Saturday, January 31, 2009

4 years ago today...

QingLu referral photos
I know this blog is about our journey to bring home baby #2, but part of his story is the story of his sister. And four years ago today we got the first glimpse of our lovely daughter. It was truly the phone call that changed our lives forever.

Now remember, we had been DTC (dossier to China) in July. And when all the July DTC referrals came out in mid January our agency did not receive any. We were very sad, but realized that there had to be a reason and we knew this was all out of our hands. We knew that when God was ready to match us to our daughter He would. I mean, she was our daughter already, right, so it all had to come together at the right moment.
Referrals back then were coming out usually once a month, 28-35 days apart, and a whole batch would come out at the same time. So we were not expecting "the call" on January 31, 2005, two weeks after the July referrals came out.
I was in a closing, being the end of the month it was technically our busiest day. My assistant came running in with my cell phone, and Adam was on the other line. The agency had told him "she's a beauty, bald as can be but very healthy looking and very cute". Well as you can see they were right! I think we all cried, even the people in my closing.. the buyer being an adoptive Mom herself! We had to wait to see the picture until later that night, they called everyone first and then loaded the pictures and medical info, so I had to spend the entire day enduring this excruciating wait. Then we got home and sat in front of the computer hitting the refresh button until the email came. What a wonderful first glimpse though...we were in heaven!

How many times did I stare at those photos during the wait to meet her...How many strangers did I show them to...How many dreams did I conjure up of how life would be once she was home...How many times did I say her name out loud, if only just to hear it out loud...Oh how I longed to have her in my arms! And best of all, now I wasn't just some odd ball "stalker" when I saw other families like "mine" in Target. I was officially one of them, and I would proudly display the pictures of my little sumo wrestler whether they asked to see her or not!

Four years ago today was one of the most magical and life altering of days, and we knew the minute we saw her that she belonged with us and we truly loved her from that instant. And two months later we finally met her! And oh what a joy life has been since then!

OK, and now back to baby #2... I am ready for that magical phone call!!! Hello up there??!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Happy Birthday to my Dad!

It's my Dad's Birthday today! I won't disclose his age, but as you can see he is quite young.
And he's the best Dad & Poppa we could ask for! He'd do anything for his grand daughters and spoils them totally! He'll even play Barbies with Simone, her favorite thing to do these days!

So Happy Happy Birthday to my Dad!
We love you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So, my camera is broken

Yep, over the holidays it just conked out on me. And you'd think I would make it a priority to get a new one, but I just haven't had the time! And there are so many moments that would be great to capture on film, or digital card or whatever...
Like the other night when I walked up stairs to find a decapitated plush cow and white stuffing ALL OVER the hallway, and Oliver in the midst looking rather guilty (then Simone came up the stairs and stepped on the the prized moo maker ~ the reason Ollie pulled all of the stuffing out~ and said "oh great, now I'm all slobbery and mooy" too cute!) Or last week when we actually got some snow, a rarity around here, and Simone romped around in it, made snowballs and snow angels. But alas, no camera to capture her glee and joy! Or like today when she finally wore her Chinese outfit and I put her hair in these two braids and she looked so adorable (I'm allowed to say that, my genes were not involved in her looks and I personally find her quite adorable, hee hee)...yep, that moment will not be caught on camera either.
And to be honest I'm going through some major withdrawals, because I can't take pictures and I can't post them here on my blog. These are the things that have helped to keep me sane during this whole adoption wait! So, to fill my needs I went on another trip down memory lane and pulled a bunch of pictures from the years past, at least as far back as I had on snapfish!
Sorry to be so very boring, these were not picked because they are great pictures, I picked them because they bring back great memories! So here they are...

We had just moved to TN 2 weeks before!

Wasn't she cute! All sassy with her hand on hip action...
Summer time 2007 below!
Really, we went shopping like this... she loved her outfit!
Think we like to dress up?
I know, I know...Poor Oliver! (he loves it)
And Tinkerbell is ready to get some candy!
Thanks Daddy for getting us into the sky box!
He used to be MY dog!
And my baby is growing up!!!
So that's it, that is my short walk over the last 2 years of memories! Wow, where did time go?
And now, priority numero uno is to get a new camera this weekend!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Year - “Xīn Nián Kuài Lè”

Today is Chinese New Year, starting the year of the Ox.
Simone wore a beautiful dress to school, oh not because it's Chinese New Year, just because she loves the dress... I tried to get her to wear this adorable outfit a friend brought back from China but was met with definite "Uh Uh"s.
At her language class yesterday her teacher gave us a cultural lesson on why and how CNY is celebrated in China and Taiwan and offered to help us learn to make some traditional dishes for next year. It was a great lesson and we learned things from the viewpoint of a Chinese person, not just a text book. She also gave each of the kids a red envelope with a dollar in it and some Chinese candy. Simone was thrilled! And her envelope has a saying about the dew of spring bringing good luck, which I thought was cool since we were told the meaning of her name "QingLu" is "to grow up healthy like the dew in spring". Ms. Connie told us to put the envelope under the child's pillow when they sleep to keep them from growing up too fast! Good luck there!
So Happy New Year - “Xīn Nián Kuài Lè”

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby weight and baby wait...

Ok, so my only true gripe about this whole journey of adoption is the "baby weight" I find myself putting on during the "baby wait".
I mean I like food to begin with, I truly enjoy cooking and eating (must be where Simone gets it from...) and am not known to miss a meal. Ask me for directions and I'll get you there using my favorite restaurants as points of reference.

But I'm also a stress eater. When I feel stressed or overwhelmed I pick. I nibble on chips and cheese & crackers and nuts and mini candy bars, oh and those darn Hot Tamales - which oddly enough my dear friend Angie who is very pregnant is also craving. So how much baby weight is OK for us non prego's? We don't have the "eating for two" excuse, there's really only one of us. Maybe I can blame it on hormonal changes brought on by all the stress...Hmmm that might work.

And it truly doesn't help that my boss is 19 weeks along, and although usually a very health conscious person, she has been really enjoying letting go a bit. And she gleefully invites us to join, biscuits and gravy, Long John Silver fish & fries baskets, and then it's time again for more pizza! Sure we get the occasional salad but then some strawberry shortcake for dessert. All these things I'd normally say no thanks to I now find myself chowing down on! I really need to get this baby so I can get back into shape!

On a different note...
I had the oddest dream last night. I got "the call" and I was so calm yet very excited. And Tien (the Taiwan coordinator) said " I have good news, your going to be a Mama again. It's a beautiful girl..." A girl, well that's odd now isn't it, because we are on the wait list for either, but are expecting the referral to be a boy, as the girl wait list is rather long and they'll get any girl referrals that come in(and I truly hope some girl calls go out soon, they have all been waiting sooo long for their babies!). So why in the world did I dream that...

Maybe it's a good omen~
or maybe I just ate too many mini snickers before bed.

Well, I'm signing off...I think I heard somebody say something about ordering lunch!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And then it hit me...

Yep, the moment I've been waiting for. Well, not the BIG moment, I mean I haven't gotten "the call" yet. But in order to tell you this I just have to start at the start and tell you it all.

We've had unusually cold weather here in East Tenn. I read a news headline that said "Y'all, its frigid in the South", and in this part of Tennessee we consider ourselves Southerners. I mean, you order an iced tea and it's going to be "sweet tea", we love to say y'all and some of our men are comfortable in bib overalls and like to talk about their tractors...but I digress.

So in my infinite wisdom I decided that at night it may help to keep the house warm if I close all of the curtains and blinds (it at least makes it appear warmer and feel snugglier). And here I am going through the house shutting us in and I went into the spare bedroom. Now that room will eventually become the baby's nursery, we just haven't bothered to even start changing it yet, too much expectation there if we did. But the crib is up and shoved in a corner because for our photo pages for the adoption we had to show the nursery completed. So we put the crib up with a wall hanging (a gift from Auntie Annie) above it, moved the dresser out of the way, put a rocking chair and a bunch of stuffed animals next to the crib and bing bang- we had our nursery photo. And well, we just haven't taken the crib down, since it'll eventually be in there anyway.

So as I'm closing the blinds in there and I see the crib and it hit me, finally... for the first time I felt the baby. I had that pang of wanting, knowing someday soon I'd be tucking him in and kissing his soft cheek and feeling my gushes of love for him (ahem, or her). I could see me carrying him in his little Ergo carrier (thanks to my JOH pals for enlightening me to the Ergo, can't wait to finally purchase it!), and I can start to envision this new family member with us. I started to think about car seat placement and nap schedules and baby food and changing diapers (Yuck!) and how it would be to take both of my darlings to the children's museum (where we took Simone yesterday with two of her BFF's-fun times). Now I am finally ready for this addition- I know it'll be soon and I feel so ready to become a Mama again. I don't know if it's seeing my blog pal Lisa's pictures of her beautiful and peaceful nursery for her very soon to be home son, or if it is the inspiration of the other's in my JOH group picking out paint colors and buying bottles and cloth diapers that got me here. Or maybe I had to get here myself before I can get our referral, you know, like Karma...

I've been having such a hard time waiting to get that magical phone call, it's all I can think about and I really have been getting sad and disappointed each night when it doesn't come. I think maybe I wanted the call so it could feel more real, so I could fully feel like we are adopting again. Another adoption just seemed like this abstract idea, like something that may come through, may become a reality...until now. Now I am ready to bond with my little dumpling. And yes, I am still scared of all of the challenges that will come and how our lives will yet again change so much. But you know, we did it once and it was the most wonderful and awe inspiring decision we've ever made. Simone changed our lives in ways that I never ever imagined. She is the most incredible gift of love and I enjoy every moment of being her Mama. I know that our next little one will double our joy and enrich our lives even more, I can feel it.

OK, so that's my story, that's what finally hit me. J

And PS Simone has chosen the name that she would like for her baby brother, its "Chip". Yep, Chip.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A great new blog

Blog site:

Located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, in the village of Barton, overlooking Crystal Lake on Rt. 16, Jenny's Collectibles is a delightful and fascinating adventure into old time Vermont.

So this is my Mom's shop, named after yours truly...

My Mom decided to open this antiques and collectibles shop last summer and is really enjoying it. She has some very cool items for sale, like jewelry, quilts and serving ware. And it has a real cozy, homey feel inside the shop and is always decorated for the season outside. From the store you have mountain and lake views and it's in a truly beautiful location. (It is where we spend every Christmas and a week every summer, and is where I grew up!)

She just started her blog to be able to post new items for sale and things of interest. If you are ever in the Northeast part of Vermont during season (spring, summer & fall), please stop by and check it out. She also has items for sale on line, hence the blog!

That's all for now!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let's hear it for the Dads!

Yes, let's hear it for the Dads, and not just any dad, but the truly great Dads.
As Adam and I await news of our next baby I am once again amazed at his excitement and nervousness and joy at the prospect of adding to our family. He is just as anxious to get "the big call" as I am.
I am so in love and so proud every time I hear and see him with Simone- making her laugh, teaching her how to play checkers and to hit a baseball, and yes, playing barbies. All these things he does so effortlessly and with so much love for her. He always does whatever is needed, whatever is in her best interest. He respects her birth culture and gladly trots on to language class and culture camp with her, so she knows how important her roots are to him too. And talk about protective! Mama bear move over when Daddy thinks his cub needs him! It sometimes brings tears to my eyes when I feel the love they share, and to know how lucky I am to have found this wonderful man.

And being my kids Dad is a big job. I have the best Dad ever, so I expect nothing but awesomeness from the man that will be by my side as the other biggest influence in their lives.
I have so many memories of my Dad and know there are so many more to come...
I was his side kick growing up - he always made me feel like it was him & me off on a big adventure. He has this wonderful sense of humour, and I think he really enjoys making me laugh, which he does easily. We have our little jokes, things nobody else really gets, that make us crack up and makes my Mom go "Oh Bob". And now he is keeping this tradition with Simone, who can't wait for me to read (over and over again) what "Poppa Bob the diggiest dog" has written to her anytime she gets a card from my parents.

And growing up my sweet Irish Dad always made sure my Native American heritage was important to me, the only sure thing we know about my nationality. By giving gifts that represented that culture and by showing me he respected the fact that my birth father was Native American he showed me how important I was to him, no matter where, or whom I came from. That in itself is one of the greatest and most selfless of gifts a Dad can give.

So I want to give a big shout out to the two most amazing Dads I know. My Dad helped shape who I am (and did a pretty great job, it's not his fault I'm so goofy...or is it, hmmm) and my husband will do the same for our children. And I couldn't have asked for a better man for that job, or for a better man to be my Dad.
Now let's hope we get that call to become parents again real soon so we can put Adam to the test again!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A few more deer pictures, cause they are sooo cute!

Here's a few more photo's of the deer that come to my parents house in the winter. These were taken during the day, which is a rare but amazing time to see them. They like to come and eat the black sunflower seeds that my Dad puts out.

Adam took these shots through the window and as you can see she finally got a bit nervous and headed on her way.
As for the reindeer food...well you see, Poppa's deer are the "special helpers" for Santa's sleigh. When Donner or Blitzen get tired or hungry, Santa exchanges that deer for one of Poppa's and then drops them back off when they are done delivering presents. So we put out Poppa's special recipe that helps give them that extra boost! It is made with oats, cinnamon, sugar, jimmies (or sprinkles depending on where you grew up), and some glitter if you have it handy. You mix it up nicely, of course by hand! And viola-reindeer food.

Now wasn't that fun!