Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I will not panic

I am trying real hard not to panic about how the swine flu might affect my travel. I keep telling myself that God will get me to China when I'm supposed to. I just want it to be now or soon. My I 171 expires July 15th which also sets me into mini panic. I really don't want to have to redo my paperwork. I just need to take a breath and wait and see. I don't want to be the crazy lady who calls up in a panic. Of course, three area school districts have closed down and I heard rumors that mine might at the end of this week. I highly doubt it but I have been wrong before. I don't know what to think but my mantra is be cool, stay calm, don't panic. Easier said than done.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bob the builder ain't got nothing on me! NOT!

So yesterday, I decided that I was going to put the gate up on the top of my stairs. It's one of those gates that you actually drill into the wall. I thought for me that would be better. Can I just say those templates are big fat liars! They don't line up at all! I had to adjust several times and I did better using the actual holder thingy to measure rather than the stupid template! And did it tell you which side to put the hinge side? Nope sure didn't. I'm a lefty and I was looking at the top of the stairs trying to make sure it would fit properly so I put the hinge side on the right...boy was I wrong. I learned later that the gate should not swing over the stairs! Yep...I was so wrong. It works. It does what it needs to do...keep my child from going downstairs. Eventually, I'll maybe flip it the other way, but I'm proud that I even got the gate up. It looks okay and it's sturdy. Check that off the safety list. I have to have a homestudy update in the next week or so. So, I'm trying to make sure everything is a.o.k.

Tomorrow is the start of the lovely TAKS testing. It's 6th & 7th grade math tomorrow. I am not testing tomorrow but I will be testing the rest of the week. Oh Joy! I feel bad for the Schertz-Cibolo district who is out this whole week because of the swine flu. Not only are they missing TAKS but a whole week of school added to the end. YUCK! We're already starting a countdown here.

Sunday is my family and friends shower. I'm very excited. In two weeks, they are having my work shower. Today my favorite counselor brought me two cute, cute, cute outfits for my Gracie. She said she went shopping and saw them and couldn't help herself. I couldn't blame her. My girl is going to be so cute in them! It's things like these that make me realize how blessed I am by having all of the great and supportive people in my life.

Finally, we got good news today. Shannon is still cancer free. Yippee! It'll be a year this summer that Shannon will have finished all of her cancer treatments. I hope it stays that way!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Frustration

Okay, first I'm going to start this post by saying that I really do like my agency. I really do. I know I should trust them in all aspects of my adoption but I can't help by be a little leery and untrusting. I guess I'm frustrated because information is not as forthcoming as it should be...it's not just my agency as I realize...it seems it's common in a lot of agencies. My agency will answer the questions honestly but you have to ask them...they don't volunteer the information upfront...it's like some of this process is so top secret that we the prospective adoptive parents aren't privy to. This leads me to the whole e-mailing the consulate about making sure your paperwork is there. When someone who is in the same shoes as you (getting ready for travel...actually I am waiting for TA) says they had a paperwork issue that caused them stress and almost lost a consulate appointment and recommended checking up on it, I think I'm probably going to follow that advice because I sure as heck don't want to be stressed out when I'm getting ready to travel. Yes, I did e-mail them and when I talked to my agency I was advised that I shouldn't have. According to them, there is a breakdown in communication between, well, honestly I can't remember who, but the entity who is responsible for getting our paperwork to the consulate is not getting it done. But, it's no big deal...only a few phone calls to clear it up and has never postponed travel. Okay...this is why I'm frustrated...why don't they tell us this right after we get our LSC so we can be prepared and not blindsided and number 2, why can't we prevent that stress right before travel? Hello...we are already fragile people. Many of us have waited for a long time and now we've been matched. Some of our children are very ill and we want to get to them ASAP and any thought of delay freaks us out a lot. And to top it off, seriously, if we've been waiting as much as some of us have and our agencies have told us a lot of stuff, aren't we a little leery about what they say is the truth? And you know what else? I'm an American citizen and isn't the consulate there to serve American citizens and answer my questions? Don't I technically pay their salaries with my taxes? So, it's understandable that we freak out over things like this. We're super sorry that we didn't know we weren't supposed to contact the consulate...nobody every told us this and when we hear about problems, we want to solve it right then. I'm off my soapbox and I feel better that I vented my frustrations.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sad News

Today, a mom of one of my students was murdered this morning. The student was at school when it happened and the cops came and got this student out of class and told the student. Our administrators weren't allowed to say anything. It was just the two of them who lived in that house and it's believed that the boyfriend was the one who killed her. I'm glad my student wasn't there when it happened but I'm devestated and so sad for this student. It seems like there are more and more murders lately in my hometown. Please say a little prayer for my student that he will have the strength to get through this tough time.

On a brighter note, I'm getting my visa and my mom's application filled out and sent to my agency since they have a visa service. It's due on Tuesday. Tomorrow is our last day for the week and my principal is going to take me and Shannon to lunch for Library Week (it was last week). My niece and I are going to finish her bracelets on Friday since we are off for Fiesta! YEA!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My life has seemed to have gone in fast forward mode and I haven't decided if it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's good in that it's getting closer to Grace day but bad in that I have so much to do in a short amount of time. I think it still hasn't totally sunk in yet. When I get my TA, I'll be like a chicken with its head chopped off. My plan is to get everything on my packing list before TA. That way I won't be as overwhelmed. I'm still hoping that I get my TA in three weeks...and I would like to travel at the end of May. That would totally rock.

My life seems to be on fast forward lately. I haven't decided whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. I have something scheduled every day after work this week. This past week was also chock full. I have my packing list in my purse and I'm trying to get things a little at a time so I won't be overwhelmed when I get my TA and the realization kicks in that I'll be leaving in a month (at least I hope so).

This weekend I got to visit with my best friend and her family. It was Miss Holly's 2nd birthday. I wish you could all see this girl because she is one funny and very animated 2 year old. She loves music and dancing to it. She loves kitty cats and her

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's a Pink Day today!

Congratulations to all of my friends who received LOAs and TAs today. It was totally pinked up on Rumor Queen special needs board. It's like a roller coaster ride because a lot of people got their TAs in 3 weeks and then they are traveling in a couple of weeks. So, it made my brain start thinking that there could be a chance of me going to China in about 5 weeks! Holy cow!

So, I'm going to start packing and print out my packing list to keep with me so I can get things and start packing now. I don't want to be a chicken with her head cut off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Obedience Class & DDR


Hope and I had Day 2 of obedience class. She is doing very well. We worked on heel, change of pace, sit and heal/sit. She also was the "demonstrator" of the bad behavior of jumping up on people and she got the "off" command and the water bottle squirt. She totally stopped. I am going to practice that command and hush when she starts the crazy dog bark. We're working very hard so she doesn't freak poor Grace out.

Today was also our DDR tournament at school. I think I got permission to buy a wii for the library because you should have seen the amount of kids in the library during lunch. The interesting thing is that I had more boys cometing than girls. Two of my first place winners were boys! I want to do game day after school either once a week or every other week next year. I want to do more than Wii. I was also thinking scrabble and monopoly as well.

In a little over a month I should be in China. How crazy is that? I am so excited!

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week



This week is National Library Week. We're having a DDR (that's Dance Dance Revolution) tournament during lunches. We're also going to have a dessert buffet for the teachers on Friday. I was worried because I didn't think the kids were going to sign up but I got enough. So, I'm going to lug my Wii to work tomorrow. I decided that since I'll probably be gone the last week of school and that's when I bring my wii and my student aides can have game day. My favorite is America Idol karaoke revolution.

I've started my packing lists. I put them on EXCEL. I've decided I need to print it out and keep it with me so I can buy some of the stuff each time I go to the grocery store. Today I got some of the drug stuff like baby tylenol and boogie wipes (boogie wipes rock...they are like saline wipes)

I hope everybody had a great Easter. I burned the burgers a bit (my mom jinxed me when she said she wanted well-done) but they were still good. I can't believe that next year I'll have my Grace and she'll get to search for eggs alongside her cousins (that's my sister and her kids in the picture looking for eggs). I hope that more LOAs will be coming for those who have been waiting. I know how frustrating the wait is. My travel advisor is supposed to call me this week. I wonder if she'll have ideas of time frames. Holy cow! I'm going to China in a month (or a little over a month!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Words I need to delete from my vocabulary

As I was leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot this evening, I had an epiphany after a person who saw that I was backing up but decided he wanted to go so I had to slam on my brakes so I wouldn't hit him (he was flying through the parking lot to Whataburger) and as the word "Ya punk!" flew out of my mouth, I thought to myself...my child is going to be calling people punks! It could be a whole lot worse but just the thought of it coming out of a little person's mouth makes me think about it. So, now what other words do I need to delete from my vocabulary? Dipwad is definitely one. I honestly am not a big cusser. My bad words are crap and sucks. Not the best, but not the worse. I'm going to have to think on that.

Did you know that Wal-Mart or at least my Wal-Mart no longer has a gift registry in the store? Yep, I went to update mine this morning and I couldn't believe that! So, I guess I will now be going to Babies R Us but they are kinda expensive and Wal-Mart is usually reasonable. I do have my registry at Target done. My best friend has been helping me out since she has an almost 2 year old at home.

I finished my contract work this evening. I had a Monday (actually later but I was asked if I could get it done earlier) deadline and I made it a point to finish today. The extra money could really be used. I hope all items are accepted.

I am also sending a care package to my daughter through LadybugsNLove. I am writing my orphanage letter right now and I also sending a photo album so I'll be taking pictures tomorrow at Easter. The bummer thing is that my face is still swollen from those stinkin steroids. I'm glad I've lost the weight from them (even though I still have residual eating issues from them in the evenings) so poor Gracie will think she has a puffy faced mama! Oh well!

Friday, April 10, 2009

LSC Sent today


My LSC was sent today. I can't believe that in less than two months, I will be holding my child in my arms. How cool is that? I still haven't received any medical updates so I just have to believe she's okay.

I spent the day with my niece and nephew making bracelets for my niece's market days project. We had a good day and had so much fun. Alex was super nice to Brennan when he made a "creative" bracelet. We only got 15 done but we have plans to finish them up on Fiesta Friday.

I hope that Monday brings more LOAs for the waiting families. I am still praying for a speedup for my friends still waiting. They are never far from my thoughts and my heart aches for them. There is nothing I can say to make them feel better but I am always having conversations with God asking him to speed it up for them...they've been waiting way too long...I would be to but God had another plan for me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Yes, I am up before I should be

What kind of crazy girl am I who is up an hour earlier than she needs to be? That would be me. I am the kind of girl who "chews" on things in her sleep. That's why I have all of the weird crazy dreams (like the night before I was dreaming about the heel command I had learned the night before at obedience class...Hope is doing well with that BTW...when we walked yesterday she did good with "heel") Last night I finished compiling my shower list for my best friend. This morning I put it into EXCEL and e-mailed it to Sandra. I'm very excited about my shower. It's going to be at one of my favorite places that has the best desserts and chicken salad.

I got my LSC/LOA fed-exed yesterday. My agency should be getting it today. I'm bringing my big huge dossier notebook to work so I can pull the paperwork for the state of Texas so I can get the ball rolling on the nonrecurring adoption expense reimbursement. I was so glad when someone in RQ special needs forum brought that up. That's $1500 that will help out greatly. I also made an appointment with Grace's pediatrician in a couple of weeks so we can get our plan of action in place. I have never been so busy! But with a list, I'm doing okay.

I was also blessed with some contract question writing work that's due on Monday. So, it's going to be a busy weekend but that's a good thing.

I'm super excited that today is our last day of the week. I get to wear my Librarian's Rock shirt and jeans. Shannon and I are going to be twinkies. Tomorrow, my niece is coming over and we're going to make bracelets for her market day project. Alex and I always have fun doing crafty stuff together.

Easter is Sunday. I'm BBQing in the early afternoon and we're also going to have a pinata for KJ since we didn't have it on his actual birthday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Paperwork and Dog Obedience Class

I got my Fed Ex of my daughter's official referral. The actual date they signed off was the day after my birthday...now that's truly a great gift. Now I'm off to make copies upstairs and get everything that is needed so I can fed ex it back tomorrow. My head is a spinning but I got my lists. I have learned that lists are so very important.

I also got good news today that my daughter will qualify for a nonrecurring adoption subsidy from the state of Texas. It's like $1500. So, as I gather the other paperwork, I have another folder going for the Texas part of the paperwork. Every little bit helps.

Hope and I attended the first obedience class today. It was a community education class of about 12 dogs. We learned heel today. I guess heel is a marker word and Hope is still working on it. She did okay. We'll be working on heel this whole week. Hopefully she'll get it by next week. She also has to learn to stay on my right side too because I'm a lefty. So, we'll see how it goes. Wish us both luck!

Monday, April 06, 2009

LOA Baby!






Today, it is with great pride that I introduce you to my beautiful daughter, Grace. I received my LOA around lunch today and I'm on Cloud 9. Here are my girl's stats:

Chinese Name: Feng Bing Qing
From: Jiangxi (Fengxin County)
DOB: 12/24/07 (she's a Christmas baby)

Thanks you everybody who has been there for me and supporting me. It's days like these that make everything worth it. I can't believe I'm officially a mom!

I also won this cool doll wagon from Highsmith from TLA today. Imagine my surprise when I got this cool package fed exed to me. It's a beautiful handmade wagon with Raggedy Ann. Grace is so going to love this.

I hope to travel at the end of May. I promise to keep up with the blog and keep ya'll updated with everything.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Love being a foody

This morning, I decided to try something different. I really want to eat better. I have been wanting to cook more too. I actually have been craving healthly foods. So, I went to Central Market which is kind of far from my house. It was nice drive and nobody was up. Can I just say that I love Central Market. I got some great food and bread. I spent way too much but the turkey provance was worth it. I'm taking it to work for lunch to eat. I could never get sick of that. I also got some of the cheddar my best friend swears by. YUM. I think this would be a neat idea to do with Grace every Sunday or once a month to go there and get our produce for the week and just enjoy getting yummy food.

I am so glad I only have two more days of steroids. YEA! Yesterday I was Miss Piggy at the Chinese Buffet. I think I blew my poor friend's mind by eating 3 plates of food. It was mostly chicken and broccoli and the green beans. I couldn't get enough of the green beans. But I was so miserable afterwards. I'm not being as piggy today.

Today is a day of cleaning. Fun! I also need to gear up for a short fast and TAKS week. YUCK. The light at the tunnel might be my LSC/LOA. A girl can hope right?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, jiggaty jig

I made it home yesterday evening. Our flight was delayed so I didn't get home until late yesterday evening. My posting yesterday got interrupted by the shuttle driver who was like super early so I had to finish my post quickly, turn off my laptop and get downstairs (I was on the 2nd floor lounge). I don't even remember what I had been saying or if it made any sense. Oh well. I had too much stuff in my bag so I had to take out some of the preview copies of books that I got at TLA (I really didn't get a whole lot but there's probably about 15 paperback books) and put them in my backpack along with my Hank the Cowdog t-shirts for my family. Even though I was at the airport super early, I really enjoyed it. I finished reading this great book, Graceling. I am not a fantasy person, but this book totally rocked. If you liked reading Twilight, you should totally try this book. The relationship between the two main characters has that whole Bella/Edward intense vibe. It really is good. I also got to read and almost finish the new Sarah Dessen novel (I forget what it's called) but it comes out in June. Loved it...I love chick lit (if you saw the movie, How to Deal with Mandy Moore...it was based on a Sarah Dessen novel). I really enjoyed my trip. I'm glad to be home though.

I went to the allergist today. She rocked. It turns out that I'm not so much allergic as I am irritated by allergens which means that shots won't work but I have to work at the irritants. So, nasal wash every day and nose spray every day are going to be crucial. That's why I get so sick when I'm away from my library for long periods of time, the mold irritates me. I also got get re-fingerprinted. This is what like the 3rd time? Hopefully though I will be home before July 18 when my I-600A expires. I'm still waiting for my LSC/LOA. I saw that someone who had their PA similar to me got theirs today. I would love for mine to come next week. It's that whole I know it's going to happen but I don't know when.

I did find out that when we go to Nanchang we will be staying at the JinFeng hotel. That's cool. It's a very nice hotel and people seem to like it. I've told mom that we'll get suites in Nanchang and at the White Swan so we have the extra room. We're two strong, very aries women who will definitely need a little extra space for our tenaciousness.

Tomorrow is Saturday. A day of rest. I'm very excited. Next week in another 4 day week. Alex and I are going to make her bracelets for her market days in May.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Getting ready to go home

I'm on the second floor of the lovely Magnolia Hotel in Houston waiting for my supershuttle to the airport. I enjoyed TLA for the most part. I missed my school (I know I'm a big weirdo). My favorite part of the journey? The food...I can honestly say that I'm glad I am on steroids because it allowed me to do some good eating (for free). One of my vendors treated me to an awesome dinner last night at Cava Bistro...the chicken, the wine, the salad, the desserts, the appetitizers...YUM...and lunch at the Hilton by Ebsco was fantastic too. Did I mention the cookie buffet and the happy hour in my hotel too? Yea freaking fantastic. I was able to show the pictures of my girl to my favorite vendors and other librarians who know of my journey. I just wish that I knew more substantial stuff. I hate that I'm not in control...I think it's God's way of letting me practice this new skill out. Believe me, it's super hard and I'm fighting it all of the time. But if anything in this journey I am learning is that faith is everything. I don't want to come off as a crazed psycho Christian Catholic girl but in this journey I really have gotten closer to God and have a stronger sense of faith than I ever had in my 37 years of life.

So, this is how I have been coping with the wait. Take it one day or one hour at a time. Take a deep breath...tell myself, "Not on your time...God's got the rolex watch, not you" and then remember all the hindsight stuff that makes me remember.