Well, I was told that I’ll be officially waiting as soon as they get the package (which was guaranteed today before noon) but I also thought I’d get an email. So I’m not going to start the countdown until I hear from someone in MN that they did indeed receive the dossier.

So, for now I’ll wait. I rest easy knowing it’s a matter of days.

I also rest easy because they started on the house today. They started and worked the whole day, nothing really to show for it, though. My amazing betrothed and good friend, Dan, however, have been downright attacking the house. One whole room is almost demolished and I’m feeling much better.

What am I doing you may ask? Since I’ve been sooo excited about this house being renovated and getting accutely angry when nothing has happened…well I’m sitting her blogging. Because all I can do right now is move stuff up and down stairs. I’m normally up for anything, but tomorrow night is my big BODYPUMP debut and what’s a girl to do? The hubs doesn’t understand, Dan called me an unmentionable name and I feel downright silly. But I’m so stinkin excited about the debut that I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get through the squat and lunge track if I’m doing stairs all night. So I’m sitting on my favorite chair that I’ve moved into another room (go me) talking to you all. You understand, right?

And just for good measure, I’ll attach some pics. How about that one with the two cute kids? Did God kiss those faces or what? Pics: My aforementioned hubby (in the middle, he’s an 8-yr-old pirate) with his two brothers and a random lady (Frank=Dwight Shrewt, Jake=a road). Dailah and Trysten on a hayrack ride. Dailah in her chair watching my brother play soccer. Trysten getting in the har with his awesome bedhead.

It’s Gone!

So we mailed it. It’s no longer staring at me, by tomorrow at noon, it will be staring at Jan our Ethiopian Program Coordinator. By tomorrow at noon, we should get an email saying we are officially on the waiting list. This email might make me cry. It represents a beginning of sorts, as well as an end. An end to paper chasing, an end to me being able to have any bit of illusion of control. Even more remarkable is the beginnings it represents. The beginning of being a family of 5. A multi-racial/multi-cultural family. We will go from a one-on-one defensive strategy with our kids to a zone defense, which I was never as good at. This is the beginning of our continual emergence in Ethiopian culture. The beginning of wearing my heart outside of my body for another child. The beginning of a new sibling for my children, a new son for my husband and a new baby for me. 🙂 I am excited about it all. The challenges but more importantly the joys, however few and far between they might be in the early months.

Tonight was also the kids’s trick-or-treating night. They went with my nephews and it was irresistably cute.

Tonight was also the first night of Bodypump. We filled the gym and had to turn people away! It was a remarkable night and just plain awesome. Our Downtown Y’s Director took a big risk in bringing the program here and I was so thrilled to be able to vindicate her. Can’t wait to see how it continues to go!

Big day for us. Big day. Wait until (hopefully) tomorrow when we can announce we’re officially waiting. Happy Halloween!

It Came!

I knew in my heartest of hearts that no matter what the situation, if the amount of money that came in the mail today was found in my mailbox, I would be excited. But I was actually near tears! THE MONEY CAME! However, by the time I had the checks cashed, the money orders, etc, etc done, I was 3 minutes late to overnight it tonight. Alas, we will be officially waiting on Wednesday, not Tuesday but it’s still so soon I can taste it. The dossier is not only complete, but it’s financed, and that is a brilliant thing!

Stay tuned for pictures of us mailing in our dossier!

Can We Start the Countdown Yet?

If I can start the countdown, then we’re about T minus 4 days until THE money is in the account and we can send in THE paperwork to get on our way to getting OUR baby. For all intents and purposes, I will be starting the countdown regardless.

My long-lashed husband called today to let me know our house will be getting worked on starting tomorrow. 4 hours on Tues, Thurs and Fri and 8 hours on Wednesdays. This will continue until the house is done. If you could see me, you’d see my happy dance. It looks a bit like the running man meets the sprinkler, it’s amazing, you should see it sometime.

This week my new class begins at the Downtown Y. BodyPUMP. And what am I? That’s right PUMPED. My amazing family (hubby, brother-in-law (x2), sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s girlfriend are all going to come on Thursday. How great are they? Not to mention a bunch of my friends, so I’m so excited.

This weekend we went out for my brother-in-laws birthday, tons of fun but not NEAR enough sleep. That being said, the kids are down for a nap and I should put myself there too.

Happy Halloween to you all. Can’t wait to go trick-or-treating with my family!! Just think, next Thanksgiving we’ll have even more treaters to take!

Good News

So we figured out the whole “money issue”. In just about 8ish business days we will have the aforementioned monies and will be able to send in our dossier, signed, sealed and delivered. Gimme a little “Woot, Woot!”

So I don’t have too much else to write, I’m just all kinds of pizzumped about that. It’s amazing to me how this adoption has opened up avenues I never thought it would. I’ve met amazing people, and found people I would’ve considered friends before this even better friends. Overall people are genuinely excited for us and I find that so great. We’ve had no shortage of people offering to help us in any way they can and it means the world to us. So thank you, all of you, for all the seemingly little things you’ve said or done.

Here are a couple cute pictures of the kids because where else are you going to see all this beautifulness in one blog entry? Couple things: 1) Don’t remember if I let everyone know that my eldest lost his first tooth. Kinda crazy, kinda too young but it’s gone nonetheless. 2) Dailah has started taking around 5ish steps at a time and continues to find herself ridiculously hilarious. Okay, I think I’ve introduced the pictures enough.

Stop Looking at Me Swan

So the dossier is done. The dossier is done and it is sitting in a manilla envelope and it..is..looking at me. It won’t stop! It’s started talking to me too. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

The dossier is complete, it looks pretty too. Zach and I have sworn our lives away, had a notary witness it all (thanks, Nate) and we can’t send it in. Why can’t we send it in? Because adoption is expensive. It’s not just expensive, it’s complicatingly so. We were just going to get your basic loan, I mean, we’ve taken loans out for cars and homes, none of which we wanted as much as this. But it turns out that loan can’t be so basic, etc, etc. So we’re waiting to figure that out a bit more. But the dossier won’t stop looking at me.

It’s honestly like that dossier IS our child(ren). I feel guilty not sending it since it’s done. I feel like our child is just out there and in the worst of circumstances and somehow, me turning in my dossier would make it even just a slight bit better (granted, not as great as it would be if they weren’t in this situation in the first place, but anyhow). The dossier is the last link in getting our child(ren). Once we turn that in, the next step is finding out who our child(ren) is. The longer we wait to turn it in, the longer it will take to find out. I’ve never been accused of having any resemblence of patience but in this situation, it’s the worst I’ve experienced.

In fact, it got so bad yesterday..I drove by a sign that said if I signed up for the National Guard, they would give me a $20,000 signing bonus. I contemplated doing it, can you believe it?

Anyhow, it will all come together, I just have to learn a bit about this thing they call patience. Thanks to my hubby for being the most amazing man in history, he really truly is. His patience is lasting for the both of us, I fear for the time his wears thin as well. I’m off, better go hide the dossier before I start hugging and kissing it and putting it to bed at night.

The Fightin’ Irish

Hey all!
Well…unfortunately I don’t have exciting news, at least not on the adoption front. Our dossier is completely finished, we are just finishing up financial details so when that happens, we’re ready! I’ll definitely keep you posted.

Anyhow, this weekend was just so much fun for Zachary and myself (and I’m sure my offspring!) Our dearest friends, Dan and Becky (see picture with my triple chin) invited us to a Notre Dame game. Becky’s dad is the physician for the ND football team so we had great seats. Her parents were also beyond generous by letting us stay at their beautiful house and nibble on some food and drink a few beverages. We really had such a great time and thank the Bankoff/Aselsons for an awesome weekend.

It was a sad, sad game against USC but it was still a great time. We had time beforehand to walk around the ND campus and I can’t say enough about he beauty of that place. Zach and I had such a great time taking pictures and strolling together. We even got pictures of just the two of us, which hasn’t happened in ages! So enjoy those.

When we returned home, it was so great to see the kids. It was safe to say they had a great time getting spoiled by my sister and parents! However, we went downstairs to have some dinner and noticed there was an INFESTATION of those truly heinous non-dying ladybugs. Our house isn’t what one would call “leakproof” so approximately 4 billion found a few holes. My fabulous husband took the Dyson to as many as he could but it’s just no use.

Luckily, this led him to state that he’s had enough and he’ll hire someone to renovate this house full time, since the house wasn’t touched by anyone wanting to renovate the house last week. So…here’s to that happening! Until then, I’ll continue listening to these kamakaze ladybugs hit our light. Woohoo.

Improved House in 2 Months?

So today would be what one might call “a great day”.

Firstly, we spent most of the afternoon getting a lot of our stuff for the dossier done. It’s such a good feeling to be getting this accomplished in the hopes of getting it overnighted on Thursday. This would mean we’d probably be officially waiting by FRIDAY!!!!! Could you even believe it?

Secondly, Zach and I have decided to be open to a single, twin or sibling group. That way, we know that whoever we are paired with it is completely in God’s hands. Does that make sense? Zach is such a great sport with me. 🙂 But I will continue to pray for our piece of mind about whatever happens.

Thirdly, Zach brought down the guy who will be renovating our house and he said he will be getting to it with another guy within the next 2 weeks and he thought it’d take just a 2 months. Could it be true that we might done by Christmas? I will set myself up for February just to be safe.

Anyway, I am hoping the next blog will be an annoucement that the next step in this process will be hearing of our new kid(s). WOOOHOO!

Dossier and Divinity

Ok, so I woke up this morning to check my mail since I didn’t check it at all yesterday (yay me!) and found that we were officially accepted into the Ethiopia program at CHSFS AND they sent us the checklist for the dossier docs. WOOHOO! That means that hopefully I will be done with that by the end of next week (a girl can hope) and then we could be officially waiting VERY soon! Yee haw baby doggies.

So I started to change the tone of this blog a bit once we started the adoption process because I wanted it to be a way for people to see where we were at in the journey as well as something my future children could look at and see what I was going through in every aspect of life during this time. I kept a journal for both Trysten and Dailah and this was going to be like a journal to my newest children as well (don’t worry, I’m actually keeping a real journal too). So with that said, I want to be as truthful as possible about this journey.

I think my biggest struggle as a Christian, but perhaps more accurately as a human, is trying to control things. When Zach and I started feeling led RIGHT NOW to adopt I went full force into research, blog reading, forum reading, the works! I was/am frustrated with the snail-like process that is international adoption and can never quite understand why everyone else around me is feeling the need to go SO SLOWLY! So when we set out I was thinking we were being called to adopt 2 children. I thought so for many reasons, none of which I really want to list here, but there were many. Zach and I have started to pray even harder about this whole adoption. Since we know it is very much a “God thing” we really want to make sure we are doing it ALL like He wants us to (note: please know this is very much a selfish thing as well, we are praising Him that he has led us this way, we CANNOT WAIT to become parents again!)This adoption, like most parts of my life, I have been trying to control in every way possible. This adoption, in every way possible has been so out of my control! Why has it taken me 6 months for me to figure that out?

As of lately we have started to feel like perhaps God is leading us to adopt just one child. It is hard for me to even write, actually. I always pictured us getting 2 at the same time. So for 6 months when I’ve pictured us going to Ethiopia and being met at the airport, I’ve pictured Zach and I with a child in both of our arms. So I guess a part of me is a bit depressed to imagine just a child in one of our arms and luggage in the other. I think the best way to describe it is that it feels like I’ve already lost one. How could that possibly be? I don’t even have a referral yet but I feel like I’ve lost a child if we ask for only one.

I think by far THE most difficult thing about this journey has been learning more and more about the horrific things happening in Africa and other parts of the world (obviously there will be a focus on Africa heretofore). I can’t help but think that God has been telling me one thing and letting me think another so I can feel what the world should be feeling. WE LOSE KIDS ON A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE BASIS. My aching in my heart should be felt by the millions because these orphans are orphans through no fault of their own, their parents are in situations they cannot help. It is a horrific, ungodly thing happening out there and that, that is where the aching of my heart is coming from.

As my friend Jody said, adoption is not going to cure all that ails Africa or Ethiopia. It is, at the very best, throwing a life preserver to one or two children. At this stage in my life, there is little else I can do but continue to look for other ways to throw preservers anywhere I can.

God has given me a life most people in the world will never know and for that I am forever grateful. When people tell Zach and I were doing a good thing we want to look at them and say NO WE’RE NOT! We’re doing a very selfish thing. A great thing would be going to Africa to build wells that will give people fresh water or funding a school so children of all ages can become educated. A very great thing would not make me remotely as happy as mothering another child(ren) would be. So please, I understand it’s coming from a nice place when you say this but truly, it’s just not factual. I can think of 100 other things off the top of my head right now that would be infinitely better things to be doing but right now, this is our baby step.

So I guess in short, I’m wrestling with God right now. Please pray for me to understand that God may have placed this on our hearts but I’ve GOT to take my emotions out of this and try to listen to what He’s telling me or I’ll never come out of this thing with even the remotest bit of sanity.


Latest Cool Moments

1) Yesterday the kids were at Child Watch at our YMCA. I was talking to my brother-in-law right outside the door before I was picking them up. He looks in the windows and says, ” Wow, the kids are minorities in there.” I looked in and it was true! My 2 kids were 2 of 3 caucasion kids in the entire child watch which housed about 10ish kids. For some reason I got a little teary eyed. Probably because it reassures my belief that my African children will grow up with other minorities around them and perhaps even once in awhile putting their other siblings in their shoes (I am hoping in the not too distant future I will find myself in the same situation).

2) I chopped my hair off about a month and some ago. I do it every couple years because it grows so fast I’m able to donate once I start unappreciating it. Anywho, I was at my old work today and I got some hilarious comments about it for some reason, it just reminded me of why I love spending time with such positive children instead of the dripping negativity of people miserable at their jobs.

3) Speaking of that work, I am actually amazed that I don’t miss it for a single second. I thought I’d miss a few things about it or at the very least when the kids were making me yearn for a hiding spot that I would lust after my quiet days at the office. But alas, the only thing I miss is one of the girls that works there and she and I still talk every once in awhile so it’s officially worked itself out.

4) Dailah now says, “TT” with precision and it makes her big brother happier than almost anything (except cartoons, toys, and as we found out today, whoopie cushions).