Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Most exciting news of the day:

I bought a pair of snow boots online for our hopefully soon travel to Russia (and cold South Carolina weather). Yes, it’s been a slow day. They will arrive by November 5th. I don’t think we are in any danger of getting a call before then.

Thanks for the birthday gift card Heidi!

We received a “Russian families” update, warning us once again that things come to a grinding halt mid-December through mid-January. We also received word that the Judge in Pskov takes off the month of November. Wow. That leaves us with a very small window of opportunity, doesn’t it? My prediction is that they expedite things for us and we get a referral in November or they ice us and it’s February-early Spring before we get a referral. That’s just a hunch. Who knows…..

Monday, October 26, 2009

And a good time was had by all.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been insanely busy. Here’s a brief rundown of why:

Thursday- Rented a 12 passenger van and drove to Kissimmee with our friends. Blair and I share a birthday so we both had a free ticket for Friday. Ate dinner at the best bar-b-que joint in Kissimmee- FAT BOYS! It was really good and a definite blast from my past.

Friday- It is HOT here! We got to EPCOT at 9:00am. I finally got to ride “Soarin” and that was the only must do on my agenda. Everything else was just gravy. Their was NO crowd at all (Disney in the Fall is a beautiful thing!). We waited 5-10 minutes for all the rides. It was a perfect day- perfect weather. We went to three parks (EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios) and rode the “must-do’s”. We were able to ride close to 15 rides and stop for lunch. When we got home late that night I opened my gifts. Are you ready for the understatement of the decade? Everyone went a little crazy overboard with the gifts. I am spoiled. I admit it. One of my favorite gifts? Mom and Dad wrote me “30 memories” each. That was really sweet. Baby Deetz got a few things for my birthday too. Mom said it was to get me ready for sharing my birthday with our son/daughter for the rest of my life.
Saturday- I’ve been dying to tell everybody this part- but had to keep it under wraps. My dad and I threw a huge surprise party for my mom for her birthday. The funny thing is I think she was genuinely surprised which is a miracle considering how many people were in on it. We had the party at Mimi’s CafĂ© in one of their private rooms. We invited people from her past and present. It was such a great time. Everyone was there to honor my mom, and celebrate what a fantastic wife, mother, and friend she is to all of us. It was truly a spectacular day! I don’t have any pictures- I was too busy playing hostess. Chad’s mom was there snap! snap! snapping! pictures so I will have some hopefully soon for you. It was a feat surprising mom. She didn’t want to let Brittany go “hang out with her friends” on Saturday night (a.k.a. decorate for the party, pick up the balloons, meet the cupcake lady, etc.) She wasn’t really that hungry for dinner. She wanted to cook for the 12 of us instead of going out. She wouldn’t stop following me around so that I could call and confirm with the restaurant. I was totally busted whispering to Donna about the cupcake stand. I thought she knew. But by the look on her face when she walked into the room- she definitely DID NOT KNOW A THING! Ha! It was just a great night. I am so thankful we were able to pull it off.

Sunday- Load up the big ol’ van and drive back home. We stopped in stopped in St. Augustine for lunch and to outlet shop. We got home around 9:00pm to MUCH cooler weather. Then I made cookies for Deetzie Treatsies and tried to pick up the house a little. My BFF, Heidi, sent me a gifty, it was there waiting for me when I got home. I am saving all the little 30 confetti’s stuffed inside for her birthday in January!

Monday- What state am I in? Other than the state of exhaustion and confusion? Oh, South Carolina. Right.





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Be Prepared!

Did you know I use to be a Girl Scout? I know that conjures up visions of a darling little uniformed girl selling cookies, I was that kind of Girl Scout, but I was also a not so little Junior, Cadette, and even a “closet” Senior Girl Scout. (As in I was in high school and never told a soul I was a scout!) In my 10 plus years of scouting, I learned practical life skills such as how to build a fire and change a flat tire. I learned skills that I have never used and will hopefully never have to use again, a.k.a. wilderness survival and identifying dangerous flora and fauna. (Do they really think I am going to get close enough to a snake to see which way it’s pupil is slanted? I mean really….) Being a scout taught me important life lessons like perseverance, dedication, and how to make people buy things they really don’t want.
One theme that has been coming up quite a bit lately is to “be prepared” you know the motto of the Girl Scouts? Well it is also the motto of adoption. I feel prepared, kind of. I think the best way to describe it is “I feel prepared because I have no idea what to expect.” It’s kinda like packing for a long trip where you have no idea what the weather is going to be like or how many pairs of underwear you’ll need. But you do know: 1- There only four weather possibilities (perfect weather, rainy weather, Africa hot weather, or Antarctic cold weather and 2- You know you need underwear, so just bring a lot. You can never have too many, right? With that in mind, I’ve been on a lot of trips and have always returned without incident and with relatively clean undergarments.
With the adoption the foundation of preparedness is secure in my mind. Whether real or imagined I think that comes from three basic truths in my life: 1- God will never give me more than I can handle, he will never leave me nor forsake me, 2-Chad and I make a good team. We balance each other out and we can figure stuff out together 3- I know I am not the smartest person, but I am capable. If other people can be good parents, travel to foreign countries to adopt babies, and figure out how to use a rectal thermometer, well then, by golly, I can do it too.
Today, I lined up our doctor that will review our referral upon receipt. He is actually out of Charlotte, has several adopted children himself (two being from Russia) and specializes in International Adoption Pediatrics. He even has a special rate for “Referral Reviews” prior to traveling. Everything is simply faxed over to him and a phone conference is set up for the next day. He also provides “on call” services while traveling abroad. It seems too good to be true. I hope being prepared for this step will make life easier when we receive our referral. I guarantee I will not be operating in my best “Girl Scout” manner when all of a sudden out of the blue all this waiting pays off and we are looking into the eyes of our baby. So in the meantime, I am “being prepared” so that when that day comes I am ready!

Monday, October 19, 2009

P.P.P.

Today's "Perfect Pskov Photo" is from trekearth.com's website, there are hundreds of P.P.P's for your viewing pleasure! I will post the link at the bottom for you to take a peek...it's a beautiful place. The best word I can come up with at this point (having seen only in print and my minds eye) is: Quaint.
Pictured is a Pskovian church with a funny name. It's a Church of Wet Elijah the Prophet. Why is he wet? Because the full name, given to the church in year 1677, when it was constructed, is "Church of Elijah the Prophet on the Wet Mellow". Later name was shortened and Elijah suddenly became wet.

Church #2, built in 1495, name is short in Russian- "Church of Bogoyavlenie on Zapskovie" but the English translation is quite a mouthful "Church of Holy Manifestation of the Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus." Here is the link: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Russia/Northwest/Pskov/

Thursday, October 15, 2009

January 15th??


Thought you might enjoy my fortune cookie I got tonight....
Things that make you go Hmmmm......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vote for Lily!

One of our fellow blog adopters (Adrienne) is up for an award that could net her $1,000 for her adoption if she wins the bump's best blog award. Their blog is called "Another Ordinary Miracle" and it is amazing. She has funded her first adoption and is working on her second, Lily. She sells, fundraises, auctions, and is pretty much a money raising machine. Please check out her story:
http://our-journey-to-parenthood.blogspot.com/
And then follow the link below and VOTE! Let's bring Lily home!http://pregnant.thebump.com/extras/mommy-blog-awards/articles/adoption-blog-finalists.aspx

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mommy Brain

It’s funny, of all the adjectives I would have used to describe adoption (emotional, stressful, mysterious) distracting would not have been one of those words, until this week. I mean, it’s nothing new that I think of the adoption in my spare time, when my mind drifts, or in keeping my little mental checklist of “things I need to get done”. But I have found myself distracted from everyday tasks. Example:
Last night I was refilling the kitchen soap dispenser. I have a gallon sized jug of soap (Yeah Sams Club!) and I was filling the fairly large sized pump by the sink. Looking back, I honestly can’t remember the last time I filled it. Anyway, I found my thoughts drifting to “I wonder if the next time I fill this if we’ll have a baby in the house?” Needless to say, when I was doing the math in my head “I bet there are 215 “pumps” of soap in this container. If we use one pump of soap everyday for 215 days, that would mean we would have to finalize the adoption by April 7, 2009.” By this time as you can imagine soap was pouring all down the sides and into the basin because that kind of math makes you look up, kinda up into your brain. I don’t know why people do that.
I was driving home from work this week and stopped at light to wait for a turn arrow. I have sat at this light every afternoon for 3 ½ years. I noticed a sign in the median shrubs that said “Spot of Pride: Adopted by Bank of America” Boom. Adopted. My mind launches into an article I recently read about some woman that was infuriated that we use the word “adopted” to describe it when people “adopt pets” or sponsor a highway garden. I personally don’t mind the usage of the word; I think if I were adopted I won’t be offended if I came across that sign. But to each their own. When you use a word to describe something sacred (i.e.: adopting a child) I can see where some people would get bent out of shape when you use it in causal language (i.e.: I want to save the earth, I am going to adopt a highway) BEEEEP…. “Hey lady move your car! The light’s green!” a man behind me shouted.
Last week I got into the elevator at work, thinking about why kids love to press the buttons on elevators so much. I was thinking about Baby Deetz being tall enough to press the buttons someday. When I realized- I hadn’t pressed the button! I was just standing in there. Waiting for nothing! Earth to me. My friend Carol says I already have “Mommy brain” and it doesn’t ever go away. After you know your child is coming (either by birth or by adoption) it consumes your thoughts in the most peculiar ways.
So if you are talking to me and suddenly see the “glazed donut” look sweep across my face or I bring up our adoption out of the blue in conversation, it’s because adopting, among other adjectives is distracting! It is also all-consuming, wild and crazy, intimidating, empowering, overwhelming, and joyous. And I'm just along for the ride.
P.S.- My spell check has disappeared. Sorry if this is choc' full o' errors!

Monday, October 12, 2009

We missed it.


On my homepage I keep the current temperatures in four places. Our current home, our hometown (Kissimmee, Florida) and then St. Petersburg and Moscow. When we switched regions I tried to change it to Pskov from St. Petersburg, but that was not a weather option, and St. Petersburg is the closest city on the radar. Well, I just thought you might want to know- it is currently 32 degrees and snowing in St. Petersburg. The high today is 37. In my hometown of Kissimmee the high will be 92.

Fall in Russia is officially over. We missed it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Funny ;0)

A 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds!
1. Don't change horses
until they stop running.
2. Strike while the
bug is close.
3. It's always darkest before
Daylight Saving Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of
termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but
How?
6. Don't bite the hand that
looks dirty.
7. No news is
impossible
8. A miss is as good as a
Mr.
9. You can't teach an old dog new
Math
10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll
stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust
Me.
12. The pen is mightier than the
pigs.
13. An idle mind is
the best way to relax .
14. Where there's smoke there's
pollution.
15. Happy the bride who
gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is
not much.
17. Two's company, three's
the Musketeers.
18. Don't put off till tomorrow what
you put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and
You have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as
Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not
spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don't succeed
get new batteries.
23. You get out of something only what you
See in the picture on the box
24. When the blind lead the blind
get out of the way.
25. A bird in the hand
is going to poop on you.
26. Better late than
Pregnant

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting....

I came across an article in Adoptive Parents magazine about a mother waiting for her daughter from China. Currently, she had been waiting 18 months, but in the beginning of the process, she was very strict about not making any purchases for “the baby”. Then she was at her alma mater and she bought her a college themed picture book. Well, that started a fury of purchases that would leave her feeling angry at herself for not waiting longer to start buying things.
I obviously do not have that problem. Sometimes the things I buy seem impractical I think, “What if they are too big for this baby swing?” But then the eBay diva kicks right in and says, “Sarah you paid like 25% of retail for this, you can sell it and make your money back plus $10. If it works GREAT, if not- no big deal!” I think of the Consignment Sales at the church and think I would be wasting money if I didn’t get this at such a great deal! I can always re-consign…..
Anyway- I digress…. Someone wrote a comment that basically said “No, no, it’s perfectly normal and it’s your way of preparing for your child to come home!” An interesting idea came up of “Waiting v. Preparation”. Waiting isn’t so bad if you think of it as preparing. Christmas Day wouldn’t be nearly as joyous if you woke up one day and someone said- “Hey- It’s Christmas” You would miss the Christmas Hot Dog (Special Ed Department at our church puts on a play every year and the night before the families and staff are invited to the rehearsal dinner where, you guessed it, hot dogs are served!) You would miss the weather turning cold, the trimming of the trees, the parties, the gift exchanges, the cookies being made, the family and friends you get to see, the 24 hour a day Christmas music on the radio, the candle light service on Christmas Eve. Christmas would be just another day. It wouldn’t be special at all. There is something to be said about the excitement of anticipation.
When is the last time you really prepared for something big and important? Something that would change your life forever? Moving to another state? For your wedding? For a make or break contract at work? For a child? I am reminded that as I prepare for Baby Deetz, someone is preparing for me- "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." – John 14:1-4
I was trying to prepare by learning Russian (fail) and have found that I am better at shopping. I’ll just have to wing it and be silent in a country that doesn’t understand me, and I them. The ABC’s of Russia was also a great preparation for me, because I felt connected to a culture I knew very little about. I think about safety of strollers and car seats. I think about making baby food v. canned food. I think about cloth diapers (that was a very short thought) I think about tiny clothes and shoes and sharp edges on tables. This morning I thought about when we come home from the airport with the baby, how we are going to handle the dogs.
So, I’m not really waiting. I am anticipating and preparing. Sounds better doesn’t it?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Donna!

What a great gift for Donna on her birthday- Did you know that we are next on the list for a referral? As in #1? (See the previous entry!) Now onto the regularly scheduled blog.....
Hopefully, someday, when Baby Deetz is old enough, they will go back and read this blog (hopefully in paper form because I HAVE got to start printing everything out for them, because I have totally stopped scrapbooking because this is so much less messy and much more convenient!)
Anyway, I wanted you to know today is your Dad’s mom’s birthday, her name is Donna. The first time I ever met Donna (a.k.a your Grandma, or whatever we think of to call her) was right after your dad and I started dating. That was almost 12 years ago! (I was wearing this really cute red plaid shirt…but that isn’t important to the story) I remember walking into their house before a date and Donna and Rick hugging me like I was their long lost daughter and telling me how happy they were that I was dating Chad. We didn’t talk very much that night, because I had a feeling that they already knew EVERYTHING about me. They just smiled and nodded, and looked so exceedingly thrilled to see me. I can’t remember a time that I have ever felt like that. To be instantly loved and adored, because I was someone that Chad loved and adored. Loved by association if you will. When I thought about it that night, I was nervous for no reason because I was afraid that they wouldn’t like me. Chad is Donna’s only son. To watch your only child grow up and leave can’t be easy, and at that point we were spending every waking moment together, we knew we wanted to get married from our very first date. I know now that she already knew this that night because she had already helped Chad pick out my ring. ;0)
But, in retrospect it all makes sense. To know Donna is to love her. Her love for others is simply a visible extension of the love of Christ in her life. She is a STRONG woman of faith and a wonderful mother and one of my best friends. A lot of people are praying for your safe arrival, but I know without a shadow of a doubt she prays for you everyday. I can’t wait for you to meet her. You are going to LOVE her instantly, just like she loved me.

Next!.....

Important news flash, the lovely couple ahead of us got a referral! You know what that means? We are NEXT!
It reminds me of a roller coaster- right now we are click...click....clicking up to the top, bracing for the big thrill!
Oh HAPPY DAY!

Friday, October 2, 2009

P.P. P.

This picture makes me happy! It is from Sergei Kovalenko’s website, he is the Russian-American photographer that spends his summer in Pskov (and has since he was a small boy). Now he brings his children there, you may or may not remember his cute little kids from previous “Perfect Pskov Pictures”. This particular one is at the Pskov-Choodskoy Lake, adjacent fresh water lakes are that are two of the largest fresh water bodies in Europe. The town of Pskov is located nearby in its watershed - the Velikaia River that passes through the town flows into Pskov Lake. A place of a historic and victorious battle of Alexander Nevsky, the lake is a popular place for recreation for the town dwellers. I want to have recreation there soon. Most likely when I visit the lake it will be one….giant….block…..of…..ice. Then I can ice fish instead of frolic in my skivvies! Everyone will collectively breathe a sigh of relief that I will be completely covered.
On that note, last week my good friend from high school (who now lives in California) called me. Her in-laws live in the next town over from us and she was in town! So I drove out to the country and picked her up (the whole time talking to my GPS begging it to behave and not lead my astray). I got to meet her two adorable, very smart, girls and her husband for the first time. As we were leaving for “girls night out” her husband was performing diaper duty. Meagan stopped in her tracks and said “Oh! Before we leave, you’ve got to see this!” We walked back over to Kennedy and Meagan said “Look at that! Look at all those rolls, how precious is that?” Then we had a very good laugh that having “rolls” when you are a baby is the only time that is considered desirable or adorable. We had a great visit together. It is so refreshing to have true friends able to pick up right where you left off, even if your lives have changed drastically since you were last together. She took a picture of us, here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October?!?!

It’s October! Can you believe it? I turn 30 in 22 days. Yikes. I don’t feel 30, I think that’s the hardest part. I feel like I just got out of high school a few months ago. Today, just like clockwork the weather has turned undeniably “fall”, I even pilgrimaged upstairs to break into my stash of sweaters! Chad made fun of me when I stopped to take this picture, but the sky was crystal clear, the wind was blowing, and it was just perfect! I felt like I was at the Kissimmee Silver Spurs for the county fair. The only thing I needed was some greasy Italian Sausage and a funnel cake. And a fried apple dumpling. With ice cream.
I know I haven’t been updating as regularly as normal. I will recap about our goings on’s for your reading pleasure:
Every night when I get home I make dozens of cookies and even a few cakes here and there. My home is a virtual bakery. It has turned into a second job, for better or worse. Good I am making extra money, bad I am really tired.
We’ve had $600 more donations made to our CWA account. That is very good news! We are on the home stretch now a little bit more and all we will need are our travel expenses.
We have been lead to believe that things are moving in Pskov. Slowly, but they are moving, so that is an exciting prospect. Stay tuned for more details. Don’t jump the gun, I mean, we’re not like getting a referral as far as we know, but things are moving along for others, so that is a positive no matter how slowly things are moving, right? Any step forward is a step closer.
If you blog hop, you’ll notice that a ton of families have gotten referrals, are traveling, have traveled, are waiting court dates, have brought children home. That is a wonderful thing! A family in our community brought home two little girls from Russia last month. Three people from three separate (unrelated) venues have told me “Did you hear about the so and so family? They finally got their girls!” We continue to celebrate as a community with each child brought home to their “forever families”.
Chad and I recently had a conversation about the “wait” we have found it to be fairly easy. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I knew when we were going and I wish it would be soon, but overall we are content to call this period “preparation” instead of “waiting”. We have been busy (as usual) and I’m sure that helps pass the time quickly. There is so much to be done! Till next time......