Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Rumors Have It

Well, it appears that in China's last batch of referrals they progressed 2 days in the line.  We were #34 in line, now we (and all others with our LID) are #32 in line.  They were doing more like 6 days at time, so the last two 2 day batches are disappointing.  

Yet, if China can be believed, it is because there are so few babies available for adoption--fewer babies separated from their original families due to a desire for a boy, government intervention, or lack of finances/family support.  That is a good thing.  

Our pain at waiting is nothing compared to the pain of a child whose right to be raised in her birth country with her original family has been taken away through no fault of her own.  It doesn't make me cry less, but I do hope it will help me be more compassionate towards her.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If There Were No Heaven

A fellow blogger is having a linky connection on the question:

If there were no Heaven or Hell, would you still be a Christian?  

I found it a very intriguing question and decided I wanted to answer it.  Here are the parameters she's given us.

Answer the question:

If there were no Heaven or Hell would you still be a Christian in 350 words or less.  Your answer should begin with one of the four choices below.
  1. I absolutely would still be a Christian....
  2. I think I would still be a Christian....
  3. I'm not so sure....
  4. I definitely would not still be a Christian....
At first I found it difficult.  If there were no Heaven or Hell would there still be Jesus?  Then I decided that I needed to add one last parameter~everything else is the same.  Then it becomes easy.

I absolutely would still be a Christian.  Yes, the hope of the Resurrection and life everlasting are important components in my Christian faith, but they are not WHY I am a Christian.  I am a Christian because I love Jesus.  Having a relationship with Him impacts my life in tons of positive ways, but given the 350 word limit, I'll just stick to the Hope He gives me.

If you take away the Hope of Salvation and Heaven, there is still so much more.  And on a day to day basis, I'm not usually thinking about eternity, I'm thinking about now.  And right now, Jesus gives me hope...

that my life has purpose and He is directing it  (Jeremiah 29:11)
that what is broken can be restored  (Psalm 23:3)
that hurts can be healed  (Psalm 147:3)
that sin can/has been forgiven   (1 John 1:9)
that I can change   (2 Corinthians 5:17)
that the Holy Spirit will help me be more like Christ   (John 14:26)
that I am never alone  (Joshua 1:9)

Without Hope where would I be?  

A little bit richer (if I wasn't a Christian money and things would so be my God) and a lot more miserable.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1

Check out Amber's blog for more answers or to add your own response.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1 year and 2 days!

I cannot believe it!  I missed another anniversary.  This does not bode well for celebrating family day or other important milestones*.

1 year (and two days) ago I started my blog.  I started it mainly so I had a place to keep track of the blogs I was reading.  It was another week or so before I told anyone and further after that that I made it public.

If I measure my blog in terms of followers and comments, then this blog is not very successful.  My photo blog has 5 times as many followers and a world more comments and it has been around a lot less time.

If I measure my blog in terms of the emotions it has helped me process, my own growth, understanding of life and God, my enjoyment, and the few good connections I've made, then I consider this a wild success.

May I have many more years of success!

* If I miss our wedding anniversary by a day, no worries.  That just makes it Oak's birthday!  We got married one day before his 24th birthday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Many Faces of Huckleberry

My baby boy starts middle school in two weeks.  
Too soon if you ask me.
 Tonight is his middle school orientation.  He is not nervous at all.
 And why should he be?
 He is sweet.
 He is smart.
 He is funny.
He is cheerful.
Now you see why all the shots are close-ups.
He is looking forward to this new adventure.  
He already found two kids in our church that will be attending the new school.
He made friends at his summer camp~though he doesn't remember their names.
So why am I worried?  Maybe not exactly worried.  More sad.  Because my baby boy is growing up.
And he is growing up into a fantastic young man, even if he does say "isn't that enough pictures?" fairly often.
the long road=

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I need to vent a little (adoption agency related).  Today I got home from a pleasant day with my friend (it could have been better if we didn't have 7 kids between us, but...) to have my husband say, "Let's go sit in the other room."  Now this is not an unusual request but it sounded more serious than usual.

Anyway, the short of it is that the head office of our agency decided that I (not Oak, just I) have to have a psych evaluation in order for them to sign off on my homestudy.

Argh!  That will delay our paperwork being done for 4-6 weeks, possibly longer.  And...

What if I don't pass?

Crazy people never think they are crazy.  My husband thinks it is impossible that I won't pass, so that is reassuring, but...

So, I'll probably pass.  But it is annoying, time consuming, and let us not talk about the additional cost.  

Most frustrating is that they decided this not because of knowing me or seeing anything to concern them but because of my childhood history.  History that is long gone and passed, but more importantly history that I shared with them 5 years ago.  Yes, it is a new requirement (in the last year) but if they were going to force an eval regardless of her interviews with us, our SW should have been told that "these check points" will force an eval.  That would have meant, at minimum, that when we gave her our self study guide 3 months ago she could have told us to start the psych evaluation process.

Her response to this frustration?  These little glitches become bigger problems when you cut too close to the wire.

So tomorrow, I guess I'll be calling psychologists.  My agency, as of yet, didn't know of anyone that does the test in our area, but I did call my teacher for my Biblical counseling course and she gave me a name to call.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Weekend Away -- 4 weeks ago - Sunday Snapshot

So I mentioned that we were going away for my birthday and on my photography blog I talked about my presents, but I never actually did a post on our vacation.  Now that would be fine if this was a serious adoption blog, but it is a serious lack for a family memoir blog.  I cannot seem to feel serious (or think deeply) about anything right now, so a mamarazzi post it is.

After a few hours of swimming, we went to dinner.
It was a fun restaurant where the kids got prizes from the treasure chest and a sundae for dessert.
After dinner we didn't have much time to catch the sunset, but we walked along the river to see the pretty view.
It took awhile for everyone to settle in for the night, but in the morning we met our friends at the science museum.  
The children love the water table where you create your own islands and flood zones.  (It is not our favorite spot since both times we've been there the water has not been good for Sunflower's potty training.)
After our friends left to give their kids naps, we found a whole area we didn't know existed from our first visit.
So much to explore!  Good thing we bought an annual pass and our brother-in-law can host us most trips down.
Then we went out to see our friends' new house and to visit a park with them.  The play toys were in the hot sun (it was like 86 degrees that weekend!) so we went on the shaded nature trail for a walk.
That is after some fun bubble time!
Then dinner and more swimming.  In the morning, more swimming~it is nice to be at a hotel with a pool.  Then while Oak and Huckleberry loaded the car, I tried to get some cute shots of SnapDragon and Sunflower.
Smile, brother!  Smile!  Then a trip to the bookstore and another visit to the science museum to explore that area we had missed.
Eventually Oak took SnapDragon and Sunflower to the young children play area and Huckleberry and I explored together.
He started learning how to write programming for robots in his day camp this summer and will continue as one of his electives in 6th grade in a few weeks.
He traveled to outer space and then I left him in an area so I could take pictures of repeating patterns.
Don't worry.  I was very clear on his boundaries and as it is he never left the water and boat table the whole time I was gone.
Finally we went to find the rest of our family~though there was more to see.
Then the end of our mini-vacation as we headed home.  Traffic was not great, but aside from that it was a fantastic trip.
We already have our next trip South planned, but this time we'll stay with family~seeing family will be an added blessing (aside from saving us lots of money.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing ~ Literally

At the beginning of the week, I had 5 funny things my kids had said to share.  Now I have, ummm, 1.  I just don't remember the others. That one funny thing isn't really a main event; it isn't even a good opening act.  But by the time I accumulate 4 more funny things to add to it, I will have lost the original one.  My kids have just not been in a funny mood lately, more a screaming and emotional kind of mood.  I know it is wrong, but I am looking forward to school starting.  School makes my children happy.

So anyway, the other day I was talking to Oak and I said "I am very literal*" (which is completely true.)

Sunflower piped up, "You not little girl~you big girl, no big mama.  You a big mama!"

Now you know why I don't turn my camera on myself more often.  Time to find a way to get to the Y more often.

*In case you don't understand, Sunflower thought I said little girl when I said literal~because that is exactly how she pronounces little girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5 Years..and a day!

This last weekend was fabulous~busy, but great!  We spent Saturday driving around Mt. Rainier, Sunday at church, together at home, making family plans and rearranging furniture, ending with me at a potluck as part of our church's upcoming marriage conference planning committee (and I only went home with one to do item.)  All that to say, I'm spending a lot of time on my other blog posting pictures and more pictures, and neglecting my home here.  Which is fine since most of my 4 readers read both places, but it means I missed our LID-versary!  

Can you believe it?  Ummm, I guess I should tell you what a LID-versary is.  5 years ago-yesterday-China received our dossier and stamped it with a date 8/15/2006~our LID (log-in date).  Astounding I know.  5 years.  I've been saying we have been waiting 5 years for a while actually since we started the process 9 months before our LID, but those 9 months were spent paperchasing.  Then we just started waiting and waiting and waiting...

Now we are paperchasing again so we are busy again, but the waiting doesn't really change on China's side.  They have our dossier and when they start making matches for families with our LID, they will send us a referral.  Then we send a "referral acceptance."  Then we wait some more.  Then finally, if all our ducks are in a row (ie our homestudy and i-800 approval) we will travel to pick up our future child.

No one told us this process might be 6-7 years all told; even the most pessimistic weren't predicting that long (no matter what they say about it now).  Yet, the only time it really bothers me is when I think it might never happen or is not supposed to happen~then I freak out.  Those times have helped me to cling to God and I expect in the next year I will have more of those times, but today (well, yesterday) is my LIDVERSARY!  Yeah Us!  It is the first one I've celebrated because I didn't know it was something people celebrated until I started reading blogs.  You really can learn so much on-line.

At this point there are only 34 other LID's that can say they celebrated their 5th Lidversary with China.  That makes us the elite of the elite; certainly something to be proud of...maybe not.   Well, anyhooo, Happy LID-versary to our family!  May it be the last one!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So Random

Not much happening here; unless you are interested to know that I finished reading all 11 books of the 39 Clues series.  They are juvenile fiction so they were quick reads, but still quite enjoyable.  One of our favorite children's series.  The kids--quite plausibly and realistically with one airy nanny--travel all over the world learning lots about historical figures like Ben Franklin and Mozart.

Somehow we (my husband and I) have also committed to teach Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class at our church starting in September.  It looks like some great information that can bring peace and hope to struggling families.  I am worried about what it might challenge us to do~I really don't want to give up my netflix (even if its cost is almost doubling!)

This week and next Huckleberry is attending a day camp at the school he will be going to in September.  He is really enjoying his time building robots and learning Lego Robotic Programming~who knew there was computer languages just for programming Lego Robots?  Well, my husband did, but not me!  Every day it makes him more and more excited about starting school in September, so I'm glad he is going.  He also says he now has "all the paths memorized" that he will need to get around school in the fall.  Whew!  That is a relief!

SnapDragon has decided he wants to learn about photography.  We find he is more content when he spends time in a creative outlet, so it seems like a good idea to teach him.  Today was our first lesson.  He took pictures with our old camera and then we talked about why some of them worked and why some of them didn't.  I remember when we bought our old camera and several people mentioned how much they love it.  A few people loved it as their back-up camera and recommended it "as a camera they can let their children use since they cannot touch their expensive stuff."  We laughed pretty hard because for us this camera was our "expensive stuff!"  6 years really does devalue electronics!

Sunflower is 3.  There is no need to say more.  People talk about the terrible twos, but my kids seem to have the terror threes.  She is three in earnest.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Zoo--Sunday Snapshot

Friday we went to the zoo with a friend.  It was a little spontaneous for me; she only mentioned the idea Thursday afternoon.  But it is summer and I do love the zoo, especially with our annual pass and my zoom lens (what is the best zoo in Colorado?).  So here is only a portion of the pictures I took.  Thanks, friend, for corralling the kids when I fell behind.  The zoo has some beautiful flowers.
Watching the Sea Otters
AntEater ~ 16 inch long tongue

Huckleberry; we have GOT to go school shopping!
Road Runner?  Maybe...

Arctic Foxes aren't as pretty with their brown summer coats

SnapDragon ~ Running down the hill; almost right into me.
Puffin ~ Not a penguin ~ they don't look that alike to me.
Ready to Go Home

Sunday Snapshot