Friday, November 30

heavy, heavier, light!

As the last day of November, and the last day of Adoption Awareness Month, I wanted to share a few more facts about Ethiopia specifically.
--Between 60-150 million kids live on the streets.
--Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school.
--82% of the population lives on less than $1 a day.
--1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.

A sweet friend of mine Misty was looking up some advertisements for a class one day and found this. It hangs on my fridge as a constant reminder.

Already we are told how "lucky any baby would be" to land a spot in our family. And even now, before we have a child or even a referral, I know that we are the ones who would be lucky. I already love our child so much!

Speaking of things that I hear a lot, Hannah, who owns the little shop I sometimes get pedicures from had a baby earlier this year and is always encouraging me to have one. She often jokes about this special Vietnamese Herbal Tea that I can drink and presto, I'd be pregnant. Well, today she spent an hour telling me about someone she knows who is looking to have someone adopt her baby. Hannah said she instantly thought of me and apparently told this woman my whole life story. This is pretty funny to me, but is also really encouraging because at first Hannah didn't understand why we'd want to adopt. (Adoption is our first choice.) Seeing how excited she was about "finding a baby for us" helps me to see that people can come around. Which is good, since some of my family is still really confused as to why we would want an African baby when we are clearly not African. It's my sincerest prayer that the Lord changes their hearts before we have a referral, but if not, I know that He will be glorified even more when they fall to pieces over the baby we bring home.

Ok, one more gushy ad to make this post totally over the edge.
And finally, something a little lighter because I think this post was a little too heavy. This is my pal Sarah (l) and me (r) being... well, ourselves. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 29

With wings as eagles

So I already realize that I hate posting without pictures. I have to get my camera working! Right now it has about 200ish pictures just waiting to be loaded onto a computer somewhere. I heard a rumor that I might be getting a new camera for Christmas this year and that is oh-so-very-exciting. I can't wait! Justin and I are also discussing a new laptop since ours died and we want to downsize from our deskmonster. But since we're save, save, saving up for the adoption that might take a while. I also learned that I am getting this from Santa...because apparently my sweet hubband can't keep a secret. He said he, er, Santa, ordered the last one! : )

Our church is doing some spiffy Christmas giving. They had a tree up with ornaments that listed the needs of some families in our community. We picked up two ornaments at random and are now shopping for Karla and Giana. Karla is five and needs a new coat and a little bike. Giana is 12 months and needs some clothes and diapers. We found the coolest little bike:

Now if only I can figure out how to wrap it.

This semester is almost over. Yippie Skippie for that. Justin is also preparing to start the police academy December 10. I know he is finally getting excited about that. He's been ready to start for months but the city isn't getting recruits ready fast enough and they kept pushing back the start date. We've waited over 10 weeks for this. Of course, compared to adoption 10 weeks isn't so bad. Maybe this was a little primer; practice waiting from the Lord. Speaking of waiting, that reminds me of a nifty verse prominent in my childhood:

They that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as eagles;
They shall walk and not grow weary,
They shall run and not grow faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, November 21

do the dossier dance...

Yesterday our dossier packet came in the mail. Yippee! So now I've got something to do over the holidays besides shopping, decorating, and wrapping. This list is crazy. I have so much admiration for all the families who have completed this step because it's massive.

Also massive these days:
-the amount of love I have for my hubband. Everyday I feel like I couldn't love him more.
-the realization of how wonderful and precious my dear friends are.
-the amount of thankfulness I have as I look around at my home, my family, and my future in Christ.

Tomorrow brings about a lot of food--and a lot of driving for us. Both of us have two sets of parents who are spread out so we start off with Justin's mom's family for big lunch. This is where Justin does most of his eating. Then we have dinner across town with my mother's family. This is where I do all my eating. We have attempted to make a late night snack/dessert run to Justin's dad's family...but that doesn't work out well. We'll probably slide over on Friday to eat lots of leftovers and hang out. Maybe even do some Christmas decorating.

Speaking of which, since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, that means I can finally put up our decorations without too much grumbling. Yay! I've been waiting all year for this!

Wishing all my readers (2?) a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Give Thanks!

Monday, November 19

little news bits

Well, the big news is that we made the Ethiopian Adoption Blog Roll. We're one of the newbies! Check us out. Maybe that means that soon I won't be typing to emptyness...but that someone will read about us. Also, even though I've been reading other bloggers (uh, check out my growing list) I've never commented or anything to anyone else because I didn't have a blog and thought that might be weird. But I think I'm getting over it now. Needless to say, I am ready for some webfriends and please accept this as your official invitation to be my friend.

The best news of last week was that we should be receiving our Dossier packet this week! Yay!! I cannot wait to start on that. Even though I know it's just part of a big process, it makes me think that I'm speeding things up. Since adoption is all about waiting, I figure why not hurry up and start. The wait. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a little weird.

This past weekend Justin and I went on a little weekend getaway to Fort Worth, Texas. We try to spend a little time away with just each other and no pressing responsibilities every few months. We stayed downtown in Sundance Square, did some touristy things, and did a lot of walking. Er, I mean, relaxing. It was great. I'd like to post some pictures but my laptop died and we can't figure out how to get the desktop to recognize my when we find a solution, I'll post some fun pics.

Also, I am counting down the days until I can put up my Christmas stuff. Justin likes people (even me) to think that he is a little bit of a Grinch...but he's not. He's the most giving, sharing man I've ever met. But he makes me wait until Thanksgiving-ish to start decorating. I tried to weasel in earlier this month...but things kept coming up each night that we'd planned to do it. It was probably not coincidence. I'll forgive him.

The last cool thing of note is that Babies R Us finally came out with some new stuff. See, we are the last couple we know to start a family (well, ok, there's one other couple. One!) and so all the good stuff was taken. And I was afraid that I was going to have to make it all. Which translates to "I should have started making it in high school so that maybe it would be ready for my grandchildren" because we already have a million projects going on. But! Since BRU now has some cool stuff, I am getting a little excited. I still don't know if I should start now and do something that is gender neutral...or if I should wait and do something specific much later when we have a referral. Any ideas? Anyone actually reading this? : )

Wednesday, November 14

starting to feel real

Today we had our Orientation phone call with Martha from AGCI. We just basically went over timelines and procedures and expectations and what not. Then more paper signing, a trip to the notary, and then to my new favorite mail place. There are two teenage boys who work there (and are obviously really bored during a good part of the day) and when I got there, they both stood silent and watched me fill out my envelope. Really exciting.

Oh, and it's only 39 days until Christmas. Really! It's only 39 days and I don't even have one decoration up yet. Nor have I wrapped any presents. Not one! I am so behind this year.

Saturday, November 10

exciting things coming up!

Well, we have the adendum to our contract which we'll sign and mail off Monday morning. We also have our orientation call set up for Wednesday, November 11th. We've officially been accepted and are now on the road!

Justin told me today that he made his first purchase for our baby. I ,of course was super excited and couldn't wait to find out. So I asked him what it was. And he said, "Ratitoullie", like it was the only answer out there. Let me just explain that Justin secretly loves animated this movie was totally for him and not our child. It was so-not-for-our-child that he watched it last night...when I wasn't even home!

A big shout out to my lovely friend Christina who I visited in the cool part of town. She took me to nifty places to eat and snack and play. She's too fun. Pictures to soon as I learn how to do them on Justin's computer since mine broke.

Lately I've been discovering lots of blog families who are with our agency, AGCI and it has been so fun to read their posts particularly. It makes me so thankful that this community exists.

Saturday, November 3

ooops, already behind

Justin and I have decided to keep the very beginnings of our paperchase a secret. Everyone (family and friends) know we are adopting in the upcoming year, but are expecting things to start around the summer of 2008. We're hoping to sneak in and surprise everyone. Currently, besides this blog, only two couples know we are doing this already. One, Brian and Angela, know because she is our we visit together quite often. The other, Dave and Gloria, are preparing to be missionaries in Dubai with their darling Aliza. I'm telling Glo in an email about our secrecy for the moment, and this was her reply:
"I was so excited about your big secret that I posted it on my blog and my facebook and forwarded it to everyone in my address book. Hope that's ok?"
Isn't she a hoot! (She's just joking.)

Tonight we're attending a costume party where I will be wearing my prom dress and going as the Tooth Fairy...and Justin is going to be a dentist. I can't wait to get all costumed up. Be on the look out for pictures!

Oh, and adoption awareness for today:
- I have two cousins who are adopted and Justin has one sibling that's adopted, all domestically.
- There were 6,493 immigrant visas granted to adoptees from China in 2006 (the #1 country) and 732 from Ethiopia (#5 country).
- Half the profit from the sale of this onesie is enough for 16 doses of medicine that keeps HIV from spreading from mother to infant.

Thursday, November 1

adoption awareness month

November is Adoption Awareness month. I'd like to help elevate awareness, so here are a few interesting facts about adoption.

-About 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents.

-According to a 1997 survey, 6 in every 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption (adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent).

-Nearly 40% of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child. If just one in 500 of these adults adopt, all of the 134,000 children in U.S. foster care waiting for adoption would have permanent, loving families (according to the new National Adoption Attitudes Survey).

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