Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles...and a Tall Hot Chocolate

Winding down the day with cookies and hot chocolate is not half bad. I highly recommend it. Today is Tuesday (otherwise known as The Day of Giant Accomplishments). I woke up early this morning and cleaned the floor in the new room and moved a few things back into the space. The paint looks so pretty (thanks Jess)! We are thrilled. Every time I walk down the hall I open the door and squeal with happiness. We have a bunch of Mr. N's toys (made by his grandpa) on the floor...next to his old toy box (his dad's old footlocker painted red) and the rocking horse that his grandpa made for him. It makes me so happy and excited every time I walk by...I just can't resist opening the door...and knowing that we are also opening a much BIGGER door into our future with our little one (wondering where you are today?)

In order to get the room ready we had to rearrange the storage/laundry room and the office (to make room for the guest bed and bookcases). It was A LOT of work (all done by Mr. N., my hero). The house still has a lot of things piled around that need homes...one whole side of the hallway is piled high with kid's books. It will hopefully be done this week. We were going to do it tonight but we're just too darned tired.

Today we spent a few hours doing home study paperwork. We have finished a large chunk. We have one form to complete and notarize, we need to order birth and marriage certificates, and Mr. N. needs his work letter...that's about it! Oh...and we need to take photos of the house. The home study checklist has 25 items in all- some are super easy and others are more of a challenge. I also signed us up for our required Hague Convention adoption parenting classes. They are online courses- 5 altogether that we need to take. We also need to take infant/child CPR...but no one is around to sign up with since it is the holidays (same issue with birth and marriage certificates).

In addition to all of this we did a few other domestic tasks AND had a nice romantic dinner (loving the gift certificates!).

*please note that the image of the cookies does not depict my sprinkled sugar cookies.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gift Certificates from Heaven (or from people we love)

Today I bought the shelving to go with the storage bins. Mr. N. and I put it together as soon as we got home. It is currently residing in the dining room next to the counter until we get the room straightened out. I also bought a crib sheet, some flannel blankets and a bumper pad...they all look so cute with the family objects we already had. Tomorrow= cleaning and paperwork (after breakfast and a little family time of course). Thank you all for the Target gift certificates! Woo Target!

*the shelf system is white NOT green...it has three bins; red, green and beige. I didn't get this blanket but the sheet has the same pattern...and my bumper pad is polka dot on one side and striped on the other...I like this one too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

I Want that...and that...and that....

Yay! Today is Christmas! So many good presents today. I am very thankful for everything...but most of all I am thankful for our friends and family who are so supportive! Thank you all! Merry Christmas!

So today I decided that I should try to figure out what I want for the room (other than the paint and the handmade stuff and stuff we already have). I got greedy and added a few things to my wish list :). I'm still going to check out yard sales and of course getting a crib and some other stuff from friends would be a bonus (yes, you person keeping a crib in the attic...I'm talking to you- hehe)! We'll see...most of our friends are way beyond the "baby stuff" phase and have given away or sold all their goodies long ago. We may have to start fresh. I'm going to keep an eye out for a small dresser. I think we'll have white furniture since the floor is so dark. We plan on taking the Christmas tree down early (yes I am a little sad) so we can put away everything and start getting the room cleaned up and painted! We are trying to get things ready for the home study...and we want it to look pretty for the pictures that we need to provide. We also got several gift cards so I plan on looking for a few things this weekend-like a little rug and some shelves from Target for the pretty red, green and beige storage bins that I asked mom for (she had NO idea they were for a baby room! Ha, fooled ya mom!).

Merrrrrrrrrrrryyyyy Christmas.......goodnight and many hugs.

Mr. N. and Mama...and the girls (Miette, Alma Jean and Zoey Louise)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Giant Leap for Mamakind (and Mr. N, too)

whooooooooooooooooosssssshhhhhhhhhh...that's the sound of me exhaling. I've been holding my breath for so long that my lungs were starting to ache. Mr. N. and I kept the adoption between us for months...and Saturday the words finally came out of my mouth "mom, what would you say if I was to tell you that "J" and I are adopting a baby?" We were walking in the woods in the cold. I was drinking hot chocolate and she was keeping her hands warm with coffee. I was also using all my strength to keep from sobbing. The tears would have frozen to my face. It was the hardest and best thing I've ever shared.

I don't even know how she replied. My ears were ringing and all I heard was the ringing and the wind in the trees. I can say that her reaction was happy. She's happy. She asked a lot of good questions. I like that.

After telling mom it was much easier to share. Sunday we told Mr. N's parents. His mother was beyond delighted. His father...I think he was happy and shocked because he didn't say much. I called our friends D and L and asked L to be a reference. I was happy to tell her that we had good news and that our babies will grow up together. They are such good friends and I am honored that they will share this experience with us. I then called my sister and talked to Mr. N's sister. Everyone has been happy and supportive.

Monday I told the Director and then some staff and friends at the office. Everyone is happy-some have a lot of questions. The most popular questions are "why Russia?" and "what will his/her name be?" Mr. N told another friend today. She will be another reference for us along with Mr. N's mom and L.

I have a lot of people making baby things for us! We love homemade things and we are lucky to have creative friends and family. Mr. N. used his birthday gift certificate to buy paint for the room. We might do some work on it over the holidays. Mostly we have a lot of cleaning and paperwork to do.

Please forgive the rambling. A lot of happy moments have happened since we last posted. Sharing this new joy was a giant leap for us...but only a tiny step on our adoption journey. If you're reading this thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. I'm off to cut a paper heart. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Super Friday


The paperwork has begun! Thursday night I spoke with our coordinator about all of the questions that I had emailed the night before. We quickly went over the paperwork (kind of like an auctioneer throwing all kinds of expected stuff at me)and then she directed me to talk to the Florida office to clarify my other set of questions. Today is Friday and I took the day off to accomplish something! Mr. N. always has the afternoon off. We got our fingerprints done for FBI and FDLE and had a nice lunch before rounding our day off at the Sheriff's Office for some romantic background checks. I called the Florida HS office this morning and didn't get an answer. After three tries the call was re-directed and someone answered (not sounding very happy). I found out that they don't work on Fridays and the call was being forwarded to her cell phone! I felt bad but after chatting things smoothed over and we had a nice talk and my questions were answered. Apparently some of the materials that the packet said were included (but were not) were left out because they are now emailing them. Guess I should have automatically known that! Anyway all is fixed and the HS packet should arrive via email tonight. After the fingerprints and the background checks I went to the bank for the cashiers checks. I really feel like we are moving forward now! Woo!

Tonight Mr. N. and I are going to see a Tuna Christmas at the Hippodrome (thanks Jess!). It should be fun. Tomorrow we are going to copy and mail all this stuff and I am going to bake some serious cookies!

~ mama

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Time!

Hi all,

Nothing new to report. We've read the paperwork and sent in some questions. We will go to get fingerprinted on Friday (hopefully) and start plugging through the paperwork. The plan right now is tell the family around or after Christmas. I made a little video. Thanks to Valerie for some of the pictures! I am going to TRY to load the video...but the file may be too big. Here goes!

THE VIDEO WORKS...just hit play :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Agent 56 Reporting for Duty!

Hello friends!

Mr. N. and I received our packet in the mail today. The first part doesn't seem all that daunting really. No more daunting than the paperwork and contracts that I do every day already. I think I scared myself into thinking it would be the impossible...when all it really is is a long list of challenges and hurdles...that I can step right over. No problem. Positive thinking goes a long way. I started running again and it's taking a bit for me to get into the swing. The run around Lake Alice before work this morning was amazing. Sigur Ros "Gobbledigook" made me run faster and made me think about how good my life is and how great it will become. The crisp air helped too. All of it wrapped up made the perfect package for an early morning before work run.

Back to the packet. I'm reading all of it this weekend cover to cover so I can talk with the consultant on Monday. Things are moving right along!

That's my update. Not much happening with us...over and out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Passing the Test!!

We've been accepted by the agency of our choice! You have no idea how stressed this made me. I feel like I've been holding my breath since Saturday and now I can finally let go. No one will stop us...I will be mama...and he will be daddy. We're picking out paint colors for the bedroom. I need to finish the quilt and the pillow...and the rest of the stuff. How exciting! Our next package and instructions are in the mail. Our coordinator will call next week to go over the details. We are overjoyed beyond belief. We can do this!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Heading Down the Path...or Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Today we got up early and drove to Daytona Beach in the rain for our AGENCY seminar. We were pretty sure that we had made up our minds to apply with them, but I wanted to see how they were in person and make sure that after all the research I had done that I wasn't missing something. They didn't tell us anything new but it was reassuring to know that I have done all I can in making this life changing decision. Even though it rained on the entire drive the trip was nice and I enjoyed the sweet company of Mr. N. We had lunch at a cafe called The Dancing Avocado and made our way back home. We needed naps so we took care of that. He watched football. I picked up a delicious extra cheese and fresh basil pizza...and then I sent in the application. The journey has officially begun...of course they may look at the application and so NO WAY and then all will come to a screeching halt...either way, with fingers crossed and hopes high I sign off tonight.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eyes Wide Open

Hello and good day! I have talked and emailed and corresponded with SO many clients of the agency we are looking at. I have met many great moms (and dads) that have so many things to say. It makes me happy that we are going to make a big difference in the life of a child somewhere. It can be overwhelming at times. I know it will be a struggle, but in my heart I already feel rewarded. This is meant to be.

Mr. N. and I put up the Christmas tree this week and unpacked our stuff. Recently Mr. N. said to me that maybe (hopefully) next year we'll have someone new to help us with the tree. My heart was beaming.

While unpacking I came across a set of Christmas nesting dolls that we bought MANY MANY years ago. I had forgotten about them. I put them on the red cabinet in a prominent place to represent our baby in Russia. I think of him or her every time I lay eyes on them. 5 little wooden Santas, one mama, one daddy, two dogs and a striped kitty waiting for one little baby.

much love to you.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Heart

What's New?

Not much new to post. Today is the Sunday after Thanksgiving...which means that not only am I bloated, but I've gotten accustomed to eating copious amounts of food and doing nothing. Going back to work tomorrow will be hard!

I'm almost done with the quilt. Still working on the pillow too (this one had some technical difficulties). I've made a new AP contact that recently used THE AGENCY and brought home a BEAUTIFUL 2 1/2 year old boy 6 months ago. I'm not kidding this little boy is a charmer! Anyway, I am calling to interview her tomorrow night. She seems really nice and she has a positive attitude via email so I am looking forward to her insight.

Friday we hope to go to the bank to see if they will be willing to give us a loan (OH PLEASE BANK GOD LOOK DOWN ON US!!) and Saturday we go to Daytona to meet THE AGENCY. If all goes well this ball MAY officially get rolling on SUNDAY!! I have to pinch myself sometimes. I can't believe this is happening to us. I really feel that this is the path we belong on...that this is right for us.

Little Story:

A few days before my father died he called me over to his bed and whispered to me "don't worry, someday you will have a baby." At the time I thought he was crazy. The last thing I wanted then was a baby. But you know...he was right...and he never did say HOW I would have a baby. Just that I would have one. A little miracle is waiting for us in Russia. I'll leave you with this poem...

Not flesh of my flesh,

Nor bone of my bone,

But still miraculously

My own.

Never forget

For a single minute,

That you weren't born

Under my heart,

But in it.

~Author Unknown

I love you already- be safe- be happy- we will come for you soon. Mama.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'll be Vlad to Meet You Chipmunk Baby!

Mr. N. and I have started calling our future child "Vlad." Poor kid can't get a break. I'm going to come up with something new. I wish I knew the Russian word for chipmunk. Anyway, I've been making a lot of new things for the little one. My mind is racing and so busy with things to do. So far I made a pillowcase, two paintings, and part of a quilt. We bought some vintage wooden blocks for the room too.

I bought a book on international adoption by Dawn Davenport and it has been excellent. It didn't get 5 stars on Amazon for nothing folks! Of course I've been reading online and chatting with the lists too. The two teleconferences with LMI went well and they answered a lot of my questions. The meeting with OUR AGENCY is December 5 and I'm very excited about this one. They have a good reputation and I'm anxious to see how they are in person. Anyway, those are my updates! We're still making paper hearts! Onward and upward!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thought of the Day- Where are You?


Today is November 17th. I was just thinking that today, somewhere, our child might be coming into the world. What a strange thought that this could be happening?! Wherever he/or she is today...I hope that they are happy for now, healthy forever and that somewhere in their tiny heart they will understand that they will one day have more love than they can stand...one day we will come for you.

P.S.- starting yesterday I decided to make a paper heart for every day along our journey. These will go in the baby's room when we put it together.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Journey Begins-Hello Baby (someday...soon?)


We've changed direction in our lives so I've changed blogs. Welcome to the new blog of Mr. N. and Mama...on their journey to expand the family through international adoption. We are in the VERY early stages now deciding what to do with our international dreams of baby. We have been doing some research and I have made some new friends along the way. The current questions that we are trying to resolve are 1) what agency!? 2) what country!? We have been in discussion with three agencies now and we've had a webinar with one- we have a seminar with another on December 5 and two teleconferences with another next week (November 17 and 19). We have done quite a bit of research trying to make a decision and it is a difficult decision indeed. Most have the same things or similar things to offer and most people either love or hate their agencies (same agencies reversed for different people so not much help). I read groups and blogs and send emails and make phone calls trying to answer this question. The decision is in our hands. It all is a crap shoot really. We hope to have made a decision by December 5...so that we can send in an application on the 6th and get the ball rolling. Jump off the side of the pool into the deep end (holding hands with Mr. N. of course). Country? We are looking at both Russia and Kazakhstan. Both have pros and cons- which I will probably get into in a later blog.

In preparation for our journey we have started a major house cleaning- getting rid of useless JUNK and clearing the space for the little bed and/or crib that will eventually go there. And getting ready for a home study that will begin in a few months. Mr. N. cleaned out the file cabinet and pulled some of the documents that we will be needing, we cleaned out closets, we are working on the laundry/storage room so we can move things into it- making room for our little guy or girl.

This journey will be very exciting. It will be a lot of work. It will require a lot of determination. A lot of money. A lot of time. A lot of sacrifice and MOST OF ALL...A LOT OF LOVE.

But in the end...we will have the family that we want and it will all be worth it.