* twins * adoption * princesses * recipes * life*

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hi-ho, Hi-ho (whistling)

Well we leave in one day for our fingerprinting appointment and go straight to vacation from there....exciting.
On the adoption front, aside from getting fingerprinted, the only other exciting news is that we sent for our passports. I did forget that they keep your birth certificate for this, hopefully we don't need them in the meantime.
News on my aunt: She called us about 4 days ago, the day after my last post actually, and said that the girl having the baby had decided on another family. She was heartbroken! I was heartbroken for her!!! So here after dealing with it, accepting it and starting to move on, she gets a call today saying that it is a little girl and she has choosen my Aunts family. Joy, Elation, Happiness abounds!!! I am sure she proceeds with her heart somewhat guarded, but oh how exciting for her! She has always wanted a little girl and now my soon-to-be 4 kids will have another cousin to play with :)
If I don't have internet at our resort it'll be about the 15th or so until you hear from me again.... Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's off to Florida we go (whistling)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


On the adoption front:
nothing new.
We do hope to go this weekend to get our passports. It is something we could have done anytime really but keep putting off. No more though, it needs to be done. I just hope lots of good tippers are hungry on Friday as I will need to make a fair amount on that shift to be able to swing it all. 4 passports are not cheap.

Other news:

Some of you may know that I have an aunt that has adopted once before in the states and is a position to possibly adopt her second baby. Her oldest is a cutie and I think he is ready for a sibling. She heard of a lady wanting a family to adopt her unborn child and has been working that way, even met with the mother. Nothing is concrete though and the babies due date is coming soon. I know she has to be anxious as I am quite anxious myself. No news is good new right? I'll keep you all posted and hopefully wittin the next week or two I'll have a new cousin for my girls to play with!

Homeschooling is about to get into full swing. We are trying something new this year. It is called a "Virtual School". It is basically a cross between public school and homeschooling. I am excited as the curriculum they use, K12, is very appealing to me. It is mastery based (you don't move on until you have mastered the idea at hand) and it has a heavy emphasis on learning through literature. I am a BIG proponet of reading. If you teach your kids to read, and to read well, they essentially have the world to learn about. The written word is powerful and full of information...I like the idea of learning to appreciate the classics and avoiding "light reading series." anyhow, we do have an assigned teacher with whom we will have contact throughout the year. She is responsible for making sure we are progressing at an acceptable rate as well as mastering the curriculum. She is also there if I would need any help or have any questions/concerns. Just like a public school we are required to teach so many hours, certain subjects, etc. But unlike a public school it is just us! I like that and my kids like that.
WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION! That is the very thing I am trying to avoid, not socialization, but the type of socialization that is going on in our local school district, even at the elementary level. We are very involved in our community, church, and family...My kids already know how to be around people and will continue to grow in that as good as, and likely better, than a child at public schools. For anyone thinking I'm nuts, that is okay, I've dealt with that and will continue to deal with that. However, as a parent how much more involved can I be in my child's education than this...I bring that up as that is the major complaint of teachers. If they had more one on one time with a student or if the parents were more involved they could accomplish more. Not a problem here, don't mind if I do! Also, the virtual school we chose has been rated top in our state and has a better academic rating than any of our local schools (this past year it rated at effective, while the local schools range from academic emergency to continuous improvement.)

Long post, sorry about that. I'll try to check in a bit more before we go on vacation!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fingerprinting Appointment

We recieved our fingerprinting appointment. I was so worried that it would be while we were gone for 2 weeks on vacation. Turns out they have us scheduled for the day we leave. I was trying to figure out how to talk my mother into going to Cleveland bright and early and leaving from there, but my husband suggested it would be much easierto meet in Columbus afterward. (My mom is not a morning person, she's rarely up at 8AM, let alone the 6AM it would take to get up and going before vacation!)
I am SO excited as I know having vacation in there will help me with passing time through the wait for approval and all. In fact when I get home, it should only be a 3 week more wait for our I-171H...I can handle that. Once we have that document, we are officially onto a waiting list. Very cool!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

better day!

Nothing like a haircut and a beauty shop full of women to gush over the idea of adoption and renew some of the excitement in you!

Ahh, the ups and downs of life. It's amazing. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments. I can only remember one time with the pregnancy of my second child that someone said something a bit insensitive. I never imagined it would be any different with adoption, and I really didn't figure on the Vietnamese race being an issue either. Time heals much though and some people really do speak without thinking. We'll see how it all goes.

On the adoption front:
Our homestudy is done and being sent to our agency for review. Once that is done it will be finalized and sent on to the USCIS as well as our agency and ourselves. It'll be interesting to see what all is in that packet. It's just slow moving getting there. Step by step we pay this person, fill out that paperwork, and then we wait. And I am okay with that! I find it funny that even my library has me on a waiting list to inter-library loan some books on attachment and adoption. At least I am not having to fill out more than a title and author on this one and it is free!

Vacation in 14 days, the coutdown has begun and the madness will soon settle in. How many changes of clothes, what bills need paid, who's stuff is in what bag, buzz the dog so it doesn't matter if she doesn't get brushed for 2 weeks (poor baby!) and be sure to have enough food to pass along for her. Then there are things like, don't buy ahead on meat, use up anything that will expire, what should we pack for in the car....is anyone else's vacation prep like this? I love going but gettin ghtere and home is a nightmare! I'll clue you in on a tip though, shhhhh!!! Us gals (mom, myself and my girls) all take our time enjoying the drive down at our own pace while we plan on arriving somewhere within 24 hours of when the guys airplane gets in. We stop at places we would never have been able to and get 2 days of chatting in. It's nice and saves us money from 4 plane tickets and a rental van, even with the recent gas prices and a hotel stop each way we save money. Cinderella's castle or bust!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Not so good day...

When your pregnant, you figure everyone shares in the joy you feel. Why does it not always apply to adoption?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Husband 2

A certain female that I'm madly in love with said that my first post sounded like I "only gave into your spoiled wife because she whined and nagged you". And, I suppose it did sound that way. So much so that my wife felt she ought to explain me in her last post. Well, it was not my intention to sound that way at all. And, after review, I suppose I came across that way. My apologies, sweetie!

Truth be told, she did have to persistently bring up the subject. Most men, I think, have a great tendency toward complacency, and mainly to our detriment. We get into a groove and get comfortable and fiercely resist (consciously or sub-consciously) any attempt to rock the boat. Well, my wife was rocking my boat. So naturally, I resisted some. And, she was rightly persistent, because being lovingly persistent is the best way to get this husband to expand my thinking. I get lazy way too easily. She brought up adoption often enough that I really began to think about it. And through conversation, she made me remember that it was I, not her, who first brought up adoption. Long ago, before we were married, we talked of kids and of family size, etc. We both agreed that 4 kids sounded like a nice number (something I had forgotten, also). And I told her that I had always thought adopting a child would be a cool thing to do. All kids deserve a good home. Little did I expect that it would be something I would actually be pursuing later in life.

When I remembered our shared desires, my desires, really, about a larger family and about adopting, I knew there was no turning back. Funny how remembering those pre-marriage talks (and some early post-marriage ones, too) really sealed my heart toward adoption. But, true to male form, I don't show much emotion on it, even in writing. Which I'm sure drives my wife crazy. I don't like being anxious, or having my emotions on a rollercoaster while waiting. So, I simply don't let them. I know that everything will happen in its due course, that things will take longer than we want them, that stress about money will happen, that anxiety will set in at nearly every step, and so on. So, I try to stay focused on my day-to-day life, on family, work, church, etc. I am looking forward to travel to another land, to finding out what my next 2 children will look like. I'm nearly convinced 1 will be a girl! But I guess I'm partial to little girls, being that's all I've known.

I am concerned about how we'll all handle the long flights and about our safety when we're there. I'm presently a little freaked out about attachment, especially since we're adopting older children. Oh, and length of time in country versus my limited vacation time from work. Ugh! And then there's the uncertainty of something going wrong somewhere in the process and delaying the whole thing indefinitely! Golly, I guess I am anxious when I get to thinking about things. Funny how I can even fool myself about my emotions sometimes. I wonder if that is part of how guys are wired. I know if I focus on my anxieties, they'll take over all my thoughts and control my mind. I guess being non-emotional is a self-defense mechanism because I'm very emotional underneath. I can already feel myself getting prepared to love two Vietnamese children as my own as soon as I see their pictures. I already know I'll have to the urge to immediately fly over, barge into the orphanage, grab them, and high-tail it back here as soon as possible! They're my kids, after all!

Oh, and about the Beauty and the Beast skit below: All I kept thinking while on stage was "Funny have a bald-headed beast!". And then they made us all bow at the end! Good grief! But it was fun.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Isn't he funny

I love my husband. If it at all seems that he doesn't want to adopt, know that he does. He is just about as anxious about it as I am, well close. I've told him that anytime he wants to he can post on here. Life keeps him pretty busy though, don't expect to hear from him too often.

Things are very quiet around here, waiting on a rough-draft of our homestudy for approval. I am working a bit extra these next couple weeks so I have some extra cash for vacation.

The oldest starts her homeschooling on the 28th and we still don't have her curriculum yet...that is a bit unnerving. I'll post a little more on homeschooling one of these days. I will save it for a time of waiting, when there is absolutely nothing to do but wait. Then you all won't have to hear me go on and on about waiting...I'll have something to write about :)

Oh yes, and my girls love Beauty and the Beast, especially our youngest. It was so fitting/funny when Brian was picked to do this little storytime show at the Magic Kingdom last year. At the end of the move when Beast turns into a handsome prince, Gracie would always say "LOOK! He's turning into a daddy!" I'll agree with her ;)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Husbands Perspective

Oh, dear, a husbands perspective. A view into the mind of a man? Well, this one, in particular, has about a thousand things swirling throughout my head. New job I'm still learning, educating my children, spending time with them, loving on them, spending time with my wife, talking and paying attention to her, paying bills, keeping cars running, mowing lawn, fixing up the house, and on and on and on. Four is a nice round number. Two pairs. Enter into this constant swirling of thought and activity is my beautiful wife and her every increasing pressure about expanding the family. It only took me about 2 years to finally get the hint that she was serious. Go figure.

Hint to all you ladies who might read this: Guys are very simple and can be very dumb. If you want us to know something or to do something, you must come right out and tell us. We do not, repeat, DO NOT pick up on hints very well. In fact, we stink at it. We do not talk in hints to each other, and the art of dropping hints is confusing to us. When you drop a hint, we become confused, don't know what to say, can't tell if you're being serious, and end up forgetting about it when another of life's pressures comes after us. Just come out and tell us in a the loving way only a wife can: Supportive, affirming, and to the point. You should get more response out of your man than normally.

Back to the not so distant past. So, like any pessimist, I look at all the downsides of the adoption process. I pretty much put my wife through the wringer about why not adopt domestically, how much will it cost, is it really best for her and for the rest of it, where would they sleep, how could we afford it, etc. Well, as a determined woman always is, she had an answer for every question. It took a few weeks and a few more talks before she had me on board. What can I say, when my wife really wants something, it's hard to tell that pretty woman "No." So, after the talks and after the research, and after much prayer, I joined my wife in this adoption process. Six is a nice number, too. :) I still have no idea how we are going to pay for it, though.

Sometimes you get a feeling of God telling you "No", sometimes a confident "Yes", and sometimes He just stays quiet. For me, He's been quiet. But what is faith without a little testing? I've been tested before and I'm starting to recognize the feeling. I guess I should just support my wife and trust in my God that He'll provide. He has in the past. And, if there is one thing spoken by God repeatedly throughout the Bible, it's about defending/helping the widows and orphans. That's something to noodle.

Right now, I'm letting my wife handle the details. She seems to want to do it and I'm not sure I could do a better job even if I had the time. She's doing a great job keeping informed and up to date. And I support when I can. The education part of the homestudy will be a challenge, but I just have to make the time and do it. Jenn has pretty much summed up the events up till now. People have given us mixed reactions, but have been generally supportive. I'm sure what else to write at the moment. I don't mean to be weird, but it's my first blog. I'd be better if I had a specific question to answer. Oh, well. Good luck to all in the process. God bless.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Important Info, kind of

On the adoption front, it is slow going I think from here. We received our child abuse letter (proving that lack there of) in the mail on Saturday after the post office closed. So today I sent out our homestudy packet containing the rest of our documents in it for our completed homestudy. Very un-exciting, but a step in the right direction.

In other news, I found this on the web and find it hilarious, a tad extreme, and sad all in one. I know a few people with this disorder, hopefully it isn't you. Education is the first step, but I am a non-confrontational type of gal so I will start with educating you :) It's funny the things you don't think about until they are brought in the proper light. I'll post themain jist of it here, but give you the link if you want to read the entire post. Be warned, he gets a bit extreme in the part I'm not copying (no, it isn't about beavers):


Well Intentioned But Misinformed Adoption Ignorance Disorder
Otherwise known as WIBMAID
We have all suffered the loving words of our fellow WIBMAID's and many times they are the people we were depending on the most. Unfortunately WIBMAID is a disorder that only shows it's signs of infection when those who have WIBMAID open there mouths and speak around those that are adopting.Some of the more common signs of WIBMAID are:
-referring to the difference between biological and adopted as "real" and "other"
-imagination of an instant bonding process that the children feel like they owe you their love and gratitude for "saving them"
-explanations of why birth mothers deserve FMLA (family leave from work) for the birth of their kids while adoptive mothers need to remain at work
-any conversation including the theme of "bringing bad blood into the family"
-the mentality that the adoptive children should forget their birth heritage and ethnicity and become only the new adoptive families heritage and ethnicity
-the assumption that because you adopt you must be infertile
-the assumption that all adopted kids grow up to be social inept or criminals
-morons that use racist language (about your child's race) around you because of your ethnicity
-use of the terms Oreo, ladybug, Klondike bar, or any of the other derogatory racist remarks that denote they are one race on the outside, but another on the inside
-the mentality that ones grammar, education, personal likes and dislikes determine ones ethnicity
-the refusal to acknowledge the love of the birth family for the child
Some of the more common people to be infected with WIBMAID are your best friends, your parents, your siblings and your religous leaders.


I have to go finish setting up Twinkle Toe's schooling and get supper going, sorry I don't have much more to say today. The above is not meant to offend, simply to open your eyes to things you may not have seen in the same light before. Like I said the original poster went a bit far in the prescribed treatment of this disorder, perhaps, but we are talking about our kids here...if your a parent I know you will understand the emotion behind it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


As time passes and we wait on different things to come in the mail, I discover things I wish I hadn't. Part of it is my own fault, I am curious to a fault! I have found some journals of those working in one of the orphanages my agency works through. It is hard to hear the living conditions, yet on the other hand it is good to hear that the kids seem to know no different and don't mind it. That is the hardest part of waiting through this process. Being that we are looking to adopt older, that means our children are already there, living their lives amongst other children in need. Sharing what little affection there is as the nannies are busy providing for survival needs, one-on-one time does not exist except for when food is being shoveled down your throat.
Yet another time I need to trust in God, trust that he has my children in His hands just as He has me in His hands.
Tomorrow marks the first week of waiting for our I171H (permission to bring orphan into the US, the I600 I mailed in previous posts). One down, 8 or 9 more to go? That is the funny thing about this stuff. If I were told it will be exactly 3 months until you get your I171H, I could handle that. This business of it may be 45 days until you get your fingerprinting appointment, though some have gotten this as early as 2 weeks, and then after that it will be another 45 days or so until you get your I171H, though there have been those who have only waited a week....it'll drive you nuts not quite knowing where you are at. I guess I should assume nothing extraordinary and be surprised if it gets done early. I fear we will get our fingerprinting appointments while we are on vacation, or worse yet, the day we leave, therefore holding up our application for 2 or 3 weeks.
Those that ask what to pray, that would be something to pray for...two things really. My anxiety over this to lay off and our fingerprints taken before we go on vacation. That way our vacation can be just that, one last swing at Disney as a family of 4! Not a trip filled with wondering if we are missing our fingerprinting appointment and setting ourselves back.

entering Walt Disney World, January 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

She came, she saw, we're done!

We did have our last homestudy last night and it went really well. Our social worker is so easy going and so nice, she makes you feel like you have done it all before! It feels good having that part of the homestudy done. Now all we have to do to finish it up is finish our education requirements, wait on a couple reference letters, and get a letter from Brian's employer. Then we move our first set of waiting.

Here is what we are doing for our 12 hours of education required by our home study agency:
  • 3 hours for prior parenting experience
  • 3 hours for reading the book "Toddler Adoption" by Mary Hopkins-Best (Figuring at least one of the children will be in this age group!)
  • 2 hours for an online course about attachment
  • 3 hours for reading Fodor's Destination Vietnam (Really a travel guide, but very rich in the history of the country and it's peoples beliefs and customs)
  • 1 hour for an additional online course yet to be taken

If any of you reading this need edu creditsa nd are interested in online ones go to www.adoptionlearningpartners.com and check out what they have available.

If any of you reading this have a good suggestion for a book on attachment, I would really like to read more as our children are now in orphanages and will most likely need some help with bonding and affection. Let me know what resources have worked for you!