"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." ~ Anonymous.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hair again!

I couldn't resist giving you all an extra large preview today - those eyes just make me melt! I love it when her hair starts to grow back! I'm sure the 'do will be short lived, but at least we get a peek of how cute she will be once she actually gets to keep her lovely locks!

Thank you, Ann, for giving us this little piece of heaven! Glad you're home safe.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger

Sorry - looks like I promised in my last post (over THREE weeks ago) to update frequently during my time off work. Here we are less than one week to go of my medical leave and I've not written a thing.

Unfortunately, there is not much to report on the adoption front. Things still are not moving and there is not expected to be any major breakthroughs before the end of the year. Our precious little angel will be spending Christmas 6000 miles away, but very much in our hearts. Please continue to pray for the "powers that be" to come to a consensus soon and let our kiddos come home.

I've been a very busy little bee the last month. I felt way better than I thought I would much sooner than I thought I would, so my days have been filled with shopping, wrapping, cleaning, baking, addressing holiday cards, and so much more! I keep teasing Kevin that I will be having surgery every year from now on right before the holidays - this has been my most prepared and productive year to date! Alas, next Thursday I will return to work and things will hopefully return to normal, controlled chaos around here.

For my Southern and Western friends - here's a little taste of Wisconsin:

Pictures for our Christmas card - Yes, he is holding and kissing a picture of K, but we can't let you see her just yet! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Little Updates and Lots of Pictures

I am at home, in front of my computer, recovering from surgery. I am off work for the next several weeks and will try to keep my blog a little more updated than I have in the recent past. I promised pictures a few posts back and here, I will make good on that promise.

As for updates, God Bless S. who just returned from Bishkek for a visit with her wee girl and sent us some great photos of K and some very encouraging updates, as well. It appears she is healthy and growing and for that we are so happy! While there is no concrete information at this time about potential travel, we are still hopeful that we will bring K home sooner than later! :)

Without further adieu - here are some pics of our precious monkey at his finest:

Monday, November 3, 2008

All is well

Just a very quick post to say thank you for the positive vibes and prayers. E's surgery went very well and his recovery has been smooth so far. He continues to amaze me with his good nature and resilience!

I will post more soon and include some great pictures, too!

Shout out to the Adoptive Mama Pajama Party going on in Bishkek right now! Hope you girls are having fun and giving those babies millions of hugs and kisses! Be safe and enjoy your time in that beautiful city!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Love you Mommy"

The three little words I've dreamed of hearing for years. E said them the other night all by himself without prompting. Okay, it was actually "lub u mommy", which only made it more precious and adorable. I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to have been chosen to parent this amazing little person. :)

Trick-or-treating on Sunday was really fun. E was a little shy when he was actually face to face with strangers at their doors, but he seemed to enjoy it anyway. About halfway through he did start remembering his "thank yous", although he wasn't able to get a "tikoteat" out. It was a very cold, windy day so we weren't out for very long.

Tomorrow is surgery day for our little monkey. Please think of him at 9:15 CST tomorrow and pray that his procedure goes smoothly. We sure appreciate it!

We received new measurements of K today from our coordinator. She continues to grow and a respectable rate and is actually only a few pounds shy of what E weighed when we brought him home at 12 months old! It gives me comfort during this long, indefinite waiting period to know that she is apparently healthy. Every week I think "this is the week" for good news and one of these days I'm going to be right. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How do you do it?

Over the last month I have been asked this question more times than I can possibly count. My answer - hair dye and chocolate! I have a wonderful hair stylist who diligently works to keep my ever-growing crop of gray hairs hidden and I am enjoying chocolate at will. :)

There has still been no movement with our adoption and while it is frustrating and a little bit scary, we are feeling quite at peace right now. I think having "been there done that" once already is feeding our emotional stability. We know that adoption works - we have proof every day in our home. We know that the children in the orphanage are having their basic needs met and that the caregivers work very hard and love them all very much. When people comment that they don't know how we can stand it - the waiting, the uncertainty, "knowing" our daughter and not being able to rush over to bring her home, not having an end in sight; I try to explain that there IS indeed an end in sight we just don't know when. The fact is, I see her in our family and in our home. I see her growing up with her brother, playing outside, sitting in the currently empty seat at our dinner table. I picture our family a year from now and ten years from now and she is part of it. So, while some days are truly a struggle and we worry about her and we feel sad that she is not already here, most days we hold on to the belief that "THE CALL" will come soon and we will begin the next leg of this amazing adventure.

We were extremely blessed to receive a new photo this week from a family that travelled recently. We learned one very important thing from this photo - we need to start saving our money for a piano!


In other news, we are preparing for E's eye surgery next Thursday. The doctor says it is generally a pretty straight-forward, uncomplicated procedure, but to me any procedure requiring general anesthesia is dangerous. I am quite anxious about it and ask that if anyone has spare prayers that day, please keep E and the surgeon in them.

We have had a pretty busy and fun fall so far. I have over a hundred pictures on my camera waiting for download and as soon as I have some time, I will grace this blog with the extreme cuteness that is our son! Today after I am done with work we are going to make a big pot of chili and carve some pumpkins. Tomorrow E gets to try out trick-or-treating. He kind of "gets it" this year - we were practicing in the living room last night and he thought it was pretty cool that all he had to say was "tikoteat" and I put candy in his bucket. I was pretty proud of the fact that he remembered his "thank yous" each time, too. We'll see how he does with the real thing tomorrow.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thank You!

We were blessed to be able to meet the owners of the wonderful restaurant that is helping to fund our adoption grant through The Gift of Adoption Fund. The restaurant is Zaffiros Pizza in Milwaukee and the owners Mike and Rose are the most caring and compassionate people we've ever met. Their family was built through adoption and they truly understand the hurdles adoptive parents today face in trying to raise the funds necessary to bring their kids home. It is a very quaint and welcoming place and the pizza is phenomenal!

Zaffiros have partnered with The Gift of Adoption Fund which is an organization committed to helping build families one child at a time. Their work is amazing and their CEO, Pam, is very passionate about what they do. I would encourage anyone who is able and willing to support this amazing organization please do so. We are so grateful for their work and their belief in us as a family.

Friday, September 19, 2008

All that's missing.....

is our little princess. The room is painted, the bedding has arrived and thanks to some very generous mommies, we have quite a lot of little girl clothes. The crib is still at the store where it will stay until we have travel dates, but I'm trying to stay optimistic and slowly get things together. In my last post I mentioned that some bedding I had ordered had arrived, but we decided to send it back. I've had a hard time choosing bedding for K for several reasons. First off, as those who know me can attest to, I'm not really a girly-girl. I don't like pink, frilly, lacey things and that seems to be mostly what's out there for infant girl bedding. Second, K and E will share a room for a while - we only have 2 bedrooms on our main floor and I am just not ready to be more than a few steps away. Therefore, I wanted to have something that would at least kind of coordinate with E's decor. Third, bedding is EXPENSIVE! I run on a pretty tight budget and I just couldn't justify spending $200 on bedding. Then....I found IT. I saw a set I really loved - the perfect combination of class and glamour, but it was $200. On a whim I decided to check eBay (my new best friend) and found a brand new set on auction with only 19 hours left. I set my max bid at $60 and ended up winning it for $46. I was so excited and even more so when it arrived yesterday and was just as perfect as I'd hoped it would be.

I know the suspense is just killing you, so here it is (our set has the crib bedding, valance, diaper stacker, toy bag and pillow):

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A VERY good day

Yesterday was one of those pretty darn good days. It started off with updated measurements of K from our agency. Now, I generally take these measurements fairly lightly as we've experienced the inaccuracy and inconsistency with them in the past. However, K has had a significant gain since last report and I figure even if they're off some, she almost certainly has had a gain which is tremendously encouraging to us right now. She is now the weight of a very healthy newborn!

The day only got better when I was notified that we have indeed received a grant from the same organization that helped us with E's adoption last year. We feel so incredibly blessed by the compassion and generosity of the grant selection committee and all those who support these foundations throughout the year so they may continue to offer financial assistance to adoptive families.

Later, I arrived home to find the crib bedding set I had ordered for K's crib (which is still at the store). We decided we don't really care for it as much as we did on the computer screen (the hazards of online shopping) and are sending it back in exchange for something else, but it was still pretty cool that it arrived.

All we're missing is some good news from Bishkek.............

Friday, August 29, 2008

One Wild Ride!

I'm happy to report our dossier has arrived in Bishkek! It left D.C. on 8/21 and has taken wild tour of the US and Europe. Doesn't it know this is no time for a joyride? Seems it got on a couple wrong flights and stopped at a couple wrong addresses before finding itself safe in Bishkek. It did, however miss the cutoff for delivery so it'll be next week before it arrives safely in the hands of our facilitator. Here's where that crazy package of documents has been: Departed Washington D.C. - Memphis, TN - Frankfurt, Germany - Almaty, Kazakhstan - Paris, France - Poyle, Great Britian - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Now that there is definite movement - dossiers have left D.C., dossiers have been signed by the adoption commission in Bishkek, court dates are due to be issued; I am starting to breathe again. Not much, but a little. I have this sudden urge to clean, organize and paint! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A sneek peek.....

Oh how I wish we could fast-forward to the day when (God willing) we can introduce K as our daughter. Unfortunately, we just don't have any concrete timeline right now and I desperately want to share the beauty of our little girl with those of you who've shown us such great support so far in our journey. Have you ever seen more gorgeous eyes?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


First of all, thank so much to everyone who has shared words of comfort and support this week. I received a few additional pictures yesterday (thanks again Lisa B!) from K's "photo shoot" the other week and there is one that is just mesmerizing. She has the brightest, most beautiful eyes! We continue to hold her in our hearts and pray that she stays strong for us!

Here's a little fun courtesy of Maria:

LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

For me - 327,775 people in the US with my first name and 4 with my entire name.

For Kevin - 1,026,014 people in the US with his first name and 11 with his entire name.

For E and K - they are both "one of a kind" - no one else in the US with their names!

Pretty cool, huh?!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Non-update of sorts

I wish I had great news to report, but unfortunately I do not. Our dossier continues to sit at the Embassy with no word on when it will move on to Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, our little lady continues to wait and my heart continues to ache for her. We were so blessed to receive a few new photos of her last week (Thanks Lisa B!!) that have given us and our medical team greater insight into her medical condition. After talking with our team yesterday, the knot in my stomach grows tighter. Her condition is more significant than we originally thought and she is emaciated which has them very concerned. I knew when we accepted her referral we would have a long, challenging road ahead, but until yesterday I did not truly believe there was a chance she may not make it. I pray that she has the spirit and fight in her to press on and wait for us. I have never felt so helpless.....

Please pray for God to watch over our little angel.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summer Fun!

There's not a lot to share in adoption news. We're just kind of hanging around waiting...waiting...waiting. We're praying for travel sometime this fall, but as internation adoption goes, we have learned better than to expect anything concrete. This process is truly the biggest leap of faith a person ever has to take and no matter how hard you try, you cannot control it and will drive yourself crazy trying to do so. We're trying to focus on enjoying what's left of the quickly dwindling summer months and preparing our home and lives for the addition of our little girl. It's difficult most days for me to think about her and talk about bringing her home because I know that there is always a chance that may not happen. I find myself constantly reminded by my inner logic that she is indeed not ours yet. There comes a time, however, when I will have to make that quantum leap into believing that we will travel and bring her home and I guess I am inching closer to that place. I have allowed myself to browse bedding and think about infant supplies that we of course, do not own as E was 12 months old when we brought him home. I hope to hear news that things are moving along well in Kyrgyzstan and that there are families being reuinited with their kiddos and coming home safely. Our IA doctors (and us) are anxiously awaiting new information and photos of K to help better evaluate her special needs and help us develop a plan for the future. We pray that if someone is travelling soon they may be able to visit with her.

E has been thoroughly enjoying his time outside this summer despite the hoards of mosquitos that we cannot seem to get a break from. He is growing like crazy and talking more every day. Just typing about him brings a smile to my face. Here's a little peak at our summer fun.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's a..........GIRL!!!!

I'm so happy to share with the world that we have accepted the referral of a beautiful, baby girl! We received her information last week Friday and had an instant feeling that she would be our daughter. I will admit that I was a little shocked as I had always kind of figured we would have another boy. We didn't state a gender or infant preference and with the ways of international adoption, that usually (although not always) translates into a referral of an older infant boy. She is quite young and very, very special. I won't be sharing details or photos at this time due to her very unique special needs and the fact that as much as we want her to be, she isn't truly ours until the courts say she is.

We hope and pray for her spirit and strength while she waits for us to come and bring her home (hopefully this fall).

Our focus up to this point has been fundraising, and while we have been so incredibly blessed by the generosity of others, unfortunately we are still about $20,000 short of what we need to bring her home. I spend a huge part of each day racking my brain for new, creative ways to come up with the funds; and the other part doing research and educating myself on her special needs. We have a lot to plan for - not only bringing a new baby into our lives, but also making sure we have the resources lined up to help her (and us) when she arrives home.

We understand that we have a very long, difficult road ahead of us, but also realize that it will be one of the most amazing journeys we could embark upon. We so appreciate everyone's support and prayers during the months ahead.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wisconsin SOS Rocks!

I had the day off yesterday because I worked the whoooole weekend so I took our dossier to the Sec of State Office for authentication. I dropped it off at 8:30 and spent the rest of my morning running a million errands. I got a call at 11:50 letting me know my documents were done so I turned around and went right back to get them. I would say that a 3hr 20min turnaround time on an entire dossier cannot be beat by anyone! Thank you lovely SOS ladies for your hard work!

This weekend I emailed our state representative regarding an ongoing problem we are having with USCIS with regard to E's citizenship. They happily accepted the application and took our money back in October, but have yet to produce a certificate or an explanation about what is taking so long with his case. Well, I've had it and decided to call in some reinforcements. Wouldn't ya know it, a wonderful gentleman emailed me immediately Monday morning requesting additional information about E's case so he could access the USCIS records and get this taken care of.

Long story short, I'm feeling pretty darn good about our Wisconsin officials today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I'm sure people are wondering how our big fundraiser went this weekend so I wanted to pop on briefly and share.

While we did not have the turnout we'd hoped in terms of numbers of people, we were incredibly blessed to have extremely generous guests who not only donated and bid on our silent auction items, but offered hugs, prayers and lots of support as well. To those who took time out of their busy schedules to join us on Sunday - Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your presence and support meant more to us that you could know. For those who weren't able to join us but offered financial support anyway - we are grateful. And for those who perhaps took a moment out of their day to offer up a prayer on our behalf - we deeply appreciate you as well.

All told, our summer fundraising has brought in just over $5000 and has put us within reach of the halfway point to having the funds we need to bring our baby home. We will continue to scrimp and save and rack our brains for other creative fundraising ideas. Most of all, we will continue to pray and have faith that we are travelling the road God intended and that He will show us the way.

I wanted to share the video I made for the fundraiser. Perhaps it will offer some hope to a waiting family out there. The music is off "The Spirit of Adoption" CD (which can be easily purchased on Amazon.com) - I HIGHLY recommend this CD for waiting adoptive families - it has helped me through some tough spots.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Almost a month????

I cannot believe it has been almost a month since I last posted! Time sure does fly when you're drowning in paper!

It is now public knowledge that the Kyrgyzstan Embassy has changed dossier requirements. What this meant for us was redoing a good portion of our dossier, updating dates (because certain things now expire), getting a hold of new documents, having FBI clearances done and resubmitting the dossier for translation. We received our FBI clearances today - there's something oddly satisfying about seeing that "No arrest record" stamped across the page even though we were pretty darn sure that's how they'd come back! :)

We are currently one document shy of having a complete dossier. Once we get that in our hot, little hands it's off to the Secretary of State's office for a little authentication. After that's done and all of the translations are back, we will make many pounds of copies and ship everything off to our courier in DC for authentication at the Kyrgyz embassy. From there, le dossier will be on it's way to Kyrgyzstan!

It's shocking to me to look at our timeline and realize that we've already been at this for over three months. Last time I had our dossier assembled, authenticated and off to Kyrgyzstan about six weeks after we sent in our formal application. A few weeks later we had a referral and we were home with our little monkey a few months after that. While many parts of the process are easier this time (the waiting, the bumps in the road, the uncertainty), finding time to deal with all of the tediousness of it is much, much more difficult.

We had both of our large rummage sales over the last month and they were a success despite the recent flooding that prohibits a person from getting anywhere near our little town right now. We were so blessed by donations from friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances - we thank you all and are truly grateful!!

We are gearing up for our Silent Auction Fundraiser this coming Sunday. Again, we have been overwhelmed with people's generosity and are thrilled that we have about 25 really amazing auction items! As far as funds, it's tough to see the bright side, but we sure try. We are about 1/3 of the way to having the money we need to bring our little angel home. Something deep inside reminds me that it will all work out because it has to. It did last time and we were able to bring E home, so I do have faith that it will work again and LP will join our family.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Infertility and Adoption

I don't really discuss this topic anymore, because quite honestly I thank God every day for our infertility. I cannot imagine my life without E and I cannot imagine any other journey to my children than adoption. Our infertility and the path we've chosen to take to our children has changed us profoundly and I think, made us stronger, more appreciative, more compassionate individuals and pretty great parents, too.

There was a time, however, when I struggled everyday. I hurt, and cried and asked "why me?" over and over again. I wanted to share this beautiful poem that someone posted on a group that I belong to. Perhaps it will touch someone else and help them work through the painful feelings infertility evokes; maybe it will even provide a little hope......

There are women that become mothers without effort. Without thought, without patience or loss. And though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him, and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense: that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I give birth to or a child that God Leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, morn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine and when life is beyond hard, I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Money, money, money.....

People always ask "how much did he cost" or say "well....if you can afford it, great". While I kept close track in the beginning of E's adoption process, once you've gone over many tens of thousands of dollars, you stop keeping track. So, I've come up with a very accurate breakdown of our expected expenses. Let me set the record straight about 2 things - HE did not cost anything - the process did; and we cannot afford it because we're sitting on a mountain of cash, we work our tails off every single day and go without all of the things many people consider "necessities" because we love our children (even the ones we haven't met yet).

Here it is in a nutshell - of course, as is common in International Adoption, this could change at any time with no notice:

Agency fees: Home study, facilitation, post placement - $6500
USCIS: I600A, fingerprinting, citizenship paperwork - $1800
Dossier: Documents, translation, authentication, Embassy fees - $3300
Kyrgyzstan fees: Government fees, document preparation, facilitator, humanitarian aid, medical exam - $13,400
Travel: Airfare, lodging, food for 2 trips- $10,600
Total: $41,650

So far we have paid out $5000, leaving us with the daunting task of raising another $36,650. There are days, believe me, when it feels completely hopeless and impossible, but most days I feel like somehow we will make it happen. We have no choice - our child needs us!

Am I bitter? No, I honestly am not. Wouldn't it be great if it wasn't so expensive? Definitely! However, it is what it is. It is our life. It is our chosen path to our kids and we will walk it together with the help of loved ones (and sometimes even strangers). We will stumble and fall, but we will always pick each other back up. When that day comes that we meet LP for the first time, memories of the road travelled will be tucked away and in their place hopes and dreams for the future of our family will rest.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Monkey!!!!

Here we are - E's 2nd birthday already. It's so hard to believe that an entire year has gone by. We had a very busy last week and weekend so I'm a little behind on posts - forgive me, please.

Last Wednesday, E had his EGD with biopsies of his stomach and upper intestines. The doctor said everything looked great and there were no obvious problems. He had suspected celiac disease or ulcers so we were very grateful to rule both of those things out. Remarkably, E gained just over 2 pounds since his last appointment in February. That's his biggest gain in that amount of time ever. The biopsies revealed an inflammatory response. In other words, a very generic diagnosis with a very easy trial treatment - Prevacid. We will see Mr. GI doc again in May to reweigh and reassess. For now, it looks like E is finally going to start gaining and catching up.

Here's our cutie on surgery day in his fashionable, teeny, tiny hospital gown:

Thursday, the 24th, was our family day - one year to the day that E joined our family. We started out by having a family portrait done and then had E's 2 year old pictures done - he was definitely less cooperative than last year, but we got some great shots.

April 24, 2007 - First Family Picture

April 24, 2008

After pictures, we had a nice lunch at the mall food court and went to the zoo for a couple of hours. We are lucky to have a really wonderful, small zoo nearby.

We ended the week on Saturday with a great birthday party! Cheetos, pizza and cake - how could the day NOT be great!!

Two years ago today, my little boy was born. I've looked back at my old calendar to try and figure out what I was doing, but to be honest, I don't really know. I guess it really doesn't matter much - the wheels were in motion whether we knew it or not. We were meant to share each others' lives and that's why we are together now. I've been thinking a lot about E's birth mom and wondering if she has thought of him today. I pray that whether or not she has, that she is living peacefully and I am grateful to her for choosing life for him.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ramblings and a Prayer Request

We are day 2 into our week of "vacation". I have never in my life had a paid vacation, so this is pretty cool for me. We are feverishly working on cleaning house, garage, storage, etc., getting ready for our big rummage sales and fundraising event. We're also getting ready for E's 2nd birthday party this Saturday. Yes, despite my best intentions, I have gone terribly overboard with it all - I figure we have an extra year to make up for since this is his first party at home.

On the adoption front, fingerprints are done. Same 3 elderly security guards working the entrance of our local Department of Homeland Security office - funny little group of men! We were two of 4 people in the place which is drastically different from last time. I fed the meter for 2 hours and we were out in 15 minutes! Finally, a government process that doesn't take an entire day.

I also contacted USCIS regarding E's citizenship case as it has been just over 6 months since we filed the application. Our receipt letter stated that these cases were taking 6 months to process, so I figured I'd check into it. They are now beginning to process November applications, so E's should be rolling on (we filed in October). It takes 60 days from the beginning of processing to receive a ruling so that means we should hear something in the next month. YAY!!!!

Tomorrow will be a bit of a trying day for our family as E is sceduled for a minor surgical procedure at 9:00 a.m. Please keep him in your prayers that he sails through with no complications and very little discomfort. I am especially on edge about this whole thing in light of the events of 2 weeks ago. If all goes well we should be home by late afternoon or early evening.

I'll leave you with a little springtime fun:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

THIS is WHY....

Our hearts have lead us to the path and we are fighting to find our way to our next child. This is an intimate look into the possible future life of a special needs orphan who does not find their forever family.

Click Here

Yes, this is the same country E is from and yes, this is real. Please take a moment to remind yourself how lucky you are and perhaps consider if there is anything you can do to help break the cycle and change some one's fate. I encourage you to read the Wright Family's Blog in it's entirety - they are an amazing group of people bringing a lot of good to a lot of people around the world.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Moving Right Along.....

Yesterday, we received our USCIS Biometrics Appointment Notification. We're due to be fingerprinted April 22 at 2:00p.m. This came as a huge shock, actually, because we just submitted our I600A a few weeks ago and haven't even sent in our homestudy yet. Strangely, April 22 last year was a very special day for us because we were in the air on our way to meet and bring home our precious, little boy! Coincidence?? Maybe, maybe not. We also just so happen to be on vacation next week so it really works out very well.

I have added a timeline to the sidebar so you can see which steps we've completed (and so I can keep track of these all important milestones). Now to get my hard-working hubby's hands in shape by next Tuesday so they are able to actually get prints. I think this time, I'll frisk him when we get out of the car - last time he inadvertently left a small knife in his pocket - not too cool when walking into the USCIS Center. I don't recall the guards being real impressed by that - we thought it was kind of funny, though.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scariest Minutes of My Life

I have aged.....10 years at least in the last 2 days. Following a wonderful weekend of playing outside and having great fun, E developed a very low fever Sunday evening. He is cutting 2 year molars and was acting normal in every other way, so I did what I'd like to think most mom's would do - I gave him some Motrin and put him to bed.
At 3 a.m. we were awakened by one, strange cry - Moms, you know the one - it's not scared, hurt, angry or sad - it's that weird sound that you can't identify. We both got out of bed and found our little guy having a seizure in his crib. I consider myself pretty medically intelligent and quite level headed in the face of an emergency and I will tell you that I crumbled and completely lost my head. There is nothing that can describe the fear and the helplessness that goes through you at a time like that. I stood, sobbing and hysterical in the middle of my living room holding my baby and I had no clue what to do. His seizure lasted all of 2-3 minutes, but it was the next 30 that were even harder. He was totally limp and unresponsive, his pupils were dialated and fixed, he wouldn't look at anything or anyone or turn to sound or light, he wouldn't pull back when pinched. I still hear the loud moan he kept doing and it sends chills down my spine.

By the time we arrived via EMS at the hospital he was beginning to show some signs of life and within about 5 hours he was inching closer to normal; exhausted, but normal. We were admitted and it turns out he has influenza. Not "the flu" like everyone thinks with the stomach problems, real influenza - the one you get vaccinated for. He, like thousands of others, has the strain that was not in the vaccine this year. Really, there is nothing you can do, but treat the fevers and keep hydrated and ride it out, so that's what we are doing. The doctor expects a complete recovery in about 7-10 days and has given us about a 33% chance that we will see another seizure in the future if he has a strange infection or high fever.

I was, once again, amazed by the bravery and resilience of my little child. He put up with all the poking and prodding like a champ. He spent nearly 39 hours in that bed in my arms and didn't fuss a whole lot. In the very early morning hours today he was saying "done, done" as soon as a nurse walked in before she even started messing with him.

We are home now, showered, bathed, fed and E is resting comfortably. I'm not sure if I will be able to put him to bed tonight as if nothing ever happend - we'll see.

People may think I'm nuts, but yes, I took pictures of him - I figure moments are moments whether they're good, bad or otherwise and this was definitely a major occurrance in all of our lives. Here's my brave, little soldier:

I was trying to get his thumb out - after 5 trys, the only place they could get his IV was in his thumb-sucking hand - very upsetting for him!

(Don't mind scary-looking mommy)

Gettin a little daddy-love

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter Cuteness

Well, E's first Easter was a smashing success! He really had a lot of fun, okay we had more fun and he didn't really care all that much, but it was a great day. He was excited to "find" his basket when he got up, was an angel in church and had a blast at Grandma and Grandpa's. Here's a few highlights:

And after the very long day......

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Productivity is a Wonderful Thing

I've had a very productive 2 days. Took a snow day yesterday - no way, no how was I going through that hairy four-hour commute home again like during last month's big snowstorm. We got 14 inches yesterday and home was a very nice place to be snuggled up with my favorite little munchkin.

On the adoption front, I mailed off our I600A today with a big, fat check for the US Department of Homeland Security. Our new home study is not complete yet, but the application along with a letter of request and our birth certificates (which I originally forgot to include and noticed it about 2 hours later - gotta love small towns, the lady at the post office dug out the envelope and opened up again to let me come back and include them) will at least get us an appointment for fingerprinting. I'll send the home study next month or whenever our social worker completes it. Then, we sit back and wait for the coveted I171H.

We also got our donation request packets out to 35 area businesses for our silent auction in June. Hopefully we will get some great items donated.

We have an appointment with our social worker Sunday, April 6. She will do E's final post placement report and also our new home study. I cannot believe we're doing his last report already. Next month it will be one year that he's been with us and he also turn 2! We took a week of vacation for the same week we were in Bishkek last year and will do some fun family things that do not involve crazy foreign drivers, weird food, or really, really long plane trips! We're having a Curious George themed birthday party - his first one at home! His first birthday party was awesome, but a little subdued - it was just the three of us in a small hotel room at the Ak Keme in Bishkek and a tiny, little cake that I was too afraid to eat. E was a sport - I know that had to have been the most frightening week of his life, but he put up with us putting a hat on him, taking tons of pictures and he even tried to rip some of the paper off the presents. Here's a look back at birthday number 1: