Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Houston

I just got into Houston for TLA. The flight was good and quick and my hotel rocks. They have a cookie buffet every evening with the butteryish sugar cookies and ice cold milk. They have breakfast buffet and a happy hour buffet. It's like I'm on a land cruiseship. It's good to also get away from home and get some perspective. I'm so glad that I won't be "working" the rest of the week. I get to enjoy TLA.

Before I left town, I stopped by the day chapel to pray at adoration (it's a Catholic thing...I'm doing it once a week for lent...didn't give anything up, added adoration). Anyways, as I sat there, I told God that I needed to quick trying to control everything, time-wise and let him give it to me in His time. That's the bad part of my personality...I like to know when things are going to happen and to be in the driver's seat. So, on that note, I'm okay with whenever I get my LSC/LOA. It will happen whenever it is supposed to happen. Yes, I want to get my daughter as soon as I can but I don't know what's going on in her world over there. Maybe she's not quite yet ready for her crazy mama. I think I'm at peace with it, well, not quite there yet...almost. I am and probably will be checking RQ's forum to see who got LOA and TA. It's so exciting. I look at the charts and see that I probably have a little more time before my LSC if we go with the average time frame. Who knows...I'm trying to give it to God...patience is a virtue, I'm learning.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I had a great birthday

I had a super great birthday today even though I didn't get my LSC/LOA. I have a strange sneaking suspicion that mine will come when they institute the fee for LOA. And you know, that's okay with me in the long run, even though it kinda sucks that everything keeps going up. I feel that we are suddenly innundated with an increase of fees all over the place. I'm very lucky that I have been able to save some money so I should be good to go.

I got a beautiful lemon tree and a great collage of my Grace from my best friend and her family. I love them! I also got the coolest travel necessities from my friends at work...love the pillow, blanket, luggage tags...I'm ready to go! I got my luggage from my parents along with a monetary gift (the LOA fee) and my sister also got me a beautiful petunia plant that I am going to work hard and not let it die. I truly am blessed by all the great family and friends that surround me. I love them all and I thank God for them every day.

I go to Houston tomorrow for TLA. I think I have mine and Hope's bags packed. I think I need to swap out purses but I'll get that together tomorrow. I can't believe how much time has flown by.

I'm still praying for all of you guys waiting for referrals, the speedup, your PAs (especially Marjorie...hoping yours goes all the way to LOA/TA and fast!), LOAs, TAs. I know how frustrating it can be. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to a lot of it. Just a lesson in patience I guess. OH! You know what else I found to be interesting? My agency is starting to do adoptions in other countries...get out of town right? I'm not sure what to make of it or draw any conclusions. What I have learned in this journey so far is to expect the unexpected and that you can't always draw the right conclusions even with a lot of details because the answer is probably somewhere from left field and you would have never seen it coming. I guess that's good advice for someone who is getting ready to be a mama to a toddler.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What I want from my birthday tomorrow

I bet you can guess what I am hoping for as a birthday present tomorrow? Yep, my LSC/LOA. It would be the ultimate birthday gift. I have to tell you about my sign that I saw this morning in the paper. I know if you've been following my blog, I am a believer in signs. I think God knows that I'm sometimes so not aware as I should be so He sends me these big neon signs to make me take notice. So, this morning I was reading the newspaper and I was checking out the ads for HEB, our local grocery store. There were these two stone crosses advertised which said, "Grace" and "Hope". Too weird...I collect crosses (and they were a good price too) and my dog is Hope and my daughter is Grace. Coincidence? Maybe...I like to think they are signs.

I went to breakfast with my best friend, her hubby and their beautiful daughter this morning and I got the coolest gifts ever: a lemon tree which I have been wanting and a beautiful collage of my baby girl. Too cool. I can't wait to post them. So, I hope ya'll say a little prayer for me that I get the ultimate birthday present tomorrow (shoot, I'd even take later in the week with the $100 fee for the LSC/LOA).

So, I have realized that my whole world has been Grace lately. I apologize to anybody who I might have offended because I am in la-la land thinking of my daughter. I really am trying to be not so locked in Graceland. I am making the effort to not bring her up so often and to listen to people when they are talking to me. So, please bear with me for a while....this is all so new to me.

Which brings me to the fact that I had forgotten that I'm going to TLA in Houston Tuesday and will be home late Thursday. I've got to pack and double check my reservations....yep, something I would have been drooling over before has become not so important. I normally enjoy the conference and I am sure I will. So, I need to get my act together and get Hope ready for her doggy daycare sleepaway camp (yes, she goes there for boarding because she is off the leash during the day playing with other dogs). I need to make a list. It seems that I can't do anything without a list. Yikes.

Okay so off to bed I go...gotta do my novena and my houston packing list...btw praying for speedup for referrals for everybody still waiting

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

15


My girl is 15 months old today. I'm still waiting for my LSC/LOA. People have told me that when you see your child's face, the previous wait is nothing compared to the impatience one has in getting to China, seeing your child, holding your child and bringing her/him home. I get it now. I hate how impatient I am and how I'm constantly trolling RQ Special Needs forum to check on status of LOAs. I check the charts and do all of these crazy analysis of past and current stats. What I learned is that there really is no rhyme or reason to it. The only thing I can do is hope and pray that everything will go smoothly and as fast as possible. I know everything happens for a reason so I have to hold onto that. Miracles happen every day. The fridge in our office was pretty much dying and Shannon and I had a conversation of getting rid of it (it was not cooling at all!). I think we scared it because it cools down like nobody's business. It rocks again.

I am still sick and went to the doctor. I like my doctor a lot, but I'm not super fond of her staff. They poked and prodded me and I have to go for a chest x-ray. It's still probably bronchitis but it sure is taking a long time to get over. So, I'm kind of laid up and just wanting to eat and eat because of the stupid steroids. Not good. I have told my friends that if I start breaking down doors like the incredible hulk, you know it's the steroids.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Laying Low

I am still stinking sick. I can't seem to shake off the bronchitis part of it. It feels like I have pressure on my chest. I was on steroids but it doesn't seem to be working. Of course it doesn't help that I'm still trying to run around like crazy. I'm trying to get everything all lined up. Of course, I still haven't received my LSC. I'm hoping that it will be coming soon like this week. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday...maybe I'll get LSC on her birthday like I got PA on my dad's. Wouldn't it be cool then to get TA on my birthday (3/30)? It's a dream but it's a good one.

I'm trying to work on my registries...WalMart and Target. Grace is still on the bottle so I'll be bringing bottles and maybe a sippy cup. I am thinking I'm going to go ahead and buy my the car seat this week. We'll see

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bronchitis


Yep, that's what I got, bronchitis. I'm not even moving that much air in my lungs right now. My chest was tight and I was coughing pretty badly. I went to see Dr. Sutton yesterday and she gave me a breathing treatment and when it didn't work, she prescribed steroids. On day two, still having a bit of trouble breathing. I get to see the allergist the Friday I get back from TLA in Houston. Yippee for me. Hopefully they'll figure out what is triggering my issues so I will be healthy and prepared when I go to China. If I'm that sensitive to allergens here, I need to be prepared wherever I go.

I have been working on Grace's life book. It's been an interesting experience. There are days that I love my cricut and days when I don't get it. Sometimes it rips as it cuts and other times it's a nice clean cut. Oh well.

I also finally took a picture of the 100 wishes quilt I made for Grace. I'm showcasing my lovely turtle quilt.

I'm still crossing my fingers for LOA/LSC this week or early next week. I'm wanting to get my baby home soon. She needs the medical help ASAP. I wish I could say more but until I have LOA/LSC I can't publish any information on my girl. So, let's say a little prayer so that it'll keep happening fast.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My First Uncomfortable Question and More Updates on Grace

So, today I had my first uncomfortable question and it was from a student! I used to think that sometimes we as adoptive parents tended to be a little more oversensitive about things and I told myself that I would be a little more go with the flow sort of attitude...I was wrong. I bristled like a big old porcupine. I was showing the updated pictures to my student aide when another student asked me, "How much is she costing you?" Yep, the money question out of the mouth of a 6th grader. I wasn't expecting that at all. Middle schoolers aren't known for their tact. I have to say I did feel my bristles come out but I remembered an article I had read in O magazine about this same thing. Ironically enough I had re-read that article last night about things people should never say to adoptive families or children. This was one of the questions but I loved the way the author of the article handled it. She said that all children no matter if they are adopted or biological cost their parents money. So, remembering this I asked the young lady, "How much did you cost your mother?" and she said, "$5000" and I said, "Hmmm, something like that." I never answered the question but I really was floored. I guess the bottom line is that I need to toughen up and be prepared for the ignorant questions. I think I handled it okay. I just need to remind myself not to show my bristly spines.

On a brighter note, I got an update on my daughter. She looks great and is gaining weight. I have to give props to Angela and Kelly from LadybugsNLove who were so quick and fast with their help. They are the best. I will be sending a care package through them as soon as I get my LSC. Let's hope that comes very soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Healthy Child Expo and Ladybugs N Love

This weekend, Sandra and I went to the Healthy Child Expo. I'm going to tell a bit on my best friend because, well, I loved the moment. Tyler Florence (you know, the food network chef guy) was the big speaker/person at the Expo. He has a new line of organic baby food. Sandra, who is an awesome cook/chef herself, is in total awe of him. He is like rock star status. We turned the corner and Sandra stops in mid-sentence...her eyes get huge and her mouth hangs open...less than 10 feet from us is the superstar himself, Tyler Florence. All she could say was, "OH MY Gosh, OH MY GOSH!" It looked like he had just arrived at his booth and nobody was there. I took a picture of Sandra with him. She looked like a cat who ate two canaries, she was so happy. Later on, she commented on how ripply his muscles felt when she hugged him in the picture. The whole afternoon, you could still see the happy, in the clouds look on her face. It made me happy to see her that way.

Speaking of being in the clouds, there is a great, great service called "Ladybugs N Love" (http://www.ladybugsnlove.com) that does orphanage phone calls as well as other services like care packages. Today when I got home from work, were 4 pictures of my beautiful Grace. I started bawling my eyes out. I wish I could post these pictures along with the first pictures I received of her. Of course, I can't until I get my LSC. There is a possiblility of a 7 to 8 day turnaround on that so maybe next week sometime I'll be able to show the world my girl. I highly, highly, highly recommend Kelly & Angela of Ladybugs N Love. They really want to help you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I got PA!

This evening, I was checking my facebook and just surfing the net when I decided to check my e-mail...guess what I got? Yep, I got my PA! YEA! I am one step closer to bringing my daughter home. It's my dad's birthday and what a great gift I was given. I am so stoked and invorgated (yes, even though I have been sick) that I'm going upstairs and working on her lifebook with my nifty new cricut machine. YEA! Good thing I took a nap this afternoon. I'm supposed to go to the movies tomorrow with my friends tomorrow after Mr Sparky comes to fix my ceiling fan (yes that's the name of the electrician company). Oh well...crazy!

Why do I always get sick on vacations?

Yeah, it happened yet again...I got sick. I'm feeling better thanks to liquid oxygen, vitamin C & garlic. It started on Monday evening. I hate it. It doesn't help that the weather changed again. CRAZY...at least we got rain.

I got my Cricut machine and I love it. I had the electricians at Mr. Sparky come by and give me a quote for putting a ceiling fan in my patio and the price was a bit high right now. Of course I think I jinxed myself because guess what happened this morning? My ceiling fan/light is not working in my bedroom. So the gentleman from Mr. Sparky will be back tomorrow and most likely will have to use the ceiling fan that was bought for my patio for my bedroom. Lucky me! At least I have one available.

I'm still anxiously waiting for PA. Someone who also had their LOI on the same day I did got their PA today. They aren't through review yet either so in my thinking, I'm hoping I will have mine too very very soon. Of course there is no rhyme or reason in this whole process.

I got a great new printer because my other one died (actually I had a gift certificate from my sister for Christmas so she bought it). I love it!

One more day of Spring Break. It went super fast.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love my cricut

I got my cricut cutting machine today. It is super cool and I am planning on using it for Grace's lifebook. I have been cleaning Grace's room and going through the clothes I had for her. I am also cleaning up my upstairs den. I'm trying to make sure there is enough room for Grace to play.

I am on Spring Break and of course I am getting sick again. I think it is my lack of sleep and going to the ENT for a recheck caused me to start it up again. Maybe I never got over it before. Anyways, I have a nasty cough and I'll go to the doctor if I don't feel better tomorrow.

I still haven't heard about PA yet. I'm hoping for this week. I don't want to be impatient but I can't help it. I just want to get to China as soon as possible and bring home my girl.


Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lists, lists and more lists

It's been a week today that I first saw my daughter's face. It's still a surreal experience. However since reality has since set in, I'm up to my ears in lists. When you think you have lots of time, you tend to drag your heels and procrastinate. Now that I've been blindsided in a good way, I've been making bunches and bunches of lists of things I need to get done. Next week is spring break so I'm planning on getting my patio ceiling fan put in and also getting my car's passenger door powerlock fixed. I am going to go through all my stuff and get things better organized.

I also had a moment earlier this week when I realized, "Holy cow! I'm going to be a mom!" I made a mom decision today...I really want the cricut express machine and it's a bit pricey so I'm putting that on hold unless I can find a good deal on ebay. I love crafty things. I just don't have the time and I pick them up and put them down. I wonder if Grace will like crafty things too? Hmmmm...well, I'm still waiting for PA and I hope it's speedy. I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday. Next weekend Sandra, Rex, Holly and I are going to the Baby and Child Expo. Yea! Free Samples and I actually have a child to look for stuff for!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Still in Shock

Yeah, I'm still in shock that I am going to be bringing home my daughter in less than six months. Who would have thought. It's like I'm pregnant and I'm getting ready to give birth. I honestly never imagine my referral day the way it happened but it's going to make a great story for my daughter. I'm still awaiting my PA and I'm praying that I will be able to travel and bring her home before my paperwork expires in the middle of July.

I have to get my fingerprints redone. I need to get that done first. I have a huge long list and I'm thankful Spring Break is next week. I can get a lot done.

Did anybody watch The Bachelor last night? Can you say big tool? Seriously he's a big tool. Ok, he made a mistake but to dump the poor girl on TV? Actually he humiliated her and then macked down on another woman. If I had been Molly, I wouldn't have taken him back. He dumped her in the first place and picked someone else...how could she trust him? But I guess different strokes for different folks. OH WELL! I'm trying to get my fix of reality TV before my girl comes home. Very crazy.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

When you least expect it

When you are a single girl, people are always telling you whenever you find peace in your situation and accept it, then that's when love happens, when you least expect it. In my case it's a special needs referral. It's a different kind of love. When I put in my waiting childo application to my agency, I really didn't think anything would come of it. I told God if it was His will, then he will so bless me with a waiting child referral. I really had already accepted the long wait and I was really and truly in a place of acceptance and was for once in my life at peace with it. So, you can imagine my surprise at 3 a.m. this past Thursday morning when my special needs stork called and told me about a little about her and sent me her file. I was excited and exhausted and extremely cautious. I refused to look at her picture until I did more research on her special need. I only had 48 hours to decide to accept or decline. I spent most of Thursday in a fog trying to get a hold unsuccessfully of my doctors but I found an angel of mercy in Dr. Diane McMains (she rocks!) She and her nurse went over the files along with a nurse practitioner. Then she sent the files to a colleague. I also sent them to a children's hospital in Philly to make double make sure I would be going into this with my eyes open. You know, the bottom line is that it's a giant leap of faith, no matter how much information you get. Being the person that I am, I wanted to make sure I took an educated leap of faith. In the end, I have decided to accept the referral. I am now awaiting PA and all the other acronyms that are associated with special needs adoption process. If all goes well, I should be traveling early this summer. I now have a big long list that I'm continually adding to in order to make sure that I'm ready for my daughter and for my journey to China. I'm still so keyed up that I'm waking up way earlier than I need to. I hope eventually I will be able to sleep past 5:30. I think I will tonight. I am exhausted.