Adoption

Again Nothing

Again Nothing.  Sadness, on a really gorgeous day.  Another day with no word from immigration on our newest paperwork submission.  I’ve been praying, daily, that it will happen, today and still nothing.  Discouraged…well, that’s one word.  There are several other words that I have but none need to be aired out on the internet.

Day After Day

It is hard to see, day after day, posts/emails/etc about successful adoptions that have little to no issues.  We have worked so hard, we’ve learned so much and yet our son is still not home.  I’m not sure what the Lord is doing, but I pray that He is working this all out for His glory.  I *am* happy, somewhere inside for these families.  I just wish this story was our story.  I’ve distanced myself from people to guard my heart and my sanity.  I truly hope they understand.

Another Family:  Another Success

I feel like I hear, one day, “we’re adopting”.  Two days go by “we have a referral”.  Two more days go by, “We were approved by immigration.”  Two more days go by, “We are traveling next week.” and before you know it, the child has been home a month and the same family is doing this all over again because it was “so wonderful” the first time around.

Our story is:

We’re adopting.
Days weeks months
We have a referral.
Days weeks months
We are traveling for court.  Adoption is finalized.
Next day immigration ‘we need more stuff from you’
Days weeks months
We are intending to deny you.  You should’ve never traveled in the first place.
Days weeks months
Denial.
Days weeks months
An attorney hired, job for me, life change for kids, new home study
days weeks months
Homestudy done.  Waiting on an attorney.
Days weeks months
Waiting on attorney
Days weeks months
Attorney sends paperwork (we pay lots more money)
1 week
Immigration wants MORE evidence
Days weeks months
Got evidence, sent off again
Over a year later…..WE ARE STILL WAITING.

I’m tired.

I have a little fight left in me.  Then, I had one “friend” tell me that due to us having “so” much trouble, that must mean that God doesn’t want him to be in our family.  Oh, I wanted to smack the taste out of her mouth.  Honestly, I need no negativity.  All I need are prayers, regardless of the outcome.  I eat, sleep, breathe, work with my son’s face in my head.  Praying, daily that God will show us all the way and for a person to say that, well, they needed to be smacked.

What God has brought us too….He will be FAITHFUL to bring us through.

I cling to that.

Until then….we wait.

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Adoption

A Little Bit Insane

A Little Bit Insane

I am A Little Bit Insane.  Okay, so I know that this sounds like I’m NUTSO…..really…I am, I’m okay with that.  I always say that my “sense” started leaving me as I was walking down the aisle to Big Daddy.  However, later, in life, I pushed it out with 3 births, 3 adoptions, and 2 lost children, and 2 terminated pregnancies later by our birthmothers.  It is gone, really really gone.

Joyous Day

Anyway, when we adopted our son, on Oct. 13, 2010, it was a JOYOUS day.  We’d spent all week in Ethiopia, a beautiful beautiful country.  It was made even beautiful-er because my son was in my arms. Precious precious child.  On Oct. 17, 2010, we got our first of many disappointments.  We were being denied by US immigration for lack of money to support our son.  Our hearts were broken.  We had just come off a tremendous high and thrown into the deepest pit imaginable.  Surrounded by darkness and sadness.  Alone….so we thought.

Our world turned upside down.

After being a stay at home mom for 17 yrs and homeschooling my brood, I got a job to help our family.  We had to put our children in public school and work around 2 working parents and a handful of responsibilities and activities for our children. There would be no vacations, no mini-vacations, limited holidays, rare home-cooked meals and homework on the fly.  It was a huge huge change.

Fresh Blood:  Fresh Eyes

In April 2011, we met our new home study agent (Forever Family Adoptions Jessica Johnson) and we were informed that we met the income requirements and it was time to refile with immigration.  Our hearts soared.  All our hard work had paid off.  It has been a LONG time since April and we are still in the hands of immigration. We are waiting.  Our son is waiting.

We Did It.

During that meeting with our agent, my sweet husband mentioned (with Jessica present) that he would like to use her services again when we adopt again.  I just put my fork down, looked at him and asked him if he was on crack.  I informed him that this process had easily shaved 10 yrs off my life and it still wasn’t done.  He simply stated that he felt this was God’s leading and that we weren’t done yet.

I’m sure my eyes were as big as a silver dollar.

I told him that he’d better be praying to God that his heart is changed cause this mama’s heart was DONE DONE DONE.  He had lost his pea-picking’ mind.  We had a daughter, fixing to start driving; one daughter in the midst of puberty; our daughter with RAD; an overactive boy; and our boy with special needs and then our new son whom we weren’t sure of what needs he would have AND HE WANTS TO DO THIS AGAIN?  Lost.His.Mind.  There was *a lot* of silence on that hour drive home.  I mean A LOT.

Love and Loss

While I’m at work, I am approached by a beautiful young woman.  Precious child who was expecting a precious child.  She was unsure of her future and in time (lots of prayer and talking).  This young lady had asked us to adopt her baby. Before I thought about it I told her YES.  Then I stepped back and thought “oh my goodness, what have I just done?”

Fear approached me.  I would be bringing home my sweet son and shortly after that, welcome a NEWBORN.  What in the heck am I thinking?  I realized that as God was working in Big Daddy’s heart, he was also working in my heart.  Sadly, we lost that baby at 14 weeks due to a poor decision by the birth mom.  I was devastated.

Are There More?

My heart is now saying…” we aren’t done yet.”  But my mind is screaming insanity.  We don’t have room, I don’t have enough stamina.  Also, we don’t make enough money to add another.  What birth mom would choose a family of 8 to add their precious bundle too?  There are no countries would accept us because of having 6 kids.  Then, I think God is SO much bigger than all these issues.

Maybe Just

Maybe I’m not called to adopt again, maybe God is preparing me to help others to adopt. Wouldn’t that be amazing!  He is bigger than money, He is bigger than stamina, He is bigger than immigration…HE IS BIGGER.  If He sees fit to add another child or children, He will make it possible.  I’m not in shock, anymore.  I’m in awe and excited to see how He is going to finish out this year and strength our family for the next big thing.  I love my kids.  I miss my son.  I’m excited, for the first time in over a year.

Watching and Waiting

I was in that pit…I’m not out of it yet, but God never left me there, alone.  He was with me and He still is with me. Also, He is with my son.  I must remember that He is my Sustainer, my Refuge, my Strength.  He has been holding my hand and molding my heart the whole time I’ve been in that pit.

It seems as if I am constantly just keeping my eyes above the waves.  What I realize, now, is that though the water seems to rise…I am standing on His mighty hands.

Praise be to Him….to be continued….eventually.

Life or Something Like It

Clothing Error #574

Clothing Error #574

Here is my Clothing Error #574.  Please, learn from my mistakes.
Cute bohemian, floor-length knit skirt with elastic waist.
PLUS
Walkie that you must wear when at work…clipped to said elastic waist of the cute skirt.
EQUALS
Cute bohemian skirt hitting the floor while walking through the store.
LESSON LEARNED
Where cute skirt, but wear tight, brief undies to clip walkie too when walking throughout the store.
Problem solved.
Wow.

I mean, really, who does this.  Do you know what is sad?  That this same incident has happened more than one time.  Seriously.  I think I just don’t think because my focus is on doing my job.  If I have to work, in order to bring my son home, then I want to do a great job at it.

At the time, I was a MOD (Manager On Duty).  I was in charge of the shoe department.  Those days were a blur, but I did my job, to the best of my ability.  Sadly, I did not dress to the best of my ability.  Well, that’s a lie.  I did dress well, I just didn’t incorporate my walkie-talkie into my clothing choices for the day.

A Moment of Comfort

At least no one saw me or at least I hope they didn’t see me.  If they did, I didn’t hear any snorts of laughter coming from any area of the store.  For that, I can be thankful.

Adoption

One Year Ago

One Year Ago
One Year Ago.  This precious morsel of love was adopted into our family.  He is still there…we are still here….apart by an ocean.  Our love doesn’t stop, our fighting hasn’t stopped and we are praying that God, will soon, bring our family together.  My heart aches for him, yet I’m so thankful for the sweet time that I had with him.
 
 
Please, bring my son home.  Help me to see what it is that You see.  Ease my heart, his heart, and the hearts of my family.  We are waiting and watching for the miracles that you have promised to us.  Blessings.
Life or Something Like It

Cute Pair Capris VS Fat Roll

Cute Pair Capris VS Fat Roll

Here is the story of my Cute Pair Capris VS Fat Roll.  Okay, so I have a 20% discount at work (YAY ME) and that coupled with a 30% off coupon and clearance items equals a huge YAY YAY YAY.

Shopping on my Lunch Break

So, on my lunch break, I decide to shop.  I randomly walk around the store thinking “where are all those cute things that I sell that is $1.97?”  Eventually, throughout my time, I find a cute pair of pants.  They are khaki pants that can either be rolled down or used as capris.  Cute.  I buy the size I normally wear (gasp) and don’t try them on.  Sadly, I loathe trying on clothes and I refuse to buy a size bigger.

All excited, I get home and try them on….they fit, but I can’t breathe or sit.  It has a snap closure, so when I do try to breathe, my snap pops 🙁

Quest in Life

In the quest for cuteness, I decided this morning, that I will wear those pants.  I anxiously rip the tags off and contemplate how I’m going to function for the next 8 hrs in these too-tight pants.  I chose a shirt that covers my gut and so if the snap blows, then I can discreetly snap them back (if you count sucking it up and turning blue to get them to snap).

Fake Spanx

I’m so excited, though, because I remembered I had fake Spanx, deep down in my drawer.  Here lies the answer.  I lay on the bed and shimmy them up, thinking I’m gonna die and there will be no way I will be able to go to the bathroom.  I pull them all the way up and then I proceed to put on my new pants.  They fit, comfortably!  Yippee!  I think I look quite stylin’ as I load up the kids and head to work.

Normal is Not for Me.

Throughout the day, I bend, lift and move…a lot…fake Spanx aren’t quite built for that and at one point, I notice the back of my Spanx (I walked past a mirrored column at work) and there was a HUGE fat roll on the back because the back of my Spanx was rolling south.  I thought I was still safe because the front was still up….then…I squatted.  Big mistake.  In one instant, my fake Spanx rolled under my fat roll and there was no easy way to “lift” them back up without going to the bathroom (which I couldn’t do because I was training a new kid and he can’t be left alone) or hide in the stock room.

Fixing my Spanx

I thought I’d be okay, even though it was incredibly uncomfortable for me until I realized that my pants were starting to give way.  I quickly got someone to cover me and rushed to the bathroom.  It took an Act.Of.Congress to get out of the spanks and then to roll them back up over my fat roll.  I got everything back up and headed back out to the floor.  I felt pretty good cause the back roll was gone and the front was way up over my fat roll.

The Fat Roll Emerges

Did you know once you “stretch” out elastic, it is never the same?  I didn’t.  Quickly, I learned that fact.  Honestly, within 10 minutes, my fake Spanx was headin’ south and then there was a POP and out came the fat roll.  I was very thankful to be clocking out and heading home.  Amazingly enough, I can handle anything for 40 minutes.

Big Daddy to the Rescue

I rush in, grab my sweet Big Daddy and tell him I need him upstairs.  It sparks an interest in him and he rushes upstairs.  By the time I got there, I was standing in the bedroom with my fake Spanx sucking the life out of me and sticking to my person.  I beg him to help me get out of this contraption.

I felt like Miss Scarlett, in Gone With the Wind, when Mammie is tightening her corset (although I’d make 4 of Miss Scarlett).  He got so tickled because it was *so* hard to peel off my body.  By the time it was over, I rushed to the bathroom.  Big Daddy asked why I was in such a hurry and I tried to explain to him that I hadn’t had the privilege of using the bathroom because of my need to wear cute pants.

Tomorrow, I’m wearing elastic.
Adoption

WE HAVE IT WE HAVE IT WE HAVE IT

WE HAVE IT WE HAVE IT WE HAVE IT!  The GREATEST Woudneh in the WHOLE world sent a worker bee (whomever you are, thank you) to the region where my son lived and has his dad’s death certificate!
 
It is now being translated into English and then will be scanned to our agency.  Once the agency has it, they will send it to the attorney.  Then, once the attorney has it, it is off to immigration (again).
 
Once immigration has it they WILL approve us.
 
Once they approve us, they send the approval to the Embassy in Ethiopia.
 
Once they send it there, we get an Embassy appointment.
 
Once we get the appointment WE FLY TO ETHIOPIA TO BRING OUR SON HOME!
 
Only God could have orchestrated this.  He allowed us to meet and adopt our son in Oct. 2010.  We should’ve had him home by Dec 2010, but God had other plans.  He had to clean out a very cluttered room of my heart.  It has taken a year, but I can say that the room that he cleaned is clutter free and now I’m going to hold my son again.  He did this, He delayed us, He did so so I would re-learn to love my daughter.  I fell in love with her, by accident.  Fixing her hair (it is another post, so scroll down).
 
I am in AWE…..
 
I’m seriously going to sniff his afro right off his head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Life or Something Like It

Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY

Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY.  Note to self:  What happens between Peach and Papa at the horse sale STAYS with Peach and Papa.


Me to Peach:  “Are you behaving”


Peach:  “Yes”


Me to Peach:  “Is Papa behaving”


Peach:  “No.”


Me:  “What is he doing”


Peach:  “Well, he got out his gun and was waving it around and shooting because of the stubborn bull.  Then, we got pulled over.”


Me:  “Let me talk to Papa”

There ends the story because you would *NEVER* believe what he was trying to do.  It involves the gun, other people with guns and a stubborn bull…………..hearing her giggle, hearing him giggle, makes all the trauma in my mind, okay.  That is the story of Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY. I love that my dad took time to show my girl love.  She adores him and he is pretty fond of her.

The Saga Continues

Hopefully, more adventures are on the horizon for these two peas in a pod.  It is important to foster the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.  I am so thankful for my Granny and our relationship.  Love her and those memories so very much.

I can honestly say, though, that there were never Amish, bullets, or guns involved when we were together LOL.

Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY

Life or Something Like It

Sneaky Kid and Sneakier Papa

Sneaky Kid and Sneakier Papa

Sneaky Kid and Sneakier Papa

Sneaky Kid and Sneakier Papa.  I *would* post a picture of Papa (my daddy), but due to the fact that Martha *might* read this and daddy *may* see this….I’d rather not because he gets a bit….testy when his picture is broadcast all over the internet, so I’ll post a pic of Peach and call that one a day.

What My Daddy Looks Like

Here is a description and you can conjure up in your mind what Papa looks like.  His voice is thick like Sam Elliott….he also sports the long, handlebar mustache that Sam Elliott occasionally sports.  His hair is getting white with still a touch of black sprinkled in and he is normally wearing a hat (whether it be a cowboy hat, a baseball hat or a hat like Crocodile Dundee would wear).

He wears cowboy boots or moccasin type shoes, a pocketed t-shirt tucked in and always sporting his belt, belt buckle and knife.  When he goes to horse sales, he wears a nice button up western type shirt with a vest.  He always smells good and he sashays like John Wayne.  I simply adore him.

Letting Peach Spend Time with the Grandparents

Thursday nights are the night that Bug goes to spend the night with my neighbor.  She works with him and his FMD class on Fridays.  She loves it.  I told Peach that she would be spending a FEW hours with Jojo and Papa.  Her excitement level was off the charts.  Simple me, I thought she was just excited to not be home.  Or, it could be that she didn’t have to do schoolwork.  This is because Jojo thinks that is wrong to do work at her house.  It could also be the fact that she was chore free for a FEW HOURS.  I couldn’t understand.

Mom Helping Out

She was up and at em on Friday morning…ready to fly out the door at 8 am.  I am half awake, driving the 40 miles to work. My mom meets me at work, which is wonderful because I can snuggle, even for a moment.  I love my mama….simple as that.  They are off, I’m off to clock in.

Surprise

Here comes 1:00, I’m off and head to Jojo’s to pick up Peach.  I step out of the truck and Martha is in her shop, working on wreaths.  Peach is in there with her, fixing her own wreath and Papa is in his shop speaking with a client.  I look up and Martha states that Peach is staying overnight and going to the horse sale with Papa.  I just stand there and say “okay”….this is odd….A) Papa doesn’t take anyone to sales B) he has already done with once with Peach and I thought that would be the end C) Jojo is always busy

Please, Papa…Behave

I go to hug Papa and tell him that I’m guessing that Peach is staying and to take care of her at the sale.  Then, I go into the house to use the bathroom.  It was there that I notice Peach’s backpack that she carries everywhere.  I noticed how “thick” it was.  For a moment, I was proud thinking she had packed books or homework to do while at Jojo’s.

As I take a closer look in the bag, I notice her toothbrush sticking out.  There were also some sleep clothes.  Oh and lest we forget to mention she had clothes to wear for the next day.  That little turd had planned to ask, without my knowledge, and was prepared just in case they said yes.  Papa can hardly say no to her.  Her passion for horses matches his passion.  He is tickled, she is thrilled.  They are certainly two peas in a pod.

The answer to Papa’s questions, last night when he called:

1)  No, she can’t drive, she is only 13.
2)  I am still her boss
3)  She is not 17.
4)  Yes, you must feed her
5)  You must not give her the “rules of life”
6)  I know, Daddy, you are still my boss, therefore you are her boss, therefore have fun.

Love that man, love my mama, and love my Peach.

Life or Something Like It

Kamikaze Squirrels

Here is our story on the Kamikaze Squirrels.  I have worked A LOT this week… every day, in fact.  I’m not complaining.  However, just stating a fact.  The children have spent A LOT of time with Big Daddy (whom I adore).
Enter:  Screams
I called one evening, during my lunch break.  Big Daddy answers the phone with a quick “hello.”  In the background, however, I hear the kids SCREAMING.  Beings that I was, indeed, 40 miles away and on the phone, I couldn’t decipher the screams as being “save me” screams or “excited” screams.  I could hear them all chattering telling Big Daddy “tell her this and tell her how Mumphry….” (Mumphry is the cat that was dumped off, at our house.  She was pregnant and now has 2 of the cutest kittens ever.  Their names are Buck and Freida).
Baby Squirrel
I ask what is going on and Big Daddy laughs.  He said that the children found a baby squirrel in the yard and something was “obviously” wrong with the squirrel.  It’s back or legs were possibly broken from either a fall or a car.  I’m saddened because I think squirrels are cute, but I thought this would be a good time for Big Daddy to teach the children on what to do when they find an injured wild animal.  I hear Peach in the background hollering “the squirrel bit Buck!”  She was not happy about that.
Predator/Prey
Instead of Big Daddy teaching them how to handle this situation, he approached this with a “predator/prey” philosophy.  He sat the baby squirrel down and the children watched Mumphry stalk/attack/eat the baby squirrel, only leaving its hind legs and tail behind.  Big Daddy was hysterical as he was explaining the shrills/thrills/grossness/excitement of the children.  I sat, in stunned silence…then I got incredibly tickled out him laughing.
Zero Electricity
The next day, I call the children on a break and I am informed that we have had no electricity.  They went to the neighbor’s house and she had no power either.  She called the company and a SQUIRREL had eaten through the cables and knocked out our power….guessing it was the mama to the baby…she was retaliating because of the cat eating her baby.
Mumphry is One Cool Cat
Not to be outdone…..Mumphry has one last say in the whole issue.  I came home from work and a squirrel stretched out and as big as my cat was lying dead on the back step.  Is this the kamikaze mama squirrel who knocked out the power? Did the squirrel fry itself when biting through the cables and the cat found her?  Was this even the mama?  I dunno….all I know is Mumphry is one cool cat.
Adoption

Waiting and Watching

Waiting and Watching.  It is a blessing…it is also hard.


I received 8 new pictures of our son, whom we have not touched since Oct 2010. He is 1 yr. older, he is *so* much bigger.  We are watching him grow up, in pictures.  Kissing those booboos, through pictures.  We are watching smiles and giggles, through pictures.  Seeing the tears and illness, through pictures.  We are watching him play, through pictures.  Also, we are watching him grow, through pictures.


Please join us in prayer, in our son coming home, so we can watch his triumphs and milestones in person, instead of in pictures.  It will happen, I know it will.  I hold onto that thread of hope believing what seems impossible.  For now, I will relish in these pictures.  I will pray fervently for his safety, physical health, and mental/emotional health.  Lastly, I will love from an ocean away.  International adoption is hard.  Plain and simple.  In conclusion, we will still be Waiting and Watching.