Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend Recap

As much as I enjoyed the long weekend it is also good to get back to normalcy at least for now. The kids were out of school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, so you can imagine the excitement around here this morning as they were all getting ready for school. NOT!

Anyway, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food, family, and shopping. Yes, I am one of those. Those who venture out at O'dark thirty hunting for the best deals. I started my hunt at 4:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. One of our local stores had the Wii Fit for 1/2 off! It is originally $89.99 but because of a early morning door buster I was able to get it for $45.00! Once Blake heard I was going he wanted to go so I let him and my friend's 14 year old daughter tag along. I think they were more excited that they got to wear their pajamas to the store. We got there a little after four and stood in line until six which is when the sale actually started. Blake stood in line for me while I did a little more shopping so it worked out great the Kelsie and Blake went with me. The only thing I forgot was my camera, but we had a really good time.

Blake and I were back home and in bed by seven and didn't wake up again until nine, just in time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I LOVE the parade and look forward to it every year.

While we watched the parade I finished up a dress I made for Mylee and Emma to wear to dinner at Matt's Aunt's house. The dresses turned out beautiful, but once again I forgot the camera. I will get some pictures as soon as they come out of the mountain of laundry that has been accumulated over the weekend.

We spent Thanksgiving afternoon with Matt's side of the family eating, laughing and having a great time. Once dinner was finished those of us who are crazy enough to venture out for Black Friday started going through the ads in search for the best prices. My MIL and SIL go together and then we meet Matt's Aunt and cousin for lunch to discuss what we were able to get and whether or not there were any good stories of the day.

This year I got a little crazy and was at Toys R Us when they opened at midnight. Yes, midnight. I am sure you are asking yourself what I couldn't possible do without at that hour especially since I was up at four in the morning earlier that day. Well, they had the Leapsters that are originally $59.99 for $29.99. Once again, I was trying to save some money by getting the best deal. I also had a list of stuff to get for my sister in law and Matt's Aunt. So, once again Blake, Kelsie and I set out on an adventure. We left my house at about 11 and were at Toys R Us by about 11:15 p.m. and as soon as I pulled into the parking lot I knew we were in trouble. The parking lot was full and the line was enormous. Blake and Kelsie got in line while I ran across the street to get us something to drink. Since it was a bit chilly out I decided we would just wait in our car until the doors opened and then go in. Well, as soon as the manager came out we got out of the car and headed up to the front of the store to wait for the end of the line so we could go in. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and people were coming out of no where. The store manager had a megaphone and was telling everyone to go to the back of the line or he was not going to open the doors. After about five minutes of no one moving, he called the cops. As soon as the cops showed up I decided that it was not worth it for one of the kids to get hurt so we left and went to Wal-Mart because I remembered that they were price matching.

Unfortunately I was not able to get my sister in law's stuff or Matt's Aunt's, but I was able to get the Leapster for Mylee and a DS game for Emma without waiting in line at Toys R Us. I just wish I had remembered it soon, but then the kids wouldn't have an exciting cops story to tell their friends today.

As soon as we were done with Wal-Mart I took Blake and Kelsie home (which they were not happy about) which was about 1:00 a.m. I dropped Blake off at home and since I was meeting my SIL at Old Navy at three I thought I would go ahead and go back to Toys R Us to see if I could get the rest of the stuff on my list. There was still a line outside and they were only letting people in as people left. I stood in line outside for about half an hour before I got in the store. By this point I was just so darn excited to get IN the store. I quickly spotted the items on my list, grabbed them and went to get in line only to find out that the line was all the way around the store and woven in and out of aisles. So, I set the stuff down and headed on over to Old Navy instead.

Old Navy wasn't much better although they did not have to call the cops. I met my SIL Julie there and we waited in line for about half an hour outside in the freezing cold as they like Toys R Us were only letting people in as people came out. Just as we were almost to the door we noticed several people coming out without any bags. So, I headed up to the front to see what was going on and boy am I glad. Some people were coming out saying that they only had two registers opened and that they had been in line for 40 minutes and got tired of waiting so they were leaving. I went back, told Julie this and we decided to go back later in the day so it was off to Kohls.

After Kohls we met my MIL and from there everything went pretty smoothly. We were even able to go back to Toys R Us and Old Navy and were able to get the items that we wanted.

So, after being up for over 40 hours straight I came home around six and crashed. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 8:30 a.m. the next morning. The only thing I wish I had done was taken my camera so I could share with you all how incredibly long some of the lines were.

Saturday Emma danced at the Festival of Trees and then we went to Church, and then Sunday we put up our Christmas tree and other decorations.

My creation

My creation

I found these last year and bought the red one and was very excited when I found them again this year. Mylee absolutely loves them and calls them "my Chinese." For those of you who are interested, I bought them at Pier One Imports.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

57 and Giving Thanks

As of today we have waited 57 days for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance). No, we still don't have it and quite honestly, I really doubt we will have it before Christmas. We were told that the LOA takes anywhere from 60-90 days. I have seen them come in as early as 45 and sometimes take as long as 120 days. Obviously we are hoping and praying we are not among those that his the 100 day mark. Drew turns 4 on March 11 and I want more than anything to be with him for his birthday.

Adoption may not have the same physical characteristics as being pregnant, but I can assure you that emotionally it is just as difficult and sometimes even harder. Since Mylee was our first adoption we didn't know what to expect. When we were waiting for Mylee I thought of her every minute of every day. I would worry about whether she was cold, hungry, crying, hurting, etc. I was an emotional wreck. I spent hours upon hours surfing the Internet for anything to do with adoptions, blogs, as well as anything to do with bonding and attachment. From the day we saw Mylee's referral picture to the day I held her in my arms was just a little over nine months. During those nine months there were many changes taking place. Fall came and the began changing colors. Winter was here before we knew it along with the endless amounts of snow that quickly became snowmen and racetracks for sledding. Spring brought a whole new list of changes from blooming flowers to our long awaited travel plans. The one thing that remained the same was the love, determination, and commitment to get Mylee home.

So, as I sit here on our 57th day of waiting for the official word from China I can't help but have all those same emotions going on inside me. Knowing Drew is at New Day and is being well taken care of doesn't make it any easier not having him here with us as we enter the holiday season. I know he is surrounded by people who love him and are providing everything he needs, and for that I am forever grateful.

This will be Drew's last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, last New Year without a family. Knowing that next year there will be one more little boy bouncing down the stairs on Christmas morning brings a smile to my face. When I think about the happiness, the joy, the excitement, and the laughter Drew will provide to our family, I can't help but think about the loneliness and the emptiness his foster family is going to be feeling. As we long to have Drew in our arms, they must be dreading the day that we arrive to take him away. I can't imagine parenting a child for over a year knowing at some point he or she will move on to another family. I can't imagine saying goodbye to a child I have grown to love and that calls me "momma."

So as Thanksgiving approaches us not only am I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband who works so hard for his family and is helping a dream of mine become a reality. I have 4 almost 5 wonderful, smart, healthy, beautiful children who I love more than life itself. I have friends who are there to laugh with me and sometimes cry with me. I am thankful that Drew is at New Day and goes home everyday from school to a family that loves him and cares for him knowing that it is soon going to end. And I am thankful that I believe in a God that loves me unconditionally. A God that has enough faith in trust in us that He chose yet another child for us to parent and love. A God that despite obstacle after obstacle is walking this path with us. Adoption is a miracle, an act of God, and this year I am so thankful that He is in my life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chain Letters

Remember the days of getting most of your mail the old fashioned way? There was just something about going to the mailbox and seeing something with my name on it. I would get so excited only to have my spirits disappear the moment I realized it was a chain letter. I didn't like them as a kid and I still don't like them as an adult. Nowadays chain letters come to us in the form of e-mails. I have a hard time believing that my luck or fortune relies on whether or not I forward it to 7 or 12 of my peeps.

So, this evening as I was going through my e-mails I stumbled on a cyber chain letter. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the first few words I felt compelled to read the rest. Although I did forward it, I do not expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, but I really just like the message it sent.

What do you think???

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.' Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have so many things to be thankful for, but right now I am so thankful for the generosity that so many of you have shared with Matt and us as we journey back to China to bring our son home. The gifts, donations, words of encouragement, etc have meant more to us than you can imagine. I know many of you who have donated are struggling financially as well or also in the middle of financing an adoption. This is what it is all about...The adoption community pulling together to bring these children home.

I know I have posted before about Tracy at Junk Posse and the huge heart she has for orphans and getting them home. Tracy e-mailed me the other day to let me know she has just come out with a totally new design and just in time for the holidays. She has created a beautiful ladybug necklace to help support Chinese adoptions. Many of you know that ladybugs are known as a symbol of Good Luck in the Chinese community. It is said that a ladybug siting is sure to bring good luck.

Tracy has also graciously offered to donate 30% of her China proceeds to our family to help us bring our son home. And, if you mention my name when checking out you will get a pair of FREE earrings. Not only will you be getting beautiful jewelry made right here in the good ol' USA, but your purchase will also help us bring our son home. So, please hop over to Tracy's Etsy shop and look around and feel free to spread the word.

Land of the Free Because of the Brave

Freedom is not Free

There is a price we pay for freedom
For it is not truly free
But rather paid for by the contributions of veterans
To buy our liberty

As their blood drains from their body and runs like a river through the grass
Over the years it's forgotten, war is placed in our past
I don't think we all realize the importance veterans play
as they voluntarily serve America each and every day

We should honor the veterans for they act like a shield
Protecting us from danger, keeping America healed.
So if you would take a second to commemorate
You will instantly see

We owe veterans our gratitude
For they are the reason we are free
~Ashley Persyn

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Need a Good Laugh???

I love my kids and my husband dearly, but there are so many times when I feel like I am the only one around here that knows how to clean up or at least pick up after themselves. So, when I saw this video, I could not stop laughing at true this is for all moms.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Successful Delivery

Drew got his package yesterday so Karen at New Day sent us several pictures of him opening it and checking it all out. I cannot believe how much older he looks in these pictures. It is so hard to imagine that he and Mylee are only 24 days apart (her being older). We cannot wait to get him home. Especially Gabe who asks daily if we can go get his brother. Enjoy the pictures!

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Hallowen Here and There

Halloween weekend turned out to be quite busy for us. Friday night Blake had his first boy/girl party. He turned 13 earlier this month and really wanted to have a party for his birthday so we put it off so he could have a Halloween party. There were about 30 kids and they had a great time dancing, and hanging out. We even played a couple of games and had a costume contest.

My creation

Blake had his first dance. (Thanks to my sister, I have pictures!)
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Saturday was busy with finishing up last minute costumes, spending time with my sister and niece, and hanging out with friends and neighbors. Unfortunately Matt had to work (can't turn down overtime), but the kids had a pretty good time despite the cold weather.

Blake, Gabe, Emma, Mylee, and Riley (my niece)
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"Chinese Takeout"
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It was so cold that these were the only pictures I got. Poor Emma's fingers were so cold and red we decided to go in to town to our local fire station for a party they were having for the younger kids. The kids enjoyed free hot dogs, popcorn, games and prizes and were happy to be warm.

While we were enjoying our Halloween so was our little man on the other side of the globe. New Day doesn't celebrate Halloween, but they did let the kids dress up and have fun carving pumpkins.