Sunday, May 31, 2009
1- I saw both Saluda, South Carolina and Saluda, North Carolina on my road trip.
2- The weather was officially nicer in St. Petersburg than it was here since it rained all week.
3- I won the Italian Lottery and just need to give them my credit card number and mailing address to claim my prize.
4- I can parallel park an SUV under extenuating circumstances.
5- The Baby Name Genie (http://www.babynamegenie.com/baby-name-generator/) suggested we name a son, Peyton Andrew or a daughter, Donna Isabella. No we haven’t picked any names yet.
6- Graduation Weekend at Bethel was as crazy as I remember. We "Roasted" our seniors on Saturday night and then turned around and celebrated with all the grads and families today after church. Ahhhh.....to be 18 again. Meagan reminded us that this week 11 years ago, we were wearing the caps and gowns! And before you know it we'll be attending preschool graduations, kindergarten graduations....you get the picture. Time feels stuck on fast forward......
7- Girls night out with Shani was a blast- we saw Angels and Demons and fortunately, I have a terrible memory and didn't remember what I read until after it happened on the big screen.
8- Bought some Old Navy t-shirts for $3.00 and some sweaters (for Russia) for less than $3.00 each. What a bargain and I always enjoy forcing my sister to shop with me.
9- Celebrated my parents joining this century- My parents are now "Blog Followers" and Chad's folks have joined facebook.
10- I always enjoy volunteering at the Children's shelter. What a blessing. That's where I am headed right now.....Then it's on to the grocery store. I don't want Jordan to think I have a kitchen just because it came with the house. Just wanted to check in with you weekend readers since I haven't said hello in a few days.
HELLO! GOODBYE! GOTTA FLY!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I enter through the doors that weigh 5 tons, go up an elevator and poof- there she is, the woman I spoke on the phone with. She says "Sarah?" Yippeee!!! She also says she has our other documents C.W.A. sent and asks if I would like to take those with me as I go too. YES!!!! I have our entire DOSSIER IN MY HANDS! I have a seat and she starts stamping away. In 29 minutes I am back to my car. I had a whole minute to spare! The bums have deserted their bench (Sigh of relief) and I am on my way up the happy bean road.
I made such good time in Columbia, I think to myself.... I could make it to Flat Rock (North Carolina) by 4:30. So I drive another 150 miles to our agency. Upon arrival (with 25 minutes to spare) I took advantage of the sweet receptionist and ask her to make some copies for me and took up residency in an empty conference room to get everything in order (copies, originals, our copies, C.W.A.'s copies) and walk to the front waiting area. THEN I HANDED OVER OUR DOSSIER (with home studies enclosed) CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Just like that...4 hours of driving and 1 hour of paper processing later, I am on my way home, with our Dossier Apostilled and this huge step completed.
I started out today stopping to get gas on the way to work and ended the day by filling up my tank again after a multi-state trek! I'm just like UPS, but faster. However, I am absolutely exhausted and I am on my way to bed RIGHT NOW..... I hope this post makes sense! On Monday, I made an appointment for Chad and I at Immigration at 8:00 to file our Petition to bring an orphan into the country (I-600A). There will be no dust settling on us!
January 8, 2009- Chad and I celebrate our 9th anniversary. While at dinner we talk about the next step in starting a family- IVF? Not for us. Adoption, lets do it! What’s holding us back? Money, fear of the unknown.
January 10, 2009- Go to Barnes and Nobles and buy two books on adoption. Question: Domestic or International. Chad stays up all night reading Dawn Davenport’s book- “Book of International Adoption” Start web research. Decide that International adoption has less risk (more 1st time success rates than U.S. adoption, less birth mother rights to change her mind)
January 12, 2009- Request information from several adoption agencies. Some are too small, some are too big. Christian World Adoption seems just right! And the headquarters are about 45 minutes from home. Start thinking about a country….. We are thinking Bulgaria.
January 22, 2009- Met with Carol at C.W.A. We are so eager to hear all about the different programs and countries. We have a lot to think about! Bulgaria is out; our hearts are set on Russia. Ethiopia is a close second.
January 23, 2009- Receive first set of goodies from C.W.A. to fill out (Initial Application packet, Home Study details)
January 27, 2009- Attend webinar Orientation with Julie.
January 30, 2009- Send letter to friends and family announcing the adoption, need for support and financial help!
February 3, 2009- Send Initial Application packet to Pat with first payment to the agency. It’s official- We are “Paper Pregnant”! The blog is born…..
February 8, 2009- Start the evil adoption book, start gathering documents, start freaking out. Background checks, reference letters, and other things with personal information goes out. Still not sure why….. but I think we’re in the clear.
February 10, 2009- Anya is assigned to our case. We love her accent, we are hoping that she likes us.
February 16, 2009- Send autobiographies (More than you ever wanted to know about Chad and Sarah) along with all the other documents on our “check list” for our home study. Home study is scheduled for March 14th. Start cleaning. Start Hague Training online course. It was a busy day.
February 17, 2009- Spider infestation.
February 19, 2009- Anya assigns us to the St. Petersburg Region. Yipppeee!
February 24, 2009- Complete Hague online training.
February 28, 2009- Pass the “evil adoption book” test. Ridiculous amount of cleaning taking place in our home. More than when we sold our house in Georgia.
March 14, 2009- Home Study visit. I actually asked Portia to look in our closets and inside our drawers.
March 16, 2009- Document training webinar with Michael.
April 11, 2009- Momma Jane (Mimi) and Daddy (PeePee, just kidding, we haven’t figure out what to call him yet) buy nursery furniture for Baby Deetz. It will arrive in our “second trimester”
April 22, 2009- Home study draft comes via fax. Make our changes and send it back the next day.
May 27, 2009- Home study has been Apostilled by C.W.A. and in route to the Deetz House!
It’s been a little longer than 3 months, but I consider the receipt of our final home study the end of a very long trimester. The good news is: I didn't throw up once, have not gained any weight, and I have no new stretch marks. However, I am feeling REALLY tired and have moments of extreme crankiness and irritability. Then again, that's nothing new! But, the good news is, we are on our way!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Our little neighbor, Gracie, is my pal. She stands in the driveway and greets me nearly everyday when I come home from work. She tells me when “the boys” have been home moving t.v.’s and borrowing video game equipment for impromptu Halo tournaments. (“The boys” are the youth group boys that frequent our home to borrow controllers and “routers” and other things I don’t really understand, because our house is gaming central. We are equipped to have 16 players playing each other at one time through the magic or technology that I again, don’t understand) Anyway, Gracie is about 6 years old and I think she is the leader of the neighborhood kid pack. When I hear them all jumping on the trampoline- it’s Gracie that calls the shots. She tells me about school and soccer and her dog. She is full of information.
A few months ago, Gracie learned how to ride her bike. I came home from work, her parents were in the driveway with the video camera and she was in the cul-de-sac, trying to get the bike moving. I think before I arrived, she was having a little bit of a meltdown. I could see tear stains in the dirt on her cheeks. The video camera was off, but held at attention by her mother. When she saw me, she tucked in her lower lip and puffed out her chest. She said “I can ride my bike now, do you want to see?” I stood at attention for what seemed like an eternity. She would get balanced, then teeter to one side. She would kick off again and almost tip over. This went on and on. At last she got both feet on the pedals. Then all of a sudden- she was flying! We all cheered, video cameras were rolling, Gracie was really doing it! She was moving! It was like a breath of relief was simultaneously breathed by me, Gracie’s mom and dad, and the biggest one of all- from Gracie.
We are finally starting to move. The good news is that we are standing in the driveway, bike in tow, but we just haven’t quite gotten both feet on the pedals. Yesterday we received more documents in the mail that have already been certified and Apostilled in Columbia. I am praying today when I get home our home study is sitting by the front door and then- we’ll be flying! Then we can all breath a sigh of relief. More exciting movement- fellow blogger Kate has gotten a referral, she will travel the second week of June to meet her daughter!
“I thought of it while riding my bicycle", is reputedly what Albert Einstein said about his Theory of Relativity…..
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We have no idea about how old they will be, we’ve said newborn to two years old is an acceptable age range. Reliable sources also tell us that the minimum age is 9 months in Russia, because the children must remain on an “In-Country Waiting List” for 9 months prior to being available to outside adoption. That being said, we know of a family that adopted a 4 month old from Russia. Even though I think she was closer to 6 months old when they brought her home, the orphanage/government kept saying “Ohh…she’s too young for you to take her!” yet, she was placed with them anyway! 6 months to 24 months is a huge gap in age and development, it’s really like apples and oranges…..
It’s interesting to me how sometimes with the unknown, consciously we see a blank canvas and start filling in the blanks as information is presented- a little here, a little there. When people ask me about specifics when it comes to the baby, I just say what I just wrote. Basically- we have no idea! In my minds eye though, I picture a darling blonde toddler boy~ He knows how to walk, he babbles in Russian, but is learning some English words- “mama” “dada” “book”. I look in my rear view mirror and there he is sitting in his car seat playing with a toy car! He has a mischievous personality and a grin to match…. Sometimes I picture a little toddler girl with dark ringlet curls and alabaster skin who loves Disney Princesses as much as I do. People sometimes stop us in the store and say “Ohh! She looks just like you!” I just smile and nod and say thank you. Sunday night though, I had a dream, let me tell you about it…..
I dreamt that I went to baby Deetz crib and there was a TINY newborn baby inside. I was so shocked in my dream that I gasp! This baby is so…..SMALL! What am I going to do with this? The toys I’ve bought are all too grown up, the books are too mature, and the clothes won’t fit for another two years! I’ve bought sippy cups and tiny silverware not bottles! I pick her up out of the crib (yes it was a her!) and walk into the kitchen. I fill a sippy cup with cheerios about half way, throw in like 10 scoops of formula (I read the label to make sure there isn’t too much iron in it, I don’t want to poison her) by this time the baby is screaming in this tiny high pitched wail, so I fill it up with water and start shaking it. I sit down in the chair and start to feed her out of this huge sippy cup. The cup is practically as big as the baby! The whole time I’m feeding her I’m hoping she doesn’t choke on a cheerio. When I woke up, I laid in bed and re-evaluated my image of baby Deetz. This could be a really small baby…..
Part of me wants to blame the crazy vivid dream on the Chinese food I ate too late for dinner. Part of me is thinking it may be God saying- “Only I know what child I have picked for you and you don’t, so stop buying blue things and telling yourself if it’s a girl you’ll just sell them on ebay or at the next consignment sale!” But logically, it’s telling me the dream is based on a recent conversation I had with Chad. I found these cool magnetic strips you hang on the wall that have these giant magnets to display artwork. I told Chad “oohhhh we could hang these like a border in Baby Deetz room and paint the bottom half of the wall with that chalkboard paint, wouldn’t that be cool?” To that he said “don’t you think they’ll eat the chalk?” BINGO. I am picturing a toddler that would love drawing and coloring in chalk all over the walls. Chad is picturing a baby like in my dream that would definitely make a snack out of chalk. I wonder who will be more accurate? Will we be equipped to encompass that broad of an age range? Yikes. Needless to say, we are holding off on the magnetic strips and I will not eat General Tso’s and egg rolls that close to bed time ever again.
P.S.- You can make your own stick family at http://www.freeflashtoys.com/
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
We drove home (in the pouring rain), went and got some Chinese food, and began the assembly of our treasures. As you can see, it was a group effort.
This is the really cool bookshelf we will hang at kiddy eye level after we paint the room. If it's a boy, a light blue with big gears to go with the robot theme, and if it's a girl maybe a shade of yellow, because I spotted this beautiful linen set at Baby U.S.A. It's a red/light blue/yellow flower and paisley number. Both would be cool, modern, and happy! And we love happy!
Here is the fun red book shelf. After I put all the books on it, I thought.....I need more books! Now that they are spread out, there doesn't look to be as many as in the baskets.
This is my favorite thing we got today.....a groovy "Dr. Evil" Egg chair. This was my assembly project! It swivels and spins around and the orange curtain thing goes all the way down for a perfect little reading nook. Once we get the closet doors taken off and the closet organizer/toy bin unit in that Mr. Fischer is building for us, we'll move the chair next to the book shelf. As you can see, the old beat up (but extremely comfortable) rocking recliner has made it's way downstairs too. For now, we are planning on using it as a sleeping/baby rocker chair. It matches nicely and we'll see how everything fits in the room once the furniture gets here.
I barely fit in the egg chair. I also got some really cute finger puppets at Ikea. Here I am testing everything out and modeling the finger puppets. It takes a lot of skill to put all 10 on by yourself. Then, I spun around too much and it kinda made me want to barf. Note to self: Don't let baby Deetz spin on a full stomach.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
So the lawn guy.....he's talking to Chad and I hear Chad crack up laughing. He keeps saying "are you serious?" He hands Chad something and walks away.
I say "what was that all about?" Chad just looks at me in disbelief. We've been named the "Yard of the Month" in our subdivision. We both just sit there and laugh for a minute. We won a $25 gift card to Lowe's. We laugh some more. Chad says "I asked the guy if he was paying attention as he walked to the front door" Now, I must tell you that they judged the yards on May 13th, a day after Chad's step-dad mowed the grass for us. Obviously though, they must have done a "drive by judging" and neglected to look at the flower beds very closely. So here is the best part- they put a giant sign in the yard that says "YARD OF THE MONTH" RIGHT IN A GIANT PATCH OF WEEDS. Now I am embarrassed and feel like I need to go pull weeds and plant some more flowers immediately! Chad says- "Well I guess I better mow the grass tomorrow". With great power, comes great responsibility. We are going to be the laughing stock of the cul-de-sac. Our neighbors know the truth. Our Great Dane's potty area makes our yard smell like a barn. We mow our grass a week after our neighbors do because the stark contrast of grass lengths is ridiculous. We let things grow in the flower beds if they remotely look like flowers (ie: dandelions, clovers, ragweed).
Have you ever gotten something you didn't deserve? I feel that way every single day. I have a good job. I have a nice house (even if the yard is full of weeds). I have the sweetest husband. Our life's work in the ministry gives us purpose. My parents are still together and I love them every day more and more. My in-laws are terrific people (that even mow my grass). I ate way too much at dinner tonight. I have food in my fridge. I drive a nice car. My sister is my best friend. I have more clothes/shoes/and purses than one person should. I have good friends. I am going to be a mom soon. I know that God loves me, so much that he sent his son to die for me so that I can truly live. The gifts I've been given so freely are more than I even could have asked for, and certainly more than I deserve.
The only thing I wish is that I didn't win the yard of the month. Now I'm going to have to do yard work this month. Maybe I'll just move that darn sign to our neighbor's yard in the middle of the night tonight......
After we get those very expensive pieces of paper, then it's off to the Apostille. C.W.A felt badly about how long everything was taking so long and went ahead and got their documents Apostilled for us. So what we should have by mid-week is everything in our possession for our will be Dossier sent off to Columbia. I'm thinking about taking a little day trip down there and hand delivering them to the state office, since it's only a hop,skip, and jump from the Burg'. Maybe I can talk Chad, Rick, and Donna into making a day of it...... We can go to the zoo.
Today we are heading out to IKEA to buy baby Deetz a bookshelf for their room and me a new "down alternative" blanket for the bed. My sister's devil dog (Lola) ate the corners off mine and the fluff is finally starting to come out of all the little puffy pockets.
I am so thrilled that our documents are making forward motion! It's such a good feeling. There is good news for other fellow bloggers/adoptive families too- it seems as several agencies have been taken off the "blacklist" and Kate is getting close to a possible referral (two girls!) It's so refreshing to have new news, and good news to boot!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Anyway, when you subscribe to the magazine, they send you little articles monthly by e-mail of additional topics and stories they couldn’t fit in the magazine. This month, one of the topics was about how the economy has effected adoption. I was going to do a cut and paste number, however, 1-It was mega long and 2- It basically said it was “too early” to detect a trend with how adoption has been effected by this recent downturn in our economy. It did, however, share several families’ stories that were on both sides of the fence. It told of a family that registered their Dossier in China in January 2006 and were getting close to a referral (can you imagine waiting that long?) And the husband has been unemployed for several months and they know that they will be unable to afford to travel or donate the required $5,000 humanitarian fee to the orphanage. They are praying that they DON’T receive a referral anytime soon, because they said they would have to decline the referral. In China a minimum income of $30,000 per dependant must be proven to qualify for adoption. (i.e.: a family of four that are trying to adopt a third child must earn $150,000) Yikes.
Then, you had the opinion that adoption is not a luxury, it is considered a need and families are willing to beg, borrow, or steal to make adoption work. I think this might be the category we fall into (other than the stealing bit….) but I think that is easy to say when you are not facing financial ruin. My heart just went out to all of those families that were saying no to adoption because of the cost associated with it. The article provides links to need based grants and low interest loans. However- if you earn too much, you don’t qualify for a grant and if you don’t earn enough you don’t meet the sending country’s minimum income requirements and can’t qualify for a loan. Catch 22.
A trend is slowly emerging that more biological families are being forced to give their children up because they can’t afford the child’s most basic needs and less families have the resources to adopt these children. It’s a vicious cycle.
One crazy lady basically said “I’m happy that so many people aren’t adopting right now, it bumped us to the front of the list and made our process quicker” Whoa- what I have to say about that is not “blogworthy” for young audiences.
Anyway- how has this affected us personally? We are depending on God fully. We’ve had a handful of people give VERY generously. Every week we’ve had an inquiry about our financial needs and we’ve answered them openly and honestly- WE NEED! Deetzsie’s Treatsies (my side business making cookies for settlements at our law firm) donates 100% of proceeds to “Operation Baby Deetz”. Chad has D.J.ed a few school dances. We are eating out less; my excessive shopping habit has taken a permanent vacation (only with a few relapses). I am thinking about a fundraiser in the early fall (Maybe a BBQ or silent auction?) We have “Pampered the Chef” and Daddy is still selling crosses. Basically, every penny that goes into our account is classified as “a night’s stay in St. Petersburg” or “dinner for me and Chad in St. Petersburg”. It’s a whole new mindset. We lovingly joke that one generous anonymous giver has paid for “one leg” of baby Deetz. All joking aside- we have been so blessed and are trusting God to make this a reality.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Oh Boy. You should have seen the pictures we had to choose from! We narrowed it down to a picture of the front of the house, one of the backyard, one of the baby’s room, living room, and kitchen area. Then for the personal pictures- us on our wedding day (looking like mere babes) a picture of us on the cruise last Christmas, a picture of us in Mexico, a picture of my family and Chad's mom and Rick at Christmas, a picture of Chad's dad and Bev with the kids. It's kinda like summarizing your life in 10 words or less. But in a way, everything we've had to fill out has been like that. You worry about "how you look on paper". Forms leave no room for your true self, the fabric of your lives that hold everything else together, not just the big milestones or memories. I've heard it illustrated by someone talking about a tombstone, it's not the year listed that you were born or the year listed that you died, it's the little dash in between that truly matters and makes us who we are. Pray that whom ever is translating our documents into Russian in a few weeks (hopefully) can read between the lines and find us worthy of raising a child!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Anyway, I’ve been buying baby/toddler books like crazy! Top three reasons: 1-Age and gender don’t matter when you’re building a library. If the words are too complex, you can make up your own interactive story 2- Language skills are so essential and books are perfect tools to establish bonding, build communication skills, teach baby Deetz English, colors, counting, emotion, logic, deductive reasoning, all that good stuff. 3- As a society, we over T.V. our kids! I think about our “library” growing up, we had shelves and shelves of stories that stretched our imagination and taught us the love of a good story! My sister and I haven’t stopped talking/writing/reading since….
For less than $15, I bought 10 gently loved hardback books:
2-Farm Animals “Slide Out” Book
3-Trucks and Cars “Slide Out” Book- These books are so cool, instead of lifting the flap to show a hidden object, the child slides a window down into the page of the book to reveal the object. This is much more sturdy than flaps that rip off in tiny hands!
4-Guess How Much I Love You
5-My Love for You (English and Spanish to totally confuse the poor little thing)
6- One Yellow Lion (A cool “lift the flap” book)
7- Animal Colors (Another great “lift the flap” book)
8- The Wheels on the Bus (Another great “lift the flap” book)
9- Bear’s Magic Show (Pop up book)
10- And a book for mom and dad- a new baby name book. The one we have doesn't have meanings attached to names listed, it just lists them by type- “Russian Names” “Popular Names” “So In- They’re-Out Names” This one will be cool to see what the names we like actually mean.
This weekend, we really need to go buy a bookshelf for Baby Deetz. The basket we have for books is overflowing! I can’t wait for bedtime reading and wonderful story times…..I wonder if anyone is reading to baby Deetz while he/she waits for us? If not, we’ll have a lot of ground to cover. Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Disney Stories, Little Golden Books galore.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
POSITION:Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This is where I am. It's been eight weeks since our home study. I am tired. I'm not making a list. I don't have enough medical expertise to make a list. AND I am honestly scared (maybe with a little bit of shallow mixed in) to say "I will except a child with crossed lazy eyes, clubbed foot, and a cleft palate" I hope that doesn't make me sound like a bad person. I just think that medical issues should be evaluated by a doctor once a referral has been made. Then we'll take it one step at a time about what we can handle, financially and emotionally when it comes to our baby's health. Or we can just live in Moscow for a while. I just want to cross the medical issue bridge when I get to it. Dr. Deetz is taking a vacation to the Cayman Islands.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
However, Mother's day has always been slightly sad too.... for my mom (and Donna) as my Grandmother and Chad's maternal Grandmother are no longer with us, so naturally, this day is filled with mixed emotions for them too. But also, by not having children. There is always the "Will all the Mother's in the church congregation please stand up?" and the "Happy Mother's Day" greeting from well wishers. I always felt like I wasn't in the Mommy club. This day would always spark the "So when are you and Chad going to have kids of your own?" conversation. That would always end awkwardly.
This year was a little different! I am an expectant mother! It made the day a little easier..... still a little bittersweet though because I have a feeling that our child has already been born and they are sitting, waiting for us.....I can't begin to explain to you what an odd, helpless, and empty feeling that is. Having the feeling that you are already a mother, but just not having any proof.
I got a card from my mom in the mail (cried a little) a card from Donna (cried a little) and a card from Chad (cried a lot). This day would have been so much better if a real little person was here with me! But the whole "mom thing" is beginning to fit a little better. When my mind drifts, I see a little person laughing and running and calling "Mommy look at this!" Then no matter what day it is, that will be my first Mother's day......
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Then we finished off a lovely evening at Soby's for an early Mother's Day dinner. Here is all that remains of my shrimp and grits. It was as happy as my belly after some She-Crab-Soup.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I've recently found some great blogs of parents that have brought home such adorable children from Russia. Check out Jackie's blog "Step by Step: Our Journey to Adopt from Russia" Here is the link..... you can even lay eyes on their precious son! http://stepbystep2russia.blogspot.com/
Or http://threegirlsandarussianboy.blogspot.com/. They have a great "blog roll" of other links to adoptive Russian parents! Wow! Real families!
Sometimes we forget to look up. When we are "in the trenches" it is so easy to focus our eyes on what's right in front of us, we forget to have joy, peace, and hope for what lies ahead of us. Someone sent me a great e-mail this week about buzzards, bats, and bumblebees. Here it is.....
THE BUZZARD: If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
THE BAT: The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.
THE BUMBLEBEE: A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.
PEOPLE: In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem! Just look up. Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, But faith looks up! Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and trust in our Creator who loves us is directly in front of us.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This is what we are begging you to do, right now:
1- Read more about the act that would help this act from being repealed at The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213
2- Send an e-mail to your U.S. Representative
Write your U.S. Representative (here is the link! Just do it!)
Here is my letter, it took me less than 3 minutes to do the whole process and I'm a really slow typer. You just punch in your zip code and it sends you a link to start typing! You can even crib my letter if you want.....
Dear (they even fill this in for you):
I am heartbroken to hear that the adoption credit for families is being considered for appeal (The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213) Not only does this hurt prospective adoptive parents recover from the huge financial burden of adopting but ultimately this hurts children living in foster care and orphanages all around the world. The odds are already stacked against these precious children and I fear this decision would lessen the odds for these children finding their forever families. Of all the ways to save money and trim our spending, I doubt that robbing abused, neglected, and abandoned children of loving homes is the solution we are looking for. As a waiting adoptive parent, please echo my concerns in your fight to keep this credit available.3- Copy and paste your letter into your e-mail to your U.S. Senator
Write your U.S. Senator (Come on people, do it now, don't wait "till tomorrow")
4- Take a minute to think about how all the children you just helped find their forever families and their future families catch a little financial break!!!!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Then after the fashion show, the people from the children's shelter showed a presentation about their facility and the children in the area that they serve. The shelter exists to provide emergency and sometimes long-term care to children that have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. (This is where we do SuperChurch every month through Bethel) Anyway, during the presentation, some young adults that were once children at the shelter gave their testimonies about what a positive impact the shelter has made in their lives. There was no "Lilly Pulitzer" fashions or monogrammed jumpers from "Zucchini". Just young adults that have beat the system, broken the cycle of abuse, and have set their paths apart from the world in which they were raised. One young man was about to be a college graduate, one young lady said she had her first Christmas at the shelter "with gifts and everything" another said "I would have been in jail or in a substance abuse program without the shelter". Wow.
What a stark contrast. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are wearing/driving/living in (the daiquiri pink part of our lives) we forget that a whole other "black and white" world exists on our own front porch. Children are right in front of us that have been used, abused, and neglected by the people in their lives that are suppose to love them the most. I'm not saying that those people at the club don't love their children because they are wearing little pink bow-ties and tiny penny loafers, but I just pray we all know that's not what life is all about. That in those contrasts we should be truly grateful for all that we have been given and that we actively seek ways to give a little back. That when we are feeling that life has shorted us, we can step back and evaluate our pink daiquiri wants from our black and white needs. That we realize that we have been given exceedingly and abundantly beyond our wildest dreams and the people that we love and love us are more valuable than any runway fashion.
Monday, May 4, 2009
2-Did you know that you can join C.W.A. as a fan on facebook?
3- Did you know you know that you can check them out on youtube?
4- Or even follow them on Twitter?
5- Did you know that a St. Petersburg woman was arrested today on board a flight from Maine for trying to bite flight attendants after taking prescription medication and drinking "an unknown amount" of liquid soap in the on board lavatory?
6- Did you know we still haven't gotten the final copy of our home study back in the mail?
7- Did you know that while waiting for said home study, one can truly devote themselves to scholarly research such as- How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? I don't like Tootsie rolls or pops, thus, more research was needed to answer this question. According to www.tootsie.com "It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your mouth, the amount of saliva, etc. Basically, the world may never know."
Sunday, May 3, 2009
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium head cabbage, finely chopped
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Place 1/2 cup milk in a cup or small bowl. Stir in sugar and sprinkle yeast over the top. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour the remaining milk into a large bowl.
Add the melted butter, egg, salt and 1 cup of flour to the large bowl with the milk. Stir in the yeast mixture. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and doesn't stick to your hands. Cover the bowl loosely and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. Dough should almost triple in size.
While you wait for the dough to rise, melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage has wilted. Mix in the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until cabbage is tender. Set this aside for the filling.
Place the risen dough onto a floured surface and gently form into a long snake about 2 inches wide. Cut into 1 inch pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls by hand until they are 4 to 5 inches across. Place a spoonful of the cabbage filling in the center and fold in half to enclose. Pinch the edges together to seal in the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line one or two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place the pirozhki onto the baking sheet, leaving room between them for them to grow.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This summer Chad is getting an intern to help him with the youth group because summer is the busiest time of our calendar year. Two week long trips (one to the beach and one to New Orleans) and several "outings" every week when they aren't on a trip really adds up. An extra set of hands is a must. This year our intern is Jordan, when we lived in Georgia his dad was the senior pastor of our church and Jordan was in our youth group. He is a great guy (he will be a Junior this year at UGA in Athens) a fantastic musician, and an amazing leader of his FCA, and we are really looking forward to having him this summer. So, Jordan is coming to live with us while he is here..... sooooo..... let the exchange begin.
For only two people, Chad and I have an unbelievable amount of stuff. Our closets are filled to capacity. Making room for another person's stuff, well, it can be quite challenging. Basically, Chad's "man room" upstairs is no more. It's now Jordan's bachelor pad. We moved all the furniture out of Baby Deetz's room (previously our guest bedroom) and moved it upstairs to make that our guest room. Blair and the boys thankfully came over to help.
1- Moving all of the furniture (two club chairs, a recliner, and a futon) out to the downstairs.
2- Installing a window a.c. unit so Jordan doesn't melt (it's cooled by our house a.c., but that room is ALWAYS hot)
3- Borrowing Mark's truck to move said furniture
4- Taking the man furniture to Jana and Blair for their playroom
5-Carrying the man furniture up their stairs
6- Coming home and setting up Jordan's room and cleaning up the now empty baby room in anticipation for the furniture to arrive sometime in June.
Tomorrow that will mean:
1- Cleaning out Jordan's closet
2- Bringing down the summer clothes hanging in Jordan's closet currently
3-Storing the winter clothes away in our new "under the bed" thingies.
That's what we call an exchange.