Tuesday, December 30

asking for prayers

Hi all, I come asking prayers!

We have friends who have a court date tomorrow and we're praying for a speedy, positive outcome. Join us in praying for that. 

Also, Justin is having his fingerprints done again at noon 12/30.  Please pray that these go well and are accepted (miraculously like our homestudy prints) so that we can accept a referral. Without these prints, we won't receive our FDL (important piece of paper that says we can adopt a non-citizen & bring them back to the U.S.) and our agency won't be able to give us a referral until that is done. 

Please pray that the technician be skilled and know how to get the best prints possible off Justin.

Please pray that Justin be patient and have God's peace about this process. This can be so frustrating.

Please pray for quick processing of these last documents so that we'll be ready to accept a referral as soon as one is ready for us! 

Thank you for praying with us; it blesses our family and allows you to play an important role in the making of our family!

Friday, December 19

Welcome Family and Friends!

Hi Everyone! Welcome to our blog. We keep this pretty up-to-date with all adoption info...and anything else that interests us. Check out all the links on our sidebars for more information on our agency, All God's Children International, our home study agency, Family 2 Family Adoptions, or any of the other adoption blogs listed alphabetically. These are other families in various parts of the Ethiopian adoption process that we communicate with regularly. 

In our next few posts, we'll try to answer some common questions we receive and also add some facts about adoption, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, or our journey thus far. If you have some questions you'd like to ask, simply click on the comment section and leave one. We'll be sure to answer them all. 

Please feel free to check out our archives and older posts, laugh at the stories and pictures, and absorb all the info. Thanks for stopping by, we're so glad you came!

Wednesday, December 10

interesting things

1. I had a dream last night where Julie (our case worker) called to tell me that our new official number was 1/2. I kept asking her, "What does that mean? How can our number be one half? That's only a fraction!?!" And she just kept repeating herself over and over. Weird. Maybe it's a hint that I'm half way through the wait for my referral. 
(There are rumors around that I may be unofficially #5 on the boys list...but I'm choosing to ignore that. Better to stick with officialness if you ask me.)

2. It snowed in Houston. It's crazy, I know. Yesterday it was 75 degrees and today it snowed. For hours. Real snow. It even stuck to stuff. Amazing. 

3. The etsy site it actually up and running. I've even had a purchase already. Amazing! New items will be added soon. And I can make different versions of anything you see on there in other colors or themes.  I also went ahead and designated the sale of all Africa items to go directly to orphan care. 15% of all other purchases go to orphan care as well. Check it out. If you'd like. No pressure. : )

Saturday, December 6

woo hoo!!

It's in! Our new numbers are in!! Let's review, shall we?

girl: 25
boy: 15
sibling: 9

girl: 19
boy: 11
sibling: 9

And now, for December:
girl: 15
boy: 8
sibling: 10

Holy Smokes, Batman! Single Digits! Yay! 

Sidenote: we received our info at 4:45 pm (CST) on Friday, so we have the most up to date numbers after some officially accepted referrals. So, other bloggers, adjust off us! 

Also, I do realize that our sibling number went up. Another family in the program ahead of us changed their homestudy to accept twins, so they ended up in the siblings list ahead of us. I've been assured that it is still very highly unlikely that we would end up with siblings because they aren't referring many of them lately. And that's fine. Just keep those referrals coming!

Plus, there were several referrals that went out this week so I know that unofficially, we are even lower on the girl's list for sure. Yay!

Monday, December 1

It's time!

It's the first week of December.
We all know what that means.
New official numbers.

(I really hope I get a phone call before Friday.)
(Waiting all week REALLY stinks.)

Here's hoping for single digits.
It's going to happen.
I just know it.

Sunday, November 23

big list -- revised

I don't feel like I have much to blog about...but here I am anyway. 

Life Updates:
1. My grandmother was released from the hospital on Thursday. Praise God! Thank you for all your prayers and kind words.
2. Christina did in fact pass the bar. Like there was any doubt. 
3. I had Lasik surgery on both eyes and it went well. No severed cornea or anything. 
4. In the last ten days I joined a small group and then volunteered for it to meet in my house. And to make dinner. 
5. We went to the midnight opening of Twilight. With the entire population of 15 year old girls. Wow. 
6. The doggies are no longer allowed on any furniture. It's an adjustment (for them and for Justin) but I like it!
7. I finally get to contribute to Thanksgiving Dinner this year. Probably more out of necessity than anything else, but I'll take what I can get! 
8. I got sick last week and fell...and broke my glasses. It's ok though -- see #3.

For those of you who don't know me personally, or see me get things done, let me tell you how it is. First, I make lists. Lists of what I want to do. Then, a list with the correct order in which to do those things. Often my lists have sub-lists. Usually, I like lists to be completely scratched out. I tried making those cute little boxes for a while, but it didn't clearly differentiate the stuff I'd done. So, like I said, I like to totally scribble things out. 

I have a lot of things to do. Especially in the next few days and weeks. So I'm making a public list because that keeps me accountable (very important for completion!) and honestly, it gives me something to blog. 

Things to do this week: (unordered as yet)
1. Buy new pet beds for living room.   done!
2. Grocery shop.  done, but need to go again!
3. Make foodstuffs for multiple Thanksgivings. And small group on Tuesday. done and done.
4. Send Misty her bday pics
5. Vacuum couches (for last time!)  done--yay!
6. Get out Christmas stuff! Yay! done!
7. Realize how much Christmas stuff there is. definitely done.
8. Make a list of Christmas stuff to actually get out and stuff to give away. 
9. Get spare bed for Travis and Dad from Amber.
10. Find pile of money
11. Get Etsy site completely done.  done.
12. Finalize graduation stuff?  done. the big day is Dec. 21
13. CIS Fingerprints - scheduled for Friday morning!

There. That's it. For this week. Anyone who reads this has my permission to ask me about these things.   Also, it is my goal to stay pretty busy until the new year so that the waiting will not seem too bad. This is usually not a hard goal, but this year, there doesn't seem to be much on the calendar yet.  That should take me through two new sets of numbers (Dec and Jan). During this time I will also be cleaning out the extra room so that in January, when surely we will be a single digit, I'm going to start-- yes, really start-- on the baby's room. Absolutely! Yes! So there it is. My goals. And a timeline. Awesome. 2009 will be the year of the baby. 

Friday, November 14

Halloween and November Numbers

Ok, I know. This post is way late. Like...waaaay late. But, better late than never. Right?

Here are the pics from Jess and Dan's famous Halloween Party. I know you've been waiting.

Yay for couple costumes! I am a bunny rabbit. And Justin is a hunter.
Justin will only wear "costumes" he already owns. That explains last year's dentist (scrubs) and this year's hunter (camo). I'm running out of ideas to match what is in his closet. Next year we are in big trouble.

Bunny Rabbit, meet Christmas Tree.
(And yes, we already got the inappropriate holiday mascot joke.)

Here is Jess as Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird". Don't worry. Nobody else got it either.

Justin along with Dan the giraffe and John who went as Rambo. Please note his necklace of fingers. They were awesome...until the pool volleyball.

I'd like to think that this pose is because the prey is kissing the hunter...but it's not. Justin makes that face most of the time.

Christina, Jess, Nell Ann. During the evening, Jess always manages to slip out of her costume and morph into parts of other people's costumes. It's a unique talent.

There were lots of other pics. Most too embarrassing for the web. The bunny suit was great once the temp finally dropped late night. Before that it was sweltering. Sweats plus fur not only visually adds 60 lbs, but it also really makes you hot!!!


If you recall, our October numbers were: girl 25, boy 15, sibling 9

Our November Numbers are: girl 19, boy 11, sibling 9

Yay for movement! I have been thinking lately that I am so very glad that the holidays fall in our wait time. It's good to have so much going on that I don't notice every single day that passes. Before I know it the holidays will be done and maybe we'll be in single digits. Then I'll have to get really busy on the baby's room.

By the way, we're taking suggestions for the baby's nickname. We're looking for something gender unspecific. We don't really have a peanut or baby bump or even a smudge (hi Angela!) so we're kinda stuck. So far, all we've got is doodlebug. We'd love to hear your suggestion. Who knows? Maybe our baby will have your nickname!!

Thursday, November 6

anxiety level high

Well, I know that for TWO days now, our agency has been sending out info via email and phone call about new numbers, travel calls and referrals. And I have been waiting patiently...but not so much now. I'm ready for my info! Call me next! Please! 

If I may, I'd also like to add some prayer requests today:
1. My grandmother is back in the hospital not doing well. She's started seeing "ghosts" and thinks our family is part of a conspiracy with the nurses. This is all very new behavior for her. My grandfather and my mother are very stressed out with this. 

2. My dad is still waiting to hear back results about his bladder cancer. He's really hard to get info out of and this worries me. 

3, My father in law is waiting for results on whether or not he has RA. 

4. My best friend, Christina, is waiting to get her BAR EXAM RESULTS today and her anxiety is even higher than mine is. 

5. Also, my hubband is still sickish and is still off work. And we are spending a lot of time together. For some of you, this makes a lot of sense. ; )

Thanks for your prayers! Please include patience! 
I promise to post our Halloween pics soon, too. Hopefully with our new numbers. 

Monday, October 27

pumkpin carving

This is the story, in pictures, of our Saturday night at the Fields House. We're over for dinner a la Martha Stewart and some good ol' fashioned pumpkin carving.

Everything starts out normal.

Jess is in the kitchen (wearing her famous picture face) working on dinner.

This is her brother, Travis.

He's scooping out the pumpkiny goop.

We saved the goop and baked it for our butternut squash soup.

I'm apparently really happy to be carving a pumpkin.

This is the first time I've done it since I led a group of kindergarteners in pumpkin carving.

This time was more fun...and strangely enough, no less messy. Go figure.

Meet Sally. She belongs to Travis. Or is it the other way around?

Sally is really into stabbing her pumpkin.

Dan is really into stabbing asparagus. In his defense, it was self defense. They are called asparagus spears, you know.

Look, it's the happy couple. Well, half happy. Half undecided.

Dan is taste-testing the squash puree, er, soup.

(It was yummy afterall. It was all really yummy afterall. Especially the desserts. Yep. Yum-my.)

Sally's face is in no way related to the soup. I swear. More likely related to Travis.

I'm pretty sure of that one.

Outside: carving pumpkins

Inside: total shenanigans.

Justin carved creepy hands.

Less creepy than when they were pointy little hands, but still creepy.

Sally carved a stinkin masterpiece. It got better after this photo, but I refuse to post any pictures of that. And since there's no proof, I'll just tell you that the pumpkin fell in the pool and you'll have to believe that Sally's pumpkin is no longer the best. Because it drowned.

The girl pumpkins.

The boy pumpkins.

Fun was had by all.
Except the pumpkins.

*Some pumpkins were harmed in the making of this blogpost.

Thursday, October 23

blog round up

It's time to speak up and make friends! If you read this blog and have one of your own, please let me know! I'd love to link you--and of couse, to meet you!
P.S. Another family told me they think we are no. 9 on the boys list. (I am assuming we are at 10 because I could find supporting evidence of that, but I haven't discovered nine yet...but I'll keep looking!) And I also think we're around 18 on the girls list. Yay!
I can't believe we've moved so much in only three weeks! I know it will slow down and/or stop from time to time, but I just can't stop squealing every time I think about it! Yay!

Monday, October 20

Updates and Tag

UNOFFICIAL UPDATE: We received our bi-weekly update from our agency with referral numbers in it, so we can guesstimate some new numbers. I think I could maybe come up with better guesses with a little more research, but I refuse because I'd rather be off in the numbers and have a happy surprise with our monthly phone call than be disappointed. So here goes:

There were five girl referrals and two boy referrals in the last two weeks so that puts us around 20 on the girl list and 13 on the boy list. Of course, if any of those were on multiple lists, then the numbers would be even lower, but like I said, I prefer to err on the safe side. Still, Yay!

I'm really excited to have been tagged -- by two people!! I love being tagged and these fun questionnaires. I think they take up some decent wait time.

As far as random and/or weird facts:

1. I am a hobby hopper. For a while, I'm really into something, and then I switch. And I mean REALLY into it. Then I just put all that stuff away and try something else. Some of my recycling hobbies include: photography, camping, canoeing, scrapbooking, letter writing, singing & performing, shooting, sewing, and book streaks. (A book streak is when I enjoy a book and find out there is a whole series. This means nothing else happens in my life other than reading that series, until it is done. This has caused serious havoc in my social life before.)

2. I am an avid believer and strong supporter of Emily Post and her Etiquette. I purchased the big book of etiquette during finals one year and read every single word of the 847 page manual. Needless to say, while my gpa might have suffered slightly that year, I had the most polished manners of any college student ever.

3. I love mail. Who doesn't? I love to send hand written letters (and handmade packages!) and have been known to keep a steady habit of mailing three a week. When Justin and I met, I moved away three weeks later and mailed him a handwritten (and often handmade) letter every day for nearly six months. He sent far less, but called far more. : ) And he kept all my letters from our entire long distance courtship of 18 months.

4. I like to pretend I love coffee. I only love what goes along with coffee, and to me that means friends, sweets, and usually yummy flavors. I don't want my coffee to taste like coffee. That's why I love starbucks so much. Only like three of their drinks actually taste like coffee!

5. I love to bake. I have a major sweet tooth. Justin's uncle and cousins live down the road and benefit from this quite often. The two of us can only eat so much sugar.

6. I am thoroughly addicted to sweet tea. I can tell you all the good (and not-so-good) places to get it from Houston to Denton, Houston to San Antonio, and Houston to Austin. What can I say, it's a gift.

7. There was about a six or seven year period where I didn't own any white socks. All my socks were "crazy". I just think they were fun and colorful. I now own some mostly white ones. But you can't see them because they are the ultra low rise. (Additional fact, my socks are the only thing I like to be ultra low rise.)

8. By popular demand (and personal curiousity) I'm opening up a shop on Etsy. I'll keep you posted as to when the site is up and available for shopping, but for now, if you'd like, you can make suggestions (or wish lists) with any color or pattern preferences you have by sending me an email or leaving a comment. I'll post some pics of examples at the bottom (and you can find more on other blogs -- thanks for posting!).

Friday, October 17


Who doesn't like photos? I like photos! Here are some fun ones of what we've been up to lately:
This is Justin's best friend, Dan, and his new bride Jess. We love us some Dan and Jess. This is the night we celebrated being on "The List" with them...by heading out to the Blue Nile for some Ethiopian Cuisine. It was awesome. And by awesome I mean we can't wait to go again. Next time we'll take more pictures.
This is Dan again. Hi Dan. Nice little leg from the Doro Wot. Which the boys loved. Ours came with a tiny chicken leg and an egg. Dan took the leg and we made Justin eat the egg, you know, since he's the soon-to-be-Dad. It made no sense that night either, but somehow it worked.
Ah, you know these people. We are at Jess and Dan's house watching them open their wedding gift from us. Yes, we realize we took care of that quite a bit after the wedding. We had to recouperate. It was fun. They got some cool stuff. Now they should invite us over for dinner on the plates we got them. Served under some recipe that we gave them. (HINT HINT...)
Now, when the Fields (D&J) get together with the Galindos (J&N), we like to have plans. We do a whole day of fun. Usually it starts with a meal, then an activity, then a snack, and maybe a movie or some other activity. We've done some really fun things together like paint pottery and stuff backpacks for school kids... The Fields came to our place for "Backyard Shenanigans" this last weekend which included some crazy horseshoes and a botched game of boccee ball. Hey, sometimes it's pretty fun to make up your own rules.
This is Dan, just being Dan. And look, Jess likes to be in pictures just like I do. With strange expressions on her face. It's awesome.

And this is to show off how studly and strong my hubband is. He can juggle. Not only can he juggle, but he can juggle heavy boccee balls. Just look out when it's time to stop juggling.

I guess that's all I've really got for right now. This Friday should be our Bi-Weekly update from our agency so I should have an idea for some new unofficial numbers. Yay! Don't forget to do your voting on the sidebar. I like polls. Do it! Do it now. Five, Four, Do it, Three, You know you want to, Do it Michael, Two, One. Do it now. Oh, how I love the Office.

Tuesday, October 7

drum roll

Ok, for the most part, we have told our parents. Mind you, we each have several sets of parents. Hopefully this week we'll get to tell (in person!) our numbers to Justin's Dad and Bonus Mom. But since they don't read this blog...and nobody will really tell them, I feel like it's alright to post.

Are you ready?
Drum Roll please.

According to our phone call LAST WEDNESDAY, we were OFFICIALLY
#25 Girls (Cindy- good guess!!!)
#15 Boys
#9 Sibs

BUT!!! There have been at least TWO referrals for girls this week, maybe three and I'm not sure if any of them were on multiple lists. All I can say is that it's pretty nifty to be on The List for 5 days and already move a few spaces. How cool is that?

The current debate is whether or not the girls number will get anywhere close to the boys number. Justin is definately convinced it's going to be a boy (has been all along) but my grandparents are really pushing for a girl. You can cast your vote on the sidebar if you'd like. I think it would be a fun game. Julie (AGCI) said that you can never tell what the numbers will do or where you will be on either list when you get "the call". I hope she's right. I want to be guessing until the end! I love surprises! In fact, if we could not know until we went to Ethiopia to meet our baby, that would be awesome. I know, I know, you're all thinking I am crazy. Oh well. I never said I wasn't.

So those are our numbers. And we're still celebrating. Especially since there's been movement!

Friday, October 3


And I want to tell you.
Really I do.

But we haven't been able to tell all of our parents yet...
so please,
be patient!

I promise you will know.
They are awesome-
by the way,
in case you were wondering.

(Shout out to Julie @ AGCI who looked at our stuff the moment it arrived and was able to get through it all - without laughing too long at our ridiculous pictures - and call me back with our fabulous numbers on Wednesday. Did I mention that the numbers are fabulous? Well, they are.)

Tuesday, September 30


That's right. It's a good day. Or rather, yesterday (Monday) was a great day...and today (Tuesday) has been pretty nifty, too.

Look! Here we are at our favorite neighborhood eaterie celebrating the completion of our dossier. Yep, that's right. I said (typed) completion!!! We spoke with one of the managers, Shane, who was so excited for us --we nearly fell out of our chairs with laughter when-- he squealed.

Yep. Squealed. It was awesome.

Oh, and look. Here we are at Fed-Ex/Kinkos making our last copies and mailing our dossier.

Yes. We finally mailed our dossier.

Here we are laughing because Ken, the guy at Fed-Ex/Kinkos, was so deadpan hilarious. "Wow, I've never seen anyone so excited to send a package." And also, "I misquoted you, so I'll give you the discount overnight rate of $14.80 --because it's a good cause. And you can't stop jumping up and down." (This is because I asked my hubband if it would be ok to spend the (misquoted amount of) $25 to overnight the package...he responded, "With the thousands we've already spent, I don't see how twenty five bucks is a big deal." Also deadpan. Also hilarious.)

So YAY!!! We finished. And we mailed. And we celebrated. And today (Tuesday) at 6pm CST out "mail order baby" was picked up from Spring, Texas and shipped as fast as can be to Portland, Oregon. Because of our ridiculously long homestudy and dossier prep work (have I mentioned lately that it took over a year???) that our AWESOME case manager, Julie, said she'd look at it tomorrow instead of waiting until Friday like normal. Yay!!!

My next post
will for sure
for SURE


Thursday, September 25

hip hip hooray!

First of all, I am so excited to see so many referrals lately. That is total awesomeness. Yes!

Second of all, my new friend Kim is beating me in the numbers race because she's already overnighted her dossier to AGCI.

But most importantly, our HOMESTUDY is COMPLETE and APPROVED and being mailed to me asap! Praise Jesus! Finally. Our dossier stuff has been ready and complete and just waiting to be mailed for oh...months now. But it's all good, because in God's perfect timing, our child will be home!

Now, onto the list!

Dear elusive Wait List,

We know where you are.
We're on our way to get you.
Don't be scared.
Just give us a number
and no one gets hurt.
See you soon!!!

Wednesday, September 17

not what you think.

Ok, I realize I have left you all hanging. I'm sorry. I was trying to save this (our 50th post) for some exciting news...you know, like a number. But alas, it's not happening today. Instead I am posting to say that
1. Yay! We made it through Hurricane Ike with little damage to our property.
2. Yay! After like four or five days, we finally have power! And air conditioning! Yay!!!
3. Dear Hubband is on 12 hours shifts for at least two more weeks...with no days off. Booo.
4. Our homestudy needed some revisions, we made those.
5. Our homestudy revisions should be just about done being reivised and approved and complete!
6. We should have a number soon!!!


More posting to come soon, I promise!

Thanks for checking in on us so much. I love it!!!

Monday, August 25

i could scream...

because I am so excited!!!
Just kidding, I have been screaming. And squealing. And giggling. And definately crying!

This morning I received an email from our wonderful social worker stating that our fingerprints had been cleared! Yes, that's right. We are in the clear. Justin doesn't have to go back. Our homestudy is done!

Hip hip hooray!!!

For the first hour, all I could say between the tears and giggles was "Thank you, sweet Jesus!" This has definately been a struggle. I never would have imagined that we would work on paperwork for over one year! But the Lord is faithful and provides grace and mercy to all -- and has pulled me closer even still to his overflowing heart. God is good! Soo good!

I was on my way to lunch today (I was mostly done crying by then) and thought perhaps a song on the radio would help distract me. In case you were unaware, crying while driving is not the best option. Well, I turn on the radio and there's a song playing (of course) and I listen to the words and it went something like this...

"Because He is a loving and just and merciful God...
and all the children in Africa are His..."

I kid you not! So, there I am, pulling into Double Daves and blubbering all wet faced and sure to embarass my lunch companion. But I didn't care because it's true.

I'm saving my next post, which will be my 50th...for a great entry. Look for some great news sometime next week (I'm guessing).


P.S. For those not in our blog community, we'll be sending out a letter of sorts to friends and family to let them know the good news. We need a great pic for that...so gimmie some ideas of how to let everyone know. My best idea is matching Tshirts that say "we've been waitlisted"...but I'm not thrilled with it. I need your help!!

Wednesday, August 13

one down!

Ok Gang, round one fingerprints: check!

Several of hubband's were rejected but they'll call and make him a new appointment and get that all taken care of --hopefully really soon. I am done.

In the morning I'll call and make new appointments for an updated doctor's visit for each of us for this week.

Our case manager said that I can go ahead and get our dossier mailed in and checked out so that the day our homestudy gets there everything is ready, set, go!

I'm pretty excited.

Also, it's 2:45am and I just got back from the hospital where I met Baby Sophia! She was born just after 1am after taking her sweet time. She is definately one of the pretties just-born babies I've ever seen. Lucky for me she lives right across the street. Lucky for them, I'm awake at middle of the night feedings. Yay for babies!!!

Monday, August 11

ten days are up!

(Thanks to the Furmans for reminding me to post!)
Ok, we had to reschedule (again) because of some computer malfunctions, but! Tomorrow we are doing fingerprints. Yay for that. I know that this is going to be a bit of a frustrating time for Justin so I'm praying that people are at least nice about it. I never realized it before, but it does kinda stink to have no fingerprints.

To review, our social worker said that this should take us around six weeks. We'll go in for prints tomorrow. Justin's will be denied and we'll have to make two more appointments for him. Apparently the state has to officially deny you twice before they will do a name check even if you've already been cleared by the FBI to be in state law enforcement.

We were also advised to schedule another set of health/doctor appointments because our others are from so early in the process. Our agency rep said it was best for things to be in "fresh ink" so that's one last thing. I figure we'll schedule those in the next few weeks also so that everything will be done at the same time.

The best news is that when we finally get those fingerprints...and we get the new dr. notes...we can turn in our dossier and homestudy and finally...


(Can I get an amen?)

Some more good news is that our friends (and across-the-street-neighbors) went in tonight to start the baby drugs. That's right, even though they stole our baby name, we're thrilled because little Sophia Grace Elam should be here sometime tomorrow! Yay!

See, great news all around!!!

Saturday, August 2

things around here

Tonight I sat with a friend in our nursery-hopeful. She and I talked about paint colors and how strange it will be for a baby to finally be there. It was a good time.

Hubband is currently working a stretch of night shifts (10pm-6am) and I am spliting the time between his schedule and a really late version of a normal schedule. You know, waking at lunch time? We've also been taking turns being sick. Or out of town. Good stuff. Anyway. If only we could get somewhat consistent or routine we could manage.

I really appreciate those of you who are still checking in on me. It's really encouraging and uplifting to hear from you. And I definately need it! I am making a pact, right now (at 3:21 am, and whenever you are reading this) to start the final two steps within 10 days. So please, if you read this, check in with me and keep me accountable to our little one who waits for us. I can't explain it, because for so long I have been so desperate, and yet lately I have felt almost cold towards our journey. I'm not sure if the Lord has been giving me a gracious vacation where other things occupy my mind or what, been it has been strangely far away. The rest has been good but I am ready to go on.

March on!

Tuesday, July 1

we're still here

Thanks to those of you who are constantly checking in on me/us. Hubband remains a calm and distracted man, unbothered by the state of our adoption. He's too busy loving his new job to deal with the downer of a crazy wife.

I, on the other hand, am taking my very last final ever this evening. Which means I'll have one fewer distraction to keep my mind off the state of our adoption.

I am feeling better though. I am encouraged to see some travel calls and some referrals. Those are always good news, great news.

I can feel it, we're about to move on.

Sunday, May 25

halt on all progress

I've been in and out of town all this past week. It certainly did not help me feel any better and so I am still sick. When I returned back home, I had a visual stack of emails in my inbox from our new social worker. Let's just say that none of it was good news.

There are several things missing from the homestudy and we'll need to redo so many things. At this point, it's like we've lost the last four months. It's actually like we're starting completely over.

I know that we will have a baby.

It just seems so far away.
And to be honest, it's incredibly hard watching others continue to start after us and pass us, finish paperchasing, climb up waitlists, and accept referrals.
I may need to take a sabatical from the blog community for a while.

Learning to really lean on Him.

Thursday, May 15

done and done

Our homestudy visit was great. She was on time! She was professional! She was personable!
It was great. She said the homestudy would be done hopefully by the end of next week.

In the meantime, our rep from AGCI said that we could send our dossier to be checked out. So yay.

Bummer is that I am miserably ill. So I have a dr appt in an hour. Then tomorrow I have to get another marriage certificate (luckily it's only ten minutes away and no lines!) and get another copy of J's physical health goodness.

I hate being sick.
But I love having progress on adoption!

Wednesday, May 14

good feelings

Ok, so referrals for a boy, a girl, and a sibling set.
This is awesome!
Since I found out about all this today, and since today is our new homestudy appointment, I am taking it as a good sign.

Now, if only I had enough time to clean my house like I did the first go around. Oh well. Since I've had a three year old around lately...I know there is no sense in cleaning it today (she is here) and that it really doesn't matter anyway.

But, I really am going to start cleaning now.
Think happy thoughts for us tonight!

Thursday, May 8

resolution, part 1

We finally received some resolution today. Our homestudy cannot be accepted because one of the agencies refused to sign a cooperating agency agreement. The thing I don't understand is why it took a month to decide they wouldn't sign it. Sheesh.

Good news: Because AGCI is so great, they've already selected and contacted another Homestudy Agency to fix our problems. Luckily, I have all the documents needed for the HS from our dossier packet (which I still have all ready to go...minus the HS) so we only have to fill out new autobiographies. We're scheduled to meet next Wednesday. Our new social worker said they can have everything put together about a week after our meeting. I am excited about this because I'm pretty sure that means none of our forms are out of date yet.

I did realize today that we made our first contact with AGCI to get contracts 9 months ago. If you would have asked me then, I would have told you we'd at least have a referral by now, if not travel plans.

I'm trying to look on the bright side. And so far, instead of binge eating, I did some binge shopping. I was already out playing when we got the call from AGCI...and since there was no place to sit but a fitting room, well, I had to have some clothes to try on. The truly exceptional part of this story is that since the Lord already knew what was happening, he had me someplace really affordable. I was able to purchase this fabulous pair of shoes, as well as three (yes three) pairs of pants...all for $8.98 each.

I'm going to go and wear my shoes now because I truly believe they'll help me feel better.

Oh, and about the job. Well, they said I should hear "at the end of next week". Well, that week is now this week...and I think that Thursday should serve as the end...but it's not. Hopefully I'll have some news tomorrow. Pray hard though, because I am realizing just how much I want this job!

Friday, May 2

until 3p.m. to grow up (links fixed)

Courtesy Michelle's blog (www.mfamilyblog.blogspot.com)
"But these things I plan won't happen right away.
the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient!
For it will surely take place.
It will not be late by a single day."
Habakkuk 2:3

While it's sometimes hard to agree with God's word, at least you know He's good for it. I'm choosing to take hold of these promises. I'm also trying to choose not to focus on adoption so much. There are plenty of talents I've been given and I need to do something with them.

Today at 3pm (central) I will be at a big girl job interview. That's right. A real, grown-up job*. I'm very excited about the prospects this job brings. You can check out the organization here (www.arrow.org).

Did I mention that I'm excited? Think happy thoughts, big girl thoughts, and send up a little prayer for me if you would please!

*This is such a big girl job that I had to go and get a business suit -- a fancy one -- just for the interview. No regular suits here. I even had it tailored. See. This is serious business. I'm still excited though. Yay!

Friday, April 25

three weeks of bumps...and a bruised heart

Hi blog families. Just a little warning, but my heart is really aching tonight.

I received our biweekly update from AGCI. Since they put into effect the new wait list stuff, there are now
31 families waiting for a little girl
25 families waiting for a little boy
10 families waiting for a sibling set

There have been zero referrals in the last four weeks.

We're not even waiting yet. It's been three weeks with no word about what to do to fix our issue.
I am totally bummed.
: (

Tuesday, April 22

bigger bump...ugh!

Well. Today was a day of weird news. So we've been waiting for our social worker to get the paperwork from our agency for a while now. She got it. And read it. And realized that she can't fill it out because she's not a 501c3 (non-profit).

I called AGCI and they said to forward it on to Little Flower Adoption Agency. (Backstory: our SW can operate as a satellite SW of that agency, even though they are based four hours away and she is like ten minutes. She did all of our visits and such, we just filled out extra paperwork, etc. for the other agency, too. Sounds more confusing than it is.)

We notified our SW of the plan and asked her if she would go ahead and forward it to Little Flower. Turns out they are not a 501c3 either, according to her, because in the state of Texas, placing agencies do not have to be.

AGCI says this is not good.

I tried to get ahold of Little Flower today without luck.

An interesting opportunity presented itself yesterday to work with The Arrow Project. They are one of the main agencies dealing with the Eldorado Mess. I am starting to wonder if all of our adoption stuff is not working out because I should take this opportunity with The Arrow to work with those kids. I'm feeling a little lost and confused lately, so am praying for some answers from either our adoption front or The Arrow front so that I can move in the direction that is actually going to take us somewhere!

Thanks for all the encouragement. Lately I just don't know how to feel about much of anything.

Wednesday, April 16

did you hear the good news?!

Yay! So things are feeling better today. I got this amazing email today from our case manager at AGCI. From now on, families do not have to wait for their FDL to get on the list. That's right. I know, there's hope for us yet!

Someone reminded me just the other day that while this is all in God's hands and His perfect timing, there is no reason that I can't (or shouldn't!) tell the Lord how I feel and ask for a miracle. Then again, isn't it already a miracle that He's located our missing family all the way in Africa? Wow. God is so good. And today, so is AGCI.

Dear Wait List,
Hi. We'd really like to meet you and be part of what you're doing. We've been having some issues lately but are working to resolve all of that. We are excited to learn that your club is not as exclusive as it once was...so we're hoping to rush right out and pledge as soon as we can. Get ready and make some room for us, please!

Tuesday, April 15

moving on...with or without it

Well, I'm tired of being down in the dumps about this, so I've decided to move on. Just for factual coverage, our SW has still not received the paperwork she's supposed to fill out and mail back. Thechanges to our HS will not be sent to her until they have the other papers all worked out. I'm just accepting that this is (obviously) out of my hands, but in total control of the Lord. Is is He who planted this idea in our hearts and He who will bring fruit from it. Can I get an amen?

So, to pass the time, I'm going to have an extreme blog make over. Well, without all the commercial breaks. And probably tears. I mean, I've cried over blogs before, but I don't think it's going to be the same. Man, I just had a fantastic idea. More on that later. (I love suspense! Maybe adoption was made just for me afterall...)

Also, here are a few of my favorite shots from my cruise. I know, that was like a month ago. But, better late than never. I just realized it's been forever since I've posted any pics. Sorry!! How lame of me. Remedying that now.

This was our cruise ship. On fruit. Yeah. Please also notice the funny lady posing behind the ship.

Here we are all gussied up for the Captain's Dinner, but he didn't even eat with us. This is the date we shared instead. His name is Stanley...loads of fun, but a little crazy to keep up with.

This is Marc, Ethan, Me, Christina. These are the crazy margaritas we tried. I will not be posting our reaction pictures. Christina's reaction was definatley the best. Trust me.

I think we were dancing in this picture. This might have had something to do with the crazy margaritas. Or the inherent crazyness that is inside me. You pick.

This is a little trouble we caused. Luckily, it did not sabotage our return home. (This had nothing to do with our margaritas, believe it or not.)

You get free sushi on a cruise trip! I'm saving Christina the embarrassment of showing her sushi picture. It looks like the sushi is trying to crawl out of her mouth. It wasn't. As far as I know.

This is some really late night shuffle board on the top deck. I'm pretty sure it was about 2am here. We just weren't ready to go home yet.

There you go. Some cruise trip highlights...a month late. I promise to be better about posting pictures from now on. Of course, I'll have to be better about taking pictures that anyone wants to look at.

P.S. I'd like to shout out to Jackie-- Jackie, I know you're stalking. It's ok. We're friends. And I don't think you're a weirdo. Now comment already so we can set up a lunch date! : )

Friday, April 11

really frustrated

Well, it's been over a week since our little bump. Here's the update. Our SW has not yet received the documents that were supposed to be sent to her, therefore, she definately hasn't mailed them back yet. Our agency can't send the revisions back to our SW because they are not "cooperating agencies" yet (has to do with the Hague Treaty) and so that will still take some more time.

Silly me, I was hoping to have all the homestudy stuff done by March 1.

I know this means, in the greater scheme of things, that the Lord is still working things out to unite our little one with us, but this has been pretty hard so far. Also, because we're waiting to share the news until we have wait list numbers, there are only a handful of friends who know that we've actually begun the process at all. Those of you who know, please pray for the settling of my spirit; that I would have peace about the time this is taking.

I also realized this week that as of Sunday, I will very officially be closer to 35 than to 15. Wow. Birthdays are becoming less fun and more and more cruel. Boo.

Ok, off to write a huge paper from the DSM IV TR. Yay again.

Thursday, April 3

another little bump

Martha at AGCI called to say that she had our homestudy in hand for review. We have a speedbump though because there was some paperwork between our homestudy agency and adoption agency that wasn't processed, but everyone has been notified and they are taking care of things now. Martha said she'd go ahead and review it while they are working on those other contracts, so at least this won't push us back.

This is a great time to be reminded that adoption is about waiting. I had a conversation with a friend/relative today about waiting. In the last year, my husband and I have done our fair share of waiting. We were waiting for the city to start a new academy class, to start the adoption process, to get health insurance, to see an answer to prayer, to see direction in finding a new church home...I mean, the list goes on! But I was explaining in that conversation today that waiting is the perfect time to learn from the Lord. While we've been waiting I've really been learning about fulfillment from the Lord instead of the zillion other places we're constantly trying to find it. While this season of waiting has sometimes seemed woefully long and painful, it has been graciously full of growth and insight into the mind and heart of Christ. I know that our wait for adoption is only starting. And I know that in essence, we spend our entire Christian lives waiting for our spirit to catch up to it's potential or for Jesus to come back, but I am so glad that we can have these teaching seasons.

So, even though we had a little bummer today, I could not stop grinning because I received two pictures in the mail today. My grandmother has been busily working away at our baby bedding -- just worried to no end that we're not going to like it when it's finished and "we'll have to throw the whole thing out!" Well, I called her and put that to rest because I L-O-V-E it!!! It is so fun! Justin even said it was cool, "cool enough even for not the baby...like for other stuff" -- which is good because we have so much material that it's going to be everywhere! Anyone need a bib or blankie that matches our bedding? : )

Wednesday, April 2

check check check

Hip hip hooray! Our home study was sent to All God's Children for review today (5-7 business days) and a completed, signed, and notarized copy of our home study should be mailed to us anyday to send to USCIS.

I'll mail the rest of our dossier this week (still having issues with pics) and then I'll be done.
Just waiting for CIS.
And then waiting for the wait list.
And then waiting for our baby.

At the Galindo house, we love The Office. I especially love Dwight's Beet Farm (and Bed and Breakfast). Today at Wal-Mart there was this little bright green onesie with a big red beet. It reads "and the beet goes on". I know it doesn't really represent The Office, but I feel like it's close enough for me to giggle at. And, I mean, come on! It's a cute onesie. I bought it in size 3-6 months. I realize that was really optimistic...but here's hoping. That's not the first onesie I've purchased, but there are definately not even a week's worth in the baby's closet, ranging in size from 3-6 months to 18 months. My dorky hubband makes jokes that our kid can "wear something once and just throw it away" implying that at my purchasing rate combined with our families'...that kid will have more clothes than Mariah Carey. And I pose the question, "what's so wrong with that?"

Update on bedding: it's coming along. My grandfather says "well, it looks like something alright". And my grandmother has made several comments about how dizzy she feels from looking at the fabric all the time. I can't help it. I like things a little modern, a little edgy, a little funky. Well, my kid does anyway. I'm still working on myself. (I've always had the soccer mom/kindergarten teacher issue.)

Thanks everyone for all your well-wishing and encouragement. It's meant more than you know!

Thursday, March 27

It's looking up!

Again, I apologize for my previous downer-of-a-post. But now, things are looking up! We received our homestudy draft yesterday via email and I combed through it at lightening speed. We emailed today the necessary changes and are crossing our fingers for that to be done quickly and emailed to AGCI for approval. Then we can get some notarized copies and finally send off to CIS. Yay!!! This is some good news. I am super excited.

I want to say a big shout out to those of you who've been sending me bits of encouragement and laughter. It helped so much! Now I am even more committed to commenting on other blog pages...even though I'm often fearful that people will think I'm a weirdo. (I haven't come to grips yet that it may possibly be the truth.) So, look out blogworld, here come my comments!

So. This is goooooood news. I feel totally refreshed, both spiritually and emotionally.

Another fun thing that happened is (drumroll) that all the material and supplies were purchased to start making baby bedding! Yay! When you're the last girl (of everyone you know) to set up nursery, you're not left with a lot of options that aren't taken by your cousin, your friend, your neighbor, etc...and I couldn't find anything that I was totally in love with. So, I combed the fabric stores with my wonderfully amazing grandmother and finally found something. Yay! So we purchased all of it. No joke, we took every last inch of two of the fabrics. This baby is going to have one rockin room. Can you tell that I am excited? Well, I am.

And I promise, cruise pics are coming. In the ship's library, there was a giant globe. That's all I'm telling you for now. It's the coolest picture. It's so cool that Justin even made it his background pic. That's serious real estate.

The weather is tooo perfect here so I'm going to enjoy it!

Monday, March 24

already waiting forever

Well, the cruise was great. Maybe I'll post some pictures of that in a bit. Right now (and for the last few days) I have just been overwhelmed with not-so-good-feelingness. We were expecting our homestudy report to be done a while back. It's still not done. This wouldn't be such a big deal if we were told it would take this long...but we weren't. We were assured we'd have it the following weekend. And then when we didn't have it a few days after that and hadn't heard anything I was nervous. Maybe I forgot something important and didn't realize it and she was just waiting for me. So when I contacted our social worker...after waiting a few days for a response we were given another deadline. But that was last Friday and it's already Monday and this just stinks.

I need the homestudy report so that I can mail in our CIS so we can get fingerprinted and approved so we can start the real waiting. Ha. The real waiting. We've been waiting forever. We waited to start the process until the job thing worked out. We waited to start again for the insurance thing to work out. We waited again for the money thing to work out. Now we're waiting for our social worker to work out. We're nowhere near the actual waiting list and I'm just feeling really whiny and complainy...as you can see.

Sorry to be such a fusspot. I just needed to get it out to someone who would understand. In the words of Eeyore, "thanks for noticing."

Wednesday, March 12

forget the waiting...

Well, in a few hours I will no longer be thinking about homestudies or paperchasing or anything other than the glorious sun and my best traveling buddy.

That's right. Tomorrow begins my last spring fling! Christina and I board the Ecstacy ship tomorrow and head for a "Girls Gone Silly" Spring Break. We're taking along a surprise guest. More on him later. (I love surprises...that includes pushing them on others.) Then when I return I get one night with dear hubband and then I'm taking a little road trip with my mother and grandparents. This is going to be something. Yay for traveling! Yay for being busy thinking of other things!

I was hoping to have our HS back so it could go to Portland and be accepted and then I could mail our USCIS stuff and know that I was done with all the stuff that depended on me. But alas, God has different plans and so I leave with all that up in the air. I emailed my SW and asked that she please send the HS straight to AGCI while I'm gone so that I can mail everything off when I get back, fingers crossed.

Please pray for a safe journey for us Girls Gone Silly, speedy HS acceptance, and my sweet hubband who can't vacation because he has to work. He's going to miss me a lot and the pups will also be mighty lonely. He has plenty of clean laundry but he doesn't eat at home when I'm gone. That means he'll be having meals out at lunch and dinner (since I'm not here to make his lunch...or breakfast) which includes a lot of Lenny's Sub Sandwhiches. We keep that place in business.

Enough. Until I return...this is me! Yay!

Monday, March 10

i heart john piper

my pal glo really turned me on to this guy because he is one of her favorite authors/speakers and well, i secretly want to be just like her.

check this out.

happy monday!

p.s. still no homestudy yet. but i didn't publish my unhappy post, deleted it, and replaced it with this good stuff. : )

Tuesday, March 4

oooow! i feel good...duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh

I knew that I would!
So good, so good...
baby, I almost got you!
**I added a music player...how fun is that?!**

Ok, so that's my newest rendition of an old song. I have this habit of rewriting things to make them work for my life. You know, if you had your own tv show about your life and it had a theme song or montage...well, my life does! And watch out, because I am singing them often.

So, our completed homestudy should be finished this weekend. I know, this weekend! Tomorrow morning I have an appointment at the Houston Passport Office to get that. Yep, I will have my whole passport in one day. Yippie! And (and I love it when there's an "and") if our homestudy is done this weekend, then I can send it to CIS on Monday or Tuesday. And that will be the last stop before we can be official!

Now do you see why I feel so good? So that you may all feel good too, I am adding some feel good pics! That's right, some generosity just for you! Enjoy -- and FEEL GOOD! Yay!

Saturday, March 1

by popular demand

Ok, here it is. You can stop checking our site six times a day to see if I've posted about it yet. Goodness gracious. Ha ha, like we're really that popular or in demand. But thanks for checking in and well-wishing!

Here are some fun things to know:
About our house:
1. I'm pretty sure it's never been this clean.
2. I'm pretty sure it will never be this clean again.
3. I'm really astonished at what we accomplished.

About our social worker:
1. I'm just guessing here, but I'm guessing she's about nineteen years old.
2. Her vocabulary is surprising...and I'll leave it at that.
3. She drives the biggest Ford 350 diesel pickup ever.

About our homevisit:
1. It started two hours late.
2. It's finally over.
3. We should have the completed homestudy next weekend.

I'm sure by now you're guessing that our homevisit didn't go exactly as we had pictured it would. But that's totally ok because I like seeing God's sense of humor and know that it doesn't even really matter anyway. I am really glad that we got so much clean, though. So there you go, two good things happened:
1. A really really clean house
2. One more step closer to our baby.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering about our previous predictament of name choosing, we've finally decided on a name for either a boy or a girl. Yay for that. Now if only someone would get us a baby...

Tuesday, February 26

tomorrow is the day!

I'm nervous!!!
In about 25 hours our social worker will be arriving at our home to judge us. Ha ha. I mean, I know she's not judging us, but she's kinda judging us. So I'm nervous. Really nervous. And my house is a wreck. I'm off tomorrow so that I can start the mammoth cleaning process bright and early -- at 5:25am when hubband leaves for work. That will give me over 12 hours of pure, unadulterated cleaning time.

I wonder what all I can get done in that time...

Two weeks ago when I thought our home visit was that week, I made this massive list of things to do. I should start check, check, checking things off that list as soon as possible. I have done most of our laundry today. Even though I'm not really sure that she'll even be checking our laundry room, and I'm sure she expects some laundry to be in there, I still think there should only be enough to look like I didn't do it all before she got here. Like, maybe I'll leave an undershirt, a pair of socks, and a couple of washcloths or something. Did I really just think that? Am I really staging my laundry room? I told you that I'm nervous.

I've wasted enough precious time blogging when I should be cleaning! Let the whirlwind begin!

Monday, February 18

yay yay yippie yay!

Christina and Me 02/07

This March marks the final "spring break" of my life. How exciting. My dear friend, Christina, is finishing her last semester of law school and so this is also her last spring break. We decided to combine our powers of fun and take a little trip together to commemorate our last attempt at sping breakdom. Her Aunt Spicy (no joke, not an undercover name) is a travel agent and was looking for a good deal for us to anywhere. This idea really excited me because I had no clue where we were going and for those of you who don't know yet,


Christina and Me again before a weekend shopping extravaganza 12/07

We are booking a cruise tomorrow! Yay! Neither of us have ever been on a cruise so we're very excited to go on this adventure. Also, one of the excursion choices is called "Race Fantastique" and has descriptors like "race", "secret code", and "awards ceremony". Who doesn't want to play that game?

In other news:

  • I had a cousin pass away on Friday of last week. He was young and has a beautiful wife and two kids. It was definately a surprise and this hit our family really hard. Please be praying for them
  • Our doctor appointments are this week. This marks our last paperwork for homestudy and dossier!
  • Homestudy scheduled for next week. Yay!
  • Hubband's hobby room is actually getting clean! I am so proud of hubband. It's already 100x better. Yay!

Here we are celebrating the capture of a highly ellusive bit of adoption paperwork. I had traveled to four different places! In three different cities! We celebrated with this huge piece of cake from The Chocolate Bar. Please notice how obscenly huge that cake is. And no, we didn't finish it. But we'll try harder next time.

Does anyone else notice how we always seem to kinda match? Funny.

Or how totally unflattering my shirt it?

"Hello, Donation pile? Meet this green shirt. "

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