 9

Halloween 2008

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It is the only holiday that we celebrate at my house. I love having everyone over! This year's Halloween party almost didn't happen though due to a horrible stomach bug. Christmas (twice), Easter... and now Halloween can be added to our list of holidays spent in the bathroom. Adrian came down with it first and then a few days later Ron did. This was just four days before Halloween. I was so afraid that Luca and I were going to get it that we spent the next two days and nights at my mom's house! Unfortunately Ron missed our whole pumpkin patch trip as well as carving, but at least he was healthy enough to trick or treat with us on Halloween night. And what a night it was! Luca and I were spared the horrible bug... a first! The weather couldn't have been nicer!!!! The kids were soooo cute and had such a great time. Carson told me that it was, "the best party ever!" Luca had us cracking up trick or treating. Seriously, he was so funny we could barely stand it. It only took him about three houses to figure out that the candy he was getting he couldn't eat due to his food allergies. Soooo, he started telling people "I gotta have gluten three!" Another house we heard him shout... "I can't have pretzels, I gotta have gluten three!" He wasn't saying it in a mean way, but in a self preservation type way. "I gotta have Skittles!" was another one he was telling people. I loved confused look people would get when he would tell them. It was so funny. We all came back to my house and hung our for a while... so nice it was on a Friday!!!! The boys got into their candy a little bit but haven't touched it much since. Adrian ended up giving most of it away at school as a donation to the soldiers overseas.

Ron was too sick to attend Luca's field trip... so it was Papa Tom to the rescue! Luca and Papa went to the farm with Luca's class. He loved the cows!!!!


We had a great time picking and carving our pumpkins with Nonna and Papa!

Luca wanted a "happy" pumpkin face. Adrian wanted something a bit more technical. He wanted a Jack Skellington face. Papa Tom got into it!!! He drilled little holes in and laced up the mouth.... it looked awesome!

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Trick or Treating!






Thursday, November 6

Sad

CCAA sent two days of referrals this month. Yes, you read that right... two days.

Saturday, November 1

I 171H Approved


The renewal of our I 171H arrived a couple of days ago.

Sunday, October 26

Fall Fun

Don't have much time to write. Just wanted to post some pictures from the last month or so.

We attended a fall fun day with our church. The boys had a great time painting pumpkins, riding horses, going on hay rides, and watching their father play tackle football... yes, tackle. Ron went to the chiropractor and had a massage the very next day.


My boys went to a Halloween birthday party.

Ron's parents and aunt were in for a weekend and we really had a nice visit.

The Autism Speaks walk was amazing. I am so proud of Em and Jay. There was such a great turn out for the Curing Carson team and they raised a lot of money for the cause. There were thousands of people at the walk. All who have been touched in some way by autism...fighting this horrible fight for their son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, brother, sister, cousin, friend. Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Yet, autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.

Our trip to the cider mill was delicous. We pigged out as usual but who would blame us??? The doughnuts were sooooo good! They were just a little crispy on the outside, still warm, oh so fresh. I wish I had some right now!!!!



These last two pictures are of when we first arrived and the boys were saying hello. The boys love their cousins so much!!! You can see it on their faces!

Sunday, October 19

My MAC is BACK!

Now that my MAC is back online I can post some pictures!!!! Some of these are kind of old.

These were taken on local nature trail. My dad and I took the kids a few times this summer. They loved looking for walking sticks and then counting all of the wildlife we would find along the way.






The next batch are from our last trip to Aunt Carol's pool and our last trip to the beach.

Is that not the cutest belly?????



Before we knew it, it was the first day of school.


Summer is over. The leaves are all changing and there is a chill in the air. We have attended quite a few fall activities that I can't wait to share! More to come!

Thursday, October 16

18 Months

Today marks 18 months in our official wait for Eden. Today is extra special because I received word from our agency that our dossier is in review. After our dossier was logged in, it sat on a shelf... until today. Our paperwork is now in the "review room". While there it will be meticulously checked to be sure our paperwork is complete, correct, and that we meet the criteria to adopt. Although I am confident that things will go smoothly, you never know. If CCAA has a question or needs further information about anything in our dossier, we will be delayed months. This wait is already long enough so say a little prayer that things go well. No news is good news. We will be notified when our dossier (and everyone else who was logged in during April 2007) has left review. This little bit of progress and that fact that we were notified on our 18th (my lucky number) month anniversary is just the little boost I needed. It makes me feel like our adoption is meant to be and will happen.

October has been quite an exciting month. It began with referrals arriving. They completed the typical 6 days this month. Then about two weeks later another batch arrived. Referrals typically are sent about every 30 days. This batch was only for one day and didn't include everyone logged in for that day but it was unexpected good news for those families that did receive them. Then about a week later there was big drama with USCIS. The petition I posted about and the situation surrounding it was quite a scare. Fortunately, the petition (among other efforts) was successful. USCIS has extended the allotted time parents can file the I600. However, if our adoption takes longer than six years to complete we will need to file the new form. God I hope it doesn't take that long. Thousands of families breathed a sigh of relief that the adoption that they have waited so long for, will not be over. My friend Lynn happened to be one of the many who without this issue being resolved would have quite possibly not been able to proceed with their adoption. I happened to receive word about USCIS extending the I600 while at work. Lynn's son Chris was sitting right next to me.... so cool and so weird. Out of all the classes I teach and all the student I have... he was the one sitting there! Honestly, I could have cried right there in class in front of 25 seventh graders. I shared what I found out with Chris and then called Lynn. It is so weird how we are bonded in some cosmic kind of way. Lynn has said that we were "meant to be friends" and I couldn't agree more!


This month we also won box tickets to a Red Wing game and a two year membership to a local gym. Let's hope this lucky streak continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 4

Please Sign This Petition

Please visit this site and sign this petition. This effects thousands of waiting families, including us.

Click Here

Thursday, October 2

Their Leap of Faith

Through online groups and blogs I met a couple who were also adopting from China. They happened to be with the same agency we are. We visit each other’s blogs and sometimes email. We met in person during our trip to Chicago for the East Meets West adoption conference last April. They leave today for China. Waiting for them is their son Jacob. If you would like to follow along with their journey you can visit their blog listed at the right titled "Our Leap of Faith". They will be blogging while in China.

Have a wonderful trip Kevin and Violet! Congratulations!!!

Tuesday, September 30

2 Years


Two years ago today we officially began our adoption. I remember the overwhelming excitement while filling out the very first application. We had been researching countries and agencies for a while and waiting for the timing to be right before taking that first step. We were building a home to sell at the time. I had been waiting weeks for things to be financially in order and it was driving me crazy. Finally, one night after dinner Ron surprised me with a large gift. It turned out to be an Asian American Girl doll. That was his way of saying that the time was right. Of course I burst into tears! What made it even better was that he purchased an outfit with the doll and she was wearing it. It was a "traveler" outfit complete with suitcase. I kept picturing him dressing the doll, brushing her hair, putting the shoes and hat on... so sweet. It was one of the best days of my life.

It is neat to think that when this is all said and done and Eden is home with us, that this adoption... this whole process beginning to end... will be sandwiched between two of the most happiest days of my life... the one that took place two years ago... and the day we receive our most precious gift... our daughter.

Sunday, September 28

Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of posts. Been kinda crazy around here. Hockey season has started again, we joined a new church and are attending some small weekly group sessions, I started some new aerobic classes and we have been busy cleaning up a very flooded basement. Thanks Ike. One thing is for sure... it's never boring around here.

Adrian's team played their first game of the season last night. They won and Adrian scored. We have been having a great time socializing with the parents and the kids look like they are having a blast together. So far, we are off to a great season!

Luca is doing great. This is the toughest time of year for him as far as his allergies and asthma. We have been told and have read that we may see a big improvement this year now that we are aware of his food allergies. I already see an improvement. He is usually sick by the first week of school. So far, so good.

We had our fingerprint appointment with USCIS last Friday. We should be receiving our new I171H within the next couple of months. After we receive that we will be set for another 18 months of waiting before needing to redo our paperwork again... and yes, we will need to redo our paperwork again.

Have to run! Want to take advantage of this nice weather before it's gone!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16

17 Months

Today marks 17 months since our paperwork was logged in with China Center of Adoption Affairs.

Saturday, September 13

Getting Into the Groove

It has been a while since I have posted. I've had some technical difficulties as we have changed our internet provider. I am still unable to get online with my Mac which has been very frustrating. I also have been busy busy busy with my new job, the boys starting school, hockey starting back up, etc. Still trying to find a groove with all of this. My house is a mess, I have laundry coming out of my ears, and I have NOT adjusted to getting up at 6:45am.

I am loving my new job, although I miss my old colleagues and the kids from my last school. I really love teaching computers. It is such a change to just focus on ONE thing. The new school has been so warm and have made me feel so welcome. I am very happy.

The boys love their teachers and have not given me too much trouble in the mornings... it's only been two weeks though. Adrian told me that he has the nicest teacher ever... which I agree! Luca has the same teacher as last year and adores her. I can't say enough positive things about his school and teacher. The Montessori program a perfect fit for his learning style and personality.

The GFCF diet continues to go well and I really believe that the diet has had a positive impact on both Luca's overall health and behavior. In addition to the diet we will also be giving Luca some medication to kill off an overgrowth of yeast that were tested for and found in his system. He rarely complains about not being able to eat certain foods. I have found a lot of good substitutes by the brand "Enjoy Life". Just about everything I have purchased from this brand Luca has loved. I found some GF/CF bagels by the "Enjoy Life" brand. One morning I toasted one up for him and put some dairy free butter on it. He went nuts for it. He savored every bite. In fact, he was taking so long eating it that I told him that I would put the rest in a Ziploc bag for him to eat in the car on the way to school. He was fine with that but insisted on carrying the bagel around the house with him while he continued getting ready for school. He wouldn't let it out of his sight! Sad, but so cute at the same time.

That's all for now! Lot's more to post... but it will have to wait.

Thursday, August 28

Getting Nerdier By The Minute

After teaching first grade for eleven years, I accepted another teaching position at another school. I will be teaching computers this fall to kindergarten through eighth grade. I am very excited and nervous at the same time. Getting into the computer/technology end of education has been something I have worked toward for a long time. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. I was part of a group who spoke at a large Education/Technology conference (MACUL) in Detroit a few years ago. Twice I have the honor of having my students present classroom technology projects at the Student Technology Showcase in Lansing. I landed a dream job six years ago at a school which pioneered much of the educational technology that is now used throughout our whole district. Soooo... this has been a long time coming. This job won't be without it's challenges. I am working at a school that is basically starting from scratch. They are looking to me for what to purchase... which is a HUGE SCARY responsibility but very exciting at the same time.

I went into my previous school yesterday. They were having their open house. It was really funny to hear the stories of why I wasn't at the school anymore. Some I heard were....

* I was fired

* I got married.... one husband is enough, thank you very much :)

* I was moved into a portable classroom outside the building

and my personal favorite...

* I died. No, I am not kidding. One of the teachers told another teacher that I was "gone" and she thought that I had died.



In other news....

We completed all of the paperwork for our homestudy update and I171 extension for our adoption. We are just waiting for our social worker to approve the final draft of the update so we can mail it out. Things continue to move slowly with the adoption referrals each month. Our adoption continues to become less and less of a focus for me. Self preservation I assume. I am really glad that I have this new job to keep my mind really busy for a while... less time to think and feel. There are times when I am overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and sadness. The other night Ron and Adrian were talking about how they were going to take some fishing trips together this fall and all the fun they would be having. Instead of feeling happy, I felt so sad and jealous. Things have to pick up, right???

Saturday, August 23

Diet Update

Luca's gluten, casein, and egg free diet has been going very well... much better than I had anticipated. He has been great about trying new versions of his old favorites. He really likes tofu cheese, rice and soy pizza, and rice milk. He is great about asking if he can eat something before just grabbing it and taking a bite. He announced to my mom that he is "allergic to food" which I thought was so funny and sad at the same time. Sometimes it really must feel like he is allergic to food. A couple of other funnies...

"Am I allergic of this?" This is what he asks me before eating.

"Is it gluten three?" Meaning gluten FREE.

We went to Cold Stone Creamery. I brought along some Rice Dream ice cream for Luca and allergy free chocolate chips. I talked to one of the girls behind the counter and told her that my son has food allergies. I asked if she would mind scooping and mixing the ice cream and chips I brought. They couldn't have been nicer! He got to go in and order his ice cream and eat it just like he always does.

Monday, August 18

16 Months

Wow. This is the first time in 16 months that I have forgotten about our log in day anniversary. Seems fitting as I have been trying NOT to focus so much of my time/energy/emotions on our adoption. It's just too depressing right now. Things are moving slow and only seem to move slower each month.

16 months down and no end in sight.

Friday, August 15

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage


A big congratulations to my brother Tommy and his beautiful WIFE Niki! They were married August 9th. It was one of the most beautiful and FUN weddings I have ever been to. Here is a recap of last week's events....


We had a great time at the bachelorette party. We had a limo bus take us to some hot spots downtown. Lots of laughs!


My sister and I trying to look serious while sipping from a "special" straw.


I have not figured out why exactly my brother doesn't have a shirt on in this photo. Very strange.

After we all recovered from our nights out on the town (man I am getting OLD). It was on to the rehearsal dinner. We had perfect weather and the golf course was gorgeous. We had dinner at my brother and Niki's favorite restaurant after the ceremony rehearsal. Everything went off without a hitch... except for the fact that Luca refused to go down the isle.


Tommy and his two best men.

The Bridesmaids

I can't believe they are making me do this!

Grrrrrr!

After some coaxing and bribing from mom.




Saturday was the wedding and all of the girls met to get their hair done. We then went to Niki's for pictures and off to the golf course for the ceremony and reception. There were some tense moments with the weather but the rain held off long enough for the ceremony. It sure was pretty! Luca surprised us all walking down the isle... with a smile no less! Check out the photo of Tommy and Niki with the rainbow. That wasn't photo shopped! We had a great time!!!!!














Mother Son Dance

As the bridal party was announced we carried Adrian in on our sholders.

Jay giving one of his signature dance moves.
A video and more pictures can be seen at the band's web site:
www.56daze.com